Building a House, Part 2
IC date: Summer 69, 1007
OOC date: August 28, 2012
PCs: Ruby-Blossom, Kludge, Mad-Mare, Siyana, Sadaka, Pumpkin
NPCs:
GM: None

Ruby is sound asleep well after sunrise in convient little bed in her incomplete structure; summer brings lovely weather and she can go without a roof for the moment. The front 'door' nothing more than a piece of plywood wedged up against the opening of the doorway.

Kludge is taking a final inventory of the building supplies. After witnessing the blurdot-assisted race the previous day, getting all of the supplies back into some semblance of order had delayed work on Ruby's house. Fortunately, he was able to regather nearly all of the supplies, and so construction could resume today.

Ruby-Blossom is clearly not ready for work at the pre-desiginated time, and judging from the plywood wedged against the front doorway - she's likely still asleep.

After waiting for several minutes for Rumble-Riot to show up, Kludge decides that it would be best to start with who's present. Knocking on the doorframe, he clears his throat. "You awake, Ruby?"

Muffled whines of dischord are heard from somewhere inside the incomplete dwelling - likely amounting to 'Go away'.

Kludge thinks for a moment, then an idea crosses his mind. "Back in a moment!" he says as he trots off down the street. A few minutes later he returns, carrying a bag that has delicious smells emanating from it. After placing the bag down where its scent can waft into the partial house, he knocks on the doorframe again. "Care for breakfast?"

*shuffle* *crash* *scrape* The wood in front the door being pushed aside by a rather groggy looking mare with fizzled hair - clearly not awake. She mutters something profane under her breath before glancing at the bag and the brightly colored stallion "I suppose I do have to help with my own home…" stepping aside to allow Kludge inside to the barren wall-only abode.

Kludge enters and nudges the bag of food over to Ruby. "Didn't want to wake you up with hammering," he says with a shrug. "Have some food, then join me when you feel ready."

Ruby-Blossom curiousl peeks into the bag, opening it with a hoof "Thanks." she mummers, loud enough for Kludge to hear - she's thankful, but she doesn't want to seem too thankful now does she? She retreats inside to inspect the provided meal, and partake in the offer.

Satisfied that Ruby has some food to help her wake up, Kludge starts setting up for the day's work. He rolls his wagon up alongside the house, placing chocks to keep it in place while its used as portable scaffolding and/or a rather wide ladder.

It's a good 15 minutes later before Ruby trots out of the structure; her mane has been brushed, and her tummy filled. She wanders over to take a gander at the situation "Argh. This looks like it will be alot of work."

"At least things will be easier once the outer walls are done," agrees Kludge as he loads plywoord onto the holding braces on the side of the wagon. With the plywood there, it will make it easier to lift it into place from the top of the wagon.

Ruby-Blossom gives a little shurg as she surveys the situation "Well lets get hoofin. I'll follow your lead, since you're the pro, or so I assume." offering a small cocky grin.

Kludge grins back and starts working, hoisting some plywood into place and indicating where Ruby should brace it, then hammering in enough nails so it doesn't need to be manually held in place. He admits to himself that having assistance does make the job easier, but there's one detail he forgot to take into account: while there's plenty of space on top of the wagon for one working pony, or even three or four just sitting around, it's a smidge… cozy… for two working ponies.

Ruby-Blossom places her hooves here and there, as instructed - providing much needed assistance in building her own home. The cozy nature of the small work area doesn't go unnnoticed, and while not to her like - it's just work to the mare. "So. What did you do before coming here, and stuff like that." some half-flanked small talk to keep the time rolling.

Kludge gives a slight shrug. "Done odd carpentry jobs across Equestria, but most places have their own construction crews, and I rarely fit in for long." A brief pause as he finishes driving the nails on a reinforcement piece. "Yourself?"

Ruby-Blossom ahs softly as she ponders a response for the briefest moment. "I travelled equestria after leaving…where I grew up." certainly doesn't sound like home, and vauge as hoof. Dropping to all fours as she realizes the plywood is secure. "I travelled alot, no family, no friends, nothing to write home about; well can't write what you don't have anyways." nudging the next piece of wood towards Kludge.

"Haven't heard from my family in a long time," admits Kludge as he lifts the next piece of plywood into place, nudging away the box of nails that had somehow tried to edge underhoof. "Not sure if they ever decided to speak to me again," he mutters, nearly under his voice.

Ruby-Blossom is rather perceptive - a key trait to her trade. "What happened?" she asks while rearing up to hold the next piece of plywood into place. "I'll listen." interest almost guised in a tone that suggest she's doing a favor by listening.

Kludge grimaces. "It involved my sister's wedding, a small herd of cattle, and a newly opened glass store. It wouldn't have been that bad, except the cake had already been cut, so each piece went flying separately."

Ruby-Blossom glances towards Kludge with a little 'oh'. "I would consider /that/ not a big deal, as long as nopony got. Did any pony get hurt?" shifting a bit to one side to give Kludge more room to nail.

Mad-Mare trots in from Portside.

You say "Fortunately, no, but the resulting riot made it clear that I wasn't welcome in town," he admits. As he hammers in a few more nails, he happens to notice the pony from the chaotic lemonade stand walk into the neighborhood."

A chill breeze seems to blow through the area…

Ruby-Blossom is standing on her rear legs holding a piece of plyboard against the wall of a rather unbuilt structure on Main Street; Ruby's soon-to be home, and place of business is nothing more than a frame and plyboard exterior at the moment with reinforcements currently underway prior working on the actual exterior. She stands beside Kludge in his cart which holds materials, and is currently being used as elevated platform - it's a rather cozy fit.

Ruby-Blossom is busy holding plyboard and listening to Kludge's story, the climax eliciting a small mummbles from the turquoise pony "You don't know the meaning of unwelcome."

"Try me," Kludge counters, a gentle smile of friendly challenge on his face.

This seems like the perfect time for somepony to come along! Only 'somepony' happens to be the illustrious Captain of the Watch. Her goonponies are…absent from her arrival, due to the fact that they're both finishing up the last day's work at Ye Olde Lemonade Stand, and…likely playing part in counting up the results.

So she's all alone, this tin-legged mare, coming in from the outskirts for whatever reason. Humming a merry tune of all things. Like she were /happy/! And then? Then she sees…the house. Or rather, the outline of a house, with two ponies working on it. Which causes her to pause in her stiff-legged roaming, and squint, watching the two at work.

The stallion's response ellicits an eye-twitch from the mare who tends to speak quietly enough not to be heard, she curses the previous night of heavy drinking at a much quieter level. "It's a long story, not worth…" the sensation of two ice-picks digging into her back more than enough motivation for Ruby to glance over her shoulder (Oh joy…). Eye lids falling flat as she looks back at Maddie - unable to leave her post as the desiginated holder of plyboard. Numerous thoughts, insults, and greetings flying through the mares brains before she settles on a hardy "Hello." Eyes falling to the mare's mane which is in desperate need of a tender hoof.

Hello is good! It's not venomous, and it's difficult to consider it an insult. Given the mood the Mad one is in at the moment, she doesn't even try to take it the wrong way. Of course, she doesn't /move/ either, watching the slow application of plywood to housing frame. She answers the greeting with a simple wave of a hoof.

"Greetings, citizens. Nice weather for building. Might want to get it constructed as quick as you can though, fall isn't far away~"

Ruby-Blossom does her absolute best to hide the searing mistrust, and dislike of this nasty piece-of-work known as Mad-Mare. "This goofballs help is really speeding things alone, it's wonderful to have a stallion or two you can rely on, no?" her smile quite forced, but it only shows a teeny, tiny smidge as she's quite adept at acting. "I'll be offering mane styling once everything is said and done. I'd be happy to give the Head of Watch a once over if she'd allow it." (Celestia knows that mane has seen better days.) She thinks to herself.

Kludge has enough self-preservation to keep his head down during a verbal fight that doesn't directly involve him… even moreso when it's between two mares! He keeps his focus on the work in front of him, but keeps an ear open in case he gets pulled into the conversation.

"Hm. Mane-styling, eh." Maddie's eyes squint, ever so barely. A voice somewhere in the back of her head really wants to /assume/ that might've been a dig against her. Because everything is a dig against her. Everything.

Instead the Mad Mare flashes a grin Ruby's way. It's fake, naturally, and about as forced as the one she's getting, but that's more because /all/ of her smiles are that way than any enmity towards the would-be stylist. "Sure. Why not. Luna knows I've done a horrible job with my mane myself. Mirrors and shears can only do so much…"

What? Even insane ponies can have good days, can't they?

Ruby-Blossom is honestly quite surprised as indicated by her momentarily gaping jaw; she quickly rights her posture being the 'proper' lady she is - all the while holding the plyboard for Kludge. "Let me know when you'd like it. I know it's obvious I'm no where near set-up, but I do have all the needed supplies at hoof." All the while in her head a red-alert blares uncontrollably, she comes right out and asks. "The sun's certainly shining for you today, what's gone so well?" (Maybe she evicted some orphans, or set fire to a clown…)

Kludge finishes getting the main nails hammered into place and starts working on the reinforcing pieces and the secondary nails. Looks like this wall will be finished soon, and then it'll be time to move the wagon around to the next wall.

"Gone…well?" the Mad one asks, one eyebrow lifted. "Whatever makes you say such a thing? Can't a mild-mannered mare be in a good mood for no apparent reason?" Then she sets her rump down. Right there, on the side of the street, in front of this under-construction house. Apparently she's enjoying the conversation.

Or maybe enjoying the reaction she's getting to her seemingly nice act.

"I think I can wait for you to finish your…construction. I'd hate for you to have to spend too much time away from your boyfriend there getting this place fully built before the winter weather has a chance to show up. I hear winters around here are /really/ nasty…"

Ruby-Blossom can't wave a hoof quickly enough in response to Maddie's entirely inacurate observation. "Kludge is just a hired hoof, he was kind enough to help out, and I really appreciate it." glancing at Kludge and offering a smile as she hopes the stallion doesn't take the reaction the wrong way; quickly turning back to Mad-Mare. "Some of us girls are just too independentfora relationship. I'm sure you can relate?" charming smile directed at Maddie. "I don't think there's any worry in regards to my time-table, admittedly things would go better if the other helper showed up." *Cut to shot of what's his face passed out in ditch?*

Kludge is able to minimize a cough/spittake from Mad-Mare's insinuation, and is able to return a smile to Ruby for being able to explain the lack of romantic relationship. Because there is none. And it hadn't crossed either of our minds. Nope, nothing like that.

Somewhere, in the Wintersong Forest, Rumble Riot is wandering around with his knapsack over his back, hopelessly lost. "Adventure, adventure~ Thrilling, chilling, blood-spilling~ o/`"

Maddie gives a soft 'tsk' of breath. "Independence has nothing to do with it! I haven't yet found a stallion strong enough to have feelings for." Or one that's been able to survive a swift buck to the face. But that's besides the point! The Mad one flashes her 'fake' grin again, "If you need more help, I could assign some of the watch to the task. I have a few workers not assigned to my docks project whom I am sure would be only too happy to help with a more mundane construction."

A chill of unimaginable cold shoots up Ruby's spine at Maddie's offer of assistance, this is way too weird - obviously Ruby woke-up in the twilight zone. She turns to face Maddie, inadvertently tail-whiping Kludge in the face. "I don't think I could let your previous workers help with such a mundane little task such as my home." politely declining the offer. "I appreciate the offer though." she glances over her shoulder Kludge (This is why I dislike being friendly, some pony is going to think I'm interested.) a small sigh before she asks "Next side?

Kludge blinks. "Yeah, hold on while I move the wagon," he remarks, climbing off of the wagon and removing the chocks. Given what he's seen of Maddie's goons, the construction will go much smoother with/out/ their "help".

The Mad Mare actually frowns at the refusal of help. "Are you sure..? It's rather part of the whole Watch duty and all. I hear the town has a tendency to suffer accidents of a fiery nature every now and then, so they've gotten rather good at rebuilding things quicklike."

She lifts a hoof up to polish a bit of it against her chest. "But I guess that would take away from quality time with your handsome helper there, wouldn't it? Oop!" That hoof is lifted to be placed on her open mouth instead! "…I understand /completely/! Forget I even /offered/."

Ruby-Blossom twitch-twitch "No, I would really appreciate the help actually." hopping down from the cart so it can be moved without her hinderence. "To repay you, I'll even send you on a date with Kludge. My treat. No I insist." trotting towards Maddie with a strained smile. "It's the least I could do, since you find him so handsome." she holds up a hoof "Your words, not mine."

Ruby-Blossom says "I'm sure your little helpers will do a fine job under my strict supervision." She even has Kludge limiting his Kludging to the maximum extent, now doesn't she?"

Siyana has arrived.

Kludge is torn between being insulted for having to work with the henchgoons and being… complimented? for his looks - but he's pretty sure he's being used as a pawn. However, a counter-idea drifts through his head…

"May I buy you a glass of lemonade?" he asks Maddie with a politely malicious grin.

At this very moment Ruby and Maddie are exchanging words - strangely friendly words seasoned with bitter, tense undertones. Kludge standing near his cart in front of a new building that consists of exterior plywood walls, and nothing else at the moment.

Sadaka has arrived.

Well look at that! Maddie not only got Ruby to give her offer of help actual serious thought, but ended up getting a date to boot. If anything, both the reactions from Ruby and Kludge haven't quite fazed the all-too-happy Mare, and even Kludge's offer of lemonade is met with an amused smirk.

"Why should I let you pay for something I can get for free?" the Mad one wonders, offering her best of the 'fake' smiles to Kludge. "I know a great restaurant nearby you can treat me to instead! Seeing as your boss so willfully thrust you upon me for a date in exchange for my generous offer of Watchpony help."

Pumpkin has arrived.

Ruby-Blossom gracefully steps backwards, and away from Maddie - gracefully bowing out of their interaction even if it means a temporary halt to productivty; she'll be happier no stallion gets the wrong idea about her. She turns about and lifts her head into the air before taking a short trot towards her unbuilt home and mane styling salon; with her eyes skyward she's not paying a great deal attention to where's she going.

Singing! There's singing! It's amateurish, but it's nice enough on the ears, and it's coming from a certain zebra foal, who scampers through main street gleefully. She's practically /skipping/. And with her eyes closed, it's no wonder Siyana collides straight into Ruby. "Aieep!" she yelps.

"You okay?" Kludge asks to Siyana and Ruby, offering a hoof to help them up.

When mares collide - tonight at 8! Ruby stummbles right into the filly with a suprised shout as she trips over the little zebra; much to many a ponies surprise the stumbling mare manages to scoop Siyana up, and rolls foward with Siyana tucked safely in her grasp. The end result is Ruby laying on her back with Siayna on top, and unscatched; rather cat-like reflexes for a harmless singing mane-stylist. "Oh dear me, the beautiful siren song of Siyana caused yet another mare to sail to her doom~o" Cheerfulness suddenly up 1000 percent as she stares up at the filly; seems Kludge's offer of assistance was premature.

Enter the foals? Well so much for her generally cheerful mood and/or banter. Maddie's grin disappears, but hasn't yet turned into a frown, upon catching sight of Siyana. If one of the foals is out and about, there must be more… Which means all the lemonade stuff might finally be over with. At this point, she's not sure she cares whether or not she won. She doesn't have to shill any more blasted cups of liquid crud to ponies and pretend like she likes them.

"On second thought, don't worry about that whole 'date' thing… Looks like my free time just ran out." Maddie mutters, getting up on her hooves to start to turn away before the whole sickeningly-sweet nature of singing and whatnot gets to her good mood.

Sadaka is trudging along the street, heading home and looking a bit worn out. She'd spent most of the day at the lemonade stand, and the rest of it at the library. Studying can be tiring! She blinks and perks her ears a bit at the singing, though, looking up curiously. Was that… Siyana? Wow. She does sing pretty.

Siyana giggles happily as she realizes that Ruby is the one she ran into, and she flails her legs. "Hi Miss Ruby!! Sorry for bumping into…" She trails off as she spots Maddie, getting really quiet and stony, even as the mare is walking away.

To Kludge, though, she smiles a little gratefully. "I'm okay, sir, thank you!"

Kludge smiles back. "Just glad you're not hurt," he replies, then starts rolling his wagon around to the next wall of the house. He wouldn't mention it out loud, but he's grateful that he's not stuck on a date with Maddie. Anyone who gets that sour around foals is not someone he'd want to spend time with.

Maddie's ears pin back. Usually she'd not give a lick, or even be happy that she caused such a reaction in a pony like Siyana. Tonight though, apparently she really is Opposite Mad. All the stony reaction does is make her grumble, head turned to regard the otherwise singing-filly. And her friend. Those dang zebra fillies.

"Yeah, yeah, I'm leaving. Proceed with your happy joyful singing and all that." she grouses, head ducked and expression shifting to something much more common on Maddie's features.

Pumpkin follows the sound of the music and looks rather disappointed when it stops. Somepony out there has a right pretty singing voice, it seems. She spots Sadaka and canters in her direction. "Howdy there, Sadaka. How's the stand doing? Y'all need me to step in and cover for any of you sometime soon? Ah'd be happy to help out on that end too, y'know."

Ruby-Blossom reaches up with one hoof to gently guide Siyana's gaze back her direction, and she quietly mouths "I know." to the little filly before offering a big, goofy smile. "I can't think of anypony I'd rather bump into." tapping her nose with that very same hoof. "I've been busy getting a home built. I was figuring on sticking around a while." offering a stupid grin "I do a little mane styling on side, so that should keep me busy."

Sadaka blinks over at Pumpkin, smiling slightly. "Oh, hi. Uh… It's doing well, I think. I haven't been there since this afternoon. But it was busy when I was there!"

Siyana finally looks back at Ruby and grins. "Oh! Yay! Oooh, you do mane styling? NEAT! I've been practicing singing. I don't actually know any songs really, though, except sea songs, and you hafta scream those. Oh!! Pumpkin! Sadaka! HI!" She waves and hops in place.

Pumpkin tilts her head when she heas her name. "Siyana, howdy! Was that you singin'? It was awful pretty-sounding. You oughta come on over to the farm sometime when we do singalongs."

Ruby-Blossom lifts her head, and waves a hoof to Sada and Pumpkin - suddenly realizing how utterly silly she must look at the moment. Gracefully sliding Siyana to her hooves before righting herself, a noteably embarrassed at how she just acted. "It was very pretty singing. I'd be happy to try and help you come up with a song sometime. I'll admit I'm more than a little out of practice.

Kludge finishes getting the wagon in place and chocking the wheels. As an extra precaution, because of the number of foals around, he brings out his extra set of chocks and makes sure the wagon isn't going to go anywhere. "If the singing you did at the lemonade stand was you out of practice, I look forward to hearing you after rehearsing," he remarks to Ruby.

Sadaka glances up and waves back. "Hi, Siyana… hello, Ms. Ruby." She hesitates a moment before heading in that direction a bit sheepishly. It wasn't really an invitation, but… everypony else was chatting, might as well join!

Siyana hops in place as she's righted, and blushes at the praise. "Aw, geez. Thanks, you guys…" She kicks the ground a little. "I would love to do some singalongs! And— and stuff! And— and what's everypony else up to anyway?" She hops over to Kludge's current work, poking at it with her nose curiously.
Ruby-Blossom offers Sadaka a large, genuinely friendly smile as she approaches; it's very clear she welcomes the other zebra filly before trotting after Siyana - watching her with a broad, cheesey grin on her face.

Pumpkin says "Ah was just comin' into town. Got done with mah chores, thought I'd see who's around. Ah guess that'd be you folks," she says with a smile. Sadaka gets a friendly little shoulder bump, then she joins Siyana in looking at Kludge's work."

Kludge slightly ruffles Siyana's mane. "I'm helping Miss Ruby build her house," he says with a friendly smile. He's not sure how easy it will be to work with the foals around, but he's willing to try… as long as there's no danger to the foals.

Sadaka blinks and giggles a bit at the bump. "Guess it would be. So, uh…" she looks up at Kludge. "You build houses, mister? That's cool."

"That /is/ cool. I've never tried building a house, but I helped repair the Destiny sometimes." Siyana pauses. "I wasn't very good at it."

Pumpkin says "Momma and Poppa don't let me play around with the tools. Ah say they're just worried ah'm gonna turn out like Bread an' Forge, which is silly. Ah'm nothin' like those two."

"I do carpentry in general," clarifies Kludge for Sadaka. "For instance, my wagon was hoofbuilt completely by me," giving the wagon a few good knocks to show how sturdy it is. Giving the kids a conspirational wink, he adds "I might not be the best carpenter out there, but what I build is sturdy."

"That lemonade thingy they made was /weird/," declares Siyana to Pumpkin, wrinkling her nose. "Are they, like, mad carpenter ponies?" At Kludge's claim at sturdiness, she pokes her hoof against the wagon, and pushes a little. "Neat!"

Hm. Carpentry. Now that was kind of a neat talent. Sadaka looks up at the wagon, nodding a bit. "It looks good to me!"

Pumpkin nudges the wagon. She looks satisfied. "They made that themselves, yeah. They borrowed the idea from our cousins, mahnd you. And mostly what they are is more trouble than five weasels in a henhouse."

A thought crosses Kludge's mind - these foals are a respectable mix of inquisitive, resourceful, and creative. As long as he keeps an eye on things, it would be fine to let them watch him at work. And if any of them volunteer to help out, well… with a craftspony like him to supervise, what could possibly go wrong?

"So - want to watch me work?" Kludge asks, thinking that this is a pretty good idea.

Pumpkin thinks about it, then nods. "Why certainly! Ah'm always ready ta learn how ta do new things."

Siyana brightens curiously. "Yeah! Maybe I can pick up some pointers too." She scoots up close to her two friends, and sits down towatch.

Sadaka blinks and nods. "Well… sure! If you don't mind, mister." It might be neat to see something new. She could tell Papa Blackbird all about it later!

"Always glad to help foals!" Kludge replies with a beaming smile. After a quick lesson on workplace safety, he starts demonstrating construction work, explaining why he does what he does and sharing a few of his tips and tricks. The lesson continues on…