• Published 14th Apr 2019
  • 3,336 Views, 85 Comments

How to Meet the Parents - Piemaster128

Don't you hate it when you just proposed to you marefriend and you want a day to relax, only to find out you'll be meeting your parents in a few hours? Flash Sentry does. At least they have time to remember first meeting each others parents...

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Chapter 3: Meeting the Sparkles Part 2

“Enough already! That is LITERALLY EVERYTHING that has happened! There is NOTHING ELSE, and I NEED some food!” the frustrated voice of a purple angel called out just as Flash finished describing the moonlight dance on the night of the Gala.

Speak of the Twilight, and she will appear…

“I think that’s our cue to initiate a rescue mission,” he said with a slight smirk, earning a chuckle from the other stallions in the room. Hopping up from the couch, he quickly grabbed a few baked-spinach-and-tomato cups, a hoofful of cheese and crackers, and some mini-carrot dogs and threw them onto a paper plate. Balancing the plate on his wing, he led the other stallions back into the entranceway.

“That can’t be all of it!” Cadance’s voice called out. Just as the boys entered the entranceway, an aggravated Twilight appeared at the top of the stairs. Flash didn’t even have a chance to say anything before Twilight’s mother and Cadance appeared not far behind her. “Surely you’ve had more than ten dates by now! And there must be more that I can help you with! Do you need advice for kissing? I can teach you how to hold a make-out kiss for more that three minutes! Or maybe—’

“Oh Celestia, please just stop! Please!” Twilight cried, her face becoming cherry red as she hurried down the stairs as fast as her legs would take her. “I don't need any more advice!”

Her mother just laughed. “It never hurts to have a little more advice, dear,” she said, winking at Twilight before looking over the railing at the would-be rescuers. “Ah, hello there, boys. So, what are your first impressions of Twilight’s coltfriend? She had quite a lot of good things to say about him to us!”

“He’s a good stallion,” Night Light said with a nod. “With everything I've seen and heard tonight, I say he’s got my approval.”

Flash couldn’t help but let out a relieved sigh. “You have no idea how reassuring it is to hear you say that out loud,” he said with a grin. Any lingering panic that may have been lying in wait to try and ambush him was finally extinguished. “And did somepony request food?” he added, holding out the plate of food to Twilight as she reached the bottom of the stairs.

Twilight went wide-eyed as her stomach growled angrily. She bounced forward, gave him a big happy kiss that made him smile like an idiot, and dug into the food with a happy purr. “I’ll take that as a yes,” Flash said, laughing.

“Mmmmm…” was Twilight’s only response as the mini-carrot dogs vanished.

“Don’t eat too much, or you’ll spoil your appetite for dinner,” Twilight Velvet scolded gently as she and Cadance reached the bottom of the stairs. Twilight gave a muffled reply that was either ‘Don’t care. Too hungry,’ or ‘Plaid mare. Rubber ducky,’ before she wrapped a wing around Flash and began leading him back towards the family room (And the food, if Flash was guessing correctly).

Sure enough, the moment they crossed the threshold, Twilight’s horn lit up and she grabbed a several more appetizers from the coffee table.

“Your mom might be right, even if you are hungry,” Flash said, somewhat jokingly. Twilight just gave him light bat on the head with her wing and continued eating, dragging him over to the couch as the rest of the family trickled into the room.

"She's a growing alicorn. I think she’ll still be plenty hungry when by the time dinner is ready,” Cadance said with a knowing look, right before her own stomach growled loudly. “I know from experience,” she added, going for the food herself.

“And I’m sure the baby helps you with that,” Shining said with a smile. “Though I am curious how you managed to last so long without coming down for food yourself.”

“I was so excited that Twilight FINALLY got a coltfriend that I actually forgot about food!” Cadance cheered. “It was nice not to worry about it for a while.”

Ah, yes. She’s the Princess of Love, so talking about love or somepony’s love life is probably just as distracting to her as talking about friendship or books is to Twilight. That actually explained a lot.

“Either way, you two, I’d still try to save your appetites, especially you Twilight,” Night Light said with a smirk. “Your mother is making daisy, carrot, and apple stew. Your favorite.”

Ok, that sounded amazing, and if Twilight’s wide eyes and slightly wagging tail was any indication, it was probably even better than what he was imagining. “It should be ready pretty soon too, given how it tasted last time I checked.”

“I’ll go see how it looks,” Velvet said, walking towards the kitchen. “You all just relax here and don’t let Twilight or Cadance eat all the appetizers.”

Twilight grumbled something unintelligible, her cheeks reddening again. Flash just smiled and gave her a reassuring nuzzle, earning a happy hum from his marefriend followed by another quick kiss before she returned to her food. Some small, paranoid part of his brain warned him that Shining Armor was still in the room, but Flash ignored it. He loved to do this back in Ponyville, and if Shining and Night Light approved of him, then it should be perfectly to do it here as well.

“Your assuming they’d be able or willing to stop us,” Cadance called teasingly as she levitated over a plate stacked high with appetizers. She even stole one of the last mini-carrot dogs off Shining’s plate before quickly paying him back with a kiss. “And if the baby says it’s time for food, then it’s time for food.”

“The Crystal Chefs know that pretty well,” Shining said with a small smirk. “Especially when Crystal Berry caught you trying to sneak a fifth slice of cake the night before we left.” That earned him a playful glare from Cadance that was drastically undercut by the mass of food currently stuffed into her mouth.

“Good news, the stew is almost ready!” Twilight Velvet called out.

“Thanks, honey!” Night Light called out as Twilight and Cadance practically inhaled the rest of their appetizers at a somewhat terrifying pace. Why they couldn’t just bring them to the table with them, Flash had no idea, but he shrugged it off and followed Shining and Night Light as everypony made their way to the dining room.

The room itself was painted a pleasant grassy green color, had a rather nice chandelier hanging above the long table, and had a large glass cabinet containing a set of fancy plates, cups, and other beautiful dishes. To the right of the entranceway was a large set of three windows that opened to show the rather sizable backyard contained within a white picket fence.

It was hard to make out many more details, given how the sun had already set, but Flash was certain that it was a wonderful view during the day.

Turning his attention back to the table, Flash quickly grabbed a seat next to Twilight, although he didn’t think she noticed given how her head was glued to the archway that led to the kitchen. Given how good the food smelled, Flash couldn’t quite blame her. Meanwhile, Cadance and Shining took seats on the opposite side of the table while Nightlight sat down on Twilight’s other side.

Less than ten seconds later, Twilight Velvet appeared. She was levitating six large steaming bowls in her magic, along with two baskets of rolls, a plate with cranberry jelly on it, silverware for everyone, six small side plates, and six glasses of water. Despite how many different objects she was focusing on and the combined weight of those objects AND how carefully everything had to be balanced so nothing spilled, Twilight Velvet made it look easy. Wow. If she had that amount of magical power and concentration, Flash could definitely see where Twilight had gotten some of her talent from.

“Dinner is served!” Velvet said, placing everything down perfectly and seating herself on Cadance’s opposite side.

Flash thanked her, took a bite of the stew, and he was pretty sure his tongue actually started singing.

Oh my Luna. I think I understand why Twilight was so excited about this. It tastes incredible! Does Twilight know the recipe? If not, I need to ask her mom for it before we go!

Flash’s internal thoughts were cut off as a basket of rolls levitated past his nose, held in a familiar purple aura. He turned to watch as Twilight took three rolls, dunked all of them into her bowl, and devoured them almost at once. Then he realized her bowl was already half empty!

How did she eat that so fast? At this rate, will there even be any left when I go back for seconds?

“Twilight, I know you’re hungry, but please slow down,” Night Light called out. “And remember; only five rolls per pony.”

Twilight gave something that Flash thought was an acknowledgement of what her father said, but he couldn’t be sure given how she still had a roll in her mouth.

For the next few minutes, everypony was mostly quiet as they ate. Flash made sure to grab some of the cranberry jelly and a few rolls, and even tried Twilight’s tactic of dipping them in the stew. It turned out to be a fantastic idea, offering an even better flavor that just the roll or stew alone.

“So, Flash,” Twilight Velvet said as Twilight went to get a refill on stew. “What can you tell us about yourself? I heard quite a bit about you when Twilight was sharing her stories, but I would like to hear what you have to say as well.”

“Was there anything specific you wanted to know?” Flash asked. “I’m sure Twilight did a superb job explaining what we've done since we started dating, but I can try to clarify anything if you want me to.”

“How about how you ended up guarding my little filly? Or, better question, do you know why my little Shiny chose you over everypony else?” Twilight Velvet said with a smile as Twilight returned to the dining room. Shining blushed a bit at the nickname. “Not every pony becomes a guard captain after all.”

“We’d probably need to ask him about that,” Flash said, looking towards his former captain. “I’m not actually sure why I was the one chosen, and will admit I am a little interested myself.”

“It was actually a combination of a few factors,” Shining said. “For starters, you had a significant amount of experience serving in the guard from your time in both Canterlot and the Crystal Empire. You weren’t the most senior of guards we could have chosen, but you were at the point where we felt that you had enough experience to lead others while still being able to problem-solve outside of standard procedures. Ponies that have been in the guard for a long period of time tend to become more adverse to breaking procedure, so when picking captains we try to look for ponies that balance experience and the ability to adapt and solve problems in unique ways.

“This was something you and the other ponies who accompanied me to the Crystal Empire showed in spades while you were there.”

“Why's that, son?” Night Light asked.

“Because of what happened to the old Crystal Guard,” Shining said. “When we arrived at the Crystal Empire, we basically had to rebuild their guard from the ground up. This was both because of how much time had passed for the Crystal Ponies and because Sombra had done all he could to dismantle the guard when he took power. We also had to essentially add a whole new section to the Guard Hoof Book covering the Frozen North and the traditions of the Crystal Empire Guards, and Flash and the other Equestrian Guards that volunteered to travel to the Crystal Empire played a major part in both creating these sections and in training the Crystal Guard back up to full strength.

“It was this experience in creating a whole new guard unit, along with your years of experience, that made you the front runner for being chosen as Twilight’s new guard, at least to me. The other ponies being considered were either too inflexible, or weren’t ponies I thought would be a good match for Twilight. Having seen you in action and your interactions with the rest of the Crystal Guard, I knew you would not only care about Twilight’s safety, but also have the patience and caring attitude to help her on an emotional level should the stress of being a princess start to get to her.

“I also gave you my personal approval to both Celestia and Luna, and mentioned how I thought your personality would be a good fit for Twilight’s. Though I didn’t think it would actually lead the two of you to start dating. Not that I’m complaining of course, seeing as Twilight is clearly happy with the results,’ Shining smirked. Twilight just stuck her tongue out at him before giving Flash another quick kiss on the cheek.

“Glad to hear I had such a ringing endorsement, even if I didn’t even know I was being considered," Flash said with a wide grin.

“I’m just happy to see you exceed my expectations,” Shining said, returning the smile.

To think, I’m the pony, out of everypony in the guard, that Shining Armor thought was the best pony to protect his sister. And not only that, I actually managed to exceed his expectations! That means a lot coming from someone as skilled and protective as him. I am sooooo tempted to bounce around like Twilight when she’s just gotten a new one-of-a-kind-book!
Focus Flash. You can bounce later when your not going to make a fool of yourself in front of Twilight’s parents.

“Thought now I'm curious; what made you decide to join the guard?” Shining asked, pulling Flash back to the real world.

“Oh that’s just what I was thinking!” Twilight Velvet squealed. “Let’s hear about that!”

“All right then,” Flash said, taking one last bite of stew. “I was born here in Canterlot, and grew up with my parents, who were both pegesi. My mom was a high-ranking guard before she retired, a First Lieutenant if I recall correctly, and was a specialized scout pegasus. She didn’t do much guarding of the palace, but instead was frequently sent to help patrol Canterlot or to scout the surrounding mountain range if there were reports of missing ponies or thieves or avalanches or what-have-you. If there was some kind of accident or disaster, she would always be first on the scene.

“I always looked up to her as a foal and loved hearing stories about every little adventure she experienced in the guard. I especially loved how she would make these grand sweeping gestures or pull me through the air as she recounted every little story she had from that day, even if it was something as simple as chasing a pegasus who thought they could steal a box of donuts. Even though the schedule was a bit less stable than that of the palace guards, she loved being able to fly around the city helping others.

“When I turned twenty, I was working in the weather business, which I’d been doing since I was a teenager, but it wasn’t really ‘clicking’ with me, if that makes any sense. I wanted something a bit more…fulfilling, maybe. Something that made me feel like I was making an on the world around me. So, after thinking on it a bit, I decided sign up for the Royal Guard. I originally thought about applying for a scout unit like my mom, but in the end I decided to start with the normal guard for the mandatory three years to gain some experience and learn what other paths were available. That way I could get in shape, make some connections, and transfer to another portion of the guard if I found something that interested me.

“Within the first three months, I knew being a guard was what I wanted to do. Any boring parts, such as standing for eight hours guarding the throne room, was greatly outweighed by the exciting parts, even if it was just something as simple as helping a young filly find her missing dog.

“It was just what I wanted, and it was also surprisingly eventful despite how calm Canterlot is most of the time. Though I will say my brief time in Ponyville has been far more exciting than my time in Canterlot or the Crystal Empire was, but I think Twilight and all the supervillains she helped beat may have played a roll in that,” Flash added, winking at his marefriend, who just rolled her eyes and shoveled more food into her mouth. “Heck, just last week when I had to help save a couple from a pony-size loaf of bread that wanted to cover them is honey and jam. THAT was quite the weird day, let me tell you. Still, no matter where I have worked I always feel like I am making a difference.

“I was still serving in Canterlot when the Crystal Empire reappeared and, as Shining briefly mentioned, they were in immediate need of volunteers to help recreate the Crystal Guard. I was one of the first ponies who volunteered to be sent there so I could help get the Crystal Guard back up to fighting strength and train all the new guards there on the tactics they had missed out on over the last millennium. It was different, sometimes very cold, but it really felt like I was helping them prepare to defend themselves should anything crazy happen again.

“Then, a few months ago, I was made aware that Twilight would be receiving her own guard unit, though I wasn’t told that this was without her knowledge because of how stubborn she was being about not wanting any protectors,” Flash joked, earning a quick wing smack from Twilight and a laugh from Night Light.

“That would be from Velvet’s side of the family,” the older stallion said playfully. “You should have seen how stubborn her mother could be. Always insisting that she can do anything on her own and that she doesn’t need somepony to watch her back, thank you very much and good day.”

That earned him a glare from Twilight Velvet, though a smile was clearly trying to work its way through her angry mask.

“Still,” Night Light continued, worry seeping into his tone, “I’m glad they decided to give her some real protection. There hasn’t been much…real danger, has there?”

“Not much since her guard was formed, no,” Flash said quickly. “Most of it is just weird or annoying things, like a bunny stampede or Discord causing chaos with Pinkie or Rainbow Dash. Anything more threatening usually remains in the Everfree Forest, and when something dangerous does venture out, our lookouts always spot it and sound the alert before it gets anywhere close to town. In my time serving her, Bull Horn was likely the most dangerous thing to directly threaten her since I became Twilight’s guard.”

“That’s good to hear,” Night Light sighed with a faint smile. “I know firsthoof how strong my daughter is, but knowing that there will always be skilled ponies there to help watch her back helps put any fears I had to rest.”

“Just doing my job,” Flash nodded. “But backtracking a bit in my story though, shortly after I learned of this new guard unit being formed, I was informed that I had been selected to lead said unit, and that most of the soldiers with me would be Royal Guards that had been relocated the Crystal Empire when it had reappeared. I thought originally that it may have been both a way to give Twilight some experienced guards while also removing some of the extra ones from the Crystal Empire, seeing as the Crystal Guard’s numbers had reached a surplus of needed guards, but I never actually asked if that was the case.”

“You’re mostly right,” Shining answered. “It was also a way to show the Crystal Guards that we thought they were ready to stand on their own again, and that they didn’t need Equestria’s help for the day-to-day running of the empire. The Royal Guards, including you, would have been sent back to Canterlot if not for Twilight needing her own guard force.”

“That makes sense. Still, it was nice to go somewhere warm again, even if something crazy happens every Tuesday, and it was nice to be closer to my family again.”

“Something crazy happens every Tuesday?” Night Light asked, tilting his head in curiosity.

“Yes,” Flash said at the exact same moment Twilight said “no.”

Flash gave her a playful glare, but Twilight merely swallowed a spoonful of stew and said, “There’s nothing different about Tuesdays compared to any other day of the week.”

“My running count of crazy events says otherwise,” Flash said, grinning as Twilight just stuck her tongue out. Twilight Velvet giggled.

“You two are so adorable together,” Cadance squealed as she passed through the kitchen doorway with her third refill after getting her third refill. Or at least Flash thought it was her third. He had only noticed her leave the table twice so far, but he’d been so caught up in his story that there was a good chance she might have left and come back once or twice and he just didn’t notice.

“Ponyville is closer than the Crystal Empire to Canterlot, so I can definitely see it being easier to see your family. How often do you go see them?” Velvet asked.

“I’ve tried to visit them at least one a month since I’ve moved to Ponyville, even if it’s just a quick fly up to Canterlot on my day off,” Flash said. “Unfortunately, neither of my parents really had many opportunities to visit me in the Crystal Empire during the two years I spent there. The trip was just too far for a short visit, and my mom has a distinct hatred of train rides.”

“Why does that sound so familiar?” Twilight Velvet muttered, putting a hoof to her chin in thought.

“What’s your mother’s name?” Night Light asked.

“Swift Strike—”


Twilight Velvet’s outburst was so loud that everypony nearly flipped the table over in shock. Poor Shining even accidentally sent his (thankfully empty) spoon flying into the ceiling, but Velvet ignored it and just stared at Flash with her mouth wide open.

“You’re Swifty’s colt!?”

Flash opened his mouth to say yes, before a more important and surprising question popped into his mind.

“You know my mom?”

Velvet nodded eagerly, her smile widening. “You bet I do! We’re part of the same bungee jumping club! We see each other at least once a month.”

I got one question answered, but now I have so many more…

“Bungee-jumping? But, why…How…What?” Flash was certain his train of thought had just crashed so hard it had skipped an entire zip code in the process.

“Oh, she just makes sure to bind her wings before each jump, and we have a safety net below us just in case,” Twilight Velvet said casually.

“That wasn’t my main question,” Flash said, his brain crashing again. “WHY is she bungee jumping at all?! Why are YOU bungee jumping?!”

“Because it’s fun!” Twilight Velvet said with a grin that Flash swore matched her daughter’s whenever Twilight got really invested in a science project. “The feeling of falling, the wind in your mane, then bouncing back up and down as you swing from side to side…It’s AWESOME! Oh, oh, oh, you and Twilight should totally join us next time! We can bring Night Light and Shining and make it a family outing!”

“Now now, honey!” Night Light interjected before Flash could even begin to respond. “I'm sure there are other, less adrenaline-pumping ways that we can have a family outing. As he said, Ponyville can be quite exciting, and I’m sure both of them would appreciate some time to relax.”

Shining was nodding his head enthusiastically in agreement, though Flash noticed that both stallions were now quite a bit paler than they were a minute ago. Cadence was just stifling a giggle while Twilight was giving both stallions a knowing eye-roll.

I guess Night Light and Shining don't find adrenaline-heavy activities to be nearly as fun as Velvet does.

“I think I’ll need to agree with Night Light this time,” Flash said, struggling not to chuckle himself when the other stallions let out sighs of relief. “Ponyville can get pretty chaotic at times, especially if Discord is visiting Fluttershy for tea. And even if Discord isn’t visiting, there’s usually at least one day a week where things get hectic, even if a fifth of those incidents are accidentally caused by Twilight,” he added, earning another wing-smack to the back of the head and a laugh from the other occupants of the table. “So if it’s all the same, I think I’ll pass,” He finished with a nod.

Luna only knows how much adrenaline I get in Ponyville, especially when the Cutie Mark Crusaders are on the prowl.

Velvet laughed. “Oh, believe me, you should have seen the trouble she got up to when she was a filly!”

“Mooom,” Twilight groaned, turning red again.

“I’m just being honest, dear. And, Flash, that the offer to come bungee-jumping will always stand,” Velvet said with a happy grin. “And do tell your mother hi for me next time you see her, won’t you?”

From there, the conversation moved on to other, more down-to-earth topics. What it was like guarding Twilight all day, how Cadance was doing and how the pregnancy was treating her, any exciting news out of Canterlot, Ponyville, or the Crystal Empire, what new books had come out (though that one was mostly between Twilight and her father). Flash lost any idea of what the father and daughter were talking about within the first two minutes, so he took the chance to go and get more stew.

I need to know if Twilight knows this recipe, or if her mom can give it to me. This stuff is superb!

Eventually, everypony had finished eating and, after depositing their dishes in the sink, had moved back to the family room. From there, the conversation continued for another good half an hour, flowing easily from one light topic to the next. And through it all, Flash smiled.

He had only just met the Sparkles, but they had all welcomed him in with open hooves, eagerly learning about his young relationship with their daughter and sister, and had given their approval. It made Flash feel rather warm inside, like a small light glowed in his heart.

They made him feel as though he was part of the family already, and that made him treasure every moment.

Wait…Where did Twilight Velvet go? Did I zone out again?

“I’m baaaack,” Velvet called out, coming into the room carrying a large blue book in her magic. Before Flash could even open his mouth to ask, Twilight jumped up and made a dive for the book with her wings, her horn glowing brightly.

Only she didn’t get very far as Shining’s magic clamped down on her tail, halting her about halfway across the room before she fell to the floor with a grunt, her magic winking out.

“Uhhh…” Flash said, thoroughly confused as to what was happening. All he could see was that Shining had this evil grin on his face, Twilight Velvet and Night Light both looked amused, Cadance was trying not to laugh, and Twilight was still desperately trying to go for the book.

“Now now, LSBFF,” Shining said in what was probably the best evil-big-brother-voice Flash had ever heard. “You know what comes next. I had to live though it and your teasing, so it’s only fair that you do too.”

“Please no! Anything but that!” Twilight cried in real panic.

What could be so bad about that book? Was it her diary or something? No, no, it couldn’t be that. No mom was THAT evil, especially given that Flash had only met the family a few hours ago.

“Anything but what?” Flash asked, raising an eyebrow as Twilight redoubled her struggles as Shining and Night Light combined their magic to pick the purple alicorn up and plop her back on the crouch.

“Baby photos!” Twilight Velvet and Cadance cheered as one, the former prancing over and plopping down between Flash and Twilight, the latter of whom had gone pale.

Ohhhhh. Now I see why Twilight is so panicked. Actually, I’ll probably need to go through this too when I introduce Twilight to my mom and dad. Luna knows how much Mom loves my old baby photos.

“Flash, please don’t look!” Twilight begged, turning her best puppy dog stare on him. The big eyes, the pout, everything that would make his heart melt and his resistance crumble.

But as tempted as he was to listen to his marefriend, and he was VERY tempted, he also REALLY wanted to see what an adorable baby Twilight looked like.


“I’m sorry, Twilight,” Flash said, knowing deep down that he kinda wasn’t. “But I guarantee that my mom will insist on showing you MY baby photos no matter how much I tell her not to. So it’s only fair that I get to see yours too. Plus, I am kind of curious to see how adorable you were so many years ago.”

Velvet let out a squeal of happiness even as Twilight’s face morphed into one of pure horror and she buried her face in her wings. Shining and Cadance just laughed before they and Night Light got up and joined the rest of the family on the couch, essentially trapping Twilight and him in place.

“Oh, come on, it’s not that bad honey,” Twilight Velvet said with a wink in Flash’s direction. “And besides, it’s tradition! I saw your father’s baby photos, he saw mine, and Cadance saw Shining’s. It’s only fair that Flash sees yours and you see his.”

“She has a point,” Flash said, chuckling as Twilight let out a helpless groan. “If it makes you feel any better, I promise that I’ll still find you just as beautiful and amazing once this is all over. And I can buy you that new ‘Legends of Equestria’ book when we get back to Ponyville,” he added.

THAT made Twilight’s ear to perk up.

If there’s one thing Twilight loves, it’s new books.

“Fine,” Twilight muttered as she lowered her wings, at least partly. “Let’s just get this over with,” she sighed. Her mother beamed and immediately opened the book on her lap.

“Awwww…” Flash said as his eyes caught sight of the first photo. A small baby Twilight was sleeping in her mother’s forelegs, a little tuff of mane sticking out of the blanket she was wrapped in.

“Here’s Twilight right after she was born…” Velvet began, prompting Twilight to bury her face in her wings again.

The next image was just as cute, and showed a tiny Twilight chewing happily on a plush star that was roughly as big as she was. Then her in the bathtub giving the camera a horrified look that just screamed ‘How could you do this to me?’ Then one of her staring in wide-eyed awe as Night Light levitated a bottle towards Twilight, her eyes focused directly on his horn with all the intensity of a six-month-old.

Then came Twilight dressed as a little pumpkin on her first Nightmare Night, followed by her bundled up and sleeping in Shining’s legs as snow gently fell around them. Then, of course, an image of the tiny little Twilight trying to eat a nearby snowflake.

Flash had to fight back a laugh when he saw the next one, which showed that Shining’s colors had been changed from white and blue to green and pink while baby Twilight was giggling and clapping excitedly. Flash guessed that little Twilight had experienced a magic surge and poor Shining had bore the brunt of it.

Causing untold magical silliness since she was less than a year old. Yep, that’s Twilight, all right.

Also, seeing the younger version of his guard commander pouting was PRICELESS.

Maybe I can convince Twilight to make me a copy of that one, he thought as he watched the real-life Shining give an epic double face-hoof. Definitely would be a good pick-me-up the next time the nobles are driving me nuts.

Soon Flash caught sight of Twilight’s first birthday party. What made this photo both adorable and silly was that Twilight appeared to be trying to blow out a single candle on a small cake, yet instead it looked as though she was only blowing her mane off her face. Velvet said that it had taken her almost three minutes to finally get the candle, and Twilight let out an even more long-suffering moan.

“Somepony please let this end,” Twilight muttered behind her wings.

“We’re not even close, LSBFF,” Shining teased, earning an embarrassed-slash-angry little sister glare.

“Oh, this one is one of my favorites,” Twilight Velvet said, pointing to a photo of a maybe-two-year-old Twilight dumping the remains of a melted bowl of ice-cream on her head as she tried to lick up the last bits of sweet sugary goodness. In the background, Shining was laughing his head off and nearly falling out of his chair. “Twilight sure did have quite the sweet tooth when she was younger.”

“Oh, why?” Twilight groaned, her blush reaching the tips of her ears as the family laughed.

“She still does that actually, given the right circumstances,” Flash joked. “Though given how good Super Sundae’s ice cream sundaes can be, I don’t blame her.”

Twilight gave him an epic glare on that one, but Flash just stuck his tongue out at her.

Sorry, sweetie. Actually, no. I’m not. I might as well enjoy this while I can. But don’t worry. You’ll get your revenge soon enough, trust me.

The pictures began to space out a little bit more now in terms of age, but they were all still adorable.

There was a small Twilight protecting a book fort with Mr. Smarty Pants dressed as a fellow guard. There was one of Twilight doing the Sunshine dance with Cadance, both of them frozen mid-prance. Adorably, there was one of a seven-year-old Twilight actually levitating a mistletoe above a teenage Shining and Cadance, the former looking up in shock and the latter trying desperately not to laugh. Then there was one of Cadance basically sprawled on top of Twilight, with Twilight reaching for the camera in a desperate plea to be saved from the large pink monster currently trying to crush her.

There was one of Shining apparently chasing Twilight with a quesadilla for some reason, while the next photo had Twilight running after him with a bag of broccoli. That one was so ridiculous Flash didn’t try to understand how that even happened. Then, of course, there were pictures of Twilight reading various books. For most of them, Flash wasn’t sure what made somepony pick up the camera, but he had to admit, Twilight looked so…RIGHT when she was reading. Like it was the most natural thing in the world.

And then there were a few where Twilight was in either a really silly position with a book or had this adorable look of concentration as she tried to make her horn do something. There was also one of her sleeping on Velvet’s back with a book still clutched in her hooves, which was just too cute.

Though Flash had to admit that his favorite one was probably the one taken right after Twilight had gotten her cutie mark. Unlike the one in the hallway where Twilight was proudly showing it off, this photo showed Twilight bouncing happily around the room while Princess Celestia watched her with a smile. Just the pure joy and happiness that the photo displayed was infectious.

It was the way Twilight should always be. Happy, energetic, and believing that she could accomplish anything. When she was like that, it meant that everything was right with the world.

From there, Spike began to enter quite a few of the pictures. There was Twilight playing with him, Spike trying to eat a plate for some reason, Spike drawing on the walls, a young Twilight levitating a plush pony doll above his head (much to his enjoyment). They were all adorable. Though his favorite image involving Spike showed the baby dragon sleeping while curled on an open book. Nearby, Twilight was looking like she couldn’t decide if she should be annoyed that she could not read her book or happy at how adorable little Spike was.

All in all, the entire book was wonderfully entertaining, despite Twilight’s persistent groans and grumbles trying to say otherwise. It took them nearly an hour to go through it, at which point Velvet exclaimed that it was now time for dessert. Twilight thanked Celestia out loud, at which point Flash just had to ask if Velvet had another book.

Twilight’s response was a resounding ‘NONONONO! No more baby photos!’ while swatting him with her wings repeatedly.

Dessert, as it turned out, was a wonderfully crafted set of three chocolate cakes. One was mixed with strawberries, one with peaches, and one with white chocolate. Even with his massive dinner, Flash couldn’t help but try a slice of each cake. Of course, all of them were incredible. It left him VERY full, but also very, VERY satisfied.

“That was the best dessert of my life,” Flash muttered to no pony in particular as he leaned back on the sofa. “I might be about to enter a food coma, but it was worth it.”

“I’ll take that as a compliment,” Velvet said, smiling as she walked by, grabbing his empty plate in her magic before trotting back towards the kitchen. By now, everypony had finished their food and Cadance and Shining had excused themselves to go to bed a bit early. Flash knew from Twilight that the happy couple came all the way from the Crystal Empire in a straight shot, so it was no surprise that they were going to bed early. Hay, Flash hadn’t even travelled half that distance and he was still pretty wiped.

He blamed his panic. And the food. But mostly panic.

“By the way, when do you plan on introducing my daughter to your parents?” Velvet called out. “I bet Swift Strike will be through the roof when you tell her!”

“The plan was to do it in two weeks,” Twilight said, and unless Flash was very much mistaken, she sounded a little bit nervous.

Just like I was.

“Not this week?” Night Light asked, an eyebrow raising. “You’re already here in Canterlot, so why wait? From what your mom has told me about Swift Strike, I think she’ll really like you, dear, if that’s what you’re worried about.”

“They’re out of town right now,” Flash said, extending a wing to brush Twilight reassuringly. “They left for their third honeymoon last week and wont be back for another week and a half at the least. So we’ll be visiting them a few days after they get back. And I agree with you, they will LOVE Twilight, that much I can guarantee.”

“Easy for you to say,” Twilight muttered.

“Yes, it is, just like YOU were telling me the entire train ride up here that your family would love me. And you were right. So now it’s my turn to be right!”

“I don’t think that’s how being right works,” Twilight said with a deadpan stare, though Flash could see a little smile peeking its way through her grumpy face.

“That’s how it does in my family!”

“Then I think your trip will be interesting to say the least,” Night Light laughed. “I look forward to hearing all the details when we see you next…”

Author's Note:

Hello all! I am back from my Vacation (Which was thankfully not affected by 2020 being a cursed year), and now present you with the next chapter where we round off the first meeting between our happy couple and the Sparkle Family!

And for the first time in the universe, no random protagonist appeared and no one got punched in the face (Yet at least). And yes, I did check. This is in fact the first time that no true protagonist has appeared, surprise, surprise.

Lets just hope the same is true when we meet Flash's family.

And now, some updates:
The next chapters of 'How to Climb a Mountain,' and 'Freedom Shall Ring' are now being edited by my wonderfully angelic Fiancee. I don't know when they will be ready, but just know they are currently in progress.
The next chapter of Spero is being written (being on vacation in a place with little wifi and cellular service has some advantages for encouraging me to write), and is about 3,500 words in.

All in all, I hope you enjoy the chapter and stay safe. Have a good day :twilightsmile: