• Published 29th Jun 2019
  • 2,709 Views, 61 Comments

The More Things Change... - SugarHoneyIceTea123



The School of Friendship is having its annual reunion! And while Gallus is ecstatic to see his old friends again, he may have to deal with some changes he wasn't prepared for.

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Catching Up...

Gallus blinked, then blinked again. His brain hadn’t quite registered what his eyes were seeing.

He almost blanked out when Smolder gave him a tight half-hug with her free arm, apparently not minding smushing her baby between their chests. Though the baby dragon didn’t seem to mind either as it was busy just staring at Gallus with curious eyes, probably having never seen a griffon before.

“Man, it’s so awesome seeing you guys again. You have no idea how much I missed you losers.” Smolder said, letting go of Gallus to hug Sandbar, who was much more attentive to the affection.

Nettle and Sorrel ran circles around Smolder’s feet, chanting “Auntie Smolder! Auntie Smolder!”

Smolder looked down at the two green blurs. “Scorch’s Horn! Look at you two! Last time I saw you, you were basically balls of fluff. Now you got actual faces!”

“So, uh… You have a baby.” Gallus finally said, the hamster in his brain finally turning his wheel.

“I do?” Smolder said, a confused look on her face. She looked down at the lumpy mass of yellow scales in her arms that babbled incoherently. “Holy moly! I do! How about that!?”

A crooked smile broke through Smolder’s fake surprise as she gave a not-too-soft punch to Gallus’ shoulder. “C’mon, G. Pick your jaw up off the ground before something crawls in.”

Gallus blushed as he rubbed the back of his neck. “S-Sorry. It’s just… kind of a surprise. No one mentioned this in any letters!” Gallus turned to Sandbar. “Did you know?”

Sandbar shrugged. “First I’m hearing of it.”

Smolder gave a nervous chuckle. “Yeah, well… It did happen pretty recently. Lil’ Brim here ain’t even a month old.”

“Brim?” Gallus asked.

“Short for Brimstone.” Smolder said. “Plus, I kinda wanted to tell you guys in person. Figured the Reunion would be the perfect time.”

Sorrel and Nettle suddenly gasped as the tried to clamber up Smolder’s legs to get a closer look at her baby. “Does this mean we have a cousin!?” Sorrel half-asked, half-demanded.

Sandbar’s face screwed in thought. “Does it? I’m not entirely sure how that works.”

Smolder laughed. “Sandy, at this point, our group dynamic can best be described as ‘Tags on a Fanfiction site’.” She looked down at the Pony-Yaks still clambering on her legs. “If you guys wanna call Brim your cousin, that’s fine by me. I’m sure he’d love to be your cousin.”

Brim garbled non-committedly.

Sandbar smiled before finally pulling his kids off ‘Auntie’ Smolder’s leg. “Alright, kids, stop trying to bowl over everybody. Let’s get back to your mom and the others.” As he tried his best to wrangle the twins towards the library, he looked back towards Gallus and Smolder. “We’re all meeting in the library. You guys remember the way?”

Gallus and Smolder nodded. “With all the times Ocellus dragged us there, it’s pretty much burned into memory.” Gallus said.

Sandbar nodded. “Then why don’t you two go on ahead while I grab something for the kids to eat. That should calm them down a little. Smolder, do you want me to grab anything for Brim?”

“Not unless you got any powdered gemstones laying around.” Smolder said, smirking. “Don’t worry, I brought plenty of grub for the little guy.”

With that, Sandbar took the twins and left the two alone, still standing in the main hall with the rest of the Reunion attendees paying them not much mind.

“So…” Gallus said, trying to find a topic. “Any chance we’re going to meet the father?”

Gallus immediately knew he said something wrong when he saw Smolder’s face fell. She still smiled, but he could tell that she was doing it for his benefit.

“Yeah, uh, that’s not happening.” Smolder said, tightening her grip on Brim as she rubbed the top of his head. “Brim’s dad… He’s not in the picture, so to speak.”

“Oh.” Was all Gallus said. “What… What happened?”

Smolder shot a look at Gallus. Not angry, but more just… tired. Resigned.

“If you want to talk about it, that is. If not, I totally understand.” Gallus tried to backpedal. He honestly wasn’t sure he actually wanted to know.

Smolder sighed. “No, it’s fine, really. It’s just so… basic.”

Gallus raised an eyebrow. “Basic?”

Smolder shrugged. “Yeah, y’know? It’s just… what you hear about a million times. Girl meets guy, guy gets girl pregnant, guy doesn’t want to be a dad, guy disappears. It’s just… basic. No real tragedy or special story, just a thing that happened.”

Gallus watched Smolder look down at the baby in her arms. Her smile returned the second Brim grabbed her claw, apparently trying to wrestle it. Even fighting dirty with a few bites thrown in.

“I don’t want you to think I regret it or that I don’t want this. I love Brim with all my heart and I’m so lucky to have him in my life.” Smolder shot a look towards Gallus that he honestly couldn’t read. “I’m glad that it happened. I’m just… Sorry for how it happened.”

Gallus looked down at the ‘happy accident’ in question. It was only now that Gallus could actually see some of the toll being put on Smolder. The lines under eyes, the resigned way she let Brim squirm around in her arms. But through it all, Gallus could still see the love in her eyes everytime they merely glanced at Brim. The devotion in how tightly she held him close.

“Screw him.” Gallus said. “Honestly, from the sound of the guy, you probably wouldn’t even want his help raising Brim. Probably end up a jerk like him.”

Smolder let out a sharp laugh. “Ha! Ain’t that the truth, right little guy?” She said, booping Brim on the snout, eliciting a mirthful giggle from the babe.

Gallus smiled. “I’m sorry the guy couldn’t see what a great deal he got. A guy would have to be some kind of moron to give you up.”

“True.” Smolder said with a shrug. “I am a prize.”

“And a package deal on top!” Gallus said. “I mean, a great woman and a beautiful baby?”

Smolder cast a sideways glance towards Gallus. “Is this the part where you tell me you always loved me, G?”

“Pff, you wish.” Gallus said. “I’m just saying… Don’t give it another thought, Smolder. You and Brim are gonna be just fine without the deadbeat.”

“Hey, the guy was out of sight, out of mind till you brought it up.” Smolder said, pointing an accusatory finger at the griffon.

“Okay, point taken.” Gallus said. “I probably could have been more tactful. Forgive me?”

“Hmm. On one condition.” Smolder said, suddenly thrusting Brim in Gallus’ face. “You hold him for me for a bit. Give me a little break while I catch up with the gang.”

“Ah, you sure that’s a good idea? I mean, I’m not really-” Gallus tried to argue before Smolder cut him off.

“C’mon, G. You’ve held babies before. Not like I’m asking you to be the kid’s daddy, just hold him for a bit.”

“Boy, that’s a mental image.” Gallus said before finally taking Brim and tucking him under his arm. “He’s not gonna bite me, is he?”

“Eh, probably.” Smolder shrugged. “Don’t worry, his teeth are still pretty dull. It takes a few years for a dragon’s teeth to really sharpen.”

“Wonderful.” Gallus said, and already he could feel Brim starting to gnaw on the tip of his talons. “Shall we get going then? I’m sure the girls are all going to immediately start fawning over the kid.”

“Yeah, poor kid.” Smolder smiled, walking with Gallus towards the library. “Most dragon babies don’t really grow up with the whole ‘touchy-feely’ family stuff. But there’s no way my kid is gonna be an ordinary dragon, is there?”

“No.” Gallus said immediately. “No way in Tartarus.”

“Thought so.” Smolder said. “And that’s good. I don’t want him to be. I want him to grow up knowing how many people love him, dragon or otherwise. Geez, I’ve gotten soft, haven’t I?”

“We all have.” Gallus said. “You’ll remember that while you’re responsible for one child, I’m responsible for a whole classroom full of kids.”

“Hey, yeah! We spent so long on my little mommy pity-party, I totally spaced asking you how you’ve been.” Smolder said, giving Gallus a slap on the back. “Did you ever get that… what do you call it? Tetanus?”

“You mean ‘Tenure’?”

“Yeah, whatchamacallit.”

Gallus gave a bit of a bitter laugh. “Grover, I wish. That’s a little bit beyond my current pay grade. Gilda’s little ‘restoration projects’ have helped Griffonstone a lot, but we’re still pretty much slumming it right now. I should consider myself lucky there’s even a school for me to teach in.”

“I never understood why you don’t just move back into Ponyville. You’ve always hated Griffonstone, and you know the Headmaster would give you a job here in a heartbeat.” Smolder offered.

“Yeah, I know. It’s just…” Gallus tried to find the words. “When I first got my teaching degree, do you want to know what Headmaster Twilight said to me?”

“Shoot.”

“She said ‘Go where you are needed the most. Go where you can touch the most minds and make the biggest difference.’” Gallus readjusted his hold on Brim, who was constantly trying to squirm his way towards every little distraction. “Griffonstone is a sty… but it’s home. And it is getting better. Griffons are finally starting to understand that we can’t just wallow in our own misery anymore. And nogriffs understand that more than the next generation like my students.”

Gallus shrugged. “I don’t know. I guess I just want to be a part of that… However small a part that may be.”

Smolder gave Gallus a warm smile. “You’re a good man, Gallus. Better than what Griffonstone deserves, that’s for sure.”

“What about you?” Gallus said, eager to change the topic. “What have you been getting up to?”

“You mean asides from getting knocked up?” Smolder said. “Eh, same ol’ same ol’. Been kicking around the Dragon Lands, building my horde, doing whatever. You know how it is.”

Gallus smirked. ‘The more things change, indeed.’ he thought.