As the girls sat and talked about other things, the CMC were hanging out a few feet away. They were watching Maika as he ate a small portion of food. Sweetie Belle and Applebloom were absolutely loving how cute he was unintentionally acting, but Scootaloo sat there unamused.
"Girls... Why do we have to watch this thing? There's plenty of other things we can do..." She asked, deadpanning.
"Because it's adorable." Sweetie Belle replied as Maika looked up at them.
"Girls! It's lookin' at us!" Applebloom squealed as her eyes gained little sparkles. Sweetie Belle's eyes did the same thing.
"Girls... It probably doesn't understand why you are looking at it." Scoots said her wings buzzing slightly.
'If only you knew...' Maika thought as his tail flicked. His eyes wandered back to the white bone.
A Glowing Blue and Orange Bone with a name written in Wingdings:
I, Sans, King of Laziness and protector of my world, wish to be called in your time of need, but it can't between 4 and 5 p.m.
'That's cool.' Maika thought to himself as he went over and picked it up with his mouth. 'Tastes kinda like chicken...' He padded over to Twilight and nudged her side.
"Oh?" She turned her head towards the small fox. "Where'd you get this?" She picked it up with her magic. "Hmm... I should probably get this to the lab and analyze it." She smiled and pat Maika's head. "You're very good at finding things."
Maika smiled at the small bit of praise that he received. He nuzzled her and padded back to the CMC as they were coming up with ideas to have fun after the picnic.
"So it's agreed?" Scootaloo asked waiting for the other girls to confirm her plans.
Sweetie Belle and Applebloom looked at each other and nodded. The three looked at Maika, smiling brightly. Maika backed up out of fear before they picked him up.
"Maika. As an animal with a strange level of sentience, we hearby elect you as an honorary member of the Cutie Mark Crusaders, Animal Division, even though they can't earn cutie marks." Sweetie Belle said, petting Maika's head.
As she pet Maika, he unintentionally purred which made the girls squee. Maika's ears pinned down to block the high pitched sound, ringing through his head.
An hour later, the picnic finished and the girls were packing up. Maika fell asleep before they started to clean up.
"Girls. I'll see you tomorrow morning. Meet me in the throne room. Then we'll leave for The Crystal Empire for the Crystalling." Twilight smiled before trotting home with Maika on her back.
Twilight returned to her castle as the sun was starting to set. She opened the door and trotted inside before quietly closing the door.
"How did I get to the front door!?" Starlight exclaimed as she found herself lost again. The loud voice caused Maika to start waking up.
"Starlight. Why mus you be so loud?" Maika asked as he tiredly slurred his words. He looked up at her, rubbing his eyes.
Starlight realized that she woke him up. "Oh. Sorry Maika... I didn't know that you were sleeping."
"It's fine... I was planning on getting up anyways. I'm freaking starving..." He said patting his belly.
"We do have some food leftover from the picnic. Starlight, would you like to join us?" Twilight asked as she turned towards the dining room.
"Sure." Starlight replied. The two purple ponies walked to the dining room.
Next morning, Twilight was in the library as Starlight continued to find her way through the castle.
"Library... Library..." She sighed. "This castle looks smaller on the outside..." She opened a door only to see Spike in the Bathroom brushing his teeth and Maika in the bathtub. "Morning Starlight." Spike said to her, his voice muffled.
"Whoops!" She squeaked and shut the door. "Sorry, Spike! I guess I'm still trying to find my way around. You don't happen to know where the library is, do you?"
His voice muffled even more, Spike replied. "Next door on the left!"
Starlight looked to her right to see a large door. "Oh. Thanks!"
"No problem!" Spike replied, before squealing at the sight of Maika in the tub.
Maika giggled softly before hopping out of the tub, drying off and running out of the room.
He found his way to the Library as Starlight trotted to the throne room. "Where's she going?" He asked Twilight.
"She's going to help plan our trip to the Crystal Empire." She said as she continued to sort out parchment.
"Crystal Empire? What's that?" He sits on the table.
"I'll explain on the way!" She said teleporting away with three pages of parchment.
Maika watched as the girls were pulling out furniture, bedding, and other objects for babies.
"What's all this for?" Maika asked looking at the Mane Six, plus Starlight. He was the only one who didn't know about the newest princess in Equestria.
"Well... I think that you should wait to find out. After all, we have to introduce you as well..." Twilight smiled as they all started getting on the Train.
"Ooh! I can't wait to see all that light and love make the Crystal Heart even more sparkly and shiny!" Pinkie exclaimed bouncing in place. Maika was even more confused. 'Crystal Heart?' His head tilted in curiousity as the train started moving.
Twilight shook her head. "Actually, Pinkie, the Crystal Heart is an ancient and powerful relic. Without its magic, the Crystal Empire would be lost to the Frozen North." She said as Maika started getting even more confused.
"Wow, this Crystalling sounds pretty important. I'd understand if you wanted to... you know... wait to do a different friendship lesson when we get back." Starlight said, trying to get out of meeting her childhood friend.
"Are you kidding? This trip is perfect! Not only do I get to see the babyandtake part in the ceremony that helps maintain the magic of the Crystal Empire, but I'm starting my new pupil off with the most amazing friendship lesson ever! I can't wait!" Twilight's wings flapped excitedly.
"Right... Me neither..." Starlight continued.
Nobody else said anything for the entire ride.
As they entered the station outside of TCE*, Maika had to shield his eyes from the glare. Starlight sighed. "Actually, Twilight, I am a little worried about meeting Sunburst." She looked at the floor.
Twilight placed a hoof on her shoulder. "Oh, trust me. I know what it's like to see old friends. But I'll be right there to help things along. I've broken the whole lesson down into a few easy steps to ensure this reunion goes off without a hitch!" She smiled at Starlight, which cheered her up a little.
They all got off the train, with Twilight upfront, reading, "Step one, head to Sunburst's house and get you two started on the right hoof. Step two, get to the castle with enough time to visit the ba-" She ran into a larger pony before gasping, "Shining Armor!"
The larger pony smiled tiredly. "Twilight...!" He had bags under his eyes.
"Somebody hasn't been sleeping well..." Maika quipped from Twilight's back.
"Wha..?! Who's there!?" Shining Armor asked getting into a defense stance, before guessing it was his imagination. Twilight shooshed Maika before replying to Shining Armor.
"I didn't know you were meeting us!" She hugged him.
They broke the hug. "Of course I am! It's me, right here. Here I am. Why wouldn't I come meet my sister? Though we have met before, heh-heh..." Maika looked at him. 'Sleep deprivation is a silent killer...'
Twilight had a confused look. "Are you all right?" She asked in a worried tone.
Shining tiredly replied. "Never better! Being a father is amazing! And wonderful, and amazing, and confusing, and amazing, but surprising too, you know? I mean, not that you'd know. You wouldn't know, I know... You know? Sorry. I haven't really slept since Cadance had the baby. Come to think of it, she hasn't either. It sure would be great to get a break."
Maika's eyes widened. 'A baby!? How come they didn't tell me earlier!? Babies are adorable!' He started smiling brighter than Pinkie was.
"Oh, of course! I don't know what I was thinking! You two probably need all kinds of help! I'm sorry, Starlight, but I guess combining your first lesson with this visit wasn't such a good idea." She said with some regret.
"Oh, uh, don't be ridiculous! You're an aunt now! That'swaymore important than somefriendship lesson." Starlight replied with a smile.
'This is true.' Maika thought as Spike had an idea.
"There is a way that Starlight can do both. You've already done the work for Starlight's lesson with this list. All we have to do is follow it!" He smiled, unaware of the faint glare Starlight was throwing his way.
"Spike! You're a genius!" Starlight scowled slightly. "Yeah.... Genius..."
"Then it's settled! Shining Armor and I will head straight to the castle, and you two can head straight to Sunburst's!" She smiled.
"Alright, big brother, let's go see this amazing baby pony!" Twilight smiled before frowning at the older pony close to falling asleep.
A few minutes later, The Mane Six, Shining Armor, and Maika were outside the nursery door.
"Before we go in, I should probably tell you. Seeing the baby might be a bit of a shock." Shining said as he slowly opened the door, unaware of the small Digimon running into the room.
"Come on, big brother. I've met babies before. I expect meeting this one won't be any different." She smiled as she and the girls trotted into the room, catching both Maika and Flurry Heart in the crib, and Flurry Heart's wings unfurling. She gasped, "Of course, I could be wrong." Flurry Heart cooed at Maika as he let her play with his tail.