• Published 22nd Mar 2018
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Pound and Pumpkin Tales 2 - Never2muchpinkie



The continuing adventures of the now seven years old Pound and Pumpkin

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4-5: Intimacy

Cup and Carrot were standing outside Pound and Pumpkin’s room.

The door wasn’t closed, so they peeked in. Both of their children were on their bellies facing away from them.

Carrot gave a gentle knock on the door. “Hey, there,” he said in a quiet voice. “Can we come in?”

He didn’t get an answer, but they weren’t barred from entering either, so they walked in, both of them sitting on the edge of the bed. Cup sat on Pound’s bed, while Carrot sat on Pumpkin’s.

“Listen,” said Cup, “we’re sorry if we upset you earlier, but we couldn’t help laughing.”

“I’m sure everyone else got a great big laugh out of it when you told them,” said Pound, sniffing.

“We didn’t tell them anything,” said Carrot.

“Why not?” asked Pumpkin emotionlessly. “Was the crowd not big enough? Or did you just want to do it in public so everyone can laugh at us forever?”

“Come on, now,” Cup said gently, putting a hoof on Pound’s back. “I’m sure if you came home from school and saw us in diapers you’d be laughing your heads off about it.”

“Probably,” said Pound. “So what’s your point? You gonna tell all your friends about it so they can laugh at us too?”

“Of course not, Pound! We didn’t tell Twilight and the rest. What we walked in on will stay between the four of us.” She stood up and went to the side of the bed so he could see her, and moved her hooves in the usual way. “Pinkie Promise.”

Pound turned his head, moving to a sitting position but not looking at her.

“Pinkie Promise,” said Carrot, also going through the motions.

Pumpkin let out a sigh of relief before she too got to a sitting position.

Cup looked at her sons face. “Even though we’ve said that you still don’t look too happy about it.”

“You just don’t get it!” Pound said angrily.

“I know we don’t. So please talk to us.”

“That was so humiliating!” Pumpkin said in frustration, tears welling up in her eyes. “And you don’t even know why it happened.”

“So tell us,” said Carrot, gently rubbing Pumpkin’s head.

“Earlier, when Pound was making formula for Skyla she got too eager and nearly smacked herself in the face with her bottle and I blocked it with my hoof, and it hurt, so Pound had to feed her. And as I was watching him, feeding her and rocking her and singing to her and just being so loving, I just… I started feeling kinda jealous. Or, I don’t know, that I missed being a baby.”

Carrot hesitated a moment, then he reached his hooves out and gently tugged at her. For a second it looked like she was going to throw his hooves off of her, but then it passed and she let herself be picked up and put on his lap.

Cup saw Pound staring at his sister, and sat down again. Without any prompting from her he quickly climbed up onto her own lap.

“So go on,” said Cup as she put her hooves around his belly.

“The whole diapers thing wasn’t our own idea,” said Pound. “When Pumpkin said that I forced one on her because I thought it would be funny. And later on when I said I wanted to play too she returned the favor.”

“The pacifier and the bottle were Skyla’s idea,” said Pumpkin. “Trying to imitate her mom she took care of us like Cadance does for her.”

“Well, going by her behavior earlier we can definitely see that Skyla’s at the age where she’s copying everything she sees,” said Carrot.

“So what does this all come down to?” asked Cup. “What is the main issue?”

Pound sighed. “We just… wanted to get away from responsibility for a little while. We already went through this with me, back when me and Pumpkin got into that huge fight the day she got her glasses. Everything just feels so different now that we’re going to school. I took forever to fly, and things are so much more complicated.”

“We’ve made a lot of friends,” said Pumpkin, “but only after a lot of pain and sadness.”

“And even if I was the one who asked for it, I still had a princess giving me an order to reform someone.”

“And it’s not only that!” Pumpkin shivered. “During Fluttershy’s party, when Mayhem was still evil, he took over us and tried to use us to kill you!”

Pound winced, tears coming down his eyes. “We almost lost you forever, and the only way to stop him had US almost dying.”

“We’ve just been through so much since last year, and things are only going to get harder.”

“Sometimes it feels like it’s too much to take!”

Cup and Carrot both hugged their children tightly. They had seen Mayhem’s growth with their own eyes, his affection for Fluttershy outweighing his desire for destruction. And so, while they didn’t hold his past against the little draconequus, they also couldn’t forget the day he had come into their lives.

It was the closest they had ever came to death, and Mayhem had tried to use their own children to do it. They had been able to get the twins to overcome his influence through encouragement, but the kids knew they couldn’t maintain that control for long and so shrunk from their giant sized forms to regular size, hoping an overload of magic in their bodies would kill them and deprive Mayhem of a host.

They could easily say that was the worst day of their lives. Their six year old children, putting their lives on the line… trying to sacrifice themselves. They could still remember the screams of agony coming from them as Discord’s magic began to take its toll on their bodies.

Even after Discord’s magic had been purged out of them they had still taken an extensive amount of damage, burns covering their body.

“You have been through a lot,” said Cup. “You’ve been through things no kid should have to suffer through.”

“But how long have you been feeling this way?” asked Carrot. “I hope this isn’t something you’ve been keeping buried for months and months.”

“No,” said Pumpkin. “It really only started today.”

“We already know that we can’t go back,” said Pound. “There’s always another pony that’s going to need help, after all.

“We just… wanted to get away from it all for a bit, even if it was just pretending.”

“But… it didn’t really make me feel better. Acting like a baby wasn’t that much fun.”

“Yeah.” Pound nodded. “It didn’t give us what we wanted.”

Pumpkin sighed. “I don’t blame you for laughing when you came home. You’re right. We would have found it hysterical if we saw that.” That did get a small chuckle out of her as she tried to imagine it, but like earlier the brief happiness didn’t last.

“I agree. It would have been funny to see, but you laughing at us, and being scared you were going to tell everyone… it just added even more stress.”

Carrot took in a slow breath. “Are you mad at us?”

“What?” said Pumpkin, looking surprised at the question. “No… no. We’re not mad. It was just really embarrassing. And since you Pinkie Promised not to tell anyone else there’s no reason to be mad at you.”

It was quiet for a few moments.

“Let me give my thoughts,” said Cup.

Pound looked up at her. “Okay.”

“From what you’re saying it seems to me like you feel something is missing in your lives. As you yourself said just acting like a toddler didn’t alleviate the uncomfortable feelings inside of you.

“If I had to guess I’d say you feel there’s a shortage on intimacy.”

“Why do you say that?” asked Pumpkin.

“Pinkie is a delight, and we’re thankful for her being in our lives every day, but you have to admit that there isn’t a whole lot of quiet time with her. Our weekend family time is usually packed to the brim with fun activities. There’s nothing wrong with that, since it’s always a blast, but it does seem you’re both craving more personalized attention.”

“Think about it,” said Carrot. “What stared off this whole foal behavior? Pumpkin said it herself. She saw the personal, tender care Pound was giving to Skyla, feeding her and rocking her and singing to her, and she became a little jealous.”

“It seems to me that what you were really after wasn’t to be babies again, but just to be babied. Does that make sense?”

“I… I don’t know,” said Pound. “Maybe?”

“As you say, you’re growing up,” said Carrot, “and things are different. But maybe for today we can suspend some rules to give you what you want.”

“Like what?” asked Pumpkin.

“Well,” said Cup. “Your brother mentioned the huge fight you got into last year, and I think he’ll remember how much joy he got while you were off visiting your friend.”

“Hmm?” Pound’s head tilted. After a moment his face lit up. “Oh! Oh, yeah!”

Pumpkin looked over at Pound. “What? What happened?”

“Since I was so sad they put me in charge for a while. I put on a crown and pretended I was a king, and they were my servants.”

Pumpkin chuckled. “That seems pretty silly.”

“Yeah, but I like to think I made a good king.”

“You did,” said Carrot.

“Aw, it’s a shame I missed out on that,” said Pumpkin.

“Well, you wouldn’t have got to play anyway,” said Pound. “The only reason they gave me that privilege was because they knew I was going through a harder time than you.”

“I wouldn’t mind playing that game for a while,” said Pumpkin. “But I don’t get it. I thought you said we needed more intimacy and less playtime together.”

“I did say that,” said Cup, “but I wasn’t talking about King Pound earlier.”

“You weren’t?” asked Pound.

She shook her head, giving Pound a tender smile. “Don’t you remember what happened in the middle of our game?”

Pound gazed into his mother’s eyes, feeling a sense of comfort and security. A memory came to him, and he gave a teary nod. “Oh, so that’s what you meant.” He blinked tears out of his eyes. “I sure wouldn’t mind having that again. “

Now Pumpkin was really curious. “So what-”

There was a sudden slamming of a door downstairs, causing all of them to look in that direction. After a few moments there was a stomping up the stairs.

Cup and Carrot each held tighter to their children, unsure what was coming up the stairs.

Their worry vanished as Pinkie passed by. She stopped and backed up a few steps, turning to them with an uncharacteristic frown.

“Hello!” she said in a high-pitched strained voice. Without giving them a chance to greet her back she continued, “I’d just LOOOOVE to tell you about the adventure I went on today.

“What’s that? ‘You’re very busy, and I should tell you tomorrow?’ That’s a darn shame. I guess I’ll just go to the bathroom and take a nice long soak, then go to my room and try to forget today ever happened.”

She let out a loud huff as she stormed off.

The four of them glanced at each other, and after a few seconds all of them started laughing awkwardly.

“I guess Auntie Pinkie had a hard time of it today,” said Pumpkin.

“Sure looks like it,” said Pound.

Cup looked down at Pound, then back towards the door. “Well… let’s give her space like she asked. If she wants to talk to us we’re all here.”

The twins were still staring at the doorway. They always hated it when Auntie Pinkie was sad.

Eventually Pound let out a sigh. “You’re right, Mom.”

Pumpkin looked toward Cup as well. “So what was it you were talking about before she came home?” She asked more to distract herself than anything else.

“Come here, Pumpkin,” she replied.

As Pumpkin hopped off her bed towards Pound Cup asked, “You don’t mind if your sister starts things off, do you?”

Pound shook his head. “No. I think it’s only fair after being the only one to get it last year.”

Pumpkin got on the bed, trying to get on her mother’s lap like Pound, but Cup lifted a hoof to stop her, gesturing to an empty spot on the bed. “On your belly, Pumpkin.”

Pumpkin gave her a questioning look, but complied wordlessly.

Pound knew he’d be in the way, so he left his bed and went to sit on his father’s lap.

Pumpkin put her head on her front hooves and waited.

Cup adjusted her position, and much like last year when she did this for Pound she started to get nostalgic memories.

Lifting her front hooves she placed them on Pumpkin’s back and began gently moving them back and forth.

It only took a few seconds before Pumpkin went, “Oh! That’s what you were talking about.”

She had seen her mom give her dad back rubs before, and he always seemed to enjoy it so much. Pound clearly did too. And now that she was experiencing it herself she had no disagreement. Her mother was gentle yet firm. It only took a minute for her mom to find the perfect amount of pressure to maximize her enjoyment.

Within another minute she found the stress of the day just melting away into calm relaxation, her mind going blissfully blank.

Pound squirmed a little. Even so long ago he could still remember how much he had enjoyed his massage. He really didn’t want to wait for his turn.

He looked up at his dad. “What about you?” he asked.

“Hey,” Carrot replied, “I get plenty of massages. This is about you two right now.”

Pound shook his head. “No, silly! I mean why don’t you give me a massage?”

The question took him by surprise. “I doubt you’d enjoy it, Pound. I don’t have the years of practice your mother does, nor the gentle touch of an angel.”

Cup paused in her massage to grin broadly at her husband, flattered by the compliment. After a moment, at a dissatisfied noise from Pumpkin, she continued on. “Well,” she said lightly, “there’s no harm in trying if he’s asking, right? You don’t have to be perfect.”

Pound moved onto his belly, looking expectantly at Carrot.

Carrot took a deep breath. He just didn’t think he was cut out for this. All the same he tried putting his hooves on Pound’s back.

Cup glanced at him, seeing him unmoving. “Don’t think so hard about it, Dear. A massage is almost literally about body language. You just have to pay attention.

“A massage is about relaxation. Start gently, gradually increasing the pressure. If he starts tensing up it means you’re being too forceful and should dial back your strength. It’s basically as simple as that. The rest, as I said, is just about being mindful.”

Carrot looked at his wife, watching her lovingly caring for Pumpkin. He looked back down at Pound and resigned himself, beginning to move his hooves.

It took him a while to get into the spirit of things. He was so nervous about messing up that he was very slow and overly gentle. Pound had to keep telling him it was okay before he adjusted his pace and force.

He reminded himself that he didn’t have to be perfect. It wasn’t like this was going to be an everyday thing he needed to master.

As he thought that he frowned, his mouth going to the side as he sucked on his cheek. “You know, now that I’m here doing this it occurs to me that you’ve been doing all the giving, honey-bun.”

Cup glanced over at him, not stopping her motions.

“After a long day of baking it feels great to unwind with a nice massage from you. Thinking of trying to do right by Pound here I realize that my inexperience comes from never offering you the same.”

Cup looked unperturbed. “Well, you’re free to disagree, but I feel you have the harder job. You’re stuck back in the hot kitchen most of the day, doing the majority of the baking. I just have to grab the stuff the customers want and socialize. And I usually have Pinkie helping out on busy days.

“It makes me happy to care for you like I do. It helps me to wind down as much as it does for you.”

“Even so, I want to start returning the favor. I guess I should start with Pound. No better time than the present.”

Pumpkin wasn’t paying attention to anything but the feel of her mother’s hooves. It was no wonder their dad always looked so relaxed when work was over.

Carrot put all his focus on Pound. As his wife had said the secret was about the language of the body. He just had to see what worked and what didn’t work. He shouldn’t need words to understand what Pound needed if he just paid attention to his reactions.

Carrot slowly got into his groove. While it did start to feel nice Pound couldn’t deny that his mother did it better. It wasn’t surprising, since he just didn’t have the experience she did, but he wasn’t horrible at it either.

For his first time Pound thought his dad did very well.

After a few minutes Pumpkin reluctantly switched with Pound. She didn’t want to move, let alone get up.

Pound gladly took his sisters spot, eagerly looking back at his mom with a bright smile.

As Cup used her magic hooves on him it only took a few seconds for him to melt into a puddle of joy. It was just as good as he remembered. The “gentle touch of an angel.” His dad had certainly pegged it right. Just like with Pumpkin he felt his stress melting away until all he could think about was how relaxed he felt.

Pumpkin was a little unenthusiastic. She didn’t hold it against her dad that he wasn’t used to giving massages, but going from her mom to him…

She didn’t want to hurt his feelings, so she didn’t say anything, but she was quietly counting the seconds until she could switch with Pound again.

When the twins heard the sound of a door opening and then hooves going up the stairs they both seemed to make a decision at the same time.

Getting up, Pound said, “I think we should postpone this for now.”

“Oh, really?” asked Cup.

“Yeah,” said Pumpkin, getting up as well. “I’m really enjoying it, but…”

Pound looked up into her eyes. “But it just doesn’t feel as good as it should with Auntie Pinkie in a bad mood.”

Carrot smiled down at them. “I understand.”

Cup rubbed Pound’s head. “Go on, then.”

Author's Note:

What's made Auntie Pinkie so blue?

This arc keeps getting longer. It was only supposed to be 2 parts, ending on a funny note with Carrot's joke about the twins really being good at getting in the mind of a foal.

Now things have gotten kinda serious, but it's fun seeing this evolve. There should only be 2 more parts, the twins and Pinkie, and then back to Cup and Carrot.

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