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CrazyIvan

For What Do We Dance, This Day [Twist/Father: MLO]

Mar 10th, 2013
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  1. Chapter 1:
  2. “DAD, I’M HOME FROM THOOL!”
  3.  
  4. With a slam of the door and a bellow at the top of her lungs, my daughter announced she was home.
  5.  
  6. With a smile plastered to her face, the cream-colored filly walked into the living room, her frizzy and chaotic red mane (I and her mother have repeatedly tried to comb and tame it, but I swear, it’s like some sort of sentient force) swaying in synch with her steps.
  7.  
  8. She quickly sat down, rooting through her saddlebags, before tossing out a piece of paper across the table to me. With a quick glance, I discovered it was her report card, plastered with bright red A’s, and her teacher’s cutie mark, three bright yellow flowers with smiles in the center. On a second glance, I noticed that there was also a note at the top: ‘Great Job, Peppermint Twist!’ I swear, that teacher of hers is always such a peppy mare.
  9.  
  10. Trotting to the kitchen, she stopped before heading in, turning her head about with a questioning look on her face. “Dad, can I have a thota?”
  11.  
  12. Picking up her report card, and smiling at her, I replied. “Sure honey, with grades like these, you can have as many bottles as you want.”
  13. With a laugh, I watch her walk farther into the kitchen, hearing the fridge open, before looking down at her report card again. Straight A’s, she was clearly an intelligent filly, just like her mother. Just like mother…
  14.  
  15. As if mirroring my thoughts, Twist trotted out the kitchen, clearly looking confused as she sat her soda down. “Where’th mom at, dad?”
  16.  
  17. Heaving a sigh, and shaking my head, I respond in a way to make sure Twist wouldn’t figure out the real issue. “She’s out with her friends again, and I don’t really know if she’s gonna be home tonight.”
  18.  
  19. But Twist proved once again, she was just like her mom, honing in on the issue, even if she didn’t understand what it was. Furrowing her little face into a frown, she spoke up. “Mom thure has been gone a lot lately. I hope nothing ith wrong with her.”
  20.  
  21. Putting on my best smile, I look her right in the eyes, and lie to her. “It’s nothing Twist, she just wants to spend some time with her friends, she’s been feeling pretty cooped up around the house lately.”
  22.  
  23. I wasn’t sure if she believed me or not, but she shrugged anyways, before peering at her report card again. The grin returning to her face, she looked at me, her goofy glasses glinting from the sunlight filtering through the window blinds. “Mth. Cherilee sayth I’m at the top of the clath, with Thweetie Belle and Thilver Thoon!”
  24.  
  25. Her grin widening (seriously, how does she do that?), she then pointed at her report card. “So Dad, can we go out for dinner tonight?” she whimpered, before putting on her best puppy dog eyes, aiming them right at me.
  26.  
  27. I could feel it. My resolve, usually resolute, crumbling before such an awesome weapon. A weapon of mass D’aww. My daughter knew the weak spots, and she hit them, widening her eyes, even making little whining sounds. I finally felt my will snap before such cuteness, relenting hastily.
  28.  
  29. “Fine, fine, anything for you honey!” I swear she could get anything she wanted if she learned how to weaponize that look. And know her, she was not only going to, she was going to break a few hearts along the way.
  30.  
  31. Twist cantered her way over to radio, deftly flicking it on, tuning into her favorite station. “…with ‘Ponies in Amareica’! Coming up, that pop song that’s been sweeping across Equestria! “
  32.  
  33. “I love thith thong!” she hopped up turning the radio dial up, filling the room with a funky beat.
  34.  
  35. She dropped to the floor, swaying back and forth, trying her best to sing along with the lyrics.
  36.  
  37. >”There, is a place, where the grass is what’s for dinner!”
  38.  
  39. “There, ith a place, where the grath is what’th for dinner!”
  40.  
  41. >”Charmed, fun and wild, there must be something in the water!”
  42.  
  43. “Charmed, fun and wild, there mutht be thumething in the water!”
  44.  
  45. Watching her flail back and forth, trying to keep in beat with the tune while, for lack of a better word, caterwauling, along with the song, I had to admit, it was one of the cutest things I’ve seen her doing in a while. But she lacked any kind of coordination with her dancing, and she was getting awful close to that vase sta-
  46.  
  47. *CRASH*
  48.  
  49. Was. Was getting awful close to that vase stand.
  50.  
  51. With a high squeak, she turned around and looked at the vase guiltily, blushing brightly.
  52.  
  53. “I’m tho thorry Dad, I didn’t mean to!” Shaking my head, I get up, walking into the kitchen and grabbing the broom and dustpan, trotting out to see Twist trying to pick up the pieces.
  54.  
  55. “It’s alright, mistakes happen,” turning to her with the broom and dustpan in hoof, before smirking.“But that gives me an idea though.”
  56.  
  57. She gave me a quizzical look before I pointed at the mess she made, deciding to not leave her hanging for too long. “I think it’s time I taught you how to dance, just like my mom showed me how to.”
  58.  
  59. She quickly cleaned up the mess, probably fueled by embarrassment, grabbing the dustpan in her mouth expertly, before dumping the remains in a dustbin in the corner.
  60.  
  61. “Are you trying to make fun of my dancing?” That bust my sides, she thought she was a good dancer.
  62.  
  63. “No, no, I’m just saying you could use some guidance, and some practice. It’s a difficult skill to master, who knows, you might turn out to be even better at it than me.” She turned to face me, looking excited, reminding me a lot of myself when I was her age.
  64.  
  65. “Now, before we begin, there’s an important thing about dancing, that my mom told me, and her mom before her.” Twist was listening intently, clearly focused on the lesson at hand. Such a clever little filly.
  66.  
  67. “She said that when one dances, they must always have a reason, a need for the dance, be it to forget, to remember, or something else entirely. A reason is always important. It gives your dance characterization, a condition for happening.”
  68.  
  69. Bringing myself to my hind legs, I extend a hoof to her, asking the question she needed to answer. “For what do we dance, this day, Twist?” Wobbly rising to her hooves, she gripped my offered limb, before replying. “Today, I wanna remember this dance, my firtht lethon from you, Dad!”
  70.  
  71. Pulling her close and grabbing her other hoof, I laughed, before replying to her. “That’s a fine enough reason for me, sugar!” Hearing another song come on the radio, I begin moving back and forth, guiding her swaying legs with care.
  72.  
  73. “Sometimes, it’s not just about looking good; you got to stick to the beat too, Twist.” The song suddenly taking a sharp rise, I twist her around, catching her in the crook of my leg.
  74.  
  75. Giggling, she nodded as she soaked in every tidbit and tip I gave her as we danced back and forth, the timing passing quickly as we enjoyed ourselves.
  76.  
  77. Before I knew it, the sun was going down, and I could tell we were both hungry. With a grin, I let go of Twist, before hitting the ground, looking to her. “And that concludes our lesson today. Now we need to go get something to eat, just like I promised.”
  78.  
  79. Twist squealed like the little filly she was running for the door, me trotting quickly behind her, grabbing my saddlebags on the way out, before turning around.
  80.  
  81. Briefly looking the room over, the pictures of a mare and myself on the mantle, and the dozens of pictures of Twist sitting besides it, I couldn’t help but feel sad.
  82.  
  83. ‘She’s so much like her mother. I just hope I won’t lose Twist too.’
  84.  
  85. Turning around, I closed the door, following my daughter into the setting sun, a good meal planned for the near future.
  86.  
  87.  
  88. Chapter 2:
  89. 2 YEARS LATER…
  90.  
  91. She was found dead in bed by her marefriend.
  92.  
  93. Apparently, she had passed in the night, from a brain aneurism that medical magic had failed to detect. It was completely devastating to me, despite having lost her to another mare, she was still the filly I had fallen for, and she was the one I had Twist with, which we both agreed was the best thing that ever happened to us.
  94.  
  95. Twist was shell-shocked, to say the least. Her mom had been around over the years, and was constantly in Twists life, spoiling her along the way, and doing the girly things together that I just didn’t understand. But she was still a bit aloof around me, something Twist clued into, and tried to stop us from fighting, even when she wasn’t around.
  96.  
  97. But here she was, lying in a wooden box, about to be slowly lowered into the ground. The finality of the situation was alienating; I could hardly focus on the situation at hand, Twist tightly pressed against me as she sobbed openly.
  98.  
  99. “…And may Celestia’s Sun grant you everlasting warmth and happiness, and Luna’s Stars everlasting guidance and beauty. Ashes to ashes, peace unto peace, and your passion will live on, in those you cared for, those you loved, those you knew.”
  100.  
  101. The priest looked up to the small gathering, a small assemblage of her friends and family, milling about.
  102.  
  103. “Now we will grant those assembled time for their last thoughts and farewells to the deceased before the final rites are committed and she is lowered into the ground.” With a solemn bow, he moved off to the side, waiting for the signal to lower her into the ground.
  104.  
  105. Clutching Twist to me, we walked over to the casket. I knew it would scar Twist forever, but if she didn’t say goodbye now, she’d regret it forever. Personal experience and what I knew of my own daughter told me this was the best course of action; this situation closely mirroring one I had been put into not that long ago.
  106.  
  107. Grabbing Twist, I lifted her onto my back, getting into line with the other ponies, waiting for my chance to say goodbye. I could feel Twist bury her head into my neck, dampening my mane as she cried.
  108.  
  109. Looking around, I could make out a few ponies: Her mother and father, a few of her friends, and on the side of the casket, a mint-green pony, her marefriend. The poor mare was weeping, choking out her goodbye.
  110. After some time passed, I finally reached the open casket, dropping Twist onto the ground before turning to her.
  111.  
  112. “You need to say your goodbye’s Twist.” She looked up at me, tears streaming from her eyes, and whimpering.
  113.  
  114. “I don’t want to, I don’t’ wanna, I DON’T WANNA!” She screamed, before she broke down and started bawling at the top of her lungs.
  115.  
  116. “I know you don’t want to honey, but trust me, you’ll regret it down the line when you don’t.” She looked up sobbing, before rushing up to hug me.
  117.  
  118. “Pleathe don’t make me, I don’t wanna believe the’th gone.” Gripping her tightly, I run my leg down her back, trying to sooth her.
  119.  
  120. “Twist, sugar, I don’t want to believe it anymore then you do, but it’s true. I’m so sorry, but it is. This is all a part of growing up Twist, you need to learn to say goodbye.” I picked her up, and brought her to the lip of the casket, watching her wipe away the tears, before looking down to the cream-colored mare in the casket.
  121.  
  122. She wrapped her legs around her mother’s neck, leaning down and kissing her on the cheek, whispering something in her ear, before dropping down to the ground and sitting beside me, sniffling loudly.
  123.  
  124. I finally took my turn, leaning over, getting one final look at the mare I fell in love with, the mare that I had our child with.
  125.  
  126. Her two-tone hair was brushed back; the curls slightly looser then she use to keep them when she was alive. She was laid on her side, her eyes closed, almost as if she was sleeping. I could feel myself tearing up; even now, I still loved in her in my own way.
  127.  
  128. ‘I know we use to fight a lot, but she was still there for me and Twist, even when she started seeing that other mare. I know it’s no consolation now, but I’m so sorry. I’m going to miss you, even more so then I’ll ever be able to tell our daughter.’
  129.  
  130. Finishing my farewell to her, I drop down to Twist, lifting her chin up so.
  131.  
  132. “Come on Twist, let’s go talk to Grandpa and Grandma.” Picking her up once again, I trot over to her grandparent’s, catching the eyes of Twist’s granddad.
  133.  
  134. “I’m so sorry for your loss, Sour Bite.” He was tearing up, but trying to stand strong. I honestly couldn’t blame him; I couldn’t imagine losing Twist like that. Twist grandmother, Sweet Treat, was standing beside Sour Bite, blowing her nose with a handkerchief.
  135.  
  136. “It was just so sudden. I never expected her to go like this, our little girl.” He whipped a leg across his eyes, before turning to Twist.
  137. “But at least we still have our beautiful granddaughter.” He looked back to me, and I nodded, trying to remain stoic.
  138.  
  139. Leaning over to Sour Bite, I lower my voice, pointing over to the slender, mint-green mare.
  140. “Please, watch over Twist for a few minutes, I want to go talk to her, I think she still feels guilty that she thinks she took your daughter away from me.” Sour Bite nodded, scooping up Twist in one of his front legs, holding her to his chest.
  141.  
  142. I stop in front of the mare. She’s a mess, crying and sobbing. Getting a good look at her, I grab her, pulling her into a hug.
  143.  
  144. “I..I’m so sor-rry for taking her from you!” You run your hoof through her mane, trying to soothe her, like I use to do with Twist’s mom.
  145.  
  146. “You didn’t take her from me. Me and her? We argued all the time, we weren’t happy together. We fell in love too fast, and acted on impulses. We only stood each other because Twist was the best thing that ever happened to us.”
  147.  
  148. She just buried her head into my shoulder, letting her emotions out.
  149.  
  150. “Please, don’t feel guilty. I loved her in my own way, but we just didn’t belong together anymore. She loved you; she talked so highly about you when we did talk. It’s okay.”
  151. Setting her down, I turn around, tilting my head back to her.
  152.  
  153. “Stop by my house anytime you want, just because she’s dead doesn’t mean you can’t be a part of her friends and family anymore. I’d love to have dinner with you, and I’m sure Twist would love to have you over.”
  154.  
  155. She nodded at me, before turning around and slowly walking to what I assumed was her own group of friends and family.
  156.  
  157. Before very long, I was standing beside Sour Bite again, when the priest finally gave the signal, ringing a bell, to signify that the burial was getting ready to begin.
  158.  
  159. Taking my place alongside Sour Bite and Sweet Treat, Twist now standing on her own besides me; I stood silently, as the ceremony was completed.
  160.  
  161. With a low solemn prayer, the priest motioned for the workers to lower her into the grave, the pulleys squeaking lightly as the casket was lowered.
  162.  
  163. As they started shoveling the dirt into the hole, I turned to Twist, concern in my voice as I talked to her.
  164.  
  165. “Twist, are you gonna be okay?” She looked up, her eyes swollen and red, but refusing to talk. I’m going to take that as a no.
  166.  
  167. I stood up on my back legs, grabbing her and pulling her into a hug. She needed this as much as I did.
  168.  
  169. “Dad, can we dance pleathe?” Her miserable voice surprising me, as much as the request.
  170.  
  171. With a nod, I begin sweeping my legs back and forth, her motions following mine.
  172.  
  173. “Today Twist, we dance to forget.”
  174.  
  175. We danced for a long time; father and daughter, watching the ponies leave.
  176.  
  177.  
  178. Chapter 3:
  179. They say time heals all wounds. And for Twist, this was certainly true.
  180.  
  181. She was depressed for a few months following the passing of her mother, and rightly so, but the mint colored pony (Her name turned out to be Heartstrings) helped Twist immensely. I have no idea what it was about her, but Twist took to her readily, forming a friendship of sorts with her. Whether it be advice, or somep0ny to be girly with, or an ear for her problems, Heartstrings was there for Twist.
  182.  
  183. Soon enough, her own grief passed, and she became the silly little filly I always knew, and I couldn’t have been happier.
  184.  
  185. I myself, moved on in my own way. I can honestly say, it wasn’t until after the funeral I really started drinking. I was never a heavy drinker; I wasn’t one for partying either. But the bottle of apple whiskey always sat on a high shelf, waiting for me to break down late at night, helping me revisit old memories.
  186.  
  187. But after the grief passed for me, a new emotion took place: A crippling fear of losing my daughter. It was a constant fear, of losing the only pony in my life that loved me.
  188.  
  189. And so it was, time moved on, and Twist grew up.
  190.  
  191. She grew from a short, somewhat squat, filly, into a tall and gawky young mare. Puberty was hardly kind to her, plaguing her with pimples and four left hooves, as well as a rebellious streak that threw me for a loop on more than one occasion.
  192.  
  193. And sweet Celestia, she was a hoof-full. She whinnied her way into my mind any chance she got. She begged, she whined, she pleaded, and she twisted me, until she got what she wanted. She would poster her wall with the most obnoxious images of the newest colt band, play some ridiculous song as loud as possible into the night. She’d fight me over the smallest things, just to show she could, and what’s worse, I usually let her win. If it hadn’t been for Heartstrings, I honestly would have lost my mind and had to be committed to the loony bin.
  194.  
  195. 4 YEARS LATER…
  196.  
  197. It started off as a regular day.
  198.  
  199. Sure, Twist had been avoiding me more so than lately, and I was afraid I was pushing her away again.
  200.  
  201. Heartstrings had shown up earlier during the day, and her and Twist left, probably to just spend some time together. Probably shopping or going out for ice cream, was my original thought. Seeing this as an opportunity to get some chores done, I went about tidying the house up, finishing within a few minutes.
  202. Checking the fridge, it was pretty obvious we were low on food, and I was going to be cooking dinner tonight. I grabbed my saddlebags and a few bits, trotting out the door and into Celestia’s glorious day.
  203.  
  204. It was another great day in Ponyville, the sky was clear, the sun was high and warm in the sky, and dozens of ponies were out and about, socializing and working.
  205.  
  206. Wasting no time, I trotted right towards downtown, heading towards the market. If there’s one thing I loved about Ponyville, it is the fact it’s a small, friendly town. Everyp0ny knows everyp0ny, and for the most part, everyp0ny was friendly to each other. That’s not to say that there’s no privacy, nor no escape from others, but there was always just that welcoming atmosphere that sucked you in.
  207.  
  208. Approaching the market, I was greeted by the familiar sight of an orange pony in a Stetson. Applejack was hocking her apples, like she did every week, and just like clockwork, there was a sizeable line for the Apple family’s delicious apples.
  209.  
  210. I’d met AJ a few months before Twist mom, and we kind of hit it off, but it never really turned into anything but light flirting and a steady friendship. And looking back, I wouldn’t change it for the world. AJ was just that kind of pony that was there to lend a hoof in your time of need because it was the neighborly thing to do.
  211.  
  212. Nodding at a few ponies that knew me vaguely, I slid into line, waiting my turn to chat with AJ. Through-out the years, I never really was a very social pony, more introverted then anything, but I still got out enough to meet others. After Twist was born, and her mom died, I found myself staying at home more and more, only socializing with Heartstrings, AJ, and of course, Pinkie Pie.
  213.  
  214. After a few minutes, I trotted up to AJ, who turned around with a smile, before launching into her usual sales pitch.
  215.  
  216. “Howdy thar partner, fancy meetin’ you today,” Cocking an eyebrow, I shook my head as she just plowed on. “Looky here at this apple, home grown like it was one of our own family! T’ain’t nothing but love, care and affection used to produce these apples! Sugary as your sweetheart, and crisp as a one liner!” She held up a single red apple, acting as if it was the greatest thing in the world, and right now, it probably was.
  217.  
  218. “Oh can it AJ, we do this every week.” She giggles before leaning over to pat me on the back.
  219.  
  220. “Don’t wanna leave ya out in the dark there Redwood, everp0ny gets the same treatment, it’s only good manners ya know!” Once again, I cocked my eyebrow. She was screwing with me, and she knew it.
  221.  
  222. “Oh come on AJ, we’ve been doing this every week for a few years now, can you give it a rest?” Tossing the bits on the desk, she lets out a hearty laugh.
  223.  
  224. “Oh Redwood, you know you enjoy it you grumpy pony. It’s not every day you get to come and hang out with your good pal!” She scooped up my bits, tossing a decent sized sack of apples onto the table, before putting on a neutral expression.
  225.  
  226. “That reminds me, how’s lil’ Twist doing lately? Applebloom kinda feels guilty about not hanging out with her as much, her heads all wrapped around that colt she’s been dating.” She shook her head, muttering something about courting.
  227.  
  228. “Oh, she’s fine, she’s been avoiding me a bit lately, and I’m kind of worried about her. I hate thinking I’m driving her away, but it always nags at me. I did see her earlier, she was going somewhere with Heartstrings.” Now it was AJ’s turn to cock an eyebrow, as she counted out the bits I’d given her.
  229.  
  230. “Now I don’t want to be jumpin’ ter conclusions and all, but don’t you think it’s odd she hangs out with Heartstrings so much, I mean, she’s got a tendency, to, erm, how do I say this nicely?” Her face furrowed and I could see the conclusion she was reaching before she even said anything.
  231.  
  232. “I know AJ, and I appreciate the concern, but I’m positive there’s nothing going on there. I think Heartstrings see herself more as a motherly figure to Twist then anything.” AJ nodded in response. And yet, as soon as I denied it, AJ had unwittingly planted the suspicion in my mind.
  233.  
  234. “Well, it’s been good seeing you Applejack, see you next week.” She leaned in tagging me on the shoulder, grabbing my attention.
  235.  
  236. “I got another bottle of apple whiskey fer ya, whenever ya need another, okay?” I nodded; AJ knew exactly why I drank.
  237.  
  238. Trotting away, I set about collecting more groceries. Other than a few merchants highballing me, it was rather uneventful. Within the hour, I was already inside my home and unpacking my groceries.
  239.  
  240. After a short while, I finished packing the grocieries up and began pulling down pans, setting them up on the stove so I could cook dinner. As I was rooting around in the fridge, I heard a knock on the door, before Heartstrings walked in. I turned to her as she pulled out a stool, and sat down.
  241.  
  242. “Redwood, I need you to listen for a moment,” Her voice was full of concern, and I was questioning why exactly it was. “Me and Twist have been talking all day, and she’s been working up the courage for a really long time to tell you what she’s going to tell you, so please, just listen to her.”
  243.  
  244. “But why would I-,” She held up her hoof, cutting me short, before getting up. “Please, just listen, this is going to be difficult for her.” She walked out the door, and suddenly my mind began to race, as I began to panic.
  245.  
  246. ‘Oh sweet Celestia, what’s wrong? She doesn’t love me? She wants to leave me? She wants to live with Heartstrings?’ Over and over again, I found myself going to pieces, thoughts of losing my daughter giving me fits.
  247.  
  248. I heard the door open, and looked up, Twist walking in, her mane tied back in a pony-tail, as she looked at the ground, slowly working her way to the table, before she pulled out a stool and sat down. Heartstrings was right behind her, as she too sat down, putting a comforting hoof on Twist’s shoulder.
  249.  
  250. “Dad, there’th thomething I need to tell you.” She looks up at me, and it’s clear to see, she’s afraid to tell me what she wants to.
  251. “Come on honey, tell me, it can’t be that bad.” I give her a slight smile, hoping to ease her own worry as much as my own.
  252.  
  253. She shakes her head, clearly struggling with what she wants to say, as Heartstrings begins rubbing her hoof along her back. Twist finally slamed her hoofs down on the table, startling us.
  254.  
  255. “DAD, I LIKE MARETH!” I could almost feel the floor open up underneath me. ‘She doesn’t love me anymore, she wants to live with someone else, she loves only mares, she doesn’t want her father anymore’ My mind spiraled over and over again, as the crippling fear of losing my daughter took over me.
  256.  
  257. “But-but, I like Thallionth too, Dad, It’th just that, I’ve had thethe feelingth for a long time. Heartthringth helped me deal with them, and I’ve been working up the nerve to tell you!” She was blushing heavily, her embarrassment and shame showing. Heartstrings looked up to me, tapping her hoof on the table.
  258.  
  259. “She was afraid to tell you, she didn’t know how you would take it, well, considering, uhm, well, you know.” She glanced back to the mantle, the picture of her ex-marefriend and me still sitting there.
  260.  
  261. “Was that it? Twist, you scared me so much, I thought something was wrong, that you ddidn’t love me or something!” I jumped up, reaching over and picking up Twist, pulling her into a hug.
  262.  
  263. “Twist, you’re my daughter, I’m going to love you no matter what. I don’t care if you like mares, stallions, or goddesses, for that matter.” She smiled, wrapping her own legs around me, returning the hug.
  264.  
  265. “I feel tho thilly now! I’th jutht I didn’t know how you were going to rethpond.” Kissing her on the head, I let her go, before turning to the stove.
  266.  
  267. “Here, let me get started on dinner. Are you staying tonight Heartstrings?” Turning around, the mint-green mare was blushing lightly, having just witnessed what must have been a lethal display of cuteness from my daughter.
  268.  
  269. “Sure, I’m not one to turn down a good meal!” I turned around, a smile on my face. It was going to be a good night.
  270. ~~~
  271.  
  272. Later that night...
  273.  
  274. After a nice meal, and socializing, and some serious conversation about Twists admission, Heartstrings left, and me and Twist were dancing slowly, spending some quality time together.
  275.  
  276. “Soooo, Twist, got your eye on any nice mares or stallions?” She giggles, punching me lightly on the chest.
  277.  
  278. “I don’t know Dad, It’th wath jutht enough getting it off my chetht. I mean, I’ve had cruths here and there, like Mth. Cherilee, and Apple Bloom, and even Featherweight,” She shook her head on that last one, before continuing on. “But I don’t know. I think I’m just happy to know you know now. I’m not ready to date anyp0ny jutht yet.” Brushing her hair back, I nodded, hugging her to me.
  279.  
  280. “It’s alright honey, take your time. Anyp0ny would be lucky to have you.” She started blushing suddenly, confusing me somewhat.
  281.  
  282. “I with more ponieth were like you Dad, thingth would be tho much thimpler for me.” I chuckled lightly, not realizing exactly how serious she was being. That wouldn’t become obvious to me until years down the line.
  283.  
  284. It was a good night; a happy occasion, as me and my daughter danced our cares away together.
  285.  
  286. ~~~
  287. Chapter 4:
  288.  
  289. And once again, life went on.
  290.  
  291. Twist continued to grow, becoming slightly taller, able to look me right in the eyes, and attaining a subtle grace with her height. Whereas she used to be homely, she was stunning, where she used to be awkward, she was graceful. She apparently couldn’t walk down the street without turning stallion’s heads, and more than a few mares.
  292.  
  293. She ended up graduating from her class, with honors, earning more than a few scholarships to fancy colleges in other towns. In the end, she decided to stay in Ponyville, working at Sugarcube Corner as their confectionary expert. Her reason was she didn’t want to leave her friends and loved ones behind just yet.
  294.  
  295. As she grew up, I tried to stay out of her love life. I trusted my little filly to do what she thought was right. That didn’t stop her from making bad decisions. She was rather flighty with other ponies, and it seemed like every other month, she had some new squeeze, or some new pony pining after her. And then, there were the times I ended up walking in on her with other mares and stallions. She always seemed so embarrassed, and yet, I would keep walking in on her with another.
  296.  
  297. Heartstrings herself, ended up leaving Ponyville. She had been granted a prestigious opportunity to teach at a Canterlot school of music, and had seized the chance immediately. It was hard to see her go, having been in our lives for such a while. She had been my rock of sanity when dealing with Twist, and for Twist, she was almost like a second mother to her. But life rarely ever stays the same it seems.
  298.  
  299. But despite it all, she was my little filly. When she was happy, I was happy, and we got along better than we ever did, and lived together happily.
  300.  
  301. Then, one day, Photo Finish came to town.
  302.  
  303. ~ ~ ~
  304.  
  305. 7 YEARS LATER…
  306.  
  307. *BANG*
  308.  
  309. Twist yet again entered our house with loud entrance.
  310.  
  311. Jumping out of my seat at the table, I looked up, seeing Twist run up to me, pulling me close to her and jumping up and down excitedly.
  312.  
  313. “OHCELETHIADADIMGOINGTOBEAMODELFORPHOTOFINITH!”
  314.  
  315. I barely understood what she was saying as she shook me back and forth, squealing in delight as she kept jumping. Wiggling my way out of her admittedly strong grip, I finally grabbed her, trying to calm her down; she was bouncing around like she was some hyper-active filly. Or Pinkie Pie.
  316.  
  317. “Twist! Calm down,” She stopped mid jump, hitting the ground with a solid thunk as she tried to contain herself. “Good. Now, what are you trying to tell me?” She turned to me, taking a few deep breaths before she launched into her story.
  318.  
  319. “Okay, tho I was over at Carouthel Boutiquez, delivering thome goodz to Rarity that Pinkie made for her,” I stood their silently, listening. “Well, it turned out that thhe was being vizited by Photo Finith.” I perked up, the name and works of the rather famous photographer familiar to me. “And, well, thhe took one look at me, there in my little apron and work uniform, and thhe just went off, raving about how I had ‘Ze Magickz’ and thuch, before thhe thtarted drething me up in Rarity’z new line of drethez.” Her grin widened, as she took a few more deep breathes, trying hard to contain herself.
  320.  
  321. “Oh Luna Dad, I’m moving to Canterlot to be a model!” I froze, letting the information sink in. “I’m going to be joining her rotation of modelth Dad! I’m going to be famouth!” She grabbed me again, hopping enthusiastically up and down. I couldn’t believe it. My little filly was going to be a model.
  322.  
  323. “Oh honey, I’m so happy!” But I wasn’t. It felt like the ground had been yanked out right from underneath me. “So, when are you going to be heading to Canterlot?” She calmed down suddenly, as she started fidgeting nervously. I could tell what she was getting ready to do.
  324.  
  325. “Well, uhm, that’th the thing Dad. Photo Finith doethn’t have the rethoucez and time to come back or thend for me later. I’m leaving tomorrow.”
  326.  
  327. I couldn’t believe it. I’d been worried all these years that some other pony would come and snatch my little filly from me- take her away, and I’d be left alone. I’d failed to realize she had grown up herself, and that she was her own mare now. And now, she was leaving me of her own volition. I was now paying the price of my own blind arrogance.
  328.  
  329. “That’s, uhm, great Twist. A bit fast though isn’t it?” Why couldn’t I have seen it coming.
  330.  
  331. “I’m tho thorry Dad, but I don’t have much of a choice here.” She wouldn’t even look me in the eyes.
  332.  
  333. “Well, I guess you don’t, huh.” Celestia, why did it have to come to this?
  334.  
  335. An awkward silence filled the room as I tried to ignore my feelings of insecurity, and the somewhat irrational feeling of betrayal that were overwhelming me. I was an idiot, to think she would stay with me forever. And yet, I’ve pinned so much of my own happiness on her being happy. I was nothing but an old fool, and it was my duty as her father to support her no matter what.
  336.  
  337. “I’m happy for you honey. I honestly think this is a great choice, you can’t live with your old pops forever.” It hurt just saying it. Come on you poor excuse for a parent, help her. She finally looked up at me, smiling, but it didn’t quite reach her eyes. It hurts so much just to see her look at me like that. “Thankth dad. I need to go thart packing, there’z going to be a flying cart here for me tomorrow morning.” Turning the tables on her, I pulled her into a hug, trying to override my feelings of loss by embracing her decision and being proud of it.
  338.  
  339. “Here hon, I’ll help you.”
  340.  
  341. “Thankth Dad!”
  342.  
  343. ~ ~ ~
  344.  
  345. THE NEXT DAY…
  346.  
  347. We had an early breakfast, and we practically just sat there and looked at each other. We both knew this was the end of our lives together, yet neither of us could say anything. I was crippled underneath my own insecurities at losing her, and what her problem was, I could only guess.
  348.  
  349. Eventually, there was a knock on the door, signifying that Photo Finish and her carriage was here. We both jumped up, Twist reaching the door first.
  350.  
  351. “Ah, vyes, vunderful, there you are darling!” With a flourish, the powder blue pony stepped in, motioning for her helpers to start gathering Twist’s belongings. “I am guessing vis iz your father? Handsome stallion he is, I see vere you get vour looks!” It was honestly surreal, watching Photo Finish trotting around our home, just chatting us up casually. I was stunned to say the least.
  352.  
  353. “Uhm, Miss Finish? Care for a cup of tea?” She looked at me, giggling slightly, before pulling a chair out at the table and sitting down. “Ay vyes, that’s sounds lovely, mein dear. A stallion vith manners, how vare~!”
  354.  
  355. We sat there for a while, just casually talking, as me and Twist ignored the elephant in the room between us, pretending, for just a little while longer, nothing was wrong. Before long, her aides had packed everything on the chariot, just as we had finished our light snack.
  356.  
  357. “Vy vy, I’m so sorry to use up your hospitalivy vike this and leave, but me and Twist darling must leave for Canterlot. She’s got a very important career ahead of her!” I watched them stand up, walking towards the door, before Photo Finish turned to Twist and whispered something in her ear before taking her leave through the door.
  358.  
  359. I couldn’t bring myself to stand up, as my daughter turned around, and walked up to me.
  360.  
  361. “Tho, thith ith it Dad.” It was, wasn’t it?
  362.  
  363. “Yeah, baby, it is. You’re all grown up now.” Just like your mother…
  364.  
  365. “Dad, I love you, I’m going to mith you.” Why can’t I look at her…
  366.  
  367. “I love you too honey. Don’t forget to write me, alright?” What is wrong with me?
  368.  
  369. “Yeah, I’ll try as much ath I can.” Say something you idiot, tell her something!
  370.  
  371. But, it was too late. She turned, and trotted out the door, and I could only sit there and mope. Like some miserable bastard. She had grown up and away from me, just like her mother, and had left me. And I had nop0ny to blame but myself.
  372.  
  373. That night, there was no dancing. Only the sour taste of apple whiskey as I drank myself into a stupor, lamenting over what had been.
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