A Loving Angel

by TheWingman

First published

An expecting Celestia finds a troubled student in need of help, even if he's resistant.

Seven months after a one-night stand, Principal Celestia is awaiting the arrival of her child. When she and Luna find a student in need of help, his resistance to their offers worries them. With great reluctance, they resort to unconventional methods to find the cause of his troubles. However, his situation would require intervention and a great change to their household.

Contains: Bouts of jealousy, drama, and drug references

Cover Art by MyFavoritePreggoPics

1. By Any Means...

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“Hmph, always with the mundane tasks.”

Pen in hand and paperwork on the desk, Principal Celestia of Canterlot High began signing away her daily round of paperwork. As principal, it felt like familiar territory from her days as a history teacher. There were times that she wished to go back to her old occupation but the school board saw her fit to be principal. Still, it gave her something to do and she didn’t want to be a slouch.

Finishing up one stack, she moved onto another but was stopped by a sudden kick from within her. Glancing down, she rubbed her round belly, calming the life within her, no doubt wanting to meet its mother. She began to hum a calming melody as she took a moment away from her work. It was two months away from its arrival and Celestia couldn’t be happier. But, an underlying sadness crept up and changed her smile to a frown.

Celestia sighed. “Chalk it up to a one night stand for a woman to end up like this.” Celestia groaned as she stared out towards the sunlit landscape. “Since that jackass can’t take responsibility, it’ll be just you, me, and Auntie Luna.”

The door creaked open and through it entered Luna, Celestia’s younger sister. Noticing her sister’s unease, she walked over and rested a hand on her shoulder. Ever since their parents died years ago, they were inseparable. They even live under one roof together in some quiet suburb. When it was known to her that her eldest sister was pregnant, she didn’t hesitate to offer her assistance in raising her future niece or nephew.

“Still feeling stressed out, sister?” Luna asked, “All that stress isn’t good for the baby.”

“I know. I just wished that guy hadn’t skipped town and took responsibility. Before you ask, I’m going on maternity leave after next week for sure.” Celestia sighed.

“Well, a little R & R would help calm your nerves.”

“True.” Celestia sighed as she sat on her seat, stressed and tired. “When I found out I was pregnant, I contemplated giving it up when it was born until you stepped in and offered help. After that, I knew that I really wouldn’t give it up for the world.” Without warning, Luna leaned down and gave her older sister a hug.

“I know you’ll be a great mother because you took the reins when mom and dad died in that accident years ago.” Rubbing her hand on her sister’s belly, she felt a kick from the life within. She smiled that possibly knew who she was. “I can certainly tell that it’s eager to meet you.”

“Sometimes, I consider you to be wiser than I am. So, what do you need?”

“Apart from that short scuffle during B-Lunch, that one student got caught napping in class again.”

“Gemini Blaze?” For a while, the principals knew about the senior student. About two weeks ago, he had trouble staying awake during classes. It shocked them because they saw him as a great student with nice grades. Even more so, he's been socially withdrawn, possibly as a result of his fatigue. As of late, it has become a cause of concern for them. “So, you'll be going to bring him here then?”

“No, I've already sent a referral to Mr. Discord about him. Once C-Lunch is over, he'll be sent over here.”

“Good,” Celestia said, laying back in her chair. “Hopefully, we can help him with his issues.”

Several minutes later, the final lunch bell rang throughout the halls. The sounds of the students chattering filled the air. Soon, the doorknob turned and the door opened. Through it entered a male, average build, six foot tall, light-sand colored skin and ocean blue hair in a crew cut. His face looked tired and weary. They knew right away that he was Gemini Blaze.

“Ah, Mr. Blaze, we’ve been expecting you.” Celestia warmly greeted, gesturing at the couch. “Please, make yourself comfortable.” Gemini complied as he sat down. His face was filled with exhaustion and worry.

“Am I in trouble?” He meekly asked.

“Not really,” Luna spoke up. “We’re just concerned that some of your teachers said that they’ve seen you napping during class time for the past few weeks.” Immediately, Gemini’s eyes lit up with shock and visible panic, concerning the two principals. They began to suspect something was up.

“I-I’m sorry!” He stuttered; eyes glancing from side to side. “I swear it won’t happen again.”

“Don’t fret. We’re not mad at you in the slightest.” As the senior student hanged his head in shame, Celestia took a seat next to him and began rubbing his back. It felt calm and relaxing but did little to ease his nerves. “Look, I’m not lying when I say that you’re a great student. You have some amazing grade marks and to jeopardize that so close to graduation worries us. Please, allow us to help you. Could it be something going on at home?”

The last bit made Gemini freeze in place and his heart skip a beat. How did they suspect that it was the case? The fear and shock made him bread a few drops of sweat. He knew that they were right on point but to get his parents involved was the last thing he wanted. It was bad enough that he had to put up with stress on the homefront.

“N-No, ma’am.” He stuttered, “I swear… it’s really nothing at home, honest.” The teachers took a good look at him and knew he wasn’t telling the truth. His posture, eyes, body language, and speech patterns all betray his words. Having a bachelor's degree in psychology, Luna knew that right away. “I swear it’s the truth.”

“Mr. Blaze, I don’t mean to sound antagonistic when I say that you aren’t being honest.” Luna said, kneeling in front of him and visibly concerned, “Look, we aren’t mad at you in the slightest. We’re just concerned about your wellbeing. I know that you’ve been working jobs on the weekends and I suspect that might be a sign that things at home aren’t going well. Please, let us help you so you’ll be able to graduate.”

Visibly uncomfortable, Gemini began to fidget around. He felt like he was being pressured by the principals to answer truthfully. Though he recognized their intentions were noble, the back of his mind felt that they wouldn’t be able to do anything about his plight.

“Celestia, Luna," Gemini sighed, "I know you all mean well and want to help me.” Gemini said, “It’s just that… I don’t want to put any of you in a position where you all won’t be able to do anything.”

“What? Look, trust us when we say that we have your best interests at heart. We want to do all we ca-”

“LOOK! I UNDERSTAND YOU WANT TO HELP BUT YOU JUST CAN’T!” The outburst visibly shook Celestia and Luna. His face spelled frustration, desperation, and fear. “YOU JUST… can’t.” He hung his head once more before getting up with his backpack in tow. As much as they tried to stop him, Celestia and Luna recognized that further aggravating him would not be wise. “Now, I have to get done with the rest of my day so I can go home and get some rest. I have work tomorrow.”

Neither of them said anything as Gemini walked out, not even a whisper. Why would he act so hostile to offers of help? What did he have to hide?

“I just don’t understand, Tia.” Sighed Luna. “For sure, we now know that it’s a home issue with him. But yet, he’s resistant.”

“Yes.” Celestia agreed with a worried frown, “But in him, I sensed fear and apprehension… like he’s ashamed of something.”

“Well, we might’ve just rendered any opportunities to confront him directly impossible.”

“I can see that. But still, we have to keep trying. We do have that dinner with Dean Cadance at our place tonight. Maybe we can ask her what she’d do.”

“I hope you’re right, Tia. I hate to see that kid’s future crash and burn before it begins.”

Later that night…


A knock was heard to which Celestia answered. Opening the door, she was greeted by a warm smile and embrace from Dean Cadance. Despite running the roost for rival schools, both of them got along outside of work. There were many times where she, Luna, Celestia, and Cinch would find time for a get-together or just to hang out.

“Celestia,” Cadance sang, breaking the hug, “how are you?”

“I’m doing okay,” Celestia replied. “Just ending another busy work week.” As Celestia rubbed her belly, Cadance took notice and rubbed it as well with her friend’s approval. She remembered the first time she became a mother through Flurry Heart and felt the same anxiety her colleague. “I have two months left and I’m just so excited.”

“Hmm, you remind me of when I was pregnant with Flurry Heart.” Cadance giggled, retracting her hand. The gesture made Celestia smile, knowing her colleagues support her as well. “So eager yet anxious, I can see in your eyes that you’ll be a great mother.”

“Thank you, Mia. I wished Cinch would have joined us. It seems that she’s always busy nowadays.”

“Well, you know how she usually is. She honestly needs to take herself away from work and enjoy life. There is such a thing as overworking.”

“True. True.”

“Tia, Mia,” Luna called out from the kitchen. “Dinner is ready!” Coming from the kitchen, Luna carried a pan of spaghetti carbonara bake. Since her youth, Luna was taught by Celestia to cook. The favorite food they like to make was Italian. Since her sister’s pregnancy, Luna took over the cooking duties. “Come on you two! Hurry before it gets cold.”

All throughout dinner, the three principals ate the comforting meal. Celestia, in her pregnancy, had extra helpings. They shot the breeze about various topics such as work and family. Lighthearted and joyful, many laughs were shared. As much as she wanted to enjoy it, Celestia’s talk with the student couldn’t escape her mind. As any principal would, she worried about what was troubling him as did Luna.

“And that’s why Shining refuses to eat shrimp, ever again!” Cadance laughed as she took a sip of her cider. “Now the very sight of it scares him!”

“Amusing,” Luna replied, taking another bite from her plate, “here I thought that Shining Armor would be normally stoic.”

“Well, he is but he isn’t completely that way. But, I still love my Shining.” As Cadance took a sip of her drink, she noticed Celestia looking down at her plate, twirling the remaining pasta with a frown. She grows concerned about her colleague’s mood. “Tia, why are you upset? Is something bothering you?” Having been wanting to talk about the issue with her, Celestia let out a sigh and nudged her plate away.

“Well Mia,” Celestia started, “have you ever dealt with problem students who would refuse help, even though they show that they need it?”

“I’ve dealt with that a few or so times. Sometimes, it takes a bit of perseverance but they’ll eventually relent. Why?”

“There’s this student of mine named Gemini Blaze. As of late, his teachers have seen him dozing off in class.”

“I see. Did you try talking with him personally?”

“We did.” Luna continued. “However, he was adamant on not telling us. When we asked him if it had something to do with his home life, he snapped at us and left, saying something about work. From there, we knew the root of the issue was at home.”

“Are you going to talk to him again tomorrow, Tia?”

“I think that’s going to be out of the cards, I’m afraid. We both agreed that we’ve scared him off from us.” Celestia sighed with exhaustion, “We’ve figured that since you’ve had more experience in that regard, you would give us some advice on how we can help him.”

Taking a momentary pause, Cadance pondered their situation. Having been the Dean of Crystal Prep for some time, she got familiar with some of the behaviors a student would exhibit. However, she recognized that one would need to resort to some less than appealing methods to get stuff accomplished. If it’s for the sake of a student, she wouldn’t fret about drawbacks.

“Tia,” Cadance spoke up, “There’s a Latin phrase that my grandfather would often quote: “Extremis Malis Extrema Remedia”. It roughly means “Desperate times call for desperate measures”.”

“Mia, what are you hinting at?” Celestia asked.

“Well, I’m saying that you might have to resort to some ‘unconventional’ methods if he’s spooked as you say. Since his problem lies at the homefront, start from there.” Right away, Luna knew what Cadance implied. Never would she consider such a thing.

“Mia, you’re talking about spying, aren’t you!” Luna gasped in shock.

“Yes, Luna. I’m not going to sugarcoat it either. If the issue with the student lies at the homefront, you’ll need to start with his parents, follow them around for a day.”

“Be that as it may, I just find the idea to be wrong. Tia, what do you think?” On many occasions, Luna relied Celestia for guidance. For things that pertained to emotional or occupational issues, she would be there with some pearls of wisdom. While her mind objected to such an idea, her heart compelled her to do the right thing, even if it meant resorting to amoral methods. She was torn and didn’t know what to do.

“Luna, Cadance might have a point.” Celestia said to her sister’s astonishment. “We know that confronting Gemini would be too difficult now. Though it’s morally gray, I honestly see no other option. I want to see that student graduate.”

Luna sighed internally as her sister said her piece. Like her sister, she too held the same concern for the student. Though she’s more orderly than her sister, her heart would sometimes override her judgement. After a moment of thought, she concluded that it was the only way they’ll find out what was wrong. For her, the welfare of a student held greater importance than her morals.

“Okay, Tia.” Luna conceded to her sister’s smile, “I would say that starting midday Monday would be the most optimal time to start.”

“Okay, Luna.” She replied with a hand on her sister’s shoulder, “You’ve made the right decision. I’ll be be absent from school tomorrow so I-”

“Tia, no!” Luna interrupted, “I’ve checked his file. The part of town he lives in is not among the nicest places to live. It’s a high crime area. In your condition, I much rather not have you put yourself and your unborn child at risk.”

“But I-”

“But nothing, sister! Though we’re doing this, this is one condition I’m not going to compromise on.”

“Fine, you win.” Celestia sighed with a frown, “I’ll go into work on Monday while you trail his parents. I hope you can handle it.”

“You don’t need to worry about me, Tia. Of all the times I was picked on during high school, I’ve learned to defend myself. Just go to work and I’ll report to you if I find anything. I assure you that I can take care of myself.”

“Luna, thank you for your help.” With a sisterly embrace, Luna and Celestia bid Cadance farewell as dusk fell upon the town. With the weekends to begin, it would be a good time for the sisters to calm their minds and prepare for their investigation. The one thing they hoped for was that whatever they’ll find would be something in their power to help with.

2. Intervention

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“Goodbye, Luna! I’ll see you after work!”

“Same here, Tia! Just remember to take things easy!”


Just like that, Celestia got in her van and drove off to work. As she watched from the windows, Luna took a sigh and she sipped her morning brew. Though her sister was going to be alone, she was certain that Celestia would be in a less stressful situation. For her, it was relief that her sister would be safe.

“Mia, I hope you’re right on this.” Luna muttered as she made her way to the bathroom, “Hopefully, we can help this student.” As she got cleaned up, she thought of what to wear to better blend in with a neighborhood. She then remembered that she had a hoodie that she rarely wore and a pair of sunglasses she favored. After clean up, it was just a matter of having her things gathered and worn.

“Hmmm, this could work.” She mused as she looked in the mirror, “At least I won’t stick out like a sore thumb that much.” After she pocketed her house keys and phone, she walked out and hailed a nearby taxi. The address she gave the driver was a short distance from Gemini’s house.

As they drove into the neighborhood, the atmosphere became immediately apparent. Abandoned buildings, broken windows, it wasn’t an ideal place to start a family. No sooner than when she got out of the cab did Luna see a man and a woman walk out of the house. Luna recognized them right away from the times they came in for parent teacher conferences. As they walked up the street, Luna kept a reasonable distance as she followed them.

Turning a corner, she peeked from behind a building as she observed their movements. With every moment, her heart pounded over the risk of getting caught. Adrenaline coursed through her veins with every second passed. Yet, she kept her cool and she had to.

Eventually, the couple turned into an alley as Luna watched on. With a quick thought, she climbed a ladder to the roof of a nearby abandoned building. From there, she had a bird’s eye view of them. As they stopped, Luna turned her phone on and recorded an exchange between the two and some shady looking man in a hoodie. What she saw next made her freeze in place. The couple handed the man a stack of cash in exchange for a sizeable bag. From a glance, its contents had a blue color.

“Holy shit!” Luna gasped internally, “I can’t fucking believe this!” Soon after the exchange, the couple walked off but Luna remained hidden until she was certain all was clear. She couldn’t believe it yet it all made sense to her. His tiredness, his reluctance to talk about it; Gemini Blaze had been working to keep his family afloat while they indulged in their drug addiction. As she gathered her thoughts, Luna immediately called her sister.

“Hello?” Celestia answered.

“Tia, it’s me.” Luna worriedly replied, “I’ve finished my investigation.”

“What did you find?”

“I can’t believe I’m saying this but his parents are drug addicts.”

“What?! Are you absolutely certain?”

“As the sunrise, Tia. I just saw them hand a stack of cash to some guy for a bag of meth!”

“Oh dear.” Luna sensed the worry in her voice, “Alright, was his car at the house?”

“No. Why?”

“He’s here at the school and it's his lunch period. I don’t see his car in the student lot either. I can only assume his friend Flash Sentry brought him here and-” For a brief moment, there was silence before an audible gasp was heard. “You don’t think they?”

“Could be.” Luna replied, “I can only imagine how much that stack of money was and how they got it. What should we do?”

“Come to the school.” Celestia somberly replied, “We’ll perform a wellness check after the students leave. Fortunately, I’ve got the daily paperwork done. If we have to, we’ll let him live with us.”

“Very well.” Luna Replied as she returned to street level, “I’ll see you when I get there. Love you.”

“Love you too, sis.” Luna sighed as she hung up the call, “This day is going to get stressful really quick.”

The final bell of the day had rung and the students left the school in droves. From their office, Celestia and Luna watched as the students left for home. Among the crowds, they noticed Gemini Blaze looking exhausted. Turning away, Celestia wore a frown as she was now aware of his situation.

“There he is, Luna.” Celestia sighed, “I just can’t believe it even after seeing that video.”

“I know, sis.” Luna agreed with a pat on her sister’s shoulder, “Stuff like that honestly makes me wonder why would anyone stoop that low.”

“Well, whatever their thoughts are, we have to help him out. Come, let’s get going.” With a nod, they got in their van and left the school. As they drove through the downtown suburban area, the sight of dilapidated buildings unsettled the expecting principal but strengthened her resolve to remove him from a dangerous situation. When they reached the house, their ears were met with a loud argument that came from inside.

“I honestly want to know why you both did it!”

“No! NO! Don’t try to spin this to where it’s my fault!”

“Oh dear,” Celestia muttered, “he’s found out about it.” As they sat in the van, they listened on as the argument got louder and more intense.

“You don’t understand! I needed that car to get to work! I PAY THE DAMN BILLS WHILE YOU BOTH SMOKE THAT POISON!”

“How about this: Shouldn’t me working my hands to the bone have been a wakeup call to you two?!”



What happened next was a short period of silence that was broken by a symphony of loud crashes and screams. Shortly afterward, a battered Gemini in a hoodie tumbled through the front door with two bags in tow. Immediately, Celestia and Luna knew what went on. As he got up, he turned to the house and screamed a litany of curses before walking away.

“Oh goodness,” Luna gasped, “they just tossed him out like garbage?”

“Yep,” Celestia replied as she gripped the wheel, angered, “and now I’ve seen everything.”

With a shift of the gears, Celestia turned the van around and began to follow him. Eventually, they saw him on a bench alone with his sight glued to the grass. The sisters parked a ways away from his bench so as to not spook him. Now they had him at a vulnerable moment and he would be more willing to talk.

“Okay Luna,” Celestia sighed as she rubbed her midsection, “Mia’s plan worked and he’s vulnerable now.”

“As much as I wouldn’t like to admit it, It all worked out.” Luna agreed, “So, which one of us is going to talk to him?”

“I’ll do it.” Celestia said as she left the van, “I think he’ll be more receptive to me.”

“Fair enough.”

Celestia walked across the grass toward the bench. Though she suspected that he was aware of her, the way he stood still was a sign that he didn’t care. Gemini sat there silently sobbing as the summer wind blew against his face. Taking a seat next to him, Celestia saw his brows twitch, sign that he was now aware of her. With a sigh and a nod, Gemini began to talk.

“I’m guessing by now you know everything.” He muttered as Celestia rubbed his back. With every pass, he felt his body release its tension. It felt good, warm, and full of love.

“We do.” Celestia gently replied, “We’ve even heard the argument between you and your parents.” As she put an arm on his shoulders, she felt him shake with ever hitch in his voice. “I’m sorry they treated you like that.”

“Ms. Celestia, I…”

“Before you say anything, I won’t allow you to ref-”

“Help me.” His words shocked the principal, not the words she expected him to say. As she glanced at his face, Celestia registered four emotions: Betrayal, Pain, Sadness, and Fatigue. He’d been through a lot to keep his family afloat while they engaged in self-destruction. Now, he was past the breaking point and with nowhere else to go. “Please, help me.” Then, as if compelled by her motherly instincts, Celestia gave Gemini a quick hug before giving him a warm smile, something that made him feel safe.

“Come.” Celestia got up with his hand in hers, “You can stay at our place.”

“What? A-are you sure you could do that?”

“I can and I will. Even if the school board takes an issue with that, I’ll clear it up with them. Now, let’s go home.”

At first hesitant, Gemini reluctantly agreed as he had no other options on hand. He loaded his bags into the van before they departed the park. As they left the area, Gemini took a mental sigh of relief as he left his neighborhood for good. Still, part of him wished he could’ve done more to help his family. For the rest of the ride, he remained silent.

As they pulled up to the driveway, Gemini was in awe at how beautiful it looked, much better than his old place. Though smaller than he expected, he knew that it would be comfy to stay. As soon as he walked in, he dropped his bags at the sight of a warm and welcoming interior. If it was the place he’d be staying in for the foreseeable future, he wasn’t going to complain. Home sweet home, he finally escaped from his troubles.

“I’ll go ahead and get one of the spare bedrooms ready for you.” Luna sang as she grabbed his bags, “Why don’t you go relax on the couch. After a nap, we can go get some dinner.”

“Okay, I guess.” Gemini sighed as he relaxed on the couch. Celestia joined him as his mind began to be lulled into a near blissful state. She was relieved that he’s now safe and sound yet still worried about him. “Ms. Celestia, about the other day, I’m… I’m sorry about how I’ve acted.”

“No need to apologize, Gemini.” Celestia said with a smile. “I understood that you were stressed by your problems.”

“But still, it wasn’t right that I’ve acted that way.” As she placed a hand on his shoulder, Celestia felt the last bits of his resistance melt away. She hummed a relaxing tune as tears welled up in his eyes. All he felt in that moment was love, something he’d been without for some time.

“Gemini,” Celestia said as she gingerly stroked his cheek, “it’s okay. We all know why you’ve been stressed out. But what matters now is that you’re safe. Don’t feel ashamed about it. Everything is going to be alright, I swear it.” The reassurance in her voice, he felt it was sincere, with meaning. Bit by bit, his emotional barriers disintegrated until nothing was left. Nothing was going to stop the tidal wave of emotions.

Without warning, Gemini lunged at her and wrapped his principal in a hug. Caught off guard at first, Celestia eventually returned it as he began to tear up in her shoulder. From his position, the side of her warm and soft belly made contact with his. It felt relaxing to the touch as its soothing warmth radiated to his body. Slowly but surely, he grew more relaxed as his embrace became more relaxed and a slight smile developed.

“Mr. Blaze, your bed is ready. Why don’t you go and take a-” As Luna walked in, she momentarily paused as she saw the scene. A warm smile crept on her face as she allowed the hug to go on for a few more moments. She could tell that Gemini sorely needed it and she would’ve given him one. “Come, you need some rest. Later on we’ll be going out to eat. And also, don’t worry about school tomorrow. Take a mental health day.”

“Okay, Ms. Luna.” Gemini sighed as he walked into his new room, letting out a big yawn as he peacefully rested upon his bed. At last, he caught a break. Both Luna and Celestia smiled as she silently shut the door, letting him have some quiet.

“Tia,” Luna whispered, “You did the right thing with him.”

“I did?” Celestia asked back.

“Of course, silly. What you did further proved to me that you’ll be a great mother. I’ve seen it in your eyes.”

Deep down, Celestia knew her sister was right but she never doubted her. Over time as her pregnancy advanced, her maternal instincts heightened ever so high. As it grew, so did it seeped into her personality. Already a kind and caring woman, it became more pronounced with her impending motherhood.

“Thank you, sister.” She said as they had a short hug before going back into the living room to discuss dinner plans.

Gemini laid in his new bed, comfortable and at peace. It was the most comfortable he’d been in a long time. Quiet and tranquil, the atmosphere of his new room felt like heaven. No longer would he worry about his old life and no longer would he suffer the stress of weekend jobs. He was freed from his troubles.

As he slept away, he felt a warm, calming presence blanket over him. Opening his eyes, he beheld an awe inspiring sight. What he saw was an angelic being whose face bore a resemblance to Principal Celestia. His heart skipped a few beats over such a beautiful sight. Every aspect of her, down to even her trademark welcoming smile, was further magnified by her radiance.

She took a seat upon the bed, crawling towards him with a blush. Gemini’s heart raced as her hands touched his cheeks. He was too choked up for words. With a tilt of her head, her lips soft velvety latched onto his followed by an invasion of his mouth from her tongue. His eyes shot wide open but soon closed as he lost himself in the bliss. He held her body close as he fell back to his bed. Dream or not, it felt great, like heaven. She soon broke the kiss as she wore what looked to be a lover’s smile.

“Gemini?” She whispered softly.





Repeatedly, she kept saying his name as he gradually roused from his sleep. Before his woken eyes was the real Principal Celestia, still ever so beautiful. The same smile was displayed upon her face as his vision came to. Though it was a dream, it left an impression on him nonetheless. He didn’t know what to feel about his principal after that dream, whether he considers her as just a friend… or crush.

“Gemini,” Celestia gently said, “we’re about to go out for dinner.” With a smile, Gemini got up and put his hoodie on.

“Can’t wait.”

3. Bad Blood

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With a yawn and a stretch, Gemini woke up as the timer on his alarm read 6 am. The sun was beginning to rise, warming his being with its light. All throughout his body, he felt well-rested, ready to conquer the day. From the mental health day and some much-needed R & R, he was eager to go to school. Everything was right as rain.

Getting a shower and shave, he got his usual attire on, complete with his hoodie with his backpack in tow. With a relieved sigh, his nose caught the attention of something delicious smelling, practically drawing him to the kitchen. What he found made his mouth water. Orange juice, pancakes, bacon, and hashbrowns, it was a freshly cooked breakfast. All of that, courtesy of Luna.

“Morning, Gemini.” Luna sang as she sat with her sister, “I hope you’ve had a good rest.”

“It was something I sorely needed.” He yawned as he stretched his back. “Oh my, this looks good.” He sat down in front of his plate, staring at his food with hunger. “You didn’t really need to do this, Ms. Luna.”

“Oh, come on.” Luna chuckled with Celestia, “We both agreed that this is a perfect way to help start the day.”

“Indeed.” Celestia warmly agreed, “Besides you look rather thin. A nice hot breakfast should warm you up for the day.”

Nodding with a warm smile, Gemini dug into his morning grub. The fluffiness of the pancakes, the crispy hashbrowns, the sweet and salty crunch of the candied bacon, the sweet tanginess of the orange juice, Gemini felt like he was in heaven. The food warmed him to the soul, perking him up. Rarely did he ever had a home-cooked meal.

“Oh god, that was good.” Gemini whispered, “That certainly hit the spot.”

“I’m certainly glad it helped, Gemini.” Luna shot back, “After I get done cleaning up, we can get going.”

After she did what she said, Gemini followed the two principals to their van and drove off towards the school. Gemini didn’t say much during the ride, only a few short acknowledgments. Apart from a hidden crush towards Celestia, he has a great appreciation for her and Luna’s efforts. If it weren’t for them, he shuddered to imagine what would’ve been. All in all, he was happy to be out of a situation that would’ve ended his future. Pulling up to the parking lot, they got out of the car, ready to start a busy day.

“Celestia?” Gemini shyly asked, grabbing the principal’s attention, “I feel as though I’ve not said it enough but… thank you... for everything.” With that, he wrapped Celestia in a warm embrace which she returned. It lasted for a minute before the expecting principal broke it with a smile of her own.

“Gemini,” Celestia said, “we’re just doing our best to look out for you in your situation. The pleasure is all ours. But, you’re welcome.”

With a smile and a nod, all three entered the building, going their separate ways. Gemini went to his locker on the second floor to get his book for his first-hour History class. From what Luna told him, Time Turner was going to cover the Winter War. Placing the book in his pack, he gave a relieved sigh before shutting it, only to be met with a familiar-sounding voice.

“Yo, Gemini!” Turning around, he saw the familiar sight of a blue-haired student wearing a leather jacket. It was his long-time friend, Flash Sentry. The two had been friends since freshman year after a conversation on the track during gym class. Since then, some would say they were almost like brothers. Together, they made up the leadership of the school’s guitar club. “I didn’t see you all day yesterday. What happened?”

“Nothing really.” Gemini sighed as he closed his locker, “I was just too tired to come in yesterday.”

“Really now?” Flash’s face drew an unamused frown. “Your tiredness had been going on for weeks now. Something must be going on.” Seeing his friend’s visible unease, he sighed as he put a hand on his shoulder. “Listen, I understand if you’re upset about something but you shouldn’t have to feel ashamed talking about it. Don’t worry, I won’t judge.” Taking a seat on a nearby bench, Gemini sighed as he relented.

“Things at home aren’t going so well, Flash.” Gemini said, “Between money issues, working weekend jobs, and my car now being taken away, I got kicked out. It was luck that Celestia and Luna found me when they did. Now, it looks like I’ll be staying with them for the foreseeable future.” Flash was a bit shocked as he had a bit of knowledge of his friend’s plight. It was the first time he really opened up to him about what was going on. Yet, he felt that Gemini was holding something back.

“Is there anything else, Gemini?” His question was met with a sigh and a negative nodding.

“No.” Gemini muttered, “Nothing more I want to talk about.”

“Gemini, I understand if you’re uncomfortable about this. I’m not asking you to reveal anything all at once. If you ever need to talk to me, I’m always here for you, buddy.” With a reassuring smile, Gemini gave his friend a brief hug before standing up.

“Thanks, Flash.” Gemini nodded before he walked off to Time Turner’s history class. Since the rest of the class wasn’t there, Gemini was the first one in. His entry was noticed by his teacher who shot him a slight smile.

“Hello there, Mr. Blaze.” Time Turner greeted as he was looking over stacks of papers, “How are you this morning?”

“Well rested, sir.” Gemini casually replied, “Sorry I didn’t come into school yesterday.”

“It’s alright. The principals filled me in on your present situation and I’m sorry things ended the way they did. I’m just pleased that a resolution was able to be found.”

“No need to worry about that.” Gemini said as he sat at his desk, “I make do with what I’ve got.”

“As a teacher, it’s my responsibility to worry about the welfare of my students. You’re no exception.” Time Turner sighed as neatly sorted his stack of papers, “So, ready to learn about the Winter War?”

“More than you can believe, teach.”

Eventually, lunch hour came and Gemini couldn’t be any happier. Now, he no longer felt the need to spend that time catching some rest. Today seemed like a nice and sunny day that he decided to spend it outside with Celestia’s permission. Luna packed him some leftover dinner from last night that was warmed up and kept in a thermal bag: chicken parmesan with angel hair pasta. Eating the still warm meal, he breathed in and out of his nose as the cool summer breeze blew against his skin. It was an absolutely perfect moment for a good day.

Wow, this… It is just perfect. Gemini thought to himself, Nice skies, lunch outside, finally free from all that shit, I can finally breathe now. Yet, one thought lingered at the back of his mind: Celestia. Ever since Wednesday, between her hug and that dream, he had a hard time deciding who she was to him. A guardian or crush, his heart, and mind were torn between the two. All in all, her warm and caring personality was what drew him to her. Celestia, I-I honestly don’t know what to make of her. She’s beautiful yet she acts so mo-

His thoughts were interrupted by a familiar sight, one he hadn’t seen since Monday. Walking up the street in front of the school was his father, Gray Smoke. His disheveled hair and unfocused posture were unmistakable to him. The second their gazes met, they both paused, neither moving a muscle.

“Heh. Well, never expected to find such an ungrateful brat here.” Gray huffed as Gemini stood up. “Still going to this waste of time?”

“I’m still busting my ass to get a diploma so I can be independent.” Gemini growled, “What do you want, father?” Gray Smoke got closer and closer to his son. His eyes looked bloodshot with a noticeable twitch.

“Oh, you already know the answer to that.” Right off the bat, Gemini knew what he was talking about. After kicking him out, he comes to him during school to shake him down like a piggy bank. Every time, he always did as he demanded. Now, he wasn’t going to put up with it again.

“Look, Father, the answer is no. I’ve quit my jobs yesterday and I’m not giving you any money so you could put more of that poison in your body.” Gray’s face changed from a neutral expression to one of anger. He never liked being told no, even by his son. “Didn’t all that meth you bought from selling my car last you that long? Of course not!”

The next thing Gemini knew was that he was being held against the statue by his father. The back of his head hurt from the impact. Seeing his father hold him up against a statue made of concrete shocked him, not as much when he delivered a backhand to his face.

“All right, you little shit.” Gray growled, “I know you have some money! Give it to me right now or you’ll get worse than hurt!” Monday was the moment where he reached his breaking point with him. Coming to his school, a place where he was thought to be safe to shake him down for cash, that was it. No more.

“Fuck you!” His words were met with a punch to his face, knocking him to the ground. His face hurt and he struggled to get up as Gray hovered over him. He was angry that his father would stoop to such lows to fuel his high. He no longer considered him his father, just another junkie. “I’ve had it with you, Gray Smoke! You can go to hell for all I care!”

“Oh, I’ll be meeting you there alright.” Gray raised a foot over Gemini’s face with the intention to stomp his head in. This was it, his father was going to either hurt him badly or worse. He closed his eyes and braced for the inevitable. Before he could, he was interrupted by an audible huff.

“Just what in the hell are you doing?” From the school came Principal Celestia herself. Having watched the beginning of the exchange from her office, she knew there was going to be trouble. “Mr. Smoke, why the hell did you hit your son?

“Because he needs to know his place, ma’am.” Gray snarled. “He disobeys me time and time again and never gives me the money when I ask of it.”

“Ask of it? Really? You call assaulting your son for drug money ‘asking’?” Her words caught the tweaked out adult off guard. How did she know about his drug use unless his son ran his mouth?

“That… is none of your goddamn business, lady.” Gray scoffed, “Now, get lost while I teach my son a lesson.” Celestia would not stand for it one bit. Ever since she became pregnant, her motherly instincts kicked in. Seeing the student that is living under her roof being assaulted by his drug-addled father set off her anger. No one hurts a student on her watch

“That’s just about it!” Celestia blurted out with anger, “Get the hell out of here before I call the cops!”

In his mind, Gray Smoke knew that no one tells him what to do, even some pregnant woman. Turning his attention to her, he knocked her to the grass with a swift backhand, causing her to fall on her side. Though her precious cargo didn’t get hurt, the worst she suffered was a bloody nose. She was honestly surprised that he was motioning to follow it up. However, the sight stirred something inside Gemini.

His anger bubbled to the surface, mixed with a dash of disgust. It sickened him to his core that his father would even attempt to attack a pregnant woman. As his vision became tinted with red and anger, Gray Smoke was fixing to kick Celestia in the stomach, hurting the life yet to be born. For Gemini, that was the last straw, no more.

Without a thought, he tackled his father to the ground before the kick could connect. From there, he wasted no time in assaulting his face with a flurry of punches, all the while shouting a litany of curses. It was like a moment of catharsis for him as the adrenaline and anger were being expended in his assault. Even when his father stopped moving, he still kept on landing blow after blow, bloodying his face. It was only through the calm reassurances and pleas from his principal that he relented.

“Gemini!” Celestia spoke up, “Calm down, it’s over.” As his mind snapped back to reality, he gave Celestia a blank stare bordering on shock. “It’s going to be alright.” Then, his view snapped to the unconscious body of his father, face bloodied and laying on the grass. Processing what he did, he looked to his bloodstained hands as the reality sets in. His head became light as his stomach began to churn. Shortly after, he felt faint as his vision became pitch black, collapsing to the ground.

Are you going to charge him?

No, ma’am. This was a clear case of self-defense and in defense of you. Mr. Smoke was the first to attack.

Thank you, officer. What’ll happen to his father?

Seeing as how he was found with a sizable amount of meth on his person, he’ll be charged with possession along with assault once he recovers. As for his wife, she’s also charged with possession. But, may I ask about your relations to the suspect’s son?

To make a long story short, he was kicked out after his parents sold his car for drug money. We’ve found him at a park and took him in to live with us. He had nowhere else to go.

I see. Very well, that’s all I need to hear for now. Take care, ma’am. I’ll contact you later about any additional details.

You too, officer.

His eyes slowly opened, vision still blurry. While his vision refocused, Gemini deduced that he wasn’t outside but inside the nurse’s office. He laid on a bed, flanked by curtains. Right next to him was Celestia herself, gently stroking the back of his hand. When she noticed his eyes open, hers lit up as she breathed a sigh of relief.

“Gemini, you’re awake.” She whispered as Nurse Redheart walks in holding a clipboard. “How is he?”

“Apart from a minor scrape on the back of his head and a bit of a bloody nose,” Redheart spoke as she flipped through her notes, “He’s going to be fine. Though he fainted, I doubt any of that caused it.” She then looked to Gemini, still shaken and silent about what happened earlier. “Mr. Blaze, are you alright?” Still nothing, not even a response. He just sat there only acknowledging their presence in silence. “Oh dear, he’s still shaken from that.”

“He did just beat his father senseless.” Celestia sighed, “If I had to guess, part of the reason was me.”

“He did nearly injure your unborn child. I think that was why. He does live in your house from what Luna told me. When you both get home, talk to him. He’ll feel better with an ear to vent to.”

Just as Gemini sighed worriedly, Celestia put a hand on the student’s shoulder. He didn’t flinch or anything. He just hung his head as he stood up.

“Gemini, let’s go home.” Muttered Celestia as he just walked out without so much as a sigh. Throughout the car ride, he didn’t say anything even when Celestia tried talking to him. His mind was still in flux over what he did. On one hand, he did what he had to do for him and Celestia yet the knowledge of beating his father to a bloody pulp wracked him with guilt.

Later that night, Gemini sat in his room looking out the window towards the moonlit sky. Though it was nine in the evening, he couldn’t bring himself to sleep. Quite a bit happened to him today and his active mind allowed him no rest. Too much was on his mind. As his rattled mind continued to work, Celestia silently entered the room, gently opening the door.

“Gemini,” Celestia whispered, “why are you still awake? Are you able to sleep?”

“No.” Gemini replied, breaking his silence, “There’s just… so much on my mind.”

“Well, you can talk to me about anything.” She said as she sat down next to her student, “Now, what is troubling you?” With a sigh, Gemini scooched next to his principal and prepared to vent.

“You saw what happened. Want to know why I did it?”

“Yes.” Celestia cooed with genuine concern, “Don’t hold back, let your feelings out.”

“Because…” Gemini started with a noticeable hitch in his voice as tears started to form. “I tried to keep my family afloat, only for them to indulge in their vices! I worked and worked to exhaustion and yet they didn’t even fucking care! NO! All they do is smoke that poison!” As he began to sob, Celestia began to rub his back. It felt good and loving as he never thought before. With a gulp of air, he continued.

“After he punched me to the ground and seeing him hurt you, something inside me just fucking snapped! I couldn’t stand to see him hurt you, especially since you’re… you know! You were so kind to me, giving me a place to stay when I had nowhere else! I just had to defend you from him! It was my fault he hit you!”

The dam of tears had burst and his emotions were released. He was glad that Celestia was alright but deep down, didn’t wish for his father to be locked up. He wanted to have done more for him. Now, he’ll be spending a decade or more behind bars. Most of all, attacking him was something he regretted but was necessary.

Her motherly instincts kicking in once again, Celestia pulled Gemini into a hug. The warmth of her embrace had a calming aura to it as he lightly wrapped his arms around her. Though it wasn’t the first time he got a hug from her, the effects were the same nonetheless. It made him feel as if everything was going to be alright.

“Shhh, calm down.” Celestia whispered, “What’s done is done. I’m safe, you’re safe, I’m here for you now.” Bit by bit, Gemini relaxed as his tears started to dry up. Yet, he didn’t want to leave her arms and the hug they brought. It felt warm, cozy, and right. It wasn’t long before Celestia decided to break the hug. “If there’s something I want you to do, please smile no matter what happens. Be happy for yourself. No matter what happens, I’ll be there for you.”

“Celestia… thank you.” Gemini meekly replied, freed from his sadness. “What are you going to do now?” Celestia sat in silence for a brief moment. Pondering, she decided that it was best to not leave him alone for the night.

Celestia decided to keep on with the hug until she was absolutely sure that Gemini was calmed down. Feeling the rhythm of her heartbeat was enough to lull him into a steadily creeping calm. Instead of tightening his grip on her, he just laid more into her. It simply felt too good for him to leave it. Just a simple gesture can hold a lot of meaning to those who receive it and for Gemini... it was sorely needed.

It also had a bit of an effect on Celestia herself as she too felt the pull of slumber beginning to take her. Though she would've gone to her own bed to sleep, she was much too tired to make the journey. Soon, just as Gemini yawned and shut his eyes, she too let out one of her own and fell back on the bed with Gemini still in her embrace. Just before her own eyes shut, she saw the peaceful smile on Gemini's face, something that stirred something inside her.

Though she had yet to bring her own child into the world, the way she treated Gemini was akin to that of how a mother would. She knew she would already be a great mother but she felt that he had some hidden affections for her, something of a split between lover and mother. She knew his mind would be in conflict but how and when it'll manifest remains to be seen. Celestia hoped that she would be ready to help him through the conflict without causing him harm. All she could do was wait.

4. Quality Time

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The sunlight pierced the windows, rousing Gemini from his sleep. His eyelids opened wide as he arched his back with a loud yawn. Getting on his feet, he inhaled deeply with an ebullient smile. Last week was the final week of classes for him, a relieving thought. All he had left to look forward to was graduation rehearsals.

“Sweet, savory freedom.” Sliding into his slippers, Gemini walked out of his room and into the living room. In there, on the couch, was Celestia, knitting what appeared to be a beanie and a small blanket. She hummed a soft melody; no doubt meant for her unborn child. It was like the sweetest sounding of tunes, truly beautiful.

“Oh, Good morning, Gemini.” Celestia greeted, pausing her knitting, “I hope you’ve slept well.”

“That I did, Celestia.” Gemini looked around and noticed something was different, “Where’s Luna?”

“Oh, she’s out with her boyfriend, Time Turner.”

“Whoa, I honestly didn’t know my history teacher was… dang.”

“Heh, I understand your surprise.” Celestia then winced in pain, staring towards her legs. Gemini noticed that her ankles looked to be slightly swollen.

“Are you alright?” Gemini asked with genuine concern, “I-If you want, I can give your ankles a quick massage.”

“If that’s what you want,” Celestia said as she rested her legs on a footrest, “go ahead.”

Taking one of her feet in hand, Gemini began to gently yet firmly rub her aching ankles, Each pass earned a sigh of relief from his principal From how it sounded, it looked to have bothered her for quite some time. Being a school’s principal, it would certainly have that effect.

“Oh yes. Oh, thank you so kindly, Gemini.” Celestia moaned, “Can you do the other one now?” With a nod, Gemini focused his attention on the other ankle, earning another satisfied moan, “So, how does it feel *Ohyeah* to be doing the walk in a few weeks?”

“Well, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous.” Gemini answered, “Just the feeling of being so close to the finish line is an odd one to me.”

“There’s nothing for you to be nervous about. After all, despite what you’ve been through, you’re going to graduate. Be proud of your achievements.”

After considering her words, Gemini nodded with a smile as he finished his work. He’d been through what one would consider hell and managed to dig himself out of it. If it weren’t for Celestia, he would’ve been stuck in that nightmare. With the worst behind him, he felt that he could breathe unhindered.

“Yeah, I guess so.” Gemini said with a reserved smile, “So, you got anything going on today?”

“I’m glad you’ve asked.” Celestia chimed with a motherly tone, “I have a few places to go so I can get things for my baby shower next week. With Luna out with Time Turner, I’ll be needing an extra set of hands to help me. How about that, It’ll be a day on the town for just the two of us, some quality time.”

Spending some quality time with his principal; that was something Gemini never expected to do. Even with his feelings about her divided, it was a chance to know her better. Her current condition would make a simple shopping trip difficult as her body changes with the pregnancy. Still, Gemini liked the thought of hanging out with her.

“Sounds good, Celestia.” Gemini said as he got to his feet, “Lemme go get a shower and we can get going.”

“Okay, you do that.”

As he stepped into the shower and cleansed himself, a multitude of thoughts raced through Gemini’s mind, all concerning Celestia. After that one night where she cuddled with him to ease his rattled state, it put his thoughts further into conflict, especially with the kiss on his forehead. His hormones raged like a roaring inferno, preventing him from drawing any conclusions.

Celestia, she’s… a good person. He thought to himself as he washed his hair, She’s kind and wise among other things. Yet, she’s so beautiful. Damn, why can’t I make up my mind about her?! I mean I-I~ love her but- christ! Slowly, his mind descended further down the trail of lust and want. With him no longer being in school, what else did he have to lose? Fine, maybe with this outing, I can prove my love to her. Who knows, maybe another kiss.

Drying off, shaving his stubble, Gemini got his day clothes on, quickly glancing through the mirror for anything he missed. Slipping his shoes on, he walked back to the living room with his hoodie in tow, rejoining a smiling Celestia. God, he could never get enough of her smile.

“Hey, not quite bad looking there, Gemini.” Celestia cooed to the student’s shock. Such a compliment rendered him flustered.

“Wow, uhhh thanks.” He stuttered, “So, are you uhhh- ready to go?”

“I am. But, can you go wait out in the van? I have to send off a text to my friend from college. She’ll be coming over for dinner tonight.”

“Okay, take your time.” Once Gemini was out of the house, a worried sigh escaped Celestia’s mouth as her smile dropped to a frown. Picking up her phone, she saw one message to reply to.

So, about Gemini, does he know about us?

I told him you and I were friends. That’s just about it.

You know he’s going to find out eventually. And when he does, given his fragile state…

I’ll try to let him off gently after I get home. I hope he’ll understand.

Tia, of course he’ll understand. He’s more amenable to reason whenever you talk with him. I’ll be coming over later on tonight. If he doesn’t know before then, he will when I walk in.

I’ll handle it. I’ll see you later on tonight. Take care.

“God help me if I can’t manage the strength to tell him.” Celestia muttered as she slowly got up from her seat, “Maybe after lunch… I dunno. I hope I’m doing the right thing.” Not a moment longer, she walked out and got in the van, driving off with her ward in tow.

The first stop was a craft store in the downtown area. All around, there were all sorts of materials for those seeking to create art for any purpose. Projects, parties, anything the human mind can think of, the materials to make visions reality are stocked on shelves. For Celestia and Gemini, they were there to gather supplies for the expecting principal’s baby shower.

“Okay, what we need first is balloons and streamers.” Celestia said as she grabbed a cart, “Fortunately, those should be easy to find.”

“We better hope that Pinkie Pie hasn’t taken the whole stock yet.” Gemini dryly said to Celestia’s amused laugh. Strolling through the aisles, they found the party section where all sorts of items that would have CHS’s resident party organizer jump up and down the walls. There, streamers and balloons of varying colors lie in wait. “Okay, so, should we go for pink, blue, or both?”

“Blue.” Celestia answered as Gemini turned around, “I’m going to have a boy.”

“A boy, huh.” Gemini scoffed, “I thought you wanted to be surprised.”

“Well, I got a little impatient during my last ultrasound. Nonetheless, I can’t wait to see my son.”

“I can only imagine how excited you are.”

“More than anything in this world, that’s for sure.”

Celestia rubbed her belly as she and Gemini started grabbing what they needed, all colored baby blue. After that, they picked up anything extra that they needed, ranging from anything their minds can come up with but within reason. All throughout the walk, Gemini found himself captivated by his principal’s figure. Robust yet graceful, any man would be lucky to have her as a girlfriend. With a perfect figure, it had only been refined by her pregnancy.

Oh my god! She’s… She’s gorgeous! Gemini thought to himself as his heart pounded. Be still, my heart. I just… have to wait a bit.

“Gemini, is something wrong?” Asked Celestia, snapping him out of his thoughts.

“Oh uhhh, nothing.” Gemini nervously stammered, “I’m just deep in thought, that’s all.”

“Well, we can talk about it at lunch when we’re done here.”

That smile, that warm welcoming smile, it always gets to him as if it could pierce his soul. It was like that one gift that only someone as worthy as Celestia could wield, bringing warmth to even the hardest of hearts. For Gemini, it seemed almost magical at times. Nonetheless, it was always a sight he welcomed.

After another twenty minutes of shopping around, they took the cart to the front and bought their cargo. Due to a sale, Celestia paid less than she thought she would. All the fixings and flair for a baby shower were all accounted for. Allowing her a break, Gemini took control of the cart and walked back to the van, offloading the goods. Now, it was time for lunch.

Cornerstone Diner was a fine small eatery situated across from Sugarcube Corner. It was one of Celestia’s favorite places during breaks during work. During Gemini’s first night with Celestia, it became his favorite as well. The comfort food was to die for, especially their chicken fried steak; crispy yet tender. As they sat down, Gemini helped Celestia into her seat, making sure she was comfortable.

“Hello, welcome to Cornerstone Diner. I’m Hashbrown.” The waitress greeted with a sing-songy voice, “Can I take your orders?”

“I’ll have the corned beef and swiss omelet” Gemini said, “with a side of chicken lemon rice soup and a coke, please.”

“And I’ll have the bacon alfredo pasta with a fresh garden salad and water, please.” Celestia added as they both handed over their menus.

“Excellent choices. I’ll be back with your orders in just a jiffy!” With the waitress gone, Gemini looked out the window towards the sunlit cityscape. People and cars passing by, it was a sight for both him and Celestia to enjoy. Truly, the diner was set in the right spot.

“So, back at the crafts store,” Celestia muttered, loud enough for Gemini to hear, “what was on your mind?”

“A lot of things.” He replied, still slightly embarrassed from starring at her, “But, even after recent events, I still feel as though it’s all etched in my memory.” Celestia could tell what he was still troubled by previous events. She never expected him to recover quickly as Luna told her.

“How about this.” Celestia’s train of thought was interrupted by the delivery of their drinks, “talk to me about your experiences in as much detail as you want.” Her motherly tone eased his nerves. Apart from his secret affection towards her, Gemini held a sense of trust for Celestia. With a sigh, he readied himself.

“It all started when I was about thirteen years old. My parents usually got into fights with their parents. It got bad to the point where they were disowned by them. After that, a bit after I started my junior year, that was when the drug abuse started. There were times that I had to skip school to work a part-time job… just to keep the damn house afloat and pay the bills. They never batted an eye, not even a single brow! All they did was smoke that meth while I worked hard for them.”

Oh dear. Celestia thought to herself as she exhaled, “I’m… honestly sorry you had to go through all that.”

“Don’t be. It wasn’t your fault. In fact, if it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be here right now. You took me in and gave me shelter. I can’t thank you enough for that. I can see now why everyone holds you in high regard. You’re the most caring person I know.”

“Why, thank you, my former student.” Celestia said as she took a sip from her drink, “But really, I just did what was in your best interests. I wanted to ensure that you graduated.”

“And I’ve made it.” Before he could shake her hand, their moment was interrupted by the arrival of their food.

“Here are your orders!” Hashbrown sang. “I hope the mother and son enjoy their meals.”

“I’m not actually his mother.” Celestia answered with a nervous tone, “He’s more like my ward.” It took a bit for Hashbrown to realize what she meant.

“Oh, sorry. My mistake. But anyway, enjoy your meals!”

“Thank you.”

For the next twenty minutes, Celestia and Gemini ate their lunch, all the while making friendly conversation. The topics varied from thoughts on whatever subject, stories, be it true or humorous in nature. Spirits were high and much joy was had. As far as Gemini was concerned, it was the most fun he had in a good while.

When it came time to leave, they were handed the bill, about twenty bucks total. Walking up to the counter, Celestia reached into her purse for her wallet. To her surprise, it wasn’t where she’d normally put it. She kept digging around to find it but to no avail.

“Crap,” She sighed, “where did I put it? Did I leave it in the car again?”

“And take the rest as a tip.” Turning to the counter, Celestia saw Gemini handing the clerk some cash.

“Thank you, sir. Have a nice day.”

“Gemini, you didn’t have to do that.” Celestia sighed, “I could’ve gone out quickly to the van for my wallet.”

“Celestia,” Gemini placed a hand on her shoulder, “after all that you’ve done for me, I wanted to repay you for your kindness.” Celestia was taken a bit aback by his gesture. Despite having only a couple hundred to his name, he still paid for their meals. She couldn’t help but feel thankful for him.

“Thank you, young man.” She replied with a hug. As she left it, her phone buzzed once more as she pulled it from her pocket. “Gemini, Can you go wait out in the van? I’ll be there in a bit.” With a nod, Gemini left the diner as Celestia unlocked her phone. She shied as she saw the newest message from her friend.

Does he know about us now?

Not at the moment. I honestly can’t bring myself to.

Well, to be frank, there are two ways he’ll find out. In all of them, I can only imagine how he’ll react.

I know but…

Listen Tia, I have full confidence that you can. Even if you can’t, it won’t be the end of the world. I’ll help out however I can.

You will?

Of course. Anything for you. I’ll be coming over at around 6. Can’t wait to meet him.

See you then.


“I don’t know if I can.”

After a quick trip to the grocery store, the two returned home and offloaded their cargo. With the effects of their meals taking hold, they took brief naps. Throughout his, Gemini dreamt of him and Celestia, sitting by a lakeshore while holding each other in their arms. The feeling was almost real to him as cradled her, being extra gentle with her precious cargo. As he looked into her eyes, he found his face growing ever closer as his eyes closed and his lips puckered. Before he felt the kiss, he was snapped wide awake with a bit of a cool sweat.

“Jesus,” He panted, climbing out of bed. “Talk about a pleasant dream.”

Walking into the living room, he saw Celestia sitting on the couch, watching what appeared to be an old movie. She looked relaxed and peaceful, yet so lonely with her sister being out and about. It was his chance, a opportunity to confess his feelings to her. With a gulp of air, he sat down next to her, surprising the principal with his presence.

“Goodness, you certainly surprised me.” Celestia hummed with her signature smile, “How was your nap?”

“Needed it.” Gemini replied, “That omelet got me good.”

“I bet. Come on, sit closer to me. I promise I won’t bite.”

Nervously, Gemini complied with her request. Even though he was close to her before, it still made him nervous. All he had to do was keep calm and go slow. There was little room for error in his mind. Still, the warmth that radiated from her body was nice to the touch.

It’s okay, Celestia. She thought to herself, Just keep calm and he’ll understand. “They really don’t make movies like this anymore.”

“Yeah, I find that to be a real shame. Also, I never knew you were into sci-fi.”

“My mother got me hooked on it after reading some of her books.” Celestia’s attention was jolted away by a kick within her abdomen. She stared at her gravid midsection, rubbing it to calm her unborn son. “Would you like to feel it?”

“Wha- Are you… serious?”

“I am. Don’t be shy about it.” Nervously, he wrapped an arm around her back and hovered the other over her belly. Gemini couldn’t believe Celestia would allow him to do something of the sort. Yet, his flood of thoughts stopped him dead in his tracks. It wasn’t until one of Celestia’s hands forcing his onto her belly that he fully began to process what it felt like. Warm, soft, smooth, it was incredible to the touch. “How does it feel?”

“Can’t really describe it other than amazing.” Then, Gemini felt something push back against his hand. Knowing very well it was her son reacting to his touch, he briefly retracted it before putting back on. “Hmmm, I guess he notices me.”

“I guess he can’t wait to meet you.”

Being this close to Celestia, touching her in such a way with her blessings, sent Gemini’s mind in all sorts of directions. He felt as though his heart would jump out of his ribcage. Blood pumping, nerves pulsing, synapses sparking, it was pure madness for him. All or nothing, now was the time for him to act.

Giving no visual cue, Gemini latched his lips onto Celestia’s, never breaching her mouth with his tongue. After a few short seconds, it was broken. The air became deathly silent as both parties process what happened, mostly Celestia. Both faces turned a shade of ruby red as the awkwardness of the situation had set in.

“G-Gemini…” Celestia shuddered, breaking the silence, “what was that?”

“Celestia,” Gemini said while looking her dead in the eyes. “There’s something I’ve been meaning to confess. The truth is… I’ve ha-”

“I know what you’re going to say. I’ve long known about your ahem affection toward me. But the truth is…”


Oh crap, Celestia internally panicked. Her friend had arrived sooner than she hoped. “Come in.” After a few shakes, the doorknob turned and the door opened, revealing a confusing sight to Gemini.


5. Break

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Through the door stepped a man around the same age as Celestia. Around the same height, decent build, long hair and a goatee colored light crimson with streaks of orange, he had to have been what Celestia was reluctant to tell Gemini about. His mind was beset by confusion as he struggled to comprehend what was happening. To him, none of it made sense.

“Gemini,” Celestia sighed, “this… is my boyfriend.”

For a few scant moments, time seemed to stop for Gemini. Celestia never told him she had a boyfriend. After spending the better part of the day making her comfortable and proving his love her, was it all for naught? He couldn’t say anything or move. He was a slave to his own shock and shattered emotions.

“So, this is the kid you’ve talked about.” The man mused with a genuinely warm smile, “Hello, I’m Argent Radiance. It’s nice to meet you.”

He held out his arm with an open hand. Gemini knew what the gesture meant. Yet, he couldn’t bring himself to. Anger, sadness, betrayal, and many more emotions flooded his mind. He felt his feelings being ground into dust as his heart imploded. Celestia already had a lover and he never stood a chance.

“Is there something wrong?” Argent asked as his face became a slight frown, growing concerned.

“Ce-Celestia,” Gemini’s voice shuddered with betrayal, “why?”

Oh dear. Celestia thought to herself, I knew this was going to happen. She tried putting a hand on Gemini’s shoulder to calm him down. Instead, he jerked his body away from her, shocking her. “Gemini, please calm down. Let me explain.”

“Explain what?!” He snapped with tears welling in his eyes, “You’ve had a boyfriend all this time and you didn’t bother to tell me?!” His fists were balled up, filled with anger and pain. Where his heart used to be, nothing remained. It was all just a void of nothingness. His heart was beyond broken; it was shattered, disintegrated.

“Gemini, please see reason!” Celestia’s pleas fell on deaf ears as he got up, silently sobbing from a broken heart.

“Gemini, if you’d calm down, we can talk this out.” Argent calmly pleaded with Gemini as the latter threw the door open wide. Like his girlfriend, his words had no effect.


As quickly as he screamed his pain, he ran out of the house and down the street. As much as she wanted to, Celestia thought it best to leave him alone, knowing his mental state. As she and Argent sat on the couch in silence, Luna walked in, confused by what she saw.

“Tia, what happened with Gemini?” She asked, “I just saw him running out crying but wha-” There, she also took notice of Argent’s presence. It didn’t take her long to deduce what triggered the student’s outburst. “He found out.”

“Afraid so.” Celestia somberly said, “I was… too indecisive about telling him.”

“I honestly never expected him to react that way, dear.” Argent sighed, “It wasn’t your fault.”

“But, I-I think he hates me now.” Not wanting to see his girlfriend stress out, Argent pulled her into a loving hug, pecking her on the forehead. Though some tears formed, Celestia didn’t cry. She was more worried than sad, worried about the wellbeing of her student, “I don’t know what to do.”

“Well Tia,” Luna pondered for a moment, “we’ve gotten him back from the brink before. This time, it shouldn’t be any different.”

“But, we don’t know what is eating him.”

“Let me look through his room and we might know.”

“Very well.”

Luna walked down the hall and into Gemini’s room. A bit on the messy side, it was mostly kept orderly. Slowly, Luna scanned the room, checking anywhere from his closet to his drawers until his nightstand was left. Opening it, Luna dug through it until she saw a folded up piece of paper, very much a note. Unfolding it, Luna skimmed through it until she nodded. Walking back to the living room, she sighed and cleared her throat.

“What did you find, Luna?” Celestia asked.

“It’s best if I read it.” Straightening the paper and with a gulp of air, Luna composed herself as she prepared to read the contents.

Well, I’m finally free in more ways than one. From school and the worries of my old home life, none of them will be troubling me anymore. For that, I give all my gratitude to Principal Celestia. If it weren’t for her, I might not have made it at school or worse, died. On the first day where she brought me to live with her and Luna, I had the most vivid dream of her. She looked like an angel, beautiful and serene. Yet, her aura was motherly. After that, I became split on what to see her as. She’s beautiful and attractive but motherly and caring. All this is hurting my mind and heart. I really can’t decide. Maybe later today if I confront her about this, she’ll hopefully understand. No matter what, I’ll still love her.

They were rendered speechless over the heartfelt note. Despite bringing him to their house, he rarely talked about his feelings. For Celestia, the note explained much about his thoughts. He cared deeply for her, evident when he defended her honor from his father. Even though, she realized his thoughts about her were conflicted.

“Goodness.” Celestia sighed as she sat back on the couch, “It's that bad?”

“And that makes the situation more precarious for him.” Argent remarked as he sat up, straightening his coat. Having a doctorate in psychology, he knew where Gemini would likely end up if his conflict is left unresolved. As a result, he shared the same concerns as Celestia. Though he knew that he hated him, Argent realized that only talking to Gemini will help him. “I’m going to go find him.”

“Are you sure he’ll respond to you?” Celestia worriedly asked.

“It’s worth a shot.” He muttered as he grabbed his keys, “I’m just as concerned about him as are you, dear. I want to help him out. Just give me one shot and I’ll bring him back. I promise.” Walking over to her, Argent gingerly embraced Celestia and plants a quick kiss on her lips. Breaking it, she placed a hand on his cheek with a smile most warm.

“Please bring him back.”

“I promise.”

The sun was beginning to set as Argent drove around town. Keeping his head on a swivel, he kept his open for any hints of Gemini’s whereabouts. After being told his story by Celestia, he shared the same worry as his girlfriend. In his mind, he’s a good kid with issues he needed help with. After years of studying the human psyche, he knew how to handle it and he had to with the finesse of an ice skater.

After nearly twenty minutes of driving around, his eyes caught the sight of some hooded figure sitting on some bench on a hill. Right away, he knew it was Gemini, seeking to be away from human contact. Parking his car, he took a deep breath as he cleared his mind.

Alright Argent, you can do this. He thought to himself. Just keep calm and he’ll come around.

Exiting his car, Argent strolled over to the bench as the breeze blew against his face. Though he suspected that Gemini was alerted to his presence, he could tell he was in too much pain to care. He didn’t want to talk to anyone or acknowledge them. He wanted isolation, feeling that he wasn’t loved. With a sigh, Argent sat next to Gemini who was slumped up against the backboard.

“Hey uh-, Gemini.” Argent sighed as he adjusted his posture, “It’s- I know I’m the last person you want to see. But, I just want to talk to you.” His words were met with only silence, just as he anticipated. Yet, he had to press on for his and Celestia’s sake. “Like Luna, I’m trained as a psychologist. You don’t have to feel ashamed about your thoughts. I’ll listen to you no matter what.”

Again, not a single sigh or noise was made in response. Apart from soft breathing, the air was mostly silent. Argent didn’t jump into the situation thinking that it was going to be easy. He knew nothing worthwhile in life ever was.

“Gemini, I know you hate me. I didn’t come here expecting you wouldn’t. But, I came here because Celestia wants you back. She’s worried sick about you. You don’t have to like me. All I want for you to do is hear me out.”

“Why?” Gemini asked, breaking his silence

“What?” Argent replied.

“Why does she still care about me?”

“Well, she does because she still loves you.” Argent stated, “She’s worried about you and so am I.”

“Bullshit! She never did give a shit about me! All that time of her being nice to me was nothing more than lies!” With that, Gemini’s emotional walls started to erode further. Argent had seen things like his case. Talking to him would work but he’d needed to be persistent. As quickly as he let his guard down, Gemini could rebound just as easily.

“Gemini, through the four months I’ve gotten to know her, she’s the farthest from a liar.” Argent said as he got closer to Gemini, “As a psychologist, I see the truth as being better in the long run than a little white lie. I don’t lie when I say that you’re a good kid. I care about you just as much as Celestia and Luna does.”


“I know that love is an issue for you. We all know that you suffer an inner conflict about Celestia.”

“How did you know?!”

“Luna found that note of yours in your room. She read it to us and now we know why you acted the way you did. You are torn up about what you see her as.”

For a moment, Gemini said nothing. His breathing hitched as he turned further away from the man. They read his note, the entirety of his heart and mind written on a piece of paper. Embarrassed, he struggled to do or say anything. Then, he felt a bit of warmth on his shoulder as Argent placed his hand on his shoulder. Why would he extend such a gesture to him? Argent had him right where he wanted him and was ready to ask him the question.

“I know that your heart is concerned with love. It’s a concept that affects the heart the most, whether it be familial or romantic. I’ve heard many cases from my clients about that. When my patients have that sort of conflict, I would ask them a question and now I ask you this: Who are you and what do you want?”

“I-I-I don’t know!” Gemini snapped. His last bit of resistance was beginning to breakdown. Mind racing at an exponential rate, he cupped his forehead as he grunted in pain from his confusion. “I mean I love her but… I DON’T KNOW WHICH WAY!!!”

“And that brings me to my next question. What do you truly see in her: A lover that you want or a mother that you lack and need?”

For a moment, Gemini stared blankly out into space as new thoughts snapped to him. Throughout most of his life, things weren’t well with his parents. Between their relatives disowning them and their resulting addictions, he felt isolated, alone, like he never mattered. Yet, when Celestia took notice of his plight, going to lengths to help him, it was like someone truly cared for him as a mother would.

We’re just concerned that some of your teachers said that they’ve seen you napping during class time for the past few weeks.

I’m sorry they treated you like that.

But what matters now is that you’re safe. Don’t feel ashamed about it. Everything is going to be alright, I swear it.

I’m here for you now.

Don’t hold back, let your feelings out.

“Mother.” Gemini croaked. Argent’s gaze drifted back to the young man on the brink of tears. Though it was softly spoken, he understood what he meant. Through all that inner conflict and heartbreak, his mind was able to settle on one view. Celestia always had his back, treated him with love and care when he had nowhere to go. She was like the mother he never had and viewing her as something other than that filled him with regret. “Oh god, what have I done?!”

Unable to contain himself any longer, Gemini lunged Argent with a hug and began crying in his shoulders. Having gotten him in a moment of weakness, Argent returned the hug, patting him on the back to calm him down. He accomplished what he came to do but it’s all a matter of how he’s feeling about it. Breaking the hug, Argent smiled upon Gemini as he struggled to compose himself.

“I know that letting go of romantic feelings is difficult for someone your age. Especially for one in your condition, it’s a difficult thing to do. In a relationship, would you rather see the one you love being happy even if it meant letting her go?”

For a moment, Gemini considered Argent’s words. All that time, his romantic interest in Celestia was purely for his own gratification. Despite all that, Celestia still showed him love. If not romantic, it was still loving nonetheless. As much as he hated to, Gemini felt it best to let her go if that would make her happy. As long as she is, he is.

“Okay,” Gemini croaked, “I’ll come home, but, that I should probably apologize to her for how I’ve treated her.”

“If you want to, it’s your call.” Argent said as he reached for his phone, “Though I think she may have already forgiven you.” Pushing a few buttons on his phone, Argent brought it to his ear.


“Hey dear.”

“Yeah, I got him. I’ve also managed to calm him down.”

“Well, I did give him a talk and I think he understands now.”

“But, I think he has something he wants to say to you in person when we return.”

“Okay, very well. I see you in a little bit.”

“Love you too, dear. Bye.”

“Come Gemini, let’s go home.”

Pulling up to the driveway, Argent looked at a nervous Gemini. Shifting around in his seat, he nervously looked around. Despite being gone for nearly an hour, he was still unsure about how to approach it.

“Gemini,” Argent sighed, “I know you feel nervous about this. But what you’re doing takes a lot of courage.”

“I know.” Gemini answered back, “I wonder if she’s still mad at me.”

“Trust me. I don’t think she is. Sometimes, you just need to take a leap of faith. But don’t worry, I got your back.”

With a nod, Gemini climbed out of the car and approached the front door. Gripping the handle, Gemini took a big gulp of air before he opened it. Walking in, he saw Celestia and Luna sitting on the couch. Upon seeing him enter, Celestia’s eyes opened up along with a face of relief. Before she could lunge at him for an embrace, Gemini held up an open hand with a solemn look on his face.

“Celestia,” Gemini breathed, “I’ve had some time to think after my little outing. Ever since you brought me in, you’ve not only given me hope and a place to live. You’ve given me the l-l… love that I never had. But, I was a fool and saw your gestures in the wrong light. I thought that… that I saw you as a lover but you didn’t see it that way. For that, I took your kindness for granted and believed that you saw me as a lover. But, still, you cared for me and I still care for you. For that, I’m so sorry for treating you as merely an object of my heart’s desires, I really am! I know you must hate me after what happened and you have every right to. But know this, if you’re truly happy with him, then so am I.”

The air was silent as both principals were left without words. Despite expecting a hug or silence, they got a heartfelt apology, no crying and little stuttering. To them, he seemed like a different person. With a gulp of air, Gemini felt a great burden lifted from his shoulders. He said what he wanted to and there was nothing else left for him to say.

“If you want to talk to me. I’ll be in my room.” He turned around and started toward his room. Before his hand touched the handle, a voice as smooth as honey called out to him.


As he turned around, Gemini only got a brief glimpse of Celestia before she wrapped him in a tight embrace. As always, it was a loving hug, filled with every bit of warmth in her being and of the life she grows within her. As the moment went on, he realized that Argent was right.

“Celestia,” Gemini stuttered, “I thought…”

“Gemini, I was never angry with you.” Celestia whispered, “I was worried about your wellbeing. I’ve known about your infatuation towards me but it was my indecisiveness that hurt you. However, I’m proud that you came to terms with your feelings and I was touched by what you said.”

“And I’ve meant every single bit of that. If you’re truly happy with him, then I’m happy.”

“Gemini, thank you. Now remember, smile… no matter what happens, if not for me but for yourself.” As he pulled away from the hug, his frown gradually grew to a smile. Celestia couldn’t help but do so in kind.

“I won’t forget, Celestia.” Gemini sighed as he nodded, “Not ever.”

“See, I told you she would understand.” Argent quipped as he walked in, shaking Gemini’s hand, “I have to say that you handled it in a mature manner.”

“I did the best I could, Argent.” Gemini sighed as realized something else, “I know that I should put this behind me, but, you have Celestia and Luna has Time Turner. Will I ever find that special somebody?”

“Don’t fret over it. You know, once upon a time, I did have a girlfriend. After she dumped me, I too felt the same way you did. When Celestia came along, she taught me that though things may seem barren and hopeless, a flower, much like love, will always bloom.”

Flower, Flower, Flower, Flower… Fleur… Fleur De Lis! How could he have forgotten about her? He first met the transfer student from Crystal Prep during art class when his senior year began. Being paired with her, Gemini formed a close bond with her. At times, she was flirty with him but his fatigue dulled him to her advances.

“Shit, I hope I’m not too late!” Sprinting to the couch, Gemini quickly dialed in her phone number. After a set of ringing, he was answered by a familiar voice.

“Bon jour?” Fleur sang.

“Uhhh- Hey Fleur,” Gemini answered, “how are you doing?”

“Gemini! Mon amie, how are you?”

“Doing good. Uhhh listen, I’ve been wondering if you wanna, you know, go hang out this weekend? Maybe, grab some lunch and maybe a movie?”

“Are you proposing a date?

“Wha- No- errr, I mean… yes, it is.” Gemini internally panicked as he messed up the delivery. Way to leave a tied up tongue to ruin a chance to go out with a lady friend.

“I’d thought you’d never ask.”

“Whoa. Uhhh- Really?”

“Oui. I was wondering when you would get the hint back in school.”

“Well, it’s kind of a long story. Maybe we can talk about it over lunch. I’ll pay.”

“Very well. I look forward to our time together, mon amour.”

“Okay, see you then.” He hung up the phone and breathed a sigh of relief. Though he only knew a tiny bit of French, Gemini guessed her last words meant “my love”. He didn’t expect to get into a relationship with her so soon but he eagerly awaits to see where it’ll go.

“See?” Argent teasingly sang. “I told you so.”

6. The Date

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Can’t leave a single strand of hair out of place! Gemini thought as he brushed his hair. So many things can go wrong! Oh, holy shit! Scanning through the mirror, he thoroughly checked himself of any and all blemishes. None were there on his face, not a hair out of place, and his teeth were white as snow. Since it was the day of his date with Fleur De Lis, he didn’t want to leave anything to chance. First impressions have the most impact. Just as he was about to fret once more, a set of knocks was heard on his door.

“Hey Gemini,” Argent called out, “can I come in?”

“Uh, sure!” Gemini answered as his guardian’s boyfriend walked in. He looked at the soon to be graduating student as he stressed about his appearance like someone gone mad.

“Still going at it, aren’t ya?” Argent mused, “This date with Fleur, it’s making you nervous.”

“More than you can believe, sir. I want to be looking my best. Brushed my hair, teeth, and doing anything in between.”

“If you want my advice,” Argent placed a hand on Gemini’s shoulder, “women are attracted to confident men but also dig those who be themselves, as cheesy as that sounds.”

“Heh, you do have a point. But still, this is something new to me. What if I screw up?”

“Gemini, trust me when I say that you have nothing to fear. When I heard that conversation you’ve had over the phone with her, it seemed to me like she’s been wanting to date you for quite a while. Just play it cool and you’ll be alright.” With a quick moment of thought, Argent thought of a way to calm him down, “Just repeat after me. Count to four, inhale. Count to four, exhale.”

Doing as Argent recommended, Gemini took the deepest of breaths he could muster, counting to four before he exhaled. Bit by bit, he felt his anxiety fizzle out of his body like steam. After a few more cycles, Gemini felt relieved yet a shred of his anxiety remained. All he could really do was to bite his lip and give the date his all.

“Better?” Argent asked.

“Yeah, I guess so.” Gemini replied. Just as he was about to walk out, Argent took his hands in his, depositing a set of keys. “Really? You’re letting me drive your ride?”

“Why yes.” Argent nodded, “When Celestia and I go out later, we’ll be taking her van. I know you know how to drive but-”

“I promise I won’t scratch it or nothing. Pissing someone off is the last thing I wanna do.”

Sharing a chuckle, Argent bid Gemini farewell as the latter got in his car. Though he’d been in it before, driving it was like a new experience for him. Automatic shifting, functional AC, and a map system, it was like a space shuttle to him. Still, he'd handle the loan vehicle with the utmost care. After typing in Fleur’s address, all that was left was picking up his date.

Pulling up to the driveway, Gemini gave the horn a few honks before he got out, opening the passenger door. It didn’t take long for the pink haired transfer student to walk out, drop dead gorgeous was she. A long skirt that danced gracefully, long-sleeved shirt with a vest and beret, Gemini felt his jaw go nearly slack.

“Hmmm, nice to see you, Monsieur Blaze.” Fleur softly spoke, “Holding the door open for me? My my, quite the gentleman.”

“H-Hello, Fleur,” Gemini said with butterflies in his stomach, “you look beautiful today.” She got in the passenger seat, closing the door behind her. When he got in, his nose was beset by a pleasing aroma. Roses, lilacs, french vanilla, it briefly made his mind wander a fair bit before snapping back to focus. “That’s a nice perfume you used.”

“Why thank you.” Fleur giggled, “I thought it would be nice for our date.”

“That it is. So, the showtime is at two-thirty, so we have some time for some lunch.”

“Wonderful. Lead the way, Gemini.”

Pulling out of the driveway, Gemini drove into town with Fleur in tow. The restaurant, Lorenzo’s, is a small but reputable place to catch a quick bite. Walking in, the two were quickly seated as they scanned through their menus until they found what they hungered for. Once their menus were taken from them and the orders were made, nothing obstructed their respective gazes. Gemini was captivated by her beauty.

“How nice of you to take me to this place.” Said Fleur.

“Well, it’s not that far from the theater so we’ll be making good time.” Gemini replied, “Plus, I didn’t really want to shortchange our first lunch together.”

“You didn’t need to worry about that. Just spending time with you is enough.”

“Yeah.” Gemini sighed as he remembered what he said over the phone earlier in the week, “So, I think you deserve an explanation about why I’ve been oblivious to your advances.”

“Gemini, you don’t have to if it makes you uneasy. I unders-”

“No, I want to be honest with you on our first date.” Gemini placed a hand on Fleur’s, “You deserve an answer.”

“If you want, my friend.” Sighing deeply, Gemini prepared to speak his peace.

“For years, my parents struggled with a drug habit. As time passed, it eventually got worse to where I had to work multiple jobs on the weekends.”

“So, that’s why you looked tired back then.”

“I used a car to go to and from jobs, often crashing at Flash’s place afterward. Yet, they didn’t snap out of their vices. They just kept indulging themselves.”

“What happened to your car? I remember that one day you came in and it wasn’t in the lot.”

“My parents sold it for drug money. After I found out, I got into a fight with them to where they kicked me out. I didn’t have anywhere to go until Principal Celestia brought me in to live with her. I’ve been at her place since then.”

“Mon Dieu…” Fleur’s voice shuddered. “It all makes sense. Mon Amie, I’m so sorry you had to go through all that.”

Like her friend Rarity, Fleur was one to recognize the generosity in people, even in herself. For Celestia, she helped make sure the transfer for her fellow CPA expats went smoothly and without any issues for their grades. She even personally signed the paperwork, working whole hours to get it all done. To hear Celestia give her crush a place to live didn’t come as a big surprise to her. Yet, Gemini’s attitude about his abandonment was unusually calm.

“It’s okay.” Gemini reassured, “After living with her for weeks now, I can breathe more easily now that I’m away from all that. I truly have Celestia to thank for pulling me out of the fire.”

“She’s a compassionate lady for sure.” Mused Fleur, “She helped me transfer to CHS after the friendship games incident, along with many of my friends. If she brought you in, she must have a level of care for you.”

“I know. I can certainly see why she’s earned the respect of many. Even though she’s expecting her own, she already treats me like her son. Heh, can’t believe that I consider her, the principal of all people, to be the mother I never had.”

Both parties shared a laugh just as their orders came out, briefly interrupted from their conversation. They thanked the waiter and they began eating their lunch. All throughout their time eating and conversing, Gemini learned new things about his date. As he suspected, she and her family hailed from France, all born in the town of Lyon. After a new job offer, her father moved them to Canterlot where they stayed ever since. They both shared their dreams of one day being an astronomer and a fashion designer respectively. Both had plans for the future.

Once the bill was paid and they were off and away, Gemini kept his eyes glued to the road, keeping his eyes from her distracting beauty. That wasn’t to say that they never talked the entire ride to the theater. Apart from some small talk, they both shot the breeze about their musical tastes. To Gemini’s surprise, Fleur had an affinity for heavy metal. Surprising for sure, but it was an interesting aspect of hers.

Upholding his promise, Gemini paid for the tickets, popcorn, and snacks once they got to the theater. For the movie, it was one of those giant monster movies made solely for entertainment. It was an hour and a half of gargantuan beasts having a deathmatch for dominance or for any reason known only to them. Nonetheless, Gemini saw that Fleur was having a good time and was actually cheering for one of the monsters.

Yet, all throughout the movie, the thought of Fleur dwelled on his mind ever so persistently. It was not just her naturally radiant beauty that drew him to her or the charm she uses. From within her radiated an aura of kindness with a soul that was loving by nature. It was there that Gemini thought that perhaps that his love for Celestia was a different kind, one based on his desire for a family that cared. Fleur was his true heart's desire and his predicament blinded him to it.

“Are you sure this is the right place?” Fleur asked as they drove through a wooded area.

“I assure you that we’re on the right path.” Gemini replied, “I used to come up here when things got bad so I can have some solace.” Making another turn from the path, they found themselves at the head of a hill overlooking the woodland park. The view of the trees going for miles and the rivers was breathtaking, magnified only by the setting sun on the horizon. Fleur was at a loss for words for how beautiful it all looked. “So, what do you think?”

“M-Magnifique!” She gasped as they both exited the car, “The view is absolutely wonderful!”

“It’s a view of nature unfettered by the lights of the city. Nothing but the sounds of nature and the stretches of greenery to bask in.” Gemini pulled out his phone, pressing a few buttons on the screen, “Since I wasn’t able to go to prom with you this year, how about I make up for it.”

Pressing another button, a tune came from his phone, filling the ambient air with a pleasant melody. Piano, drums, and guitar, all are in perfect harmony. To his amusement, Fleur became enamored with the song, tapping her feet and humming. She knew what Gemini intended with his words and the song sealed the deal.

Taking her hands in his and gently wrapping one around her back, Gemini danced with Fleur to the rhythm of the music. It was a slow dance but it allowed them to enjoy the serenity of the scene around them. For Gemini, he couldn’t keep his eyes off her. Her beauty was like the stuff of legends that only a few were gifted. As the music died down, the two took a seat on a nearby bench, taking in the view of a setting sun.

“Incredible,” Fleur said, staring out at the horizon, “I fondly remember the sunsets when I lived in Lyon. Beautiful and full of life, it naturally lit up the city. Every time I see one here, it reminds me of home.”

“Yeah, It’s always a comforting sight.” Gemini replied as he scooched closer to his date, “There were times that I had dinner out here just to see this. It relieved my stress for a time. But now, I think there’s something that makes this pale in comparison.”

“What would that be?” Gemini slowly turns to face Fleur.

“I’m looking at her.”

“Oh, you flatterer. But, I love that you think I’m pretty.” As Fleur got closer, she noticed Gemini growing increasingly uneasy, “Is there something wrong?”

“Well uhhhh… no. It’s nothing.”

“Come now. I can see that look on your face. If you have something say, then say it.” With a sigh, Gemini knew it was the time to say those three impactful words.

“Fleur, though this was our first date, we’ve known each other throughout our senior year. During art class, I always enjoyed working with you on projects and I enjoyed your friendship. Yet, there was that one part of me that yearned for more. I-I guess I’m trying to say that I… *whew* I l~ oohhh I can do this. I’m trying to say that I lo-”

Before Gemini could speak his mind, his thoughts were cast away when a set of soft lips touched his. His mind went blank for a few short moments as he processed what happened. Fleur was kissing him right on the lips, pulling him in for an embrace as well. He never expected her to make the first move but the feeling… it was beyond exhilarating.

“Woah.” Gemini gasped as the kiss was broken, “Never expected that.”

“I know you didn’t.” Fleur giggled, “I knew what you were going to say but I thought I already made it clear over the phone this week when I called you ‘mon amour’. But I want to hear you say it.” Biting his lip and with a mighty gulp, Gemini was ready.

“Fleur… I love you.” Gemini said with a hug which Fleur returned, “But I have to ask, can we do that again?” Fleur then wrapped her arms around his neck with her eyes half-lidded.


Slowly diving in, lips locked together once again, they both enjoyed each other’s caress. Lips against lips, tongues wrestling each other, their passion climbed ever so higher than the first quick kiss. Gemini’s heart raced at a rate he never thought possible yet was steady. As much as he wanted to press further into her, he couldn’t, not on the first date. He just wanted to enjoy the moment. After a minute of making out, they broke the kiss, leaving a thin trail of saliva to connect them.

“Mon amour, huh?” Gemini breathed, “I’m going to get used to that.”

“And that you will, Gemini.” Fleur breathed back, “As much as I enjoy our moment, my parents would be irate if I don’t get back home soon.”

Nodding, they got back in the car and returned to town. Though they enjoyed their moment, Gemini and Fleur recognized family above all else. Yet, it was a day they both thoroughly enjoyed. As for Gemini, it felt like life could only get better for him from that point on.

Pulling up to the driveway, Gemini couldn’t hold back the goofiest of all lovestruck smiles. Even as he walked through the door, greeted by Celestia and Argent, he still wore it. It was like his facial muscles were frozen.

“So, how did the date go?” Celestia asked as Gemini sat on the couch.

“S-Swimmingly.” he sighed.

“I can only imagine how well it went.” Argent mused with a sense of pride, “So… did she kiss you?”


“How was it?”

“I-I~ just can’t describe h-how good it felt. Like heaven.”

“Well, there’s no need.” Sang Celestia, “I can tell by that smile that both you and her had a good time. I did save you a plate of chicken parmesan in the fridge. Feel free to eat when you get out of that lover’s trance.” Before she and Argent disappeared into the hallway, the latter placed a hand on Gemini’s shoulder and nodded.”

“You did good, kid. Don’t ever let her go, no matter what.”

Still in his trance, Gemini rested in the couch with his eyes glued to the ceiling. All he could think about was the date and how well it went. Most of the holes in his heart have been healed and genuine joy filled his heart. Feeling mostly complete for the first time in his life, he could finally rest easy. There was much of life ahead of him and he couldn’t wait to embrace it.

Yep. Life is definitely good.

7. Graduation

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If one were to be asked whether or not it was possible for life to be pulled back from the brink, the answer would be that it’s difficult but possible. For Gemini Blaze, it was both fortune and the persistence of his school’s principal that helped him through. For weeks, he’d been living with Celestia and her sister, eventually reaching the point of graduation. Though it was bittersweet for him as parents were in prison and wouldn’t see him walk. Yet, he had the support of those who took him in.

From his low point, he found love in the form of his friend, Fleur De Lis. Having known her since the start of the school year, they bonded during art class yet she wanted more. Having since been freed of his stress, her affections became known to him and their first date sealed the deal. Since then, their love only grew stronger with every date or outing. Gemini loved her deeply and felt part of him had healed from the emotional scars.

The day of graduation had soon dawned and Gemini’s excitement was at an all-time high. Having since got his cap and gown, he spent weeks practicing and mentally prepping himself. It was the big step in his journey of life and it filled him with thoughts of the future. He wouldn’t be tackling the journey alone as Celestia, Luna, and Argent would support him on his day of triumph.

Waking up and performing his morning readiness routine, Gemini at himself in the mirror. Noting the goatee, everything was in order. He wanted to look his best for the graduation ceremony later on. With his cap and gown, all squared away with his class ring, he was more than ready to take the next big step in his life. Putting his shirt on, he stepped out into the living room where Argent and Luna sat quietly. Over the last few weeks, Argent moved into the house to be closer to his girlfriend. Since then, he and Gemini bonded more.

“Gemini,” Luna said, folding her newspaper, “how are you this morning?”

“Doing good.” Gemini replied as he poured himself a cup of coffee, “What about you two?”

“Trying to get the cogs in my brain going” Luna replied.

“Wide awake as a squirrel, Gemini.” Argent replied.

“Where’s Celestia at?”

“Oh, she went over to the school to help with prep work for the ceremony this afternoon.” Luna answered, “Are you excited? Graduating today and all is a monumental event for someone like you.”

“That it is.” Gemini took a sip of his morning brew, “When I lived at my old place, I thought I wasn’t going to make it. But when you and Celestia came along… I honestly can’t thank both of you enough for helping me back on my feet.”

“It was no problem for them, Gemini.” Luna replied as Gemini took a seat. “You have every right to be happy today. This is your day of triumph. You and your fellow students should feel some indulgent pride because this is the culmination of twelve years of hard work. Enjoy yourself.”

As he sat in his seat, sipping his brew, a sense of satisfaction swept over Gemini from both the caffeine rush and what the day entailed. If it was what hard work felt like at the end of a long road, it was a satisfying feeling. Though it had been a rough road, him standing strong through all that molded him in some way with a high degree of patience. Even then, the love from those around him kept him going on. He wasn’t alone and never would be.

“Yeah, I guess.” Gemini finished the rest of his brew, “Still, it feels like this day would never come to pass but it did. Not only do I have a nice roof over my head, but I also have a nice girlfriend that stole my heart. Talk about a stroke of luck.”

“Things have been going well for you and Fleur.” Luna chimed, “I have to say that she’s a sweet girl that is deserving of loyalty. A girl like that comes only once in a blue moon. Cherish her and every moment the two of you spend.”

“I know.” Gemini said with a sigh “But, I wish that the next time I bring her over like the other day, you don’t pressure me to kiss her in front of the three of you. It’s really embarrassing.”

“Lighten up. You should’ve seen the look on your face when she planted one on you. You shouldn’t feel so ashamed to show your love for her.”

“Well, just not in front of you guys.”

“I understand your embarrassment, Gemini.” Argent reassured, “That is a natural reaction when you’re developing a relationship with your significant other. Give it time and you’ll be more confident to show your love for her to others. Just take your time and you’ll get used to it.”

“I suppose you do have a point.” Gemini got up from his seat, “Anyways, I want to go touch base with Flash Sentry on the party next week and have lunch with Fleur. I’ll be back later this afternoon.”

“Okay,” Luna replied, “just be back here before four.” Nodding, Gemini waved the two adults goodbye as he walked out. Folding up her newspaper, Luna turned her gaze to Argent. She wore a serious yet calm look on her face as she cleared her throat. “So Argent, do you think he suspects anything?”

“Nothing as far as I see it.” Argent got up and stretched his back, “Do you think he’ll like what you’re getting him?”

“With the help of Time Turner, we were able to pull a few strings. It was a bit of work but we were able to get things squared away. As far as I’m concerned, it’ll be something he’ll never forget. What about yours and Celestia’s work?”

“It was quite a bit of paperwork, more than both of us were used to.” Argent sighed, “However, everything is in order and I gotta tell you…” Argent nodded affirmatively with an amused huff, “with his mental state, I know for sure it will make today the best day of his life.”

“I hope so.”

Soon, the time had arrived for Gemini and many other students at Canterlot High School. Pulling up to the lot, Gemini, clad in his suit, tie, and his cap and gown, made his way into the school for one last time. All around he saw his fellow students conversing with each other and making the air alive with conversation. It was an exciting moment for both teachers and students alike as the old guard were soon to bid their goodbyes. Walking down the halls, his eyes caught the sight of Flash Sentry, on the other side of the hall, Across from Fleur De Lis.

“Yo, Gemini!” Flash greeted as his friend shook his hand, “How’s it been with ya?”

“Been smooth as of late.” Gemini said, getting behind his girlfriend, “Between my dates with Fleur here and everything in between, I have no reason to complain.”

“Dude, being gifted with luck like that is a rarity.”

“That it is.” Fleur agreed, “Sometimes you have to count on the help of others to get through a rough patch.”

“Yeah, plus I didn’t know where else to go.” Gemini sighed.

“You could’ve come to me, dude. I would've gladly taken you in if it came down to that.”

“I didn’t really think it would be a good idea, Flash. You just got your place and I didn’t want to piss off the renter.”

“I mean… I could’ve just talked to him about it.”

“Yeah.” Gemini sighed, “I went to the park after I got the boot and that was where Celestia found me. By then, the rest was history.”

“Well, the important thing is that you’re safe, mon amour.” Fleur added, “You’re in the clear. Breathe easy.” With a sigh of relief, Gemini gave both his friends a hug before returning to his spot in line. Noting his smirk, Fleur gave one in return, “There’s that smile I grew to love.”

With some words from the nearby staff, the blue-robed students began to pour into the auditorium in nice single-file lines. Bit by bit, they filled the bleachers on the stage. As Gemini stared out into the vast crowd of people with their cameras and unbound joy, a sense of emptiness filled his heart. Yet, when he saw the familiar faces of Luna and Argent cheering him on, a sense of belonging filled his being. One way or another, there were those who supported him. It didn’t matter if his parents were present. Celestia walked up to the podium, clearing her throat.

“Thank you for joining us on this momentous occasion.” Celestia spoke into the microphone, “We’re gathered here to see these bright and young minds take their first step into a new chapter of their lives. Along with myself, the staff here at Canterlot High School are proud of this year’s graduating class. It goes without saying that while we’ll miss them, we wish them the best of luck as they move on to greener pastures. Their future is now in their hands and indeed let it be bright. Now, the Canterlot High School shall play a selection of songs from the programs.”

Upon her words, the school’s band started playing various songs they’ve rehearsed for over the past two weeks. With a strong instrument ensemble of percussion, wind, and strings, accompanied by a chorus, the crowd and graduating class were duly impressed. As he listened on, Gemini felt Fleur’s hand draped over his, sending warmth through his being. In response, he gripped her hand as they enjoyed the orchestra. The band went on playing for a good twenty minutes until they finished off their list and a momentary storm of applause erupted.

“I would like to thank the school band for their wonderful performance this afternoon.” Celestia said as she shuffled through her notes, “Without further ado, let’s get on with the moment these bright minds are eager for.”

At her, the band resumed playing but with the graduation song. One by one she called out the names of the graduating students, all with nervous smiles on their faces. Walking up to the joy-filled principal, they grabbed their diplomas and shook her hand before returning to their seats. The excitement was in the air as they received tickets to their respective futures.

“Sweetie Drops!” She went and grabbed her diploma, “Flash Sentry!” He went up to get his with a smirk of satisfaction, “Fleur De Lis!” Leaving her boyfriend’s side, she gracefully approached her principal and received hers, shaking her hand before returning.

“Gemini Blaze!”

Upon hearing his name being called out, a wave of excitement swept through him. Yet, he was able to foster enough willpower to contain it all. At his pace, he cautiously walked up to Celestia, heart racing like an Olympic runner. In her hand was his diploma, the culmination of years of hard work. Gripping it in his hand, he shook hers with his open hand as a warm smile crept on his face. Before he walked off, he saw her mouth “You did well.”.

Sitting back at his spot, full of pride, Gemini looked on at the fruit of his labors. Though it’s a piece of paper at face value, what it represented was another story. It represented triumph, effort, as well as the struggle he endured. Gemini reached the end of the long road along with his friends and those that stood by his side. He couldn’t help but shed a tear of pride.

Once the last of the students got their diplomas and another rousing speech was had, the graduating class ceremoniously threw their caps into the air before vacating the stage, gathering with their families. Upon seeing Luna and Argent waiting for him, Gemini wasted no time in lunging in for a hug.

“How does it feel to be free from school?” Luna asked.

“Great, just great.” Gemini answered, “Liberating even.”

“It’s your day to shine.” Argent remarked as Celestia walked over to his side, “Take your triumph and make it yours.” Gemini gave Celestia a brief hug.

“It’s the end of a road for you” Celestia said, “ and we’re all proud of you.”

“Aw, come on. You’re making me blush, Celestia.”

“I can make you blush for sure.” Fleur walked over and surprised Gemini with a hug. Once her lips connected with his, Luna brought out her camera and took a picture of the scene.

“I-I honestly thought you’d be out with your parents by now.” Gemini stuttered.

“Well, my parents gave me the okay to join you… if that is okay with you, Celestia.”

“It’s perfectly fine.” Celestia laughed as she cradled her belly, “We’re about to leave here in a few minutes and you’re more than welcome to come.”

“I’d love that, Madame Celestia.” With a nod, the party walked out of the school and to the lot. Taking a quick look behind him, Gemini glanced back at the school he knew for four years. Now, he had to part ways and say goodbye. So began a new chapter of his life that he was eager to make a giant leap towards.

“Hey Luna, please don’t post that picture on social media.”

After a ten minute drive to the center of town, the party arrived at a nice italian eatery near the town hall. It was relatively big for a place in the center of Canterlot and would usually be busy at night yet it was not packed at all, perfect for what a family get-together would be. Walking in, Celestia requested a private room for the outing and they were taken to one in the back. For what Celestia had in mind, she didn’t want it telegraphed through the whole place. It was something she had set in motion for a month.

“Here you go.” Gemini said as he helped Celestia to her seat, “Best to take it easy now.”

“I’m not made of glass, Gemini.” Celestia replied as everyone took their seats, “It’s not needed to walk over eggshells for me.”

“You can’t fault him for acting like a gentleman.” Argent scoffed as he stole a kiss from her, “It’s a sign that he’ll treat his ladyfriend right.”

“Indeed he does.” Fleur chimed in. Just before luna could say her piece, a waitress with a hair bun walked in with an ecstatic smile on her face.

“Hello, welcome to Leonardo’s Villa.” The waitress greeted, “My name is Oregano Zest and I’ll be taking care of you five today. Shall we start out with drinks?”

“I’ll have a sweetened peach tea, please?” Gemini asked.

“I’ll have the same thing, but light on the sweetness.” Fleur added.

“I’ll have a coke.” Argent answered.

“Same.” Added Luna.

“And I’ll have some water, please.” Celestia asked.

“Okay.” Oregano muttered as she wrote in her notebook, “One water, two teas, and two cokes. Got it, I’ll be back to take your orders shortly.” Oregano walked off and the door closed behind her.

“Honestly, I just can’t believe this day came to pass.” Gemini said with a sigh of relief, “I’ve graduated, got a girl, and I’m not out in the streets. I’m surprised that I’ve managed to survive.” Glancing at her sister with a nod, Celestia saw the time for her surprise was nigh. They could only guess what Gemini’s reaction would be.

“But the fact that you managed through it is nothing short of a miracle.” Luna softly said as she fished through her purse, “With patience comes reward.” She pulled out an envelope and hands it to Gemini, “Open it.” Looking at the envelope, he saw it was sent from Canterlot Community College. Opening it, he began to read out the contents.

“Dear Mr. Blaze,

We’ve taken note of your academic progress and were duly impressed by your grade marks. Despite your disadvantages, you were able to persevere and achieve much while keeping your commitment to your academic future strong. Such hard work deserves a reward.

After much consideration, we would like to formally congratulate you on being accepted into Canterlot Community College’s Astronomy and Astrophysics program. Your passion for the field has been noted and we can’t wait to see you start in August next month. Keep up the good work and your future shall remain bright. We look forward to meeting you.

Sincerely: Dean Sombra
Canterlot Community College”

Gemini was stunned for the briefest of moments as he finished reading. Being accepted into college and into his favorite subject seemed like a moment in a fever dream. Yet, the paper felt real to the touch. He couldn’t believe his eyes but the message was clear nonetheless. With much excitement, Gemini stood up and shook Luna’s hand furiously.

“Oh my god!” Gemini exclaimed, “Oh, thank you so much, Luna! You honestly didn’t have to.”

“Come on now, you deserve it. You honestly can’t expect to do good and not get rewarded in some way.”

“I mean, you did presumably go through a lot of trouble for this. But… thank you.”

“It really was no problem. I have my ways.” She then turns to Celestia and nods, “Tia, I think it’s time for yours.”

The time was now as Celestia pulled a manila envelope from her purse and hands it to Gemini. He was amused that he got two presents from his guardians. If it was in an envelope like that, it must be important, What in his mind could top a college acceptance letter? The only way he was going to find out was by opening it. But… the contents of it would leave a lasting impression on him.

In his hands was a certificate… of adoption. On that certificate was not only his name but also that of Celestia and Argent. For a moment, Gemini couldn’t move, breathe, twitch, or wink. It all felt unreal like a vivid dream that one would only experience once in their lives. Just as he began rationalizing it as a joke, the warm feeling from Celestia’s hand touching his cast aside any notions of it being an illusion. It was really happening. Celestia was taking him in as her son even though her own wasn’t born yet.

Covering his mouth, overloaded with joy, Gemini gasped as his eyes began to well up with tears. It didn’t take long before his emotional dam had burst from the rush of happiness and he began to weep. He rushed over and wrapped Celestia in a hug, crying into her shoulder as she rubbed his back calm him. Looking on at the scene, Argent’s prediction was proven true as Gemini’s happiness reached new heights.

“W-Why?” Gemini sobbed as he buried his face in her blazer’s shoulder.

“Shhh, it’s okay, my son.” Celestia cooed, “Argent and I thought about it for weeks and thought it was in your best interest to welcome you into my family. After what you’ve been through, you shouldn’t have to feel alone anymore. You are loved by me and everyone here. Welcome to my family, Gemini.” Having exhausted his tears, Gemini looked his now mother in the eyes, wiping away all his tears.

“Celestia, Mother… thank you.” Gemini gave her a quick hug. It had more meaning as they were now mother and son. Though not bound by blood, it mattered little to them. They were now family and he now has the mother he needed. “I‘m going to have to get used to calling you mother from now on.”

Smiling and returning to his seat, Gemini spent the remainder of the dinner in bliss. Chatting with his new family and girlfriend, he took in the ambient joy of his new familial connections. It was one of those rare moments where one would experience true happiness. No matter what, he now had a family that he can turn to for the rest of his life.

Having gotten permission from her parents, Fleur De Lis decided to stay over at Celestia’s with Gemini for the night. Having been given the living room to themselves, the perfect setup for the young couple. Sitting on the couch, Gemini allowed Fleur to lay in his lap as they watch old movies as they slowly lulled into a slumber. Comfortable, Gemini held her tight as their eyelids become heavy.

“Hey babe,” Gemini moaned as he pecked her cheek, “did you ever wonder that we were going to be this intimate?”

“Don’t know about intimate.” Fleur adjusted herself in his arms, yawning as she wrapped her arms around his neck, “But a moment like this does wonders. Just you, me, and the entire room to ourselves.”

With a yawn of his own, Gemini pulled his girlfriend further in, draping a blanket over their bodies as they took in its warmth and from their bodies close contact. Humming with delight, he gently rested his head on hers, taking in the relaxing scent of lavender and lilacs. Gingerly petting her head, he felt the rhythm of her heartbeat, steady and strong as humed the tune of one of his favorite songs.

Yawing one more time, Gemini turned off the TV and turned his entire attention to the girl in his arms. To him, sleeping with her in such a way was more than enough to make the night magical and worthwhile. With a final yawn, Fleur’s violet eyes shut tightly as she drifted off to sleep. Feeling sleep soon to claim him, Gemini closed his as his body relaxed. Between graduating, being accepted into college, and Celestia taking him in as her son, sleeping with his lover in his arms was the one to top off the whole day. No worries for the rest of the night.

This day… perfect.

8. A New Life

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Good things come to those who wait. For those who’ve endured much develop a high degree of patience. After one goes through an ordeal similar to what Gemini went through, it’s a testament to their strength. Through pain and will, Gemini was able to get himself out of a hopeless situation and he was rewarded in spades. For the first time in years, lasting happiness was obtainable for him.

He never expected that not only did he get accepted into college, he also, to his surprise, was adopted by Celestia herself. Though it was an emotional moment for him that day, he felt eternal gratitude to the woman who was now his mother. Despite that they weren’t of blood, it mattered little to him. More than anything, he was happy that he was wanted… that he was loved. They were now mother and son, a bond never made lightly.

Weeks had passed since that momentous night. With a new family to call his own, he vowed to help out however he could. Between doing small chores to helping Celestia with anything, he was eager to lend a hand. It was like how it was for him in his old life but unlike back then, he never felt under pressure for anything. Breathing easier had never felt so good before.


“Bonjour, mon amour! I hope you’re having a good morning. I was thinking that we should go out to the park for our next date, like a picnic. Just checked the forecast for Monday and it looks to be clear skies. I’ll talk to you later. Au revoir!”

“You too, my flower.” Gemini sighed as he finished his morning ritual with some shaving. Not leaving a single strand of facial hair untrimmed, he hummed with satisfaction and another job well done. Though, part of him wanted a mustache. I wonder what she’ll think of me rocking a stache. Hmmm, a hell of a gamble though. Maybe I’ll ask her.

Cleaning his face of the excess shave cream, Gemini walked into the living room, grabbing a cup of coffee. He sat on the couch quietly sipping away at his brew as he enjoyed the ambient calm of the morning. To him, it seemed unusually calm, like he was the only one in the house. Neither Argent’s or Celestia’s cars were to be found. But it was an opportunity to enjoy a much desired quiet morning. What could everyone else be up to?

A few minutes later, the door opens and in came Argent Radiance. He looked decked out in a long-sleeved shirt, vest, and a tan boonie cap. In his hands were a box of god knows what and two fishing rods. He also wore that trademark smile of his that Gemini grew accustomed to. He had a hunch as to what his mom’s boyfriend intended but would rather hear it from the horse’s mouth.

“Morning, Gemini.” Argent said as he sat down, “Just waking up, weren’t you?”

“Yeah, just letting the coffee hit the brain.” Gemini replied, “Where’s my mom and Luna?”

“They went out to have some time between sisters. Your mom is strong for one in her condition.”

“Heh, that’s true. She’s never been one for relaxing. But, may I ask what’s up with all that fishing garb?”

“Well, since Tia and Luna are out spending some quality time, I figured why not have some quality time of our own.”

Argent and him spending quality time together? That was something Gemini never expected out of him. Though he’s still Celestia’s boyfriend, he was practically like a father to him after Grey Smoke got arrested. He never really knew much about him apart from the chat after their first encounter. Why would he suddenly take him out on a father-son trip?

“Hmmm, a fishing trip?” Gemini musingly asked, “We’re not even father and son, not yet anyway.”

“Well,” Argent said, clearing his throat, “seeing as how we’re alone right now, today looks to be a nice day to go and enjoy nature. Besides, some fresh air is soothing to the nerves.”

Argent was right about that. Some fresh air is good for the body. Even then, Gemini noticed something was up with him. What could it be? What was the real reason for him taking him out for some quality time? Still, he felt that it would be a boring day and some fishing might break the ice.

“Eh, I don’t see why not.” Gemini agreed as he got up, “Never been fishing before though.”

“There’s a first time for everything. Teach a man to fish and you’ll feed him for a lifetime.” Argent got up from his seat, “Come. Let’s see if we can beat the worst of the traffic rush.”

Walking to his car, the two hopped inside as Argent began to play some music from his phone. Gemini didn’t know who sang it but it didn’t stop him from tapping his as they drove away from the house. Every note that passed by his ears as they drove towards the lake kept his smile in place. Never did he hear it before but he was already warming up to it.

“Looks like he enjoys it.” Argent mused, “Never knew you were into soft rock.”

“Neither did I but I like it.” Gemini answered back, “Sounds so… mellow yet enjoyable.”

“If you want, I can give you some of my collection.”

“Collecting albums? Nerd.”

“Everyone has their respective hobbies. Me, I like to collect old vinyl records. Indulging in one is a great stress reliever.”

“TIme for fishing to become mine I guess.”

“That’s the spirit.”

After many more minutes of driving, Gemini and Argent arrived at Lake Pinecrest. Apart from the neighboring trees that tower to immense heights, the expanse of the lake itself was a sight to see. Clean, clear, and no doubt teeming with life, it reminded Gemini of that perch he loved to retreat to when things got tough. Seeing the area from a height was one thing but up close was indescribable to him.

Driving further down a path, Argent parked at a nearby small boardwalk with a nice bench. Argent recognized that spot as one of his favored fishing spots he frequented. Pointing towards the deep end of the lake, it was optimal for a good catch. Flanked by a few trees, the cool shade would shield them.

Climbing out, Gemini opened the hatch and brought out the tackle box and fishing rods, walking with Argent to their spot while he held a small cooler. Having already tied the hooks to their lines and bobbers, they were all set and ready to go. The one thing that struck Gemini as odd was the presence of a knife and a can of wet cat food.

“What’s all that for?” Gemini asked as Argent took the aforementioned items in hand.

“This.” With a few quick jabs and punctures, Argent cut a few small holes into the can before throwing it onto the lake, “It’ll act as a lure because the fish will be drawn to the scent.”

“Clever.” Gemini said as gripped his rod, “Uhhh… where are the worms?” Argent fished through his pockets and pulled out a bag of worms. But, instead of live worms, they were gummy candy worms. “Really?”

“I never liked touching live bait.” Argent dryly replied, “Just the thought of touching them makes my spine shiver.”

“Fair enough.”

“Right.” Argent, with a wing of his arm and a flick of his wrist, cast his line near the spot where the food can sank, “Now, the key here for a good cast is to press the button at the right time. Can't honestly say when but you’ll know it. Give it a try.”

“Okay, I guess.”

Raising his fishing rod behind him, Gemini whipped forward. Once he just saw the bobber, he flipped the release, sending the hook and bait flying towards the water. To his astonishment, it landed close to Argent’s.

“Oh hey, not bad.” Argent remarked as he placed his rod in one of the notches, “Go ahead and place yours in one of these.” Doing as advised, Gemini put his fishing rod to rest and sat down at the bench with Argent. “Now we wait.”

“The thick of the action, huh?” Gemini remarked.

“Yep.” Argent replied nonchalantly, “In a way, fishing is like a teacher. It teaches the virtue of patience. As we wait for the fish to grab a bite, so too must we wait for good things.”

“I… can see the meaning in that analogy.”

“It was something I taught myself after years of fishing with my dad. Like what happened to you, you endured much and, through patience, you were able to make it out okay.”

“Yeah,” Gemini sighed, remembering all the memories that brought him there, “As I worked to the bone to keep my family afloat, I thought that would get them to stop. Day in and day out, I clung onto that hope. Yet, it never came.”

“Still, you weathered the storm and Celestia brought you in. She took you as her own son and that wasn’t a decision she made lightly.”

“But why would she do that? I mean, I just don't understand.”

“She has many reasons but I’m fairly certain about two of them: She wanted you to have a family to be with and she loves you like you’re her own.” Gemini sighed at Argent’s words, feeling a light breeze blew against his face. Argent knew something else was on the teen’s mind, “Is there something else you want to talk about?”

“Yes, there is actually.” Gemini sighed, “I assume you already know about my father assaulting her, right?” Argent knew about the incident that day. Every detail was recalled to him by Celestia.

“I know that day was a sore spot for you. Seeing your father assault Celestia like that… I can’t blame you for getting angry. She did take you in that week. Roughing up your father like that must’ve been a difficult thing to do.”

“Yes. I mean… he was going to harm her unborn son, all because she stuck up for me. I had no choice. Even though he’s now in prison, I feel conflicted. He’s my father, one of the people that brought me into this world. I should feel angry at him for putting me through four years of hell but I still remember the good times before then. I don’t know what to do.”

In his career as a psychologist, Argent was familiar with people struggling with emotional conflicts. His familiarity with such cases allowed him to read Gemini like a map. Part of him still loved his father yet another felt anger and scorn for what he did, what he put him through. Argent saw cases like that before when he treated his patients and knew hat to say for the most part.

“Gemini,” Argent placed a hand on the teen’s shoulder, “learning to forgive is never easy and it takes a great deal of strength. I can’t be the arbiter of whether or not you should but I’ll offer you these nuggets of knowledge. Holding a grudge is like holding a poison but it shouldn't mean to forget what they did. Sometimes, forgiving someone, just to move on and have some peace of mind, is the way to go.”

“Wow,” Gemini muttered, “where’d ya learn that quote?”

“Just thought of it at the top of my head. The point is that it’s sometimes better to make amends in order to heal and move on but always remember what he did so he could learn from his mistakes.” Gemini sighed as he contemplated his friend’s words. He felt that he had a point but it was still too early to render a decision, “Look, I’m not asking you to forgive him right away or act on my advice. Give it some time and then draw your conclusions.”

“Fair enough.” Gemini looked out towards the lake, marveling at its beauty. Those thoughts didn’t last long however as ones from before came back to him. What was the real reason Argent brought him out here? “So, what made you wanna do this trip with me? We’re not even father and son and I feel that something’s up. What is it?” With a sly smirk, Argent scoffed for a bit.

“Looks like the jig is up.” Argent reached into his pocket, “I was hoping to keep a tight lid on it until dinner tonight.” He pulled out a small black box, handing it to Gemini, “But, I feel that you deserve to know.”

Opening the box, Gemini was left speechless when he saw a ring with a heart-shaped diamond within. Having known that he and his mother were lovers, Gemini looked at Argent with a mix of shock and excitement. He was really going to do it.

“No freaking way!” Gemini gasped.

“It’s the real deal.”Argent remarked as he retrieved his engagement ring, “I’ve waited so long to propose to her and now I feel as though the time is right.”

Putting two and two together, it all began to make sense to Gemini. In the days since they first met and his graduation, Argent became something of a father figure to him. Now, he was going to become his literal father. If he had to guess, Argent was waiting for his blessings. He loved Celestia and warmed up to Argent. Gemini had no problems with Argent’s intentions.

“Argent,” Gemini said, “you’ve long since earned my blessings. I know you love Celestia. I have no problems if you wanna tie the knot with her. It’s okay.” With a smile as warm as he could muster, Gemini pulled Argent into a tight hug. The feeling of the embrace filled the psychologist with an equal amount of warmth. Though Gemini long since accepted him, he felt proud to fill that certain void in the young man’s life, “I’m not opposed to calling you my father.”

“Gemini… thank you.” Argent and Gemini shared in the embrace for a time. On the corner of his eye, Argent noticed Gemini’s fishing rod moving about, “Hey, I think your line caught something!” Snapping his view to his line, Gemini rushed over to his rod, gripping it as he began reeling in the catch. By how immense the resistance felt, it was a big fish, “Okay, the key here is to keep it steady and tire out the fish. Don’t pull to hard or it’ll snap your line.”

“Got it!” Gemini grunted as he reeled in the line, easing and tugging with all his strength, “Persistent little bastard! Come on!” Repeating his pattern, he carefully reeled in the catch until it was near the boardwalk. With a few final windings, he was rewarded with the sight of a sizable fish. It’s scales looked to have a subtle rainbow tint, “Good lord! I did it!”

“Not bad at all.” Argent mused, “Quite the sizable Rainbow Trout you have there.” The fish wiggled about on the hook, “Why don’t I send a picture of this to your mother and aunt. I’m sure they’ll get a kick out of this.”

“Go on ahead.” Gemini struck up a prideful heroic pose while wearing a triumphant smile. Pressing a few buttons on his phone, Argent waited a few seconds before a flash flickered and gave a thumbs up, “They’re going to like it, I can tell.”

“That they will, son.”

Releasing the fish back into the water, the two continued fishing while shooting the breeze. Jokes and chatting, both Gemini and Argent enjoyed an early morning of being out in the great outdoors. With the knowledge that Argent will propose to Celestia, Gemini couldn’t wait to see the look on his mother’s face. From what he could gather, Argent wanted him to record the moment.

As noon soon struck, their trip soon came to an end. With lungs full of fresh air, Argent began packing up until his phone began to buzz. Fetching it, the caller was Luna herself. What could she want?

"Hello?" Argent answered.

"Luna, what's going on?"

"Calm down, take some deep breaths. Now, what's going on?"

"What?! How long ago?!"

"Okay, where are you now?"

"Alright, we've just finished up our fishing trip. We'll be there as soon as we can."

"Okay, see you when we get there." Argent shut the hatch as he turned to Gemini.

"What happened?" Gemini asked

"Your mother went into labor about twenty minutes ago." Argent sighed.

"What?! Are you serious?!"

"Yes. Looks like our next stop is the hospital." Argent got in the car, “Let’s not keep the women waiting.”

Climbing in, the two sped away from the lake, being careful not to disrupt traffic. Both their hearts pounded as the situation set in. After months of anticipation, the arrival of Celestia’s child was nigh and tension was going to be, without a doubt, high. As calm as he likes to be, Argent worried for the safety of his soon to be fiance.

Carefully navigating through the city traffic, the two arrived at the hospital with little difficulty. Checking in at the front desk took a bit with all the paperwork involved. When they got up to her room on the third floor, they found Luna outside pacing back and forth. She didn’t look stressed or anything, more like she was waiting for them. From what she told them, only she was allowed in with her sister. It was something they saw coming.

Thus, they walked to the waiting room where they’ll be waiting for the next several hours, depending on how long it’ll take. Kicking back, a wave of anxiety washed over Gemini. Today is the day he’ll be meeting his younger brother, something he never got to have. Such a thought filled him with something he couldn’t point out. Yet, he felt that all will be okay. He couldn’t wait to hold his baby brother in his arms.

“Well, it looks like we'll be playing the waiting game.” Gemini sighed as he pulled out a deck of Uno cards, “Are you up for a billion rounds of Uno? We're probably going to be here for a while.”

“In a little bit.” Argent sat down, “I know you're trying to contain your excitement. Being a big brother is a big responsibility. I’m the eldest of three. It always took a bit to keep my brother and sister in line but I love them. They’re a bunch of goofs though.”

“Heh, sounds like you had a riot. Must’ve been a hell of an experience.”

“Yeah. All I can say is keep calm and you’ll do great.”

“Right.” Gemini yawned as he stretched his back. “You always seem to be well versed in many things.”

“And you’d be right. Not only do I have knowledge of the mind and emotions… sigh I also know love, both the good and the bad.”

“Speaking of which, why did you choose Celestia despite her being… pregnant?”

“It’s a bit of a long story.” If there was one thing Argent was known for, his memory was razor sharp. Both his good and bad experiences with love, it was crystal clear as the days he first experienced them, “Back then, before I met Celestia, I was in love with one of my classmates from college, Yvette Dusk. If I were to pick any words to describe her, they would be witty, sharp, and compassionate. She wouldn’t think twice about giving a hand when you needed it. She was truly something.”

“Sounds like you got along with her quite well.” Gemini remarked, “But what made you two break up?” The breakup was still fresh in his mind. It plagued him with sorrow at times. Yet, he was always willing to talk about it.

“I loved Yvette, I really did. But, we often fell prey to our own preoccupation and it proved challenging in our relationship. We were establishing our respective careers so that it became difficult to find some ‘us’ time. In the end, we both mutually agreed to go our separate ways and that was it. It taught me the important lesson of letting go, even if your heart doesn't like it. But, life is life and it moves on but not without a shred of hope that things will be better. Where ever she is, I wish her well.”

“But how did you meet Celestia?”

“It was at a coffee shop that I first saw her. Back then, she looked to be about three months along. She was having trouble with her card when she was paying for her drink. So, I swooped in and took care of it for her. What happened after a few thanks was a conversation and things clicked from there. After all that time, I was a bit surprised but I knew I'd find love again. ”

“Looks like you and I aren’t that different.”

With Gemini’s remark, a spark flickered between the two. Though friends, Argent saw that he had a point. Seeing the parallels between the two, he realized that Gemini been down nearly the exact same road he traveled. It was like a small world to him with a touch of irony that one younger than him would give him pause in such a way. Amused, Argent pulled Gemini into yet another hug, sharing a tender moment between them.

“Thank you, son.” Argent whispered.

“I know.” Gemini replied. As much as he enjoyed the moment, it was disrupted by a rumbling in his stomach, “Uhh, quick question, is hospital food any good?”

“Wouldn’t know. Why?”

“Getting a little hungry here. I could go for a slice right now.”

For the next nine hours, both Argent and Gemini sat in wait, doing anything within their power to stave off boredom. Resigning to napping, they closed their eyes as they lost track of time. In spite of this, they both hoped for the best for Celestia. Unsure of how much time has passed, their slumber was interrupted by the entrance of a nurse that had a head of pink hair in a bun. Upon seeing her, both got on their feet.

“Hello, my name is Nurse Redheart.” The nurse greeted, “I was asked to come fetch you two.”

“How is she, nurse?” Argent asked, “Is my Celestia okay?” His questions were met by a warm smile from Redheart.

“Come see for yourselves.”

Following the nurse down the hall, they arrived at the room. Opening it slowly, both saw a sight that filled them with awe. Celestia laid in her bed, exhausted with her hair disheveled and frazzled yet with a content smile on her face. In her arms was her son, resting comfortably in a blanket. Their worries were put to rest as the longest part of the day, along with their worries, were behind them.

“Look at him.” Luna whispered as both hers and her sister’s gaze locked on the two, “He’s the most precious thing I’ve seen.”

“He looks so... peaceful” Gemini said in his soft voice. Looking upon his baby brother’s face, he couldn’t help but crack a smile, “So that is my brother.”

“Indeed he is.” Celestia yawned as Gemini grew closer “Meet your brother, Sunspot Aurora.”

Getting a closer look, despite different skin coloration, there were a number of features that connected him to his mother. A bit of his facial structure, heliotrope eyes, and same hairstyle that’s missing the green, Sunspot was almost like a spitting image of her. Turning his view to Gemini, Sunspot started making noises as he reached out to him with his small arms, much to his mother’s joy.

“Looks like he knows who you are.” Celestia said with a smile, “Would you like to hold him?”

“R-Really?” Gemini stuttered at his mother’s question.

“Go on. He wants to see his brother.”

Gently reaching his arms out, Gemini took is swaddled brother in his arms and sat down on a nearby chair. Looking upon his face, the one of innocence, Gemini’s joy-filled smile was accentuated by a few tears. He spent most of his life being an only child and now he holds his brother in his arms. It was the most heartwarming moment of his life.

“Heya Sunspot,” Gemini cooed as he rocked the infant in his arms, “it’s me, your brother. Welcome to the world.” Playfully booping his nose, Sunspot’s tiny hands started reaching for Gemini’s fingers. Holding it in place, he allowed them to grapple onto it with a cooing noise. Such a display melted his heart. Whatever happens, I promise… I’ll be a good brother to you. I’ll protect and cherish you, always. Briefly taking his gaze away, he looked on at Luna, Celestia, and Argent giving him looks of approval. With the latter, however, he gave a subtle blink. He knew what it meant. “Luna, can you hold him for a sec?”

“Sure.” Luna agreed.

Once Sunspot was out of his arms, Gemini brought out his phone, activating its video camera. Argent then got over to Celestia’s bedside with a nervous expression. Now was the moment he’d been waiting for.

“Celestia, my love,” Argent sighed, “through the small amount of time we knew each other, I thought I would never love again. Yet, you rekindled that feeling in me, mending the wound in my heart. I love you with all my heart and nothing will make me think differently. Even under the pain of death, my love for you will never falter. So now, I ask you this.” Argent got on one knee, pulled out the box and opened it, revealing the ring nestled within, “Celestia, will you marry me?”

Celestia couldn’t believe her weary eyes. Not long after bringing her son into the world, her boyfriend got on one knee and asked the question. Still reeling from the long hours of labor, she could barely contain her joy. She now has another son and a future husband. Truly, it was the best day of her life.

“Yes! A million times yes!” She gasped with joy as she embraced her betrothed. Looking on at the scene, Gemini drew a smile of satisfaction. Seeing his adoptive mother happy made him feel the same way. With Argent soon to be his father, he felt that one last void in his heart is filled. He was complete now and he belonged.

“Congratulations, mom.” Gemini said with a hug and kiss to her cheek, “I’m happy that you’re happy. But most of all, thank you for everything.” Yet, thoughts still raced through his head. Holding his brother triggered something in him. He needed a quieter place to contemplate, “Hey mom, mind if I walk out for a bit? I need to grab something to drink.”

“You’re excused, my son.”

With a nod, Gemini walked out of the room with a smirk disguising his mood. Making his way to the cafeteria, Gemini purchased a cup of coffee, relaxing as he drank it. The feeling of the piping hot liquid coursing through his body warmed him to the soul and the caffeine jump-started his brain. Having room to think, he allowed himself to become lost in thought.

My brother… Gemini thought to himself, holding him, I wonder. Will I be a better man than my father? Will I be good enough to rear a kid with Fleur?

“Looks like you didn’t just come here to have a drink.” Luna said, sitting down across from him, “You know, I’ve seen this before and you’re no good at making up a story.”

“How perceptive of you, Auntie Luna.” Gemini scoffed, taking another sip, “It’s just that a lot of things are on my mind right now and my brain is trying to make heads and tails of it all.”

“I understand. You just got a new brother and your mom is getting married. Such drastic changes in your life will no doubt make you feel pensive. You’re my nephew. You shouldn’t feel reluctant to talk with me.”

“You’re right, Luna.” Gemini sighed, finishing his drink, “I want to ask you something.”

“Is there something troubling you, nephew?”

"Yes. When I held my brother, Sunspot Aurora, I felt something in me... like some instinct."

"What kind of instinct?” Luna gingerly places her hands on her nephew’s “What's on your mind?"

"Knowing where I came from, will I be a good father?"
"Gemini,” Luna sighed, “where you came from or your upbringing has little to no bearing on how'll be as a father. Even then, the past is past. Don't let it rule your mind. When my sister got pregnant by some guy who never came back, she had her fair bit of doubts, even considering giving him away. But as time went on, I noticed something stir in her, the same instinct you've felt. I even saw it on display when we first brought you in."

"What are you saying?"

"Parenthood isn't exactly something you can prepare for, physically and mentally. Trust in your instincts and that of Fleur's. When the time comes, you'll find your answer. Still, I can already see it in you when you held your brother. You'll do fine. I have full confidence that you’ll be a great father."

Reaching over, Gemini pulled his aunt into a hug. Hearing those kind words from her set his mind at ease. As always, Luna had a high degree of empathy despite how she often carries herself. She loved her nephew and would never lie to him on anything. He appreciated her for her honest nature.

“I’ll… give it my best shot then.” Gemini whispered, “Though it’s too early for all that, I already know I’ll ask her that at some point.”

“I know you will. I can see it in your eyes that you love her very much. Go at your own pace and build your bonds with her. That’s the most important part of any romantic relationship.” Luna gets up from her seat, “Let’s head back. I think Celestia wants to do a family photo with us.”

Following her back to the room, Gemini saw Argent kneeling next to Celestia, both looking lovingly at each other. Sunspot rested peacefully in his mother’s arms as Nurse Redheart looked on with a smile with a camera in hand.

“Okay, now find your places.” Redheart said as she got the camera ready. Luna took the side opposite of Argent as he stood up. Gemini took his spot between Celestia and Argent, kneeling as the latter rested a hand on his shoulder. Both were smiling in a moment that would be preserved in a picture. “Now, smile and say cheese!



9. Holy Day

View Online

“We part, too soon
But in our lies
There's a truth to find
The end, is new
A tomorrow we must reach for
To be heard.”

Setting his guitar down, Gemini walked over to the crib where his little brother, Sunspot Aurora, was falling asleep. Ever since he came home after his birth, Gemini had been playing soft guitar melodies of songs he remembered. Singing with a voice as gentle as the autumn breeze and fluidly striking each chord, it became a staple for Sunspot’s napping routines. Reaching into the crib, Gemini ran his hand through Sunspot’s hair before giving him a peck on the forehead as the infant drifted off to sleep, peaceful and quiet.

“Sweet dreams, lil’ brother.” Turning around, he was met by the sight of his father, Argent Radiance, smiling with amusement. He wondered how long his soon-to-be father had been standing there. Yet, he couldn’t react lest he disturb his sleeping brother. Gemini held a finger up to his mouth as he whispered, “Like clockwork, dad.”

“Unorthodox way to calm him down but it works.” Argent whispered as they left the room, “I have to say that you’re a natural when it comes to taking care of him… and babies in general.”

“I mainly just figure things out as I go. Thank you, dad.” Him calling Argent his ‘dad’ earned a laugh from the adult.

“Gemini, I’m not your dad yet. But, I will be later on this afternoon.”

Gemini hadn’t forgotten about his adoptive mother’s impending marriage, having a front-row view of the proposal months ago. Since then, between his continued academic pursuits and looking after his brother, he’d been helping with getting everything set in place for the wedding. Though he had his hands full at times, his old life had him adapted to such rigors, nothing too strenuous for him.

“Come on.” Gemini scoffed as he grabbed a cup of coffee, “That already happened when you put your scribble on the adoption certificate.” Gemini took a hearty sip, “On top of all that, during the months since then and getting to know you, you’re cool in my books.”

“‘Cool’, is that the replacement word for ‘good’ nowadays?”

“You’d be right. The point is, Celestia trusts you and so do I. Well, though we’ve started out on a rough patch, it really doesn’t matter.”

“That’s actually a good mindset going forward.” Argent sat down and unfolded a newspaper, “It’s good to go forward and never look back on the negative things. You’ve applied that effectively and look at what that has gotten you.”

“Yeah,” Gemini finished the rest of his coffee, “an astrophysics scholarship, a girlfriend, a roof above my head, and a load of stress off my back. You know, it’s honestly hard to look back after all that.”

“Positivity, positivity. That’s the key there, son. No matter what happens, keep a stiff upper lip, steel yourself, and you should be alright. Nothing really special but to be mindful of those things.”

“I guess. So, what’s on the agenda besides your big day?” Argent then huffed with amusement as he stretched his back.

“Well, as of now, your mother is off with Cadance and Luna at the cathedral getting things ready. Once Luna has done her bit, she’ll come to pick up Sunspot and bring him over there. After that, we can take off and go on our merry way from there.”

“Wait, bring sunspot to the cathedral?” Gemini asked with confusion, “Do churches offer daycare services now?”

“Sometimes they do.” Argent answered as he flipped another page, “Luna has a friend that works the nursery there. He’ll be in good hands.”

“I hope so. At least they’ll take care of him during the ceremony.

“They will.” Argent folds the paper and puts it away, “By the way, excited to attend the event with your girlfriend, Fleur?”

With weddings come the reception and the dance. When the RSVPs were being sent out, Gemini gave one to Fleur De Lis, which she gladly accepted. He remembered the last time they danced during her graduation party as the slow songs came forth. Throughout that night, nothing else mattered to them apart from her gentle embrace and that of her lips on his. Neither of them could wait to recapture that moment in a setting of his parent’s union.

“I can’t tell you the number of times she’s been excited about the dance during the reception.” Gemini sighed, “ I swear, she’s rather cute when she’s excited.”

“But, that should tell you something.” Argent teased, “Women like her are a special lot. If she's excited about the dance, there’s only one thing about it.”

“Which is?”

“She absolutely loves you, Gemini. Dare I say it, she’s smitten with you. At some point, I can see you both getting married.”

“Woah Woah Woah! Look, I get it. I love Fleur with all my heart.” Gemini replied with visual embarrassment, “But, I’m still juggling a job and schoolwork while finding time for her. I’m not going to consider that until I at least have a place for me and her. I gotta handle things slowly until then.”

“I know, Gemini.” Argent replied, “It’s just future thought for you, ya know.”

“I know. But, I can’t wait for the dance. I hope there’ll be a song that’ll set the mood for a slow dance.”

“There will. Yet, we still have to get through a ceremony and you’re one of my groomsmen.” Argent playfully jabbed Gemini in the arm, “You should’ve seen the look on your face when I told you that. You were a hysterical riot.”

Azure grumbled in embarrassment as he remembered that moment to the laughter of Argent, Celestia, and Luna. Being told that he was going to be one of the groomsmen shocked him, made even more hysterical as he drank some milk… and made a mess in the process. Thereafter, it became something of a joke but with an air of good nature like horseplay. It still was something that Gemini felt embarrassed about.

“Note to self, never drink any dairy before someone surprises you.” Gemini remarked as he nodded, “Celestia got a bit pissed off that day.”

“She did get a laugh out of it, though.” Their conversation was interrupted when Luna entered the house, dressed in a long purple ball gown. “Luna, what are you doing here so early?”

“Well, Meredeth pitched the idea of bringing Sunspot over early so he could spend some time with his mother.” Luna answered, “My sister and I were inclined to agree. What were you two up to?”

“Waking up and shooting the breeze, auntie.” Gemini warmly replied, “Are you sure Meredeth can handle Sunspot?”

“Pshaw, Gemini. She’s had kids of her own. If anyone can handle your little brother, it’s her. How is he?”

“Fast asleep, Luna.” Argent answered, “He likes it when Gemini plays his guitar. Hell, it’s a good way of calming him down.”

“Anything to keep him calm is welcome.” Luna looked around the living room a fair bit before bringing her attention back to her original train of thought, “So boys, what’s the game plan for you both?”

“Well,” Gemini started, “after you take Sunspot out of our hands, we’re going to get in our suits, go pick up Fleur, have a light lunch, and head on over to the cathedral.”

“Sounds alright. Be sure to get there fairly early though. Better safe than sorry.” Luna walked into Sunspot’s room and placed him in a carrier seat, “Just make sure you both look your best.”

“We will.” Gemini replied as he and Argent waved Luna goodbye before she drove off, “Gotta hand it to her, she does get to the point.”

“Yeah, but she does have that softie side of hers.” Argent chuckled, “No wonder she and Time Turner have been a couple for years. Soon, it’ll be Luna’s turn at the altar and we’ll be doing the same thing for her. I wonder why they haven’t married yet.”

“Beats me. Maybe she’s waiting for a bit after Tia and you tie the knot. Then again, Luna isn’t the one to rush things.”

“True, true.” Argent hummed a bit while reading the newspaper. It was only mere months that Gemini knew him but he picked up on him being a fast reader. It didn’t take him terribly long to breeze through the morning paper while sipping his brew. Though a calm and easy going person, Argent is one who likes to get things done quickly if possible, “Well, that just about does it for now. Gemini, why don’t you go in first and get ready. You take less time in there.”

Following his words, Gemini hopped into the shower, leaving him to ponder a great many things. Though the swarm of hot water droplets soothed his muscles, it did little to calm his ever active mind. He got thrown to the wolves, taken in by his former principal, became a big brother, and found love. Yet, he still felt some attachment to the one who forsook him. One half of his mind hated his father but the other half couldn’t bring itself to. It’s funny as to how the brain works like a some organic computer but more complex, always in motion.

Drying himself off, Gemini retreated into his room. On his drawer were the components that make up his suit. Black pants and coat, white shirt, black socks, dress shoes and a bright red tie, he hummed to himself over how good he thinks he’ll look in it, especially since Fleur is going to be by his side. He had to look good for the two most important women in his life. Every piece of the suit he put on had an effect on him, making his smile grow ever wider. He looked as sharp as a razor.

When he turned to the mirror to get a better look, he gave a few good blinks before he saw something different, something he thought was real. He was at what looked to be a church altar with Fleur in a bridal gown. He held her hands as he looked lovingly into her eyes. Being the portals to her heart, he felt the same level of love she had. Some disembodied voice gave them the blessing to kiss and kiss they did. It felt nearly real to Gemini like he was there at his own wedding. Every ounce of the bliss was intoxicating.

“Hey Gemini, you done?” Argent knocked on his door, snapping Gemini from his trance. Opening the door, he saw Gemini looking like he saw a ghost, “You look a little rattled there. What’s up?” It took the young man to snap out of his dazed state. What he saw looked and felt as if he was really there, like a dream come true.

“S-sorry, dad.” Gemini sighed, shaking his head and turning to Argent, “I-I can’t explain this in any other way than I just saw something. It felt nearly real as if it were a vision.” Argent hummed as Gemini regained his composure. It was odd to hear his

“A vision?” Argent placed a hand on his son’s shoulder, intrigued by his statement, “I’ve dealt with cases involving people claiming they saw something that seemed real enough to them. I see such a thing as a manifestation of the combined desires of the heart and mind. Tell me, what did you see? Was it something bad?”

“I-I was at an altar with Fleur. She looked incredibly beautiful.” Argent and Gemini sat on his bed, “We were before a bunch of people, even you, Luna, and mother. When a voice declared us… husband and wife, Fleur and I just kissed.” Gemini let out another sigh, “Her lips felt real as if it was actually happening. I know you’ve heard me gripe a fair bit about it but one day… I want to marry her but when is the right time, I’m not sure.”

“Gemini,” Argent said, “I’m sensing that you worry there’ll come a point where Fleur might leave you for whatever reason.” He grips Gemini’s hand to ease his son’s tension, “You’re afraid of that and I’ve been there before. However, you shouldn’t worry about that. From I’ve seen of her, she loves you too much to go with someone else. Trust me when I say that your instincts will tell you when the iron is hot. Don’t worry about it for now. Today is one for rejoicing.”

Taking a moment to cool down, Gemini drew a smile. “Yeah, maybe not next year, but it’s going to happen soon. I can feel it in my bones.” Getting up, he stretched his back as a big yawn escaped his mouth, “Still, there’s that dance at the reception and I can’t wait for that. Afterward, comes our time alone at her house. Glad her parents are going out of town. If you’re getting at a head start, let’s not keep my lady waiting. She already knows with my text from earlier.”

Pulling up to Fleur’s house, Argent saw Gemini with a confident look on his face like one of triumph. He was used to him being unsure of himself but what he saw was a like an evolution of sorts, almost a different person. “Feeling pretty good about yourself, champ?” Argent asked, rolling down the window, “You always said that you regretted not taking her to prom. In a way, this is like a second chance for you both. Excited for the dance at the reception?”

Gemini huffed in amusement and anticipation. “Yeah, both her and I are.” He tapped his fingers on the dashboard, staring dreamily at the door. From his earlier vision and the dreams he had for the past few months, the reception dance was something he looked forward to the most, “I can’t wait to share mom’s wedding with Fleur. To think one day I’ll be doing that as well… just gets me all excited.”

“I know it does, my son.” Gemini got out of the car, “Now, go get her.” Nodding, Gemini walked up to the front door and gave it a few short knocks. As every moment passed by, his anxiety climbed as he fidget around in his suit. Remembering the breathing exercises Argent taught him, he breathed deeply, in and out, to calm his heart rate. Hearing the sound of footsteps getting closer and closer, Gemini readied himself to greet his love. How woefully unprepared he was.

Answering the door was Fleur De Lis, wearing her ever radiant smile that Gemini grew to love but it wasn’t the only thing she wore. Wearing a black ball gown with a side slits for her legs and a single strap that supported the top, red high-heels, and her hair in a bun, Gemini was truly left awestruck. He couldn’t say anything or move to which Fleur smiled and giggled. She knew he’d be all flustered over her wardrobe.

“Cat got your tongue, mon amour?” Fleur purred as she got closer to Gemini. The way she walked made Gemini’s heart skip a few good beats. He couldn’t say anything on how captivated he was by her beauty. But, his facial expression spelled it all for Fleur who hummed with amusement. “I know what you want to say, Gemini. You’re not half bad looking yourself. Looking very much like a dapper rouge there.”

Mentally slapping himself in the face, Gemini cleared his throat and straightened his tie. “Sorry about that, Fleur. I have to say that you look like, dare I say it… a goddess.” With his confidence back up, Gemini got closer to Fleur and took her hand in his, “Why is it you’re so perfect in your beauty?” He asked with a light peck on her lips, causing her to blush slightly.

“Well, let’s not keep your father waiting.”

Lightly patting him on the cheek, Fleur followed Gemini back to the car and they drove off to the downtown area. Despite it being the weekend where it would usually be calm, the traffic was only slightly below the usual rush hour conditions during the weekends. Yet, Argent knew the city like its map was etched inside of his skull and traversed the majority of the traffic with no issues.

Eventually, they arrived at their destination: Cornerstone Diner, just as Gemini remembered from the day he and Argent first met. When they walked in, a few of the patrons shot them a few looks as to why a nicely-dressed group would dine at a place like that. The staff, save for Hashbrown, paid them no mind as they took their seats. Right away, she recognized Gemini and Argent as she approached their table.

“Heya,” Hashbrown said in a sing-songy voice, “it’s been a few weeks since you two last came here.” She then turned her attention to Fleur, “I see you also brought a friend. She looks stunning in that dress.”

“That she does, Hashbrown.” Gemini remarked, turning his attention to the waitress, “We’re actually making a quick stop here before my mother’s wedding.” Hasbrown’s eyes lit up at Gemini’s answer.

“Oh, congratulations!” She shook both their hands before focusing her attention on Argent, “I’m guessing you’re the lucky husband to be.”

“That I am, ma’am.” Argent straightened up his tie as he looked at the menu, “For drinks, I guess I’ll have a water, light on the ice, please.” Hashbrown hummed to herself as she wrote down his drink order. She then focused on Gemini and Fleur, ordering a coke and a tea respectively.

“Water, coke, and tea.” Hashbrown hummed as she wrote down the orders, “Excellent choices. Okay, I’ll be back with your drinks in just a short moment. I almost forgot, congratulations on your wedding, sir. She wandered back into the kitchen, leaving the three some time to chat. Sharing a few stories from the past, they both took in the pleasantness of their conversation.

“So, when I kissed him on the lips,” Fleur chuckled, patting Gemini on the back, “you should’ve seen the look on his face. It was quite adorable how he reacted.” Knowing it was all in good fun, Gemini joined in on the laugh, giving Fleur a kiss on her cheek, “But, he was a good kisser nonetheless and a good soul.” She reached over and planted a kiss on his lips, “Ah, there’s that smile I love so much.”

“I remember seeing him come home from that date.” Argent mused, “He looked like he was recovering from a hypnotic trance. I’ve never seen someone so gobsmacked by love before.” He hummed, drumming his fingers on the table, “Gemini, you know that being one of the groomsmen means you’ll be escorting one of the bridesmaids down the aisle. If I had to guess, it might be Ms. Cheerilee.”

For the longest time, Cheerilee was the only person aside from Celestia that Gemini had looked up to. Literature class was one of the few comforts he appreciated and Cheerilee being his teacher helped with her calming demeanor. Though he later developed a bad habit of sleeping in class, Cheerilee first got the hint that something was wrong with Gemini when he started acting withdrawn and notified Celestia as a result. “Whoa, really? Her?” Gemini gasped, “Woah, that’s… I hope I don’t make Fleur here jealous.” Fleur playfully jabs Gemini in his arm in response.

“Mon amour, it’s not something to worry about.” She giggled, “If anything, it’ll be an opportunity to show how much of a gentleman you can be.” Being kissed on the cheek once again, Gemini nervously laughed, nodding while rubbing the back of his head. “Awww, still as cute as I remember you from our first date. I’m absolutely excited for our dance later on tonight.” Before Gemini could respond, Hashbrown came back with their drinks.

“Okay, here are your drinks.” She said as she handed them out, “Have you all decided on anything to eat?” One by one, the three ordered their meals. Argent ordered a turkey club sandwich, Gemini ordered a burger, and Fleur, a caesar salad. “Excellent choices! I’ll be back soon with your orders.” Taking their menus, Hashbrown walked off and into the kitchen, leaving the three to continue their conversation.

“You really like to tease me, don’t you?” Gemini said, holding Fleur’s hand, “Apart from you being so sweet, your playful nature is another reason why I like you.”

“Like?” Fleur playfully pouted, “So, it’s just ‘like’ now?” Seeing Gemini shoot a nervous smile, her frown turned to a smile with a giggle to match, “As you’ve said, you like it when I’m playful like this.”

“What can I say,” Argent mused, taking a sip of his water, “I can recognize a strong bond when I see one. You both remind me of my first romantic relationship when I was in high school. Remember what I said about her, Gemini? She already digs you.”

“Heh, I know.” As Gemini took a sip from his coke, one question floated in his head. It was something he wanted to ask but never found the time or will to do so, “Argent, I have something to ask.”

“What’s on your mind, sport?” Argent asked back.

“I know that Celestia went out of her way to give me a proper stable life and a family. But, there are times that I feel as though there are those more deserving of her help than me. I still wonder why she chose me of all people to help. Why?” Argent couldn’t say anything as his mind was processing Gemini’s question. As a therapist, he usually was able to find an explanation to such a query. Yet, he had none, nothing.

“Well…” Argent struggled to answer, “I have no clue but… maybe if you ask her yourself,” He placed a hand on Gemini’s shoulder, “I’m sure she’ll answer that. That talk is between you and her alone.” Smiling yet nervous, Gemini slowly nodded. His father was right in that he had to ask Celestia that question himself but the ‘when’ was the question. “If you want, I can tell her that at the reception if you’re nervous.”

“I think I can manage, pops.”

Before their conversation could continue further, their orders came in, freshly made and mouth-wateringly appetizing. Taking their time to enjoy their light lunch while being mindful of the time, they chatted between eating. All that didn’t stop the flirting between Gemini and Fleur going on. The excitement of the reception’s dance only fueled their anticipation and love. Even Argent couldn’t help but crack a grin at such a display.

Once their lunch was done and the bill paid, they left the diner for the cathedral. While Fleur maintained her composure, both Argent and Gemini exhibited their own degrees of anxiety. Gemini looked upon the man who will soon be his father, the one he got to know for only half a year. Argent, after a failed relationship, would be getting another chance at love. In a way, it was a day for second chances.

Pulling up to the cathedral, the three did some last minute grooming before walking in. Ornate and architecturally impressive, the interior was as much a marvel as the exterior. All the guests in attendance were standing around, livening the air with chit-chat. Some of the guests were his former teachers from school with Ms. Cheerilee among them, wearing a light green dress and long and flowing hair. It wasn’t the first time gemini was part of a big crowd but it didn’t bother as much as he thought it would.

“Oh, Gemini!” Cherrilee said, rushing over and giving him a hug, “It’s been so long since I saw a student of mine… or two.” She turned to Fleur, breaking the hug to shake her hand, “So, I’m guessing you and Gemini are a couple, right?”

“We are.” Gemini spoke up, “We’re just eager to dance at the reception later on.”

“Oui,” Fleur added, “I’m not jealous over you being walked down the aisle by my love. I understand it.” Fleur, Gemini, and Cheerilee all shared a laugh between them, “He’s quite the gentleman.”

“I agree.” Cheerilee noticed Gemini acting slightly distant, reminding her of the times she pressed him about his issues. She crooked an eyebrow, “You know, Gemini, I remember that look on your face.Something’s on your mind. What is it?” Gemini nervously shifted his stance.

“I… just have a lot on my mind right now, that’s all.” Gemini answered, “Just got out of a rough patch and I’m just trying to enjoy life.”

“Really?” Cheerilee pressed him further, “Is there someone you need to talk to?”

“Well… yeah.” Gemini started toward the nearby stairs, “Is it alright if I have a few to talk with my mom?”

With a nod of approval, Gemini walked up the stairs to the upper area of the cathedral. Seeing a room to his left, he entered it and saw, along with Luna, was Celestia. She was dressed in an elegant bridal gown while Luna finished styling her hair in a bun, leaving a couple locks hinging on either side. Clearing his throat, Celestia turned around to see Gemini standing in front of the door. “Gemini!” Celestia rushed over to hug him, “Oh, look at you, ya handsome devil! How are you?”

“Doing great, mom.” Gemini answered, “I’m just excited to see you getting married. You?”

“Oh, just getting a little anxious but I’m happy at the same time.” Luna joined in on the hug with a smile. As she did, she readily able to pick up on Gemini’s unease. It was something she hadn’t seen in months but it was a demeanor she was familiar with, “Luna, what’s wrong?”

“It seems like Gemini is feeling a little pensive.” Luna said, tenderly stroking Gemini’s cheek, “Nephew, what’s on your mind? Are you alright?” Gemini had his hands in his pockets, nervously fidgeting around. He didn’t say anything for a few moments, still working up the will to speak, “Nephew?”

“I~ have quite a bit to talk about.” stammered Gemini, “It’s something that’s been on my mind for a while.”

“Really?” Celestia mused, “What’s gotten your mind troubled?”

“There’s much I want to say but I feel now isn’t the time to discuss it.” sighed Gemini, “Is it alright if we wait until the reception to do so?” Gemini reached out to Celestia and wrapped her into a hug to which she returned with a bright and warm smile on her face, “You said I could talk to you about anything.”

“That I did.” said Celestia with a light peck to his cheek, “I do appreciate you wanting to wait until later to talk. But, no matter what, I’ll be willing to listen.” That reassuring smile of hers that Gemini was familiar with had a calming effect on him. For the time being, his mind was put at ease, enough to keep him through the ceremony. Though they wanted the tender moment to last, they were interrupted by a door knock and the entry of Cheerilee.

“I’m so sorry to interrupt.” Cheerilee spoke up, “But Gemini, it’s time.”

“Okay, Cheerilee.” Gemini responded with a tinge of disappointment. Hooking her arm in his, he walked Cheerilee down the stairs and down the aisle while keeping a stoic demeanor. Once at the altar, they spit up with Cheerilee standing next to Luna and Gemini next to Argent’s brother, Horizon. Two bench rows, all seating the friends and family of the bride and groom, were silent as they stood, waiting for the priest, Father Perceval to finish preparing. Argent looked nervous but it was a symptom of his excitement.

Then, the pipe organs started playing the familiar sounds of the wedding march. Down the stairs, came Celestia, veil down and with a bouquet in her hands. As much as he thought her to be pretty, Gemini had to keep his composure but was nonetheless proud of her. As she got to the altar, both her and Argent turned to face one another, blushing and holding hands. Looking on, Gemini couldn’t help but shed a tear of pride.

“Everyone,” spoke Perceval, “we are gathered here today on this most holy day to witness, through love, the union of Celestia and Argent Radiance.” Gemini took a deep breath, “It is by the grace of God and the strength of their love that these two individuals had found each other. Love is one of the immutable forces in the universe, one that binds hearts in more ways than one. If there are those who object to this union, do so now or silence be taken as consent.” No one spoke up, save for a few muted coughs, “Very well. We can begin with the ceremony. Now, the bride and groom will light the candles of unity.”

Both Argent and Celestia took pre-lit candles and lit the black and white candles on the candelabra. “Well done.” nodded Perceval, “Now, at this time, the bride and groom may now read their vows.”Argent and Celestia were both handed papers with their heart’s words written down. They took a few moments to to collect themselves before they were ready.

“Celestia,” shuddered Argent as he struggled to contain his joy, “I only knew you for nearly a year yet when I first met you at that coffee shop, I knew you were something special. You’ve healed my broken heart and I comforted you when you felt sad.” He sniffled a bit as he paused for a moment, “Now, I want to make new memories with you. I want to love, honor, be by your side unto death, and to be there for our sons. That is my promise. I love you dearly, Celestia.” The second to last part resonated with Gemini, tugging further at his heartstrings.

“My dear Argent,” said Celestia, “not only have you been a loyal and loving friend of mine, but someone I’d be more than happy to spend the rest of my life with. It’s not every day when you felt your heart being broken by abandonment... only for it to be healed by the kindness of one person. You stuck by me as I was bearing my son and I have no doubt you’ll be a great father to our children. It makes me happy that you chose to make me your wife. I love you… now and forever.”

Feeling his emotional dam beginning to crack, Gemini felt a few tears rolling down his cheek. He brushed them aside but the effect was still there. Even some simple words in their vow was enough to spell out how much they love not just each other but him as well. Being called one of their sons filled his heart with untold amounts of joy. He truly felt loved and nothing would convince him otherwise.

“Beautiful.” Perceval muttered, reaching for a pillow with two rings and handing them to Celestia and Argent, “Do you, Argent Radiance, take Celestia to be your wife, under God’s light, in sickness and in health… as long as you both shall live?”

“I do.” said Argent as he put his ring on Celestia’s fingers.

“And do you, Celestia, take Argent Radiance, to be your husband, under God’s light, in sickness and in health… as long as you both shall live?”

“I… do.” Celestia put her ring on Argent’s hand and held them in hers, looking lovingly into his eyes.

“So it is, so shall it be.” spoke Perceval, “By the authority invested in me by God and the city of Canterlot, I now declare these two… husband and wife!” A wave of roaring applause surged through the entire room with much joy in the air, “Let us now celebrate the union of Mr. and Mrs. Radiance.” Perceval turned to Celestia and Argent, “You may now kiss the bride.”

With another wave of a roaring applause, Argent and Celestia leaned into each other for a kiss, their first as a married couple. It was at that point that Gemini couldn’t hold back his tears any longer over such a loving display for today it was a happy day for both him and them. As the ceremony reached its end, Gemini regrouped with Fleur as they walked outside, waiting for the newly weds to come out. Their hands gripped tightly.

Soon, Celestia and Argent walked out of the cathedral with joyful smiles on their faces. As per the tradition that existed for countless years, Celestia threw the bouquet into the air as the crowd reached up to receive it. By some stroke of luck, it landed in the arms of Fleur De Lis who blushed. Turning to Gemini, they locked eyes as their faces grew closer and closer, ready for a kiss most romantic. But, they were stopped by the intrusion of Luna cradling Sunspot in her arms.

“Oh uhhh… sorry about that.” Luna said, “I didn’t realize you two were having a moment together.”

“Ah, no worries.” laughed Gemini, “We were planning to do that later on anyways.”

“Oui, Madame Luna.” Fleur added, “Where’s this place we’re going to for the reception?”

“A place called Canterlot Lakeside Hall.” answered Luna as they walked to Argent’s car, “It’s right near Lake Majestic. I was able to save up enough to allow us that place for the night.” It’ll be about a ten minute drive so can you two keep Sunspot company while I drive?”

Both Gemini and Fleur nodded as they got into the car, helping little Sunspot into his booster seat. As they pulled out of the parking lot, they couldn’t help but keep their attention on the infant. For Fleur, it had a profound effect on her. Seeing a baby being cared for by her boyfriend put thoughts in her head of starting a family with him one day. She turned her head to face Gemini, causing him to blush.

No words were exchanged but Gemini got the gist of her thoughts from just her smile alone. He too felt the same way after spending time with her. The thought of being a father first popped in his mind after holding his brother for the first time. As much as he wanted it, there would be another time to make it all happen. All he could do was warmly smile in response.

“Lovebirds.” mused Luna as she took a momentary glance through the mirror, “We all were at some point.”

Later that evening, during the thick of the reception, Gemini sat on a bench in the north patio of the venue, overlooking the lake. With the moon’s light reflecting off the water’s surface and the stars visible in the night sky, it was a captivating sight one would love to see in a picture or a painting. If perfection ever had a description or an example, the sight he saw would come pretty close to either.

Part of the reason why Gemini chose to sit alone and away from the party was the question he kept thinking about. To him, there had to have been another reason as to why Celestia took him in, apart from getting him out of danger. But as everyone was having a good time, he couldn’t bring himself to bother them. He felt as though he would never get to ask Celestia what he wanted until they got back from their honeymoon.

Yet, his unease did not escape Celestia’s notice as she did see him from the windows nearby. Remembering his question from the cathedral, she slowly approached him and took a seat next to him. He did notice it and sighed in response. “Gemini, what are you doing out here?” Said Celestia, placing a hand on his shoulder, “I thought you’d be socializing with everyone.”

“I would but… I have a lot on my mind.” sighed Gemini, “There’s something I want to talk to you about.”

“Yes, you mentioned you had something to ask of me.” Celestia replied, “What is it?” The moment of truth finally arrived for Gemini and he was ready. With a gulp of air, he braced himself.

“Celestia, not a day goes by where I don’t thank you for what you did for me. I’m truly honored that you’d take me as your son.” Gemini stalled for a moment before getting to the point, “I know you acted with my best interests at heart. But, I sometimes wonder if there was someone more worthy of your help. Why did you pick me in the first place? Why me?”

Celestia’s eyes shot open as soon as she heard those last words leave his mouth. Suddenly, it all made sense to her as to why he seemed slightly more pensive than usual throughout the week. She knew he would ask that question at some point and she was ready for it. Though part of her genuinely wanted to get a student out of a bind, a more personal reason held greater influence over her actions that day.

“Gemini,” sighed Celestia, “I’ve never told you this but there’s a reason why I rarely talk about my mother.” Remembering that part of her past left her with a sour taste in her mouth, “When I was growing up, my mother, Minerva, would routinely be abusive, punishing me with violence and calling me a ‘brat’ and ‘worthless’. She would also berate my father, Atlas, for defending me and Luna. Even my sister wasn’t spared from her wrath.”

Gemini, though he never heard her discuss the subject before, started to understand his mother’s motivations. For the longest time, he assumed she had the perfect relationship with her parents. “Celestia, I…” gasped Gemini, “I had no idea your mother had…”

“I know it comes as a shock to you, Gemini.” Celestia heavily sighed as she placed a hand on Gemini’s, “I too had a not so stable relationship with a parent. When Luna was ten and I was twelve, my mother divorced my father and he raised us alone. But, that didn’t last long as about two months after we graduated from high school, he became sick to the point of hospitalization… and he died two days later from what the doctors determined to be cancer.” Celestia sniffed as she held back tears “He never told us and I never understood why until later on when I realized he wanted our memories of him to be happy ones, despite what happened.”

“My god.” muttered Gemini, “ I had no Idea that you had been through your own ordeal.”

“Kindness becomes an instinct when you’ve been dealt a bad hand. As I was working on my teaching degree while living with my aunt, I swore that no student would go through what we went through.” Celestia turned Gemini to face her and placed a hand on his cheek, “That’s why I did what I did. I didn’t want to see you suffer like I did because I understand that family is the most important thing to anyone as it shows others that they shouldn’t have to be alone.”

“She’s right, my son.” said Argent as he approached the two, “When she did what she did, she saw something in you that reminded her of her past.” He placed a hand on Gemini’s shoulder, “Your mother never wanted anyone, even you, to go through what she went through. That shows the lengths she, despite her condition, was willing to go to ensure you safe. Celestia cares about you, Gemini. She truly does.” Gemini sat there frozen, pondering the words of his father.

“Mother…” sighed Gemini with his eyes glued to his dress shoes, “I don’t know what to say. I honestly don’t.”

“Well, there’s no need to say anything. I’ve already made it clear how much you mean to me.” Gemini turned his gaze to Celestia’s eyes. In that moment, all the memories starting from his abandonment to his adoption flashed before his eyes. Her smile radiated with a feeling he truly desired, “In other words, I love you...” Celestia then pulled Gemini into a firm but gentle motherly embrace, “...my son.”

In a moment like that, Gemini would be driven to tears over a sudden rush of emotions. Yet, he felt no impulse to cry and not a single tear flowed from his eyes. He could tell not a single bit of doubt was in her words and returned the hug. Part of him didn’t want to let go after hearing those three words escape her lips, spoken with the tone that a mother would say them with. Gemini just wanted to smile as he held his mother tight.

“I love you too, mom.” Gemini muttered with joy before breaking the hug, “You have no idea how happy I’m feeling right now.”

“And that’s what we wish for you.” Argent replied, “You have a bright future ahead of you that’s filled with love. Focus on that and not what came before.” Gemini got up from the bench and gave Argent a brief hug, “See? That’s what we want to see.” Argent looked at his watch, “We should be getting back inside. They’ll be starting the dance shortly and I doubt Fleur would want to wait.”

Gemini followed his parents back into the building where some of the guests were getting ready for the dance. It was a lively scene of conversations and merrymaking where new bonds were forged. Some were even dancing with their significant others like Time Turner and Luna. It was a bit fancy for a banquet hall near a lake.

It didn’t take long for Gemini to find Fleur sitting alone at their table, taking a sip from her glass of water. Stepping in front of her, he held out his hind, inviting her to take his and escort her to the dance floor. He placed his hand on her upper back and hip while she had hers around his neck. As they started dancing to the slow sounding music, they never took their eyes away from one another. It was their moment to strengthen their love.

“Too bad we weren’t able to dance like this during high school.” Gemini mused as they swayed left and right.

“Don’t beat yourself up over that, mon amour.” purred Fleur, “It doesn’t matter what we do. I love spending time with you.”

“Yeah, I suppose.” Gemini replied in a mock disappointed tone to Fleur’s giggling. As the dance went on, he noticed her eyes were half lidded, like one who had a desire, “Okay Fleur, is there something you wanted to say?”

“Well Gemini,” Fleur said, “my parents are going to be out of town for a few days for vacation. So, I was thinking...” Her face got closer to to Gemini’s, “maybe we can spend the night at my place and… get more intimate.” The last part was said with a sultry tone, not what Gemini was expecting. He knew what she wanted yet it got his undivided attention.

“I know what you’re getting at.” Gemini answered, “I have to say I like the idea. I just have to let my parents know before we go.”

“Oui. But, we still have some time.” Fleur’s face got closer and Gemini’s cheeks got redder than a rose, “For now, why don’t we sweeten the deal.”

Not moving his hands from her body, Gemini closed the gap between their faces and planted a kiss on her lips. Soon, his tongue was able to breach her mouth and wrestled hers for dominance. For the length of the kiss, it was as if a bridge had connected their hearts, allowing them to feel one another’s emotions in a new way. It was like serenity in its purest form, fueled by love and passion.

Disengaging from the kiss, they looked lovingly into each other’s eyes as they left the dance floor to find Luna and Celestia. Their excitement was barely containable as they looked forward to expressing their love away from prying eyes. Once, Gemini held a less than optimistic view of the world but it all changed after one gesture from a school principal. There was much he thanked her for and finding love was one of them.

10. The Question

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“Okay, let’s try this again.” mused Gemini as he sharpened his pencil, “Fleur, you’ve been my starsh- damn it!” His train of thought had been derailed by a bad idea. Every time he tried to get his heart into written form was met with objection from his mind. With frustration, he erased the words and started again upon his notepad, “Fleur, I’ve known you as far back as senior year in high school. You’ve been my gr- GODDAMNIT!” Hitting another block, he balled up the piece of paper and threw it into a nearby trash can, along with the other failures of his expression.

“I’m no good at heartfelt speeches.” Gemini grumbled as he got another piece of paper. Instead of reading his heart out loud, he just focused on writing while trying to keep his heart and mind in sync. For the most part, he was writing along with only a few erasures needed. Before he could finish his speech, he heard a few short raps on his door. He scrambled to flip the notepad, hiding the contents of the message, “Come in!”

The door opened and through it came his younger brother, Sunspot Aurora, six years old and excited to see him. “Bwother!” He cheered as he rushed over to give him a hug which Gemini returned. He always enjoyed the company of his little brother, regardless of the lack of blood ties. Not too long after, Celestia and Luna entered, both smiling over such a heartwarming sight. Notably, Luna was five months pregnant, rubbing her belly to calm her child to be.

“Awww, so cute!” Luna cooed as she brought out her phone to take a picture, “He really does love seeing you.”

“Indeed, Luna.” Celestia smiled, resting a hand on her sister’s shoulder, “Oh, he was so upset when Gemini moved.”

“I told him to not worry so much as I would visit often.” Gemini snickered, “It wasn’t like I was going to leave town.”

Gemini remembered the few days after he reached twenty and announced his intention to rent a place with Fleur. It wasn’t easy for Gemini to break the news to Sunspot but the week after he moved had put his younger brother at ease when he came to visit. Though not biologically related, it mattered little as the bond they developed was just as strong. Sunspot broke from the hug and went back to his mother.

“I know, Gemini.” Celestia smiled, “He just loves being with his older brother.” Gemini got up and gave both her and Luna a big hug, “It’s so good to see you, my son.”

“You too, mom.” Gemini said before turning his attention to Luna. With a nod of approval, he gave his aunt’s belly a rub, excited to see his niece or nephew. Luna smiled at her nephew’s caring display, “Can’t wait to see my niece or nephew. How are thing’s between you and Time Turner going, auntie?”

“They’re going fine, Gemini.” Luna answered warmly, “He’s taking me to my yoga session next week where he’ll be helping me. I’m so happy that he and I are together.”

For Luna, it didn’t take Time Turner more than a year after Celestia’s wedding to propose to her near a lake. News of the proposal quickly spread among the family and the wedding was no less grand than her sister’s. When they found out they were to be parents, to say that they were both over the moon would be underselling it. Both couldn’t wait for the arrival of the new life and neither could their families.

“He’s a cool guy, auntie.” Gemini said as he walked to the kitchen to pour a mug of coffee for himself and a glass of juice for Sunspot, “Both me, mom, and dad were taking bets on when he’ll pop the question. I still can’t believe I lost twenty bucks from that.” Celestia shared a laugh at Gemini’s expense but it was still in good nature. Gemini soon joined in, “Yeah, I hope that lunch was worth it. I really do.”

“It was, Gemini.” Celestia answered as Gemini handed Sunspot his drink, “So, do you remember what we’re doing later this afternoon?”

“Yeah, I do.” Gemini shyly answered.

Getting to know his extended family for a while, Gemini found out that one of Argent’s family’s traditions was an annual get-together. It was one of those dinners where the whole clan would get together and connect; catch up on old times and whatnot. At every one of those events, it’s traditional to give a speech about what family means and what one is thankful for. Gemini, throughout the many times he attended, respected it as a sign of unity.

“Family is an important thing on dad’s side.” Gemini took a sip of his morning brew. He took a minute to let the caffeine course through his veins. Like always, he always drank it black and often was called a purist for it. But, it’s his own way of getting his fuel for the morning, apart from cardio training, “So, what’s been going on at the school lately?”

“Well, we’ve been prepping for the midterms.” Luna sighed as she felt the little one inside her kick, “Oh, it’s getting rowdy. Anyways, I’m glad that after next month, school will be out for the summer. I can at least go on maternity leave without having to worry about the staff.”

“The important thing is for you to take it easy, sister.” Celestia added. Luna responded with a playful scowl at her older sister’s remark. She nervously chuckled in response “I know that I probably should’ve taken mine when I hit seven months. Being a principal is busy work and I had to be there to finish off the school year.” Luna face palmed with a wide smirk on her face. She clearly wasn’t amused.

“You know, Tia, you can be quite a workaholic at times.” Luna scoffed.

“Well, I never leave things half-done, dear sister.”

The sister-to-sister good-natured ribbing went on for a few minutes to the amusement of Gemini and Sunspot. In between sips of his juice, Sunspot let out a tiny giggle. Though at times, such a thing reminded Gemini of the painful memories of his old life but he grew to enjoy it a fair bit. Humor was something that put those thoughts of his to rest along with the few dashes of love he gets day by day.

Finishing his juice, the ever-active brain of Sunspot got him looking around, eventually fixing his mind on his brother’s desk. On it, he saw what looked to be a pen next to a pad of paper. His eyes lit up as his big brother had made him drawings of characters from books that his mother read to him. Wondering if he was making a new doodle, Sunspot dashed over to the desk to see what was on the notepad.

Seeing him grabbing the notepad at the corner of his eye, Gemini’s heart skipped a few beats and he blushed a bright red. “Lil’ bro!” Gemini nervously stammered as he snatched the notepad from his brother’s hands, “That’s uhhh… something private. Yep, not for anyone’s eyes and certainly not yours.” He put the notepad into one of the drawers while darting his eyes back and forth. Both Celestia and Luna were puzzled as to what was on it.

“Gemini,” Celestia said, “what was on that?” Gemini started to look nervous as he tried to look for a cover story to explain, “What was it?”

“It’s uhhh… nothing of importance.” Gemini stuttered, trying to make his fabrication sound convincing, “I was writing a little poem for Fleur’s birthday next week. Yep. Just giving poetry my first shot, you know?” He nervously laughed, hoping that his family had bought his half-truth.

“A poem, eh?” Luna asked, “Quite the romantic there, nephew.” She chuckled, followed by a playful jab to his arm, “You know, something has been on my mind for a while about you and Fleur.”

“What would that be?”

“You both are very much in love. That is something I can respect as the two of you are living under the same roof nowadays. Yet, with all the dates you all have been on, why haven’t you two got married yet?” Luna asked, “I mean, I thought you would’ve popped the question to her a while back. Why haven’t you done that yet?”

Gemini was stopped before he could even let a thought develop in his head. They were right about him having yet to marry Fleur. With that, he got the feeling that they were on to him as he knew today was the day he’d ask for her hand in marriage. He’d be using his thankful speech to propose to her. Every moment he counted between then and the impending moment only heightened. He couldn’t wait after so long.

“Auntie, I know you and mom have been eager for that.”Gemini sighed as he took a sip of his coffee. He rubbed the back of his head, thinking that he managed to deflect their suspicions, “But, it’s not something I’m ready to jump into just yet. It’ll happen soon but just not yet. I’ll get to that when the time is right, I promise.” Judging by the looks on their faces, Gemini felt that he managed to dodge their inquiry… and keep his plans hidden.

“Well, okay then.” Celestia said in a sing-songy voice, one that Gemini always was fond of, “Just remember that the party is at two. Didn’t Fleur say that her shift at the hospital ends at one?”

“Yeah, mom.” Gemini answered. He was surprised, at first, that Fleur did away with her dream of fashion design to work in the medical field. Yet, he supported her decision without any exception. Her caring nature contributed to her desire to help those who were in need and she excelled in her medical studies. There were times that Gemini jokingly wondered if he and Fleur would make a family of scientists. But, in humor, there is truth. “I’m just glad that she was able to get a day off but she still had to go in for something like training.”

“Well, it could be for a promotion but I’m betting she’s keeping it a surprise.” Luna added, “Women like her love to surprise their loved ones and god knows I remember how I surprised Time Turner with my pregnancy.”

“Yep.” Gemini shot back, “The ceramic plate that said “Best Dad” on it, I have to say that was pretty clever of you.”

“Well, a woman can get inventive.” Both Luna, Celestia, and Gemini shared a brief round of laughs before they refocused their minds, “So, Gemini, What time are you planning on picking her up?”

“At around 2.” Gemini casually replied, “It’ll be about an hour before we’re due at the estate.” He then felt a presence on his leg. Looking down, he saw Sunspot giving him a hug, despite his short height. It was a cute sight that was enough to make even the hardest of hearts grin. “Hehe, what’s up, lil’ bro?”

“Will Ms. Fweur be there, bwother?” Sunspot asked as Gemini knelt down and put a hand on his shoulder, wearing a warm smile. He always viewed Fleur as a big sister in a way after seeing his brother with her so often. Whenever they would come over to visit, Fleur would always play with him, even bringing a small stuffed toy animal in some cases. Through all that, Sunspot grew to like Fleur.

“She will, little brother.” Gemini gave him a hug, “She’ll be happy to see you.” Celestia and Luna nodded with smiles on their faces. As much as they wanted to stick around and enjoy one another’s company, their attention was needed elsewhere. Celestia took her son in her arms as she started toward the door. “Where are you all headed now?”

“We have to head over to the estate to help with setting tables and whatnot.” Luna said as she led Celestia out the door, “We’ll see you two at around three-ish?”

“Yeah.” Gemini said as Luna began closing the door, “We’ll catch up to you later. See ya!” Once the door closed, he breathed another sigh of relief. He narrowly managed to avoid having his surprise leak before the moment of truth. Now, all that mattered to him was finishing his proposal speech and memorizing it. He returned to his desk and pulled out the notepad from the drawer, keeping track of the time.

“Okay, I have about a few more hours before I have to pick her up.” Gemini muttered as he used a new piece of paper to out his thoughts on. He hummed and nodded as his heart and mind began to finally sync, working as one. Within a half an hour of careful writing and thinking, he was finished and folded the paper into his pocket. It seemed that things would be going smoothly for Gemini. All he had left was to play the waiting game.

Driving toward the downtown area, clad in his denim jacket, Gemini navigated the roads toward St. Solaris Mercy Hospital. Being a Saturday, traffic was much more lax than Friday’s snail’s pace which annoyed him coming home from the observatory. It was a somewhat relaxing drive as he rarely had to stop for any reason. It was a straightforward path.

Seeing the big blue building with brick constructs, Gemini pulled up near the hospital’s entrance and parked. He pulled out his phone and sent a brief text to Fleur about his arrival before kicking back with his favorite tunes. It was a good chance for him to relax and contemplate his life so far. It had been good so far that he found love, success, and he was soon to seal the deal on the former. Anxiety ate away at him with every passing minute.

After nearly a half an hour of waiting, Gemini was greeted by the sight of Fleur, dressed in her saturday casual wear. Jeans, sneakers, and a shirt with a hoodie, even then she managed to look stunning with them. Climbing into the car, Fleur flashed a smile that got Gemini’s heart racing like a cheetah at full speed. Fidgeting around in his pocket, he made sure the surprise he saved for was concealed, “How was training, babe?” Gemini asked with a kiss.

“It went well, mon amour.” Fleur answered, “It was about my promotion to doctor and training me on my new duties. Plus, I had to fill out a survey at the end but all in all, it went well.”

“Kind of like what happened when I got mine last year at the observatory.” Gemini muttered, “It’s all really just verifying that your skills and knowledge are up to par.” Fleur smirked as Gemini started to pull out of the parking lot, “But still, it’s fantastic that you’re being promoted. I’m so happy for you.” He gave Fleur another kiss on the cheek.

“I’m happy to have such a supportive lover.” As they were driving down the road, Fleur noticed something was off about Gemini. From a slight nervous twitch, the tone of his voice, and his higher than usual amorous nature, she had a feeling he was up to something but didn’t know what or why. “Okay, mister.” Fleur purred as she drew a cute but mischievous smile on her face. Though he was focusing on the road, Gemini could read her tone, “What do you have planned?”

Stopping at a red light, Gemini was hit with the same emotions and thoughts from his family’s earlier visit. Her playful tone carried an air of curiosity, something that was a regular fixture in their relationship. But, there was intent in that as well. He tried his best to keep his plans under wraps and the thought of the surprise being spoiled early made him panic.

“Nothing, Fleur.” Gemini said, keeping his tone as even as he could, “I’m just excited for this gathering, that’s all.”

“Really now?” Fleur purred, “I’ve seen you acting strangely for the past three weeks. You’re not adept at hiding things and something is definitely up. What is it?” Fleur definitely has him in a corner. Just as the light turned green and and he got the car moving, Gemini thought of a way to throw off Fleur’s suspicions for the most part. Yet, he couldn’t completely dispel them. With a deep breath, he let out a slight chuckle.

“Okay, you’re right.” Gemini answered with a calm tone, “You got me. I do have something on my mind but it’s a surprise.”

“What is it?” Fleur gasped with excitement, “Tell me! Please!”

“If I did, it would defeat the purpose of the surprise.” Gemini nodded to which Fleur answered with a pout, “Don’t worry, babe. I promise it’ll be worth the wait.” Resigning to defeat, Fleur sighed as she nodded back, “Don’t worry about it, babe. I promise you that it’ll be the surprise to end all surprises.”

“Now you’re just teasing me.” Fleur giggled, “Okay, you win.”


Driving a bit out of the city, Gemini and Fleur made it to his grandfather-in-law’s house after a thirty minute drive. It was a nice villa near a grassy field with ample room in the fenced off area and a small gazebo for an added touch. It was amazing what one could buy with an immense retirement fund and live comfortably. With Nebula, he knew how to handle all that with guidance from his late father.

“It’s alright, Gemini.” He thought to himself as he and Fleur got out of the car, “You can do this. It’s what you’ve planned for.” They walked over to the back of the villa where the party’s guests had all gathered. Among them was not only Nebula but also Celestia, Luna, Argent, and Sunspot. The latter of whom darted into the embrace of Fleur, excited to see her, “Woah, little brother. Quite energetic today, aren’t ya?”

“Nah, he’s just excited to see your girlfriend.” Argent remarked as Fleur picked up Sunspot, “He really likes her, Gemini. I wonder why you’ve yet to marry her.” Gemini blushed at the latter part of his father’s words.

“You know, dad,” Gemini sighed with a smile, “I’ll get around to it on my own time. I already had mom and Luna breathing down my neck over that.”

“I know. They told me that earlier.” Argent replied, But, wouldn’t you think that Sunspot would like the thought of having her as a sister-in-law? Not to mention, your mom and I love the thought of having grandkids.”

“DAD!” Gemini snapped back to which Fleur giggled, putting Sunspot down, “Not in front of her, please!” Fleur gave him a peck on his cheek and heavy blushing soon followed.

“Hey, it’s not a bad thought, love.” she added, patting the cheek she kissed. He knew at some point during the party he was going to do just that. Gemini had to wait for the opening to make it magical. For now, he just had to enjoy the party and celebrate with his extended family like he did for years. Just a few more hours until zero hour.

For the most part, it was a bit of a standard barbecue with only a few sides or courses like mushroom ravioli served like a banquet. Having eaten only a plate of scrambled eggs so far, Gemini was ready to enjoy himself with a degree of restraint. He had to hand it to his uncle, Horizon, for his craftwork in making the pasta from scratch. He could definitely taste the care that went into making every individual piece. Even the garlic cream sauce did wonders to compliment the flavor.

All throughout the early dinner, Gemini spent the time making pleasant conversation with his family. The entire time, he anxiously counted down the minutes inside his head, eager to take the next step with Fleur. Keeping as straight a face as he possibly could, he continued to act as he normally would, despite having raised a bit of suspicion.

After hours of putting on a face that his family loved to see, the speeches of gratitude finally came around. One by one, all in attendance poured their hearts into their respective deliveries. Even Sunspot got a chance to step up to the gazebo and say his thoughts. It was a heartwarming moment for Gemini and his parents to see his younger brother give thanks. After Celestia had her chance, it was Argent’s turn to step up to the plate. Grabbing the microphone, he cleared his throat before speaking.

“Thank you, my lovely family.” Argent spoke up, “As with the tradition that was started a century ago, there is much I would like to express my gratitude for over the past few years. In the company of one of the nicest women I’ve had the pleasure to know, I’ve found love. In what was a simple run-in at a coffee shop, well… the rest was history. With that, I’m eternally grateful for her love and two sons I’m truly proud of. But above all, I’m thankful for this family and the support you all had given me over the years. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”

A thunderous round of applause was had as Argent went back to his table. Gemini couldn’t help but shed a few tears at his father’s heartfelt speech, beautiful and sweet. Knowing he was next, he took a mental breather to prepare himself. As he got up, Argent put a hand on his shoulder with a wink to accompany it. “I think he knows.” He thought as he walked up to the gazebo, “Thank you for not telling anyone.” Grabbing the microphone, he took another deep breath, doing little to ease his hiking tension.

“Hello?” He nervously spoke up, “Not my first time but I still get nervous speaking in front of a large crowd. Heh. But, there’s a lot of things on my mind that I’m thankful for.” Looking on at the crowd, Gemini gulped, “I’ve gone through much, years ago, and I thought there was no end to it. Yet, it was the kindness and care of three people that helped me through the waters. When I was left without a family to turn to, they gave me one. Due to their efforts, I was able to achieve much prosperity. Above all, they gave me unconditional love. For that, I say to my mother, father, and aunt, thank you so much.”

Another roar of applause was had. Unlike before, he didn’t feel the same effect as the last several times. There he was, the opportunity he’d been waiting for. Taking a few moments of mental prep, he was ready to go take the next step. “There is one special someone I would like to join me here. Would a Ms. Fleur De Lis come up here please?” Reaching into his pocket for his written declaration of love, he remembered an earlier conversation and balled it up.

Pulling up to the driveway, Gemini had arrived at the residence of Fleur’s parents, Leo Comet and Meringue. He knew them ever since their first date when he returned her home after. Though nervous at first when he met them, they came off as down to earth and welcoming. Both hailing from France, speaking french had become a regular fixture in their house but having been taught to be fluent by Fleur, he was able to speak with them on common ground.

Ringing the doorbell, he was greeted by the sight of Meringue, skin as white as snow with magenta hair in a long ponytail. He couldn’t even open his mouth before she lunged at him for a hug. But, Gemini didn’t mind at all as her affections were always welcome. Leo, sporting a fiery orange crew cut and a dark blue complexion, reached out for a handshake which Gemini returned.

“Good to see you, Monsieur Blaze.” Meringue greeted before letting go, “Though unexpected, you’re always welcome here.”

“Indeed, dear.” Leo added, “Come on in, Gemini.” With a smile, Gemini followed Fleur’s parents into their house. Hailing from the city Lyon, the interior had a blend of french and american influences. To the observant and curious eye, it would be a lot to take in but appealing nonetheless. Taking a seat across from Leo, Gemini sighed, “So, what have you and my daughter been up to lately?”

“Well, we’re going to go to my grandfather’s get together outside of town.” Meringue came in with a tray of tea, handing a cup each to Leo and Gemini, “Thank you. Also, Fleur is being promoted at work so she’ll only be going in for a short while for training, which is good. I would hate to be late, you know?”

“Well, even when she was little, she always found ways to keep busy.” Meringue reminisced as she took a sip, “Seeing her grow over the years puts a few tears in my eyes. She’s got a good career, out on her own, and not to mention, she found a very lucky man.” The last part made Gemini blush profusely to their amusement.

“Yeah. You’ve raised someone incredibly brilliant and kind. That’s why I love her so much. Her compassion and dedication to helping others is matched only by, dare I say it… her beauty.” They both shared a hearty chuckle over the latter part. Both knew all that Gemini said to be true but the delivery was what got them laughing. Humor was a way for Gemini to cope with certain situations.

“True. True.” Leo agreed but soon noticed Gemini’s tension. Through that, he knew there was a reason for him coming over, “Are you okay?” Knowing the jig was up, living little room to ease in his intentions with sweet talk, Gemini smirked as he pulled out a small black box from his coat pocket. Off the bat, they knew what it was from memory and were left speechless, “Mon dieu, Is that…”

“It is, Leo.” Gemini sighed, putting the box back in his coat, “I came here today to ask for your blessings in taking your daughter’s hand in marriage.” His eyes began watering up from the ever rising emotions, “She and I had been together for years and I… I just love her so much. I want to take the next step with her and seal the deal. So, do I have your blessings?”

Where Gemini expected some words, he got nothing of that sort. Instead, he found himself caught in both of their embraces. Though unusual, it all clearly spelled out their opinions on the matter, “I’ll take that as a ‘yes’ then.” He spoke up as they disengaged from the hug, never breaking their smiles, “Thank you, both of you. You have no idea how much she means to me.”

“We understand, Gemini.” Meringue said, “We’ve been wondering when this was going to happen.”

“Really?” Gemini asked.

“Oui.” Leo answered with a sincere tone, “You two have always been close. If I may say something, I had worries when you first started dating our daughter. But, you’ve treated her well all these years and that proved much to us. If there’s anyone who I’d like for a son in law, it’d be you. I couldn’t be more proud of that.”

Well, uh… thank you, Leo.” Gemini sighed, “But, I guess I should get used to calling you all my in laws then. Heh.”

“To be fair, we thought of you in that light a year ago, dear.” Reaching into his pocket, Gemini pulled out a piece of paper. Meringue was quick to notice, “Say, is that your proposal speech?” Looking down at the paper in his hand, Gemini nodded.

“Yes.” He replied, “I’ve spent the whole morning writing it all down and I-” Before he was able to explain further, Leo reached forward and put a hand on Gemini’s shoulder. The smirk he gave him was hard to read but a slight huff dispelled any hint of malice. Still, Gemini was confused as to what he meant by the gesture, “Leo, what’s this all about?”

“Gemini,” Leo nodded, “I know you want your proposal to be as perfect as possible. Trust me when I say that it doesn’t. There really isn’t such a thing as perfection and to continuously chase it would be foolish.”

“What do you mean?” Gemini stammered, “What am I to do?”

“I’m going to let you know something.” Leo sighed, “When I asked Meringue to marry me in front of Fontaine Bartholdi in Lyon, I accidentally forgot my speech. I just had to wing it, speak from the heart, and hope for the best. After I took the knee, she said it was the most beautiful thing I’ve said. After that, the rest was history.” Holding hands with his wife, Leo smiled but Gemini was still confused.

“Well, what should I say?” Gemini asked.

“As I’ve said, speak from the heart.” Leo answered, “The best of those speeches are unscripted and more memorable. Trust me, toss the script away and you’ll know what to say when the time comes.”

Giving it some thought, Gemini, while considering the words of his soon to be father-in-law, still had his doubts. On one hand, his gut felt that he was right but his mind felt a bit uneasy. He wanted everything about his plan to be good but only at the moment of truth would he render judgment. Taking a mental breath of relief, Gemini decided he had enough time to think it over before the party.

Getting up, he shook both of their hands before taking off to pick up Fleur. Throughout the drive to the hospital, Gemini still felt pensive about not just the decision on the speech, but the proposal as a whole. His emotions peaked the more he thought about it but as much as he wanted, he couldn’t distract himself from that thought.

Fleur walked up to the patio where Gemini was standing, still as a log yet very nervous to reasons unknown to her. She noticed that he’d been like that for the past few weeks leading up to the party and had gotten increasingly affectionate. It wasn’t the normal degree of affection she was used to but something else. When he took her hand in his, Fleur noticed his nervousness melt away and replaced by a calm and determined expression.

“Fleur,” Gemini sighed, remembering what Leo had told him earlier, “I would’ve memorized a script but someone told me that it’s not needed for something like this.” Fleur blushed as she slowly starts to piece together what Gemini intends, “We’ve been friends during high school and since then, became lovers. You’ve always been there for me when I felt the bad times trying to get me, always dispelling it with your love. For that, my love for you shall remain strong. You mean the world to me and I would do anything to make you happy. I want to spend the rest of my life with you and make new memories together. With that I ask this.”

The moment Gemini took the knee, Fleur and the whole congregation made the air silent without even the faintest whisper made. Gemini’s family held their hands to their mouths as Gemini pulled out a small black box from his coat, Opening it revealed a ring that was topped by a small but beautiful diamond. Fleur couldn’t believe what was happening until she heard the next words from his mouth, “Fleur De Lis, Veux-tu m’épouser?”

Having taught him her native language since they started dating, Fleur couldn’t believe that Gemini would ask her to marry him in french. Holding her hands to her mouth, Fleur began to tear up with joy as she paced around, trying to process her emotions. But, the reality hit her like a ton of bricks. The one she loved was proposing to her. Without warning, she tackled Gemini to the ground, giving a hug that could almost crush his lungs.

“Oui!” Fleur gasped as pecked Gemini on the lips, “Oui, Gemini, je t'épouserai!” The congregation then let out a roar of applause. A wave of happiness swept through them. It was Gemini and Fleur’s moment to share the love they had for one another. Both Celestia and Luna nodded with approval as Gemini slid the ring onto Fleur’s finger.

“See, I told you it’s going to be today.” Celestia slyly snickered and Luna to her sister’s dismay, “Guess who owes me twenty bucks?”

“Fine.” Luna huffed as she pulled out a twenty dollar bill and handed it over, “You know, you can be a real pain in the ass when you tease me with that tone. Ugh, it’s just like when we were growing up.”

“I know but at least it was all in good fun.” Celestia replied, “For now, let’s focus on this moment.”

Getting up, Gemini and Fleur couldn’t keep their gaze from one another, even as all in attendance cheered them on. Hearing another surge of cheers, they took it as a sign for another kiss. They locked lips briefly, savoring every second, before they turned to face Celestia and Argent approaching them, sharing a group hug, “Congratulations, my son.” Argent cheered, “I knew you would.”

“Well, I just had to trust my instinct to pull through.” Gemini replied, “In the end, I’m glad it all worked out.”

“Indeed.” Celestia giggled, “Now I’m counting down the time until I see grandkids.”

“MOM!” Gemini snapped back with a blush, “Why are you going on about that so soon?” Before he could continue further, Fleur placed a hand on his cheek. For some reason, the calming effect was immediate, “I mean… I love the thought of having kids but we just got engaged.”

“I know, dear.” Fleur said with a reassuring tone, “We have plenty of time after we get married. I can’t wait to start a family with you.”

“Neither can I.” Pulling from the hug, Gemini noticed Sunspot, like a blur, darting into his fiance’s arms as she knelt down, seeing him coming. He couldn’t resist smiling at a heartwarming sight of his younger brother hugging his sister to be. Fleur returned the favor, wrapping her arms around the young Sunspot, “Heh, looks like someone else is happy. Well little brother, your wish is coming true.”

“Well, as much as we’re enjoying the moment,” Argent said, producing a camera, “I want to capture your moment.”

Seeing the camera in his hands, Gemini and Fleur looked at each other and nodded, agreeing to Argent’s request. Holding their hands, they both smiled, looking lovingly into each others eyes before a bright flash flickered for a brief second. Yet, they didn’t let go. It was a silent moment of contemplation on their love taken to a new level.

Wanting them to be by themselves for a moment, Luna, Celestia, and Argent, left with Sunspot back to their table and allowed the engaged to dance alone. Not minding the presence of others and the lack of any music, Gemini and Fleur swayed side to side, focusing on one another’s presence. Slowly leaning in, they locked lips and their tongues danced as they did. It was a truly magical moment for a magical day. For certain, it was a day they’ll never forget.