Three days later, the residents of Ponyville found themselves on a train bound for home. They were now accompanied by their six children, a baby amphibious dragon that Meadow insisted was named Fin, and the ponies who would be charged with monitoring the foals, as well as their families.
For the most part, they were all strangers, with a couple exceptions. They all knew Ocean Breeze and Crystal Lake; Libby and Meadow both knew the little half-zebra colt named Token Medal, who they quickly introduced to the others.
However, they all had to be introduced to Ocean Breeze's husband, Tsunami, a dark blue unicorn pony with a mane and eyes the color of storm-clouds, as well as Token's parents, who were actually his aunt and uncle.
His uncle, Bronze Medal, was a pegasus pony who was almost identical to his nephew in everyway, except for the fact that Bronze had eyes the color of copper instead of silver like Token's, and the fact that Token had stripes.
Precious Medal, a pegasus mare who appeared to have been bleached (her coat was white, her mane was barely half a shade darker, and her eyes were pale grey), explained the odd likeness between nephew and uncle by saying that Bronze and Gold, Token's father, were identical twins and Token took after his father. He had gotten the stripes and his eyes from his mother, a zebra named Zendaya who, along with her husband, had died when Token was still a baby, leaving him in the custody of Bronze and Precious.
The white pegasus was very polite to the Element Bearers, even to Rainbow Dash, which was somewhat surprising considering how Firestorm had acted towards Token when the two of them first met. As soon as the pegasus colt had seen the half-zebra, he had begun "attacking" him, for lack of a better word.
"What's wrong with his forehead?" Firestorm had asked, tapping the useless nub of a horn on Token's head. He then went onto jabbing the older boy all over his body, pointing out anything that was strange to him, from the slightly metallic sheen of his coat, to the stripes on his back and legs, all the while proclaiming that, "He looks funny!"
Rainbow Dash had stopped him from tormenting the older colt (physically at least) by giving him a slight knock to the head with her hoof. It hadn't been enough to hurt him, really, and even if it had done any damage, any signs of said damage would be long gone before they got to Ponyville.
Still, it got the message across: if you treat this pony badly, you will be punished.
The colt seemed to take the message seriously; he stopped messing with Token and hadn't resumed doing so in the few hours they'd been on the train. At the very least, he was smart enough to not torment him when the adults were within earshot. After all, there was no way of knowing what he did or said when the adults could see or hear it.
For now, however, the ponies and the dragons were just going to enjoy the trip to Ponyville. It was going very well, after all.
Fin was fast asleep, as was to be expected from a creature who was less than a week old. The newborn dragon was not alone in the compartment he was sleeping in; Meadow Lark, Token, and Libby were in the room as well.
The yellow filly was resting alongside the dragon, watching the colt and her half-sister play a game of cards.
As for Token and Libby, they were playing a game of Go Fish, which the would-be alicorn was not enjoying due to the fact that he apparently had the worst luck ever. He had two pairs, and Libby had about twenty-two. To make matters worse, all she ever asked for were Jacks and Jokers. She even asked for the rules at one point and somehow Token had them in his hand.
The bronze-colored half-zebra grumbled angrily as he once again gave up a card to Libby. At least this time it was an ace of clubs, though he didn't think he had drawn that card from the deck.
"How're you so good at this?" he finally asked the turquoise-maned filly, who giggled softly.
"Am I really good at it, or do you just suck at card games?" she questioned the slightly older pony.
Token blushed in anger and told Libby that if she was going to be rude, he didn't want to play with her right now. With that, he left the compartment, leaving the extremely shocked filly behind.
"Stop being a brat, Token!" she shouted after him, not bothering to follow.
Meadow hushed the unicorn, looking down at the sleeping Fin.
"He's trying to sleep" she told her sister, motioning to the baby dragon.
Said dragon snored softly, a bit of drool coming from his mouth.
Libby rolled her eyes and told her sister that she didn't really care if Fin was trying to sleep; he wasn't her problem, after all.
Red and yellow eyes locked onto turquoise eyes and began to flash different colors, shades of red, green, purples, blues, and browns, each eye always being a different color than the other.
The young unicorn felt her mind begin to cloud, her free will beginning to vanish. She forced her eyes shut to keep herself from falling completely under the mind-control.
Her horn began to glow with magical energy, as did Meadow's wings. The pegasus's eyes stopped flashing as she realized Libby had a telekinetic hold on her wings. Her eyes widened in a mixture of expected pain and fear.
"Uh-oh" she said, just as her wings snapped forward with a loud popping sound, the tips of the yellow feathers now pointing at her head.
Meadow Lark began to scream from the pain, which in turn woke Fin, who began to cry due to his nap being interrupted.
Within seconds, the door to the compartment slammed open and in came Fluttershy and Rarity. The butter-colored pegasus gasped in horror when she saw her daughter's broken wings. As she scooped the pale yellow filly into her forelegs, hovering to make it easier to hold the foal, Rarity went over to her own child.
"What happened?" she asked, her voice cold, making it clear that the girl was likely to be punished whether she lied or told the truth. Of course, despite being much smarter than most foals her age, Libby, along with the other five, had yet to learn to lie.
"Meadow made me angry, so I broke her wings" Libby answered truthfully, pointing towards Meadow Lark, whose wings were moving back into their correct position with a series of popping sounds.
"Well, I can't do anything about it right now, but I can promise you're going to know the entire layout of the house" she told her daughter, who looked at her in confusion.
The filly asked why she would know the entire layout of her mother's house.
"Because you won't be going outside for a month," the older white unicorn said simply. She picked up the foal with her mouth and left the compartment, completely ignoring Libby as she threw a tantrum, screaming and flailing.
"Are you okay, Meadow Lark?" Fluttershy asked Meadow Lark, who was currently stroking Fin on the head in an attempt to soothe him.
"I'm fine, Mama" she said curtly, not even looking at her mother as she spoke.
Fluttershy blinked twice; she had been expecting the filly to whimper and ask to be comforted and instead she was essentially told to go away.
Now aware that her presence was neither needed nor wanted, the butter-yellow pony left the train compartment, which now held a sleeping baby dragon sucking on the wing of a young pegasus who kept her eyes open as if watching for danger.
(Sugar Cube Corner)
Pinkie Pie walked into her home/place of employment with Butterscotch sleeping on her back, a bit of drool dripping from her mouth onto her mother's neck and a bit of Pinkie's hair tangled in her sharp teeth.
The party planner pony had, of course, wanted to throw a party to welcome them all home and introduce the foals to the rest of the town, but she had agreed to wait until tomorrow. After all, the babies needed to get used to their new homes and be introduced to the ponies and animals they would see on a daily basis before being introduced to ponies they would rarely before they were a year old. Not to mention the fact that they did need to plan the party and invite every-pony to said party.
She opened the door to Sugar Cube Corner-not bothering to knock since she knew she didn't need to-and was promptly greeted by Mr. and Mrs. Cake, who both embraced her briefly, being careful to avoid touching the sleeping foal on her back. It was like they were greeting their daughter, which given the fact that Pinkie was essentially their foster daughter wasn't that far from the truth.
"Where's Pound and Pumpkin?" Pinkie Pie asked, referring to the twin children of Mr. and Mrs. Cake.
"Ginger Snap was just giving them a bath" Mrs. Cake explained. "They'll be down in a few minutes."
Sure enough, about five minutes later, the light yellow unicorn filly and the beige pegasus colt came downstairs followed by the cinnamon-colored earth pony mare.
The twins immediately jumped on Pinkie in order to hug her, Pound Cake fluttering slightly to get to her before his sister. As the twins jumped on her, Pinkie stepped backwards, causing Butterscotch to awaken with a yawn.
Noticing the baby pony on their favorite playmate's back, the twins instantly began asking questions about the foal, namely whether it was a filly or colt.
Pinkie Pie didn't actually answer the question, but instead placed her daughter of the floor so it would be easier for Pound and Pumpkin to get a good look at her.
Their reactions to discovering the sex of their new playmate were very different; Pumpkin Cake was absolutely delighted, while Pound Cake clearly had been hoping that there would be another colt in the house once Pinkie Pie returned.
Butterscotch was trying to spit out a few strands of her mother's mane that had gotten onto her mouth and didn't really notice the older foals who were staring at her. Finally, she took notice of them, looking at Pumpkin first and then at Pound.
She didn't seem all that interested to meet the filly, but as soon as she saw the colt, she squealed with delight and crawled underneath him, arching her back slightly to rub her fluffy white hair on the underside of his chin.
Pound Cake's wings rose in slight embarrassment and shock.
Pumpkin and Pinkie just giggled a little at the colt's discomfort at the situation, while Cup Cake, Carrot Cake, and Ginger Snap exchanged unsure glances.
Fluttershy knocked on the door of her cottage, even though she really didn't need to, seeing as it was her home. Still, Sparkler had been living there while Fluttershy was gone in order to care for the animals and the pegasus didn't want to just barge in on some private matter.
Meadow Lark mumbled angrily, "I don't see why Fin couldn't come and live with us. There's plenty of fish for him to eat here. I'm sure of it".
Fluttershy shushed her daughter. She and the others had agreed that it was best for the foals to not show their true intelligence (or, at the very least, how well they could talk for foals so young) until they were a bit older and it would not seem so strange. Even once the foals were allowed to talk in front of ponies other than family and close friends, they would have to pretend to speak as though they were only in the second year of school.
Six-month-old foals speaking as though they were already old enough to read and write and do simple addition and subtraction would, of course, raise a few eyebrows, but that was the worst that would come out of it. Most would simply accept the young ponies as prodigies, advanced for their age, but not overly so.
If six-month-old foals, or especially three-month-old foals, spoke as well as many stallions and mares, it would likely raise suspicion and paranoia. And in this town, paranoia had a strong possibility of resulting in some-pony getting hurt, and they didn't want that.
Fluttershy knocked again and a minute or so later, Sparkler opened the door, apologizing for taking so long.
"Oh, you don't need to apologize; we weren't waiting very long" the butter-colored pegasus said with a smile. "Thank you for taking care of my animal friends. I hope they weren't any trouble".
Sparkler assured her that the animals had all been well-behaved for her, though she hesitated slightly at the word "all" and looked at Angel Bunny's hutch. Clearly the rabbit had given her some trouble.
Fluttershy promised the unicorn that she would have a word with the rabbit and bid her adieu.
Once Sparkler was gone, Meadow Lark dropped the silent act she had been putting on.
"You weren't lying, Mama. You do have a lot of animals" the filly said, her eyes wide as she looked at the menagerie in her mother's cottage.
The animals were watching the little pony with unsure expressions. It was as though they didn't know if they should consider the foal a threat or not. Given the strange eye-color and sharp teeth, it wasn't as though their paranoia was unwarranted.
Fluttershy realized that she had returned home just before lunchtime for the animals and she went to the business of filling the pet bowls with pellets, fish, and seeds for most of the animals she took care of. For Tank and Angel, however, she made some salads, though the tortoise's was mostly composed of lettuce leaves and a few pieces of apple.
"Twilight's going to come over tomorrow and use a spell so you can live with Rainbow, Tank" Fluttershy told the tortoise, who smiled in his typically slow way.
The Element of Magic had been practicing her magic while the six of them had been in Canterlot, and she had (hopefully) learned how to make the cloud-walking spell permanent, at least for a creature Tank's size. Now the tortoise could actually live with his owner, rather than only have her come and visit him at Fluttershy's cottage and always leave for the night, or him use his propeller to fly up to her cloud for a day.
"Mama," said Meadow, tugging on her mother's mane. "I'm hungry."
"Oh, of course. I'll get you some food," Fluttershy said, quickly mashing some apples and mixing the mash with cinnamon in the bowl to make something like applesauce.
The pale-yellow filly looked at her mother with confusion, running her tongue over her teeth as though to point out to the older pegasus that she didn't need her food mashed.
Fluttershy felt her cheeks heat up. She went to grab the bowl of mashed apples and cinnamon, but was stopped when Meadow Lark stood in front of the bowl.
"You made this for me, and I'm going to eat it" she told her mother with a little smile.
Fluttershy nodded slightly, a smile also on her face. Then she noticed that none of the animals had gone to their bowls to eat; they were all too afraid to get near Meadow Lark.
"Meadow Lark? How about we eat in my room?" she suggested to the foal.
Meadow Lark seemed to consider the idea before nodding. Fluttershy picked up the bowl of applesauce and carried it into her bedroom, Meadow following close behind. Leaving the door open, Fluttershy went back into the kitchen area of her cottage and made herself some lunch before re-entering the room and closing the door.
As soon as the door was closed, the animals who had been pressed against the walls and hiding in their homes inside the cottage went to their bowls and began to eat.
"This is my niece?" Sweetie Belle asked, looking at the filly lounging on her older sister's back.
Said filly quickly buried her face in her mother's mane, either out of annoyance or shyness.
"Don't mind her, Sweetie" Rarity said, "She's just being pouty because she's…well, I guess grounded is the right word to use".
The Crusader rose an eyebrow in confusion. Obviously she was amazed that a pony so young-the foal was only about three months old, after all-had managed to do something bad enough to actually get grounded. From what she'd heard from the Cakes and the other families in town with very young foals, ponies that young usually only misbehaved enough to get time-outs.
"What did she do?" questioned the pink-and-purple-maned unicorn.
"I'll tell you later" the older mare said quickly, walking into her bedroom. She used her telekinesis to place Libby onto the bed, where Opal was already sleeping.
The fluffy white cat opened her eyes and glanced at the foal for a moment before closing her eyes again.
"What's your name?" Sweetie Belle asked her niece playfully, not expecting the baby to answer.
"Lotus Blossom, but call me Libby" said Libby.
The turquoise-maned filly then turned her attention to Opal, smiling wickedly. Meanwhile, her aunt was looking at her mother with a very confused expression.
"I'll explain everything later" Rarity promised her sister. "Believe me, it will take a while."
A turquoise-colored light emanated from the foal's horn and also engulfed Opal's tail. The cat's eyes popped open as she was lifted by her tail. She screeched in terror as she was flung into a pile of fabric scraps and small pillows. Once she had recovered from the shock, Opal jumped back onto her mistress's bed, claws out.
"Opal, no!" said Rarity, but it was too late. The cat's sharp claws had grazed across the foal's cheek, leaving a series of vertical scratches.
"Bad kitty…" Libby said softly, her eyes beginning to glow softly while the scratches on her cheek began to heal.
Opal looked behind her, then screamed as though there was a pack of giant dogs behind her. She continued to cry in fear as she darted back into the pile of fabric she had been flung into. Only her eyes, wide with terror, were visible.
Libby threw herself onto the pillow on the bed, laughing like a mad-mare.
(Sweet Apple Acres)
So far, Applejack's return to Sweet Apple Acres was going well. Roxbury was managing to act his age and was currently playing with Winona inside the house while Applejack, Apple Bloom, and Big Macintosh sat outside, drinking freshly made apple juice and sharing stories of what happened while the orange mare was gone. Apparently Apple Bloom had gotten together with the editor-and-chief of the Foal Free Press, Featherweight.
When questioned about it, the filly blushed slightly and said, "It was nothing. Twist and Truffle were goin' on a date and Twist invited me and Truffle invited Featherweight. I had a good time with Featherweight and we went out a few more times, that's all."
She lowered her voice slightly and muttered that Granny Smith had enjoyed learning that her youngest granddaughter had a boyfriend, which caused both Applejack and Big Mac to blush, though the stallion's blush was barely visible through his red coat.
When Applejack had revealed to her family that she was pregnant, Granny Smith had practically erupted with joy. It was the most energetic any of them had seen her outside of Zap Apple season.
She had actually cheered that, "Now I know I'll live to see my great-grandkids" before also saying that she expected that she would have to wait until Apple Bloom started a family before she would have a chance to get great-grandchildren; Big Macintosh was too shy to even date a mare, let alone sire a foal; Applejack, everyone had believed, was too much of a worker bee to be a mother.
"Granny Smith's just happy to see Featherweight's treatin' you right" Applejack told her little sister, placing a hoof on her shoulder to try and ease her embarrassment.
"I DEMAND YOU RELEASE ME, OLD LADY!"
The Apple siblings nearly fell over at the volume of Roxbury' scream. Once they recovered from the sudden loud noise, they ran into the house to investigate, and they nearly laughed.
Granny Smith was sitting in the middle of the room, with Roxbury-whose entire body, save for his eyes, was the same color and texture as the wood on the floor-in her forearms.
As soon as the colt noticed his mother, he reverted back to flesh and blood.
"Ma! This crazy old mare started hugging and she won't let me go. Do something!" he demanded, squirming in Granny Smith's forelegs.
"She's your great-grandmother, Roxbury" Applejack explained.
At this explanation, Roxbury's red-and-yellow eyes widened and he ceased in his attempts to smack the back of his head into the green mare's mouth.
"Really?" he asked, receiving a nod from his mother, his uncle, and his aunt. He looked up at Granny Smith expectantly.
"So…where's my present? Firestorm said grandparents are supposed to give you presents, and since I apparently don't have grandparents, you should give me presents" he said.
"Roxbury Russet!" Applejack cried, causing Roxbury to wince at the use of his full name. "You don't ask those types of questions."
"'Course I do," Granny Smith said, interrupting Applejack's attempt at scolding her son.
The old mare placed the green colt on the floor before walking up the stairs, calling for him to follow her, which he did without question.
Once he was alone with his sisters, Big Macintosh turned to Applejack and asked, "How can he do that?"
Obviously he was referring to the fact that his nephew had managed to morph into wood moments before.
"He's…gifted" said Applejack somewhat hesitantly.
(Rainbow Dash's Cloud)
"This place is awesome! Which is good because if it wasn't, my awesomeness would destroy it" Firestorm exclaimed with a grin, flopping down on Rainbow's bed with his eyes closed and his forelegs behind his head. He then opened his gold-colored eyes and looked around.
"Hey, where's that filly you said would be here? What's her name? Suit-a-loo?" he questioned.
"Scootaloo, Hothead" Rainbow replied, using a nickname that she had heard some of the other foals (especially the half-zebra Token) use for Firestorm on the train.
"Yeah, her" Firestorm said, still glancing around. "Didn't you say she was cloud-sitting for you?"
The mare nodded. She had to admit that it was odd that the orange pegasus hadn't shown her face yet. She would have expected Scootaloo to greet her as soon as she came inside. Maybe she was using the bathroom or something.
Her question as to where Scootaloo was ended up being answered when the smell of smoke filled the air.
"Awesome smell" Firestorm said, fluttering his wings so he could hover off the bed. He landed on the floor with a thud before trotting towards the kitchen, the source of the smoke, sniffing like a dog the entire time.
Rainbow Dash followed her son, more to make sure he didn't break anything than to make sure he didn't hurt himself.
The kitchen was a mess, to put it lightly. The door of the fridge was partly open, and quite a few of the contents were spilling out. If anybody were walking underneath the cloud at this point, they were likely being hit by a rain of milk (which had gone bad judging by the slightly sour smell), orange juice, raw eggs, and some sort of custard. The toaster was smoking with a plate covered in burnt toast and waffles sitting in front of it; the toast and waffles were also smoking slightly.
Scootaloo was looking around the room, obviously searching for something. Most likely she was trying to find the plug to the toaster so she could get it to stop smoking.
"Looking for this, Scoots?" Rainbow Dash asked, grabbing the cord of the toaster and pulling it out. Scootaloo jumped slightly and turned to face the older pony.
"Rainbow Dash!" she exclaimed. "When'd you get back? Did you have your foa-Stupid question. Of course you did. What is it?"
In response to the first question, Rainbow Dash said that she had only arrived at the cloud a few moments ago.
Firestorm, however, was the one to answer the last question.
"I am awesome! " he screamed, jumping from the floor, to her head, to the counter. From there, he began to eat the charred toast like it was the best thing he had ever tasted.
"You're sure mares can't make foals with each other?" Scootaloo asked, earning a confused look in response. "I'm seriously wondering if Pinkie Pie is his 'father'".
Rainbow Dash just looked at her like she was insane.
Spike yawned and stretched his arms, barely remembering to cover his mouth. Velvet looked at him, a disappointed look on her face.
"Don't tell me you're tired, Spike" said the blue unicorn filly.
The dragon smiled apologetically.
"Sorry, Velvet" he said, ruffling her dark hair slightly. "I guess I got a bit of…train-lag".
Velvet gave him a look that clearly said that she thought he was just giving an excuse.
"But you promised you would play with me when we got to Ponyville!" she exclaimed, placing her front hooves on Spike's chest in order to help herself stand erect and come closer to looking in the dragon's eyes. The look on her face made it clear that she was ready to slam her face into his mouth should he give the wrong answer.
Fortunately for Spike, Twilight was still in the room, monitoring her assistant and her daughter.
Before Velvet could do anything to attack the dragon, a magenta colored light covered her and pulled her away from him. Once the filly was away from him, Spike raised a claw, saying "See you later" before climbing up to the level where he and Twilight (and now Velvet) slept.
Velvet looked up at her mother with annoyance.
"Don't give me that" Twilight said. "Spike will play with you later."
The filly still continued to pout. The purple unicorn sighed.
"You want me to play with you?" she asked, earning a shake of the head in response. "So, what do you want me to do?"
Velvet seemed to consider the question for a moment or two. She then began to concentrate, her horn starting to glow with both a yellow and red light, slowly going from one to the other, occasionally mixing. A thick book on the self began to glow with the same colors. That book floated off the shelves and came over to the two unicorns.
"The La Noire Sisters' Pony Tales?" Twilight asked, reading the title of the book out loud. "You want me to read you one of these."
Velvet nodded and opened the book with her telekinesis, flipping through the pages until she came to a story she wanted to hear.
Twilight Sparkle laid down in front of the book, her daughter nestling herself between her forelegs, resting her head on the right leg. The filly began to suck on her own front hoof as her mother began to read.
"Long, long ago, when Equestria was still new, a creature unlike any other ruled the world. This creature was a pony. He was also a snake, a lion, an eagle, and so much more. He loved chaos and he loved to spread it…" Twilight continued to read, but she had to admit to herself that she felt somewhat odd.
After all, she was reading about Discord's reign and how the princesses had ended it. Sure, it was probably thought to be a rumor, pieces of different stories mixed together to create the final product, but it was so close to the truth.
"Mommy?" Velvet muttered once the story was over. "Aren't pony tales supposed to have happy endings?"
"Yes…" Twilight responded.
Velvet looked up at her mother.
"So why did the monsters win?"
(AN: This isn't the best I've written, I know, but I think it's good enough and I hope you all enjoy it. I think all the older ponies and Spike are suffering a bit of the train version of jetlag, which is why Pinkie isn't her normal hyperactive self here She'll be better next chapter.
Before anyone asks, NO, Pound Cake did not get aroused by Butterscotch. He isn't even old enough to get that sort of reaction. He was just surprised by what she did, that is all.
And as for why Libby was only grounded for a month for breaking Meadow Lark's wings? Well, considering the foals can all heal from injuries like that very quickly, for them it was the equivilent of smacking each other. So the punishment wouldn't be as severe as it would if they couldn't heal.)