“Pinkie Pie!” came the stern voice of Mrs. Cake, cutting through the night.
Pinkie mumbled something incoherent, wiping the sleep from her eyes in the dark. “Yeah, Mrs. Cake?”
“What are you doing sleeping at this hour? You lazy thing.”
“You spend too much time gallivanting with your friends and sampling too much of the products. And here you are sleeping when the store is still a mess. I’ve had it with you and your slipshod attitude. In the morning you can pack your bags and get out! And don’t ever darken our doorstep again. We don’t need a terrible influence for the kids in our house.”
With that she stormed out.
Pinkie was totally speechless. Leave the house? Leave the shop? Leave the twins? Apart from her family on the rock farm this was the place she had always felt accepted and loved.
She felt sick to her stomach, a heaviness pressing down upon her. Shuffling out of bed she felt like each step was an eternity. She finally made it to the bedroom of Pound and Pumpkin. Opening the door she stepped in, a slight smile on her face to see the two of them were sleeping together again. For a second she wished that she had a twin, but then she remembered the Mirror Pond incident and instantly decided it wasn’t worth it. One of her was already too much for some.
She gently shook the young foals awake. “Pound... Pumpkin?”
The two of them woke up, groaning sleepily. “Yeah?” said Pound.
“What is it?” asked Pumpkin.
“Hey, you guys,” said Pinkie in a quiet voice. “How would you like to sleep with me tonight? I’m… I…” She felt a wealth of emotions rising up inside her, and only barely avoided sobbing, a few tears coming down regardless.
The two of them immediately perked up. “Cool!” they said in unison, jumping out of their bed and onto her back. “Sleepover with Auntie Pinkie!” They slapped each others hooves.
Once more her smile quickly faded, as she tried not to think about the coming day. It was almost unbearable to think of having to leave these two balls of joy. She loved being a caretaker for them. They brought her so much joy and happiness. Was she really a bad influence on them? Sure, she knew she could be more lenient when it came to their misbehaving, but she never let them get completely out of control without scolding them and punishing them for it. She had placed them in time outs before. She wasn’t perfect by any means, but… she did the best she could.
Pinkie walked to her room. As soon as she got near her bed the twins jumped off, already beginning to get wild. They began laughing and snorting as they jumped up and down on the bed, which only made a pang of guilt run through her. Maybe she really wasn’t a fit caretaker for them.
“Come jump with us, Auntie Pinkie!” said Pumpkin.
“Yeah!” said Pound Cake, laughing. When he looked at Pinkie he immediately stopped jumping. Even in the dim light he could see the despair etched on her face. “What’s wrong, Auntie Pinkie?”
Pinkie held back her sobs again, not knowing how to tell them.
Pumpkin stopped her jumping too. “Did you have a bad dream? Do you need a hug?”
“Or a kiss?” asked Pound. “Or BOTH!”
The two of them hopped off the bed, holding onto her and planting kisses on her face. “We love you, Auntie Pinkie!”
It was too much for Pinkie. She broke down completely, unable to hold in her feelings anymore. She grabbed the two of them, her heart full of her love for them. On some of the bad days they had been the ones that had got her going again. She didn't want to leave them behind.
They refused to let her go, asking what was wrong. She couldn’t answer them. Pulling down her covers she laid on the bed, holding tightly to the pair until her feelings began to ebb.
Once she was quiet Pumpkin asked, “You feeling better now, Auntie Pinkie?”
“We’re here for you,” said Pound. “You always help us when we’re sad, so now we’ll help you.”
Even knowing the horrible truth of the morning the outpouring of love they were demonstrating for her made her feel calmer.
Putting aside her misery for the moment she sat up, saying, “Thanks, you guys. I needed that.”
“You’re welcome!” they responded joyfully.
For the next hour she told them stories, some a little scary, some funny. For at least this last night she would have them, and she wanted to make the best of it.
Following that she said they could all jump together on the bed if they promised they would go to sleep right afterward. The two of them agreed, so for the next three minutes or so the three of them chuckled and jumped up and down, enjoying themselves.
When Pinkie said it was over they fought her, asking for a few minutes more, but she was firm, telling them no. Disappointed, they still followed her orders, stopping their jumping.
She lay down on the bed, and the two of them got on opposite sides of her, snuggling in.
“Good night, Auntie Pinkie,” said Pound.
“Yeah, good night,” said Pumpkin.
It took a few moments before Pinkie could respond, “Good night.” Now she was wishing she had given them those extra minutes. This was going to be their last time playing together. She held back her sadness. She knew they would pick up on it, and she didn’t want to burden them anymore. It was going to be difficult enough without her making it worse.
The sound of the snoring of the twins brought a strange measure of peace to her. She knew that they were calm and relaxed and happy. No matter what Mrs. Cake may think of her she had always had their best interests at heart. She fell asleep a short while later, a hoof on both of them.
She was woken up in the morning by one of the twins shaking her. “It’s time for breakfast!” said Pound Cake.
“Let’s go, Auntie Pinkie!” said Pumpkin.
The two of them hopped off the bed without waiting for her, running downstairs.
Pinkie sighed, taking a deep breath. She put Gummy in his cage, packing the essentials in a suitcase and heading downstairs.
She debated whether she was just going to leave without saying anything, as she didn’t think she could bear to see the faces of the twins when they heard she was leaving, but… even if Mr. and Mrs. Cake were displeased with her actions they had still housed her during her stay in Ponyville. She wanted to thank them for their hospitality. She owed them that much.
When she entered the kitchen she could see the four of them at the table. “Good morning…”
“Morning, Pinkie Pie,” said Mrs. Cake genially. When she saw the suitcase she asked, “You’re leaving?”
“Yes, don’t worry. I didn’t forget. You won’t have to worry about me darkening your doorstep or setting a bad influence for the twins anymore.” With a big sigh she said, “Thank you for everything you did for me. Goodbye… forever.”
“WHAT?” came the displeased squeals of the twins.
“But you can’t go!” cried Pumpkin.
“Yeah, we love you, Auntie Pinkie!” said Pound, starting to cry.
Pinkie cried a little herself, seeing their anguish. “It’s not up to me, kids. It’s what your mom wants.”
“MO-OM!” screamed the twins.
“How could you?” snapped Pound.
“I hate you!” yelled Pumpkin.
“WHAT?” cried out Mrs. Cake, surprise and horror etched on her face. “Where did you get such an idea?”
“Last night,” said Pinkie. “You came in and told me I was a bad caretaker… that I play too much and eat too much of the products.”
Mrs. Cake looked dejected. “Pinkie Pie, that was only a nightmare! I would never say such things to you. You’re the heart and soul of our shop and a glorious asset to us.”
Pinkie gulped back her feelings. “It’s okay. You don’t have to pretend.”
Cup Cake ignored the twins who were continuing their verbal barrage, and left the room. She came back a minute later. “Here, Pinkie.”
Pinkie Pie took the photo album from her, seeing it was entitled, “Cake Family History.” “What’s this for?” she asked.
“Just go through it, okay?”
Pinkie opened the first page, seeing four photo’s. Two of a baby Cup Cake and two of a baby Carrot Cake. As she continued flipping through the pages she could see that the pattern held. Each left page had Cupcake, and each right side had Carrot Cake. It showed various stages of life, of them growing. After that it started showing them together, when they had fallen in love and began dating. After that was the wedding. And then finally of them starting their life with their new sweet shop. As she flipped to the next page she started seeing herself as a filly, when she had begun hanging around the shop all the time and they had agreed to let her rent out the top floor.
Pages upon pages were devoted to the three of them, and if Pinkie hadn’t known better she would have thought she was their daughter. It brought a smile to her face.
The next few pages were devoted to the pregnancy and birth of the twins, and there were plenty of shots dedicated to just her and the twins, or of the five of them together.
When she was done she put the book down, and Mrs. Cake said, “Do you see it, Pinkie Pie? Before we had Pound and Pumpkin we already had a child. We had you. You brightened our lives and made so many rough days easier. You brought laughs and joy and smiles to us, and we could never replace you with anyone. Whatever you thought you heard last night was just a lie.” She placed a hoof around Pinkie, giving her a hug. “I love you, my wonderful daughter.”
Pinkie was shaking and sniffing, beginning to cry again as she hugged Mrs. Cake back. “T-thank you. Thank you! I love you, all of you, so much! My life just wouldn’t be the same without you.”
“So does this mean that Auntie Pinkie is staying?” asked Pound.
“That’s right!” responded Mrs. Cake.
“Hooray!” The pair cheered. Pound and Pumpkin ran up to her, each of them climbing up her body until they were on her shoulder, hugging her neck. “We love you, Auntie Pinkie!”
She could feel the love of her second family around her, the feelings going through her so wonderful. “I love you too!"