• Published 17th Jan 2012
  • 1,855 Views, 106 Comments

The Donors - GoesKaboom



The truth about Pumpkin and Pound Cake's parentage.

  • ...
2
 106
 1,855

Diagnosis

Chapter One: Diagnosis

Even before they were married, Cup and Carrot Cake had known they wanted to have foals. Everyone who had known them knew this, so it was so strange to them that it had taken so long for the bakers to procreate. And when the Cakes did produce offspring, no one batted an eye at the fact that the twin foals were a pegasus colt and a unicorn filly, despite the fact that both parents were Earth ponies. And if anyone did raise a question, they were quickly placated by Carrot's explanation of the family histories of himself and his wife. Everyone accepted that- after all, Ditzy Doo the mailmare was a pegasus, and her daughter was a unicorn. Despite that, there was no question of parentage there (well, at least not with regards to who Dinky Doo's mother was anyway)- anypony with eyes could see that Dinky was definitely Ditzy's daughter, from their similar coloring to their shared obsession with muffins.

But the truth is that pony genetics, while an extremely complex subject, are not so complicated that two Earth ponies who had several generations going back of their ancestors being Earth ponies as well, would suddenly randomly produce children who were so drastically different from them. While occasionally some recessive genes would pass down the line and result in a bit of a surprise (for example, it would theoretically be possible for two Earth ponies or two pegasi to have a unicorn foal, or for two pegasi or two unicorns to have an Earth pony foal, or for a unicorn and a pegasus to foal an Earth pony, and so on and so forth in that vein), those instances were... uncommon. Not unheard of, but uncommon. In the case of Dinky Doo, since her mother was a pegasus, there was a certainty approaching 100% that her father was a unicorn. But even in those cases where parents produce a foal so drastically different from themselves, the odds of the two having twins, one each of a different species than their parents, are nigh-nonexistent.

Of course, in the middle of Cup Cake's pregnancy, Ponyville, no, Equestria itself, was besieged by an entity whose very purpose for living was wreaking havoc. Certainly Discord could have done something to the foals while they were still being carried by their mother, that could change their species? Despite what he would like everypony to believe, Discord did not and does not have the power to alter the very building blocks of life, the genetics. But the excuse was believable enough that anypony who did know something about how unlikely it would be for the Cakes to have a pegasus colt and a unicorn filly as twins, would brush their concerns aside with the simple explanation: "Discord did it."

So how did Pound and Pumpkin Cake really come into existence? The truth is a potentially explosive mixture of luck, both good and bad, a fervent wish of two parents, bitter desperation on the part of two stallions, and science. This is the story of the birth of the Baby Cakes.

Eleven Months Previously

Dr, Null Result was Ponyville's only reproductive health doctor, and to be honest, he was not a very good one. He might be able to tell a couple what their problems were, but as for fixing it? He had been known to say things along the lines of "There's nothing I can do, just give up, or go to that Zebra lady in the Everfree Forest if you're feeling adventurous." He was obnoxious towards his patients, and liked to tell people about his very large family ("I had eight foals myself, and now they're all starting their own families! I've got seventeen grandfoals so far, and we're still counting! Oh., by the way, my daughter Blueberry Jam is pregnant again!") But still, Cup and Carrot Cake were at their wits end. They had been trying for five years to conceive, to no avail, and in desperation, Cup Cake had decided to get tested to see if the problem was with her.

"Well, Mrs. Cake, I have some good news, and I have some bad news," the doctor told the nervous blue pony sitting in his examination room. "The good news is that there is nothing wrong with you- you are physically capable of carrying a foal. You are not infertile." Mrs. Cake breathed a sigh of relief. So the problem wasn't with her- she wasn't deficient as a mother. But Dr. Null Result just snorted and shook his head, not wanting his patient to get her hopes up too much.

"The problem is your husband. As things stand now, he will never be able to sire a foal. But I'll give you the same advice I gave my son when his marefriend found out she wouldn't be able to have foals- divorce him. Find a better stallion, settle down, and get to work on building your family! Who knows? Maybe you'll find the true love of your life." He grinned at Cup, who shuddered. She was beginning to see why more ponies who were having trouble starting a family didn't seek the advice of this one creepy stallion, instead preferring to visit more expensive doctors in the larger cities like Canterlot or Manehattan, or seeking a more traditional remedy from Zecora.

"Thank you, doctor, but no," Cup said firmly. "I love my husband, and I'm sure there is some way around this." Offended, she tossed the doctor her bits and cantered out of the clinc, not looking back, and wanting to get back to Sugar Cube Corner as soon as possible to take a shower, wash off the slimy feeling that disgusting stallion's touch had left on her. What did that fool doctor know anyway? Perhaps someone else might know a way around this setback. Ditzy Doo had sought prenatal care from a highly-regarded doctor in Canterlot, on the advice of her boss(Boxy Stacks, for all his faults, did at least know to look after his employees by giving them good health insurance). Most of these cities were only a train-ride away. But first she would have to let Carrot know the news.

He took it about as well as any male being told that he was the reason he and his mate were having trouble conceiving would. Which is to say- not very well. He locked himself in the basement of Sugar Cube Corner for three days (making both Cup and Pinkie Pie's jobs very difficult when they had to get certain supplies, like flour, out of storage). Finally, on the fourth day, he crept out of the shop in the dead of night, without telling his wife where he was going. Cup spent another week worried sick about her missing husband, wondering if she should call for help. But who would she call? The police? Scottneigh Yard? The Equestria Bureau of Investigation?

On the seventh day of Carrot's disappearance, he cantered back into the shop. Simultaneously furious and relieved, Cup berated him for disappearing without telling her where he was going "What if a hydra had gotten you!" Once she had finished, Carrot explained what he had done.

"I went to see Zecora," he began, "and she confirmed what you told me. Apparently the dragox pox I contracted as an adolescent was the problem, and there's no way to reverse the damage. But she also told me that she knew of a doctor in Manehattan that might be able to help."

"You wen to Manehattan?" Cup shrieked. "Do you have any idea what could have happened to you? Don't you know that the mafia has been active there recently? You could have been killed!"

"I'm not rich enough to be their target, nor am I involved in the liquor industry. Berry Punch would have more of a reason to worry about them than I would," Carrot replied. "But mobster ponies aren't the important part- the important part is that there is a way you can have foals. They... they won't be related to me, but they will still be your foals, and I am willing to accept them as my own. I'll do my best to be a good father to them."

"Say what you're saying, Carrot," Cup said sharply.

"There is... new technology. It's meant to help ponies who can't have foals, for whatever reason. There are these new clinics. Mares and stallions who need the money can go there and donate their, uh, materials, which are then redistributed to other couples who want to have foals. The doctors can make it work."

At first, Cup was appalled. Yes, she wanted to have foals, and she wanted to have foals very badly, but not if it meant that Carrot couldn't be the father! She had taken a marriage vow to remain faithful, and she would honor that vow until the day she died. But her husband insisted that it wouldn't be adultery since nothing would actually be happening between Cup and some random, anonymous stallion, and that the procedure would be happening with his full knowledge and permission. He would love whatever foal came of it as much as he would if he'd been the biological father himself. He loved Cup, and he wanted her to be happy. He wanted to have a family just as much as she did.

As the weeks passed, Cup began to think about the treatment that Carrot had explained. It would require a trip to Manehattan to talk to the doctor, in order to determine if she was a candidate for the new treatment, and they did have the shop to worry about. It would also look suspicious if they just disappeared one day. Not since Carrot had opened Sugar Cube Corner as a recent high school graduate and he'd employed Cup O'Coffee, a mare a year younger than him, had the store been shut down for anything except for Hearth's Warming Eve, and for the honeymoon when Carrot Cake married Cup O'Coffee. Not since they'd married seven years before had they taken a vacation. It would look suspicious if all of a sudden the two bakers went off on holiday.

But now they had a third employee, Pinkie Pie. And even though she could be a bit scatterbrained at times, she had already proved her business acumen with a few new programs that she'd convinced the Cakes to implement. She was also extremely talented at finding the best ingredients for the best price, so maybe it would be alright?

After waffling back and forth about it for several weeks, Cup finally made a decision, while she and Carrot were working hard in the kitchen. "Alright," she said. "I'll do it."

"Do what?" Carrot asked absentmindedly over the whirr of an ice machine. He was keen to try out a new recipe from Neighpon, a sort of frozen confection with flavored syrup, ice-cream, and condensed milk, hoping that during the hot summer months it would be a best seller. Aloe and Lotus from the spa had given him the recipe, speaking fondly of it from their childhood in Neighpon.

"What... what we discussed a while ago. You know, with regard to... the problem," Cup replied cryptically, not wanting their hyperactive pink employee to overhear and ask awkward questions. Carrot sent her a look that clearly conveyed that he still had no idea what she was talking about. So, she decided to make it even more obvious: "You know, about the trip to Manehattan."

Carrot Cake's eyes lit up and he dropped the bottle of melon-flavored syrup he had been holding into the ice machine, where it shattered with an almighty crunch. "Really? Really! You want to do it after all!"

"Yes."

"Oooh! You're going to Manehattan! Can I go? Are you going to the Cupcakes Expo? Oh wait, no, I'd rather stay here and watch the store since the last time I went to anything related to cupcakes my friends were all scared of me for a week! Something about some stupid movie, whatever. Yeah! That's what I'll do! I'll watch the store! Definitely! Hey, why are you going to Manehattan anyway? Oooh, I know! I'll throw you both a Going-Away party, and don't worry, I won't use shop materials this time!" A certain pink pony had walked in at a most inopportune time. Both of the older ponies jumped backwards, surprised and shocked by the interruption, although rather inexplicably. They knew by now to expect Pinkie Pie to appear at the most awkward moments possible.

"Pinkie Pie! What are you doing back here?" Mrs. Cake exclaimed, extremely unsettled. How much had the other mare heard? Granted, they hadn't been talking about anything in detail, but Pinkie Pie had an uncanny (and a bit disturbing) ability to ferret out information that she wasn't supposed to have access to from just a few snippets of conversation- it was how she had figured out the code to Sugar Cube Corner's safe, after all. And while Pinkie might be smart enough to know there were some things it's not a good idea to go yelling all over Ponyville (the safe's code being a perfect example), she was also a bit of a loudmouth. And if she didn't think anypony would be placed in clear and present danger from her running her mouth, she would run it. But this time, the hyperactive mare just shrugged.

"We sold out of the red velvet cupcakes, I was just coming back to get another tray of them. Hey, are you okay Mrs. Cake? You don't look so good."

"I'm fine, dearie," Cup replied. "Just kind of tired. Please, get the cupcakes on the tray, they've been selling well today."

"Okie dokie lokie!"

Once their employee was safely out of earshot, the Cakes put their heads closer together again and spoke more quietly. "When should we leave? We'll need to keep it quiet unless we want to explain to the entire town why we're going to Manehattan," Carrot whispered urgently. "You know Pinkie, she means well, but she just can't keep her mouth shut, and she'll throw a party, and then everypony in the town will be wanting to know about why we're going on a trip!"

"I'm pretty sure my cousin Pear Tart lives in Manehattan, or at least a few miles outside of it," Cup replied. "If we do have to have an excuse ready, just say she's ill and we're going to help her out."

"Pear Tart?" Carrot asked. "You mean that obnoxious filly who told you not to marry me because I was 'too damn ugly,' in her words?" Cup winced.

"I said I was sorry about that..."

"It's not your fault! I just can't stand that pony! Oh well, you are right that it would make a good excuse," Carrot finally agreed.

Two days later, the Cakes crept out of their house in the middle of the night, and boarded the 3:00 AM train, bound for Manehattan. The journey would take the better part of the day, so Carrot and Cup had packed a bunch of snacks and light reading material to keep themselves well-fed and entertained. But Carrot fell asleep almost as soon as the train had started rolling, snoring loudly. Cup, on the other hand, was too wound-up to sleep. Instead, she decided to look through the pamphlets Carrot had brought back from his last trip.

While the procedure didn't sound particularly painful, it certainly didn't sound like something she would want to do on a regular basis. But her main thoughts weren't even for herself- the thing that concerned her the most about this whole venture was the effect it would have on Carrot, and on the foals. No matter how many times Carrot insisted that he would always see the foals as his, whether or not he was their biological father, the thought still daunted Cup. What would happen if she gave birth, and Carrot decided that he no longer wanted to go through with the plan? And what about the foals? Eventually they would need to be told the truth about their origins- how would they take it? Would they just accept that their father wasn't really their father? Would they rebel? Would they want to find their biological father and go live with him?

With all of these troubling prospects rolling around her brain, Cup fell into an uneasy sleep just outside of Hoofington.

To Be Continued

Author's Comments:

I can't believe I'm doing this, I told myself "no more multi-chapter fics until the other ones you're working on are completed," but after seeing yesterday's episode I couldn't help it- the plot varmints that live in my head started eating my brain and wouldn't stop until I started working on this.

Did anyone else think that Mr. Cake's explanation as to how his foals ended up being a pegasus and unicorn sounded a little like he made it up on the spot like that? It's almost like he hadn't been expecting a question like that and he had to think fast to come up with something to say. I don't think that Mrs. Cake would have cheated on him, so that didn't really cross my mind, but then I started thinking- what if the baby Cakes were conceived through in vitro with donated genetic materials? Obviously, that's not going to be canon- it's a show for young girls, after all. Shows for young girls (and for young boys) don't really deal with complex issues like infertility and bioethics. So that's why I'm writing this.

I feel like I should state right now- I'm not a geneticist. I'm a minimum-wage purveyor of snacks who's studying to become an IT professional. I'm doing a lot of research for this fic, but we all know how reliable the Internet can be, so I apologize in advance if I get something wrong, and if you catch an error, please let me know. And yes, I already know that I greatly simplified the way genetics work for the opening of this chapter. I also understand that there are a lot of complicated moral and ethical issues surrounding this topic. I won't lie and say I'm going to avoid touching on them in this story, because a major part of the plot later on is going to be that of parental rights, and who is the true parent, but please be aware that I am not condemning any real person's choices or existence through my writing of this story.

Also, those twins were the cutest damn thing I've seen in a long time and I wanted to write about them. There, I said it.

Oh, and by the way- the dessert Mr. Cake was making right before Pinkie Pie barged in was kakigori, sort of a Japanese snow-cone, made with shaved ice, different-flavored syrups, ice-cream, sweetened condensed milk, and fruit. They're very good- my professor brought in stuff to make it with one day as part of our lesson on ordering food.

-Kaboom