• Published 27th Jun 2019
  • 3,249 Views, 264 Comments

From Under the Love Seat - Lightstruck



A foal abandoned for his own good. It is found by two ponies who never knew what they were in for. What could possibly happen?

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The Fight

Chitter follows along in silence as he, his new sister, and their father walk home from the hospital. He was told that something had happened, but nopony would tell him what or why. So many questions fill his developing nine year old mind.

Shield walks along in a different silence. He had just received a devastating blow to his wonderful life when he was informed that his wife would not recover from her injury. He gained a daughter but lost his wife in the process and his heart aches. His faded blue mane seemed to lose more color since the news was delivered in the hospital. The sun on his face holds no warmth, the sky was grey even without a single cloud marring it. He carries their daughter with his son following closely as they head home down the dirt roads of Ponyville.

Many ponies came to make a quick visit as soon as they heard the unfortunate turn of events. Red had whisked Chitter away for a while to save him the heartache. Twilight nearly threatened the doctor if he couldn’t help her pseudo sister. Lightstruck and Mystery had rushed over to get in their final moments together with their friend. Her coworkers all had their visit, but in the middle of their goodbyes she slipped to silence, nevermore to be heard again.

Shield heard the monitor flat line and immediately broke down in tears. For an hour he cried even as the staff moved her body to the morgue. The world collapsed down around him as he lost the love of his life.

“Dad?” Chitter asks as they continue to walk.

“Yeah?” He answers gruffly.

“Why did we leave mom?”

“Chit, not now.” The emotions pouring from his father were enough to get him to drop it for now.

They had met in the lobby a few hours later with nothing that they had left to get. He found it weird that Aunt Twilight was sad now. She had hugged him before rushing away on her own. One pony even gives them their condolences but he didn’t know why they had. He stayed silent for the rest of the walk.

Word of whatever event happened must have spread through the small town as Chitter hears various whispers as they pass by. He watches as ponies stare with yet more sadness in the air. All the negativity was starting to cloud his mind and drain his reserves of happiness and love.

The little unicorn filly rests in the carrier with a snooze that Shield was thankful for. The metaphorical dense dark clouds hanging above him start producing freezing rain that freezes his insides. He is now a father of two and also a widower. Shield shutters as he fights the new depression setting in. ‘How can I provide for them with a foal and a colt in school?’ His breathing quickens as all the partial futures swarm his mind.

Since the re-implementation of the spells in his gems, Chitter’s emotions aren't those of his parents. He could still sense them and like the nature of young foals, this usually lead toward similar emotions anyway. So he knew something was wrong with his father and he wouldn’t talk about it. “Dad? Calm down?” He suggests timidly.

‘Right, just calm down. Worry later.’ They reach their home and step inside the lonely home. ‘It’s so empty…’ Shield’s head droops, ‘It’s gonna keep being empty from now on.’

“DAD!”

“SSHHHH! Don’t wake your sister.”

Chitter has had enough, “NO! WHY IS EVERYONE SAD?!”

‘I… I… I can’t. I just can’t tell him yet. I’m not ready to accept it myself; how could he?’ He thinks as best as he can and only gets this out, “Buddy, not now. I will, but daddy needs some time cause it hurts.”

Chitter huffs furiously as he stomps away from his father. He slams his bedroom door angrily before systematically throwing various toys around for a while.

Shield felt for the poor little ‘ling but knew they were in the same boat. Honestly, he is the cruise captain of this sadness ship. He is never going to share anymore days with his soul mate. The last time they were going to see her was the final time anyone else would. Shield was as ready for the coming funeral as Chitter was to find out he was never going to see her again.

A small fuss, that Shield had not heard in years, filled his ears. A dad was needed, so the message had been both sent and delivered to the nearest father available.
“Hey little filly. What can I do for you?” He fought the urge blame this little filly for something she had no control over. He beat it down, but like most unhealthy thoughts it lingered in the background of his mind.

......

Dad opens up the door to the changeling’s room. His eyes widen at the damage strewn across the floor. He spots his sons saddlebags leaning upside down against the wall with various papers spilling out of it. Stripe stays safely hidden in his open cage only occasionally poking his snout out of his hammock bed. The mattress was 90° to the frame which was also not centered anymore. Books and toys litter the floor but there in the corner was a single large lump under a blanket.

“Chit? Buddy, are you ok?” The lump didn’t answer him as he weaves through the destruction. “Come on, it’s time to get up.”

Wiggling a bit, the growing changeling pulls the blanket off his head. He reads into his dads emotions immediately to see if things had changed. He finds sorrow hiding behind worry but in a much lower quantity. He levels a sleepy glare at his father. “Tell me.”
Shield lowers his head, “Fine. Let’s go to the living room so I can keep an eye on your sister.”

“Dad, why do you smell like rotten apples?”

A shaky, awkward smile is given in response. He lead them to the into living area where dad grabs little Summer Sun and deposits her calmly in the carrier. “Let’s go outside for a bit instead huh? Wanna play catch?”

“Yeah!” Dad shushed him for the time being. “Sorry.”

Dad nods to the door and the broken little family moves outside to the yard. He sets down the carrier as softly as he can as to not wake the newborn filly. He picks up a lime green ball the size of a frog with his magic. “Ready?”

“Yeah!”

With a measured throw he let the ball fly to his son. “Keep your eye on it Chit.” Chitter catches the ball with his own green magic as throws it back. It falls short, about halfway back to his father. “You’ll get the hang of it.” He and his -now past- wife had been trying to strengthen the changeling’s magical muscle. He can transform freely and levitate objects, but not for long. Shield sighs internally as he scoops up the ball from where he stands. “Here it comes!” He throws it back with a smidge more force this time. “So, there is something that happened at the hospital Chit. No no, harder! Let it go just a bit sooner.”

Chitter runs forward and grabs the ball in hoof then returns to his spot. He tosses it in the air where it is halted by his magic again. “Ok!”

“So at the hospital…” He hesitates he isn’t sure how to break it gently. The ball flies with a much better angle but still only makes it ¾ of the way. “Good throw!” He tosses it back. “Mom had an accident with Summer.” He can see Chitter is listening but still trying to focus on the ball’s flight distance. “The doctors tried to help her get better…” He trails off trying to get his words right but his mind was slightly fuzzy. He catches the ball and immediately returns it. “The doctors tried but she wouldn’t get better. Do you remember what she said at the hospital?”

Chitter launches the ball with his strengthening magic: two thirds of way. “Mom said she is proud of me! And she loves me!”

“And she always will Buddy. But, Mom's not going to come home anymore.” He curses himself as the words left his muzzle, ‘Such a stupid choice of words!’

Chitter doesn’t catch the ball and it bounces past him in the manicured grass of the yard.
“Why, is she sick?”

“No Chit.” The lead brick hits bottom in his chest, “Mom is with Grandma and Grandpa now.”

The air is abuzz with cheerful chirps and buzzing insects but the world has stopped. Chitter doesn’t understand how Mom is with his grandparents. ‘They got too old and went to sleep forever so they could rest. But Mom’s not old.’

“Chit, come here.” His dad commanded.
He is baffled and scared which show in his shaky steps. “How?”

He pulls his son into a tight hug, “Chitter, Buddy. Mom didn’t make it. Sh-She's gone now.” Shield can feel his own heartache resurfacing as he has to shatter this little colt’s world. A new knife digs straight back into that fresh wound they now share.

At first the little ‘ling didn’t feel much, but as the literal seconds went by his heart sank. It started at his hooves as they start to shake, traveling up his spine to his head where the tears began to leak. He grips his father with every ounce of strength his growing body can muster. He cries into the shoulder of his father which was completely mirrored by the older pony.

“Remember what she said Chit. We need to be strong, we both promised. She may be gone, but now she’s in the care of Faust.”
They held each other for long enough for Summer Sun to start to fuss. “Come on Chit, let’s go inside.”

......

2 Days Later

The hole hooved colt sits in class again for the first time in days. His father knew it wasn’t a great idea to send him but at least in school there are friends and counselors at the ready to help. Help itself was a bit hard to come by as the timing of these events lead Aunt Twilight to be called away to Fillydelphia for a friendship problem. Lightstruck was pulled back to the mines by a cave-in that needed attention for cleanup. Mystery was busy with their own foal and work. Dad’s friend had been in Manehattan for years now and Redheart was at the hospital or with their own family. Shield wasn’t happy to send him so early after the news but there wasn’t much he could do anymore.

The class was focused to varying degrees, with Chitter at the back end of the scale and Ruby Bliss being enveloped by the work. Midnight and Slick were working on a problem with each other and had more than once invited him to join. He just simply refuses and looks down at his still blank as his flank paper.

The charcoal ear fins lay back as the slightly luminous cerulean eyes stare downwards. They hold no visible emotion (not that one could tell usually anyway) and occasionally a tear falls on his paper. More than once Mrs. Straight Edge had asked him if he wanted to go see the counselor or maybe the nurse but each time he waves her off.

The bell rings, startling him with a jolt, “Huh?”

“Chitter? Are you going to be alright during lunch?” Mrs. Edge asks.

“Yeah.”

“Alright get in line with everyone else and let’s go get some food in your bellies.”

“Ok.”

‘He’s not even the same pony anymore. It’ll get better in time but still it’s just wrong not to see him laughing with the others.’ Mrs. Edge thinks to herself as she watches him slide listlessly out of his seat. “Okay everypony let’s go.”

……

Once in the cafeteria they sit down at the tables or go up to the counters in the lunch line. Chitter takes a seat but doesn’t even move to open his bag.

“Come on Chit, you’ve at least got to eat a little.” Midnight pushes his lunch bag open and pulls the soda can sized garnet colored crystal out.

“Yeah, what’s wrong with your food?”

“Not hungry.” He mumbles.

“Why? What’s wrong?” Midnight is becoming suspicious of him. She tilts her head at the gem, now that she gets a good look at it. “Hey, it’s still dull. Isn’t it normally glowing Slick?”

“Yeah, usually. What’s with it?”

“Nothing.” He fails to meet their eyes and stares at the table instead.

Tired of not knowing what’s going on she grabs his shoulders pulls his face in front of hers, “What happened?”

Tears well up in his eyes as his lip starts to quiver, “M-my m-mom di-ied.” His dad had refused to say the D word since, but Chitter was no idiot and knew what death was mostly; Some kind of forever sleep?

“Oh no!”

Slick was speechless upon hearing that one of his best friend's parents had just passed away. Chit covers his face with his hooves, sobbing into the table.

“Hey, It’s gonna be ok.”

“Well look at the cry baby!”

Chitter doesn’t even look up or acknowledge Beaker's presence. Midnight speaks up for him though, “Not now Beaker, leave us alone or I’m gonna get the teacher.”

“I heard it all. His Mom died and he probably had something to do with it.” Chitter’s ears perk up immediately. “Or maybe she just didn’t want to be his Mom anymore.”

NO, this bully wasn’t going to make fun of this! “AAAAAAARRRRGGGHHH!” Chitter leaps from his seat tackling Beaker to the floor. “YOU TAKE THAT BACK!” His hooves striking repeatedly into the young gryffin's beak nearly ineffectually.

The two mostly wrestle with the occasional punch or swipe. But both sides had a few cheers from onlookers as the teachers try to force ponies out of the way.

Beaker wasn’t without his own shots but they were almost as useless as Chitter’s own. His talons just weren’t strong enough to cut through his chitinous exterior. He was ultimately taken down with his talons pinned under the changeling’s hooves.

Chitter bows his head closer, “HISSSSSS!” Every tooth and long fang on display. “MOM DID NOT WANT TO GET AWAY, STUPID!”

To his credit Beaker at least understood he had been taken down but before it could escalate, teachers pulled the two apart. “BOTH OF YOU BETTER STOP THIS INSTANT! BEAKER, MY OFFICE NOW!” The Principal shouted. The cerulean pegasus had pushed through the crowd with ease unlike the smaller teachers.

“He started it!”

“I said MOVE!” The gryffin bailed out straight toward the office. “Chitter, I know what you’re going through right now but that is no reason to start fighting the other students.”

“It wasn’t his fault!” Slick and Midnight cried out together.

“Then what happened you two?” His face was devoid of any readable emotion. Chitter didn’t sense much from him either, just something akin to boredom. “Scratch that. Chitter go wait outside my office. You four,” He gestures to Midnight, Slick, and the two ponies that had sat behind Chitter at another table. “Go with Mrs. Diagram and tell her what happened. Alright everyone, finish your lunches.”

……

“Now, until your parents get here you will not move even off of your seat. Pick up your pencils and write, ‘I will not fight in school.’” The two creatures wrote the line down on top of their papers. “Good only ninety-nine more to go. Your parents will be here soon so I suggest you get working.” The principal watched them for a minute before a knock echoed through the room. “Keep working.”

The two keep writing while the he steps out of the room. “This is your fault.”

“Shut up.” Chitter kept his good eye down as he wrote the lines. ‘This stupid gryffin. Why does he always make fun of me?’ Time ticked on as only the sound of scratching pencils and occasional sighs permeated the room.

With a heavy sigh Chitter sets down his pencil as he takes in his surroundings. The two were seated at either end of what looked like a stained mahogany desk. Placed with care in the center was a photo Chitter assumed was the principal’s family.

Two parents stood next to a dirt brown pegasus stallion in his early twenties. In front of them were identical twin earth ponies, one was clearly a mare and the other a stallion. Both were nearly lime green with faded yellow manes with a hoof around each others shoulder, they looked a couple years older than Chitter himself. The forest green earth pony that had to be his wife had her forehooves on each twins shoulder as if keeping them under control. Next to her sat the principal with a wide grin as even while sitting he was still the tallest in his family.

After what felt like hours the door opens back up and the aging pegasus strolls back in. “Chitter.”

“Yes Sir?”

“Please wait in the hall till I call you back in.”

“Ok.” Chitter mutters sadly as his shoulders slumped. He exits the room and closes the door behind him. He sits back along the wall only because at the moment he would love to lie down but with his fangs… well, yeah.

Chit just isn’t sure what’s happening anymore. He gets made fun of, his sister was born, his mother passed on, and Dad is growing more unusual by the day. Everything felt wrong with everything!

His stomach chose then to contribute its displeasure towards the current events. Chitter grimaced slightly as some small part of his mind warned about conservation of love reserves. He didn’t quite get it, but thought it meant he needed to eat more or he would run out and starve. Recently there has been a significant decline in the amount of available love and there has been no available positive emotions at home since Mom had passed.

Without the influence of familiar emotion input Chitter’s stores of usable emotions had dwindled to nothing. He didn’t recognize what was going on but he was truly running out of time himself if things didn’t change. His time in the cafeteria was enough to recover some emotion but it just wasn’t efficient enough to recover what was missing.

“Chitter, come in please.” He stood and moved into the office, passing by Beaker without seemingly noticing him. Before long he stood in front of the Principal’s desk. “Take a seat.” He did. “Chitter, I know things are tough right now. It’s never easy to lose somepony close but you cannot strike out like this.”

“But he’s always making fun of me and my friends, or saying he will cut Mini's mane, or eat me!” He shutters at the last one, “I don’t want to be eaten!”

The principal blinks a few times, “He said what?”

“He says he likes bug and should try some of me! Then he makes fun of us and now says Mom died because she didn’t want to be my mom anymore!” He’s now got tears streaming out, “Mom didn’t want to leave, I know she didn’t. She was my momma.” He finishes softly.

“Chitter, look at me.” He does so, “I know what it’s like, I have lost ponies myself.”

“Really?”

“Of course. I'm getting on in my years, there’s no two ways about it. I’ve had friends in accidents, family pass on from old age, seen bad things in other lands. Chitter I won’t lie to you for a second, things are going to be hard.”

“Why does it happen then?”

“I don’t have an answer to make it easy for you. All I can say about it is that we need to live for what we have now. Cherish the good times and keep your family close.”

Chit has his head down in thought. “Can I tell you something?”

“Of course, tell me what’s bothering you.”

“If my sister hadn’t been bor-"

“NO. Stop that thought right now. This is not her fault, she’s just a filly who can’t even walk yet. It was just a bad coincidence that it happened when she was born.”

“But-”

“No. You need to be the changeling your mom wants you to be. Be a good big brother and help your little sister. She needs you, just like your father does. Do you understand?”

“It just… just feels like it’s because of her, Mom is gone.”

“What did your mother say to you last?”

“She told me to be strong and make sure Dad is too.”

“Did she blame your sister?”

“No, she just smiled and told me to be strong.”

The principal leans back a bit and smiles, “Then that’s what matters. See, you just need to be a good big brother. That’s all your mom wants from you, to be there cause she cannot. Now we have something to di-"

KNOCK KNOCK

“Come in.”

“Good afternoon Sir. I’m here about Chitter?” Shield inquires. Chit sinks into his chair hoping to hide as his dad comes in the room. “What happened this time?” He spies a pair of hole filled hooves hanging off a chair.

“Sir I need you to take a seat as well. I make it a point usually to speak to the parents of a foal who just lost someone. Now, while I have both sides and some outside views, Chitter still was fighting with another student. As such he is to be suspended from school for at least two days. The other student will be receiving worse as I have been told that he’s quite the troublemaker.” The old pegasus takes off his glasses and rubs them with a cleaning cloth.

“So he’s in trouble for fighting? Did he start it?”

“All accounts say that he did throw the first punch. I’ll be honest and say it probably had a fair amount of egging on behind it.”

Shield looks at the foal carrier for a moment then back to Chitter. “Buddy, not even one day back at school and you’re starting fights?”

Chit remains slumped in his chair, “He deserved it.” The statement was barely muttered out loud.

“Even so, fighting is wrong and you tell someone when stuff is happening.”

“That’s what adults say and then you’re either a tattletale or nothing happens! Midnight said all this to the teachers before but nooo! They didn’t listen and now she’s called a tattletale too! Adults are stupid.”

“Chitter the changeling! You watch your mouth! There’s more to it than you think, right?” He motions for the principal to join in.

“A lot of times something is said to us but we have no proof of it. Without proof, there’s no response to have.”

Chitter crosses his forelegs and huffs while looking down, “Yeah and none is looked for.” After that he just refuses to answer anymore.

……

After nearly an hour of the adults talking they exit the school. Chitter, fed up with how today is going, flings his bags over his withers and stomps down the road.

“Chit, slow down.”

Something came over him around the time the low emotion voice pointed it out. He didn’t feel right anymore. In the last week he went from having a perfect life to whatever this mess is. It’s like he’s hungry all the time but he can’t bring himself to do anything about it. The only things he feels much of lately is the fear, the anger, and more blatantly the sorrow.

“Chit, please talk to me.”

“Why don’t you love me anymore?!”

Shield recoils, “What? Of course I love you, you’re my buddy.”

“Dad the only thing from you anymore is sad and mad.” He turns and without any further conversation sprints back home. It is his home but it doesn’t feel like it anymore.

……

Shield enters the house and figures Chit is in his room again. ‘He just needs some time… We both do.’ He takes care of little Summer Sun before putting her in her crib.

He meanders over to a cabinet well out of Chitter’s reach. A cabinet he has been into more in the past week than the rest of his life. He pulls out a slender bottle, “I just need a little break.”

Author's Note:

Wow this one took me way too long to get right! Want to give credit where credit is due my editors - Athemea and Wingnut! They really helped me out with this and even kicked me forward when I needed it. Special thanks to Wingnut who wanted to add Willow to his Story - Changeling of the East, thanks for the shout out!
As always everyone, leave a comment with your thoughts.

Credit: Pridark for artwork.