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Twilight Sparkle has just returned from a rather difficult journey, and needs a break. Foalsitting for the Royal Brood might be just what she needs (Gosling and the Sisters are needed in the Grittish Isles), and she can always call in some help with Nuance.

Nothing could possibly go wrong! Right?

Foalsitting Follies is a story in The Weedverse by Kudzuhaiku.


This story contains the following tropes:

  • Agree to Disagree: Twilight won't tell Spike that she approves of what he did because he needs to learn it's ok to disagree with her.
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  • Almost Kiss: Twilight finds herself very close to Seville, and he smells so very sexynote , and they're in the perfect position for a kiss. Cue Spike!
  • Ambadassador: Blueblood and Shining Armor may have defeated the Lord of Shades on the Grittish Isles, but it was Gosling who brought the islands together.
  • Badass Bookworm: The reason Gosling can't ask Cadance and Shining Armor to foalsit for Nuance is that he picked a fight with Skyla, and, to everyone's surprise, he got utterly thrashed.
  • Bad Future: Twilight, using the Ink, gets a couple of brief visions about the future, and believes one to be this due to the close proximity of two highly unstable ponies (Dim Dark and Nuance, due to Nuance courting Quiet Dark, Dim's daughter). Fortunately, the other is a clear Inversion.
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  • Beware the Quiet Ones/Beware the Nice Ones: Fluttershy, after Nuance is attacked by Radiance, terrifies everyone when she declares her intent to deal with the culprit, to the point where no-one wants to be the one to calm her down. Spike also describes Fluttershy as "the scariest pony I know".
  • Big Brother Bully: Despite not being any older due to them being triplets, Radiance bullies Nuance in the honest belief that if Nuance is properly punished then he won't act out and bully Corbie.note 
  • Big Brother Instinct: Deconstructed. Radiance hates Nuance because he makes Corbie cry, but his methods in dealing with Nuance are treated as serious, and he because his violent methods were picked up from hanging around Royal Guards, so he ends up looking no better than Nuance himself. And when Radiance beats up Nuance for making Corbie cry, that also makes Corbie cry.
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  • Big Eater: According to the Burger Fool who takes the order, Princess Twilight is one. Corbie is also one, due to pegasus metabolism.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: As mentioned in earlier stories, Nuance is a nightmare to care for.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Sumac's outlets: Archery, long-distance running, and getting into the worst sort of trouble imaginable with Vinyl Scratch.
  • Brutal Honesty: A trait that Pebble both possesses and values in others, because if someone's willing to lie that you aren't fat, how can you be certain when they say they love you?
  • Burger Fool: One of them tries sassing Princess Twilight Sparkle, and isn't too bothered about her threats until Pebble becomes involved.
  • Call-Back: While discussing promises, Pinkie Pie references her actions in Princess Twilight Sparkle And The Quesadilla Conquest.
  • Chekhov's Gag: The Perspective Shift Stick is mentioned early on as part of the barrage of Noodle Incidents that often occurs whenVinyl and Sumac's experiments are mentioned, but is later used by Pebble on the Royal Brood.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Pebble has become this since the events of Ink where Sumac became an alicorn.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: Twilight is very tempted to abuse the Ink, specifically the ability to read and rewrite people's histories, to solve the relationship problems around her (her own needed revelations to her friends, and the problems in the Royal Brood), but doing so could have catastrophic consequences, so she resolves to not do so.
  • Comfort Food: After a very trying day, Corbie pigs out on ice-cream with Spike. This later has predictable consequences.
  • Conflicting Loyalties: When asked by Seville, Spike describes this as Rainbow Dash's problem, in that while she's trying to be loyal to everyone, she can't be really loyal to anyone.
  • Courtly Love: Seville uses the motifs to appeal to Twilight's sensibilities, Word of God is that he was advised by her sister-in-law and brother.
  • Cuddle Bug: A not-uncommon trait amongst pegasi, and all the pegasi in focus during the story (Corbie, Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash) have moments of it.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The last time Nuance picked on Skyla, he got utterly thrashed.
  • The Cutie: Corbie, in contrast to her brothers.
  • Daddy's Girl: Corbie's response to Gosling's departure is a very high-pitched tantrum. In her defence, she's only five.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Played With; Seville fears his parents' reaction to his relationship with Twilight not because they'll disapprove of her, but because she's much further up in the feudal system that they're still part of.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Twilight's abilities in this field are referenced when Radiance and Corbie are playing pirates, and she is the Snarkle Sharkle.
    First Mate Rad: Sharkles don’t talk!
    The Snarkle Sharkle: This one does, I’m the Snarkle Sharkle. That implies a certain level of Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness.
    • The dark side of this trope is later hinted at by Pebble's excessive response to the Burger Fool gently teasing Twilight.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Pebble uses it by making the very walls of Twilight's castle communicate her displeasure with Nuance's arrival.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Twilight, when trying to fix Seville's posture, becomes distracted by the fact he smells like very posh ink.note 
  • Dope Slap: Inflicted by Twilight on Gosling when he disparages his role in the liberation of the Grittish Isles. It's out of character for her prior to the events of Ink, and Gosling notices the shift.
  • Double Take: It's long enough for Twilight to get some sandwich in exactly the wrong place when Corbie asks if she'll kiss Seville.
  • Dragon Hoard: Spike likes to think of the stars as his, with Luna merely keeping them safe for him.
  • The Dreaded: Nuance is such a brat that even mentioning his name in earshot makes almost every potential babysitter gallop far, far away. Even Pebble jaunts herself and Sumac out of Twilight's castle the moment she realizes that Nuance really is staying over.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Twilight eventually gets Radiance's cooperation by acting like this, due to his military ambitions, but she doesn't like doing it and knows it must be a temporary measure.
  • Druid: Dundee Donkey is one, and he maintains a botanical garden in Ponyville as part of his desire to bring the beauty of nature to city-dwellers. Tarnish's assistance and the choice of site wasn't a coincidence, though. The garden is a source of power the Druids can use to protect Ponyville if the need arises.
  • Duct Tape for Everything: Pebble reckons that completely mummifying Sly Pie in duct tape might hold him for up to five minutes, and that he'll be hairless upon his escape. Rarity does not approve of the proposed experiment.
  • Embarrassing Damp Sheets: Nuance wets the bed, and when he does so while staying at Twilight's castle, it's enough to push him into a major panic attack.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Played for Laughs after Starlight's departure. Later, not played for laughs when Spike reveals his part in Sumac's scheme, giving Pebble and Sumac access to the Perspective Shift Stick. Twilight later decides he did the right thing, but won't tell him because he needs to make decisions on his own, rather than depending on her approval..
  • Exposition Beam: The Perspective Shift Stick functions as this between the affected participants. Pebble uses it to teach all the Royal Brood important lessons, showing Radiance that Nuance isn't faking it, showing Nuance how much he's hurting Corbie, and showing them all that someone who barely knows them cares. She also gains perspective on all of them.
  • Facehoof: Three of them (two synchronised!) after Rainbow Dash's Epic Fail at playing Teddy Bear's Picnic.
  • Fantastic Racism: Nuance is deeply tribalist, which does him no favours when he needs Nurse Redheart's help.
  • Father, I Want to Marry My Brother: When asked who she wants to marry, Corbie answers that she wants to marry her Daddy.
  • Frequently-Broken Unbreakable Vow: Celestia, Luna and Gosling frequently promise to spend more time with their foals, but their job intervenes, and the regularity with which those promises are broken has contributed to the damage suffered by the royal brood.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Carnivores Helping Other Magnificent Predators.
  • Furry Reminder: Corbie demonstrates several birdlike behaviours (e.g. pecking at food, hoarding shiny pictures), some of which she might grow out of, others, she probably won't.
  • Honorary Uncle: Corbie refers to Seville as her uncle as part of a discussion about how siblings work.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: How Twilight feels about both her and Sumac's actions in the end of Ink, even though they were directly opposed, neither wanting to let the other take The Slow Path back, despite one of them having to.
  • I'll Take Two Beers Too: A variant, where, upon ordering sixty hayburgers, Twilight Sparkle gets asked what her friends are ordering. When she protests, the Burger Fool on duty says he's seen her when it's just her and Spike (whom she apparently usually blames), rather than the small armynote  she currently has accompanying her.
  • Immortality Seeker:
    • Blueblood and Shining Armor avert it by refusing to become alicorns, due to wanting to show the world that unicorns can make a difference in everything. Twilight wishes they could both change their minds, though.
    • Gosling, on the hand, accepted becoming an alicorn because he wanted to prove to prove his own worth as a pegasus and that hard work is rewarding. This results in him becoming the Alicorn Prince of Happiness.
  • I'm Standing Right Here: Sumac is in the room when Twilight and Applejack are discussing his attempt to injure Twilight to keep her from having to take The Slow Path at the end of Ink. Twilight supports his actions, but Applejack does not.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Trixie's response to Twilight's retelling of Ink.
  • Inept Mage: As previously established, Nuance is not a capable spellcaster. A fire-spell intended to set a nurse ablaze merely causes a little smouldering.
  • It's All My Fault: Twilight blames herself for just how catastrophically everything fails when she's looking after the Royal Brood, even though she logically knows the problems were there long before they set hoof in her castle.
  • Jaw Drop: This trope is the extent of Twilight's response to Rainbow Dash's question at the end of her story: Twilight, are you okay? Fortunately, this is a useful answer.
  • Like Parent, Like Spouse: Discussed when Corbie is asked who she wants to marry.
  • Little Brother Is Watching: Twilight doesn't want guards around her school for this reason, and living in a military base is what's skewed Radiance's views so badly.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Downplayed, we find out almost immediately after the plan's implementation, but the plan employed by Pebble to use the Perspective Shift Stick on the Royal Brood was originally concocted by Sumac, who was guided by his new Alicorn instincts and his experience with Twilight in the Library of Souls.
  • Master of None: Pebble doesn't want to become an alicorn because it would force her to split her attention between her different skill-sets, rather than specialising in being a stone pony.
  • Medieval Stasis: Downplayed. Some portions of Equestria, not many, but some, retain the feudal system. Seville's parents are serfs for wealthier Oranges and happy with their lot, so much so that even with the opportunities he can offer them with his position, they won't take any of it.
  • Messy Hair: Rarity spends a while trying to control Megara's mohawk, having made it her (thus far futile) mission to do so.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: Twilight theorises that Sumac's actions at the end of Ink were the result of his newly-acquired alicorn protective instincts kicking in, and incidents with Gosling are mentioned for similar reasons. Whether she's right about it or not, the instincts are responsible for his actions in this story.
  • Moment Killer: Actively Defied by several characters to keep Rainbow Dash's enthusiasm from disrupting a moment between Twilight and Seville.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: How Pinkie finally catches Sly. He spooks Lily, and the guilt of that stops him until he's caught.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Not to the degree of some characters, but Gosling has acquired a little of this from his wife.
  • Neat Freak: Nuance does not like dirt, at all.
  • Noodle Incident: Several in quick succession while Twilight and Sumac are talking about magical experiments he can now perform. As mentioned elsewhere, he and Vinyl are very dangerous when they get creative.
  • Not a Morning Person: Inverted by Radiance, who crashes as soon as the sun goes down, but is literally up at dawn. Unfortunately, it's also Played Straight with Twilight and Spike.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Pebble Jaunts herself and Sumac away upon hearing that Nuance is coming.
  • Oh, Crap!: Twilight has a somewhat subdued one upon realising she's not getting any more help with Nuance.
    Spike: Twilight, what do we do?
    Twilight: Same thing we always do, Spike. I boldly go into the face of danger, ignorant and oblivious to the peril ahead, and you do your best to keep me from having a nervous breakdown while I go in further and further over my own head.
    • Twilight has another upon realising that Pebble has absconded with Corbie. By the time she finds them, they're well ensconced (by Pebble's design) and she can't interfere with their talk.
  • Older Than They Look: Fluttershy has apparently aged extremely gracefully, so much so that Spike suspects Discord's meddling.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Spike is very concerned with how subdued Nuance is during chapter 5.
  • Parents as People: Celestia, Luna, and Gosling all want to be there for their children, but their royal duties constantly keep them away from home, leaving Radiance, Corbie, and Nuance with loads of issues by the time they arrive at Twilight's castle.
  • Physical God: Happened off-screen unfortunately, but apparently Gosling had ascended into the Alicorn of Happiness. As long as happiness and joy remains in Equestria, so does he.
  • The Plan: A trope that Twilight comes to appreciate during the course of the story. In at least one case, her narrated epiphany on the theme is immediately followed by Rainbow Dash.
  • Polyamory: Pebble has no problems whatsoever sharing Sumac with Megara, despite her earlier clinginess.
  • Precocious Crush: Nuance has his heart set on marrying Rarity.
  • Primal Scene: Corbie has ignored "mommy wants time" in the past. When she brings it up at breakfast, she's horribly confused by everyone else's reaction.
  • Really Gets Around: Rainbow's tendencies are referenced by way of Double Entendre.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Rainbow has been granted Super Speed by the Druid's Grove, and she exploits this trope to survive doing tricks that tend to shatter spines (though she still gets a sore back for several days afterwards).
  • Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?: While Gosling is worrying about his diplomatic skills, Twilight reminds him of the end of A Darkness Softly Creeping where he talked a darkness elemental to death.
  • Rule of Three: Corbie ends up interrupting Twilight's sleep three times.
  • Scare 'em Straight: Spike suggests setting Dim Dark on Nuance.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: To the point of being a Running Gag! Pebble's response to the news that Nuance is coming to visit is to Jaunt herself and her coltfriend away and making the entire castle say "Nope, nope, nope!". Starlight also flees, leaving a note full of Blatant Lies when summoned to assist, much to Twilight's displeasure. When Twilight asks Fluttershy, the response is a Flutterboom, the politest sonic boom you will ever hear.
  • Security Blanket: Corbie has a spoon her father won by getting third place in an ice-cream eating contest.
  • Seers: An effect of Twilight's bond with the Ink is that she's become this. In chapter 19, she slips into a brief trance, foreseeing many possible futures from a nexus that's really close. She comes out of it to see Seville approaching her.
  • Shipper on Deck: If Pinkie's reminisces are to be trusted, Cloudy Quartz has previously attempted Tarnish/Limestone. Spike also helps Seville with Twilight as part of "protecting his own better interests"note . Corbie is also interested in the ship, and is much less subtle about it. After her efforts during the hayburger meal, Twilight suspects Rainbow Dash's hoof. When Rainbow is called on it, she claims it was Sumac's idea.
  • Siblings Wanted: A variant, in that Spike is interested in Twilight's potential foals as playmates because when she outgrew being such, he did not.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Twilight is forcibly reminded of Rarity's use of this trope when she asks her about her day in Canterlot, a city currently under siege by the rats, and is calmly told that Rarity needed to help "clean up her store front" after the Underwatch harpooned a particularly nasty specimen.
  • Singing in the Shower: Seville apparently sings about all the places he'd like to kiss Twilight.
  • Soap Punishment: Referenced by Applejack after she swears in front of Corbie.
  • Stealth Pun: After Twilight gets (justifiably) furious, a small box of feces appears in the Lost and Found in Discord's realm. She lost her shit.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Trixie's predilection for this is noted in the narration while Twilight Sparkle is musing on the possibilities of making things go away. Also the result of her latest rocketry experimentnote .
  • Tempting Fate: Twilight's thoughts after the relatively successful trip (even if it didn't go to plan) are that the storms has blown over. Nope.
  • That Liar Lies: Seville bluntly calls out Nuance's lies as part of the treatment plan suggested by Cadance.
  • Thieving Magpie: Thematically used, Corbie steals Seville's photos of shiny things while he's in the shower, which is how she's heard him singing.
  • Think Unsexy Thoughts: Gender Flipped, when Twilight's earth pony aspects are awoken by the botanical gardens, she finds herself in need of a cold shower.
  • Time Abyss: Twilight Sparkle has forgotten how old she is, but it's in the multiple millennia.
  • Time Dissonance: Spike, as a dragon, has had to watch his playmate grow up when he didn't. Dragons in general find the pace of change that ponies deal with hard to handle, as they live so long.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Twilight realises that the execution of this in Ink by the Nameless One was one to (as well as ensure the survival of magic) give her the experience needed to keep up with the game of Xanatos Speed Chess that is the war against Grogar and the Things Beyond the Stars.
  • Tranquil Fury: Fluttershy, after Radiance beats Nuance.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: In chapter 20, we get a detailed itinerary of the day as written by Twilight Sparkle. It lasts about as long as it takes them to step outside the door due to Rainbow Dash having (unspoken) plans of her own.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: The result of Corbie eating far too much ice-cream is a interruption to Twilight's sleep in which she learns that she is faster than the speed of vomit.
  • Wants a Prize for Basic Decency: Downplayed and Discussed. Corbie wants an ice-cream for being good, an attitude that bothers Twilight. Corbie learned this off her father, who describes diplomacy as the "art of rewarding ponies for doing good". Twilight's attempt to turn this back on Corbie by engaging in a negotiation doesn't work as well as she hoped, although they arrive at an acceptable compromise.
  • Weakened by the Light: Apparently Exploited by the Underwatch to take down particularly dangerous monsters.
  • We Need a Distraction: Pebble's talk with Corbie turns out to be this, getting Twilight out of the room so Sumac and Spike can steal the Perspective Shift Stick.
  • We Would Have Told You, But...: Twilight is not informed of just what is going on with the Royal Brood in the hopes that her unbiased view will help get it fixed.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Twilight and Seville spend much of the story in this. In the end, after no small amount of encouragement, they do.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: After Twilight makes him miss the sunrise as a punishment for beating his brother, Nuance claims he'll starve himself to death to get her punished. No-one really takes the threat seriously.

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