• Published 24th Jun 2012
  • 10,583 Views, 350 Comments

Family Matters - SFC Ponycron



Twilight's relationship is revealed when she ends up pregnant.

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Chapter 1: Twilight's Big Surprise (revised)

With an unflinching gait and resolute eyes, Twilight Sparkle conveyed a sense of urgency as she walked past Sweet Apple Acres.

She had been struck by serious heartburn every morning for the past three weeks. She would wake with the morning sun, her eyes not quite open as she attempted to turn away from the invading light. Then the heat would strike, coursing up her stomach, and then into her throat.

The occasional burp helped relieve the burning sensation, the uncharacteristic noise often waking up Spike. The baby dragon would then spend the first part of the morning fussing over Twilight and cooking, which suffused the library with a soulful aroma. Unfortunately, all Twilight could stomach was a glass of milk in a vain attempt to relieve the burning. Spike's delicious breakfast would end up becoming a cold, slightly stale lunch.

She worked through a series of remedies, some prescribed by a doctor, the rest from the more helpful tips of her friends. She hadn't figured out why Pinkie Pie's habanero muffins quelled the heartburn the most effectively.

This particular morning, the heartburn was relentless. Twilight decided to visit Zecora to see if the Zebra had any suggestions.

Each step upon the road was agonizing, liquid fire churning in her stomach with every motion. An occasional stumble brought the heartburn to previously unknown parts of her esophagus. Twilight was forced to slow her pace as she made her way through Ponyville. She had brusquely rebuffed greetings from several acquaintances that would have to be apologized to later.

The Apple sisters were the last two ponies that Twilight wanted to run into on her way to Zecora's. Applejack would insist that Twilight take a swig of her cinnamon and zap-apple cider. That particular cure worked by initiating a searing burning sensation ten times worse than the heartburn lasting several minutes, before finally fading, and taking the first pain with it. Apple Bloom would insist on turning it into a crusade, and Twilight just could not deal with that at the moment.

Twilight was forced to stop as her chest clenched unexpectedly, the burning sensation erupting up from her stomach. An unladylike belch followed, the kind that would have Rarity scrambling for her fainting couch.

"Y’alright?" an Apple drawled. Much to Twilight's relief, it was Big Macintosh. He was wearing his Nightmare Night costume, minus the top hat. He was glistening with sweat, and Twilight could not help but pause for a moment to look him over.

"Heartburn-" Twilight couldn't finish the sentence without belching once more, "-again. I'm going to Zecora's for an herbal remedy. What have you been up to?"

"Playin' with mah sister and her friends. They needed a villain," Big Macintosh explained. Twilight heard a faint giggling in the distance growing closer.

"I better get going. No offense, but I don't need a crusade at the moment," Twilight Sparkle said.

Big Macintosh turned a darker red before asking his next question. "Are we still on for Monday and Thursday night astronomy lessons?"

It was Twilight's turn to blush a shade of red to match Big Macintosh's color. "Just as soon as I get over the heartburn," Twilight responded. She gave the farmer a quick kiss on the cheek before turning to leave.

Big Macintosh paused for a moment, quelling the blush before returning to the game. Scootaloo or Sweetie Belle would not notice, but Apple Bloom would catch the slight color difference easily.

"Dr. Appledoom we presume?" Sweetie Belle asked as she emerged from some nearby bushes, in her crusading cape. Comically, oversized sunglasses covered her eyes. The lenses had been removed so that it looked like she was wearing a mask. Big Macintosh made a final effort to suppress the blush before turning around with a sinister grin on his face.

*-----*-----*-----*-----*

"So heartburn makes your mornings blue? How long has this occurred for you?" Zecora asked as she started mixing two distinct concoctions for the ailing unicorn.

"About a month now. It started after my brother's wedding," Twilight explained.

Zecora paused for a moment before looking over the oblivious Twilight. "So the pain came without warning, but now comes by every morning?"

"Yes."

"I know of the relationship you are in deep, and that is a secret you prefer to keep. Remember the protection that you sought. Was there a time when it was but an afterthought?" Zecora asked as she finished one potion and started another.

"I always use protection," Twilight replied defensively, her blush rising sharply, as she realized what Zecora was alluding to.

"What you do with your paramour is not a crime, but protection won’t occur if you don’t take time," Zecora said as she passed Twilight two bags.

"The first is a tea to help with your heartburn. The second brew will give you answers you yearn. Please Twilight Sparkle, if there is any time you need to speak, I am a friend you can always seek," Zecora reassured the stunned unicorn with a pat on the back.

*-----*-----*-----*-----*

Twilight regretted not asking Zecora to perform the pregnancy test at her house. It would have been nice to have a friend there to support her. She knew, though, that she wouldn't have been able to relax with the distant crying, cawing, clawing, skittering, and scratching of untamed wild animals that could disturb them at any moment.

Going straight to Big Macintosh would have been unhelpful. As she walked back from Zecora's to Ponyville, she discovered the large stallion hog tied and on his side. Scootaloo jumped up and down on his barrel chest. Sweetie Belle was taking a picture of Apple Bloom, who posed with one front leg on Big Macintosh's neck, saluting with the other.

Big Macintosh broke character by removing one limb from the tie to wave to Twilight as she passed. Apple Bloom immediately whined about him ruining the picture. He hastily stepped back into the role of villain by slipping his hoof back through Scootaloo's poorly tied knots.

The heartburn had faded for the day, but seeing Big Macintosh play gently with his sister caused something in Twilight's stomach to kick. She paused for a moment.

"Calm down Twilight, you can't be that far along," she reassured herself out loud, and then thought about when conception might have occurred. It must have been after Hearts and Hooves Day, or when Flim and Flam tried to con the Apples out of the farm. Both occurred in spring. A perfect time for foaling for somepony my age. We should have actually talked about our feelings instead of going after one another like rabbits.

Twilight looked back one more time at Big Macintosh and the playing foals. She had a sudden urge to send them on a quest to get some alone time with the red stallion. This was followed immediately by the urge to take a cold bath and rub herself clean. Now was not the time.

She trotted across the fields, passing Sweet Apple Acres and other farms. The tea and potion seemed to weigh more heavily in her saddlebags the closer she came to Ponyville. Twilight grew colder under the warm summer sun as she started to grow nervous.

She needed someone to do this with.

Applejack would have normally been her best option, except in this case. Twilight did not even want to think about how the blonde mare would react to all the lies of omission her brother and supposed friend had been keeping.

Fluttershy was timid, though solid in an emergency. At the same time, the tamed, intelligent animals who resided in Fluttershy's home would prevent Twilight from performing the necessary functions to complete the pregnancy test.

"Pinkie Pie…" Twilight spoke the name out loud and cringed at the idea, suddenly expecting the pink-maned party animal to jump out with a pre-birthday cake.

On the other side of Ponyville, Pinkie Pie sneezed and her ears burned. She started covering the cupcakes she had been decorating with pink and blue frosting. She wasn't sure why, but the sneeze, the heat, and the butterflies in her stomach dictated that she had to do so.

That left Rarity or...

"Twilight?" Rainbow Dash yelled from atop the cloud she had been sleeping on. "Are you alright?" Rainbow Dash asked as she glided down to her friend. The urge to share her current issue and other secret was overwhelming, and she needed a friend’s support.

"There’s a chance I could be pregnant," Twilight blurted out.

The admission disrupted Rainbow Dash's landing, resulting in a rather spectacular crash. From the tangle of limbs and hair, the pegasus stared incredulously up at her friend.

"No, it’s not from a one night stand," Twilight sighed, "I've sort of...been in a secret relationship...for a year..."

The admission left the already speechless Rainbow Dash completely dumbstruck. The confusion and betrayal warring on her friend’s face stung Twilight. Worried, she took a tentative step forward.

"Rainbow?" Twilight questioned. When an answer was not forthcoming, she took another step forward. "R-Rainbow?" Her voice wavered uncertainly this time.

Rainbow Dash shook her head and clambered up to her feet, still looking somewhat stunned.

"Twili--" Rainbow began, before the unicorn in question abruptly cut her off.

"Oh, please don't be mad at me!" Twilight cried, her frayed nerves driving her to near-Pinkie Pie rapid-speech. "I could really use the support and I'm about to take the test and I was wondering if you would be there for me when I did. You know, for moral support?"

"Geez, Twi, of course I'll be there for you!" Rainbow replied gently. "And I'm not mad, I was just a little…overwhelmed. I wouldn’t expect a egghead like you to break out of your shell like that." Rainbow gave her a comforting smile, and Twilight breathed a sigh of relief and quickly hugged her friend.

"Thank you, Rainbow Dash," Twilight mumbled into the pegasus's coat.

Rainbow Dash felt her coat dampen and pulled away from the embrace to look Twilight in the eyes; they were brimming with tears.

"Hey, It's alright Twilight. I'm here for you," she said. Tears still leaked from her friend’s eyes.

"I really am sorry, I - we should have told you all..."

"Seriously, it's okay, Twi. Don't worry about it." Rainbow Dash pulled Twilight into a hug again and patted her back reassuringly. When Twilight finally calmed, she pulled away. "Why do you even think you’re pregnant anyway?"

"Zecora thinks my recent heartburn is actually morning sickness, a symptom of pregnancy. And there are other...mitigating factors," Twilight explained.

"Well, let's go take that test then!" Rainbow Dash suggested, deliberately not prying. She knew Twilight would tell them all when she was ready.

"We can't go to the library. Spike's there and I can't face him right now," Twilight said.

"What about Rarity's?" Rainbow Dash asked.

"I don't know..."

"C'mon, I'll break the news to her first. When everything is settled you can come in." Rainbow placed a supportive hoof on Twilight’s shoulder. The frazzled mare gave a weak smile and agreed with a nod.

Twilight Sparkle started to fret once more, the normally pleasant-looking Carousel Boutique seeming to loom menacingly as they approached. She started to shake as she sat outside the entrance.

"Calm down, Twilight." Rainbow Dash patted her shoulder once more as she hovered a few feet above the ground to check the windows. No one was inside besides Rarity, who waved from behind the main counter. "I'll be right back."

As the door opened and closed, Twilight clearly heard a ring and a greeting to Rainbow from Rarity. She pressed her ear against the doorway and heard a muffled conversation. A few moments later she heard a thump, and the distinct sound of splashing water. Raised but indistinct voices followed, before Rainbow Dash yelled loudly one final time. After a short pause, the door rang and opened again as Twilight entered. Rainbow Dash closed the door behind Twilight as the purple unicorn entered, turning the sign from 'Open' to 'Closed'.

Twilight followed Rainbow Dash through main room of the boutique into the kitchen. Rarity seemed to be already preparing for the birth, darting around the kitchen in a flurry of activity. A teapot and three pots of various sizes boiled water on the stove. Sheets, towels, and pillows had been folded and placed on Rarity's fainting sofa. Rarity herself had removed a bucket of ice from the freezer, and was breaking them up into smaller pieces telekinetically. It appeared that the ice was for the wine bottles currently sitting on the counter. As she broke the ice, Rarity absentmindedly started knitting a baby blanket. A teapot’s whistle joined the steady clicking of Rarity's needles.

Rarity turned towards her friends as they entered the kitchen. "Twilight…" She couldn't find the words.

"H-hey, Rarity..." Twilight began hesitantly.

Rarity threw her arms around Twilight in a fierce hug. She pulled away and looked her friend in the eyes, a warm smile on her lips. "Twilight, I'm here for you. If there's anything you need, anything at all, don't hesitate to ask."

"Could - could I use the restroom upstairs?" Twilight asked. She held up the test kit Zecora gave her in her magic.

"Of course, my dear," Rarity replied. "Use the bedroom as well, if you need to. Just float Opalescence out. She'll be a little put-off, but just ignore her." Rarity fidgeted a little. "Is there anything else you need?"

"Some tea would be nice, thank you."

Rarity immediately whirled round and began pouring cups of tea. It was lavender, one of her favorite blends and excellent for calming the nerves.

Rarity waited as she heard Twilight ascend the stairway. She waited for an angry Opalescence to descend the stairway before speaking. "Could you believe Twilight, of all mares--"

"Nuh-uh," Rainbow Dash bluntly cut the unicorn off, "she's afraid and needs friends, not judgment or gossip."

Rarity paused for a moment before speaking. She had already finished the baby blanket and started on a nappy. The speed of the clicking of the needles increased. "You seem to be handling this rather maturely, Rainbow Dash."

"Well it's just that…I understand, alright?" Rainbow Dash tried to let the subject drop, but a questioning look from Rarity spurred her to continue defensively. "Not me! Look, I just get that it’s complicated."

Before they could continue, Twilight emerged from upstairs with a brown paper bag and Rarity's alarm clock. She sat both on the table and set the clock for two minutes.

"This is it?" Rarity asked.

"Zecora gave me a potion. I will go to the doctors if the first test is positive, I trust her stuff," Twilight responded.

"Why were you relying on Zecora for preventative brews?" Rarity asked, ignoring Rainbow's glare.

Twilight blushed. "Well, condoms weren't exactly working with my coltfriend, and chemical methods don't work well with unicorns because of hormonal differences brought on by magic," Twilight explained in her lecturing tone. "Her alternative methods did work, but I guess I started too late." She looked a little sheepish as she finished her explanation.

The three mares jumped in surprise as the alarm rang before Rarity could ask another question. All eyes flew to the brown paper bag as if Discord or Nightmare Moon could jump out at any moment.

"How will you know?" Rarity asked softly.

"Red positive, blue negative," Twilight responded, totally transfixed by the bag. Another minute of uneasy silence dragged on in the kitchen.

Frustrated, Rainbow Dash reached for the bag and tore it open. "Twilight, you have to know!"

A small glass vial with a black stopper connected to a small stick was revealed. Rarity, Rainbow Dash and Twilight stared in shock.

The liquid in the vial was red.