Derpy flapped her wings enthusiastically as she pulled a tray out of the oven, smiling wide as she heard the sound of pattering hoofbeats making their way down the stairs.
"Muffin reporting for muffins!"
Dinky Hooves reared back on her hind legs and gave a quick salute before rushing over to hug the waiting pegasus. The two shared a warm nuzzle, Derpy going so far as to wrap a wing around her little filly.
"Did you shower already?"
Dinky broke the hug and began to bounce, knowing the morning routine like the back of her hoof. "Uh-huh! Dinky isn't stinky!"
"Good! I made cranberry today!" Derpy stepped back from the oven, wherein a tray of freshly baked, still steaming muffins sat. The smell of the baked goods wafted throughout the entire household, giving the small hovel a warm, homely feel. Derpy watched with delight as Dinky grabbed a pair of pot holders and slipped them onto her hooves with her magic, smiling all the while.
"You're getting good at that! How is magic class with Ms. Aurora?"
Dinky set the muffins down atop the counter before scooting her chair up under the overhanging ledge, using her magic to give it a spin for show. "Really good! She said if I keep it up, someday, I could be a famous magician!"
The older mare blew her mane out of her face, giggling a little as the blonde strands fell back and tickled her forehead. "Good! One day, you will be famous, Muffin. You deserve it!"
The little filly selected a muffin carefully and plopped it atop a paper towel. "Uh-huh!" Dinky replied happily before digging in to her cranberry treat. Flecks of muffin flew up from the plate as the hungry filly attacked the muffin without mercy, earning a concerned laugh from Derpy as the mother mare moved closer.
"Dinky… we've gotta work on those manners of yours. Mommy got us tickets to the Gala, remember? You can't eat like that in front of Princess Celestia."
Dinky let out a rather loud belch, wiping her mouth clean with a hoof before giving a sheepish grin. "I know! It's only while I'm at home, I promise!"
The little filly shrank down in her seat as her mother glared at her with one eye, the other wandering back to the tray of muffins left abandoned atop the counter.
"So… I know you want me to practice eating good, but… how was that one?"
Derpy shook her head and scrunched up her nose. Encouraging that sort of thing wasn't what most mares would do for their little children… but who said she had to be like most mares?
"…seven out of ten. Needs more echo and reverb."
"What's a reverb?" Dinky asked while tilting her head in curiosity.
Derpy shrugged her wings. "Iunno. Talk to Aunt Scratchie. She says it a lot."
"Okay!" Dinky returned to assaulting her breakfast with reckless abandon, before feeling a sensation of pins and needles upon the back of her neck. Slowly but surely, the filly turned her head while blushing furiously, only to find her mother glaring hard once again.
Dinky resumed eating, much more slowly and carefully as she broke the muffin into chunks with her magic before lifting each piece up to her mouth. Derpy nodded her approval and moved to sit upon the floor next to her daughter, lightly nuzzling the filly's side. The mare allowed herself a quiet sigh, closing her eyes as she rested against her daughter's warm side.
For days now, sleep had escaped her, and the worried pegasus found herself tossing and turning, her mind never giving her a moment's peace. Ever since Dinky had started school, Derpy had become more and more worried that the little filly wouldn't be accepted, just like she hadn't been accepted. However, things were starting to look up, as another filly had come home with Dinky just the other day, and even stayed for dinner. Derpy smiled at the thought, content that her daughter had already made a friend.
Derpy jumped with fright as the side of her face began to vibrate, her daughter's side rocking back and forth as she let forth another colossal belch. The older pegasus flared her wings, backing away and looking horrified that such a small filly could even produce such a noise.
"Muffin! That's… that's…"
"A TEN OUT OF TEN?" Dinky spun in her chair excitedly, giggling as she kicked her back hooves hanging over the seat, letting them swing freely.
"Wh-… obviously, but that's just nasty!" Derpy began to laugh, shaking her head as she did her best to keep a straight face. And failed. "No more of that! If you do it again, I'll tell Miss Cheerilee, and she'll give you homework."
Dinky's eyes grew wide, inflating to a size that suggested they might fly past the borders of her head. "Homework! It's the first week of school… like… ever! I can't have homework already!"
"I can make it happen." There was her edge. The mare grinned deviously as her little filly shook in her seat, clearly afraid of the possibility of having less free time once she got home. "Now, what do we say?"
"Excuse me!" Dinky replied immediately, hopping off of her seat and back down to the ground. "No homework! I'm a good filly!"
"We'll see." Derpy replied with a sly grin. The little unicorn trotted up beside her mother, offering a nuzzle against the much larger pony's leg as a bit more incentive. Derpy just giggled and pat the little filly's mane with her wing.
"Okay Muffin. Are we ready to go?"
"You bet!" Dinky hopped once again, her smile wide and her eyes full of joy.
"What about your bag?" Derpy asked with a hint of amusement.
"Oh yeah! Just a sec!" Dinky ran back up the stairs in a blue-gray blur, coming back seconds later with a bright red bag slung across her side. A pattern of bubbles decorated the flap, and Derpy grinned upon seeing the material. Of all the designs her daughter could have picked, the little filly went with that.
"All aboard the Derp Express!" Derpy crouched down low, allowing her giggling daughter to climb atop her back. The little filly nestled between her mother's wings before snuggling tightly into the back of Derpy's neck.
"Ready! Let's go, Momma! Hya!"
Dinky slammed her back hooves into Derpy's sides, causing only a little bit of pain as Derpy ran out the door laughing and took off, flapping hard to generate lift. The pegasus smiled to herself as she flew, her laughing daughter hanging tightly from her neck.
She will be famous, one day. Anything for my Muffin. Today… today's gonna be a great day!
Author's Note: Change of plans. This story is now done, and I'm not going to post any more chapters. The original intent was to use this as a bit of a creative dump, a story that I could write bits and pieces of between other things. However… I'm not feeling it anymore, the idea is getting somewhat tired, even to me, and it's becoming a struggle to keep things interesting. That, and I just don't have time for 'side projects for the hell of it' anymore. So, I'd rather end this story on (hopefully) a high note.
That being said, Night will start soon, and be 10 chapters long. Given that I'm ending Morning here and now, I'm going to make Night a list of completely new characters. The poll I put up ended with 'a new character order' winning, so this falls in line with what you guys wanted, as well as the new plan. I've already got some ideas set up for Night that should be a refreshing change from more of ponies waking up. The chapter list for Night will be as follows:
-Rarity & Sweetie Belle
-The Apple Family
-Spitfire & Soarin (Pie & Pegasi universe)
-Twilight & Spike
-The Great and Powerful Trixie
-? (? universe)
That's right. The last one is a mystery, and one that I know a lot of you will like. Stay tuned for the beginning of Night, happening very soon! Up next: Princess Textlestia chapter 3! The finale that you've all been waiting for!