• Published 29th Jun 2019
  • 2,701 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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Reassurances...

Gallus’ heart was soaring. Which was fitting, considering the rest of him was soaring as well. He can’t recall ever feeling this way for anything.

Or indeed anyone.

But flying just ahead of him, coaxing him to follow with graceful twists and turns around and through the pure white clouds in the sky, was an absolutely gorgeous griffon. Her orange plumage reminded Gallus of embers from a flame and she seemed to be just as spirited and wild as the fire her appearance invoked.

Gallus couldn’t remember where and how he met this wonderful she-griff, and he was having trouble finding a reason to care. Merely being next to her was engulfing his mind with bliss.

The griffon somersaulted in the air, ever the show-off, turning to face Gallus while upside-down. She smirked as she shot a wink at Gallus, her ocean-blue eyes shining in contrast to the inferno of her feathers.

Then she tucked in her wings and dropped, in free-fall, into a large cloud below them.

Gallus reared back in shock, staring as she was completely engulfed in the fluffy vapor.

Dive-bombing to the cloud in question, Gallus landed on all fours as whatever bizarre magic Gallus never bothered to try and understand kept his footing solid against the gaseous water in the sky.

He glanced to and from, trying to find out where the she-griff disappeared to, sure that she was too good a flier to have been in any danger of falling below the cloud line.

Directly behind him, like a shark trailing the water as it stalked its prey, the she-griff skimmed across the surface of the cloud before launching herself forward, pouncing Gallus and hooking her forelegs across his neck as she pulled him down.

Gallus laughed in surprise, ecstatic to feel the she-griff’s embrace as they both tumbled off their feet, Gallus landing on his back as the she-griff pinned him from above, laying on top of him.

The two griffons giggled at the absurdity before their mirth died down, leaving them to do little more than gaze into each others eyes.

Finally, the she-griff’s eyes began to droop as she lowered her face towards Gallus. Closer and closer, her eyes closed before her beak gently caressed his own.

Gallus closed his eyes before returning the kiss, reaching his claw out to grasp the back of the she-griff’s head to pull her closer.

But as Gallus’ claw found its purchase, a twinge of surprise caught him as he felt something a bit… rougher than feathers.

The she-griff’s beak seemed to… melt into rough lips as she deepened the kiss. Finally she pulled back to look at Gallus once more, a smile of pure contentment from ear to ear on her draconic face.

“What took you so long?” Smolder said.
---
Gallus’ eyes shot open, taking a few seconds to recognize the guest room of his mothers’ home.

Smolder was absent from their bed.

Their bed.

Gallus groaned, bringing a claw to his face. I am in deep, deep, deep, trouble, he thought to himself.

He was, however, taken out of his dazed musings by a trilling sound just below his chin. While Smolder had evidently decided to greet the day, Gallus was becoming more and more aware he was not the only one in bed.

Brim, like the night before, cuddled up to Gallus’ chest as he slept far more peacefully than his temper-tantrum last night would have implied.

Gallus gave an errant thought to the idea that Smolder apparently felt comfortable leaving her infant son with an unconscious Gallus while she went out to the waking world. Something he was giving less and less thought to as his tired, groggy brain came to an unrelated conclusion.

Cute baby.

Huffing a tired sigh, Gallus draped his foreleg across Brim’s body, instinctively protecting the sleeping babe from anyone and anything.

Feeling Brim’s gentle breathing against his chest, Gallus almost drifted back to sleep… Had he not heard a mechanical clicking sound from the room’s doorway.

Snapping his eyes open, Gallus craned his head towards the door and saw his mother, Trixie, standing just outside the door with a camera.

“Mom…” Gallus quietly groaned, not wanting to wake up Brim.

“I’m not here.” Trixie said, smiling as she took another picture. “Go back to bed.”

Gallus rolled his eyes before he slowly shuffled out of the bed, taking care not to disturb the sleeping drake.

Tip-toeing out of the room, Gallus quietly closed the door to a crack, wincing at the squeaking hinges.

“He’s adorable.” Trixie whispered. “Reminds me of Mirage.”

“I always forget how tiny Mirage was when you first brought her home.” Gallus said, keeping his eyes on Brim a while longer before turning to his mother. “I remember being so worried my claws would hurt her whenever I held her.” He said, looking down at the razor-sharp appendages in question.

“No, Gallus, you were always gentle as a lamb with her.” Trixie said. “Starlight and I knew you would be an amazing brother. You practically already were to all the under-classmen during your Senior year.”

Gallus blushed at that, suddenly remembering all those bright-eyed Freshmen looking up to him and his friends. After Cozy Glow, the Battle for the Bell, the whole fiasco with Swift Foot’s family, and Pyrus the Fire Rhino, Gallus and his friends were more or less celebrity students for all the newcomers to the school. That attention thankfully died down once threats to Equestria started to become less… regular, something his friends were quite thankful for.

“Smolder’s in the kitchen with Starlight if you want to come say hello.” Trixie said, turning to head that way herself.

“Where’s Mirage?” Gallus asked.

“She went out to hang with her friends. Lil’ Cheese came and picked her up just about an hour ago.”

“Ah. Maybe Smolder and I will run into her on the way to Sandy and Yona’s place.”

As the two entered the kitchen, Gallus saw Smolder and his other mother already deep into their own conversation.

“No foolin’? Fillydelphia?” Smolder asked, leaning slightly against the counter.

“You’d have to ask Spike for details, I’ve never been there myself. But from what I heard, it sounds exactly like what you’ve been looking for.” Starlight said

“What are you two talking about?” Gallus asked, taking
a seat next to Smolder.

“Morning sleepyhead.” Smolder said, flashing a coy smile towards the griff. “How’s the kid?”

“Sleeping like a baby.” Gallus said. “Well, y’know, a calm baby. Not the screaming mess he was last night.”

The two shared a giggle before Gallus turned to Starlight. “Come on, don’t change the subject. What was that about Fillydelphia?”

“Ah, yeah, your mom was just telling me about this supposed dragon commune in Fillydelphia. Apparently there’s a whole community of dragons that live right alongside ponies.” Smolder explained.

“Really? How long has this been a thing?” Gallus asked. It was definitely the first time he had ever heard of such a place. Granted, a lot of major cities around Equestria were gaining more and more ‘Melting Pot’ populations, but they were still predominantly ‘Pony’ communities. The idea of a whole section of a city dedicated to an entire species other than ponies within Equestria was a bit different than a handful of random creatures spread across the population.

“According to Spike and Twilight, it’s been around for decades now.” Starlight said, shrugging. “Smolder was just telling me she wants Brim to grow up in a more… Ah, sociable environment, I believe you said?”

“Yeah…” Smolder said, rubbing the back of her neck. “Look, it’s no secret the Dragon Lands ain’t exactly the friendliest place to raise a kid.” She explained to Gallus. “That said, I don’t want Brim to be ashamed of being a dragon. There’s a lot of great things about being a dragon!”

“Heck, I’m pretty much living proof of how amazing dragons can be.” Smolder boasted as Gallus rolled his eyes. “But I want Brim to have more examples than just me or maybe his Uncle Garble or the Dragon Lord.”

“I can understand that.” Gallus said. “Plus, Fillydelphia’s just a short train ride away from Ponyville. I’m sure Sandy and Yona would be ecstatic to have you so close by.”

Smolder blushed at this. “Heh, that would be a bonus. It’d be nice if Brim could visit his ‘cousins’ whenever they wanted.”

“Or you being able to visit Sandy and Yona whenever you want?” Gallus guessed, gently nudging her arm with his elbow.

“Yeah…” Smolder said, looking down at the counter. A soft smile playing across her snout. “I, uh…. It gets pretty lonely in the Dragon Lands. It’s not that I don’t have any friends back home but… It’s not the same as you guys.” She said, turning to meet Gallus’ eyes.

“Honestly, up until I got pregnant with Brim, I didn’t really do all that much except… count the days until I could see one of you guys again.”

Now why does that sound familiar? Gallus thought to himself. He couldn’t help but think back to before his adoption, staring at the blank walls of his hovel, left only imagining the fun he could have had if only he had his friends with him.

He wondered how often Smolder stared at the walls of her cave and felt the same thing.

“You know…” Trixie started, sidling up to Starlight. “If you two want to spend time with your friends without Brim slowing you down, we can look after him for the day.”

“Really? You guys would do that?” Gallus asked, looking to Starlight.

“Sure! It’ll be fun!” Starlight said. “We haven’t had a chance to fawn over a baby since Mirage grew up. Didn’t exactly have a chance to do it with you, Gallus.”

“Despite your best efforts.” Gallus grumbled through his smile.

“No, no…” Smolder said, holding up her hands. “I can’t do that to you guys.”

“We want to!” Trixie said. “Come on, let us be the doting grandmares for one day.”

“I thought we made it clear that I wasn’t Brim’s father!” Gallus said, holding up a claw in admonishment while Smolder chuckled, rolling her eyes at the griff’s insistence.

“Well, not right now…” Trixie mumbled under her breath.

“Ah! What Trixie means-” Starlight hurriedly said, nudging her partner in the ribs. “Is that we think of all of Gallus’ friends as our honorary kids. So that makes Brim a grandkid in our eyes, just like Sorrel and Nettle. And you know how much those two powderkegs love us.”

“Well… I don’t know…” Smolder said, her gaze trailing past Gallus towards the hallway, where the object of their discussion was still sleeping soundly.

“Smolder, let me say this to you as your friend.” Gallus, placing a gentle claw on her own. “Take some time for yourself. You’re an amazing mom, I’ve seen that firsthand. You don’t have to prove it 24/7. You can afford to take it easy every once and awhile.”

“You remember what we talked about at the Reunion, Smolder?” Starlight chided. “About being willing to rely on friends?”

Smolder’s face softened as she ever-so-slightly tightened her grip around Gallus’ claw. “Oh… Alright! But let’s at least wait until Brim wakes up before we leave. I wanna say goodbye to the little squirt.”
—-
As Smolder was walking through Starlight everything she would need to know about Brim’s needs, bouncing the baby drake in her arms the whole time, Gallus took another look at the wall clock by the door.

It was already half-past nine. They were running late as-is, and Smolder was showing no sign of running out of things to inform Starlight of all the nuances and intricacies of baby dragon care.

“You’re hoof’s a little big for direct feeding, so get a spoon wet and dip that into the powder when he’s ready to eat. If you feel like giving him a treat, he really likes quartz crystals as a snack. But not too much, there’s not a whole lot of nutrition in quartz and I don’t want him getting his dinner spoiled. He might discharge a few sparks, but his flame sac isn’t properly developed yet. Just keep a close eye on him around anything flammable and you’ll be okay. Now, as for naps-“

To his mother’s credit, she was dutifully taking this all in, making sure she didn’t miss anything. But Gallus could tell she was starting to get just a little overwhelmed.

“Hey, Smolder?” Gallus said, jutting his finger towards the clock. “We need to get moving. You’re kinda supposed to eat breakfast in the morning, Y’know?”

“Right, right. I’m sorry, just… Give me a second.” Smolder sighed, finally taking Brim in her hands and lifting him up to eye-level with her.

“You be good for these two, okay squirt? Mommy will be back before you know it.” Smolder kissed the top of Brim’s head, the babe babbling in contentment. “I love you so much…”

Finally, with only a little bit more reluctance, Smolder passed off Brim into Starlight’s waiting hooves, Trixie already getting busy entertaining the babe with nonsense baby-talk and sparkling lights from her horn.

“We’ll take good care of him. You won’t have to worry about a thing.” Starlight reassured, tightening her hold on Brim.

Smolder nodded, gave Brim’s yellow head one last caress, then followed Gallus out the door.
—-
The two managed to make it to the bottom of the front porch steps before Smolder immediately turned around.

“You know what, I don’t think I told Starlight about dragon sniffles. I should go back and-“

Smolder.” Gallus groaned.

“I know! I know!” Smolder huffed, folding her arms. “Arrgh!! This sucks! I’ve never… cared! So much! For anything before this! When he’s not here in my arms, it feels like a piece of me isn’t here! When I don’t physically see him, all I can imagine are all the bad things that could happen to him without me there!”

“Boy, Brim’s teenage years are going to be fun…” Gallus said, earning a glare from the dragoness. “What do you want me to say? Welcome to parenthood, Smolder! In the words of my mom: The most thankless, most frustrating job you’ll ever love.”

“No kidding…” Smolder huffed, turning to Gallus. “Do you… Do you really think I’m a good mom?”

“I know you are.” Gallus said, immediately. Not even needing a second to deliberate on the question. “Even ignoring everything I’ve seen so far, I know you’re gonna be great at this because, long before Brim even existed, you were already a tough as nails, caring, protective, no-nonsense dragon. And I’ve only seen your best qualities get better since having Brim. You’re gonna be an awesome mom.”

Smolder looked away, blushing deeply. “Thanks… I…” Smolder trailed off, shaking her head before turning back towards Gallus, smiling. “Thank you.”

Gallus gave his own soft smile in turn, before a question popped into his mind. “Hey… If you’re all Velcro-Mom, hardcore helicopter parenting mode right now… why did you leave Brim alone with me?”

Smolder cocked her head in confusion. “I mean… Cause he was with you. I don’t know, I guess… I guess I knew there was nothing to worry about. I knew that, as long as you were nearby, he’d be perfectly safe.”

“He loves you Gallus. So do I. As far as Brim is concerned, I’d trust you with his life.”

Gallus was taken back a bit, not expecting so much unconditional trust so soon, especially considering how frantic Smolder’s been otherwise. He also couldn’t help but freeze a bit at Smolder very casually dropping the L-Word for him. He knew she meant it as a friend, or even a brother.

Right?

“C’mon, we’ll stop for coffee on the over. My treat.” Gallus said, trying to gloss over what had just been said.

“Oh yeah, cause that’s what my nerves need right now. A rush of caffeine.”

“Oh no, the caffeine is for me! You’re on decaf, Momma.”

Author's Note:

A short chapter for those who have been waiting patiently. I’m trying to get back into a good writing momentum, slowly but surely.

Comments ( 13 )

Good chapter. Also in this spot, "Not even needing a second to debilitate the question." Might you have meant [ debate ] ? Ah the wily typo faster than the speed of smell.

Aw yiss, more of best student ship!

10203506
Or "deliberate on" can also work.

10204671
Quite right, and would be better than debate

10204671
Fixed! Yeah, I’m pretty sure I meant to say ‘deliberate’, I just used the wrong word. My bad.

Aaaah! I love this fic. It's so wholesome. Also, best and most underrated student ship. These two smartasses go so well together.

Ah, I am so glad to see this story continuing and that it hasn't fallen into hiatus hell like so many others I've gotten in to.

I have no idea why I wasn't notified of this new chapter but I'm so glad to see this story continue. It's the cutest fic out there and I was starting to get worried because it had been so long since the last update. It's really nice to see it back, thanks for giving us another chapter:twilightsmile:

i really like this story :))) i hope that it gets updated soon so i can read what happened next :DD So basicly i like this story and I'll be waiting for next chapters :PP

So is the story going to Continued

10293892
(Tugs shirt collar) Uh.... Eventually???
Sorry, I’m one of those writers who will go months without an update. It’s a bad habit, I know.

Not helped with the fact that I’m juggling another story on a different site and I want to update that one first before I come back to this one.

10296847
Sorry for the late response but OK I understand I'm sure you have lots of ideas for your other story I was still wondering if it's still continuing

10296847
well we're nearing on a year since you said this, so...

Helloooo? Theres that incomplete fanfiction

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