• Published 1st Jul 2014
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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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28. All Apologies (Vinyl)

The light from Lyra’s horn faded. “Yep, I can’t detect any signs of outside magic in your magical field,” she said, beaming at us. “What did you do?”

“Vinyl apologized and I forgave her,” Tavi said, frowning in thought. A few hours ago, she had fallen asleep after apologizing to me, and now she was pretty much back to normal. Plus, I bet she didn’t have anywhere near as much shit to feel guilty about as I did. I’d been terrible to Tavi’s mom (though she kind of made it easy for me to be terrible to her), terrible to my friends, and terrible to Tavi. Yeah, she had forgiven me, but… I don’t feel like I actually deserved it. She didn’t even try to make me atone, she just forgave me. “I’m still not sure what the connection is. I can understand Vinyl maturing after acting like an adult again, but…”

“You both thought of somepony else,” Bon-Bon said, sitting next to her wife in the breakfast room. “It makes sense.”

“Really?” we both asked. Funny, we were talking together again. Not much of that happened when I was a teenager for whatever reason.

“How would thinking of another pony undo the effects of age magic? It doesn’t seem… I can’t see the connection,” Tavi said, sitting next to me.

Bon-Bon laughed at that. “Sorry, it’s just… for me, I remember being incredibly selfish when I was a teenager. Not maliciously, just… it was hard for me to think of what other ponies would like.”

“That sounds about right,” I said, nodding my head in agreement. “I figured what I wanted was best for Tavi, and thought she was just… wrong when she disagreed with me. It’s so dumb, but I thought I knew best about everything.” I swallowed nervously and found myself having a hard time looking at anypony. Tavi might’ve forgiven me (or at least said she had), but I was having a hard time forgiving myself.

“And perhaps my concern with propriety prevented me from properly empathizing with ponies,” Octavia said, noticing my discomfort and moving to pat my back. Dammit, could she stop being so sensitive and understanding? Ever since she woke up a few hours ago, she’d been reminding me of how the potion messed with my brain and that it wasn’t my fault, and the whole thing just made me feel worse somehow.

I mean, I didn’t deserve this forgiveness, I had screwed up royally, and she was being understanding and it’s like… I needed to atone for it, right? But how could I do that when she was just being nice and… was this what she felt like when I was doing so much to help her out after she just moved to Ponyville?

“Hey, I have to go for a walk,” I said, smiling at Tavi. “There are still a few ponies I need to apologize to.”

She frowned at me and tapped a forehoof against the table. “Hmm, you apologized to me, you apologized to Lyra and Bon-Bon, that just leaves…” Her eyes went wide. “Vinyl, I can go with you for this. You shouldn’t face her alone.”

“But I want to,” I said, getting up on my hooves. “I mean, I’m really kind of terrified, but at the same time, it’s like… my gut is telling me to. Besides, your mom really can’t hurt me. You know the truth and she doesn’t have anything else she can hold over me.” I reflexively leaned in to kiss her neck, and felt her muscles tense.

Tavi smiled at me and hid her discomfort. “Of course, but if you need anything… just let me know. I know how unpleasant she can be.”


“Please, come in, Vinyl,” Landed said, her smile shocking me with its sheer normalcy. Seeing an actual smile on her face was actually really unnerving. “I’m actually glad you stopped by.”

“Yeah, I wanted to apologize,” I said, stepping into her room. “I… did a lot of things I regretted while affected by the potion, and I think wiping your mind was probably the worst. I know you have no reason to forgive me, but–”

“Oh, just stop,” Landed said, laughing as she took a seat. “Your decision to apologize is admirable, but I honestly feel… fine.” She shook her head. “Something about the spell Princess Celestia used, old memories are coming to the surface and making me rethink some of my life choices. My mother, she was so kind and supportive of me – yes, she focused on propriety, but she still cared for me and wanted me to be happy. I think she was heartbroken when I married Record.”

“What? Record seems okay to me. Like, no offense, but when I met him a week or so ago he seemed a bit more… you know.”

“Nicer?” Landed asked, still smiling as I took my own seat. “Yes, I suppose he is, but at the same time… he’s driven. When he was younger, he was just as focused on advancing himself as I was. The only reason he changed was because during our war with the Apples, he lost all of his businesses. Now that he’s ‘retired,’ he’s calmed down substantially. Instead of managing a business empire, he spends his days reading or in the pool. Sometimes both.”

“So… he’s trying to be nicer, too?” I asked, looking around her room. It was… functional? I guess. There definitely wasn’t a lot of stuff there; a bed, a dresser, a mirror, and a bunch of empty space. Then again, Tavi said that empty space was apparently a sign that a pony was rich, so maybe this was just a sign that they were really well off. I mean, their room certainly had a lot of empty space. The only other furniture in it was the small tea table we were sitting around.

“I suppose,” she said, her smile briefly turning into a frown. “A part of me wonders if he’s not just playing nice now because there’s nothing to be ruthless about.” Landed shook her head. “I’m sorry, you didn’t want to hear my speculating. How can I help you?”

“You can start by telling me why you’re suddenly being so nice. Not complaining, but it’s really weird,” I said, wondering just what her game was. Not to say her being nice was bad, just so completely jarringly different that I couldn’t help but think it was part of some scheme to get back at me.

“Like I said, after the ritual, I found myself re-evaluating my decisions and realizing… I was horrible to my daughter. I encouraged Record to kick her out, I constantly plotted to get her to do what I wanted, and tried to bribe you to leave her,” she said, her frown growing. “My own mother supported me, and whatever event prompted me to be so… cold was lost in the reconstruction, I suppose. I’d like to try to be a better mother to Octavia, although I suppose she doesn’t need me anymore.”

“Nope,” I said, nodding, “and I don’t think you have any parenting wisdom you could share with her, but… I think she would love it if you got to know her and have a part in her life. I mean, as long as you don’t try to control her life.”

“Obviously,” she said, nodding and looking almost exactly like Tavi as she did. It was actually kind of weird how strong the resemblance was, even though… I mean, she was Tavi’s mom, so I guess it’s not that weird. “Can I ask you how I should go about that, though? You know my daughter better than I.”

“Tavi really appreciates it if you’re open and honest with her. I mean, it’s the main reason she forgave me. Show remorse, apologize, but just… be honest with her. Lies and mind-control magic are probably the two biggest ways to get her incredibly pissed at you.”

“Language,” Landed said. “It’s… there’s no need for you to swear, such things are improper.” Well, I guess she hadn’t completely changed. That was actually kind of reassuring.

“Sorry,” I said. “Anyways, my main point is that you should just… talk to her. I’ll even put in a good word for you.” I felt myself smile. “And this time, you won’t have to blackmail me.”

She blinked at me in confusion. “Did I actually try to do that?” Of course she didn’t know that. Tavi probably didn’t know about our “deal”, so whenever Celestia did her memory transfer thingy, that memory didn’t make it in.

I nodded at her. “Yeah, that… it actually led to our big fight. Well, it sparked our fight. Me being a total moron led to the fight, and I have to make it up to Tavi somehow.”

“Well then, it seems we both have things to make up for,” Landed said, her genial smile returning.

“Yeah, I guess we do,” I said, slowly nodding my head before returning her smile. “And hey, if she could forgive me, then I’m sure she can forgive you.”

“Perhaps so,” she said. “Anyways, Vinyl Scratch, consider your apology accepted. Assuming you accept my apology for my callousness, of course.”

“I think we can do that,” I said, nodding. “Water under the bridge, then?”

“Water under the bridge.”

“Cool,” I said, getting up on my hooves and heading towards the door. The sun had set a few hours ago, and with my youth gone (thankfully), I found myself struggling to keep my eyes open. Hopefully, Tavi will be cool with us sharing a bed, I thought as I walked back to our room and collapsed on the bed.


I woke up to the sound of a pony pacing. It was still dark out, and nopony else was in the bed. My wife was pacing at the foot of our bed, mumbling softly to herself. “You alright?” I asked, lifting my head up to get a better look at her.

She shook her head. “No, I am still… upset about things, I suppose, and more importantly, I think your daughter is trying to kill me by turning my internal organs into pulp.”

“Want to talk about it?” I asked, rolling out of bed. “Not the thing with our daughter, but the other one. The fact that you’re still upset. Would you prefer it if I found another room to sleep in?”

“No,” she said, wincing. “I’m not upset with you, just… I am, but I’m not. I forgave you, I’m happy to help you, but at the same time, a part of me worries that you will betray me again.”

“Well, I mean, I won’t,” I said, moving to turn the light on in our room. “But I also get that you might not trust me too much. I know I’ve been pretty terrible to you, and I know it takes time to restore a pony’s trust in you.”

Tavi grimaced and sat next to the bed. “I know… I mean, I know you won’t hurt me, but two months ago, I knew you wouldn’t hurt me, and then you did, and I suppose…” She shook her head and tried to smile. “I really don’t know where I’m going with this... How was your conversation with my mother?” Tavi suddenly asked.

“Weird,” I said, sitting next to her, and draping my foreleg over her shoulders while she pressed her head against my chest. “She actually seemed nice and… how did you know about our talk?”

“I spoke with her after my talk with my father.”

“Oh? How was that?” I asked, feeling my ears perk up and recalling Landed’s thoughts on the matter.

“Strange,” she said, “he admitted to some… less than pleasant things and then apologized for them.” Tavi stopped and laughed. “Considering how friendly my mother was, I might suspect my parents were replaced with duplicates.”

“Ooh! Or maybe it’s a changeling plot,” I said, instantly regretting the words as I felt her whole body get tense. Right, mentioning changelings to Tavi was a bad idea. I quickly tried to change the subject matter. “Hey, have you seen Brutus and Portia lately? Ever since we got here, they’ve been kind of… It’s a big house, and I’m worried they got lost.”

I groaned, cleaning up his messes was my responsibility, and that meant that there was probably a room somewhere that he had converted into his own bathroom. So… yeah, if this was supposed to be a test of our parenting abilities, we might have some things to work on. In our defense though, the last few days were really crazy, and I guess Bon-Bon was right when she said teenagers have a hard time thinking of ponies outside themselves. I know I did. “I’ll take care of it,” I said. “How’s Portia?”

“When I checked a few hours ago–” I heard her inhale sharply as every single muscle in her body seemed to get tight. “I swear, if I have to put up with much more of this, I’m going to dump our daughter off on my parents.”

“That’s pretty harsh,” I said. “I mean, I know they’re doing better, but still, I thought you were big into raising our daughter ourselves.”

“I am,” she said, the tension fading from her a few seconds later, “but I would appreciate it if she stopped making me feel like my body was about to be ripped in two.”

“Her kicking’s that bad?” I asked as she got back onto her hooves and started pacing again. She just nodded at me.

“I really don’t know what I did to deserve this, Vinyl,” Tavi said after a few more seconds. “I’m trying to be a good mother, I read every book on parenting I could find, I had something of a crash course on dealing with teenagers this past month, and I think–” She paused as we both heard something squish on the floor, and I suddenly found my heart in my throat.

“Vinyl,” she finally said, “my water just broke.”

Author's Note:

We are reaching the end of the story. The final pieces are falling into place, and the conclusion we all knew was coming is coming.

Edited by the wonderful EquesTRON

Also, edited a chapter to prevent a continuity snarl with tomorrow's chapter.