• Published 3rd Jul 2013
  • 1,473 Views, 14 Comments

Father Mare - Spark of Inspiration



After the effect of the spell that converted Canterlot into the opposite sex was removed, everypony was supposed to turn back to normal. Unfortunately, Soarin isn't one of those ponies, and the reason may be as unwanted as his new bundle of joy.

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A Day Full of Surprises

Though she would never have done it under normal circumstances, Spitfire called out to the team racing around the track, "Alright, two more laps and we're done early today."

That seemed to cause most of the rookies to get a second wind, as they sped up and almost passed Soarin, who was currently at the front of the hexagonal formation. To prevent the imminent breakdown, she added, "And if form falls apart, that's three more afterwards."

The rookies eventually slowed, all except for Cross and Vector, who physically nudged Soarin aside, almost knocking him into the cloud wall surrounding the patch of track they were currently racing through. Cross reached out with one of her back hooves and pushed Soarin off course.

In an instant, Soarin's recovery flapping brought him out of formation, crashing into Vector and sandwiching the poor recruit between the weight of his body and the cloud wall. Aileron quickly adjusted his path upwards, his hooves barely scraping Soarin's mane as he passed overhead.

By the time Soarin backed off, Vector had already entered freefall, one wing bent badly out of shape. Aileron and Updraft dove after him as fast as they could, pushing themselves to their limits to catch him before he hit terminal velocity.

Cross flew back to the scene of the wreck, an obviously fake look of curiosity on her face. "What happened?"

Updraft and Aileron had grabbed Vector by the forelegs, and brought him back up to the limited seating area at that part of the track before setting him down on the thick layer of clouds. Then Updraft faced her and accused, "You should know, shouldn't you?"

"What?" she asked in reply, giving away her false confusion even more than before. "What are you talking about?"

Spitfire rushed over with a first-aid kit and pulled out the thick bandaging that would keep Vector's wing in place until he could get proper medical attention. But before she could start wrapping it around his barrel, Updraft addressed the issue at hoof. "Ma'am, I would like to register a formal complaint against Recruit Current."

"Very well," Spitfire responded, only becoming more confused than before. As far as she had seen, Soarin had gone off course and caused a pile-up. "State your complaint. I might consider it."

He began by gesturing to the area where the accident had happened. "All this was because of her. I witnessed her push Lieutenant Soarin off course, and I believe he can provide assistance in proving my story correct."

Spitfire turned to look at Soarin, who was currently flapping in place above where Vector had hit the wall. "I think I felt something push me over..." he mused, trying to separate the questioned stigma from the blur that he remembered. It certainly wasn't easy with the remaining panic about Vector almost falling to the ground with a broken wing clouding his thoughts.

"Can somepony just get this thing secured already?" Vector asked with an annoyed tone, gesturing to his bent wing. "Seriously, we can do this later."

"We'll get to that in a few minutes," Spitfire told Vector, turning back to Updraft. "You do realize what you're implying by doing this, right?"

"Yes," he answered confidently. "I understand completely. Sabotage of a senior officer and injury to a fellow teammate is grounds for termination."

“Well somepony’s memorized the rule book…” Spitfire muttered, taking a moment to realize that Updraft, of all the ponies there, had taken the time to learn the punishments associated with common - and uncommon, in this case - occurrences. When it finally hit her, she almost couldn’t believe it.

But then she came to an unfortunate revelation. It was almost as if he had waiting for this moment. “How do you know that?”

"If you haven't noticed, I've stayed out of trouble this whole time. How else could I have done it?"

"He's right, you know," Soarin commented, only adding to the sensibility behind Updraft's point. "He may be a jerk, but he's never broken a rule."

As Updraft gave Soarin a quick glare, Aileron also chimed in. "I guess they're right."

"But how can I trust that you actually saw her do this and aren't just trying to jeopardize her future with the team?"

Soarin could see the utter disgust Updraft had for Spitfire that moment as he replied, "What reason would you have to not trust me?"

"I think there's supposed to be a Captain at the end of that sentence, recruit."

"Soarin could tell his argument was falling apart faster than the last time somepony had attempted to file a formal complaint. It seemed like Cross would get away with it unless Updraft was able to comply with the rules that he had supposedly memorized.

"Very well, Captain..." Updraft corrected, "I promise to you that what I saw is completely true. I would have no reason to report this if my information wasn't accurate."

"Alright, I've heard enough. Current, get over here."

Cross landed in the stands seconds later and trotted over to where Spitfire was standing next to Vector, who was still gingerly nursing his wing. Spitfire stopped her in her tracks and told her, "I trust him on this. As of now, you're officially on probation, and if anything else is reported, your position on this team will have to be filled by a new recruit. Are we clear?"

Everypony could tell she didn't like it, but she grudgingly responded, "Yes, ma'am."

Vector finally saw his chance and asked, "Okay... so now that we're done here, can we get around to my wing?" He gestured to the limb hanging limply off to the side of his body and elaborated, "You know, this thing here?"

"Fine," Spitfire agreed, picking up the bandage again and pinning the bent primaries to Vector's side. She seemed to ignore the pained whimpers he gave, and after a few moments - and more than a few awkward positions - his wing was safely held to his side by a fairly thick layer of cotton-like bandage.

"There. I think we can safely call practice early as long as somepony takes Vector here to get it examined."

Updraft volunteered and trotted over next to the injured rookie, closely followed by Aileron. While they discussed something, Soarin flew over to Spitfire and quietly asked, "What happened to termination?"

She whispered back, "I can't prove it- at least not without her saying it really happened."

"But I did feel her run into me."

"We still don't know if it was purposeful or not though," Spitfire argued back, raising her voice to almost her normal speaking volume. "If it really wasn't, we just kicked somepony out on a random accusation from a pony I honestly can't believe."

Luckily, Aileron and Updraft were far too busy figuring out how they would get Vector back to the city to care what she was saying. The only problem Soarin could see in the situation was that Spitfire couldn't trust Updraft farther than she could throw him, which - even as strong as she was - couldn't be very far.

"He's not that bad," he tried to convince her, "I mean, sure he was a little bull-headed at first, but he's gotten better, right?"

"I still can't believe anything he says. He's just so... distant."

Soarin could believe that. Ever since he came in to practice the first day, he had noticed that Updraft didn't talk much; when he did, it was usually to remind the other rookies to be sensible in the face of confusing circumstances. In fact, he had almost been perfectly sane-minded when the spell had hit over two weeks ago.

Now that he thought about it, Updraft did seem rather cold when it came to his interactions with the other rookies on the team. He was never the social one, and Soarin could almost see Spitfire's point about not being able to trust him.

"Okay, fine- but maybe you should get to know him first."

While Spitfire tried to think of a way to stay away from Updraft, she glanced around at various things in the track. Walls, seats, even checking the sun, after which she came to a shocking realization. "Soarin, didn't you want to eat before the meeting?"

"Sure. We ended practice early enough for it, didn't we?"

"Yeah," Spitfire answered, trying to find one of the few clocks scattered around the training ground. "I'm pretty sure, anyway."

Soarin flew over to the mare's shower room, looking for the clock he knew was in there. He quickly found it on the far wall, and realized that they still had about an hour and a half before the meeting with the other parents-to-be that night.

"So... probation?" a female voice asked from out of nowhere. Soarin whirled around to find that Cross had either followed him in or caught him while he wasn't paying attention.

"She went light on you. Trust me, I know when I'm being pushed."

"So why didn't you say anything?"

Soarin almost couldn't believe that she wasn't understanding what he was trying to get at. "What else? You keep that secret to yourself, or I tell the Captain that you did it purposely."

"You can't be serious!"

"Look, she doesn't need ponies spreading rumors about her," Soarin elaborated. "Especially about things like that."

Cross gave her superior a confused look just as he realized his worst mistake yet. "So she's not... oh ponyfeathers. Please don't tell m-"

Soarin silently cursed his choice of words as he admitted, "So now you know what's really going on."

"Well it looks like I've been a real jerk lately. Sorry about everything these last few days."

Soarin almost couldn't believe his ears. Cross was actually apologizing for what she had done, especially after she had yelled at him, refused the following apology, and injured a teammate after trying to get revenge on him.

"Are you serious?"

"Why wouldn't I be? I had to learn what it was like back when I was still in school. If you'd just told me we could have avoided all of this."

"Well," Soarin began, trying to think of an argument as to why he couldn't have told her. "How awkward is it telling somepony you're pregnant when you're not even a mare?"

"But-"

"You know what I meant," Soarin interrupted, predicting what she was about to say. "Seriously, that's about as bad as it gets."

When they both heard the door open, Cross went back to the showers. Spitfire rounded the corner on the other end and approached Soarin curiously. "What's taking so long? We don't have forever to eat, and most of the restaurants on the upper levels are pretty slow."

"Alright, I'm coming."

========

After a long and tiring search, Soarin and Spitfire decided that none of the restaurants they saw looked any good. While there were much more lower-class restaurants on the bottom level, that required a bit more flying than Spitfire believed her... coltfriend could handle in his condition. Since it would take far too long to walk there, they simply decided to make their way up toward the castle.

Soarin quickly took a large lead, and Spitfire called after him, "Hey, could you slow down?"

He realized that he would have to move slower, and stopped in his tracks in one of the most unfortunate spots he could have ever chosen. A little filly charged out of one of the buildings and ran up to Soarin, staring at him with wonder and astonishment.

"Mister wonderbolt?"

Just then, Soarin recognized her from earlier that month. The golden-coated pegasus filly before him was definitely the one that had asked for his autograph two weeks ago- and the one whose parents he had offered free tickets to their next show. Before he knew what was happening, another pegasus mare with a similar coat to the filly ran out into the street.

"Harvest, get back here please?" It must have been her mother, because when Harvest got back to her, she started scolding her lightly. "You know it's not safe to wander up next to strangers."

"Uh, ma'am?"

The mare turned to face him, curious about just who this strange mare was. Soarin tried his best to explain, "I know I don't look like it, but I'm actually a friendly pony. I don't think I'd ever want to hurt your daughter."

"Well, that doesn't make much of a difference in the lesson," she argued back, ushering the filly back toward the door. "Though I'm terribly sorry about her bothering you. She's just an extreme fan of your performances, along with my... husband."

There was something about the way she said it that threw Soarin for a confused loop, until he realized just who this mare must have been. His suspicions were confirmed with a darker green earth pony mare with a short blonde mane appeared in the doorway to receive Harvest. Just as she looked up and saw Soarin, she waved to him. "Well, this is quite a surprise, eh?"

"Grain..." Soarin sighed to himself. Ever since the meeting three days ago, he had been trying to schedule things for them to do together during any free time the pegasus had. It had only started getting annoying, but there was always the chance that he would offer to do something, which put Soarin on edge almost every time he saw him.

Luckily, Spitfire caught up to him a few seconds afterward and helped ease the palpable tension coming from him. Otherwise, he would probably have just chosen to ignore her.

"So, you two wouldn't mind coming in and getting some dinner with us, would you?"

A rumbling sound came from Soarin's gut, betraying his desire for food. Spitfire stepped in and answered, "I'm pretty sure we could go for a little something, just as long as it's not too much to ask."

"Of course it isn't. Who would we be to turn down dinner with you two?"

Soarin flashed Spitfire an angry look, and after Grain turned around, she mouthed, "Just go with it."

He sighed and decided there was no getting out of it now. It seemed he would be eating dinner with a major fan of the Wonderbolts- something he had been trying to avoid for most of his career.

It wasn't that he didn't like his fans, in fact, it was quite the opposite. Soarin was actually one of the most social members of the team. The only problem came up when fans wanted to get too personal with him.

Nevertheless, he followed Spitfire and Grain into the house without much apprehension. Once they were inside, Grain slipped past both of them and closed the door with a quiet click. "The dining room is through the first door on your left. I think Drift will have the food ready in a few minutes."

The two pegasi entered the specified room and found a table set with three plates, glasses, and full sets of silverware. It quickly became clear that their invitation had been spur of the moment as Grain's wife came into the room carrying two extra plates in her mouth and set them on the table.

"If we're intruding, j-" Soarin began to say, trying to get out of the situation, before he was interrupted by Drift.

"It's fine. I'm just glad he's found ponies he can talk to."

"What do you mean?" Spitfire asked her. "He's been awfully open with us..."

"Huh... that's new; he's actually pretty quiet most of the time."

Soarin could tell that both he and Spitfire had trouble believing this mare on something they hadn't seen, but then again, she was married to Grain. She would know the most about him.

Somepony had to break the silence, so Soarin asked the only thing that came to mind. "So what's cooking?"

"Well," Drift chuckled, "I can see you must be hungry. It's a lemon grass casserole with white wine sauce."

"Well it definitely smells good," Soarin commented, sniffing at the deliciously scented air. Just the name of the dish elicited another embarrassing rumble from his stomach. He blushed as Drift giggled at the perfectly timed reaction.

Just then, Harvest walked into the room and asked her mother, "Mom, when is dinner gonna be ready? I'm starving!"

"Just a few more minutes, sweetie," Drift answered, leaning down to nuzzle her little filly before pushing her back toward the door. "Why don't you go clean your room or something?"

"But Mom... I'm hungry!"

Soarin couldn't help but snicker at Harvest's behavior, partly because she acted like any other filly or colt, but mostly because he used to pull a similar act himself when he was younger. Granted, he usually did whatever his parents suggested when they offered him something to do, but it still brought back memories.

"Why don't you have your dad tell you a story then? I'm sure he has something you haven't heard yet."

"Okay..."

After she left - most likely to ask her dad for something to distract her - Spitfire commented, "You sure seem good with kids."

"Trust me, it was hard at first. She wasn't the easiest foal to take care of." She then addressed Soarin directly, "Believe me when I say it's going to take a lot of work the first few months."

"Well that's good to know..." Soarin said, letting a bit of his worry slip into his voice. "At least we're not going in blind now."

Spitfire wrapped her wing around Soarin and tried to comfort him. "Hey, whatever happens, I'll make sure to help whenever I can."

The three of them were suddenly jolted out of their trains of thought when an egg timer in the kitchen buzzed. Drift entered the kitchen, coming out about a minute later with a potholder wrapped around the handle of the casserole dish sticking out of her mouth. Once she set it down on the table, she went back inside the kitchen and returned with a sauce pan full of a thick white substance.

Soarin licked his lips hungrily as she poured the wine sauce over the already delicious looking casserole. All his inhibitions vanished when he realized that Drift seemed to be was a great cook. As long as the food was good, it wouldn't matter that they were eating with fans.

Spitfire must have picked up on the way he was looking at the food, because she nudged his shoulder and commented, "Wipe the drool off your face, okay?"

Soarin snapped out of it in an instant, wiping at his chin to remove the saliva that wasn't really there. When he realized this, he flashed Spitfire a judging look that she was sure to recognize.

"Smells great, honey," Grain said, entering the dining room with Harvest in tow. "Just take a seat anywhere," he said to the two Wonderbolts.

They sat on one edge of the table, and Grain took the end with one plate, leaving Drift and Harvest to get the opposite side. Grain dug in to the food first, dishing himself a sizable piece of the casserole, closely followed by his wife and filly. As Soarin and Spitfire served themselves some, Drift mentioned, "That reminds me, Grain told me you were practicing with some new recruits."

"We are," Spitfire replied, giving a light smirk. "But that's all I can tell you without having to kill you." The family of three all looked at her incredulously, shocked expressions on their faces. "Oh Princesses, it was a joke."

"Okay..." Drift murmured, "So anyway, what's it like not being able to fly with them?"

"I'm sorry... what?"

"Sorry, I really need to learn to speak up," Drift said, reiterating her question from before. "What's it like not flying with them?"

"Why shouldn't he be?" Spitfire asked, her tone one of obvious worry.

"Well, we were actually planning on having another foal, so I did some research. It turns out that their magic is absorbed shortly after conception." She gave Soarin an awkward look and asked him, "You did know that, right?"

"But what does that have to do with me not flying?"

"Everything," Drift almost shouted. "Flying too much can stunt the growth of your foal."

Soarin, who had a fork-full of food balanced in his hoof, almost dropped it. Spitfire simply sat there with her mouth hanging open in shock. She finally found the urge to speak after a long pause, during which the only sound was the clinking of silverware on plates as Grain and Harvest continued to eat.

"Stunted? Please tell me that's not true."

Grain finally got involved in the conversation after finishing the last bite of the food of his plate. "I saw it myself; it looks awfully official."

"But that can't be right!" Soarin denied, having trouble accepting what he knew was wrong. "Magic absorption doesn't happen until the second month..."

"That was the old view. The research department Princess Celestia has assigned to our case sent out a letter about it earlier today."

"But why wouldn't they mention that right away?"

"Mom, what do you mean?" The three older pegasi glanced at Harvest, and her mother chuckled to herself.

"You'll know in a few years, sweetie," she told her daughter. "Now finish your food so I can get the dessert out."

Harvest returned her focus to the rest of the casserole on her plate, and Drift took up their conversation from where they had left off. "It's not a new discovery," she explained, chewing and swallowing a bite of her dinner between statements. "In fact, I think it was done about a year ago. They just found it again and realized that we would need to know about it."

"You've got to be kidding me," Soarin groaned, massaging a temple with his hoof. "They just send this out now?"

Spitfire wrapped her wing around the back of Soarin's chair and tried comforting him. "Hey, at least we know about it now."

"But I've been training with them for weeks now. What if it's never going to fly because of my mistake?"

Drift leaned over the table in their direction and added, "The good news is it's only been a few weeks. If they're right, the process lasts until birth."

Now that he knew that little snippet of information, Soarin could almost relax. Sure, he would have to give up flying with the recruits during training, which might give away everything he had tried to hide from them, but it was worth it if it meant the foal could fly properly.

"Now who's ready for dessert?" Drift asked all of them, slipping out of her chair and heading in the direction of the kitchen. As she brought out a delicious looking cherry pie with one of the flakiest crusts he had ever seen, Soarin groaned to himself. As good as it looked, he just wasn't hungry anymore.

Author's Note:

And there's the dramatic reveal, all packaged up in a nice 4000+ word chapter. In other news, I've written the longest chapter ever in my career as a fanfiction writer with this one.

Also, for those of you still reading this, I'm offering up a potential sequel to you guys if you want it. All you have to do is check my blog for the idea and PM me if you want to do it.

Comments ( 4 )

*Cough*

...I don't want to sound petty, but haven't you forgotten something?

Still, a bit abrupt an end... but if you already have a sequel in the works it... uh, works.

3864514
This isn't the end. There's still going to be about fifteen more chapters, plus an epilogue.

I don't know where you got that idea, but it's definitely not true.
-SoI

Poor Soarin' going to have cut back on his training, it seems :pinkiegasp:

3864784
Where is the next fifteen chapters :fluttercry:

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