Chapter Twelve: One last Surprise
After a nice quiet stay at the Haywaiian islands, where they relaxed at the beach during the day, and cuddled in their hotel room at night, Twilight and Flash returned to Ponyville as husband and wife. Flash had all his belongings moved out of his cottage and into the library. The couple led a happy life, just them and Spike, living together.
Ten months after the wedding, Twilight started getting stomach pains and nausea. She booked an appointment with her physician, Dr. Stable, to get to the root of the problem. What Dr. Stable discovered gave Twilight the shock of her life. The young princess wandered home in a daze. As she opened the door, she found Flash stood nearby, eager to learn the severity of her condition.
"So, what'd the doctor say?" He asked. "Is it anything serious?"
"You could say that." Twilight nodded, her face impassive.
"What's going on, Twilight?" Flash asked worriedly.
"You might want to sit down for this, Flash." Twilight suggested.
Flash sat down on the couch.
"What is it?" He asked.
"Well, I'm not sick." Twilight declared. "But I am... pregnant."
Flash's jaw dropped.
"Y-you're..." He stuttered. "Preg-preg..."
"Yes." Twilight nodded. "I'm going to have a foal."
"That... that's... great!" Flash smiled, grabbing Twilight by the midsection and spinning her around. "We're gonna be parents! Isn't it wonderful?"
"Yeah, it is." Twilight agreed. "But still... Having a foal is a life-changing event, you know."
"I'd have thought you'd be used to life-changing events by now." Flash snarked.
"Very funny." Twilight smirked. "I just hope I'm ready to be a mother."
"Hey, you'll be a great mother." Flash assured. "You're caring, and considerate, and fair... all the makings of a great mom."
Spike came in from the kitchen.
"What's all the hubub?" He asked.
"I'm having a foal, Spike." Twilight smiled.
"Whoa, really?!" Spike gasped.
"Really." Twilight nodded.
"You're gonna be an uncle, little buddy!" Flash declared.
"'Uncle Spike'..." Spike mused. "I like the sound of that!"
"Being parents is a big responsibility." Twilight noted. "You think we'll be up for it?"
"You're a princess, and I'm a royal guard." Flash reminded her. "I'm sure the two of us can muddle our way through it."
"Hey, what am I, chopped quartz?" Spike jumped in. "Number one assistant, remember?"
"Sorry, Spike." Flash smiled. "You've got nothing to worry about, Twilight. We can do this."
"I guess you're right." Twilight agreed, though privately, she still had her misgivings.
The next day, Twilight invited all her friends over, and broke the news.
"Oh, how wonderful!" Rarity gushed.
"Congratulations, Twilight." Applejack beamed.
"I can't wait to see your foal." Fluttershy cooed.
"Me, neither!" Pinkie yelped. "A new playmate for Pinkie! Whooo!"
"Way to go, Twilight." Rainbow grinned. "Or should we call you 'mom' from now on?"
"Very funny, Rainbow." Twilight shook her head. "I just wish I felt more ready for this. Can I really be a good mother?"
"You kiddin' me?" Applejack asked. "You'll be a great ma, Twilight! Any young 'un'd be lucky to have ya!"
"Applejack's right." Rarity agreed. "You're intelligent, and considerate, and you know how to watch out for others. You'll be a wonderful mother, I just now it."
"That's what Flash said." Twilight recalled.
"Great minds think alike." Rarity smirked.
"Besides, you'll have all of us to help." Fluttershy added.
"Really?" Twilight smiled.
"No doubt." Rainbow nodded. "Except maybe for the diaper changes..."
"Just try and keep me away from that sure-to-be adorable bundle of cuteness!" Pinkie squealed.
"Thanks, girls." Twilight chuckled, feling better already.
And so it began. The first couple of months were mostly uneventful. Not long after the news, Twilight's friends threw her a baby shower. Rarity had provided many of the clothes, making them herself in gender neutral colors, and Applejack gave Twilight lots of apple juice.
Shorty afterward came Twilight's first ultrasound appointment. That night, Twilight and Flash gazed at the image of their foal given to them by Dr. Stable.
"Beautiful, isn't he?" Flash cooed.
"Or she." Twilight pointed.
"Right." Flash relented. "Either way, that is one gorgeous foal."
Twilight snuggled against her husband.
"Not to brag, but were you expecting anything less?" She smiled.
"No way." Flash wrapped his hooves around her.
As the weeks and months passed, Twilight's stomach swelled, due to the foal growing inside her. Flash and Spike responded by doing practically everything for her, and insisting she stay off her feet. The attention was flattering at first, but it soon grew tiresome. Eventually, Twilight had had enough.
"Here, let me get a nice soft cushion." Flash offered one day.
"And I'll get your tea." Spike added.
"Guys, enough!" Twilight groaned. "I may be pregnant, but I'm not helpless!"
To emphasise her point, Twilight used her magic to bring both the cushion and her tea over to her, leaving her would-be carers with very sheepish looks on their faces.
"Sorry, hon." Flash rubbed the back of his neck.
"We were just trying to help..." Spike said halfheartedly.
"I know, and it was sweet of you to try." Twilight smiled. "But I don't need you to do everything for me. A little extra girth won't slow me down."
"That's my Twilight." Flash beamed. "She never gives up."
"No matter how much you want her to." Spike joked.
"Funny, Spike." Twilight chuckled.
As the pregnancy wore on, Twilight started suffering from mood swings. As her friends had witnessed in the past, stressful times made Twilight highly emotional. The hormonal imbalances brought upon her by her condition took this to a whole new level.
One afternoon, as Flash returned to the library, he beheld Twilight, in all her heavily-pregnant glory.
"Hey there, mom-to-be." Flash smiled. "You're coming along nicely. Look at that stomach..."
"Are you calling me fat?!" Twilight asked angrily.
"No, I-" Flash spluttered.
"Well, you're right!" Twilight howled. "I'm a big, purple blimp!"
"No, you're not." Flash smiled. "In fact, you've never looked more beautiful."
Twilight was so touched by Flash's show of love, she burst into tears.
"Oh, Flash!" She hugged him. "I'm so lucky to have a husband like you!"
Flash awkwardly accepted Twilight's hug. Spike, who had been watching the altercation from the top of the stairs, gaped at the result in confusion.
"Hormones." Flash whispered to the baby dragon.
"Shut up!" Twilight's temper flared again as she hit him in the shoulder. "It's not my fault I'm pregnant! It's your fault, if anything!"
"My fault?" Flash asked.
"You did this to me!" Twilight roared. "You made me like this! I hate you, I hate you, I hate you!"
Twilight brought her hooves down on Flash's chests several times, before collapsing into sobs once more. Flash comforted her, gently stroking her mane.
"I'm sorry, Flash." Twilight sniffed. "I don't hate you. I'm just... a little messed up right now."
"I know." Flash nodded. "Dr. Stable warned me about these mood swings. We've just got to ride each one out. Once the foal comes, you'll be back to your old self again."
"You're right." Twilight smiled weakly. "And I apologise in advance for what I might do during any future mood swings."
"There's no need for that." Flash smiled. "I know you won't mean any of it."
"But I will mean stuff like this." Twilight purred, pulling him in for a kiss.
"Good to know." Flash chuckled as they parted.
"That's it." Spike threw up his claws in defeat. "I give up. If anypony needs me, I'll be in my basket."
Twilight and Flash chuckled lightly at Spike's exasperation.
As the tenth month rolled around, Twilight was bigger then ever, but she insisted on staying active. One morning, she and Flash were walking though Ponyville.
"Do my fetlocks look fat to you?" Twilight asked.
"Not at all." Flash said offhoofedly.
Twilight gave him a look that screamed "Tell me the truth."
"Okay, they're a little fat." Flash admitted.
"Ooh." Twilight grimaced.
"Hey, you wanted me to tell you the truth." Flash said, affronted.
"It's not that." Twilight declared. "I th- Oooh!"
Twilight clutched her stomach.
"The foal's coming?" Flash gasped. "Now?! It's a little early, isn't it?"
"Try telling him or her that." Twilight deadpanned, before doubling over in pain. "Aagh!"
"Okay, okay, don't panic!" Flash said panickedly. "We've already prepared for this, so let's put our plan into action."
"Right." Twilight nodded.
Twilight's horn glowed. She was utilising a spell she had prepared for a situation such as this. Back at the library, an enchanted alarm clock started ringing, letting Spike know that the foal was coming, and that he should go and alert their friends.
Back on the street, Flash lifted Twilight on his forelegs. Struggling slightly under her weight, Flash spread his wings and took off in the direction of the hospital. They barreled though the doors and to the front desk.
"Get Dr. Stable, now!" Flash yelled. "My wife is about to give birth!"
"I'll let him know right away." Nurse Redheart nodded, before dashing off down the corridor.
Flash eased Twilight onto a chair.
"Easy, now." Flash patted her side. "Everything's going to be fine."
"Don't patronise me." Twilight said through gritted. "I know perfectly well what may or may not happen, so don't think a half-hearted reassurance is going to help."
"Okay." Flash gulped.
Before long, Dr. Stable, flanked by Nurse Redheart with a wheelchair, arrived.
"The foal's coming a little early, is it?" He noted. "This way, please."
Flash helped Twilight into the chair, and they took her to the birthing room. As Twilight lay on the bed, in total agony, Flash held her hoof.
"It hurts..." Twilight cringed. "So much..."
"Easy, now." Flash smiled. "Just remember your breathing."
"To Tartarus with my breathing!" Twilight roared, spontaneously using the "Royal Canterlot Voice". At the same time, she squeezed his hoof tightly. "Look at what you've done to me! I swear I will hate you forever!"
"Okay, Twilight." Dr. Stable nervously interjected. "How about we get you something for the pain?"
"Can I have some too?" Flash winced, feeling like his hoof was about to be snapped in half.
After an hour or so of intense agony, Twilight's pain finally ceased, as the cries of a newborn foal filled the room.
"Congratulations." Dr. Stable smiled. "It's a colt."
Flash and Twilight sighed in relief. The colt was wrapped in swaddling cloth and placed in Twilight's hooves. He was an alicorn, just like his mother. He had Twilight's coat, and most of her mane, except the streak of pink his mother had was replaced by royal blue. He also had his father's eyes.
"He's beautiful." Twilight sighed.
"He sure is." Flash smiled. "Way to go, Twilight. You did great."
"Did I?" Twilight asked. "I was hurting so badly, I barely even knew what was going on. It was just one big haze. I didn't hurt you, did I?"
"Nah." Flash chuckled, hiding his bruised hoof.
Not long after, Twilight's friends came in.
"Twilight, it's-" Pinkie yelped, before Applejack plugged her mouth with her hoof.
"Shh." She hissed. "The little critter's asleep."
"Oh, he's so precious." Fluttershy whispered.
"Adorable." Rarity cooed.
"Yeah, cute kid." Rainbow nodded.
Pinkie muttered something in response, her mouth still plugged by Applejack, who sent a warm smile the colt's way.
"Hey, little guy." Spike whispered. "I'm your uncle Spike. Nice to meet you."
The colt shifted slightly in Twilight's hooves.
At that moment, Celestia, Luna, Cadance and Shining entered the room.
"Congratulations, Twilight." Celestia smiled.
"H-how did you get here so quickly?" Twilight asked.
"I sent her a letter." Spike smiled.
"What a darling little colt." Luna beamed. "Truly, a worthy addition to the royal family."
"He's so cute." Candace squeed. "I could just eat him up!"
"Well done, Twily." Shining grinned. "You too, Flash."
"Thanks, B.B.B.F.F." Twilight chuckled.
"I'm afraid there are too many visitors to this room." Dr. Stable declared. "Some of you will have to leave."
"No problem." Applejack smiled. "Come on, girls. Let's let the family have some time together."
The five ponies left the royal, leaving Spike and the royals to gaze upon the new prince.
"So, what are you going to call him?" Shining asked.
"We've talked about it for a while now." Flash admitted. "Threw a few names out. There's one name we both agreed on giving our foal if it was a colt."
"Which is?" Cadance asked.
"Dusk." Twilight smiled. "Dusk Glow."
"A fine name." Celestia nodded. "Welcome to Equestria, prince Dusk Glow."
After two days under observation, Twilight and Dusk were finally cleared by Dr. Stable to return home. All of Twilight's friends were waiting to greet her, and introduce themselves to Dusk. Pinkie, of course, made the biggest impression, her zany antics elicting giggles from the young prince.
That night, Twilight and Flash put Dusk in his brand new cot.
"Good night, my little prince." Twilight kissed Dusk on the forehead. As she stood up, she smiled at Flash. "And thank you, my big prince."
"Me?" Flash asked. "What for?"
"For this whole wonderful journey." Twilight declared, embracing him. "Your love has taken me to so many places I never knew. And now it's taken me to parenthood. None of that would have been possible without you."
"Well, it wasn't all me, you know." Flash said humbly. "Love's a team effort. And you've taught me a few things too, Twilight of my life."
"I guess I have." Twilight smiled. "And now, we have a son to teach. For the next eighteen years, school's in session."
"That it is." Flash chuckled. "Love you."
"Love you, too." Twilight sighed. "Forever and ever."
The two kissed over their son's cot, Dusk being blissfully unaware of the example of the love that spawned him happening just above his head. Afterwards, Flash and Twilight went to bed, snuggling happily under the covers.
It had been quite a journey for Twilight and Flash, and it was by no means over. Raising a son would only strengthen their love for each other, and as they taught him, they too would learn ever more about each other, and about love itself.
(Despair not, faithful readers. This story may be over, but I'm currently working on a follow-up, "The Young Prince", which will of course revolve around Dusk as he faces the trials and tribulations of growing up.)
(My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and all associated characters are the property of Hasbro.)