Ditzy waited patiently in the doctor's office. Nurse Redheart was with her, patting her hoof comfortingly. The gray mare gave a weak smile, too nervous to give a proper one; it was a grim grin at best. They had done some more scans, and though Ditzy was assured there was nothing life threatening about the condition, it was nerve racking to do nothing but wait.
They had come to begin consultation on the surgery. While in other cases where heavy medication would have worked, Ditzy had proved unique in her resistance to the doses. The entire point to this visit however, was to see if they had, perhaps, misdiagnosed. What if it was a tumor? Or some missing part of my brain? OR ALIEN PROBE IN MY CORTEX! No... that's just silly. The show's been working into your head, you Derpy.
The doctor came in, and though he was quite nice, Ditzy would have rather have been seeing The Doctor. No, her Doctor. Just-in had stayed the night that evening, providing comfort to mother and child. In the morning, he had even waited patiently for them to awaken, rather than disturb them by getting up himself. I probably shouldn't have made him stay for breakfast, but it didn't feel right to kick him out as soon as we woke up. I hope he doesn't think I'm desperate... OK, maybe I am a little, but...
Ditzy was shaken slightly by Redheart, bringing her back to reality. The two medical professions shared a glance as the pegasus blushed in embarrassment. She tried her best to pay attention as the doctor displayed various pieces of paper. It seemed that, yes, the condition was some similar enough to another for the two to have been confused until these later stages but unfortunately, her's was far less easily fixed. There was talk of "imbalances", "ocular displacement", and "advancing symptoms". Redheart did her best to translate the mumbo jumbo for Ditzy.
"Miss Doo, it's... well. You know as well as anypony here you're not getting better. The degeneration is getting bad in the speech portion and-"
Ditzy nodded her head solemnly, listening to the Nurse's carefully edited words. Affecting the speech blah blah. I... can't stand it anymore. They know I simply can't talk right, why are they starting to treat me as if I can't understand as well? Ok, yes, my eyes but... wait, what did she just say?
"Sorry Hearse, could you retreat that last bit?"
"I said... it... it also seems to be hereditary."
Ditzy sat stunned, the words not quite making sense. Then, all at once, her eyes welled over with tears and she fell to sobbing. HEREDITARY! Then, then Dinky. Oh Celestia DINKY. I'd heard it before, the slight messing up, but I'd pegged it as youthful mispronunciation. What if it was just the early signs? But then, so did my mother with me.
The doctor's face crumbled in sadness, as Redheart bowed her head. Ditzy looked up, and hugged the crestfallen nurse. The visit ended shortly after, with an appointment set for the following week. She looks like she failed. But... why would she? It's not as if she was the one who cursed a little filly to a life like... this. They left, Redheart being kind enough to escort her out the hospital doors. The nurse stopped her from taking off.
"Listen, Ditzy. Don't let this hold you down. I know you're worrying about Dinky, any fit mother would be; condition aside, YOU are the kindest, sweetest mom a filly could ask for. There's only a very small chance Dinky is..."
Ditzy smiled weakly, the nurse's words dying in her throat. They hugged one more time, and Ditzy took to the sky. It was... liberating, to say the least. While she was happy on the ground, a contestant in the Best Young Flier's competition is always glad to fly. Rather than going to an empty home while Dinky was in school, the mare landed on a cloud to think.
The Cumulus was soft as... well, a cloud, and Ditzy let herself sink into the puff. From her little hide away, she floated above Ponyville, watching all the normal citizens living their lives peacefully. Miss Rarity, the generous soul, was walking along with the young dragon who had taken residence in the library. Ditzy could not recall the name, but he was a nice little guy from what she had heard. That is, when he wasn't several stories tall and wrecking the town.
Ditzy found herself trailing behind random ponies, just watching them live a life with no worries, no problems. Sweet Apple Acres was in full spring, with the Apples tending to the blooming trees with care. Ditzy's eyes widened in shock as Boxy Brown, her former boss, flew down to deliver a package to them. I thought he had someone out to replace me! Did...did he take it up instead? I can't even remember. I've been so busy with Just-in and such, I can't recall if he had been doing this for a while, or if this is the first day.
I miss the route. It was so much fun, flying around, delivering to everypony. I was... a part of something greater then. I got to see Lyra, and Bon Bon when they went to the Corner for breakfast. Carrot Top working her fields and a midmorning snack. Letters to everypony, of all kinds. Love letters on Hearts and Hooves Day. Invitations to parties year round. Birthday cards, anniversaries. It was wonderful to see them smile.
Ditzy drifted on the wind, back over to town to watch a griffon chat to some green maned stallion. She was too high to hear anything, but they looked like they were talking about something sad. Their heads were hung low, and their bodies shook in what looked like racking sobs much like the same she had cried.
I remember the sadness too. I've carried letters for dead soldiers, grandparents who passed on, lovers who no longer felt the spark that once lit their worlds. Too often, I gave the black lined letter telling some poor son his mother had gone to Greener Pastures. And all I could do was stand there, while they wept, or take off, trying to tell myself the sting in my eyes was the wind and not shame for running from their sorrow.
The pair stood up under Ditzy's gaze, and to her surprise, they took off running. Oh, I guess they were just resting from exercise... look at me. Expecting the worst of things. Pathetic. Hiding in a cloud! This isn't me any more than the dressed up beauty was! I am Ditzella Derring Doo! I've been to the Grand Galloping Gala. I've seen chaos and Discord reign, and survived against all odds. I am a mother of the most beautiful little filly in Equestria and I will not have this sob story any longer!
Ditzy popped out from the cloud, knocking off Rainbow Dash who had decided to use the same one as a bed while she was thinking. As the grey pegasus shot off, there was a fading cry of "Derpyyyyy" behind her. But she would not let that hold her any more. She had a plan to show herself, neigh, the entirety of Equestria she'd still be a great mother!
She went straight to Ponyville's premiere party pony Pinkie Pie for supplies. She was quite glad to help, but Ditzy refused. I have to do this myself. I've had help for so long; I need to prove it to myself I don't need any.
She flew home, a fire burning in her eyes. The Post Office was almost empty, a bored clerk nodding to her as she marched up the stairs. Ditzy fumbled at the door, and almost dropped the load as she stumbled inside. But now was no time to waste precious seconds. Ditzy looked at the clock. Two hours until Dinky gets out of class. Alright. Time to do something nice for my little muffin!
With that, Ditzy began preparing the humble little apartment. Streamers were put up with care, as balloons were inflated and tossed into piles. The table was set for two, mother and child. In the kitchen, Ditzy stood over a large mixing bowl, trying to make blueberry walnut banana pistachio chocolate chip muffins. It was Dinky's favorite, which meant it was Ditzy's as well. She smiled softly at the misc-mash batter in front of her.
Dinky made this for me during Family Appreciation. She didn't know what kind I liked most, so she just made them all together. Oh the mess, but I was so proud of her. She used her magic to mix it, after she'd been having so much trouble even writing with it. She's such a darling. She doesn't deserve a Derpy for a mommy.
There was a knock at the door that took her from her thoughts. Popping the muffins in the oven, she rushed to the door. The trouble with rushing is you often don't notice details until it's too late. As it was, she opened the door to find Just-in standing there. He nodded at her, smiling sheepishly. Ditzy felt a blush working despite her surprise.
"Just-in, what kings you here? I thought today we weren't kilning. Do you need me on the bet?"
The stallion shook his head, laughing lightly at the needless worry.
"I just wanted to pop by, chat a bit. But judging from the décor, you seem to be planning a party."
"No, no it's dine. It was just about lime to go get Dinky. Would you like to balk with me? We'll rat as we go."
Ditzy stepped out and closed the door behind her. By the time they had left the Post Office doors, a flame was already forming. Unaware, they talked.
"So, Ditzy. I know you didn't want to talk about it, but where is Dinky's father?"
The mare knew the question would come again, but she hadn't been expecting it now. Her face fell for a moment, but then she sighed and brightened.
"He's... no stronger with us. I made my lease with that, and Dinky was too hung to remember him."
Just-in walked along in silence, and despite the fuddled words, he still couldn't help but notice how vague it still was. No longer with them? Is that dead, or left her? Either way, you can't help but feel for her, raising a foal by herself...
Ditzy stared at the ground as they walked after that. Just-in felt like an ass, apologies any donkeys or mules but you understand it's only a phrase, letting curiosity override courtesy. He even muttered under his breath.
The pair soon arrived at the school, Cheerilee guiding out the youths to their parents and siblings. Dinky ran right up to her mother and hugged her leg. The pegasus nuzzled her daughter lovingly. The filly looked over to the stallion, face skewing in confusion. Ditzy giggled.
"Come now, you snow Mister Time. He-"
"Are you Mommy's very special somepony?"
Both adults froze at the phrase.
The holiday for "special someponies" had come and gone, and they had gone out again with Carrot Top and Skyward. It had been pleasant, Ditzy not having to worry about dressing up again, and surprisingly they had been interrupted. Fans had seen them enter the restaurant and soon a number of ponies had swarmed them for autographs. Ditzy remained silent, not wanting to reveal anything to the youngest fans. The older ones just thought she was trying to be in character.
Just-in, however, had remained calm and pleasant, despite wishing to have a quiet dinner with friends that night. They badgered him for information.
"How does the screwdriver work?"
"I'd tell you, but Equestria is only a Type 1 civilization and not ready for Type 4 technology yet."
"Are you planning on fighting The Master again?"
"I've never really planned on it, it just sort of happened. The problem with the wibbly wobbly nature of things may make it happen I suppose."
"Is another Element of Harmony going to appear on the show? Rarity Unicorn had made a cameo, but so far she's the only one."
"It all depends on them; they're all welcome to come to the set. Miss Rarity was a pleasure to work with, and I hope she likes her performance."
"Miss Doo seems to be missing her iconic voice box, and has remained silent this whole time. Is there any reason for this?"
"Ditzy has proven herself to be the wiser of the two of us. If she had brought her box, she'd have to answer your questions and delay eating dinner as well. Not that I mind the attention."
"Are you and Ditzy going out in real life, or just in the show? This is Hearts and Hooves Day; normally you wouldn't go out with "just a friend" on a night like this."
"Well, erm, has it ever been said we were even in the show?"
Ditzy had gone home alone that night. At least, she arrived home alone. Just-in ran up, huffing from the sprint.
"Ditzy, I... you didn't need to walk out. I'm sorry that answer seemed bad but... I don't want rumors about you going around. Had I answered seriously, it'd wind up in some tabloid with an awkward picture of us. And if we were together, I think that's our bus-"
"No more expulsions, from either of bus. Fish me."
The stallion blinked, but the way Ditzy had moved up took away the chance to translate. He saw tears in her eyes just before their lips met. It wasn't a very good kiss, sudden and full of anger from Ditzy. She pulled away huffing indignantly, then her look changed to horror. What did I just do! Oh Celestia, if he didn't like me before, now he must hate me. Just-in I didn't- Dinky opened the door, rubbing her eyes sleepily.
Ditzy broke away, face red. I shouldn't have left her alone. But she's getting older; she should have been fine home alone for the evening.
"Muffin, you should have been in red by now."
"I couldn't sleep without our song."
Ditzy smiled tenderly down at the unicorn filly. She kissed the top of Dinky's head far more gently than she had Mister Time's lips. Now that I think of it, I'm not sure if I'd have felt right without singing it myself...
"Ok, come on lack inside. Let's get you to sleepy band."
Ditzy guided the filly back to bed, Just-in following as he was swept up in the ritual. Despite not wanting to draw attention, he sang with them, which brought a smile to Dinky's face.
"Good night Mommy. Good night Mister Time..."
Shutting the door to her room, the pair returned to the living room. They sat awkwardly, neither wanting to be the first to address the kiss. But the seconds ticked by, and soon:
"No, I am. If I'd been less focused on the show..."
"I shouldn't have blissed you like that. But I was... pad that you wouldn't say anything. I could take ejection, but just leaving it a rank?"
Just-in nudged his nose against hers, smiling softly. The two stared into each other's eyes for a moment, and Ditzy felt as if you could boil a pot of water on her face. The stallion spoke, and as he did Ditzy could just barely feel his lips brush against hers.
"You're... rather right. Like that wasn't a good thing. But... you could try it like this."
Just-in stayed the night once more, but he did not sleep on the couch.
The pegasus looked at him, then back to her daughter.
"Dinky, my muffin, Just-in-"
"IS her special somepony."
Both Doos looked at him in surprise. He coughed, smiling at the mare.
"If she doesn't mind that, of course."
Just-in was able to remain standing for another second before being tackled to the ground by the mother-daughter pair. When he was finally allowed up, Ditzy gave him a soft peck on the cheek. They began the walk back to the Post Office, when they noticed something... odd about it.
"Why is the fire brigade here?"
Ditzy ran up to the apartment, the door bucked down. Several ponies in fire gear poked around the smoke stained and water soaked walls. A large charcoal grey stallion walked up.
"I take it you're the owner. Ma'am, it looks like when you put... whatever it was you were cooking,"
To the side, a mare set down the pan of coals that was to be Dinky's treat on the counter top.
"When you put it in the oven, a pot holder fell in and landed on the heating coils. That started the blaze. The clerk downstairs smelled the smoke, but by the time we got here the damage was done. The oven is ruined and most of the counters around them are little more than charcoal. But outside of that, it's smoke damage and a few other things. All things considered, you're lucky you live here and not in a normal house. Who knows how much would have been destroyed before someone noticed otherwise."
Another stallion called out.
"All clear. There shouldn't be anything left but repairs at this point. Ash, we're heading back."
The grey stallion nodded, and then turned to Ditzy again.
"I'm sorry, but now we've done all we can. I'd get with your insurance to see about the damages. Just be glad nopony was hurt."
The firefighters began walking out, leaving Ditzy standing near the ashes of the streamers. Dinky and Just-in stood at her side, saying nothing. The mare felt a tear roll down her cheek, and she bowed her head in shame. Then, she spoke under her breath.
"Good job, Derpy."
WHAT? I updated? No, you're just dreaming. Ok, some news.
Those of you who somewhat recognize this plot, yes, this is Dinky's Party altered for TD&TD. Some of you are going "Wait, I checked your profile, you don't HAVE a story called Dinky's Party!" well, about that...
I recently have made it onto Equestria Daily with another older updated/edited story, The Dragon's Nest. This showed me two things: 1. Getting to EQD length is a bitch. This charter is 3k, the minimum length for multi-chapter stories to be EQD legal. 2. Knowing that, yes, with some effort and editing I can make EQD level stories, I am going to do just that.
How? Revision, Deletion, and Re-imagining. Revise those that are close to the goal. Delete the too short, the stories going "Nowhere", and Re-imagine my best. Trixie and Big Mac... I'm sorry, but the shipping was forced on my part. I like how I've recrafted their characters, with Neigh Orleans and Brown snout and Granny's death. The shipping? I never felt like I majorly impacted either of them as a direct effect of pairing them with their current partners. I'll be either putting them on permanent hiatus or outright removing them. Twilight and Fluttershy will be single once more. If I get around to writing them again, as I have a much bigger personal interest in three other projects..
Gilda and Lies will be renamed, and the story altered. I feel I made the makeup happen much too fast, then shifted the story over to Gilda and Words slice of life. The new Gilda story will focus more on what the original promised: her trying to fit in in Ponyville, and regaining Dash's favor. Words lovers will find him in his own story, which is where I'll have the slice of life feel instead. It'll start with what was GaL chapter 4, then move from there. The Doctor and the Doo will be pretty much the same, with chapters combined or edited to met standard.
Everything else that remains now, like most of my little one shots? Will likely be getting heavy edits themselves. Silver Star will see the chapters combined into a sort of campfire legend/folk tale telling. Dracolord and the Lulu and Tia story I have no clue of what I plan to do for them. As it is? Hiatus or deletion. Consider this my great purge in the pursuit of pony print perfection.
In other news, I turned 21 Feb 7. First alcoholic drink: White Russian. The Dude abides.