A Filly called Pet

by Templar22

Dinnertime and Bedtime


                Should I be happy? Chivalry has been the nicest pony to me since Mommy so why shouldn’t he be a changeling? It makes perfect sense! He was different than a lot of those other guards, and he had been nice to me. He had even taken me home with him.
But I just feel so angry. He had a family, a real family. Changelings couldn’t have families and now the stupid guard was here to take them away. Changelings couldn’t have families because nopony could love them.
But they could steal love. That’s what bad changelings did. They stole love. Not like Mommy who only took love that was freely given. Mommy always said that her changelings were better than that. Or at least that’s what she told me after I left the room the first time. She said the changelings who had tried to steal my love would be punished.
I think that deep down; I wanted him to be real. Maybe that’s why I’m hiding here under the table. I don’t want to have my love stolen by a bad changeling like Chivalry. I’m just going to stay here, under the table, no matter what Chivalry or his “family” says. At least until the royal guard arrests h-
Are they laughing?
                Oh no… the guard came for me! That’s why he’s here! That’s why they’re laughing; they were in on it all along. They know I’m a child of Chrysalis! Well if he’s going to take me, I won’t go quietly.
“You aren’t taking me!” Instantly the laughing and talking stopped. What were they going to do to me? Were they going to drag me out?
I watched as Chivalry’s head came into view. Or at least I was pretty sure it was him. His face was the same but he had changed colors completely. Instead of the clean gray I saw before, it was a sort of dirty brown color. Like mud.    

“Pet I-”

“Don’t talk to me!” I said angrily. I wasn’t going to let him trick me with any of his lies. He looked like he was going to try say something else but he stood back up, leaving me alone in my sanctuary.
                “Pet please, you’re scaring Crème.” I could hear Laurel pleading with me through the tablecloth. I didn’t want to come out, but I didn’t want Crème to be upset.
                “How can I be sure the guard won’t take me?!”
                I could hear them talking to each other. The loud one, the guard I think, sounded confused. But then, he was the one that spoke to me.
                “Nopony’s taking anypony anywhere.”
                “How can I know for sure?!” How could I know for sure?  
                “I promise. I’m not here to take you, or Chivalry or anyone away. Ok?”
                “I swear.”
                “Swear it on your mother’s egg!” There was no way he could break that oath.
                “I was most certainly NOT hatched from an egg!” That was Minty.
                “I swear on my mum’s egg.” The guard said with a chuckle. But it wasn’t the type of chuckle Mommy always used, this one sounded different. Like he actually thought something was funny. I decided to come out from under the table. I wanted to see if he would make that sound again.

*               *               *


                There was almost a collective sigh of relief from the occupants of the room as the small filly crawled out from the table cloth. She glanced around nervously, at them. Almost as if she were afraid any one of them would pounce on her at any moment.
“Pet, why don’t you have a seat? The food is getting cold.” Minty Green used her magic to pull out several plates with food from the kitchen. She glanced around the rest of her family prompting them with a nod. The rest of the family joined her at the table, quickly making an extra setting for Praiseworthy at the table end farthest from Pet.
Laurel gestured to a seat between herself and Waffle Cone.
                “Pet, would you like to sit here?”
She simply nodded and sat down, still clearly on edge. After saying a short grace a pall of silence settled over the dinner table, no one eating save Chivalry.  
 “So Praiseworthy, how is the academy treating you?”
The young stallion jerked up in surprise as his mother broke the silence.
“Things have been good, mum.” Judging from her look of disapproval he figured this was not the answer she was looking for.
“Well I’m doing good in my classes, though right now most of it’s on change-” He glanced down the table at Pet. “-on uh, channeling! Yeah… channeling positive energy.”
Chivalry didn’t look up from his plate of food as he industriously shoveled it into his mouth. After all, he was a stallion of priorities.
“Nice save there, son. Tell me though, how gos it with Blossom?” Chivalry shot him a glance that gave Praiseworthy the impression that he knew exactly how things were going.
“Who’s Blossom?” Pet asked, speaking up for the first time since abandoning her refuge under the table.
“Oh she’s Praiseworthy’s marefriend.” Laurel said conspiringly.              

She and Waffle Cone laughed together at Praiseworthy’s rapidly reddening face. Pet joined in as well, though she wasn’t quite sure what a ‘marefriend’ was.

“She’s not my m-

“Blossom? She’s that nice pony we met at that gala correct?” Minty interrupted.

“Yes but she’s not my- wow this salad is good.” He suddenly became very interested in his food. The sudden change of topic was lost on no one (except Pet and Crème) but they decided to let it slide.

“Speaking of salads, Waffle you’ve hardly touched your celery shreds.”

“But I don’t like them! They’re yucky! Right Pet?” she whined turning to her neighbor.
Pet looked down at her own celery shreds on her plate. She hadn’t known what they were until then and she had quite liked them.

“Actually Waffle, I think I like the taste of ‘yucky’.” For reasons unknown to her, the rest of the table found this statement very funny.

“Well Waffle, if you want dessert you have to eat them like Pet. Why even Crème is eating her celery.” Minty said trying to hide a smile.

“What’s dessert?”

Before anypony could say anything Waffle Cone interceded.

“Oh dessert’s one of the most wonderful things in the whole world! It’s so good I’ll even eat my yucky celery to get some.”

“Well, that sounds nice.” Pet still had no idea what dessert was but Waffle Cone was excited and that was enough for her.

As it turned out dessert was a leftover half of a double chocolate cake. To her surprise, Pet found that she quite liked the taste of the rich dark chocolate. In fact, were it not for the intervention of Chivalry, she would have eaten herself under the table.

“Now it’s off to bed with you. And make sure you brush your teeth. Laurel, grab one of the spare brushes from the cabinet for Pet. I’ll see about getting her a bed for tonight.” Chivalry turned to his son, shooting him an unspoken question.

“Ah, come on dad. I had a long trip, and you still haven’t told me what the drek is going on…”

His father didn’t seem to hear him, he just kept staring at him impassively.

“Well looks like I’ve got the couch. Pet can use my mattress for tonight. She looks like she could use a good sleep.” Praiseworthy said grudgingly. Just because he was morally obligated to surrender his comfortable mattress for the night didn’t mean he had to like it. After using his magic to haul the mattress (the comfortable one) into the girls’ room, he retreated downstairs for a night of tossing and turning on a hard couch. Yet strangely enough, he would still get a better sleep than his (comfortable) mattress’s occupant.

*              *              *

                “And that is how you brush your teeth!” Waffle Cone stepped back admiring her hoof work. It had taken some doing, but Waffle had finally managed to help Pet brush her teeth. It had proven to be very difficult for the filly who had never done so in her life. (not that she had ever truly needed to until that evening)
“Okay girls let’s hit the hay.” Laurel showed Pet to the “spare” mattress on the floor next to Waffle’s bed.
“I’m sorry you have to sleep on the floor.”
“No it’s okay, I’m used to it.”
“Goodnight Pet. Sweet dreams.”
Waffle Cone flicked off the light and darkness descended on the room. After about five minutes of sitting in the dark, the silence was broken by a question.
“What’s a Marefriend?”
Waffle Cone stifled a giggle, allowing Laurel to answer.
“A marefriend is a very special somepony. Like a very special friend that you really like.”
Pet thought about this for a few moments.
“Are we marefriends?” She didn’t know why but this also caused Laurel and Waffle to laugh. Pet joined in, though she didn’t know why.
“Kind of. But the marefriend that Praiseworthy has is a special kind of marefriend.”
“Oh… okay then.”
“Goodnight Pet.” Within a few short minutes, Laurel’s less than ladylike snores could be heard. The stillness stretched on and Waffle had almost fallen asleep when Pet spoke up for the second time.
“Waffle, are you awake?”
“Yes.” Came the sleepy reply.  
“Your mother said that friends are ponies that are nice to you and care about you… are we friends?”
Waffle took a moment to consider her answer.
“Of course we are.”
“I think having a friend is nice.”
“Me too Pet… me too.” Waffle allowed the welcoming folds of sleep take her, and she drifted off to her usual dreams of giant ice cream pies.

*              *              *

Something woke Waffle Cone in the middle of the night. She sat up in bed, rubbing the sleep from her eyes trying to identify what had woken her up. It sounded like somepony sniffling and mumbling. Her hooves fumbled with the light by the side of her bed. As it slowly flickered to life she could make out Pet shaking in her blanket in her bed on the floor.

“Pet? Are you okay?”

“Mommy… Mommy please… don’t…”

“Pet! Pet, wake up!” Waffle was at her side in an instant, she was terrified. Pet was her friend, and it scared her to see her friend like that. She did the natural thing any filly in her position would do.

“Laurel! There’s something wrong with Pet!” She hit her with a pillow for good measure.

The older pony’s eyes opened and took in the scene in seconds.               

“Pet! Wake up! PET!”
Pet’s eyes finally flickered open, her mouth opened getting ready to scream. Laurel didn’t give her the chance, instead embracing her in a hug, stifling the screams.    
Laurel then turned to her wide eyed sister.
“Waffle! Get Mom and Dad! Now!” She watched her sister rush out of the room in a pink blur.
“It’s okay Pet, everything’s going to fine. It was just a dream, nothing but a dream.” They sat there for some time. Pet watering Laurel’s chest with her eyes while Laurel tried to comfort the sobbing filly, running her hooves through her hair and holding her close.
“It was only a dream.” Laurel held her and looked into her eyes.
“Nothing but a bad dream okay?”
“I-I saw Mommy.”
The door opened, Chivalry walking in. Both girls turned to him.
“I was with Mommy.”