(Sweet Apple Acres)
"What're you doing?" Roxbury asked, walking over to where his mother was bucking an apple tree, causing the fruit to fall from the branches and into the baskets settled at the base of the trunk.
"Gettin' ready for cider season" Applejack answered quickly, giving the trunk another good kick.
The colt looked confused at the mention of cider season. At this point, Applejack remembered that her son was only six months old, too young to have ever experience cider season. The way he spoke and acted, it was easy to forget that he wasn't much older than he looked.
"It's when we make cider for the rest of the town, so we can have money through the winter" the orange mare explained, trying to keep things as simple as possible.
"Can I help?" Roxbury questioned hopefully.
In truth, he really didn't care much about this cider season thing his mother was talking about. However, after being grounded after wandering into the place with the flowers that actually tasted good and those Snag Birds, he wanted to stay outside as much as possible.
Applejack raised an eyebrow, asking her son exactly how he intended to help.
The green colt seemed to consider this for a moment. After a few moments, his red and yellow eyes lit up.
"Like this" he said, placing one of his hind legs onto a small stone. His body quickly went from being covered in short green fur to being the same texture as the stone, with his blond mane and tail following suit. (Applejack glanced around, making sure that no-pony outside the family was around to witness her son's transformation. The last thing they needed was to have ponies asking questions.)
Once his body was completely converted to stone, Roxbury lowered his head and charged towards a nearby tree.
He ran as fast as he could, and, as a result, ended up slamming his head into the tree with tremendous force.
At any rate, it was enough to make his skull feel like it had been split in two.
So, when he looked up and saw that none of the apples had been shaken loose, he was quite annoyed.
"STUPID TREE!" he shouted, taking a few steps back and ramming his head into the tree trunk again, repeating the process several times, even when his power de-activated and he went back to being flesh and blood. His head was seriously killing him now, but he didn't care.
Once again, the little colt stepped back, and once again, he charged towards the tree, lowering his head and closing his eyes as he ran.
However, before his head could make contact with the hard wood, he was lifted off the ground by the scruff of his neck. Roxbury opened his eyes to see who had interrupted him.
"Ma, let me go!" he demanded, trying to squirm out of her grip.
Applejack's response was muffled, thanks to the fact that she was holding her young son in her mouth, but it was clear that she wasn't going to let him go.
She carried him into the bathroom, where she placed him on the lowered toilet lid, after shutting the door to make sure he didn't escape.
"OW! Ma, stop that! That hurts!" the green colt whined as his mother dabbed his bruised and slightly bloody forehead with a warm, damp washcloth.
"Well, what did you expect?" Applejack questioned, placing the washcloth into a nearby hamper.
Roxbury mumbled under his breath, something that honestly didn't sound like it was comprised of actual words.
"Why were you slamming your head into the tree, anyway?" the mare asked, lifting her son's chin in order to get him to look at her.
"You said that cider season gets us money, right?" Applejack nodded, silently telling Roxbury to continue his explanation.
"Well, that tree wouldn't drop any of its apples when I hit it, and that means we can't get money from those apples. That means the tree owes us money, and when somebody owes you money, you beat them up" Roxbury concluded, nodding as though what he just said made perfect sense.
Applejack looked a little confused, clearly wondering where her son had gathered this sort of logic. However, the confusion quickly went away and she sighed in slight annoyance.
"You read one of Apple Bloom's Knee-Capper and Curb Stomp books, didn't you?" she questioned, receiving a rather sheepish smile in return.
Apparently, Roxbury had just remembered that he wasn't supposed to read his aunt's crime novels.
"So…" he began, still grinning nervously, "I'm not in trouble again, right?"
His mother gave him a look that basically said, "What do you think?"
The foal sighed. One of his first days of freedom after being stuck inside pretty much all day for two months, and now he'd been wasting the rest of it in his bedroom. And all because of that stupid tree!
Frustrated, Roxbury began to swing his forelegs about, not actually aiming for anything. At one point, one of his hoofs hit the plunger for the toilet, causing it to flush. The whooshing sound of the water startled the poor little pony; he jumped off the toilet, ran behind his mother's forelegs, and glanced between them as though searching for a dangerous monster.
Applejack sighed; no wonder her son was having such a difficult time with his toilet training.
Spike groaned as he opened his eyes, his nap having been interrupted by something tugging on his ear-fins. Still half asleep, he swatted at whatever was grabbing him, only to find himself swatting at air.
"C'mon, Spike. I know you're a baby dragon, but I'm a baby and I sleep half as much as you" he could hear Velvet whining.
At this point, the young dragon looked at his ear-fins to find them glowing with the odd color of Velvet's magic.
"Velvet" Twilight's voice came from the stairwell shortly before she entered the bedroom.
The filly sighed and released her magical hold on the baby dragon. She then turned her head in order to glare at her mother. Unfortunately, and probably unsurprisingly, the glare had absolutely no effect on the older pony.
"Velvet, why are you bothering Spike?" Twilight asked her daughter, who shrugged slightly.
Meanwhile, Spike was rubbing his still sore ear-fins in an attempt to soothe the stinging left over from Velvet's magic.
"I just wanna know what she has against me getting some sleep" the purple and green dragon muttered angrily, sighing in relief as the stinging sensation finally vanished.
The blue filly turned her glare away from her mother and instead looked at the dragon.
"You promised you would play with me all morning" she told him, sounding as though she was disgusted. "It's still morning, so you still have to play with me. You promised".
Both the mare and the dragon sighed. If there was anything that they hated as a result of Velvet and Butterscotch being exceptionally close out of the six hybrid foals, it was the fact that Velvet had latched onto the idea that a promise was something that could never be broken.
The purple pony turned back to her daughter and tried to explain to her that Spike hadn't done something horrible by breaking his promise.
"Velvet, Spike wasn't trying to hurt you. He just needed to get some sleep. He was up late last night helping me with something and-" Twilight stopped talking as she noticed her daughter's horn was glowing and her limbs seemed to fade from existence, her body slowly starting to fade as well.
The purple mare shouted the filly's name to get her attention.
Velvet jumped a bit, her body appearing to become more solid for a moment, but she quickly relaxed and her body continued to fade.
If anything, the process seemed to go along even faster now. Velvet's entire body had dissolved into nothingness by now, leaving only her head, which seemed to be floating in midair.
It probably would have frightened Twilight, at least a little bit, had she not fallen victim to a rather cruel prankster who liked to use invisibility spells so he could pretend to be the Headless Horse.
Now that her daughter was doing it, however, she was just getting irritated, as she knew Velvet was just making it clear that she had no interest in listening to her mother's lecture.
"Velvet Star Sparkle, you do not turn invisible when I am talking to you" she scolded, using her most authoritative voice.
The filly scowled as her body slowly began to appear more solid, her annoyance becoming even more apparent once she was fully visable again.
"I don't care if he was up late helping you, Mom. He promised me that he would play with me all morning yesterday, and he should keep his promise. I mean, you kept your promise to the monsters and turned Daddy back into stone!" the dark-maned filly screamed, falling back onto her bottom and waving her forelegs around.
At this moment, time seemed to stop; other than the young unicorn's forelegs swinging around wildly, nothing in the room appeared to move.
Both Twilight and Spike were absolutely silent, stunned by what Velvet had just said.
A lifetime seemed to pass before Spike walked over to Velvet and lifted her off the ground.
"How about we go to Sugar Cube Corner? We can play with Butterscotch" he offered the blue filly, holding her close.
The foal's anger seemed to vanish instantly; as soon as Spike made the suggestion her face split into a wide grin and she nodded.
After grabbing a few small gemstones and an oatmeal cookie for the walk, the young pony and dragon left the library, leaving Twilight alone with her thoughts.
Twilight had no idea what she was supposed to do.
How did Velvet know about how the Element Bearers sealed Discord for a second time? Twilight had never once mentioned the draconequus' return to her daughter at all, and as far she knew, the others never told their children about it either. How did Velvet know? Barely any-pony knew Discord was anything other than a myth, and out of the few that did, it seemed unlikely that most of them would tell the foals what had happened. Even if Twilight, her friends, or the Princesses had told the foals the story of Discord's return, why would they teach the foals to think of the Princesses as monsters? It just didn't make any sense….
Twilight gasped as something horrific dawned on her. There was still one other creature who knew about Discord, and he was one who would teach the foals to think of Celestia and Luna as monsters.
'No, that's ridiculous…He's a statue! They were only near the statue for a few minutes anyway and that was when they were still acting like babies…There's no way they could remember' Twilight thought, desperately trying to calm herself.
But, no matter how much she tried to convince herself that she was just being paranoid, she couldn't shake away her worries. She needed to tell some-pony about this…
Using her magic, Twilight brought a piece of parchment, some ink, and a quill over and began to write a letter.
Dear Princess Celestia…
Twilight paused, the tip of the quill hovering about a centimeter away from the parchment, the ink dripping onto the floor.
After a moment, the quill was cleaned and both it and the ink were put away.
Twilight looked at the partially written letter as though she was considering what to write next.
Sighing, the purple unicorn used her telekinesis to levitate the piece of parchment, before tearing it apart and throwing it into a garbage bin.
She knew she should tell Celestia that Velvet knew about how Discord was turned back into stone, but she had to admit she was afraid.
What would happen to her Velvet and the other foals if it turned out Twilight's insane theory was actually correct?
(Sugar Cube Corner)
If there was one thing that Pumpkin Cake was not expecting to see when she opened the door, it was Spike and Velvet. She may not have known the dragon very well personally, but based on what Pinkie Pie always said, Spike was usually napping at this time.
"Hey Pumpkin" Velvet said, squirming out of the dragon's grip. "Where's Butterscotch?"
The older filly pointed towards the stairwell, saying that Pinkie was giving Butterscotch a bath.
With a nod of thanks, the blue unicorn raced up the stairwell.
"Come in" Pumpkin said, stepping back to allow Spike entry into the store.
Once the dragon was inside, Pumpkin offered him something to eat, but he declined.
"I ate on the way here, but thanks anyway, Pumpkin" Spike said with a grin.
The redheaded unicorn's cheeks seemed to turn slightly red and she quickly turned away.
"Pumpkin Cake!" At the sound of Mrs. Cake's voice, both Spike and Pumpkin Cake jumped slightly; neither of them was used to the sweet earth pony raising her voice, even a little bit.
"Pumpkin, you know you aren't supposed to answer the door by yourself" Mrs. Cake said, walking over with Mr. Cake, who had Pound Cake riding on his back.
The blush on Pumpkin's cheeks disappeared as she mumbled an apology to her mother. The light blue mare nuzzled her daughter to let her know that she was forgiven.
"But, next time, make sure you get me or Daddy, alright?"
Pumpkin nodded before asking if she could go and play. Her parents told her that she could, and told Pound to go and join his sister, reminding the twins that they would be taking a bath of their own as soon as Pinkie was finished with her daughter's bath.
Pound and Pumpkin groaned at the idea of having to take a bath, but they quickly forgot about their annoyance as they began playing with building blocks and coloring, respectively.
While the twins played, their parents decided to talk to the young dragon.
"If you don't mind me asking, why isn't Twilight with you? Is she okay?" Mr. Cake asked as his wife gave Spike a cup of chocolate milk.
"Yeah, she's fine" Spike said, taking a sip of the milk he had just been given. "Velvet just wanted to play with Butterscotch, and Twilight was busy, so…."
Realizing that he was trailing off, Spike cut off his own sentence by gulping down the rest of his chocolate milk.
Once the glass was empty, he looked at the older Cakes to see what they thought of his explanation. Based on their expressions, they didn't entirely buy his story.
Spike braced himself for the questions he expected to be asked.
"Hey, Spike," called Pound, "You wanna help me build a skyscraper?"
Thankful for the chance to get out of answering questions, the dragon quickly accepted the offer and ran over to where the pegasus and the unicorn were playing, leaving Carrot and Cup Cake wondering what had really led Spike to their shop.
"Hey, Velly-Belly" Butterscotch said with a grin, waving to her half-sister as the unicorn entered the bathroom. Velvet scowled at the nickname as she walked over to the bathtub; she really couldn't stand that nickname.
"Hey…Where's your mom?" she asked, realizing that the pink earth pony wasn't in the bathroom.
"She went to get a towel, cause she forgot to grab one before putting me in the bath" the caramel-colored filly explained.
Suddenly, Butterscotch's grin widened and she threw up her forelegs excitedly.
"OOOOH, I have an idea!" she exclaimed cheerfully.
Velvet smirked, muttering, "That's a first".
The earth pony apparently didn't hear what her sister had just said, or if she did, she totally ignored it. Instead, she went over to the edge of the tub and hooked her forelegs over the edge.
"How about you come in the tub and play with me?" she suggested, looking down at Velvet.
The two fillies simply stared at each other in silence for several seconds. Finally, it was Velvet who broke the silence, a slight moan escaping from her mouth as she shook her head.
"Thanks, but no thanks. I started potty-training because I didn't like my diaper getting wet" she said.
"Don't worry, Velly, the water isn't wet anymore" Butterscotch giggled. "Feel it".
The little unicorn rolled her red and yellow eyes, but decided to humor her sister and feel the water to see if it was wet.
She used her unicorn magic to levitate herself and dipped one of her hooves into the water. To her amazement, Butterscotch was right: the water wasn't wet. It still felt like water, only, somehow, it felt dry to the touch.
"Okay, I'll play in the tub" she said, lowering herself into the dry water, causing Butterscotch to cheer. For a few moments, the two fillies busied themselves with the bath toys, pretending to have the rubber duck eat the sailboat, only to be blasted away by a giant meteor (actually a beach ball).
However, soon enough, Pinkie entered the bathroom with a towel, and it seemed as though the fun would have to end.
"Can we play pirates in the tub?" Butterscotch pleaded, frowning as her mother shook her head and lifted her out of the bathtub, holding the little filly in the crook of her foreleg.
"If you girls want to play pirates, you have to use your crib or Pound and Pumpkin's beds" the pink earth pony told her daughter and the unicorn who was still in the tub.
Butterscotch gave a whoop of delight, throwing her forelegs into the air.
Suddenly, both the earth ponies began to roll one of their shoulders as though they were hurting.
"Hi, Gummy" said Pinkie Pie and Butterscotch in unison, smiling at the bathwater, out of which popped Pinkie's pet alligator.
Velvet, who was still in the tub at this point, screamed and leapt from the tub as the small gator emerged from the water.
From her current place on the back of Pinkie's head, the little unicorn pressed down Pinkie's poofy mane and peaked between her ears.
After she got her heart to stop pounding, she shouted, "WHY DID NO-PONY TELL ME THERE WAS AN ALLIGATOR IN THE BATHTUB?"
(Rainbow Dash's Cloud)
"And then I turned my wings into fire and made the snag-bird drop me. It left me alone after that because it didn't want to be killed by my awesome. The only reason I didn't kill it anyway was because I wanted a witness to how awesome I am".
The cyan-colored colt paused in his story-telling to see how his audience was reacting.
Tank simply blinked, causing the storyteller to get very annoyed.
"Hey, what's up with you? You asleep or something?" Firestorm questioned, fluttering over to the tortoise and landing on top of his shell.
Tank pulled his head into his shell before doing the same thing with his legs, making it look as though Firestorm was sitting on an oddly colored stone, rather than his mother's pet.
This only made the golden-eyed colt even more annoyed. He hopped off the tortoise's shell and glared into the opening in the shell that Tank's head had retreated into.
"Come out!" he shouted into the opening.
When the tortoise didn't emerge from his shell, Firestorm decided to try and coax him out.
"C'mon, Tank…If you come out, maybe some of my awesomeness will rub off on you" he said, shaking the shell slightly.
However, Tank showed absolutely no sign that he cared about what the colt had just said. He simply kept his head and limbs inside of his shell.
Firestorm continued to shake the tortoise, stopping only when the sound of a small explosion filled the cloud-house, followed by a rather rank smell.
"Guess Mom or Scoots detonated one of my stink bombs…" Firestorm said, covering his nose in an attempt to block the horrible odor. It was at this point that Tank finally came out of his shell; the smell of the stink bomb had apparently overpowered the tortoise, so he had poked out his head and front legs out of the shell, using front legs to cover his nose.
"If Mom asks, it was your idea to hide the stink bombs in the house" the colt said to the tortoise, his words sounding somewhat odd thanks to his nose being blocked.
Tank, unsurprisingly, said nothing.
Nodding, as though in response to something Tank had said, the multi-colored-maned colt began to back away, saying, "So, I'm just going to go and play now. See ya, Tank."
He then turned around and ran, only to slam into Rainbow Dash's forelegs.
"Oh, hey, Mom…Sorry about the stink bombs. I told Tank that we shouldn't hide them in the house, but he wouldn't listen" Firestorm said with a nervous grin.
"Nice try, kid" the mare said before picking her son up by the back of his neck and walking towards his bedroom. The colt struggled in his mother's grasp, flapping his wings wildly in an attempt to fly away, but to no avail.
On their way to Firestorm's room, the two cyan ponies passed by Scootaloo, who was opening every available window and even punching some new ones into the cloud in order to help the stinking air get outside.
Soon, Rainbow Dash had carried Firestorm into his bedroom.
She placed him into crib, but not before placing a flight-blocker, a type of harness used to keep young pegasi from flying when their parents didn't want them to, onto his back.
Firestorm tried to remove the harness, rubbing his back against the bars of his crib and twisting his head in an attempt to chew it off. After realizing that he couldn't get the flight-blocker off, the foal looked at his mother with an angry expression on his face.
"Hey, don't blame me—you were asking for it," Rainbow Dash said defensively. "Be glad I didn't leave you in the room with the stink bomb of yours".
Still angry at what his mother had done, Firestorm said nothing. He simply flopped down onto his side, rolling over so his back was facing Rainbow Dash.
"I'll come get you out later, Hothead" the mare said, ruffling the child's mane slightly, causing the colt to let out an angry cry and swat at her hooves.
Rainbow Dash then left the room, going to help Scootaloo close up the holes she had made in the walls when she was trying to get rid of the smell.
(The Medal Family Apartment)
"Thank you so much for coming over," Precious Medal said to Fluttershy and Rarity, pouring each of them a cup of tea. "Token doesn't really make friends very easily, so it's nice to see him having so much fun with other foals."
She glanced over to where her adopted son was playing with Meadow Lark, Libby, and Fin the dragon.
The children were playing a game of make-believe, it seemed. More specifically, they appeared to be pretending that the three foals were knights, and Fin was a dangerous monster. It was actually rather entertaining to watch, with the little foals running around and shouting, really getting into character, and the baby dragon occasionally letting out little baby roars, which sounded more like a frog's croak. It really was adorable.
"It's no trouble at all" Fluttershy told Precious, taking a tentative sip of the steaming hot tea. She gave a little whimper as the hot liquid burned her tongue slightly.
Rarity nodded in agreement. She told the white pegasus that both she and Fluttershy liked to see their daughters having fun, and they always seemed to be happiest when they had the chance to play with the horned zebra-pegasus and the baby water-dragon.
"Besides," the purple-maned unicorn added, "You seem like a very delightful pony, and we wanted a chance to get to know you better".
However, despite sounding very calm, it was clear that Rarity was concerned about something.
She would occasionally look to where her daughter was playing with the other children, telling her to not be "too frightening".
At these warnings, Libby would turn her turquoise eyes (which were glowing brightly) towards her mother, and promise that she was making sure nothing too scary happened in the adventure she, Meadow, Token, and Fin were having.
After the third warning, the filly simply rolled her eyes and shouted, "I won't!" over her shoulder, before returning to the game. So far, she seemed to be keeping her promise, as Meadow, Token, and Fin seemed to be absolutely delighted by whatever they seemed to be seeing.
Soon, some-pony new stepped into the garden.
Actually, it was two some-ponies: Ocean Breeze and Crystal Lake had come into the garden, the filly looking very excited, while her mother looked as though she didn't really want to be there.
The light blue mare joined the others at the table, telling her daughter to stay by her side.
"Mommy, can I go play, too?" Crystal Lake asked her mother, who shook her head.
"No, dear, you just had lunch, and you know how sensitive your stomach is".
The filly pouted, watching the other children play with a wistful expression on her face. Ocean Breeze then turned to face Precious.
"Your husband said that you were meeting with Rarity and Fluttershy. He didn't say anything about their…children coming along" she hissed angrily.
The white pegasus simply shrugged; clearly she didn't think she had any need to tell Ocean Breeze that the fillies would be joining their mothers. After all, what was the issue with having a couple of baby fillies come and play with Token, Fin, and Crystal Lake?
"On second thought" Ocean Breeze said, rising from her seat, "I have some important business to take care of. Time to go home, Crystal."
Crystal Lake, clearly not wanting to leave just yet, gave a whine of protest, but followed her mother as she walked towards the gate. As the approached the gate, the two of them were stopped when Meadow Lark jumped in front of them. For several seconds, the mare and the filly stared at each other in silence.
Finally, Meadow Lark spoke.
"We all know you were there. You were following us in the forest and you didn't help us at all when the snag-birds were attacking" she said in a quiet voice.
At this statement, Ocean Breeze's eyes went wide with terror. She opened her mouth to speak, but no words came out.
"Don't worry, we're not angry…Not really. But, since we know you don't like us, I have to tell you something, and this is coming from my brothers and sisters, too. If you do anything to hurt any of us, or if you hurt our mothers…We will make sure you never have a chance to hurt us ever again" Meadow Lark said, her voice never changing from its gentle tone, which honestly made the threat all the more powerful.
Crystal Lake seemed to be trying to figure out what the younger filly was saying, but before she could ask about it, her mother grabbed her with her unicorn magic and raced off.
"Oh, my…Ocean Breeze seemed quite scared…" Fluttershy said, walking over to the open gate.
"I just told her about the game we were playing" Meadow Lark said with a grin. "I guess she's just really scared of trolls or something."
AN: Yeah, I know this isn't the best chapter in the story, but I thought after the last one I wrote featured the foals coming very close to losing their lives on more than one occasion, it would be nice to have a more relaxing chapter, just seeing the Mane Six with their children.
Oh, and before anyone asks, yes, the foals are not toilet-trained yet. Just because they have high intelligence for their age, it doesn't mean they have total control of their bodily functions. If you recall in earlier chapters, it was stated that their physical development was that of a normal pony, even though they were developing at a very quick rate mentally. So, instead of being out of diapers almost instantly, they start learning to use the toilet at the normal age, which in my headcanon, is about six months old.