A Life Worth Living
“Alright, here comes the exciting part!”
Fluttershy smiled, although what she was most excited about was getting to use the bathroom once it was done. They had told her to drink plenty of water an hour before getting to the hospital, and she felt like she was about to burst.
Sunset took hold of her hand and smiled too, which reminded Fluttershy she was focusing too much on the negative. It was a big day, and Fluttershy was excited. She was lying on a hospital bed, she wanted to run to the bathroom, having her stomach exposed made her feel uncomfortable, and yet she couldn’t be more excited. Or terrified. She was definitely equal parts of both.
The sonographer opened a container of gel and applied it to Fluttershy’s stomach. It was cold, but that wasn’t so bad. She would gladly take some cold gel over what they’d wanted to do last time. The transvaginal ultrasound was a standard practice during an eight-week prenatal visit, but Fluttershy had been too uncomfortable to go through with it.
It wasn’t that she hadn’t wanted to. It would give them the first look at the baby and make sure development was going well. Fluttershy had been excited about it, until she learned that the first ultrasound would be done vaginally, since the baby was still far too small to be found through her stomach.
Although she had initially agreed, she’d panicked before they could start. Even with Sunset beside her, flashbacks had left her too terrified to continue. Thankfully, Sunset had been there to be her voice when she found she was unable to communicate herself, and they’d decided that while the eight-week ultrasound was recommended, it wasn’t necessary.
But while that saved Fluttershy from an uncomfortable experience, it also left them in the dark about her baby’s well-being for another month. They had been assured that everything was fine as far as they could tell with other tests, but it had been a month full of regret.
And the wait was finally over. They were at the hospital for Fluttershy’s twelve-weeks prenatal visit, and everything was set up for her first ultrasound.
“And here we go.” The sonographer placed a white device on her stomach, which was connected with a thick cord to a machine. He moved it around in the gel, and an image appeared on the screen across the room.
At first it didn’t look like anything, just a weird fluidy mess in black and white. Then he found what he was looking for, and a small baby was visible in an otherwise black bubble.
Her baby. Fluttershy was looking at her baby for the first time. It was hard to make out individual parts and they didn’t quite look like a regular baby yet, but there they were, alive and healthy.
A cursor appeared on the screen as the sonographer talked about what they were looking at, exactly. “Here’s the head, which is about the same size as the rest of the body at this point. And we can see its little arms and legs here. And – oh!”
The baby suddenly stretched their limbs out, causing the sonographer and Sunset to laugh. Fluttershy was too overcome with emotion to laugh herself, but she smiled broadly.
“And then right here,” the sonographer continued, “this fluttering is its heartbeat.”
“Oh…” Fluttershy watched as a tiny little spot on the screen moved restlessly. “It looks so fast.”
“Let’s see, it’s… 165 beats per minute. That’s good, anywhere between 160 and 180 is what we want. Congratulations, you have a perfectly healthy baby.”
Fluttershy had to pull her hand away from Sunset’s to wipe away tears. She turned to smile at Sunset, and was surprised to find she was doing the same. Although she had never faltered in her promise to be supportive, she had also never seemed excited for the baby herself. And yet, for the first time that Fluttershy could remember, Sunset had to dry her eyes as she watched the screen.
“Do you want to hear it?”
“Oh, can we?” Fluttershy asked.
The sonographer’s grin suggested he knew what the answer would be all along. “Sure!”
He tapped a few buttons and the sound of a tiny little heart beating much faster than Fluttershy had expected played. It didn’t sound quite like a regular heartbeat, even a sped up one. If he hadn’t told her that’s what she was hearing, she probably wouldn’t have known.
But she did know, and it made the tears come again.
“Oh my God…” Fluttershy muttered.
“That’s incredible,” Sunset said quietly once the audio was turned off. She took hold of Fluttershy’s hand again, squeezing it gently.
“So, uhm, is it too soon to tell if they’re a boy or girl?” Fluttershy asked.
“Yeah, afraid so. Maybe next month if we’re lucky, more likely at twenty weeks.”
“Sure does like to move around a lot,” Sunset said. “I think you got a little athlete in there, Shy.”
Fluttershy giggled. “Rainbow will be excited.”
“Let’s get a measurement, shall we?” The sonographer clicked from one end of the baby to the other, making a line the length of the body. “About three inches.”
“So tiny,” Fluttershy said.
The sonographer noticed Sunset holding her fingers apart to try and judge the length and added, “About the size of a small plum right now.”
“Is that normal?” Sunset asked.
“Yup. Everything seems to be right on schedule. You two have nothing to worry about.”
Fluttershy and Sunset turned to each other and beamed. It was exactly the news Fluttershy needed, and from the looks of it, Sunset felt the same way.
“Let’s get you two some pictures.”
The sonographer printed a few pictures from the ultrasound, then wrapped it up. The rest of the visit went about as they expected. The doctor came in to discuss lab results from the previous month’s visit, all of which were good. They talked a bit about what Fluttershy should expect and ways to offset symptoms she was experiencing, and Fluttershy was relieved to learn that the nausea she’d been dealing with for the past few weeks was likely to stop soon.
Once the doctor was finished, they left for the lobby. Fluttershy messaged Applejack to let them know they were done while Sunset made their next appointment.
“Do you want to wait in here, or outside?” Sunset asked once she was done with the receptionist.
Fluttershy looked up from the ultrasound pictures, which she’d barely taken her eyes off of. “It’s a nice day, let’s wait outside.”
Sunset nodded and led them outside. Spring had just arrived, and the air still had a chill to it. But it was warm enough to go without heavy jackets, and they found a nice sunny bench to sit on while they waited for Applejack to pick them up.
Sunset took the chance to look over the ultrasound pictures. “It’s so crazy that you’ve got a kid growing in you.”
Fluttershy smiled and her hands went to her stomach. “I didn’t think seeing them would hit me so hard.”
“Yeah, me either. And hearing the heartbeat and everything, it was just… I don’t even know how to describe it.”
Hearing Sunset sound happy about the child was almost as good as seeing them for the first time. “I can’t wait to meet them.”
Sunset looked away from the pictures to smile at Fluttershy. “Me either.”
Hearing Sunset say that made Fluttershy wanted to lean on her, or hold her hand, or do something else to be close to her, but she was always unsure of doing things like that in public. She would just wait until they were home, where Sunset could be all hers again.
They just had to wait to be picked up. No one wanted Fluttershy on the motorcycle once they learned she was pregnant, so Rainbow had become her usual chauffeur, with Pinkie and Applejack being happy to help as well.
It was good they had three willing friends, since Fluttershy’s schedule had become more hectic in the past month. Once the animal shelter learned she’d have to stop volunteering to find a paying job, they’d been happy to hire her. Now she worked there four days a week, taking on increased clerical responsibilities. Then she still had school to work in, not to mention grocery shopping and doctor’s visits.
Truthfully, she felt more than a little guilty to make the others do so much. But then all she had to do was remember it was for her child, and it was worth it. What was a little guilt to ensure their safety?
They weren’t waiting long before Applejack showed up. Even if the day was warm for early spring, Fluttershy was looking forward to getting home and spending the day relaxing with Sunset.
Applejack waved as they walked up, and Fluttershy made for the back seat.
“Sure you don’t want to take the front?” Sunset asked.
“I’ll be fine in the back. You’re a lot taller than me, you could use the extra leg room.” When Sunset still looked unsure, Fluttershy added, “Sunset, I’m not that fragile yet. I’ll be fine.”
Without waiting for Sunset’s agreement, Fluttershy climbed in the back. Since Applejack drove a pickup truck, the back seat was incredibly small. Even Fluttershy, who was smaller than the rest of her friends, felt a little cramped in it.
Applejack was replying to a message on her phone, but she still greeted Fluttershy. “Howdy, Fluttershy. How’d everything go?”
“It was great,” Fluttershy reported happily as Sunset got in the front. “We got to see the baby and hear their little heartbeat!”
Sunset handed the ultrasound photos to Applejack, who smiled as she looked through them. “Hard to imagine this is inside you. Least it’s a heck of a lot cuter than that thing is,” she said, indicating Sunset.
“You can say that again,” Sunset agreed.
“Hmm, I think they’re both adorable,” Fluttershy said and blushed. She was still getting used to complimenting Sunset, and it was especially strange to do so with others around.
“No accountin’ for taste, I guess.” Applejack handed the photos back to Sunset. She passed them to Fluttershy, who looked them over one more time before putting them in her purse.
Applejack backed out of the parking spot, then shifted into drive and pulled away from the hospital. “Hope y’all aren’t busy, ‘cause we gotta swing back to Sweet Apple Acres for a bit. Got a surprise waitin’ for you two.”
“Oh, you didn’t have to do anything for us,” Fluttershy said.
Applejack grinned. “It’s already done. And just you wait, this is one hell of a surprise.”
“Should I be excited or scared?” Sunset asked.
“You’ll just have to find out. I promised I wouldn’t give y’all a single clue about what’s going on.”
“Oh man, someone else is in on it…” Sunset shook her head. “I’m definitely scared.”
“I’m sure it’s nothing bad. It’s probably, oh…” Fluttershy was cut off when Life is a Runway started playing from her purse. She fished out her phone – a new one on Sunset’s phone plan since she’d been cut off from her old one – and was unsurprised to see Rarity was calling.
“Go ahead and answer,” Applejack said. “Ya know she’s probably beside herself to hear how everything went.”
Fluttershy swiped to answer the phone. “Hi, Rarity.”
“Hello, Fluttershy. How’d everything go with your appointment?”
Fluttershy giggled at how accurate Applejack had been. “Good. The baby and I are both completely healthy.”
“That is such a relief to hear. Of course, I never doubted it, but I’m relieved all the same.”
“Of course. We have pictures from the ultrasound, I’ll send them once we hang up.”
“Oh, I bet they’re already just the most darling little baby ever!”
Fluttershy smiled. “They are.”
“Do you know the gender yet?”
“No, they said maybe next month.”
“Oh, I could see you having such a delightful little girl.”
Fluttershy blushed a little. “To tell the truth, that’s what I’m hoping for, too.”
“Boy or girl, this child is going to be the luckiest little one ever. And I hope you know I fully intend to spoil them rotten.”
“You don’t have to do that.”
Rarity laughed. “Oh, but you make it sound like you have any say in the matter! Fluttershy dear, just try and stop me!”
Fluttershy giggled, happy to see that her little one would have so many people to help take care of her. She couldn’t help but feel like maybe Sunset had been wrong when she said that they didn’t have any family to help them.
“Have you two started thinking of names yet?”
“Rarity, we don’t even know if they’re a boy or girl.”
“So you just come up with one for each! It’s never too early to start thinking about, at least.”
It soon became apparent that at least one person had begun to think about names, and that person was not one of the expecting mothers. Rarity started giving suggestions, complete with the meaning and popularity of each name. Fluttershy didn’t have the heart to tell her she’d rather discuss it with Sunset, so she went along with the conversation.
They talked all the way to Sweet Apple Acres, while Sunset and Applejack talked in the front. Occasionally Fluttershy would relay messages between the other three. It made her long for the days when they could all hang out in person.
Although, when they reached the farm, she saw that they weren’t too far from that. Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie were already there waiting for them, which Applejack seemed to have expected.
“I think I should get going, we just got to Applejack’s.”
“No need to get off the phone for that,” Applejack said. “In fact, I reckon ya might want to stay on just a bit longer.”
Rarity must have overheard, because she giggled in response. “Oh, you’ll see soon, darling!”
As confused as she was, Fluttershy could only wait to see what was going on. She stayed on the phone as she got out, even though she felt a little rude as she greeted her other friends. No one seemed to question it, though.
“Alright, we’re all here,” Sunset said. “So what’s this big surprise?”
“It’s over in the barn.” Applejack motioned for everyone to follow and led the way.
Pinkie and Rainbow flanked Fluttershy as they walked. “How cute is the baby!?” Pinkie asked.
Rather than answer, Fluttershy pulled out the ultrasound photos. Pinkie squealed in delight. “Ooh! I think she’s a little girl!”
Rainbow cocked her head to the side. “I think it’s an alien.”
“Oh hush,” Fluttershy said, placing a hand on her stomach. “Boy or girl, they’re adorable.”
Pinkie bent down to speak directly to Fluttershy’s stomach. “How you doing in there? Oh, I just can’t wait to meet you! And I’ll throw you the bestest, softest, and quietest ‘welcome to the world’ party ever once you’re out!”
Sunset laughed. “Pinkie, even if the baby could hear through Shy’s stomach, it doesn’t even have ears yet.”
Fluttershy placed a hand on her stomach. She had gained a little weight, although that was apparently only her own body bulking up in preparation for the baby, which wouldn’t even weigh a full ounce yet. She was still weeks away from a pronounced baby bump, but seeing her little one inside of her reinforced the fact that they were there.
“Even if they can’t hear yet, I think they appreciate being around people that love them.”
“I don’t care what it takes,” Rarity said, “I’m going to find a way to come see this child once they’re born.”
“I’m guessing that’s another thing I won’t be able to stop you from doing?”
“It most certainly is.”
Fluttershy couldn’t find it in her to argue. She could hardly think of anything she’d want more than having all of her friends together to see her new baby.
“Okay, we’re at the barn now,” Fluttershy told Rarity.
“Ooh! This is exciting!”
“Rainbow, wanna get the other side?” Applejack asked.
“Sure.” Rainbow grabbed hold of one barn door while Applejack took the other.
“Wait!” Rarity said. “Tell them to hold on a moment!”
“Uhm, Rarity said not to open it yet.”
Everyone turned to Fluttershy in confusion, but she didn’t know what to tell them.
“We’re going to do this on a video call! I simply have to see the two of you once they open the doors.”
Fluttershy agreed and hung up the phone. A moment later, she received an incoming video call from Rarity. She answered it to see Rarity sitting at a desk surrounded by sketches and bits of fabric. It was clear that this was a last minute decision as she hadn’t bothered to do her hair or makeup, but she was smiling excitedly all the same.
“Hey, Rarity,” Sunset said from over Fluttershy’s shoulder. “Long time no see.”
“Sunset, it’s so good to see you, darling. And Fluttershy too, of course. We really ought to video call more often, you know.”
“We should,” Fluttershy said. “But uhm, should we open the barn now?”
“Oh yes! I’ve been waiting all month for this!”
“All month?” Fluttershy repeated, but no one explained.
Instead, Rainbow and Applejack each took hold of one of the doors. Pinkie took the phone from Fluttershy, then stood back so that she could better capture the couple’s reaction to whatever was inside.
“On three,” Applejack said. “One… two… three!”
They opened the doors, and all Fluttershy and Sunset could do was stare dumbfounded.
“Surprise!” everyone yelled.
Inside the barn was a silver, mid-sized sedan. It looked fairly new, only a few years old at most, and it was in great condition.
While Fluttershy and Sunset were still standing with their mouths hanging open, Applejack walked over, pulled a key out of her pocket, and pressed it into Sunset’s hand.
“Happy every gift for all eternity!” Rainbow said.
“Don’t be like that, Dashie,” Pinkie chided. “Rarity paid for most of it.”
“You…” Fluttershy shook her head. “You all…”
“No fucking way…” Sunset mumbled. She composed herself faster than Fluttershy could and turned to address Applejack. “There’s no way we can accept this.”
“ ‘Fraid you’ll have to take that one up with Rares, then.”
Sunset turned towards Pinkie and the phone. “Rarity, we can’t –”
“You can, and I don’t want to hear another word about it.”
“But we –”
“Sunset Shimmer.” Rarity’s tone became fierce. “You are not even going to consider telling me that your pride is more important than Fluttershy and the child’s safety.”
“No, of course not! But I –”
“Good, that’s what I thought!” Rarity quickly shifted back to modesty. “And really, we all did our part.”
“It was so hard not to tell you two!” Pinkie said. She looked like she might start jumping up and down if she wasn’t still holding the phone.
“Thank you all so much,” Fluttershy said before Sunset could continue to protest anymore. “This is… it’s just incredible!”
Rainbow walked behind Fluttershy and Sunset and gently pushed them towards the barn. “We gonna sit here and talk about the car, or are we gonna go take a look at it!”
Everyone followed them into the barn, where Rainbow wasted no time in telling them about the car, mostly involving details Fluttershy didn’t understand. What she was able to gather was that it had been used, but it wasn’t very old and didn’t seem to have any problems. It was an ideal car for a small family, with a roomy back seat and plenty of trunk space. They’d kept their budget in mind, making sure it was very fuel efficient.
And despite Sunset’s protests, they were told the monthly payments would be completely taken care of so they could focus on saving money for the baby. The only thing they’d have to worry about was day to day maintenance and insurance, which Applejack made sure they knew she and the others could pay for if it was an issue.
“I’m so happy you both like it,” Rarity said. “Now I should get going, and I’m sure poor Pinkie doesn’t want to carry around a phone all day.”
“I don’t mind!” Pinkie leaned over the phone rather than turning it, so that to Rarity, she’d appear upside down. “It’s like you’re a little robot companion that I can carry around with me everywhere I go!”
“Er, right. But I really must be on my way, I’ve got my hands full with work these days.”
“Thank you so much, Rarity,” Fluttershy said.
“Yeah, this is seriously the coolest thing anyone’s ever done for me.” Sunset placed an arm around Fluttershy’s shoulder. “Well, for us. You know what I mean.”
“Of course. Do let me know how everything goes with the car, and don’t forget to send me those pictures!”
“Oh! Here, I’ll show you before you go.” Fluttershy pulled out the pictures and held them up to the phone for Rarity to see.
“Aww! So precious already!”
“Cutest baby ever!” Pinkie exclaimed.
“Cutest alien, maybe,” Rainbow muttered.
“I heard that, Rainbow!” Rarity barked, then cleared her throat. “In any event, I shall let you go. Best of luck on putting up with Rainbow.”
Fluttershy giggled. “I think we’ll manage. Talk to you later.”
“Until next time then. Bye!” Rarity hung up, and Fluttershy took her phone from Pinkie. Even though she’d just shown Rarity the photos, she still took a moment to take a picture of each one, then sent them to Rarity.
By the time she was done, the others were all back to focusing on the car. Fluttershy joined them to find they were discussing taking it on a test drive.
“Alright, that’s enough of that baby,” Rainbow said, gesturing to Fluttershy’s stomach. “It’s time to see what this baby can do!”
“I haven’t driven a car since drivers ed, like three years ago,” Sunset pointed out. “I think it’ll be a little while before we’re seeing what anything can do.”
“That’s okay, we can all just go for a nice drive around the block,” Pinkie suggested.
Rainbow sighed. “Fine. But I call shotgun!”
“I think it’s only fair that Fluttershy gets shotgun,” Applejack said. “It is her car too, ya know.”
“Oh, I don’t mind sitting in the back,” Fluttershy said. “You all were the ones who bought it, it’s only fair that one of you should ride in the front.”
“Actually, maybe it’s better if you wait here,” Sunset suggested awkwardly. “I haven’t driven in a really long time, so it might be kind of a bumpy ride. And, you know, we gotta be careful with the baby.”
Fluttershy frowned. “That’s just silly. I’m not that far along yet, I’ll be fine.”
Sunset took hold of Fluttershy’s hands. “I just think it’d be better to not take any chances.”
“Promise it’ll be quick, then we’ll come back and get you.”
Fluttershy sighed. “Okay.”
“Be back before you know it!” Sunset smiled excitedly as she climbed in behind the steering wheel.
At least Rainbow was happy. “Okay, now I call shotgun!”
Applejack chuckled as she climbed into the back seat. “Guess some people never grow up.”
Rather, then getting in after Applejack, Pinkie stood beside Fluttershy. “I’ll wait here with Shy. Drive safe!”
“You really don’t have to stay,” Fluttershy said.
Pinkie shrugged. “It’s just a car ride around the block, no big deal.”
Fluttershy knew Pinkie was just saying that to make her feel better, but it worked, so she smiled appreciatively. Sunset started the car and drove cautiously out of the barn. Pinkie waved them off, but Fluttershy didn’t bother.
“Thank you for staying with me,” Fluttershy said once they were gone. Her hand reached to her locket, which she’d taken to wearing at almost all times.
“Aww, I’m happy to! Wanna go for a walk while we wait for the others?”
“That sounds nice.”
They left the barn and walked leisurely around Sweet Apple Acres, enjoying the sunny day. Fluttershy continued to toy with her locket as they walked. She had removed both pictures inside of it, placing a small picture of her and Sunset on one side and leaving the other blank. That was where she’d put a picture of Sky Shimmer once she was born.
The locket reminded Fluttershy what she had to look forward to, as well as of the good things she already had. But still, she couldn’t quite feel content after what had just happened. It was a nice day, and Pinkie did have a point that all she was missing out on was a drive around the block. But while she was blown away by her friends’ generosity, it wasn’t even that she was that excited to ride in the new car.
Just that Sunset hadn’t wanted her to. That no one argued against it. That she was already sick of being treated like she was going to break if the smallest thing happened, and she wasn’t even a third of the way through this pregnancy.
“Guess things will be a lot more convenient for you two now,” Pinkie said.
“Yeah. It’ll be nice to not have to bother everyone for rides so much.”
“Aww, none of us mind at all.”
“I know. But it’s nice to be able to do things on our own.” A slight breeze picked up, making it hard to keep the hair out of her face. “I wonder if Sunset will help me practice driving. It’s been a long time since driver’s ed.”
“Sure she will! I bet you’ll get back into the swing of it in no time!”
Fluttershy want to believe that. But when she thought about it…
“Sorry, Shy, it’s just not good for the baby. Maybe after they’re born? Well, I guess then you’ll have a newborn to take care of, so maybe not then…”
But Fluttershy didn’t want to complain to Pinkie, so she smiled instead. “Maybe, but Sunset’s busy with work and making sure we have everything planned for our schedules.”
“Yeah, I see what you mean.” Pinkie shrugged. “I’ll take you then!”
“Well, you have your permit at least, right?”
“I do, but I don’t have my license yet.”
“No problem! I have mine, and you can drive as long as you have a licensed driver with you.”
Fluttershy wondered what Sunset would say about that. She wanted to practice driving and get her license so that Sunset and their friends wouldn’t have to drive her everywhere, but she didn’t want to do it without Sunset’s approval.
“Maybe. I’ll talk to Sunset first and see if she thinks she’ll have time to take me.”
It wasn’t long before the others returned. Sunset seemed to be feeling a little more confident about being behind the wheel of a car again, as she pulled up next to them less cautiously than she had pulled out of the barn.
The driver window rolled down and Sunset grinned at Fluttershy. “Hey, good looking. Fancy going for a spin?”
Fluttershy couldn’t help but laugh, and any lingering disappointment about being made to wait left. “Why that sounds lovely, thank you, miss.”
“Well, hop in and I’ll show you a good – Rainbow, what the hell are you doing!?”
Rather than get out of the car, Rainbow decided it’d be easier to climb over the seats into the back, kicking Sunset in the process. “Sorry!”
Sunset rubbed her head and glared at Rainbow, so Fluttershy took the chance to walk up and plant a kiss on her cheek through the open window. Sunset blushed in surprise, but it worked to distract her from Rainbow.
“Aww, ain’t that just the sweetest thing!” Applejack said in an overly exaggerated voice. Sunset flipped her off in response.
Fluttershy walked around the car to get to the passenger seat. Pinkie opened the back door, but rather than sit on the end, she decided on the Rainbow Dash method. “I call middle!” she declared, then climbed over Rainbow to get there.
“Wait, Pinkie – Ow! That was my foot!”
“Sorry, Dashie.” Pinkie smiled innocently as she took her seat. She buckled up, then put an arm each around Rainbow and Applejack. “Now, let’s get this show on the road!”
Sunset gave an exaggerated eye roll, which ended in a head tilt towards Fluttershy. “So if you never knew, all our friends are first graders.”
Fluttershy giggled. “I guess that just means watching over them will be good practice.”
Sunset laughed. “Yeah, good point. Where to?”
Pinkie seemed to take the first grader comment to heart, as she started chanting, “Ice cream! Ice cream!”
Unfortunately, so did the others, as Applejack and Rainbow Dash did the same.
Sunset facepalmed. “Don’t make me turn this car around!”
“Uhm, we haven’t left yet,” Fluttershy pointed out. “But uh… ice cream does sound nice. I could pay.”
It was easy to see that Sunset wanted to argue against Fluttershy’s offer to pay, but she held her tongue. “Fine. Ice cream it is.”
“Yay!” Everyone cheered, Fluttershy included.
Sunset just shook her head and pulled away, and tried not to laugh when Pinkie asked, “Are we there yet?”
The five friends had a fun afternoon. Despite Fluttershy’s offer, she only wound up paying for herself and Sunset, as everyone else wound up buying their own treats. Sunset clearly still felt a little uncomfortable having someone else pay for her, even if that someone else was Fluttershy, but it was a really nice feeling to be able to pay for things here and there after being dependent on others for so long.
After ice cream, they brought the others back to Sweet Apple Acres, then went their separate ways. It had been fun to spend time with everyone, and Fluttershy wasn’t sure she’d ever be over the amazing surprise their friends had given them, but she was still looking forward to relaxing at home with Sunset.
Since she didn’t have a driveway or full-sized garage, Sunset pulled up to the curbside in front of the house. She didn’t leave immediately.
“They bought us a car…” Sunset said, still in disbelief. “How are we ever going to be able to repay that?”
Fluttershy took Sunset’s hand. “Isn’t that what I said when you invited me to live with you?”
“Yeah, but that was different.” Sunset didn’t seem entirely too sure what made that different.
“They bought us a car because they care about us. They know we’ll do what we can if any of them ever need help.”
“It’s just… I can’t believe it.”
Fluttershy smiled. “That’s what love is like, Sunny.”
Sunset looked up at Fluttershy, unable to find words to say. ‘Love’ wasn’t a word Sunset used often, not about other people. But there was no denying that’s what they’d found with their friends, and they’d never had more evidence of that.
Without giving a proper reply, Sunset opened her door and got out. Fluttershy did the same, and Sunset made sure the doors were locked before closing hers. Even though they had just heard all the doors lock, she still checked the handle just in case.
Fluttershy led them inside, using the key they’d finally found time to make to open the door. She was about to suggest dinner, but Sunset had barely closed the door behind them before hugging her from behind.
Occasionally Sunset’s hands would rest on Fluttershy’s stomach, but she was always unsure if that was on purpose or just because it was a natural place for the taller woman’s hands to reach. But this time, when Sunset held her, there was no denying that she very purposefully placed her hand right in the middle of Fluttershy’s stomach.
Fluttershy placed her own hands on top of Sunset’s. “Want to go lie down for a bit?”
Although Sunset let go of Fluttershy’s stomach, she kept hold of her hand as they walked into the bedroom. They sat on the bed for long enough to get their shoes off, then they both lay down on it, with Fluttershy taking her usual spot on the inside.
Once again, Sunset’s placed her hand on Fluttershy’s stomach as they were lying down. It was even more obviously intentional than when they were standing. It made Fluttershy smile, knowing that Sunset was finally coming around to the baby.
“Sorry about not taking you on the first car trip, I… could tell it bothered you.”
“Oh, uhm…” Fluttershy wasn’t sure what to say.
“It’s just… After seeing the ultrasound and everything, the whole thing feels so much more real now.”
Fluttershy smiled. “I didn’t expect you to cry.”
“I didn’t cry!”
“Oh? It must’ve been raining.”
Sunset blushed. “I… may have gotten a little misty eyed. Just a little.”
Fluttershy laughed. “Of course.”
They both let the gentleness of the moment sink in for a bit. Their lives had become hectic, and even with the car, that was only going to increase. But this moment? It was perfect.
“It’s kind of amazing, isn’t it?” Sunset asked.
It was clear she was talking about the baby, and Fluttershy thought so too. They were only as big as a small plum, but they were growing fast inside of her. In six more months, they’d be born, and Fluttershy would be a mama.
She thought of that, but she also thought of so much more. She thought of their friends, and the gift they’d given. She thought of Sunset, and the way things felt when they were together. She thought of their future as moms, and as lovers.
She thought of her life, and everything it had and would become. “Yeah,” she said finally. “It really is amazing.”