Thanks TheXiaDarkness for the Zapp Apple idea! And thank you all for your support! I really, truly appreciate it!
"OK, Ah just finished callin' cousin AJ and she said that she can drive us to the hospital," Braeburn informed as he ran back into the living room. "She can't believe that we're havin' a baby. Ah can't believe we're havin' the baby! Can ya believe we're having the baby?" The colt was now snout to snout with Rainbow.
"No, I can't," she sardonically answered.
"She should be here soon. That's what she said on the-" An holler from outside interrupted his statement and his stance grew taller. "That's her that's her! C'mon, we gotta go!"
"Relax, Brae," Rainbow pleaded as she rose from the couch, "Thousands of foals are delivered a day so don't worry."
"Yer right, yer right," he concurred, placing his hoof on her shoulder, "Can ya believe it? We're gonna have our lil' zapp apple!"
Pushing the door open, the orange mare let the couple into her home at Sweet Apple Acres. Rainbow blew out an impatient sigh as Braeburn took off his hat to fan himself.
"Granny Smith, we're back from the hospital!" Applejack announced. The elderly mare crept from her bedroom, rubbing her eyes. She asked what happened and the country filly began to explain. "Turned out to be a false alarm."
"False alarm?" Granny Smith questioned, "That's funny, thought Ah changed the batteries or somethin' for the fire alarms around here a while ago…"
"No, she means that I didn't have the baby yet," Rainbow clarified disappointedly. Then, she felt an arm wrapped around her from behind.
"Don't worry sugarcube, when the time comes, the time comes," Applejack consoled.
"Did, er, the doctor say what caused this 'false alarm' exactly?" Granny asked. Rainbow meekly looked at the relatives and put her head down.
"He said it was gas."
Smacking down the plastic cup, Rainbow let out a loud belch and groaned. Pinkie Pie challenged her to a burping contest while balancing dirty plates with no reaction. The winged mare continued to grumble and put her head down on the table. For the past few hours since she had woken up, she felt twinges in her tummy that she generally ignored. No point of getting her hopes up she figured.
"I'll have another slice of cake," Rainbow demanded, sitting up, "Maybe if I eat enough, the baby will have no space left and will be forced to come out."
"Aww, don't be so upset Dashie," Pinkie responded, patting her mane, "What flavor do you want? Chocolate? Vanilla? Red velvet? Carrot? Spice? Pumpkin? Strawberry?"
"When is this kid gonna come out?"
"Psh, you're asking me? I don't know, I'm not the foal! What did the doctor say? How will you know if you're truly going to have the baby next time?" Rainbow got up to throw the cup in the trash in Pinkie's kitchen.
"Well, he said that I will feel a lot of pressure in my pelvic area and I may feel nauseous due to contractions-" Abruptly, a strong pain in her lower stomach region emerged, causing her to lower slightly from the throbbing. Her mouth gaped open and she gnashed her teeth when she shut her purple orbs closed. Finally, when the tenderness dissolved, she gasped for air and found herself leaning against the wagon. "Geesh, was that a contraction? How many of those will I have?" A strange sensation snapped inside of her and she soon found herself standing in a puddle of liquid. Pinkie stood in front of her with her mouth open and the expecting filly frantically viewed her surrounding. "Wh-wha…Omigosh, Pinkie, do you know what this means?"
"I sure do," she answered, giving an animated sigh "It means that I have to mop again, you messy mare."
"Not that! My water just broke!" Pinkie rose an eyebrow and tilted her head. "It means I'm going in labor! Right now!"
"You're going to have the baby? Congratulations!"
"Oh no, no, no, no. Not now," Rainbow rambled, pacing the floor.
"Should I sing you a song?"
"I need to get to the hospital."
"Ooo! Ooo! Follow me!" she directed, pulling her friend with her. They both galloped to the side of the partyer's house, stopping in front of a cart. Pinkie beamed a large smile as Rainbow gave her a bewildered look. The pink pony explained that she would give her a ride to the nearest hospital. Rainbow's eyes shifted from her counterpart to her vehicle and back to her again.
"No you're not," Rainbow told her in a grave tone of voice.
"C'mon, Dashie, we gotta get you to the doctors! Quick!"
"While you're driving? No way, Jose!"
"Who's Jose?" Yet again, Rainbow doubled over and felt her friend tug her towards the cart.
"Do you not understand that I am responsible for not just one life, but two?" she snapped, "Have you ever driven with yourself? Just call a cab!"
"As your friend, I promise to drive as carefully as I can. Pinkie Pie swear." Hesitantly, Rainbow eventually agreed to the trip.
"Fine," she allowed, hopping into the back seat as Pinkie put on the harness, "But remember, be careful."
"GET OUT OF THE WAY!" Pinkie yelled at the traveling citizens, "I GOT A PREGNANT HORSE IN LABOR BEHIND ME!" The blue pony clutched onto her seat and sealed her eyes while emitting a harsh scream. Wind blew in her hair as she heard startled voices from the strolling civilians. Rainbow had begged Pinkie to slow down many times but it was no use. At last, she felt the cart come to a halt with her still shrieking. Opening one eye, she read the sign on the building that read 'Ponyville Hospital' and relaxed her shoulders. Still realizing that she was shouting, she placed her hooves over her mouth and started to climb out of the wagon, her legs limp with weakness.
"Th-thanks," she retorted, brushing past her companion.
"No problemo!" Pinkie replied, guiding her to the doors, "See? I told you I'd be careful! Now lets get you inside." Approaching the front desk, Rainbow made her way to a seat in the waiting room while she allowed Pinkie to fill out the information sheet. Rainbow immediately regretted her decision.
"It's Rainbow Dash. Rainbow. Dash." The secretary gave her a look of annoyance. "You know, the most famous Wonderbolt in the history of Wonderbolts!" Pinkie twisted to the panting patient, gave her a shrug, and turned back to the worker.
"Ma'am, can you just fill out the paperwork?"
"Why ask for her name when she's the most recognizable pony in all of Equestria! That doesn't make any sense!" The employee gave an exasperated sigh and took the clipboard from her. "Can you believe this filly?" Pinkie asked her friend quietly.
"Where does the patient live ma'am?" the worker interviewed, writing out Rainbow's name.
"Why? So that you can follow her? Too many times my bestest pal Rainbow had to deal with intrusive reporters. Well I'm going to prevent that!" Pinkie turned around to wink at Rainbow, resulting in the winged pony to slap her forehead with her hoof.
"I'll fill it out," Rainbow breathed, watching a nurse bring out a wheelchair. "For Pete's sake."
"Jose? Pete? Who are these ponies?" Pinkie asked as Rainbow climbed into the wheelchair.
"RD, why didja go into labor without me?" Braeburn teased as he held out a stuffed stork. The soon-to-be mother glared at him as she snatched the toy from him to toss it into a chair across the room. "Nice tah see ya too, cinnamon stick."
"This is all your fault," she hissed, pulling up the white linens.
"Ah was expectin' that."
"Oh Rainbow Dash, sit up straighter," her mother commanded, fluffing up the pillows behind her.
"Mom, posture is the last thing on my mind right now."
"Oh nonsense, a good posture is necessary at all times. Of course, if you had taken those years of finishing school over those summer breaks like I had told you…"
"Hey, you know what'd be funny?" her father cut in, "If this all was another false alarm."
"In what universe would that be funny?" Rainbow snapped.
"I like the irony of it."
"It's not funny, Dad." Rainbow turned to the violet unicorn. "Hey, Egghead, I've had my contractions for the past couple of hours and my water broke ten minutes ago. Now what?"
"Well," Twilight began, "the reference book that I read stated that once when you are past the contractions and water breakage stages, you should be ready to deliver. Generally it can be anywhere from fifteen minutes to two hours after your water breaks."
"Aren't you excited?" Fluttershy quipped, "You're gonna to finally see the foal in less than two hours!"
"You're probably nervous too I imagine," Rarity added in.
"Me? Nervous? Ha! I can totally do this! I am fast, strong, and in-control. This'll be easy peezy lemon squeezy!" A harsh kick came from the foal which made Rainbow panic. "I feel it moving! Oh Celestia, I can't do this!"
"Relax Rainbow," Applejack coaxed, "Remember, you can totally do this. Yer fast, strong, and in-control. This'll be easy peezy lemon squeezy!" Rainbow gave her a dirty look.
"And what pony told you that horse manure?" she asked impatiently.
"You know that Top will be calling all the magazines for photoshoots with you and the baby, right?" Spitfire questioned, leaning over Rainbow's bed.
"Yeah, that's expected," she replied with a smirk.
"I can't believe your doing this, kid."
"Well, to be honest, I really have no other option at this point."
"Promise you'll let me play with it?" Soarin asked, "I can be it's favorite uncle!" Rainbow nodded her head and turned her attention to the country mare that entered the room. The rest of the ponies had already left temporarily to get their lunches. Applejack placed the cup of water on the counter in front of Rainbow and pushed it towards her.
"Oh yeah, I'm not really thirsty anymore," Rainbow notified.
"Are ya kiddin' me? Ya were just complain' about how this hospital air was dryin' your throat! Whatever that means…" Spitfire excused herself into the hallway to take a phone call. "Ah hope you're not in too much pain," she sincerely hoped, watching the mare blowing out strenuous breaths.
"Where are those drugs when you need them?" she hissed.
"It's been what? An hour and a half?" Soarin probed, "Give it thirty minutes and it's out of there."
"Hey, Ah remember ya!" Applejack exclaimed, turning to the Wonderbolt, "We've met personally before! At the Grand Galloping Gala and ya bought mah pie! You were one of the few ponies that weren't so frilly-frally."
"Best pie I've ever had!" he gleefully pronounced, stepping closer to her, "I, uh, also saw you at the Royal Canterlot wedding. I remember you were playing the fiddle with your family."
"Huh, I don't remember us talking that night."
"Oh, uh, we didn't actually. I never got the chance to get around to you. Well, not like get around like you were last of my priorities. B-but not like you weren't important because you were. I wanted to t-talk to you but-"
"We can talk in the cafeteria," she suggested, tipping her hat. Rainbow observed the conversing ponies strolling out of the room and closed the door behind them.
"Don't worry, I'll be fine by myself," she sardonically retorted, trying to reach for her cup and failing, "Darn it."
Laying in fetal position, tears descended down her cheeks as she absently stared at Braeburn's hoof that was holding her own. The doctor explained the procedure that was to be done with little response from Rainbow. Everything was too overwhelming for her. Braeburn felt the responsibility on his shoulders to keep Rainbow calm. He could not show her the insecurities and doubts that ran through his mind.
"Because the foal is not in the standard birthing position and it has been over two hours, we will have to perform an emergency surgery," the doctor explained, "We will put you under anesthesia, take out the foal, and perform our usual duties of a typical foal birth such as cleaning it and caring for it. We will also run tests to make sure it is healthy. It has been two and half hours, so we must check to see if it is completely healthy. Any questions?" Rainbow quickly shook her head and wait for him to return to his helpers.
"Brae," she whispered, "What if I don't wake up?"
"You're gonna wake up," he promised, stroking her mane, "Trust me."
"Tragedies happen all the time, what if I'm one of them?"
"Ah won't allow it, y'hear?"
"I hear ya," she answered after a long silence. Receiving a mask from the nurse, Braeburn pressed his lips onto her forehead after she stalled to put it on.
"We'll see ya in a bit," he guaranteed, placing his hoof on her belly.
"Ok Miss Dash," the surgeon instructed, "I'm turning on the gas right now. What I need you to do for me is to count backwards from ten. Slowly."
"Ten, nine, eight-"
"Seven…six." She let out a large yawn and reclined a little. "Five…f-four…" The mare suddenly slipped into a deep slumber.
Tingling overtook her body leaving her numb to her atmosphere. Only whiteness engrossed her vision as she opened her eyes which caused her to fluster. The peripheral fuzziness soon dissipated and she started to see clear again. It took her a while to remember where she was residing and thanks to the beeping of the monitor next to her, she recalled her current location. Noticing her abdomen, she ran her hoof over the surgical staples that held her flesh together. Dry blood crusted around her large incision and she struggled to sit up resulting in her to use her arms as an assistance to straighten her spine against her pillow. From the furthest corner of the bed, Braeburn's back faced her and he rocked back and forth.
"Brae?" she croaked. She heard him mumbling and called out his name once more. Not turning around, Braeburn continued to sway. "Brae? Why aren't you answering me?" Her voice was weaker than expected. Fear filled her chest. "What's going on? What happened to the baby?" The stallion turned his head to face her.
"Look who's up," he announced quietly.
"Where's the-" Finding herself with no words to say, she looked down at the blanket in Braeburn's arms and froze. As she furrowed her eyebrows, she stared at the small creature in fascination. Braeburn smiled at her while she gapped her mouth ajar.
"There's mommy.D'ya want to hold him?" Rainbow nodded her head, still unable to speak. It was amazing to her that the foal formed into her body as she wrapped her arms around it. The vivid green coat of it made the pale blue blanket it was wrapped in appear washed out. The offspring gleamed at her with golden eyes, causing a chill to go throughout her. "Isn't he adorable?"
"This is my baby," she at last spoke. Letting out a giggle, she turned to look at Braeburn who mirrored her actions. Instinctively, she leaned in and planted her lips against his. Her whole body relaxed and she closed her eyes for a moment. Then and there, she forgotten all her uncertainties and worries. Content rose in her heart and for the first time, her mind had quieted itself. Pulling away, she glimpsed down at the her son again. "This is our baby."
"Hard Ball called again," Braeburn proclaimed as he set the phone down on a near-by desk, "And yer mom called, too."
"Geesh, since when did you become my secretary?" Rainbow joked as she cradled the newborn colt and gentle placed it in his bed.
"Ah guess when you became a mother," he playfully retorted, "How's Summerfree?"
"Sleeping," she pointed out, tilting her head towards the crib.
"Y'know, he's the first Pegasus in the Apple family. Can't wait tah see him fly."
"Yeah, then you'll wish he'd never begin to fly in the first place once when he figures out his agility." Braeburn let out a chuckle and told her that he was off to help at Sweet Apple Acres. Saying their farewells, Rainbow pulled out a pen and paper to on the table next to her.
'Dear Princess Celestia-
I'm not sure whether to call this a friendship report necessarily or just an open letter. Either way, I have learned a lot over all this time, believe me. At first, I thought my most important lesson was to be responsible for myself. I mean, it still is an important lesson. But unlike these previous months, I've also learned to make the best of my mistakes. I've kicked myself and scolded since the first day of me finding out I was pregnant. But now, especially after the baby was born, I've found a new type of love that I never thought I could experience. In fact, I'm learning all sorts of new types of love.
I never really knew the difference between a friendship and romantic relationship and to tell you the truth, I still kinda don't. I always thought a romantic relationship only involved kissing and mushy gushy talk. Maybe that's why all my past relationships have been so screwed up, I was only expecting the physical. I've learned now that your significant other is not only for that, but is your best friend as well. Friendship and romance can go hoof-in-hoof and actually should do so. You can't built a foundation of trust just on flirting and the physical alone.
Maybe that's why it was so hard for me to figure out if I was in-love with Braeburn or not. I'm still on the fence about it, but I know for a fact that besides the obvious (the baby), this is actually the most serious relationship I've ever been in. And you know what? It's the slowest, too. He just doesn't give kisses will-nilly. I actually feel the sentiment behind them, you know? And although we live in the same house, I guess he's still trying to be a gentleman by living in separate bedrooms. At first, him acting this way annoyed the heck outta me but I'm starting to find it charming.
And even if this relationship thing doesn't work out, I know that I will still have an amazing friend and father of my child. I know that there would be no bad blood. But, I decide to live in the now. And right now, after two weeks since Summerfree's birth, things are going amazing.
My gut is still touching my thighs when I sit which drives Cardio Carl crazy. The entire Apple family (and extended family) are constantly calling to try to arrange a wedding date. I have reporters always asking what's next for my life and my parents are driving me crazy while I drive my friends crazy. And you know what?
I'm the happiest mare around.