• Published 17th Nov 2014
  • 4,157 Views, 564 Comments

You Are Normal Too - Never2muchpinkie



When mother and daughter get into a fight over a misunderstanding their reconciliation leads to the reveal of Dinky's father, a cruel stallion who broke Derpy's heart. Can Derpy put her past regrets behind to find love and romance in the present?

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Chapter 7: Ghosts of the past.

Derpy could hardly believe it. The one who had chucked her aside like a piece of garbage was standing right in front of her after all this time. He still looked much the same, although a little taller and wider with age.

Getting over her shock Derpy glared at Shooting Star with all the contempt she could muster. “And just what brings you to my doorstep?” she said in a very composed voice.

“I just came… to apologize.”

Her eyebrow went up and she gave him a flat look. “I’m sure you did. What really brings you here?”

He looked towards the side, an awkward look on his face. “Listen… Bright Eyes…”

Derpy’s feelings immediately exploded, and she saw red. Lifting her hoof she backhoofed him so hard he fell to the ground, skidding a few inches. “YOU’VE GOT SOME NERVE!” she yelled. “How dare you? How dare you call me by that pet name after what you did to me!”

Shooting Star slowly rose. She was almost ready to strike again, but then he started laughing as he rubbed his cheek. It wasn’t an arrogant laugh so much as one that sounded genuinely amused.

“What’s so funny? Are you going to ruin my life now because I damaged “precious cargo?” You’re a joke!”

“Not at all. I’m laughing because you haven’t changed. You’re still the most refreshing thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”

“I don’t want to hear it. Do you have any idea what I’ve had to go through because of you? I lost my parents and have been struggling to make ends meet ever since. I’ve had to raise our- or rather, MY- daughter since the day she was born.”

“And that brings me to why I’m here today. I want to make amends for the past. I want to get this out right here and now so there are no misunderstandings. Back then I WAS exactly as I seemed. I lusted for power and authority. I got savage joy from making others bend to my will and the fear I instilled in them. I helped you because it made me look good, and to get you to fall in love with me. I did just get with you for that end goal I spoke of, and then threw you away right afterwards. I freely admit to all of that.

“But I’m not the same stallion I was back then. Just like with you I’m sure time has changed you as well.”

Derpy just stared at him, not responding.

“I thought I knew what I wanted. I have everything I could ever want, but still somehow I’m unsatisfied. Ordering ponies around grew tiresome. Seeing everyone cower and tremble and constantly keep themselves in check around me grew wearisome. I drove all the ponies I knew away. I had hoofball and my team, and won a lot of games, but even my own teammates were afraid of me. I had my rich, high class mare, but in time she was just like all the rest. She was boring and stale and was more interested in how much money I could spend on her than about me as a pony.

“Everywhere I looked was what I had always believed was right, but in the end that happiness only lasted so long before it lost the thrill it once did.”

“Good! Maybe you should be miserable! Maybe then you’d understand just a little of my pain.”

He gave her an odd smile. “You see? This is exactly what I’m talking about. In just the first few seconds of our meeting you gave me one heck of a backhoof. That was already the most refreshing thing I’ve had happen to me in forever. And now you’re telling it like it is instead of sugarcoating it.”

“Why are you here?” Derpy said sternly. “Stop beating around the bush. You expect me to believe you’re only here to apologize?”

“Of course that’s not the only reason. In the midst of all the boring, shallow, and empty life that has surrounded me I finally turned my mind back to the old days when you sent me that letter a few years ago.”

“SIX years is more than a few. And you sent it back!”

Shooting Star turned around. “What else was I supposed to do, Derpy? My dad was putting a lot of pressure on me to excel. At that time I couldn’t afford to let everyone know I had fathered a kid, especially with the way we parted ways. It would have been a huge blow to my dad’s reputation. And, really, after thinking about what I did to you I didn’t feel I deserved to be a father in the first place.”

She thought she heard regret in his voice. “Well, at least there’s a little honesty in you.”

“After that I began to watch you from afar. I would see you handling weather and delivering mail. From time to time I would see Dinky, but I didn’t know how to approach you.”

“So why now? Why after all this time?”

“Because I saw something different, and for the first time in my life I began to feel really scared.”

“Scared?” She let out a mirthless laugh. “You?”

His horn began to glow as a piece of paper came out of his saddlebag, floating in front of her. “I know this isn’t much, but I hope it can start to make reparations between us.”

Derpy groaned, wondering what could possibly be on a small sheet of paper that could ever help to make things right between them. She lifted her hoof, taking it out of the air. She turned it around and her eyes bugged out of her head. She blinked repeatedly, unable to believe what she was seeing. “Are… are you serious?” she asked, looking up at him with awe on her face.

“Yes.” He nodded. “I know it’s a little late, but that’s back foal support for all the years I wasn’t there to help.”

Derpy looked down at the check again, astounded at the amount of zeroes on it.

Shooting Star took a step closer. “I hope that helps to show you how serious I am about changing. That should last you a few years. You asked why now? Because I finally see how wrong I was. I began to see you with a stallion. As time passed you got closer and closer. If things had gone along at their current pace Dinky may have one day called HIM dad. And that was when I truly realized the value of what I threw away.

“I thought you were worthless, but I was wrong. It was all the things I accomplished in my life that were worthless. You were the best thing I ever had in my life… Bright Eyes.”

This time Derpy didn’t attack him. Her legs trembled a bit as he flashed her a dashing smile, the one he had given her plenty of times. Tears began to come down her eyes. “All of those special times were real to me, even if they were only fake to you. I never forgot about you. With a child I bore with you how could I forget about you?”

“I was a real dirtbag in the past. I realize that now.” He put his hoof on her cheek, gently rubbing it.

It once again made her think of the past. She had always enjoyed that. She knew she shouldn’t allow it, but she couldn’t bring herself to push him away. She sat down, closing her eyes as she enjoyed the attention.

She pouted when he stopped, but she pulled away quickly when she realized how easily he was getting to her. He had been the first pony she had ever fallen in love with, and he knew all her sensitive spots. She reminded herself of how much money he was giving to her. It wasn’t just empty words this time. He was really trying to take responsibility.

“Derpy, do you think we could, y’know, start over? I don’t care about my dad and his reputation and money and power and all that other crap anymore. The thing that was missing in my life this whole time was a pony that wasn’t afraid to be real with me.” He rubbed his cheek, snickering again. “That was the most refreshing thing I’ve had happen to me in years.”

He reached for her hoof, taking it in his. She just stared at it, not pulling away. “I’ve missed you. I’m sorry it took so long for me to realize what a fool I was. I know it’s been hard on you, but I want to be able to meet my daughter. I know that just throwing money at this problem isn’t going to erase the past and what I did to you, but I hope it’s a good start.” He put his other front hoof out towards hers.

She hesitated, turning away. “I don’t think Dinky would want to meet you. I told her about everything.”

“I understand, but maybe we can just… start with us?”

Slowly she turned back towards him, once more remembering the past. All those dates and loving gestures she had done for him. And, especially, her final act for him. The time that had passed had dulled those feelings of love, but they had never truly gone away. A part of her had never been able to accept that he was really that callous. As she met his eyes she felt herself flushing, her heart thumping. She yelled at herself to stop, but her body didn’t listen. Her hoof lifted, meeting his.

“Thank you, Derpy. You’ve proved how amazing you really are.”

She saw him approaching, and her heart started racing. Once more her body refused to listen to her voice. She was frozen, unable to move.

He gave her a quick, gentle kiss on the lips.

She smiled as a rosy blush came to her face, her eyes tenderly looking back at him just as he was doing to her.

“Derpy!”

The moment passed as she turned and saw Doctor Hooves standing there, letting out a little squeak.

“How could you? I thought what we had was special!” He ran off in tears.

“W-wait!” she yelled after him, but he didn’t stop. She pulled away from Shooting, running a few feet before coming to a halt.

Derpy turned around, tears in her eyes. “This is terrible! I… I don’t know what to do.”

“You’re despicable!” came a voice from behind her.

She saw Dinky standing there. “D-Dinky! You should go inside.”

Dinky glared at her. “I can’t believe you! How could you do that?” She walked up to Shooting Star. “You were right about her.”

“Huh?” Derpy said, confused. “When did you two ever talk?”

Dinky rounded on her. “He came to see me while I was walking home from school one day. I told him I had faith in you and that you would never cheat on the Doctor, but all he had to do was say a few nice words and that was all it took for you to start liking him again? Hmph!” She looked back at Shooting. “Fine. I agree. I lost the bet.”

“B-bet?” Derpy said, still trying to understand what was going on.

Dinky growled. “You still haven’t figured it out, you idiot? He hasn’t changed. He still doesn’t care about you. He just wanted to prove that you were just as horrible a pony as he is, and you proved it big time.”

“Dinky!”

“She’s right, you know,” said Shooting Star. “That’s some loyalty and example you just set for your daughter. You really are the most gullible mare ever.” He let out a derisive laugh. “Oh, well. I’m sure that stallion was only dating you because he pitied you. Or maybe he was just hoping your stupidity would mean you’d give it up easier. He would have just taken advantage of you too and left you like I did anyway.”

“Do you know what the stakes were for his bet?” Dinky said angrily. A mare came over, brown with a blonde mane and wearing glasses. “This is Legal Document. She works for Foal Services. If you had passed the test she would have dropped the case, but she’s determined you to be an unfit mother and she’s handing custody of me over to my dad.”

“W-WHAT?” Derpy sputtered out.

“You can keep the check,” said Shooting. “It’s a drop in the bucket for me. Come along, Dinky.”

“Goodbye, not-mother! I never want to see you again, you monster! I HATE you!”

Dinky stormed off, those last three words echoing in her ear.

Derpy’s eyes shot open. Her body was covered in sweat, and she was breathing in little gasps. Her breathing shortened.

A blood-curdling shriek rent the air, instantly waking Dinky from sleep. She jumped, falling off her bed. Adrenaline rushed through her body as she heard another scream, recognizing it as belonging to her mother. She immediately raced out of her room toward her mothers, throwing the door open and lighting up her horn as she looked for an attacker.

Derpy was shaking like a leaf, her mane a mess as she sat there holding her hooves on both sides of her head. “No, no, no! No!”

Dinky didn’t see anyone else in the room, so she jumped on the bed and ran over to her mother. “Mom! MOM!” She shook her mom hard, but Derpy didn’t seem to feel it.

Dinky started to cry, not knowing why her mom was so freaked out. Her mother was shivering like she had just come out of a frozen lake in the middle of winter, and gasping for air like she had just spent five minutes holding her breath. Her eyes were so small they were almost invisible, and sweat was pouring down her face, a look of absolute terror on her features.

She shook her mom harder, yelling her name, but still Derpy didn’t react. She didn’t know what to do. A thought came to her. She remembered her mom had taken her to a movie where someone was going crazy with worry and someone hit them to shock them out of it.

She lifted her hoof, feeling reluctant to hit her mom. However, her mother was being completely unresponsive to her, lost in whatever terror the night had shown her. She was still gasping for oxygen, her breathing so short and sharp it seemed she might make herself faint.

She took a deep breath, saying, “I’m sorry, mom.” Steeling herself, she struck her mom hard across the cheek.

Derpy let out a long gasp, the sudden explosion of physical pain starting to drown out her emotional pain. She started taking in deeper breaths.

“Mom!” said Dinky emotionally, hating what she had to do.

“D-Dinky?” said Derpy, blinking as she kept taking in deeper breaths.

“Yes, mom,” she said gently, rubbing the cheek she had hit. “I’m here.”

“Dinky? DINKY!”

Dinky let out a grunt as her mom threw her hooves around her, squeezing her so tightly it hurt.

“Dinky, I’m so sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! Please… please don’t say it again! I never meant for that to happen! Please don’t hate me!”

Dinky tried to pull away from her mom’s iron grip but she was held too securely. “W-what are you talking about, mom?”

Once more she was thoroughly ignored, Derpy only repeating her words for a while before she descended to sobbing, still squeezing strongly.

Dinky was having trouble breathing, but she could tell her mom must have had one heck of a nightmare. Luckily one of her hooves was free. She grabbed onto one of her mom’s ears and gave it a hard tug. When her mom gasped in pain her grip loosened and Dinky pulled away, gasping in oxygen. She jumped back as her mom tried to hug her again.

Derpy reached futilely for Dinky, finding her out of reach. In her state it didn’t occur to her she could get up to pursue her child. “Please don’t leave me,” she said, sounding like a lost child, tears streaming down her eyes. “I need you.”

“What happened, mom?” said Dinky, maintaining her distance. “I’m here for you.”

“You… you are?” she said, sounding confused. “Why are you here? How did you escape? I thought you hated me.”

Dinky was starting to get really worried. She had seen her mom go through a lot of changes over the past half year but she couldn’t recall her mom sounding this out of it her whole life. She took a deep breath, knowing it was probably going to be her last one until her mother settled down. Approaching, she threw her hooves around her mother. Though she expected it her mother didn’t immediately do the same. “I don’t know what you saw in your dreams, but it certainly wasn’t me. I could never hate you no matter what happens. I love you, mom! I always have and always will! And I’m never going to leave you! Understand?”

Derpy began shaking again, beginning to sob again as she put her hooves around her daughter. “Oh, Dinky! Diiiiinnnkkkkyyyyy!”

Thankfully she wasn’t being squeezed quite as hard as before, so Dinky just let her mom hug her. “There, there. It’s okay. It’s all okay. I’m not going anywhere. Never! We’re a team, remember? We’ll always be together, even when we’re apart. I love you.”

Derpy closed her eyes. “Say it again, Dinky.”

“I love you!”

Trembling, she said, “Again, please.”

“I love you!”

Her breathing becoming erratic again she said once more, “Again!”

“I LOVE YOU!” Dinky yelled.

Relief washed over the mare. “I love you too, Dinky. I love you and I just couldn’t live without you. In my nightmare you told me that you never wanted to see me again and I was a monster and you hated me.”

“That’s right,” said Dinky, crying now too. “It was just a nightmare. That’s all. I would never say that to you.” Ever at her worst, when the two of them would be at each other’s throats and shouting at the top of their lungs she had never once said those words to her mom, and she never had any intention to.

When Dinky started to pull away again Derpy said helplessly, “Where are you going?”

“Relax. I’m not going anywhere. I just want to be more comfortable.”

Derpy felt Dinky leave her hold, and she instantly felt lonely even though Dinky was just a few feet away.

“Lay down, mom,” said Dinky, tapping the pillow.

“Why?”

“Just do it. Trust me.”

It took her a little while to comply. She had this nagging fear that if she lost sight of Dinky her daughter might just vanish.

Once Derpy finally laid down Dinky crawled up onto her stomach. She forced a smile on her face. “There you go. Now I’ll be right here all night. We can sleep together again so you don’t have to worry.”

Derpy put her hooves around Dinky, letting out a heavy breath. “Thank you, Dinky.”

“No problem.” She nuzzled her mom’s stomach, resting her head. “You’re really warm. I forgot how much I enjoyed this. It’s been so long.”

“Yes, it has. Too long.”

“Let’s sing again. I really liked when we did that the last time. I’ll start!” She began to sing her old foalhood lullaby, doing the first verse and chorus.

Derpy loved the sound of her daughter’s voice, and she found herself gently bobbing her head.

“Your turn!” said Dinky. “I want to hear you now.”

Derpy was starting to calm down now. This was the Dinky she knew and loved. Not that nasty, angry one from her nightmares.

“Stars and moons and air balloons, fluffy clouds to the horizon. I’ll wrap you in rainbows and rock you to sleep again.”

Dinky started again. “Smiles to cure the frowns, twirling and tumbling in laughter.”

“Someday life will always be, happily ever after.”

The two of them continued alternating every other line until the song was over.

Dinky nuzzled her mom’s stomach again, yawning a little as she asked, “Are you feeling okay now? You know that wasn’t really me, right?”

“Yes, Dinky,” she replied, feeling much more relaxed now. “It was only a fake Dinky. You’re my real one. The sweetest, most beautiful foal I know.”

“Good. I don’t want any fake ruining my reputation.” She yawned again, closing her eyes. “In that case I’m gonna go to sleep.” Opening her eye a crack she asked, “You promise to protect me from nightmares?”

Derpy let out a little giggle. “Only if you do the same.”

“I promise,” said Dinky, giggling as well.

“It’s a deal then, my little muffin.”

The two of them closed their eyes, holding onto each other as they drifted off to sleep.

Derpy awoke in the morning sun, blinking sleep from her eyes as she heard banging on the front door. She saw Dinky fast asleep on her chest. She gently lifted her daughter up, setting her next to her on the bed as she placed a kiss on her forehead.

As she got up she twitched as she began to get a sense of déjà vu, and fear began coursing through her. She looked over at Dinky, and she started to feel short of breath. “No, it can’t be. It’s impossible. I won’t let it happen.”

The knocking began again, and Derpy once more felt herself trembling and sweating. “Please tell me this is just a bad dream. I can’t lose Dinky. I can’t!”

Walking slowly to the window she looked outside to her front door. Her rapidly beating heart slowed down a little when she saw it was Doctor Hooves at the door and not Shooting Star. Opening the window she said, “Good morning.” It truly was. Her ex wasn’t coming to take her daughter away from her. That was enough to make the day good.

He looked up at her and said, “Good morning to you too. I know I’m a little early but I just couldn’t wait.”

“Wait for what?”

He looked a little disappointed. “Don’t you remember? We’re going out for breakfast this morning.”

“Oh? Oh! Right.” She let out a nervous giggle. “I’m sorry. It, uh, it was a rough night last night. I only just got up and Dinky is still asleep.”

He laughed. “Oh, I’m sorry. I knew I was coming too early but I really just couldn’t wait to see you again. One date a week isn’t enough for me, but I know it’s just right for you.”

She grinned down at him. “I love you too. I’ll be down in a minute.” She shut the window, going to shake Dinky awake.

Dinky mumbled something as she opened her eye a crack. “Hmm?”

“Wake up, my little muffin. Doctor Hooves is taking us to breakfast.”

Dinky blinked a few times. “Gimme five more minutes, huh?” She closed her eyes again.

Derpy put on a wicked grin. “What was that? You want five more tickles?”

“What?” the sleepy filly said. “Don’t you dare-EEEP!” Dinky squealed as Derpy began tickling her, rolling around and trying to get away from her hoof until she fell off the bed.

“Are you alright, Dinky?” said Derpy, concerned.

Dinky rose up, a sour look on her face. She jumped on the bed, hopping towards her mother. “Oh, you’re gonna get it now.”

“You can try!”

The two of them wrestled on the bed, laughing away as they each tickled each other.

“Alright, alright!” said Derpy after a minute. “The Doctor is waiting.”

Dinky was in good spirits as the two of them walked downstairs. She hadn’t forgotten last night either, so she was glad her mom was happy.

Opening the door Derpy said, “Sorry it took so long.”

“It’s okay,” he replied, giving her a light kiss on the snout. “I like your mane. It’s so natural.”

Derpy frowned, realizing she hadn’t brushed it before she came out. She self-consciously lifted her hoof to try to push it down.

“Oh, relax, mom,” said Dinky with a laugh. “He said he likes it.” Turning to him she said, “Good morning!”

Bending over he gave her a little kiss too. “Good morning to you too, Dinky.”

Despite his words Derpy still felt awkward she hadn’t freshened up first before going to greet him. “I’ll be right back,” she said. “Make yourself at home.” She turned around and trotted toward the bathroom.

Pushing the handle on the sink she splashed some water in her hair, grabbing her brush and fixing up her untidy mane. Alone again her mind turned towards her nightmare. “It was only a dream. It was only a dream,” she repeated to herself. “Or was it? Maybe I’m dreaming again.” Taking her brush she slammed it down on her other hoof, wincing as pain shot up her leg. “Ow! Okay. Definitely not a dream.” She began to brush her mane again. “That’s right. Why would Shooting Star be watching me after all this time? It makes no sense. Why would he want to take Dinky away when he’s “so valuable?” He wouldn’t have time for her. And Dinky wouldn’t ever treat me that way.

“Just a dream.” Looking at herself she found herself once more staring at the same mare she was in the past. “Dinky is happy and loves me. Doctor Hooves is crazy about me and can’t wait to see me again. Everything is normal. So why do I feel so afraid?” Foregoing her usual style she put her mane in a ponytail, wanting to try something new.

“It’s going to be okay!” she said sternly to herself. “That was the past. You’re not that same mare anymore! You have someone to share good times and bad times with. You have two ponies on your side who both think the world of you. Now stop being scared. You don’t want Dinky to get worried over nothing. You already terrified her last night.”

She closed her eyes and took a few deep breaths. When she opened them again she saw she looked more relaxed. “That’s better. We’re gonna get through this. It’s no big deal.” She wasn’t entirely convinced, but she at least felt ready to greet him properly.

Leaving the bathroom she followed the sound of voices into the kitchen. “Hello, handsome!” she said in an upbeat voice.

He gave a little cat purr and smiled at her. “I swear you look more beautiful every time I see you.”

“Thank you. So let’s head out. I’m starting to get hungry now.”

As they walked along the path they saw other early bird ponies walking around.

The three of them talked, and Derpy began to laugh at herself for getting so worked up. Obviously this was reality, not that crazy scene from her dreams. What was the likelihood of that ever happening? After all, even if a court wanted to find her unfit to be Dinky’s guardian it couldn’t just be sprung on her out of nowhere like that. She would have to be told there was a case against her and they would have to investigate over a period of time. There was a zero percent chance of things happening like in her dream.

As they passed a stallion Derpy’s heart started racing, and her head whipped around as she saw the brown-coated, blonde-maned pony. After a few seconds she noticed the cutie mark was completely different.

“What’s wrong?” asked Dinky.

“I, um, nothing. I thought I saw… well, never mind. Sorry.” They kept walking, but Derpy just couldn’t get into the conversation again.

“Gullible.”

Derpy’s head shot around to the other side, hearing Shooting’s voice. She looked around but didn’t see him.

“What is it?” asked Doctor Hooves.

She didn’t answer, looking around for the source of the voice.

“He’s only using you,” came his sing-song voice.

“No! Stop it!”

From the other side she heard his mocking laughter. “You’re a fool. He’s just going to abandon you too.”

Derpy felt her heart racing again. “Stop it!” she cried out, shivering.

“Derpy, what’s wrong?” said Doctor Hooves, worried.

As he went to put a hoof on her she pushed it away. “Don’t touch me!”

From left to right it was like she could hear him, see him everywhere. Mocking her. Taunting her.

“What are you expecting, fool? You know he just wants what I want. And you’re planning on being alone with him? You truly are the biggest idiot in Ponyville.”

Tears began to come down her eyes. She spun around to the Doctor. “I’m sorry! I’m really sorry! I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I know it’s crazy. I’ve told myself that so many times. You’re nothing like Shooting Star. You’ve made me feel more loved than he ever did right near the start.

“And I think that’s the problem. You’re so wonderful and smart and funny, just like the stallion I’ve always dreamed of meeting. But I thought the same about Shooting Star, and look what happened with him. I can’t be alone with you. I don’t want to be near you right now. I… I almost want to just end things right now while all my memories are happy, and just hold onto this picture perfect image of you, rather than risk you hurting me like he did.”

“Mo-om!” said Dinky.

Derpy shook her head. “I thought I was past all this, but it hurts so bad I can’t stand it. I’ve never felt so afraid in all my life. I’m not going to go through what I did in the past! I can’t! I won’t! Never again! I refuse! I’d rather die!

“It’s over between us! I give up! I’m done! Now just leave me alone!”

Turning around she ran off in tears, leaving the two shocked ponies speechless.

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