• Published 1st Jul 2014
  • 2,447 Views, 359 Comments

Foal Fever - Distaff Pope



With a filly on the way, Vinyl's started dreaming about her glory days as Equestria's premier DJ. A mysterious potion offers her a chance to feel young again, and with Vinyl's youth restored, Octavia's pregnancy is suddenly a lot

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27. To Err is Equine

After Vinyl said her little apology, I headed off to see my mother. I… I wanted to believe her, but after all she’d done, I just couldn’t. Instead, I decided to focus on helping my mother regain her memories. Leaving Vinyl Scratch behind to help my mother, the thought would have been utterly inconceivable to me forty-eight hours ago, and now… here we were.

“Good morning,” Celestia said as I entered into my parents room. “I apologize for prying, but the letter Luna showed me alluded to a conflict with your wife. Are the two of you alright?” The princess gave me her implacable serene smile, and I tried to force down my irritation. Of course she knew intimate details about my personal life, why in Equestria wouldn’t she? It was her meddling that caused me to come to Ponyville in the first place.

For the first time in years, I found myself wondering if my coming to Ponyville had been for the best, before ultimately dismissing such thoughts. Ponyville gave me my daughter, that had to count for something, even if everything else had gone… poorly. Besides, Lyra and Bon-Bon were still enjoyable ponies, and maybe Vinyl actually was trying to reform. Either way, the most pressing matter was resolving my mothers current condition and getting her back to normal. (Yes, she was normally distasteful, but mind magic was something of a trigger for me.)

“We’re… I’m not sure right now,” I said, frowning. “If you don’t mind, I’d rather not discuss such a personal matter. Can we just get the spell underway?”

She nodded imperceptibly. “Of course, first I will need the three of you to form a circle around Landed Estate.” As she spoke, Woodhoof, my father, and I moved to take our places around my mother, who was apparently quite calm about being the focus of a major memory spell. Then again, I suppose just the chance at remembering who she was would make any risk worthwhile. “Good, now then, for the spell to work, I will need access to your memories. If you don’t wish to participate, I will call the ritual off.”

“I have sworn to serve this family, and if this is what is required of me, I will do it gladly,” Woodhoof said.

“And I would prefer it if my wife had her memories back,” Father said, giving the princess a properly formal bow. “Repeating our courtship would be… inefficient.”

“As long as my memories won’t be altered, I will offer my help,” I said, deciding it was reasonable to trust the princess with the contents of my mind. Certainly, I didn’t see her deciding to reshape the contents of my mind as she saw fit like Vinyl had attempted to do. The thought of how she had willingly altered me against my consent sent another raw spike of anger up my spine. If she had just forced me to drink the potion against my will and explained herself afterwards, it was conceivable that I could forgive her. Instead, she had lied about it and obliterated my trust in her when the truth came out.

“Landed,” Princess Celestia said, looking at my mother, “are you ready?” My mother nodded at her as a bright light enveloped Princess Celestia’s horn. Three beams of light shot out towards the ponies who knew my mother best. As one of the beams struck me, I felt a slow easy contentedness washing over me as memories of my mother bubbled up to the surface of my mind.

It was amazing to me how few memories I actually had of her. There were some from my foalhood where she lectured me about propriety and spent a large amount of time grooming me for high society, but I suppose I had forgotten how few moments of actual fondness there were between us. Our relationship revolved around what was and wasn’t proper, and that was it. Then after I got my cutie mark, there were the fights about what I was going to do with the rest of my life, with her insisting that pursuing an actual career as a musician would be a disgrace to our family name. Finally, there was the fight, the ultimate severing of our relationship where she told me that I could either abandon my dreams of being a musician or leave her house. I chose the latter and didn’t see her again for a decade.

I felt like I was a foal again, sitting in front of my mother as she lectured me on what a good filly should and shouldn’t do. She was right about some things, that there were proper ways to do things. Maybe if I had listened to her about Vinyl, my wife wouldn’t have… betrayed me so completely. More memories came to the surface of my mind, these not related to my mother in the slightest. They were memories of my time in Ponyville, of the whirlwind courtship with Vinyl, our first drunken date, her supporting me after the events of Nightmare Night and Anthro-Con, the rebuilding after Canterlot… Without her, I might very well have been driven irredeemably mad. If I could give my mother a second chance, I could give my wife one as well, and if she failed again, then I would know her apology this morning was nothing more than empty words.

The ritual ended and my mother collapsed on the floor. Celestia nodded at us. “She will need some time to process her new memories, and for that, she needs her rest.” As she spoke, Celestia floated her over to my parents’ bed and tucked her into the sheets. “After some rest, she should be better than ever.”

“And the less-pleasant aspects of her personality?” I blurted out as Celestia turned to leave. Why in Equestria would I bring that up?

Celestia just smiled at me. “It has been my experience that such traumas tend to leave a pony re-evaluating their priorities in life. Now if you will excuse me, I’m afraid I must get back to Canterlot. Please let me know how your mother recovers.” There was a brief cackle of magical energy and the princess vanished.

I nodded at my father. “You will let me know when she wakes up,” I said, turning towards the door. “Right now, I’m going to take a nap in my room. Hopefully mother won’t be too upset when she wakes up. I’d hate for her to try and kill my wife.” At least, not before I had a chance to.

***

My wife had passed out on the middle of my bed, thoroughly ruining my plan to sleep in it. She was supposed to be getting her things out of my room and instead she was taking a nap. I took a step closer towards her and realized something about her was off. Her proportions were both different and familiar. I frowned, this was either very good or very very bad. “Vinyl, wake up,” I said, standing above her. “What did you do?”

She snorted and flopped over onto her back, looking up at me and giving an absolutely earth shattering yawn. “What do you mean ‘what did I do?’ I took a nap, I thought that would be kind of obvious.” She blinked up at me, her countenance taking on a reflective aspect I hadn’t seen in it for almost a month as I determined that the potion’s effects had definitely left my wife. My heart fluttered for a second; she was cured, and this nightmare finally had a chance at ending. Unfortunately, she was either choosing to play dumb or completely oblivious.

I shook my head, trying to hide my frustration. “That’s not what I… Vinyl, you’re old again.”

“Really?” she asked, surprise entering her eyes. She was either a very good liar (and nopony was that good a liar when they just woke up) or she was actually surprised. I sighed. “Huh,” she finished. That was it? Her curse was over, and all she had to say was “huh”? I found myself biting my tongue. She managed to go back to normal and I was still stuck looking like a teenager? It wasn’t fair.

“‘Huh.’ That’s all you have to say about reversing the potion’s effects?” She had wanted to go back to being a teenager and now here she was, looking like nothing had ever happened, while I was still stuck looking a decade too young. Now if I wanted to continue our relationship (still debatable), our already noticeable age difference would be doubled. Of course, she wouldn’t care about such things, she was too much a free spirit to be burdened by the opinions of others. If I could find out how she undid the potion though, all my problems would be solved, or at least most of them. “Again, what did you do?”

She shrugged, still feigning ignorance. “I don’t know, Lyra said something about there being a natural way to undo the potion. I guess me trying to be mature and apologizing for…” She trailed off, shame filling her face while I fumed at the idea that her trying to act like an adult is what undid the spell. I had been the very essence of propriety, but I was still stuck like a teenager. “I’m sorry again, it’s–”

I cut her off. “Not important right now.” My eyes narrowed as I fumed over the injustice of our situations. “What is important is figuring out why you displaying one iota of maturity undoes the potion’s effects, while I’ve been nothing but mature since you forced me to drink the potion and I still haven’t returned to normal.”

The only pony who could possibly give me a reasonable explanation was Lyra, so I headed off to find her, muttering as I did so. Vinyl called out after me. “I wasn’t trying to act mature–” I never heard her finish the thought as I slammed the door shut and headed out into the mansion to find a pony who might have some answers.

***

“Lyra!” I shouted as I stormed down the halls of our mansion towards her guest room, “I need to talk to you about the–”

“She’s sleeping,” Bon-Bon said, poking her head out of their room. “She spent all night disenchanting the paw for you, so right now she needs her rest. I don’t care how urgent it is, unless the house is on fire, I’m not going to let you wake her up.” I frowned, recalling last night. She did deserve her rest, even if it greatly inconvenienced me.

“Vinyl undid her potion,” I said to my friend. “She claims not to know what she did, but she thinks it has something to do with her apology.”

“That’s great news,” Bon-Bon said, closing the door to Lyra’s room. “Half of your problem is solved then. Once we get you back to normal, everything will be taken care of.”

I shook my head at her. “This is not great news. If Vinyl acting like an adult is what undid the potion, then how come I’m still stuck like this? Since I drank the potion, I’ve taken great pains to be mature, and for whatever reason, I’m still a teenager.”

Bon-Bon frowned and shook her head. “Maybe that’s not the solution then. Perhaps you should talk to your wife and see just why she apologized to you.”

“That…” I frowned at her. “Your idea has some merit. You will send Lyra to me as soon as she wakes up?”

Bon-Bon nodded. “Of course. Just remember, it’s of the utmost importance that you keep calm. According to Lyra, the potion amplifies your emotions, and so if you two get into a fight–”

I cut her off and smiled. “Don’t worry Bon-Bon, I’m always in control of myself.” She just smiled and laughed nervously in response as I headed off towards our room.

***

In my opinion, a labyrinthine mansion is not a particularly pleasant place to traverse when you have a foal growing inside you. I had to stop and take a breather before I got back to our bedroom. When I arrived, Vinyl was busy putting all her possessions into boxes. “I want to talk,” I said, moving to lay down on our bed and get some weight off my hooves.

“Sure,” she said, floating the albums she had accrued during our time in Manehattan into a nearby box. “Mind if I sit on the bed?” I shook my head and she moved to sit on the far end of the couch, giving me as much space as I could. “So, what did you want to talk about?”

“In the general sense, I want to talk about us, but right now I am mostly concerned with just why the potion stopped affecting you,” I said, frowning and staring at the ceiling. “It just seems odd; you doing one semi-mature thing lifts the curse, while I’ve been nothing but mature and still stuck as a teenager.”

She shrugged. “Well, it’s not like I was trying to be mature, I just… you know, I realized I’d screwed up royally and wanted to help undo some of the damage I caused. I wanted to give you what deserved.”

“So, you stopped thinking of yourself and did something for another pony,” I said, rolling onto my side to face her.

“Yeah, basically,” she said, nodding. “It was like, I realized I’d been acting like a jerk and then Bon-Bon told me that instead of thinking about how to get you back, I should think about how to help you. So yeah, maybe putting another pony’s needs above my own is what did it. It was the first time I did that since I drank the potion.” She shook her head. “I can’t believe I turned into a jerk, and I really want to make that up to you, Tavi. Even if making it up to you means leaving you alone. I’d understand if you want somepony better.”

I gave her a small smile. “Excluding your behavior over the past few weeks, I don’t think I could find a better pony.” She had made mistakes, yes, but she was also trying to atone. If I could forgive my parents, I could forgive my wife. I found myself recalling our five years of wedded bliss, could I really throw all that away after a few bad aches? “Vinyl, I’m going to forgive you. Please don’t make me regret it.”

Vinyl positively beamed at that. “R-really?” she asked, her voice actually quivering with excitement.

“Really,” I said, feeling my bitterness melt away. “There’s too much good to throw out our entire relationship, and you deserve to be in our daughter’s life.” I crawled over to her and laid down next to her, before grabbing her foreleg and resting my forehoof on my bulging stomach, allowing her to feel the foal inside. “We’re family, and family forgives.” I smiled and kissed her cheek, as my lack of sleep over the past few days suddenly hit me with full force.

I smiled as my eyes closed, and five words escaped my lips before I lost all consciousness. “I love you, Vinyl Scratch.”

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