The last day of Flight Camp was always a joyous occasion for the young pegsus colts and fillies alike. Those that had passed were able to leap excitedly in front of their parents, showing off their new abilities while those that hadn't succeeded too well were at last reunited with their parents for a bit of comfort and the promise of another go next year after some more training.
That said, after the first greeting of relations, eyes were dragged over to a pair of stallions standing away from the main group. It looked like the pair were deep in conversation and some might have guessed they were a pair of concerned fathers for their foal's wellbeing. Accidents weren't uncommon at Flight Camp.
More regularly though, the fathers were looking curiously at the smaller of the two. Sky blue fur, a ragged navy mane and what looked like a Manehatten police officer's uniform. Some could swear they'd seen those green eyes before, maybe even on a poster in their rooms, but they dismissed it as just a flight of fancy.
The other stallion was getting attention from his sheer bulk. Pegasi didn't usually grow as big as this brute - he was even bigger than some of the fittest in the Royal Guard, but not the disgusting muscle bulk of a steroid abuser. This one was just... big. The scar across his lip only made some of the more nervous ponies give them a fair distance.
Their attention only returned as a pair of colts came flapping out of the training ground towards the two of them. One, a dusky blue, was struggling to carry a scowling white one with a greyish mane. The two stallions glanced up in unison, at each other and then back to their offspring as the blue colt dropped his friend at the feet of the two stallions.
"So, care to tell me why you're in cuffs?" the big stallion asked with a raised bushy eyebrow at his son. The white colt scowled, rattling his bonds.
"It was Hurricos!" the white colt exclaimed, glaring daggers at his fellow flight camp attendant, who was smirking beside his father. "He said that his dad was a cop and so he could arrest ponies that did crimes!" he grunted.
Stratus turned to Soarin', eyes narrowed a slight amount as the blue stallion shifted a little. Hurricos was given a cuff around the back of the head as a reward.
"I was wondering where those went," he said after a while, glaring at his son. The younger pegasus tilted his ears back a little, short tail flicking irritably.
"Hey, I just wanted to show off a bit in Flight Camp," Hurricos shot back. "Didn't get a chance to use them until today," he added, glancing over to where his friend's hooves were locked behind his back.
"Kinda lucky then considering you didn't take the damn key!" shouted back the white colt. Stratus' eyes narrowed even further as Soarin's face collided with his hoof. Hurricos was looking thoroughly ashamed but was trying not to appear so for the sake of his ego.
"C'mere, kid, I have it," Soarin' replied with a groan, fishing a key out of his uniform and tossing it to Stratus. The grey stallion caught it easily and within seconds, his son was free from his bonds, flapping his wings and stamping his hooves. Soarin' received his hoof-cuffs back with a toss from the ex-royal guard.
"So, aside from getting on the wrong side of the law, how was camp?" asked Stratus' gravelly voice, though full of affection for the pale coated colt. Flatline's face lit up then as he turned from his rival throughout the events, leaning up to give his father a hug.
"It was awesome! I passed!" he said gleefully, leaping to his wings to flap around the bigger stallion to show off.
"Not with as good marks as me!" Hurricos shot back with a snap, not wanting to be overdone by this goody-two-hooves. Stratus looked over to where Soarin' was tiredly shaking his head. The words weren't said, but they were as clear as crystal. 'You and Octavia need to think about this one'.
Soarin' bit his tongue to stifle a reply. He and his wife had full time jobs. Stratus had the liberty of being a stay-at-home father to keep an eye on his little ones while his wife was working. His body quivered a little. They wouldn't have needed to hold down two jobs if they hadn't been screwed over so much.
Most Wonderbolts retired with plenty of spare cash and a nice big place to call home. Soarin' had retired with slightly less money thanks to his eating and partying habits, but still a lavish Cloudsdale Apartment. All that needed to be done was to sell that and then they could get a comfortable place to raise their little ones.
Even that hadn't gone according to plan. Soarin' had remembered the sinking feeling in his heart as he saw his bank manager's sweating forehead, the papers marked with 'repossession' and 'sale request denied'. He'd left Cloudsdale with nothing. There was no room left on the Wonderbolt team for such an old coot as him.
"C'mon, Hurricos. No need to be rude," he said at length, hiding his feelings deep down. "Say goodbye," he said with a nudge to his son's side. Hurricos didn't pick up on his father's stress.
"See ya later, sucker!" he said with a grin at Flatline. "Hope to see you again so I can kick your flank!" Stratus chuckled and even the white colt didn't rise to the bait. He merely waved back.
"See you Mr Cloudrunner!" he said brightly. Stratus nodded respectfully, and let his son clamber onto his back as great grey wings spread and lifted the two of them off, back to Manehatten.
"Dad?" suddenly Hurricos asked, his arrogant tone gone for once, and real curiosity in his tone. Soarin' looked down and blinked.
"What's up, kid?"
"You looked like you knew Mr Steelgrey," he said with a flap of his wings. "Have you arrested him before?"
Soarin' remembered back to the time when he'd awoken after his rage filled flight in a fort of black obsidian and crumbling stone, in a bed with the big grey stallion and none other than his sister sitting and looking with a sympathetic tilt of her head at him.
How Nightshade had stuffed his pockets full of bits, how Stratus had found another apartment that he'd turned down in Manehatten for Soarin' to begin again. How Stratus had been, unofficially, the heavy muscle to help Soarin' when his pansy of a co-officer ran off. How the two had drained a bar dry and shared their sorrows. How Soarin' had made a friend out of a Shadowbolt.
"I'll tell you when you're older," Soarin' decided in the end, giving his son a big winghug. "C'mon. Lets' go get you your favourite burger. You deserve it for doing so well at camp."
I'm gonna go... draw some interactions with their two families now. My heart can't take this. I love them and the kids so much more now.
I love Soarin' and Stratus' friendship, I almost completely forgot that Soarin' was a Shadowbolt and all of that. I need to work out these families more too since I gave Soarin' two other siblings from the background.
I really just... wow. My feels over how well the two men got along and the chummy-mean relationship between the boys. So sweet...
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