What Do You Mean, We're not Related?

by HapHazred

Chapter 1: The Gospel Morale

Twilight Sparkle always said that books had personality. This was hardly surprising to those that knew her, considering books were quite possibly her best friends for most of her childhood.

Encyclopaedias were gruff and knowledgeable. They reminded her of a university professor with a penchant towards bourbon in the evening. They'd wear glasses and have timepieces they'd check every few minutes. They'd also forget where they left their handkerchiefs.

Her parents' romance novels were slick and sleazy. You wouldn't recall acknowledging them or even looking at them. Even so, they always knew when they could sneak onto your bedside cabinet regardless of whether you had given them permission to do so.

And other books... other books were helpful. Most of the time.

If a book had personality, then they'd almost certainly have feelings. Those feelings were very rattled indeed when Twilight's Library burned down. Their senses were fried when the survivors made their way to a new library down the road. Their hearts ached for the souls of the lost.

Well, most of them were fine. Books are remarkably hardy creatures. But some of them...

One of them...

One of them was awakened. The panic and the noise of the fire shook it out of its slumber. It felt the lick of the flames and the ashes of paper on its cover. Later, it watched as it was taken from the burned corpse of Golden Oaks to a new home. A new prison.

But it was too late. Free from the bookshelf, it began to feel forgotten needs again. Now its intellect was no longer stifled by the presence of stupid books, it was free to think.

And then somepony had read it. Touched its covers. Opened their mind to it willingly.

It was like coffee in the morning, but better. And it wanted more.

It knew the world around it, and as fear coursed up its magically imbibed pages, it wanted, needed to do what it was written for. Bring knowledge to the world.

And there... Not far away...

...was the ignorant.

The pages rustled against each other as the big, heavy tome began to slide closer and closer to the edge of the table it was placed on. Wind that didn't exist earlier, and that no weatherpony would admit to creating, slowly pushed the book, nanometre by nanometre, towards falling to the floor.

Sweetie Belle knocked the door of the library open with a forceful shove. Her eyes were in a perpetual state of rolling. Once again evicted from her sister's home, she went to a place she knew she could get some peace and quiet.

Libraries were supposed to be quiet. They practically had a force-field that absorbed noise. Or if they didn't, Twilight was working on developing one as quickly as she could.

"I just need some time to think," Sweetie grumbled. "Go play with your friends, I'll be done in a minute!" Sweetie gave her surroundings a powerful snort. "Yeah, if 'a minute' is the same as 'an hour'."

It wasn't like she could complain to Rarity's face. Not any more, anyway. Rarity had... tried. A lot harder than before, at least. Their relationship was constantly undergoing repairs, and thankfully, they were faster at fixing their problems than they were at making them... although only just.

She sighed. The fiction section should have something nice, she thought. As she passed a table piled high with books, her tail brushed... or perhaps it didn't brush... the edge of a particularly ominous book.

Without needing encouragement, the book tipped and fell. Loudly. It lay in front of Sweetie, its old and tattered pages spread wide before her.

Sweetie swallowed.

Will Twilight be mad I knocked her book off her shelf?

Well, she certainly wouldn't if she put the book back where it belonged, Sweetie reckoned.

It was strange, though. She hadn't done much to knock the book off its shelf in the first place. Just a brush with her tail... and even then, it wasn't much of a brush. Then again, she reasoned, she rarely did have to do much for things to fall apart.

She took her first step towards the book, and her eyes passed over the pages just for a second. It was all the book needed to be read. Sweetie blinked.

The words went directly into her brain without bothering with such trivialities as going through her eyes. No amount of effort could have saved Sweetie from understanding the words. Even had she not been able to read, the letters would have burned through reality itself to settle on the inside of her skull. When words were meaningful enough, they always found a way of making themselves read.

Sweetie blinked again.

They also made certain that they could never be forgotten. Electric currents ran through Sweetie's brain as the cells within shuddered under the impact of knowledge.

The book elected to spit in the eye of physics one last time, and closed itself, all on its own. The words Gospel Morale were burned on its front cover.

Sweetie stood, frozen.

"Excuse me?" she asked, puzzled and not a little angry. The book did not deign to reply.

Twilight's head poked through the door, interrupting the very one-sided conversation before it escalated. "Is everything all right in here? I heard a noise."

Sweetie still stared at the book before her. Twilight's eyes widened.

"What is this?" Sweetie asked.

Twilight closed her eyes as tight as she could and snatched the book off the floor. "Oh, nothing special..." she babbled, stumbling through the library with the book clutched in her hooves, blind as a bat. "Spike! It's the Gospel Morale again!"

Spike groaned from afar. Twilight knocked over a vase.

"What did it do?" Sweetie asked, her expression speaking volumes about how convincing Twilight had been.

"Did you read it?" Twilight asked, concern in her voice. She narrowed her eyes. "Did it read you?"

Sweetie Belle nearly snorted. Books couldn't read people. That was just preposter—

But then again...

"Both?" she replied, confused by her own answer.

Spike arrived shortly thereafter, and began leading Twilight to the relevant shelf, who bit her lip in the meantime.

"That's what I was worried about."

"The Gospel Morale isn't really a book..." Spike began reciting before Twilight silenced him.


"It told me..." Sweetie mumbled, "well... 'told' isn't really the right word..."

"You just know something you happened to not know before, right?" Spike asked. "That's what happened the last time it was opened... we think." Twilight nearly growled as she was herded in front of the relevant shelf, as blind as ever.

"It told me Rarity wasn't my—"

"The worst bit is, it's really just trying to help, you know," Spike went on. "It just wants people to know things. Shed some light on matters, you see."

"So it's true? Rarity isn't my sister?" Both Spike and Twilight went silent. Sweetie waited for as long as she could, then she stomped her hoof impatiently. "Does the book ever lie?!"

"It doesn't really work that way..." Twilight explained tentatively. "It doesn't lie or tell the truth. It just rearranges the knowledge in the universe so that you've always known what you didn't always know before... If that makes sense..."


"Yes," Spike said. "I guess..."

"Spike!" Twilight snapped.

"Well? It's the book! She knows, now, right? You told me that if you try contradicting what the book says, it'll just make things worse!"

.Twilight slid the book into a spot on the 'Volatile Volumes' shelf, and then snapped her eyes back open. They were fixed directly on Spike.

"That doesn't mean we can't be tactful!"

"As opposed to standing around looking worried? How does that help? Remember when Rainbow read it? We just looked confused and did nothing!"

"I was thinking! You can't blame me for that!"

Both pony and dragon were so involved in their argument that they failed to notice the small patch of absence where Sweetie Belle used to be. When they finally turned back to find the young filly was missing, they both made what Rarity would generously call 'a swear'.

"How can we not be related?!" Sweetie exclaimed to herself as she made her way through town. "We look the same. We like the same things," she muttered. "Maybe the book is just a whole load of nonsense. It's not like I actually read it. The words just messed up my head."

"Sweetie!" came a voice from behind her. "Wait for me!"

Sweetie Belle groaned. "Apple Bloom, I'm not in the mood," she grumbled. "I'm busy having an existential crisis!"

"An exit sensitive what-now?"

"I'm confused."

"Hey, so am I!" Apple Bloom exclaimed, a smile broadening across her face. "That's so cool!"

"No, it's not!" Sweetie argued. She kicked the ground. "Some book told... made me know... that my sister isn't really my sister."

Apple Bloom tilted her head. "You mean Rarity?"

"Yes. Who else would I be referring to?"


"And now I don't know what to do! We always get angry at each other! Now it'll just be worse!"

"Will it?"

"Of course!"

Apple Bloom tapped her chin thoughtfully. "Hey, wouldn't that mean Rarity is adopted?" she asked. Sweetie Belle's ears flattened.

"Or I am," she said. She blinked tearfully. "I really don't want to be adopted. I like my parents."

"My sis' always tells me it ain't blood that's important, but how much you love your family," Apple Bloom said. "Then again, she spends an awful lot of time yellin' at my brother..."

"If it's not that important, why do I feel so bad?" Sweetie asked. "I just want to belong."

"My sis' always tells me it ain't about belongin', it's about doin' your chores on time."

Sweetie hung her head.

"But I never do my chores on time. I just sort of mess them up until Rarity fixes them for me..."

"My sis' always tells me it ain't about messin' things up, it's about doin' it in a manner that'll upset Rainbow the most," Apple Bloom added. "She says that when she's been on the cider."

"Rainbow or Applejack?"


Sweetie Belle sighed. "I think I want to talk with Rarity. Maybe she'll know what to do." She turned to leave. "Tell your sister she wasn't any help at all."

Apple Bloom frowned, contemplating her immediate future. "That'll be interestin'. Usually she's the one tellin' me that."

Sweetie hung her head. "I know the feeling."

I love my family... even when they're not there. If they're not really mine, won't they just get further and further away?

Twilight and Spike both leant over the metal-bound book. They both wore a pair of heavy, cumbersome goggles and held a set of tongs.

"Okay. Let's see what made the Gospel bounce off its table."

"Do we really need the tongs?"

"Knowledge gets very angry when you try to avoid ingesting it. That's why everyone hates stupid ponies. We have no idea what the book might try to do if it gets its pages on us." Twilight licked her lips in anticipation. "Okay, Gospel Morale... let's take a look under the hood."

With expert precision, she pried the cover of the book open. The pages slid against each other, revealing the nonsensical symbols within. Symbols that didn't make sense to anyone who didn't read them properly.

They nearly leapt off the page. Twilight flinched.

"What was that?" Spike asked.

"Words. Equestria's most dangerous weapon."

"Words aren't that bad. You just have to stop listening to them."

"Words are dangerous, Spike. They're made of pure, undiluted idea. And as soon as they're in your head, it's stuck there. And then you're not the same," Twilight explained. "In ancient times, before even the time of Starswirl, wars were waged not by soldiers and friendship, but by really smart ponies with books. The resulting cultural clashes shattered Equestria for years to come. Nations rose and fell as entire philosophies were replaced every few hours. Minutes, if it was a busy day. The Book Wars."

"How'd it stop?"

"Ponies got dumber. Once we learned that all we had to do was stop paying attention, books became used for entertainment instead, ushering in a golden age of stupidity, and bringing a temporary peace to the land. The books of old were forgotten. Most of them..."

Twilight flicked through the pages, the tongs delicately moving them without direct physical contact. "What was this book used for?" Spike asked.

Twilight frowned. "After Rainbow opened it, I did some experiments. It looks like it was paramedic in nature. It was designed to help ponies," she said. "The worst kind of weapon."

"Doesn't sound that bad."

"No, it really is. You can't even blame it for messing your brain up. This one... it looks like it was used to defend against the highly weaponized books. Remove the lies, as it were."

"So, what? It's trying to 'heal' Sweetie Belle?"

"Yes, I suppose."

"It didn't help Rainbow that much when she read it. She just locked herself in her house for a week and cried a lot."

"Yes, that was... unfortunate," Twilight muttered. "I had no idea we even had this back then."

"Maybe we should ask Rainbow? Perhaps she'll know more about what this did to her than we can figure out here?"

"That might be a good idea, Spike. It'd be useful to know exactly how dangerous this book is."

The Gospel Morale sat on the table, innocently trying to invade another ignorant mind with the tact and subtlety of a black hole. If only it could get past those pesky goggles...


Sweetie's voice sounded so very little as it echoed through the Carousel Boutique. Rarity's brow furrowed. That wasn't a happy 'Rarity' she had heard. It wasn't the kind of 'Rarity' Sweetie used when she knocked over pots of paint onto her brand new dress line. It was the kind of 'Rarity' she used only when she was genuinely upset.

Perhaps it was her being ticked off about Rarity's work again. Rarity hoped not: she had compromised as much as she could at this point, as much as she liked spending time with Sweetie.

"Yes, Sweetie Belle?" she shouted back, moving her spectacles off her nose and onto her workbench. "Is something wrong?"

When Sweetie entered Rarity's workspace, she opened her mouth, only to have no sound come out. Rarity tilted her head.

Rarity was never very good at reading her sister. For some reason, she seemed to do things for no discernible reason, and refused to communicate properly. That said, there was no mistaking the upset in Sweetie's eyes, and the downward slope of her mouth. Heavens, the poor thing looked close to tears. No, Rarity though, Sweetie was not happy at all.

"I read a book..." Sweetie began.

Twilight landed on the cloud doorstep with a dull, cotton-like 'thump', and folded her wings. Spike sat on her back, clutching the Gospel Morale bound in chains and their reading equipment. "Looks like we're here."

Rainbow didn't bother with doors. She just didn't care. Twilight trotted through the open passage, scanning left and right for any sign of her friend.

"Rainbow?" she shouted.

A colourful head popped through the ceiling above them.

"Yeah? What?"

"We had some questions," Spike said. Rainbow fell through the ceiling and landed gracefully in front of them.

"What about?"

Twilight took the Gospel Morale from Spike. "It's about this," she said. Rainbow took a step back.

"Hey, careful with that. It messes with your head."

Twilight nodded. "We know. We tried taking good care to not let it fall into anypony else's hooves... but then the Library burned down. We got careless, and Sweetie Belle found it."

"I thought you were going to lock it up so nopony could ever read it again?"

Spike shrugged.

"We didn't do a good job. Now Sweetie knows that, somehow, Rarity isn't actually her sister."

Rainbow snorted.

"You sure? 'Cause they're pretty similar."

"Well, it's what Sweetie said..." Twilight went on.

"They even make the same noises when they're angry," Rainbow said. "Rarity likes making dresses, Sweetie likes wearing them."

"Yes, I know, but that's what she said," Twilight snapped. "And the only pony who read the book before was you. So we wanted your help figure out how it works."

Rainbow shrugged. "Um. Okay. But, well, it's pretty straightforward."

Twilight ran her hoof through her mane. "We're not entirely sure about that either," she confessed. "The book is supposed to 'heal' ponies. Get their minds working correctly. What I don't understand is how dumping hard truths on ponies helps them."

"What did the book show you, Rainbow?" Spike asked.

"Um..." Rainbow began. "Well, apparently... I..." She swallowed. "I was dropped in an experimental weather device as a baby."

"You were..."

"Dropped. Apparently I was quite heavy. Um... and the vat... did stuff."

Twilight narrowed her eyes. "Like?"

"Well, changed my mane colour, for one. And it strengthened my wings."

Twilight raised her eyebrow. "You mean you're not... natural."

Rainbow sighed. "No. No, apparently I used to be... used to be..." she swallowed. "Different."

Spike nodded. "And you were upset that all your strength came from an experimental weather supply? And it shattered your image of your—"

"No! I can't believe I used to be blonde!" she exclaimed. "Blue doesn't go with yellow! You have no idea how horrible it'd look!"

Twilight frowned. "You locked yourself in your house for a full week... Because you didn't like your hair colour as a kid?"

"Of course! That's the only response to learning such heart-wrenching, soul-crushing, mind-numbing—"

"We get it."


Twilight tapped her chin. "That doesn't make sense. The book is designed to help ponies. Why would it shatter somepony's self image?"

"Well," Rainbow continued, "I got better. Once I kinda' came to terms with it, it felt a bit... liberating. Like there was nothing else the universe could do to me. I had already been through the worst."

Spike nudged Twilight. "Maybe it's doing it to help ponies be more comfortable with themselves? Help them grow."

"And I guess I realized... If I was blonde... Maybe that wouldn't be so bad."

Twilight frowned, ignoring Rainbow's musings entirely. "That's... awfully elaborate."

"Well, if it was used against books just like it, but more aggressive... wouldn't it have to be?"

"I suppose... But how is Sweetie supposed to just shrug off having her whole perception of family rearranged? She's just a little filly."

Spike shrugged. "I dunno'. But we can only hope Rarity might have some idea."

"It's like ponies say, sometimes," Rainbow continued. "The truth will set you free."

"Yes, well, the truth will also make you cry. There's such a thing as tact, you know, and the hard facts can do more harm than good sometimes."

Rarity stood in front of the desk at the Town Hall, looking straight into the clerk's eyes.

"I'm looking for any record you have of my... or Sweetie's... birth," Rarity said, as confidently as she could. Not far behind her, Sweetie Belle hung her head, her eyes nervous.

When I deal with this latest mess, I am going to have a serious word with Twilight and her book protocol...

"Um, okay," the clerk. "Any particular reason?"

"Oh, nothing too special, darling," Rarity said. "Just trying to find out if I'm adopted, or my sister is."

The clerk hesitated, then nodded. "Okay, then, miss Rarity. I'll bring 'em right up."

It's a good thing I was born in Ponyville. Else I'd have had to go all the way to Canterlot just to fix one of Twilight's little mistakes. And I don't think Sweetie would be happy waiting so long for answers.

Although... was I born in Ponyville? My parents might not have...

Rarity rubbed the bridge of her nose, groaning. If only her parents were in town. If only they were ever in town. Why did they always have to vanish as soon as trouble reared its unsatisfactory head? Sweetie needed reassurance right now, not in a few days when they returned from their blasted business trip.

"Are you all right there, Sweetie?" Rarity asked. Sweetie shrugged.

"I guess."

"It's all right if you aren't, you know."

"I... guess."

Rarity sighed. "I'm sorry this is happening now. I'm sure our parents wouldn't have wanted you to be upset..."

"I am upset," Sweetie declared. "I like belonging to my family. I like being your sister." Her shoulders went slack. "I mean, liked..."

"That's quite enough of that nonsense," Rarity snapped. "You're still family, no matter what hap—"

"Found 'em!" the clerk exclaimed. Rarity spun around. "The documents? I have them right here."

Sweetie looked up at Rarity. "Go... wait outside, or something," Rarity said, her voice stern. "I'll fetch you in a minute."

Sweetie reluctantly turned tail and headed through the door to the hallway. "Um... okay," she muttered with the voice of a filly used to being sent away. Rarity flinched inwardly. That was perhaps not the wisest decision.

She took a deep breath. Truth be told... I'd rather not be adopted either, she thought. It's not that I'm afraid I wouldn't be related by blood... it's just the idea that I'd been lied to. All my life...

No wonder Sweetie was so unhappy. The thought was an ugly one.

"Well," she muttered, "time to find out, right?"

Not all paper was magical, but words never needed magic to change ponies forever.

Gospel Morale sat comfortably in the new library, chains hugging its body.

All around it... it smelled the bliss of ignorance . There were a lot of broken ponies in Ponyville, so blindly happy they couldn't see their little lies. The pages rustled with anticipation.

There were very few forces more dangerous than a well-meaning desire to fix things without having any idea how to do so. And Morale had acquired a taste for fixing things. More so than ever before. It was like it had rediscovered chocolate after being trapped on a desert island: it needed to get to the sweets aisle post-haste.

The chains rattled.

The chains stretched.

If books had mouths, it'd be smiling.

Sweetie heard the door open, and she turned around as quick as she could. Rarity looked down at her with a strange look in her eye.

"...Well?" Sweetie asked.

"It's... me. I'm the adopted one," Rarity declared. There was hesitance in her voice, a little tremble, even. But it was all Sweetie needed to hear. That was the important part. "So no more of this silly fretting, understand?" Sweetie didn't move for a moment. Rarity tilted her head. "What? Aren't you happy?"

"Well, I... yes, I suppose..."

Rarity smiled, and wrapped her hoof around Sweetie's withers. "Well, don't look so unhappy. Besides, it's not about being related by blood, it's about caring for your family."

"Yes, but..."

"...And I care for you an awful lot," Rarity added. "Just in case I wasn't clear."

Sweetie slowly began to smile. "...I know. I was just worried you might forget if we weren't sisters."

"Well, we still are," Rarity said. "Just because it's not a fact doesn't mean it's not true."

Rarity gave Sweetie a quick kiss on the forehead. "Now, I'd like you to go home without me. I have to pay a visit to the library."

Suddenly, she heard a shout. She narrowed her eyes.

"What a coincidence."

"Whatever you do, don't open your eyes!" Twilight shouted.

How things had gotten so out of hoof, she'd never know. First it was Applejack. Well, that wasn't really a problem in of itself, but really, Twilight would much prefer if she warned her in advance before visiting.

Then the chains came off.

Knowledge unbound was a terrifying thing.

"Why can't I open my eyes?!" Applejack asked, trying to shake Spike off her head. The little dragon had desperately jumped between her and the book, and held her eyes shut as tightly as he could.

"You might read the book!" Twilight replied, slapping her special anti-read goggles on her head. "It's dangerous!"

Applejack finally managed to dislodge Spike. "Books ain't dangerous," she retorted. "They're just bits o' paper."

"This book is a highly advanced military anti-misconception device," Twilight warned. "It's not a normal book!"

Curiosity burned at Applejack's insides. Her eyes drifted, like a ship lost at sea, towards the place where the Gospel Morale sat, waiting...

It hadn't even fallen according to the laws of physics. It seemed to hang somewhere in between: it was stood up on its spine, the pages facing Applejack... following her...

"Don't look! Or you'll end up like Rainbow Dash and cry for a whole week because you're blonde!" Spike shouted, his claws over his eyes.

"But I like bein' blonde!"

The door slammed open. Applejack's eyes went from the very edge of the book to the pony standing in the doorway.

"I'm here to check out a book," Rarity growled.

Gospel Morale shifted its weight towards her. Knowledge couldn't be denied... After thousands of years of being trapped in a stuffy bookshelf, it had been read not once, but twice. Not since the Great Book Wars had it seen so much use. It was addicted. And it would never—

"Now you look here, book," Rarity snapped, "you are not the first magical book I have dealt with, and I am not impressed. Why, picking on a poor defenceless filly... not to mention Sweetie Belle, who's only eleven! You should be ashamed of yourself!"

Knowledge unbound hesitated.

No matter. She'd read... and she'd know. Why, the mare was broken in several places. Several misconceptions shattered her understanding... Gospel could fix them. Gospel could fix them all.

The words leapt from the page...



This usually works.

"And before you try any of that 'magical book' twaddle, I'm warning you that I am very used to ignoring useless, nonsensical, and downright impolite behaviour. So you'd better close yourself and pay attention."

"Yeah!" Applejack exclaimed. "You tell that book what for!" Applejack paused a moment. "It's time to hit the books!" she exclaimed with a small snicker.

As if to demonstrate her point, Rarity ignored Applejack entirely. Without batting an eye, she levitated a small metal box in front of the book. "You probably think the truth sets ponies free, don't you? You think you're so smug? Well, what you're doing is just plain bad manners, and I'm fed up with it. So, to business..." She flicked the small box open with a metallic click. "You know what this is? Oh, you know everything, so of course you do. It's called a lighter. Do you want me to use it?"

"I don't think I've ever seen a book return to its shelf so quickly," Twilight said, impressed. "I'm really quite amazed that worked."

Rarity snorted, and huffed, and then calmed down.

"I suppose. I really don't think anypony can mess with my sister... unless they are myself, of course."

Twilight noticed a few papers Rarity had stuffed in her saddlebags. "Regarding your sister..." Twilight began.

"Sweetie is fine. I told her that I was the adopted one," Rarity said, pulling the documents out. "I'm sure she'd have gotten over it either way eventually... but I'd really rather she didn't have to. It's not fair."

Twilight sneaked a glance at the birth certificates.


"Yes. Both of us were adopted," Rarity said. "I lied."

"Is it really right, lying to Sweetie?" Twilight asked. Rarity shrugged.

"Probably... not," she confessed. "Although I'm of the opinion that if it keeps Sweetie happy for a little while longer, then it's worth it." She smiled. "Like I said, I'm the only pony allowed to mess with her. If she gets mad at me later, I'll gladly shoulder that responsibility."

Twilight snickered. "You do care."

Rarity flicked her mane. "Do not," she retorted. She hesitated. "Well, maybe a little, but... Not in public." She scratched her side. "She just wanted me to say what I did so badly. What was I supposed to do?"

"Well, I think you did your best, and that's what matters."

"Yes, well..." Rarity looked back towards the bookshelf. "Nevermind. If you have any problems with any books in the future, be sure to lend them to me, and I may accidentally fail to return them," she said. "If you get what I'm saying."

Within the bookshelf, knowledge unbound shivered.

Now remember, Rarity's voice echoed in Sweetie's head, you mustn't breathe a word of this to our parents. I shall handle this myself, all right, Sweetie?

The young filly licked her lips as the weight of worry lifted off her tiny, pocket-sized withers. The heavy hoofsteps she had come to so easily recognize trumpeted across the wooden floorboards, and she dashed out of her room.

After all, this is not something they wanted us to know. It requires tact, and it is my business to handle.

"We're home!" Hondo shouted. "Rarity? Sweetie?"

"Daddy!" Sweetie exclaimed, leaping down the stairs with the speed of a cheetah dipped in grease. She landed around Hondo Flanks' neck like a lasso, and spun around before planting her hooves firmly on the ground of the Carousel Boutique. "You're back!"

"Yes," he said, a broad smile failing to hide behind his moustache. "Business trip took a little longer than expected, I'm afraid. You know—"

"...how it is," Sweetie interrupted, finishing his predictable line. "Um, Rarity isn't home right now."

"That's fine," Hondo replied, wrapping his hoof around his daughter. "We can catch up while we wait. Do you want some juice?"

Sweetie licked her lips. "Oh, yes please!" she replied. "Um... How was your trip?"

Hondo snorted as he trotted to the kitchen. "Well, let me tell you, I've never seen so much bother about a book before, magic or otherwise. Your mother is just dropping it off to the Princess right now."

"Oh! Maybe she'll meet Rarity there!"

Hondo raised an eyebrow as he poured Sweetie some non-burned orange juice. "Rarity went to the new library?"

"Yes, she had to—" Sweetie began, before remembering Rarity had instructed her to keep quiet. "...read a book."

Her father gave her a funny look, examining her expression like it was a code to be deciphered. "Are you quite all right, Sweetie? You look a little strange."

Sweetie wasn't sure. "I, um..."

She thought long and hard. Her feelings felt like a melting pot of strange. There was happiness that her parents, her real parents, were home, but there was sadness that Rarity didn't get that privilege. There was the secret fear him and her mother would leave on another long business trip to find and deliver who-knew-what, regardless of whether they were hers or not...


"If, um, if I was adopted," Sweetie asked, pushing her mental Rarity to the back of her mind, "would you still love me?"

Her father widened his eyes, an expression Sweetie couldn't quite read playing his face. "Sweetie, I know I disappear a lot. I understand it's difficult for you and your sister. But me and your mother will always care very deeply for you and Rarity, no matter where you came from."

Sweetie grinned, her last fear put to rest. "Oh, good," she said. "Rarity will be glad to know that."

The End

Author's Notes:

Hey there! I hope you enjoyed this story, since it was extremely fun to write (especially the bits about the Gospel Morale). Please feel free to comment and upvote (since both are extremely helpful to me) and if you want to try out another story of mine, you could take a gander at The Pony Next Door, which is also written by me.

Thanks for reading regardless, and have a good one.

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