• Published 22nd Mar 2018
  • 570 Views, 369 Comments

Pound and Pumpkin Tales 2 - Never2muchpinkie



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

  • ...
3
 369
 570

PreviousChapters Next
6-15: Taming the chaos

Mayhem disengaged with his friends, feeling a sense of calm. He could still improve. He still had a chance to remain with all of them.

That feeling faded as he thought of all the adults, having unfinished business with each of them.

He turned to Twilight, knowing she was the biggest threat. “So… what happens to me now?”

“Hmm?” Twilight replied.

“I… I was the one asking to be banished, but I don’t want that anymore. I just…” He looked at the ground. “…I don’t know if it matters what I want.”

“Mayhem, if you have Discord’s memories then you already know that I forgave Discord for betraying us to Tirek, and that was basically the same thing as what you did. He grew tired of feeling constrained by rules and was talked into believing it would be better without us. In the end Tirek betrayed him, and he realized what he did didn’t actually get him what he wanted.

“It was because he felt remorse for his crimes that I was able to look past his actions, not the least of which because he was a key component in us beating Tirek in the first place.”

She rubbed his head. “My niece saw fit to make the same sort of decision I would, and I don’t disagree with her choices. I would much rather have you with us as a friend than see you locked up.”

Mayhem sniffed before hugging her leg. “M-me too.”

Releasing her he turned to Cup and Carrot, unsure of where to start.

Before he could utter a word Cup put her hoof up. “Don’t!” she said, trying to keep her voice calm. “These feelings are too raw today. I don’t want to hear an apology because I’m not going to be ready to accept it.”

“Be grateful that we’re even going to think of allowing you to continue seeing each other after today,” said Carrot, also forcing himself to keep from yelling. “But not this week, and maybe not this month.”

“Any objections?” Cup turned to her children.

As much as they wanted to object Pound and Pumpkin knew they had to take their parents feelings into account. “No.” They shook their heads.

Cup was glad they didn’t put up a fight on this. She put a hoof to her face, letting out a sigh. “But eventually it will happen,” she said reluctantly.

Mayhem looked like he was thinking of something he could do for them.

Twilight put a hoof on his shoulder. “Mayhem, I would recommend you listen to what they’re saying. I can see your brain working, but sometimes time is the only thing that helps build a bridge to forgiveness.”

He looked up at her. “But…”

“If you want them to respect you then it starts with respecting them first. They’re not denying you forgiveness. They’re just saying they need more time before they can give it. If you keep pushing them then you’re only showing that you haven’t learned from this experience about respecting other’s boundaries, and that will only make them more reluctant to forgive or allow you to see Pound and Pumpkin again.”

Tears formed in his eyes. “I… I just…”

“I know,” she said gently. “But there is nothing for you to do right now but work on improving yourself. If you really want them to forgive you then do what you did before, and start growing up. It may feel frustrating, but you can’t always get what you want right away.”

Mayhem’s mouth opened and closed several times, but he eventually gave it up. “Okay, Twilight.

“Um… can I ask you for a favor?”

“What kind of favor?”

He glanced towards Fluttershy sadly for a few moments before staring at the ground.

“C-can I live in your castle with you? I… I know you have a lot of spare rooms.”

Fluttershy and Twilight both gave him questioning looks.

“Why?” asked Twilight slowly.

“I… I don’t know where else to go. Cup and Carrot are mad at me, so I can’t live with Pound and Pumpkin. And I’m sure the other parents wouldn’t want me around either, so you’re the only one I can think of that would take me in.”

“It’s not that I mind giving you a room, but aren’t you already home?” She gestured around Fluttershy’s cottage.

He got a pained look on his face, tears falling to the floor. “Not anymore. I no longer have a home.” He hugged himself. “She doesn’t love me anymore, so I don’t want to bother her.”

Fluttershy jumped up. “Oh, Mayhem! Why would you say that?”

Mayhem couldn’t meet her eyes, staring at her neck. “You said it yourself. You… you think I’m disgusting for thinking of abandoning my friends, s-so if you hate me now then I’m-”

Fluttershy let out a sob, running right over and pulling him close. “I’m sorry! I’m so sorry!

“I love you, Mayhem! You’re just like my very own child. I didn’t want to treat you like that, but if I didn’t push you hard you would have given up completely. No one would have been happy with that. Not me, or you, or Discord, or any of your friends.”

“S-s-so you weren’t being serious?”

Fluttershy let out a little sigh. “If… if you had still chosen to return to Discord after everything I said I would have had no choice but to leave you there.” Now she was quietly sobbing. “It would have torn me up inside, but I was the one who first encouraged Discord to bring you out into the open. I would have had to take responsibility for that.

“Without a strong foundation you only would have behaved because it’s what’s expected, or because you wanted to remain free, not because you personally didn’t think you shouldn’t do some things.”

She squeezed him harder, her sobbing growing louder. “I’m so sorry! I know I was rough on you, but I love you so much, and I didn’t want to see you go. I had to make you decide on your own that staying was what you really wanted.”

She pulled him back, tears streaming down her eyes. “I’m your mother. That’s the role I chose from the day I met you. And I want to continue to be for as long as I can. I want you to continue living here with me as I continue to watch you grow.

“So please… can you ever forgive me?”

Mayhem closed the distance between them, sobbing himself as he hugged her tight. “Of course I will! I want you to be my mother forever!”

“Thank you,” she said gratefully.

Cup sighed as she watched the display. As angry as she was about what happened she couldn’t deny that Mayhem really was just like a child. “Twilight,” she said, making the mare turn to her.

“Yes, Cup?” she replied.

“I think we need to start planning for the future.”

“What do you mean?”

“So let’s say we do let our children play with Mayhem again. What’s to stop him from getting bored again?

“I don’t care what he looks like. It’s not his appearance that frightens me. It’s the power he wields. So how do we keep Mayhem in check so he can’t rampage like this anymore?”

“We can’t have this problem of Mayhem going crazy every few months just to relieve his boredom,” said Carrot. “If we’re going to give our permission for them to play together then we need an assurance that our kids are going to be safe NOW.”

“I understand your concern,” said Twilight. “That certainly is something that needs doing. I’ll do what I can to come up with a solution that will satisfy everyone.”

“I’m sure you will,” said Cup, “but there is one more thing that needs to be said.” With a firm tone she continued, “Mayhem, I want to offer you a piece of advice.”

The little draconequus looked at her uncertainly. “Why… why do you want to help me? I thought you didn’t want to talk to me right now.”

“Maybe not, but my children’s safety takes priority over my feelings. If mothering you helps to keep you from going crazy again then I’m not going to let my anger blind my good judgment.

“Now come over here.”

Pound looked at his mother as Mayhem walked over in front of her, unsure what she was going to say.

Despite what she just said it was hard not to let rage overtake her as she met eyes with him so close to her.

She looked over at her children and focused her resolve. If she didn’t do this then she would be putting her children in danger, and she never wanted to risk her children’s safety just for the sake of a grudge.

She took a deep breath, settling herself down before she turned back to Mayhem and picked him up, setting him on her lap.

Mayhem didn’t seem to know how to react. He certainly wasn’t expecting her to go that far.

In a firm voice she said, “You, little draconequus, have a problem with being honest about your feelings.”

“What do you mean?” asked Mayhem.

“When Fluttershy came to speak to me this morning she told me that she felt you were getting bored of being around her, but you wouldn’t speak up because you were afraid of hurting her feelings. A pony's feelings for someone they care for aren’t so weak that they’ll hate you just because you want to hang out with someone else than them.”

“It isn’t like I haven’t gone through the same thing myself when I was still learning about friendship,” said Discord, summoning an image of Tree Hugger.

“Oh, that’s right,” said Fluttershy. “Discord got extremely jealous when I wanted to hang out with her instead of him, thinking it meant I was thinking less of him as a friend, or trying to replace him.

“In the end, I managed to show him that we want different friends at different times.”

“It would do you well to think about the things Discord has gone through,” said Carrot. “If you have all his memories then you should figure out how he solved similar issues that you’re going through.”

“That’s right,” said Fluttershy. “It’s okay to tell me that you want to hang out with your friends once in a while. If you’re feeling cooped up then just be honest with me. You’re not going to hurt my feelings because of that.”

“Okay,” said Mayhem. “I understand.”

“Well, that’s one good lesson learned, hopefully,” said Cup, setting Mayhem back on the floor. “It still doesn’t address the issue of how to keep Mayhem from abusing his power.”

“Don’t you know some sort of spell to restrain someone’s powers, Twilight?” asked Carrot.

“I don’t know if it would work,” said Twilight. “Unlike Discord, Mayhem is sentient magic that just holds Discord’s form. I don’t know how Mayhem would react to such a spell. He’d probably either be comatose or just vanish entirely.”

“So you’re saying we should just resign ourselves to hoping that he doesn’t go bad anymore?”

Mayhem looked up at her. “Can’t you think of something, Twilight? I… I went pretty crazy today, but I don’t want to act like that again.”

Twilight got a thoughtful look on her face as she stared at him, her eyes boring into his as her brain worked. Finally she smiled.

Mayhem smiled back. He knew she would come up with something.

“What did you come up with, Twilight?” asked Pound.

“While there needs to be a greater emphasis on safety I think Mayhem should do exactly what he did today.”

That got confused looks out of all of them.

“Oh, Twilight,” said Discord, chuckling. “Are you finally coming around to the chaos side?”

“How is that gonna help?” asked Flurry.

“Really?” said Peppermint. “I don’t get it either.”

Twilight kept her grin. “Bear with me for a minute, and I’ll explain it all to you.

“Mayhem, as you all know, is made up of Discord’s chaos magic. He did fall in love with love, and that tempered his appetite for destruction and hurting others because he sought out Fluttershy’s approval.

“It came back today though. In the end, considering his very essence is chaos magic, I don’t believe his urge to cause mischief can ever be truly tamed. So if-”

“Are you saying I’m hopeless?” Mayhem looked put out, tears forming in his eyes. “That I’m always going to be a danger to my friends?”

Twilight shook her head. “Not at all. If everything works as intended you shouldn’t ever act like that again.”

He wasn’t sure. Her words didn’t exactly fill him with confidence.

Peppermint sidled up next to him. “Don’t be scared, Mayhem.”

Flurry got on his other side, putting a wing around him. “That’s right. Aunt Twilight is really smart. If anyone can figure out a way to help you it’s her. Just trust her.”

“Just be quiet and listen, Mayhem,” said Twilight. “I promise you’re gonna feel just fine when you hear what I have in mind.”

The other children closed the distance, surrounding the little draconequus. Their proximity did help him feel a little better, and he sat down to hear her idea.

Now that Mayhem had settled down Twilight said, “So as I was about to say, if we can’t avoid Mayhem’s need for chaos, then we might as well use it to our advantage.”

“And how is encouraging him to repeat what he did today supposed to be beneficial?” asked Cup. “Even he can understand the absurdity of that.”

“Tell me something, you guys.” Twilight looked around at the children. “You got to obtain superpowers and went through a real-life comic book adventure. If this really was just a regular game where your lives were never at risk would you have found it fun?”

“Of course!” said Tree Leaf. “I got to turn into all sorts of different animals. It was so cool!”

“It was a little weird being able to stretch my body like chewing gum,” said Peppermint, “but I think so too.”

“We got to fight Tirek and Nightmare Moon and King Sombra and Queen Chrysalis!” said Pound.

“And defeat them all!” said Pumpkin.

“It was awesome!” said Masky.

Flurry was slightly more restrained. “I agree with them, even if it was really scary.”

“Glad to hear it,” said Twilight. “With that assurance I believe my plan will work out just fine.

“Mayhem, can you summon that world of yours, and bring those villains out too?”

Mayhem hesitated, then shook his head. “I don’t want to. I… I don’t think Cup and Carrot would like that. They’re upset enough without putting Pound and Pumpkin back there, and you were the one that told me to respect their feelings before.”

Twilight blinked, then let out a little chuckle. “Fair point. I’m glad to see you’re already applying your lesson.”

Mayhem’s words took Cup and Carrot by surprise as well.

“Very well. I guess we can go without the demonstration. The point I was going to make is that you can create a child’s paradise rather than a desolate wasteland. Can you imagine how many other kids would love to do this sort of thing you did with your friends?

“Your ‘job’ can be to make children’s wishes come true. This will serve three major benefits.

"The first, and most important, is that this would fulfill your need for chaos. Chaos doesn’t have to harm others. It just needs to be something out of the ordinary to how things are supposed to go, just like at Pound and Pumpkin’s birthday party. You created an environment where we could have a major snowball fight indoors when it wasn’t even winter. We all had a blast.

“Instead of having to hold yourself back from being yourself I want you to embrace your special gift to its full potential, that way you won’t feel cooped up or bored.”

“Ooooo!” She definitely had Mayhem’s interest now.

“Benefit number two is about bringing others together,” said Twilight. “Flurry, you expressed the sentiment that even if you really were total strangers before this that Mayhem would still have lost, because he created an environment ideal for forging strong bonds between ponies.

“If we gather a group of ponies together and put them through this superhero adventure it will encourage teamwork and cooperation between them. Since our power is greatest when working together, helping to form unity between others and strengthen friendships is a major plus. As the Princess of Friendship this is excellent.”

“And number three?” asked Mayhem, his eyes twinkling with excitement.

“Number three is probably just as important as number one, since it also involves you personally.

“This will help you to start forming new bonds with others, strengthening your heart. Right now you have six best friends, Discord as your father, and Fluttershy as your mother. These are your strongest bonds, but they don’t have to be your only ones.

“How do you think the kids you help will feel about your ability to grant them whatever they wish? They’ll feel a sense of gratitude to you. They’ll start looking up to you as their hero.”

Her horn lit up, summoning tons of little hearts and having them orbit around the little draconequus. “Maybe you could turn against six ponies because you were dissatisfied with the way your life is going, but could you turn your back on six hundred? Betray all those ponies who looked up to you? The deeper your bonds run with others the harder it will be to ever think of going back to who you were today.”

“That all sounds really good,” said Pumpkin.

“This should stop Mayhem from ever feeling bored enough to betray us again,” said Pound.

Mayhem had a big smile on his face, but then it faded. “Twilight, I… I do really like the idea, but I… I don’t want to always have to be the bad guy.”

Twilight ruffled his hair. “Who says you have to be? You can fight alongside the heroes so long as they have obstacles to overcome together.

“And it doesn’t always have to be a comic book story you go through. That too will eventually grow tiresome. Different kids have different priorities. One might want to try ice skating. One might want to go mountain climbing. The idea is to let children make their impossible dreams happen.”

Tree Leaf’s eyebrow went up. “I can get mountain climbing, but how is ice skating impossible?”

“The same way we could have a snowball fight at Pound and Pumpkin’s house,” said Peppermint.

“Oh. I guess you have a point there.”

Twilight gave him a warm smile. “Even if only pretend, you don’t ever have to play the role of the villain if you don’t want to. I just want to see you make others happy. And if that is done in a way that makes you happy as well then that’s all the better.”

“So I can have some crazy awesome playtime every so often, and help out other ponies,” said Mayhem, looking on top of the world.

Cup sighed. As much as she didn’t want to empathize with Mayhem in any capacity at the moment, the innocent giddiness on his face was stirring her protective instincts. She didn’t wish to see any child get hurt, and she could see Mayhem heading for a fall.

“Twilight, your plan has a huge hole in it,” she said.

“It does?” she asked curiously. “I don’t see it.”

“That’s because you’re so eager to find your solution that you’re not thinking about the bigger picture here.”

“I’m listening. What did I miss?”

“The day after our children’s party you came to pick up Flurry to take her home. You had a talk about friendship.

“Mayhem offered to shrink Flurry’s wings, thinking it would help reduce the amount of teasing she got over them, but in the end she chose to keep them the same because she found acceptance from her friends despite her big wings. She felt she didn’t want to change herself just to make friends who couldn’t accept her for all she was.”

Twilight nodded. “Mmm-hmmm. I remember that.”

“You told Flurry something to the effect of ‘you might only find a few true friends, but you’ll cherish those more than any number of pretenders.’ ”

“I stand by that statement, and I’m sure Flurry does too, especially after today.”

“So what’s the problem, Mom?” asked Pound.

“The problem is that I think Twilight is being too generous in her thinking. Mayhem’s powers can easily be abused, and I’m not talking about him using them.

“You show kids something like Mayhem, and the question becomes ‘what do they really care about?’ Do they value Mayhem as a person, or is he just a tool to use to get what they want out of him, and they couldn’t care less about him personally?”

“Mmm.” Twilight sucked on her cheek. “You definitely have a good point. There is certainly a risk there.”

Tree Leaf raised his hoof. “Can I say something?”

“Sure.”

“When I first met Mayhem I thought he was a weirdo, and he got me angry because he knocked me down, but I changed my mind about him when I saw what he could do.

“At first… I only wanted to be close to him because of his abilities. He turned me into a dragon, then turned Sugarcube Corner into a playground. That was all super cool. But later on I grew to like him as a person.

“So just because someone likes him for his powers doesn’t mean he can’t become a true friend with them later on. I did.”

“I remember that conversation too,” said Flurry. “You said that if someone only focuses on one aspect of me and disregards everything else then it was up to me to show that I am more than that quality.

“I’m sure there will be plenty of pretenders that will only care about using Mayhem, but I know that there are those who can look past his powers to see him for who he really is. My friends did that for me, and we all did it for Mayhem. That’s how we were able to pull him out of the darkness he submerged himself in. He trusted us to do whatever it took to save him.”

Twilight nodded. “Also good points. That’s something I’m going to have to work on when I start implementing this plan.”

“One more thing,” said Cup.

“Yes?”

“As a mother of two I’ve seen that kids can get excitable, and when they do they can get a little out of control. While Mayhem is having his fun what’s to stop him from pushing too far?”

“Well, this might not exactly comfort you, but I’ll have Discord keeping an eye on him in these adventures. As much as I’d like to personally supervise things I don’t have the magical ability to stop him without Rainbow Power, and it’s not conducive to always have it at the ready.”

“And I’m supposed to trust that Discord isn’t going to be tempted, either?” asked Carrot.

“Hey,” said Discord, “I might like to be annoying, but I’ve left my former evil days behind.

“Hmm… maybe it’s because Mayhem is out so frequently now that I’ve been losing my desire to cause trouble.”

Fluttershy got a curious look on her face. “I did find it odd that you weren’t joining in on the snowball fight at the twin’s party. Now that I think about it, you’ve seemed a lot more even-mannered since the day Mayhem first came out into the open.”

“I sure hope it stays that way,” said Cup. “We don’t need any more children put into these near-death experiences.”

“I agree,” said Mayhem. “I just want to have fun in a nice, safe way.”

“Glad to hear it,” said Twilight. “I think once every two weeks is a fine time period to do this. We don’t want kids to become too reliant on him, or for Mayhem to get too used to breaking all the rules.”

“What about once a week?”

Twilight looked uncertainly at him. “I’ll tell you what. This is a new program for all of us. I’ll be observing along with Discord for your first few sessions. If you prove that you can handle the responsibility I’ll consider giving you this privilege more often.

“How does that sound?”

Mayhem smiled. “Okay.”

“Well, that settles things with you, then.”

Pound hopped up onto his mother’s lap, giving her a bright smile. “I love you!” he said as he hugged her.

“I love you too,” she said suspiciously, “but the timing of that sounds like you want something.”

He shook his head. “No. I don’t want anything. I’m just really happy.”

“Why? Well, I can guess why.”

“I am happy that Mayhem is going to be able to work off his need for chaos, but that’s not why I’m feeling this way.”

“Then what is?”

“I heard it.”

“Heard what?”

“That protective tone in your voice. You were looking out for Mayhem too. You really do care about him.”

Cup flushed. “Don’t be ridiculous. I was only saying that for your benefit. I don’t think I’m willing to give a third chance to him, so I don’t want to see you upset. That’s all!”

Pound and Pumpkin both gave her maddeningly smug looks. “Okay, Mom.”

“Suuuuure.”

Cup growled. “Pound! Pumpkin! You get those self-satisfied looks off your faces right now!”

That only made them laugh.

“I mean it! You hear me? I’ll ground you both.”

Carrot and Twilight began to laugh too, and right after that the other children joined in as Cup let out a cry of frustration.

Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
PreviousChapters Next
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!