Stormbolt Strike, a dark grey Pegasus colt, was bidding a final goodbye to his parents just outside the entrance to Cloudsdale junior flight camp.
' Be good, and work hard!' his mother said.
' I will mum, I'm going to win the competition for sure!'
' Don't forget to have fun as well son.' his father added.
Stormbolt grinned 'I'll do both at the same time!'
And before he could evade her, his mother hugged him; planting a kiss on his forehead.
'Mum!' he whined, blushing.
At that moment, the call for all campers to report for induction came.
'Well son, sounds like that's your call.' said his father.
Stormbolt cantered towards the gate, and looked back one last time. He saw his parents waving goodbye with their wings, he waved back and flew into the camp.
Stormbolt was quick to learn he wasn't the best flyer there, learning second hoof about a race that had been held from his new friend Gearforth.
'Yeah, some filly called Rainbow Dash managed a sonic rainboom man! '
Stormbolt frowned, 'I'm going to do it too!'
Gearforth laughed, 'A sonic rainboom? You're mad, you're just not fast enough!'
'I'll figure out a way to get faster.' Stormbolt replied, eyes blazing with determination.
It had been an exciting first two weeks and now he was headed somewhere he could get some peace and quiet. As he made his way he began to hear loud, mocking voices. Curious, he followed them to their source. What he saw and heard filled him with indignant anger. There was a young filly with bubbles as her cutie mark and a dirty blonde mane and tail surrounded by about five or six other foals.
'Dumb Derpy! Bubbles for the bubble brain!' They chanted, as she cowered with tears streaming down her face.
Stormbolt flew over and landed between them, 'Hey! Why don't you try picking on me?!' he shouted, planting his hooves wide and flaring his wings as he glared at them.
'And who are you?' asked a large brown colt .
'My name is Stormbolt Strike! And if you don't leave her alone, you'll remember me every time you look in the mirror!' he answered defiantly.
'Oh, I'm so scared! What's your special talent? Oh, it seems you don't have one - blank flank!' the brown colt jeered.
'I'll show you my talent!' yelled Stormbolt, preparing to tackle him. But at that moment a coach came by.
'Hey, you foals! What's going on here?' she asked stridently.
'These foals were picking on this poor filly, coach.' Stormbolt said quickly.
'I see, and you thought you would solve the problem by fighting instead of calling for a staff member did you?' she asked him.
'I - but.... No, sorry coach.' he said, faltering seeing the severe look on her face.
'So you should be, count yourself lucky I'm not punishing you.'
'Yes coach, thank you coach!' Stormbolt replied.
' As for you lot, come with me.', she said firmly to the bullies.
As she led the abashed looking bullies away, Stormbolt turned to the still sobbing filly.
'It's okay now, they're gone.'
She raised her head and sniffled, 'T-thank you.' she gasped, through the sobs still wracking her body.
'So, do you have a name?', he asked her gently.
Getting to her hooves, she said, 'Derpy Hooves.'
'Well Derpy, you won't have to worry about them any more.'
It was the second to last week, and Stormbolt was determined to perform a sonic rainboom
'Think, Stormbolt, think!' he said aloud as he pondered how to increase his speed.
'I told you, you're just not fast enough.', said Gearforth.
'All I need is something to boost my take off speed!'
After a few moments of intense thought, he still had nothing.
'Argh! It's hopeless!' he shouted, throwing himself down in frustration.
To his surprise, instead of hitting the cloud solidly or even passing through it - he bounced.
'Wha-? Hey, this cloud is pretty rubbery!' he said, examining it. 'I wonder what type it is?'
Taking a bite, he chewed for a bit before spitting it out, 'Cumulus', he said thoughtfully.
'Gearforth! I've got an idea!', he shouted.
Without another word, he began making the cloud into long strips.
'Stormbolt, what are you doing?' asked Gearforth.
Stormbolt paused, 'See I figure this cloud's pretty bouncy right?'
'So, all I have to do is weave them together to maximise bounciness, then I can use it to build momentum!' he explained.
Soon he had a tightly woven lattice of cloud prepared.
'Get ready, Gearforth! Soon Rainbow Dash won't be the only one to be able to perform the sonic rainboom!'
He began bouncing, getting higher and higher every time.
'Okay, this is it!', he shouted to Gearforth.
He jumped one last time, and came down fast. The cloud stretched and then bounced back.
Stormbolt was catapulted high into the air and began beating his wings as fast as he could.
'This is it! I'm going to do it!', he thought to himself as the world became a blur.
Suddenly, the air seemed to become thicker; and then it was like he had been bounced backwards.
Stormbolt tried to right himself, but his wing muscles burned with pain.
'Help!' he shouted as he hurtled towards the ground.
But no help came, and the last thing he saw was a large tree quickly getting closer.
Stormbolt opened his eyes wearily.
' Huh?' he said thickly, 'Where am I?'
'Ponyville Hospital, son.', He heard his fathers' voice say, and he tried to turn his head.
'I Owch!', he said, wincing at the pain. He looked himself over. His wings were bound, he had a neck brace; and here and there he had dressings stuck to his body.
'Ah, you're awake,' said the doctor, walking into the room.
'I must say, it was lucky you landed in the tree. If you had hit the ground - well, I'm not sure you'd have survived.'
'So doctor, is he going to be okay?', asked his mother.
The doctor sighed,
'Well, your son has torn some ligaments and there's some damage to the muscles themselves.' he said.
'But will he ever fly again?', his father asked urgently.
'Oh yes, I should think so.', the doctor answered, 'It will take a while to heal though.'
Stormbolts' parents breathed a sigh of relief.
'How soon can we take him home?', asked his mother.
'Oh we'll keep him in here for a week or so - just to be on the safe side.'
A few days later, Stormbolt was staring out of the window, reflecting on his situation when a nurse walked in.
'You've got some visitors, honey.', she said gently.
Stormbolt was surprised, but happy to see Gearforth and Derpy enter the room.
'Hey guys, I'd get up, but-.' he said, smiling.
'Mate, that was the craziest thing I've ever seen!' Gearforth said.
Stormbolt laughed, 'Yeah, I'm paying for it now though, aren't I?'
'Hi Stormbolt,' Derpy said softly, 'I brought you some muffins from our bakery.
'Thanks Derpy, they'll save me from the food here.' he said.
It was his last night, and the doctor was giving him one last check-over.
'You know, from what I hear; you're a pretty good flyer.', he told him as he checked Stormbolts' wings.
'But not the best, I'm slower than a lot of ponies - especially Rainbow Dash.' he said sullenly.
'Nopony can be "the best" at everything, my colt.' the doctor replied.
'Now this Rainbow Dash, she's probably the fastest - but everypony has different skills. You should focus on yours.'
Stormbolt thought for moment, 'I guess you're right.', he said somewhat reluctantly.
'Well then, that's all in order, so tomorrow morning you'll be going home.', the doctor said before leaving Stormbolt alone with his thoughts.
Stormbolt sat on a cloud, looking up silently at the evening sky with a pensive look on his face.
'What are you doing here Derpy?' he asked abruptly.
'Watching you think,' replied the wall-eyed mare brightly.
'I know that, but why? Surely it's boring just watching me sit here.' Derpy looked down before answering.
'I enjoy watching you.'
'You enjoy watching me think?'
'I'm not sure why I enjoy it. Maybe it's because I'm not a smart pony, I enjoy seeing you think about things Stormbolt.'
He smiled, 'All right then, I suppose it is nice to have company from time to time when I'm thinking.', he said, even though "from time to time" was practically every time.
'So what were you thinking of ?', she asked eagerly.
'I was thinking of how you and I met, all those years ago.' Stormbolt replied, turning to face her.
'Some of those foals were so much bigger than me, but I couldn't stand by and do nothing. Teasing somepony about their cutie mark is bad enough, but making fun of you for being a little different was the final straw!'
Derpy smiled, 'You were so brave, taking on all those bullies.'
Stormbolt grinned and flared his wings, 'I guess I was, wasn't I?'
'Hey Stormbolt?', Derpy asked timidly.
'Yeah, Derpy?', he answered hazily, still lost in his memories.
'Well, next week is Hearts and Hooves day, I was wondering if you had somepony in mind. You know, a special somepony?'
'Me? No, I don't have a special somepony at the moment.'
Derpys' eyes widened, 'Really? I thought maybe you and Rainbow Dash...I mean you're both really good fliers.'
Stormbolt laughed, 'Her?! She's way too hyper for me, and competitive - we would never make a good couple.'
'Oh, okay then.', Derpy said simply; and unseen by Stormbolt she beamed.
The bells of the clock-tower below rang out the hour of 7 o'clock.
'Hey Derpy, I have to go now, I'm on weather duty tonight, so you might want to get home quickly, there's a big storm planned for tonight.', he told her, flexing his wings.
'All right then! See you later Stormbolt.', she called out cheerfully
'Goodnight Derpy, take care of yourself!'
And with that, Stormbolt flew off to help the rest of the team collect and arrange the thunder clouds.
But that night, Stormbolt couldn't stop thinking about it.
'Why did she ask me about my plans for Hearts and Hooves day?', he kept on asking himself.
'Hey, Stormbolt! Is that cloud ready?' called out Thunderlane, bringing Stormbolt out of his reverie.
It was his job to position what they termed the "A" cloud in the exact right spot to trigger all the others to start producing thunder and lightning in the right order.
'Huh? Oh, right, yes ready!', he said; and preparing to buck it, he shouted 'CLEAR!' Once everypony was a safe distance away, he kicked the cloud with his hind legs, causing it to shoot a lightning bolt which set off a chain reaction in the others.
The next day, Stormbolt met his older sister, Sun Shower as he strolled through Ponyville.
'Hey little bro, how's it going?', she called out to him.
'Not, bad, except...', he said guardedly, knowing his sister to be an habitual meddler and gossip.
'Except what?', she asked, scenting something interesting.
Stormbolt shifted uncomfortably, he wasn't sure he wanted to confide in her. But he figured as a mare she might know what was up with Derpy.
'Except, well lately I've been feeling these weird vibes from Derpy. You know last night she asked me about Hearts and Hooves day? I just don't know what's going on.', He said, wondering what her reaction would be.
'Sweet Celestia, but you're dense sometimes Stormy!', She said, knowing the use of his pet name would push his buttons.
'I am not!', Stormbolt retorted sharply.
'If you have something useful to tell me, why not just say so?!'
Grinning widely, Sun Shower replied calmly, "Okay, little bro, I'll tell you what's going on.'
'Really!?', he said eagerly. Stormbolt cleared his throat 'I mean, thanks.'
'It's simple, Derpy likes you. She was trying to ask you to be her special somepony.'
'A-are you sure? I mean, we've been friends for years, but I never thought...', he said, trailing off as he tried to comprehend the situation.
'Oh, I'm sure. I mean if somepony saved me from bullies he'd be my hero for life!', she said.
Stormbolt thought it over, remembering all the times he had defended her as a colt, and how she always hung out with him, even sitting for hours in silence as he thought about things.
'Well, now that I think about it, all the signs were there all along. I was dense not to notice!' he cried and face hoofed.'But why not just say so? Why be so subtle?'
'Because she's a mare, we don't really do the direct approach. More to the point, she probably feels that you wouldn't want her. The real question is, how do you feel about her ?', his sister asked him seriously.
'Derpy is very dear to me, I've known her for many years and well, I love her.', he said baldly.
'I think you know what you have to do now then.', Sun Shower replied, smiling.
Stormbolt smiled, 'Thanks sis, you're not so bad after all!', he said as he took off.
The next few days passed in a blur, so that before Stormbolt knew it, the night before Hearts and Hooves day had arrived. He had everything ready in order to give Derpy a very special day, because he would be announcing his feelings for the first time. Setting his alarm clock, he blew out his lamp and went to sleep.
The next day was beautiful, just as planned by the weather committee. Couples were using the day to renew their relationships, and mares and stallions were declaring their love to each other on this most romantic of days. Derpy walked thorough Ponyville dejectedly, she had hoped that Stormbolt might have picked up on her feelings by now, but she supposed he wouldn't be interested in somepony like herself.
Of a sudden ponies began looking up and gasping. Derpy turned and looked up too, and what she saw made her heart soar. Somepony had sky-written in highly ornate writing "Derpy, be my special somepony". Derpy felt sure she knew who it was, there was only one pony who could fly so precisely! And sure enough, a grey blur was moving toward the town centre.
Stormbolt swooped low over the town and spotted Derpy standing mouth agape, and with tears welling in her eyes. He stopped in mid-air, did a somersault and landed in front of her.
'Derpy?', he said, pulling a heart-shaped box of chocolates out of his saddle bag, 'Will you be my special somepony?', he asked, holding the ribbon in his teeth.
Tears were now streaming down Derpys' face, 'Of course I will!', She cried out before breaking into tears in earnest. Stormbolt dropped the chocolates and began rubbing his neck against hers
'Hush now, please don't cry.', he said soothingly.
'I'm sorry, I'm just so happy.', Derpy said, trying to gain control of herself.
Stormbolt nuzzled her and looked into her eyes, 'I'm happy too, and I'm sorry I didn't realise that you loved me sooner.'
Derpy sniffed and said, "It's OK, even you can't be clever all the time.'
Stormbolt smiled weakly, 'Come on, lets you and me go somewhere special today.'
And with the watching ponies stamping their hooves in support, they flew off together.
Stormbolt led Derpy to a high cloud that he had positioned earlier to give a spectacular view of Ponyville. He had set up a picnic with all the best food and drink.
'Derpy, we started out as friends, but now we have come to love each other. I hope that we always remember this day even when we're old and grey.' he said solemnly.
Derpy smiled broadly and said, 'I hope so too, This is the happiest I've ever been.'
And for the first time, they kissed - tentatively at first, but by degrees, it became more passionate, as they both tried to put what words could not say into it.
After what seemed like an eternity, they broke apart and just stared deep into each others eyes.
They spent the day eating, talking and enjoying having a special somepony. As the sun set, they just sat, leaning against each other in silence, for their love needed no words, for none could fully describe it. It was enough for them that they had found love and that they were together on Hearts and Hooves day.
Many months later, all of Ponyville was abuzz with the rumour of an imminent marriage proposal. It was reported that Stormbolt had gone into the jewellers and bought a gold necklace with a beautiful diamond.
Lyra and Bon Bon were discussing it in the park 'I heard that the diamond has a flaw in it, that makes it sparkle just like a bright star when the light catches it!' Lyra enthused.
'I heard that it cost five thousand bits!' replied Bon Bon. 'That Derpy sure is one lucky mare!'
Meanwhile, Stormbolt was waiting at a prearranged location to meet Derpy.
She was a little late, but he wasn't worried, he knew she'd be here soon. And sure enough, he heard her call out 'Stormy!' and he turned to see her flying towards him.
'Hey muffin!' he replied as she landed.
He had brought along a small picnic, with hay fries, and some dandelion juice. They ate and drank, and Stormbolt was very careful to keep casual. He wanted the proposal to be a complete surprise.
'I'm glad you came, I have something really important to ask you.' he said after they had finished.
Derpy looked apprehensive 'What is it?' she asked softly.
Stormbolt pulled the box out of his saddle bag and placed it on the table.'Could you open that?' he asked her casually. After some effort, she managed to open the jewellers box containing the necklace.
'It's beautiful!' she gasped when she saw it.
'Well, my fiancée should have something beautiful for her engagement.' he replied, giving her a quick kiss.
'Fiancée?' she repeated.
'Yes Derpy, my fiancée.' He knelt down on his front legs 'Derpy, will you marry me?' he asked.
Derpy didn't answer, but instead tackled him, crying tears of joy.
'I take that as a yes, then?' Stormbolt said; and she nodded vigorously in response.
He slipped the necklace over her head 'You look wonderful.' he told her earnestly.
And he leaned in and gave her a passionate kiss.
And so the rumour was proved true, Derpy was getting married! It had been announced that it would be before year's end. Derpys' friend Raindrops was to be mare of honour with Stormbolts' twin little brother and sister Cloudburst and Misty being ring-bearer and flower filly respectively.
Stormbolt had considered inviting his old friend Gearforth, but on reflection decided that it would be a bad idea, as they were not as close as they once were due to an argument they had a few years ago about Gearforths' behaviour.
When they came into Sugarcube Corner to discuss the wedding cake, Pinkie Pie took the opportunity to plan another party.
'You're not going to take "no" for an answer, are you?' Stormbolt asked after what had seemed like an eternity of begging.
'Nope!' she replied, grinning from ear to ear.
Stormbolt sighed 'Fine, you can plan our reception. But nothing too crazy all right?' he added hastily, envisioning what she might do if given free rein.
Pinkie giggled 'Well that's silly! It's a wedding! And a wedding party has to be a super fabulous, super exciting celebration!'
'Pinkie, you have to promise to at least try to rein in the madness.' Stormbolt said firmly.
'Okie dokie lokie!' She trilled in a sing-song voice before bounding away.
Somehow, Stormbolt knew there was no way that Pinkie would be able to do anything other than to plan the biggest, most over the top party she could. And he was glad, he wanted the day to be Derpys' day. A day when everypony would see her as he did, as a beautiful, sweet mare who deserved as much love as everypony else.
The next day they were at Carousel boutique, and Rarity was trying to measure Derpy for her wedding dress. 'Derpy dear, do try to keep still, these measurements must be just so.' she said, a note of exasperation in her voice.'Sorry Rarity, I'm just excited.' she replied, hanging her head in embarrassment.'It's fine my dear, I understand completely. Why, every mare dreams of meeting him! That special stallion to spend your life with.' and her eyes sparkled as she daydreamed of meeting some handsome, cultured stallion.
Stormbolt cleared his throat 'Sorry to interrupt, but we have an appointment soon with Roseluck, and then this afternoon we have to see Reverend Waddle.'
'Hmm? Oh, yes!' Rarity snapped out of her daydream, and after taking a few more measurements and jotting them down she nodded.'Yes, I think that'll do nicely, and the fabric choice is inspired - if I do say so myself!'
Soon, much sooner than expected the eve of the wedding was upon them. As was traditional, the bride and groom spent the day preparing for the wedding separately. As Stormbolt finished writing his vows, the clock on the mantelpiece chimed 10 o'clock. Yawning as he stretched, Stormbolt stood up 'Well, I'd better hit the hay, don't want to be tired for tomorrow!' He flew up to his bedroom, and after checking that his alarm clock was set he climbed into bed.
The next morning, he awoke at 5:30 on the dot. Soon after he had finished his grooming, somepony knocked on the door.
'Dad!' he exclaimed upon answering the door.
'Well son, ready for the big day?' Sunny Blaze asked cheerfully.
'I suppose so, I'm a little nervous though.' Stormbolt replied.
Yeah, I mean I love Derpy - with all my heart. But we've been friends for most of our lives dad; what if our marriage doesn't work? I'll have lost my oldest & dearest friend!'
Sunny Blaze nodded thoughtfully 'Son, you don't have to worry about that. I've seen you two grow closer over the years. I’m convinced that the two of you are soul mates! This marriage today will last the distance.'
'Thanks dad, that means a lot' he said.
'So have you eaten any breakfast yet?'
'Not yet, I've been so nervous that I lost my appetite.' he said as his stomach gave an almighty rumble.
'Well, you better eat something my boy! Can't have you keeling over part way through, can we?'
'So how's mum?' Stormbolt asked as they ate breakfast together.
'Oh, she's with Derpy, and your big sister is getting the twins ready back at home.'
A few minutes later, Stormbolt was almost ready to go.'Hoof ring? Check! Vows? Check!'
He checked himself in the mirror one last time. 'Okay dad! I'm ready!'
'Righto son, lets see how your sister is managing.'
They landed outside the family home and walked inside. Sun Shower was looking a little stressed, but still managed a smile 'Stormy, dad!' I'm so glad you're here!'
'Being a bit of a hoof full are they?' said her father mirthfully.
'A bit.' replied Sun Shower in a tone that clearly indicated that it was a massive understatement.
At that moment, the twins walked in. Cloudburst was wearing a formal suit, which he clearly didn't like.
'When can I take this stupid thing off?' he asked loudly.
'After the wedding, son.' said Sunny Blaze in one his rare moments of strictness.
Misty meanwhile was zooming around excitedly 'Weeee! Look at me, I'm a princess!' she cried out in glee.
'Misty!' come down here, you're going to mess up that dress.'cried Sun Shower.
This had the desired effect, and Misty stopped immediately and landed carefully.
'Is it still okay? I don't wanna ruin my pretty dress.' she said with a look of genuine concern.
'It's fine, but be careful from now on okay?' Sun shower reassured her younger sister.
Stormbolt took his little brother aside ''Okay champ, you know what you have to do today right?'
'Yeah, until Reverend Waddle asks you for the ring, I have to look after it, then I hand it to you.' he said tonelessly.
Stormbolt smiled, 'Good lad!' he said, knowing that his little brother might not be enthusiastic about the wedding, but he would do anything for his big brother.
As a group they flew down to where the wedding was being held, one of the pavilions in the town park. There were dozens of chairs placed on the grass and a large marquee had been set up nearby.
An elderly earth pony wearing a clerical collar approached them 'Well my boy, ready for the big day eh?' he said jovially.
'Yes reverend, I've got my vows right here, and my brother,' he pointed a hoof at Cloudburst 'has the ring.'
Suddenly aware he was being watched, Cloudburst stopped fidgeting and smiled angelically at the old pastor.
Slowly guests began filing in and taking up their seats. Naturally it was mostly Pegasi, but Derpy and Stormbolt both had some non Pegasus cousins on both sides of their families. Looking around, he saw his unicorn cousins on his mother's side as well as his earth pony cousins from his dad's side who had come all the way from Trottingham. Soon the air was filled with the excited buzz of friends and relatives catching up with each other. But everyone fell silent as the band began to play.
There were gasps of delight from the guests
'She's coming!' hissed Cloudburst.
'I mustn't look back, I mustn't, I mustn't!' Stormbolt thought desperately to resist the temptation to turn and look.
After what seemed an age, Derpy was finally standing next to him. He had last seen the dress when Rarity was making the final adjustments, but he was unprepared for how it looked now. it was made of the finest lace, and it looked like a cloud, it was perfect.
'You look beautiful.' he whispered and saw her blushing beneath the veil.
The Reverend stood behind the lectern and cleared his throat before speaking into the microphone.
'Dearly beloved, we are gathered here, on this day blessed by Celestia to unite two hearts in matrimony. The groom has written his own vows, which he will now read.'
Stormbolt cleared his throat and began 'Derpy, we have come a long way since we first met, we've been through adventures, disasters. Through joy, and through sadness. Since realising our love for each other, I have grown to love you more than I could have ever imagined it was possible to love somepony. Here, today, in front of our family and friends I want to declare that there's no mare I'd rather spend my life with. Through any kind of weather I want us to be together. Derpy, I love you and always will.'
'And now I must ask, do you Stormbolt Strike take Derpy Hooves to be your wife? Do you vow to stay together in fair weather or foul, when the grass is green and when it is brown?'
'I do' replied Stormbolt
'And do you Derpy Hooves take Stormbolt Strike to be your husband? Do you vow to stay together in fair weather or foul, when the grass is green and when it is brown?'
'I do' choked Derpy.
'You have the ring?' Revd. Waddle asked gently.
Cloudburst held a velvet cushion in his mouth on which the ring sat. It was a simple gold band, but had sapphires set into it in the pattern of Derpy's cutie mark.
Taking the ring, Stormbolt set it on the floor in front of Derpy.
'With this ring, I declare my eternal love for you.' he said as he slipped it onto her hoof.
'If any pony has a valid reason why these two hearts should not be wed, then I invite them to speak now, or forever hold their peace.' said Reverend Waddle in a surprisingly loud voice.
There was a pregnant pause before the Reverend continued.
'Then I declare you mare and groom, you may kiss the bride.'
Stormbolt leaned forward, his heart racing and carefully took the veil in his teeth and uncovered Derpy's face. For a moment he took in how beautiful she looked and then they were kissing, kissing as they never had before. It was an intense rush for both of them as they realised that they were now pony and wife. They broke apart and smiling widely they walked down the aisle and led the quests to the marquee for the reception. As expected, Pinkie had pulled out all the stops! The place was wall to wall balloons and streamers. After all the speeches and toasts, Stormbolt led Derpy to the dance floor for the first dance of the evening. Eventually it was time to call it a night.
'Friends, family! My wife and I want to thank you for sharing our special day, and now we are to leave on our honeymoon! So for now we say goodbye.' Called Stormbolt over the small amount of chatter.
And he and Derpy walked towards the entrance as their family stamped their hooves and cheered.
At the entrance, Derpy tossed her bouquet over her shoulder and it was caught by Sun Shower who locked eyes on Big MacIntosh who quickly looked away.
Some months later Derpy began feeling sick, throwing up and and complaining of stomach cramps. Stormbolt wondered if she'd eaten some bad hay or something. Just to be sure, he took her to the Doctor for a check up.
They were led by a nurse into a consulting room to wait and it wasn't long before the doctor came in.
'Misses Derpy Hooves?' she asked.
'Yes.' Derpy answered in a small voice.
'What seems to be the problem?' she said gently.
'Well lately I've been having these cramps, and I throw up sometimes.' Derpy answered.
'Hmm, I see. Any time in particular?' enquired the doctor.
'Um, the mornings I guess.' Derpy said.
The doctor thought for a moment before speaking.
'I think I know the problem, but I'll need to run a quick test okay?'
Derpy looked nervously over at Stormbolt.
'Darling, if you don't want to do it that's okay, but I'm sure it won't hurt. Isn’t that right doctor?' he added glancing at the Unicorn.
'Not at all, I just use this scanning machine here to focus my magic and if I'm right it will show up on the screen.' she said reassuringly.
'O-okay then.' Derpy said timidly.
Stormbolt stroked his wife’s mane. 'I'm so proud of you my muffin.' he whispered in her ear.
The doctor attached a couple of leads to Derpy's body and started the scan, her horn glowing with magic. After about a minute the doctor finished and disconnected the wires.
'So?' Stormbolt asked nervously.
'According to this readout, she's with foal.' the doctor said simply.
'With foal?' Stormbolt repeated blankly.
'Yes, without a doubt.'
'Did you hear that honey!?' Stormbolt asked his wife.
But she couldn't answer through the tears.
'I'll leave you for a few moments.' said the doctor tactfully.
Once she had gone, Derpy managed to collect herself enough to speak.
' I'm even happier than I imagined I could be.' she said a little shakily.
Stormbolt just held her close to comfort her.
They left the doctors with some information on pregnancy, including one booklet with the faintly ridiculous title "What to expect when you're expecting."
Over the next months they went through the roller-coaster of pregnancy together, the mood swings, the strange changes in diet - all of it. The foal was due any day now and they had everything ready. One night Stormbolt was getting ready for bed when he heard Derpy give a cry from the bathroom.
'Derpy!?' he yelled, dashing over to her.
She had curled up on the bathroom floor and Stormbolt recognised the signs of a recent contraction by now.
'Is, is it time?' he asked her; concern etched into his face.
Derpy nodded weakly 'I think so.' she replied.
'Right,' he said, grabbing the special harness for carrying pregnant Pegasus mares 'lets get you to the hospital.'
After a few attempts, he fastened all the buckles and was able to gently lift off and fly towards the door, grabbing the away bag as he passed.
Soon he was at the hospital and he was very glad because he wasn't sure he could have flown much further.
'Hey! My wife’s gone into labour!' he shouted at the duty nurse.
She looked at the clip board showing the list of mares that were expecting delivery soon.
'Derpy Hooves?' she enquired.
'That's us' gasped Stormbolt.
The nurse called for an orderly over the PA system.
'Don't worry, everything will be fine.' she said soothingly to Derpy as they helped her into a wheelchair. 'Take them to room 4.' she added to the orderly.
After many hours of labour, just as the sun began to rise, the sound of crying filled the little room and the doctor announced 'Congratulations! A healthy little Pegasus filly!'
And after doing all the necessary things, he passed the foal to her parents.
Derpy and Stormbolt looked at their daughter with adoration. She had the same grey coat as her mother, and the same silver and grey mane as her father except she had a streak of yellow too.
'Our daughter.' Stormbolt said softly.
'What will we call her?' Derpy asked.
Outside, the birds began singing as the sky became brighter, and an idea occurred to Stormbolt.
'How about Dawn Chorus?' he asked his wife, stroking her sweat soaked mane out of her charmingly off focus eyes.
'Our daughter, Dawn Chorus.' she repeated.