Deal With The Draconequus

by Never2muchpinkie


Chapter 11: In memorial

Sweetie Belle was sitting in the waiting room in the hospital. Her friends were gathered around her. Once the ambulance had arrived to cart her mother off to the hospital she had elected to stay behind to get them since she hadn’t wanted to wait all by herself. Just like with her the simple knowledge of the impending birth of a brand new, innocent life was enough to lift their spirits from the gloom that had surrounded them following Rarity’s death.

Apple Bloom and Scootaloo were on opposite sides of her, hardly able to contain their excitement. Pinkie Pie was even worse. She was pacing around in rapid circles, looking like she would explode in happiness at the slightest provocation. Applejack, Twilight, Fluttershy, and Rainbow Dash were more subdued, but had trouble sitting still as well.

“Thank you for being here, everybody,” said Sweetie Belle. “It means a lot to me to have all my family with me now. I know Rarity would really appreciate it.”

“Of course, Sweetie Belle,” said Fluttershy, a smile on her face. “I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

“Here, here!” agreed Rainbow Dash. “We were all there for Pinkie when the Cakes had their twins. I can’t wait to see what the new rugrat looks like. Heh! Maybe she’ll look like a certain super-cool pony.”

“YEAH!” Scootaloo cheered.

Apple Bloom said, “So she’s gonna come out orange?”

Applejack giggled and gave Rainbow a sly grin. “Maybe.”

Rainbow frowned. “I was talking about ME!”

“Oh,” Apple Bloom said. “That makes more sense for you, but Applejack is the coolest sister ever!”

“No way!” Scootaloo replied, giving Apple Bloom a light shove. “Rainbow Dash is!”

“Is not!”

“Is too!

“Is not!”

“Is too!”

“GIRLS!” Fluttershy said sternly, pointing with her hoof. “Show some consideration for Sweetie Belle.”

“Sorry, Sweetie Belle!” both of them replied, seeing the heartbroken expression on her face. The light that had burned in Sweetie Belle had gone out.

Tears dripped down her face. “It’s okay. It’s just… I remember we used to have arguments like these all the time. We’d talk about who had the best sister around, and each of us always chose our own sister. Now that she’s gone… I guess we can’t play around like that anymore."

Pinkie Pie came over, settled down a little at seeing Sweetie Belle’s distress. She picked up the filly, holding her close. “Don’t cry, Sweetie Belle. You said yourself that you’re keeping Rarity alive by the way you act. Just because she’s dead doesn’t mean you can’t argue with the best of them about who has the best sister around.

"Your love for her was strong enough you broke through Discord’s spell. Even Twilight needed those letters Princess Celestia sent back to get the strength to fight him off. You’re an amazing girl who has always had a fantastic sister, and that will never change. Be proud of your sister always, and keep doing what you do best.”

Sweetie Belle let out a heavy breath. “Thank you, Pinkie. That means a lot to me.”

“No problem.”

A few hours passed. Sweetie Belle was getting really restless. She was pacing around the room, feeling like she was going out of her mind. When was this baby going to be born?

Finally, after what felt like an eternity, a doctor came out of the room. Everyone jumped up, talking at once. “Whoa, whoa, whoa! Relax!” he said, shaking his hoof in a calming motion. “The baby has been born.” All of them cheered. “It’s a girl, and she’s quite healthy.”

Sweetie Belle let out a huge sigh of relief. “What about my mom?”

“She’s pretty tired, but she’s doing fine as well. Right now she and the baby are being cleaned up. In a few more minutes you can come in and see her. But only you for right now, as her immediate family. New babies don’t do well with huge crowds.”

Pinkie let out a disappointed sigh. “Bummer!”

Sweetie Belle felt so anxious. It felt to her like the same amount of time passed before the doctor told her to come in as it had been while her mom was in labor.

Heading into the room she could see her mother looking down at a bundle she held in her hooves. Though her face was strained from the ordeal of childbirth she had a tender smile on her face. Her father was standing next to her, also looking down at the baby.

“Hello?” Sweetie Belle said to get their attention.

Her mom looked over at her. “Hello, Sweetie Belle. Come on up here and meet your new sister. She’s just lovely."

It was strange. After being so anxious to come in now she was hesitating. She felt a sense of apprehension and she couldn’t figure out why. Maybe it was just that after losing her older sister she wanted to be sure her younger one was going to be okay. The doctor said the baby was okay, and her mother looked calm, but she couldn’t believe it until she saw it for herself.

Forcing herself forward step by step she lifted her hooves and climbed up onto the bed. Sitting on the opposite side of her mother the bundle was placed in her hooves. She gulped, feeling like it was hard to breathe. A smile came to her as she saw her new baby sister. She was a unicorn like the rest of her family. She had a white coat, with a short purple mane. Happy tears came down her eyes.

The baby was looking around, taking in its surroundings. “Hello,” Sweetie Belle said, her voice thick with emotion. She sniffed, barely able to contain her joy. “I’m Sweetie Belle. Your new sister.” For a second the baby’s eyes turned to the sound of her voice. Their eyes met, and her breathing caught. After a second the baby lost interest, letting out a yawn and sucking on her hoof before closing her eyes.

Sweetie Belle quietly cried, feeling a sense of euphoria as she rocked her sister. A short while later she heard the baby let out gentle snores. She wiped her eyes, but the tears still kept coming. After having a piece of her heart ripped out following Rarity’s passing she finally felt like something was filling in the void.

“She’s so beautiful,” said Sweetie Belle quietly.

“Isn’t she though,” replied her mom.

“So what’s her name?”

“We haven’t named her yet,” replied her dad. “We thought it should be a family decision.”

“What do you think, Sweetie Belle?” asked her mom.

She stared at her baby sister, but nothing came to mind at first. “I don’t know.” As she looked closer she suddenly had a flash of recognizance, and her chest felt tight. “Mom… dad…?”

“Yes, Sweetie Belle?”

“What if… what if… we called her Rarity? She looks just like her. Maybe Rarity has come back to us after all.”

The two of them gave her sad looks. As her mother looked down at her new baby again she had that same flash, and a pained look came to her face. “I… I can see it now. She does look just like Rarity as a baby.”

“Are you sure that’s what you want to name her?” asked her dad in a cautious voice. “It might be too painful for you. You can’t replace your sister.”

“I know that,” said Sweetie Belle, “but the point of being an older sister is to teach the younger ones all the important things, just like Rarity did to me. I’ll help to make her just like her namesake. I think it’s an honor to give my younger sister such a powerful name. Growing up, watching me, she’ll know all the things Rarity taught me, and she’ll be proud that she was named after her oldest sister.

"It’s better to remember Rarity than to throw her memory away. I know she won’t be exactly like her. She might not like fashion, and she may get a cutie mark for anything, but so long as I can teach her to have a generous heart then it won’t matter. She’ll have the most important part of Rarity inside her.”

She wiped her face of tears again. “A name is one of the biggest gifts you can give to a child, and I think the most generous name we can give is to name her after the greatest pony I know.”

Her parents looked at each other, and then back at Sweetie Belle. “Very well,” said her mom. Gently taking the baby back from Sweetie Belle she said, “Welcome to the world, little Rarity.” That caused a pang of heartache inside her. She’d get used to it. Right now she knew that giving her new child her deceased child’s name would only remind her of her loss, but at the same time Sweetie Belle had a point. Baby Rarity would grow up knowing how much she was loved with that name. In the end it wasn’t just the name itself, but the similarity between the two that was getting to her the most.

They got to spend half an hour just holding and cuddling Rarity before she was taken away to be put in a warm room with the other newborns. Sweetie Belle left the room to rejoin her friends.

Pinkie Pie rushed up to her. “Well? Well? Well? Where is she? Where is she?” She was going up and down on her hooves so fast it was like a machine.

Sweetie Belle backed up a step. “She’s going to be put in the nursery right now. Calm down, Pinkie.”

“CALM DOWN?” she yelled. “How am I supposed to calm down?”

“Um… go for a run outside?”

Twilight put a hoof on Pinkie. “I second that. You remember how Nurse Redheart threw you out the last time for being too loud, right?”

“Arrr!” Pinkie gritted her teeth. “Fine.” She took off, trying not to run.

The rest of them walked toward the nursery, looking through the transparent glass. “Which one is it?” asked Rainbow Dash, scanning the room of babies.

“Yes, Sweetie,” said Fluttershy excitedly. “Which one?”

She pointed with her hoof. “The one in the back with the white coat.”

“Aww!” said Applejack. “She’s just plain adorable!”

“I wanna see, I wanna see!” said Apple Bloom, hopping up on her sister’s back. “Aww! She really is cute!”

“Hey!” said Scootaloo. “I wanna see too.”

“Then come on up, squirt,” said Rainbow Dash, throwing Scootaloo on her back.

“She’s beautiful,” said Scootaloo, trying to sound nonchalant, but wiping away the two tears that had formed.

“So what’s her name?” asked Twilight. When Sweetie Belle didn’t respond she looked down at the filly. “You didn’t give her a name yet?”

“Rarity,” she responded. “My parents let me name her, and I named her after my big sis as a memorial to the best pony I ever knew.”

There was a silence in the room for a short time, the air feeling heavy, but it broke quickly enough.

Sweetie Belle let out a small yelp as she felt herself being lifted up. “I think that’s just wonderful,” said Pinkie Pie, back from her exercise.

“Same here,” said Fluttershy. “I think it’s a great name for her.”

“So we’ll still have a Rarity around, huh?” said Rainbow Dash in a whimsical voice. “Sounds good to me.”

Pinkie put Sweetie Belle down, already starting to ramp back up. “Which one is she?”

Once more Sweetie Belle pointed to baby Rarity.

Pinkie gripped the small part of the wall next to the glass, moving back and forth rapidly. “SO… CUTE!”

***

“HAPPY MONTHAVERSARY!” Pinkie cried out.

Sweetie Belle was at Sugarcube Corner at Pinkie’s insistence. She didn’t know why but Pinkie thought Rarity’s “monthaversary” was really important. She had invited all the usual guests.

Baby Rarity loved all the attention. Pinkie was chasing her and playing with her and she was ecstatic. She just let Pinkie do what she wanted. It would be good if Pinkie tired her out. It meant less work for her later on.

It had been a crazy month. Now she knew what Rarity had likely gone through during her foalhood. Chasing a tireless foal around, changing diapers, endless crying and tantrums. She was half-asleep most of the time because baby Rarity kept her up half the night.

She found that letting the foal stay in her bed had reduced a lot of her problems. Rarity enjoyed being able to sleep with someone and likely felt more secure that way. Sweetie Belle understood the feeling. Before Rarity moved out to start her boutique she had often slept with her sister at night.

The foal had grown some more hair. Sweetie Belle enjoyed playing dress up and doing make-overs, but she never tried to do baby Rarity’s mane in the same style as her older sister. She didn’t ever want to forget that her new sister was her own pony, not just a copy of Rarity.

Scootaloo and Apple Bloom were busy running away from Rarity at a slow pace. Rarity was giggling like mad as she attempted to catch them. She grabbed one of Scootaloo’s hooves, and Scootaloo tilted over onto her back. “AGH!” she cried out dramatically. “She got me!”

Rarity climbed on top of Scootaloo, flopping onto the filly’s stomach, still laughing.

“Oh, no!” said Apple Bloom. “My dear friend.” Picking Rarity up she said, “There’s only one way to stop this little monster.” Sitting the foal on the floor she said, “With lots of tickles!”

Rarity squealed, kicking her hooves as she laughed hard as Apple Bloom rubbed her stomach.

Sweetie Belle watched her friends having fun with her baby sister, feeling a little ashamed at the jealously in her heart. Even with a cutie mark for generosity and loving to be generous to others she still found it difficult to share her baby sister with anyone. She knew it was selfish, but she wanted Rarity to herself right now. She trusted her friends, but the first few months were the most important for a developing foal. What if one of her friends taught Rarity a bad habit? What if her first word happened to be a swear word?

Taking a deep breath and closing her eyes she forced herself to settle down. Everyone loved babies. The Cakes had let her play with their twins without pushing her away. She owed the people she loved the same courtesy.

“Ya alright there, Sugarcube?” asked Applejack. “Ya look like ya want ta cry.”

Sweetie Belle looked up at the mare, feeling guilty. “I guess it’s just hard. I never thought I’d lose Rarity, and we lived in different houses. Now I have another sister, and I want to make the most of things by spending as much time together as possible.”

Applejack sat down, pulling the filly close. “I understand what yer feelin’ perfectly. I was still quite young when our parents passed away. Apple Bloom was just a baby. I spent all my time on her, just trying to give her what she couldn’t have anymore. It made us very close, but at the same time spending too much time together began ta grate on our nerves. Cherish the times ya can be close to yer sister, and think about the good times when ya can’t.

“Now, c’mon. Let’s go have some punch.”

Sweetie Belle nodded. “Thanks, Applejack.”

“No problem, youngin.”

She felt a little better as she went to the punch bowl, pouring herself a glass. Shifting her thinking allowed her to see this as a good thing. She knew she might not be around forever, so it was good for Rarity to start developing relationships with all her other friends. When she was a little older it might be vital for her to know them, in case anything happened and she needed help.

A gentle smile pulled at her lips as she watched Twilight doing a little magic show for the foal, while Rainbow did aerial tricks. Baby Rarity clapped her hooves

After another fifteen minutes Pinkie cut cake for all of them. Sweetie set the foal on her lap, carefully feeding her. Or she tried to, anyway. After a few bites apparently Rarity thought she was being too slow. She put her hooves down, grabbing the cake and slamming it into her face. The cake was too big to fit, and it left chocolate stains all around her mouth.

Sweetie Belle let out an exasperated sigh. “Oh, Rarity,” she said with a laugh. “You silly foal."

After helping to clean her up it looked like Pinkie, Scootaloo, and Apple Bloom were fixing to play with her again, but Sweetie Belle put her hoof down. “No! I’m the big sister, and I say it’s time for Rarity to take a nap. She just settled down. I don’t want her getting amped up again.”

“Awwww,” the three of them said disappointedly.

“Fine,” Pinkie said with a sigh. “You can put her down in my bedroom upstairs. It’s on the top floor, so she shouldn’t be disturbed by the music.”

“Thanks, Pinkie,” said Sweetie Belle. Putting Rarity on her back she climbed the stairs, the foal holding on tight.

Sitting down on Pinkie’s bed she saw Gummy in his pond in the corner of the room. For a moment she wondered if it was safe, but then she dismissed her worries. Gummy wasn’t dangerous. He didn’t even have any teeth. Even so, she didn’t think she should leave Rarity alone to rejoin the party. Besides the fact that the guest of honor was going to be asleep it was possible she could get hurt without her knowing.

Sitting Rarity down on the bed she felt a sense of relief that she was alone with her sister again. She still couldn’t quite shake her selfish desire. “It’s naptime, Rarity.”

The foal immediately frowned, shaking her head, looking about to cry.

“Hmmm. Okay. Would you like to fly instead?”

Rarity’s frown quickly turned to a smile as she nodded hard.

Picking Rarity up a little with her front hooves she put her back legs under her stomach, lifting her up. “Fly! Fly, Rarity!”

“Wheee! Whee!” Rarity said, laughing.

After playing a little longer she set Rarity down. “Okay. Now do you want to nap?” Again Rarity shook her head. “How about if I take a nap with you?” Rarity pouted a bit, but then hugged her.

“Good girl,” she said, patting Rarity’s head. Pulling the blankets up she covered the two of them, holding her sister close. Rarity gently whined, fighting sleep, but she didn’t try to get out of Sweetie Belle’s hold.

She began to sing the lullaby Fluttershy had tried singing to her. Unlike the last time she didn’t make it loud. She sang it quietly and gently as a lullaby should be. “Hush now, quiet now, it’s time to lay your sleepy head. Hush now, quiet now, it’s time to go to bed…”

With each line Sweetie Belle’s voice rushed over the foal like a calm spring, settling the fussy girl down. She could see Rarity’s eyes fluttering, closing slowly but opening again quickly as she tried to stay awake, but clearly losing the battle.

By the time she was done Rarity’s eyes were closed, and her body had gone limp as she drifted off to sleep.

Sweetie Belle smiled, overjoyed that she could be such a good caretaker for her little sister. She hoped that Rarity would be proud of her for how well she could take care of her younger sister.

When she thought things couldn’t be better she heard a tiny voice come out of Rarity’s mouth as she was nuzzled, “Swee-Belle. Swee-Belle.”

Tears come down the filly’s eyes. Her sister’s first words! And it was her name! Pinkie had told her the twins firsts words were her name, and it had made her forget all the grief they had given her the first time she had foal-sat them. Now she understood that feeling. The sleepless nights, the temper tantrums… they were all meaningless compared to that, to seeing her sister slumbering peacefully.

She closed her eyes, squeezing her sister tight. “Sleep well, Rarity. I’ll always protect you, no matter what.”

As she began drifting off her thoughts meandered, and a thought she hadn’t had much time to dwell on recently came to her. She began thinking of Twilight’s offer. She wanted to make sure Rarity lived in a safe world. If a major threat came to attack Equestria again they had to be prepared. She was only a filly, but she could play her part in keeping Equestria safe by becoming the new Element of Generosity.

She had been hesitant before, because of the responsibility involved, but now she no longer wanted to hold back. She would accept that responsibility and its inherent dangers. For the sake of Rarity, and for Equestria.

She hadn’t forgotten the other part of Twilight’s request. If each of them had truly been doing what they claimed then it might be safe now. It had been a month, after all. If she wanted to play her part for a safer Equestria then she knew there was something she needed to do. His power would be extremely useful if he had changed for the better.

She felt too comfortable to move. The warmth of her sister against her made her so sleepy. As she drifted off too she thought, ‘I’ll do it. I’ll forgive Discord and set him free again. If he is truly sorry he can be the second line of defense in case we’re separated from the Elements somehow. He is extremely powerful, and he can keep Rarity safe.”

Giving her sister one last squeeze before she passed out she said in a whisper, “I love you, Rarity.”