From Under the Love Seat

by Lightstruck

Mining A Mystery Pt. 2

After stopping for an order of hay fries as promised they made their way home. After the fire, Willow’s father graciously offered them the house they weren’t using.

Like many homes in Ponyville, this one seemed cookie cutter in design. The outside was a white adobe like substance with a thatch roof. Wooden planters lined the windows and a cobble path lead to the front door.

Opening the door let them into the living room. Furnishings were orderly but a bit mussed up. This space was quintessentially the family; neat but happy. Hanging on the walls were a few hoof paintings and drawings from Chitter, family portraits, and other family members photos.

Some things however, never change even if your foal is a changeling. The best example is the various stains and marker that dotted the bottoms of different walls. One wall even had a plaster patch from when Chitter got his horn stuck in it after a game of tag.

Willow sighed as she reminisced about it. ‘The look on his face when we had to cut a section out so we could get his horn unstuck: priceless!’

“Is that you hon?”

“Yeah, Chit and I just got back from the market.” She paused as a mischievous grin spread across her face. “Guess who I found in the market today.”

“Oh did you finally meet up with Lyra for his music lessons?” Shield asked hopefully, meeting them in the living room.

Willow just froze up, “I actually had before.” She gave a nervous frown, “She said absolutely not. She’s still petrified after the ‘Canterlot Incident’.”

“Oh.” They both sat in an awkward silence as Chitter rummaged through his toy box.

“Anyways, I saw Mystery Fix, Lightstruck, and little Bubblegum.”

“When did they get back in town?” Shield scratched his chin, “It has been what, six years?”

“Five, but yeah. I invited them for dinner tonight.”

“Daddy, Miss Lightstuck is scary!” He clung to his dad’s leg, holding a stuffed bird. “Please no.” Shield raised a questioning brow.

“She saw him and thought I was being attacked…”

“Ah. Well, Chit; she is a good friend of moms. Don’t be afraid of her, especially as we’re right here for you.”

“She’s scary.”

Shield had an internal discussion on how to best handle this. A metaphorical lightbulb appeared as he had a solution. “How about this; if she tries anything bad we call Aunt Twilight over here?” He smiled, “Right? She makes the bad things stop or go away remember?”

Chitter nods but doesn’t say anything.
“You’ll be fine. Now,” Shield smiles, “why don’t you come help me make dinner? We have guests coming over.”


“Come in, come in! It’s so good to see you all again.” Willow showed the family to the den. “Shield will be here in a bit. He is finishing cooking up dinner with Chitter.”

Mystery looked around the house in confusion. “Wasn’t your previous house larger?

“It was…”

Mystery looked confused by the reaction but didn’t press it for now.

“So Willow, how bout that elephant?” Lightstruck questioned cryptically.

Mystery and Willow looked at her strangely, “Light, what are you talking about?” the former asked.

She smiles as she adds, “It must be hard to breathe with an elephant that big in this room.”

“Alright alright just ask the question.”

“A Changeling, really?”

Willow rolled her eyes with an exaggerated grunt of frustration. “Well before I tell you that do you mind if he and Bubblegum go play?”

Lightstruck looks down at her daughter,
“What do you think Gummy? Care to make a new friend?”

“He won’t bite me?”

“BUBBLEGUM!” Mystery scolds, “That was very rude. He is a pony as much as you are.”

“I’m sorry mom.”

Chitter took this opportunity to come out of the kitchen in a different color. “Momma, daddy say dinner done.”

Willow looked him up and down. “What happened in there?” She asks the white changeling.

“I try magic on flour bag, blew up.” Chitter answers.

“Well go clean up for dinner, I’ll set the table.”

“Ok!” He skipped off not noticing the extra ponies.

“Unstable magic, been there.” Lightstruck rolls her eyes.

Willow sets the table as Shield starts bringing out the food. She gestures to her guests to sit at the table. “So one night Shield and I are sleeping. At around one in the morning a noise wakes up.” Willow sets down a collection of plates. “So Shield gets up to investigate, I hear him yell there’s a foal outside.”

“While normally a bad thing, this was far worse. We were having a downpour in late fall so it was freezing and wet.” Gathering the silverware she continues, “I rush outside to help and see Shield laying on the floor looking under our loveseat.”

Mystery spoke up, “Awww, I assume that was Chitter?”

“Yeah that’s the first time I met my little love bug.”

“Heeheehee,” Bubblegum giggles at the name.

“It is pretty funny, but I didn’t give him the name!” She turns morose, “I found a note the next morning on our mailbox. His parents had to abandon him to try and lead away manticores. They didn’t make it.” Willow sniffles but goes on, “An orphaned changeling foal stood no chance of a life but instead, we adopted him.”

“Indeed, she went to the Princess the next day and had custody a couple days after.” Shield adds as he finished bringing all the food.

Chitter also entered with a towel on his face, giggling as he had left it on. “Momma, can’t get neck, can you please?”

“Sure.” Mom takes the towel off her son’s head and is reminded again of the torturous night in the form of his bad eye.

“Momma, don’t be sad.” He smiled really big at her.

“I’m ok Chit, just thinking.”

“Eye don’t work momma. Don’t be sad.”

She pulled him into a hug, “But I couldn’t protect you! This is my fault!”

“Momma don’t cry, make me cry.” His eyes started to water literally uncontrollably.

“Hon, remember what you told me in the hospital. Our son is tied to our emotional state. Plus he’s a Momma’s colt.”

“Yeah what daddy said!”

“Will, knowing you leads me to know for a fact that you did everything you can.”

Shield started guiding Willow to the table. “Come on everypony, let’s eat.” After getting Chitter situated in his booster seat, as he wasn’t quite tall enough to sit at table unassisted, he then put Chitter’s re-heated order of hay fries on his plate.

“Dad why is he not eating what we are?”

Lightstruck shrugged, “Well he isn’t exactly a pony so I guess he can’t eat everything we can.”

Chitter nods his head vigorously, “Some food hurt tummy.”

Everyone sat eating in comfortable silence until Mystery spoke up. “So want to finish your adoption story?”

“Mofa, fwhy doff fwe call fer faf?” Chitter asked with a mouthful of fries.

“Chitter we do not talk with our mouth full of food. Finish chewing, swallow, then ask your question.” Dad said narrowing his eyes at the changeling.

Chitter then decided to swallow everything in his mouth and started to cough. Shield reached over and patted his back, “See we chew our food so this doesn’t happen.” He rolls his eyes, “Foals…”

“Been there, ay Myst?”

“Yes Light, but usually it’s the foal not a mare’s wife.” Lightstruck blushes furiously.

“Oooooo! Mom got you good dad!”

Cough cough Chitter wipes the tears from his eyes. “Thanks daddy.” He coughs again then asks, “Why she a daddy?”

Willow decided to answer this one, “Well sometimes two ponies love each other very much and want a foal.”


“So sometimes magic is used to help.”

“They mares, so no daddy.” After everything he had learned he knew a foal had something to do with a mommy and daddy. After that was completely unknown.

Mystery chimes in, “Actually it’s easier than that. Bubblegum called me mommy first so we taught her daddy.”

“Couldn’t have said it better myself, good job sweetie.” Lightstruck says while giving Bubblegum a gentle noogie.

“Besides we all know she’s more stallion than I am.”

Lightstruck sagged a bit in her chair, “We’re all vegetarian but for some reason I guess we’ll have roast Lightstruck tonight huh?”

Shield sat back and watched the three mares and Chitter talk back and forth about whatever topics come to mind. It reminded him of the time during high school when they’d all hang out. Every now and again he’d give his two cents on a tangent they’d gone down. But mostly he kept to himself just like the old days.

“So Shield, last I knew you were still in the royal guard. What do you do now?”

“Huh? Oh, I just give tours of the local museum and whatever other work we have there. What about you Light? What ever happened to that weird stint with the diamond dogs?”

“Oh I never told you that? Heh, it's a funny story.” She had a pained smile at first. “Ok so I’ve always been good at digging right?”

Shield nods, “Yeah and not just the ground either.”

“...Well I was digging around up in the mountain flats for my senior research project. I didn’t realize that was diamond dog territory and was completely unaware of how deep I’d dug. So I crack through the ceiling of their hideout and fall in. You’d think Celestia herself had fallen in there with the way they ran.” She takes a sip of her water, “So I start digging around down there studying how they build their caves.”
“Suddenly I was grabbed by this big one they called Runt. We struggled to gain the upper hand on each other and ended at a stalemate. He demanded I dig gems for them and I told him I dig for myself. Eventually we came to an agreement; I dig for them, I keep a twentieth of what I find and I get to roam free.”

“Wow, working with/for the diamond dogs. I heard Rarity had a run in with them. She came back with soo many gems. It was the talk of the town for a while.”

“Really?” Light looked curious, “Might have to chat with her then. But, after school I had to go to college for my degree in geology. After which I found an entry level job mining coal and other minerals at a quarry near Dodge Junction. Ironically that’s where I met Mystery again after we all went our ways.”

“I remember that but I don’t remember the details.”

“Short version, she was researching for her spy novel and wanted to explore a mine, so I showed her around. When we were done I asked her if she would like to get some coffee some time and she agreed. Couple dates turned into a couple years, couple years turned into our marriage.” She had a bright smile on her face.

“Well, Willow always knew you would, you two were practically inseparable in school.”

“Yeah.” She sighed. “But so anyway, after being with this mining company for two weeks, I begin to make everypony mad. I kept suggesting changes to different operations and tactics to make things safer, faster, yada. Apparently no one could stand it anymore and went to the foreman and complained. He tells them that these were actually good ideas and plans to implement them. About four years later somehow I own the company with a fresh rebrand: Torch Co.”

“Wait…” Shield was wide eyed, “You; own Torch Co.? The same Torch Co. that donated all that antique mining equipment to museums across Equestria, has provided funding to one hundred schools and hospitals as well?”

“That’s us!” She had the biggest grin a pony could possibly achieve. “The board advised against this much public action but I make the rules and I’m not going to just hoard all this money to their paychecks.”

Their conversation was ended with a loud, “What?! Why?!”

“Hon is everything ok?”

“Yeah, everything’s fine. We’re talking about the “incident” and somepony has a loud mouth!”

“Eheh, I wonder who that could be?” Mystery replied sheepishly.

A chime sounded in the living room.
“Momma, I don’t wanna go to bed! Please?”

“Now now, it is late for a certain changeling. We have something special for tomorrow so you might want to go to bed soon.”

Chitter’s eyes widened, “What’s tomorrow?”

Willow just shrugged, “We'll see tomorrow if you go to bed.”

“Okay momma.” He hops out of his seat, buzzing the small distance to the floor.

“Wash up first and brush!”

“Yes momma.” He rushes to the bathroom for the nightly routine.

“Well isn’t he just precious.”

“At least he wasn’t afraid of you the whole time.”

Lightstruck chuckled, “Yeah that wouldn’t have been fun.”

Shield perked up as a question was realized, “Hey, how long are you guys going to be in the area?”

“Oh, we aren’t visiting. We actually just purchased a place by the schoolhouse.”

Lightstruck whispered to Shield, “I purchased…”

“Such is a spouse.”


Chitter stumbled out of the bathroom with his eyes looking tired. “Come on Chit, time for a story and bedtime.” Shield pushed the changeling’s side with his muzzle to guide him to bed.

Willow watched her stallion guide their son to bed. She loves them both greatly and cherished every memory with the two together.

“They grow up fast don’t they?”

Willow flinched after zoning out for a moment. “Oh, yes.”

“Hey you want some help in the kitchen for a bit before we head out?” Mystery offered.

“No no, you’re guests and guests don’t wash.”

“Nonsense! Light honey.”

She looks up from their daughter, “Hey what’s up?”

“Mind helping Gummy with her homework?” She bats her eyelashes at her.

She gets a raised eyebrow in response. “You just had to ask no need to go all out, jeez. You heard the mare Gum, go get it.”

“Ok, dad.”


“ ‘Oh no! Mom will be so mad when she finds the vase spilled!’ So they try to clean the water with a broom. That’s not right, what would you use to clean a spill?”

“A towel!” Chitter exclaims.

“Very good!” He continues to read, “The mess only gets worse with the broom, so they drop it in the puddle. Before they can clean it their mom comes in, ‘What a mess!’ Uh oh mom found out, ‘A broom won’t clean this little ones. You have to use a towel!’ ”

“Yeah a towel little ones!”

“The mom gets a towel and dries it up. ‘See all clean.’ One pony grabs the vase and the other fixes the table. ‘The ball is for outside, so let’s go to the park with it!’ ” Shield closes the book, “Alright Chit, that’s enough for the night.”

Chitter gives him a sad look, “Please daddy?”

“Nope, time for bed.” He leans over and gives a goodnight kiss just below the small horn on his son's head. “Goodnight Chit, love you.”

“Love you too daddy.” He yawns and lays his head down.

“Sweet dreams buddy.” Shield makes sure the nightlight is on and leaves the door open a crack. ‘Went down easy tonight, must have been a good fright Lightstruck gave him.’
He makes his way back downstairs and found the living room almost empty. Little Bubblegum was sleeping on the couch. Other than her, nopony was around. ‘Must still be in the kitchen then.’ Upon entering the kitchen he found the three mares all deep in serious conversation.

“So this pony just grabs him and punches him? Who could do such a thing?”

“Yeah, but we got him back, the Princesses show up, then we were all taken to the hospital.”

“I bet you all needed it, so is that how he lost sight in one eye?” Lightstruck asked.

“Yeah, we are still fighting with their lawyers about getting reparations. I hate bureaucracy.”

“You’re telling me, owner of huge company, about bureaucrats?” Light shook her head,
“Even after I acquired the company it took two and a half years to get everything under my name and setup correctly. It was a living nightmare. Ask Mystery just how many nights I spent awake to get everything done asap.”

“She passed out after a week with no sleep. Right in the middle of a meeting, just BAAM face into table.”

Shield cleared his throat, “Excuse me mares, but it appears as though you have a sleeping foal on the couch and it is getting rather late.”

“Oh sure just kick us out why don’t you?”

He just grins, “That’s the idea isn’t it?”

Mystery speaks up, “We should be going Lighty, Gummy has a doctor’s appointment tomorrow. You also have that meeting with the board.”

“Eh they can wait on me. I pay their checks, so I control time! MWAHAHAHA!”

BAP “There’s two foals sleeping in the house. Keep it down, I swear I tell you this every day.”

“Eh, volume control isn’t a strong suit. But yeah I guess we should go before it gets really late. Well it’s been fun, we’ll have to do it again.”

“Yeah, I had a good time. If you’ll excuse me, mom has a foal to get.” She turns and leaves the room.

“I’ll show you out.” Willow smiles and leads Lightstruck out. Leaving Shield again alone with his thoughts. ‘This was fun.’ After which he followed everyone out.

“You two have a goodnight, we’ll see you around.” The group of mares hug.

“Shield,” Lightstruck states, “you have a good one too.” She had always made a point to talk to him because Mystery hardly ever did.

He chuckles at that, “Will do.” They close the door as their friends walk away.