Unexpected Relations

by Edward256

Chapter 8

Saffron Mango was not usually grounded. This was partly because - as far as her mothers knew - she did not misbehave often, and partly they could not stay home to make sure she did not leave the house. They also did not know the ponies of Ponyville well enough to ask them early in the morning to foalsit their grounded daughter on such short notice. The very few times she was grounded she had done something very bad and felt guilty enough about it to not want to do anything, or face anypony. This time was no different. The mothers could tell by the guilty look on her face Saffron Mango would behave and stay home. For the rest of the weekend Saffron Mango stayed at home and tried to do her homework, but most often found herself staring at it instead.
When Monday morning came Saffron decided to walk to school rather than ride her scooter. She was still sore and wearing some bandages, but felt that she would take the pain as part of her punishment. When she reached the school she was spotted by her friends Bon Jour and Sandwisp.
"What happened to you?" asked Bon Jour, noticing Saffron's new coat color and bandages.
Saffron looked up at Bon Jour and suddenly saw her in a new light. She took a moment before hesitantly answering solemnly "Parkour accident."
"You WHAT!?" gawked Bon Jour as she attempted to chase away the mental image of her best friend falling off the Statue of Friendship. Sandwisp's mouth was just as open.
"I felt compelled to try it out as soon as I heard about it," said Saffron Mango, looking away from her friends' gawking faces in shame.
The silence stretched on a while yet before Sandwisp spoke up. "Guess we oughta be careful what we say around you from now on, huh?"
"Don't worry. I won't be doing that again for a while yet."
Bon Jour noticed something else was bothering Saffron. She looked pained and it was not due to the bruises she was rubbing. "Is something wrong?" she asked.
Saffron looked up again, and again seeing Bon Jour differently. Before she could think of how best to answer the teacher called everyone to class.
"I'll tell you at lunch."

"You've looked pratty distracted and down all day," said Sandwisp as they sat down in a corner of the playground at lunch break. "Was the fall that bad? Did the doctahs give ya bad news?"
Saffron shook her head. "No, I'll be fine in a few days. Just... Could we all go to Porcelain's after school?"
"I don't know," said Bon Jour. "I don't think she's willing to put up with us today. Besides, she'd really like some advanced warning, even if she may forget it."
"Please, it's important. There is something I need to discuss with you all; her included."
"What's this all about, Saffron?" asked Sandwisp.
"I'd... rather get it all out in one breath," Saffron looked at Bon Jour with pleading eyes.
"All right..." said Bon Jour slowly. "Just don't expect to stay long."

School came to an end and the three of them walked back to Bon Jour's house to pick up her stuff. Not much was said throughout the day or during the walk. When they reached the house Bon Jour's parents were outside with a carriage full of luggage, a quarter of which was Bon Jour's stuff for her stay at her sister's and the rest was for her parents' trip. Saffron saw them in a different way, and yet it almost felt like she knew all along they were her parents too.
"Hey, kiddos!" called Bon Jour's father.
"Hi dad!" answered Bon Jour. Saffron was close to saying those exact same words. "Mind giving all three of us a ride?"
"No problem, hop on in."
They all jumped into the carriage and the driver pulled them off to Porcelain's boutique.
"My, looks like you got a little ambitious with one of your stunts," remarked Bon Jour's mother when she noticed Saffron's bandages. Saffron noticed how pained she looked when she spoke, as if Saffron was her child - which she was. Seeing Ebb, Cupid and Bon Jour as her biological family felt so new to her, and at the same time it felt like something old and familiar; something she knew from the start. In retrospect all the hints were so plain she felt silly for missing them.
"You could say that," answered Saffron. "Kinda got distracted and missed my mark."
"I do believe high speeds and distractions don't mix well," said Ebb, looking a little pained himself. "Sometimes I wonder why that one pegasus... Sail, was it? Keeps crashing so often. Maybe she keeps seeing good looking ponies and forgets to keep her eyes where she's flying."
Saffron chuckled a little. The mention of Sail got her thinking that she now had three sisters. Before she could mull it over any more the carriage had stopped in front of the boutique. Despite her injuries, Saffron grabbed one of Bon Jour's bags in her mouth and hopped off the carriage.
"Should ya be carrying that in yer condition?" asked Sandwisp.
"I just thought everypony could help out in carrying something," answered Saffron as she put down the bag by the boutique's door. They all gave a small shrug, picked up at least one bag each and marched in, letting the bell over the door announce their presence.
"Be with you in a moment," sang Porcelain as she rounded a corner. "Oh, it's you. It's all of you?"
"Yes, it's all of us," answered Bon Jour.
"Just going to leave Bon Jour's stuff and we'll be on our way," said Bon Jour's father.
"Well, I certainly hope so. I simply do not have the time to entertain anypony. I do hope you understand, dear."
"Told you," whispered Bon Jour to Saffron Mango.
Saffron took a moment to gauge everypony's position, then put down the luggage she was carrying in her mouth. "Actually, there is something I need to tell you."
"Yes, what is it dear?" asked Porcelain. While she was a little stressed with her work, she did notice there was something not okay in Saffron's tone.
Saffron made sure Ebb and Cupid were as far in the boutique as possible before saying "I... I'm sorry, sis."
"Whatever for, dear seeeaaaawwwWhat did you say?" She had no idea why Saffron said "sis" - as in "sister" - to her, nor why she was about to respond in kind, as if she was addressing Bon Jour. The silence was momentarily interrupted by the sound of a bag being dropped from Ebb's position. Everypony was stock-still and looking at Saffron in bewilderment.
"I... I've lied to you all," continued Saffron, shaking all over due to being super nervous. She then looked straight at Ebb and Cupid. "And... and so have o- your parents."
More silence. Some minds were racing, other minds did not know where to go with this information, and a pair of body's were sweating.
Porcelain finally cleared her throat. "Would you... mind clarifying what you mean?"
"Oh hey, look at the time, we should probably get going now," suggested Ebb all of a sudden.
"Just a moment, please!" said Porcelain. "I'd like to know what's going on here."
Saffron Mango took a deep breath. "I am adopted." She paused for a moment, stealing herself, while Sandwisp's and Bon Jour's mouths hung open. "And I just found out who my real parents are."
All eyes turned on the couple who tried to retreat moments before. Ebb grimaced as he felt their stare on him, while Cupid felt ill.
"Mother? Father? Is there something you'd like to tell us?" inquired Porcelain. The ponies in question slowly turned around, visibly sweating now.
"Eh, heheh... Well, um..." Ebb was trying furiously to find a start to a story, or even a story at all. "Well, you see... Um... Ever wondered where you got your sense of elegance? Your Canterlotedness, as it were?"
"If I remember correctly, you said I had inherited a lot of my attributes from my grandparents on my mother's side."
"Yes... I did say that. Well... If you look at us, we're not exactly Canterlot material," said Ebb. Porcelain rolled her eyes at that. "And the relationship between your mother and her parents weren't exactly steady. Didn't help that she chose me over some stuck-up rich guy. They tolerated us at most."
"When I got you," continued Cupid, "they tried to make you what they couldn't make me."
"Yes, I remember their upbringing a little too well," recalled Porcelain. "All because even then you went on so many trips, leaving me with them."
"We wanted to see the world. And get away from my own mother."
"And before we got Bon Jour, we got her," said Ebb, gesturing towards Saffron. "The biggest surprise in everypony's lives."
"Well, I admit that with all the unicorns in the family that having a pegasus all of a sudden can be a little shocking," said Porcelain.
"You don't understand," continued Cupid. "While both sides of the family have been unicorns as far back as we can see, the fact that I gave birth to a pegasus would be scandalous to my side of the family. They always believed to be pure unicorns. Today I know that DNA isn't always perfect and a mutation can spontaneously happen, or that a pegasus was part of a distant relative's life, but if my parents found out about this they'd tear us apart! They'd think I wasn't faithful, which I have been! I swear!"
"With the amount of trips we took, it was hard for them to keep track of her pregnancy," said Ebb. "But they did manage to figure out when it would be due. We... we're not proud of this, but when she arrived we told them that she was stillborn."
Porcelain and the kids winced at the thought. Taking a moment to think about what was said, Porcelain then said "Yes, I can see where you are coming from. However, if memory serves they died two years ago."
"Well, my parents... um..." started Ebb.
"Your father is quite senile as it is. While yes this may have given him a shock and made him worse, he would probably have forgotten it by the next morning and we'd still be together. Although I think your mother would've been a bit more understanding than him." Porcelain took a moment to calm herself before addressing her mother. "Still, it would've been nice to have known this when they passed; when you no longer had any obligations to them."
There was a moment's silence as the parents considered this. Then Saffron spoke up.
"So, I was left at the orphanage as soon as I was born?"
The parents simply nodded in response.
"So... This means I've had another sister all this time?" asked Bon Jour, walking up to Saffron, almost studying her as if she was seeing her for the very first time.
"But whah did ya not tell us you were adopted?" asked Sandwisp, coming around herself.
"Easy now, it may be too sensitive of a subject for her," intoned Porcelain.
"No, you have a right to know," said Saffron. "I shouldn't have lied to you for this long. I had sort of always known I was adopted, and only recently found out the details."
"How did you find out it was us?" asked Cupid. "I don't think we left any details or anything."
"The hospital had papers detailing my birth," answered Saffron. The parents looked at each other, realizing the hospital would have had some birth record written down. "I guess why I never said anything was, well, I just wanted to be treated for who I am and not have ponies feel sorry for me for not having real parents. It's bad enough that I cannot fly."
"Look, I won't lie," said Bon Jour, putting her hooves on Saffron's shoulders. "I do feel sorry for you that my grandparents made my parents feel like they needed to give you up like that. However, I do not feel sorry for you that you were adopted. It would have been worse if you never were adopted. It shows that you are somepony worth loving and taking care of."
Saffron Mango could not help but start crying, both out of relief she got a lot of this off her chest and from the words that were spoken right now. The two of them hugged each other tightly. Porcelain got pretty emotional as well, but did not join the hug. After a good while they parted the hug.
"Are ya gonna move in with them?" asked Sandwisp all of a sudden. Saffron had already decided, but she did not answer immediately. She looked back at the parents - her parents. Their heads were low in shame, but they still looked up hoping to get their daughter back. She looked towards Porcelain who was a little worried she was going to have to foalsit another sister, but she was not completely against the idea either. She was willing to accept Saffron as her own no matter what. She then looked into the hopeful eyes of Bon Jour, which made her next words a little more difficult to say.
"No. As much as I would like to, I'd rather stay with my adoptive mothers, even if they are more absent."
"Well, that's sweet of... Wait, mothers?" asked Porcelain.
"As in plural?" asked Bon Jour.
"As in two mares?" asked Sandwisp.
"Yes," answered Saffron. "As in two mares married to each other. And you are all welcome to meet them on my birthday," she finished while turning towards her biological parents.
"Oh, uhm, sure. Would love to," said Ebb a little nervously. The matter of the fact was they were not entirely okay with same-gendered relationships. They were taught such things were considered unnatural. When they heard she was part of a lesbian family they reeled. However, considering they gave their abandoned daughter a home and seemed to have taken care of her well, they were willing to give it the benefit of a doubt. Ebb probably more so than Cupid.
Porcelain was okay with the idea.
"Sounds wonderful dear, but why specifically then?" she asked.
"I heard they worked really long hours," answered Bon Jour.
"Yeah. They don't get home until late and are too tired to have guests over," clarified Saffron Mango. "They work practically every day, weekends included. Their only days off are my birthday and the holidays."
"Oh dear," intoned Porcelain. "What do they do that takes so much time?"
"One of them works at the burger place in town. Can't remember what the other does, but she flies off to Cloudsdale every day."
Ebb and Cupid were starting to retract their idea of actually considering these mothers as good guardians if they were going to leave their daughter alone at home for so many hours. Ebb was starting to line up the ponies working at the joint in his head to see which one could be one of her adoptive mothers, and considering never eating there again.
"And actually, a second reason would be I'm actually grounded for the rest of the week because they found out that I've been lying to everypony about my situation."
"Golly, they're that strict?" asked Sandwisp.
"It's.... a little more than that, and I don't wanna talk about it. At least not now."
"Look, it's clear to me that this has not been easy for you to reveal," said Porcelain. "We're not happy to find out you've been lying, but I for one am not angry about it either. I can understand that there are some in the world that would frown upon, well, a lot of things in your life: mares marrying each other, orphans, the only pegasus in a line of unicorns; and such ponies can go rethink their life choices on the moon for all I care."
Ebb and Cupid suddenly retracted all their negative thoughts and looked extremely ashamed.
"No matter what has happened, or what you choose, I'll love you like my own sister," concluded Porcelain.
"Me too!" proclaimed Bon Jour, giving a hug.
"Me three!" Sandwisp chimed in, and joined the hug. Porcelain placed a hoof on Bon Jour and stuck her head in to nuzzle all three. The parents looked on from a distance, unsure if they were accepted in this family any more. Truth be told, if they kept their prejudice in check they would most probably be, but right now they did not feel worthy of being part of what they saw.
"We... need to catch the train," Ebb finally said.
"Okay. Have fun," called Bon Jour, as they all waved each other off.
Once they had left, Saffron said "And I should probably go back home as well. I'm still grounded. My mothers allowed me to come here today so I could tell you the truth. I've said it, so I should go back now."
"Aww," protested Bon Jour. "I feel like I've gotten to know you for the first time. It's weird seeing you as a sister now."
"Believe me, when I found out, it felt weird for me as well. Maybe differently because it felt like I've always known even before you started school."
They giggled at the notion.
"Hey," Sandwisp suddenly interrupted. "Ah jus' had a crazy thought. If Sail has adopted Saffron as her sister, would she technic'lly be your sister too?" She gestured towards Bon Jour and Porcelain.
"Oh, heaven forbid," said Porcelain, rolling her eyes. Everypony giggled at that. While Porcelain and Sail were on opposite ends of the spectrum in personality and interests, they did get along. Still, the idea of being related was not something either were looking forward to.