• Published 8th Feb 2012
  • 6,537 Views, 163 Comments

Ditz and Spitz: Origin of Derpy - Poinger

Derpy is happy with her life, until Spitfire stirs memories of the past they shared...

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Part 2: Guilt and Interviews

Early the next morning Ditzy awoke to the shrill ring of her alarm clock. Blearily, she dislodged a leg from her twisted bedsheets and slammed her hoof down between the bells to stop their ringing. With some difficulty, she managed to disentangle herself from her bed and go about her normal morning routine of making the breakfast muffins. She had time while they baked to get herself ready for work, and get Dinky awake and ready for school. Though her Dinky was less than enthusiastic about waking up, Ditzy tickled her with her wings until she squirmed her way out of bed, still giggling as she loaded up her school saddlebags. Once the muffins were done, they ate their breakfast quickly and got on the road, walking briskly in the morning cold.

Their walk toward school was quieter than it usually was, until Dinky nervously broke the silence. "Uhm, Mommy? W-why did you tell Ms. Rainbow Dash that you didn't know Spitfire? You don't… you don't want her to think you're cool?"

She sighed. She'd expected her daughter to ask eventually, but she didn't want to make her feel any worse about what she'd done. She answered with a kind smile. "She never said why, but Spitfire told me not to tell anypony she was visiting."

Dinky looked down guiltily. "Oh. But I was telling everypony. Sorry."

"It’s okay, Muffin. You said sorry enough last night, remember? You didn't know; it happens. I’m not upset with you."

She looked up hopefully. "So… what's she like?"

Ditzy chuckled, and began to tell her Dinky about how nice her friend was to her and how quickly she flew when she took off from the lawn. Before too long, they arrived at school. Ditzy gave her daughter a goodbye kiss and a hearty "Have a good schoolday, Muffin!" before crookedly flying off toward the mailhouse. The awed stares cast at her by the other ponies and their foals went unnoticed.

As she entered the mailhouse, she heard a voice she didn't recognize talking to the boss-stallion and the other few mailponies.

"So you've known her a long time, then?"

"Yeah, since she started workin' here. Musta been… six, seven years? ‘Bout round the time she moved here."

"Have you heard she's been meeting with Spitfire?"

"Yeah I—oh. Heya, Ditzy." The boss-stallion had finally noticed her. He nodded toward the newcomer. "This guy here wanted to—"

The newcomer was a white pegasus with a film strip cutie mark and a camera hanging around his neck. After her presence was made known, he gave her a long, thorough look-over. He frowned slightly when he glanced at her face, then perked up upon seeing her flank. She was starting to feel offended when he suddenly raised his camera and took a picture of her. "Flash Bulb, Ms. Doo. With the Equestria Today. I just wanted to get a quick interview about what's been goin' on with you and Spitfire."

Ditzy frowned. She felt a tickle in the back of her head, like she sometimes got when talking to Spitz about the Wonderbolts. Something felt familiar about this, but she was sure she'd never seen this camera-pony before. She spoke carefully, eying the offending newspony. "I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t know any pony named Spitfire." Her words caused mixed reactions amongst the ponies present.

"Ha!" One of the mailponies crowed, turning to the boss-stallion. "Told you. You owe me 5 bits."

"We never shook on it!"

Others turned toward her.

"Really, Ditzy? Cause that's not what my brother told me."

"I knew it was all just a bunch of hooey."

"Aww. I wanted to ask you for her autograph…"

But the most curious reaction came from the reporter, who just started laughing. He eventually cut off the others as they stopped talking amongst themselves to stare at him. He turned back to her once he finally got control of himself, still slightly teary-eyed. "'I don’t know any pony named Spitfire?' I'd get it if you guys weren't so close anymore, but not knowing her? That's a bit of a stretch given how long you flew together, don't ya think?" The other mailponies sat in dead silence, now staring at Ditzy expectantly.

She frowned. What was this Flash Bulb talking about? She never flew with Spitz, and she didn't like him laughing at her. She hated getting laughed at. Her reply was rather curt. "You’re wrong. I haven't flown with any Spitfire and I don't know any Spitfire. Excuse me; I’d better start moving the mail now."

She walked over to the mailbags waiting for her behind the counter, and on her third try managed to settle them across her back, picking up the letters that had escaped during her failed attempts and stuffing them back in the mailbags. She headed back toward the door to leave, the other mailponies still silently staring at her. That Flash Bulb pony was waiting for her with an arched eyebrow. "I guess that means no comment, huh?" He followed her as she left, asking about the photograph that had been seen around town, and continued to natter questions at her after she again told him she had no idea what he was talking about. She sighed. This was going to be a long day.

She went about her mail route ignoring Flash as best she could. Most ponies who were home when she moved the mail to their mailboxes came out to ask her questions too, but they were always the same: did she really know Spitfire? Her answer, likewise, was always the same: no, she did not. Unfortunately, it was hard to convince them when they saw Flash a short distance away attempting to pry an answer to some question or another out of her.

Flash Bulb was peeved. He had confirmed that this was indeed Ditzy Doo. It was the story of a lifetime, with him breaking it to all of Equestria… except the infuriating mare simply refused to answer his questions. He'd been trying to get answers from her for over two hours, but apparently she didn't want to give him anything. "Miss Doo? Miss Doo?"

He managed to pull her attention. "Huh? What do you want now, Mr. Flash Bulb? I have a lot more mail to move."

His reply was full of strained cheer. "I was just wondering if you were ever going to answer any of my questions, Ms. Doo."

"Oh. Hmm..." She put a hoof to her chin in thought for a while, then flashed him a wide smile. “Nope.”

He'd been afraid of that. "C'mon, Ms. Doo. Everypony wants to know about it. These ponies here in this rural little village might buy that you don't know Spitfire, but nopony anywhere else will. It's obvious you've been meeting yer old buddy; I just wanna know why."

Her smile vanished in a sour grimace. "I've been telling you and everypony else; I don’t know Spitfire."

Flash Bulb sighed and snapped one final picture. "Okay, Ms. Doo. Have it your way. Thanks for what little time you gave." As much as he wanted to keep questioning her, she appeared willing to remain stubbornly noncommital. He didn't have the kind of time he needed to question her if he wanted to make his deadline. He flew off toward the school house, and heard her sigh in relief as he left. Time to go and see if the other family member, this "Dinky," knew anything…

Flash Bulb landed a short distance from the school grounds. His timing was perfect: the foals were pouring out of the schoolhouse for recess. He looked around at the students and frowned. Most of them were clustered in a crowd around the steps, with a few others scattered throughout the yard. Search as he might, he couldn’t see anypony matching Dinky’s description. Maybe one of the other foals knew where she was. He approached a filly trio seated beneath a tree; the three were shooting envious glances at the crowd and shirked back from him as he approached. "Heya, girls. Any of you know where Dinky Doo is? I wanted to talk to her for a bit."

The three shared curious glances before the earth filly ventured to respond. "Whatchu wanna talk to Dinky 'bout, anyway, mister?"

He put on his most disarming smile. "Oh, Flash Bulb. My name's Flash Bulb. Well, I'm one of her mom's friends from out of town; I work for the Equestria Today, the newspaper. Anyway, I came out here to interview her about her talk with Spitfire for the front page article, but she was too busy working to finish answering all of my questions. So I thought I'd come out here and see if Dinky could answer some of them." The trio grew wide-eyed, jumping at the chance to be in a newspaper.

"That is so cool! Dinky's mom is gonna be in the paper!"

"Hey, we know Dinky. She told us all about it!"

"Yeah! I'm sure she wouldn't mind if it was for the paper. You're her mom's friend, after all, right?"

Flash Bulb was taken aback by their sudden burst of enthusiasm, but quickly regained his composure. A source was a source, after all, and he didn't exactly have much to go on. "Thanks, girls! So, what do you know about all this?"

"Dinky showed me this picture of her mom and Spitfire yesterday. She even let me borrow it, it was so awesome!"

"Oh, yeah. I'd already heard about the picture. Have you heard anything else? Like, what they were doing together?"

The orange pegasus filly deflated slightly as he skipped over her remark. Apple Bloom spoke up next."Well, Dinky said her mom an' Spitfire were just talkin' ‘bout not much of anything special. Spitfire was askin' ‘bout how she was doin' and stuff, how her job was goin', and she was just askin' Spitfire ‘bout the Wonderbolts an' how Dinky—"

"Apple Bloom! Wait!" Another filly came galloping over to join them beneath the tree, noticeably winded from attempting to shout and run at the same time.

He frowned at the untimely interruption, but his annoyance quickly faded when he examined the new arrival, whose colors clearly identified her as Ditzy's daughter. He gave the newcomer a smile. "Hey, and here's Dinky herself. I wanted to ask you—"

"Excuse me."

Flash turned toward the newest voice to see a purple earth mare with a pink mane and three smiling daisies for a cutie mark standing next to him, frowning disapprovingly at him in stark contrast to said cutie mark.

"Run along, girls, and let me talk to the nice stallion."

"But, Ms. Cheerilee, Mr. Flash Bulb here just wanted to talk to Dinky."

"Go on, girls. Now." The four fillies walked away, three sullenly, the fourth whispering to them intensely.

Flash Bulb was undeterred. "So you're Ms. Cheerilee, then? The one who saw the photograph firsthoof? Listen, I'm a reporter for Equestria Today. If I may—"

"You may not." Her reply was curt and cold. "Listen, Mister… Bulb. I don't really care who you are, or who you work for, but I don't know you and you aren't from around here. Even if you were, I wouldn't approve of a grown pony coming around during the school day and disturbing my students without good reason. Especially a grown stallion with no foal in my class and a camera around his neck. Leave now, please. Before this becomes an… issue."

He closed his mouth with an audible click of his teeth. This Cheerilee mare was scary. "U-understood, Ms. Cheerilee—ma'am. I didn't mean anything by it, just asking some questions. I'll be going now."

He left quickly, with some of his dignity intact. He hadn't gotten everything he wanted, but he'd gotten enough. He had time enough to interview some of the townsponies and still make it back to Manehatten in time to write up his article. It was time to break this story, and let the world know that it was Flash Bulb who'd done it.

Dinky had felt very awkward during her first lessons. The other fillies and colts kept staring at her and whispering, kept reminding her of what she'd done. The stares had been nothing compared to what came after class when Dinky was again mobbed by the other foals during recess. It seemed that word had gotten out, and everypony had asked her about her mommy and Spitfire. As happy as she should have felt that ponies thought her mommy was cool now, every pony that had asked only made her feel more guilty about telling other ponies about Spitfire when her mommy had wanted it to be a secret.

She had finally dislodged herself from the mob, with Ms. Cheerilee's help, only to see her new friends talking to some strange pegasus near the edge of the school yard. As she went over to investigate, she finally overheard just what it was they were discussing, and started running. But she was too late; the damage was already done.

As they walked away from the two adult ponies, Dinky was hurriedly whispering to her friends. "Look, you guys can't tell anypony else what I heard my mommy and Spitfire talking about, okay?"

They gave her quizzical looks. "What's the big deal, Dinky? You seemed pretty excited when you told us yesterday."

"Yeah, what gives?"

"My mommy told me this morning that the whole thing was supposed to be a secret, so I can't tell anypony nomore! Everypony already knows about the photo and I've already told ponies she knows Spitfire, but maybe I can still keep the rest of it a secret. You promise me you won't tell anypony what they said, okay?"

She stared at them expectantly, but Sweetie Bell interjected before they could make the promise. "Wait a second. If she wanted to keep it a secret, why did she give you the picture to take to school?"

Dinky kicked a hoof guiltily. "Well…" She was saved from admitting she had taken the photo without permission by Ms. Cheerilee’s approach. The stallion had flown away rather suddenly and she trotted a bit to catch up to the four fillies.

"Now girls, just what was going on back there?"

Though they all shirked beneath her level gaze, Scootaloo bravely spoke up for her friends in a nervous rush. "It's like we said, Ms. Cheerilee! That Flash Bulb guy said he was Dinky's mom's friend from the newspaper and that he wanted to ask Dinky some stuff about Spitfire. She wasn't there, but she'd told us about it, so we figured we'd just tell him."

Emboldened, Sweetie Bell also spoke up. "It's not like he was a stranger or anything if he was Miss Ditzy's friend, right? He was very nice."

Cheerilee silenced them with a raised hoof. "Dinky, did you recognize him? Did you know him?"

"Well, no… but I didn't know Mommy knew Spitfire until two nights ago. Maybe she just didn't tell me about him."

"Girls. It doesn't matter what a pony says: if they aren't introduced to you by a pony you know and trust, then they're strangers. I'll look into this, but I don't want to see you girls talking to strange ponies again, okay?"

"Yes, Ms. Cheerilee," all four fillies responded by rote.

"Good." She put a smile back on. "Now run along and play, before recess is over."

"Didja hear, Bluebird? Some reporter pony was following Derpy around this morning!"

"Really? No way! So you think she really does know Spitfire then?"

"What else could it be?"

Rainbow Dash ground her teeth in annoyance, flying over to the two chatting pegasi sitting idly on a cloud. "Hey guys, c'mon! The rainstorm is in two days, so let's have less lounging and more cloud moving! We gotta make sure everything goes perfectly!"

"Sorry, Rainbow. C'mon Bluebird."

Dash glared at the pegasi as they flew off with the cloud, though her annoyance was directed less at their lounging and more at the topic of their discussion. It was all she had heard during the weather coordination that day: Derpy knew Spitfire, Ditzy was going to be in the paper, Ditzy, Ditzy, Ditzy! First she lied to her and told her off, now she was getting interviews with reporter ponies! How could it be there was a pegasus more famous around town than her own awesome self? How could a Wonderbolt like somepony in Ponyville better than her? She vented her anger on a small, nearby cloud, utterly destroying it and several of its friends. She flew away in a rage, leaving the bits of cloud to dissolve behind her.

Ditzy reentered the mailhouse early that evening with a sigh of relief. Even after Flash had left, she’d had to deal with the questions of the ponies she moved the mail to. It was one of the most draining shifts she'd ever worked, including that time they had to deliver a piano. She was more than a little startled to see Cheerilee in the main lobby. She gave her a cheerful smile and waved as the teacher got up off of her chair and walked over to her.

"Hello, Cheerilee! What’re you doing here?” Wait… why would she be here? She felt a small tinge of panic. “Did something happen to my Dinky?"

"Hello, Ditzy. No, there's nothing wrong with Dinky—well, not exactly."

Ditzy gave her a concerned look, which Cheerilee quickly dismissed with a hoof wave. "It's just that there was a pegasus hanging around the schoolyard during recess. He told some of the fillies, Dinky included, that he was your friend and that he wanted to ask Dinky some questions about you and Spitfire." Cheerilee frowned. "Ditzy, I could care less who your friends are, Spitfire or this Flash Bulb fellow, but I won't tolerate them coming around my little ponies like that without you letting me know about them."

Her face, which had sported a grimace since she heard Flash Bulb's name, was now flush with irritation and concern. "He is not my friend. That pesky camera-pony was following me all morning. Tell me that he didn't do anything to my Dinky!"

"Oh no, I sent him right away, though it seemed Dinky and her friends talked to him a little bit about you and Spitfire. Honestly, I don't hold to this kind of gossip, but everpony at school and around town is abuzz over this."

She tensed up momentarily, then relaxed again. The photo of her and Spitz was the talk of Ponyville, like Cheerilee said. Dinky couldn't tell him anything he couldn't hear from almost anypony about town. Still, she'd have to talk to her muffin and make sure she kept clear of strangers. She’d almost had a heart attack when Cheerilee told her about that. "I dunno what all the fuss is about either. I’ll talk to Dinky tonight, and make sure she knows to stay away from strange ponies."

"Good. And I'll be sure to keep that character away from her if he comes by again."

"Thanks. Bye, Cheerilee." Ditzy deposited her mailbags and walked with her to the door, where they both went their separate ways.

"Muffin, come down and wash your hooves! Dinner’s ready!"

Dinky had been hiding in her room since her mommy got home, claiming she was practicing her magic before her lesson tomorrow. In reality, she just didn't want to have to face her mommy and tell her that she'd ruined her secret even more. She'd just wanted everypony to like her mommy, and maybe make some friends! Was that such a bad thing? But she'd ended up breaking a promise her mommy had made, to Spitfire no less, and then made it even worse today. She sighed in exasperation.

"Muffin! Mmmm... hurry, while they’re still warm!"

Well, there was nothing for it; her mommy would find out sooner or later. She squared her shoulders and marched downstairs.


Ditzy had happily munched most of her way through dinner before she noticed how her Dinky was fidgeting in her seat and never quite meeting her gaze. Well, not looking at her face as much as usual, at least. Nopony could ever really manage to meet her gaze. She knew her Dinky had been through a lot lately, and probably more than she knew, what with rumors of the photo being spread all over town, so she tried to press gently. "So, Muffin, Ms. Cheerilee came to the mailhouse to talk to me today. She told me you and your friends were talking to Flash Bulb."

Dinky looked up at her resignedly, then slumped in her chair. “I know, Mommy. I’m sorry. I was too late to stop them; I tried to keep them from telling him, but he'd said he was your friend and… I'm sorry," she repeated lamely.

"Muffin, I’m upset because you went up to a strange pony. It’s not safe. You made me worry about you. Everypony knows about the photo already; I care about you being safe much, much more."

"Well, see…" She looked down in shame, nervously pushing a muffin crumb about with her magic.

"What, Dinky? Tell me."

She was starting to tear up slightly and finished in a rush. "It wasn't just the photo. I heard you talking to Spitfire, that night she visited, and I… I kinda told my new friends. I think they told him, too. I… I just wanted them to like me!"

She sat stunned, blinking for a second before fixing her daughter with a frown, her tone becoming even more serious. “What me and my friend was talking about was private. It wasn’t right of you to share that without asking."

Dinky finally broke under the admonishment, and for the second time in two nights, she was crying. "I-I know, Mommy, and I'm s-so sorry! All I w-wanted was to impress some p-ponies at school and for the other-r f-foals to like you and not go all quiet w-when we talked, but all I-I've done is screw up and b-break your promises! Now Spitfire i-is gonna be mad and it'll be ALL MY FAULT! I wish I c-could just go b-back and undo everything! I-I've been such a bad pony!"

For the second time in two nights, Ditzy went to her daughter and comforted her as she cried. "Don't say that, Dinky. Never say that. You are not a bad pony. I’m sorry you had to find out about this, and I’m upset you shared the photo and our little talk without asking me. But I accept your apology and I’m happy that you’re making friends. It’s been done, and now you know not to tell, so we can move on. Okay?"

Dinky quieted down with a sniff, and gave her a timid smile. "Okay, Mommy."

She returned the smile. "I love you, Muffin."

"I love you too, Mommy."

She continued to hold Dinky for a while longer before the two went about their evening, Ditzy giving her daughter a typically slow reading of one of her favorite stories before the two retired for the night. As Ditzy tucked her daughter in and kissed her goodnight, she began to think that maybe it wasn't so bad. Spitz would understand and hopefully, Dinky would perk up soon and enjoy the new friends she'd made. With hope and happy thoughts she made her way to her own bed and quickly drifted off to sleep.