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Familia 20: Ohana.

Mandroid Aug 10th, 2018 125 Never
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  1. =Familia 20=
  2.  
  3. “Thanks so much for taking time out of your schedules for this, Your highnesses.”
  4. >Celestia and Luna sit across from you in a lounge room, smiling and sipping tea.
  5. >”It’s our pleasure, Twilight. We always have time for all of our little ponies, especially when they’re going through a change like you are.”
  6. >”Indeed” Luna says” How art your studies in statecraft proceeding? Are you ready to assume the responsibilities of your office?”
  7. “Oh, I finished those a while ago. I wanted to talk to you both about something else.”
  8. >The two monarchs look to each other in slight surprise, doubtlessly amazed you’d finished your studies of statecraft so quickly.
  9. >”What is it you need, Twilight?” Celestia asks.
  10. “I wanted to ask you some questions about Anonymous.”
  11. >The two of them blink, even more surprised.
  12. >Luna speaks first tis time. “Father? Forgive me for asking, Twilight Sparkle, but what does Father have to do with your princess studies?”
  13. “Well,” you begin “Spending so much time with Anonymous has taught me a lot of things, MOSTLY about you two and your history with others.”
  14. >Celestia snickers.
  15. “But it also taught me just how much having a guide can effect somepony growing up.”
  16. >You sheepishly shift your hooves, a bit shy.
  17. “I’ve…always thought of Princess Celestia as a second mother to me, but now I see that so much of Equestria does as well. That’s what being a princess means, being a guide and a teacher for an entire kingdom, and that’s what Anonymous is to you both of you, as well as Discord, Chrysalis, even Sombra. So, I want to learn what Anonymous means to all of you, so that I can know what it means to be the best guide I can be when the time comes.”
  18. >Luna blinks twice and sips her tea. “I…see. Very well then.”
  19. >Celestia winks at you. “Good answer.”
  20.  
  21. >Princess Celestia pours more tea into her cup and stirs it around, thinking aloud.
  22. >”Let us see…daddy, daddy…what does daddy mean to us…”
  23. >Celestia looks to the ceiling to collect her thoughts while Luna scratches her chin with her hoof. “To say that he means the world to us…it feels wanting.”
  24. >”Indeed.” her sister mirrors. “From raising us to know right from wrong and teaching us the fundamentals…”
  25. >”I’m not certain that we could be the Princesses we are today without Father.” Luna says.
  26. >You float your notepad in front of you and place your pen to it.
  27. “Just say whatever you feel, anything and everything has a use.”   
  28. >Celestia continues to think, looking off into the reflective surface of her tea. “I…think daddy is the reason why I never married.”
  29. >The room gets so silent that you could hear a pin drop in a sandstorm onto a bed made of clouds.
  30. “U-uh…”
  31. >”Sister, perhaps-“
  32. >Celestia’s face reddens as she plays back what she said. “N-not like THAT, you two! Don’t be ridiculous!”
  33. >The Princess composes herself and continues. “What I mean is…Cadence once told me, shortly after she became an Alicorn, that she believes many young fillies end up comparing the stallions they wed to their fathers.”
  34. >As Cadence’s in-law, that makes you wonder about her father.
  35.  
  36. >”In all my years I’ve had many attempted suitors but…none of them have “held up” shall we say. Thinking back now, I believe I was comparing them all to daddy subconsciously.”
  37. “Mhm-mhm.”
  38. >You write that down, taking special note of the reverence in the Princess’ voice at the topic of the human’s strength of character.
  39. >”I believe I understand what my sister means.” Luna says. “After you and your friends purified me of Nightmare Moon, Twilight Sparkle, I was taken to the castle to recover. Upon my waking, Father was the first soul I saw.”
  40. >”In that…trying time, there was no anger in him, no sorrow or fear at what I had become. Simply…” Luna smiles. “Simply joy, that I had returned, as well as…regret, that he could not have done more to help.”
  41. >Celestia nods. “Daddy is quite good at that, you truly feel that he’ll go to the ends of the earth for you before long.
  42. >”Or perhaps beyond, in my case!” Luna jokes.
  43. >The two sisters, once torn apart by jealousy and greed and now brought together in part by the contribution of on old man, chuckle and share a laugh.
  44. >You make sure to write that down.
  45.  
  46. >A few days later, you’re on the other side of Ponyville.
  47. “Thanks for doing this.”
  48. >”Are we kidding ourselves into thinking I’m doing this for YOU, Sparkle?”
  49. >Discord sits on a stool behind the cottage tucked away neatly in a blanket of trees just outside of town, he looks at you with a persistent grin while he shears a sheep with his hands.
  50. “A-huh. Fluttershy’s still visiting her brother, huh?”
  51. >”Her train was delayed. Is this about the twenty-questions you played with my “sisters” the other day about Dear old Dad?”
  52. “Yep.”
  53. >You flip open your notepad.
  54. “Anything you’d like to say? I’m trying to get a grasp of him.”
  55. >”Why are you even coming to us with this, Sparkle?” Discord asks, surprisingly composed.
  56. >It catches you by surprise.
  57. “Uh, well, I told you. I’d like to understand your father and what he means to you.”
  58. >”You heard the stories, what do you think?”
  59. “I think you don’t like talking about him.”
  60. >Discord flicks his wrist and lops off a big portion of wool. How FANTASTICALLY astute of you, Sparkle. Really, I can see why they made you a princess.”
  61. >You jot down in your notepad.
  62. “Discord…remains…ashamed still.”
  63.  
  64. >That gets his attention, his eyes snap open and he looks like he just tasted toejam. “What!? I am not ashamed! Give me that notepad!” he says lunging at you.
  65. >You zip back with the pad and let him clonk his head on your stool, getting a laugh out of the sheep he’s shearing.
  66. >”Oh, shut up, Gary.” Discord says. He snaps his talons and poofs Gary away, leaving his wool behind.
  67. >”I’m not going to just LET you keep libel on me like that, Sparkle.” Discord rises and pushes his scales and fur up like sleeves…with more scales and fur underneath. He raises his limbs in magic symbols and sparks the air with chaos. “If it’s a fight you want than-“
  68. “You could also just tell me about Anonymous the right way. That way we wouldn’t disturb Fluttershy’s house.”
  69. >The gears turn in Discords head and the sound of them disturbs the birds.
  70. >”Alright fine, but I’m making this quick.”
  71. >The spirit of Chaos sits himself upright and looks unamused, which for him was like wearing his flank for a face. He sighs.
  72. >”Listen, Twilight. I don’t know where or why I was born. I didn’t exist, then I did, and then I was brought to Equestria and given as a holiday present.”
  73. >Discord holds his leg and rests his head on his hand. “For all my magic, good looks, intellect, charm, wit, grace, and uhm…oh what else am I forgetting…?”
  74. “Humility?”
  75. >”Ah yes! My SELFLESS humility…for all that, my formative years weren’t exactly shall we say “easy”. My two housemates my age both resembled each other, and Pops still remembered where he came from. On nights I would occasionally sneak out to go around the world and see if there was anything like me out there.”
  76. “Did you find anything?”
  77. >”Do you know anyone as resplendently astounding as ME?”
  78. “Point taken.”
  79.  
  80. >Discord continues. “I held it in for a while, but I must have let slip something to Pops because one day he took me aside and showed me sketches in a book of Celestia and Lunas. The book had Timber Wolves, Jormundgandr, Blue Whales, Pheonixes, and about every other ancient creature in it.”
  81. “Did that help?”
  82. >”On it’s own? No.” he answers. “But…Pops explained it to me, that each of those creatures, on its own at least, was mind-bogglingly strange to all the rest and vice-versa. Why, to some of them I might look more familiar than some of the others! Haha!”
  83. >Discord slaps his knee as he has a great guffaw. “I stopped feeling out of place then, and little by little every day since, I felt more at home here, on Equestria.” He raises his talon and lets a blue jay land on it, smiling at it in a way like Anonymous’s fatherly grin. “Why, I do say I’ve become quite fond of this little ball of mud by now.”
  84. >You smile and not to him.
  85. “Acceptance, huh? Is that why you spend so much around Fluttershy?”
  86. >”What? No Twilight, of course not, she’s just demonstrably the best pony in this town, would you like to see my graphs that prove why?”
  87. >You fear you may have mistepped.
  88.  
  89. >Later, you’re sitting on a bench outside of the park as the sun starts to set. You allow yourself a brief moment of reprieve from your day to day hustle as Celestia lazily drags the sun across the sky.
  90. >Townsfolk pass you by going about their lives. A few greet you with a wave of a smile, a few more with a brief hello. You return in kind and politely continue to sit as you wait for the next interviewee.
  91. >Another leaf in the wind of the town lands on the bench next to you. She’s a smaller thing, with waving auburn hair and a pale green coat. Her cutie mark was a small ladybug. A brief check with your heightened magical senses told you it was who you wanted.
  92. “Glad you could make it, Chrysalis.”
  93. >”I don’t come this far for just anyone, Sparkle.” She says, keeping her disguise tight. “This had better be worth it.”
  94. >You float your notepad out.
  95. “It will be, I promise. I wanted to talk abo-“
  96. >”Yes, about poppy, I know.” She interrupts. “I have ears everywhere, Sparkle. I was able to pick it up.”
  97. >That Chrysalis apparently had Changelings in enough places to hear about you going around interviewing Anonymous’s children would alarm you if you hadn’t seen what a complete daddy’s foal she was these last months.
  98. >Chrysalis adopts the same far off stare her siblings did when reminiscing about their father, the look one gets when remembering a lifetime.
  99. >”I understood shortly after arriving in Poppy’s care that I was the second generation to be there. The love and affection those before me shared was seeped into the very walls. From day one, I was prepared for an uphill battle to win myself a section of poppy’s heart.”
  100. “And did you?”
  101.  
  102. >Chrysalis looks to the last gasps of twilight in the sky with a sorrowful look. “I tried. In the early days I would try anything and everything I could think of to elevate myself and de-elevate those who came before me, I simply couldn’t stand the thought of there existing those who had more of what I desired most in the world.”
  103. “Is that why there’s…tension between you and Celestia?”
  104. >Chrysalis huffs and hardens again. “Celestia…ever the golden child of that home, even when not there…No, Sparkle, that is not the cause. I will tell you the result, however. Poppy told you the story of the night I took on the shape of one of his kind?”
  105. >You nod.
  106. >”It was that night that it dawned on me…I didn’t see results in my competition because there was no competition. Poppy saw me, as I was when I first came to his home and chose to love me entirely and absolutely. The love he gave to me was unique, real, and unquestioning, something Celestia could never take no matter how much he loved her as well.”
  107. >You write that down as Chrysalis gets off the bench.
  108. >”That night…was the most ashamed I’d ever felt in my life, Sparkle. To think, it had taken me all those years and all those schemes to convince myself of something that he had been presenting me all that time.” As she begins to walk away, she looks back to you. “My calling lead me away from Poppy. However if I may be a tenth as noble as he was to me to those who rely on me, I will be content in this life.”
  109. >You nod as you understand the Changeling’s words in the newly night sky, but panic as she gets further. “Wait! What is he to you? I need to know!”
  110. >Chrysalis does not turn, but calls back. “Sanctuary, Sparkle! No matter my choices in life, I know I will ever be welcome at my old home…and such things are precious to my kind.”
  111. >Chrysalis continues, and you close your pad.
  112.  
  113. >”I don’t like this, Twiley.”
  114. “You’ve said that six times now, Shining.”
  115. >Your older brother leads you down a secret stairwell beneath the crystal castle that only he and four other ponies knew the existence of.
  116. >It used to be just three, but then you became a princess.
  117. >He opens the door at the bottom of the staircase to a pitch-black room with a single obelisk in the middle. Above the obelisk floated a single crimson horn.
  118. >Shining eyes the horn wearily, as if it will spring to life with his worst nightmares at any moment.
  119. >You place your hoof on his shoulder to comfort him.
  120. “I’ll be FINE. I was last time, remember?”
  121. >He softens, but only barely. Reassuring you. “If even one thing goes wrong, I want you to shout for me, alright? I’ll come running.”
  122. >You nod and step inside the room.
  123. >Space is difficult to judge in the infinite room, but you focus on the obelisk in the center to orient yourself.
  124. >The only sounds beyond your hoofsteps on the floor is the labored breathing of something off within the darkness.
  125. “You can come out.”
  126. >You sit yourself down on the floor and float out your notepad.
  127. “If I can hear you, I’m going to guess you can hear me.”
  128. >The shadows on the walls move and shift along an unseen wind into a gale around you and the obelisk. Wisps of shadow tear away as a monstrous green eye turns its slitted pupil to you while it radiates spectral energy.
  129. >”WHY. HAVE. YOU. COME?” it roars.
  130. >You levitate your pen up.
  131. “Tell me about your father.”
  132.  
  133. >After letting Sombra scream himself silly for a few minutes and explaining the situation, he releases an exacerbated sigh and vanishes from the wall.
  134. >A smoky substance seeps from the horn on the obelisk that coalesces into the vague shape of a pony upon which Sombra’s green eyes return.
  135. >”WHY would you waste your time on something so trivial?”
  136. “It’s a better use of time than sitting in a secret basement prison, I think.”
  137. >Sombra snorts and trots around the obelisk. “What can even be said? I was forced to his home, I hated my family, I left as soon as I was able. The end.”
  138. “Is that all?”
  139. >”That. Is all.”
  140. >You write that down.
  141. “I see. And how quickly did you go from his home to ruling the Crystal Empire?”
  142. >”I took the throne a mere five years after I left. Pittance to one such as me.”
  143.  
  144. >You learned this from Anonymous’ stories.
  145. “Wow, that’s impressive. Did you learn statecraft in that short a time?”
  146. >He bites. Sombra’s father was quick to tell you that the umbral king couldn’t resist talking about himself. “No, I am entirely self-taught in statecraft. I’m not surprised you don’t know, Equestria was sure to lie about me in their history. Make no mistake, the Crystal Empire under my rule was a paradise of wealth, happiness, and cared for citizens.”
  147. >And a war with the Changelings, but you kept mum on that.
  148. “We were always told you said you took care of your citizens, where’d you learn that?”
  149. >Sombra stiffens a bit, despite being a shadow. “It was within me all along.”
  150. “Are you suuuure?”
  151. >”Yes.”
  152. “Sure you’re sure?”
  153. >”YES!”
  154. “Are you sure you didn’t…pick it up from somewhere?”
  155. >”CEASE!”
  156. “Anonymous told me what he tried to teach you…sounds like you were listening.”
  157. >Sombra lunges at you over the obelisk and for a moment you’re unprepared, your protective wards don’t get up in time.
  158. >Sombra swipes his shadowy limbs impotently at your neck, both passing through harmlessly.
  159. >You give him a wry smile and flip your book closed.
  160. “I think I have what I need.”
  161. >You’d never seen a shadow simmer, but here it was. “Then. Leave.”
  162. “Not yet, Sombra. I have a deal to make with you…”
  163. >The shadow king’s eyebrow arches as your horn sparks.
  164.  
  165. >A few days later, Anonmous takes a seat in his favorite chair in the royal library.
  166. >”Ah…max comfy.”
  167. “Huh?”
  168. >”Just something I said when I was younger.”
  169. >You have a hard time imagining Anonymous young.
  170. >”So, little princess, what is it you needed of me? Canterlot is a long way from my cottage to send a letter.”
  171. “I wanted to ask you some things.”
  172. >You take out your pad and pen, noting Anonymous’ perplexed look. “I always love a talk, but what could I have you’d need now? You seem pretty put together.”
  173. “It’s about your children.”
  174. >”Alright…shoot.”
  175. “Well, I’ve been speaking to them privately the last week or so as a sort of personal project. I wanted to hear from each of them what you meant to them and their lives.”
  176. >”I’m sure it was nothing but negativity.”
  177. >You chuckle.
  178. “Pure venom. Each of them gave me an answer that illuminated them in ways I couldn’t imagine just a few months ago, so now I want to ask you.”
  179. >”Ask me what, exactly?”
  180. “What do you think you are to your children?”
  181.  
  182. >”Well, a parent, first and foremost, obviously.”
  183. “I know but…the last few months visiting you have changed what I thought that word meant drastically. I wondered why Celestia wanted me to meet with you originally, but now I can understand it.”
  184. >”Mm?” he ponders.
  185. “How close the two are! That the teachings you gave to them as a parent are what formed the basis for their actions as monarchs! It formed the foundation of Equestria itself! What you discovered as a parent are what they each practiced as a princess or queen or whatever. Princess Celestia didn’t send me here to learn about her history, she sent me here to learn about responsibility like she did.”
  186. >Anonymous leans back in his chair and smiles. “Very good…” he chuckles. “She did say you were a smart one.”
  187. “Beg pardon?”
  188. >”Celestia told me early on not to tell you why she was sending you to me. Something about you “appreciating lessons you earned more than lessons you were given”.”
  189. >You feel your cheeks get hot at being predicted by your teacher.
  190. >Anonymous rubs his chin. “Now…what do I think I am to my children? That’s a simple answer; anything.”
  191.  
  192. “What do you mean “anything”?”
  193. >Anonymous leans forward. “Being a parent, being an authority over others, is not a simple thing. Ponies are different, each and every one, so the same solution might not worth with everyone. Celestia I could teach naturally but Sombra required a more…direct approach.”
  194. >You nod.
  195. >”The secret to both, Twilight Sparkle, is to not become something absolute. You must watch them, hear them, experience them, and become what they need you to be at that moment. A teacher, a father, an adversary, or a challenge.”
  196. “I…think I understand.”
  197. >He smiles a smile that makes you feel at ease. “That’s the big secret, Twilight. I’m not so special, I just listen to them.”
  198. “What about the tiny house? You could have still been around them if you lived here.”
  199. >”I like the smaller existence, it helps them realize there’s more to life beyond me.”
  200. >You hop off your chair.
  201. “Well, I wanted to repay you for all you’ve taught me.”
  202. >”Mm? How?” he asks.
  203. “Come with me.”
  204.  
  205. >You lean Anonymous through the castle to a small banquet hall used to host smaller nation dignitaries friendly with Equestria.
  206. >Anonymous halts as he enters through and sees what’s behind it.
  207. >Celestia and Luna both have their hooves to their mouths and their cheeks puffed out, looking horrified. Discord floats next to them. “What? Too soon? It was fine, he asked me to do it.”
  208. >”Brother!”
  209. >”You don’t DO that!”
  210. >”He asked!” Discord shouts, attempting to defend himself.
  211. “Sounds like they already started…hehe.”
  212. >Celestia turns her head to you both. “Greetings Twilight. Hi Daddy!”
  213. >”Will you three PLEASE keep it down!” comes from the far side. Queen Chrysalis trots into the room followed by the wispy form of a pony made of pure shadow. “Sombra is trying to tell me what all these treats taste like and I can’t hear a WORD of it with you three gawking like-Poppy!”
  214. >The five children walk up to the two of you and smile, even Sombra, at Anonymous’ mouth hitting the floor.
  215. >”I don’t…know what to say right now.” He looks down at you. “Twilight…you did this?”
  216. “I got the idea that you guys hadn’t had a family reunion in a while.”
  217. >”THANK you, I-“
  218. >You put up a hoof as Anonymous prepares to hug you.
  219. “This is for you and them, Anonymous. Not me. Go be with your family.”
  220. >You smile up at him and get a tearful one in return.
  221. >”Right.”
  222. >Anonymous walks into the room, immediately swarmed by his children both close and wayward as they enjoy each others company.
  223. >You’re content to sit and watch the would-be family with a smile.
  224.  
  225. -Epilogue-
  226. >”Twilight! They’re here!”
  227. “Down in a minute, Spike!”
  228. >You hold the picture in your hoof, the only one to ever exist of its kind, and smile.
  229. >Years have passed since that day, when five of the most extraordinary entities in Equestria had met with their father under the same roof for the first time in…ever.
  230. >Laughter was had, smiles were shared, you’d hoped they each became a bit closer to each other. Family was the purest form of friendship, after all.
  231. >Anonymous had insisted on a photograph for everyone in attendance, especially you, he’d said, for making it all happen.
  232. >You recollect and place the picture back, for now it was time to get to work.
  233. >You leave your private study and head down the stairs to the front doors of your new Friendship School. In front of you there are your new students, each eager to learn the ways of friendship and comradery for their own reasons.
  234. >They weren’t just ponies. A griffon, a yak, a sea pony and more were before you in the foyer. Each more different than the last and each needing you for guidance.
  235. >You call upon your memory, and the textbooks worth of teachings by both Celestia and Anonymous to deduce the absolute perfect icebreaker for these situations.
  236. >It was so obvious, he’d done it to you.
  237. “Welcome to the Friendship Academy, everyone! How about we get to know each other over some tea?”
  238.  
  239. -End.
  240.  
  241. Closing theme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQmZi94cjL4
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