Unexpected Relations

by Edward256

Chapter 7

"We're home!"
For a moment the mothers thought their eyes were deceiving them. If they did not hear a response immediately then it meant Saffron Mango was in her room studying and was about to greet them. If they did not hear anything within the next few seconds then it meant she was staying at a friend's place. Yet she was right there sitting at the table looking both gloomy and guilty. The next thing they noticed about their daughter were the bandages wrapped around her.
"Oh no. What did you do this time?" asked Japonica with concern, and a little anger. She did not want to know what kind of bill was going to appear at their doorstep. As the mothers gathered around her, Saffron could not find her voice as she mouthed "I'm sorry". If one listened closely one could almost hear her whisper it.
"What's the matter?" asked Japonica. Her breath left her as she saw the papers in front of Saffron. Spray had noticed them only seconds before.
"Did you just... Were you..." she tried to ask, glancing towards their bedroom door.
"I'm sorry," said Saffron a little more audibly. During the hours after finding the adoption papers she had been trying to decide whether she should stick them back where she found them and continue to keep quiet, or come clean with what she knew. Even though she knew it all, finding the papers was still a bit of a shock for her. She read and reread the papers several times. In the end she decided to sit herself down at the table with the papers. If she had not moved from that spot by the time her mothers got back, then she was going to come clean.
"What got you to look for these all of a sudden?" asked Spray.
"I'm sorry," repeated Saffron with a sob in her throat. "Please don't hate me. I... I love you guys, but... I kinda always knew, somehow."
The mothers stared. Whatever anger they had because their daughter had gone through their stuff had given way to shock.
"Did..." began Japonica. She did not know where to go with that. "Did we do something wrong?"
"Did somepony tell you?" asked Spray.
"No," answered Saffron, tears forming. "You've been great. You've been the best... parents I could hope for. Even if you've been away, I've always loved having you. You did n-nothing wrong, and nopony told me anything. And yet... I've always known."
The mothers listened. Even if they could not understand it, they were still understanding.
"And, this," continued Saffron, gesturing to her bandages. "I kinda ran into the orphanage... and a little through it... Had a chat with the owner."
The mothers' expressions changed to one of pain as they imagined how she may have hit the building and at what speeds, to one of sullen realization.
"But if you already knew, why did you go through our things?"
"I'm sorry. I just... I don't know. I had confirmation, and still I wanted something more." Saffron turned around and gave her mothers a hug, starting to cry properly.
"Shhh, it's okay," consoled Japonica as they both returned the hug. "We don't hate you. We're just upset that you didn't tell us sooner."
"Were you looking to see who your biol--" began Spray, but stopped herself in case Saffron did not know that word. "Who your real parents were?"
"I ah... I actually asked at the hospital," responded Saffron. "They, found a match."
"Oh. What are their names?"
Just then there was a knock on the door.
"Who could that be?"
Saffron suddenly felt a little anxious as Japonica went off to answer the door. For as long as she could remember the only visitor they got when the whole family was home was Chantilly on her birthday. She wondered if Chantilly came over to throw a "get well soon party" already now.
"Hello. Are you Saffron Mango's mother Ebony?"
Saffron Mango's heart stopped right then and there. When she decided to come clean she did not expect to do so on such a level. Her heart did not want to beat any further as she felt two pairs of eyes glare her way.
The intense silence seemed to last for hours before the guest broke it.
"Um, is this a bad time?"
Japonica turned back to the door and said "Not at all, Princess. Please, do come in."

"So your names are Japonica and Spray," said Light Wisteria slowly as she took in the true story of Saffron Mango's family life. "You are a married couple, and you adopted Saffron a few years later."
"Yes," said Japonica. "Is there a problem with that?"
"No, no, of course not!" said Wisteria quickly, waving her hooves. "I'm no bigot if that's what you're worried about. Love is just a stronger form of friendship, and I have no problem if it just so happens to be two mares."
"Which begs the question," said Spray, looking down at her daughter. "Why did you lie? To a princess no less."
While the mothers had told their story, Saffron sat between them in complete guilty silence. She knew she was in deep trouble.
"I... I just..." She was not sure how to answer. "I saw other kids having one mother and one father and... well... I never really said I didn't have two mothers... I just... never corrected anypony."
"Why didn't you?" asked Spray. "Are you ashamed of having two mothers or being adopted?"
"No! Not at all. It just... well... Because I couldn't fly I didn't want to feel any more different."
"Not accepting your differences is much like being ashamed of them," said Wisteria, walking up to Saffron and sitting on the floor so their gaze was as level as possible. "I can understand not being able to fly is difficult for you, but is having two mothers really that bad?"
Saffron lowered her head. She did not realize what she had done by not telling the truth.
"I know that same-gendered marriages - stallion and stallion or mare and mare marriages," continued Wisteria, "aren't that common, but there are quite a few of them in Equestria. It is nothing to be ashamed of."
Saffron remained silent for a while yet, feeling terrible. She was asking herself over and over why she never told the truth. While it was not her real family, it was better than if nopony picked her at the orphanage. It could have been worse if she lived all her life there. She did love her mothers - she loved what she had - and they were proud of her for the most part. So what was it she was not proud of that kept her from telling the truth to the ponies around her?
"Honey," Japonica decided to venture on a topic. "Did you happen to mention something during kindergarten and somepony gave you a hard time?"
Saffron Mango thought for a bit. It seemed logical she and some other kid argued over what was the norm. She tried to remember if anything like it occurred, or something similar.
"I... I think some kid said 'papa' to a stallion once," she finally said, still trying to remember the details. "And I think I asked 'what's a papa'. I think... I think the kid looked at me oddly... So did the father... He may have looked at me with concern. And... It may have been the teacher who answered that it is the opposite of a 'mama', that there is one of each in every family. I did not like her tone of voice."
The grown-ups wore expressions of realization on their faces. The mothers tried to think of when this may have happened, based on what they assumed their daughter's vocabulary was like and how good her memory was.
"Look," said Wisteria. "I can understand where you are coming from, but it still wasn't right of you to lie to me. To any of us. We're your friends, and you should know us well enough that you can trust us with these things."
Saffron felt ashamed she did not trust her friends enough, and that she - if not flat out lied - omitted some of the truth to her friends.
"I'm sorry," she finally uttered.
"I have a feeling you'll be apologizing to more ponies than just the princess, Saffron Mango," said Japonica sternly. "Starting with your closest friends."
"But we won't insist on you telling everypony at school," added Spray. Saffron felt a little better at that, but she still felt pretty bad.
"We don't normally do this, but... Consider yourself grounded for a week," said Japonica. Spray was a bit surprised at that, but she did agree some form of punishment was in order. "You are only allowed to go to school but otherwise you are not leaving the house. That means no crusading. We expect you to tell your friends when you see them at school."
"Oh, that reminds me," interjected Wisteria. "Saffron's not allowed to exert herself on her scooter for a few days in light of her accident."
"That is definitely not going to be a problem for a whole week," said Spray. After a moment's pause, she added, "By the way, you said you knew your b... real parents?"
Saffron had completely forgotten she had said that. It took her a little by surprise.
"I... don't want to..." she started, looking up at Wisteria.
"Now, what have we said about withholding the truth?" said Japonica.
"It's just... It is something I want to discuss with them on my own and..."
"Please, do tell us."
Saffron looked directly at Wisteria. "Promise not to tell anypony? One could say it is part of my apology to my friends, and I'd like to tell it without any forewarning."
Wisteria thought for a moment. In the end she agreed, gesturing a hoof over her heart. "I promise if you promise."
Saffron picked up on the gesture and knew what the princess was indicating.
"Cross my heart and hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye," they swore in unison. Saffron hesitated a bit on the word "fly" because she did hope to fly one day, but was probably best not to get there on a lie. Saffron took a deep breath and steadied herself.
"You remember Bon Jour?" she slowly said.
"Yeah," answered Spray somewhat slower, while the others nodded slowly. They had a sneaky suspicion they knew where this was going.
"Well... Turns out... She's my sister."
If jaws would actually hit the floor there would be quite the clatter right about now. Aside from the proverbial sound effects, everypony were in stunned silence. Saffron Mango was waiting for even a pin to break the silence.
"That... would mean..." Wisteria tried to utter. "P... Porcelain...?"
Saffron slowly nodded. "Is also my sister."
"And... What were their names now..."
"Ebb and Cupid. They are m-my real parents."
More silence.
"Do... Do you want to... move in with them?" Spray was afraid to ask this question. She had hoped for a few more years with their adopted daughter before she started asking about her biological parents, if at all.
"No!" Saffron's response was immediate. This put the mothers at ease. "I love you! I don't want to leave you. I will stay!"
She gave them a hug which was returned.
"I know I'm grounded, but I happen to know that they will be leaving town again on Monday and... I'd like to speak to them after school."
The mothers looked at each other for a moment, thinking things over.
"All right, we'll make an exception just that day," said Japonica. "But you make your way right back here after you've said your piece, got it?"
"I promise."
The moment was interrupted by a gurgling sound.
"Oh gosh, we completely forgot about dinner," said Spray. She then looked towards Wisteria. "And, um, we did not plan on any guests."
"Look, you obviously need food," said Wisteria, getting up. "I'd be happy to help you cook."
"But, you're a princess! A royal guest... in our house..." It suddenly came back to Spray who they had in their home and shock was spreading across her face.
"Please, you've been through a lot, and right now you need to eat. Do not see me as a princess nor a guest and just point me to the kitchen."
Spray took a moment to get over her shock and eventually lead the princess to the fridge. Wisteria took out some food and gave half of it to Spray to chop while she chopped some herself. Japonica placed some pots and pans on the stove then went to set the table with Saffron. Before long they were all seated and eating a hearty meal.