Starlight was sure she going to hurt her eyes, trying to keep track of their parents reactions, or at the very least permanently cross-eyed.
She fidgets, sitting on the uncomfortable modern chairs of Stellar Flare’s dining room, as she witnesses two completely opposite reactions. She doesn’t have time to even glance at Sunburst, who’s sitting next to her, but she hears him groan and mumble something like “Tactless as ever.”
Across from her Stellar Flare’s eyes go wide, then they crinkle on the edges as she smiles, and disappear almost entirely as her smile grows larger still, staring at Starlight with barely contained excitement. Her hooves go to her face, shaking slightly as they press to the side of her face and Starlight hears a whine—thinking for a moment that it’s a pot of tea whistling on the stove—but it grows louder and realizes that it’s coming from Stellar when she shouts:
“I’M GOING TO BE A GRANDMARE!”
Stellar Flare’s hooves hit the wooden table with a bang, rattling the silverware and almost crushing her plate in her excitement. She uses the momentum to jump from her seat and she’s dancing in her dining room, uncaring of her audience while she sings “I’m-going-to-be-a-grandmare” over and over.
“Mom, please stop, you’re hurting me,” Sunburst says, his voice muffled from behind his hooves where his face is hidden.
Though Stellar Flare’s dancing is…distracting, to say the least, Starlight lets her gaze fall on her father, who hasn’t moved an inch since she told the news. “Hmm, dad?”
Firelight’s brown eyes are wide but unfocused, staring at a point in the distance that she can’t see, his mouth is set in a thin line and it doesn’t look like he’s breathing. He’s sitting like a perfect statue until Stellar Flare hugs him from behind, shaking him out of his stupor.
“This is great! Isn’t this great Firelight? Of course, this is great! I’m so happy—huh, I mean, we’re happy, for the both you! It reminds when we used to joke about you two getting married and Firelight getting all huffy about it, but low and behold, I was right!”
It was then she notices the eerie silence that fills the room, too obvious and heavy to ignore. She blinks at the young couple with confusion, who are too busy staring at Firelight with expressions of dread to pay her attention, before turning to look at her long-time friend, who has been eerily quiet the whole time and asks him what’s wrong.
Firelight doesn’t answer. Instead, he goes limp and faceplants into his half-eaten plate of mashed potatoes and peas.
After making sure that her father was fine, Starlight ushers Stellar Flare and Sunburst from the living room, assuring them that she could handle him once he woke up. It had been quite some time since her father had fainted like that, but she guessed the shock of the news had no doubt exalted him and triggered a fainting spell.
Then again, maybe it wouldn’t have been as shocking if Starlight hadn’t blurted out the news in mid-conversation like she was Pinkie Pie with a secret.
But what’s done is done, so she quietly waits for her dad to wake up, sitting beside him while she organizes her thoughts and thinks on what to say. But what is there to defend? She’s having this baby and there’s nothing he could do about it, but she feels a sting of regret at the thought of being forced to cut her father out of her life, especially after just reconnecting so recently. She just wanted for him to be happy for her, to be part of the baby’s life as the loving grandparent that she knew he could be.
Besides, she found it a tad ridiculous that, considering all the things she’s done, getting pregnant would be what finally drove her father away.
She hears him stir on the couch and she glances at him, just in time for him to blink his eyes as he stares uncomprehendingly at the ceiling of Stellar Flare’s living room. He looks at her and smiles. “Oh sweetie, you wouldn’t believe the crazy dream I just had!” He laughs before continuing. “You told me you were pregnant!”
“…That wasn’t a dream dad.”
His flimsy smile drops “Oh.”
They fall silent and, despite her earlier bravado, Starlight’s stomach knots in a way that has nothing to do with morning sickness. She presses her hooves around her barely noticeable lump without thinking, the small action draws his attention before he looks up at his daughter’s face, his heartbreaking by the downtrodden expression on her face.
“So, you aren’t happy for me?” Starlight says, and she hates how small her voice sounds.
Firelight hears his daughter’s vulnerability and spring’s into action, sitting fully on the couch and reaching over to hug her. Starlight doesn’t fight the affection and she wrap her own hooves around him, she feels like she’s five again when he pets her head and fights the tears welling in her eyes.
“Oh honey, I’m very happy for you,” Firelight says. “It’s just, well, I guess part of me still sees you like a little filly, so when you turned around and said that…well, I was unprepared, to say the least.”
Starlight sniffles but she smiles. “Hmm, yeah, Sunburst always tells me I have as much tact as a Yak in a china shop.”
“Is Sunburst the…”
“Yes dad, who else would it be?”
“Alright, alright,” her dad says apologetically. “Just making sure I know who I have to kill if things go south.”
She hears Firelight chuckle and they fall silent, but the silence this time is comforting. Starlight feels light, the heavy burden of uncertainty lifting from her shoulders, happy and comfortable for the first time since she got there, happy that she has another pony on her side in what would be the most eventful year of her life. She had a feeling she would need all the support she could get for the upcoming months.
Her father sniffles and hugs her closer. “I can’t believe it! My baby is having a baby!”
“Dad!” She reprimands without her usual bite, and they both laugh.