• Published 11th Sep 2018
  • 717 Views, 16 Comments

One Last Flight - Wanderer D

Derpy must fly home due to some news from her adoptive family.

  • ...

One Last Flight

Derpy waited at the gates. Usually she would have flown herself, but the distance was too great, and as slow as flying via Airship was, she needed to be rested for the rest of the flight.

She had tried to explain things to Dinky. That her grandfather wasn’t doing that great. That time was almost up. But Dinky was a bit too young to really understand the impact of what was happening, especially with her grandad being so far away.

Derpy was glad her daughter had had the chance to spend time with her family, and sad that they had never thought it would be the last. Dinky’s last memories of her grandad were of a gentle minotaur, bent a little from the years, but still strong enough to pick her up and take her for long walks across the capital.

Of course, explaining the species difference the first time had been a bit tricky. Derpy smiled, memories running through her mind of sitting down with Dinky, who was staring wide eyed at the older minotaur couple.

"These are your grandparents, Dinky, do you remember them?"

"I’m half-minotaur?"

Her father had grumbled a bit with amusement. "Yes, little one. One day you’ll grow two horns, just like mine."

"Dad, I already explained that I’m adopte—"

"I’m a Mintoaur Unicorn!" Dinky cried, a huge smile on her face. "I’ll have three horns! Did you hear that mom?


"But what happened to your horns?"


Dinky’s wide eyed grew horrified. "Don’t tell me they fell!"

"It was a long battle," her father had spoken up then, "but honor demanded Derpy fight it to the end."


"Oh! What did she fight?"

It was then that Derpy just stepped back and sighed, watching the pair talk, Her dad had always been tough. From his early years, he had fought to create his household. He was strong, he was decisive, and patient.

Grumpy at times, but that just made his laugh all the more precious. He had pulled his family from poverty. Helped set up his sisters and brother, then married… and adopted a silly, little pegasus who would never be able to really make him proud.

His shadow was that deep. He had done everything, himself, for his family. For Derpy, her sister, for his wife and their immediate family. He had built a home, a big one. He had the respect and love of his peers.

All of these were things Derpy had struggled with. For the longest time, since falling in love and leaving home, she had struggled to keep a steady job. It seemed that for every right thing she did, she did three stupid things to compensate.

Now she held a minimum pay job. Barely enough to take care of herself and Dinky… with occasional help from friends and, yes, her dad.

Things had been going well for a while. She should have known that was not going to last. Figures that just as hay hit the fan, the fan exploded.

Recently the bills hadn’t added up. She’d combed over the expenses, over and over, adjusting payment dates; making sure bills were paid… and slowly, she had seen her life complicate again. Rent had increased, and without a pay raise, she had ended up having to move out.

There was very little space at her current "home", a small room on loan from a family friend. She was grateful of course, it gave her time to look, and would give her some time to save up some money and pay off bills… but it meant less time with Dinky too.
Court hadn’t been that great: she needed two rooms. Not one. Two.

In a way, moving out had been a good thing. But at the time, she had despaired. Dinky’s dad was… complicated. An Earth Pony who had a sour disposition towards Derpy, although at least he loved their child enough to take Dinky in for a month or two, while Derpy figured things out.

She had applied for some places. Finally found out what was leeching her money (an old bill that she had forgotten about, but Tartarus would be colored pink before the bankers would) and also figured out that the bank had been reporting her credit wrong.

Surprises, all around. All she needed was to lose her home.

The letter had arrived on a random Tuesday.

She hadn’t thought much about it. She’d found it in her delivery bag, and resolved to finish work before doing anything else. She hadn’t even checked where it came from. It had her name. It was probably a bill.

When she had gotten home that night, the place had been empty. On the way back she’d had to remind herself that no, she didn’t have to pick up Dinky today.

She had made herself a quick bite, putting the letter on the table, then sat down and pored through the list of places that were renting.

The letter had stay there, undisturbed, until finally with a glance up, she remembered she had mail.

Studying the scroll, she realized it was not a bill… and where it came from. It was unusual to get mail from home during this time, they had a very steady schedule of mail exchanges and she was still supposed to answer the last letter.

She felt a bit guilty as well. The last letter had said that her dad had developed a cough. Her mom had assured her that they were taking him to get checked up, that it was nothing to worry about.

She broke the seal on the scroll, and spread it open.

"What are you doing here?"

She had been married to this stallion once. Things hadn’t worked out, and it had been a back and forth between civility, hate and passive aggressiveness since. She still loved him, in a way, like she’d love a cousin, or a friend… but she knew that anything more was never to be. He was family, somewhat. But just because of Dinky. If her daughter were not here, then she and him would have parted ways a long time ago.

"I came to see Dinky," she said, her voice tired. "I just… need to talk to her."

He frowned, but didn’t say anything for a moment. "What’s wrong?"

"My dad."

"Oh." For a moment, his eyes softened. "Are you taking Dinky with you?"

She shook her head, biting her lips. She couldn’t afford it. But also, "I don’t want Dinky to see what he looks like right now."

He looked away. "How bad is it?"

Derpy took a deep breath. "He's not doing well… for the last few days they've done any possible procedure they can. He's weak now… can barely speak or move. H-he's—" she found herself unable to say anything. A lone whine escaped her lips.


"I-he's—" she sobbed, thick tears streaming down her face. "I-I can't. I can't say it. I'm taking the first flight..."

"I worry about your mother, how will she do without him?"

"We haven't talked about it yet…"

He nodded, still not meeting her eyes. "I have a meeting with my contractors in about fourteen days…"

How had she ever loved him? "I-I should be back by then." She reached into her pocket, pulling out a small envelope. "I just want to tell her what’s going on. Maybe have her sign this card?"

An uncomfortable, awkward silence. "Yeah, go ahead."

She walked into his home. He had a house, the same house they had lived in together, briefly. Dinky had been jobless at the time, the judge had deemed that he could keep his property. She had to look for a job and apartment or stay homeless.

The story of her life. Her dad and friends had helped her out that time. One of many.

"Dinky? Honey?"

"Mom?" The little unicorn picked her head up from homework and trotted up to her, a small, confused smile on her face. "What are you doing here?"

Derpy gave her a hug. She had resolved not to cry, she didn’t want Dinky to… she didn’t know. Just not panic. Or see how scared she was. She couldn’t be vulnerable. Not right now.

"Honey, I just…" her lips were dry. "Your grandad, he’s not doing so well."

"Oh…" Dinky looked away.

"He’s in the hospital right now and…" Dinky shuffled, concentrating on other things. Looking uncomfortable. Like she wanted to be anywhere else. "…he might not be with us for long."

Dinky nodded.

"D-do you have anything to say?"


"Oh." She had thought Dinky would say something; anything at all. Maybe show that she understood. Regret that she wouldn’t see her grandad again. Something.

"I-I got you a card. For him. W-would you like to sign it?"

Dinky looked like Angel had eaten her lunch. Unable to even react.

"I don't know what to write."

Derpy gulped, pleading a bit with her eyes. "Anything. Anything you want."

Still unable to use her magic, Dinky took the quill with her mouth and scribbled a little note, then after a second of thought, she drew a little heart, and signed her name.

Derpy nodded, smiling shakily at her daughter. "Yeah, that's perfect. I'm sure he'll love it."

The little unicorn smiled back and then, surprising Derpy, pulled her into a hug.

"I'll make sure he sees it. I'll be back sometime next week, love."

Slowly, she stood up and headed out. Her ex tried to say something, but seemed to think better of it.

Clutching the letter, she flew off towards Canterlot and the airships.

It was time to say goodbye.

Author's Note:

I'm in Florida right now. Waiting for the flight to Mexico. I just couldn't think of another way to deal with this right now. This this not as nuanced as something like this deserves. It doesn't convey how I feel half as well as it should have.

But I needed it out.

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Comments ( 16 )

I recently just lost my Papa in January, and I wasn't able to say goodbye. Take as much time as you need, and know that we're all always here to support you.

My heart goes out to you, mate. There isn't anything I can say to make this easier for you, I know, but please remember that you're loved and appreciated here, even if it's not entirely my place to say so, not knowing you like many others on the site do.

Have a safe flight, and thank you for sharing something that might help others who have experienced the same find catharsis, and those who haven't to find at least some understanding of the situation you're faced with. It's extremely selfless and kind of you, and I'm glad to have had the opportunity to read it.

Here's hoping this helped. Take as much time as you need.

I understand this better than I would like.

Be with him.

~Skeeter The Lurker


Well...at least Derpy isn't saying goodbye forever to her daughter. I was worried that was what might be happening...

And given how my own grandparents' health are faring, I can't help wondering when this will happen to me.

Have a safe flight. I'm so sorry about this. I... legit don't know what else to say. Sorry.

i feel for you friend and safe journeys.

Derpy never scene but always there in the right place at the right time.

I hope it helped. I had my own "get on the first possible flight down here" experience early this year for my mother, unfortunately, so... yeah, I know firsthand the intensity of the feelings involved here, even if I probably don't know your specific case.

Our thoughts are with you.

Good luck, dude.

BTW: I'm getting this story into the group "stories about adoption".

My heart goes out to you.

Thanks for the beautiful story.

Take your time, such things are never easy. And I really love this story with my favorite foal.

Recently, my step-granddad passed away in the hospital. This was an amazing coincidence to see this story.

Jesus. Ow.
There's nothing I can say here that hasn't been said elsewhere and I haven't said elsewhere.
My thoughts and my prayers are with you.

Putrav lesko drom angle leste te na inkrav les mai but palpale mura brigasa.

Nice to see that Derpy's lover here isn't a jerk here. Its just their love not working out.

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