• Published 1st Jul 2014
  • 3,106 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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29. Fathers and Daughters (Octavia)

Vinyl had just walked off into the proverbial lion’s den alone and unarmed, leaving me alone to think… well, and talk with Lyra and Bon-Bon, but considering the glances I caught them sharing, they would probably appreciate some time alone. “I have some business to take care of as well,” I said, smiling at them.

“Alright,” Bon-Bon said, nodding her head as Lyra scooted closer to her. “We’ll see you tomorrow, I suppose.” I gave her a nod as I headed to the main foyer, unpleasant thoughts entering my head. Yes, I had forgiven Vinyl, and I absolutely meant it. For the first time in weeks, I had seen my Vinyl, and that look of sadness and regret in her eyes… it was one I was all too familiar with. During my first few days in Ponyville, I did things I regretted almost immediately, but even before we started dating, she was always there to forgive me, and… I just didn’t want us to fight anymore. We both regretted our actions, and isn’t love about forgiving when the other errs?

I didn’t doubt my decision for an instant, but something still sat uneasy with me and I was having a hard time understanding what it was. I curled up on one of the chairs and thought, hoping to find whatever it was that bothered me. I loved Vinyl, and I had meant it when I said I forgave her. There weren’t any ulterior motives to my forgiveness, unless a desire to move past our hostilities and welcome back the Vinyl I loved counted as an ulterior motive. I forgave her, I loved her, but when I looked at her, I still saw the other Vinyl, the one who had betrayed me completely, and wondered just how much of her was left.

The kiss she gave me before leaving to speak with my mother brought back far too many memories of the past few weeks, some pleasant, most not. In time, those memories would almost certainly fade as new memories replaced them, but what was I to do until then? The fastest way to move past such things was to continue our relationship normally, but those damned memories made doing so difficult. Every touch and kiss recalled the hours we spent together, and the betrayal they stemmed from. I sighed, forgiveness, it seemed, didn’t wash away all our past problems.

“Hello, Octavia,” my father said as he walked into the foyer. “I didn’t expect to find you here, I can leave if you wish.

I shook my head. “No, stay, I… if you don’t mind hearing about my relationship problems, that is. Having somepony to talk with would be immensely helpful right now.”

“Of course,” he said, nodding his head and taking a seat across from me. “Still having your fight with Vinyl?”

“You knew about that?” I asked, not recalling telling him about my fight with my wife.

He laughed and nodded, and I found myself noticing how oddly rehearsed the action felt. “I know you aren’t particularly close to your mother, but I’d like to think that if a pony wiped away your mother’s memories, you’d at least be a little upset with her.”

“Fair enough,” I said. “But to answer your question, no, we are no longer fighting. The potion that was affecting both of us has dissipated, and as far as I can tell, we are back to our old selves.”

“Potion?” he asked, his ears perking up. “Is that why you look different today?”

I couldn’t help but laugh. Even after living in the same (admittedly very large) house as me for the last few weeks, he still hadn’t noticed anything was wrong until I had explicitly told him. “Yes,” I said as my laughter subsided, “the fact that the potion was dispelled is why I actually look my age. How did you not notice?”

“We hadn’t seen you for years. For all we knew, you might have just looked young for your age and commenting would have been rude,” he said, shrugging his shoulders. “As for not noticing your change today, I suppose I was thinking of Landed. She’s been odd ever since she woke up.”

“Define odd,” I said, thinking of the conversation my mother was currently having with my wife.

“In this case, I mean pleasant. We were actually having a conversation about how she could make amends to you for all she had done.” He apparently saw the shock on my face. “I feel the same way you do. Your mother being pleasant to other ponies is not something I ever expected to see.”

“Then pardon me for asking, but if she was so unpleasant, why did you marry her?” I asked, deciding to ask a question that had been in the back of my mind for the last few weeks. While my father had been far more… amicable than I remembered him, my mother had been just as awful as she had when we last met.

His expression shifted into a frown. “I suppose you deserve the truth. I married her for the same reason I do anything: to advance myself. I formed a business empire with the now defunct Capitail Records, and still wanted more, so I married into one of Equestria’s noble families. Now that I’ve no more real opportunities to do so, I’ve found myself thinking more about the morality of all my actions.”

“Is that why you apologized to me?” I asked, furrowing my brow. Hearing him speak so freely was… more than a little shocking.

“No, I did that to preserve a measure of what I had spent a lifetime earning. Yes, what we did to you was terrible, and you deserved an apology certainly, but the only reason I worked so hard to convince your mother to bury the hatchet with you was because if we didn’t, we would lose everything. At least this way, I get to keep… something.”

I closed my eyes and took a calming breath as our daughter punched at one of my internal organs with all her might. I gritted my teeth until the pain passed. “Did you mean it when you apologized to me, or was this just some attempt to ‘advance yourself?’”

“It was both,” he said, not noting my physical distress. “You deserved your apology, but I also decided it was the best way to end the Apples’ attacks on us. If not apologizing to you would’ve benefited me more, I would have forsaken the right thing in favor of benefiting myself.”

“Then why are you admitting all this?” I asked, my mind turning back to Vinyl’s apology. It was easy for my father to seem sincere a few weeks ago, but apparently that had all been a deception, or at least a decision motivated more by pragmatism than a desire to make amends.”

His frown deepened. “For the last few weeks, I’ve had nothing to do but wander the house and think about past actions. Beyond that, seeing the mare you became… I suppose I’ve started to regret my ruthless pragmatism and want to try to be better. That means being honest with you now. You deserve a better father than I’ve been.”

“I see,” I said, nodding my head. “I appreciate your honesty then, it would’ve been easier for you to have just lied, but you chose to do the hard thing. That means a lot to me.”

He nodded at me. “Thank you for being so kind to your mother and me. It wasn’t something we deserved.”

“There’s a friend I have in Ponyville,” I said, feeling the same compassion I’d felt when I forgave Vinyl rising up in me, “she believes that if you were only kind to those who deserved it, it wouldn’t be real kindness.” I felt myself smile. “It would just be self-interest.”

“Something to think about,” my father said, tilting his head. “Anyways, I’m sure you have more to do this evening than talk to an old man about all the things he did wrong in his youth. Perhaps you should visit your mother and see how odd she is for yourself. I’m still trying to think if the change is a positive thing.”

“How would being nice be a bad thing?” I asked, getting up to my hooves, and feeling somewhat more at peace regarding my decision to forgive Vinyl. Maybe the bad in her was still there, but she was working to be better than it, and for the past five years she had succeeded so brilliantly I never noticed it was there, and assuming she didn’t drink anymore magic age potions, I never would again. Soon we’d have our daughter, and this unpleasant chapter of our lives would be closed. I made a note to discuss the name dream with her tonight or tomorrow.

As I walked to my mother’s room, there was another spasm of pain as I felt my daughter kick at me again. For some unknown reason, these punches were almost debilitating while her earlier attempts at punching and kicking were merely inconvenient. For a moment, I considered that this might be the start of labor before dismissing such thoughts. I wasn’t due for a few more weeks, I was fine.

“Good evening, Octavia,” my mother said after I knocked on her door. “What brings you here?”

I tried to smile at her, “I heard you were acting kind, and I came to investigate such claims myself.”

She laughed, “I suppose you’ve been talking with your father then? Yes, I am trying to be kinder than I was. Admittedly, it’s rather difficult, but I feel… when I was regaining my memories, I saw them from the perspective of the pony I was hurting, and all those feelings came with them. Woodhoof’s love, your father’s resentment, and your bitterness… I felt all of it, and now I want to make up for it. I wronged ponies, and I wronged you most of all.”

That was… I could understand how seeing all my actions through the eyes of another pony might lead to re-evaluating my priorities, especially if they had been anywhere near as unpleasant as my mother’s. “I’m sorry you had to go through that,” I said. “Even if the result made you better, nopony should go through that.”

She smiled at me. “That’s not important now. What is important is that I make amends to you.”

I couldn’t help but laugh. “It seems that’s the theme for today, everypony wants to apologize to me for something, so allow me to make this simple, you are forgiven. As long as you don’t go about acting like your old self, there is no need to work on amends, although I would appreciate it if we got to know each other better.”

My mother tilted her head and furrowed her brow, in a very familiar look of confusion. “I honestly thought I would have to do more to win your forgiveness, my actions were… inexcusable.”

“They were,” I said, nodding at her in agreement, “but I’ve been doing a truly excessive amount of forgiving, and I see no need to break that trend. Besides, I highly doubt this is some sort of ruse.”

“What makes you say that?” she asked, looking at me from across her tea table.

“You never managed to make your smiles look like actual smiles before,” I said, as I felt another pain in my abdomen. I winced.

“Are you alright?” my mother asked, furthering my theory that she was trying to be a better pony. I highly doubt she would have noticed three days ago.

I nodded slowly. “My daughter is proving to be problematic,” I said as the pain subsided. “These past few weeks, she’s been growing more and more restless, and today is the worst by far.” Outside the sun had just gone down, and I felt my lack of sleep over the past few days catch up to me. “I am going to try to get some sleep. The last few nights have been rough, and maybe she’ll be better in the morning.”

“Of course,” my mother said, nodding her head at me as I got up onto my hooves. “I will see you tomorrow, dear.”


Sleep was not forthcoming that night, and I soon found myself pacing our bedroom, in an attempt to working my intermittent pain out or, failing that, exhaust myself to the point I could sleep through it. It also provided an opportunity for me to work my worries about Vinyl. She eventually woke up, and we had an illuminating conversation. When it was finally over, I felt like I could actually get some sleep. It was, of course, at that moment, that my water broke.

Author's Note:

I hate to be a tease and have you wait another day until the birth, but... wait, no I don't. I absolutely love it. Anyways, I will see you tomorrow when we get to the chapter you actually want.