Our House

by Wrabbit

Hush Now, Quiet Now


Hush Now, Quiet Now

Sunny Days was really enjoying the show being put on in front of her. It was a rare occurrence to see her mom this frazzled, running around like her mane was on fire. Every time Twilight ran past the couch in a frantic search for some toy she thought she would need to keep Sunny entertained, the filly would laugh and clap her hooves excitedly as if she had just performed some incredible sleight of hoof trick.

Trixie waddled in, her very pregnant belly causing her to alter the way she walked so as to not tip over as she walked. “Twilight, Love, calm down. I've just made arrangements for a foalsitter for Sunny so we don't have to try to keep her busy during my appointment.”

Right away, Twilight stopped what she was doing and stared at Trixie, Mr. Bun-Bun held in her telekinetic grasp as Sunny tried to catch him by jumping for him and missing. “A... a foalsitter? But... but she's too young for that! We can't just abandon her, not when she needs us most! She can't make it without us!” By the end of her tirade, Twilight was breathing heavily, but still feeling lightheaded.

With a comforting hoof placed on her Alpha's withers, Trixie replied, “Calmly now, Twilight; calmly now. Breathe. Just breathe.” When Twilight's breathing had once more stabilized, she said, “Sunny will be just fine without us for an hour or two. Besides, it's not like we're leaving her alone, or in incapable hooves. Toola Roola is a responsible adult and comes highly recommended.”

“Toola... you mean our new neighbor? The unemployed artist?” Twilight asked, tilting her head to the side curiously. “Does she have any references?”

Gently pushing her towards the edge of the couch until she sat down next to Sunny, the Mr. Bun-Bun toy gripped tightly in her hooves now, Trixie replied, “Yes, and they all say she's wonderful with foals; I talked to several of them myself.”

Twilight considered this for a moment. “D- do you really think it'll be alright? I mean, she's not exactly Cadance, you know.”

Heaving a long suffering sigh, Trixie gently pried Mr. Bun-Bun from Twilight's grasp. “Twilight-” She put a hoof to the librarian's chin and forced her to look at her. “Sparkle-butt, nopony is Cadance, not even Cadance; at least, not the way you speak of her. Don't you think you may have idealized her the tiniest bit?”

Twilight wore a moue of annoyance and glared at her herdwife. “I have not. And don't call me Sparkle-butt in front of Sunny.”

“Spar-bah! Spar-bah!” Sunny squealed out before collapsing onto her back, giggling.

“Now see what you did?” Twilight said. “It's going to be ages before she old enough to know why she doesn't want to repeat an overheard bedroom name.”

Trixie just smiled and picked up Sunny, walking towards the door. “It'll be fine. Now quit stalling, and let's take Sunny over to Toola Roola's place. I'm sure we're going to be late enough for my doctor's appointment as is without adding the time for our first tearful goodbyes with our first born.”

Twilight followed her out the door, saying, “Ah-ha! You admit you don't want to leave her with a foalsitter either!”

As the door closed, Trixie replied, “Of course not, Love, but we can't watch her as carefully as we should while the doctor gives me a sonogram. Besides, this will be like an adventure for her.”

(\ /)
( . .)

Toola Roola closed the door and leaned against it with a sigh. “Celestia save me from new parents!” She walked into the living room proper to find Sunny calmly playing with her blocks. “You'd think that I had never done this before, the way they go on about their foal's 'special needs'.” She looked down to see that the filly had stopped playing and was looking up at her almost expectantly. She was about to smile and walk away, ready to dismiss it as that weird, quiet curiosity that sometimes befalls children, when she noticed the blocks were arranged more or less in an arc in front of the filly. The odd thing was that the blocks were seemingly arranged to spell out, “Heard that”. She looked up to the filly, only to see her rolling around on the blanket spread out on the floor for with a stuffed rabbit. Toola shook her head, dismissing it as some weird coincidence. Give a filly enough blocks and time, and they're bound to spell out something.

As Sunny played on the floor, the mare went to the kitchen to go through the diaper bag the parents had left behind and see what snacks they had left for the filly. She pulled out the expected things such as three bottles of milk which she stored in her fridge, and a small, plastic container of Cheery-Ohs and a box of zwieback crackers. She opened the box, noting that several had already been eaten. “Huh. Guess they don't know she's far too young for hard solids yet.”

Toola went to her pantry and retrieved a jar of peanut butter and a baby spoon from a drawer before heading back to the living room to find Sunny hopping around the stuffed rabbit. Opening the jar as she sat on the couch sent a strong scent of peanut butter throughout the room, immediately garnering the filly's attention. She watched as Toola scooped out a tiny dollop of the spread and offered it to her.

Sunny toddled over, falling over twice, but never letting her gaze move from the proffered spoon. She finally reached it, and carefully sniffed it once before lunging and taking the entire bowl of the spoon into her mouth. Toola smiled and pulled up, taking Sunny with the spoon until she slipped off, landing on her diaper-padded rump. The filly smacked her mouth open and closed, working her tiny tongue until the bit of peanut butter was gone, and she looked up and said, “Too'ah! Mowah!”

The use of her name surprised the mare; she wasn't sure Sunny was paying all that much attention when she was introduced. Still, she dipped the spoon once more and came back with another, slightly larger dollop of peanut butter, which was eagerly gobbled up as well. This went on for another three spoonfuls until a knock at the front door caught both ponies' attention.

With a sigh, Toola closed the jar and set it on the coffee table, then walking over to the door. Opening it revealed three fillies wearing paint-stained overalls and hats, carrying rollers, buckets of paint, brushes, and a ladder. The orange pegasus was the first to speak up, saying, “Morning! You want your house painted?”

Toola blinked at her, nonplussed. “Huh?”

The earth pony filly stepped forward and elbowed the pegasus into silence. Doffing her cap, she said, “We're terribly sorry to interrupt, Ma'am, but my name's Apple Bloom, and these here are my friends Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle. We was wonderin' if'n you'd like your house painted a nice and bright color, rather'n the drab, fading one it is.”

Truthfully, Toola had been meaning to get around to doing this very task herself, but her responsibilities to Plain Sight watching over Cheerilee had left her little time for a large project like that. She leaned against the door frame and eyed the fillies appraisingly. “Do you girls know anything about painting a house?”

“Well... no, Ma'am. We were hoping to earn our cutie marks as house painters,” Sweetie Belle replied honestly, despite the glare it earned her from Scootaloo.

Toola looked them over carefully, noting the paint-splattered clothes, the variety of colors staining them, and the eager and hopeful grins they wore. Those same grins slowly became worried grimaces as the silence wore on. Finally, the mare asked, “How much?”

Scootaloo was the first to recover and excitedly answered, “Fifty bits, Ma'am!”

All their equipment put together couldn't have cost that much, and Toola knew it. She also knew how to haggle. “Make it thirty, and you have a deal.”

Apple Bloom came forward again and shook the mare's hoof excitedly. “Yah won't regret it, Ma'am! We'll make your house the best in all of Ponyville!”

With a nod, Toola replied, “I'll come out in an hour to see how it's going. Now, I've got to put a foal down for a nap, so just try to be quiet, okay?”

“You won't even know we were here!” Sweetie Belle shouted. Scootaloo put a hoof in her mouth and shushed her. “I mean, we'll be extra, extra quiet,” she whispered after removing the hoof.

“Quiet as a church mouse,” Apple Bloom added.

Yawning wide, Toola smiled at them. “Alright. See you three in an hour.” She closed the door and turned to see Sunny watching her with droopy eyes. She picked up the filly and went to her bedroom. She gently set the filly down, who immediately went to sleep the moment she touched the down comforter. Toola then set up her pillows around her in case she rolled around in her sleep, and laid down next to her. She idly toyed with the filly's mane, smiling at the adorable sleeping face. She yawned again, but this time, her eyes didn't open up again, and soon, she was lightly snoring along with an exhausted Sunny.

(\ /)
( . .)

Apple Bloom carefully set the ladder against the side of the house, wincing at the dull THUNK it made. “What color do you tink we shoul' shtart with?” Scootaloo asked, popping open the cans with a screwdriver held in her mouth.

Sweetie Belle examined the cans with a critical eye. “Hmm. Well, the purple is the prettiest, but we only have a little of it. I suppose we should use the red since we have the most of that.”

“Yeah, but I kinda doubt she wants her house to look like a barn; no offense, Apple Bloom,” Scootaloo replied, spitting out the screwdriver.

The earth pony just shrugged her shoulders. “It's not for ever'pony,” she conceded. The three contemplated their options silently until an idea suddenly popped into her head and she said, “Hey! What if we mixed the purple and red? That way, it won't look like a barn, and we'll have even more paint!”

“Great idea, Bloom!” Scootaloo said. Working with the stronger earth pony, the pegasus poured some of the purple paint into an almost full can of red paint under Sweetie Belle's supervision, then moved on to the second, then third can of red paint, which was only half full.

After mixing the colors with a stick they found on the ground, they looked at the three cans of purplish-red paint, no two of which were quite the same shade. “That don' look quite right,” Apple Bloom commented.

“I think you got bits of bark from the stick in this one, Scootaloo,” Sweetie Belle added.

Scootaloo dropped the stick out of her mouth, splattering paint all over the tiny flower garden planted by the wall. Spitting out bits of bark, she replied, “Well, I can't help that! We forgot to strip the bark off. Anyways, you won't even notice them when it's on the house. Come on. We better get to work if we want to get paid. That's ten bits for each of us!”

The prospect of money almost as enticing as getting their cutie marks, Apple Bloom climbed up the ladder almost to the roof and called down, “Sweetie, dip a roller for me an' pass it up, would yah?

The little unicorn took the handle of the paint roller in her mouth and dunked the open end into the fullest paint bucket, then pulled it out, dripping onto the grass as she walked up to the ladder. “Um how am I sh'posshed tah geddit to you?” she asked around the mouthful.

Scootaloo rolled her eyes. “Sweetie, you've got a horn; use your magic.”

“Oh, yeah,” she mumbled. Screwing her eyes shut, she concentrated, her pale purple aura surrounding the still dripping roller. Carefully letting go with her mouth, Sweetie Belle levitated it easily up to the waiting earth pony.

“Wow, you're really getting good at that,” Scootaloo said in awe.

Sweetie Belle practically glowed at the compliment. “It's because of Miss Twilight. Ever since she started teaching all the unicorn foals magic, we've gotten really good. I just wish she didn't pile on the homework like she does. You two are lucky like that. I got regular homework and magic homework.”

Apple Bloom rolled the paint onto the house, reaching as far as she dared on the rickety ladder, which was much farther than Applejack would let her, truth be known. “How bad can it be? Yah light your horn an' yah lift some stuff. What's so bad about that? I'd love t'not have to use my mouth for holdin' stuff.”

“Yeah, but she gives us homework homework. Like, reports and stuff, plus practicing our magic,” the unicorn replied, dipping the other roller in the paint can and levitating it over to Scootaloo. “Last week, we had to write an essay on magical pathways in our brains, with diagrams. It took me an hour to draw all those, and Rarity only helped me a little. She said I needed to learn these pathways to make the most of my magic.”

“Ouch,” said Scootaloo. “I take it back. I'm glad I don't have to learn all that extra stuff; not if it means even more homework.” Her little wings buzzing like mad, the pegasus flew up to the windowsill and standing on her hind legs, started painting the side of the house below Apple Bloom, heedless of the paint dripping onto her from the roller above. As she painted, she noticed movement inside, and looked, leaving a hoofprint in purplish-red paint on the pane, looked inside. “Hey, there's Miss Twilight's foal in there! She must be the one Miss Toola is foalsitting.”

Sweetie Belle smiled beatifically. “Hey, there's an idea! We could get our cutie marks for foalsitting!” she squeaked. Jumping up, she caught the sill and slowly pulled herself up to peek through the window. “Aw, she so cute! I just wanna play with her and dress her up like a doll.” She waved to the filly, nearly losing her grip, but giggled when she saw her smile and wave back.

“Come on, Sweetie, my roller's run dry. I need more paint on it,” Apple Bloom said.

“Okay,” the unicorn replied, then turned back to the window to wave goodbye, but was surprised to find the baby gone from the bed. “Hey, where did she go?”

Scootaloo leaned over, looking in the window. “What? She's gone! You don't think she fell off the bed, do you?” A high-pitched giggle and a wet SPLAT drew the attention of all three fillies toward the paint buckets, where Sunny Days had grabbed a paintbrush in her telekinetic grasp, and was waving it around, splattering paint everywhere. “Stop her! We need that paint!” Scootaloo loudly whispered.

“And she's making a huge mess!” Sweetie Belle said as she let go of the sill and plopped down to the ground again. Indeed, the littlest filly was making a huge mess, painting half the lawn with purplish-red dots, as well as leaving several large splotches all over her normally pristine white coat and pink mane. Sweetie Belle cautiously approached, making no threatening moves as she did. “Give me the brush Sunny. That's not for playing with.”

Sweetie's slow approach only gave the foal the impression that she did want to play, and telekinetically flew the brush at her in a broad stroke, leaving a wide horizontal stripe across the older filly's face. It was only instinct that saved her eyes from being painted over, as she closed them at the brush's quick advance. After the brush passed, she blinked her eyes open to see the baby smiling up at her.

Scootaloo landed in front of her and burst out laughing. “Sweetie, you look like a raccoon!”

Seeing this reaction, Sunny giggled with her and said, “Wa'coo! Wa'coo!”

“Laugh it up, Featherbrain. Paint don't come off, not ever; Rarity said so!” Sweetie growled and wiped a bit off her face with a hoof, then dragged it across the pegasus' chest. Scootaloo was shocked, but quickly recovered and butted her head against the unicorn and growled back.

Apple Bloom slid down the ladder and pushed her two friends apart. “Whoa there, you two. Scoots, that wasn't very nice to say. Sweetie, I made sure to get the paint that washes off with water in case we had an accident, see?” She held up one of the cans that was clearly labeled.

Exterior Paint

“Oops,” Apple Bloom said in a tiny voice.

In a fit of pique, Scootaloo picked up her paint roller in her mouth, and leaping forward, painted a long streak down Sweetie's right foreleg.

Sweetie was not about to take this laying down, and picked up another paintbrush in her magic and after dipping it quickly in a paint can, painted a long stripe down the center of Scootaloo's back. “If I'm a raccoon, then you're a skunk!”

“Girls, please stop fightin'! Friends don' carry on like this!” Apple Bloom shouted, but was ignored.

“A skunk?” shouted Scootaloo. “Well, you're a... a panda!” Quick as lightning, she dashed forward again and painted a matching stripe down Sweetie's other foreleg, splashing a few drops onto Apple Bloom.

Undeterred, Sweetie splotched the paintbrush on Scootaloo, saying, “Oh, yeah? Well, you're a giraffe!” She only got a few spots onto her coat before the pegasus tried to run and hide behind Apple Bloom, who took a few spots intended for the orange filly.

Apple Bloom had finally become fed up with them both, and took up her own paint roller again, and started swinging it indiscriminately, hitting both fillies, and splattering a few drops onto Sunny Days. Sunny thought this a great game, and wielded her paintbrush like a wounded swordsmare, stabbing and slashing with it at anything she could reach.

Brushes and rollers both went back many times to the paint buckets, spreading more paint about the yard as well as on the house and fillies. All four of them chased each other around the house (well, Sweetie Belle, Apple Bloom, and Scootaloo chased each other, Sunny Days just chased them; mostly with a flying paintbrush), leaving purplish-red in haphazard patterns on the house, and all over the yard. Flowers, walls, windows, and the thatch roof were hit by paint as much as the fillies, making for a rather ghastly sight,

By now, the three friends had forgotten that they were fighting, and had made a game of the paint war. They laughed gaily as they attacked and dodged, heedless of the mess they were making. The fun came to a stop when a stern voice shouted, “What in the wide world of Equestria is going on here?”

Sunny turned and happily shouted, “Mama! Mama, up!” The foal raised her forelegs in the universally recognized sign of wanting to be held.

Twilight towered over the now cowering fillies while Trixie picked up Sunny in her magic, not daring to let her come too close for fear of smearing paint on her own coat. The thundering sound of a galloping pony caught everypony's attention and directed it towards the front door which was slammed open and a panicked and disheveled Toola Roola ran outside. “Sunny!” She stopped dead in her tracks when she spotted the foal held in Trixie's magic and the surprisingly scary-looking Twilight Sparkle. Who now directed her glare at her. “Eep! M- M- Mrs Sparkle! I- I- I'm so sorry! I laid Sunny down for a nap and sorta fell asleep next to her. When I woke up, she was gone and I tore the house apart looking for her. Please don't be mad...” Her voice trailed off as she withered under that steely scowl. She backed away from, but her progress was halted when her butt made firm contact with the freshly painted side of the house.

The angry librarian stalked forward, her glower never leaving the erstwhile foalsitter. “We'll discuss this later, when I'm not angry enough to level a mountain.” She turned towards the Cutie Mark Crusaders, her glare not lessening one iota. “While Trixie takes Sunny back home to give her a bath, I'll personally escort you three back to your homes; just to make sure you don't get into any more trouble.”

“Yeah, because we're already in enough trouble as it is,” Scootaloo whispered to nopony in particular.

(\ /)
( . .)

Trixie sighed as she scrubbed the squirming filly in the tub. “Hold still, Sunny! I'll never get this off if you don't let me work at it!”

For her part, Sunny simply giggled as she slid once more out of her Mama's grasp to the other end of the tub. A gentle knock on the door interrupted them as Twilight walked into the bathroom, a small, brown bag floating in her magic behind her. She kissed the flustered and very pregnant mare on the forehead, giving her a quick nuzzle as well. “Well, it's all taken care of. They'll never be allowed within fifty hooves of oil-based paint again until they're well into adulthood, and Applejack gave me a home cure for the paint as well.” She pulled out a jar from the bag and presented it to the beleaguered mare.

“Mayonnaise?” she asked simply.

Twilight shrugged at her questioning gaze. “She assured me that it works, and I'd trust her since she's repainted her barn so many times herself; just be sure to let it set in for a few minutes after scrubbing it in.”

The showmare did as instructed. While waiting for the goop to do it's magic, she said, “I hope you weren't too rough on Toola Roola. Good foalsitters are hard to find in a town this small, and after reviewing her references, she seems to be an exemplary one.”

“I let her off with a warning,” Twilight replied with another shrug. “I may have had my expectations set too high, given the service I'm used to from Cadance. In any case, I don't think I'm exactly ready to let Sunny out of our sight again any time soon. I just missed her too much.”

“She does grow on one, doesn't she?” Trixie said, looking fondly down at the filly who was sniffing at the funny smell coming from the white goop.

Twilight sat down and leaned affectionately against her herdwife. “I really can't express how much it means to me that you've taken to her so well, Trix.”

Trixie leaned back into her and gave a contented sigh. “How could I not? She's part you.”

(\ /)
( . .)

High Class ambled along the street, whistling a happy tune as he always did coming off of his cover job in Vintage Field's vineyard. He tottered a little, but that too, was normal. What wasn't normal was the complete halt as he turned the corner and beheld the house he shared with Toola Roola and Lackadaisy. Unsure of what he was seeing, he blinked a few times, but the house remained the same splotchy purplish-red. He slowly approached, unsure if this was in fact, the same house he currently called home. His fears were confirmed however, by the presence of Toola Roola sitting in the yard, looking at the house as well. He quietly approached and asked, “Rough day?”

“You could say that,” Toola replied without turning to face him.

“Gonna fix this?”

A silence settled over them, broken only by the crickets that were starting their nightly song as the sun slowly sank below the horizon. Just as High Class was about to repeat his question, she gently shook her head. “Nope.” she replied as she walked back into the house.