Picnic Between Friends

by TheGreatEater

Chapter 1: The Picnic

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It was the dreaded day. The day when chaos would devour the very concept of logic, and the skies would rain down fish and pudding. Mothers would plant fillies in the garden, and fillies would burp out colts. The very universe would be torn asunder from the madness, and even harmony would stand no chance against it.

It was either that or Twilight was overreacting. One of the two, and Twilight very much doubted she was. After all, who better to know if she was overreacting than herself, and with her reflection agreeing with her completely. That made it two against one. The one being Owlicious ,who gave her a rather sarcastic, deadpan look for an avian.

As for why this day was bad... It was the day she promised to go on a picnic with Fluttershy and Discord. Apparently it was a weekly thing they did, and as the price of his help with Scootaloo's flare (something she still couldn't wrap her head around), all he asked was that she finally accept an invitation for this Sunday's picnic.

Sure, Fluttershy was a wonderful friend, even with her level of phobias that'd put Twilight's third favorite book character, Black Monk, to shame. She was the kindest, most caring soul she ever met, short of Celestia. But, she was the only one of her friends to really befriend the Spirit of Chaos. The living incarnation of madness, but Discord had made some interesting points when helping her. Her friends never really gave Discord the time of day, never worked on befriending him, and friends did help each other... Even if that meant walking into whatever madness Discord considered fun.

I'm going to need several headache potions just to get out the door. Not to mention, I have no idea what to bring. What do you cook for a picnic between an animal loving recluse and a reality warping god? Oh well, I'll just throw something together, and hopefully it turns out good.

Most ponies think that Twilight can't cook, just because she usually has Spike do all the cooking. That couldn't be further from the truth. Cooking was just as much a science as an art, much like magic. All one needed to do was follow directions, know how specific ingredients react to various stimuli, and then throw in enough knowledge of chemistry to science up some grub.

Spike usually made better food, what with his dragon breath, and his Bachelor’s in the Culinary Arts. That, and, while she was a good cook, things had a way of going awry just like with any scientific experiment. But for this picnic, she was going to go with a classic.

Pickled Deviled Eggs. The real problem wouldn't be magically speeding up the pickling process, but making it really appeal to her hosts’ interest.Taking out the eggs, a pot, and a bottle of vinegar, she rummaged through the fridge for something appealing.

After a while of debating, she had before her egg whites, clove honey, sweet dill pickles, basil-infused oil, ginseng and ginger extract, and food dye, as well as the pickling agents, lavender honey, sweet cider vinegar, plum wine, and pomegranate juice. Smiling at herself, she hummed a tuneless ditty, and waited for everything to be ready.

Discord was nervous. Not that he’ll admit it out loud, or that he'd show it in a way ponies normally guessed at. But then again, Fluttershy wasn't an ordinary pony. She the first being in his immeasurably long life to befriend him, and show him actual kindness rather than fearful supplication or madness-inducing worship was an attestment to that. Discord adjusted his top hat and loosened his multicolored tie-dye necktie, before pulling out his monocle for a quick polish.

But after his fourth time coughing up butterflies wearing neon orange tutus pirouetting with dragonflies wearing dapper tuxes, Fluttershy placed a forehoof on his clawed hand and nuzzled him. "It'll be alright, Dissy. I'm sure when Twilight sees what an amazing friend you are, she'll like you almost as much as I do."

"I'm not worried, Fluttershy. After all, who other than you can claim to have befriended a god of chaos? No, I'm just a little... Pre-occupied with how to go about this picnic. After all, this is the first time any of our other friends have accepted an invitation to our little shindig," Discord said with as much bravado as he could manage.

Smiling gently, Fluttershy gave a nod of approval. "Of course. By the way, thank you for wearing your best ‘serious hat’ to this picnic. I hope you told her to bring one as well. It really is a fun way to spice up these dates."

Fluttershy chuckled as she adjusted her fruit hat, her fruit hat, a collection of apples, oranges, and bananas, decorated with several tiny, frolicking animals. When Discord first proposed that they wear ‘serious hats’ for such a ‘serious event’, Fluttershy was just as nervous as Discord was pretending not to be now. But after seeing the strainer on his head with a carrot as a proxy unicorn horn that he wore for the first one, she was glad she could let loose. Even if it was a bit silly.

Discord huffed, "Of course I... Oops. Well, I guess she can borrow one of yours, right Flutter-Butter?"

Fluttershy blushed ferociously. "Mmmhmm," She squeaked.

"So when are we going to tell your friends that we're dating? I mean, it's been a few months, don't they have the right to know?" Discord asked.

"Soon. We just need to get them warmed up to you first. After all, I want my friends to like my special someone," Fluttershy gushed.

"Even though I'm not a somepony?" Discord ribbed.

"Of course not. It doesn't matter what's on the outside, it's what's on the inside that counts," Fluttershy replied, leaning into him, "I just wished that it would happen sooner."

Discord was about to reply when a burst of lavender light burst forth from the other side of the clearing, causing Fluttershy to bolt and hide behind Discord like a giant meat shield. As the lights dancing in their eyes cleared away, a very frantic looking Twilight Sparkle appeared, her mane a tremendous mess.

Discord looked at Fluttershy and said, "I'll bring your best serious hat for this. It'll take all the seriousness that has ever been serioused before to fix this."

"Not the rubber chicken hat, get her the flying banana tiara with the cute little bunny slippers. Oh, and a comb. I'll talk to Twilight." Fluttershy said, and with that, Discord popped out in a shower of candy confetti and laughing taffy.

Fluttershy trotted up to Twilight and gave her a hug. "What's the matter, Twilight?"

"Why would anything be the matter? Nothing's the matter! Everything's fine!" Twilight replied a little too loudly. Her mane was starting to become even more erratic as static electricity sparked from her horn.

"Twilight?" Fluttershy said firmly.

"What? I'm being serious. It's just, you know, I just became a Princess of Equestria with no purpose. Having a social get together with the Spirit of Chaos, what if I mess this up and he goes all evil again? And it'll be all my fault for not being a good friend! What if the princesses blame me at being such a horrible friend that I doo-"

Twilight's ramblings were cut short by way of a yellow hoof lodged in her mouth. "Twilight, do what Princess Cadance taught you... If that's okay with you."

Once the hoof was extracted, Twilight went through her breathing exercise a few times. Fluttershy gave her a nuzzle and asked her, "Are you feeling better now?"

"Heh... I kind of let things slip away from me, again didn't I?"

"Oh, it wasn't that bad. At least you didn't cause a riot that nearly destroyed Ponyville again... Again. So what's really the matter?"

"It's just, well... Discord is so utterly different from me that I'm a little worried. Sure, he's supposed to be reformed, and you two do hangout a lot. But I don't know if I'd be a good enough friend. I mean, how do you be friends with the incarnation of chaos?" Twilight asked.

"Simple, just like you'd do with any other pony. You, Applejack, Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash don't have a lot in common at first glance. But they are your friends ,right?"

"Yeah... I gue- No, you're right. We are friends. So... What do I do?"

"Just be there for him, and get to know him. I'm sure you'll be best of friends like you are with us in no time."

"Thanks, Fluttershy. By the way what're wearing? It looks ridiculous and adorable at the same time," Twilight chuckled.

"This is my serious hat. It's a little tradition me and Dissy *cough* I mean, Discord came up with," Fluttershy said, blushing.



"And why'd you call him Dissy?"

"Pinkie Pie isn't the only one allowed to come up with nicknames for friends," Fluttershy said. Although unlike Applejack or Twilight, she was rather good at it. It was the reason she could fleece her friends at poker most games.

"Okay, well... Um... I guess I better apologize to... Dissy? When he gets here. Oh! And I brought over something for the picnic," Twilight said, levitating the deviled pickled eggs. The filling was dyed to look like a rainbow, with all the colors placed in reverse alphabetical order.

"Oh, they look lovely, thank you. See, you're making a good step as a friend already."

"You're welcome. I hope you both like them. I couldn't decide if this one was good enough, or if I should make marbled eggs. Spike really likes those," Twilight said, sighing, "I wish he would've stayed here rather than going to Canterlot. It doesn't really matter what other ponies think. He's my son, and I just wish I could've seen that sooner, you know?"

Fluttershy wrapped Twilight in a hug. "I know, and I think he does too. But I know for a fact that he loves you. He wouldn't have done half the crazy stuff he's done if he didn't, and I know that he'll be back soon. At least he's with the princesses... The other princesses... So I'm sure he's in good hooves."

"You're on a roll, Fluttershy. Since when did you get all wise?"

"Since I've had so many good friends to help me."

Fluttershy and Twilight were in the middle of telling each other about their week when a tiny door appeared on Fluttershy's hat. It opened to reveal Discord, who casually strutted out. "So, dearest Princess Twilight, are you feeling better now that Fluttershy had time to talk to you?"

"I am, thanks, Diss... Discord. Sorry, Fluttershy, it feels weird calling him ‘Dissy’," Twilight said, blushing.

Discord coughed into his hand, looking like he was choking on something before gathering himself together. Oddly enough, it didn't consist of physically putting himself back together. "Why, Twilight, I didn't know you cared. But it's quite alright. You can call me the Great and Powerful Discord, or Discord the Amazing, or even... And this is throwing it out there, 'buddy'..."

Twilight raised an eyebrow. "What, Discord?"

"Whatever floats your boat!" Discord replied. With a snap of his claws, Twilight found herself in a rowboat floating a few hooves off the ground.

Teleporting back on the ground, Twilight took a deep breath to calm her nerves. "Listen, um, Discord?"


"Well... You see ...," Twilight looked around and whipped out the carton of devilled eggs, "I brought food for the picnic!"

Discord looked at the food, and popped one into his mouth. A moan of pleasure purred out of his throat. "Who ever says that you aren't a good cook is a liar. These are magnificent. I even appreciate the attempt at making them look chaotic. A good first attempt."

"Thanks, now shall we start?"

"Of course, of course, but first, you need your hat."

And with that, three small, winged bananas, each with a bunny slipper perched on the stem, humming quietly through their sewn mouths, flew around Twilight's head.

The ridiculousness of it drew a laugh from her. "These things are utterly absurd. Do you really wear these?"

"They wouldn't be serious hats if we weren't seriously having fun wearing them. Are you having fun, Twilight?" Fluttershy asked.

"You know what? I think I am," Twilight laughed.

Twilight didn't know what surprised her more: The fact that the food was normal, or that she was seriously enjoying her time with Discord. He used his magic to whip up the refreshments, and after some initial reservations, turned out quite good. To think that Pinkie Pie was missing out on chocolate milk with a dollop of cream...

"Why hasn't Pinkie Pie ever attended these picnics? They seem right up her alley," Twilight asked.

"Honestly, I don't know," Fluttershy replied, "It seems out of character for her to miss these, but she says she's been busy with the Cakes and going pranking with Rainbow Dash a lot lately. Hopefully the rest of the girls will join us eventually. That is, if you'd like to do this more often."

"I'd love to make this a regular thing, and I'll see if the others want to join us too! I was surprised at first, but I haven’t had this much fun in a while. Thank you both for this," Twilight said, beaming.

"Think nothing of it. Although I must ask, how is it being one of Equestria's newly minted pretty pony princesses?" Discord asked.

"Can we... You know, talk about anything else? Literally anything other than that?" Twilight said, nervously pawing the ground with her hoof.

"Hmmm... Do you know how nebulas make baby stars?" Discord suggested.

Twilight blushed till she turned a deep red. "Alright, anything but me being a princess or that other thing. I think I can be happy not knowing Discord's answer to that."

"What about the state of -" Fluttershy slapped a hoof over Discord's mouth.

"Not while ponies are eating. Remember how we talked about the list of things that I mentioned?"

"Pfft, fine, anything for you, Flutter-Butter. Why don’t we talk about how Pinkie Sense works?" Discord said.

"Are you serious? Do you know how Pinkie is able to do that stuff she does? And what's up with the weird nicknames?"

"I think you should have figured it out. When wearing serious hats, me and Flutters here are very serious. And aren't nicknames something that friends make for each other every now and then?" Discord retorted.

Twilight weighed her options, remembering the chaos and physical trauma that her study into the Pinkie Sense caused... And the fact that Discord's answer would probably drive her insane. It was tempting, but after consideration, she had to decline. "I'd love that, but we should talk about it later. I'd like to have a quill and parchment ready first."

"Then..?" Discord goaded.

"Fine. We can talk about me being a princess. Happy?" Twilight huffed.

Of all the witty, sarcastic, and offhoofed comments she expected, what she didn't expect was a comforting paw resting on her withers, and a soft look in Discord's eyes. "Trust me, no one knows about change more than myself. But if there’s anything living with you ponies... Well, living with Fluttershy has taught me, is that sometimes, the most helpful of things anyone can have is just someone to talk to. And you, dear Twilight, haven't talked to anyone. I think Fluttershy here can attest how bad keeping things bottled up can be."

"You know what? As odd as this feels to say, you're right. This day has been full of surprises. So... Yeah. I guess it's just that Celestia raises the sun, brings light, life, and joy to the world. She's wise, kind, and everypony worships the ground she walks on. Even if she doesn't really like that, she goes along with it because she loves her little ponies... But she knows who she is and what she is.

"Even after being away for so long, Luna has made the night every day she since been back, and it's some of the most beautiful art I've ever seen. She guards ponies’ dreams and makes sure everypony is safe at night. But it's like she knows exactly the princess she’s supposed to be.

"Even Cadance seems to have come out of the mold as a perfect princess. She was an amazing foalsitter, and filled with love for everyone. But me... I don’t know anything about being a princess. I was just a unicorn, and now I have these things,"She said, flapping her wings sadly, "All of this was so sudden, and I just don't know what kind of princess I want to be, or even if I'll make a good one!"

"Is that what you think?" Discord asked.

"Yes, it is. What if I'm not good enough for them? What if I never become a great princess? What if they decide that they made a mistake and I lose everything?" Twilight said dejectedly.

"Oh Twilight," Fluttershy said as she glomped her friend, "You’ll always have us girls. Even Discord! We're friends, and you being a princess doesn't change that. I Pinkie Promise."

"It's true, and as for the Princesses, I’ve heard a lot about during stint as a statue, and trust me, even though they seem all-together, there have been plenty of times when they worried about their mistakes, or if the judgements they were making were the right ones. So at the end of the day, ask yourself this: What kind of princess do you want to be?"

"What kind of princess do I want to be?"

"... Do I want to be..? I-I don't know," Twilight sighed.

"It's something to think about, but if you're true to yourself and happy with who you are, then that's all that really matters. Well, that, and you know you have friends there for you." Discord said, patting her on the back with a paw.

Twilight was flabbergasted. Here was chaos itself, and it was making sense! But more than that, he gave her food for thought. All this time she was waiting for others to tell her what she was meant to do as a princess, but it was really up to her to decide!

"You know what? You're right. I don't know what kind of princess I want to be, but as long as I have my friends, and can be a princess Celestia can be proud of, then that'll be good enough for me.”

A few hours later, Twilight trotted back home with her picnic basket in tow. After profusely thinking Fluttershy and Discord for the picnic, they'd arranged for another one next week.A part of her felt silly that she worried so much about a picnic with Discord. But she felt great after the picnic, and she knew that it would be great to get the girls and make it a normal part of their week, just like their pet playdates.

As she arrived at her house. She found a pink, colorfully decorated box covered in a chaotic clutter of glitter and streamers, not unlike the confetti cannon invitations Pinkie Pie would occasionally place in ponies’ houses. But the tag showed it was from Discord, opening it she saw a note stuck on a strange hat. The hat had a wide, deep brim, almost like a bowl, with a pair of green glow-in-the-dark dragon fins attached to the sides. At the front, several tiny plastic Discords held dangling strings covered in beads shaped like her friends cutie marks. Confused, she picked up the note, hoping for an explanation that wouldn't drive her completely insane.

Dear Twilight,

This is from both Flutter-Butters and myself. If you're going to be going be coming to more picnics, you should have your very own serious hat. Just remember, it's better to be seriously having fun than being seriously stressed. You'll be happier and feel better if you do. Oh, and Fluttershy wants me to tell you that if you ever need to talk, we and all of your friends are here for you. So don't think you're alone,


Author's Notes:

I'm alive. Just been busy, but the Goldenverse isn't forgotten.

So when doing this fic awhile ago. I knew the gist of what I wanted to do, but a comment in a convo between me and http://www.fimfiction.net/user/KitsuneRisu really got me thinking. (S)he said, "be the writer you want to be." And that really kinda connected me with Twilight a bit here. Since I really don't know the writer I want to be, rather I'm still exploring myself through my characters and my stories [both the family friendly ones andthe ones you make sure noonels around when you read them :rainbowlaugh:].

So a special thank you to those of you who've followed the Goldenverse, and my other fics. It's been a fun journey so far, and I'm enjoying every moment of it.

As for the game I'm making. Enjoy some of the fruits of my labors. I give you stepping animation for the Unicorn MC Sprites [base only so far]. With a battle backer background [from RPG Maker's RTP]

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