We Regret To Inform You
The letter was sodden was tears, crumpled slightly on the cold desk. The envelope it had been nervously torn from rested a short distance away, the action of having opened it but a far memory of the pink mare who sat at the desk, crying hard. Her body convulsed in violent wracks as she sobbed. For the pink party pony, there would be no happiness today.
Pinkie Pie hiccuped in the middle of her break down, interrupting a particularly nasty series of crackling heaves. Her head felt light, wobbly on her neck. Her eyes hurt, stung from the tears. She sucked air in greedily, rubbing an eye with her hoof.
She just couldn't believe it, believe what she'd learned. It had only been three days, just three short days- she could remember waving good-bye to them, wishing them luck on their trip- seeing them off at the train station, making sure they had their emergency cupcakes in easily accessible pouches...
Their smiling faces refused to leave her mind's eye, grinning back with the same optimism and happiness she'd come to appreciate about them. Her throat clenched up as another wrack of tremors coursed through her body, and the fit started again, the tears pouring out. They winked at her as she wailed, just as they had when they left, wishing her well and making sure she looked after the-
Pinkie Pie jolted up. The twins. Somepony had to tell the twins. A sudden wave of nausea flooded through her as she felt her stomach grow weak at the realization.
“Oh, wait...” Pinkie mumbled as the weight of the situation sank in even further. Her head hurt.
“That somepony would be... me...”
… they would like you to become the legal guardian of their foals...
Fresh tears welled up in the mare's eyes, spilling over as she stared after the unfortunate letter, the devastating news. How would Sugar Cube Corner fare without the ponies who started it up, gave it enough love to grow from a shanty little treats shop to the town's premier sweet tooth? Who would teach the kids how to run the store-
Pinkie Pie shook her head as she realized she was breathing heavily again. She forced herself to slow down, going from desperate gulps of oxygen to slightly more controlled gasps. She had more important concerns to worry about than silly breathing techniques, after all.
“First things first is to tell the twins... after all,” she looked back at the letter nervously, gulping. “I guess they're... my foals now, right Mrs Cake?”
That was quite the intimidating idea. Why would Mrs. Cake name her, Pinkie Pie, the premier party pony of Ponyville, as... as her successor...
She shook her head. Her mane had deflated considerably, hanging limply from her scalp like dry locks of thick ropes and weeds. She glanced at herself in the reflection from the window.
It was raining outside.
“I should probably go clean myself up a little first, though,” she muttered. She could see in her reflection that her face was slick with drying tears, her eyes puffy and red. She got up to go to the wash room-
Only for two little ponies to come falling down the stairs, growling and grappling with each other.
“Get off me!” cried the creamy orange unicorn, squealing as her tan brother tugged at the thick curls of blazing orange his jaw was clamped around. He responded by growling even louder.
“Aaaah!” she screamed, trying to push her brother off. She quickly gave up, realizing it was no use. She saw her aunt Pinkie out of the corner of her eye, and immediately made a beeline towards her, dragging her brother along behind her.
“Auntie Pinkie Piiie!” she cried, jumping at the pink mare and clutching her leg tight. “Auntie Pinkie, get him oooff!”
Pinkie Pie looked down at the innocent twins. Pumpkin continued squealing in irritation as Pound Cake nommed away at the thick pumpkin mane. They had no idea just how much their life had just changed.
She had to tell them. She had to. This was what the Cakes wanted, this was why they chose her on their will. Why they had a will, Pinkie hadn't the slightest idea, but-
“Pound, stop.” Pinkie commanded the pegasus with a stern voice, far more serious in tone than she'd ever used before in her life. Pound was obviously intimidated, as he immediately spat out Pumpkin's hair, his ears flicking back as he looked at the floor in shame.
“Sowwy, Awnty...” he mumbled, his poor speech a bit thick and clumsy, a trait some would find adorable. Now, it simply sent a dull twinge of pain through Pinkie's heart.
Pinkie Pie felt it again, a sharp pain in her heart as she looked down at the two foals- if she agreed, then her foals...
More tears sprang up in the corners of her eyes, but she fought hard to keep the bulk of them at bay. She needed to be strong. For the foals, she needed to be strong...
She took a deep, shaky breath.
“Pound, Pumpkin, I... I have some bad news for you two...” she said. Pumpkin cocked her head to the side.
Many things were going through the little unicorn's head. Why wouldn't Pound just let go when she told him to? Why did he always have to be so annoying? What was that letter on the desk? Why did it have to be raining outside? Why wouldn't Auntie Pinkie Pie let her go play outside?
But there was one thought that stood out amongst the others, a thought she shared with her curious brother.
Why was Auntie Pinkie Pie crying?
“Um, I know you both like having me as a foal-sitter, and believe me, I love foal-sitting you two so much as well,” Pinkie said with a weak smile. “But, um... it looks like I'll be watching over you guys for a little while longer than mommy and daddy told you.”
Pound giggled while Pumpkin smiled wide.
“Yaaay!” they both sang in unison, eyes wide and gleaming.
That is, until Pound Cake remembered that Auntie Pinkie Pie had been crying. Was it because she would be watching them? Why would she be crying if she got to spend more time with them? She was the best foal-sitter in the world! Why would she be crying?!
“Awnty... whats wong?” Pound asked as he reared up, putting a small hoof against Pinkie's thigh.
She looked down at Pound's confused face. Pumpkin was still smiling happily, oblivious to what her aunt needed to say.
Pinkie felt the resistance she was putting up failing fast. She couldn't keep it up, but she had to, for them, always for them... no matter how much it hurt...
Her walls broke. Tears gushed down her face again. She picked up Pound and held him close, hugging him tightly. Pound hugged back. He was a snuggler for sure.
Pumpkin, to her credit, finally read the atmosphere and stopped smiling. Pinkie Pie eventually put Pound down next to his sister, looking at them with a sad face.
“There's a reason why I'm going to be watching you guys a bit longer,” she explained. “It's because mommy and daddy...”
Her throat closed up as she felt her head growing light again. These were words no foal should ever hear, words Pinkie never wanted to tell anypony. These were the words that ruined foalhoods.
“Mommy and daddy... they...”
Pound and Pumpkin looked at Pinkie expectantly. She took a ragged breath, wiping her face clean of tears before forcing herself to finish.
“Mommy and daddy aren't coming back... so I'm going to be looking after you guys for a while longer... kind of like your new mommy.”
The twins, bless their innocence, were oblivious to what Pinkie truly meant by that. The only art they caught was that Pinkie Pie, the funnest pony in all of Ponyville, was their new mommy!
They whooped as they jumped up and down.
No more bed times! No more baths!
They smiled wide as they bumped hooves with each other.
No more boring chores! No more story time!
They suddenly cast each other surprised looks.
No more catch with daddy, or cooking with mommy...
They felt small tears welling up in their eyes.
No more cuddle time, no more funny stories...
The two very confused foals looked up at Pinkie Pie.
“W-What do you mean mommy and daddy aren't coming back?” Pumpkin asked, her voice shaky.
Pinkie Pie needed to be strong for them, now more than ever.
She wanted to be strong for them.
She really wanted to.
She wanted to...
With a sharp gasp, she broke down, bawling her head off. Realizing that this wasn't the happy news they were expecting at all, the twins joined in with her.
On the table, the letter lay dormant, uncaring for the harsh, blunt information it gave to the grieving family.
Dear Miss Pie, we in Baltimare regret to inform you that, due to extreme weather conditions, your employers were unfortunately taken, and in conjunction with their will they would like you to become the legal guardian of their foals...
It was raining outside. It would be raining for a long time.