Fluttershy looked outside; it was beautiful with the sun shining and the birds singing. The castle in Canterlot had the best views of everything, even when Discord wanted the horizon to show pinstripes and argyles in the sky. She sighed deeply as she went to sit back down to work on her knitting.
“Mom?” A low whisper came from the adjacent room.
Fluttershy got up quickly and walked into the darkened room. “Yes Dox? You need me?”
“Yes, am I still a monster?”
“You’re my unique child, and I love you.” She whispered.
He sat up to look at her as he flapped his beautiful blue wings. “I don’t think you know what I am. I’m horrible. I’m a monster. Monster.” He grabbed one of his wings and started to tear his feathers out one by one.
Fluttershy ran to him. “No! Don’t do that… Those are your wings, they are beautiful. Stop it Dox, please!!” She put her hooves in between his paws and his wings. He scratched her and she gasped pulling away.
Paradox stopped when he saw he had harmed his mother and he suddenly curled around himself. “See… I am a monster.” He started to cry and shake.
Fluttershy recovered quickly, walking up and slowly lying down next to him as she put her soft wing over his shaking body. He was twice her size but she still said, “No…no… You are my sweet little boy… my little boy. I love you. Please don’t cry, don’t cry…”
There was a noise in the other room and hoof steps were heard. Fluttershy looked up from trying to comfort Paradox and her eyes widened at seeing her daughter Lilly walk into the dark room.
“Lilly!” Fluttershy got up. “Where have you been? What are you doing here?”
“Hello Mom. I have missed you. How is Paradox?” Lilly’s eyes were shining slightly. Fluttershy hadn’t seen her in almost a year.
“Dox had just tried to pull out his feathers, so he is the same.” She held up her hoof and showed Lilly what he had done to her. Lilly nodded and leaned down and kissed her mother’s hoof. The scratches started to heal instantly.
“I have a plan Mom, has Dad been around?”
Fluttershy sighed and looked at a castle spire across the way. “He has been distant, he gives me his love, but he is hurting inside. I can sense it.”
Lilly approached Paradox he looked up at her without moving, his mane was long and unruly his eyes were sunken in and shallow looking. It was as if he had given up, Lilly stepped around the feathers that he had just torn from his wings. “Look at you; you are nothing but a pitiful heap of worthlessness.” She said to him bitterly. “How can I call you my brother? We are supposed to be equals. You are supposed to protect me; not the opposite!”
Paradox just watched her; his eyes were dim and seemed to show nothing but loss.
Fluttershy went to Lilly, “Please Lilly, don’t make him feel worse.”
Lilly looked at her mother. “It’s ok. Let me do this. Please Mom, if you don’t want to see me do this you can wait in the other room.”
Fluttershy placed her hoof on her lips and just sat down to watch Lilly.
Lilly turned back to Paradox. “You are older than me by five minutes, Dad saw you first before he fainted. Our Dad, the Spirit of Chaos; fainted… he was so happy that you were born. He loves us, he loves you… You know this.”
“You used to protect me Paradox. You would come to me when I was sad.” She moved her long tail over to her brother’s muzzle. “You’d even bite Aunt Misery’s tail when you thought she was going to hurt me. She didn’t of course.”
“That was kind of funny.” He finally said softly.
“Of course it was.” Lilly looked at him sternly. She then looked at Fluttershy. “Mom, can you get Dad. Please?”
Fluttershy looked at her children reluctantly. “I will, don’t hurt your brother Lilly.”
“I will not hurt Paradox.” Lilly nodded.
Fluttershy spread her wings and flew out the window to fly to the spire across the courtyard of Canterlot Castle. “I’ll be back.”
Lilly nodded to her mother and then turned back to Paradox. “I am a monster. If there ever was a monster. I am one.” Her mane started to glow deeply. Her eyes started to glow a deep crimson that seemed to radiate within.
Paradox sat up as he looked at his sister. “What makes you say that?”
“We… are all monsters Paradox. You, me, Dad, Mom, our aunts, our uncle and our little sister. We are all monsters. It may come as a shock, but… it is true. We are… all monsters.”
His eyes widened as he stared at his sister, her soft red coat was glowing as she revealed the truth. “You… mean…”
“I mean… that you are not alone, you are a monster, but not all monsters are evil. You are not evil Dox. You never have been; you never will be. I, on the other hoof… am evil.”
“No, you are not!” Discord walked in, grabbed Lilly and hugged her.
“Never say that you are evil.” Discord muttered as he let his daughter go to look at her. “You are my little LillyRose. My double flower.” He sniffled as a tear started to roll down his cheek.
Paradox slowly got up off the bed he had been in and took a step. Lilly gasped at the fact that Dox was moving, something he hadn’t done in a while. “Sister…”
Lilly moved away from Discord as she trotted to her brother quickly as he took another step towards them. “Do you understand what I have told you?” She asked as he placed his paws on her supporting back.
Paradox nodded as tears rolled down his cheeks. “Yes, Lilly. Thank you… You have opened my eyes. I’m a monster, but I am not an evil monster. I shouldn’t dwell on it.”
“Yes…” Lilly said softly to her brother, tears started to form in her eyes and she smiled lightly. “You are my only brother; I do not want to lose you to despair.”
Fluttershy put her hooves to her mouth as she watched Paradox holding onto Lilly. Her eyes were filled with tears as her mane fell slightly in front of her face. “That is what I have been trying to tell you, my Doxy.”
Discord watched as he moved towards his children. “There will be some time to heal. Paradox, will you be okay? You have been on the edge of despair for over two years. I have only seen one other descend into despair before, but he was never able to escape its poisonous grip…” Discord stopped and wiped a tear that was threatening to fall from his eyes.
“It warped him, consumed him like a flame that caused his body to twist and change. It made him bitter and vile.” Fluttershy finished for Discord as she leaned against him. Discord hugged and looked at her. “I never want that to happen to you Dox.” She sniffled as she put her head against Discord’s chest.
Lilly blinked as she looked at her parents and her ears suddenly went up. “You… are talking about our uncle Sorrow.” *note
Discord made a low growl at the name and frowned. “It is alright.” Fluttershy said to him softly. “You know he is no longer around.”
“Even from beyond he tries to destroy my family.” Discord muttered. “That is in the past though… Come here Lilly and Dox.” He hugged them both and he couldn’t stop from crying; one feeling better and the other finally home. “My family… together again… Wait until Scarlet Grace finds out…”
Lilly wiped her eyes and looked at her family. “I’m sorry I left… I just… I needed to help Doxy…”
“You missed Grace’s wedding.” Fluttershy said.
“She’s married?” Lilly was shocked.
“Yeah, and we’ll be grandparents soon.” Fluttershy smirked as she leaned on Discord.
Lilly shook her head, “I came back to a lot of changes.”
“Yes,” Discord said. “Except… you will still have a guard assigned to you.”
“I don’t need a guard Dad.” Lilly muttered.
* Read Her Butterflies