• Published 26th May 2014
  • 8,220 Views, 117 Comments

To Be A Parent - Pastel Pony



When the desperate tears of a teacher force Filthy Rich to at last see his daughter for what she is, it will be less than easy for him to rediscover what it means to be a father, and uncover the diamond of a filly he hopes exists in his daughter.

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Prologue

It was an early Saturday morning that found a young stallion named Filthy Rich parked on a bench outside the town hospital with shaky knees and a cigarette dangling from his mouth. With a shiver, he lifted a hoof to smooth his frazzled mane, and glanced down at the offending object in-between his lips. He knew it was a nasty habit, but sometimes a smoke was the only thing that calmed him down in a crisis.

And in many ways could this easily qualify as a crisis.

Each time the front door slid open, he instinctively winced. Though he was likely imagining it, he swore he could still hear his wife’s curses and screams from three stories above. He ought to be up there with her… She was going through a lot… she needed him. But, well, she was in a lot of pain, and, naturally, for the last six hours she’d been taking it out on him with a long monologue about how “his was all his fault, with many an inappropriate word thrown in.

Plus… he was afraid.

Coward, he told himself.

He took one last hasty pull on the cigarette, before tossing it to the ground and crushing it with his hoof. It was time to get back upstairs, he had given up so much for this day, he couldn’t chicken out now. Hell, he’d even married a mare he wasn’t even sure he wanted to for the sake of this.

But his father always said, you knock a mare up you marry her.

With a sigh, he dragged himself off his hooves and stumbled towards the doors, casting a wary glance at the couple coming out the hospital, a foal snuggled in the mare’s foreleg. Was that really what it was like? Was that little thing really worth giving up your whole life for?

Filthy Rich was a grand total of 22 years old. As far as he was concerned, that was too young to try and raise a foal.

Nevertheless, he steeled himself against his fears and trotted inside, choosing at the last minute to take the stairs, if only to prolong the inventible end result of his path. At last, he reached the maternity ward. He went to open the door to his wife’s room only for a young unicorn nurse to pop her head out a second before.

“Ah! Mr. Rich! Excellent. I was just about to come and find you, we think it won’t be long now.”

The stallion nodded nervously and followed the mare inside, where his wife lay in the bed. Her normally luscious pink mane was scraggly, and plastered against her forehead. Too tired to even curse her husband anymore, she simply reached out a hoof that he gently took.

The doctor and nurse bustled back into their positions. “Alright Mrs. Rich, I know you’ve been through a lot, but we’ve given you as much of a break as we can. It’s time to finish the job.”

The mare nodded and it began again… all the screaming, all the crying. In a matter of mere minutes he found himself with his head turned away, eyes shut and cringing. Even when Filthy heard the doctor shout that he could see the head, his eyes remained shut.

And then it was quiet.

Carefully, he cracked an eyelid open to watch the nurse and doctor bustling around something small. He finally forced himself to look at his wife again, as she merely sat there with a tired expression.

With her shadowed eyes, messy mane, and sweaty fur, she looked surprisingly beautiful. She seemed... cleaner, almost, without her hairspray and eye shadow.

The nurse turned around with… it in her foreleg.

“Congratulations.” She smiled, lowering the bundle into its mother’s waiting arms. “It’s a filly.”

A filly. Not for the first time that day, Filthy felt his heart stop. Peering nervously over his wife’s shoulder, his breath caught in his throat at the sight of her. She had pink fur, just one shade darker than her mother’s, with tufts of purple and white hair on her head. It seemed so impossible that he had been a part of creating something so tiny and delicate.

He reached out his hooves gently. ”Can… Can I?” His wife nodded, and he carefully cradled the filly in his arms. She stirred and looked up at him, clear blue eyes, the exact same shade as his, framed by long, dark lashes. What amazed him most though, was her mane… the more he studied it, he was sure. Though it couldn’t be seen now, it would one day be curly, just like his mother’s. The colors were exactly the same.

The nurse approached them with the birth certificate held in her magic’s glow. “Have you picked a name?”

He nodded, unable to take his eyes off his daughter’s face. “Y-Yes… Diamond.” That was what they had agreed on if the baby was a girl.

But… it didn’t feel right. His gaze was once again drawn to the beginnings of the foal’s mane. Golden Tiara would never know her granddaughter… never hold her in her arms. Suddenly, he wanted his daughter to have that connection very, very badly.

“Tiara…” he whispered.

The nurse glanced up. “What?”

Filthy nodded to himself. “Her name will be Diamond… Diamond Tiara.”

His wife glanced up sharply, but he ignored her. Even as his wife frowned, and the nurse bustled away, he never stopped looking at his daughter. The filly shifted slightly and whined quietly as the noise of the medical equipment being shifted around assaulted her sensitive new ears.

“Shhh.” Her father whispered, holding her close. “Don’t worry. Nothing will hurt you so long as I’m around. That’s what daddies are meant to do. And…” he chuckled, lifting a hoof to stroke her short mane. “There might be some screw-ups along the way, but I’m going to do my best as a father.” He leaned down and kissed her forehead. “I promise you… my baby Tiara.”