Human Parenting

shukaku20 Nov 20th, 2013 (edited) 12,398 Never
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  1. Stallions are less than stellar fathers. Many of them prefer to let a mare do all the work in raising foals, and that's assuming they stick around. Anon makes an off-hand comment on how human fathers are the opposite, complete with some stories of his own old man. It's even compounded with how the children in town adore him. Word gets out, and less than a week later every mare with a ticking biological clock is trying to get into his pants.
  3. >Day Raise your own damn kids in Equestria.
  4. >"So, Anon, I know you're a male and all, but what can you tell me about how human females raise their young?" Twilight asks, quill and parchment at the ready.
  5. >Giving Twilight your best "You serious" look, you shake your head slowly.
  6. "I'm not sure how it works here, but with humans, both parents almost always play a major role in raising their kids."
  7. "My father, for one, even though he was the proverbial breadwinner, always took time to play with me after work, and we'd go out fishing and things like that."
  8. "According to my family videos, he was the one who taught me to walk and ride my bike."
  9. "I guess what I'm saying is, humans have a strong family unit, with everyone helping with everything."
  10. >Scribbling like a maniac, Twilight is focused intently on copying down everything you said.
  11. "What about ponies? What can you tell me about how they raise their young?"
  12. >"Oh, that's easy," Twilight exclaims, "Mares handle everything, because that's their role."
  13. "So the stallion just leaves all the work to the females, and does whatever they do? That's hardly fair."
  14. >Twilight stops, looking up at you confused, before going into her deep thinking mode.
  15. >Her quill goes to paper, and the rest of the world fades for her.
  16. "Hey, you in there, Twi?" you ask, snapping your fingers in front of her.
  17. >The scratching of quill on paper is your only response, so with a sigh and a shrug, you get up and head out to continue on with your day.
  18. >Reaching Sugarcube corner, you realize you never got your payment from Twilight.
  19. "Fuck..."
  20. >"Hello Anonymous, what's wrong?" you hear from beside you, and you turn to see the slightly portly, but ever sweet Mrs. Cake.
  21. "Forgot to get my payment from Twilight. We were doing some info sharing about child raising differences."
  22. >"Come inside, I'll make it on the house today, if you're willing to share a few human child raising tips."
  23. >A smile forms, and you give the mare a quick, friendly hug, before opening the door for her.
  24. "Thanks Mrs. Cake, I'd be glad to."
  25. >While you take a seat, she grabs a few muffins and a slice of pie, bringing them over and setting them down.
  26. >Taking a bite of the pie, you let the warm, cherry filling fill your senses before turning to the blue mare.
  27. "One of the best tips I can give you is doing parent days every couple weeks. Let one parent do all the work for a day and let the other relax."
  28. "Keeps stress to a minimum, and gives both parents the ability to have great bonding moments."
  29. >"So the Stallion, er, man, takes care of the foals for a day? How unusual."
  30. "Humans are a little different when taking care of kids. Both parents raise them, rather than the way you ponies do it."
  31. >Head resting on her hooves, she looks at you intently as you take another bite of pie.
  32. >"It must be wonderful, giving the human females freedom to do other things instead of raising the foals all the time."
  33. "To be honest, it's fun, spending time with kids, playing and teaching them. I had a young brother before I came here, and I spent almost as much time as mom and dad caring for him."
  34. >Staring up at the ceiling, you let out a slow sigh.
  35. "I miss them... I wonder how they're doing."
  36. >A hoof pats your shoulder, and you look down to see Mrs. Cake's soft smile.
  37. >"I'm sure they're fine, and they miss you a lot."
  38. >Her hooves wrap around your shoulders in a quick hug, and you give her a pat on the head.
  39. "Thanks, I'll be sure to pay for these later."
  40. >With a full stomach, you head off to your afternoon job working at the local bar.
  41. >Hands and a willingness to work for minimum wage make you the perfect employee, rather than them having to hire a high cost unicorn.
  42. >It's not glamorous, but it pays the bills.
  44. ~~~
  46. >For the past week, Twilight has practically locked herself in her treebrary, meaning your payment was delayed, and it was bread and apples for breakfast, lunch and dinner till you got payed by your job.
  47. >Today, you finally managed to get hold of her out in the market, handing out little panphlet/book things.
  48. "Twilight, there you are. I never got my pay from last week, and I haven't been able to contact you."
  49. >She focus on you, and smiles a mile wide, "Anon! Sorry, I was busy. I had to make these, but here, these are your bits from then."
  50. >A bag floats over held in a purple glow, and with a quick glance inside, you tuck it away.
  51. "Thanks, now I can actualy eat something."
  52. >"Oh..." she says, her ears dropping, "I'm sorry, I got so caught up..."
  53. "Ah I'm just messing with you," you say, tousling her mane, "I still had food, just not much for variety."
  54. >Her cheeks puff up in indignation, and you stick out your tongue, before walking away.
  55. "See ya, Twi."
  56. >Passing by the school, a bunch of the colts and fillies run over, calling out to you.
  57. >Stopping at the fence, you pass out a couple candies you carry, and talk with the rest.
  58. >The recess bell is rung, and the students wave as they head inside, and you hear someone trot up behind you.
  59. >"They really like you, don't they," you hear a quiet, but friendly voice say.
  60. >Turning, you see Roseluck, the local florist standing there.
  61. "Yeah, I've always done well with kids."
  62. >"I've always wanted some, but it's so hard to find a nice, caring stallion to breed with."
  63. >Finding a bench, you sit down and motion her to do so as well.
  64. "You make it sound so primal. You should always look for love for a lifetime."
  65. >Rosy red colour fills her cheeks, nearing the same shade as her mane, and she leans over against you.
  66. "You're so romantic... Stallions are never like this except in books."
  67. >She starts tracing a hoof along your thigh while taking sniffs of your chest, and you start getting a little weirded out.
  68. "Uh, Rose, what are you doing?"
  69. >"Hmn... Oh, sorry, I got a little distracted. Anyways, would you maybe..."
  70. >She suddenly looks at the ground, the reddy pink filling her cheeks again, "maybe... go on a date with me?"
  71. >Shifting away a bit, you look at her and she suddenly looks a little downtrodden, "Too sudden?"
  72. "Sorta. I guess we can try hanging out some time though. It's definetally too early for a date."
  73. >"Okay. How about we go to the park with my sisters on Saturday? We could play some games or stuff."
  74. "Sounds good, I have the morning free that day."
  75. >Hopping off the bench, with a barely contained skip in her step, Rose runs off, and you can see a bunch of mares watch her go.
  76. >As you get set to continue on your way, the gossip engine of ponyville trots up to you.
  77. >"So, Darling, it looks like you just made a mare very happy," Rarity says, giving you a knowing wink.
  78. "We are hanging out on saturday, that's it."
  79. >Her brow scrunches up as she scrutinizes you, "are you sure? I could have sworn you agreed to father foals with her."
  80. >If you were drinking, Rarity would be covered in it, as you do a dry spit take, before covering your mouth.
  81. "Wow... Why? She's a nice mare, but I'm not looking to be a father right now, and I don't even think we are compatable biologically."
  82. >"So the info Twilight got is false?"
  83. "Info..." you start, before you remember those little pamphlets Twilight was handing out, "Don't tell me..."
  84. >"These," Rarity says, holding up one of the self same pamphlets for you, "Twilight has been handing them out, saying they are human information booklets."
  85. >Skimming through one, it's basically a romanticized version of what you told her last week.
  86. "Yeah, it's true, but..."
  87. >"It makes you beyond desirable, as so many mares want a stallion who will help raise their foals."
  88. >Looking around, you are getting a lot of bedroom looks from a lot of mares.
  89. "God damn it, Twilight."
  92. ~***~
  95. >Sunlight baking your back, you stand tense, muscles bound and ready to spring at a moments notice.
  96. >Across the field from you, your opponents, each wearing a grim, determined glare.
  97. >In an instant, they attack, their weapon flying at you with incredible speed and unwavering accuracy.
  98. >Releasing your muscles, you spring off, diving to the side to catch the frizbee.
  99. >Tossing it back, Daisy catches it, before passing it to Roseluck.
  100. >"Hey, pass it here!" you hear another pony call, and you turn to see Pinkie bouncing up and down.
  101. >The others shrug, and pinkie joins the circle, the disk flying from pony to pony to person.
  102. >Things start to get weird quickly, as more and more mares join the circle.
  103. >Motioning Rose off to the side, she circles around to behind you.
  104. "What's going on here?"
  105. >"I dunno? Pinkie is just Pinkie, but I think they all want to get close to you."
  106. "Kinda like you?"
  107. >"No... well, yes, but I'm not going to push myself at you."
  108. "Wanna get out of here?"
  109. >She nods, and you throw out the disk as it once again reaches you.
  110. >A cluster of mares go for it, and you take the moment to kneel down to Rose.
  111. "Grab your sisters, meet me at the Stumblin' Stallion around five, if you want to hang out a bit more."
  112. >"Alright, see you there," she says with an uncertain smile before running off to grab her sisters.
  113. >Trying to edge away, the disc comes to you again, and you hurl it out far.
  114. "Whoever catches that gets a special surprise!" you call out, and the mares go swarming after it.
  115. >Sprinting away from the park, you head for home.
  116. >Behind you, a call of "I GOT IT!" carries out, before the sound of arguing starts.
  117. >Inside your house, you close the door, the curtains and make sure the lights are off.
  118. >These pony designed houses leave very few blinds spots through windows, but you manage to squeeze into one next to your bookshelf.
  119. >Curtains pull back as unicorns look in windows, trying to find you, more than likely looking to claim their special surprise.
  120. >Minutes tick by in agonizing slowness, and you spend the time counting the boards on your floor and books on your shelf.
  121. >Halfway through the books, the doorknob turns, and you curse yourself for forgetting to lock it.
  122. >"Anon? Are you home?" you hear Sweetie Belle call out, her voice squeaking as she asks.
  123. "Yeah, I'm here," you reply, rising to standing, "What's up Sweetie?"
  124. >"I was wondering if you would be a chaper... chapa, adult watcher for our field trip next wednesday? My big sister is busy, and nobody else has said yes yet."
  125. "Sure, when should I be at the school?"
  126. >"Yay! This is going to be so fun! You should ask Miss Cheerilee when you have to be there and let her know you will come."
  127. "Alright. I'll stop by later, I have a few things to do here first."
  128. >After another excited squeal, Sweetie runs off, probably to go tell her friends.
  129. >They were troublemakers, but the Cutie Mark Crusaders always meant well.
  130. >Smiling, you remember some of the times you have kept them out of trouble.
  131. >After that incident with the barrel of butter, Big Mac, and Fluttershy's chickens, they became really good friends with you.
  132. >Puttering around your house quietly, you make sure there are no suspicious looking mares around your house.
  133. >Everything is all clear, and after locking the door, you head for Ponyville Elementary.
  134. >Despite it being the weekend, you can guess Cheerilee is here, since her house is just behind the school.
  135. >The schoolhouse is empty as you press your face to one of the windows and peer inside.
  136. >Moving around to the back, you rap your knuckles against the wooden door to Cheerilee's house.
  137. "Hello? Are you home, Cheerilee?"
  138. >Waiting a minute, you knock again, but don't get a response.
  139. >Her lights are off, so you turn to leave, when you see her walk around the corner of the Schoolhouse.
  140. >"Oh, Anonymous, what brings you here?" she asks with a bit of a start.
  141. "Sweetie Belle told me you were looking for chaperones for a field trip, and I came to offer myself."
  142. >Pink appears over her cerise cheeks, and you smile and shake your head.
  143. "Sorry, that came out wrong. I'm willing to be a chaperone for the trip, if you need one."
  144. >"I'd be glad to have you. We're going for an overnight trip in the Whitetail woods, and having Ponyville's very own human with us will certainly set most parents at ease."
  145. >"The kids will love having you along as well."
  146. "Alright. I'll be here Wednesday then."
  147. >Waving goodbye, you Walk back onto the main street, where a certain blue Pegasus with a Rainbow Mane is standing, looking at you.
  148. >"Hey Anon, so, I heard there was a special reward for the pony who caught this, right?" she asks, pulling the frizbee from under a wing.
  149. >Sighing, you nod and take the disc back.
  150. >"So, what did I win?" she asks, her wings flaring out a bit in excitement.
  151. "How's a few free drinks sound? I kinda planned on just using that contest to get away."
  152. >"Oh..." she says, her wings drooping a bit, "Well, a few free drinks sound pretty good. I'll stop by this next friday, probably."
  153. "See you then," you reply, before waving and heading towards home.
  154. >A few mares along the way try to start conversations, but you politely decline, claiming you had something important to attend to.
  155. >Stopping at your door, you reach for the knob, and it turns in your hand.
  156. >Caution sets in, and you quietly open the door, peering inside.
  157. >The lights are all still off, except for a glow coming from the kitchen.
  158. >Edging around the doorway, you see Bon Bon of all ponies standing there, talking to herself.
  159. >"Hmn... he seems to like eggs and cheese, and there is a lot of bread around too..."
  160. >Your house decides to betray you, the floor under your feet letting out a loud squeak, drawing her attention.
  161. >Like a deer caught in a headlight, she freezes, before saying, "Thisisn'twhatitlookslike!" and running past you and out the door.
  162. >Nothing is missing from your shelves or fridge, begging the question why she was here.
  163. >Whipping together a quick sandwich, you chow down before getting ready for work.
  164. >With your "uniform" on, you set out for the Stumblin' Stallion, your place of employment.
  165. >The bar, if you could call it that, is in the process of being switched over from resturant mode in the day, to Bar mode at night.
  166. >Helping pull out the bar stools and tables, the clock hits five, and you see the flower sisters come in.
  167. "Roseluck, Daisy, Lily, I have a table over here for you," you call out to them, and they weave their way over.
  168. >"This is where you work, Anon?" Rose asks, sitting down.
  169. "Yeah, the hours mean my day starts a little later, but the pay is plenty for what I need and the tips are a nice bonus."
  170. >"But then how would you raise a foal?" Daisy asks, before her sisters elbow her in the sides, "sorry, a little innapropriate."
  171. "More than a little, yeah, but I'd probably quit my work if my wife had a better job so I can do more to take care of the kid."
  172. >The three mares squee, resting their heads on their hooves.
  173. >"How romantic, a stallion doing all that for his mare and foal..." Lily sighs, a dreamy smile on her face.
  174. >Rose and Daisy both elbow her this time, and she smiles sheepishly.
  175. >"Sorry Anon, the rumors just make it hard to avoid the topics."
  176. "I know all too well. Twilight shouldn't have spread all that stuff everywhere, even though it's true."
  177. >"You can look at it this way, Anon, you pretty much have free pick of mares if you ever want to find one."
  178. >This time Rose gets the elbows, and you can't help but crack a smile.
  179. "You three are pretty funny. You get along so well too."
  180. >"We've been as close as three peas in a pod since we were young," Rose says and they hold hooves.
  181. >"You could almost say..." Daisy starts.
  182. >"... We're a package deal," Lily finishes, and the three hug close.
  183. >The three start laughing, and you join in.
  184. "Good to know. I'll remember that if I'm looking for an adventuring party."
  185. >"Or decide to start a herd," Rose says, before covering her mouth and saying, "sorry, it just slipped out."
  186. "Nothing to worry about," you say, going to stand, "Before I have to start work, can I get you anything?"
  187. >They shake their heads, and you sit again.
  188. >Lily lets out a sigh, her head drooping a bit, "It's too bad about what happened at the park, It's not often we get out to play,"
  189. >"Yeah," Daisy adds, "we'll have to do it again, that is, if you want to, Anonymous?"
  190. "Sure, I've got no problems hanging out here and there," you reply with a smile.
  191. >Your watch beeps, and you rise from your seat.
  192. "Sorry, but my shift is starting. I'll let you know when I can hang out again. See you later."
  193. >"Bye Anon," they chorus, waving goodby before rising to leave.
  194. >Work starts out busy, as it always does, and just gets worse.
  195. >More mares show up, trying to get close even though you are all business.
  196. >The tips are nice though, and your boss loves the extra customers.
  197. >By the time you get home, you are thoroughly worn out, but as you lay in bed, you can't help but feel a little excitement at the upcoming camping trip.
  199. ~~~
  201. >Wednesday arrives quickly, and with your bag packed, you set out for the schoolhouse.
  202. >The children already know you are chaperoning, and as you approach, a couple run over.
  203. "Good morning you guys, are you all ready for a fun overnight camping trip?"
  204. >You get a whole bunch of nods, and you can see some parents talking with Cheerilee or their kids at the school.
  205. >"Ah, here he is now, Anon, over here!" Cheerilee calls, motioning you over.
  206. >Like moses with the red sea, you part the colts and fillies around you and walk up to her.
  207. "Is everything ready to go?" you ask, giving the parent's a somewhat questioning look.
  208. >"Yes, Mr. Filthy Rich just wanted to make sure the chaperones were suitable for the trip."
  209. >Turning to the brown, well groomed stallion you give a curt bow.
  210. "My name is Anonymous, and I'll be doing everything in my power to make sure each and every child comes back from this trip happy and unharmed."
  211. >"You had better," he replies with a huff, looking you up and down.
  212. >"Don't worry Mr. Rich, Anon here is great with children and stronger than most stallions. I'm sure he can protect us if anything should happen."
  213. >He moves on, and several other parents, all mares talk with you and Cheerilee.
  214. >Once all the parents are ready to let their kids go, you grab your bag again, and Cheerilee gathers the class.
  215. >"Does anyp0ny have to go to the bathroom before we go?"
  216. >"Nope!" the class choruses, and Cheerilee lines them up.
  217. >With you at the lead, the class starts through town out towards the Whitetail woods.
  218. >"Nobody wander, the woods may not be super dangerous, but it's easy to get lost."
  219. >Muted whispers and gasps come from the group as you first walk into the trees.
  220. >Cheerilee points out plant species as you walk, while you make a path through the denser foliage.
  221. >Everything is running smoothly, at least, so far as it seems.
  223. ~~~
  225. >"Come on, Diamond, you know we're not supposed to leave the group," Silver Spoon says, edging closer to you.
  226. "Don't worry, Silver, I just have to go and I can't ask Anon or Cheerilee to take me out."
  227. >"Still... did we have to go so far away?"
  228. "It's fine," you say, squatting near a bush, "now look away, and then we can go back."
  229. >Sweet, liquid relief flows from your no-no parts, and you let out a sigh.
  230. "That feels better. Come on, Silver, let's go."
  231. >Standing and looking around, you see no sign of your trail.
  232. >"Which way is back?"
  233. >Opening your mouth, close it again almost immediately as the realization comes to you.
  234. >You're lost.
  235. "Cheerilee? Mister Anon?" you call out, panic starting to set in.
  236. >"Anon!? Cheerilee?" Silver calls out, joining her voice with yours.
  237. >Where the woods were bright and friendly when you entered are now dark and forboding.
  238. >"Diamond, I'm scared..." Silver says, backing into your side.
  239. "It'll... I'm sure we'll be fine. One of them will notice we're missing and come after us, right?"
  240. "Right?"
  241. >Shadows creep closer, and you shrink back with Silver Spoon.
  243. ~~~
  245. >"Alright everyp0ny, we're here! Set your stuff down and line up for a head count."
  246. >Sitting to the side, you relax and look around the clearing, when Cherilee lets out a gasp.
  247. >"We're two short! Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon are missing!"
  248. >Rushing around, she looks in all the bushes nearby, panicing and calling for the two fillys.
  249. >Grabbing her by the shoulders, you turn her to face you and hold her there.
  250. "Calm down. Stay here and call for them while setting up camp. I'll backtrack and look for them, since I can track them better."
  251. >She nods and starts commanding the foals, while you turn to the worn trail you took here.
  252. >Shadows start to lengthen as you make your way down the trail, and while your progress is slow, you make sure to thoroughly examine every inch of the trail.
  253. "Silver Spoon? Diamond Tiara? Can you hear me?" you yell out here and there.
  254. >Reds and oranges fill the sky as the sun sets and as you find what you are looking for.
  255. >Or at least, their hoofprints.
  256. >They turn abruptly off the path, going straight into the bushes.
  257. "Diamond Tiara, Silver Spoon, if you can hear me, stay where you are, I'm coming to find you."
  258. >You don't hear anything back except the howl of a wolf in the distance.
  259. >Fear wraps around your heart like a shadow constrictor, and you hasten your movement.
  260. >Not far from the track, you find a patch where the hoofprints wander a while, before they move off towards a large tree.
  261. "Girls, if I'm close, please respond!"
  262. >Your voice echos through the trees, distorting and bouncing irregularly as you follow the faint tracks.
  263. >The tracks falter before dissapearing at the tree, and you slowly look around.
  264. >After a moments search, you find two huddling forms in a crevise in the base of the tree.
  265. "Diamond, Silver, are you alright?" you ask, kneeling down.
  266. >"Daddy's gonna save me, Daddy's gonna save me..." the quivering pink filly repeats, while the other turns to look at you.
  267. >"Mister Anon! You came!" Silver Spoon says, rushing from the crack and into your waiting arms.
  268. "Of course I did. I promised everyone I'd keep you all safe, and I always keep my promises."
  269. >"Come on Diamond Tiara, we're safe now!" Silver says to her friend, but the other keeps shaking in the crack.
  270. >Reaching out, you slowly and gently lay a hand on her head.
  271. "It's alright, little princess, you're safe now. Your daddy sent me, Knight Anonymous to save you."
  272. >Tear filled eyes look up at you, begging for comfort as she says, "Is that true?"
  273. "Of course it is. I made a solemn vow to protect all foals and fillys in danger, especially princesses, and now I'm here to protect you."
  274. >A small smile forms, and she squeezes out of the crack and into your arms.
  275. >Rising with the girls, you hold them close as the sun vanishes behind the horizon, darkness rolling in.
  276. >"How are we gonna get back, it's too dark to see," Silver Spoon asks, looking around.
  277. "Not for me. I can still see everything I need to see to make our way back."
  278. >While not exactly true, it isn't a lie either, since you can see enough of the path you cut through the underbrush to make your way back.
  279. >The main trail is easier to follow, and soon you see the campfire's light in the distance.
  280. "Almost there, girls. Soon, you'll be nice and warm in your tent with a nice meal in your bellys."
  281. >They don't respond, and you look down to see them curled up in your arms, dozed off.
  282. >The moment you step in the edge of the firelight, Cheerilee runs over, and you lift a finger to silence her.
  283. "Both of them are fine," you whisper as she falls in beside you, "They're just tired after the excitement of the day."
  284. >With the two stowed carefully in their tent and wrapped up in their bedding, you step outside where Cheerilee suddenly hugs you.
  285. >"Thank you so much, Anon, I have no idea what I would have done if anything happened to them."
  286. >Patting her back, you let her give you the thankful, purely friendly hug.
  287. "I don't know what I would have done either. I'm just glad I found them so easily."
  288. >She ends the hug and takes a seat on a stone near the fire, and you do the same.
  289. >"Everyp0ny's been good while you were gone, but I came across a problem."
  290. "What is it?"
  291. >"The tents. We only have one for the chaperones and teachers."
  292. >Cheerilee seems honestly embarassed and nervous, and you rest a hand on her shoulder.
  293. "You can use the tent. A night outside won't kill me."
  294. >Her mane knocks your hand off her shoulder as she shakes her head no, "I could never ask you to sleep outside while the rest of us are in tents, even if we do have to share."
  295. >"It's not like we are sleeping in the same sleeping bags."
  296. >She gives a light, cheerful laugh, and you laugh with her.
  297. "Well, I can deal with that," you say, before it is drowned out by your stomach growling.
  298. >"Hungry? I've got a little dinner left over, though I'm not exactly sure what you can eat."
  299. "I can eat most stuff you guys do, just not hay and flowers, mainly."
  300. >"Hhat'sh goof," she says, her voice muffled by a pot handle as she picks it up, "Soop."
  301. >Ladeling out a dish, you slowly sip at it, letting the warm, delicious broth fill your mouth.
  302. "This is good, did you make it yourself?"
  303. >"Yeah. Cooking has always been a strong suit. My mom taught me it so I could be a good wife eventually."
  304. "It's a good thing to learn even if you don't plan on getting married."
  305. >While you eat, you and her swap stories, and soon, it's time for sleep.
  306. >The leftover food gets buried, and Cheerilee climbs into her sleeping bag first while you handle natures call.
  307. >Slipping into your own bag, you drift off to the calming, quiet sounds coming from her bag.
  309. ~~~
  311. >Up at the crack of dawn, you see Cheerilee half out of her sleeping bag, one of her rear hooves twitching occasionally.
  312. >Quietly slipping from the tent, you find Diamond Tiara sitting in front of your tent, looking at her hooves.
  313. "What's wrong, Diamond? Can I help you?"
  314. >She lets out a quiet squeak and shifts back, looking up at you.
  315. >"Oh, good morning Anonymous, I just wanted..." she suddenly becomes quiet, a redish hue climbing over her cheeks.
  316. >Giving her time, she swallows, before continuing, "I wanted to say thanks for yesterday."
  317. >Rearing back, she holds up her hooves for a hug, and you kneel down and oblige her.
  318. >She ends it quick, but comes off with a smile, and she says, "Your hugs are almost as good as dad's. Also, can you keep yesterday a secret? I don't want everypony finding out."
  319. "Your secret's safe with me," you say, smiling back, and with a skip in her step, she trots back to her tent.
  320. >Turning around, you see Cheerilee rubbing sleep from her eyes, but still bearing a warm smile.
  321. >"I'm glad you could get along with her, she's usually fairly troublesome," she says with a yawn, before heading for the supplies, "I'll start making breakfast."
  322. >Scooping the pot out of her mouth, you grab the things for breakfast.
  323. "I'll handle this, you can get everyone up and ready."
  324. >Cinnamon, sugar and oats all mix into a good smelling oatmeal, and the foals and fillys start gathering around.
  325. "Alright everyone, line up nicely, and I can start scooping you guys bowls. And no pushing, there is plenty to go around."
  326. >Soon, you have a line of children, and you scoop them each a nice, warm bowl of oatmeal, and each one thanks you before going off to eat.
  327. >Cheerilee is the last in line, and after serving her and getting a bowl for yourself, you sit down with everyone.
  328. >"Mmmm this is just right," Cheerilee says with a smile after her first bite, and a bunch of the kids vocalize their agreements.
  329. >A warm meal in everyones stomach, and you all start packing up the tents.
  330. "Hurry up everyone, we have a special stop before we can head back, and I want us to have as much time as possible there."
  331. >You get a questioning glance from Cheerilee which you reply with only a wink.
  332. >With your help, the tents go down quickly and everyone is packed up.
  333. >Your pony train tail forms up behind you, and you lead them off in a direction perpendicular to the path to town.
  334. >Soon, you reach your destination, another clearing, but this one filled to the brim with flowers.
  335. >The kids rush past you, diving into the colorful field, and Cheerilee walks up to you.
  336. >"How did you know this was out here?" she asks, watching the kids play.
  337. "I found it before, when I first arrived here. I come out every once in a while, just to relax."
  338. >"It's beautiful," she says with a sigh, resting her head against your thigh.
  339. "They are, both the flowers and the kids."
  340. >"I... I kind of wish I had my own child to bring here, to play with them in the flowers till night, then snuggle up with them and their father under the stars, keeping eachother warm all night."
  341. "That's a wonderful dream, and I do hope it happens for you."
  342. >"Thank's Anon," she says, shifting a bit and looking up, "now, how about we join them?"
  343. "I'd like nothing more."
  345. End chapter 1
  348. >They say time travels slow in small towns, though you find yourself inclined to disagree.
  349. >Days turn into weeks after the field trip, and little changes, your daily schedule still the same.
  350. >Shopping, relaxing, visiting the kids at the school, and going to work, all the while avoiding awkward advances from mares around town.
  351. >Some weekends you hang around with Rose and her sisters, the four of you becoming good friends.
  352. >Today is another such weekday, the warm sun on your back, the laughter of colts and fillies in the air along with a faint fragrance of flowers.
  353. >"Good afternoon, Anonymous," Cheerilee says, trotting over to you, "It's good to see you around here so often."
  354. "What can I say, visiting the foals is one of my simple joys in life."
  355. >Taking a seat next to you, she nods, "Mine as well. Did I ever tell you about my cutie mark?"
  356. "No, I can't say you have," you reply, sparing a glance to her flank, where three flowers with smiley face lie.
  357. >"I got it sort of late, compared to other ponies, but it was one of the happiest days of my life."
  358. >"It was during a fair, I came across a young filly who was crying."
  359. >"Turns out she lost her balloon, and was sad because of that. I decided to help her, and we spent the day playing and going on rides."
  360. >"As the day ended, I said goodbye to her, and she had a smile as wide as one of Pinkie's."
  361. >"My mark appeared, and I realized I wanted to spend my life making children happy."
  362. "So you became a teacher, right?"
  363. >A smile like the ones on her flank forms, and she nods, "and I'm glad I did."
  364. >Two colts run over, asking for the two of you to come play with them, and with scarcely a glance at eachother, you both rise and follow them.
  365. >Time flies by as you and Cheerilee play, and yet it feels like a long time before the recess bell rings.
  366. >The students start fo file inside, and Cheerilee turns to you.
  367. >"This was nice. Do you think, maybe... we could do it again some time?"
  368. "Sure. I'd love to."
  369. >Applebloom pokes her head out of the classroom door, and calls out, "Miss Cheerilee! Hurry up!"
  370. >"Sorry, work calls. Maybe I should come by your house later and we can talk."
  371. "Alright, just don't go advertising it. I don't want others to get the wrong ideas."
  372. >A bob of her head, and she rushes inside the school, while you turn to head for home.
  373. >Most of the more agressive mares have toned down after you have shown no interest, but you still have to avoid all kinds of more subtle advances.
  374. >Stuff like "free drinks" containing strange, heart shaped bubbling chemicals, to flowers loaded with aphrodesiacs or other "subtle" tactics.
  375. >Thankfully these ponys are so innocent, they wouldn't do anything to you non-consentually, just do things to try and make you consent.
  376. >You've already lost count of how many mares have "accidentally" flashed you in the past few weeks.
  377. >Strange, but still kind of human looking.
  378. >Twilight insisted on a VERY awkward and way too personal biology lesson after you mentioned it to her.
  379. >At least she did the demonstrations personally, so it wasn't too weird, except when...
  380. >Shaking your head to get rid of the thought, you snag a few things for dinner before going home and prepping for work.
  382. ~~~
  384. >Saturday rolls around, and as you are about to sit down for lunch, there is a knocking at the door.
  385. >Sighing, you set your ham sandwich aside, you go and open the offending portal.
  386. >Beyond it, you find a certain cerise mare with a saddlebag on her back.
  387. "Good afternoon, Cheerilee, what brings you here?"
  388. >"You were never home during the evenings during the week, so I thought I'd come today."
  389. >Waving her inside, you head for the kitchen.
  390. "I was just going to have lunch, if you want to join me."
  391. >"I'd be glad to. I brought my own, because I have been out all day so far anyways."
  392. >Pulling out a chair for her, she giggles and covers her mouth with a hoof before hopping up.
  393. >"Are you always this flirty with mares who come over?" she asks, pulling a paper bag from her saddlebag.
  394. "Not sure what you mean, I just pulled out your chair. It's a polite thing guys do for girls."
  395. >"My my, I'd love to be a human girl if they are treated this nicely all the time."
  396. "Not all girls, just nice ones."
  397. >A bit of a blush forms on her cheeks, but she tries to hide it behind her salad as she starts to eat.
  398. >Sitting across from her, you bite into your sandwich.
  399. >Meat isn't easy or cheap to get, but it's always good quality.
  400. "So, how long have you been a teacher?" you ask between bites, looking over at her.
  401. >Swallowing the plant matter in her mouth, she replies, "Not that long, actually. I finished my teaching course five years ago, and got the job here about a year after that."
  402. >"How about you? What did you do before you came here?"
  403. "Part time work, mostly. I was a cashier at one job, and did warehouse work at the second. In my free time, I spent a lot of time with family and friends."
  404. "Now, I work at a bar, doing waitering, mostly."
  405. >She stows her empty containers in her bag again and you set your plate to be washed.
  406. >Making her way to the door, you stop her, and motion to the living room.
  407. "Please, feel free to stay a while. I don't have work today, so we can talk for a bit."
  408. >Smiling, she nods and sets her bag beside the couch before hopping on.
  409. >"So, what do you want to do?"
  410. "Ever played go fish?" you ask, pulling out a deck of cards.
  411. >"Not since I was a little filly," she says, "but I'd love to play."
  412. >Your game lasts a while, and after that, you and her play other games.
  413. >You both lose track of time, and it's soon dark out.
  414. >"Oh my, look at the time. I must be going, but it was a lot of fun."
  415. >Walking her to the door, you wave goodbye.
  416. "I hade fun, and take care, but please make sure you don't let anyone know, it might be misinterpreted."
  417. >"No worries, it's just between us."
  418. >As she walks away and you head back inside, you miss the two cerulean eyes shining from the bushes.
  420. ~~~
  422. >Walking to work, you come across a few mixed stares from mares, and one even walks up to you.
  423. >"So, is it true?"
  424. "Is what true?"
  425. >"Ugh, so like a stallion not to aknowledge it," she says, rolling her eyes, "Is it true you and Cheerilee rutted?"
  426. "What!? We never did that. Where did you hear that?"
  427. >"It's been spreading around town. We're not mad, but if she get's pregnant, we, that is, us mares, hope you care for the child."
  428. >With that, she walks off, leaving you confused and wondering who started the rumor.
  429. >At work, you get more mares than usual, and a lot of them try to buy you drinks, probably hoping to "score" on the rumor.
  430. >It gets a little annoying, and thankfully your boss understands and lets you go early.
  431. >Heading home, you get an idea as to where the rumor started, and divert to their house.
  432. >Knocking on her door, you wait till the unicorn opens it.
  433. "So, I assume you are the reason everyone thinks Cheerilee and I had sex?" you ask, glaring at her.
  434. >"Of course not. I'd never lie like that," she replies, shaking her head.
  435. "Well, if it wasn't you, then who would it be?"
  436. >"Did you consider Rarity?" Twilight asks, "she's usually the one behind stuff like this. Well, her or the flower sisters overreacting."
  437. >Facepalming, you appologize before heading for the Carousel Boutique.
  438. >The last rays of the sun pass below the horizon, night setting in fully as you reach the extravagant and somewhat silly looking building.
  439. >Knuckles rap on wood, and you wait for the purple maned unicorn to come.
  440. >After a moment, she arrives and opens the door, and gives you a smile.
  441. >"Anonymous, what brings you here? I figured you would be "busy" with your marefriend," she says with a wink.
  442. "So it WAS you who started that stupid, false rumor," you reply with a disproving stare.
  443. >"False! I never start false rumors, I just share facts, and I know for a fact that Cheerilee was at your house till well after dark on saturday, and that she arrived there around noon."
  444. "Yeah, we were just discussing how to handle children and playing a few games, that's all."
  445. >Rarity gulps, seeing the truth behind your statement, and her ears go flat.
  446. >"Ehehehe, sorry, I guess I just assumed... I mean, when a stallion has a mare over that long, it's usually to..."
  447. "Well, now you know the truth, so can you stop this stupid rumor. I enjoy talking with Cheerilee, and we have a lot in common and I don't want her to feel wierd because of some lie."
  448. >Her head nods quickly, her curls bouncing like a kid on a trampoline as she says, "yes, I'll fix it as soon as I can, and I'm dreadfully sorry about all this. I hope you don't take it personally."
  449. "As long as you fix it, I'll be fine. Now, If you'll excuse me, I have a book waiting for me at home and a warm bed to sleep in."
  450. >Again, she nods, and you close the door as you leave, heading for home.
  451. >Not many ponies are out around now, a peaceful silence filling the air.
  452. >A light breeze rustles your shirt, bringing with it the faint scent of flowers.
  453. >Overhead, the moon and the stars shine brightly down on you, bringing the whole feeling into one of peace and tranquillity.
  454. >Passing through the town center, you take a moment to rest on a bench next to the fountain.
  455. >While the bench is low, it is also long enough and has no arm rests so you can lie on it and look up at the sky.
  456. >You rarely get the chance to do this, your work often leaving you too tired, but you marvel at the work of art that is the sky.
  457. >Each star is like a tiny candle, groups of those candles making up constelations.
  458. >If each star was a candle, the moon would be a roaring fireplace, providing warmth and comfort to all those who rest under it's watchful gaze.
  459. >Truly a beautiful sight made more beautiful when compared to the chemical and light polluted skies of Earth.
  460. >As a though that nothing could ruin this moment crosses your mind, something crosses your vision.
  461. >Or rather, something fills your vision, as a mare decides to use your face as a seat.
  462. >Grabbing the offending pony by the flanks, you lift her off and sit up, spitting out not so trace amounts of fluids that were leaking from her.
  463. "Look where you sit," you say angrily, setting her down on the ground, and she turns around, ears down submissively.
  464. >"Sorry... Is there anything I can do to make it up to you?" she asks, her head and chest lowering while her rear stays up.
  465. "Be more careful next time, and wipe yourself, you're soaking wet."
  466. >Seeing nothing is going to happen, she quickly nods her head and sprints off, tail between her legs.
  467. "And that just killed the mood."
  468. >With a sigh and a kicked pebble, you trudge home to finish off your day and hope for a better tomorrow.
  470. ~~~
  472. >The sun is barely peeking through the clouds as the Pegasii prepare for a light rain, and you're making sure to use this time to visit the fillys and colts at the school.
  473. >They are just being let out for recess as you arrive, and almost all of them divert over to you, waving and calling out hellos.
  474. >Even Diamond Tiara and Silver spoon come over, something they had never done before.
  475. "Good afternoon everyone. How's class today?"
  476. >"Really tough," Applebloom replies, and the others nod.
  477. >"But Miss Cheerilee seems kinda sad too," Silver Spoon adds, and there is another round of nodding, this one slower.
  478. >Handing out a few treats as usual, you climb over the low fence and kneel next to the ponies.
  479. "How about your favourite human goes in there and tries to cheer her up?"
  480. >"YEAH!!" the children cheer, and you get up and walk to the schoolhouse.
  481. >The door opens silently as you push it open, but you still hear Cheerilee say, "Who is it?"
  482. "A friend concerned about another," you reply, stepping inside and closing the door behind you.
  483. >"A.. Anon, what are you doing here?"
  484. "I wanted to make sure you were okay after that stupid rumor of Rarity's got out. I've already dealt with it, but I still want you to know It wouldn't and didn't change anything between us."
  485. >A smile spreads on her face, and she stands up from behind the desk.
  486. >"Would it be weird if I hugged you?"
  487. "Only if you don't make it weird," you reply, kneeling down and spreading your arms.
  488. >The cerise mare practically sprints at you, hooves wrapping around your chest as best they can.
  489. >"Thank you," she says into your chest, "If something like that happened with another stallion, I would have been ruined, and could never find a decent guy ever again."
  490. >Behind you, the door opens and the class comes rushing in.
  491. >Cheers ring out, until a filly asks, "Does this mean Miss Cheerilee and Mister Anon are getting married?", and the room goes quiet, dozens of pairs of eyes looking up at the two of you.
  492. "No," you start, and you can almost hear the class go *Awwww*, "but we're still friends, even though we had a small problem between us, isn't that right, Miss Cheerilee?"
  493. >You let her go, and she says, "That's right Anon. Friends should still stay friends, even if they have a little fight or problem, because friends are a very important part of life."
  494. >"Okay," the filly says, "but I still want you to be married to him, so Mister Anon will come over more."
  495. >Both you and her get a laugh out of this, and you are the first to reply.
  496. "Who knows, maybe we will get married in the future, but for now, how about I stop by tomorrow for the whole school day and help out?"
  497. >The whole class cheers and rushes you for hugs, and out of the corner of your eye you see Cheerilee with a smile and a faint blush.
  500. End Chapter 2.
  503. >The day at class practically flew by, as you spent equal amounts of time helping each student and Cheerilee the whole time.
  504. >Needless to say, everyone had a blast, and you promised to do it every once in a while.
  505. >And you kept that promise, and weeks go by, and you feel something changing inside you.
  506. >It's hard to describe, kind of like a dimmer switch slowly being turned on, you felt it changing.
  507. >You felt something for Cheerilee.
  508. >More than friendship, you could say you were beginning to love her.
  509. >Sure, you got along well with Rose and her sisters, but something about that Cerise teacher just clicked with you.
  510. >It scared you a little at first, but every moment you spent with her made you feel more and more right.
  511. >And today; today is the day you are going to finally ask her out.
  512. >Dressed in a clean white shirt and nice pants, you go over your hair one last time in the mirror.
  513. "Calm down, Anon, it's just asking a girl on a date, you've done this a bunch of times before.
  514. "Yes, she's just a normal, pretty pink pony girl, nothing strange."
  515. >Pain stings your cheeks as you clap your hands against your face to focus.
  516. >Taking a deep breath, you step out the front door and out into the beautiful sunlight.
  517. >It's a perfect, cloudless day, with nary a breeze to rustle your hair.
  518. >They say the first step is the hardest but you find no trouble in walking down your sidewalk to the main road.
  519. >With it being friday and class about to end, town is fairly busy as parents head to get their children.
  520. >Those foals who's parents haven't arrived yet come over to you as you approach, asking for you to play with them.
  521. >Their parents arrive quickly though, and soon you are alone in the schoolyard, the teacher still inside.
  522. >Pushing open the door, you see her look up from some papers and smile.
  523. >"What brings you here Anon?" she asks, setting them aside.
  524. "I have something I want to ask you, if you're not busy."
  525. >"Of course, I always have time for my class's favourite human."
  526. >Pulling over a desk, you sit down and take a deep breath to calm yourself.
  527. "I was wondering if you'd like to maybe go on a date with me this saturday?"
  528. >This was obviously far from what she expected, as she locks up.
  529. >Seconds tick by, and she shakes her head, causing you to gulp.
  530. >"I'd love to," she replies with a big smile, "when should I pick you up?"
  531. "You shouldn't. I'll come here and pick you up at four, like a gentleman should."
  532. >"O... okay. I'll see you then."
  533. >Jumping forward, you give her a hug, before walking outside and heading for home.
  534. >The moment the door to your house closes behind you, you slup to the ground, your heart beating a mile a minute.
  535. "I did it. I actually asked her!"
  536. >Shooting to your feet, you realize you have nothing planned, and you rush to grab your bit bag.
  538. ~~~
  540. >As Anon steps outside the schoolhouse, you press a hoof to your chest.
  541. >Thumping like a drum, it pounds away, sending blood coursing through your veins as the world snaps back for you.
  542. >Jumping up, you let out a loud *squee* and rush to your house.
  543. >Inside, you grab your sister Berry and hold her tight while spinning around the room.
  544. >"Hey, what's the big celebration?" she asks, holding you out at hooves length.
  545. "He asked me out! Anon asked me on a date!"
  546. >Letting out another squeal, Berry joins in, hugging you close again.
  547. >"That's incredible! But you have nothing nice to wear, remember. The last fancy thing you went to was graduation, and I'm pretty sure your big butt isn't gonna fit in that dress."
  548. >Pushing her away, you look back at your butt.
  549. "It's not that big..."
  550. >Berry pokes it, and it gives a little jiggle, "Right... Well, Anon must not mind, since he chose you, now come on, I have something for you."
  551. >She rushes to her room, and you follow behind.
  552. >The door slams behind her, and as you reach it, it swings open and she holds out a small box.
  553. >"It was a gift from mom, she told me to give it to you when you found somepony special. It's supposed to be lucky with love."
  554. >Opening it, you find a bright pink gem on a silver chain, and you slowly lift it out.
  555. "It's beautiful..." you whisper as you hold it up.
  556. >"Here, let me help," she says, holding it around your neck.
  557. >With a little fidgeting and squirming, she gets it clipped, and it dangles against your breast.
  558. >"Now we have to go and get you something nice to wear."
  559. "But where will I find something? The date's tomorrow."
  560. >"Do you have to ask?" Berry replies, pushing you towards the door, "Now come on, lets get there now so she has plenty of time to make it."
  561. >Walking through town, you can't help but feel like every mare's eyes are on you, despite nop0ny knowing about your date.
  562. >Pushing you inside the Carousel boutique, Berry closes the door behind her.
  563. >"Welcome to Carousel Boutique, where every article is chiq, unique and magnifique," Rarity recites as she walks from the back, "What can I sew for you today?"
  564. >Berry nudges you forward, and you balk a bit.
  565. "I uh... I need something semi-formal for tomorrow around noon. Could you do that?"
  566. >"Of course, Darling, I'm Ponyvilles best seamstress, I could have it done tonight if the need was there."
  567. >She motions you up to a stand, and measuring tapes start flying around you.
  568. >Concious of your slightly more ample posterior porportions again, you shift uncomfortably as they measure you all around.
  569. >"May I ask what this is for? Ponies usually don't need this much of a rush unless it's a date or..."
  570. >A smile forms on her face, and you resist the urge to hide behind your hooves.
  571. >"Who's the stallion? I haven't noticed you with anyp0ny recently but Anon..."
  572. >Her smile spreads further, and it takes all your will to avoid cowering.
  573. >"It is Anon, isn't it."
  574. "Fine, yes, he asked me out today."
  575. >"Eeeeeee! How wonderful! You'll make perfect parents!"
  576. >You can't help but blush at the thought of Anon holding a little filly in one arm and holding you in his other.
  577. >"It's a little early for that," Berry interjects, "this is their first date, we don't even know if they'll get past it. Especially with a butt like that."
  578. >Scowling at her, you hear Rarity humph.
  579. >"I see nothing wrong with her hips. They're perfect for carrying a foal, and I'm sure Anon sees that in her too."
  580. >"That, or he likes a mare with a big booty," Berry says back.
  581. >Rarity nudges you off the stand, and magically drags Berry towards the door while saying, "Move along now, I have much to do."
  582. >Leaving the Boutique behind, you head home with Berry following you.
  583. "Do you have to keep poking fun of my butt?" you ask, looking back at your sister.
  584. >"It's a sibling's job," she replies, poking you flank.
  585. >Sighing, you run ahead, anxious to get away from her and get home.
  586. >Inside before her, you shut the door behind you and sit behind it.
  587. >It rattles as she tries to open it, before saying, "Hey, let me in!"
  588. "Sorry, it seems like my fat flank is stuck in front of the door."
  589. >"Come on, not cool, sis."
  590. "Say it."
  591. >"Really?"
  592. "Say it."
  593. >"No stallion will ever want my bony little butt while a perfect stallion will come and fall in love with your perfect rear."
  594. "Ahem, I don't think a stallion is the right word."
  595. >"Fine, Anon will love you forever, especially because of your cushiony plot.
  596. "Better," you say, getting up and letting her in.
  597. >She gives you a bit of a glare as she passes, and you head for the kitchen to start dinner.
  599. ~~~
  601. >Glancing at the clock for the twentieth time this hour, you see it's finaly three thirty, and you make one final touchup to your look.
  602. >It's not quite a suit, but you look ready for your date.
  603. "Kinda wish I felt ready..."
  604. "Well, it's leave now, or be an asshole, and I'm not an ass."
  605. >Stepping into the sunlight, you walk towards the school, pausing at Rose's flower stand.
  606. >"Good afternoon Anon, what brings you here all dressed like that?"
  607. "I have a date, if you'd believe it. Could I get a dozen of your best roses?"
  608. >"Ooooh, who's the lucky mare?" she asks as she gathers the flowers.
  609. "Cheerilee. I asked her out yesterday and she said yes."
  610. >Wrapping up the flowers in some decorative paper and a bright pink bow, she passes them to you.
  611. >"I'm pretty sure most mares would say yes to you, myself included. For these, no charge. Just promise you'll tell me how the date went, alright?"
  612. "Alright, but I don't kiss and tell, so you know."
  613. >"Like a gentlecolt should."
  614. >With the roses in hand, you wave goodbye and head to Cheerilee's house.
  615. >Countless looks are thrown your way, but a lot seem a little dejected, and for an understandable reason.
  616. >Thankfully, the leaflet also mentioned that humans were predominantly monogamous, so few are going to try while you're dating.
  617. >Three fifty six, and you find yourself outside her door.
  618. >Behind it, you can hear nervous pacing, and you realize she is probably just as nervous as you are.
  619. >A calming breath passes your lips, and you gently knock on the door.
  620. >Cheerilee lets out a nervous squeak, before you hear her steps rushing to the door.
  621. >It swings open, revealing her in an ankle length emerald dress and a bright pink diamond necklace.
  622. >Her hair is done up and straightened, cascading down her neck like a waterfall.
  623. "You look beautiful, Cheerilee," you say before holding out the flowers, "I got these for you."
  624. >"Oh, Anon, they're wonderful," she says as she takes them, breathing in their scent.
  625. >Berry Punch comes from a back room and takes the flowers from Cheerilee.
  626. >"Hi Anon, I don't know if she told you, but I'm her sister. I'll put these away while you two go on your date."
  627. >As she walks away, she looks back over her shoulder and adds, "Oh, and she doesn't have a curfiew, so if you want to invite her over for "coffee", go ahead."
  628. >Even over her normal color, you see Cheerilee blush bright pink and look at the ground.
  629. "Shall we go, Cheerilee?" you ask, gesturing out the door.
  630. >She walks past you, but you stop her with a hand on the shoulder.
  631. >Closing her house door, you walk side by side with her, keeping a hand on her outside shoulder, since you can't hold her hand.
  632. >The contact seems unusual to her, but quite welcome, as she walks closer to you.
  633. >Jealous glares are aimed at Cheerilee and you do what you can to divert them and keep Cheerilee happy by gently scratching and stroking her fur.
  634. >Escorting her to La Maison d'Or, Ponyville's only fairly fancy resturant, you nod to the greeter and he escorts you to your table.
  635. >Cheerilee seems a little overwhelmed, so after pulling her seat out for her, you reach out a hand and grab hold of one of her hooves.
  636. "Relax, I'm not going to judge you, or dump you if you screw up. We're out for a nice dinner with eachother for company."
  637. >A smile peeks out from under her nervousness as your thumb massages just above the hoof.
  638. >"You're right, I'm being a little silly, getting nervous like this," she replies, her smile growing.
  639. "That's the mare I asked out, now don't worry about cost, I'm paying for dinner."
  640. >"I couldn..." you cut her off by pressing a finger to her lips.
  641. "It's fine, now please, feel free to indulge yourself."
  642. >Releasing her hoof, you unfold the menus and browse your options.
  643. >While almost entirely vegitarian, there are a few meat based options, though they're fairly simple.
  644. >Settling on a steak, potatoes and a small salad, you wave a waitress over.
  645. >Cheerilee is ready as well, and despite you telling her she can indulge, she orders only a small pasta platter with a side of carrot sticks.
  646. >"I didn't know you eat meat, Anon," she comments as your menus are taken away.
  647. "Not many ponies do, though I don't think they care either. Humans are true omnivores, so we can eat most things, but need a balance to stay healthy."
  648. >"Interesting. What does meat taste like?"
  649. "I couldn't describe it. It's just really good, and probably most humans favourites of our four food groups."
  650. >Your conversation continues as you wait for your meals and dies down a little as you eat.
  651. >By no means does it stop, and you start to share a few more intimate stories which have her giggling as you get the dessert menus.
  652. >"You really did that to your teachers at graduation?"
  653. "Yeah. Good thing I had already gotten my diploma, because I had to book it out of there right quick."
  654. >"I can imagine. So, what looks good for dessert?"
  655. "I had a few thoughts, though one of them can wait till later."
  656. >She tilts her head confused, before shrugging and looking over her menu again.
  657. >"Hmmm, it all looks so good, I can't decide."
  658. "How about we split something? I'm fairly full, so I don't think I could eat a whole dessert right now."
  659. >"A chocolate lava sundae then?"
  660. "Sounds good."
  661. >Dessert is set between you two, along with a spoon.
  662. >Shifting your chair around, you pull the sundae over and lift a scoop up for Cheerilee.
  663. >Smiling, she leans forward and accepts the scoop, closing her eyes and savouring the flavour.
  664. >When you lift a scoop to your own mouth, Cheerilee lets out a bit of a gasp, and you look at her, your mouth still open and ready to recieve the frozen treat.
  665. >"But that's the same spoon..."
  666. "And?"
  667. >"It's an indirect kiss..." she says, blushing a bit.
  668. >Setting the spoon back in the bowl, you hold her chin with a hand, turn her towards you and give her a quick kiss on the lips.
  669. "There, now it doesn't matter, right?"
  670. >She freezes up, and you take a scoop of icecream, gently pry open her mouth and put it inside.
  671. "We do have to eat this before it melts, you know."
  672. >Dumping the icecream from the spoon in her mouth, you take a scoop for yourself.
  673. >The icecream is cold, while the choclate is hot, leaving a pleasant mix at the end.
  674. >Cheerilee is still frozen there as you bring another spoonfull up for her, making you nervous.
  675. "Was the kiss too much? Sorry if it was."
  676. >Snapping to, she shakes her head before diving onto the spoon.
  677. >After swallowing, she says, "It was just surprising. Stallions are usually rough and just want the satisfaction and dominance."
  678. "That's hardly a kiss then. A kiss can be sweet or friendly, loving or passionate, but it should never be about power."
  679. >You can see her gulp a bit before asking, "what kind of kiss was yours then?"
  680. "A little of this, a little of that. Mostly just to make you feel okay with sharing the icecream though."
  681. >"So I don't need another?"
  682. >It's impossible to hold back your smile, and you gently run your hand along the side of her face.
  683. "We're dating. If you want one, just ask."
  684. >With a small smile back, she closes her eyes and purses her lips, leaning forward.
  685. >Obliging her unpoken request, you give her a quick kiss before taking a bite of icecream.
  686. >While the two of you finish dessert, a sort of nervous giddiness seems to fill your date, though a smile never leaves her face.
  687. >The bill is delivered, and you drop the bits plus a tip on the tray before pulling out Cheerilee's chair again.
  688. >Escorting her from the resturant, you lead her out to the park as the sun begins to set.
  689. >Pinks and reds take to the sky as you and her take to a bench.
  690. >Wrapping an arm around her, you pull her to your side as the two of you wordlessly watch the sun sink below the horizon and it's accompanying lightshow.
  691. >By the same respects, you watch the moon rise and the stars light up, a silent serenade directed by Luna.
  692. >Background sounds slowly blend into nothing as she nestles into your arm before you lay down, resting her on your chest.
  693. >Together, you simply gaze at the sky and the twinkling stars, relishing in eachother's warmth.
  694. >"I... Thank you for this, it's wonderful," she says, rolling over so she can look at you.
  695. >Her eyes sparkle like emeralds in the moonlight, your arms subconciously wrapping around her.
  696. "I think so too. I'm glad you said yes."
  697. >A warm, childlike laugh comes from her, and she nuzzles into your neck.
  698. >"Any mare who would say no to a wonderful guy like you would have to be crazy,"
  699. "I'm not that wonderful," you start to reply, before she leans back and covers your mouth with a hoof.
  700. >"You are. The number of stallions out there who would do everything you have done tonight would number under fifty."
  701. >Resting her head on your chest again, she lets out a content sigh, "And I'm the lucky mare you chose to date."
  702. "Do you want to know why?" you ask, lifting her face, and she nods.
  703. "It's because you're sweet, friendly, good with kids, beautiful, you have a wonderful laugh, I like spending time with you..."
  704. >Your little rant is cut off by her leaning forward and kissing you, your eyes closing and your arms wrapping around her reflexively.
  705. >"Please, even if this is just a prank or something, please let us stay like this a bit."
  706. >Holding her close, you gently rub her back.
  707. "I swear this is not a prank. I do really care for you."
  708. >Little tears sparkle under her eyes like little diamonds, and she holds you close while lightly crying into your shoulder.
  709. >Sitting up with her, your hand moves up and strokes her soft mane.
  710. "Come on, Cheerilee, let's get you home before your sister gets any idea's."
  711. >Climbing off your lap, she nods, and you wipe the last tears from her eyes.
  712. >Helping her off the bench, she presses up against your side and you rest a hand on her shoulder.
  713. >Through the quiet streets you guide Cheerilee home.
  714. >Lights are on inside, probably Berry waiting to grill Cheerilee about her date with you.
  715. >Swallowing, she walks up to the door before turning back to you.
  716. >"Well... um... Goodnight Anon..." she say, before you step close and lift her forehooves up.
  717. >Wrapping her in a hug, you press your lips to hers for a moment, and she practically melts in your arms.
  718. >Her hooves hardly seem capable of holding her, but there is a distinct blush on her cheeks as she fumbles with the doorknob.
  719. "Goodnight Cheerilee, I'll see you soon."
  720. >She nods quickly before slipping inside.
  721. >Like a plug pulled on a sink, all the built up excitement and anxiety drain from you, and you skip home like Pinkie Pie is your shoes.
  722. >That night, your dreams are as sweet as the sundae, and all about the cerise schoolteacher.
  724. ~~~
  726. >Sitting against the door, you see your sister approaching, a smug smile on her face, seeing the blush on yours.
  727. >"So, looks like someone had some "fun"," she says, wiggling her eyebrows.
  728. "Not like that. He took me out to a nice dinner, paid for it all then we sat and watched the sunset and moon rise before coming back here."
  729. >"Oh? Then why do you look like you just finished a marathon?"
  730. "He um... he told me all sorts of things and... and..."
  731. >A bright red blush crawls up your cheeks again, and Berry giggles.
  732. >"Alright, you can tell me after some, "alone" time in your room. Good night, lovergirl."
  733. >Setting your dress to clean and putting your necklace on your bedstand, you sit there, staring at the wall.
  734. >Anon runs through your thoughts, the feeling of his lips, the smell of his body, his charming smile.
  735. >Everything about him sends butterflys through your system and leaves you with a warm, happy sensation.
  736. "And he's dating me!"*Squee!*
  737. >Hugging your pillow, you curl up, ready for a night filled with wonderful dreams.
  740. End chapter 3
  743. >"Hey, Anon, over here!" Rose calls out, picking you out of the crowd.
  744. >Swallowing, you make your way over to her stall, despite how much you wanted to avoid this.
  745. >If the incident with Twilight was any measure, shit's going to hit the fan again.
  746. "Hey Rose, how's it going?"
  747. >"Not to bad, but come on, spill it. How'd the date go, and I want all the gritty details,"
  748. "It was a normal date. I took her out for dinner, and then we sat around and watched the sunset and stars for a bit."
  749. >She nudges your side, saying, "Come on, give me the details. Where did you take her, all that stuff."
  750. "Fine," you sigh, sitting down beside her at her stall, "After I got flowers from you, I went and picked her up at her house where I met her sister."
  751. "I took her to la Maison d'Or where we had a nice dinner and shared a sundae for dessert. I paid our bill before taking her to the park to watch the sunset."
  752. "After watching the moon and stars for a while together, I walked her home."
  753. >"Wow, lucky mare. Still, no mushy stuff?"
  754. "Well, we shared a few quick kisses and a hug as I dropped her off, but nothing more."
  755. >She rears up to look at your eyes, before asking, "Are you sure there was no other mushy stuff?"
  756. "I'm not going to rush this, it's my first relationship with a pony and I don't want to screw it up."
  757. >"With what you've done, I'm surprised she's not following you around like a lovesick schoolgirl. I'm pretty sure you're not going to screw up."
  758. >Her honest smile draws one from you, and you give her a quick, friendly hug.
  759. "Thanks. I'm glad I have someone to be honest with me like you. Are we still on for this saturday?"
  760. >"Yep, everyp0ny is ready to play."
  761. >Giving her another quick hug, you stand and head on with your day, a mental weight lifted off your shoulders.
  763. ~~~
  765. >Days fly by as you teach your class, Anon stopping by almost every day to visit you and the students, and soon you realize it's the weekend.
  766. >Making the short walk to your home from the schoolhouse, you come to a quick decision.
  767. >You're going to ask out Anon this time, like a mare should.
  768. >Quickly dropping school papers on the table, you rush upstairs and grab your necklace before running out the door.
  769. >You're halfway to Anon's house when you realize you have no idea where to take him or what to do, making you stop.
  770. "He likes meat, but all the meat places are expensive and hard to get into."
  771. "Doing anything with kids wouldn't really feel like a date, and I don't know what kind of movies he likes..."
  772. "Why does it have to be so hard to find somewhere nice to take a stallion on a date here!" you exclaim, rearing back and pressing your hooves to your head.
  773. >Looking around as you drop back to four hooves, you see a lot of ponies looking at you, and a hoof grabs your shoulder.
  774. >"Come now, Darling, I'll help you, just don't make more of a scene," you hear Rarity say as she guides you to a small cafe on a corner.
  775. >With a small nod, and a sheepish smile, you take a seat next to her in one of the small outdoor booths.
  776. >"So, you're looking for somewhere to go when you ask Anon out, am I correct?"
  777. >Your mane bobs as you nod your head, and she rest her chin on her hooves.
  778. >"I have the perfect place, but..."
  779. >You can't help but gulp as her eyes narrow slightly, giving her an unnerving look.
  780. >"... you'll have to repay me. I want to know everything that happened on your date, from what he did to how many times he blew his load in you."
  781. "What! Even if we did do stuff like that, that's private and I'm sure he wouldn't want any of it getting out either."
  782. >"Well, I don't have to tell you where to go, either, so..."
  783. "Fine. He picked me up at my house before escorting me to La Maison d'Or, where we had a wonderful dinner."
  784. "I had a small serving of alfredo pasta and carrot sticks, while he had steak, potatoes and a small salad, and we split a chocolate sundae for dessert."
  785. "We only had one spoon for the sundae, and I was a little worried about indirect kisses, and he just leaned over and kissed me."
  786. >The small smile on her face widens, and you gulp before continuing.
  787. "It wasn't anything big, just a quick kiss with closed lips, but it still shocked me."
  788. "Still, he was so gentle and kind about it, and he said he'd kiss me whenever I wanted, since we're dating."
  789. >"Lucky mare, to get such a gentlecolt."
  790. "It's embarrasing though, I mean, most Stallions are indifferent most of the time with their mares, and yet he's being so open and kind about it all..."
  791. >"I've heard enough. A lady wouldn't pry into such things. Now, here is where you should take him..."
  792. >Her whispers lay out a plan and place for you, everything perfect, and you find your smile growing.
  793. "Alright, I'll go ask him now!"
  794. >Getting up and running off, you don't see the smile on Rarity's face.
  795. >Anon's house is minutes away, and you arrive quickly, only to see him walking out of his house with Roseluck and her sisters.
  796. >Something tugs at your chest, seeing their smiles as they walk away and you sit down in the middle of the road.
  797. >Tears start to form, and you spin and run straight home, diving into your bedroom and curling up under your blankets.
  799. ~~~
  801. >After hanging out with Rose and her sisters, you got turned away by Berry when you tried to visit Cheerilee.
  802. >Each day that week, she locks the school doors whenever recess or lunch comes around, and you can never get hold of her before she vanishes into her home.
  803. >Saturday night is already upon you, and because of all her avoiding you, you decide it's time to do something drastic.
  804. >Darkness slowly sets in as you find yourself outside her house, more specifically, just below her bedroom window.
  805. >A light is on, and picking up a pebble, you throw it against the glass.
  806. >There's no response, so you throw a second, slightly larger stone.
  807. >This time, a shadow briefly covers the curtains, before they part and Cheerilee's face pokes out.
  808. "Cheerilee, Please, tell me what's wrong. You've been avoiding me all week, did I do something wrong?"
  809. >"YOU LIED TO ME! You said you really did like me, and yet... You're going out behind my back..."
  810. "What do you mean, I'd never do anything like that."
  811. >"Then... then what about last week, I saw you with Roseluck and her sisters. They were coming out of your house."
  812. "We hang out as friends, yeah. They stopped by for lunch before we headed out to the park to play sports and games."
  813. >"So you mean..." tiny sparkling tears drip down from her, and you nod.
  814. "I still am your boyfriend, or coltfriend, and I'm sorry about the misunderstanding."
  815. >She shakes her head, saying "No I'm sorry, I acted without even asking you, and because of it, I made you worry. Wait there' I'll come down."
  816. "No, I'll come up."
  817. >Grabbing onto the side of the house, you slowly make your way up to her room, and you can see a blush on her cheeks in the moonlight.
  818. >"A... Anon, you don't have to..."
  819. >Booping her nose with a finger, you pull yourself up onto her window ledge.
  820. "It wouldn't be romantic if I didn't do it like this, would it?"
  821. >She leans forward into your side, murmuring, "I guess not, but it wouldn't be as incriminating if Berry knew."
  822. >Sliping inside, you kneel and hug her, and she leans up to kiss you.
  823. >"Glad that's over, I was so worried..."
  824. >Holding her tight, you nod and rub her back.
  825. "So am I. I'd be really sad if something came between us."
  826. >Cheerilee steps back, scuffing her hoof on the ground while looking embarrased.
  827. >"It might be kind of sudden, but maybe... would you like to sleep with me? Nothing sexual, of course, but... I'd really like to make up time with you."
  828. "Are you sure? I don't really mind, but are you sure you're not rushing it?"
  829. >"I trust you Anon. Out of every stallion I have ever met, I trust you not to try anything."
  830. >She climbs onto her bed and pats it, "So, if it's not too strange for you..."
  831. >Walking over to the door, you flick off the lights and sit next to her.
  832. "I trust you too, Cheerilee, so I'm going to give this a try."
  833. >Kicking off your shoes, you lay down with her, your arms wrapping around her and holding her to your chest.
  834. >She's facing outwards, but that doesn't stop her from squirming closer to you, letting out a happy sigh.
  835. >Like a big cuddly teddybear, she keeps you warm and the two of you swiftly fall asleep.
  837. ~~~
  839. >"I wish I had some way to capture this," you hear a voice say as you rise from sleep.
  840. >Cheerilee wiggles in your arms, before shooting up and looking over at the bedroom door.
  841. >"Berry! What are you doing in here?" She asks, any sleepyness long gone.
  842. >"I could ask the same about him, but I don't think you'd share the answer," Berry replies with an eyebrow wiggle.
  843. "*Yawn* We just spent the night together. There was a bit of a misunderstanding, and I came to resolve it, and we shared her bed for tonight, snuggled up like two bugs in a rug.
  844. >Blushing furiously, Cheerilee says, "You didn't have to tell her, you know," before you wrap your arms around her.
  845. "Does it matter? We weren't doing anything innapropriate."
  846. >"Still..."
  847. >"I'll leave you two lovebirds alone so you can do what you didn't do last night. You'll have to make your own breakfast though."
  848. >Releasing Cheerilee and hopping off the bed, you grab your shoes from where you left them.
  849. "Since we're not doing anything, does that mean you're cooking us breakfast?"
  850. >"Ugh, fine. You're so not fun, Anon."
  851. >Berry spins and trots from the room, while Cheerilee tends the bed.
  852. >With the sunlight pouring through the window, you get a good look at her room, however sparse it is.
  853. >A few family pictures adorn the walls and some miscelaneous objects, but beside that, there's nothing particularly personal about the room.
  854. >Picking up one of the family pictures, you see a younger Cheerilee and Berry alongside a bright pink mare and a muted brown stallion.
  855. "Are these your mom and dad?" you ask, showing her the picture.
  856. >"Yeah. That picture is a little old, but they haven't changed much."
  857. >Setting it back where you found it, you hold open her bedroom door for her and follow her through the house.
  858. >Down in the kitchen, you can see Berry cooking up pancakes, and Cheerilee gathers some plates and silverware.
  859. "Anything I can do?"
  860. >"Sit there and make my sister happy," Berry replies, a pair of pancakes flipping off her pan and onto a plate, "I'm glad she met you, the two of you are perfect for eachother."
  861. >"Berrrrryyyyyy," Cheerilee whines, nudging her sister gently, "Stop embarrassing me."
  862. >With a quiet chuckle, you wait for them to finish making breakfast.
  863. >The three of you gathered around the small table, you are all quickly dished up and dive into the pancakes.
  864. >Midway through the first pancake, Berry asks, "So, when are you going to introduce him to mom and dad?"
  865. >You gulp down your mouthful, while Cheerilee's mouthfull is sprayed across the table, and you pat her back.
  866. >"Isn't it too early? I mean, You know how dad is, and I don't want him to scare away Anon."
  867. "I've seen stuff that would terrify Discord. I'm sure I can handle your dad."
  868. >"That's good," Berry says, a smirk crossing her face, "since they're going to be here for a visit next weekend."
  869. >Cheerilee's new mouthful of pancakes is blown across the table, and you pat her back again.
  870. >"They're WHAT!!"
  871. >"Our parents are coming to visit this next weekend, and I'm sure they will want to meet Anon."
  872. >Jumping to her hooves, Cheerilee pushes you from the room, closing the door behind her.
  873. >"Please Anon, can you go somewhere else this weekend? It's not that I don't want you to meet my parent's it's just... they can be a little rough, especially since this would be the first they've heard of it."
  874. "If it worries you so much, Sure. I can head out of town for this weekend."
  875. >Leaning up, she pecks you on the lips before giving you a smile.
  876. >"Thanks. I'll try to figure some way to repay you for this."
  877. "How about a proper kiss?"
  878. >She lets out a surprised gasp as you lift her up, before being silenced by your lips meeting hers.
  879. >Nervous but eager would be your best description for her response, pressing herself against you, but not actively doing anything, simply letting you lead.
  880. >Her lips part as your tongue briefly presses against them, but you make no further move to enter her mouth.
  881. >The whole kiss lasts no more than a few seconds, but you can feel her heart pounding as you pull her back and set her down.
  882. "Now, breakfast?"
  883. >Cheeks bright pink, she nods and turns, the two of you spotting Berry standing there with a huge grin on her face.
  884. >"We haven't even finished breakfast and you're all over eachother already. I can't imagine what it's going to be like if you two get married."
  885. "If you think this is bad, you have no idea. Humans are incredibly affectionate creatures, so little displays of affection like this would become commonplace."
  886. >Wrapping an arm around Cheerilee, you walk past Berry and towards breakfast.
  887. >Despite being a little flustered, Cheerilee still gives Berry a sly glance over her shoulder and breakfast soon fills your stomach.
  888. >Finishing your pancakes, you wait while Cheerilee eats hers before heading for the door.
  889. "I'll see you around, Cheerilee," you say, kneeling to give her a hug, "now that the little missunderstanding is in the past."
  890. >"Of course. I'll see if I can't stop by your work too, since you do it so much for me."
  891. >A quick kiss later, and you're on your way, Cheerilee heading back inside, and unknown to either of you, Berry is scheming away.
  893. ~~~
  895. >The week passes like normal, the two of you making time when you can to get together, though it is usually just stopping in during eachother's work.
  896. >For the weekend, you gathered supplies and decided on a camping trip in the Everfree.
  897. >It was a last moment decision, your promise having slipped from your mind during the week.
  898. >Packed up and ready to go, you spare a moment to walk past Cheerilee's house and wave before heading for the forest.
  899. >As you pass Roseluck's stall, you see the bright yellow mane of her sister Daisy past the crowds, rather than Rose's well... rose colored mane.
  900. >Turning your gaze back onto the road, you are stopped by the missing mare herself.
  901. >"Hi Anon, where are you headed?" Rose asks, falling in beside you as you start walking again.
  902. "Camping. Getting away from town for a weekend."
  903. >"Why, whats up?" she asks, tilting her head as she looks at you, "Is something happening, or is it some sort of human thing?"
  904. "No, But if you promise to keep it a secret, I'll tell you why."
  905. >Standing on her rear hooves, she goes through the Ponyville rite of the Pinkie Promise, ending with nearly poking her eye.
  906. >"Now will you tell me?"
  907. "Fine, but keep quiet about it. Cheerilee's parents are visiting, and Cheerilee thinks it's too early for me to meet them."
  908. >"Why I..." cheeks puffing up red, "She's such an embarrasment to mares, who wouldn't want their parents to know they're dating one of the nicest stallions around?"
  909. >Her hoof grabs your pant leg and stops you, before she says "Come on, I'm going to take you there, since if she's not willing to let you meet her parent's, she doesn't deserve you."
  910. >Trying to pull you back towards the schoolhouse, Rose can't move your mass.
  911. >"Come on, Anon, either you meet her parents or she's just going to drag you along on a little string, making you do what she wants."
  912. "Rose, stop," you say, resting a hand between her shoulderblades, "I'm sure she has a reason, and I know her. She's not doing this to control me, she's just worried about how her dad would act."
  913. "And besides, I never knew you were this protective of me,"
  914. >"It's not like that!" she exclaims, waving her hooves, "You're just a really good friend and I don't want to see you hurt."
  915. "I know that, but I also know how embarrasing or biased parents can be. I'm sure she just wants time to warm her parents to the idea instead of just going," you change your voice to a girlier one, "Hi mom and dad, I'm dating an alien taller than the princesses. Oh, did I mention he eats meat? Yay!"
  916. >She stares at you with a disproving smile, before getting caught by the giggles at your imitation of a girly voice.
  917. >"Alright, I see your point, but she's on thin ice in my book."
  918. "Fine, Mom, but I have to go. Bye Rose."
  919. >Giving you a playful swat, she pushes on your way.
  920. >Snagging a few last minute things as you go, you're soon on your way and in the Everfree forest.
  922. ~~~
  924. >"Cheerilee? Are you in there?"
  925. >Snapping your attention away from the brief glance of Anonymous you got out the window, you look back to your family and smile.
  926. "Yes, sorry, I got distracted for a moment there."
  927. >"Thinking about your coltfriend?" Berry says with a nudge, and your mom's eyes light up while your dad's squint a little.
  928. >"Really now, and when did you plan on telling us?" your dad says, a faint edge creeping in on his words.
  929. >"Oh WOW! Our little girl is growing up," your mom exclaims, cutting between you and your dad, wrapping you up in a hug.
  930. >Pulling away, she smiles at you, before saying, "So, when are we going to meet him?"
  931. >Gulping, you fake a smile and shrug.
  932. "I'm not sure. He's out of town for a while, and he never mentioned when he would be back."
  933. >Your mom's smile drops a bit, but she sits next to you and asks, "So, what's he like?"
  934. >"Yes, do tell us what this stallion is like," your father adds, resting his head on his forehooves, an old habit he has whenever he is listening intently.
  935. >As you open your mouth to speak, Berry chimes in, cutting you off.
  936. >"Sorry to interrupt, but I have to run out quickly. I'll be back soon though."
  937. >She bolts out the front door, and you turn back to your parents.
  938. "Well, first off, he's incredibly nice and great with foals."
  939. "He always stops by the school to visit me and them during the week, and the students just love him."
  940. >"So we should expect a bunch of grandchildren from you then," Your father says gruffly.
  941. >Heat rises in your cheeks and you resist the urge to cover your face.
  942. "Maybe, I don't know. The thing is, he's not a pony, and there's no knowledge as to if we can successfully..."
  943. >All the thoughts become too much, and with bright red cheecks, you bury your head in your hooves.
  944. >"Now Dear, stop digging into their personal life. Please, what else can you tell us about him?"
  945. >Gathering your nervousness, you attempt to swallow it before sitting upright again.
  946. "He's big and strong, but gentle. He's kind of like a minotaur, but less agressive and headstrong."
  947. "More like a pony, but still a bit different."
  948. >With small angry noseflares, your father walks over to you, and rests a hoof on your shoulder.
  949. >"If he ever mistreats you, don't be afraid to tell me or anyp0ny else."
  950. >"You may not be little anymore, but you're still my daughter, and I will make sure you're safe."
  951. >Hugging him, you nod your head before quickly breaking away.
  952. "I promise, Dad, but I'm sure I'll be fine. In the entire time he's been here in Equestria, he hasn't harmed anyp0ny."
  953. >"Not from Equestria? Does he have a job or some way to support you?"
  954. "Yes. He works full time, though it's not particularly high paying."
  955. >At that, you hear the door open, and Berry bounces back in.
  956. >"I'm back. I had to go find one of these, since we're talking about your boyfriend, Cheery."
  957. >Waving around a little pamphlet, you immediately recognize it, but before you can react, it gets passed to your mom.
  958. >"Pairing information on humans? What's this?"
  959. "NOTHING!" you exclaim, trying to grab the pamphlet, but your mom hops over to your father before you can get it.
  960. >"It's a little book that shares all sorts of information on her boyfriend and how he acts to his significant other, as they put it."
  961. >Both parent's eyebrows shoot up, and it gets opened quickly.
  962. >"Most humans marry no earlier than the age of eighteen to twenty which is their adult age," your mom says out loud as she reads.
  963. >"Most marriages happen in the early to mid twenties, and while humans usually marry for life, things do happen that result in the marriage failing."
  964. >"This seems kind of normal, Berry, I don't see why you needed us to see this."
  965. >"Just keep reading, Mom," Berry replies with a sly smile at you.
  966. >"Humans have a gestation period of approximately nine months, giving birth to one child with small possibilities of twins or other multiples."
  967. >Skimming through, you notice your father's eyebrows rise, before furrowing.
  968. >"Are you sure this is real, Berry? It looks like something a jerk stallion would do to entrap mares."
  969. "Yes, it's true!" you exclaim, standing up, "I don't care what you think, he's a really nice guy, and I love him, and he loves me."
  970. >Berry grabs your shoulders in an atempt to cool you down, and says, "how about we go for a walk. It'd be nice and relaxing, and we can spend some family time together."
  971. >Your mom and dad nod, setting the pamphlet aside and you all walk to the door.
  972. >With your sister pushing you along, you have little say, and after a few minutes, you just sigh and follow.
  973. >Rather than any of the normal get together places, Berry seems intent on leading you to the edge of town.
  974. "Where are you leading us, Sis?" you ask, looking around.
  975. >"A nice relaxing walk in the woods. I figured we could say hi to zecora, since the path there is safe."
  976. >"Safe? Are we going somewhere dangerous?" your mom asks, shifting close to your dad.
  977. >"Only if we wander too far away from the path," Berry replies with a smile.
  978. >Taking your first step into the Everfree, a tiny chill runs down your back.
  980. ~~~
  982. >Pitching these pony tents is weird and surprisingly fast, since they actually work like popup tents were supposed to back on earth.
  983. >All you have to do is grab a handle and give it a toss, and bam, tent is up.
  984. >After staking it down, you go about gathering wood for a fire and stones for a pit, when you hear some rustling nearby.
  985. >Tensing up, the rustling grows closer and your muscles prepare to move, when a small bunny hops from the bushes.
  986. >Almost falling over with how much you loosened up, you give a light, slightly strained chuckle.
  987. >Nothing jumps out at you, nothing stalks you and nothing tries to eat you as you gather the supplies, so you decide to stop by Zecora's house on the way back to camp.
  989. End Chapter 4
  992. >"Honey, are you sure this is the right way?" your mom asks, and your dad just grunts.
  993. >Trudging through the underbrush, you follow your parents and sister, who, through some miracle, lost the path.
  994. >Mud and stones stick uncomfortably in your hooves, and your coat is sticky from sweat and messed from branches.
  995. "This really wasn't a good idea, Berry, we should have stayed in town,"
  996. >"It's just a little adventure, Cheerilee, and besides we're getting to spend this time together."
  997. >She backs up next you and nudges your side while saying, "Though I bet you'd rather be spending this time with Anon."
  998. >You shove her back, though you can't hide the blush crawling up on your cheeks.
  999. >"Enough teasing your sister, Berry," your mom says, "I see something ahead."
  1000. >Catching up with your parents, you and Berry see a blue spot in the distance.
  1001. >"What is it?" Berry asks, and your father shrugs as you all pick up the pace to get to what it is.
  1002. >The blue patch turns out to be a tent, set up in the middle of the Everfree.
  1003. >"Hello!? Is anyone around?" Your mom calls out while Dad examines the tent.
  1004. >Hauling a familiar pack from the tent, your dad probes into it.
  1005. >"Whoever it is, they're probably nearby, everything for camping is in here."
  1006. "We shouldn't be digging in their stuff dad, it's not polite."
  1007. >"I'm just looking for a map so we can get back."
  1008. >Berry peers at the bag, and a grin slowly spreads across her face.
  1009. >"Hey Cheerilee, isn't this MPhmmm...."
  1010. >Covering her mouth with a hoof, you shake your head, but it's too late, your parent's attention has been caught.
  1011. >"Do you know who's bag this is, Cheery?" your mom asks, reverting to your nickname.
  1012. "Yes... It belongs to Anonymous," you reply, trying to avoid drawing too much attention to the name.
  1013. >"It's her coltfriend's!" Berry blurts out, getting past your hoof.
  1014. >Your stomach sinks, as your parents perk up in different ways.
  1015. >Mom's smile grows, while your dad puffs up a bit, and beside you, Berry giggles.
  1016. "Yes, it's his... He must be camping out here."
  1017. >"Well then, where is he? Ponies don't just set up camp and leave."
  1018. >Shrugging you look around, along with the others, and your mom gathers wood for a fire.
  1019. >You find a few human tracks, but they vanish quickly in the underbrush.
  1020. >Tired and sweaty, you find a nice patch of grass to lay down on as the fire springs to life.
  1021. >"Since he's your "coltfriend", Cheerilee, I'm sure he won't mind sharing," your dad says as he pulls out a package of pasta and a pot, "Now, be a good girl and get some water please."
  1022. >Biting down on the pot handle, you rise to your hooves and start trudging in a straight line, looking for a river.
  1023. >The tinkling of running water soon reaches your ears, and a small creek comes into view.
  1024. >Setting the pot aside, you dunk your face in the water before shaking out your mane.
  1025. >In the crystal clear water, you see something in your reflection, a vague blur over you.
  1026. >Spinning around, you see Anon there, and stumble back, falling into the water.
  1027. >Strong hands grab you and pull you from the water, before getting held close.
  1028. >"Hey, what are you doing out here, Cheerilee, it's not safe."
  1029. >His warmth forces out the chill of the water, and you nuzzle closer to his chest.
  1030. "Berry took us out for a walk, and we got lost. We found your camp, and we were just starting dinner there."
  1031. >"We shouldn't keep them waiting then," he says, scooping up water in the pot with a free hand.
  1032. >Lifting your higher, you wrap your hooves around his kneck and his one arm supports your plot.
  1033. >On his back is a massive pile of branches, bound in a series of straps, and despite all that, your weight doesn't seem to affect him.
  1034. >Like it's instinctive for him, he walks back the way you walked here.
  1035. >Of course, you don't see this, instead, you're curled up in his grip, nuzzling into his neck.
  1036. >Even thinking it shames you, but you love his scent.
  1037. >It's deep and masculine, stronger than a stallions scent, but it has a gentle side too.
  1038. >After all the walking, you just want to fall asleep in his arms.
  1039. >In fact...
  1041. ~~~
  1043. >Gentle snores come from the pony in your grip as you walk back to your campsite.
  1044. >Her path looks like a small elephant forced their way through, rather than a little marshmallowy pony.
  1045. >Against the darker trees, your camp spot is lit up with a small flickering orange light, probably her parent's setting up a fire.
  1046. >Nearing the camp, a large stick snaps underfoot with a crack, and gasps are heard from ahead while Cheerilee stirs a little.
  1047. >A deep brown pony rushes forward, puffing himself up as he sees you.
  1048. >"RELEASE MY DAUGHTER, YOU MONSTER!" he exclaims, snorting and pawing at the ground.
  1049. >"Wait! Dad, that's Anonymous!" Berry calls out, running in between you and him.
  1050. >A loud yawn sounds from your chest, and with a dozey look, Cheerilee nods at her dad.
  1051. >"She's right. I got tired, and he carried me back. I kinda fell asleep."
  1052. >letting her unsteady hooves hit touch the ground, she winces as her rear right hoof presses down.
  1053. >She lifts in and hobbles towards the fire on three legs, and you set the pot and firewood down.
  1054. "Hey, are you alright?" you ask, quickly following behind her.
  1055. >"Yeah, I just have something stuck in my hoof," she replies, before gasping as you grab the offending hoof.
  1056. >Pulling her off her hooves and into your lap, you gently pick at the gunk gathered in her hooves.
  1057. >Cheerilee does squirm a little, and you can hear her hold back quiet moans as you pull a burr from a tender spot.
  1058. >"Oh, that's good..." she says with a very audible moan, before she covers her mouth with her hooves.
  1059. >Finishing the first hoof, you exchange it for her other rear hoof and start on that one, before a pair of hooves pushes you from the side.
  1060. >"Get your filthy monkey paws off my daughter, you rude beast!" her father yells, nostrils flaring, "I'll not let you use her like a whore just to throw her away!"
  1061. >Catching his hooves as he goes to attack you again, you hold him there, and a flicker of fear crosses his face.
  1062. "You may be her father, but it's her life. I'm glad you care for her, considering what I've seen and heard of for pony fathers, but a good father also knows when to let go."
  1063. "Now, if you don't mind, my girlfriend's hooves are tired and sore, and I'm going to try and take care of her."
  1064. >Picking up Cheerilee again, you sit indian style with her sitting in your lap.
  1065. >Her father makes a move towards you again, but a sharp stare stops him, and he turns to bring the pot to his wife.
  1066. >"That was a bit much, Anon," Cheerilee whispers as you wrap around her to pick away at the junk in her hooves.
  1067. "I know, but even so, I don't want to lose you, even if your parent's disprove," you whisper back, before a squee comes from behind you.
  1068. >"Oh, it's just like a forbidden romance from a book!"
  1069. >Spinning around, you see Cheerilee's mom with a smile partly covered by a hoof.
  1070. >"Don't worry, sweetie, I'm not going to ruin what you two have, I think she got a good catch," she says quietly with a wink.
  1071. >Heading back to the slowly heating pot, a slow tension seems to build in the air.
  1072. >Her father silently glaring at you, you and her warming by the fire, her mom silently cooking, and Berry...
  1073. >"Hey, where'd Berry go?" Cheerilee asks, glancing around the clearing.
  1074. >"I'm, *hic*, here," Berry replies, walking from your tent, your six pack on her back.
  1075. >Or rather, it's a four pack now, as one is missing and likely empty, and the other is being sipped by Berry.
  1076. "Berry, why are you drinking my beer?" you ask, taking a swipe at the cans on her back.
  1077. >"What, you're not gonna share?" she asks with a pout, avoiding your hand.
  1078. "I was, but since you've already helped yourself to them, I'm cutting you off."
  1079. >Without releasing the cuddly cerise mare in your arms, you spring to the side and snag the beers with a finger through the rings.
  1080. >Berry lets out a disappointed "awww", and you re-settle yourself.
  1081. "There's four left, so that means one for each of us except Berry, who's had more than her share."
  1082. >"Pasta's done!" their mom calls out, and she pulls the pot off the fire, "Come and get it."
  1083. >Cheerilee rises from your lap and heads to her mom, while you pull off a beer and hold it out for her dad.
  1084. >His glare sharpens for a second, before he sighs and accepts the can.
  1085. >Popping one out for the girl's mom, you pass it to her, before taking the other two back to where Cheerilee has yours and her plate of pasta ready.
  1086. >Breaking the seal on hers, you pop yours and take a sip.
  1087. >It's nothing fancy, but it's not a cheap beer either, and a lot more on the sweet side compared to earth beers.
  1088. >Still, it seems this quiet moment is not meant to last.
  1089. >"Ugh, why did you put mushrooms in with the pasta, you know the girls and I don't like it," Dad says, turning his attention to his wife.
  1090. >Her ears flatten, and she looks down, before Berry says, "Dad, you're the only one who doesn't like mushrooms here. Both Cheerilee and I like them, and assuming Anon brought them, he likes them too."
  1091. >Snorting, their father turns back to the meal and and eats it, minus the mushrooms, in silence.
  1092. >The rest of you, on the other hand, share small talk and a few embarrassing stories of Cheerilee's childhood, and night soon falls.
  1093. >"I don't mean to be a bother, Anon, but you didn't happen to bring an extra tent?" their mom asks, putting the dishes away.
  1094. "No, but I don't mind if you four share the tent. It should be big enough."
  1095. >"We couldn..." She starts, before getting cut off by her husband.
  1096. >"Alright, We'll take the tent," he says, and takes her inside before closing the flap, leaving you, Berry and Cheerilee outside.
  1097. >Cheerilee lets out a sad huff, and snuggles into your side.
  1098. >"At least we'll be warm..."
  1099. "Don't worry, we can just stay at Zecora's house, it's not that far."
  1100. >"Great," Berry exclaims, squeezing in between you and Cheerilee, "because I wouldn't want to be outside here in the Everfree."
  1101. >Standing, you grab a stick, and draw an arrow in the ground.
  1102. "Just in case we don't get back right away, your parents will know the way."
  1103. >While the darkness grows, it's slow, and your night vision has plenty of time to adapt, and your trail of arrows remains unbroken for the parents to follow.
  1104. >Only halfway there, the two are tight against your legs, nervously eyeing the woods around you.
  1105. >"A... Anon, are you sure it's safe?" Berry asks, and though they can't see it, you nod.
  1106. "Very. Most predators hunt on smell, and my smell is strange to them. They are going to avoid me in most cases, which should make my tent and your parents safe too, even if a pack of timber wolves passed nearby."
  1107. >At the mention of timberwolves, the two grab onto your legs, making you stop or risk falling over.
  1108. "Hey, don't worry. Timberwolves rarely come this far out of the Everfree, nor do they come this close to Zecora's house."
  1109. >Somewhat nervously, they let go, and you continue down to Zecora's home.
  1110. >Knocking on her door, you're answered by a slightly sleepy looking Zecora.
  1111. >"What bring you here, my friend? The day is coming to it's end."
  1112. "Berry decided to bring her parents and Cheerilee for a walk in the Everfree, and they wound up lost, but found my camp."
  1113. "I offered for them all to share my tent, but their father decided to take it for him and their mom."
  1114. >"Your dilemma, I do see, Few ponies like being in the Everfree."
  1115. >"A proposal I have, likely the one in your head. How would you three like, to share my bed?"
  1116. "I'd rather not impose. I'm fine with a spot on the floor, if you don't mind sharing with these two."
  1117. >Zecora nods and waves you inside, and you close the door behind everyone.
  1118. >Taking to a long open stretch neat the fire, you lay down to sleep.
  1119. >Bit by bit, the lights dim as Zecora puts out the candles, leaving only the fainly glowing embers of the fireplace.
  1120. >Just as you close your eyes, you feel someone lay down next to you, and edge closer.
  1121. >Bright, emerald eyes rest in front of yours, and you lean forwards and kiss her before pulling her close and running your hand through her two-tone mane.
  1122. "Love you, Cheery, Night."
  1123. >"Love you too, Anon."
  1124. >Together with your girlfriend, curled up next to the dying embers, you fall asleep, warm, happy and safe.
  1126. ~~~
  1128. >"Shhh, keep quiet Zecora, we don't wanna wake them," Berry whispers to the zebra, but the warning is late, as you're already waking.
  1129. >Wrapped up in your arms like a caterpillar in a cocoon, Cheerilee resists all your attempts at movement.
  1130. >"Stop... I ...n't wanna..." she murmurs, trying to squeeze closer.
  1131. >Kissing down her forehead and onto her nose, you pull her out enough that you can get her lips.
  1132. >This is enough to rouse your sleeping princess, though she refuses to open her eyes, letting her lips and body do her talking.
  1133. >And everything they were saying was happy.
  1134. >Letting her go, those beautiful emerald orbs open, and her mouth curves into a smile.
  1135. >"I could get used to waking up like that?" she says, sitting up with you.
  1136. >Looking around the room, you see Zecora with a strange look on her face, and you shrug.
  1137. "What, you've never seen a prince kiss his princess awake?"
  1138. >Berry falls into a giggling fit as a blush creeps up on Cheerilee's cheeks.
  1139. >Rising to your feet, you glance around Zecora's house for a clock, but finding none, you check out a window.
  1140. >"The time would measure half past six, the time of day you must fear ticks."
  1141. "Thank you for the warning Zecora. We'll see you on the way back from camp."
  1142. >"Your return I will await. Perchance would you be back by eight?"
  1143. "If we're quick, it should be no problem. Berry, Cheerilee, come on."
  1144. >The two pinkish ponies follow you out the door, and with a wave to Zecora, you head on your way.
  1145. >Still filled with pinks and oranges, the sky filters through the trees, and despite the forest's reputation, it's beautiful.
  1146. >"Wow... I never knew the Everfree could look like this," Berry comments, gazing around.
  1147. >Dewdrops sparkle on spiderwebs, and tiny flower buds glimmer on bushes.
  1148. "Nature is beautiful when it's undisturbed, isn't it," you say, resting a hand on Cheerilee, "but you are much more so, Cheery"
  1149. >Even though she covers her face with a hoof, you can still see the bright red blush, a smile rising on your face.
  1150. >"Geez, could you be any more cheezy, Anon?" Berry says, rolling her eyes at you.
  1151. "I thought it was sweet," you reply, before feeling Cheerilee tugging at your pants.
  1152. >Looking down at her, she motions you down, so you kneel.
  1153. >As you open your mouth to ask her what's up, she leans in, wrapping her hooves around your neck and pressing her lips to yours.
  1154. >Lips soft as velvet press to your own, her tongue slides into your mouth, bringing with it a faintly sweet taste.
  1155. >Reaching behind her, your arms hold her close, fingers digging into her mane as you share your first deep kiss.
  1156. >"I love you Anon, you're just perfect in every way..."
  1157. "I'm not perfect, but I do my best for you," you reply, letting her go and rising, "Now, enough mushy stuff, let's get to your parents before they panic or anything."
  1158. >Quickly following the trail of arrows back, your group arrives within ten minutes, and Cheerilee's mom has just crawled out of the tent.
  1159. >"*Yawn* Mornin' girls, Anonymous, how did you sleep?" she asks, rubbing sleep from her eyes.
  1160. >"I slept fine, and I'm sure the two lovebirds liked their cuddletime," Berry replies.
  1161. >Her smile warms, and she walks over to the now dead fire pit.
  1162. >"I'm glad. I always worry that you two will end up with a horrible stallion, but Anon is matching my hopes very well."
  1163. >A snort comes from the tent as their father steps out, "It's an act, and he's caught you all in it."
  1164. >"He's just going do bring you in with this happy, lovey stuff, and once you are his, he'll use you like a toy, to play with and break as he wills."
  1165. >Cheerilee glares at her dad, and you just sigh.
  1166. "Believe what you want to, it's not going to change the truth, and that is that I love your daughter, and she loves me."
  1167. >He snorts again, before stepping off into a bush to handle his own business.
  1168. >Unpegging your tent, you begin folding the fabric, while the others tidy little bits around the site.
  1169. >Their father, as expected, does nothing but sit there and glare at you till everything is done.
  1170. >Packed up and ready to go, you lead the ponies back through the trees to Zecora's house.
  1171. >Approaching the tribal stump, you see it's owner out front with tea and snacks set out on a table.
  1172. >"Ah my friends, you return just right, And you, the parents, how was your night?"
  1173. >Offering seats to the others first, you sit cross legged on the ground by the table.
  1174. "Thanks for preparing all this, Zecora, and sorry for imposing on you last night."
  1175. >"It was no trouble at all. Friends should not sleep out this close to fall."
  1176. >Again, their father falls into silence, moping, fuming or whatever negative emotion he had running through his mind.
  1177. >The rest of you happily converse with Zecora until the time comes where you have to leave.
  1178. >Impatiently aping his hooves, their father starts on ahead on the trail, not bothering with the niceties of saying goodbye.
  1179. >"Come on, we don't have all day. I'd rather not spend any longer than necessary in this stupid forest."
  1180. >With a nod to Zecora, you take to the path, leading the quartet of ponies back to Ponyville.
  1181. >The trees end in the distance, and with Town in sight, the girl's dad storms ahead.
  1182. >Running to catch up, their mother gives you a sorry looking glance before chasing after him.
  1183. >"Well, that went as well as I feared..." Cheerilee says with a sigh, sitting down on the path.
  1184. "Hey, don't worry. I'm sure he'll warm up to me, since your mom likes me."
  1185. >"I guess, but..."
  1186. >Lifting her chin as you kneel down, you plant a soft kiss on her nose.
  1187. "Don't worry. Even if your dad doesn't like me, I'll still love you."
  1188. >A small smile tugs up the edge of her mouth, and she hugs your shoulders.
  1189. >"Thanks Anon, you always know what to say."
  1190. "I wish. If I did, your dad would be pushing you to marry me right away," you reply with a grin.
  1191. >"What, you'd say no?" Cheerilee asks with a big fake pout.
  1192. "I don't know, It's not a decision I'd want to rush, but I guess if I had to choose, I'd say yes."
  1193. >"If I had to choose too, so would I."
  1194. >In the distance, Berry calls back at you two, saying, "Hey, hurry up you two, I don't want dad thinking you stayed behind to do innapropriate things."
  1195. >Rising with Cheerilee, you walk with her the rest of the way out of the forest, before splitting.
  1196. >Her, heading back home to spend time with her parents, and you to your house to put away the food still in your bag.
  1198. ~~~
  1200. >The rest of the parent's stay goes by quickly, and while you don't actively avoid them, you don't go out of your way to meet them either.
  1201. >Probably for the best anyways, as on Monday, you hear tell from your boss how the father spend most of the evening there in a funk, before getting kicked out after badmouthing you in front of him.
  1202. >Nothing changes between Cheerilee and you, except that you do spend at least one night a week together, sleeping in the same bed.
  1203. >Berry's teasing has slowed down, at least, and as the days go by, you and Cheerilee get closer.
  1204. >Everything seems right in the world, until...
  1207. End Chapter 5
  1210. >With the last of the tests graded, you put them away to be handed out tomorrow, and grab your bag.
  1211. >The fridge is empty at home, no thanks to your sister, so you set aside this evening for shopping.
  1212. >Waltzing through the lively market, you stop at stalls and visit friends, and in the background, you can hear whispers about you.
  1213. >Vague, and uninteligible, they silence as soon as you get near, the ponies adopting strained smiles.
  1214. >They refuse to tell you anything though, acting as though nothing was wrong.
  1215. >From the corner of your eyes, you can see the one pony who may know what is going on.
  1216. >Spinning around, you run towards them, and you can see them look around indecisively, before giving a near indistinguishable sigh.
  1217. "Rarity, it's good to see you," you call out to the white mare, and she waves back.
  1218. >"It's good to see you too, Darling, what brings you out and about right now?"
  1219. "Just some shopping, but I've noticed something odd going on around town, and it's directed at me."
  1220. >Glancing around one more time, Rarity sighs, and motions you to follow her.
  1221. >Leading you to her Boutique, she holds the door open for you, before locking behind her.
  1222. >"Nopony wanted to tell you this, but a lot of the town is concerned."
  1223. "Huh? Why?"
  1224. >Leading you to her lounger, she motions you to sit down, much to your confusion.
  1225. >"How do I put this delicately..." she says, pacing around, "It's like this,"
  1226. >"We're all worried for you."
  1227. "Huh? Why?"
  1228. >"It's Anon."
  1229. "But there's nothing wrong between us. In fact, everything is going really well."
  1230. >"That may be what it seems like to you, but..."
  1231. >Pulling over a cushion, she sits down.
  1232. >"What do you know about romance?" she asks, shifting the subject.
  1233. "Huh? Not a lot, I guess, but weren't you just talking about Anon?"
  1234. >"Darling, I don't want to be blunt, but I suppose it would be the easiest way for you to understand."
  1235. >"Most couples date for maybe a month before either getting married, or breaking up. You and Anon have been dating for almost twice that time."
  1236. >"Everyp0ny is worried Anon isn't going to commit, since there's no word of him looking at engagement jewlery or anything."
  1237. "It's not that weird... is it?"
  1238. >Rising from her seat, Rarity rests a hoof on your head, acting as though to console you.
  1239. >"Cheerilee, almost every recorded couple that dated for more than a month just wouldn't break up because the stallion used and abused the poor mare so much she didn't think anypony would want her."
  1240. "Are you accusing Anon of abusing me?!" you shout, shooting to your hooves.
  1241. >"No, no... we all know Anon is nicer than that, it's just... maybe he found somepony else, and isn't,"
  1242. >You're not a violent pony, nor are you quick to anger, but as she speaks, your body reacts on it's own, slapping her on the cheek.
  1243. "HOW DARE YOU SPEAK ABOUT ANON LIKE THAT!" you shout, storming past her, "He's a perfect stallion who hasn't done anything to harm me."
  1244. "And of you can't see that, you have no right to speak about him like that," you say after spinning to face her from her front door, "Good day."
  1245. >Slamming the door behind you, your run home, pausing only to put the groceries in your kitchen before heading for your room.
  1246. >Squeezing and squishing your pillow, you vent your anger, and under it, anxiety rises.
  1247. >He really hasn't shown any signs of wanting intimacy.
  1248. >By now, most stallions would have asked for sex, but Anon...
  1249. >Sure, you sleep together, but his hands always stay in appropriate areas.
  1250. >Maybe he doesn't find you attractive...
  1251. "No. I'm just letting her get to me. Anon loves me, and that's all I need to know."
  1252. >Despite the confidence you put into those words, small bits of doubt worm their way into your heart.
  1254. ~~~
  1256. >"Hey, Anon, do you have a moment?" your boss asks, waving you over.
  1257. "Sure, what's up?" you ask, setting the tray aside.
  1258. >"I have to ask, is everything alright with you?"
  1259. >Quirking an eyebrow, you hop onto a barstool and look over at him.
  1260. "I'm fine, why do you ask?"
  1261. >His gaze stays focused on you a while, before he replies.
  1262. >"I'm worried for you. There's been word around town you haven't "been with" your mare, and not only that, you're showing no sign of commitment, either."
  1263. "I don't get what you mean, I visit her almost every day, and I don't want to rush into marriage, yet."
  1264. >He rolls his eyes, saying, "You haven't taken her for a roll in the hay?"
  1265. >Catching on to what he means, you shake your head.
  1266. "Like I said, I'm taking it slow. If the moment is right, and we're both feeling it, I'd take the plunge."
  1267. >"I'm not sure if you're lucky she's sticking with you this long, your that good and she wants to stay with you, or if she's just clingy"
  1268. "With how you're talking, I guess a litte of the first, along with a lot of the second."
  1269. >"Anon, I need to order!" one of the customers calls, and you grab your tray.
  1270. >Your brief break over, you dance between tables, taking and dropping off orders, cleaning tables and getting some things from the back as needed.
  1271. >Despite the bustle of work, what your boss says sticks with you.
  1272. >You don't know anything about pony courtship or marriage, and you've just been going by human methods.
  1273. >With that thought, you resolve to check out some books tomorrow.
  1274. >Hopefully Twilight can keep her mouth shut, but given her track record, it's not likely.
  1275. >Finishing work and heading home, you climb into bed anxious as to what you will learn tomorrow.
  1277. ~~~
  1279. >Opening the door to the library, you're greeted by it's perky purple unicorn librarian.
  1280. >The self same librarian who inadvertantly led you to dating Cheerilee, as much as you may deny her involvement.
  1281. >Still, she had good intention, even if her methods were a little unorthodox.
  1282. >"Good morning Anon, what brings you here today?"
  1283. "I was hoping to find a new species of flying green monkeys."
  1284. >Her brow furrows at your sarcastic comment, before she says, "I guess... why though?"
  1285. >Facepalming at her naivette, you pat her on the head as you pass.
  1286. "You have to learn sarcasm, Twilight. I'm here to check out a few books, obviously."
  1287. >"Oh..." she says, her attitude drooping, before perking back up, "Well, if you need help finding something, please feel free to ask."
  1288. "Could you direct me to the sociological books? Stuff that covers how ponies act and go through things."
  1289. >"I don't quite get what you mean...? Like books on how societies worked?"
  1290. >Pressing your fingers to your forehead, you sigh, and motion her close.
  1291. "I kind of wanted to avoid this subject, but to be blunt, I want to find some books on how pony dating and marriage works."
  1292. >Her eyes light up and she inhales to let out some form of happy exclamation, and you quickly cover her mouth.
  1293. "I'm just considering the future. By human terms, if I was to marry Cheerilee now, I'd be rushing it like crazy. Most human couples date for years before getting engaged."
  1294. >She nods, several books floating over, held by her magic.
  1295. >Releasing her mouth to grab them, she says "These should help, Anon, they cover everything you told me you were looking for."
  1296. "Thanks, Twilight, I'll have these back soon."
  1297. >She waves as you head out, closing the door behind you.
  1298. >Keeping the books hidden, you make a stop at home to drop them off before visiting Cheerilee at school.
  1299. >The foals and fillys are as happy to see you as ever, as is your cerise marefriend.
  1300. >Today happens to be arts and crafts day, and Cheerilee insisted you stay.
  1301. >Not one to say no, you find yourself wrist deep in hoofpaint, painting alongside the children.
  1302. >"Rumble, don't you dare throw that paint," Cheerilee says, keeping on top of the class.
  1303. >Smiling at her, you continue your painting.
  1304. >The image comes to life, metaphorically speaking, as you fill in details, from her bright green eyes to the little smiles on her flower cutie marks.
  1305. >Sure, you're painting Cheerilee, but it gives you more excuses for staring at her all day.
  1306. >"Anon, you're staring again," she says in a sing-song tone, a smile on her face.
  1307. "Well, I do want to make sure I paint you just right," you reply.
  1308. >"Ooh! I wanna paint Miss Cheerilee too!" Applebloom exclaims, and soon, the whole class is wanting to paint their teacher.
  1309. "How about we do this properly then?" you ask, using the class sink to wash your hands, "We'll take a quick recess while I set up so we can all paint your teacher."
  1310. >The class cheers and rushes to wash their hooves, before heading outside.
  1311. >Trotting up to you, Cheerilee rears up and rests her hooves on your shoulder, a small frown on her lips.
  1312. >"I thought teachers were the only ones who could let a class out for recess."
  1313. "Well," you reply, resting your hands on her back, "I made a coltfriend decision for you, and bought us a little alone time."
  1314. >Leaning into her, you go for a kiss, which she doesn't complete, keeping her little scowl.
  1315. >At least, she holds it long enough for you to pull backa touch with a confused look on your face, before she grins and pushes up.
  1316. >While sweet, your kiss remains short, as you have things to set up.
  1317. >Pulling some small boxes to make a platform, you arrange all the easles to be facing Cheerilee, after you put her up there.
  1318. >"Well, there's one good thing about this," she says as you arrange everything, and with a confused look, you approach her.
  1319. "What't that?" you ask, and she suddenly leans up and kisses you.
  1320. >"It makes you easier to kiss," she says as she pulls back.
  1321. "I though we agreed to share kisses whenever we wanted to?"
  1322. >She smirks, before catching you with a kiss again.
  1323. >"I know, I just love being able to do this."
  1324. "Oh really now..." you reply, before grabbing her shoulders and pulling her up to your face, "you're not the only one."
  1325. >Your lips meet, tongues slipping into each other's mouths, and you press her close, one hand around her back and on her shoulder, the other down her side, resting just above her cutiemarks.
  1326. >"It seems the rumors about your lack of intimacy was unfounded," you hear a motherly voice say, and the two of you quickly seperate.
  1327. >Standing in the doorway, surrounded by white light is Celestia, bearing a warm smile.
  1328. "Uh... Celestia, what brings you here?" you ask, trying to suppress your embarrasment.
  1329. >Cheerilee is practically crimson, shuffling on her hooves nervously.
  1330. >"Rumors had reached me that Equestria's only human was having problems in his relationship, and I felt it necessary to come check up on you."
  1331. "As you can see, there's nothing wrong, and I don't mean to hurry you, but we'd like to get class running again as soon as possible."
  1332. >"But of course," Celestia says, turning to leave, "Oh, and one last thing, I hope to get an invitation to your wedding, soon."
  1333. >Taking a step out the door, she gives one last look back over at you, and sees confusion on your face.
  1334. >"You are getting married, aren't you? You've been dating for months now," she asks.
  1335. >Cheerilee looks up at you hopeful, but you don't see, your attention directed at Celestia.
  1336. "Why does everyone keep asking me this? I don't know how it works for ponies, so I got some books on..."
  1337. >Clapping your hands to your mouth, it's too late, and you sigh.
  1338. "I'll put this from my perspective. Humans date for a year or more before getting married, more often than not."
  1339. "Often, after dating for a while, they will move in together to see if they can really live together."
  1340. "Like I let slip, I got some books so I can learn the differences, and hopefully work around them."
  1341. >Beside you, Cheerilee lets out a squee and wraps her hooves around your waist.
  1342. >"I knew you weren't forgetting or dragging me along!" she exclaims, "It was just you not knowing."
  1343. "I'd never do anything to hurt you, Cheerilee," you say, knelling down and wrapping your arms under her forelimbs.
  1344. >Re nose rubs yours, before she kisses you, and in the background, Celestia chuckles.
  1345. >"It seems the rumors were quite unfounded. I'll leave you two, so long as you promise to invite me to the wedding."
  1346. "Deal," you say, pulling off Cheerilee for a second, before reclaiming her lips.
  1347. >She only obliges you so long though, as she says, "We should let the kids in soon."
  1348. "Alright. You hop up on that platform and look beautiful, just like normal, and I'll let them in."
  1349. >She blushes and giggles, hopping up onto the boxes while you open the door.
  1350. "Class, come on in, it's time to paint!"
  1351. >The foals and fillies run inside, picking an easle to use.
  1352. >Putting you incomplete painting on an easle as well, everyone gets to work, painting their favourite teacher.
  1354. ~~~
  1356. >After class, Cheerilee decided to follow you home, so you could read the books together.
  1357. >She also asked you all about how humans date and human marriage customs and every other little thing she could think of before you had to head to work.
  1358. >Apparently, Celestia sent out some kind of notice or something, as all rumors involving you and Cheerilee fade nearly instantly.
  1359. >Still, after all this, and reading through the books, you decide it's time to move forward in your relationship with your favourite schoolteacher.
  1362. End Chapter 6
  1365. >After spending a small fortune on fancy paper, quills and ink, you spend your entire weekend preparing letters for what you are about to do.
  1366. >"Ah can't wait to do this talent show, Anon," Applebloom says, helping you seal the envelopes.
  1367. >"Yeah, but why are we letting everyone know with letters?" Scootaloo asks, "Couldn't we just let everyone know with posters?"
  1368. >"Or a big announcement?" adds Sweetie Belle.
  1369. "No, it's important we do it like this. It has to be a secret from Cheerilee."
  1370. >The three little troublemakers share a smile, and they nod.
  1371. >"We promise we'll keep this a secret," they chorus with a cheer.
  1372. >Packing the letters in groups by location, each group is put in a saddlebag to be carried by one of the girls.
  1373. >Another stack is for ponies that are out of town, which you're going to drop off at the post office personally.
  1374. >"This surprise talent show for Cheerilee is going to be so much fun."
  1375. >"Are you gonna be in it, Anon?" Sweetie asks, putting on her saddlebag.
  1376. "Yeah, I am. Do you girls know what you are gonna do?"
  1377. >The three nod, but keep silent, sharing another big smile.
  1378. >"Alright girls, it's time to be..." Applebloom starts.
  1380. >Rushing out the door, the three are gone in a blink of an eye, each ready to deliver their letters.
  1381. >Picking up your own bundle to deliver, you set out into the town.
  1382. >Fall is starting to really pick up, leaves changing to reds, yellows and browns quicker every day.
  1383. >It's still plenty warm though, thanks to the fact the ponies obsessively control the weather.
  1384. >Sure, it makes everything perfect all the time, but it feels unnatural.
  1385. >At least, to you.
  1386. >Still, it means no rain or anything like that is going to wreck this show.
  1387. >The post office is small, but not very busy, and you get the letters arranged to go where they need to within a half hour.
  1388. >Next is your venue, something you have been arranging for a while.
  1389. >As difficult as it is to keep big secrets in this town, you've managed to keep everything secret.
  1390. >And with some help from the flower sisters, you've gotten the key ingredient for your show, all the way from Canterlot.
  1391. >If you didn't get the three of them to Pinkie Promise, your secret would have been all over Ponyville by now, but even so, she wouldn't stop going on about whenever you were alone.
  1392. >Rarity has been kept out of the loop, as hard as it was, especially with her being the only seamstress in ponyville.
  1393. >Your suit had to be ordered, top secret, from a tailor in Canterlot.
  1394. >She'd be devestated if she knew, but it doesn't matter.
  1395. >When everything checks out at the venue, you prepare the final stages.
  1397. ~~~
  1399. "Oh, Honey, we got a letter from Ponyville!" you call out to your brown coated husband.
  1400. >He gives a grunt in reply, hardly paying attention.
  1401. >Pulling open the fancy envelope, a card and two tickets fall out.
  1402. >Opening the letter, your motherly instincts reveal all of it's secrets.
  1403. "It says, Dear Mom and Dad, You are invited to an important event in Ponyville this weekend."
  1404. "Included are two tickets for the train so you can get here on time, and we have the house set up for you."
  1405. "It would mean a lot to me if you both came, and I hope you can make it."
  1406. "Love, Cheerilee."
  1407. >While that's what it says, the hoofwriting is wrong for your daughter, though it's a good attempt.
  1408. >Still, it cannot hide what it means to you.
  1409. >"Hmpph, go ahead, you can go. I'm staying though, the hoofball game is on then, and they don't get it in Ponyville."
  1410. "But... Fine, dear."
  1411. >Pinning up the letter and tickets so you don't lose them, you head to your closet, looking for something to wear.
  1412. "It is an important day for her, after all, I should look my best."
  1413. >Sifting through your closet, you feel almost as giddy as you think your daughter feels.
  1415. ~~~
  1417. "Ugh... so much work..." you groan, resting your chin on the desk.
  1418. >A massive stack of tests and homework rests beside your head, and even though it's Friday, your work is gonna stop you from seeing Anon today.
  1419. >Friday's always a busy day for him, and he has to start early.
  1420. "What I wouldn't give for some cuddle time with him right now..."
  1421. >"Oh, and here I was going to just give you a hug and kiss, but now, hmnnn, what should I get from you?"
  1422. >Practically jumping out of your skin, you spin around to see Anon there with a smile on his face and arms held open for you.
  1423. "Anon!" you exclaim, diving into his arms, "What are you doing here?"
  1424. >"I thought you might want to see me before I'm gone to work," he replies, kissing your head.
  1425. "You couldn't have come at a better time. I'm bogged down with paperwork right now."
  1426. >"Wish I could help, but work starts soon, though..."
  1427. >"Maybe a little motivation might help?"
  1428. >Looking up at him, he's got that smile you love on, that smile that tells you he's planning something.
  1429. "Oh? What kind of motivation?"
  1430. >"A little surprise I made for you. It'll be Sunday, and I'll pick you up like usual."
  1431. >His words lift your spirit even more than his precense, and you break out in a smile.
  1432. "I'll be waiting, Anon," you say as he releases you.
  1433. >After a quick kiss, he heads on his way, leaving you with a spark of drive, and grabbing your quill and ink, you get to work.
  1435. ~~~
  1437. >Despite a busy shift, your work flies by, and with all the last minute prep needed, saturday passes in a blur as well.
  1438. >And just like that, the big day arrived, Sunday.
  1439. >Going over your itinerary, you plan the fastest route to get everything done.
  1440. >Post office first to grab your suit and package, then the train station to intercept Cheerilee's parents.
  1441. >With them out of the way, Back home to change, then do a quick student head count.
  1442. >After they're all settled and ready to go, you can pick up Cheerilee, and by this time, it should be time to start the show.
  1443. "Here's hoping everything goes to plan," you say, pocketing the itinerary.
  1444. >Stepping out into the early morning sun, you pass a few ponies here and there, all of them smiling and energetic, despite it being about 7 in the morning.
  1445. >Even so, many places are open, including your destination.
  1446. >Ditzy Doo is the mare at the counter when you arrive at the post office.
  1447. >"Good morning Anon, are you here for your packages?"
  1448. "Yep. Are they in?"
  1449. >"Mhmm, they've been here since Thursday, I'll go get them."
  1450. >Slipping into the back, you hear the moving and rustling of boxes and letters, before she comes back.
  1451. >"Here you are, Anon, safe and.. whoa!"
  1452. >Stumbling on something, your packages go flying off her back, and diving onto the counter, you grab them from the air.
  1453. >"Ah... Sorry Anon, I forgot about that little lip."
  1454. "No harm done," you say, you voice a little airy after your stomach got compressed diving onto the counter.
  1455. >Wiggling back till your feet touch the ground, you quickly check the boxes and their contents.
  1456. >Everything checks out, and after a quick goodbye, you're on your way.
  1457. >Snagging breakfast at Sugarcube corner, you make your way to the train station to await Cheerilee's parents.
  1458. >With the train from Canterlot coming in soon, the platform is fairly busy, ponies waiting for other ponies or cargo.
  1459. >There aren't any free benches, but with your bipedal form, you can relax against a column and eat your breakfast.
  1460. >A whistle sounds in the distance, and the train comes into view, chugging down the track.
  1461. >You're not entirely sure how these ponies use trains, as some run them selves, while others are pulled by ponies.
  1462. >This is one of the former, and with the loud screeching of breaks, it comes to a slow stop in the station.
  1463. >Ponies file off, and wagons and dollies of cargo is unloaded, and nearing the end of the passengers, you finally spot one of the ponies you're looking for.
  1464. >The bright pink mare that is Cheerilee's mom trots over to you with her suitcase, a bright smile on her face.
  1465. >"Good morning Anon, how are you doing?"
  1466. "Quite well, thank you. May I carry your luggage for you?" you ask, holding out a hand.
  1467. >Giving a giggle, she hands you her suitcase and says, "Such a gentlecolt. I'm sure glad you're the one marrying one of my daughters,"
  1468. >Almost letting the suitcase slip from your hand, you quickly glance around to see nobody heard, before leaning in close to her.
  1469. "H... how did you know?"
  1470. >The smile she had grows wider, and she lets out a *Squee*, before saying, "I thought so! I wasn't sure, but your reaction there was just perfect!"
  1471. >Your free hand meets your forhead, but you still smile and laught a little.
  1472. "I guess you got me there. Come now, you can stay at my house for the time being."
  1473. >"Lead the way, son-in-law," she replies, following you as you start off.
  1474. >Thankfully, your house is between Cheerilee's and the train station, so you don't have to worry about her being discovered.
  1475. >Unlocking the door and holding it open for her, you follow after her once she goes inside.
  1476. "Make yourself at home. The kitchen's over there, the bathroom is down the hall, and you can use my bed if you want to take a nap or anything."
  1477. >"You're too kind. I'll keep out of your way till the show, so don't worry about me."
  1478. >Stepping into your bedroom, you lock the door and start changing.
  1479. >The suit is a little stiff, but it fits perfectly.
  1480. >Adjusting your tie in the mirror, you look yourself over.
  1481. >Suave from top to bottom, you look ready to take on the world.
  1482. >Walking back into the livingroom, Cheerilee's mom gives a whistle and eyes you up and down.
  1483. >"Now aren't you handsome. If I didn't know you were going to propose, I'd wonder why you were dressed up like this."
  1484. "Well, let's hope your daughter isn't so quick to discover the truth. I do want this to be a surprise."
  1485. >"I'm sure you'll do fine. I know your mom or dad should be the one saying this, but I guess I'll be your mom in law soon enough."
  1486. "Then would it be too early for a hug?"
  1487. >She rears up, holding her forehooves out, and you kneel carefully, so as not to mess up your suit and wrap your arms around her.
  1488. >"Good luck, future son-in-law," she says, giving you a hug.
  1489. "I'll see you at the show," you say, standing back up as she releases you, "I'm just a little sad her dad couldn't come."
  1490. >"He had important stuff to do."
  1491. >Leaving, you make a few quick visits to students homes around town, before heading to the grand hall.
  1492. >Several parents are here already, as well as almost all the students.
  1493. "Is everyone ready?"
  1494. >"Yeah!"
  1495. >Scrambling around to their groups and props, everyone starts trying to get your attention.
  1496. "I'm sorry I can't help right now, but I'll watch all your performances during the show," you say, smiling at them.
  1497. "Right now, I have to make sure everything is ready to go, but we're starting soon."
  1498. >"Okay Anon," they all say, waving goodbye as you head to get the most important part of today.
  1499. >As you walk, you feel the weight of what is coming starting to press down on you.
  1500. >The road blurs by, your mind locked on your destination, and before you realize it, you're there.
  1501. >A door you have passed through numerous times stands before you, the only thing seperating you from your love.
  1502. >Knocking on the door, you straighten up and listen for the sounds of hoofsteps approaching.
  1503. >When they do, you take a step back and put on a smile.
  1504. >Cheerilee answers the door, and seeing you, she gets a huge smile.
  1505. "Morning, Cheerilee, are you ready to go?" you ask, kneeling to give her a hug.
  1506. >"Not yet, Anon, I just need to get dressed and I'll be ready to go. Come on in, we can talk while I get ready."
  1507. >Following her inside, she leads you up to her room, and motions you to sit on the bed.
  1508. >Closing her bedroom door, you notice it's mirror, which gives you a near constant view of her as she steps behind you to her closet.
  1509. >"So, what have you been doing the past few days? We haven't had time to talk," she asks, digging in a drawer.
  1510. "I've been setting up everything for our date today. I want it to be a surprise, so I did have to avoid you for a while," you reply.
  1511. >"Hmnnn," she replies, pulling up a pair of VERY lacy pink panties, and you try and avert your eyes, but you fail, your gaze trapped by her bouncy plot.
  1512. >Her tail stops you from seeing anything naughty, but it is pulled up to adjust the panties, and you get a nice outline view.
  1513. >From her closet, she pulls out the dress she wore on your first date, and you manage to avert your gaze as she starts to pull it on.
  1514. >"Could I get a hint as to what we're doing tonight?" she asks, sifting through what sounds like a jewlery box.
  1515. "Nope. It'd ruin the surprise," you reply, standing up.
  1516. >Stepping behind her, you take hold of the chains to the necklace, and click the endings together.
  1517. >"Thanks," she says, turning around and giving you a quick kiss, "now, lead on, my love."
  1518. >Placing a hand on her shoulder, you walk her from her room and down to the front door.
  1519. >Berry waves the two of you off, before vanishing up the stairs.
  1520. >Cheerilee is practially attached to your leg as you walk, though you far from mind, your hand firmly planted on her shoulder.
  1521. >Just being together like this makes you the happiest human in Equestria.
  1522. >After taking her to lunch at the local cafe, you head for the Ponyville Grand hall.
  1523. >Already, most of the ponies in Ponyville are there, and more are arriving every moment.
  1524. >"What's all this Anon? I didn't know there was something going on today," she comments as you guide her to a front row seat.
  1525. "A little something I prepared for you," you say before giving her a kiss and stepping back.
  1526. "I'll only be gone a moment, Cheery, I just have to make sure everything is ready."
  1527. >She waves as you make your way backstage, and the kids crowd around you.
  1528. "Alright Colts and Fillies, it's time to put on a show for the whole town."
  1529. "Are you ready?!"
  1530. >"Yeah!"
  1531. >Everyone splits off into their groups, those who are performing early getting everything ready to go, those who perform later doing last minute practice.
  1532. >Grabbing the microphone, you step on stage.
  1533. >You can see almost everyone you want to see here, the only exception being Cheerilee's dad, but he has his reasons.
  1534. "Welcome, one and all, to the Ponyville School Talent show, hosted by me, Ponyville's favourite human."
  1535. "Now, this show is special, as the students and I set it up for one of our favourite ponies, Miss Cheerilee, their teacher and my special somepony."
  1536. "I hope you enjoy the show. First up is Featherweight and Rumble."
  1537. >Setting the mic in a lower stand, you step to the side while the two colts run on stage.
  1539. ~~~
  1541. >Taking the stage, you raise the mic stand as best you can before clearing your throat.
  1542. "The show is almost over, and I want to thank you all for coming. For the final act, I need an assistant. Cheerilee, would you do the honours?"
  1543. >She nods, a little nervousness showing, but she walks on stage next to you.
  1544. "Now, I may not have a fancy job, nor do I have a cutiemark that shows me my talent," you say, adressing the crowd.
  1545. "Heck, I can't even play an instrument," the audience chuckles at your joke, "but for this talent show, I am going to show the one skill I know I have."
  1546. "And that," you say, turning to Cheerilee, "Is making the mare I love happy."
  1547. >Taking a knee, you pull out the case hidden in your suit and crack it open.
  1548. "Cheerilee, my love, will you marry me?"
  1549. >The air in the theater practically stops as everyone holds their breath, all eyes focused on her, and her watery eyes.
  1550. >"Yes! Yes I will marry you, Anon!" she exclaims, leaping forward and wrapping her hooves around your neck.
  1551. >Her lips meet yours in a fiery kiss, and your arms hold her tight, refusing to let go.
  1552. >Cheers come from all around, ponies rushing on stage to join the children around you two.
  1553. >Roseluck is the first to interfere, tackling the two of you in a hug.
  1554. >"I'm so happy for you guys," she says, squeezing you closer.
  1555. >Breaking the kiss, you look around for the case, and find in held out to you.
  1556. >"I believe you're looking for this, son-in law," Cheerilee's mom say, and you take the necklace.
  1557. >A cluster of gems create her cutie mark the size of your fist, with a series of successively smaller emeralds that wrap around to the clasp, the largest as big as a bit, the smallest the size of your pinkie nail.
  1558. >Brushing her mane aside, you attach it around her neck, before holding her at arms length to see.
  1559. >Or, you try to hold her out to look, but she has other plans.
  1560. >The moment the clasp clicks, she's back on you, and you wind up on your back with her kissing you.
  1561. >You hear Rose saying "Come on, folks, let's give them a little room."
  1562. "Come on, Cheery, we should give the others a little attention."
  1563. >With a final kiss, she nods, "Alright, but you're not off the hook, mister, or should I say, husband."
  1564. >Standing up, you and Cheerilee are mobbed by ponies expressing themselves.
  1565. >Everything from wishes of good luck, mild jealousy to even some mares asking if you'll get a herd.
  1566. >Seriously, you just got engaged, why in the hell would you look at another girl in a romantic way.
  1567. >Still, after all the celebration and dinner, you finally get to bring Cheerilee home.
  1568. >Inside your home and away from all the congratulating ponies, you and Cheerilee finally manage to get some time to yourselves.
  1569. >Kicking off your shoes, you pick up your wife and carry her to your bedroom.
  1570. >Her hooves are locked around your neck, and she's peppering your face with kisses.
  1571. >One hand supporting her, your other runs up the outside of her thigh, before playing with the band on her underwear.
  1572. "You know, when you put these pink panties on earlier, I wonder if you thought I'd be the one who'd be taking them off?"
  1573. >"Maybe a little," she whispers back, "I hoped so, at least, when I saw you watching."
  1574. >Sitting her on the bed, you release her lace and slowly pull her dress over her head.
  1575. >"I'm not the only one who needs to lose some clothing," she says as the dress comes off.
  1576. "Then I should start, shouldn't I," you reply, dropping your tie and overshirt.
  1577. >"We're really going to..." she starts, a bright red blush forming.
  1578. "Only if you want to," you reply giving her a kiss before starting unbuttoning your undershirt.
  1579. >She nods, and your bare chest is revealed as the shirt drops.
  1580. >Pressing her back onto the bed, you dominate her mouth with a kiss, while one hand works at your belt.
  1582. ~~~
  1584. >Faint rays of sun cut through the curtain, slowly bringing you to wakefulness.
  1585. >Nestled in your arm, Cheerilee snoozes away, her head nuzzling your neck.
  1586. >Pulling her in closer, you pull the blankets back up, letting the two of you stay warm.
  1587. >Despite not moving, she doesn't remain asleep long, and with still sleepy eyes, she looks down at you, before giving you a long kiss.
  1588. "Good morning to you too, Love," you say as she pulls back, "you should grab a shower, I'll get breakfast started."
  1589. >"You're so sweet, dear, I could get used to waking up like this."
  1590. "Well, I was kinda hoping you'd be willing to move in with me?"
  1591. >Her reply would sound more natural coming from a squeaky toy, as she lets out a "Squee" before hugging you tightly.
  1592. >Smiling and hugging back, you take a sniff before scrunching your nose.
  1593. "Seriously though, Cheery, grab a quick shower. I'll have one when your done."
  1594. >She hops off the bed, trotting to the door with a sway in her flank.
  1595. >At the doorway, she glances over her shoulder before asking, "Want to join me, Stud?" with a waggle of her tail.
  1596. "After last night, if I was to join you, we wouldn't be out till lunch time," you reply, sitting up, "not that either of us would mind."
  1597. >With a giggle, she vanishes to the bathroom, and you rise.
  1598. >Pulling open the curtains, you reveal your nude glory to the sun, before pulling clean boxers and sweatpants from drawers.
  1599. >Your suit is scattered across your bedroom, and Cheerilee's panties are hanging off a corner of your bed.
  1600. >All in all, a project for later.
  1601. >Swiftly heading to the kitchen, you get pancake batter started, along with eggs ready for frying.
  1602. >You hear the shower stop, and start heating the pan for the eggs, Cheerilee waltzing in moments later.
  1603. >Cracking an egg onto the pan for her, your mouth forms a smile.
  1604. >This a good way to start the day, with the mare you love.
  1607. End Chapter 7
  1610. >Cheerilee's mom helps your new fiancé move in during the week, while getting ready to head home on friday.
  1611. >She also helps with some initial planning for the wedding, which after much debate, you decide it will be in the beginning of the new year, two months hence.
  1612. >Despite your attempts to keep the wedding plans small, the mares pretty much took over that, and from the looks of it, the entire town and more is invited.
  1613. >You can feel your bank accounts shudder.
  1614. >But, for Cheerilee, it's worth it.
  1615. >Those little kicks she makes while she sleeps, that smile she has when she wakes next to you.
  1616. >How she moans when you scratch her ears, everything about her makes you love her more.
  1617. >Even though your schedules leave you with few crossover times except the weekends, you make the most of them, Cheerilee hanging out with the flower sisters with you.
  1618. >Rose has almost obsessively helped with everything, even agreeing to provide flowers for the wedding at pretty much bare minimum price.
  1619. >Other things come first though, predominantly, Hearths Warming eve, Christmas to you.
  1620. >Snow settled in quickly, but yours and Cheerilee's love kept each other warm, and the fuzzy winter clothes Rarity made didn't hurt either.
  1621. >Both the bar and school close a week before Hearths warming eve, giving the two of you time to prepare for Cheerilee's parents coming in.
  1622. >They may be staying in Berry's house, but everyone is getting together to celebrate at yours.
  1623. >Cheerilee had to guide you as to what to make, but you added in a few "human" touches.
  1624. >Namely, a small ham, stuffing and cranberry sauce.
  1625. >Time flies by, and two days before Hearths Warming eve, your parents-in-law arrive in Ponyville.
  1626. >With a loud whistle, the train slows down, coming to a stop in the station.
  1627. >Ponies file off, and near the front of the horde is a pair of familiar ponies.
  1628. >Cheerilee's bright and cheery mom, and her rather angry looking dad.
  1629. >"So, you decided to invite me this time, Anon?" He snaps, "Since you decided I wasn't important enough to invite when you proposed to my daughter."
  1630. >"Actually, Darling, he did invite you, you just decided to stay home to watch the hoofball game instead of going," his wife interjects, and he glares at her.
  1631. >"Mom, dad, please, don't fight. It's Hearth Warming time, and we're all supposed to be together as a family."
  1632. >Her dad snorts, before saying, "Then why is he here? You're not married yet."
  1633. >"With the way you're acting Dad, I'd rather have him here than you," Cheerilee replies angrily.
  1634. >Tension is thick in the air, before Berry suddenly jumps in.
  1635. >"Heeeyy!! Why didn't you two come get me to pick up mom and dad?"
  1636. >Their mom takes this opportunity to distract everyone by saying, "Well, we're all here, so lets get our baggage home before we all freeze."
  1637. "I agree, the weather team decided to make today really cold."
  1638. >Walking ahead, their father leaves the mother with the bags, which you pick up instead, following behind the group.
  1639. >Small white snowflakes start to fall, bringing you a smile.
  1640. >Humming "white Christmas" to yourself, your group soon arrives at Berry's home.
  1641. >The warmth of the fire roaring in the fireplace wraps around you like a comfortable jacket as you remove your literal jacket.
  1642. >"Let me get some water boiling," Berry exclaims, running to the kitchen, Cheerilee following right behind her.
  1643. >"I'll help," she says, leaving you alone with your parents-in-law.
  1644. >An awkward silence sets in, unspoken emotions swirling in the room.
  1645. >"So, how are the wedding plans coming, Anon?" your mother-in-law asks, hopping onto the couch.
  1646. "I think we're almost ready. We have the catering and flowers covered, The venue is already ready and Cheerilee's dress is being made."
  1647. "Pretty much everything else is in progress, or will only take a day or less to do."
  1648. >"So, where will it be this time? in the school, or maybe in a kiddy play ground," the girl's father asks, rolling his eyes.
  1649. "Actually, where we were getting married was kinda decided over my head."
  1650. >Resting her head on her hooves, their mom smiles and asks, "So, where is it going to be?"
  1651. "Canterlot Castle..."
  1652. >"WHAT!" The two parent's exclaim, different emotions underlying their surprise.
  1653. >With the mother, it's quite obviously joy, but the father is a little harder to interpret.
  1654. >Then again, while these ponies usually wear their hearts on their sleeve, it means you haven't had much practice picking up underlying emotions.
  1655. >But then, given their dad's normal opinion of you, he's probably jealous or angry.
  1656. >Either way, it doesn't matter as Cheerilee waltzes in, bringing with her a tray of cookies and other snacks.
  1657. >"Tea will be ready in a few minutes," she says, setting the tray down, "In the mean time, please, get comfortable."
  1658. >When you take a seat in a lounger, Cheerilee climbs up into your lap, laying back against your chest.
  1659. >Arms around her chest, one hand slowly rubs her belly.
  1660. >Her head nuzzles into your neck, her body practically oozing comfort.
  1661. >Crunching a cookie angrily, the father glares at you, while the mom is wearing a smile as usual.
  1662. >"Geez, the two of you aren't even alone and you're all over each other," Berry says, walking in with a teapot and cups.
  1663. "What can I say, I love every moment with her, the closer the better," you reply before kissing Cheerilee on the head.
  1664. >After pouring a glass of tea for her parents, Berry pours one for herself, and takes a seat on the only open seat.
  1665. >"So, what has the lovely couple prepared for this Hearth's Warming day?" Berry asks, sipping her drink.
  1666. "Well, we've got most of a traditional pony meal, along with a few traditional things from my homeland."
  1667. >"Oh, and what is that? Bananas?" her father remarks sarcastically.
  1668. "Nah, just a nice side of ham, some stuffing and cranberry sauce."
  1669. >"Oh great, my daughter is marrying a carnivore," he exclaims, throwing up his hooves, "this is just great..."
  1670. >His wife leans over and swats him lightly, "Don't be so dramatic, we know he eats normal things too. So what if he needs meat to survive?"
  1671. >"What if he gets hungry and decides to eat our daughter? I wouldn't put it past something of his size."
  1672. "Well, actually," you start, putting on some seductive eyes, looking down at your mare, "you could say I mph..."
  1673. >You're cut off by a hoof filling your mouth, and she looks up at you and whispers, "Not in front of the parents or you won't be down there for a LONG time."
  1674. "You know you love it," you whisper back, nibbling on her ear tip.
  1675. >"SERIOUSLY! YOU TWO! GET A ROOM!" Berry yells, looking away and waving her hooves.
  1676. >The two of you look over at Berry before letting out a laugh.
  1677. "We'll do that later."
  1678. >"Right now, we want to spend time as a whole family."
  1679. >"Then can you do that without pretty much doing it in front of us?"
  1680. >Both you and Cheerilee laugh and nod, though neither of you move from your spot.
  1681. "It's my first hearth's warming, so I'm not really sure what we do, so anything you have to suggest, I'm all ears."
  1682. >Cheerilee, Berry and their mom smile at each other, and you feel a chill go down your spine.
  1684. ~~~
  1686. >After being caught in one of the toughest snowball fights you have ever had, you find yourself sitting in front of your fireplace at home.
  1687. >Cheerilee is in front of you, wrapped up in your naked body like a blanket, while a thick blanket is wrapped around you.
  1688. >"I love this feeling... It's like, nothing in the world could hurt me..." she says, shuffling in tighter.
  1689. "At least your parents are staying with Berry, or I'd have to be clothed right now," you say, running a hand along her thigh, "and the best way to warm up is close, bare skin contact."
  1690. >She catches your hand, stopping its inward journey.
  1691. >"Not right now, honey, I think I might be getting sick, and I don't want you to catch it."
  1692. "Oh, do you need me to get you anything from the pharmacy? I can get dressed and get out before it closes for the next few days."
  1693. >"No, I think I'll be fine. If it gets bad, I have a few things back at Berry's that should help."
  1694. "If you say so?," you reply, a little unsure, "should I get up, so I don't catch whatever it is?"
  1695. >"I swear to Celestia if you try and leave, I WILL pin you down and snuggle you until I'm done," She replies with a surprising amount of force, "and besides, I'm pretty sure you can't catch what I might have."
  1696. >Your smile is unseen by her, and you hold tighter, scratching her fuzzy pony belly.
  1697. >She's so darn fuzzy, and even more so now, after being dried off, all of her fur is puffed up.
  1698. >Just like cuddling a big teddy bear...
  1699. >Snuggling into your soon to be wife, you feel your eyelids growing heavy.
  1701. ~~~
  1703. >Anon's weight suddenly presses down on you, soft snores escaping him.
  1704. >Pinned underneath him, though not uncomfortably, you stare into the flames, your mind deep in thought.
  1705. >How is he going to react to your illness...
  1706. >Especially this soon...
  1707. >A hand reflexively scratches your shoulder, and you sigh in contention.
  1708. "I suppose it doesn't matter yet. I'll tell him when I'm ready."
  1709. >Drifting to sleep with him, you feel your worries starting to melt away.
  1711. ~~~
  1713. >"Hey, how’s the ham coming?" Cheerilee calls out, pulling daisy rolls from the slow cooker.
  1714. "Almost there, half an hour at most," you reply, checking the simmering meat.
  1715. >A fresh apple pie moves behind you, courtesy of Berry, and you take a deep sniff of its scent.
  1716. "Set that pie on the oven to keep it warm, Dinner is still another forty minutes away."
  1717. >"Alright Anon."
  1718. >As you work on the stuffing, there is a loud knocking at the front door.
  1719. >Patting Cheerilee as you pass, you head for the door.
  1720. "Hold on, I'm coming," you call out, quickly moving through your house.
  1721. >Twisting the handle and pulling the door open reveals Rose and her sisters.
  1722. >"Hey Anon, can we come in for dinner?" Rose asks, "We brought some food too."
  1723. "Sure. As they say, the more the merrier."
  1724. >"Then we will be the merriest," Daisy says, following her sisters inside.
  1725. >They head for the dining room, while you go back to the kitchen.
  1726. >"Who was at the door, honey?" Cheerilee asks as you enter.
  1727. "The flower sisters, they're joining us for dinner."
  1728. >"Are we gonna have enough food? I mean, we can make more, but it'll take some time."
  1729. "They brought some with them. I think we should have enough."
  1730. >A timer dings, alerting you to the ham being ready, and you don your oven mitts.
  1731. >It took a while for Rarity to get them right, but they work incredibly well.
  1732. >Cheerilee brings the other food to the dining room while you slice the ham.
  1733. >Bringing it in on a platter, you set it on the last available hot pad, at take your seat between Cheerilee and Rose.
  1734. >Everyone starts loading their plates, the table a flurry of action and moving pots and trays.
  1735. >As the action slows down to a stop, conversations spark up.
  1736. >"So, who are these nice mares, Anon?" Cheerilee's mom asks, munching on a carrot.
  1737. "They're sisters who run the local flower shop. We've been friends for almost a year, and we hang out some saturdays."
  1738. >"Yep, the four of us are all good friends," the three sisters chorus.
  1739. >The girl's father rolls his eyes and lets out a "Hmph"
  1740. >"So you're telling me you have three fallback mares, for after you get bored of my daughter."
  1741. >Before anyone else can interject, you stand up.
  1742. "Could you join me in the other room? I have something to talk to you about."
  1743. >He follows you into the living room, and you close the door to muffle any sounds that might get through.
  1744. >"So, what do you want?" he says, puffing up his chest.
  1745. "I want you to stop acting like a dick to me. I get that you want the best for your daughter, but when you're always acting like a dick, you're just pushing her away."
  1746. "She's happy with me, and I love her. You should be glad for her, not acting like this."
  1747. "I'm not trying to intimidate you, and I don't want you to be a bad guy in the family."
  1748. >"Not trying to intimidate me? Then why did you bring me here where they can't see you acting like a jerk."
  1749. "The only jerk in here is you. I'VE tried to ignore most of your comments, but your attitude is starting to emotionally hurt Cheerilee."
  1750. >"Why would I hurt my daughter. I'm only telling her the truth, about how you're an untrustworthy, self-important asshole."
  1751. >"That little act you put up may fool the girls, but I know how you're going to act once you have her."
  1752. >Your voice starts escalating as you continue.
  1753. "You know what, I don't care if you approve of me, nor do I give two shits what you think my intentions are."
  1754. "I'M making your daughter happy, and I'M looking out for her. YOU, on the other hand, what did you do when I proposed, oh right, you were too busy watching a game to come."
  1755. "One of the most important days in your daughters life, and you skip it for a FUCKING HOOFBALL GAME!"
  1756. "You know what," you say, suddenly becoming calm, "I don't care. I'm going to marry Cheerilee, and I'm going to do everything I can to make her happy, no matter what you do or say."
  1757. "Now, I'm going back to eat with my friends and future family, and if you can't accept that, the door is right over there."
  1758. >Staying quiet through your little rant, he stares at you with cold eyes.
  1759. >After what feels like forever, his expression softens.
  1760. >"Fine, Anonymous, I'll ease up a bit. I still don't like you, but I can't deny you have made Cheerilee incredibly happy, and you seem pretty honest in your intentions."
  1761. >He cracks a small smile, and you return it.
  1762. >"This doesn't mean we're friends, nor does it mean I fully trust you, but I'm going to give you a chance to prove yourself."
  1763. "So then, lets get back to dinner before they eat it all," you say, walking back to the dining room.
  1764. >"Sure. I do want to give that meat a try. Have to know what my daughter may be eating more of soon."
  1765. "You won't be disappointed."
  1766. >The two of you walk back into the Dining room, where you're greeted by smiles.
  1767. >Sitting down again, everything resumes as if the little interruption hadn't happened.
  1768. >This time though, everyone is chatting with everyone, and there's minimal underlying distrust.
  1769. >A perfect Hearths Warming Eve, and tomorrow, a perfect Christmas morning.
  1771. ~~~
  1773. >Everything was perfect, or well, as perfect as it gets.
  1774. >Gift giving and quality time with your new family.
  1775. >They did respect your wishes for a little time alone though, which you used to pray for your family.
  1776. >You know they can't hear you, or even know you are fine, but you still want to spend some time for them.
  1777. >As the day ended, Cheerilee's father did something that surprised you.
  1778. >He took the next few weeks off work so him and his wife could stay and help with the wedding.
  1779. >With the two parents around, everything goes much quicker, and you even have a few moments at work to chat with her dad.
  1780. >He's actually a decent guy, and after getting him unbanned from the bar, he was even nicer.
  1781. >Time practically flew by, and the wedding gets closer and closer.
  1782. >Soon, everything is done, leaving just a countdown of the days left.
  1783. >Cheerilee does show some more signs of being sick, though nothing serious, so you respect her wishes to just let it pass.
  1784. >Her parents show the same concern you do, but like you, they don't push when she insists she's getting over it.
  1785. >At least it doesn't look too bad. She's just had some occasional nausea and sporadic vomiting.
  1786. >It certainly doesn't dampen her spirits or her desire to cuddle whenever possible.
  1787. >Three days from the wedding, you and Cheerilee find yourselves at Rarity’s for some final touches on your outfits, to make sure the fit is perfect.
  1788. >"Anon, your suit is in the changing room. Once you have it on, stand on the pedestal so I can trim it all to the right size."
  1789. >"Cheerilee, you'll have to join me in the other room to get your dress done. And no peeking Anon, you know the rules."
  1790. "Yes ma'am, no peeking at my future wife's dress or her beautiful, naked body."
  1791. >Cheerilee blushes bright pink, and you can see some red appearing on Rarity, before stepping into the changing room.
  1792. >Laid out on several hangars are the pieces of your suit and you start striping down.
  1794. ~~~
  1796. >With Anon in the other room changing, you follow Rarity into her inspiration room.
  1797. >"So, Darling, what do you think?" Rarity asks you, gesturing to a ponyquin.
  1798. >On it is the most beautiful dress you have ever seen.
  1799. >A pure white gown that flows down past the ponyquin's ankles, with a pale emerald underskirt that just barely shows through in the lace ruffles, bringing the perfect touch of colour to the dress.
  1800. >The bodice is studded with small diamonds and emeralds that give it a stunning sparkle and accentuate the dress's curves.
  1801. >Your cutie mark is on the dress's flank where it is on you, but it's done in a way that makes it look amazing.
  1802. >Along with the dress, there is a veil of flowery lace and small gems, and fancy silver hoofcups like Celestia's.
  1803. >At an absolute loss for words, you can only stare, and Rarity smiles beside you.
  1804. >"It's some of my best work yet, if I do say so myself."
  1805. "But, we can't afford this... It's wonderful, but..."
  1806. >"Don't you worry about it, Anon has already paid for it all."
  1807. "How?"
  1808. >She rests a hoof on your back, and replies, "I think "Why?" would be the better question, and the answer is obvious. He loves you."
  1809. >Your lips pull up, forming a smile, and Rarity pushes you forward.
  1810. >"Come on now, lets get your measurements done, so we don't leave loverboy waiting."
  1811. >Nodding, you allow her to help you into the dress.
  1812. >As she works up the zipper on the back, she can't get it closed without it pinching too tightly.
  1813. >"Hmnn, looks like I'll have to let out the seams a bit here. Before I do, I must ask, are you bloated or anything like that right now? I don't want to loosen it, for your stomach to return and make the dress fit badly."
  1814. "No, I'm not bloated or anything, so far as I know. Maybe Anon's human cooking is fattening me up a bit."
  1815. >"Well, I have the measurements, so lets get you out of the dress, so we can measure up your man."
  1816. >Squirming out of the formfitting gown, Rarity sets it back on the ponyquin, while you look back at your stomach.
  1817. >It's barely visible, but it is bigger than it was weeks ago.
  1818. >Leading you back into the main room, Rarity and you see Anon standing there, looking more handsome than any other you have ever seen.
  1819. >You wouldn't be surprised if a beam of sunlight shone down around him, with a Elysian chorus sounding in the background.
  1820. >He looks down at you and smiles, and you feel like you could melt into the floor.
  1821. >"So, Rarity, how does she look in her dress? I can tell she thinks I look amazing, if that little trail of drool is any measure.
  1822. >With a gasp, you rub away the thin trail of spittle and blush, while Rarity lets out a tittering laugh.
  1823. >"I think you'll find her equally as attractive as she finds you."
  1824. >"I already do, don't you know. Though I guess you haven't seen her in fluffy mode."
  1825. >As hard as you try, you can't cover the blush forming and your embarrassment, knowing what is coming.
  1826. >"Right after a shower, or being soaked from snow, when I dry her off, her fur gets all poufy and fuzzy, and I can't deny, she's absolutely adorable like that."
  1827. >"Great for cuddling too."
  1828. >Rarity covers her smile with a hoof, saying, "Oh, I wouldn't have expected her to show off her fuzzy time. Not many ponies do, it's one of those embarrassing things for us."
  1829. >"Oh, so even the fancy Miss Rarity has fuzzy times?"
  1830. >This time, Rarity is the one blushing, and you can see her glancing away.
  1831. >"Well, a lady really shouldn't say, but yes, even I have my fuzzy times. They're great for softening and moisturizing your coat."
  1832. >"But enough of that, lets get to your measurements, shall we?"
  1833. >Chalk, needles and tape measures float up to Anon, and Rarity starts adjusting hems and bands.
  1834. >A few moments later, she's done, and shooing Anon back to the changing room.
  1835. >"...and make sure you don't dust off any of the chalk marks while you change, Anon!"
  1836. >He disappears into the changing room, and Rarity turns to you.
  1837. >"So, how is it? Living with Ponyville’s most desirable male?"
  1838. "I don't know how to describe it besides normal. He's a good cook, and he helps keep the house clean while I'm at work, and I do cleaning while he's at work."
  1839. "It's like living with my sister I guess, just a LOT more cuddling and affection."
  1840. >"Hmn, Twilight didn't mention that in the pamphlet," Rarity muses, and you nod.
  1841. "I doubt he'd say that to her, since it wasn't relevant, but I do love him for it."
  1842. >"I can imagine, having a stallion who'd hug you when you get home, and do little displays of affection all throughout the day."
  1843. >"Well, hopefully you'll find the guy of your dreams," Anon says, stepping out of the changing room in his everyday clothes.
  1844. >"In the mean time, we have to go and deal with the last of the packing and prep for the wedding."
  1845. >Walking to the door at Anon's side, you wave back at her, and she waves back.
  1846. >"I'll have the dress and suit ready before the wedding, for sure."
  1847. "Take care, Rarity."
  1848. >Together with your man, you head home to prepare for the wedding.
  1849. >Your only hope is that your illness won't mess everything up.
  1851. ~~~
  1853. >Sitting in front of the mirror, you keep looking yourself over, fretting over every tiny detail.
  1854. >"Don't worry dear, you'll do fine," your mother says comfortingly, helping do up your mane.
  1855. "I know... I just want everything to be perfect for him."
  1856. >Turning you to face her, she presses her forehead to yours.
  1857. >"Cheerilee, my daughter, you will do just fine. Knowing him, he'd be happy with a little marriage in the Ponyville schoolhouse."
  1858. >A slow breath passes your lips, and you close your eyes.
  1859. "I know... He's just so amazing, I want this to be just perfect."
  1860. >"I know, you've said it enough. Now calm down, gather your nerves, it's almost time."
  1861. >Nodding and standing, you let your mom finish up with your mane.
  1863. ~~~
  1865. >Standing at the altar, you look out over the sea of ponies.
  1866. >Friends and family, though most from Cheerilee's side.
  1867. >Soon though, they'll be your family too.
  1868. >Where your best man and groomsmen would be, instead there are the flower sisters, your closest friends in the land of ponies.
  1869. >Your thoughts are interrupted as music starts, and everyone's attention is focused towards the doors.
  1870. >Parting with magic, a bunch of rose petals float out, before Cheerilee steps into view.
  1871. >The only image you could use to describe what you saw was an angel stepping forth towards you.
  1872. >Slowly walking down the aisle, your love's eyes flicker everywhere, till they catch yours.
  1873. >Underneath all the white lace, you see the cerise fur and emerald eyes of the girl you love.
  1874. >The girl you're marrying.
  1875. >Making her way up the steps to the altar, she stops across from you, peering up through the white veil.
  1876. >"Welcome all. We are gathered here to witness this man and mare be joined in marriage," Celestia's voice calls out through the hall.
  1877. >"Before we begin, if there are any here who think they should not be married, speak now, or forever hold your peace."
  1878. >Silence reigns for a short moment, and with no objections, Celestia continues.
  1879. >You hardly pay attention to much of the ceremonial speech, as it covers most of the same stuff a human marriage covers.
  1880. >It's not long before the speech reaches its end, and the important lines come up.
  1881. >"Cheerilee, do you take Anonymous to be your husband, in sickness and in health, in wealth and in poverty, for as long as you both shall live?"
  1882. >"I do," she replies.
  1883. >Celestia turns to you, "And you, Anonymous, do you take Cheerilee to be your wife, in sickness and in health, in wealth and in poverty, for as long as you both shall live?"
  1884. "I do," you reply without a moments hesitation.
  1885. >Raising a pair of necklaces, Celestia places one on each of you.
  1886. >"Then, I now proclaim you man and mare, you may kiss the bride."
  1887. >Gently lifting the veil of her face, you pull Cheerilee up and lock her lips in a passionate kiss.
  1888. >All around you, fireworks fire off, and ponies cheer, but your entire world is the mare in front of you.
  1889. >Pulling back, her eyes meet with yours, and she leans up to whisper in your ear.
  1890. >"Anon, I have something to confess... I'm pregnant with your child."
  1891. >Your heart catches in your chest, and you remain breathless there for a moment.
  1892. >Without warning, your arms wrap around her, and you start spinning her around, tears of joy running down your face.
  1893. "I'm going to be a father!" you shout to the heavens, and all the ponies gathered here.
  1894. >Truly, this is the greatest moment of your life.
  1896. End Chapter 8
  1899. >Sitting with your new wife in front of the fireplace, your hands slowly rub her belly.
  1900. >The room was originally set up for you and her to consumate your marriage, but with this revelation, that isn't going to happen.
  1901. "Is it really true, Cheery, you're actually pregnant?"
  1902. >"Mhmm. Roughly six weeks, according to the doctors, and with how much we did it that night, I'm not as surprised as I figured I would be."
  1903. "Neither am I," you say with a chuckle, "but is it really mine? I truly don't think you cheated on me, but as far as I know, our kinds shouldn't be genetically compatable."
  1904. >"The test said the baby had a mix of pony and unknown genetics. Unless some other alien species landed here and secretly had sex with me, I'm pretty sure it's yours."
  1905. >Burying your face in her mane, you let your eyes drift closed, your energy reserves getting low.
  1906. "I think we'll need to get some more testing done to try and figure out why I can breed with you."
  1907. "I'm definetally not complaining though, this news has made me the happiest guy in Equestria."
  1908. >"You've done the same for me, Anon. When I was young, I would have never imagined I would be married to an alien that's nicer than most stallions, and that we'd be having our very own baby."
  1909. "Neither did I."
  1910. >Moving forward out of your grip, she turns around, nuzzling into your neck.
  1911. >"I know I've said it tons of times but, Anon, I love you."
  1912. "I love you too," you say, lifting her up, cradling her in your arms.
  1913. >Carrying her to the bed, you pull the blankets back and set her down.
  1914. >After removing your clothes, you crawl into bed with her, pulling her into your arms.
  1915. >Warm and cozy under the fleece blankets and cuddling as close as physically possible, you and your love share one last look and a kiss before closing your eyes and drifting to sleep.
  1917. ~~~
  1919. >Walking with Cheerilee to the castle doctors, Celestia joins you halfway.
  1920. >"Greetings, Anonymous, Cheerilee, what brings you around here today?"
  1921. "We're heading to the medical staff to do some tests."
  1922. >"We both know it's Anon's child, we just want to figure out how."
  1923. >"Would you mind if I joined you?" she asks, falling in step along side you.
  1924. "I don't think I could stop you, Princess. I do appreciate the interest though, and who knows, you may be able to help."
  1925. >With the Solar princess in tow, you arrive at the medical wing, where several doctors wait.
  1926. >They bow to the princess, before ushering you inside.
  1927. >Cheerilee is given a well padded cushion to sit on, and several machines are brought in.
  1928. >"According to the prior medical report, your test results came up with unknown data as the second parent, correct, Miss Cheerilee?"
  1929. >"It's Mrs. Cheerilee now, but yes, the databanks of the Ponyville Scanner couldn't determine the second gene set."
  1930. >The head doctor scratches his chin while warming up a giant x-ray looking machine.
  1931. >"Well, we do make sure all databases updated every six months, so it's unlikely this machine has the genetics for the second, which is why he's here, I assume," the doctor says, indicating you.
  1932. "Yes, and we also wanted to have a few tests done to see why I, a 46 chromosone species, can breed with you ponies, who are a 42."
  1933. >"46, huh, interesting. from the species we have scanned, animals vary from 20 to maybe 32. Almost every sentient species on our planet is a 42, with a few that are 40's."
  1934. >"We've never encountered anything with more than 42 before."
  1935. >With a unicorn hooked in, the machine whirrs to live and bathes Cheerilee in a soft light for a short time before giving a series of beeps.
  1936. >A paper page is spit out, which the doctor takes.
  1937. >"Yep, one half pony, one half unknown," he says, showing you the sheet.
  1938. "How long would it take to get my genetics into the machine?"
  1939. >"Not long. we just need a sample of genetic and somatic DNA."
  1940. "Somatic?"
  1941. >"Ah, my appologies, normal, body DNA, like hair or skin."
  1942. "Okay, I can do that."
  1943. >One of the other doctors passes you a pair of containers, and leads you to a private room to do your business.
  1945. ~~~
  1947. >Watching Anon being led to the private room, you lower your head into the cushion.
  1948. >The fabric is more plush than the bed from last night, though given how much interest your baby has, it's not surprising.
  1949. >A few minutes tick by in silence, and the doctors share glances with eachother and the door to the room Anon is in.
  1950. >"Mrs. Cheerilee, how much longer will he be?" one of the doctors asks, looking over at you.
  1951. "I dunno, a few more minutes at least. Getting human genetic information takes longer than it does with stallions."
  1952. >Celestia raises an eyebrow at you, and you give her a wink that she returns with a grin.
  1953. >"Well, while we wait, we'd like to do a few tests to check the childs development, if you don't mind, Cheerilee."
  1954. "Not at all. This is a first for me, and for Equestria, so I want to make sure nothing goes wrong."
  1955. >A new machine is rolled out, a sonic scanner, if you remember correctly.
  1956. >The unicorn hooks himself into the new machine, and it's lights turn on and a screen flickers to life.
  1957. >Together, the head doctor and the other doctor manipulate the scanner arms so they are on either side of your stomach.
  1958. >They fiddle around with the positioning for a while, before bringing the screen over.
  1959. >"Everything looks good," the head doctor says, "Your baby-in-the-making has a strong heartbeat, it's fixation looks good and it's placentation has started."
  1960. >On the screen, you can see a tiny, thumping blip that is your child.
  1961. >"It's still too early to tell what it'll look like, so I would suggest you have checkups every month to track development."
  1962. "We live in Ponyville, so we won't be able to come here. Should I get copies to send here?"
  1963. >"It would be appreciated. This is a historic event, so we need to record it properly."
  1964. >The door Anon went behind opens, and Anon steps out with the two containers in hand.
  1965. >One has a small clipping of hair, and the other, a white liquid.
  1966. >"Here are your samples. hopefully, you can tell which is which."
  1967. >The doctor gives him a "you serious" look, and takes the two containers.
  1968. >"Getting the data into the system will take a little time, but we can do a seperate scan to possibly determine how you could breed with a pony."
  1969. >Half of each sample is put onto a pair of small dishes, which are inserted into the genetic scanner.
  1970. >Switching back from the sonic scanner, the unicorn hooks themselves into the gene scanner, turning it on.
  1971. >The other two prepare another set of small dishes with the remainder of the samples, setting them on a table.
  1972. >"Princess, Would you be able to help us? We need magic to do the gene count, and with him busy with that, we can't do it ourselves."
  1973. >"Of course I'd love to help. What do I need to do?"
  1974. >The techno/magic babble quickly bores you, but that boredom vanishes when Anon plops down next to you.
  1975. >"What'd I miss?"
  1976. "Not much. I got to see our little bundle of joy, though it was hardly more than a blob with a heartbeat."
  1977. >"A cute or handsome blob, I hope."
  1978. "Very."
  1979. >A brigt flash washes over the room, and you blink to clear your eyes, before looking over at Celestia and the other doctors.
  1980. >"Interesting..." they all say, staring at a pair of sheets.
  1981. >"According to this, your somatic cells are as you said, 46 chromosomes," the head doctor says, raising a sheet.
  1982. >On it are 23 pairs of lines, three pairs more than a regular gene projection, but appropriate for what Anon said.
  1983. >"But for your Reproductive cells..."
  1984. >The second sheet is held up, and it has 21 single lines, like a pony or most other species have.
  1985. >"There's only 21, rather than the 23 that there should be."
  1986. >Anon scratches his chin, saying, "That explains how we concieved, but why does my sperm have 21 chromosomes, not 24?
  1987. >Examining the sheets closely, the doctor uses a fine ruler and magnifying glass to cross examine the sheets.
  1988. >"Hmnnn... as far as I can tell, everything is here, in both of them. Some of it has been moved around, but if I didn't know better, I'd say your testicles were swapped with a pony version of yourself."
  1989. >"That's a scary thought, but they're still mine, I know, so I guess we can just sum it up to be some part of whatever magic brought me here."
  1990. >"But right now, I don't care. Whatever changed let me concieve with the mare I love, and that's all I need to know."
  1991. "Oh, Anon," you sigh, nuzzling into his side, which he responds to with an arm around your withers.
  1992. >Celestia turns to you and your human, and says, "Well, I believe this is all we need you for now, so feel free to head off and do as you wish."
  1993. >One of the doctors opens his mouth to say something, but it is locked closed by a faint white aura.
  1994. >"Well, dear, lets get you up and about, excersize is good for the baby."
  1995. >The soft and cushy cushions prove to be a problem, however, as you can't get any purchase, so Anon does what no stallion would do.
  1996. >Kneeling down, he lifts your forearms over his shoulders, then cradles your butt as he lifts you up.
  1997. >Your nose and his are practically touching untill he leans his head forward and rubs noses with you.
  1998. >"Now, where do you want to go, My pretty pregnant pinkish pony?"
  1999. >Your first instinct is to blush and hide your face, which means you essentially bury your face in his neck.
  2000. >"I know you're feeling all cuddly, since well, we can't do more, but we do have to do things in public too, you know."
  2001. >"Perhaps I can suggest a place," Celestia chips in, "A nice walk in the gardens would do her good. They're always warmer than the outsides, and if she gets too cold, just stop in one of the gazeebos. They're enchanted to be warm."
  2002. >"Sounds good, Celestia, what do you think, honey?"
  2003. "Is it private? I don't want to be advertising my condition everywhere yet."
  2004. >Celestia lets out a chuckle, and waves you on your way, "Yes, they're rarely used in the winter, though I think between Anon and your guests, a lot of ponies will know you're carrying."
  2005. >Feeling your cheeks warm again, you try to bury your face in Anon's neck again, but a gentle nip on your ear stops you.
  2006. >"Come on, what's so bad about being the mother of my child? If what Roseluck said a while back was true, most of Ponyville's mares would gladly take your place."
  2007. >"I wouldn't let them, of course, their's only one mare for me, and that is you, my lovely little schoolteacher."
  2008. >Giving him the only appropriate response you can think of, you pull in close and kiss him.
  2009. >"Come now, you two, head on your way before you make me jealous," Celestia says, shooing you with a hoof.
  2010. >Walking from the room, Anon carries you through the castle before setting you down at a doorway.
  2011. >"Hold on a moment, I need to run and get my jacket," Anon says, giving you a scratch behind your ear.
  2012. >Thank Celestia for these wonderful human fingers and their ability to make you feel good...
  2013. >Still, it doesn't last, as he runs off, and you brace yourself for the cold outside.
  2014. >A minute later, he returns, bringing your winter clothes as well.
  2015. >"Don't want you freezing, Cheerilee," he says, doing up your scarf.
  2016. >After your scarf, his hands run over your stomach as he clips your warm winter saddle.
  2017. >Stepping into warm boots, you step outside as Anon opens the door.
  2018. >Passing the threshold into the cold, you shiver slightly, but you quickly adjust to the mild cold.
  2019. >"Huh, this isn't too cold."
  2020. "She did say it was magically warmer, didn't she."
  2021. >Taking a few running steps ahead, Anon turns around, waving for you to follow.
  2022. >Trotting to catch up, he suddenly sprints ahead again.
  2023. >And so begins a game of chase that last for a good half hour, ending in a cuddle session in one of the gazeebos.
  2024. "Anon, I have to admit, I was scared that you wouldn't accept the child, given how our kinds aren't supposed to be able to concieve together."
  2025. "I know it's silly, but I wasn't sure if you'd want me to abort or not..."
  2026. >"Never! I would never force you to do anything like that. Even if it wasn't mine, if it was yours, I would raise it like my own."
  2027. >Curling up in his arms, you snuggle as close as you can.
  2028. "Words can't describe how wonderful you are, Anon..." you murmur into his soft coat.
  2029. >"No more wonderful than you are, Cheerilee," he replies, burying his nose in your mane, "no more than you are."
  2030. >Cozy with your human, a wave of tiredness hits you, and you start dozing off.
  2032. ~~~
  2034. >Months pass, and Cheerilee's love lump grows, and she starts developing some of the side effects of pregnancy.
  2035. >"Anon, could you go get me a rhubarb strawberry cupcake?" Cheerilee calls out, snuggled up cozy on her cushion.
  2036. "Yes dear, I'll be right back," you call back, grabbing your coat.
  2037. >Such silly things, she wants.
  2038. >Three days ago it was triple layer daisy and rose sandwich with mustard.
  2039. >Took you a while to get that, but the smile on her face was worth it.
  2040. >And as for today's request, there's only one place you'll be able to get it this far out of season.
  2041. >Sugarcube Corner.
  2042. >With Spring coming soon, snow has stopped falling, and ponies are preparing for thier tradition of winter wrap up.
  2043. >Honestly, you find it silly, but who are you to argue with little chromatic ponies.
  2044. >Cheerilee is banned from working though.
  2045. >Your own orders, of course. Sure, light to moderate excersize is fine, but pushing along a huge sled and piles of snow, it's out of the question.
  2046. >The ding of the doors bell pulls you from your distraction, and you look around the store.
  2047. >It's relatively empty right now, with only a few ponies around, and Pinkie behind the counter.
  2048. >"Hey Anonymous, how's the new little cutie coming?" Pinkie calls out, waving energetically.
  2049. "She's growing quickly, and thanks to the scans, we can guess what she's going to look like."
  2050. >"Ooooh, is she gonna be a little Anon or a little Cheerilee?"
  2051. "It's a secret for now. In the mean time, can I get a rhubarb strawberry cupcake?"
  2052. >"Okie dokie loki," she replies, bouncing into the back.
  2053. >Moments later she returns with a red and pink swirled cupcake, covered in icing.
  2054. >"Here you go, Nonny, one strawberry rhubarb cupcake, fresh from the oven."
  2055. "Thanks a bunch Pinkie, how much do I owe you?"
  2056. >"Just one bit, since it's for Ponyville's soon to be newest resident."
  2057. >Flipping a golden coin onto the counter, you take the cupcake and head for the door.
  2058. "Cya later Pinkie, have a good day."
  2059. >"You too!" she calls back as you open the outer door.
  2060. >Trudging back home, you arrive to see Cheerilee on her back, squirming and twisting like she's trying to scratch an itch.
  2061. "Hey, what's wrong Cheerilee?" you ask, setting the cupcake aside.
  2062. >"Baby's being squirmy, she wants her snack."
  2063. "I dunno, to me it looks like you want belly rubs. That, or you have fleas."
  2064. >Her eyes focus on you with an accusatory glance, so you lift a hand and make scratching motions.
  2065. >"You'd better, mister, do you know how hard it is to get comfortable with a squirmy tummy."
  2066. "Not too hard for you, apparently, but it's a good sign that our little girl is so active."
  2067. >Bringing the cupcake over, you peel back the wrapper and break off a piece.
  2068. >Mouth open and eyes closed, she lies there, awaiting her snack.
  2069. >Not one to deny a cute pony being extra cute, you lower it into her mouth, and she closes gently around your fingers.
  2070. >While she suckles the cupcake and icing off your digits, you put the rest of the snack aside and bring your now free hand to her fuzzy, baby-filled tummy.
  2071. >Quiet moans slip past your fingers, and she lets them go as you get to work on her stomach.
  2072. >"You certainly know how to make our baby happy, don't you," she says, tilting her head to look up at you.
  2073. "Oh? did she calm down?"
  2074. >"It's like she knows when her daddy is away," she comments, opening her mouth for another piece of cupcake.
  2075. >Popping another piece in, you lay your head down on her stomach.
  2076. "Hello in there, my little girl, stop squirming around and bugging mommy so much."
  2077. >There's no response, though it's not like you expected one.
  2078. >Still, her tummy doesn't twitch or move or anything, and she seems a lot more relaxed.
  2079. >"She's definetally going to be a daddy's girl, I can tell you that," Cheerilee says, letting out a relaxed sigh.
  2080. "I just hope she won't have any complications, being the offspring of two such different species."
  2081. >"No matter what, I know we'll do what we can to raise her and care for her."
  2082. "Of course we will," you say, gently lifting her head and shoulders onto your lap.
  2083. >Feeding her the rest of her cupcake in pieces, you alternate petting her mane and rubbing her stomach.
  2084. >"I know I say this a lot, but at moments like this, it feels like I don't ever say it enough. I love you so much, Anon."
  2085. "I love you too, Cheerilee, and I don't care how many times you say it, it still means a lot to me each time you do."
  2086. >Rolling over, she looks up at you before hugging you.
  2087. >Even with her bigger belly, she still fits in your arms perfectly.
  2088. >The soon to be mother of your child, and the woman you love.
  2089. >Life couldn't be more perfect.
  2091. ~~~
  2093. >Ten months have passed since you impregnated your wife, and despite her assurances that the baby won't be born for another month or so, you still have your worries.
  2094. >Including her belly, which by pony standards looks like she's going to have twins.
  2095. >Moving around has gotten a little harder for her, and she now has to stop working.
  2096. >You don't let it stop her from having fun though, with you helping her with everything she wants to do.
  2097. >The past few magicicgrams, as they are called, have shown your little bundle of joy growing quite rapidly.
  2098. >Size wise, she's bigger than a pony baby, but smaller than a human one.
  2099. >Your biggest worry is that your love might have problems birthing her.
  2100. >Even the doctors aren't worried about that, though your concern draws a lot of positive attention from the female doctors and nurses.
  2101. >Attention you turned down, though you found it odd Cheerilee wasn't exactly what you would call consistantly protective of you.
  2102. >She has glared at the mares who would try and pull you aside or somewhere else with no proper reason, but to those that were openly flirting with you in front of her, she didn't seem to mind.
  2103. >Your only guess would be that she has a herd minded attitude, and doesn't want anypony trying to steal her place as your top mare.
  2104. >The whole system didn't make much sense to you.
  2105. >Unlike polygamy in humans, where each wife is kind of like a seperate family, but their all together, with ponies its like a caste system, where higher positioned mares get more privelages and stuff.
  2106. >You've already told her several times that you're not interested in a herd, and she accepts that, but it still doesn't change her attitude.
  2107. >Today, you and Cheerilee are having lunch out at Sugarcube corner, sitting in a private little booth in a corner.
  2108. >"Ah, it's so nice getting out like this, even moreso because our daughter has stopped squirming around and kicking."
  2109. "I noticed. She's been excessively active these last two days. I wonder if something is wrong?"
  2110. >"Anon, you worry too much. She's calmed down, so there's nothing to worry about."
  2111. >Wrapping your arm around her, you pull her in against your side.
  2112. "I may worry a lot, but it's because we don't know what's going to happen. There's so many things we can't account for, so I want to do what I can for those things I can account for."
  2113. >She relaxes into your side, and you on her.
  2114. >A moment's peace, just you and your wife, enjoying a snack, but fates conspire against this peace.
  2115. >In your arms, Cheerilee twitches before grasping her stomach.
  2116. "Are you alright?"
  2117. >"I... It's too early, I shouldn't be having contractions yet!"
  2118. >Scooping her up, you head for the door.
  2119. "Sorry I can't pay right now, Cakes, Cheerilee's going into labor!" you call out, bursting past the door.
  2120. >Rushing past the ponies in the streets, you head straight for the hospital.
  2121. >"I can walk," Cheerilee says, though she doesn't make a move to leave your grip.
  2122. "Even so, I don't want to risk anything."
  2123. >Ponies clear the way for you, some of them following you somewhat unsuredly.
  2124. >One pony does catch up to you, one you honestly didn't expect.
  2125. >"Is she alright?" Rarity asks, already starting to breathe heavier.
  2126. "She's going into labour, I'm running her to the hospital!" you reply, not slowing down.
  2127. >Rarity stumbles, falling behind a moment, before sprinting to catch up.
  2128. >"You're sure? It's not just cramps?"
  2129. >Cheerilee lets out a squeak, and her stomach contracts before something wet pours over your pants.
  2130. >"Yes, she's going into labour," Rarity says, getting behind you and pushing, "her water just broke, so HURRY!!"
  2131. >Increasing your pace as much as you can, you flat out run through town, arriving at the hospital in moments.
  2132. >At some point in the run, Rarity left, but thankfully the hospitals main doors are swinging doors, so you can just turn around and knock them open.
  2133. >The nurse at the front desk is one of the ones who has been helping with your somewhat frequent visits, and noticing the uncomfortable Cheerilee and wetness soaking your pants, she beeps for a doctor and leads you to a room.
  2134. >Ushering you into a private room, you're left with just enough time to lay Cheerilee down and pull off your soaked pants before a doctor and several nurses rush in.
  2135. >Stepping back and letting the professionals do their work, you take a seat on one of the stools around the room.
  2136. >All of Cheerilee's vitals are checked, as well as a few more... intimite things, relevant to birthing.
  2137. >Excess pillows and cushions are brought in to support her head and upper body, and she's rolled onto her stomach.
  2138. >A scanner is brought in and set up around her stomach.
  2139. >With it on, you see your daughter, head towards the exit, along with the muscles around spasming and contracting.
  2140. >"Alright, everything looks good," the doctor says, "Nurse Redheart, get the birthing lubricant and hmnn... a half dose of a mild painkiller. Something natural and on the human safe list."
  2141. >Redheart runs off, and the doctor and nurses disperse enough to let you move your chair over next to the head her bed.
  2142. "Hey, now, Cheery, our daughter is about to come out to meet the world," you say, grasping one of her hooves.
  2143. >"I know, I just wish it didn't hurt so much," she replies with a wince.
  2144. >"Your body is preparing to birth a larger than normal baby, Mrs. Cheerilee. There shouldn't be any problems, since for most directions, the baby is the same size, it's just a bit heavier than most foals."
  2145. >Redheart returns swiftly with a small container and a packaged needle.
  2146. >The container is set near the heater to warm, and the needle is pulled from it's package.
  2147. >"Relax, Cheerilee, I have to inject this carefully," The doctor says, floating the needle in their magic.
  2148. >Leaning into her face, you meet lips with her, and you can feel some of the tension leave her, before she tenses up as the needle goes in.
  2149. >"It'll take a little while for the medicine to set in, and the serious contractions won't start for a while. Redheart will stay here with you while we wait."
  2150. >You nod, and they leave, save the white and red nurse.
  2151. "Think about it, Cheerilee, within the day, we'll be parents, and our little bundle of joy will be in our arms."
  2152. >She manages a quick smile before another contraction makes her wince.
  2153. >With all the pillows under her, you get an idea, and turn to Redheart.
  2154. "Would I be able to support her, Redheart? I mean, you know, take the place of her pillows?"
  2155. >"I don't see why not. She's early in labour, so she should be fine to be moved around for a while longer."
  2156. >Cheerilee immediately tries to protest, saying, "You don't have to do that Anon, I'm comfortable enough right now."
  2157. "Too bad. I'm vetoing your opinion. You're going to cuddle me an like it."
  2158. >Lifting her upper body, you sweep away the pillows and climb onto the bed.
  2159. >Sitting cross legged, you lay a thin pillow on your lap and lower her chest onto it.
  2160. >She sighs, whether out of exasperation or comfort, you don't know, and lays her head against your chest.
  2161. >Humming a quiet tune to her, you stroke her mane and shoulders, occasionally letting your fingers brush over her sides and stomach region.
  2162. >Aside from the occasional contraction, she seems a lot more relaxed.
  2163. >Redheart seems a little bored, and aside from the occasional jealous looking glance, she minds her own business.
  2164. >And you're glad she is, because one of Cheerilee's hooves finds it's way under the pillow.
  2165. >Looking up, she gives you a sly smile and a wink, before whispering, "You've held off and done so much, you need a reward."
  2166. >Catching her hoof, you shake your head near imperceptibly, whispering back.
  2167. "Later, once you've recovered from bringing our daughter into this bright and colourful world."
  2168. >"Fine," She whispers back, letting her hoof retract.
  2169. >Minutes turn into hours, and you spend some time reading to her from one of the books around the room, before a powerful contraction hits.
  2170. >Redheart immediately picks up on this, and heads out for the doctors.
  2171. >Mere moments later, the doctor and other nurses arrive, and are all over Cheerilee.
  2172. >After some quick tests, the doctor announces she's at the point of foaling, and all the nurses scatter about the room.
  2173. >The warmed lubricant is brought over, and applied by a nurse, while others bring sterile towels and water.
  2174. >For a brief moment, everything is calm, when a wave of contractions hit.
  2175. >The whole event passes in a blur, shouts and words of encouragement filling the air along with the grunts of Cheerilee.
  2176. >Soon, you hear the doctor say, "She's almost here, just one last push," before the sound of weak crying fills the air.
  2177. >There is nary a thump as the baby comes out, caught carefully by the doctor, before being cleaned by one of the nurses.
  2178. >Wrapped up in a swath of cloth, your new daughter is brought up to you and Cheerilee.
  2179. >A wrinkly, soft skinned face reminicient of yours is all you can see, though under the blankets, you can feel her small rear hooves and tail under your hands.
  2180. >Holding her for Cheerilee to see, she leans forward, gently nosing your daughter's forehead.
  2181. >"Our little baby girl, she's so beautiful," she says, tears forming at the edges of her eyes.
  2182. "Our own little miracle."
  2183. >"That's what we'll call her," Cheerilee says, "our new daughter, Miracle."
  2187. End chapter 9
  2190. >After Cheerilee goes through a routine post foaling examination, the two of you sit on the bed, holding your new baby between you.
  2191. >Unravelling the blankets, you can see her entirely.
  2192. >Atop her wrinkly head, there are a few wisps of bright pink hair, reminiscent of her grandmother's.
  2193. >Her skin is just like yours, just paler, all the way down to her waist.
  2194. >Tiny fingers clench and unclench, her hands near her recently cut umbilical cord.
  2195. >From her waist down, her body is covered in a more muted pink fur, all the way down to her hooves.
  2196. >A perfect, beautiful little satyr.
  2197. >She lets out a small cry, and after a little fumbling, Cheerilee manages to manoeuvre her down to her teats.
  2198. >With your daughter happily drinking, you find yourself running your fingers through Cheerilee's mane.
  2199. "It's going to be strange, neither of us have ever raised a satyr before. I'm not sure how different she'll be."
  2200. >"We'll be able to handle it, I'm sure."
  2201. >Miracle releases her mothers milk maker, yawning slightly.
  2202. >Working together, you get her wrapped back up in the blanket, and into her mother's hooves, who starts rocking her slowly.
  2203. >While she does this, you rise and look for a doctor or nurse who can authorize the three of you to leave.
  2204. >The doctors are all busy or out, but you find the next best thing.
  2205. >Coming around the corner, you arrive in the waiting room, and it's numerous occupants.
  2206. >Immediately upon seeing you, they rush forward, Roseluck, her sisters and Cheerilee's parents at the forefront.
  2207. >"Is she alright?"
  2208. >"How's the baby?"
  2209. >"When are you getting out?"
  2210. >"Is it a pony or a human?"
  2211. >Questions bombard you, and you motion for them to calm down.
  2212. "I can answer all your questions later, right now, I'm looking for a doctor who can clear us to leave."
  2213. >From the back of the group, Celestia speaks up, "I can handle that. You should take the parents to meet their granddaughter in the mean time."
  2214. "Thanks, Celestia," you say, before leading the two through the hospital back to Cheerilee's room.
  2215. >Pushing open the door, you find Cheerilee laying down, the bundle that is your daughter in tight next to her.
  2216. >Looking up, her face lights up, and she exclaims, "Mom! Dad! What are you doing here?"
  2217. >"We came with Celestia and the Canterlot doctors," her Dad says, walking over with her mom.
  2218. >The two parents look down at the little bundle, and let out quiet "dawwwwww's".
  2219. >"Our own grandhuman daughter," the mom says, "It kind of makes me feel old,"
  2220. "She's not a human, actually," you say quietly, taking a seat next to Cheerilee and your daughter.
  2221. >Carefully lifting Miracle, you slowly undo the blankets, giving the parent a full view of their granddaughter.
  2222. "She's a satyr, at least by human definition."
  2223. >"Well, either way, she's beautiful," Cheerilee's mom says, gently brushing her nose on the baby's cheek.
  2224. >"I must say, I was concerned what your children would be like, if they even survived, but I'm surprised," Her father comments, examining his granddaughter, "She's quite normal, and looks healthy."
  2225. "We both did our best to make sure Cheerilee was happy and healthy for her entire pregnancy."
  2226. >Bundling Miracle up again, you lay her next to her mom again.
  2227. >"Her name's Miracle, since for us, that's what she is."
  2228. >Celestia chooses this moment to walk in, drawing your attention away from the baby.
  2229. >"All three of you are free to go, your release papers are signed."
  2230. >"Thank you princess. Mom, Dad, can you hold Miracle while I get ready?"
  2231. >While the parents hold your baby, you assist Cheerilee off the bed, where she stands on unsteady hooves.
  2232. "Are you feeling up to walking?" you ask, steadying her with a hand.
  2233. >"I'll be fine, but maybe you should carry Miracle instead of me."
  2234. "I agree," you reply with a chuckle as she wobbles again.
  2235. >Accepting your daughter back from Cheerilee's parents, you cradle her in your arms, still asleep.
  2236. >Celestia take the lead, the rest of you close behind as she escorts you to the front room.
  2237. >Numerous friends are waiting there to greet Ponyville's newest member, but they're cut silent by a gesture from Celestia.
  2238. >"Baby's sleeping, please be quiet," Cheerilee says, moving ahead of the others.
  2239. >Everyone clusters up as you kneel down, revealing your child.
  2240. >A quiet chorus of "dawwwww's" come from the group, and while they all jostle for a better view, they try to stay quiet for the baby.
  2241. >"What a cute baby human," Daisy comments, clustered in with her sisters.
  2242. >"Indeed, though she's not exactly a human," Celestia agrees, her face lit with a motherly smile, "I wonder what she will grow up to be like?"
  2243. >"If she's anything like either parent, she'll grow up just fine," Rarity says, standing between you and Cheerilee.
  2244. >Mouth opening in an adorable yawn, Miracle stirs, before her eyes open ever so slightly, vivid emerald irises visible through the crack.
  2245. >Everyone gives another "dawwww," before her eyes close again, and she squirms a bit to get comfortable in the blanket.
  2246. "Well, she certainly has her mothers eyes."
  2247. >"And her father's good looks," Cheerilee adds with a smile.
  2248. >"Come on, let's introduce her to the town," Roseluck says, moving beside you, "Everyp0ny's waiting."
  2249. >You and Cheerilee share a look, before both shaking your heads.
  2250. "Not right now. Give us a few days to prepare, and get used to her, and then we can introduce her."
  2251. >The ponies give you looks that are a mixture of sadness and confusion, but Celestia says, "I understand. If anything arises, be sure to contact me or the medical staff."
  2252. >With a nod from you, everyone follows you outside, where a pink pony jumps up and opens her mouth, but before she can utter a peep, Celestia silences her with magic.
  2253. >"Not today, Pinkie, she's sleeping, and we want to make sure everything’s fine with her first," Cheerilee says, consoling the now sad looking pink mare.
  2254. >With a small pout, pink party pony nods, and Celestia releases her.
  2255. >"Bye bye for now, little Anonilee," she says, before bouncing off.
  2256. >Watching the perky pink pony bound away, you can't help but chuckle.
  2257. "Anonilee? I can't imagine what she'll name her kids if she gets any."
  2258. >The others in your little group laugh with you, before heading off in their own directions.
  2259. >Passing through the center of town on the way home, you come across Pinkie stashing away what look like party decorations, attesting to the scale of her "Welcome to the world and ponyville" party.
  2260. >Arriving home, both you and Cheerilee simultaneously realize something.
  2261. >You never got a crib or anything else for the baby.
  2262. >"Uh... Anon, I think we need to do some shopping."
  2263. "I think so too. Is there anywhere in Ponyville where we'll be able to get this stuff?"
  2264. >"Not really... Ponyville isn't big enough to have a dedicated manufacturer, and most herds have foals all in one go, so their's plenty of warning."
  2265. >Sitting down with a sigh, you rub noses with your daughter, who gives a small squirm, still asleep.
  2266. "Looks like I'll have to ask around, see if anyone has one we can borrow or buy for the time being."
  2267. >Carefully climbing onto your couch, she nods and curls up somewhat, making a spot for the baby.
  2268. >"Go on, I'll be fine here watching Miracle for the time being."
  2269. >Grabbing a bag of bits, you head out into town again.
  2270. >Everyone and everything seems to be back to normal, Pinkie's party completely cleaned up and out of everyone’s mind for the time being.
  2271. >You figure Sugarcube corner is the best first stop, since the Cakes had twins recently, they may know someone who has a crib left over or where might have one.
  2272. >It does mean meeting Pinkie again, but she shouldn't be a problem.
  2273. >The door bell dings as you walk inside, and the pink mare at the counter perks up.
  2274. >"Hey Anonymous, what brings you around here? I thought you were gonna spend some time with little Anonilee?"
  2275. "Her name's Miracle, Pinkie, and in all the commotion around her pregnancy and all that, we completely forgot to get a crib and things for the baby."
  2276. >She lets out a shocked gasp, exclaiming, "Anon! I expected better of you, you're supposed to be the bestest father type person in town!"
  2277. "I know, we just got so distracted, and Cheerilee wasn't expecting Miracle to be born for another whole month."
  2278. "Anyways, I came to ask the Cakes if they knew if anyone had a crib I could buy, or if anyone knew where I could get one."
  2279. >"Okie Doki Lokie, I'll go get them now," she says, before vanishing in a puff of smoke.
  2280. >In less than a minute, she's back, being followed by the two Cake's.
  2281. >"Good afternoon, Anonymous, I hear you have a question for us?" Mr. cake asks.
  2282. "Yes, I know you had children recently, and I was wondering if you knew anyone who might have a crib for sale, or somewhere I could get one on short notice."
  2283. >The two pause, staring off into the distance in thought.
  2284. >"None that I can think of. We had to order ours from Canterlot. I suppose you could ask the Apples, they tend to keep a lot of stuff around, and they might have the stuff to make one, if they don't have one."
  2285. >Mrs. Cake nods in agreement, "Yeah, we're sorry we can't help any more than that."
  2286. "No that's fine. I screwed up, and any help works at this point."
  2287. >Waving goodbye, you head out towards the edge of town, and from there, to Sweet Apple Acres.
  2288. >The fields are quiet, an unusual thing, considering it's a weekday and the Apples are a hardworking folk.
  2289. >Dust rises up around you as you make your way up to the house, which, like the field, seems empty.
  2290. >Knuckles rap on wood, and you listen for a response.
  2291. >After a moment, you hear Granny Smith's voice reply, "Hold on a moment, Ah'm commin'."
  2292. >The elderly green mare opens the door, before craning her neck back to look up at you.
  2293. >"Ah, Anonymous, the young'uns were just talkin' about ya. They're out back in the barn, if'n yer looking for 'em."
  2294. "Thanks. I was wondering if you had a crib I could borrow or buy off of you? I forgot to get one for my newborn daughter."
  2295. >"Yer little one is born? Yer gonna have ta bring her over some time. Ah can't remember if we still have little Bloom's crib, you'll have ta ask Applejack or Big Mac."
  2296. "Alright, I'll make sure to stop by soon."
  2297. >Making your way around to the barn, you hear the bangs of hammers and sawing of wood.
  2298. >Knocking on the barn door, there is a clatter of hooves as a small filly runs and opens the door.
  2299. >"Howdy Anon, what're ya doin' here?" Applebloom asks, looking up at you.
  2300. "I was told you guys might have a crib I could borrow or buy. I need one for Cheerilee and I's daughter."
  2301. >"Ya mean fer that little abomination?" Applejack asks, her voice seething with poorly veiled hatred, "why should us hard working PONIES, give up our stuff fer a thing that shouldn't exist?"
  2302. "What are you talking about AJ?"
  2303. >Big Mac walks up behind her, a solemn look on his face.
  2304. >"Your freak of a daughter, Anonymous. It's a mockery of both ponies and Humans. How can you love it when it's a mutant that should have been aborted the moment you knew what it was?"
  2305. >Your jaw drops, stunned by the outright bigotry coming from Applejack, and for a moment, you can only stare at her silently.
  2306. >As if a veil of pacifism has been dropped, you find yourself truly pissed off for the first time in this land of colourful beings.
  2307. "Fuck you, Applejack. What right do you have, insulting my daughter?" you exclaim, smacking the door next to you.
  2308. >The wooden portal swings into the wall of the barn, fracturing both it and the red painted wall.
  2309. >Puffing up, she goes angry red in the face, and retorts, "It's an insult to Celestia and all she stands for! It's a fucking abomination, a freak that nature shouldn't have allowed!"
  2310. >"Even when gryphons and ponies or other mixes mate, it's always one or the other, never a monster like that."
  2311. >This racist, pretentious pony's rant causes something in you to snap.
  2312. "You know what, Fuck you, Applebitch," you say, slamming the door shut and walking away.
  2313. >The long walk home does little to stem your anger, but you retain enough sense not to slam the door as you walk inside.
  2314. >"Honey, did you have any luck?" Cheerilee softly calls out, leading you to believe Miracle is asleep.
  2315. "No, thanks to a couple xenophobic assholes," you reply, the anger easily audible in your voice, "Apparently the Apple folk think our daughter is an quote, "Insult against everything Celestia stands for, or an abomination that should have been aborted." unquote."
  2316. >Your wife frowns as you pass, saying, "That doesn't seem like them."
  2317. >Grabbing a fruit from the basket on the table, your hand comes up with, of all things, an apple.
  2318. >Instantly, your rage focuses on the fruit, a substitute for the source of your rage.
  2319. >The pressure on the ripe red fruit increases, before it ruptures and fragments, scattering chunks of fruit, as well as some of your anger.
  2320. >Flinging the rest from your hand on the ground, you pull out a chair and sit down.
  2321. >"Are you alright, Anon?" your wife asks, nudging her head under your clean hand.
  2322. "Sorry," you sigh, scratching behind her ears, "I let my anger get the better of me. I just... grrr, I can't believe she was that much of a..."
  2323. >"Don't worry Anon, I'm sure they'll eventually accept her. She may not have come out as either of us initially expected, but we love her, and that's what matters."
  2324. >Standing on her rear hooves and putting her front ones on your leg, she nuzzles into your chest.
  2325. >"We'll be fine, together, the three of us," she says in a slow, calming tone.
  2326. >It takes a moment, but you realize what she's doing, and you can't help but laugh.
  2327. "Thank's love, I guess I was acting a bit childish. I'll clean up this mess right away."
  2328. >"You'd better, mister. I'm not gonna clean up after your little messes like I'm your housewife," she teases, getting down and heading for the living room, where your daughter likely sleeps.
  2329. "Oh, so then I guess I better go look for a nice housewife mare then, shouldn't I?" you joke back.
  2330. >"That'd be great, dear. just make sure she's good with kids," she quietly calls back from the other room, and you notice the joking in her tone gone.
  2331. "You know, I can't tell if you're subtly trying to push me towards getting a herd, or if you're getting really good at hiding when you're joking."
  2332. >"Honestly, Anon, I won't force you, but I do want you to get a herd. You're far too much of a stallion, er, man, for me to hog to myself. Even if you get another just for sex or whatever, as long as you're happy, I'm happy."
  2333. >As you clean, you let the silence linger till you drop the last of the apple in the trash and toss the rag to be cleaned.
  2334. "Cheerilee, to be honest, the thought of having multiple wives is weird to me, though I guess I can take a look."
  2335. >As you walk back into the living room, she smiles up at you, "I'm not going to push you, but if you find another girl you like or love, know that I'm not against you."
  2336. "Well, that's good to know," you reply, sitting next to her and your daughter, "How was Miracle while I was out?"
  2337. >"A little angel. Hardly a peep out of her."
  2338. >Reaching down, you rub your daughter's head softly while humming a tune.
  2339. >Soon, Cheerilee lies down alongside Miracle, and you end up rubbing them both.
  2340. "My two girls, as happy as can be," you say silently, the small smile on your face growing.
  2341. >"I'm not your girl," Cheerilee murmurs, half asleep from your fingers, "I'm your wife and the mother of your child, *yawn* and I expect to be treated as such..."
  2342. >Her eyes close completely, and soon she's snoring softly.
  2343. >With one sleeping pony and one sleeping satyr next to you, you decide to join them.
  2344. >Cheerilee gets shifted to the back, and Miracle in the middle, while you curve around them both, forming a safe little wall around your daughter.
  2346. ~~~
  2348. >Raising Miracle, or Mira as you decide to nickname her, isn't much different from raising a human baby, nor is it that different from raising a foal.
  2349. >She cries at night, wants to be fed a lot, and goes through diapers like nobodies business.
  2350. >Cheerilee stays off work while Mira grows.
  2351. >You, on the other hand, keep working, but at reduced hours.
  2352. >It's great to have an understanding boss.
  2353. >Both of you are surprised as Mira starts crawling by three months, which by pony standards is quite slow, but by human standards, it's quite fast.
  2354. >As her need to feed decreases a little, you and Cheerilee start bagging her breastmilk, and by five months, Cheerilee is back at work.
  2355. >While she's teaching, you're taking care of Mira, feeding her with the stored baggies of breastmilk.
  2356. >Time just flies by, your life consisting of Miracle for most of the day, short shifts of work in the evenings, and time with friends during the weekends.
  2357. >Compared to weekdays, Cheerilee takes the brunt of the work with Miracle during the weekends, though you refuse to let her do it all.
  2358. >The Apples try to spread their Xenophobia, though very few actually bother to listen to their rants about pony purity and other silly hypocritical stuff.
  2359. >Even fewer accept their rants, leaving about half a dozen ponies against you.
  2360. >Thankfully, nobody acts out on it, these ponies rather passive aggressive.
  2361. >The only actual problem is with Filthy Rich.
  2362. >He runs the local general goods store, and when the Apples converted him, buying anything from the store came at a massive price.
  2363. >With some help from friends, you could get some things, but pretty much anything that could be tied back to you, it didn't matter who, the price was ludicrous.
  2364. >You managed to order a crib for Miracle from Canterlot, though for the first month you and Cheerilee had to share your bed with your daughter.
  2365. >Not that either of you minded, it just meant you had to sleep carefully.
  2366. >Because of the season, you make sure Miracle has some clothing or a blanket on at all times, since she doesn't have fur on her torso and arms.
  2367. >As summer arrives though, you let her go au naturale on warmer days.
  2368. >School ends, leaving Cheerilee with all the free time in the world, or at least, all the free time you can have with a baby.
  2369. >Together, you work on teaching Mira to walk.
  2370. "Up we go," you say, lifting her to standing, holding her hands in your own.
  2371. >"Over here, Mira, come to mommy," Cheerilee calls softly from several feet away.
  2372. >Supporting her, you move forward, and she tries to keep her hooves on the ground, moving in a semblance of walking.
  2373. >Cheerilee smiles as Mira does, stumbling towards her mommy with your help.
  2374. >As you release her hands, she stands balanced a moment before falling back on her bottom.
  2375. >Helping her up again, she starts towards her mom again, quite determined.
  2376. >A few steps from Cheerilee, you let go of her hands again, and again, she wobbles, but this time, remains upright.
  2377. >Trying to step forward, she stumbles and falls into her mother's hooves, wrapping her arms around one leg.
  2378. >"Ma," she says, looking up at the cerise pony.
  2379. >The two of you can't help but grow huge smiles.
  2380. >Your daughter's first word.
  2381. "That's right, that's your mommy," you say, rubbing her now somewhat thick, but short, pink hair.
  2382. >Cheerilee nuzzles against Miracle, getting a happy squeal in return.
  2383. >Mira pulls herself up Cheerilee's leg till she's standing, and says again, "Ma."
  2384. >Sitting down in front of Cheerilee, you hold your hands out, and Mira looks back at you before turning.
  2385. >Catching her hands as she stumbles towards you, you keep her upright, before grabbing under her arms and scooping her up.
  2386. "Who's our good little girl?" you say, rubbing noses with her, getting another happy smile.
  2387. >"The weather report looks good tomorrow, so what do you say we take Mira out to the park with our friends?"
  2388. "Sounds good to me," you say, Setting Mira down next to Cheerilee, "Should we pump some milk, or are you fine feeding her naturally?"
  2389. >"You're the only one who has problems with us feeding her in public," Cheerilee replies, "and that's just because you have to support her from behind me."
  2390. "Well excuse me if I don't like being seen staring at your privates in public, dear."
  2391. >"And you know I like it when you stare," she replies, letting her eyelids lower somewhat, "it makes me feel pretty."
  2392. >Shifting your grip on Mira, you reach out and run your hand along the side of her face.
  2393. "You are beautiful, and you always have been. If you need me to pay more attention to you sexually, just ask."
  2394. >"Oh my, so you wouldn't object to a little fun after Miracle goes down for a nap?"
  2395. >The hand brushing her cheek moves down her neck, before giving her flank a light squeeze.
  2396. "Not at all, so long as we play safe. One miracle is enough for now."
  2397. >Both of you laugh at your little joke, the self same Miracle looking up at you and Cheerilee.
  2398. >Mira makes grabbing motions for Cheerilee's teats, and lets out a few soft cries.
  2399. "Well, looks like feeding time," you say, picking up Mira.
  2400. >Cheerilee climbs onto the couch and lays on her back, while you lay Miracle on her stomach.
  2401. >Without a moments delay, your daughter latches onto one of your wife's milk filled teats, sucking away.
  2402. >Leaving them to their business, you head to the kitchen to plan dinner.
  2404. ~~~
  2406. >"Hurry up dear or we're going to be late," Cheerilee calls out from the front door.
  2407. "Yeah, yeah, I'm almost ready," you call back, pulling on your shorts.
  2408. >All dressed and ready to go, you join your wife and daughter before heading out.
  2409. >Together, the three of you walk down the path to the park, a path you have walked many times.
  2410. >And like many of the times before, a trio of mares is there to meet you.
  2411. >"Hey Anonymous, Cheerilee, and of course, little Miracle," Rose calls out, waving energetically.
  2412. >"Does this mean we get to play with your daughter?" Daisy asks, running up.
  2413. "Yes, we figured it was warm enough for a family day out."
  2414. >Daisy squees, rushing up to Cheerilee and nuzzling Mira.
  2415. >Your daughter hugs back, and Daisy carefully manoeuvres Mira over onto her back.
  2416. >Miracle has taken to horseback riding quite readily, and she giggles as she holds onto Daisy's mane.
  2417. >The two sisters join Daisy, while you and Cheerilee follow behind.
  2418. >After lowering Mira to the ground, the sisters pull out a few balls to play with, rolling them to her.
  2419. >Her manual dexterity has improved drastically faster than a human's, and she grabs the ball and throws it back.
  2420. >With the four of them playing together, you and Cheerilee get a little time with eachother, and you both rest on a bench.
  2421. >"She's such a happy filly, I don't know why every parent I've met has said their little ones are nothing but trouble around this age."
  2422. "Who knows. I've never really dealt with newborn foals or fillies before this, though looking at a few of your class members, there may be good reason."
  2423. >"I know quite well. Those Cutie Mark Crusaders can be quite a hooffull, and while they're a little better now, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon are still hard to handle sometimes."
  2424. >Laying her head on your lap, Cheerilee lies down, still watching her daughter.
  2425. >"Every day is a new surprise with her, and I wouldn't change a second of it."
  2426. "Nor would I, love, nor would I."
  2427. >In the distance, you hear a couple young voices call out, "Mister Anon, Miss Cheerilee!" before a certain trio of fillys rush over.
  2428. >"Hello girls, what brings you around here?" Cheerilee asks, sitting up and looking over.
  2429. >"We came to play in the park, Miss Cheerilee, what else would we do here," Sweetie Belle says.
  2430. >The two of you laugh, and Cheerilee replies, "Of course, how silly of me."
  2431. >Lily comes over, motioning for your wife's attention.
  2432. >"Cheerilee, Miracle's getting a little, um... grabby, you know..."
  2433. >"Feeding time already? Sheesh, sometimes I think she got her dad's appetite."
  2434. "I don't eat THAT much," you retort, and she chuckles.
  2435. >"Oh yes, mister eats twice as much as me, you don't eat much."
  2436. "I'm also twice as big as you, my Little pony."
  2437. >In the not so far distance, a squeak is heard, and you see Mira grabbing under Roseluck’s backside.
  2438. >Quickly rushing over, you detach your daughter from Roseluck’s breasts, bringing her over to Cheerilee.
  2439. >"Thanks, Anon," Rose says, trotting alongside you, "I really like you, and I'd raise her if I was with you, but I'm not exactly making milk right now."
  2440. "Don't worry, it's kind of our fault, we haven't gotten to teaching her that she only gets to feed off her mom."
  2441. >After you take a seat on the bench, Cheerilee assumes the baby feeding position, basically going head down, rear up as you support Mira to reach her mother's teats.
  2442. >"That's looks like a silly way ta feed a baby," Applebloom says, tilting her head.
  2443. "Just a problem of her being a quadruped, and Mira being a biped," you say, your breath tickling your wife's genitals.
  2444. >Rose and her sisters look away, but the three fillys are fascinated.
  2445. >"She eats just like me when I was little," Scootaloo comments, trying to look further under Cheerilee.
  2446. >"Can she eat other stuff yet?" Sweetie Belle asks, looking at you.
  2447. "She probably can, but we're holding off a little longer before we start trying things."
  2448. >A few moments later, Mira releases her hold on Cheerilee's breast, and sits back against you.
  2449. >Turning her around, you lift her to your shoulder, and start gently patting her back.
  2450. >"What are you doing, Anon?" Daisy asks, watching you.
  2451. "Burping her. When babies drink milk, they often get a lot of air in their stomachs too, but their body can't handle it well. Burping them stirs up gas, and when there is enough..."
  2452. >Mira suddenly lets out a small burp and smiles.
  2453. "They burp. If they aren't burped, the pressure in their stomach can cause them discomfort before it's relieved."
  2454. >"It makes for a happy baby," Cheerilee adds, sitting down normally again.
  2455. >"Can we play with her? Or is she gonna nap?" Applebloom asks, raising her forehooves up onto the bench.
  2456. >Looking at down at your daughter, she shows no signs of tiredness, so you give Applebloom and the other CMC a smile.
  2457. "It looks like she'll be fine, just make sure to play safe and don't move her away."
  2458. >When they nod, you walk out into the grass a bit, before setting Mira down, the girls almost immediately approaching.
  2459. >Like the flower sisters did, they play ball with her, leaving you, your wife and the self same sisters free to play.
  2460. >"So, badminton?" Rose asks, picking up a bag.
  2461. "Sounds good." I'll sit out the first game and keep an eye on the girls."
  2462. >The net is set up quickly, and before you know it, the thwips of rackets swinging fill the air.
  2463. >Each time a player swaps in, the one swapping out keeps an eye on Mira, and soon, you're sitting out again.
  2464. >Mira's giggles fill the air as you approach, the girls having gone from play ball with her to some gentle wrestling, chasing and tumbling.
  2465. >About to join in, you hear a loud, angry shout of "Git away from that monster, Bloom."
  2466. >Applejack storms over, grabbing Applebloom bu the scruff of her neck and dragging her away.
  2467. >"Ya know yer ferbidden from doin' anything with that little abomination," she says through her grip on Applebloom.
  2468. >"Bus sis, she's so cute, and she's not a monster..."
  2469. >At the edge of the park already, Applejack drops her sister and stares her down, "Ain't no sister o' mine gonna spend time with 'That'."
  2470. >The two apples leave, the younger pushed by the older, and the two remaining Cutie Mark Crusaders look back at you.
  2471. >"What's wrong with them?"
  2472. "I don't know all the details, but Applejack and her brother both think that because Miracle is a mix of human and pony that she is a monster."
  2473. >"Well that's silly," Scootaloo says, nudging Mira with her nose, "She doesn't seem like a monster."
  2474. "She isn't. It's just some silly thing that she believes."
  2475. >Something taps on your shoulder, and you turn to see Rose there.
  2476. >"Hey, you're in. I'll watch over the kids."
  2477. "Alright," you reply, ruffling her mane as you pass.
  2478. >Lunch rolls around, and the remaining CMC head off, the rest of you eating a picnic lunch.
  2479. >Mira does demand to be fed again in that time, and after a little more playing, your two groups separate and head off.
  2480. >Walking home, you pass near the market, and you can hear Applejack and Big Mac ranting in the distance.
  2481. >You are about to sigh, when you hear Applebloom's voice too, arguing against them.
  2482. >Maybe not all apples fall close to the tree.
  2483. >Then again, Granny Smith didn't seem too aggressive or anything, so maybe Applejack and Big Mac are the outliers.
  2484. >A yawn comes from your arms before you feel your shirt being tugged in tight.
  2485. "...and Mira's asleep," you whisper to Cheerilee, holding your daughter closer.
  2486. >"It's not surprising," she whispers back, "She's been so active and busy all day."
  2487. >Arriving home, you carry Mira to her crib, but encounter a problem trying to put her down.
  2488. >She has rather tightly gripped your shirt, and doesn't want to let go.
  2489. >After some wiggling and squirming, you manage to get your shirt off, which Mira pulls in even tighter as you lay her down.
  2490. >Pulling up her blanket, you give her a kiss on the forehead, before quietly heading back to the living room.
  2491. >"Are you gonna take a shower, Anon?" Cheerilee asks, eyeing your bare chest.
  2492. "Probably, though I didn't take of my shirt because that."
  2493. >A smile forms, and her eyes drift lower as she says, "Oh?"
  2494. "Off again, dear. Our little Miracle decided not to let go of my shirt, so I let her keep it for her nap."
  2495. >Her response is a chuckle, "Like I said, she's definitely a daddy's girl."
  2496. >Making your way to the shower, you strip down, and wince as your smell rises up.
  2497. "Ugh, I really do need this shower."
  2498. >"I don't mind it," you hear from behind you, a pair of hooves wrapping around your waist and her nose tickling your back.
  2499. >Gently prying her hooves off, you spin around and step back.
  2500. "You may not mind, but I can barely stand it."
  2501. >"Let me join you then, I could use one too," she half-whispers seductively, brushing against your leg as she walks to the shower/bath combo.
  2502. >The water isn't the only thing that starts to heat up as the two of you shower, but it's stopped cold as a sound the two of you have heard countless times already permeates the air.
  2503. >Such is life as a parent.
  2507. End Chapter 10
  2510. >"Daddy!" your daughter exclaims, half running towards you as you open the door.
  2511. >Kneeling down to catch her, she rushes into your arms.
  2512. "Hey, what are you doing up, Miracle?" you asks, squeezing her gently.
  2513. >"Mommy said," she replies, snuggling into your grip.
  2514. >Looking up, you see your wife nod, and smile.
  2515. "Well, you're not going to have to stay up to see me anymore."
  2516. >"Huh?" she asks, looking up at you, "What do you mean daddy?"
  2517. "I just gave my two weeks notice, so soon I'll be here all day to take care of you."
  2518. >Mira gives you another squeeze, before letting you stand up.
  2519. >"You didn't have to do that, dear," you wife says, but you hush her with a finger.
  2520. "I've seen your work loads some days, and doing that and taking care of our little girl is too much for one pony."
  2521. >Your wife nuzzles her head into your side, your hand going to scratch her ears, "You're always way too considerate Anon."
  2522. "And you're such a hard worker, but right now," you start, turning to look down at Mira, hiding behind you, "I thing we have a little girl we have to get to bed,"
  2523. >The self same girl lets out a squeal and goes running off, her hooves clopping on the wood floors.
  2524. >Cheerilee and you split up and go running after your giggling daughter, chasing her throughout the house.
  2525. >She's finally cornered by Cheerilee in the kitchen, and she's carried to her bed by you.
  2526. "Now be good and go to sleep, Miracle, and tomorrow we can go outside and dig out your snow fort."
  2527. >A happy squeal is your response, and she buries herself in her blankets, now ready to sleep.
  2528. >Watching with the lights out for a few moments, after you're sure she's asleep; you head out back to the living room.
  2529. >Snowflakes drift down outside your window, testament to how long, and yet how short a time it has been since your daughter was born.
  2530. >Not even one year ago she was born, and yet she's developed so quickly, and in different ways.
  2531. >Already talking pretty well and running without falling, her development has caught up to pony rate and shows no signs of slowing down.
  2532. >At this rate, she'll be a teenager in mind by the time she's nine.
  2533. >Oh the troubles that will cause.
  2534. >But for now, she's a mischievous little girl with too much energy.
  2535. >"She went down without a problem?" your wife asks joining you as you head for bed.
  2536. "With a little encouragement, yes."
  2537. >Stripping down to your boxers, you crawl into bed, Cheerilee squirming in next to you.
  2538. >"Night love," she whispers, curled up in your arms.
  2539. "Night."
  2540. >Sleep comes quickly, but without dreams, you're woken quickly by Mira crying.
  2541. >"Mommy, hungry!"
  2542. >Your wife squirms out from under the blankets, leaving a cold spot behind, saying "I got this, dear, don't worry."
  2543. >Sleep starts to reclaim you as Cheerilee returns, reclaiming her spot.
  2544. >With her warmth again, sleeps grasp firms, and you are out for the night.
  2545. >Morning comes with the sound of Mira's cries again, and this time, you go pick her up, letting Cheerilee get a few moments more of sleep.
  2546. >Miracle goes quiet the moment you open her door, before excitedly saying, "Daddy!" and holding her hands out to be picked up.
  2547. "Good morning Miracle, did you have a good sleep?"
  2548. >"Yes Daddy. Mommy awake? I'm hungry."
  2549. "Not yet. While we wait, let’s get you a snack."
  2550. >She clambers up your arms as you grab her, holding on tight.
  2551. >Carrying her to the kitchen, you set her in her high chair and start pulling out things for breakfast.
  2552. >Setting a few carrot slices on the chair tray, she starts munching on them while you pull out eggs, milk and pancake mix.
  2553. >The pan has heated by the time Cheerilee comes out into the main room, and she's enthusiastically greeted by Mira.
  2554. >"Mommy, milk!"
  2555. >She smiles and nods, giving her daughter a quick nuzzle before you lift Mira down for her.
  2556. >While Cheerilee carries her into the living room, where things are set up for feeding, you start the pancakes.
  2557. >A small stack is ready as she trots back in, Mira riding on her back.
  2558. >You can see her nose sniffing the air, and she lets out an "Mmmmm..."
  2559. >Setting Mira back in her seat, you set out some pancakes on her plate, while she pulls out margarine and syrup.
  2560. >The batter bowl quickly empties, and you have your own stack done, as always, about twice the size of Cheerilee's.
  2561. >Mira does wait a little bit while you eat, but she gets a little impatient about halfway through.
  2562. >It's a good thing your wife finished by then, and she's able to handle her.
  2563. >"Daddy, make snow fort?" she asks, stumble/running up to your leg.
  2564. "Soon. Ask mommy if she can help you get dressed before she has to go to work."
  2565. >Your daughter instantly turns to her mom and gives her best cutie look, and you put a hand on her head.
  2566. "I said ask her, Mira."
  2567. >She pouts a bit, before nodding.
  2568. >"Mommy, help me get snow clothes?"
  2569. >"Of course, now let’s go get you ready while Daddy eats."
  2570. >Wife and Daughter head to the front, giving you a moment’s peace to eat your pancakes.
  2571. >The moment doesn't last long, since as soon as she's dressed, Mira runs back to you, dressed head to hoof in winter clothing, made by Rarity.
  2572. >"Daddy, ready?"
  2573. "Almost done, be patient."
  2574. >She sits down, watching you, but it doesn't last long.
  2575. >Soon she grows bored and wanders off to probably bug her mom.
  2576. >Your dishes are tidied, and you head to the living room, where you find a bit of a problem.
  2577. >Mira is playing with her blocks, her winter gear half off and scattered around the room.
  2578. "Mira, why is your stuff off?" you ask.
  2579. >"One boot on," she replies with a smile, waving a booted hoof.
  2580. "Alright, let’s get the rest of your stuff back on and then we can say goodbye to mommy and build your snow house."
  2581. >She lets out a yay, and at the same moment, Cheerilee exits the study with her school bag on.
  2582. "Have a good day at work, Dear,” you say, kneeling and rubbing noses with her.
  2583. >"And you keep our little girl safe and happy," she replies, before giving you a quick kiss.
  2584. >Slipping on her boots and scarf, she's off into the snowy outdoors.
  2585. >Pulling on your jacket, you make sure to keep an eye on Mira so she doesn't pull off anything, and when your winter clothes are on, you pick her up.
  2586. >Carrying her out into the big snow hill you have been piling up, you set her on top, where she tries to stand, before falling into some loose snow.
  2587. >Tears start to for but you wipe them and the snow away, and pull out a shovel.
  2588. >Digging down, you soon have an open hole in the hill, almost like a volcano.
  2589. >Cutting out a doorway, you start shaping the walls into the shape of a fort.
  2590. >Scrambling under your legs, Mira crawls into the snow structure.
  2591. >"Daddy, fort!" she exclaims, running around the inside.
  2592. >Setting your shovel aside, you kneel down by a wall and dig out a window.
  2593. >Mira's face pops up the other side, and you wave.
  2594. >"Hi daddy," she replies, her mitted hand waving back.
  2595. >Several more holes are made, so she can see out every side.
  2596. >Ponies that pass wave when they see Mira waving at them from her fort, while you quickly duck inside to start water boiling.
  2597. >Kettle on the stove and the stove lit, you run back outside to hear Mira's crying.
  2598. >One of the walls has fallen, collapsed inward and she's partially buried.
  2599. >Pulling her up and out, you notice partial hoof prints in the snow.
  2600. >Snow falls from her as you clean her off, snuggling her close
  2601. "Are you alright, Miracle?" you ask, undoing her coat and other snow gear.
  2602. >"Yes daddy," she sniffles, "Pony push snow fort."
  2603. >Hugging her firmly, you sit on the couch in front of the fireplace, pulling a blanket over the two of you.
  2604. "Everything's okay now, Mira, don't worry."
  2605. >A whistle slowly rises in the background, and with Mira settled enough and bundled in blankets, you set her down and rush to take the kettle off the stove.
  2606. >Pouring the hot water into a teapot, you add the hot chocolate mix, as well as prepare a bowl of warm water that you rest a bag of breast milk in.
  2607. >Going back and picking up Mira, you carry her back to the kitchen, cradling her in your lap as you pour a glass of hot chocolate.
  2608. >The milk gets poured into a bottle, and you hold it for her to drink from.
  2609. >whatever trauma or fear was left from the incident with the fort melt away, and you see her drifting off to sleep as she drinks.
  2610. "The joys of being young, I suppose," you whisper, softly rubbing her head.
  2611. >Your cocoa cools as you tend to Mira, and as she finally falls asleep, you carry her to her crib and lay her down for a nap.
  2612. >Nursing your luke-warm glass of cocoa, you think on what Mira said.
  2613. >Someone had pushed the wall in on her.
  2614. >It doesn't take much to get a few suspects, but confronting them isn't going to change anything.
  2615. >Since they show no signs of changing, it's time to try something above their heads.
  2617. ~~~
  2619. >Your daily pile of letters is brought in, and with an oft used spell, you begin sorting the pile.
  2620. >Paper flits around, carried by golden magic, and you sip your tea.
  2621. >The two distinct piles form, one filled with impersonal requests and legal papers, the other with what you title fan mail.
  2622. >Letters from admirers or ponies looking to find a little favour or other such things.
  2623. >Floating over a quill and ink to handle the paperwork, your magic finds an oddity.
  2624. >One letter doesn't get sorted, sitting at the bottom of where the original pile was.
  2625. "Interesting," you comment, lifting the letter in your magic.
  2626. >It doesn't have a seal or anything distinct on it, but you recognize the return address.
  2627. >Your human friend, Anonymous.
  2628. >Opening it, you find it written in the human’s tidy, curly writing.
  2629. *Dear Celestia
  2630. I am writing to you, in hopes that you can help me.
  2631. Recently, there have been a few ponies around town who have expressed distaste for my Daughter, Miracle.
  2632. While it is to be expected, as she's rather different, I can't ignore it much longer.
  2633. Today, one of them intentionally knocked down the walls of a snow fort she was in while I had stepped inside to start boiling water.
  2634. She wasn't harmed, but the intent was likely there.
  2635. There is nothing I can do to fix this, so I was hoping you might be able to do something.
  2636. Sincerely, Anonymous, Cheerilee and little Mira*
  2637. >Your mouth curves into a frown and your brow furrows.
  2638. "That's not like my ponies; they're almost always accepting, and never hostile, especially to infants."
  2639. >Floating over a scroll and ink, you start writing a letter in reply.
  2641. ~~~
  2643. >With a lunch packed and a daughter loaded up into a baby carrier attached to your chest, you head out to meet your wife at work.
  2644. >The snow fort out front has been repaired, and after a little effort, frozen to prevent further accidental or purposeful collapses.
  2645. >Mira is ever aware, looking around at everything as you pass.
  2646. >Unfortunately, the path to school passes through the market district, and well before you're in sight of it, you can hear the ranting of the anti abomination group.
  2647. >And by the sounds of it, there are a few more converts.
  2648. >Passing the stand reveals, as you suspected, several more ponies there, and when they see you, they start jeering and hissing.
  2649. >"Leave our town, freak maker!" one yells out, throwing a tomato at you.
  2650. >"You're a bane on us normal ponies," another shouts as the tomato splats against your coat.
  2651. >Dusting off the red fruit, you do your best to ignore them and continue on your way.
  2652. >"Yeah, run away, leave town, we don't want you here!"
  2653. >Letting out an annoyed huff, you continue ignoring the ponies and head on your way.
  2654. >Behind you, a friend of one of the ranters runs up to them, and a discussion happens, before the two walk off.
  2655. >Meanwhile, you reach the school, the students all running up.
  2656. >"Good afternoon Mister Anon," they all call, and you smile back.
  2657. "Good afternoon, Students. Are you all being good for your teacher?"
  2658. >"Yes we are," they reply before scattering as you walk to the door.
  2659. >Inside, you're greeted by your wife's smile.
  2660. "How has your day been so far, dear?" you ask, setting her lunch in front of her.
  2661. >"Not too bad, has there been a reply yet?"
  2662. >Shaking your head, you take a seat across from her.
  2663. "We shouldn't expect her to rush an answer, she's a very busy pony."
  2664. >"Yes, but I'm still worried about Mira. After what happened, I hardly feel safe without one of us watching her."
  2665. "I feel the same," you say, rubbing her ears, the object of your discussion reaching out of your coat at her mom, "and it looks like she wants some time with you."
  2666. >"Ma, Milk!" Mira exclaims, making grasping motions.
  2667. "Or she wants lunch," you amend with a chuckle.
  2668. >Unlocking your daughter, you hold her out for Cheerilee, who gets comfortable on the seating you set up here for instances like this.
  2669. >"I can't wait till we can start feeding her real food. It'll make meal times easier."
  2670. "Neither can I, but it'll be a slow process, since we're not sure what's safe."
  2671. >Cheerilee rolls her eyes, glancing over at you, "If she's anything like her father, she'll eat just about anything we stick in front of her."
  2672. "Hey! I dont eat everything, I just have a diverse diet, unlike you plant eater ponies."
  2673. >When she's done feeding, Mira is let loose to look around the classroom while Cheerilee gets her lunch.
  2674. >While there isn't much she could hurt herself on, you still keep an eye on her as she runs straight for the blocks.
  2675. >Thankfully, they're made of a foam/rubber matterial thats safe for chewing, so you dont have to worry too much.
  2676. >Especially because the first thing she does is stick one in her mouth.
  2677. "Miracle, don't put stuff in your mouth," you call out, and she turns back to you, block in her mouth.
  2678. >The block drops as she exclaims, "Daddy!" before running over, blocks in hand.
  2679. >"Daddy, look!"
  2680. "Yes, those are blocks, Miracle."
  2681. >Clacking the two together, she wanders back over to the block case.
  2682. >It doesn't take long for her to figure out she can put them on top of one another, before knocking them down.
  2683. >Each time her "tower" falls over, she giggles, and starts again.
  2684. >"Already stacking blocks, huh, she's a clever girl," Cheerilee says with a smile.
  2685. "She's going to grow up to be smart like her mom."
  2686. >"Don't sell yourself short, honey; you're one of the smartest people I know."
  2687. >The tower tumbles again, and you hear Mira call out, "Mommy, play!"
  2688. >Your Cerise mare chuckles before rising and heading over.
  2689. "She may be a daddy's girl, but she misses you while you're at work," you say as she passes, and with another chuckle, she replies.
  2690. >"Same as she missed you while you were at work."
  2691. >Sitting across the blocks from Mira, Cheerilee works with her to build a tower, before Mira tips it over.
  2692. >The two only get a little time to play before the recess bell rings, and the foals and fillies start filling in.
  2693. >Cheerilee heads to the front of the class, tidying her lunch while you collect your daughter.
  2694. "Say goodbye to the class Mira," you say, holding her up.
  2695. >"Bye Bye," she says, waving her hands energetically before you set her in the carrier.
  2696. >The class waves back, and with that, you leave.
  2697. >Your path once again leads you through where the protesters are, and you notice they have another new pony up there ranting.
  2698. >They rant and yell at you again as you pass, and like last time, you ignore them as best you can.
  2699. "I hope Celestia can deal with this stuff soon," you sigh as you arrive home.
  2700. >After a little more playing and another feeding, Mira finally goes down for a nap, leaving you time to tidy around the house.
  2702. ~~~
  2704. >A response from Celestia comes a day later, briefly explaining she will have a few guards observe the town to validify your letter, and at that point, she will decide on a course of action.
  2705. >Cheerilee was certainly relieved when you showed her the letter, and as per usual, Mira was her happy little self.
  2706. >You don't ever notice the guards, and only two days later, you get a second letter.
  2707. *To, Anonymous,
  2708. It seems your letter was correct, and I will be by to try and fix it some time today.
  2709. Sincerely, Princess Celestia.*
  2710. >Rolling up the scroll, you hear knocking at the front door.
  2711. "One moment, I'm coming!" you call, setting the letter aside.
  2712. >Swiftly striding through the house, your hand grips the doorknob when Mira lets out a cry.
  2713. >Turning the knob and opening the door slightly, you turn to head and get your daughter.
  2714. "Sorry, I'll be right back," you say to whoever is at the door as you head for the bedroom.
  2715. >Mira is standing in her crib, arms out to be picked up.
  2716. >"Daddy! Hungry!" she calls out as you pick her up.
  2717. "In a moment, we have a guest."
  2718. >You're greeted to a surprise as when you walk back into the living room, you see Celestia sitting you on your couch.
  2719. >"Good afternoon, Anonymous, how are you doing today?"
  2720. "Ah, Celestia, I didn't expect you so early. I'm doing well, how about you?"
  2721. >Setting Mira down on the couch next to her, she immediately grabs for Celestia's cutie mark.
  2722. >"Pretty sun,"
  2723. >The princess of the sun smiles, amused by your daughter's antics.
  2724. "Would you mind watching her a moment? I need to set some water to boil to warm milk for her."
  2725. >"Go ahead; it's been a while since I've had the opportunity to spend time with a baby."
  2726. >Slipping into the kitchen, you get the kettle filled and boiling, and you pull out tea for yourself and Celestia, and a baggy of milk for Mira.
  2727. >It doesn't take long for the whistling sound of the boiled kettle to fill the room, and with experienced movements, you fill the glasses and warm the milk.
  2728. >Tea in each hand and a bottle under your elbow, you re-enter the living room, where Celestia has Mira riding on her back, Celestia's wings forming a protective cradle for her.
  2729. "Mira, Milk time," you say, setting the tea down and picking up your daughter.
  2730. >Celestia floats up a cup of tea as you cradle Miracle and give her the bottle, before grabbing your own glass.
  2731. "I'm sorry; it's nothing fancy, Princess."
  2732. >"Oh I don't mind. I've had to drink Twilight's tea, and trust me; she needs to get Spike to teach her."
  2733. "I can imagine," you say with a chuckle, "She may be smart pony, but she's not very skilled."
  2734. >"Indeed, but I suppose we should get to the matter at hoof."
  2735. >Setting her cup down, she gives you a serious look, "I wish for you to help me in solving your problem."
  2736. "Of course, I didn't expect you to do all the work. I just know ponies will listen to their princess more readily than they will listen to an interdimensional monkey man."
  2737. >Her seriousness vanishes, replaced by a smile, "Good. Many ponies request my help and then just leave me to do everything, and it gets rather annoying sometimes."
  2738. >A burp comes from the girl in your arms, distracting the two of you from your conversation.
  2739. "Are you all done, Mira?"
  2740. >"All done," she replies, and you take the bottle from her.
  2741. "Alright then, give me a moment to get stuff ready to take Miracle out, and we can go, Princess."
  2742. >Mira decides to go for Celestia again, leaving you two free hands to pack a diaper bag.
  2743. >With her just having been fed, you don't need much, just a spare diaper, some liners and wipes.
  2744. >Bagged up and ready to go, you pull on your winter gear and start dressing up Mira.
  2745. >Celestia turns out to have a scarf and ear muffs which she quickly dons before heading out ahead of you.
  2746. >"Who should we handle first?"
  2747. "I'd say Applejack; she was kind of the source of all this, and maybe figuring out and fixing her problem can help quell the others."
  2748. >"Applejack is one of them? It hardly seems like her."
  2749. "I thought so as well, but your guards should be able to attest to her being one."
  2750. >Falling into step beside you, Celestia makes small talk as you travel to the market.
  2751. >The area where the group normaly is is now empty, so you turn to Sweet Apple Acres.
  2752. >Small snowflakes start drifting lazily down from the sky as the Pegasii start up some clouds.
  2753. >Mira is, as usual, interested in everything around her, especially the snowflakes that drift close to her.
  2754. >Some snowflakes drift through Celestia's mane, and for a moment, they retain some colour from it.
  2755. >"Pretty," Mira says, reaching out at them.
  2756. "They are pretty, aren't they?"
  2757. >Looking back over her shoulder, Celestia sees the effects of her magical mane, and chuckles.
  2758. >"Ah, I forgot it did that. It's been a while since I've been out in the snow with others."
  2759. "I can imagine Castle life keeps you pretty busy, but you should really find time to get out with friends more often."
  2760. >"I'm here with you, aren't I?"
  2761. >You can't suppress your chuckle and smile at her response.
  2762. "I suppose so, though isn't this work also?"
  2763. >"It is, but when I set aside the whole day for this, I was hoping for a little time to do as I wish."
  2764. "Clever. I'm guessing everything is set to handle itself in Canterlot, am I right?"
  2765. >"More than a thousand years of practice, Anon, it does wonders for planning things like this."
  2766. >The snow covered fields of Sweet Apple Acres near, and you both turn to the task at hand.
  2767. >Unlike during the Summer time, Sweet Apple Acres is quiet and still.
  2768. >Warm light spills from the windows, and Celestia takes the lead, knocking on the door.
  2769. >The door opens, Applejack on the other side, who immediately kneels.
  2770. >"Princess, What brings ya 'round these parts?"
  2771. >"Business, Applejack. Ill tidings have reached me, and you are apparently involved."
  2772. >"Well come on in, it ain't right fer us ta be chattin out here in the cold if'n there's a warm fire in here."
  2773. "Well thanks, I didn't expect this, given your previous reactions to me and my daughter," you say, stepping up behind Celestia.
  2774. >Applejack is startled by this, but her smile returns and she nods you in.
  2775. >"Ah'm not sure what ya mean, Anonymous?"
  2776. >Walking inside, the three of you take seats around the fireplace, taking just a moment to warm up.
  2777. >"Now, what's all this about?" Applejack asks, looking over.
  2778. >"According to multiple sources, you're the initial instigator of an "anti-Abomination" movement. Is this true?"
  2779. >Applejack tilts her head in confusion, looking over at you and Mira, "Ah have no idea what yer talkin' about. Ah'm glad fer Anon and Cheerilee, a lot o' us were worried ya'd be unable ta get a child, and every mare knows a girl's happiest with a foal o' her own."
  2780. >You and Celestia share a look of confusion for a moment, before the Princess says, "So you are not involved in any way with the group threatening Anonymous and Miracle?"
  2781. >"Ah swear on the honest Apple Family blood flowin' through me, Ah have nothing ta do with that."
  2782. >For as long as you've known Applejack, she's never been able to tell a lie without thousands of visible cues, and she's not showing any.
  2783. >Celestia notices this too, and she's equally as surprised as you are.
  2784. >"Hmn... it seems we may have been mislead then. We apologize for the misunderstanding."
  2785. >Emerald and Magenta eyes turn on you, and without a word, you nod.
  2786. >Something's off, but you can't quite put your finger on it, but there's no point in making a scene here.
  2787. >"If ya wan't ya can stay fer lunch. We're whippin' up a fresh apple pie for dessert."
  2788. "As tempting as that sounds we do have other business to take care of. Take care, Applejack, and try and save us a slice. We'll try and stop by later if we have time."
  2789. >"Indeed. Take care, Applejack, and have a good day."
  2790. >"Bye Bye," Mira says, waving.
  2791. >Rising to leave, Celestia and you exit the Apple house, following the path back to Ponyville.
  2792. >Halfway to town, She turns to you and says, "Something’s going on with her. She wasn't showing signs of lying, but we both know she wasn't telling the truth."
  2793. "So why didn't you say anything back then?"
  2794. >"What good would it have done? If she attacked us, Mira would have been in danger. I'm going to assign a guard to tail her, and once we know what's wrong, then we'll confront her."
  2795. >"In the mean time, let's find the others and see what happens with them."
  2796. "You think it'll be the same thing?"
  2797. >"Likely, if this group is as organized as reported, but we won't know till we look."
  2798. >"And on that note, who would you recommend next?"
  2799. "Truth be told, I don't know most of them by name, and most of them that I could identify would probably be working right now."
  2800. >"So, you're saying we have a few hours of free time?" Celestia says with a wink.
  2801. "I suppose we do."
  2802. >Unseen by you, a snowball forms, held by her magic, before flying into your side.
  2803. >Walls of snow rise up around her, and soon she's protected by a snow castle.
  2804. "Oh, so that's how you want to play. Well then, let’s play. Can you just set up a place where Mira can play safely first?"
  2805. >"Of course Anon. In fact, I can do one better."
  2806. >A powerful wave of magic rolls from Celestia, and there is a loud pop nearby.
  2807. >"Hey Anon, what am I doing here?" Roselucks asks, looking around confused.
  2808. "I'm not sure. You'd have to ask Celestia," you reply, gesturing to the fortified Princess.
  2809. >"Ah, Princess, I apologize for not noticing you," Rose says with a bow.
  2810. >"Rise dear subject, I brought you here to take care of Anon's daughter so that we may enjoy a rousing snowball fight without fear of her safety."
  2811. >Rose quickly nods to Celestia, standing upright, saying, "I'd love to do that for Anon," before blushing suddenly.
  2812. >Miracle is unpacked from your jacket and set down, where she stumbles over to Rose.
  2813. >"Auntie Rosie!" she exclaims, and Rose kneels to receive a hug from her.
  2814. >The Sun princess turns back to you with a smile on her face, and before you can react, another snowball strikes your jacket.
  2815. "It is on now, Celestia," you call to her, dodging back and scooping up some snow.
  2816. >Without cover, you don't stand much of a chance against the fortified Princess, but you still put up a good fight, landing numerous snowballs on her white coat.
  2817. >After a half hour of combat the two of you are getting a little soggy, and decide to write up a peace treaty.
  2818. >The terms are for you to take her and Roseluck to your house to warm up and share cocoa, and in return, she will assist you for the rest of the day.
  2819. >It even got a royal Equestrian seal.
  2820. >You're not sure how serious Celestia was when she wrote it up, but who knows, some day she may require a peace treaty between the ponies and humans.
  2821. >Or it's just her sense of humour.
  2822. >Either way, you were honour bound to take them back to warm up and share hot cocoa.
  2823. >"You don't have to do this for me, Anon, I'm not cold or anything."
  2824. "It's not a bother, and besides, It's part of the peace treaty between Celestia and I."
  2825. >"You wouldn't want to provoke war between us, would you?" Celestia asks, a sly smile on her face.
  2826. >If she shook her mane anymore, Roseluck would look like she belonged in a hair metal band.
  2827. >"Oh no, I couldn't... I wouldn't know who to help..."
  2828. >"Daddy!" Mira calls from Roselucks back, "hungry."
  2829. "Don't worry dear, we're almost home and I can get you food."
  2830. "Yay, milk!"
  2831. >Both Celestia and yourself have started shivering by the time you reach home, and after fumbling with the lock, you get it open and everyone rushes inside.
  2832. >The fire in the fireplace has died down to embers, but a few logs and some careful poking and you have the fire roaring again.
  2833. >Celestia immediately curls up on the rug in front of the fire like a great big soggy dog.
  2834. >Rose, on the other hand helps you in the kitchen, preparing a teapot for boiling milk and stuff for snacks.
  2835. >"Where do you keep the cocoa Anon?" she asks, digging through the cabinets.
  2836. "Oh, sorry, it's in the top shelves, out of Mira's grip. I'll grab it."
  2837. >Pulling the hot chocolate mix down, Rose goes for the fridge instead.
  2838. >"I can't find Mira's milk, do you keep it somewhere special?"
  2839. "It should be in there, unless we're out."
  2840. >"I'm not seeing any of those little baggies, so I guess you're out."
  2841. "Damn, and we can't just pull Cheerilee out of school. I guess it's time to start trying some new foods for her."
  2842. >"What do you suggest?"
  2843. "Hmn... grab whatever juices you can find as well as anything that’s squishy."
  2844. >A small pile forms on the table as she pulls out stuff while you get the cocoa mixed.
  2845. >"Daddy, Hungry!" Mira calls out again from the living room.
  2846. "Just a moment sweetie, Daddy's getting everything ready."
  2847. >Turning to the table, you look over what's available.
  2848. >There's not as much as you would have figured, but enough options.
  2849. "Well, let’s see if she likes apples."
  2850. >Pouring some apple juice into one of her bottles, you make a small bowl of applesauce as well.
  2851. >Roseluck carries the cocoa to the main room while you tidy the rest of the stuff before bringing Mira's lunch.
  2852. >Scooping up your daughter, she immediately grabs the bottle and starts sucking away.
  2853. >She also stops immediately, pulling the bottle back in confusion.
  2854. >"Not milk?"
  2855. "It's apple juice Mira, and its tasty."
  2856. >She drinks again, slower this time, but after a few moments, she chugging away at her usual rate.
  2857. >Both the mares watch your daughter with smiles, and before long, she's done her juice.
  2858. >Putting the bottle aside, you pick up the bowl of applesauce.
  2859. "Say Aaahhh," you say, lifting a spoon towards her mouth.
  2860. >Mira opens her mouth, and you put the spoonful. in.
  2861. >Her mouth opens and closes a bit as she processes this new material, before swallowing.
  2862. >"Yummy. More daddy?"
  2863. "Of course," you reply, lifting another spoonful, "I can say for certainty that she definitely likes apples."
  2864. >"Now if only Apples liked her..." Celestia says quietly before turning back to her drink.
  2865. >Rose nods in agreement, and the three adults go quiet, Mira still loudly enjoying her first somewhat solid meal.
  2866. "What do you think is wrong with them, Celestia?"
  2867. >"I have a few ideas, but none of them are good options, save the least likely one."
  2868. "So, what is this best case scenario?" you ask, continuing your feeding of your daughter.
  2869. >"Applejack learned how to lie."
  2870. >Both you and Roseluck snort, trying to hold back laughter before it breaks free.
  2871. "As if... If that mare can lie, I'm the King of Equestria."
  2872. >Still facing the flames with her cocoa, Celestia starts, "Well, actually, remember the treaty..."
  2873. >Your eyes and Rose's snap to her as she continues, "To ensure a permanent peace between us, one of the conditions in the small print was that the current leaders of both races were to be wed."
  2874. "You don't mean..."
  2875. >Turning back to look at you, Celestia has a wide grin, and a playful gleam in her eyes.
  2876. >"I'm kidding Anonymous, I'm not the type to trick someone into things."
  2877. "I know, but even a single worm of doubt can eat away a mountain of certainty."
  2878. >"Quite philosophical there, aren't you."
  2879. >You shrug in reply, turning your attention to Mira who's now done her first semi-solid meal.
  2880. >"All gone daddy?" she asks, looking up at you.
  2881. "Yes, you ate it all, Miracle."
  2882. >"Ok. Play time?"
  2883. >Setting her on the ground makes her smile and run off to her toys.
  2884. >She comes back quickly though, carrying her stuffed bear.
  2885. >Holding the bear up to Celestia, she asks, "Play?"
  2886. >"I suppose we can put off work for a little while, what do you say, Anon?"
  2887. "Go ahead, I can see your barely contained excitement."
  2888. >"It's not every day I get to play unrestricted with a foal, even if the foal is actually a satyr."
  2889. >Sitting up, Celestia takes hold of the bear, turning it around to face Mira before making growly noises.
  2890. >"Rawr, I'm a big scary bear and I'm gonna get you!" she says with the noises, making the bear wave its arms at Mira.
  2891. >Your daughter replies in the proper manner, by squealing and running off, her awkward steps carrying her off into the kitchen, Celestia following slowly behind.
  2892. >The two of them go through the house playing big bad bear chase, and then they play with her trains and wagons a little.
  2893. >After that, they build towers out of blocks and knock them down.
  2894. >By the time they're done playing, the floor is covered in toys, the two of them are resting in front of the fire, Rose has gone home over an hour ago after some socialization with you, and your wife just arrived back home.
  2895. >"Hey, Anon, how was your day?" she asks, accepting your hug at the door.
  2896. "Busy, and yet, not at all busy."
  2897. >"What do you mean?"
  2898. "Well, Celestia stopped by to help with our problem, but after our first stop, we got sidetracked and wound up having a snowball fight and Rose was brought to watch Mira. Afterward we were pretty soggy, so we came here for cocoa. Mira had her first sort of solid meal, and then she and Celestia ended up playing, and well..."
  2899. >Walking inside with her, you gesture to the big white mare resting in front of the fireplace, Mira asleep against her.
  2900. >"Sounds like an interesting day, Dear."
  2901. >A lazy magenta eye opens and looks over at you, "Ah, Cheerilee, your daughter is quite energetic. I enjoyed myself."
  2902. >"Thank you princess, and thanks for helping her fall asleep; she never goes down easy for anyone but Anon."
  2903. "And she doesn't always go down easy for me."
  2904. >Celestia lets out a sigh and rests her head down again, "Ah, the joys of parenthood. I truly wish I could have a foal, but my position wouldn't allow for it."
  2905. >"I know what you mean, Celestia, I thought I wouldn't be able to have a foal and keep my job, but then I met Anon, and now my world is perfect."
  2906. "Yours isn't the only one, dear. Except for the problem with the anti abomination group, my life couldn't be better, even if I had a human wife."
  2907. >Cheerilee's nose rubs against your side, and she whispers not very quietly, "Keep talking like that and we might need Celestia to babysit for a few hours."
  2908. >"Go ahead, I can watch your little girl if you want to do other things."
  2909. "Don't encourage her, Celly, at this point, we don't need another little one running around."
  2910. >"Ah..? Oh!"
  2911. >"I wouldn't mind, dear. Mira may be a bit of a hoofful, but with you, I feel like I could have as many children as I wanted and not have to worry."
  2912. "I love you, Cheerilee, I really do, but if you wanted to have a ton of children, I might have to say no."
  2913. >Rearing up, she rests her chin on your chest with half closed, seductive eyes, "I'm sure I could... convince you."
  2914. "I know you could, I'd just rather not right now, Especially with the princess watching."
  2915. >"I don't mind her seeing how much you love me..."
  2916. >The very same princess lets out a sigh, saying, "Ah, young love. I'm sure Cadence would be jealous of..."
  2917. >She's cut off as her wing is tugged by Mira who's still fast asleep, trying to snuggle up with it.
  2918. >Celestia's wings stretch out a bit before laying it around your sleeping daughter like a warm, feathery blanket.
  2919. >"She's such a darling little girl."
  2920. >"If you don't mind, Princess, you can stay for dinner."
  2921. "And feel free to keep acting as a blanket for Mira, if you want."
  2922. >Her motherly smile washes over you in the same way her wing covers Mira, making you feel good.
  2923. >"I don't mind at all. Like I said to Anon, I've wanted a foal of my own for a long time, but never had the ability to because of my position."
  2924. >And she holds true to that. She stays there till Mira wakes up about a half hour later, before entertaining her till dinner.
  2925. >Dinner starts without a hitch, but partway through, the front door bursts open and a royal guard rushes in.
  2926. >"Princess! We found the reason they are acting so. You must hurry!"
  2927. >Shooting to your respective feet and hooves, both you and Celestia follow him to the door.
  2928. "Keep Miracle close, Honey, I need to be there."
  2929. >"Stay safe."
  2930. >Following the guard and Celestia, the two of you leave your house and rush down the streets.
  2933. End Chapter 11
  2936. >Rushing through the streets, the guards lead you to the Ponyville guardhouse and holding cells.
  2937. >Inside, Celestia is led to a cell holding a small number of black bug looking ponies.
  2938. >"Changelings. It does make sense, but why?" Celestia asks, turning to the cell occupants.
  2939. >The bugs hiss at her, backing into the corner.
  2940. >Pulling Celestia away, you take her to the next room.
  2941. "Let me talk to them. Whatever they want, it has something to do with me. Get your guards to find the others, there are likely more."
  2942. >"Are you sure you want to do this? They're quite dangerous, and if one gets into your mind, they can control you."
  2943. "I will. If it will protect my family, I'd give my life."
  2944. >The white Alicorn rests a wing on your shoulder, saying, "you're a great father and husband, Anonymous, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise."
  2945. >Moving back into the cell block, Celestia waves the guards off with her, leaving you alone.
  2946. >Staring at them, they shift around nervously, eyeing the door where the guards left.
  2947. >When there is no sign of them returning, their attention refocuses on you.
  2948. >"Leave this place, the ponies don't like you. We do, we trust you. We understand how hard it is to be different."
  2949. "Verbally assaulting my family is hardly a way to make friends."
  2950. >"Your anger at them or us is irrelevant. So long as you love your family, you suit our needs."
  2951. "Then what? You want my daughter? My wife? I won't allow you to harm them."
  2952. >"Release us and leave town with your family and we promise not to harm you or them."
  2953. "I can't do that, even if I wanted to. Besides, how can I trust you?"
  2954. >A raspy laugh comes from the group before the lead one speaks again.
  2955. >"Because we haven't acted out against you yet. With just a thought we could have your family taken."
  2956. >Reaching through the bars, you grab it by the throat, pulling it to you.
  2957. "If any of your kind harm them I will not stop till all of you are jailed or worse."
  2958. >The raspy laugh rings out as you let it go, and the group sit back.
  2959. >"We are too many, there is nothing you could do to stop us."
  2960. >"He may not be able to stop you, but we can," Celestia's voice says, the door opening.
  2961. >Behind her, a veritable horde of changelings, all held in her magic.
  2962. >"We've handled your swarm, there's nothing you can do to him anymore."
  2963. >The changelings' brows furrow, and after a moment, they let out a hissing screech, before dropping their heads.
  2964. >Between all the changelings, the cells wind up fairly full, and Celestia leads you out into the main room.
  2965. >"Anon, I'm not sure why you were targeted, but this was a small swarm. If there's something special about you, others may come, and some swarms rival Canterlot for sheer number."
  2966. "What about the others? Are they safe? Applejack and the others, I mean."
  2967. >"They're all fine. A little weak and hungry, but fine."
  2968. "Thank goodness," you say with a sigh, "will I be able to visit them soon? It may not be my fault they were taken, but I will at least be able to help explain, I guess."
  2969. >"Most of them will be out of the hospital in a day or two, but some of the longer held ones will be in there for a week or more."
  2970. >Letting out a sigh, you sit down.
  2971. "All this because of me, and I don't know why it Was me."
  2972. "Do you think figure it out, Celestia? I don't really know anything about them, and I doubt they would tell me. I'm sorry it seems like I'm adding more work for you, but right now I just want to get back to my wife and child and tell them everything will be fine.
  2973. >"Go on, but be careful. Like I said, they may have targeted you for a reason, so be wary and if anything seems off, don't hesitate to alert the authorities."
  2974. >With a nod, you get up and give Celestia a quick one armed hug before heading to the door.
  2975. >"Oh, one last thing. I hope you don't mind if I stop by once in a while on my days off? I rather enjoyed playing with Miracle today."
  2976. "Feel free to. She's a handful, and a day off for us is always welcome."
  2977. >Stepping out of the jailhouse makes you feel like a weight is lifted off your shoulders, and you let out what little worry remains in a quick breath.
  2978. >The corners of your lips curve up, and you smile all the way home, wrapping your wife in a hug the moment you are in the door.
  2979. >"You seem happy, Darling, is everything fine now?"
  2980. "Yep. We still need to keep an eye out, but everything is back to normal, and all those ponies who were taken are back."
  2981. >Cheerilee's brow furrows, and she asks, "They were taken? What happened?"
  2982. "I don't know all the details, but changelings captured them and replaced them. They never said why, but they wanted us to leave town, though they said they didn't wish to hurt us or seperate us."
  2983. >With some gentle tugging, she leads you to the table, where your dinner sits.
  2984. >"Eat, relax, we can talk later. Right now, Mira is waiting for her daddy to eat so he can play."
  2985. "Alright, I wouldn't want to keep her waiting."
  2986. >While you dig into your food, Cheerilee starts on the dishes, and you hear soft clopping steps come up behind you.
  2987. >"Daddy's home!"
  2988. >Reaching down, you pick her up and set her in your lap, and she looks at your dinner.
  2989. >"Oooh, Daddy share?"
  2990. >Not a lot on your plate would pass the squish test, but some shredded lettuce would be safe to share.
  2991. >And shred and share you do, and Mira shares her joy of it, as well as Cheerilee sharing her concerns.
  2992. >"Are you sure we should be feeding her this?"
  2993. "Yes, it's fine. We didn't have any milk earlier, so we had to improvise, so we gave her applesauce and apple juice, both of which she enjoyed."
  2994. >"Well, that's good to know. Less work for me."
  2995. "Anything you can squish with no real effort is safe for her, so no carrots or apples or things like that. And especially no sweets right now."
  2996. >Your wife's laughter fills your ears, and she says, "I have no problems with that. Sugar filled kids are almost always trouble."
  2997. >"Sugar?" Mira asks, looking up at you.
  2998. "Something for when you're older, Mira."
  2999. >"Okay Daddy. Come play?"
  3000. >Pushing the last bit of your meal away, you help Mira's hooves hit the floor before standing up.
  3001. "Alright, what do you want to play, Mira?"
  3002. >"Choo Choo trains!"
  3003. >With that, she runs off to her play room, you following slowly.
  3004. "Oh, Dear, Celestia said other groups might come after us. Please be safe while you're out, I couldn't imagine what I'd do if anything happened to you."
  3005. >"Don't worry so much, Anon, I always take care when I'm out and about."
  3006. >"Daddy, hurry!"
  3007. >The play room has a big "track" set up and has Mira leading her little wooden engine down it, making choo choo noises.
  3008. >Taking a few of the spare train cars, you set up a little train next to the toybox station.
  3009. "Ponies need a pickup!" you quietly call, pretending to be a train engineer.
  3010. >"Woo woo, Choo choo coming!"
  3011. >Playing with your daughter fills the rest of the evening, Cheerilee joining in shortly.
  3012. >She goes down without much problem, and as the two of you settle down for the night, Cheerilee explains what she knows of Changelings to you.
  3013. >Love eating creatures that appear as a mix of Pony and insect in their natural form.
  3014. >Of course, the eating of love somewhat explains why they targeted you.
  3015. >Still doesn't explain why they targeted only your family.
  3016. "Ah well, a problem for another day."
  3017. >"What was that dear?" Cheerilee asks sleepily, rolling over to look at you.
  3018. "Just talking to myself, Sweetie."
  3019. >"Alright. Night..."
  3020. >Curling up with your wife, you thank whatever dieties watch over this realm that this problem was solved before Hearthswarming eve.
  3022. ~~~
  3024. >Mira wakes you and Cheerilee up early, same as every day, but today is special.
  3025. >Today is Mira's first Hearthswarming Eve and Christmas.
  3026. >Taking her to the living room, she immediately notices the boxes that have taken up residence under the tree.
  3027. >Rushing over, she picks up one.
  3028. "Happy Hearthswarming Eve, Mira. Open up your present."
  3029. >"Present?"
  3030. >"Today is a special day where you get gifts for those who mean lots to you."
  3031. >Poking at the wrapping, she unsuredly looks at it.
  3032. "Open it up, Miracle, rip off the paper."
  3033. >It takes her a while, but she finally gets a grip on a fold, but once she starts, the wrapping paper gets torn off in droves.
  3034. >Destructive fun takes over and the paper gets more interest than the box inside after it has all been removed.
  3035. >Taking the box, Cheerilee pops the lid open and sets it sidways next to Mira.
  3036. >"Here Mira, look!"
  3037. >Turning to her mom's voice, your daughter sees the open box and curiosity takes hold.
  3038. >The lid is moved aside, and she lets out a squeal.
  3039. >"Yay! Choo choo trains!" she exclaims, pulling the fancy new trains from the box.
  3040. >You move a few more presents over to her, but her new trains take precendence for now, so you get your gift for your love.
  3041. >It's nothing fancy, just a wooden framed picture of the three of you.
  3042. >"I love it, Anon," she exclaims, nuzzling into your side, "I just wish my gift was this thoughtful."
  3043. "Whatever you got me is fine, I assure you."
  3044. >From behind the couch, she pulls out a small box which she passes to you.
  3045. >Popping off the top, you uncover a silver watch on a chain.
  3046. >"Even though we've been together so long, I couldn't think of anything you mentioned you wanted, so I just thought I'd get you something you could use all the time."
  3047. "I love it, dear," you say, scratching that special spot behind her ear that makes her moan, "I've been considering getting a watch, but never had the time to."
  3048. >The sound of paper ripping draws both your vision and you see Mira ripping into a new present, making the two of you smile.
  3049. >"Pretty as a picture, we are," Cheerilee says, leaning into your arms further, "a family together for Hearthswarming Eve."
  3050. "Wish we had a camera, but then who'd take the picture?"
  3051. >Jingling comes from the front door, and a chorus calls out, "Happy Hearthswarming!"
  3052. >Scootching your wife off your lap, you head for the door.
  3053. >Outside, you spy two ponies, and you open the door for them immediately.
  3054. "Mother in law, Father in law, what brings you here?"
  3055. >"Family, of course. It wouldn't be Hearthswarming if we couldn't spend it with our granddaughter and her parents," Cheerilee's mom says, rising up to get a hug from you.
  3056. >Hearing her parent's voices, you wife comes running, immediately hugging her mother as she arrives.
  3057. >"Mom, Dad, I'm so glad you could make it. Is Berry coming?"
  3058. >"Soon. She said something about needing to prepare the punch, and that she'd be along after it's ready."
  3059. >Holding open the door for them, you motion them inside.
  3060. >As they arrive inside, you hear them start chuckling immediately, and turn to see Mira has a box on her head and is still intently tearing at paper.
  3061. >"Mira, take that box off your head," Cheerilee says, walking over.
  3062. >"Ah, let her have her fun," her dad says, setting a large bag down, "she'll only be young for so long, you know."
  3063. >Your wife puffs up her cheeks, saying, "So you're saying I'm old then? Or is it that I can't have fun?"
  3064. >Standing behind her, you grab and squeeze her cheeks to deflate them, making her let out a rasperry that makes Mira laugh.
  3065. "Settle down, Sweetie, he's just saying she isn't hurting anyone doing that, so she should be left be."
  3066. >"It's still a bad habit, and I'd rather she doesn't end up like the Cutie mark Crusaders."
  3067. "They're not that bad, they just need some proper parental observation, rather than them just getting to run around and cause havoc."
  3068. >"Enough about other children, we brought gifts for our children and grandchildren," Cheerilee's mom says, pulling the bag over and nosing it open.
  3069. >Gifts are passed out or set beside Mira, making her turn her attention to the new ponies in the house.
  3070. >Scrambling to her hooves, she runs to hide behind her mom's side, peeking out at the "strangers".
  3071. >laying down, Mira's grandmother, softly whispers to her, saying, "It's okay, Mira, I'm your mommy's mom."
  3072. >"Mommy's mommy?"
  3073. >Gently encouraging her daughter out, Cheerilee nods, "yes, she's my mommy."
  3074. >It takes a little more encouragement to get her out, but within the half hour, she's all over her grandparents like, well, a child getting spoiled by their grandparents.
  3075. >Berry arrives with a big jug of punch about a quarter hour after that, and with the family together, stories start to flow.
  3076. >You already know a lot of Cheerilee's past already, much to her embarasment, so today, you're sharing your childhood stories.
  3077. "...since then I've always been kinda nervous around butterflies, as harmless as they are."
  3078. >The sisters and their mom all can't help but laugh, and even their dad gets a good chuckle out of your story.
  3079. >"I can't believe you never told me you almost got licked in the eye by a frog," Berry says, holding her sides from laughter.
  3080. "Not one of my better moments, but yeah, I did."
  3081. >"That's almost as bad as Cheerilee's mane during her high school years," her dad says with a chuckle.
  3082. "Oh I know, I've seen the pictures."
  3083. >"Daaad!" your wife whines, hiding her face in your side, "stop bringing that up."
  3084. >The family moment is interupted as Mira grabs your pant leg and tugs, saying "Daddy, hungry!"
  3085. >Siezing the opportunity to escape, Cheerilee hops up and starts nudging Mira along.
  3086. >"Come on, dear, let's get get some lunch."
  3087. >With your wife and child out of the room, attention focuses on you, and their father is the first to break the silence.
  3088. >"So, what does she eat? I'm assuming you've expanded beyond breastmilk, right?"
  3089. "At this point, we don't know. if she can eat everything both our species can, she'll be able to eat near anything, but for the time being, we're sticking with things we can both eat to be safe."
  3090. >Walking back in with a bottle in her mouth, Mira plops back down by her new toys.
  3091. >Blocks, trains, little wooden ponies and a fluffy stuffed bear make up her gifts, and she can't decide which one to play with first.
  3092. >Because of this, she's stuck there, sucking her bottle in ideciciveness.
  3093. "Mira, come show Auntie Berry your new toys. She will play with you."
  3094. >"Auntie Berry play?" she asks, unsuredly, looking up at the punch coloured mare.
  3095. >"Sure, Mira, I'll play," Berry says, hopping down from the couch.
  3096. >Her mom joins her, saying, "I'll play too."
  3097. "Guess I'll go check on Cheerilee and dinner," you say rising, "do any of you want anything?"
  3098. >"I'm good, and the girls seem distracted," their father replies.
  3099. >With a nod, you walk into the kitchen, where your wife is currently nose deep in the punch bowl.
  3100. "Dear, what are you doing?"
  3101. >Gulping down a mouthful, she turns around and giggles.
  3102. >"I'm just havin' some *hic* punch."
  3103. >She staggers over and rears up against your chest, saying, "You want a taste?" before sticking out her tongue.
  3104. >leaning down, you stop just short of kissing her and take a sniff, alchohol wafting up off her breath.
  3105. "No more punch for you, Cheerilee, Berry spiked it, and you're drunk. This also means no breastfeeding Mira for the next few days."
  3106. >"Aww, come on Anon, ah want a kissh"
  3107. >Your lips meet her forhead, and she lets out a cute "hmphh", and stands down.
  3108. >"You're no fun..."
  3109. "We can have fun later, once everyone else is asleep or gone."
  3110. >Her mouth curves into a smile and she lets out a squeal of joy before trotting into the main room.
  3111. >Switching to what needed to be done before your wife got drunk, you make sure the foods are ready.
  3112. >This years ham is smelling great, and the flower rolls are starting to bubble.
  3113. >Fresh bread is sliced and ready for consumption, and condiments are set out.
  3114. >"Anonymous, why is Cheerilee stumbling drunk?" her mom calls from the living room.
  3115. "Ask your other daughter, since it was her punch that did this."
  3116. >There's a brief moment of silence before both parents exclaim, "Berry!"
  3117. >You can't help but chuckle as they start to rant at Berry about letting people know when stuff is spiked, and how dangerous it is to have alchohol in the open around little children.
  3118. >Reminds you of that one uncle that always...
  3119. >"Daddy?" your daughter asks, cutting off your train of thought, "Mommy Mommy mad?"
  3120. "They aren't mad, they just are making sure an accident doesn't happen again."
  3121. >"Mommy okay?"
  3122. "Yes, mommy is fine. She just got drunk accidently and will be a little silly for a while."
  3123. >"Okay."
  3124. >And with that, she runs off back to the other room to play.
  3125. "Ah, childish innocence, how wonderful it must be."
  3126. >With everything checking out for dinner, you set things on low to keep them warm.
  3127. >Back in the living room, your wife is moping a little in the corner, and Mira is playing with her new trains and old trains.
  3128. >Berry's not exactly moping, but she's rather introverted and in a chair, while the two grandparents have joined Mira on the floor.
  3129. >Scooping up your wife, you plop down into your recliner, relishing in the moment.
  3130. >A whole family together again for the holidays.
  3131. >Besides a few small hiccups, it's been a perfect day.
  3133. ~~~
  3135. >Time flows and your daughter grows, her vocabulary expanding at an alarming rate.
  3136. >Having a teacher as a mom certainly helped, though you're not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.
  3137. >Because of her rapid learning, she kind of skipped her pointless blabbering phase, and jumped straight into her outside voice phase.
  3138. >And boy does she have some lungs.
  3139. >"DADDY! COME PLAY TRAINS WITH ME!" she yells out from her toy room.
  3140. >Yep, she sure can yell.
  3141. "Just a moment, Mira, I have to finish the dishes first, then I can play."
  3143. "Soon, Mira, be patient."
  3144. >Hurrying to finish the dishes, you hear Mira's hoofsteps walking towards you.
  3145. >They stop in the entrance of the kitchen, and you brace yourself for her exclamation.
  3147. "Inside voice Mira, you have to be quiet when you are inside."
  3148. >"But Daddy, come play," she replies with a whine, holding up her trains.
  3149. >Setting the dishes aside, you dry your hands and kneel down.
  3150. "Alright Mira, but just for a little bit. I have to clean the dishes today."
  3151. >"Yay, daddy come play trains."
  3152. >Grabbing your hand, she tugs you to her room, where she has some of her train track set up.
  3153. >For a two and a half year old, she has certainly grasped some advanced concepts like linked tracks.
  3154. >Block and box houses are around the tracks, and her little pony toys at stations and on rooftops.
  3155. >"Here's Horseytown," she says, pointing to the buildings, "trains go to Daddytown to get daddy."
  3156. "What about mommys? is there a Mommy town where good little girls get mommys?"
  3157. >"Are we gonna go see mommy?"
  3158. "Sure, lets go visit mommy at work."
  3159. >She gives a loud, excited squeal, and you wince.
  3160. 'She's already forgotten to use her inside voice,' you think to yourself as you get up, Mira already running for the door.
  3161. >Warm spring sun greets you outside, and the moment your white picket gate is open, she's scurrying down the road.
  3162. "Mira, don't run ahead!" you call, and she turns around, stumbling as she does.
  3163. >Falling, you hear the sobs starting, and you run over.
  3164. >Tears flow freely and she reaches up for you, her knee scraped and bleeding.
  3165. "Shhhh, it's okay, Mira, it's okay," you whisper, gently rocking her, "Let's go get a bandage for your knee, then see mommy, okay?"
  3166. >Sniffles and a nod are your reply as she curls into your chest.
  3167. >After countless "accidents" involving the CmC and/or the elements of harmony, Ponyville General started a minor injuries stall to prevent the hospital from becoming full of ponies with cuts, scrapes, minor burns and other small injuries.
  3168. >Today, Redheart is running the stand, and she immediately picks up on your destination.
  3169. >"Good afternoon, Anonymous, how can I help you and little Mira today?"
  3170. "She fell and scraped her knee."
  3171. >"Oh dear, that's no good. Are you alright, Miracle?" she asks, as you kneel to let Mira down.
  3172. >Against your chest, she peeks out and sniffles.
  3173. >"Come now, we'll get a bandaid on it and we'll get you a little cupcake, how does that sound?"
  3174. >Letting go, Mira smiles a bit, and walks over to the stand with Redheart.
  3175. >From under the stand Redheart pulls out some disinfectant and bandages, before picking up a cotton swab.
  3176. >"This is going to sting just a little bit, Miracle, but it will help, okay?"
  3177. >Mira nods and holds her hand out to you, which you gently squeeze.
  3178. >The moment the cotton swab touches the injury Mira lets out a whine and tightly grips your hand, tears forming in her eyes.
  3179. >It only lasts a moment though, and Redheart applies the bandage.
  3180. >"See, that wasn't so bad, and now you get a cupcake," Redheart says, pulling out a bite sized cupcake for your brave little girl.
  3181. "Better now, Mira?"
  3182. >Face full of cupcake, she nods, and stands up, ready to follow you.
  3183. >When she finishes her snack, her face is covered in icing, and looks like Pinkie after about 5 seconds during one of her parties.
  3184. >Grinning wide and bouncing on the tips of her hooves.
  3185. >Must have something to do with being pink.
  3186. >Then again, Cheerilee isn't very hyperactive...
  3187. >On the other hand, Mira's fur is closer in color to her grandma's than her moms.
  3188. >Looking up, you see the Schoolhouse ahead, and Mira is tugging at your hand to run ahead.
  3189. >When you release her hand, she runs on to the school, before knocking on the door.
  3190. >"MOMMY!" she yells out, "MOMMY! DADDY AND ME HERE!"
  3191. >The door opens, and a smiling Cheerilee opens it.
  3192. >"You're all messy, Mira, why hasn't Anon cleaned you?"
  3193. >"Ouchie," she replies, licking her cheeks.
  3194. >Cheerilee looks up to you for an explanation, and you give a little bit of a chuckle.
  3195. "She took a tumble, scraped her knee and we visited the medical stall in the market and she got a cupcake there."
  3196. >"You couldn't have cleaned her up first? She looks like Pinkie Pie at a party."
  3197. "That was my thought exactly, but since we were already nearly here, I figured we could clean her up here."
  3198. >Reaching out with a hoof, she catches Mira as she runs for the toys, and says, "Not so fast, missy, first we need to wash you."
  3199. >Your wife takes Miracle to the washroom, while you take a seat in her chair.
  3200. "So, Class, what are you studying today?"
  3201. >"Math. We're doing multiplication right now," One of the foals replies.
  3202. "Is that so... What number are you up to now?"
  3203. >"Only four, but it's not that hard so far."
  3204. "Hmn, If you guys want, I can teach you a trick to do the Nine times table easily."
  3205. >"Really!" another foal exclaims, "I looked at it, but it was hard."
  3206. "It's easy when you know the trick, though it'd be easier if you hand fingers, but watch."
  3207. >Holding up your hands, fully splayed out fingers, you lower your right pinky.
  3208. "One times Nine is Nine."
  3209. >Next, you raise your pinkie back up and lower your ring finger on the same hand.
  3210. "Two times Nine is Eighteen."
  3211. >Going through the motions for each other finger, you watch how they react.
  3212. >Seeing none of them understanding the trick, you turn to the board and draw Ten lines.
  3213. "If you draw up ten lines like this, and you mark off the line that's the one you are multiplying by, your answer will be right in front of you, watch."
  3214. >Numbering each line from the left, you mark off the fourth one.
  3215. "So if I was multiplying Nine by Four, My answer is thirty six, see. There are three lines to the left of the break, and six to the right. Thirty six."
  3216. >The students start scribling on paper, trying out your little trick, while your family comes out of the bathroom.
  3217. >"What are you teaching my class, Anon?"
  3218. "Just a little math trick I learned."
  3219. >"Hmnn..." She comments, examining the board as Mira starts building with blocks.
  3220. >"Nine times table, huh. Never seen this trick before, but it works."
  3221. "Probably because it's origins were in fingers," you say, wiggling your ten digits.
  3222. >"Fingers?" Mira asks, holding up her hands at you, her attention caught by you talking.
  3223. "Yep, and when you get bigger, I'll show you the trick too."
  3224. >"Yay!"
  3225. >"What about us?" the class asks, "will you teach us more human tricks?"
  3226. "Sure, when the time comes, but for now, I think Mrs. Cheerilee has a lesson to get back to."
  3227. >Said teacher gasps, and rushes back to her spot, scrambling for her lesson plan.
  3228. >"Right, I can't get distracted, just because my husband and daughter are here, now where were we..."
  3229. >Heading for the back, you sit down beside your daughter, who hands you a red block.
  3230. >"Daddy build too?"
  3231. "Sure, I'll build too. We'll have to wait for recess for mommy to play too."
  3232. >Your attention switches between Mira and the class while you wait for recess.
  3233. >It's strange, your life has been peaceful since you came to Equestria, barring the Changeling thing, but it's moments like this that really make it hit home.
  3234. >This place is almost nothing like back on earth, but honestly, you don't care.
  3235. >You weren't at the point of wanting a family back home, so it's not like you had a wife already, though not being able to visit your family and old friends sucks royaly.
  3236. >Still, you have your new family here, and you don't plan on going anywhere.
  3237. >Some prodding from Miracle snaps your attention back to reality, where she is trying to give you more blocks to put on the growing tower.
  3238. >"DADDY BUILD!" She exclaims, going back to her outside voice and drawing the attention of everyone in class, especially Cheerilee's.
  3239. "Mira, use your quiet inside voice," you say back to her, taking the blocks.
  3241. >"Now little missy, you need to use your inside voice or Daddy will have to take you home right now," Cheerilee says, tapping a ruler on the board to get attention on her.
  3243. >"Well you need to be quiet and listen to Dad then."
  3244. >Her lower lip sticks out as she pouts at Cheerilee, crossing her arms like you do when you're annoyed.
  3245. >"MOMMY PLAY NOW!"
  3246. "That's it, Mira, we're going home," you say, picking her up around her waist.
  3248. >She yells her complaints all the way home, and most of the ponies who look at you give you understanding nods, many of them having had dealt with it, or helped friends deal with it.
  3249. >The terrible two's, one of the big child raising milestones.
  3250. >And Mira is going through it like a proverbial bull in a china shop.
  3251. >This is the fourth incident this week alone, and with the yelling phase happening at the same time, you're at your wits end trying to figure out what to do.
  3252. >Getting her to be quiet is rarely a problem, unless she doesn't get her way, in which case...
  3254. "You can't because you're being too loud and you were interrupting her work."
  3256. "If you keep yelling, you won't get to play with mommy at all today because I'm going to send you to bed early."
  3257. >"NO DADDY. NO SLEEP!"
  3258. >Wiggling like a worm to get out of your grip, she squeals and whines as you carry her to her room.
  3259. >Cleaning her room and locking her toys away, you put her down and walk to the door.
  3260. "If you be quiet, I will let you out when mommy gets home."
  3261. >Closing the door, you hear her wail on the other side banging on the door.
  3262. >"DADDY! WANT TO PLAY!"
  3263. >A glass of lemonade and a book join you on your chair as you wait while she screams herself ragged.
  3264. >It takes about an hour and a half, but she finally quiets down.
  3265. "Are you feeling quiet now, Miracle?" you ask through the door.
  3266. >"Daddy love Me?" she asks quietly.
  3267. "Yes, Mira, I do love you. I love you lots, but you need to learn how to be good, and use your inside voice."
  3268. >There's a faint sniffle from the other side of the door before you hear her ask, "Hug daddy?"
  3269. >The moment you open the door, her arms wrap around your leg, and you rub her head.
  3270. >When she lets up, you kneel down and engulf her in a hug, gently rocking her.
  3271. "It's okay, Mira, Daddy always loves you, no matter what."
  3272. >Taking her to your chair, you hold her close till she drifts off for a nap.
  3273. >Reading with one hand isn't easy, but you make do.
  3274. >Before long, Cheerilee arrives, walking in quietly upon seeing you with Mira asleep on your chest.
  3275. >"How's she doing?" your wife whispers, taking your free hand to rub her ears.
  3276. "A little down, I guess, but I had to be a little strict with her."
  3277. >Green eyes meet yours as she rests her head on the arm of the chair, and she asks, "How so? I know you wouldn't ever hurt her."
  3278. "She wasn't being quiet, so I had her take a time out in her room with her toys locked away. I told her when she was quiet, she could come out, but it took some time."
  3279. >Cheerilee doesn't respond, instead closing her eyes.
  3280. >Releasing her ears from their pleasure, you motion her up.
  3281. "Come on up, I still have room for you on my lap."
  3282. >Carefully climbing up, Cheerilee curls into the other side, nestling up against Mira.
  3283. >Still asleep, your daughter wraps her arms around her mom's forehoof, holding it close.
  3284. "Looks like she really missed you, Dear," you say, rubbing her ears again.
  3285. >"Mhmmm," is her mumbled reply as she becomes less and less responsive.
  3286. >Ear scratches. They work wonders.
  3287. >Being wrapped up in the comforting warmth of your family does wonders too, and soon, you feel yourself drifting off for a nap along with them.
  3289. ~~~
  3292. >It didn't take long to get Mira past her shouting phase, after that, as whenever she did shout unnessesarily, she wound up in her room with nothing, and quickly fixed her ways.
  3293. >If only all the little problems could be fixed so easily.
  3294. >Like her near limitless energy, which always brings problems around bed time.
  3295. >Bath time, thank Celestia, is never a problem, despite how often and how dirty she can get when she goes out to play.
  3296. >Two ponies that became her friend quite quickly were the Cake twins, despite being about two years older.
  3297. >The three of them often go out to play at the park while you or Mrs. Cake watches over them.
  3298. >While not common, Mr. Cake watches them sometimes as well, though most of the time he just wants a break from the kitchen.
  3299. >Still it's good to see him spending more time with his kids, like all parents should do.
  3300. >Soon enough though, the Cake twins have to go to school, meaning Miracle has more of her day with no friends around to play with.
  3301. >And unlike when she was younger and would nap for large portions of the day, when she is constantly wanting to play with you, time available to do work around the house vanishes quickly.
  3302. >Whenever possible, you get her to help, but even though she is growing fast, already reaching your thigh, she's still to small to help with most things.
  3303. >Her favourite "chore" is undoubtably helping in the garden, as time and again, one of the first things she wants to do in the morning is rush out and see the flowers.
  3304. >With her little watering pail in hand, she'll "make sure all the pretty flowers have drinks!"
  3305. >An ideal she shares with "Auntie Roseluck" who often visits with her sisters.
  3306. >They always visit for "Family holidays" since their family lives too far away to visit.
  3307. >Mira certainly doesn't complain, that's for sure.
  3308. >Without knowing any better, most people who see them together would think they are mother and daughter, though pretty much all of ponyville knows that the adorable little satyr girl is yours and Cheerilees.
  3309. >And speaking of Cheerilee, she has been dropping some very unsubtle hints lately.
  3310. >"Anon, where should we put Mira's old crib up?"
  3311. >"You know, my Estrus is coming up soon..."
  3312. >"Do you think Rose would mind watching Mira so we could have a night alone?"
  3313. >Yep, unsubtle hints.
  3314. >Speaking of unsubtle...
  3315. >Walking up to you wearing some skimpy lingere, she sets her hooves on your thighs and stares you straight in the eyes.
  3316. >"I know you're smart, Anon, but I'm going to say this now, I want to have another foal, and I've been trying to tell you all week."
  3317. "Yes, and I want to make sure you're sure about this. It will mean time off work for you again, and this time, I don't have a job to support us in case."
  3318. >"I am sure," she replies, before faltering a bit, "I mean, we didn't have problems last time, there shouldn't be problems this time."
  3319. >Pulling her up, you slowly run your hands down her back and kiss her on the nose.
  3320. "Take a week, think hard about it, talk with friends or family if you want, and one week from now, I'll go with whatever you feel is best, alright?"
  3321. "Oh, and by the way," you add as she's about to back down, "I love the clothes, very erotic."
  3322. >Bright pink cheeked, she clambers down and heads to get changed, since she won't need those to think.
  3323. >Unless that's her thing, you're not one to judge, especially if it means seeing your wife walk around in semi-transparent seafoam green panties and such.
  3324. >She has got one well formed butt, that's for sure.
  3326. ~~~
  3328. >Considering what Anon said, you relax on a chair out back, watching your daughter run around and play.
  3329. >It's true, you both manage money fairly well and should be able to get through, but if anything unexpected happened, like a hospital visit or something similar, you could be in serious financial trouble.
  3330. 'I should send a letter to mom and dad, see what they think,' you think to yourself, 'and I should visit Berry too. Hopefully she'll help out, if it comes down to it.'
  3331. "Since that's what sisters are for," you finish, accidently voicing the end of your train of thought.
  3332. >"Sister?" your daughter asks, wandering over, "am I going to get a sister?"
  3333. "Maybe, or maybe a little brother. Daddy and I are not sure if we are going to have another baby yet."
  3334. >"Sister! Sister! Sister! So I can be like Mommy or Auntie Rose and sisters."
  3335. "We can try, sweetie, but we won't know till much later."
  3336. >"Try now mommy. I want a sister!"
  3337. >Lettiing out a laugh, you rub her head.
  3338. "I'm sorry, but I can't try right now, but later, I promise."
  3339. >"Okay Mommy, I give flowers water now."
  3340. >Wandering off, she goes back to what she was doing, leaving you with your thoughts.
  3341. >How can you say no now, knowing Mira is expecting a little sister.
  3342. "I'll visit Berry first, I guess."
  3343. >Heading inside, you grab your bitpurse and stop to give Anon a kiss on your way out the front door.
  3344. "I'm heading out for a bit, Mira's in the back, but she should be fine for a while."
  3345. >"Alright," he replies, "just remember, there's no rush. if you need more time to think, take it."
  3346. >Snagging an extra kiss, you slip out, heading towards your sisters home.
  3349. End Chapter 12
  3352. >"You're planning on another baby, Sis? You do remember what happened last time, right?"
  3353. "The changelings were a freak event, and besides, Celestia made sure it wasn't gonna happen again."
  3354. >"But is she 100% sure? It could happen, you never know."
  3355. "I'm supposed to be the one worried about what could happen here, and you're just sounding paranoid."
  3356. >Rolling her eyes, she  shrugs and pours herself a cup of tea.
  3357. >"How about something more realistic, like your money. With you not able to work later in the pregnancy, how are you going to be able to pay for everything?"
  3358. "We should have enough saved, but it would be close..."
  3359. >"I will always be here to help, you know that, and Mom and Dad too."
  3360. "Just like how I'll always be here to help you too."
  3361. >"What are sisters for, after all," she says, speaking what is on your mind.
  3362. "Though some sisters need to learn when not to spike the punch."
  3363. >"Hey, it's not my fault you left it low enough Mira could get to it."
  3364. "Just be glad Anon caught her, or you'd have been in serious trouble."
  3365. >"Accidents happen, and besides, I'm sure you enjoyed his "present" that year. By the way how is it with him?"
  3366. "Huh?"
  3367. >"In bed? Is he a one and done, so you have to go a bunch of days in a row to get pregnant, or is he one of those guys who recovers quickly so he can shoot a couple times an hour?"
  3368. "One, you don't need to know. Two, why does it matter? It doesn't matter if he's clumsy or a sex god, I love him, and every moment we spend together."
  3369. >"That bad, huh? Well, at least he's good with kids."
  3370. "He's not bad in bed," you retort, shoving her a bit, "he's actually amazing, and not only that, he's a good cook, and good with housework and..."
  3371. >Cutting off your rant, she shoves back, and before you know it, a pillow is in your hoof and halfway to her face.
  3372. >Impact happens a split second later, and before you know it, you're in a hardcore pillow fight with your sister.
  3373. >Feathers fly as fabric gives, and soon the two of you are rolling and laughing on a feather covered floor.
  3374. >"I haven't had that kind of fun since the two bit shot thursday I went to about a month back, how about you?"
  3375. "It has been a long time since we've done sister stuff like that, and we need to do it more often."
  3376. >"Now if only Anon was here to clean up the mess."
  3377. "I'm not going to leave you to do it alone, and with two of us, it will go twice as fast."
  3378. >And it does, as together you get everything cleaned again in a matter of minutes.
  3379. >With a goodbye, you head on your way to visit your family friends, the flower sisters.
  3380. >Today is a bit of a lazy saturday, most ponies out and about are wandering or doing some quick shopping, though most businesses remain open.
  3381. >Including your destination, though before you are even in the store you notice Rose isn't there.
  3382. >Daisy greets you as you enter, and Lily joins from behind the till.
  3383. >"What brings you here, Cheerilee?" Lilly asks, pulling up a stool.
  3384. "I'm looking for advice, and asking friends and family."
  3385. >"What kind of advice? If you're having guy problems, I'm sure all three of us would be willing to take Anon off your hooves for you."
  3386. "Not gonna happen. I'm looking to have another foal, but I'm not sure if I should take the risks associated with it right now."
  3387. >They look between each other, before motioning you down with a hoof.
  3388. >"You shouldn't let Rose know about that, she's been a little..."
  3389. >"Don't let me know what?" Rose asks, wandering into the storefront, mane and face looking bedraggled.
  3390. >The two other sisters immediately jump, spin around, and try to blow the situation over.
  3391. >"Uh, it's nothing, we were just discussing, um..." Lily starts
  3392. >"Your next birthday, yeah, and Cheerilee had a suggestion, but we didn't want you to hear because it would ruin the surprise," Daisy finishes, putting on an awkward smile.
  3393. >Rose looks over at you, not buying her sisters lie one bit.
  3394. "What's up with you, Rose, I've never seen you this unkempt before?"
  3395. >"Eugh, I've just been in a rough patch the past week or so. What brings you here?"
  3396. >Her sisters make small "no" motions at you, but you've never been one to deceive your friends.
  3397. "I came for some advice as to whether or not I should have another foal right now."
  3398. >The two sister cringe, and the third's face darkens a little.
  3399. >"You're so lucky, having a guy who'll knock you up whenever  you want. I can't even get a guy, since they all think that if they want me, they have to take my sisters as well."
  3400. >"Sure, I could waste a few hundred bits for some asshole breeder stud to come down from Canterlot or Manehattan, but he'd be a dick who only wants the money and won't give two damns about how he treats me or how the child comes out."
  3401. >"Not to mention most of those are just lazy jackoffs who don't want a real job, since poor mares like me will always need a way to get pregnant when there are so few stallions around."
  3402. "I guess, but what's all this about?"
  3403. >"Having a foal! No matter how hard I try, I can't find a guy who's nice and would be willing to get me pregnant."
  3404. >"And I want one. It just feels like my life is empty without one."
  3405. "There's nothing to worry about," you say, hugging her, "I'm sure you'll find someone soon."
  3406. >She hugs back, a smile forming, "thanks. So, what kind of advice do you need?"
  3407. "Well..."
  3408. >Reciting to her what you and Anon went over, as well as what you discussed with both your sister and her sisters, you finish your recap and wait for her response.
  3409. >"This, this is perfect!" she exclaims, wrapping her hooves around your neck in a hug.
  3410. "Huh?"
  3411. >"Everything's perfect! Anon said he'd go with whatever you decided, right? So if you decide you want to have a threesome and have him get us both pregnant, we both win."
  3412. >"If I'm carrying Anon's satyr baby, that means he's part of the family, and we can help support your half financially, since even if one of us is out of commission, the other two can run the store and keep our income coming in."
  3413. "There's no way Anon would agree to that, even if it meant security. he's always been against getting a herd."
  3414. >"That's the thing, he would if you asked, I hope."
  3415. "Do you want me to though? How do you think he would react to this request?"
  3416. >This quells Rose's joy for a moment as she mulls over the thought.
  3417. >"I don't know... He might be mad, I guess, but I don't think he'll stop being our friend."
  3418. >A short sigh escapes her lips, and she sits down, "I guess it was a long shot in the end."
  3419. "Well, I will let Anon know about your offer, but I'll leave it to him to decide anything."
  3420. >"That'd be for the best, I suppose. I would rather not lose his friendship over something like asking you to force him to get me impregnated with his foal."
  3421. >Lily and Daisy, who though Rose's little rant and such have remained quiet, decide to speak up.
  3422. >"What about us?" Lily asks, "Do you think he would consider helping us get pregnant in the future?"
  3423. >"It's not like we'd want it immediately, but having the knowledge we'd be able to have kids eventually too would be great."
  3424. "Whoa, we don't even know if Anon will say yes to Roseluck, you shouldn't be thinking that far ahead."
  3425. >The two let out sighs and sit back, nodding, and even Rose seems a little sombered.
  3426. "Well, I'll think about it Rose, and tell Anon when I give him my answer. Hopefully, he'll tell you what he decided soon after."
  3427. >"Alright, best of luck to you, and have a good day."
  3428. "You too," you reply, heading back for the door.
  3429. >Once outside, you let out a sigh, feeling further from an answer than ever.
  3430. >Walking over to the library for some place quiet to write a letter to your parent's, you feel your mind whirling as it connects the dots of what you have been told, looking at the pros and cons of each.
  3431. >Unfortunately, the dots connect like a spiders web, with no clear best answer as you reach the tree.
  3432. >Flopping down at one of the tables, you get a quill, ink and parchment, and get to work.
  3433. >Three tries and half an hour later, and you have a letter that conveys enough info and your feelings, but leaves out some specific details you'd rather your parent's didn't know.
  3434. >Getting it mailed is quick and easy, and you're home with plenty of time before dinner.
  3436. ~~~
  3438. >The week slowly passes and while your days at work don't give you much chance to think on the technical parts of the problem, they do re-affirm something.
  3439. >You love bringing smiles to children's faces, and if you can add even just one more, you'd be even more happy yourself.
  3440. >The reply letter from your parents said similar to what you expected.
  3441. >They'd love another grandchild, but that you should be careful with your money and play things safe.
  3442. >Friday evening rolls around, and while you're still nervous, you're decided, and you feel your hooves speeding up to get you home sooner.
  3443. >Inside, your daughter rushes to meet you, and you return her hug energetically.
  3444. >After booping her nose with your own, something Anon calls an eskimo kiss, you pat her on the head and look for him.
  3445. >Searching his usual spots, you find him out back, reading a book in the warm sunlight.
  3446. >"Hey Dear, how was your day?"
  3447. "Fairly normal, as usual. No troublemakers today, but there was a bit of a problem with running out of green paint."
  3448. >"Nothing my lovely wife couldn't handle, I hope."
  3449. >Pushing him back a little, you hop up into his lap and stare deeply into his eyes.
  3450. "Of course not, there's nothing I can't handle, and that includes having another foal."
  3451. >"So you've made your decision?"
  3452. "I have, but..."
  3453. >"But what?"
  3454. "An idea came up when I was asking for advice, and I want you to think about it too. At this point, I'm not really for or against it, since it has its perks."
  3455. "Rose is wanting a foal, and when I was over there, she suggested I ask you to get us both pregnant, since that would make her part of the family, meaning her sisters would be able to help out financially."
  3456. >"And you don't mind that?"
  3457. "As a mare, one of the things you learn is to expect you may have to share your guy, and while I wouldn't share you with just anyone, she is a close friend, and I know you wouldn't mind."
  3458. >He goes quiet for a moment, before scratching behind your ear.
  3459. >"Now I have something I have to think about. I'll head over and talk to her, see what all she's thinking, and I'll have an answer by this evening, alright?"
  3460. "More than alright, Honey. I'll have dinner waiting for you when you get back."
  3461. >With a tight hug, he lifts you up, and sets you down on the chair as he vacates it, stealing a kiss as he goes.
  3462. >Passing through the house, you hear him talk with Mira a bit, before he's gone out the front door.
  3464. ~~~
  3466. >Making your way through town, you quickly arrive at the Flower Trio's shop.
  3467. >Daisy and Rose are running the shop today, and upon your arrival, Rose rushes over.
  3468. >"Eh, Hi Anon, what brings you here?"
  3469. "I just heard something that I want to talk with you about, Rose."
  3470. >"Did you want to do it here, or should we go somewhere more private?"
  3471. "Here."
  3472. >She suddenly blushes bright red, and stutters, "Oh my... it's my first time... I mean, I don't mind doing it here... But isn't is risque?"
  3473. "Rose, I'm not here to get you pregnant, I'm here to ask why."
  3474. >"Why what? I want to have a baby, to help fill my life."
  3475. "Why me? You know how the baby will come out, and raising a Satyr is different from raising a foal."
  3476. >"Yeah, but even if I don't live with you, their dad will always be around to help, because I know you."
  3477. >"I guess you can kind of think of yourself as a breeding stud and emergency nanny, in this case."
  3478. >When you lift an eyebrow in a "You serious" kind of look, she shakes her hooves rapidly.
  3479. >"Not like that, I mean, I want to have a baby, and if it's not with a husband, I'd want it to be a guy I know and trust. And... I kind of really like you."
  3480. "Well, I certainly wouldn't abandon you or our child, if I did make one with you, so I suppose that makes sense, and I do like you a lot too, but you do realize what you would be getting into, right?"
  3481. >"Yes; your pants."
  3482. >Both of you burst out laughing at her joke, and with a pat on the head, you quell it down to a smile.
  3483. "I get your why now, and while it is kind of odd, I suppose it's no different from being a sperm donor back home, just a little more... physical."
  3484. >"So it's a yes?"
  3485. "I'm on the fence about it right now. As you know, humans are primarily monogamous, and if it weren't for the fact Cheerilee knows, and is okay, or rather, doesn't mind it, it would be considered cheating."
  3486. "Convince me."
  3487. >Sitting back, Roseluck scrunches her nose and closes her eyes as she thinks hard.
  3488. >"It's like this, I suppose. From when I first awkwardly asked you on a date all those years back, I have really liked you. Yes, a lot of it was originally about that little pamphlet, but after getting to know you better, and spending time with you, I can say I love you; and while there may be a small part of you that loves me back, I can see the part of you that is my friend is bigger, and I'm fine with that."
  3489. >"Both my sisters and I enjoy all the time we spend together, and I'm also not going to lie, I was a little jealous when you started dating Cheerilee, but I could see how perfect you were together, and I wouldn't do anything to hurt you."
  3490. >"When you got married, I was ecstatic for the both of you, but at the same time, I could feel what little chance I had to be with you, Romantically, I mean, slip away."
  3491. >"It hurt, but at the same time, I wasn't angry for it. You're a wonderful person, and even now, I'd give just about anything to be with you like Cheerilee is, but I would never force you to do anything."
  3492. >"After the whole shock of you getting Cheerilee pregnant, and all the chaos surrounding that, I felt... I don't know what to call it, a little jealousy, some elation, and like, half a dozen other feelings, but in the end, I was happy for you."
  3493. >"She may have troubles down the line, and she's got her moments, but to me, she was the perfect daughter for you."
  3494. >"In the end, this request is for me. We may have agreed to help support you financially and all that through the period if you do it, but at the root of it, it's me being greedy and wanting a child with the stall.., no, man I love, but cannot have."
  3495. >Taking a moment to process all this, you let the silence hang in the air.
  3496. "I won't lie to you, especially not after that. There is a part of me that loves you, as more than a friend, but as a friend, you are probably the best one I've ever had."
  3497. "There's also a part of me that would love to take and bend you over the counter and ravage you right here, right now, but I prefer to keep that part locked away most of the time."
  3498. >You can see her biting her lip and nodding, her eyes flickering to the aforementioned counter.
  3499. "But right now, I suppose I can be a little greedy and complete one of those wishes I've had at the back of my mind, and give you a yes."
  3500. >Instantly, she lets out a loud squeal, and wraps her forehooves around your waist in a hug.
  3501. "But..."
  3502. >She freezes in place, barely breathing as she waits for you to continue.
  3503. "I will retain the right to say no at any time, and it will be all on my terms."
  3504. >"Of course, yes, no problem, oh my gosh, I never figured I'd get to do this!"
  3505. "We will do it next Sunday, and I'll drop off Mira with your sisters."
  3506. >"What about Cheerilee, will she be joining us?"
  3507. "No, but she'll be around, since I'll be trying with both of you around the same time."
  3508. >"So, uh, that's it then? Will I need to bring anything special?"
  3509. "Besides yourself, no."
  3510. >The comment gets you a bit of a blush, and you head for the door.
  3511. "I'll see you later then," you say, waving to her.
  3512. >She waves back before giddily hopping to where her sisters were peeping.
  3513. >The last thing you hear from there is a bunch of excited giggling before you're too far away.
  3515. ~~~
  3517. >Days tick by slowly as you care for and teach Miracle, the weekend growing steadily closer.
  3518. >As much as you are confident in your abilities, you feel small nags of doubt poking at you.
  3519. >Mira, on the other hand, excitedly tells you all the time she wants a sister like Auntie Rose and Mommy.
  3520. >Ah, to be young and carefree, it seems like it was such a long time ago.
  3521. >While she's home, Cheerilee avoids mentioning anything about the coming weekend, seemingly knowing of your uncertainties.
  3522. >It certainly doesn't lower the amount of affection you share with her though.
  3523. >Each hug, each kiss, each playful nibble reminds you of how much you love her, of how much she loves you, and how that won't ever change.
  3524. >These little acts slowly suppress the nagging doubt, at least in terms of making another child with her.
  3525. >Roseluck on the other hand, you're not sure how she'll react to anything, since even though you've been close to her for years now, you've never seen her intimately.
  3526. >Not that you haven't gotten flashes, but you've never seen the intimate side of her personality.
  3527. >While the days go by slow, before you know it, it's saturday, the last day before...
  3528. >"Daddy! It's play day with Auntie Rose and Lily and Daisy!" Mira exclaims, jumping onto your bed and your chest, "Mommy, wake up, its play day!"
  3529. >Reaching out and grabbing the ball of energy that is Mira, you pull her down and hug her close.
  3530. "Mira, it's too early to go out with them. We have to get cleaned up, have breakfast, tidy the house and prepare lunch before we can go."
  3531. >"Awwww..."
  3532. >Rubbing your hand in her mess of hair, you manage to get her to smile before she snuggles up in between you and Cheerilee.
  3533. >But, she can only stay like this for so long, as soon she's off the bed and tugging your hand.
  3534. >"Come Daddy, it's time for breakfast."
  3535. >Allowing yourself to be pulled from bed, you sit up, your daughter pulling you to the kitchen.
  3536. "You can use the bathroom first, dear, I'll handle breakfast," you call back to her as you exit the room.
  3537. >A mumbled response is all you get, nothing distinct enough to make sense of, but it's fine.
  3538. >Your daughter climbs into her seat as you get to the fridge, pulling out milk and eggs to make pancakes with.
  3539. >The ingredients all get mixed in a bowl, and in the distance you can hear the shower starting.
  3540. >A typical start to a fairly typical saturday.
  3541. >Pancakes hit the table, everyone eats, the dishes are cleaned, you help Mira bathe, Cheerilee prepares a picnic lunch...
  3542. >Everything running as normal.
  3543. >Soon, Mira's ready at the door, and there's nothing either you or Cheerilee can do to get a few moments more rest.
  3544. >Daughter holding one hand, picnic basket in the other and wife at your side, you head out the door, ready to face the day.
  3545. >Warm sunshine beams down on you as you walk through town, together as a family.
  3546. >The Flower shop nears soon, and Mira starts tugging to run ahead.
  3547. >Releasing her hand, she scampers off, likely the first child to run on two hooves here.
  3548. "She's not going to be the last either," you say to yourself, though Cheerilee hears it and tilts her head to you.
  3549. >"Last what, dear?"
  3550. "I was just thinking how she's probably the first biped child to run through Ponyville, though she won't be the last."
  3551. >"Of course, since you're going to be making two more at least."
  3552. >Reaching down, you rest a hand on her head, gently tweaking an ear.
  3553. "Well, let's catch up. Hopefully she hasn't done any harm to the store."
  3554. >As you reach the door, a confused looking Roseluck is pushed out by her sisters, who close the door behind her.
  3555. >"Take her out for dinner and a date before your fun, Anon, we can watch Mira till monday," Daisy's voice says from the other side as she walks back to the house part.
  3556. >Looking down at Rose, she immediately says, "I had no idea, they just pushed me out the door."
  3557. >"It seems like a fun idea though, Anon," Cheerilee says, "and it's been a while since just the two of us went out, though I guess it's three now."
  3558. "So, to home to drop off the basket first, and then how does a movie sound?"
  3559. >"Sounds good to me," Rose says, "but about dinner, is it alright for the three of us to go somewhere fancy? Other ponies might get the wrong idea."
  3560. >"But it's the three of us," Cheerilee says, "friends often go out to nice places for dinner together on special occasions."
  3561. "And I guess today and tomorrow will technically be a special occasion, so to speak."
  3562. >"Very special," Roseluck says quietly, rubbing against the side of your leg, "Intimacy with the man I love."
  3563. >"Oh?" Cheerilee says, stiffening a little.
  3564. >"It's not like that, Cheerilee, I love him, and I know I could make him happy, but you make him so much happier than I ever could, and I'd never take that away from you two."
  3565. >"Alright, enough of this, you two, let's get going and have some adult only fun."
  3566. >They both bite their lips and give you half lidded looks, and you roll your eyes.
  3567. "Later, first is lunch and a movie, a long walk in the woods, dinner and then that stuff."
  3568. >Both let out small sighs, before smiling and following you home.
  3569. >Two little loving horses, ready to bear your babies.
  3570. >Mentally sighing, you question if you yourself are ready for this.
  3571. "Well, only one way to find out," you whisper to yourself.
  3574. End Chapter 13
  3577. >The weekend goes by smoother than you would have expected, the two quickly getting comfortable with having you between them, both figuratively, and in a few cases, literally.
  3578. >Why did you agree to a horror movie, the pony theater seats are barely big enough for you as is, it only gets harder with two mares clinging to your lap.
  3579. >At least Rose didn't use the close proximity and darkness to fool around, unlike your wife.
  3580. >In the end, the evening went well, and you fell asleep with two mares snuggled in bed, both ready and eager for the next day.
  3581. >The next day in question went by in a blur, filled only with sex, meals and cuddling, the two girls refusing to let you do much else in between sessions.
  3582. >After it, life slips back into normalcy, at least, for a while.
  3583. >Soon, the pregnancy confirms itself as successful, and you wake up to find Cheerilee wrapped around your waist and Roseluck excitedly knocking at the door.
  3584. >It takes the usual time before it becomes visible, and it's not long after that before the rumor mill starts grinding.
  3585. >You were cheating on Cheerilee with Rose, You started a Harem with the two of them, Rose is secretly a changeling and disguised as Cheerilee to get you to impregnate her.
  3586. >Killing the rumors was easy though, all you had to do was tell Roseluck it's fine to say you impregnated her as a deal between friends, and you spread the same.
  3587. >Problem is, killing the rumors brought its own problems, with others trying to make deals for the same gift.
  3588. >It didn't last long, and soon things were back to as normal as they could be with a pregnant wife to help and a pregnant friend.
  3589. >Days and weeks tick by, and the bellys of the two slowly grow, and soon they're both removed from the work force temporarely and left in your care.
  3590. >Which of course means they're both quite wanting, and that means you're running to get snacks.
  3591. >Throw in Miracle needing attention, and everything is starting to pile up slowly.
  3593. ~~~
  3595. >"Is she all packed up?" Cheerilee asks from the bathroom, tidying up Mira's hair and tail.
  3596. "Yeah, all her school stuff is here," you call back, zipping up your daughters backpack.
  3597. >"But I don't wanna go to school when Mommy's not the teacher!" Mira whines under Cheerilee's hooves.
  3598. >"Well, you have to go. Mister Ed is an excellent teacher. He was the teacher I learned with, and he is good with numbers, just like your dad."
  3599. >You can hear her grumble as you put your shoes on, ready to go.
  3600. >Soon enough, she walks out in a flowery skirt and top, her hair done up in pig tails and a little bow in it.
  3601. "Are you ready to go to your first day of school, Mira?" you ask, kneeling to her level.
  3602. >"Uh huh, but I want mommy to be the teacher, not anyone else."
  3603. >"Well, mommy can't be the teacher right now because she's growing a baby in her belly."
  3604. >"But... but mommy is suposed to be my teacher."
  3605. >Sitting down, you take Mira's hand, and get her attention.
  3606. "Mira, it will be fine. I'm sure he's a nice teacher, and after mommy has her baby, she'll be the teacher again, so you only have to have Mister Ed as a teacher for a short while."
  3607. >"Okay Daddy," she replies with a small smile.
  3608. >Standing back up, you open the door, still holding your daughter's hand.
  3609. "Now we had better hurry, Mira, school will start soon and we need to get there early if you want to have some time to play with Pound and Pumpkin Cake."
  3610. >"Yeah!" she exclaims, now tugging on your hand to get you to go.
  3611. >Your wife smiles at you before nudging you to go as well, and you're on your way to the Ponyville School house.
  3612. >Her initial excitedness dies down a little as you approach, but it returns when she sees her friends there.
  3613. >"Daddy, can I go play?" she asks, looking up at you.
  3614. "Not just yet. we have to introduce you to your teacher first, then you can go play."
  3615. >She nods and follows you to the official looking pony standing in front of the school house.
  3616. >Well, he's wearing a tie, so he's probably not just a parent.
  3617. >Approaching him, he says, "You must be Anonymous, husband of the teacher I'm covering for, right? My name's Mister Ed. U. Cation, a substitute teacher working for the Canterlot teachers association."
  3618. "It's nice to meet you, Mister Ed, this is Mira, our daughter, who will be starting her path of learning today," you say, moving her out from where she has hidden behind your legs.
  3619. >"Ummm... Hi, Mister Ed," she says quietly.
  3620. >"It's nice to meet you, Mira, I hope we can get to know eachother well in class, and have fun learning together."
  3621. >Your daughter nods, before looking up at you, and you sigh a little.
  3622. "Alright, Mira, you can go play now."
  3623. >Releasing your hand, she takes her backpack and scurries off to where she saw Pumpkin and Pound, leaving you with the Sub.
  3624. >"So, is there anything I need to worry about with her? Allergies, fears or anything like that? I've heard a bit about you, and I just want to make a good impression."
  3625. "She should be fine with anything, we haven't noticed any allergies or bad reactions so far. And just by asking, you have already made a good impression."
  3626. >Mr. Ed smiles and nods, looking past you.
  3627. >"It seems some other parents are ariving, so if there's nothing more to discuss..."
  3628. "I gotcha. I'll see you at the end of the day," you say with a wave before turning and heading for the gate.
  3629. >From her spot in the playground, Miracle calls out, "Bye Bye Daddy!"
  3630. >Waving to her as well, you slowly walk home to where Cheerilee and Roseluck are likely waiting to send you out to fill some craving or another.
  3631. >Rest time is getting harder and harder to find.
  3632. >A scent catches your nose, warm, sweet and inviting, drawing you from your path.
  3633. >It leads, not surprisingly, to Sugarcube Corner, the origin of most delicious smells in ponyville.
  3634. >As you near, you can identify the smell.
  3635. >Cinnamon rolls, fresh out of the oven.
  3636. >Drawn in the doors by your nose, you find Pinkie behind the counter, handling another customer.
  3637. >It takes less than a moment for her to notice you, and despite her overall goofyness, she remains professional and handles the customer before waving to you and calling out, "Hey Nonny, what can I get for you?"
  3638. "Give a guess," you say, tapping your nose.
  3639. >She pauses before sniffing the air, and springing an even bigger smile.
  3640. >"Just for you, or do you want some extras for the ladies?" she asks, accentuating the last word with an eyebrow wiggle.
  3641. "Couldn't hurt, Pinkie. Add an extra on top of that for Mira when she gets home from school."
  3642. >"Coming right up, Nonny," she says before ducking behind the counter.
  3643. >Four cinnamon rolls quickly dissapear from the display, and Pinkie returns shortly after with a box smelling of them.
  3644. >"Here you go, four fresh and warm Cinammon rolls, that will be six bits."
  3645. >Passing her the coins, you accept the box and wave before heading back for home.
  3646. >The walk feels far shorter than it was, and the moment your foot hits the floor...
  3647. >"Honey, I know you just got back, but could you go out and get us something?"
  3648. >Not even five seconds in, not that you mind.
  3649. "Of course, what do you want?"
  3650. >"Something sweet!" Rose calls out.
  3651. "Well then, do I have a surprise for you," you say, cracking open the box, "how do some fresh, steamy warm cinnamon rolls from Sugarcube Corner sound?"
  3652. >"Absolutely perfect," the two of them chorus, and you make your way to the living room.
  3653. >As usual, the two of them are lounging on the couch like they do most mornings.
  3654. >A pair of big bellied mares, comfortable as can be, but as soon as you enter the room, you can see their attentions focus on you and their noses start twiching.
  3655. >"You weren't kidding about fresh baked, Anon, they smell right out of the oven fresh."
  3656. "What do you think made me get them," you say as you pull one out for each mare, "I could smell them half a block away from the store."
  3657. >Roseluck immediately chomps into hers, holding it between her forehooves.
  3658. >"Oh yeah, that's gooooood," she sighs.
  3659. >"Mhmmm" Cheerilee echoes, licking her lips, getting all the icing she can off them.
  3660. "Well, those are the only ones for you, since the others are for Mira and I."
  3661. >"But... but..." Rose stutters, looking up at you with a spot of icing on her cheek.
  3662. "Complaining and you still have some left. Shame on you, Rose."
  3663. >"Some left?"
  3664. >Swiping the icing off her cheek with a finger, you dangle it in front of her, before licking it off.
  3665. "Hmnnn, quite good, I'll have to munch mine quick."
  3666. >"But..."
  3667. "If you want more, I'm sure it would be ood for you if you went out for a walk and got them yourself, it's not that far. Or you could bake your own."
  3668. >Heading to the kitchen, you store Mira's treat in the fridge, while grabbing your own and heading for your seat in the back yard.
  3669. "Oh, and if I find Mira's roll missing, you will be walking to pick her up from school, taking her to Sugarcube corner and getting her a new one."
  3670. >Flopping back into your chair, you wonder how Mira is doing at her first day of school.
  3672. ~~~
  3674. >"Come on, Mira, it's time for class," Pound says, heading for the schoolhouse, Pumpkin running ahead.
  3675. "O-okay," you reply a little quietly, nervousness creeping up on you.
  3676. >Following your friends inside, it's still the same as when mommy works here, except she isn't at the desk, instead it's Mister Ed.
  3677. >There are some different ponies around too, though you do recognize a bunch of them, several of them waving to you.
  3678. >"Alright class, everypony get seated," Mister Ed says, clopping a hoof on the ground.
  3679. >Quickly scurrying to an open desk, you get one next to Pumpkin and a young orangy-yellow pegasus filly.
  3680. >"For this year, I will be your teacher, Mister Ed. And since this is the first day, and for some of you, this is your first year of school, let's introduce ourselves."
  3681. >"I'll start. My name is Mister Ed. U. Cation. I'm a substitute teacher, and I love fresh donuts."
  3682. >Stepping back, he gestures the next pony up, and so on, till it reaches Pumpkin.
  3683. >She walks up to the front, and you realize you're next.
  3684. >"Hi, I'm Pumpkin Pie. My parent's run Sugarcube Corner, and Pound Cake is my brother."
  3685. >She comes back, and with a deep breath, you ready yourself to go.
  3686. >Walking up to the front, you feel some fear, being different from them, but thinking of how daddy is different too makes you feel a bit better.
  3687. "My name's Miracle, but most people call me Mira. My Daddy is the only human in the whole world, and I like taking care of my flowers."
  3688. >Giving a little bow, you walk back to your desk, the fear having passed.
  3689. >The pony next looks terrified as she slowly trots up, before tripping over her own hooves.
  3690. >As she falls on her face, you rush to help, some other classmates snickering.
  3691. "Are you okay?" you ask, helping her to her hooves.
  3692. >"Mhmm, thanks."
  3693. >Giving her a smile, you go back to your seat and she walks up to the front.
  3694. >"M-my name's Bluster, and I want to work with the weather team when I grow up."
  3695. >As soon as the teacher nods she can go back, she hastily, but carefully returns to her seat.
  3696. >The next student heads up, but your attention is on her.
  3697. "Better now?" you whisper, leaning over slightly.
  3698. >"Yeah, thanks to you," she whispers back, before turning back to the front.
  3699. >You can see Mister Ed is looking your way, but since he's not saying anything, you're safe.
  3700. >Introductions go by without any more problems, and as the last finishes, he clops his hoof again, and says, "It's nice to meet you all. To start off class today, I have a practice test for all the new students to see what you know."
  3701. >Walking around, he starts passing out the tests to new ponies, including you and Bluster.
  3702. >"Don't worry if you can't answer some of the questions, what you get won't matter. When this year is done, all the questions will be easy for all of you."
  3703. >Looking at the paper, you realize a lot of it is easy. Stuff Mom and Dad taught you already.
  3704. >Digging in your backpack, you find your pencil case and take out one of your pencils, sharpened and ready to go.
  3705. >The first questions are math, Daddy's favourite.
  3706. >Having fingers to count on when needed helps, but most of the stuff is easy as pie.
  3707. >Spelling and matching are a bit difficult, but not too hard, and you get most of them done.
  3708. >The other questions vary, and soon you're done and listening to the teacher teaching math.
  3709. >"Now, who can figure out what seven times nine is?"
  3710. >Immediately looking at your hands, you remember the trick dad taught.
  3711. >Lowering the seventh finger, you count six on one side, and three on the other.
  3712. "Sixty three!" you exclaim, waving one of your hands up.
  3713. >"That's right, Mira, how did you know?"
  3714. "Daddy showed me a finger trick to do it."
  3715. >Holding up your hands, you show all ten fingers.
  3716. "It's for timesing by nine, you take the other number and hold down that finger. Then it's just counting."
  3717. >Lowering finger seven, you show how there is six on the left, and three on the right.
  3718. "It's easy, but it only works for nines, and nothing else."
  3719. >"Oh yeah, I rememeber him showing that when I started school here," one of the older students says.
  3720. >"I see," Mister Ed says, doing some thinking, "though I suppose it's a little tricky to do with hooves."
  3721. >"He told us you could just use lines on paper to do it too," another older pony says, showing the process.
  3722. >"Well, if you are finished your test, you can put it on my desk, and find something quiet to do till recess."
  3723. >Nodding, you bring your test up, before returning to your desk and digging in your bag for your crayons and paper.
  3724. >Spending the rest of the time till recess drawing, you sometimes listen to the older students lessons, though they're often too hard to understand.
  3725. >Others finish their tests and go do what they do, and before long, the recess bell rings, and you hop to your hooves, ready to play.
  3726. >You've played in the school field lots of times before, but you feel like you have to go fast today.
  3727. >"What do you wanna do, Mira?" Pumpkin asks, coming up next to you.
  3728. "I don't know, I've never had recess before."
  3729. >"It's a time for us to play games and have fun in between classes," Pound says, joining you two.
  3730. "Hide and seek," you suggest, and the other two nod.
  3731. >"Not it," they both call out in chorus, meaning you are the seeker.
  3732. >Running over to the tree, you cover your eyes, and start to count.
  3733. >Counting up to twenty, you open your eyes and look around.
  3734. >They're both nowhere to be seen, so you start looking.
  3735. >Behind the trees, in bushes, under benches, you eventually find them, and when Pound gets ready to start counting, you see Bluster sitting off to the side watching everyone.
  3736. >Running over, you wave to get her attention.
  3737. "Bluster, you want to play with us? Hide and Seek is better with more people."
  3738. >"Um, sure, who else is playing?"
  3739. "Pound and Pumpkin. Pound is the looker this time."
  3740. >"Okay," she replies before running off to hide.
  3741. >Hurrying back to Pound, you tell him Bluster is playing too, before looking for a spot to hide.
  3742. >Finally squeezing in between a bush and the school, you peek through the leaves to watch for him coming.
  3743. >Just like you, he looks in all the obvious spots, and some you wouldn't have thought of, finding Pumpkin in the process.
  3744. >Several times, he comes close to you, but passes by.
  3745. >Starting to relax, you don't see him sneaking up beside you, till he pokes your side and says, "Found ya!"
  3746. >You give out a girly squeal as you jump up, scared out of your pants.
  3747. >Thank Celestia you're wearing a dress, or else you'd be naked.
  3748. >And like daddy, you like wearing clothes, since they make you pretty.
  3749. >Getting out of your hiding spot, you notice Bluster hasn't been found yet, and Pound continues his search.
  3750. >Looking around yourself, you can't see your new friend anywhere, meaning she hid really well.
  3751. >Sitting with Pumpkin, you watch Pound keep looking, before you spot Bluster peeking out from behind the school steps.
  3752. >It's out of the way, and so obvious it's a perfect spot.
  3753. >Looking away, you whisper the spot to Pumpkin, who glances over and spots her, just like you did.
  3754. >Pound keeps looking for another few minutes before calling out, "I give up, come out,"
  3755. >With a big smile, Buster hops up out of her hiding spot and trots over, victorious.
  3756. "Good hiding place, Bluster," you say, and the Twins nod.
  3757. >"I'm searcher next," Pumpkin says, going to the schoolhouse wall to count.
  3758. >A couple more rounds happen before the bell rings, and everyone goes back inside.
  3759. >With Recess finished, Mister Ed teaches Spelling next, and then Art, and before you know it, it's lunch time.
  3760. >Some kids go outside, but you stay at your desk to eat, searching your backpack for the lunch dad made.
  3761. >Pound pulls a desk over and puts it next to Pumpkins', and they go digging for their lunches too.
  3762. >Opening your lunchbox reveals a smell to your nose, a delicious, mouthwatering smell.
  3763. >Peeking in the bread of your sandwhich, you see yummy tasty bacon in with the lettuce, cheese, tomatoes and mayo.
  3764. >As you are about to take a bite...
  3765. >"Eugh, what's that horrible smell?" one of the older students says.
  3766. >Looking around, he sees your sandwich and makes gagging noises.
  3767. >"Is that tomato? Are you crazy, it's poisonous! And meat too, blegh you're a real freak!"
  3768. >Tears encoach when you hear Mister Ed say, "Glint, that's not nice, now appologise."
  3769. >"Fine, I'm sorry I called you a freak," he says, though not very sincerely.
  3770. >"Better," Mister Ed says, before turning back to his lunch.
  3771. >Ignoring the tongue sticking outing that Glint does, you bite into your lunch, enjoying the tasty treat.
  3772. >You don't know how, but daddy can always get meat for special times.
  3773. >Maybe he has special daddy magic.
  3774. >Your lunch is finished soon, and the clock says there's lots of time left before classes again, so together with the Cakes and Bluster, you all go outside to play again.
  3775. >Playing with one of the balls uses all the rest of lunch and it's back to class.
  3776. >Class starts again with Geography, with older students teaching younger ones while Mister Ed taught a grade.
  3777. >And of all the big kids for your group to be stuck with, you get the meanie Glint.
  3778. >"Ugh, of all the ponies, I get stuck with you. I doubt you'd even understand this with that monster brain of yours."
  3779. "Both Daddy and Mommy say I'm really smart, and Mommy's a teacher, so there," you reply, sticking your tongue out at him.
  3780. >"Your mom is Mister Ed? You just keep getting more and more freaky."
  3781. >Mister Ed clears his throat behind Glint, and says, "Sorry to pop your bubble, but I'm not related to Mira. Her mother is Ponyville's normal teacher, Mrs. Cheerilee."
  3782. >"On top of that, if you won't get along with Mira, I'm going to have to reassign you to another group."
  3783. >"Sure, fine by me," Glint says with a shrug, before walking off.
  3784. >Sticking your tongue out at him, you hear teacher clear his throat again.
  3785. >"You know, you shouldn't be like that to him, Mira, I heard he just recently got moved here because of his parent's business, and he has no friends to play with."
  3786. "He doesn't have to be so mean though."
  3787. >"Some ponies are just like that, and unfortunately there's often not much you can do to change it."
  3788. >A new pony is moved over to teach your group, this one much nicer.
  3789. >You don't learn a lot, most of the stuff is to make sure everyone knows the starting stuff.
  3790. >It's also the same with science, little stuff that Daddy and Mom taught.
  3791. >Not getting to play all the time isn't fun, but that's the rules.
  3792. >There is a short play time though, since Mister Ed needs to teach all parts of the class different stuff.
  3793. >Also more recess, your now favourite part of school.
  3794. >Learning is fun, but playing with your friends is more fun.
  3795. >Time goes really fast, and soon Mister Ed says it's time to tidy up for the end of the school day.
  3796. >Making sure you don't forget anything, you put all your stuff in your bag. and wait for the bell.
  3797. >Everybody is watching the clock, and suddenly the bell rings, and like a bunch of chickens, everyone rushes to the exit.
  3798. >Looking around outside for Daddy, you don't see him anywhere.
  3799. >"Mira!, Over here," you hear auntie Roseluck call, and you run over, where she is with Mrs. Cake.
  3800. >Pumpkin and Pound run over soon too, and the whole group starts walking.
  3801. "Why isn't daddy here?" you ask, looking at Rose.
  3802. >"Totally worth it," you hear her say quietly, before shaking her head quickly, and saying, "Oh, I thought I could use a walk so I offered to pick you up from school and take you out for a snack."
  3803. "A Treat!" you exclaim, bouncing up and down beside her, "What kinda treat?"
  3804. >"I heard that today the Cakes baked up some delicious, warm cinnamon rolls."
  3805. >"So did I," Mrs. Cake says too, "and since it's three now, a fresh batch should be just out of the oven."
  3806. "Yummy!" you say, along with Pound and Pumpkin.
  3807. >As soon as Sugarcube corner is in sight, the three of you run ahead, rushing through the door to see Pinkie and Mister Cake.
  3808. >"Hey there!" Pinkie says, waving at you, "Didja like the cinnamon roll your dad got you?"
  3809. "Huh? What roll?"
  3810. >You hear the door open as Auntie Rose and Mrs. Cake come in, and you look back at Roseluck.
  3811. "Auntie, did Daddy get a cimamon roll for me before?"
  3812. >"He did... but... um... It accidently fell on the floor, so being nice I decided to go and get a new one for you and another one for myself."
  3813. "Thank you Auntie Rose," you say with a smile before running up to the counter where Pinkie is.
  3814. >The pretty pink pony smiles down before taking out a tray with tasty smelling cinnamon rolls on it.
  3815. >"Well, I think now's a good time for everyone to take a quick snack break, don't you?" she asks, taking the tray to a table.
  3816. >Following behind, you hop up into a seat and nod quickly, licking your lips.
  3817. >"And nothing goes better with cinnamon rolls than a nice cold glass of milk," Mr. Cake says, bringing a pitcher and glasses, before sitting down as Roseluck and Mrs. Cake do.
  3818. >Pinkie jumps into her seat next to the twins, and everyone gets a fresh roll and a glass of milk.
  3819. >Everyone starts to eat, and partway through, Mrs. Cake asks, "So, Mira, how was your first day of school?"
  3820. >Thinking about it, you swallow your mouthfull, before scraching your head with icing covered fingers.
  3821. "It was fun. There was this meanie though, but Mister Ed made him move to a different group."
  3822. >"Yeah, he was a real meanie, he called Mira a freak!" Pound chimes in after swallowing his mouthful.
  3823. >Pinkie's cheeks poof up before she blows a rasperry, and saying, "He does sound like a meanie, but maybe you should try being his friend. The more friends you have, the better."
  3824. "Mister Ed said that too, but he keeps being a meanie, so I don't wanna be his friend."
  3825. >"Well," Mrs. Cake says, joining in, "Mister Ed sounds like a smart teacher. Speaking of teachers, how's Cheerilee doing, and you as well Roseluck?"
  3826. >"We're both doing fine. I honestly didn't expect carrying a foal to be this easy. From most of the tales I've heard, it's quite tiring."
  3827. >"Carrying the foal is the easy part, especially if you have a wonderful husband who helps a lot," Mrs. Cake replies, rubbing her face in Mr. Cakes neck, "Getting the foal out is the beginning of the hard part."
  3828. >Quickly losing interest in the adult conversation, you turn to Pound and Pumpkin, who, like you, have finished your snacks.
  3829. "Wanna play before I have to go home?" you ask, and they nod, before heading for the stairs.
  3830. >Before you can leave though, Mister Cake catches your hands in a washcloth, and cleans them off, and your head too.
  3831. >Going up to their play room, you all decide playing ball will be the best, because you'll have to go soon.
  3832. >Like you all guessed, it's not long before you're called to go home.
  3833. >Walking slow with Roseluck, you do what daddy told you and make sure she's not having problems.
  3834. >Carrying a baby in her belly is hard work is what daddy told you, so you have to make sure she doesn't work too hard.
  3835. >When you get home, you open the door for Auntie Rose, before running to find Mommy to tell her all about your new teacher.
  3836. >Except Mommy isn't in the house, you find her cuddling with Daddy in his back yard chair.
  3837. >"So, how was my little girls' first day of school?" Daddy asks, patting his knee to motion you up.
  3838. >Cimbing up to cuddle with Mommy and Daddy, you feel Daddy's arm around you, holding you tight.
  3839. >"Do you like Mister Ed?" Mommy asks, and you nod in reply.
  3840. "He's a nice teacher, but I still want mommy to be my teacher."
  3841. >"Oh, and what about your classmates," Dad asks, "did you make any new friends?"
  3842. "Mhmm, I met a nice pony named Bluster. She's quiet but really good at hide and seek."
  3843. "There's also a meanie in class. He called me a freak but Mister Ed made him stay away."
  3844. >"Maybe I should pay your new classmate a visit tomorrow," Daddy says, and you nod energeticly.
  3845. >"Don't traumatize the poor child, Dear, I know how protective you can be."
  3846. >"I'm not going to do anything like to that, Sweet, just let him know that he should stop insulting my family."
  3847. "Or else?"
  3848. >"No, not like that, Mira. I'll just do what I can to make sure this stuff never happens again."
  3849. >"But for now, I have some dishes to do before I make dinner"
  3850. >Hopping off his lap, you wait while he sets Mommy on her feet, before grabbing his hand.
  3851. "Daddy, can I help?"
  3853. ~~~
  3855. >"Daddy, can I help?" your daughter asks, taking hold of your hand.
  3856. >You're a little surprised, not because she wants to do chores, she often helps with sweeping and dusting, but because this is the first time she's shown interest in doing more adult chores.
  3857. "Are you sure you can do it, Mira? Doing the dishes is harder work, and you have to be careful not to break anything."
  3858. >"Mhmm," she says with a nod, "since Mommy can't help much I want to help instead."
  3859. >With her following you to the kitchen, you get her a drying cloth, and bring her stool over.
  3860. "All you have to do is dry the dishes off and put them on the counter. We can put them away once they're all done."
  3861. >"Alright Daddy," she replies with a chipper grin, going up her step stool.
  3862. >Filling the sink with hot water and soap, you start putting dishes in, idly keeping an eye on Mira as she figures out how best to hold the cloth.
  3863. >The first to be cleaned is a bowl, which you pass to her.
  3864. >Having watched Cheerilee do it before, she takes the bowl and wipes it down before setting it on the counter like you said.
  3865. >Working your way through the dishes, Mira does her best to dry them.
  3866. >As it goes along, you pay less attention to Mira, as she has no problems.
  3867. >Well, not for the start...
  3868. >Midway through washing a plate, you hear a crash and a scream.
  3869. >Clinging to your side, Mira looks down at the cup she dropped, tears filling her eyes.
  3870. >Lifting her up, you carefully step away, avoiding the glass.
  3871. "It's okay, Mira, accident's happen. Just stay on this chair for now, and I'll clean up, then we can finish our work, alright?"
  3872. >She nods, sniffling, and you get the broom and sweep up.
  3873. >"Everything alright in there?" Cheerilee asks from the living room.
  3874. "We're fine, we just had a little accident with a cup breaking."
  3875. >"Alright, just be safe cleaning it up."
  3876. "No worries Dear," you say, getting the broom and dustpan.
  3877. >The glass is swept up and and put in the garbage, and Mira climbs back onto her stool ready to help again.
  3878. >Soon, you're both finished, and you hear hooves walking up behind you.
  3879. >"Don't worry about Dinner, I can handle it tonight. Besides, it seems like all I do all day is laze around and not help my husband," Cheerilee says, nuzzling against your thigh, "Now go, relax, leave this to me."
  3880. "You sure? You're pretty far along, but I guess Roseluck got Mira from school today, so by that logic, you'll be fine."
  3881. >"Exactly, now go and relax, us girls can handle dinner, right, Miracle?"
  3882. >"Right Mommy."
  3883. >After being pushed out of the kitchen by them, you shrug and head for a recliner.
  3884. >Across from you on the couch, Roseluck looks down from her book, before asking, "so, how are you thinking of handling Mira's bully problem?"
  3885. "I'm just going to talk to him, and possibly his parents, if they are there. I hate to say it, but you ponies are a little bit of a pushover when it comes to confrontation."
  3886. >"Oh really? Who was it that bent when it came to cumming inside, I forget?"
  3887. >Rolling your eyes, you smirk and make a lewd motion with your hand.
  3888. "And who was it that let me do whatever I wanted while doing the dirty?"
  3889. >"That was part of our agreement, Anon, but everything worked out in the end, well, at least it has so far."
  3890. "And I'll see it through, but enough about that, how did getting a snack for Mira go?"
  3891. >"I still say it was totally worth it. They had another fresh batch out, and everyone had one. So good."
  3892. "Keep snacking like that and you won't lose that belly when you have your baby, chubby."
  3893. >"Cheerilee! Anon's being mean to me!" She calls out, sticking out her tongue at you.
  3894. >Her smile vanishes as Cheerilee calls back, "Good job, honey, maybe you can keep her from snacking all the time."
  3895. >"Not you too, Cheerilee, I thought you were on my side. We're pregnant, so he's supposed to care for us."
  3896. "I do care about you, which is why I want you to stop snacking so much. I know you need more to eat because you're eating for two, but you don't need to make all the extra food sugar."
  3897. >"Then what should I eat?"
  3898. >Stepping over, you whisper into her ear, and her cheeks flush red.
  3899. "Or not, but a little more meat wouldn't hurt. You need protein for muscle, after all."
  3900. >"But it's so... ugh, I dunno, I just don't like it."
  3901. "So you have said before. doesn't mean it's not good for you. You're gonna have to get used to cooking it too, since your little one will need it to survive."
  3902. >"Not all the time, I hope."
  3903. "No, but a couple times a month is best. less if you supplement their diet with beans, nuts and other high protein things."
  3904. >"Oh, if only I could be yours, To have such a caring husband is a dream," she says, dramatically squirming on the couch.
  3905. "Says one of the two mares ever to be in bed with me. I'd say you're just lucky you're almost as beautiful a mare as my wife, or I'd never have filled you up."
  3906. >In the other room, Mira is helping your wife make dinner, and Cheerilee has a smile and a chuckle at the banter going on between you and Roseluck.
  3907. >"What's funny Mommy?"
  3908. >"Dad and Roseluck are just having some fun, You'll understand when you're older."
  3909. >Some more friendly joking goes on between you and Roseluck before dinner is ready, and after that, playtime with Mira and more chores, and before you know it, it's night, and you're putting your daughter to sleep for the night.
  3910. >Climbing into bed, you end up in your usual position between the two pregnant mares, both slowly creeping closer to you as the night progresses.
  3911. >By morning, you can feel each of their heartbeats as they are both wrapped around an arm.
  3912. >Slowly shaking them, they both begin to stir, and you're able to get yourself out of bed and dressed.
  3913. >Mira's already up and playing quietly, but she hops up and runs over the moment she sees you.
  3914. >"Morning Daddy," she says, jumping into your arms for a hug.
  3915. "Good morning Mira, did you sleep well?"
  3916. >"Uhuh. Is Mommy up?"
  3917. "She better be. Maybe you should go make sure."
  3918. >With a nod, she runs into the room, and only moments later, you hear your wife squeal in surprise.
  3919. >"Mommy mommy mommy, Daddy said it's time to get up!"
  3920. >"Okay, okay dear, now please get off, you're getting too heavy for me."
  3921. 'She is growing fast,' you think to yourself, 'she's getting almost as big as a young adult pony, and she'll just shoot on past, who knows how far.'
  3922. >"Ah! Auntie Rose, no!" Mira squeals before breaking down into laughter.
  3923. >With a smile on your face, you set out to start breakfast.
  3924. >After a few minutes the girls all file down, tummy's rumbling for some good old fashioned human breakfast.
  3925. >Today, Cereal and toast, with fruit as a side.
  3926. >Well, it's kind of standard for a pony breakfast too, but since a human made it, it's a human breakfast.
  3927. >This morning goes by like last one, with the three adults helping Mira get ready, before you head out with her.
  3928. >Also like yesterday, she's quite excited to go.
  3929. >Nearing the school, you stop and kneel down.
  3930. "Before we get there, I want you to point out the pony who was mean to you, so I can talk to him, okay?"
  3931. >Nodding, she looks around, before pointing to a colt being dropped off by his parents.
  3932. >"That's him. His name is Glint, and Mister Ed says his family just moved here."
  3933. >As you stand back up, she runs off, and you make your way over.
  3934. >The parents notice you almost immediately, and while you can see they're a little put off, they don't freak out.
  3935. "Good morning, Mister and Mrs...?" you ask, holding out a hand.
  3936. >The father is the first to answer, and he shakes your hand, saying, "Iron, Hard Iron, my wife's name is Copper Heart and our son, Glint Steel. It's nice to meet you..."
  3937. "Anonymous, the town human. I heard you were new in town, so since I'm here dropping off my daughter, I figured I'd introduce myself, maybe prevent an unwanted scene later."
  3938. >"It's nice to meet you, Anonymous," Copper says, taking your hand as her husband releases you, "where's your daughter? I'd love to meet her."
  3939. "Mira!" you call out to her, "Please come over here."
  3940. >Running over, she grabs your hand and looks at the strangers.
  3941. "This is my daughter, Miracle, and while's she's not a pony or a human, she's my perfect little girl. Most of the time, at least."
  3942. >"I hope you can get along with our son, Mira. He's not very good at making new friends, so maybe a friend who's a little different could help."
  3943. "About that, I did hear they had some problems on their first day, but I hope they can get past it."
  3944. >"Is that true, Glint?" his father asks, looking down at him.
  3945. >"Well, yes, but it's because she was eating tomatoes and meat. It's not normal."
  3946. "Not for a pony, no, but for a human, or half human, it's perfectly fine. To me, eating flowers isn't normal, and most of them would make me sick or worse, but that doesn't make them bad for ponies."
  3947. >"I'm sure you could be friends with her," Copper Heart says, "and if you try and you can't not being mean to each other is good enough, I think."
  3948. "Who knows, the two of you may have lots of interests in common, but you'll never know unless you try, but I suppose we should let you go, class is going to start soon, and Mister Ed wouldn't want us keeping you late."
  3949. >Glint's parents wish him well, and Mira runs off to her friends, before Glint goes off as well, leaving you and the other adults at the edge of the schoolyard.
  3950. "Well, I have to get going, Cheerilee can get cravings at the worst of times."
  3951. >"We'll see you around then. Take care, Anonymous."
  3952. >With a nod and a small bow, you head back home, your daughter's school problem hopefully fixed.
  3953. >Opening the door to home, you hear Cheerilee greet you, and without taking a breath in between, she has a request.
  3954. >Life as Equestria's only fullblooded human is never quiet.
  3957. End chapter 14
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