For Better or For Worse

by FoolAmongTheStars

Tenth Month

Starlight hung the last picture on the wall, and with that the nursery was complete.

She turns around and feels a draft coming through the window, the white curtains that Rarity made waving in the summer breeze. At first, she hadn’t been sure about the color that Fluttershy suggested, but the more she looked at it the more she grew fond of the pale green walls, and with the midmorning light pouring through the window, the room felt cozy and peaceful.

Starlight hummed to herself as she inspected her handiwork. Ever since she’s been put in maternity leave, there hadn’t been much for her to do besides fuss over the nursery. Starlight had never been the kind of pony that like to stay put for too long, she always had to be doing something she felt was productive, that’s why she put off maternity leave for as long as she could in the first place, the idea of just sitting around and doing nothing was enough to drive her up the wall. But it was a loosing battle in the end and she had to reluctantly leave the school in the hooves of her boyfriend and her best friend.

So, with nothing else to do, she tackled the half-finished nursery with vigor, but much to her frustration, she realized quickly that there wasn’t much she could do on her own in her condition. She couldn’t paint the walls due to the fumes of the paint making her nauseous, or move the heavy furniture on her own, since her magic power had declined as her pregnancy progressed. Starlight could use magic, but nothing more complicated than levitating simple and light objects, like books and teacups, anything heavier or more complex than that gave her a headache.

Thankfully, Starlight wasn’t alone, she had a group of friends all eager to help her, but no one did so quite like Sunburst. Despite all the extra work he had with running the school, he always helped her with whatever she asked, she tried not to abuse that privilege too much, but her condition had limited her in ways she never would have expected.

She used her magic to pick up a ragdoll from the top of the toy chest, a gift from Applejack, and even doing that required more concentration than usual. Starlight hugged the little plush to her chest and sighed. Yeah—it sucked not being able to use her magic like she used too, but it was worth it, it would be worth in a few weeks when she held her little one like this, and she smiled softly at the thought.

Every piece of furniture needed was there: a beautiful bookshelf sent by Twilight, filled with books carefully selected by Sunburst, a crib that her father had help set up a few days ago, toys that she bought with the help of Trixie, and various other things given to her by the ponies closest to her which, she realized with a warm feeling that melted her heart, were a lot.

All that was missing was the baby that would live in this space.

“Well, we’re all set,” she says to her growing stomach, putting the ragdoll in the crib. “Now, we just have to wait for your signal, little one.”

The baby under skin doesn’t answer, doesn’t even kick in response, and Starlight pouts before shrugging. “I see you like to leave me hanging, just like your father, maybe we should call you junior…”

Starlight’s hoof froze in midair, her eyes wide with realization, before she settled it down with another thoughtful hum, grasping she had forgotten an important detail that comes with having a child.

Well, at least she had her new project.


“Tch. No. Besides, I’m pretty sure that name is trademarked by now.”



“…Twilight Glimmer?”

“Stop with the anagrams already!”

Pouting, Starlight returns to the baby-name book propped up on her large stomach. Obviously, her own brand of creativity isn’t appreciated. At least she had thought of some! All Sunburst had done was write some lines on his new research paper and shoot down each and every name she proposed. Honestly, stallions…

“What do you want to name him then? Book? Or how about Food? Or Magic?”

“Those suck too.”

“I was being sarcastic!”

“Oh.” He pauses. “You suck at that too.”

Argh! Honestly! You could at least try to help, Sunburst! If you had your way, we’d end up calling him ‘baby’ his whole life!”

“You named your plant after its scientific name and it’s doing just fine.”

The baby name book makes a highly satisfying thunk as it connects with Sunburst’s head. There hasn’t been much else to do around here lately but work on her aim and struggle through knitting one of those baby blankets that she found in one of the magazines Trixie gave her.

There isn’t a shortage of lovely names, or books with list upon lists of names with their meanings, there had even been a few that almost convinced her, but she always changed her mind in the end. Too put it simply, none of the names she came up with felt right.

This is important, and Sunburst knows that. Its…not ownership, though it’s dangerously close it. There’s not much else they’ll have control over in this new life that’s due in another four weeks. It’s something the baby will carry for the rest of their lives, or at least until they’re old enough to change it, which hopefully won’t happen if they pick a good one. But what’s a good name really? What else can they change about this? Not much. Starlight wonders at what point she lost that simple sense of control over the new life that would be coming in to the world.

He relents at least, and puts his research to the side and rubs his sore head with a sigh.

“Morning Star?” Sunburst tries again, picking a name at random from a list she’d thrown at him over an hour ago. “Sunshine? Astor?” Then he pauses. Glances up at her in disbelief, then returns his gaze to the paper. “Tomato…?”

“Look,” Starlight defends all too quickly, “it’s not my fault that some pony forgot to pick up a certain fruit for a certain special pony on the way home.”