Crooked Horn, Crooked Pony
IC date: Summer 76, 1007
OOC date: September 4, 2012
PCs: Ruby-Blossom, Kludge, Dream-Daze
NPCs: None
GM: None

Ruby-Blossom can be found settled at a quiet spot on the boardwalk - matter of fact she's been out here for the better part of the day quietly staring out at the ocean. The turquoise mare lost in thought as she's had a great deal on her mind the past few weeks. Siyana's little performance was quite the spectable last night - but nothing to regret that she wasn't there at herself, right?

Kludge has spent most of the day wandering around town, taking care of errands and picking up supplies. Yesterday's song-duel had been quite impressive, and it had also given him much food for thought. The walk around town gave him time to ponder recent events, and now he found himself strolling along the boardwalk. Seeing a familiar face staring out across the water, he walks over to where Ruby is sitting and looks out at the ocean in the same direction as her. "Bit for your thoughts," he says, breaking the silence.

Ruby-Blossom 's ears give a tell-tale twitch as Kludge approaches, suggesting she's well aware of the stallion's presence well before he speaks - even if she doesn't acknowledge it. A long moment of silence before she speaks. "Do you trust me? How would you feel if that trust was misplaced?" still staring forward as she asks a question right out of left field.

Another length of silence follows. "You're kind, good-natured, and have a genuine soft spot for foals," Kludge finally says. "I think you're a nice pony, and I trust you as someone who doesn't do bad things to good ponies." While the question wasn't expected, the feel of the moment suggests that soul-baring would not be unexpected.

The sound of the waves and seagulls is the only response the stallion receives for the longest moment. "I'm a pretty good actor you know. I wonder if I'm really any better than someone like Maddie." a flick of her tail. "I don't think I've ever done as…whatever it is she's done, but…" she reaches to the side opposite Kludge and the jostling of coins can be heard. Swiflty she turns her head to drop the coin pounch next to the stallion. "I almost forget." changing the subject suddenly,.

Kludge nods and pockets the coin pouch, acknowledging the desire to change the topic. "How's the house?" he inquires, taking the new subject at face value and letting the old topic rest.

Ruby-Blossom 's tail gives a little tell-tale flicker along with another long pause. "It's a house for sure. But that doesn't make it a home." a hint of those Ruby eyes can be caught as Ruby subtlely glances Kludge's direction. "Tell me about yourself. I mean, tell me something that you won't tell anypony else."

Another pause follows, Kludge clearly determining how best to say what's on his mind. "Well… you might have noticed that I often don't say much. It's because weird things tend to happen if I talk too much at a time."

Ruby-Blossom gives a little a shrug. "I'm listening." the mare encourages the stallion to continue - perhaps a subtle way of saying 'I don't think so'. The curve of her hears suggesting she's listening even if she isn't looking.

Kludge lets out a sigh. "It's mostly little things, like an unexplained breeze, or small things moving around. But sometimes…"

He shakes his head. "I've been run out of several towns when the weirdness /wasn't/ something small. Fortunately, nopony's ever been seriously hurt, but I'm not sure how long that luck will last."

Ruby-Blossom hmms curiously even if her tone isn't all that cheerful at the moment. "I'm still listening." Kludge may catch another brief glance of those Ruby-colored eyes as the amre glances his way oh so briefly.

"Ever seen a pegasus with wings that were malformed due to major injury in their youth?" Kludge asks, his attention on some small rocks near the boardwalk.

Ruby-Blossom ahs softly with a small nod, getting the idea Kludge is infamous for putting his hoof in his mouth in a major fashion.

"Did you know that a similar thing can happen to unicorns?" Kludge asks quietly, focusing intently on the small rocks. "And just like a pegasus can find it hard to control their flight if their wings don't heal right, a unicorn's telekinesis can also become… erratic." A slight breeze seems to be stirring, but only around the pebbles…

Ruby-Blossom hehs softly "Is that all?" her tone suggesting she finds the whole situation quite amusing. "It's typical of pony folk to fault some pony for something beyond their control." sounding far more sour than Kludge has likely heard. "Frankly, you're a better pony for learning to work hard." waving her hooves in the hair "Every pony wants to be a unicorn and learn spells, oh how wonderful." Breeming with bitter sarcasm. "Worst part is, nothing unicorns hate more than a lame duck."

Kludge smiles at the compliment. "I do try to not let a malfunctioning and mildly overactive horn keep me from doing good craftsponyship," he admits. "It's just irksome when mishaps occur because I lose focus on muting my telekinesis."

The pebbles go scattering like startled rabbits. "And here I was trying to lift /one/ of them *up*," sigh Kludge.

Ruby-Blossom looks extremelly amused to say the least - she clearly finds the entire situation comical or perhaps ironic; it's liable to come off as insulting. "I suppose you got lucky in one sense, never had to strive to live up to the unicorn standards. Imagine if you grew up in Canterlot." an obvious hint of distain her voice.

Speaking of 'overactive'…

Suddenly foals! Well…one foal. Dream Daze, to be exact, scampering cheerfully down the beach, practically skipping along. Still wearing her explorer's hat, even. Because she's worked /hard/ to get that piece of equipment, and she isn't about to take it off until she absolutely has to. She's treating the beach like it were her own personal imaginary jungle, diving behind imaginary bushes, burrowing into imaginary quicksand pits, and running from imaginary tigers!

Until such running carries her to the docks, where the sounds of quick-moving hooves are much more audible than the sand, the hyperactive kid barrelling along without a care in the world~

Ruby-Blossom 's ears flicker and twist towards the sound of rapidly falling hoof-falls; clearly it's a young-un - and that's enough to get Ruby to look over her shoulder. The usual little bubble of addoration doesn't seem to swell today - turning to look back at over the ocean before glancing behind, and towards the filly again ( Still cute…)

"Noooooo thanks," Kludge chuckles, a look of mock horror on his face. "Even ignoring the unicorn standards, I was born a small-town pony, and I'm still a small-town pony at heart." The rapid sound of small hoofsteps catches his attention, and Kludge looks up to see Dreamy frolicing about. Between the relief of having told somepony about his little secret and the cheerfulness of Dreamy, Kludge is feeling much more relaxed.

Ruby's lack of usual reaction, though, catches his attention. "Still thinking about what you were talking about earlier?" he asks, a tone of friendly concern in his voice.

Frolic, bounce, stomp, canter~ Whatever imaginary adventure Dreamy's having seems to come to a head when she bounds atop a nearby tower of crates! A stack which, naturally, wobbles under the stress of a hyper foal standing atop them. She holds a hoof up, like she were delivering some kind of speech, then brings it down with a soft 'stomp'! Stomp stomp!

Ruby-Blossom is suddenly, no longer sitting beside Kludge! With speed unbefitting a stylist she's hurling down the docks to where Dream-Daze is; the filly's ethuasism is commendable - but Ruby knows trouble when it's brewing - most often because she's behind it (See Sadaka's incident with the whirlygig for reference). The mare screetching to a halt near the crates, and leaning up to offer her hooves to the triumphant filly atop of the crates - offering to help her down, not that a great explorer like Dreamy would need help!

Dreamy blinks. Suddenly there's a pony down there! It's only what…seven or so crates high? The little mute unicorn looks confused as to why an adult's suddenly appeared to offer a hoof. She totally mistakes it for a wave! Which prompts her to wave back, beaming that cheerful foalish grin of hers.

Which, naturally, is when a stray gust of sea breeze picks up, and of /course/ it makes Dreamy's new hat blow off! And anypony's first reaction to something like /that/ happening is going to be to reach for it! Only she has to be quick, or she'll lose it… Two swipes of hooves miss, it's not until she lunges with her teeth that she catches the hat's brim, and subsequently finds herself balanced precariously on the very edge of a wobbly crate tower.

Gravity is the darndest thing. Even that little weight, put in such a bad position, on top of an already unstable tower, tips the crates forwards towards the dock, and towards Ruby! A whole bunch of crate, and a little foal to go with it! Dreamy flails as the toppling happens, amber eyes going wide and mouth opening right back up again, her hat falling alongside the little filly!

With a yelp, Kludge dashes over to the collapsing tower of crates, making a dive for the falling filly. He scoops up Dreamy in his hooves and curls up to protect the brave explorer from the crates.

Admittedly Kludge does a wonderful job of arriving just in time, however /nothing/ actually falls to the ground. The filly finds herself /floating/ along with the crates that had begun to fall; seems Kludge has alot more in common with Ruby than previously figured! The mare quickly plucking the foal from the air before the crates come crashing down around the trio of unicorns - yes, trio. Ruby falling softly to her knees before letting go of the filly with a heavy breath, clearly strained - and annoyed. "Not a word." clearly aimed at Kludge as she doesn't expect Dream-Daze to start talking.

"About what?" Kludge replies with a wink. Nope, nothing here but a pair of earth ponies protecting a unicorn filly~!

Dreamy really doesn't quite get what just happened. One moment she was starting to fall, the next she was practically flying. Floating. Something! By the time she's plucked and set down, she's still wide-eyed and surprised, but for a totally different reason than an accidental fall. She blinks up at the two adults, her head tilting one way, then the other, pointing at them both with a hoof. Then at her horn. Was that /magic/? …Or it could also be 'where is my hat?' Sometimes pantomime is difficult to decipher!

For the moment Ruby's turquoise horn is quite on display - pratically pointing at Dream-Daze as the turquoise mare pants to catch her breath; it's painfully clear that Ruby is a unicorn, and no matter of sane hair do could have been used to conceal her horn.

The filly's hat gently floating down and coming to rest atop of Ruby's head - clearly the lighter object had been caught up in the temporary bout of telekenesis. Those big Ruby red eyes briefly meeting Dream-Daze's eyes "Just don't go showing anyone…" sounding noteably upset "I guess now is good a time as any to.." shaking her head softly "about something I want to do for you." reaching over to curiously examine Dreamy's hat for any embroidery - what good is having a hat if your name isn't embroidered anyways.

Kludge gives Dreamy a tip of his hat, revealing his own horn. It's not much bigger than Dreamy's, and has bends and other deformities that show that it was broken at one point when he was small and didn't heal right. "I'm much better as an earth pony than as a unicorn," he freely admits, giving Dreamy a smile. As Ruby examines Dreamy's hat, Kludge works on getting the crates back into a (more stable) stack.

Honestly Dreamy hadn't yet thought of embroidering her hat. Or personalizing it in any way. She just got it. The fact that she even has a hat has her so high on cloud nine… And now she's going to be the keeper of a secret? Her first secret! That, in and of itself, makes those amber eyes of hers get all that much bigger! Such big filly eyes… Staring at Ruby's glowing horn, with a hoof reached out as though she were going to /touch/ it to make sure it's real.

Then she catches sight of Kludge's horn, too, and the look of awe is exchanged with a highly confused look, Dreamy's brows knitting. Hiding horns..? She glances up to the tip of her own horn, barely visible with her own sight range, the foal putting her hooves back into her lap. Why would any unicorn want to hide what they are?

She tries not to dwell on it /too/ much at the moment though. Not when Kludge gets to work on crate-stacking and Ruby starts in about discussing something. She'll just have to bring up all this horn-hiding nonsense later. When it isn't such a touchy subject.

Ruby-Blossom gently settles that hat back atop of the filly's head, a gentle pat to ensure it doesn't go anywhee. Those ruby-colored eyes catching sight of the filly reaching upwards, and only a brief hint of hesitation before she dips her head to let the filly touch the horn. "I know you must have alot of questions, I think I could manage to tell you sometime." she admits to the filly, knowing Dreamy can't exactly go around telling every pony her secret.

The horn is as real as they come and turquiose in color, clearly the horn has been properly maintained even if hidden away. She brushes a hoof against Dreamy's cheek "Be more careful, some pony could of got hurt." Her tone full of affectionate concern - not scolding. "Ah…I." a moment of silence before Ruby continues. "I wanted to do something for you…" she appears slightly apprehensive. "I want to sing for you. I mean how do I put it. I want to help /you/ sing at least once." Okay now this is gettign weird, how a mute cutie sing? She fumbles her own hooves over one another. "I know you can show other ponies images, I wanted to help you sing a song from your own fillings…I don't know if that makes sense." She clears her throat, her voice suddenly unmistakingly far more akin to that of a filly "With a voice of a filly." she can do voices too!?

Kludge smiles as he listens in. This is why he trusts Ruby - she's kind to foals, and shows an honest heart around them. So she has a few secrets; what interesting pony doesn't? His eyes grow a bit wide when she starts speaking in a filly's voice, but he chalks it up to her vocal talents. And speaking of vocal talents… Ruby singing again? As a filly? He's looking forward to that! And if Dreamy adds her visions to compliment the song… this should be /very/ good.

Dreamy pats the horn a couple times, wide eyes glancing from horntip to Ruby's own eyes, and back. The notion of getting told The Story later is enough for now…the little mute unicorn nods in agreement, taking her hoof back and finishing the task of straightening her hat just the way she likes it.

Then comes the confused look again….and the little unicorn readjusts her hat, this time hiding her horn beneath it, the brim tugged just above her eyes. There! Now she's an earth pony too!

She listens, listening being one thing Dreamy is /awesome/ at, the confused look just sticking to the foal's face. Nope. She doesn't quite understand. She points at her throat, and makes a big 'x' over it. There's nothing there! Even when Ruby begins talking in a much younger-sounding voice, Dreamy just gives her this look like 'that's not mine', sending Ruby an image of the mare sitting on a stool, Dreamy propped up like a ventriliquist dummy, her mouth moving while Ruby's voice (shown with the words Ruby's Voice' coming out of her mouth. Because her images don't have sound to them. (At least not yet)

Ruby-Blossom 's ears flatten softly "I suppose it ws a bad idea…I've been having alot of those lately." a small dip of her head head in clear apology "I'm sorry. I guess I just, you know…" fidget fidget, feeling like a complete flank at the moment. "I guess I could embroider your hat the very least." she leans in to gently nudge Dreamy's hat up, and lightly touch horns before standing up straight.

The turquoise pony taking a deep breath to try to regain some composure after making a complete flank of herself.

Kludge puts a comforting hoof on Ruby's shoulder. "We all have bad days," he quietly points out.

Turning to face Dreamy, he gives a gentle tap to the filly's horn. "I hide my horn because I'm lousy at being a unicorn. I'm not sure why Ruby hides her horn, but I'm sure she has her reasons. I'm confident that you'll be a better unicorn than me, so why hide your horn?" he says with a small smile.

Awww, that's such a sad look! And an affectionate gesture too. Dreamy blushes in her cheeks, her own ears flattening to either side of her explorer's hat. Her horn was still lit up from magics too, there may have been the hint of a spark at the touch, only furthering the little foal's own fidgeting. She's not used to awkward moments!

When Ruby stands up though, Dreamy's eyes follow, the foal shaking her head quickly! It's not like it was a /bad/ idea, the little mute unicorn modifying it slightly and sending Ruby a brief daydream. A short montage, of Dreamy writing a song for Ruby to sing, in front of an audience. Surely that's what Ruby really meant, wasn't it? It wouldn't have been the first time Dreamy got the wrong idea the first time!

When Kludge nudges her horn too though, Dreamy scrabbles to tug her hat back down, giving the bigger unicorn a look. It's one of those 'stubborn foal' looks. Like, if you're going to do it, so am I, sort of look. Earth ponies must be that cool if the only other two unicorns she's met in the Harbor so far want to be like them!

Ruby-Blossom softly scratches at the ground with one hoof after standing - she's she has plenty of ackward moments since coming to this strange town. She offers the filly a sweet, sincere smile "I'd be happy to do anything I can to make you happy. I know it can be frustrating when somepony else has something you don't." she gently nudges Dreamy's hat again with her hoof. "You're a wonderful filly, so don't ever feel like you need to hide who you are. You're addorable, and perfect; even if a little rambunctious." praising the mute little filly with sincere words.

"I'll tell you what. Come by place tomorrow afternoon. I'll embroider your name into your awesome hat, and tell you all about. Just don't be silly like me, and hide your your pretty little horn." almost on queue Ruby's horn vanishes from sight! Truth be told she knows more than a few spells from the years she spent helping her 'little sister' practice - that's a very related story! "Alright?

"The reason I hide my horn might make more sense if I told you my story," admits Kludge. "How about if you stop by my wagon after Ruby tells you her story and embroiders your hat?"

That sounds like a reasonable compromise to..well, to everything. Dreamy bobs her head, though she keeps that stubborn 'I'm gonna do this anyway' look, keeping her hat tugged down. At least until she gives Ruby and Kludge one more stern look apiece. Only then does she flick her hat's brim up with a hooftip, letting it rest atop her horn instead of over it. She beams then, happy with the prospect of storytimes later on. She grew up (what little growing she's done so far) on stories. More stories are always good!

Ruby-Blossom glances sideways to Kludge "I'll listen to your story too, if you like." Having heard part of it already, and assumedly more than any pony else - feminine wiles for the win! She manages a bit of a bigger smile before hugging Dream-Daze firmly for a brief moment "Lucky girl." she pats the filly atop of the head. "I'll see you both tomorrow."

With that the turquoise mare begins to trot back towards town. "I wonder what it would have been like." she muses quietly to herself while trotting off.