• 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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7-3: We'll always be friends

The colt looked around as if to make sure no one was listening or looking in their direction, then said, “I saw you got your cutie mark. That’s… a pretty good mark to have.”

Flurry’s eyebrow rose. Did he really pull her away from everyone just to compliment her on her cutie mark?

“I… I don’t know if I should feel happy or sad.”

Her confusion only kept growing. “Why? What difference does it make to you?”

The colt looked around one last time. Once he turned back to her his face shifted into the form of Mayhem.

Flurry’s mouth hung open. “You…”

“Hi, Flurry,” he said quietly before shifting his face back into a pony. “I… I don’t know how you feel about seeing me again. That seems like the kind of cutie mark you’d hate, and it’s all my fault you have it.”

Flurry was trying to get her brain to catch back up. “Hold up. What are you doing here looking like that?”

He restlessly moved one of his hooves in a circle on the floor. “Well, this was Mommy’s idea. She knows that your parents are mad at me, but she felt like a cutecenera was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I should be here for it.”

Flurry smiled. “Cool! Now you can play with us without anyone else knowing it’s you.”

Mayhem shook his head. “No.”

“No?” Her head tilted.

“She told me I could participate in the party, but you were the only one I could tell the truth to. I… am still being punished, after all.” He looked at the floor. “So I can be here, but I’m not allowed to play with any of you.”

Flurry’s smile faded. “But… but that’s…”

Mayhem hugged her. “It’s okay, Flurry. I’m just happy to be here.

“Please don’t tell anyone else. If it gets out that I’m here Mommy might get in trouble for bringing me along. I know her. She’d take the blame for this, and I don’t want to see her get yelled at.”

A tear came down Flurry’s eye. “But you’ll be watching all of us having fun without you. Isn’t that even worse than not being here at all?”

“Don’t worry about me.” He let her go. “What about you?”

It took her a little while to respond. “I… I’m happy with my cutie mark. I was scared of it at first, but now I’ve warmed up to it.”

“I’m glad. I… I was scared you might hate me because my actions led to you getting it so early in your life. That’s the only reason why Mommy let me talk to you. She could see how scared I was, so she made an exception for you alone.”

He gave Flurry another hug. “I love you, Flurry!”

Flurry tensed, a few tears coming down her eyes as she hugged him back. “I love you too, Mayhem!”

Reluctantly he let her go. “Well… enjoy your party.” With that he took off.

It took her a minute before she could summon the energy to walk back to the rest of her friends. She certainly hadn't expected to see him. She felt bad for him having to miss out, but she couldn't put off her cutecenera for however long it took for all the parents to forgive him.

A pit of guilt bubbled up in her stomach. She felt so inconsiderate. Why would it matter if she partied later if it meant she could have her last friend with her?

She trudged back over to the group, forcing a smile on her face.

“Hey, Flurry!” said Pound. “You’re back.”

“So what did he want?” asked Pumpkin.

“Oh, uh… nothing much,” she responded. “Just offering some congratulations on my cutie mark.”

“They couldn’t have done that right here?”

“Well, they’re a little shy.”

“Oh.”

Thankfully they dropped the subject after that. Flurry tried to get back into the party spirit, but it was difficult. Every so often she’d see Mayhem, and couldn’t help but stare. For the most part he was always standing alone not talking to anyone.

She stared at him long enough and often enough that her other friends began to notice. “Looking at that colt again?” asked Peppermint.

“Huh?” Flurry called out.

“Ever since that kid came over here to talk you’ve been acting strange,” said Tree Leaf.

Masky looked over at him. “He seems to be having trouble opening up. I haven’t seen him playing with any of the other kids.”

“So let’s welcome him to our group!” said Pound brightly. “Nothing wrong with sharing our hearts with someone new.”

“Yeah!” said Pumpkin. “Let’s go.”

Flurry followed at the tail end of the group, unsure of what to say as the others took off. It would seem strange if she tried to stop them, but at the same time she didn’t want to make Mayhem uncomfortable or think that she had spilled the beans.

“Hello there!” said Tree Leaf.

Mayhem spun around, surprised to see all of them standing there.

“You were looking kinda lonely,” said Pound, “so we wanted to let you know you don’t have to feel afraid. There are plenty of friendly kids in Ponyville.”

“Oh, um… thanks,” Mayhem replied.

“I’m Pound Cake. What’s your name?”

“Um, um…” Mayhem shrunk, his eyes darting around awkwardly as he tried to come up with something. “My… my n-name is… Havoc.”

“That’s a cool name,” said Pumpkin.

“You don’t have to stay alone, Havoc,” said Masky. “All of us are good friends, and we’d love for you to join our group.”

Mayhem felt like crying. All his friends were right in front of him, and he couldn’t even let them know. The pressure to break the rules and just play with them in secret definitely came to mind, filling him with guilt. He had to get out of this situation pronto.

He flinched as he felt a hoof on his shoulder, seeing Fluttershy right next to him. He hoped she wasn’t going to be mad at him. He hadn’t done anything wrong. They had come to him.

“I think that sounds like a great idea,” she said sweetly. “A cutecenera is a once in a lifetime event for each pony. It would be a shame to spend it alone, even if you’re not the guest of honor.

“I know all these ponies personally, and I think you’ll get along fine with them if you just give them a chance.”

“Yeah!” said Tree Leaf.

Mayhem looked up at Fluttershy with confusion. She had been the one to tell him not to interact with the others, but now she was encouraging him to do the opposite. Maybe she was testing him… but he wasn’t in the mood for a test right now! Having them so close but having to be distant was almost more than he could bear.

“Give us a minute,” said Fluttershy, pulling Mayhem a short distance away.

When they stopped she sat down and moved her head close to his. “I know what I said before, but I noticed that Flurry hasn’t been able to keep her eyes off of you. I should have known this would happen, and I don’t want her special day ruined because of my thoughtlessness. Of course she’d want to spend this day with all her friends that had helped her get this far.

“You can play with them, but my rule hasn’t changed. Keep your identity a secret, okay? I don’t want them to accidentally call you by your real name. That would get you in trouble, and they’d get mad at me too because I would have to confess that I put the idea in your head.”

Mayhem nodded. “Okay, Mommy.” He put a hoof to his lips. “I won’t tell any of them. Promise.”

“Very good. Off you go, then.”

He sauntered over to the rest of the group, looking in better spirits now that he had Fluttershy’s permission.

“You feeling okay now?” asked Flurry.

He nodded.

“So, Havoc, what kind of things are you into?” asked Peppermint.

“Oh, um… I guess a lot of things,” he said evasively.

Pound chuckled. “Well, that tells us a lot.”

Mayhem gulped. “Well, I… I just…”

“It’s okay, Havoc,” said Pumpkin, tapping his shoulder. “You’re having a little trouble opening up. It just takes some time. Why don’t we just play for now? We can worry about getting to know each other later.”

Mayhem nodded, glad she didn’t push the issue. The only big things he could think of to describe himself was his love for Fluttershy, his friends, and causing chaos, all of which were pretty big hints to his real identity.

He tried to get into the games, but a part of him was still holding back. He still felt guilty over what he had done to them.

“Hmm,” said Tree Leaf. “I just thought of something.”

“What’s that?” asked Masky.

“Havoc is a bit of an odd name for a pony. It’s like your parents were expecting you to create problems for everyone around you.”

Mayhem got a pained expression on his face as Flurry flinched.

All of the others besides Flurry were chuckling, but as soon as Tree Leaf saw the teary expression on Mayhem’s face he immediately stopped. “Hey, I’m sorry! It was just a joke.”

“I… I should go,” said Mayhem, turning to walk away with a little sob.

“Hey, hey!” said Pound, trotting in front of him. “Come on. Don’t leave.” He gave Mayhem a hug. “He didn’t mean to hurt you.”

“Yeah,” said Pumpkin, hugging him too. “You’re a cool pony, and we know Tree Leaf wouldn’t make such a statement if he thought it was going to bother you.”

Tree Leaf gave him a hug too. “I’m sorry,” he said contritely. “Please don’t leave. I didn’t mean to be insensitive.”

As they released him Mayhem thought of his actual name, and felt like Tree Leaf wasn’t wrong about him. Fluttershy had given him the name Mayhem as a similar name to Discord. Mayhem or Havoc, in the end he did live up to it and cause others a lot of grief. He had nearly killed so many ponies in his immaturity.

“I… I caused a lot of trouble recently,” said Mayhem, tears streaming down his eyes. “I wound up hurting a lot of people I cared for.”

“We’ve been through that,” said Pumpkin. “We got kicked out of school for fighting and made everyone upset.”

“The biggest thing we learned out of that,” said Pound, “is that our family and Twilight never stopped loving us. The only thing they hated was the behavior, and not us.”

“Your parents let you come to this party,” said Peppermint, “so they can’t be too upset with you.”

Automatically he cast his eyes towards Fluttershy before quickly looking away from her so as not to give them any hints. “I guess so. I just…” His eyes shimmered. “I just feel so guilty for losing control like I did. I… I can’t help but wonder if I’m just evil.”

“An evil pony wouldn’t feel bad,” said Masky. “If you feel guilty then just work hard to make it up to the ponies you hurt.”

Flurry felt her heart calling, walking up and hugging him. “Sometimes… we all let a little darkness cloud our hearts. That’s the point of sharing our hearts with one another: to remind us of the light. Things will always turn out alright as long as we come together with one heart. I’ve seen its power first hoof. The ones you hurt… I’m sure they’ve forgiven you, so don’t let this weigh you down.”

Mayhem hugged her back. “It’s just… hard. I feel so unworthy of getting another chance.”

“And that’s the beauty of love and forgiveness. It allows us to put the past of others behind us and focus on their future. Just like a certain special friend forgave me for calling him a horrible name, telling me he just wanted to take the bad things I was feeling away so I could shine bright. Even if we don't feel we deserve it, the ones we care for feel differently.”

It took a minute, but Mayhem finally released Flurry, looking a little better.

“Y’know, your name reminds me of someone else we know,” said Pound. “You’d probably get along really well with him.

“His name is Mayhem.” Mayhem tensed. “He’s…” He smiled. “He’s a really good friend.” The smiled faded. “He screwed up recently too. That’s why he’s not here.”

The other children besides Flurry lost their spirit too. “I wish he could have come,” said Pumpkin, “but our parents are making us take a break from him for a while.”

“It doesn’t matter that we forgave him,” said Peppermint, hanging her head. “My parents were super mad about what happened.”

“Same here,” said Masky, sighing. “I’ve been trying to talk to them, but every time I bring him up they shut me down.”

“I haven’t had any better luck,” said Tree Leaf. “They just keep saying they need more time before they’re willing to forgive.”

“We haven’t fared any better,” said Pound. “Our parents say the same thing.”

“We can’t push the issue,” said Pumpkin, “even though we want to. As Flurry reminded us, our parents are doing this because they care about us. We understand that, but… it just doesn’t feel the same without all of us here.”

The others nodded in agreement.

Mayhem sniffed, seeing the love they still had for him. It was hard for him to not tell them that he really was there, but Fluttershy had laid down the rules, and he wasn’t allowed to tell. Peppermint looked at Mayhem, getting an awkward smile on her face. “Sorry. We didn’t mean to bring the mood down. You shouldn’t have to deal with our issues.”

Pound let out a little sigh. “Yeah. It’s not your fault what happened.”

Mayhem averted his eyes, trying to fight the guilt from returning.

“Well,” said Pumpkin, “Twilight is going to help Mayhem get back on the right track, so there’s no need to be worried about him. I know it’s gonna take some more time for our families to give him another chance, but eventually things will be alright again.”

Flurry continued her usual habit of putting her hoof to her heart. “I believe that too. Our hearts are always united in friendship. No matter how far apart we are we’ll always be connected by that thread. Soon enough we’ll all be able to play together again.”

She walked the short distance to Mayhem and grabbed his hoof. “For now, though, let us put our troubles behind us and just have fun together. Okay, Havoc?” She winked at him.

Mayhem smiled and nodded.

Feeling better now, he threw himself into the festivities with the rest of them, glad to see they were still thinking of him.

He did have one scary moment when Cup Cake checked in on them and asked about their new friend. He partially hid himself behind Pound, not wanting her to get a good look at him.

Pound let out an awkward laugh. “Sorry, Mom. He’s a little shy. We pushed him to join us because he was off by himself the whole party.”

Cup smiled down at Mayhem as she lowered her head a little. “You don’t have to be afraid of me. I’m not scary.” Mayhem stayed where he was. She decided to let it go. “Well, I just hope you continue to have a good time with my children.”

Mayhem nodded, but didn’t speak, and soon enough Cup went on her way to see how other guests were doing.

There weren’t any more surprise guests over the course of the party, but Flurry did try and spread out and interact with more ponies than just her close friends and have them join her circle. Despite her friendly demeanor she did get a few that were too anxious to play with her because of her royalty status, but there were just as many that seemed eager to get to know her.

One of them asked if he could see her wings again up close, and she obliged, spreading them out as far as they would go. He looked with wonder at them, then back at his own wings, saying that he still had a while to go.

Flurry laughed at that.

The hours passed in a flash, Flurry loving every minute of it. She had found so much love in Ponyville.

As it started to get dark Pinkie brought out a big cake with a model of her cutie mark on top in the center, as well as a model of her near the edge with her wings extending all the way around it until they touched.

Flurry approved.

Each of them dug in, loving it.

As the party wrapped up ponies began to leave. Mayhem hesitated. He didn’t know when he’d get another chance to play with his friends, and he didn’t want to go yet. However, if he didn’t leave amongst the crowd it would really stand out. It would look strange if he left without an adult, and even stranger if he left with Fluttershy.

His friends seemed to read his mind. “It stinks, doesn’t it?” said Tree Leaf. “When good times have to end?”

He nodded.

“But just because they have to end now doesn’t mean that it has to be forever,” said Pound. He pushed his head forward. “We’ll be able to play again soon.” He smirked. “Okay, Mayhem?”

Flurry and Mayhem both reacted with shock, while the other children got similar smirks on their faces.

“H-how…” He blinked. “H-how did you…”

“Come on!” said Masky. “For one thing, your ‘disguise’ sucks. You chose the same coat, mane, and eye colors as your usual form.”

“And your name!” said Peppermint. “It’s just a synonym of Mayhem.”

“And how you hid yourself from our mom,” said Pumpkin.

“And how Fluttershy was the one who talked you into hanging out with us,” said Pound.

Mayhem blushed a little, letting out an awkward laugh. Now that they pointed it out, he really had done a crummy job of hiding his true identity.

“Plus,” said Pound, “the way Flurry kept looking sadly over at you, like she knew some secret but didn’t want to tell.”

“So,” said Flurry, “you knew the whole time?”

They shook their heads. “No,” said Pound. “Not the whole time. It took about a half an hour of playing together for me to figure it out.”

“Same,” said Pumpkin, the other children adding their agreements.

Peppermint gave him a warm smile. “Even if you chose a different name and a different look it wouldn’t have mattered. You couldn’t break our friendship even when you took our memories away. We would have been able to tell it was you no matter what form you took.”

Pumpkin chuckled. “Come on! We’re your best friends. Did you really think you could hide your heart from us?”

Mayhem groaned, looking on the verge of tears. “B-but I promised not to tell! Mommy is gonna be mad at me.”

Pound hugged him. “But you didn’t tell. We figured it out on our own. So there’s no problem, is there?”

“I… I guess not. But… but if you knew then why didn’t you tell me?”

“Well, you came here in secret,” said Peppermint. “We didn’t want to make it too obvious.”

Tree Leaf hugged him too. “It was enough just to know we had the last of our best friends here.”

Happy tears came down Mayhem’s eyes, and soon enough the rest of them joined in on the hug. He could feel all their hearts shining with his.

When they released him he said happily, “I have some great news.”

“What is it?” asked Flurry.

“I heard from Twilight recently. She said she’s almost ready. In the next few days I’ll be able to start my community service.”

“That’s great!”

“So has she picked out the children yet?” asked Peppermint.

He shook his head. “I don’t know. I’m not involved with the planning, but I think maybe she’s just waiting for a free day.”

“Well, you have to let us know how it goes when you do it,” said Tree Leaf.

“I will.”

Things were quiet for a bit. Mayhem looked and saw that most of the ponies were gone now. He couldn’t put it off much longer. He took a deep breath and steeled himself. “I don’t want to say goodbye, but I have to for now.”

He gave each of them a hug goodbye. “Thank you for being my friends.”

They thanked him back, and after a minute he left with a small group of other ponies.

Pound and Pumpkin went to Fluttershy, letting her know he had left. They also made sure to add in that they had figured out Mayhem’s identity on their own so he wouldn’t get in trouble with her. The mare didn’t look surprised.

It was a perfect day for all of them. Seeing Flurry’s cutie mark and how she had embraced it so fully made her love explode out into the world, touching everyone around her. Seeing Drill Bit express his gratefulness was an unexpected treat, and Mayhem being there in secret made it even better.

Soon he would start his own journey of repentance, and they couldn’t wait to hear how it went.

Author's Note:

Fun fact: Havoc was considered for his original name. It was a toss-up between the two of them, but in the end I went with Mayhem.

I do like Mayhem better, which is why I chose it, but I wish it wasn't so close to Masky. In a recent rereading of the final battle I saw I got them mixed up, and this was like the fourth time I had gone through it.

So which name do you think sounds better?

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Comments ( 3 )

Awww...that was sweet. Almost too sweet...but still so sweet. What a heartwarming little chapter.

Well Mayhem works, just think of those commercials, in America at least, that use the character of Mayhem. Havoc on the other hand reminds me of a character in another fanfic who well let's say causes tons of problems that his wanted posters have a very funny list of crimes going from the serious to stuff that he was not responsible for but was near by when it happened.

I’m used to Mayhem. And Havoc makes me think of the X Men character.

While there was some relief from the kids figuring it out, I still felt tension from any of the adults possibly figuring it out. I feel with time, like years, they could let it slide after finding out about it; it would seem like such a small crime that they probably wouldn’t care. But if it were to happen soon, it could be a problem. But I don’t see the latter happening, or the parents finding out. If anything, I think Mayhem would eventually want to confess to have a clear conscience, but still years later.

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