64w, 1dDare to Derp!
A few weeks passed since Derpy’s big scene, and only now was he giddiness dying down. She hadn’t had any other scenes to speak of while they finished the episode, but she returned to the studio to see what was going on with the current episode. She slowly lost her focus on her big scene and returned to simply admiring the other’s acting.
One morning she got a phone call from one of the desk workers in the studio; the episode was finished! Her episode! Her big moment! It was time for the cast to gather and look at the finished product on television. “Just make sure you’re here by onee, That’s when it airs…”
“That’s great!” Derpy said into the phone, her giddiness from a few weeks back coming around and taking over her once more, “I don’t have many deliveries today, I should be on time.”
“Awesome, we’ll see you there.” The other line clicked as she hung up, and so Derpy did the same. She squealed with delight as she bounced around the house, “OhmahgoshohmahgoshohmahGOSH!”
“Mom? What’re you doing?” A small voice called out to her during her little victory bounce.
Derpy quickly turned around, spotting her adorable little filly standing in the doorway, giving her a curious look. She quickly flew over to her and scooped her up, hugging her close, “They’re airing mommy’s episode today!” she told her with a big grin.
Dinky’s expression brightened to match her mothers, “Really? That’s so cool! All my friends will be watching it at school today!”
“Like every week? Hehe.” She pecked her little daughter on the head, hugging her close. She love her little bundle of joy with all her heart, even though the circumstances that made her come to be were… less than joyful… “I should be picking you up right after it’s over, okay” Dinky smiled and kissed her nose before returning to the hugging position. “heh, come on sweetheart, why don’t you gather your things? I’ll be ready in a moment.” She set her daughter down, patting her head before rushing around the house to gather her thing, including her saddlebags for mail. Once she was ready with her bags strapped on securely her little bundle of joy hopped into one side of her bag, signaling her to take off out of the house.
She flew to the little schoolhouse on the edge of town, letting her little girl out of the bag. A few of the school children rushed over to see their friend, whom of course, told everyone that her mom would be on TV today. Cheerilee made her way over to greet Derpy, “Hello there Miss Hooves. How’re you doing today?” She smiled sweetly as she always did. It wasn’t a surprise to her the this caring pony was the inspiration for the teacher in the show. In fact many of the cast insisted that they make the actress look just like her for the show.
“I’m ecstatic!” she said as she began to bounce again as her excitement grew, “The episode with me is airing today!”
Cheerilee’s smile grew wide, “Congratulations! I’m so happy for you! You deserve a bigger role on that show! And maybe a bigger paycheck, hint-hint…”
“They’ve already told me they’re paying me a good bit for the scene, much more than usual! It’s great! I’m now registered as a major background pony! So now I get more per scene!”
“That’s wonderful! I’m so glad for you.”
Derpy nodded, “I’m just glad that now I have a bit more money coming in…” she looked over at her daughter playing with the other colts and fillies; although with her eye problem one of her eyes was staring up at a tree at the same time. “We’ve been kinda struggling lately… financially anyway…” she didn’t really mean to say it aloud, it just slipped out as her mind full of thoughts became overwhelmed.
Cheerilee nodded, “Yes I… I notice that Dinky’s lunches were a bit small from time to time…”
Derpy’s eyes widened, “Oh! W-well don’t worry, I’ve been making sure that she’s fed well… I make sure she has a big breakfast to get her through the day.”
“Yes, she mentioned she was getting bored of having leftovers sub sandwiches for lunch…” Cheerilee tried to keep a fairly blank look on her face, although a bit of pity and sadness could be seen in her eyes.
“Y-yes… I know… they let me take home leftovers from the studio… Usually subs and the remains of some vegetable platters…” she kept her gaze down, stroking the ground with her hoof.
“I’m just as worried about you too Derpy.” Cheerilee walked over, placing a hoof on her shoulder, “you’re getting thinner… I could see your ribcage from across the schoolyard…”
Derpy kept her gaze low, unsure of how to respond. She forced both of her eyes to stay as far away from the teacher as possible.
Cheerilee sighed, pulling her chin up to force her to look her way, “Derpy… I know it must be hard for you… but there are other options that will help her...” she seemed to be hinting at something they had talked about once before… and Derpy didn’t seem to like it.
Derpy’s eyes glared at her, “No, I’m not giving up Dinky, We’ve been through this before Cheerilee.”
Cheerille put her hooves up, waving them defensively, “I know, I know… I’m just saying, if you love her and you know you can’t take care of her properly, it might be best to let another family adopt her. I have a couple of student who are adopted and they’re just fine.”
“No! I love Dinky, and we’re doing just fine! She’s happy with me and I would never hurt her by letting her go! And don’t you DARE call child services on me!” Derpy had a surprising amount of anger on this topic, but tried to keep it low in front of the other children.
“alright, Alright…” Cheerilee nodded, understanding the mother argument. “I never said I would. I already told you I would never do that after what you went through, just calm down… Dinky is a wonderful girl and she loves you very much, I know… I just don’t want her OR YOU to be put in danger… You’re a wonderful mother, and I know you’d do anything for her… Just please… If you need help, just ask… I will do whatever it takes to make everyone as happy as possible.”
Derpy was still frowning, but her rage was subsiding, “I will Cheerilee… But I promise, nothing bad will happen to my daughter... she’s all I have and I’m all she has… I won’t allow anything to make her upset in any way…”
“Alright Derpy… you have a good day… Can’t wait to see your episode.” Cheerilee headed off towards the schoolhouse, ushering the children inside.
Derpy huffed and began to fly away. She was good friends with the teacher, but the thought of giving up her daughter was too painful for her to bear. She had one incident before where she almost lost her. Living alone with a medical condition and no job to support her daughter gave child services plenty of reason to come knocking at her door. However she was lucky enough to meet someone who got her into the post office and keep her afloat with her child. It was a terrifying memory to her; one she didn’t want to repeat.
At the post office her normal cheerfulness returned. She gathered up the few packages that were needed and she was off. Her deliveries were to a few regulars, including the Cakes and Twilight Sparkle.
“Another book Ms Sparkle?” she tended to sound more professional during her rounds, wanting to be the best mailmare she could be by being professional and hasty.
Twilight giggled, using her magic to lift the magic from Derpy’s hoof, already unwrapping it, “You know me too well Derpy… It’s another installment of ‘Clothing of the great and powerful’, The last one I got had so much neat information about how powerful unicorns enchanted their clothing to give them an extra boost of power! In fact, it’s kinda funny, but I found out that Trixie took her clothing ideas from a wizard 800 years ago.”
“Uh Twilight, I hate to interrupt, but I gotta get moving today…” she seemed a little anxious. Although she was moving as fast as she could this morning, she didn’t want any delays that might risk her missing her big show.
“Oh, I’m sorry, what’s the rush?” Twilight replied, hoping to get an answer before she left.
“I had a big scene in the newest episode of My Little Pony! And it’s airing in an hour! I gotta get to the studio so I can watch it with the crew!”
“OH! Right! You told me that before, congrats! I’ll be sure to take a look at it if I can fit it into my schedule. You’d better get going!” Twilight gave her a little wave. Derpy returned the cheerful wave before heading off to her last delivery.
She pulled out the little box from her saddlebags and examined it. It was a familiar sized box, but not one that filled her with fond memories. She checked the address just in case and groaned, “Oh no…” It was to an old lady, a regular of hers that always seemed to cause her trouble. Admittedly, she did mess up once or twice since her name was similar to another mare in town, which probably sparked the hatred the old bag seemed to blow her way every time they crossed paths.
She landed at her doorway with box in hand. She let out a sigh as she ever so gently knocked on the door. Last time she came she was scolded for knocking so hard that she was going to ‘damage the door’, somehow… but she didn’t argue, she just promised she wouldn’t do it again.
She knocked once more, hoping that the post’s three knock rule would allow her to just be on her way. But before she could knock a third time it opened up, and old wrinkly bag of bones glared up at the mailmare, “How am I suppose to hear you when you knock so darn softly! You can’t do anything right!”
“I’m sorry ma’am, I’ll do better next time… Here’s your package.” She timidly tried to push the package off to her so she could leave, but the wobbly old unicrn still had some words to spill out between her false teeth.
“You’re late again you cross-eyed twit!” she seemed upset about the tardiness, and yet she made no effort to actually take the allegedly late package that seemed to be sooo important to her.
Derpy cringed at the insult, but she couldn’t say anything negative back… that didn’t mean that she couldn’t use facts though, “I’m sorry ma’am, but we got the package last night, it seemed it was sent from the warehouse a week after you or-“
“Don’t give your excuses! You’re late! I don’t know how they can keep idiots like you in the system when you can’t even deliver a p-p-aaggh…” she reached up to adjust her false teeth before continuing her rant, “A package on time!”
Derpy bit her lips gently, reminding herself that she had a code of decency to abide by, and that speaking her mind would only hurt her in the end. “I’m sorry ma’am, there’s nothing more we can do… If you want you can always send a letter to the office to file a complaint.”
The old lady glared at her, “Y’know that’s the first smart thing that I’ve ever heard come out of your stupid mouth!”
“Well then I should be heading out th-“
“No, YOU are waiting until I finish my letter so you can deliver it TODAY!” she grabbed derpy by the ear with the magic of her horn and forced her inside with the package still in her hoofs. She let out a few cries of pain as she was dragged by the ear before finally being release by an old oak desk. The woman took a seat and with her horn she picked up a pen and began to write, reading it aloud as she wrote.
“To whom it may concern, I’m absolutely sick and tired of this LAZY GOOD FOR NOTHING employee of yours!” Derpy was anxious to leave, but she knew she would only have more to deal with from the old witch of Ponyville. “I can’t believe you would hire someone who can’t even see straight!” that comment hit Derpy hard, it wasn’t her fault she was like this, “Idiot girls like her should be locked away or gotten rid of! There’s no use for brain-dead imbeciles in this world.” Derpy twitched, she may have had an eye issue, but she was by no means stupid. She often found herself solving problems others couldn’t, even though she was forgetful from time to time… But she kept her mouth shut, waiting for her to finish her rant… she still had time. However she wasn’t prepared to handle her last bit of hurtful dialogue, “I’m only glad that girls like her aren’t BREEDING, I’d HATE to see how her children would turn out. Probably end up being just as stupid and dimwitted as he retarded mother!”
Derpy swore she heard a snap… Something broke inside her head… she wasn sure what, whether it was her ‘shut up’ filter, her kind caring demeanor, her sensible tolerance for hatred and ignorance… She wasn’t certain as to what it was that snapped, but she wasn’t really focused on that at the moment. She slammed her hoof down onto the paper, startling the old woman, “Now you listen here you old bag of dirt! I AM a mother! And I have a wonderful daughter! She’s smart, kind, sweet and generous. She’s a HELL of a lot better than you could ever be! She’s just starting grade school and she’s the top of her class! She has more brains than you will EVER hope to have you hateful old crone!” The old woman backed away against the wall, although Derpy made no effort to chase her down. She simply tore the letter in half, out of anger “Just because you live a sad lonely life in this Celestia-forsaken house doesn’t give you the right to speak to me like that! ESPECIALLY not about my daughter! Now take your darn package and put with all the other hopes and dreams you’ve obviously given up on you cruel old WITCH!” With that she flew out the front door, gritting her teeth. Although she was still fuming with anger she couldn’t help but feel happy that she finally told the lady off. A wicked little smile of victory crossed her face, although her brows were at such an incline one could swear it was in a perfect V shape.
By the time she arrived at the studio she had cooled off considerably, although how she felt guilty about the verbal attack against the woman… she couldn’t help but feel like it would come back to bite her later, but she insulted her daughter, and she couldn’t allow that.
She trotted into the studio where most of the sets were already put up for the next episode, but everyone was gathered around a much larger television. Apparently they had gotten a new TV somewhere for everyone… or more likely someone let them borrow it for the viewing. It looked a little old, but either way, New TV! It was a sign that today was going to be a good day….
“Hey! Derpy!” Twilight called out to her, trotting over to her, “You’re just in time, the credits are rolling for the prior episode. Come on! You should get a good seat.” Derpy gladly followed, bouncing with each step. “They’re hooking us up to one of the fan’s streams on the internet. We’ll be able to see their chat while we watch. It’s gonna be great!”
Derpy was intrigued, “Really? We’re going to watch the fans chat about the episode while they’re watching it for the first time?” She was constantly amazed by technolical advancements. It truly was a sign of the times where you could see the viewers reactions as they watched a show. “That sounds like fun!” Derpy was intrigued about the idea of the fans of the show commenting as they watched, and could only wonder what they would say during the episode… especially her scene.
The two sat together amongst the majority of the cast as the previous show ended. On one end of the screen was the show itself, and the other end was a chatroom with dozen and dozen of fans randomly chattering to one another. It still amazed Derpy how a show that was originally designed for younger audiences got such a wide variety of people interested. The chatter seemed to slow down as the screen went black in preparation for the show to start.
It started off with Applejack practicing for the rodeo and Applebloom cheering her on. The eyes of the crowd watching the TV kept flicking back and forth from the show to the chatroom, properly reacting to the scene with cheers and praise to Applejack, as did those talking in the chatroom. She did all her own stunts, and she was pretty proud of that fact. The young mare was tough as nails, and yet she had a kindness to her that was hard to compare to in this dark world. When Applebloom did a cute cheer on the TV, the timid little girl blushed and tried to hide herself. Applejack, her real life sister as well, simply chuckled and pulled her close, ruffling her hair playfully. “hehe, Applejack Stop! I’m try’n to watch the show!”
The cast and crew laughed at the little family tussle but turned back to continue watching. Suddenly Applejack got a little jab when her character onscreen blushed, “Hey you look awfully cute when you blush like that.” One of the camera ponies commented, “With those rosy cheeks of yours.”
Applejack’s cheeks began to mimic the cheeks onscreen, “Alright Horace, quit it now… Y’know Big Mac wouldn’t be happy if he found out you were flirting with me…”
Horace turned around, seeing Big Mac giving him a questionable look, “heh, Oh come on. You agree with me dontcha?”
Big mac grinned, “Eeeyup.” He didn’t speak much Equestrian. He was actually born in a far away country. He never spoke much on screen because, well, he never spoke much in their language in real life. Applejack could only laugh, nuzzling into the big red stallion.
Derpy blinked, it was always weird to see the couple being flirty. On screen they were siblings but here in the real world they were a couple… she couldn’t help but find it strange to see the transition from a brother and sister on television to a coltfriend and marefriend in real life… I made the feeling worse when she thought about the raunchy fanfics she seemed to come across online…Very strange set of circumstances leading ot a very odd sense of mixed feelings…
Her thoughts distracted her through the entirety of the theme song. The cast used to sing along, but after working on the show for this long it was getting old; Although that didn’t stop most of the staff from bobbing their heads to the beat. The chatroom seemed to bubble up with everyone trying to do a perfect sync of the lyrics to what they were typing, but with so many people trying to do it at once it ended up being a big mess of repeated messages.
The show went to a brief commercial before coming back. Their were a few cheers as Dash appeared on screen, and as the TV version of Rainbow Dash would do, she soaked up the attention like a sponge, beaming brightly as they cheered. Derpy couldn’t help but admire how real the set look on television. From her position she could see every bit of fakeness to it, but on screen it looked like they were outside with a real town hall. She had to give props to the editors for their work.
The spotlight that Rainbow was basking in was quickly switched over the minute Derpy’s name was mentioned. The chatroom stopped for a brief moment when the word ‘derpy’ came out of Dash’s mouth. It felt like time was standing still; the chatroom didn’t budge, the actors didn’t budge, it was as if time itself paused for a moment between Dash’s lines. When the camera panned over to Derpy bouncing on the cloud the chatroom immediately overloaded with comments.
“Did they just canonize Derpy? Holy crap!”
“THIS IS THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!”
The entire cast erupted in cheers, overshadowing the rest of Dash’s lines. Derpy couldn’t help but soak it up just as Dash did. Her smile grew wide and her eyes shimmered with delight. The entire cast laughed at her little incident with the cloud and the lightning. Everyone within her reach began to pat her back for her work. The chatroom continued to bubble with comments of astonishment that she was in the scene and called out BY NAME. It really showed how much people loved Derpy even though she was only a brief character in a handful of episodes. The scene continued and the cast only seemed to become more and more happy, which only increased Derpy’s own happiness.
Her brief scene came to an end, and Applejack’s scene with the mayor came up. The comments on the chatroom were still all about Derpy though; it seemed like her brief appearance was overshadowing the mane cast member, an amazing feat by any standard. Applejack didn’t mind the shift in attention, in fact she was cheering for Derpy just as much as the rest of the cast. Derpy finally looked down, feeling a few tears escaping her misty eyes. She was just so happy to have all this wonderful attention from all the people she cared for…
Her character returned briefly, cheering for Applejack, setting off another wave of comments on the chatroom. Derpy couldn’t see them though; she was still crying. Pinkie noticed her tears and quickly jumped over to hug her, “Hey! Don’t cry! You’re not suppose to cry when you’re happy!”
Derpy sniffed, smiling at Pinkie Pie, “I know, I just… I love you all so much!” her statement gave everyone a surprise. They were silent for a moment, the sounds on the TV being ignored as they all stared at Derpy. Finally they all began to gather around her, giving her a big hug, “We love you too Derpy!” She wasn’t certain who said it first, but everyone seemed to have that thought on their mind. She tried her hardest to hug everyone at once, her heart overjoyed at the experience.
She couldn’t focus on the rest of the episode. She was too lost in though. While everyone else watched the crazy antics of Pinkie, she was thinking about her future. She was obviously popular now, and that might mean more big parts of episode! And of course that would lead to more money in the future for Dinky; a new house, better clothes and meals. She would finally be able to give her little girl everything she deserved… and finally quit her mailmare job for good!
But she knew she had to slow down a bit… as much as she wanted to jump to her imagine life right then and there, she knew she was getting far too ahead of herself. Even if she did end up being a big time actress, she still had many hurdles to cross. For now she just sat there and enjoyed the attention she was receiving.
The episode ended and everyone gave each other applause for their good work. The director ushered everyone into the break room for a celebratory party with cake and soda, but Derpy excused herself in order to go get her daughter from school.
Derpy descended onto the school grounds with the gentleness of an elegant avian. She glanced through the windows, seeing a couple students still hanging around playing, waiting for their parents to come pick them up. She carefully opened the door and poked her head in. she was suddenly tackled by a little ball of adorableness, “Mommy! You were amazing! We all saw it! It was so cool!”
Derpy laughed, hugging her little girl tightly, “Heh, thank you so much sweetheart, I’m glad you think so.”
“You look like you had some fun on the set, Derpy.” Cheerilee walked over, a little smile on her face.
Derpy smiled back, although she couldn’t help but recall her ideas from that morning about giving up her daughter… She still felt a bit bitter about that, but tried not to let it show, “I did! It was a wonderful experience. And hopefully It’ll open doors for new things in the future.”
“I’m sure it will! You two have fun.” Cheerilee gave a little wave before heading over to attend to the other remaining students.
Derpy opened up her saddlebags, allowing Dinky to hop in like she always did before taking off into the sky. Dinky kept her head stuck out, enjoying the wind flowing past her head, “I can’t wait to learn how to fly.” She called out over the sound of the wind blowing past them.
“Don’t worry, mommy will take some time off soon to teach you, I promise.” She smiled over her shoulder at her daughter, descending slowly to her home. She let her little girl hop out and rush in first while she removed her bag and emptied it out onto the table by the couch. She had a few extra bits side, but she didn’t want to risk splurging it all on a big meal tonight only to have nothing later on. “So what would you like for dinner, sweetheart?”
“Um…” Dinky pondered the question, tapping her chin, “does it have to be a sandwich?”
“Well, yes…” It pained her to have to be asked that, but hard times had settles in on her little home. She popped open the sparsely stocked fridge, easily seeing everything scattered about, “Okay, we have hay, daffodils… we still have some jelly left, and I think the peanut butter is still half full…” she explained, turning her head around to see the little girl roaming toward her room, “What do you think?”
“Um… I dunno… you can pick today, mom.” She smiled up at her mother. This dinner selection wasn’t new or unusual, although it wasn’t satisfying to her. However she had grown to accept it, and learned to love what she had.
“Okay, how about hay AND daffodils?” she suggested as she pulled out the ingredients before heading to the pantry. She looked around before spotting the bread, “Oh no…” she saw that the bag was left open, and the half of a loaf of bread was moldy and green, “I must’ve forgotten to tie it up last time…” she shook her head, silently thinking obscenities as she placed the rotten bread by the garbage can, “I think I’ll have to get a new loaf of bread tonight, sweety…” She sounded calm, but inside she was furious at herself for wasting what little they had. She turned around, seeing her daughter tail exiting the kitchen. Now that her daughter was out she took her frustration out on the bread, throwing it to the ground and stomping on it multiple times.
She looked down at the mangled mess of bread and mold inside a plastic bag. It didn’t make her feel much better, but at least it cooled her head a bit. She tossed it away before heading into the living room, “Dinky? Where’d you go?”
“I’m in the bedroom!” she called out to her mother. Derpy walked in, seeing her playing with a few dolls. They were old and worn out, their dresses missing much of their stitching and their hair a mangled mess, but he imagination kept them lovely in her mind.
“Did you hear me about the bread? I think we need to run out and grab some…”
Dinky looked up and nodded with a smile, “Okay, are we heading out right now?”
“Probably soon, once mommy rests her wings a bit…”
“Okay, the Gala is almost over, I’ll be done in a moment…” She continued to play with her raggedy dolls, having the little filly dance with the prince. She hummed a little tune, making the two sway back and forth together.
Derpy couldn’t help herself; she watched the little girl play with her toys, lost in her own little world of happiness… she only wished she could bring that happiness to the real world. Dinky was the greatest little girl in the world, and she deserved to be a princess right alongside Celestia and Luna. She finally tore herself from watching her to go rest on the couch, AKA, her bed. She laid herself out, sprawled across its length, stretching out he legs. She never realized how tired she was until she laid herself down to rest. She felt like she could just fall asleep right now and never wake up. She never allowed herself to get a nap in before dinner though; she knew she’d never get up in time to cook.
Today it was hard for her not to fall asleep, but just as she felt herself nodding off she jerked up, giving her head a shake to knock some sense into herself. Her eyes blinked hard a few times, trying to force them to straighten out a bit. She looked over into the bedroom, still hearing her daughter talking to herself. She wasn’t entirely sure how long she had been there, but she was getting hungry, and they still needed to go shopping. “Dinky? Are you about ready to head out?”
There was a brief pause before Dinky hopped out of her room, “Yep! I’m ready whenever you are!” Derpy smiled, nuzzling her daughter affectionately before getting her saddlebags on once more. Dinky hopped in just like before and soon they were out the door. However they didn’t get but a few steps outside before Derpy noticed a small group heading her way. Normally she wouldn’t have noticed, but the rainbow mane of the lead pony caught her eye. “Rainbow Dash? Motion Picture?” she noticed that the majority of the main cast and crew were heading her way, all carrying bags and boxes in their teeth, “What are you all doing here?”
“Aw, why’d you have to come outside? You spoiled the surprise!” Dash said in a playfully annoyed tone, “Motion Picture wanted to bring you a celebratory dinner since you couldn’t stay for lunch!”
Derpy blinked, taking another look at everyone else. They all seemed to be carrying enough for two ponies each; All from different restaurants from all around Ponyville. She could already sense the flavor wafting her way, and it smelled absolutely wonderful.
“Yay! No sandwiches tonight!” Dinky cheered from her little saddlebag. Derpy blushed a little at the statement, hoping the other didn’t think badly of her for it.
“OH! H-hold on a moment, let me clean up just a bit before you come in…” she rushed inside, hoping to clean her home up a bit. There wasn’t much around TO clean, but she took the time to put her bag away and close Dinky’s door, along with folding up the blanket on the couch and put it away with the pillows. Once she felt satisfied with the look she opened the door to let everyone inside. As they walked past the aroma from each bag hit her nose, making her knees weak. She hadn’t had meal like this is so long, her stomach was begging for her to fill it up.
Within minutes the table was covered in delicious food, and before it could be admired by the Hooves family, it was already being picked at by everyone, including themselves. Dinky was eager to stuff her plate with a little of everything, “Don’t eat too much sweety!” her mother called out to her as she walked away, balancing the plate in her mouth. She let out a grunt of acknowledgment as she went into the living room to relax and eat.
Derpy planned to patiently wait for everyone else to get their plates, but Rainbow Dash wouldn’t allow it, “Hey! You’re the guest of honor! You should be eating first!” she shoved her to the front of the line; no one objected to Dash’s reasoning. Although when she tried to slip in behind her, Twilight used her magic to send the rainbow haired Pegasus to the back, “OH COME ON!” she whined before being set down.
“You said SHE deserved to be first, not you.” Twilight winked playfully before turning to Derpy, “Go ahead, take as much as you like.”
“Heh, thanks girls.” She gladly filled her plate up as well. By the time she got to the end of the table hers looked taller than Dinky’s plate.
The group sat around and talked about this and that, mostly revolving around the show, both past projects and future projects they planned on doing. Once their bellies were full though, they began to leave one by one; all saying their goodbyes to Derpy. She smiled and wished them the best, although she seemed to be glancing at the kitchen fairly often, seeing how many ponies were going in for seconds.
Twilight noticed the odd behavior, and once her friend was by herself she slipped over to speak with her, “Derpy, are you alright?”
Derpy simply smiled, “Of course I am, I’m wonderful actually! You’re all so sweet and kind… Thank you again for the meal!”
“You’re welcome, but that’s not what I meant…” she had a deep concern in her eyes, the tender caring eyes of a friend, “You’ve been glancing over at the kitchen and awful lot tonight… whenever someone goes in for seconds… It’s like you’re counting or something”
Derpy frowned, looking down at the ground. She wasn’t aware it was so obvious, “I just… y’know, wondering who’s getting seconds…”
“I don’t think so… And I don’t think you’re worried about getting seconds… what’s wrong?” Twilight reached up, putting a hoof on her shoulder.
Derpy sighed, she knew Twilight was more perceptive than she gave her credit for, not to mention persistent. “Well… I’m hoping there’s plenty of leftovers…”
Twilight was a bit curious about this… most ponies wanted a little leftover food as possible so they didn’t have to store it… It didn’t take Twilight long to piece the puzzle together, and jump to the last possible conclusion, “You’re having trouble keeping food around, aren’t you?” she made sure to keep it very quiet, not wanting the rest of the cast to worry.
Derpy bit her lip, nodding slowly. She couldn’t bring herself to admit it vocally though.
“I’m so sorry Derpy… I wish I had known…”
“It’s okay though! I promise!” she quickly tried to defend her situation, “I’ve gotten that raise from the producers, and now I have all those leftovers to last a while. I won’t have anything to worry about! I promise!”
Twilight eyed Derpy, judging her response… “Okay… If you say so… but if you EVER need help… Please… come to me, or any of your friends… we all care for you and we want the best for you… Just let us know if something’s wrong and we’ll do our best to fix it, okay?” Twilight leaned close and hugged Derpy with all her might.
Derpy nodded to her request and gladly returned the hug, letting it hold for a moment before pulling away, “Thank you Twilight, I will…” A small yawn by their side caught their attention. They two looked down to see Dinky, her eyes half closed, staring up at the two.
“I’m sleepy mommy…” she told her, holding her arms up. Derpy just smiled, reaching down and lifting her up, hugging her close while her wings lifted the two up into the air.
“Okay sweetheart, I guess it’s time for bed…” she lifted her up and carried her to her room, closing the door behind them, “That was a delicious meal, wasn’t it?” Dinky simply nodded, too tired to respond with a yes, “did you say thank you to everyone?”
“Oh… not to everyone… But I did say ‘thank you’ to Mr Picture.” She said softly as she was tucked under her blanket.
“Well, why don’t you write a big thank you card for everyone during Arts and Crafts tomorrow? I’m sure everyone would appreciate it.” Dinky smiled brightly at the idea of crafts. Her head nodded slowly as her heavy eyelids closed, “good girl… now sleep tight… I’ll come back to check on you soon.” She gave her little girl a gentle peck on the forehead before heading toward the door.
“I love you mommy.”
The soft words caused Derpy to stop in her tracks, paralyzed with the love in her heart. She stood there for a second before responding, “I love you too my little muffin.” With that, she pulled herself out of the room, letting her daughter rest.
She exited the room to find the rest of the group leaving. Rainbow Dash was ushering them out, “Hey! Where’s everpony going?”
Dash looked up, smiling, “they’re all finished eating, and your little girl’s trying to sleep. I figured we’d only disturb her.”
“Oh… Well you didn’t have to… but okay…” She already missed her friends being around, but Dash seemed to be sticking around… “Where are you headed after this?”
“Probably home… but uh… I wanted to talk to you for a sec.” Dash gently shut the door before approaching Derpy, “I heard you talkin’ with Twilight a second ago…”
Derpy’s heart fell, she didn’t want to go through this conversation again… although a curious thought came to mind first, “How did you hear us? We were clear across the room.”
Dash smiled, flicking her ears, “When you’re flying you gotta have good hearing to understand ponies with the wind rushing by you… But listen, I know you said you’re okay, but I just wanted to let you know if you need somepony, I’m here to help too.”
“I know, I know, I appreciate it.” She said quickly, hoping to dismiss the pony and end the awkward conversation.
“I mean it, Derpy… You’re a good friend to me… I know financial trouble can be very stressful… And if you need some help…” her hoof found its way to her shoulder, stroking her skin gently, “relieving that stress… Come say hi to me…”
Derpy blinked, staring at the hoof… she heard whispers of Rainbow’s life outside the studio… nothing terribly bad, but not something a morally conscious pony would be happy about… lot’s of rumors of her visiting ponies late at night and not leaving until the early hours of the morning, and things like that… “Thanks Dash, I’ll uh… keep that in mind…”
“Alright Derpy… You sleep well tonight.” She moved in for a hug, an innocent hug, but after the thought that went through Derpy’s head, she couldn’t help but feel a bit weird now… Rainbow released her and headed out on her own, shutting the door behind her.
Derpy still felt a bit odd… she wasn’t sure if she was receiving an offer for help from a friend, or being hit on… it was a weird feeling she couldn’t really explain. However she pushed it aside for now and went to the kitchen, finding that a large portion of the food was still there. She hummed happily to herself as she packed it up and put it in the refrigerator.
Once the task was done, she smiled inside the open fridge. She found it funny that she loved not being able to see everything. Now she had to actually MOVE food out of the way in order to see more food! She felt a teardrop roll down her cheek, no longer worried where her next meal would come from.
She soon felt her food settling, causing her body to feel weak and heavy. She hadn’t felt o full in ages, and now she planned to crash on the couch and sleep until morning. She looked at the couch, realizing her pillows and blanket had been put away. Instead of taking the time to pull it all out again, she decided to sneak into her daughters room and join her in her bed. She was quiet as a mouse and carefully slipped in, hoping not to wake her. She cuddled up as close as she could, feeling her daughter shifting a bit in her sleep. It didn’t take long for her to join her in dreamland…