A Cloudy Day
IC date: Spring 23
OOC date: April 13
Location: The Mane Event
PCs: Sunshine Ruby-Blossom Windrose Magpie

It's a pleasant Spring day, despite the very overcast skies hanging over the Harbor. Stormclouds, complete with hints of sprinkles and accents of lightning every now and then. Of course the presence of such clouds in the skies don't do much for certain little foals. One might even call them grim reminders. But it's been suggested that maybe Sunshine should be working up some courage to stand her ground against a formidable foe!

So. There she is. Standing…in the doorway of the Mane Event, front hooves over the threshold, alternating between having her tiny face set in determination to /not budge one inch/ from this spot, and a look of sheer, unbridled terror every time the skies taunt her with a flash of lightning or momentary spattering of raindrops, both of which send her scurrying behind the door for a few moments before she gives a deep sigh and tries, with no small amount of shakey hesitation, to stand her ground again.

She's been at it for at least a solid hour now…

Ruby has kept a watchful eye on Sunshine all the while, and finally appears a few minutes after sunshines latest bout of scurrying following the a recent lightning strike. She comes trotting down the stairs with a tray balanced on her head and approaches Sunshine; only stopping to slide the tray gracefully onto a small table near the backdoor where Sunshine practices. "You're doing very well, Sunshine." she motions the little filly over with intent to give her a encouraging hug. "Do you think it would help if I gave Maddie a firm talking to?"

And for completely different and unrelated reasons Windrose just happens to wander in as well, half hovering so she can stretch her forelegs after the nap she had. "I swear, I gotta stop volunteering for night shifts." Yawns. Then looks around. "The little squirt is -still- practicing? She was doing that when I went to lay down."

It seems that last bout of scurrying may have been the breaking point of Sunshine's current reserve of courage. She huddles behind the door for a couple moments before she realizes Ruby's even there, tray and all! She's grown comfortable enough around the mare, at least, that the offer of a hug is met with another quick scurrying of the little foal to happily accept the affectionate gesture, her ears pinned back and little heart likely beating a mile a minute. "M-m-maybe? J-j-just go t-t-tell her to leeme 'lone and g-g-goway…" The arrival of Windrose makes Sunny tense up! But she's been getting better at judging 'not a monster' these days, so she pretty quickly relaxes again and lifts a timid hoof in greeting.

Ruby-Blossom giggles softly and snuggles the little foal warmly; offering a haven in the form of hugs. "We'll do that together when you're ready - it will be even more startling when you tell her yourself." she squeezes the foal firmly then motions to the tray "I brought some fruit and water, I thought you might need some more energy for all that courage you have." She gives Windrose a little nod and offers one front leg as an invitation of a hug. "I bet Auntie Windrose would go with you too if you asked."

Windrose drifts over to accept the hug, but she must still be a little on the lazy side, because it takes her a moment to catch up to everything that's being said. Then she just sort of turns her head to give Ruby a confused look. "… When did I get an 'Auntie' title?"

Sunshine seems a bit confused by the 'Auntie' bit too, but gamely positions herself where she can hug up against the pegasus too! Because…well, she's still enamored by feathers. Feathers are so /soft/. "U..um… More ponies, the better?" she offers quietly, looking up to Ruby with a questioning look. "R..right? Can M-magpie come too?"

Ruby-Blossom nods confidently. "More ponies are better. And yes, Maggie can come as long as she promises to behave." she snugs mare and foal alike. "You got the 'auntie' title when it was convienent." offering Windrose a warm grin. "Perhaps I should come up with something cuter. How about 'Sugar-Shack' or 'Puff n' Fluff'?

Windrose just kinda stares at Ruby for several long moments, which is why it took her so long to make any sort of response pose. "… those don't even make any sense."

And yet! Sunshine seems to glomp onto that idea right quick too. "Auntie Puffinuff?" she says, horribly butchering what Ruby said in the first place. The little white filly favors Windrose with the biggest foal eyes ever. "Should I call you Auntie Puffinuff?" One can almost hear the implied 'pleeeeeease?'

Ruby-Blossom beams "Sugar-Shack cause you're sweet, and shacked up with me! Puffin-Fluff cause you're Fluffy and puffy!" Ruby's explination accomponied by the biggest, most mischevious grin. "Auntie puffinuff~" she playfully chides.

"I don't know what's for frightening, that you made those make sense, or that you're rubbing off on her." Snarkitude aside Windrose slouchs down into the hugging. To Ruby's credit her wings are pretty fluffy, because she's such a nitpick over her grooming. She just sorta turns her head just to not have to look at what's probably a rediculously adorable expression. "… Fine. Wouldn't want you getting upset when you're making progress." Ruby gets a dirty look out of the corner of her eyes though. Stop giving the kid ideas like that!

Sunny looks pleased by this! Until lightning crackles outside and makes her squeak, promptly burying her face into one of Windrose's fluffy wings, whilst huddled up against Ruby. "Eeee! Save me Auntie Fluffinuff!" Shiver, shiver, shiver!

It couldn't be more obvious that Ruby is utterly pleased with herself despite Windrose's reluctant acceptance. "So..fruit and water~?" she asks with a giggle from behind one raised hoof. "Have you been up to anything fun, Windrose?" She giggles loudly at Sunshine's latest bout of fear.

Windrose sighs… though she doesn't stop the kid from hiding in her wing. "How come she's afraid of lightning, anyways? Or is it the thunder? I told the weather team to not get carried away with the thunder clappers this time."

"B-b-because it m-m-means Stormcloud's coming!" Sunshine squeaks, poking her head up from the comfort of pegasus feathers. "A-a-and she's trying to /eat/ me!" No, she hasn't quite let that go yet. Besides, it could very well be true! Who knows?

Ruby beams "Fear only has power over you when you let it, bumpkin. You're braver than you give youself credit for, and I for one believe in you. ~o Brave little foal~ Delightful happy soul~ Why you shine like the sun for me~o?

Windrose stares blankly at Sunshine for a moment. "Oh that is the silliest thing I have ever heard. Just because the crazy part is associated with storms doesn't mean they're all bad. Wait here." The pegasus detaches herself from the hug and zips off scene for a moment.

Only to come back with the easel and diagram board, setting them down and sitting next to it. "Lightning is just a natural by-product of the weather making process." She picks up a pointer stick from the board and indicates the diagrams with it. "When a cloudy or rainy day is schedualed, beforehoof the clouds need to be loaded with rainwater and pumped to the approriate size."

Moves to point to a darkened cloud. "Doing so caused static charge to build up in the clouds, which is indicated by the fluff turning a darker color. This is so we can tell which clouds are filled with rain and which ones are not."

"But this static charge can interfer with the moisture content, so it needs to be remove." She moves to point the stick at a diagram of a pegasus bouncing on a cloud. "Weatherponies get rid of this extra charge by stomping or kicking the storm clouds, causing them to discharge. This results in the bright flash, and if the static buildup is large enough, a bolt of lightning that shoots down to the ground."

Windrose sits back, pleased with herself as she collapses the rod between her hooves. "So you see kid, not -every- storm is the crazy mare coming after you, because it's a normal day to day process of keeping Equestria's weather moving smoothly."

Ruby-Blossom leans sideways and quietly whispers to Sunshine. "Not all the crazy mares come after you with the intent of devouring you; some just want to lecture."

"Not brave…" Sunshine mumbles, but her ears are poking up, and she doesn't look displeased by the compliment. She sure /wants/ to be brave if nothing else! And then Windrose breaks away, leaving Sunny to settle herself against Ruby again. Cozy foal~

The little foal blinks at the bringing on of easel and pointer stick, and diagrams. A science lesson! "…Ohhhhh…" she says, nodding her head while looking /completely lost/ by the description of how lightning actually works.

By the time Windrose is done explaining, with her pointer stick collapsed, Sunshine has herself seated in front of the easel, drawing a stick-picture of ponies frolicing under the clouds, with a bigger stick-pony behind them going 'rawr' in a speech bubble. By the time she's likely to be noticed, she sits up, blinks at Windrose, then Ruby, then her drawing, and points the marker. "…She left out the monsters…"

Windrose glares at Ruby. "I can here you y'know." But Sunshine messes with the board while she's distracted. She huffs, flicking her tail to wipe off the addition. "That's because there aren't any monsters. Well unless there's a thunderbird nesting in the stormclouds, but that's an entirely different kettle of corn." Huffs into her curled bangs cutely. "Thunder isn't a roar, it's just pegasi bowling. Or somepony getting a little too eager with the clappers."

Sunshine squeaks when Windrose just erases her masterpiece like that! It makes her eyes go all wide and wibbly! "A..auntie Flufflesniff… That was mean! You erased a /family/!" She sniffs, turns, and trots indignantly back to Ruby, sulking next to the mare's legs. "And it is too monsters… Just cuz' you haven't seen one doesn't mean it's not gonna come up and eat you when you're not looking!" Everything's monsters, see? Everything.

Ruby-Blossom leans down to gently nuzzle Sunshine atop of the head. "Monsters are real - but you just need to learn to deal with them. Why Windrose and I fought of hoardes of monsters before." speaking as if the scariest thing in her life was nothing.

Windrose gah. No crying! "I did not, I erased the monster that doesn'tOh" Wait, she did smear the rest, didn't she? With a cute huff she takes the marker and tries to picture. "There, see. Family is just fine. Because there is no mo" And once again Ruby does not help at all in her helping. The poor mare just buries her face in both forehooves. "Why do I ever bothere with you ponies…"

"Hordes!?" Sunshine squeaks, promptly hiding behind one of Ruby's legs! "I can't do that! I'm too tiny!" She peeks out towards Windrose with a new sort of awe. They took on hordes and /lived/. Mighty monsterslayers! Her ears pin back bashfully. "I'm sorry I yelled…"

Ruby-Blossom chirps "Because you're hopelessly in love with me!" she reminds Windrose before reaching back to pull Sunshine around to in front of her again. "You can do anything if you try hard enough, and you can do anything with friends.

Windrose snaps her head up sharply, a bit of darker pink smudging her cheeks. "N-not that kind of love, geez Ruby, don't say such things in front of kids."

Not that Sunny exactly understands. She's scooted around, obediantly sitting still where she's placed, even if her ears stay slicked back. "R..right. With friends. Okay…" She gulps. "F-fine. T-th-thunder is not monsters and Stormcloud i-i-is just a bully and I'll go tell her to s-s-stop picking on me!"

Ruby-Blossom beams warmly. "*WE* will go tell her to stop picking on you, and make her apologize!" she adds with a stern nod.

Windrose trots back over to sit next to the others. "Ruby may be crazy but she's right about the being able to do things with friends. You gotta stand up to your 'monster' but you don't gotta do it -alone-."

Sunshine nods slowly. A lesson she might finally be learning! Then she sneaks over to the tray of snacks and starts to nom upon a piece of fruit. Thoughtfully. Another rumble of thunder rises…but this time the filly doesn't squeak, or hide! She just sits there and looks scared instead.

Hey, it's progress.

Ruby stretches out then plops down and rubs her belly; man she feels fat at the moment. "So…Windy?"

It's something, we'll take it. Windrose turns to glance at Ruby, even though she's not entirely sure about that tone of voice. <.< "Yeah Ruby?"

Sunshine's ears swivel back, paying attention to the conversation. But her name wasn't mentioned! So. Y'know. She's quiet.

Ruby-Blossom fidgets adorably. "Got an big plans in the next couple weeks or the like? Ya know, any exciting or festive planned?"

Sunshine *munch* *munch* Her ears swivel back and forth each time a thunder rumble happens. Her eyes are more or less glued to the skies through the nearest window though, despite the still-open front door. Fruit is tasty~

Magpie comes charging through the door and skiiiiiiids across the floor. "…Hiii!" she chirps happily, tossing her hat on the floor and dripping her way over to Ruby.

Windrose blinks a couple of times. Such a question normally wouldn't be a worry…. but this is Ruby Blossom we're talking about here. And that fidgeting. That's usually an indicator. "Hi Magpie." It's enough to get Windrose to narrow her eyes just slightly at her friend and bunkmate. "… No. Why?"

"Magpie!" Sunshine squeaks, plucking up an apple slice and bouncing over to her piebald friend, said apple held out in a hoof. Sharing is caring, or something~

Ruby-Blossom huffs cutely and glances sideways "Nothing she mutters a split second before Maggie shoots through the front door, bringing half of the pegasi rain yeild with her. "Maggie, I've told you about drying off your hoofs before you come inside." her tone more playful than chiding. She wanders towards Maggie whilst snagging a towel from a nearby shelve; wrapping Maggie up in the dry towel as she approaches "What mischief have you been up to?"

Windrose just continues to stare narrowly at Ruby even as she goes to dry Magpie off. "Nothing my pink flanks," she retorts, minding her tongue at least partially because of Sunshine's presence. And technically they're lavander but that's besides the point. "You only ask questions like that when you're plotting something."

Magpie nom! "Thanks!" She hugs the little filly. Then towel'd. "Oh just doin' some work to make sure our little friend is safe, is all," she says proudly.

Sunny looks pleased at both the nom and the hug! Even if she steps away with a wettened coat. She steals a bit of towel long enough to dry off, working then on smoothing down the water-mussed bits of her pelt. "You have a little friend..?" she blinks, looking up. "I…is it Sticky? Is Sticky safe?"

Ruby-Blossom throws Windrose a look. "This isn't something /I/ should have to plot, let alone bring up." sounding a tad snippy for the briefest moment before beaming warmly. "Anywho, I'll head upstairs to get some more snacks." she stands abruptly and heads upstairs.

Windrose stops staring, but that's just to look confused instead as Ruby rakes off. "…. That doesn't even make any sense!", the mare protests, but by that time Ruby is already taking off. "… She's so moody sometimes lately."

Magpie looks over at Windrose. "I think she wants a baby shower?" she suggests from under the towel. She just beams at Sunny and hugs her again. Hee. So adorbs.

Sunshine naturally accepts the hug, huddling against the other bigger filly. But her eyes are staring at Magpie's horn, because there should be a lizard there.

Magpie 's horn is lizard-free tonight. She follows Sunshine's gaze and explains, "Sticky doesn't like rain much. He's hiding under his rock."

Sunshine blinks. "Ohhhh…" she breathes out. "I don't blame him. I don't like rain much either…"

Magpie tickles the filly's side. "What's wrong with rain?!"

Windrose … "…. But she hasn't had the foal yet, how can she shower it?"

Sunshine eep-squeaks and starts to flail, toppling over! "Eee! It comes with thunder-r-r-r!"

Magpie pauses. She pulls the towel off her head and looks right at Windrose. "Now you say 'ha ha ha, just kidding'," she prompts, staring.

Sunshine huffs, sprawled out on the floor, looking between Magpie and Windrose.

It's several minutes before Ruby returns with another tray of treats: flower petals, cookies, and apple cider. She sets the try down then promptly trots to the door to peek outside.

Windrose draws back from the brandished towel with a beat of her wings. "Geez, don't take it so seriously kiddo."

Magpie says "But you /are/ kidding, /right/?!"

Magpie is /very/ serious!

Windrose rolls her eyes. "Well -duh-. Like anypony would be -that- dense."

Magpie says "I'm not SURE with you!"

Sunshine sits up. She isn't quite understanding this conversation, so she sneaks over to hug one of Ruby's legs while she's standing there.

Windrose throws her hooves in the air. "I'm never sure about anypony in this house anyways."

Ruby offers Sunshine a small but tired smile as the foal hugs her leg. "I'm thinking I should hit the hay for a bit.

Magpie awwws. She trots over to lean on Ruby. "It's okay. We can talk about it later."

Windrose just huffs into her bangs cutely as she folds her forelegs again. Its her usual 'why am I the only sane one here?' posture. Until Ruby mentions going to bed, that gets her to perk up again. "Okay, you get ready to go sleep and I'll go do my duty as bedwarmer." And off goes the pegasus, zip zip zoom.

Magpie says "I oughtta get one of those."

Sunshine knits her eyebrows. "A…bedwarmer?"

Magpie says "Yeah!"

Ruby-Blossom giggles warmly "What, isn't Tale Chaser enough?" she teases

Maggie before snugging her tightly. "Keep Sunshine company, sweetie. I'll see you both after my nap."

Magpie says "What? He's never been in my room at all!"

Magpie hmmmmmms. "Buuuuut that's not a bad idea….."

Sunshine blink. Then lifts a hoof up! "Ooh ooh! I have! I can do it!"

Ruby-Blossom says "Well that leaves you with the foals and Sunshine as options.""

Sunshine, determined to be useful.

Magpie runs her hooves down the sides of Sunshine's body, saying as she pokes, "Tuck, tuck, tuck, tuck, tuck!"

Sunshine turns into a filly burrito?

Magpie giggles and pokes the tip of Sunshine's nose.

Sunshine wiggles her nose! This whole 'big sister' feeling is so new~
Magpie giggles and nuzzles the little filly's cheek. "You're a cute li'l sweetie. I could just eat you up."

Sunshine's eyes go suddenly /very wide/. "B..but that's what /monsters/ do! You're not a monster!" oh god and she's a burrito now too how could she not see this coming ahhhhh

Magpie starts laughing. She can't help it. At least it's not "muahahaha". "Noooo! Silly filly!" She hugs you. "It's just a saying. It means you're sweet!"
Sunshine's ears splay. She doesn't seem /entirely/ convinced, but at least she's not suddenly scared or anything. If anything she sighs in relief and accepts hugs. "Oh… …Maybe that's my problem. If I wasn't so sweet I wouldn't be so afraid of being monster-chow."

Magpie awwwws! She snuggles down under the covers and hugs the little filly tight. "Well I'll protect you from the monsters. I promise."

Sunshine promptly curls into the hugging, happily cozy. That much she believes, what with the secret room exits and all. "Okay…" she murmurs.