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

The Donors - GoesKaboom

The truth about Pumpkin and Pound Cake's parentage.

  • ...

Parties and Pink Plus Signs

Chapter Five: Parties and Pink Plus Signs

Several hours and several awkwardly invasive medical procedures later, Cup was unceremoniously packed onto the elevator and given these terse instructions: “if more than two months go by and you find that you are not pregnant, then come back and we'll try again.” Upon stepping out of the elevator, the coal-black unicorn mare with the headset directed her towards the waiting room, where she was immediately accosted by an extremely tense Carrot.

“Are you alright? Did they hurt you? When are we going to decide on which donor will be the father? What happened? Are you going to be able to have foals after all?” He fired off a barrage of questions, seemingly in no particular order, all the while bouncing around like Pinkie Pie on a sugar-high. Cup giggled, to see her husband acting so out of character. Of course, this only unnerved the stallion more. “Why are you laughing? Oh Celestia, they didn't give you some kind of weird drug, did they?”

“No, Carrot, I'm fine,” Cup replied. “I'm kind of sore, but I'm fine.”

“Sore?! What in Equestria did they do to you? That's it, I'm calling this whole thing off. We'll find another way around this. I'll go see Zecora again, maybe she'll be able to find another way around the problem. Come on, let's go. It's obvious this isn't going to work out like we'd hoped. I don't think there's much point in us staying here any longer.”

“Carrot, it's already done. We were going home anyways.”

“What?” came Carrot's confused reply.

“I mean they've already completed the procedure,” Cup replied. “I chose the donors, they combined the material, and they sent me home with instructions to come back if I'm not pregnant after this.”

“The procedure is complete?” Carrot clearly felt like he was missing something fairly important. “You chose a donor already? Nopony told me anything about that! Which did you choose? I thought we were going to decide on the father together.”

“I know,” Cup answered soothingly. “I thought it was strange, but the doctor told me it's standard procedure for the stallions to not be involved in the choice. I did everything I could to make sure that the donors I picked were as similar to us as possible. One of them is a CEO, Carrot! A real CEO!”

Carrot was less than impressed with that factoid than his wife was, still miffed about being left out of what was quite possibly the decision of a lifetime. This was about the father of his children. That would seem to be the sort of thing that everypony who would be the parent of the resulting child ought to be involved with, but then again, who was he to question these doctors? Maybe they really did have a legitimate reason for it? But not matter how much he tried to rationalize it to himself, he still found it to be very dodgy, and something about Cup's reactions weren't sitting right with hin. She had a hyperaware, almost shell-shocked look about her, and she would wince with pain whenever she moved in certain ways. But she seemed to be happy, so he decided to let his misgivings go, at least for the time being.

“So, you're pregnant now?” he asked, trying to keep his tone light. Cup shrugged.

“Hopefully. They told me to just go back to Ponyville and if it turns out that I'm not pregnant, come back in a few months.”

“Well, hopefully it worked,” Carrot said. “Now let's get out of here. No offense, but this place creeps me out. Di you get the feeling that something here is very wrong? All of the ponies in this place freak me out, especially that mare at the information desk!”

Cup did her best to dissuade Carrot's fears, even though she privately agreed with them, at least a bit. Something definitely did seem off about the place (especially with regards to that doctor). But she hid her true feelings and convinved her husband to enjoy the rest of their time in Manehattan. “Why don't we go to that fancy restaurant you saw in that weird cooking magazine you get?”

“You mean Candlelight?” Carrot asked, eyes widening in excitement. “Are you sure? I know it's very expensive...”

“How bad could it be?” Cup asked in response. “We already paid eighteen bits for some mediocre cupcakes. We knew coming here would be expensive. Why don't we celebrate this?”

Even though she'd expected it to be expensive, Cup still nearly jumped out of her skin upon seeing the bill at the restaurant. “Nine hundred and sixty-three bits?” she squeaked. “For a plate of vinegar-soaked lettuce and a glass of grape juice?”

“Well, I did tell you it was going to be expensive...” Carrot muttered under his breath. But he just shrugged. “Well, you know, Lyra and BonBon's anniversary is coming up- we always make a few thousand from catering their party.” Cup agreed, realizing with embarassment that the upcoming event had completely slipped her mind. And she was going to have to get started on designing the cake if she wanted it to be ready in time... BonBon was particularly picky about her sweets (being a confectioner herself, she held any cakes she consumed to an incredibly high standard).

After they paid the bill, the Cakes chose to return to their hotel room and get some sleep before the long train ride back to Ponyville the next day. Both ponies had an unspoken agreement that they would not discuss the day's events, at least until they returned to Ponyville. Tired, both Cup and Carrot fell into bed, sleep overtaking them almost instantly.

The trip back to Ponyville went well, or at the very least, nothing unexpected happened. Carrot napped the whole way home and Cup read through a cheap, tawdry thriller of a novel she'd picked up at the train station bookstore.

The next few weeks were business as usual for the Cakes. Carrot kept experimenting in the kitchen, finally having perfected kakigori (Aloe and Lotus had proclaimed it just as delicious as they remembered it from their childhood). Carrot was eager to try out some more dessert recipes from the far-flung regions of the world. Zecora had given him a recipe from her homeland, a unique sweet made by baking bananas, then covering them with a honey-cinnamon glaze. Twilight Sparkle had also been kind enough to share with him a recipe she'd learned in Canterlot growing up: tiny tea-cakes filled with lemon curd and iced with a powdered-sugar/milk icing.

Cup, meanwhile, dutifully produced her namesake product. Her visit to Manehattan had only rekindled her desire to make the best cupcakes in Equestria, the best cupcakes that she possibly could. She didn't much experiment with the flavors (that was more Carrot's area of expertise), but she did fiddle with the icing and proportions of fruit in the cake batter and such. When she wasn't doing that, she was taking care of business with the customers. Lyra and BonBon had dropped off the specifications for their anniversary party; Cup had nearly blanched when she realized that the two mares had invited not only the entirety of Ponyville, but all 1500 members of the All-Equestria Conspiracy Research Society that Lyra was the treasurer of. All in all, the Cakes would need to come up with more snacks for more ponies than they'd ever had to do in one order before.

On a slightly smaller scale, Derpy Hooves had commissioned the Cakes to make a cake for Dinky's birthday party. As usual, the mailmare tried to pay for the cake, and as usual, Cup and Carrot refused to take the pegasus mare's money. “You buy enough muffins over the course of the year that we can afford to let you have the cake for free,” Cup said firmly. “All we want in exchange is for you to take that money you'd have spent on the cake and buy Dinky Doo a nice present. Celestia knows you both have had one hell of a year.” The wall-eyed mare smiled gratefully.

“You're too good to me, Mrs. Cake,” she said. “You helped me out when Foal Protective Services was investigating, you make the best muffins ever, and now you're giving me a free cake? Thank you so much!” The pegasus thanked the Cakes again and flew out of the bakery, very nearly crashing into a lamp-post. Cup sighed.

“That poor mare works so hard,” she told her husband. “A mailmare's salary can't be anywhere near enough, and after having to pay all those legal fees...?” she let her voice trail off. Carrot nodded in agreement, staying silent.

Ever since returning from Manehattan, Cup had taken to noticing how the parents of Ponyville raised their foals, and how said foals acted around others. On one end of the spectrum, there was Derpy and her daughter Dinky- Derpy was definitely living a hard-scrabble life, a life made even harder in the past year by one particularly mean-spirited pony who called Foal Protective Services on her, saying that the mailmare was an unfit mother. Fortunately, FPS had dropped the case after seeing how much Derpy cared for her daughter, but the scars of the incident remained. Derpy was clearly doing her best for Dinky, and it showed. Cup couldn't remember the last time she'd met such a polite young filly.

On the opposite, there was Filthy Rich and his daughter Diamond Tiara. Filthy, despite his rather unfortunate given name, wasn't actually that bad of a stallion, and always made sure to have the Cakes cater his corporate events, and he always insisted that he pay twice the normal price, no matter how many times Cup and Carrot insisted that wasn't necessary. Diamond Tiara, on the other hand? Cup had never met a more obnoxious, entitled, spoiled little brat of a filly, and Carrot had even gone so far as to ban her from the shop for a month, after he'd overheard her picking on Dinky Doo for her mother's health problems. It only went to show that just because a parent did their best to be a good pony, it didn't always mean that the foal would follow in their hoofsteps.

Cup made up her mind that if the experimental treatment actually worked out, she was going to do everything she possibly could to make sure that her foal would become a productive member of society, who would actually know how to behave right.

A few more weeks passed. The Cakes finished Dinky Doo's birthday cake, and had Pinkie Pie deliver it. Sugar Cube Corner was invaded one day by a herd of very enthusiastic, although unskilled, Cutie Mark Crusader Cake Decorators (which went about as well as would be expected, resulting in three frosting-covered little ponies, still sans cutie mark, much to their consternation). And preparations began for Lyra and BonBon's epic anniversary party to end all anniversary parties. It would be the biggest bash ever undertaken by the staff of Sugar Cube Corner, and it was even stressing a certain pink party pony out.

“BALLOONS!” Pinkie Pie cried in something akin to despair. “Where am I going to find sixty-seven thousand balloons in time for the party?”

“Why in Equestria would need sixty-seven thousand balloons?” Carrot asked in shock. He was used to Pinkie Pie's... excesses, but that was excessive even for her. The pink mare shot him a withering look.

“Well duh,” she said, wit the air of somepony explaining that one plus one equals too. “How else am I going to make the tables float?”

Chalking that very odd response up to Pinkie being Pinkie, Carrot shrugged and looked around the kitchen. Cup was supposed to be icing the cookies that would served as a part of the extravagant feast Lyra and BonBon had planned, but she was nowhere in sight. The cookies weren't visible, either.

Carrot grit his teeth. Of all days for his wife to decide to flake out, it had to be today!? Didn't she understand the seriousness of the situation? Irritated, he turned to his equally-stressed employee, who was now frantically loading confetti into some sort of insane cannon-like contraption.

“I've never had to use the party cannon for a party this big before, not even when I threw that party for everypony in Ponyville, or even at the Grand Galloping Gala? Oh, what if it doesn't work or there's not enough confetti? Then the party won't be as fun! Maybe Twilight...” Pinkie Pie's muttering trailed off into something unintelligible, which was when Carrot decided to confront her.

“PINKIE!” he yelled. “Do you know where Cup is?”

“Mrs. Cake? Oh, she's still in bed,” Pinkie Pie replied, still messing around with her party cannon. Carrot's eye twitched.

“In bed? What the buck is she in bed for? Doesn't she know what today is? We need all the help we can get, and today's the day she decides she's going to be so Discord-damned lazy to actually do the work we're being paid to do?!” He was ranting now. Pinkie gave him a strange look.

“You mean you didn't notice?”

“Notice what?” the stallion snapped. Pinkie looked at him again, a frown on her normally-cheerful face.

“Last night she was throwing up all the time! It was gross. I wonder if she ate something bad? Maybe those oranges had gone off...” the pink pony mused, going back to her work. “I thought you knew she was sick!”

At first, Carrot's reaction was concern for his wife's well-being. Cup had gotten food poisoning a few years back, and had been in the hospital for a week, trying to replenish her body's nutrients. Then, his worry turned to irritation. Well, this was a fine time to get sick, wasn't it?! Did she eat basil again? Cup ought to have known that basil didn't agree with her- how stupid did she have to be to eat something that she knew would make her sick the day before such an important event!

And then, Carrot felt all the blood drain from his face. Pinkie Pie had said that Cup had been up all night vomiting. He remembered, being a colt and in school, when all the fillies and colts had been separated. All the colts had been herded into an empty classroom, where Mr. Test Tube, the science teacher, had awkwardly given the “birds and the bees” talk. And one thing in particular stood out to Carrot: “Sometimes a pregnant mare will experience nausea and vomiting. Generally it is called morning sickness, but it can happen at any time of the day.”

Without giving an explanation for his sudden odd behavior, the stallion dashed up the stairs like someone had strapped dynamite to his tail. Pinkie called after him, but Carrot didn't hear what she said. He didn't really care what she said, honestly. He flung open the door to the bedroom, looking around desperately for Cup. She was sitting up in bed, looking rather sickly, but pleased. “Are you alright?” Carrot demanded to know. Cup smiled wanly, gesturing towards her nightstand, where a small plastic rectangle lay on a towel. Carrot recognized it as a pregnancy test. Apprehensively, he looked at the little viewing window, beholding a small pink plus sign.

“We're going to be parents,” Cup said gently.