• Published 27th Apr 2015
  • 986 Views, 52 Comments

Family - Talon and Thorn

A series of short stories and extended scenes featuring various characters from the Lunaverse all on the general theme of families.

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New Arrival

Raindrops trotted back and forth in the waiting room, how long would they be? It had to have been hours by now. Not watching where she was going she walked into one of the cloud chairs which lined the walls, it turned out to be solid enough to unbalance her, causing her to land heavily on her rump. Hissing, she angrily kicked out at the offending chair and watched with satisfaction as it dissolved into a shower of rain and sunk into the clouds that made up the floor.

“Don’t do that!” said Auntie Ladybug grabbing the filly by one of her forelegs and dragging her back to the surviving seats.

For a moment Raindrops wanted to fight back, to strike out at her aunt, but she managed to keep herself under control, closing her eyes and counting to ten just like Doctor Issues had told her. She hated having to see the Doctor, it wasn’t like she was sick, regardless of what the other foals at school said behind her back. She was just angry, she seemed to always be angry these days. Angry enough to cripple Hoops, whispered a dark voice in her head, sick enough to enjoy it. She shook her head violently to try and dislodge the voice, she wasn’t like that, he’d deserved it after what he said about her mother when he’d heard she was having a unicorn foal, laughing at her when she spun out trying that triple twist in gym had just been the last straw. She shook her head again, nopony deserved that.

Auntie Ladybug rested a leg on the distressed filly’s back. “Look I’m sorry Drops, I know you’re bored, but you’ll have a little brother soon, won’t that be good?”

“No!” grunted Raindrops, she hated being called Drops, “I don’t want a stupid brother, why is he all that everypony wants to talk about?”

Ladybug sighed. “You're jealous, I know, I felt the same way when I found out your grandparents were going to have your mother. I thought they would stop loving me once the new foal was born, but you know what? Love’s not something that gets smaller the more ponies its spread between, there’s always more of it to go around. My parents loved me, and your mother, just as much.”

Raindrops frowned, that didn’t sound too bad, but what would her parents think when she lost her temper with the new foal, when she hurt him. She shuddered, there was no way they could love her if she did that, maybe she didn’t deserve to be loved.

“Anyway,” continued Ladybug not noticing her niece’s dark mood, “Think of all the fun things you can do with your brother!”

“I suppose so,” mumbled Raindrops not seeming convinced. “Auntie what happened...” She was interrupted as a nurse in a crisp white uniform entered the waiting room, she checked a clipboard and looked up. “Ladybug? Raindrops?” she asked.

Auntie Ladybug turned to her. “Yes,” she said.

“Congratulations, your sister had her foal with no complications, he’s a very healthy colt. Both mother and baby are doing well.” Ladybug let out a deep breath that Raindrops hadn’t noticed she’d been holding.

“Thank goodness!”

The nurse turned to Raindrops. “Would you like to meet your new brother?” she asked.

“I suppose so,” muttered Raindrops, scuffing her hooves through the floor.

“Come on,” said the nurse with a bright smile as she led the two mares into the room she had just come from. To Raindrops’ surprise it was quite large, with several holes high up in the wall to allow sunlight and fresh air in. Even stranger, most of the floor was covered by a large carpet, and it wasn’t sinking through the cloud. Enchanted furniture which would float on cloud was very expensive, she knew her mum and dad had looked into getting something like it for their house and that it would have cost more than a whole ground house by itself. The thought made Raindrops scowl again and she looked around the room for the creature that had caused that decision to have to be made.

She noticed her mother, Shutterbug, first of all, slumped near the middle of the carpet looking tired and drawn, her coat wet with sweat. She was resting her head against Raindrops’ father Dewdrops. Then she noticed the horrible, home wrecking creature that had just entered her life, and was going to not only steal her parents, but also destroy her home. Her first feelings were not, as she had expected, anger or hatred, but surprise, it, he, was just so small. A tiny little figure of a pony seemingly made almost entirely of leg who probably wouldn’t have even come up to her chest if he could stand. Getting his legs under him seemed to be a major challenge for the little creature at the moment. He managed one then two then one would slide away and with a little bleat of frustration he would tumble to the ground again.

With a smile Shutter Bug reached out with a leg and pulled the foal closer. “Raindrops, I’d like you to meet your little brother, Snails.” Seemingly without her conscious volition, Raindrops’ wings carried her towards her family. “Snails, this is your big sister Raindrops.”

The tiny foal looked up with wide eyes at his sister as she hovered nearby, seemingly amazed by her. He stuck out a long leg in her direction and waggled it around trying to reach her. Raindrops dazedly reached out a leg of her own and the two of them touched. The little leg wrapped around her own with surprising strength, his colours are just like mine, she thought, just a little darker. She carefully tried to pull her leg away but the tiny pony kept his grip and she found herself lifting him up, his other three legs locked underneath him wobbling slightly, he looked down in wonder and then let go of his sister, with a squeak of triumph that brought a smile to Raindrop’s face he found his balance and swayed in place for a moment.

“He’s standing!” gasped Shutterbug, “Already! It looks like we might have an athlete in the family!” The foal took one unsteady step, then another until one of his forelegs slipped and he collapsed face first onto the carpet, he blinked for a moment before bursting into tears.

“Maybe not,” said Dewdrops reaching forwards to comfort his son. The little colt’s cries quieted a little as he squirmed against his father's grasp. “Would you like to hold him Raindrops?” he asked.

Raindrops shook her head violently, she’d break him! And then her parents would hate her forever!

“Are you sure?” said Shutterbug, “I think he likes you.”

Raindrops looked at the still sobbing colt being held in place by his father. “What if I do it wrong?” she asked unsure.

“I’ll show you,” he said starting to pass the foal over to her, “Put your leg here and bend it like this.”

As gently as she could Raindrops put a slightly shaky arm around the foal who quietened almost instantly and looked up at her with big aqua eyes full of trust. He snuggled against her chest for a moment before he started to sniff the air and struggle. Was she doing it wrong? thought Raindrops, was she hurting him? She tried to fight back her panic.

“It looks like someone’s hungry,” noted the nurse gesturing for Raindrops to put the foal down. As she did so, Snails walked, with noticeably less wobble this time, towards his mother and started to bump his head against her stomach. “Let me help you get him started.”

Raindrops frowned for a moment wondering what was going on, then she remembered some hoof curlingly embarrassing lectures from school and turned away before her brother started his first meal. To one side her father was talking with Auntie Ladybug. “The doctors say the two of them should be out of here some time tomorrow,” he said, “Thanks for offering to help, we need to move our things by then so we can settle into the new place.”

Raindrops' heart dropped as she remembered what was going on. It was that wingless freak’s fault that they had to move to a ground house. It wasn’t fair, she didn’t know anypony on the ground, and they were moving to some nowhere place called Ponyville. They didn’t have any of the cool stuff Cloudsdale had, no theatre, no cloudiseum, they probably didn’t even have books down there. She tried to curse her little brother and his disability, but her heart wasn’t really in it. She hadn’t expected him to be so small, or to look so cute with his little nub of a horn and that big smile.

Dewdrops must have noticed his daughter’s expression as he reached over to her and pulled her into a big hug. “I know this is a big change for you but you’ve been really good,” he said, “I’m sure you’ll make all sorts of friends in Ponyville.”

“Can’t we stay in Cloudsdale? Please?” she whined into his wing.

“You know your brother can’t walk on clouds,” he said gently. “He can’t live up here, it wouldn’t be safe.”

Pouting, Raindrops turned back towards her mother hoping to get some support, she was glad to see that her brother had apparently finished his meal. The nurse was helping her mother to her hooves while the foal was tottering around with more confidence on his stick thin legs. Looking up, his gaze locked with his big sister’s and he gave a snort before starting to gallop towards her, his legs seeming to take on a life of their own beyond the control of his body, dragging the rest of him along after them.

The whole thing looked so silly that Raindrops couldn’t help but laugh, then realisation hit her; Snails was running towards the edge of the carpet where the ground became cloud, cloud he couldn’t walk on! “Snails!” she cried, but it only seemed to attract the capering foal more. Her father noticed the danger as well and began to move to intercept his son, but he was moving too slowly, far too slowly. Quicker than thought, Raindrops rushed forwards and grabbed her brother just before he could fall off the edge of the carpet and plummet through the floor. Surprised, he let out a frightened bleat as he found himself in his sister's arms. “Don’t worry,” she whispered to him, “I’ll never let you fall, I’ll protect you.” She blushed realising what she’d just said. “I mean, you should be more careful!” she half-heartedly scolded the foal. Leaning forwards, Snails licked his sister’s face, before letting out a great stinky belch.

Gagging she gently carried him back to her mother. “That was very good of you saving your brother like that Raindrops,” she said, “But the doctor’s cast a cloud walking spell on him as soon as he was born, the carpet’s just a precaution.”

“Oh,” muttered Raindrops feeling a little silly now. Her mother rested one wing around her and another around Snails who had slumped down next to her and fallen asleep, apparently tired out by his short run.

“But you didn’t know that, you were a very good big sister.” Shutterbug kissed her daughter on her head. “I know you don’t want to leave your school and all your friends.” Raindrops sighed, she guessed she didn’t really have many friends since the incident with Hoops, even Rainbow Glider had been keeping her distance recently, “but we have to move for Snails,” continued Shutterbug, “It might not seem very fair to you, but you’ll get to make new friends, and see all sorts of things you never would up here.”

“I suppose so,” muttered Raindrops. Maybe it wouldn’t be as bad as she thought it would be.

“Think of it as an adventure, one you and your brother can take together.” Raindrops glanced over at her brother and a little smile played across her muzzle, he did seem sort of fun. “Now,” said her mother, “Let’s have a family photo!” She produced a camera from somewhere and passed it to Ladybug while Dewdrops came over and put one foreleg around his wife and rested the other on his daughter's back. Raindrops gently picked up Snails, trying not to wake the sleeping foal, and Shutterbug wrapped her wings around her whole family as the flash went off immortalising the moment.

Author's Note:

This was the story while started off the whole idea for me, I just thought it would be very cute to look into how the Raindrops / Snails relationship started and how she reacted to having to move to the ground for his sake.

Of the stories this is probably the one that plays the family bond the straightest with the brother / sister relationship. I'm quite happy with how it's turned out.

Thanks to Rainbow Double Dash and Grass and Clouds 2 for their suggestions on this story. Thanks to docontra for his corrections.

Comments are always welcome.