• 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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Meet The OTHER Family...

Evening passed into night as Luna’s moon, or more accurately Twilight’s moon now, rose above the horizon and was now sitting pretty overhead, illuminating the night-sky and Equestria below.

The alumni of the School of Friendship were slowly, but surely starting to drizzle out of the school into the cool, night air. The festivities having ended, though many former students electing to remain just a few moments longer, not quite ready to say goodnight and, for some, say goodbye.

“Hee-hee, I haven’t had fun like that in months!” Silverstream said, gently nursing a store-brand bottle of appletini in her claw. She and the others, sans Gallus and Smolder, were winding down the adrenaline of the night on one of the tables in the auditorium. The cleaning staff generously leaving their table for last.

“More trouble in the Industry, Silv?” Ocellus said, giving her friend a concerned look.

“No, no… Guys, I swear, it really is just this one jerk that’s been causing problems. Everything else with the company is going great!” Silverstream said, putting the bottle to her forehead. “I’m just… really enjoying having a break from it.”

“Yona can see that.” Yona said, leaning gently as she could against a tired Sandbar, so as not to squish him. “Yona love working for Miss Rarity. Best job ever being her apprentice. Still very hard job, though. Demanding job. Leave very little room for…” Yona gave Sandbar a nudge, earning a kiss on the cheek from the seafoam pony. “Other things.”

“Awww! You two are just adorable!” Silver said, cupping her cheeks.

“Seriously, best part of coming back for Reunion Week is just getting to be near you two. Very filling, I have to say.” Ocellus said.

Sandbar shrugged. “Not sure if that’s creepy or endearing, but I’m gonna take it as a good sign for our relationship.”

It was at that moment Gallus and Smolder came walking back in, Brim in Smolder’s arm and a pair of dozing hybrids lain out across Gallus’ back, as well as a satchel draped across his chest. “Oh crap, party’s over already?” Smolder said, shaking a piece of loose confetti off her foot. “Gallus, I’m sorry. I didn’t think we were gone that long.”

Gallus shrugged. “Meh. I got to hang out with an old friend and have a great time. I’d call that a successful Reunion.” He said, spotting their friends at the table in the far back. “Besides, we still have the rest of the week to look forward to.”

The two made their way to the table, Ocellus helping to levitate Sorrel and Nettle’s sleeping forms over to Yona and Sandbar. “Looks like these little dudes had a party of their own.” Sandbar said, cradling his daughter. “They didn’t give you much trouble, did they?”

“Nah, of course not. We played some games, had some laughs.” Smolder said, setting Brim on top of the table, facing her. “Brim here apparently got himself some new buddies, didn’t ya kiddo?” She said, tickling her baby. “Gallus, can you hand me the…?”

“Right here.” Gallus said, already producing a small, yellow canister from the satchel and handing it to Smolder.

“Thanks.” Smolder said, taking the canister. “I had Gallus double-back and grab my bag from the library. Honestly, I probably should have done this before the party.” She said, opening the canister to reveal it filled to the brim with a sparkling, violet powder. Smolder shook the canister a little bit, sifting the powder before placing a finger in the powder and giving it an experimental lick. “Blech, chalky… But good enough for a baby.”

As Smolder got to work feeding Brim fingertips coated in powdered beryls, Sandbar turned to face the group. “So, it’s getting pretty late, and we’re gonna need to get up early for our traditional breakfast tomorrow. What are we doing about the sleeping arrangements?”

This was a common topic of discussion during Reunion Week. Between the six of them, they had two different houses to rest their heads in during the week. One was Sandbar and Yona’s home, being the only two among them who still lived in Ponyville. While they had no guestrooms, the two couches in their living room were plenty comfy enough.

The other house was Starlight and Trixie’s house, which once upon a time was the old Castle of Friendship. Once Twilight moved back into Canterlot, it made perfect sense for Starlight to just continue living in the castle as her permanent residence, as well as have her then-marefriend, Trixie, move in with her. On the caveat that she would still get to keep her wagon.

That said, it was less of a castle now and more of a… really, fancy house as a good decade or so of renovations, moth mundane and magical, reduced the sheer opulence of the abode somewhat into something more cozy and homey, something the Ponyville Urban Development Community was very happy about given how, despite how impressive the original castle was, it was something of an eyesore.

Of course, when Gallus was officially adopted by the two mares, he was given his own room which the two kept perfectly intact after he moved out, for all the times he would visit for holidays and special events like, for example, Reunion Week. That, plus a spare guest-room leftover from the renovations gave the group options for all of them to lay their heads somewhere at night.

“If you guys don’t mind, I think Smolder should probably bunker down with me and the folks for the week.” Gallus said. “With a baby to worry about now, she could probably use the extra elbow room an actual bed could give her.”

“Aw, thanks, G!” Smolder said, wiping her finger off the side of her dress before getting to work cleaning off Brim’s purple-tinted mouth. “But only if you two are cool with that.” She said to Silverstream and Ocellus.

Ocellus shrugged. “Makes no difference to me, and it does make the most sense.”

Silverstream giggled. “Get to wake up early and watch cartoons with the kiddies? Yeah, I think I can manage.”
---
Before turning in, the group refreshed themselves outside, taking in the night air. Brim gave a hearty yawn, smacking his lips as he clung closer to Smolder.

“Looks like Brim’s all partied out.” Smolder said. “Guess we should say goodnight, huh?”

“We’ll see you bright and early at our house tomorrow?” Sandbar asked, carrying Sorrel on his back as Yona carried Nettle.

“Wouldn’t miss it.” Gallus said, readjusting Smolder’s satchel across his chest. “Goodnight guys.” He said, giving Sandbar a hug before turning in kind to each of the others, each one reciprocating the embrace before doing the same with Smolder.

Pulling away from the dragoness, Silverstream bent back down to the drowsy baby in Smolder’s arms. “Goodnight, little Brimy…” She said, planting a quick kiss on top of Brim’s head.

With that, Smolder turned to Gallus and followed him to his home, leaving the other four to their own thoughts.

“.......They’re totally gonna hook up by the end of the week.” Ocellus said.

“Hold on, what?” Sandbar asked, incredulous. “Where in Tartarus did that come from?”

“Sandbar, I’m a changeling. I can feel this sort of thing, remember?” Ocellus said, deadpan.
“Wait… so friend Gallus and friend Smolder are…” Yona trailed off, looking back at the two creaures in question getting smaller in the distance.

“Well, not yet, in any case. It’s more just… a spark. Something that could happen, y’know?” Ocellus said, shrugging. “It’s entirely possible one or both of them is going to totally blow it and nothing will come of it, but I’m not betting on it.”

“Hmm. I don’t know.” Silverstream said, putting a finger to her chin in thought. “I mean, I totally agree with you that there is definitely a thing happening between those two, but I can’t help but feel they’re both just a little too stubborn and thick-headed to realize what it is or be too chicken-shit to really make a move on each other.”

Three pairs of eyes stared incredulously at the hippogriff.

“What? I’m flighty, not dumb!” Silver admonished. “I notice these things.”

Sandbar put a hoof to his head. “Look, before you two start betting bits over this, can we just agree not to say anything to them about this?”

Yona nodded. “Sandbar right. Whatever happens between friends should happen naturally on their terms. Stay friends or become couple, that is friends’ decision. Not ours.”

Ocellus nodded. “Well, of course. I wasn’t about to suggest we should start hiding in bushes and try to emotionally manipulate the two into becoming an item.”

“You weren’t?” Silverstream asked. “Oh, well, there goes my plans for the week.”
---
With the Reunion party a rousing success for another year running, Starlight was tired but in good spirits when she finally came home. Realizing how quiet it was when she walked in, she gathered that neither Trixie nor Gallus must have come home yet, the former still busy helping Coco up in Canterlot and the latter no doubt still enjoying his friends’ company for a little while longer.

Which meant, for a few hours at least, Starlight had the house mostly to herself, aside from one other member of their family.

Sure enough, when Starlight made a beeline towards the kitchen, she wasn’t surprised to see her daughter, Mirage, sitting at the counter reading a book. Apparently it was a rather engrossing one as she barely looked up from her reading to address her mother.

“Hey Mom.” She said, flipping the page.

“Hello Mirage.” Starlight said, opening the door to the fridge. While the leftover slice of pumpkin pie called to her, she knew hers and Trixie’s cheat-day wasn’t for another four days. With a little bit of willpower, she instead moved her attention to the special sugar-free muffins Pinkie prepared for the two.

Oh, the joys of growing older, Starlight thought as she passed one more wistful glance to that sweet smelling slice of pie, taking a blueberry muffin from the fridge.

“Did you finish your homework?” Starlight asked, nibbling on the sugarless dessert. She tried to take a cursory peek at whatever book had her daughter so enthralled, easily telling from just a quick glance that this was one of ‘Aunt Twily’s’ old spellbooks. Another one.

Starlight fought back a sigh as she looked up at her daughter’s forehead, and the noticeable lack of any horn. She briefly contemplated saying something, but thought against it as the words died in her muffin-filled mouth.

Mirage, of course, was so focused on studying the arcane scrawlings that she didn’t notice her mother’s trepidation. “It’s the weekend, Mom. I’ll have plenty of time.”

Starlight nodded. “Okay, just don’t put it off too long. Procrastination is a terrible habit to get into.”

Mirage finally looked up from her book to give her mother a reassuring smile. “I know, Mom, I’m just taking it easy for tonight. That way, I can take to it fully refreshed tomorrow.”

Starlight half-hugged her daughter, pulling her head into her chest. “I’m sure you know what you’re doing. I’m just looking out for you.”

Mirage returned the half-hug before drawing away a bit to look around the kitchen, apparently expecting something, or someone.

“Hey, where’s Gallus? Didn’t you say you saw him at the Reunion?” Mirage asked.

“I did, but I had to leave him with his friends to keep the party on track.” Starlight explained. “My guess, he’s still having some late-night fun with them and will probably be home soon.”

Mirage nodded, bringing her attention back to her book. “I can’t wait to see him! How long has it been now? Since at least last Hearth’s Warming, right?”

“That’s right.” Starlight said solemnly. “I feel like he’s visiting less and less each year. I know he doesn’t mean to, but I can’t help but feel like that school up in Griffonstone is taking up so much of his time.”

“Seems Reunion Week is the only time we can know for sure that Gallus will actually get on that train and come down for a visit. And I’m worried about what might happen when that no longer applies.”

Mirage pursed her lips in thought. “You still offer him that job at our school, right?”

Starlight nodded. “Everytime he comes down. And everytime, he says no.”

Mirage shrugged. “Well, at the risk of sounding insensitive, there really isn’t much you can do on that front. Short of kidnapping Gallus and chaining him to a post here in Ponyville.”

Starlight almost choked as she picked a bad time to take another bite of her muffin, fighting back her laugh. “Pffha! Heh, ah, don’t tempt me.”

Finally, the very object of their discussion literally came knocking on their door, opening it a crack to call out inside.

“Hello? Mom, you home?”

“In the kitchen, sweetie.” Starlight called out. “Come in, there’s someone who wants to see you!”

As Gallus walked in, Smolder and Brim following close behind, his eyes lit up on seeing the teenage pony wearing a large smile for him.

“Hey! There you are!” Gallus said, dropping Smolder’s satchel on the counter before moving to scoop Mirage into a tight hug. “How you been, sis?”

“Ah, can’t complain. You?” Mirage asked.

“Miri, I just got back from Griffonstone. I got plenty to complain about. You got time?” Gallus said, smirking.

Mirage dusted off the counter stool next to her. “Dr. Mirage at your service. Hey Smolder!” She said, finally addressing the dragoness.

Smolder tussled the filly’s short, already plenty messy mane. “Hey yourself, twerp!”

Mirage let out a giggle as Gallus took a seat at the counter, giving Mirage a clear view of Smolder’s little bundle in her arms.

“Woah! Hold up! Rewind!” Mirage said, shoving Gallus out of her view.

“Wha-Hey!”

“When did this happen!?” Mirage cried out, pointing her hoof at a very curious Brim.

Smolder snickered as Gallus tried to balance himself back on his stool, shooting a glare at his sister. “Not even a month ago.” Smolder said. “This handsome fella here is Brimstone. Brim for short.” Smolder held Brim down a bit to give Mirage a clearer view. “Do you want to hold him?”

“Uh… yeah!” Mirage said, excitement clear in her eyes.

As Smolder squeezed behind Gallus, Starlight giggling at the whole display, she knelt down and gently placed Brim in Mirage’s waiting forelegs.

“Stay calm and breathe slowly.” Smolder instructed. “Babies can tell when your nervous. You don’t have to worry about supporting a dragon baby’s head as much as pony baby, but you should still extend the courtesy.”

“Wow…” Mirage said, freely allowing Brim to paw at her face, exploring this new person on a veritable night of new people.

Her wonder was cut short when she shot a glare at Gallus, giving her brother a not-too-soft kick to the shins.

“Ow! What was that for?” Gallus demanded.

“You jerk! You could have sent a letter, or something!” Mirage reprimanded. “Instead, I have to find out you’re a dad by having a baby be plopped in my arms and hear ‘Surprise! You’re an Aunt!’”

“Wait? What!?” Smolder sputtered. “You thought that Gallus…? That Gallus and I…?” Shock gave way to disbelief, which then gave way to stunned laughter. “Pfffffhahahaha!! Seriously!? Miri, Gallus isn’t Brim’s dad. We’re not even dating!

“Wait, you’re…?” Starlight started to say, before a glance from Gallus told her everything. “Ohhhh… Oh, I thought… Oh, that’s embarrassing.”

As Smolder continued to laugh her scales off, Mirage took another look at the babbling babe in her forelegs. “Huh. Yeah, I guess when I actually look at him, it seems pretty obvious.” She said, flashing a smirk at Gallus. “He’s way too good-looking to be your kid.”

“Gee, thanks, sis.” Gallus said, deadpan.

Suddenly, without warning, a bright flash of purple light emanated from thin air as the silhouette of a unicorn mare apparated on top of the kitchen counter within an instant.

As the light disappeared as quickly as it came, a blue unicorn with a silver mane stood atop the counter, posing dramatically.

“Greetings, my darling family! Your Great and Powerful Matriarch has returned from her grand adventure to Canter-”

“Trixie, get off the counter.” Starlight said.

“Oop! Sorry, honey…” Trixie said sheepishly, carefully stepping down from her perch.

I thought it was a good entrance Mom. Solid eight out of ten.” Mirage said.

“Thank you, sweetie. Trixie is always happy toGALLUS!!” Trixie shouted upon noticing her son was actually present.

“Hey, MoaaaAARGHH!!!” Gallus tried to say before Trixie pulled him into a crushing hug.

“Oh my darling boy! I was so worried I wouldn’t get to see you tonight!” Trixie cried out, tightening her grip on the griff who was becoming even bluer than usual.

“You have such a… vibrant family.” Smolder said, smirking at the display.