So this is the new cover for m story Daddy Dearest www.fimfiction.net/story/32375… I'm rewriting the story do to changes both in the show and in the family is magic universe, thus far I've only rewritten the first chapter but expect more in the next few days. I got a kick outta drawing Fluttershy's parents. God I wish I knew their names and no I don't think Mr. and Mrs.Shy counts. Grandpa's balding and Zephyr's hairstyle changes with the times. Discord and Screwy make eye contact from across the room and Archie watches her suspiciously.
Age check (From know on I'm going to start doing age checks on pics to keep track)
Chapter 1 Home for the Holidays
Archie stood motionless in the doorway for a moment. He held a suitcase suspended by a spell as he stood before his old bedroom on the second floor of Fluttershy's cottage. The green wooden floor felt familiar beneath bare hooves. That wasn't all that was familiar. His older brother's bed remained pressed against the left wall as it always had. His brother never did move out so the space was very clearly lived it. Metal band posters were plastered all over the left wall and the bed was woefully unmade. A few inappropriate magazines sat on the bed and nightstand in plain view.
Despite this it was what rested against the right wall which left him frozen in place. This was his first time staying with his parents since he had moved out over a year ago. His old bed still rested against the wall as it always had. A few of his favorite foalhood books sat on the nightstand and their old toy box rested between the two beds untouched. Slowly Archie crept over to his old bed brushing a hoof along his old nightstand. It was pristine. A sudden voice made him jump slightly.
"Hey Archie!" Chaos blurted enthusiastically behind him. Archie spun around to greet his brother. Chaos had a habit of sneaking up on him ever since they were foals.
"Will you ever stop doing that?" Archie huffed with mild frustration.
"It's not my fault you're so jumpy." Chaos remarked. "I made sure to keep your side of the room clean for you, in case you needed it, you know."
Archie looked up at his older brother with a touch of surprise as the weight of Chaos' words truly hit him. His notoriously, slovenly, irresponsible brother, whom had never done his own laundry a day in his life, had purposefully, and regularly, washed Archie's old sheets and dusted his nightstand.
"Why, thank you." Archie stammered.
His brother gave him a toothy grin. The kind of proud, childish smile he often flashed in his moments of personal triumph. "C'mon, Mom's making Hearths Warming dinner and you promised to help."
"Of course, I'll be down in a moment." Archie replied. Chaos darted off downstairs leaving his younger brother alone in their time capsule of a room.
Chaos was the elder brother by six years. Despite their age gap however Archie was always the more responsible of the two. While Chaos remained in their parents home devoid of any real responsibility, Archie had gotten a job working as Princess Twilight's librarian and purchased a small cottage of his own. Memories of Hearths Warmming's past fluttered through his mind as he placed his suitcase on the bed. As different as they were, and as much as they argued, it was profoundly comforting to know his brother had kept a place for him. The thought made him smile. It was a sweet but naive gesture. With their uncle and grandparents arriving soon it would likely been more pertinent for Chaos to hide away his PlayPony magazines. "Foal steps" he thought to himself.
After unpacking some of his personal effects he made his way downstairs to find his father and brother working together to decorate the tree. They were laughing and making a mess as per usual. Discord had managed to tangle his lanky frame in a long string of popcorn. As soon as he noticed his other son at the base of the steps he waved to him excitedly.
"Archie over here! I could use some help!" Archie shook his head and clapped his hooves together. With a light "Poof" the popcorn strings disappeared leaving behind a rather disappointed Discord.
"Aw you take the fun out of everything!" He complained.
"Yah!" Chaos chimed in, "You can't just use magic to fix everything!"
"Can't I?" Archie challenged with a playful raise of his brow.
Just then a knock came at the door followed by a loud bang as the door swung open.
"ZephyrBreeze is in the house baby!"
Archie looked over to see his uncle in the doorway with a sack of gifts slung over his shoulder and a great big smile on his face. Their grandparents followed close behind looking notably more modest.
"Zephyr be careful with the door, you don't want to break anything." Their grandfather urged gently.
"Relax Popsicle I got this. Besides my bestist bro'n'law can fix that ole thing up in an instant" Zephyr replied. "Ain't that right Dissy!" He called.
"Indubitably," Discord replied with enthusiasm as he flew over and with a snap of his fingers a brand new door, with a distinctive Heartwarming theme, was closed shut behind his N'laws. There was once a time when Zephyr and Discord weren't nearly so chummy, and Mr. and Mrs.Shy were a tad frightened of him. But these days the family was as close as any pony else.
Chaos ran over to uncle Zephyr. Archie followed a moment then stopped outside the kitchen door.
"C'mon Archie get over here and give your ole uncle a hug!" Zephyr called out as he held Chaos in a headlock.
"Maybe later, I have to help mom with dinner." Archie called back.
"Oh, oh let me help!" his grandmother replied as she pushed her way past the three men who had inadvertently trapped her and her husband in the doorway. "I'll teach you how to make my super, special, yam surprise."
Archie replied with enthusiasm as he helped his elderly grandmother to the kitchen.
"Whelp all the mares are in the kitchen then." Chaos announced as soon as the two had disappeared into the next room.
"I heard that!" Archie called back.
Archie breathed a sigh of relief as he saw his mother chopping carrots in the kitchen. Her hips swung lightly as she hummed softly to herself. He could her his father, brother, and uncle laughing and and making marry in the living room. They were loud and rambunctious, especially when you got all three in a room together. It was a relief to be away from that and spend the evening cooking with his mother and grandmother.
"Not in the mood to play games?" Fluttershy asked without so much as a tilt of her head. She always did have a great sense of her sons. That maternal instinct that meant she always seemed to know just what they were up to.
"Well I couldn't just leave you without your kitchen buddy," Archie chuckled as he removed his ascot and rolled up his sleeves. Taking his place beside his mother she directed him to a bowl of unpeeled potatoes.
"You know those boys dear," Grandma chimed in. "Always making such a racket. Not like you Archie dear." She praised as she pinched at his cheek dotingly.
"Grandma!" Archie complained as he batted way her hoof. She smiled and gave him a kiss on the cheek before shifting through Fluttershy's cabinets. "Fluttershy dear where do you keep the baking bans again?"
"There're in the drawer under the stove mom."
"There we are, thank you dear."
Fluttershy used to call Archie her "kitchen buddy" when he was a foal as he was always eager to help her with the cooking. It wasn't so much about the cooking, though Archie wasn't a terrible cook, mostly he simply enjoyed sharing alone time with his mother. They spoke very little but their was usually no need to. Fluttershy understood Archie in a way his father and brother never really did. For some time they simply enjoyed each others company as they prepared a great holiday feast. They sung carols together and shared some light banter. Archie it seems had inherited his mothers relaxed soft spoken demeanor though he was never meek.
Meanwhile back in the living room the initially uproar was dying down as things settled into more casual conversation.
"So how's the new job going?" Zephyr prodded his nephew.
Chao's face flushed bright red as he shied away from the question. "Weeelllll, it's uh..."
"I was fired last week." Discord replied as he took a sip from a mug of cider he materialized from the ether.
"Again!" Zephyr scoldded.
"Hey Uncle Zeph I can explain."
"No, there's no explaining here boy. You promised me you'd be moved out by next year, I don't appreciate you taking my big sister for granted." Zephyr huffed.
"Uhm, excuse me Discord may I have a glass?" Grandpa asked meekly with a tap on Discord's shoulder. He could tell Discord was getting annoyed. Discord snapped his fingers absently and a mug appeared in his father'n'law's hoof. Granpa sipped at it wearily as he braced himself for the inevitable.
"What does it matter? As soon as he gets his magic back he won't need a job." Discord chimed in. "Work is for common ponies"
"Excuse me Discord, that might work for you but there's no way in Taurus I'm letting any nephew of mine laze about like a freeloader."
"What did you just call me?!"
Chaos made a few feeble attempts to but into the argument but ultimately shied back behind his grandfather who continued to sip at his cider.
Discord and Zephyr continued to argue. After a few minutes Grandpa chimed in. "So Discord how's you family?"
Discord stopped dead. His father'n'law had spoken up to make sure he had heard him. The old man who was normally so timid sat there calmly staring up at him.
"Well I, I'm not sure what that has to do with anything."
"I'm just curious, you never talk about them, surly you must have a family."
A sudden knock came at the door.
"Chaos can you get that?" Archie called out. No answer.
"Uhg," Archie grumbled as he poked his head out of the kitchen with wet hooves. Discord was stammering about something as his grandfather listened intently. Everyone in the room seemed fixated on whatever conversation they were having.
Archie grumbled to himself as he dried his hooves on the apron he was wearing and headed over to the door in response to another set of knocking. "Coming!" he called out.
His frustration was replaced with surprise has he opened the door to find a stranger on their doorstep. It was a purple, earth pony, mare in a green propeller hat. Her strangest feature was her spiraling eyes. He had never seen anything like them.
"C-can I help you," He stuttered as he realized he had been standing silent in the doorway for an uncomfortably long time.
"Is this the Discord residence?" She asked tilting her head to peer into the house.
"I'm sorry," Archie responded as he realized what was going on. Chaos had a habit of getting into trouble with random towns ponies. "If this is about property damages I'd be more than willing to cover the repairs. Please come back after Hearths Warming." with that he moved to close the door. Suddenly the mare caught a glimpse of Discord sitting on the sofa. She stuck out a hoof to catch the door.
"Daddy!" She called out.
Chapter 2 Family Reunion
"ScrewBall!" Archie watched, mouth agate, as his father teleported to the door. Now blocking his view of the mare Discord scooped her up into his arms and proceeded to drag her inside dancing about the living room with her.
"Daddy!" she cheered as she warped her hooves around his lanky neck.
"Oh my little ScrewBall, I thought I lost you!" Discord cried with childlike joy.
Archie looked on in utter confusion before turning to his brother. Chaos shrugged and mirrored Archie's confusion and their grandfather simply stared. Just then Fluttershy and their grandmother stepped in from the kitchen.
"What's all the commotion out here?" FlutterShy stopped dead when she saw the mare in Discords arms.
Discord beamed proudly down at his wife as she looked up at him with a shocked expression.
"Guess who came home for the holidays?" He chimed as ScrewBall clung to his neck smiling and giggling.
FlutterShy stammered for a moment.
"Go on guess!" Discord urged with excitement, knowing full and well FlutterShy didn't know the answer.
"Seriously dad what the hay is going on?" Archie said at last. He hated it when his father toyed with them like this.
"Yeah" Chaos chimed in. They all gathered around the draconequis and the pony he cradled. Discord smiled, he tried to speak but only managed to laugh, he cleared his throat and finally said.
"Boy's I want you to meet your big sister ScrewBall."
"Big sister." The words made Archie's head reel with questions. He rubbed his forehead with his hoof for a moment trying to make sense of it.
"ScrewBall," Discord announced, "I'd like you to meet your stepmother FlutterShy, your little brothers, Chaos, and Anarchy, your grandparents, and your uncle Zephyr."
"Aww they're soooo cute!" ScrewBall cooed as she leapt down to invade Archie's personal space. Archie recoiled instantly as he saw the strange mare rushing towards him. In a moment of fight or flight he summoned up a sturdy wall between himself and ScrewBall.
ScrewBall crashed into the wall but didn't seem fazed. "What no hug for your big sister Anarchy?"
"Uhm... Just Archie is fine," He stammered awkwardly. He was never much for physical affection, much less from strangers. His voice cracked a bit as he called out for help. "Mom!"
"I'll give ya all the hugs you want baby, come to uncle Zeph" Zephyr chimed as he seemed to be the first to recover from the surprise.
Zephyr reached out to hug his new niece only to be utterly rejected. He attempted to recover with grace after she hopped away from him. "That's cool, it's cool, we'll work up to that."
"Well Dinners just about ready, what do you say we sit down and get to know each other over a nice home cooked meal?" Grandma chimed in.
"That sound like a lovely idea," Fluttershy replied as confidently as she could.
"Woo food!" Screwy cheered. Chaos joined in with her excitement as they both rushed for the kitchen table. Everypony else followed suit leaving Discord and Fluttershy dragging up the rear. Fluttershy pinned Discord's tail with a hoof before he could follow the others. He looked down at her sheepishly. Her expression was stern and he knew he would have a lot of explaining to do.
Dinner was a tad uncomfortable. Partly because the table was small and partly because Screwball had never learned to chew with her mouth closed. They were now short a seat, Screwball however it seems also possessed chaos magic as she used it to provide herself with a chair which she managed to wedge between Archie and their grandfather. Archie noticed his father would cringe slightly whenever she used her magic. It stuck him as odd but nopony else seemed to notice and his father did have a habit of doing odd things.
"So Discord," Grandma said, carefully choosing her words as she watched Screwball devour her meal which she had chosen to coat in cotton candy. "So, uhm" she tore her eyes away from the purple mare to look up pleasantly at her son'n'law. "So were you married before?
"Uhm, no, not exactly..." Discord replied awkwardly as he looked back and Screwy.
"Daddy made me out of cotton candy and liquorish!" Screwball chimed, spitting out half chewed food as she spoke.
"Oh is that true?" Grandma asked with surprise.
"It was a long time ago..." Discord replied.
"Well we knew you were a man of many talents, but I didn't know you were capable of anything like... well.." Grandpa stuttered as he tried to find the right words.
"Well I think she's beautiful, you're beautiful honey." Zephyr recovered for his father.
"Thanks, Uncle Zephyr" Screwball smiled spitting out more food.
"Uhg," Archie cringed. "I hope you're enjoying that food I worked hard on it."
"As a matter of fact I am." Screwball spat smugly at her newfound baby brother.
"That's disgusting," Archie complained as she spat bits of food on his shoulder. "It's bad enough you had to go an ruin our hard work with that sugary garbage but you can't even be bothered to learn basic manners."
"Manners smanners!" Screwball replied, making sure to show off all the prechewed food in her mouth.
"Screwball can I talk to you in the other room for a second?" Discord more demanded than asked as he teleported out of the tight space between his n'laws.
"Ok," Screwball replied. She got out of her seat which was one of the chairs not wedged against a wall and followed him into the living room.
"What's up daddy?" Screwball squeaked as she looked up her dad. They stood alone in the living room. The only light came in from the kitchen door and Screwy stood in the tall shadow her father cast. Discord looked down at her small frame and his frustration eased a bit. He knew her nature all to well. He knew pestering ponies with poor manners was only a drop in the bucket compared to the things she could do. The things she would do. He got down on one knee and placed his hands on her shoulders.
"Screwy listen," he pleaded. "You know I love you and I'm happy to have you back, but things can't be like they were before."
Screwball looked up at him with a touch of confusion and disappointment.
"I've worked really hard to put this family together Screwy." Discord tried to explain. "You have a mother sitting in that room behind me. Two brother, two lovely grandparents and pretty cool uncle. That's something I couldn't give you before. Please don't ruin this."
Screwball looked back towards the kitchen where the rest of the family was now eating, talking and making merry. She looked back at her father and the sternness on his face. She had never seen him so sober. "Yes daddy." She replied halfheartedly.
Discord reasoned it was good enough and they returned to the dinner table.
The rest of the evening moved along fairly smoothly. Screwy continued to be a nuisance but Discord would shoot her a look as she would usually stop whatever it was she was doing. What would have simply been a happy occasion with family became a nightmare for him as he constantly worried about his daughters behavior. The joy of seeing her again was slowly being replaced with anxiety and guilt. FlutterShy seemed to notice this as she would try to calm him. As they sat around the tree and talking and laughing, and she would place a hoof over his paw whenever she sensed him tensing up again. He never took his eyes off the little purple mare.
Eventually midnight rolled around and they all began settling in for the night. Zephyr was sent to sleep on an airbed Discord summoned up in the boys room. He used his magic to turn the living room sofa into a nice cozy bed for the n-laws and made sure they were comfortable. FlutterShy's father needed a glass of water for his dentures and her mother needed a special body pillow to help with her bad hip. All easy requests for him to fulfill. He was friendly and gentle with the two elderly ponies despite the thoughts weighing on his mind.
"No need to worry about me daddy, I got it covered." ScrewBall chimed. He hadn't even asked or thought about where he would put her yet but before he could respond she clicked her hoof on the floor and summoned up a small wooden door. Every time she clicked her hoof like that it felt like somepony was driving a nail into his chest but he did his bets to ignore it. On the other side of the door was a small bedroom she had created, filled with stuffed animals and glow in the dark stars. Discord had a similar room of his own upstairs. A pocket dimension he had created to be his private space, a place where he could do whatever he pleased with no consequence. But a pocket dimension is no small feat of magic and seeing ScrewBall conjure one up so casually was a bit of shock.
"Hold one just one minute Screwy!" He insisted as he grabbed her up by her tail. "What do you think you're doing?" She smiled up at him sheepishly and he raised a brow questioningly.
"Just making me bed daddy," She replied innocently. Discord was about to question her further but realized his n'laws were staring at him. He set her back down.
"Well then, goodnight ScrewBall."
"Goodnight Daddy." She replied sweetly before tucking herself into bed and closing the door.
Discord said goodnight to his n'laws and his boys on he way up to the bedroom. FlutterShy followed behind him after a quick exchange with her mother. She could tell he seemed distressed about something and her mother had sensed it to.
"Don't worry about us dear we're fine, go talk to him, I think he needs you."
With that FlutterShy turned out the living room lights and went up to her room. Discord was laying curled up on top of the covers. She could see a sort of shiver in his breath although he had his back to her.
"Discord?" FlutterShy asked softly and she fluttered over to sit beside him on the bed. He pulled his face further away from her and she simply adjusted herself to get closer. She saw the tears in his eyes and pulled his face closer. "Oh baby, this isn't about dinner is it?" She asked as he rested his head between her forelegs.
"No." he choked as he tried to steady his voice.
"I thought you were happy to ScrewBall again, you seemed so excited." FlutterShy asked, running a hoof gently along the length of his neck.
"I was, but then I realized... FlutterShy I'm a horrible person..."
"No, Discord," She tried to assure.
"But I am," He insisted, sitting up and looking down at her with guilt in his eyes. "I made her years ago because I was bored. I wanted somepony to entertain me and my short attention span." He started to shake as he spoke. "I created a living, breathing thing for my own amusement. I made her to love me unconditionally but I don't deserve it!"
FlutterShy watched her husband as he simply fell apart in front of her. Tears streaming down his face as clawed at his eyes in a fit of rage. "I thought she was destroyed when you turned me to stone, but no! She's been alone for 30 years, and it's all my fault! She's was a mistake, but I can't ever tell her that!" He uncovered his face and collapsed back on the bed curling up once again into a tight ball. "I look at her FlutterShy and I see the person I've tried to leave behind. I see everything I hate about myself..."
FlutterShy crawled over his back to cuddle up against his chest. Now surrounded by his long lanky frame she nestled her head under his and spoke softly.
"Now Discord you don't know that. Maybe she's made a life for herself, 30 years is a long time. You didn't even ask her about it."
"I was a bit more preoccupied with trying not to scare your parents away." He confessed, unconsciously tightening his body around her tiny frame.
"That's just silly," FlutterShy teased. "My family loves you. Granted it took a while for them to warm up to you... But I'm sure they'll love ScrewBall too. You just need to give it time."
"She's not a pony FlutterShy," Discord said. "She's a construct, she doesn't age, she doesn't even need to eat or sleep, she was only humoring us. I don't know if she's mentally capable of doing much other than being what I built her to be. She's broken, and I made her that way."
"You're not a pony either." His wife pointed out. "And I still love you."