Pound and Pumpkin Tales 1

by Never2muchpinkie


18-8: Two steps back

Upon their arrival at home Pumpkin did her homework as usual and then went to check in on Tiger Lily.  Pound was still in bed, but awake. Their eyes met, and Pumpkin was hit with a mix of emotions. She wanted to beg for his forgiveness, or tell him how much she had missed him, but the words wouldn’t come. Pound was looking at her contemptuously, and she doubted anything she did at that moment would change anything.

With a heavy heart she stayed silent as she threw her saddlebag into her side of the room. She grabbed a few books and Tiger Lily and left, really wanting to ask if he was feeling alright. She went upstairs to Pinkie’s room to give Pound his space and to let him rest if he was still feeling unwell.

She restlessly hit a balloon as she sat down on Pinkie’s bed, feeling as alone as she’d ever felt.

Once more she found herself lost in thought. Wasn’t there anything she could do? She sighed heavily. As she had been told several times already his anger didn’t really lie in anything she’d done, but in his lack of flight. There was no set time for a pegasus to begin flying, so it wasn’t exactly like Pound was doing anything wrong. Still, she sure hoped she wasn’t going to have to wait until he got off the ground properly until he talked to her again.

It wasn’t a happy thought. Who knew how long it would take if that was the case? She opened a book and started reading, but found she wasn’t taking in a word. Her vision blurred as she pictured the look Pound had given her.

She set her book aside, hugging herself and quietly sobbing. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry, Pound!”

She heard a mew to her side, and Tiger Lily rubbed up against her, a paw on one of her back legs. She had her kitty right next to her. She wasn’t alone. So why did it feel like no one else was there? She picked up Tiger Lily and set her on her lap, aimlessly petting her.  She heard Tiger Lily purring in appreciation of the attention, and she focused on it, lulling herself into a sense of calm.

She stayed up there for the next few hours. With her parents and Pinkie working and Pound angry at her she didn’t exactly have anyone to talk to or play with.

It was a welcome relief when Pinkie came into her room later on. She only stopped to gently set Tiger Lily aside before running headlong into Pinkie’s hooves, longing for comfort.

Pumpkin hadn’t said a word before charging, but she didn’t need to. Pinkie didn’t even need to ask what was wrong. She pulled the filly over to her bed, setting her on her lap and holding her close. It only solidified her desire to try to get the twins together again. The three of them wanted to have the kids be responsible, but it really did seem they’d reached the end of what they were capable of on their own. Pumpkin was a wreck, burning with guilt and shame, and Pound was taking out his frustrations all on Pumpkin.

“I love you, Pumpkin!” Pinkie said strongly, kissing Pumpkin’s forehead. “I mean it with all my heart. You know that, right?”

Pumpkin gave a quick nod. “I… I know, Auntie Pinkie.”

“I can’t force Pound to forgive you, but I do promise I’ll do what I can, okay?”

She gave another curt nod, for once in her life doubting Pinkie’s abilities. It felt like Pound was never going to forgive her, and one day they’d die still bitter enemies, at least in HIS mind.

“Come on, then.”

It took her a while to comply. She didn’t want to let go. She was afraid, not wanting to face Pound’s wrath if Pinkie couldn’t get through to him.

The steps downstairs seemed to go on forever. She had to stop herself from pushing Pinkie away when she went to knock on the door. The banging of her hoof felt deafening to the filly, echoing in her mind.

Pinkie opened the door and Pumpkin slowly followed after her, hanging her head as they went in. 

Pound was on his side when they went in, Champ lying down at the foot of his bed. “What is it?” he asked in a bored tone. “Is it dinner time?”

“Not quite. I was hoping to talk with you.”

Pound lifted his head slightly, seeing Pumpkin in the doorway behind Pinkie. He let out a little huff. “I don’t care,” he replied, letting his head flop back on the pillow. “I’ve got nothing to say to her.”

Pinkie went to the side of his bed, sitting down and rubbing his head a bit. “Pound, I understand how much what she said hurt, but don’t you think you’re being unfair, taking everything out on her?”

“What do you care?” he replied in the same emotionless tone. “You said you weren’t getting involved unless we were beating each other up over it.”

“I care because I love both you and Pumpkin. She’s been a wreck from missing you, and crying because she’s been in such pain.”

Pound’s eyes narrowed as he finally sat up, knocking her hoof away. “And like I told her last night it’s exactly what she deserves to feel! Just because she’s so amazing and great and I’m just a ‘stupid, pathetic, flightless loser’ doesn’t mean she doesn’t have to deal with consequences!”

Pumpkin’s body clenched, silent tears streaming down her face.

“Don’t you think she’s suffered enough, Pound?” Pinkie asked, her voice a little harsher.

“NO!” he yelled. “And I don’t need YOU butting into my problems. You’re not my mother!”

Pinkie was a little hurt, but she pressed on. “Of course not, but what does that have to do with-”

“MOM said yesterday she’d be happy if I could start with not running out the room when Pumpkin came in. I did that, and she was happy. And since she was fine with it that’s all I need to care about, not about YOUR dumb opinions.”

“Hey!” Pinkie responded, her eyes narrowing. “There’s no need for that attitude, young stallion.”

Pumpkin was a little surprised as well. They almost never got angry at Pinkie.

Pound didn’t budge. “I’m just stating the truth. Our parents rules matter more than yours.”

Pinkie took a deep breath. “I suppose you’ve got a point,” she admitted. “However, Pumpkin is your sister, and family should always come first, don’t you think?”

Pound glared at her, stomping up to her. “Oh, what would YOU know about the importance of family, Pinkie?” he said with a huff. “After all, you abandoned yours as a kid to come live here. What, were they not good enough for you? When’s the last time you’ve even seen them, huh? You have no right to talk!”

Pinkie was taken aback, rendered speechless. Her mouth hung open, his words cutting to the bone.

Pumpkin’s sadness and fear evaporated, a seething anger flowing through her now. She walked up to Pound and socked him one before he could react, incensed on Pinkie’s behalf. “HOW DARE YOU!” she yelled.

Pinkie knew she should speak up, but she was too hurt to say anything as Pound recoiled.

“Pound, I don’t care if you ever speak to me again, but don’t you DARE start taking things out on Auntie Pinkie! She’s been taking care of us since we were born, and I’m not just going to sit here and let you insult her. Now apologize!”

Pound rubbed his stinging cheek. He had a nasty retort ready for her at telling him what to do but as he glanced at Pinkie’s despondent face, on the brink of tears, it died in his throat. As he realized what he had said he knew he had gone way over the line, the same thing he was angry at Pumpkin for.

He hugged her, saying contritely, “I’m sorry, Auntie Pinkie. I didn’t mean to say that.”

It was usually enough for her to hear that, but not then. Without hugging him back she gently pushed him away, walking away with a quiet, “It’s fine.”

The two of them heard the creaking of the stairs, and a door opening and closing.

Pumpkin was simultaneously furious and sad. She wanted nothing to do with Pound at the moment, so if he wanted to be so stubborn then she would play along. He could say whatever he wanted about her, but she wouldn’t tolerate insults to Pinkie Pie, one of the greatest and friendliest ponies she had ever met.

She gave Pound a look of deep disgust before stomping out of the room, his mournful expression doing nothing to temper her feelings.