• Published 4th Feb 2020
  • 1,639 Views, 34 Comments

For Better or For Worse - FoolAmongTheStars

Life goes on for both Starlight and Sunburst, even with a baby on the way.

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Final Month

“Hello! How—” Sunburst is usually a patient pony, very quiet and not confrontational, but not today. He doesn’t bother letting the receptionist finish.

“Is Dr. Healing Touch here!?”

The receptionist is taken aback by the force of Sunburst’s exclamation, but she takes one look at his frazzle appearance and the heavily pregnant mare close behind him, and she connects the dots. “I’ll check, but do you have an appointment?”

An appointment!? My girlfriend is in labor! Her water broke—!”

Starlight shoves him aside before he rambles any further.

“Hi, we have an appointment with Dr. Healing Touch for a c-section on the twenty-first, but it seems my water broke ahead of schedule.” Starlight said with surprising calm for a mare in labor. “She told us to come here if that were to happen, especially since the baby is not in the right position.”

“Oh, alright, just a moment please,” the receptionist says and turns away.

Sunburst looks at her with skepticism. Starlight just grins back.

“How can you be so calm?”

“Being the student of a neurotic alicorn teaches you a thing or two. This isn’t the first time I dealt with a crisis, and I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last.” Sunburst is inclined to agree.

Getting Starlight squeezed into one of the tiny waiting room chairs is a lost cause, because he’s pretty sure that she’ll get stuck in it. Not that he’s going to voice that opinion out loud. He rather live long enough to see his child, thank-you-very-much. Instead, he grabs a wheelchair when the nurses aren’t looking, and only whistles innocently when the other patients look their way. The thing is wide enough for a heavily pregnant mare, plus when the nurses finally call them over, Starlight didn’t have to move a muscle.

Doctor Healing Touch meets them halfway to the examination room, clipboard in one wing, and a breakfast sandwich in the other—so much for hospital sanitation—the pegasus takes a bite of her sandwich before speaking.

“The contractions are…?”

“We left home when she started having them, and her water broke on the way here. They come every hour and five minutes, more or less.”

“And the foal is in breech position.” The graying pegasus sighs as she sets down the papers that she’d been holding. “We’ll have to perform an emergency c-section I’m afraid. Ah, don’t give me that look, mister!” And indeed, Sunburst realizes, he’d started glaring as soon as the doctor had said ‘emergency’. So he settles for frowning heavily instead.

“Don’t worry. Miss Glimmer isn’t in any danger at the moment. Just a term we use when the operation is out of schedule. Early labor is not uncommon for a first-time mother. But if you would, Mr. Sunburst, there are a few extra forms we need you to fill out while we prepare Miss Glimmer for surgery.”

Surgery. He shudders. He knows that this is just routine, and she’d been scheduled for one anyway, but still. There’s something infinitely more worrying about knowing that it’s been labeled an emergency.

Maybe he starts glaring again, or maybe he’s just so hideously nervous that the doctor takes pity on him. Either way, the end result is the same. “Though…We already have the essential information on file. You may accompany Miss Glimmer during the preparation if you wish.”

Sunburst is pretty sure he hasn’t agreed to anything so quickly in his life.

“Breath Starlight. C’mon.” She does so, steadily in and out. Everything’s a little hazy and it feels almost like a dream, but that’s probably the anesthesia. Sunburst looks funny with a hairnet; she realizes in a corner of her mind. The face mask doesn’t help either. She tries not to look at him, since she’s afraid she might start laughing or something, and the doctors working behind the tent probably wouldn’t appreciate that.

But still, she clings to his hoof like a lifeline, choosing to focus on its warm embrace over the slight stench of burning skin and the fuzzy feeling of numbness where her lower regions are supposed to be. The trick is to forget that there are ponies digging their hooves in her innards. Or at least tried to. When that strategy fails, she only grips her boyfriend’s hoof even tighter. Blood is nothing. She’s seen blood before. She’s never been sliced open before. But she never thought she would do it willingly.

“If you please, Mr. Sunburst, we’re about to drop the tent.” Ah, showtime.

“Hey, c’mon Starlight. He’s finally coming out.” He squeezes her hoof, it’s easy to tell that he’s not feeling nearly as confident as he sounds, and she returns the gesture. Eleven months for this one moment. Just breathe, she reminds herself, remember to breathe. What’s she supposed to be feeling? Curiosity? Fear? Joy? A combination of all of the above? Hell, she doesn’t know what she’s really feeling anyway.

The green curtain separating Starlight from her stomach drops.

There’s a lot of padding, so she can’t see any blood or even some stray innards. There’s only a pair of gloved hooves, reaching down into a cavity that she can’t see, pulling on something she can’t feel, and then coming up with an infant in their grasp.

That’s her baby. Right there. That one, crying out from within the doctor’s hooves. That one, limbs stretching for the first time. That one, slick with her blood. It’s proof that it’s her baby. She’s the mother. No one else. It’s hers. Hers. Crap, is she crying? Are these tears? She’s totally crying. Oh well. She’s allowed to cry, right? Because that’s her baby. Flesh and blood and grown for eleven long months inside her.

Sunburst squeezes her hoof again and she can hear him gulp. “Good job, Starlight.” His voice is trembling (with relief? Joy?) and Starlight half expects to see tears running down his cheeks. So much for staying calm throughout the operation.

“You’re amazing.” His voice is still shaking.

She grins sluggishly. “I know.”

He’s first let into the recovery room when Starlight finally wakes up. There’s no baby yet, they’re still checking her over. Yes, her. He’s won their little bet. But he doesn’t care about that right now, he’s busy making sure his girlfriend is alright. Is she supposed to be flushed? Does she need a drink? Still tired? When the questions run dry, he returns to bodily contact to assure himself that she’s fine. Hoof holding leads to soft caresses, which leads to kissing, which leads to a royal beating when his hoof accidentally strays towards her side out of habit, and that hurts like Tartarus. If the nurse notices the dent in Sunburst’s head when she brings in the baby, she doesn’t comment on it.

Starlight gets to hold the bundle first. The female bundle. The female bundle that Starlight had been so sure to be male. Boy is he glad that all the baby stuff is gender-neutral.

Sunburst’s amazed. With everything. The wisps of hair on the foal’s head, too few and new to boast either parent’s color. The little stubby horn on her forehead. The small snout, barely as big as the tip of his hoof. Her little legs, one hoof fisted tightly and the other spread out, her foreleg impossibly tiny. She cries, few and far between at the moment as she prefers to nap, but still there, as if reminding him that yeah, she’s alive and well and wants all of the attention.

Although, at the moment, their baby looks like a raisin. And that dark pink coloring isn’t helping.

Somewhere along the line, he realizes that he really wants to hold his daughter. But…he wants Starlight as well. Decisions, decisions. Then again…why not have both?

It’s a tight fit for them all in the hospital bed, it’s hard to avoid tangling himself in the IV tube hanging down, and Starlight’s still mighty sore from being cut open. But Sunburst is content when he finally shifts into place, back against the bed board, one foreleg draped over his girlfriend’s shoulder and the other supporting their newborn’s head.

And Starlight is content as well, head leaning on her boyfriend’s chest, her hoof covering his from behind their baby’s skull, the second hoof wrapped around the lower part of the blanket where chubby legs are wrapped up snug as a bug.

He doesn’t know how much time passes with them laying like that, just reveling in the other’s company, but at some point, he speaks.

“Starlight?” She makes a soft noise to indicate that she’s listening.

“I think…I think we’ll be okay after all.” The words are barely audible, because admissions like that are definitely not his style and are highly cliché, and sound like something out of a really, really bad romance novel.

“You had doubts?” No answer on his part. He cringes in anticipation for the scolding of a lifetime.

But…apparently, it’s for nothing. It takes a second for him to realize that the giggles he’s hearing are coming from her. “I guess we both did,” she admits, “but I’m glad we agree.” He steels himself for another round of sappiness. (Regardless, he’s still grinning ear to ear when she opens her mouth.)

“We’ll be fine.”

Though, it only takes two sleepless weeks for them to eat those words. Because, seriously. Who would’ve thought that the grace period was the pregnancy?

Author's Note:


Originally, I was going to post this alongside the original one-shot. But it was taking too long and decided to just post the first part (which was the original First Month) thinking that nobody would care.

Then it turned into one of my most popular stories. OOF.

And since there was some demand for a sequel, I took what I had and kept working on it. Hope I didn't set your expectations too high. Like it? Hate it? Which part was your favorite? Was it too corny? Not corny enough? Tell me what you think!

Comments ( 15 )

Dr. Healing Touch? Have you played the Trauma Center games or is that just a coincidence?

And that's how Luster Dawn was born

Thanks a bunch! Writing about this pair always bring me joy especially in these kind of situations, which can either break or make a relationship, but like you read in the rest of the story the made it out of course.

DANG IT, forgot to write that joke in the notes!

That's a coincidence! I never played those games, just thought a literal name for a pony doctor would suit better for the MLP universe.

Should’ve been triplets cause why not.

I didn't know I needed this until I read it.

Just the idea of Starlight and Sunburst taking their relationship to the next level, maybe even skipping a few, is amazing. Despite all their nerves about the situation, they're committed to the idea of raising their foal together. It's all really beautiful. Shame that they needed that surgery, though. Many ouchies abound there.

This! This so much! Luster Dawn's design had me thinking 'Starlight and Sunburst's kid' right off the bat.
A missed opportunity, truly. But hey, at least you like the theory that she's their kid. Great avatar by the way, I love how Sunburst looks so done with everything. It also helps visualize Sunburst's feelings when things like his mom reacting to the pregnancy drive him up the wall.

This is such a lovely comment :heart: :heart: Totally made my night, thanks!

Just the idea of Starlight and Sunburst taking their relationship to the next level, maybe even skipping a few, is amazing.

Sunburst and Starlight always struck me as a pair that would do everything out of order lol. I mean, Starlight went from villain to hero and Sunburst went from dropout to a renown researcher, their relationship kind of went through the same thing: from strangers to something much more.

A missed opportunity, truly. But hey, at least you like the theory that she's their kid.

Funny thing about that, I dropped some hints in the story, especially in the final chapter, to indicate that their baby is Luster Dawn, in fact I had a whole scene with Sunburst suggesting the name, but I pulled a Jim and decided to leave it vague enough for those that don't support the theory.

Great avatar by the way, I love how Sunburst looks so done with everything. It also helps visualize Sunburst's feelings when things like his mom reacting to the pregnancy drive him up the wall.

And this avatar is my favorite so far, it's practically the face I make when writing my stories and thinking of ways to further torture Sunburst and Starlight , and I adore cocky-Sunburst, I need more of that in my life.

This story is very adorable and could really do with a slice of life sequel with them raising their little girl. :3

Not sure if I can pull enough material to justify it's own fic, but I think I can write some drabbles and publish them in the Bits and Pieces collection, so keep an eye out for that

I actually designed two Next Gen OC's before the Luster Dawn was revealed, maybe one day I'll write about them.

You're welcome! Thanks for the confirmation that the baby is Luster. Also, that's a weird face to make when writing. :rainbowlaugh:

This was enjoyable. I coulda gone for a longer tail too but it worked as you made it so yea.
I look forward to seeing (hopefully) some of them and their daughter in your Drabble short snippets story and maybe even her as their flower girl?

This was a very sweet story! I especially enjoyed the focus on the way their lives had to change from being just boyfriend/girlfriend to being actual parents with actual responsibilities. It felt very, very real, and made me think about my own relationships differently.

I have to ask: are you a parent yourself?

Either way, thank you for this!

I thought of making a longer story, but in order to do that I would have focus on other things (which would skirt close to alternative universe territory/my personal headcanons) and I didn't want to drag it longer than I had too. So that's why I only focused on Starlight's pregnancy, but I left some hints on how their life changed during the pregnancy, hopefully you can fill in the blanks :raritywink:

Wow! Thanks man! Comments like this always make my day :heart: I'm glad you enjoyed my story. And to answer your question: no, I'm not a parent (my only baby is my cat does that count?) but I'm quite empathetic, so when I hear people with kids sharing their experiences and how it changed their lives, I listen. I also did research about human pregnancy and horse breeding, to get the symptoms right, though I admit I glossed over some details, but nothing to egregious I hope.


Very feels-filled and delightfully fluffy in all the best ways. I hope you write more!

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