Foals on a Picnic
IC date: Autumn 4, 1007
OOC date: September 23, 2012
PCs: Ruby-Blossom, Mad-Mare, Kludge, Jellybean, Magpie
NPCs: Rock'em, Sock'em, Captain Flinklock
GM: None

Ruby-Blossom barrels through town at dangerous speeds - hopping over other fillies, and sliding under stationary wagons! The turquoise foal sliding sideways as she hits the boardwalk, scrambling to complete the turn before darting down the boardwalk - a mild case of panic perhaps! The small foal attempts to stop as a certain foal and her silly looking goons step out on the boardwalk - a stupendious crash sending Ruby tumbling with Sunshine.

The tumbling ends with Ruby looking down at a very young Maddie! Big ol turquoise eyes blinking as she peers down at the other fill before pinching Sunshine's cheek. "So it's not a dream…" a mildly sour looking crossing her face before she shrugs and beams "oh well!" *GLOMP*

It has sure been a crazy morning!

From the first moment a Harborite woke up and found themselves a little…smaller than usual, the entire Harbor has been more or less in a total uproar over what's happened. Total. Chaos. Particularly since this curious reversion to younger times has also had a youthening effect on many pony's minds. Some of the citizens are running about in a panic. Some are staying indoors, afraid of the Big Bad World outside. A group of them are trying to storm the doc's office, where they're being told there's No More Remedy until the next shipment comes in. And some, especially the elderly crowd, are outright enjoying their newfound foalishness. Nothing like a second childhood!

For the one known as Mad Mare, her and her Harbor Watch ponies have had their hooves full trying to keep some semblance of order. It's difficult to do when your crew is just as childish as the rest of the town all of the sudden, prompting all manner of random arguements, bully-antics, and outright kiddish poutiness.

Really the only thing that's kept Maddie from panicking herself is the fact that she's had other things to focus on, and other foals to yell at! In fact, she'd just got done yelling at a group of foals to stop climbing all over that pile of cannonballs when she'd started walking down the Boardwalk, her trusty (and still mighty big for their new age) goons loping behind her. All of the sudden, TACKLED!

"Oof! What!? Who!? Augh get offa me!" says the 'new and improved' Mad Filly, a.k.a Sunshine Stormcloud, a.k.a 'that odd foal with metal rear legs'. Yes. Even as a foal, she's got those metal legs. It's so /sad/. "I didn't do nothing to get hugged!"

Approaching the road from a shaded alley, Kludge trots after Ruby. His vest has been left with the rest of his stuff, as it's too big for his youthful form. The hat, however, stays - even though it's obviously several sizes too big for a foal! At least he feels better - the faint headache he has spent several years of his life dealing with, the one that he had pretty much forgot existed because it was always there… is gone. He had forgotten that your forehead wasn't supposed to ache like that.

Technically this would be Jellybean's third childhood if one counts an incident involving Sadaka and a very silly potion. On the other hand this is his second childhood with wings, which is a rather big difference. Apparently as a foal Jellybean was downright bitty and disproportionately made of knees. There's so much going on right now and he looks, if anything, even more lost than usual, flying around aimlessly with a hoof in his mouth and his eyes all a-wobble.

Ruby-Blossom seems all the /more/ snuggly in foal form - aggressively cuddling Maddie despite the other mare's protests. "You don't need to do anythign to hugged, silly~" sitting up with her front hooves on Maddie's chest - rear hooves on the boardwalk to support the majority of her own weight. "This was certainly a surprise, I mean like I totally didn't expect to be a filly. I wonder if this has to do with that joker of a captain." pondering curiously "Ah well." HUG! "Now maybe you don't have a reason to be so totally uptight.

So much going on! Foals everywhere! Squealing! Screaming! ~Playing!~ It's all rather silly to behold. Imagine what a visitor to the Harbor would think if they saw this?

Maddie keeps right on flailing. Her two foalgoons, meanwhile, are laughing their flanks off, rolling on their backs, and giggling like schoolponies.

"This is ridiculous! Insane! Crazy! Completely abnormal!" says the Mad Filly, effectively pinned down despite Ruby not really putting any weight on those front hooves. "I'm gonna find who did this and lock'em up forever! Fooooreeeever!"

Speaking of jokers and captains. Captain Flintlock, sporting a very foal-sized pirate's outfit, and floating a…fish-head over his shoulder, happens to come traipsing around the corner about that time. "Good morning chaps!" he says, practically prancing on his way by, even waving a hoof at the flying Jellyfoal! "Good morning! Jerry, say good morning." The magically floating fish head wiggles. "He says good morning!"

Sliding his hat back so it covers his forehead without overwhelming the rest of his face, Kludge walks over and gives the henchfoals a hoofbump in greeting. "So, wha'cha guys up to?" he chirps inquisitively. He seems a lot more curious as a foal, and only mildly gangly, and there's a look in his eye that suggests a devil-may-care attitude.

Ruby-Blossom snickers softly from her spot atop of Sunshine - peering down at the other foal all the while greatly amused. "This is certainly a strange turn of events, and I get the feeling you might know something you need to share with me." she leans forward - invading Sunshine's personal space as this seems to be her new favorite passtime. Now nose to nose and eye to eye she asks "Weeeelll?

Jellybean goggles at the pint-sized pirate pony and his prestigitated piscine partner. Everything's so weird right now and even though he knows he has to make sure that the weather gets taken care of right now he'd like nothing more than to hide in bed under his blanket and wait for mommy to come in and tell him when breakfast is ready. Of course, mommy isn't here right now. And would probably be surprised if she were. "What happened?" he asks plainitively, whinily in fact.

The Mad Filly gets a disgusted look, her head turning and tongue sticking out. Yeach. "I don't know anything about this! I woke up migitized just like the rest of you! I went to bed big and mean and grown-up, and I woke up a… A kid's toy, or something."

"She also woke up cranky and whining." Rock'em offers, while Sock'em hoofbumps Kludge. "S'up bro? We're keeping Boss out of trouble~ Full time job now, y'know?"

Young Captain Flintlock, meanwhile, stands up on his hind legs to get a better look at the equally tiny flying pegasus, smiling like a loon and shrugging his best shrug. "I have no idea! Isn't it great? I think we're all cursed now!"

Magpie trots down around the docks, feeling distinctly odd. She gravitates towards the other foals… whom she does not in fact recognize. "Does the ground seem closer today?" she asks, only half joking.

Ruby-Blossom restrains herself for any further playfully affectionate behavior at Sunshine's expense, and climbs off the other foal - offering a hoof to help her up. "I find it particularly odd, is it possibly related to last nights adventure?" she muses aloud before spotting Maggie and waving "Hey Maggie! Come over here." frantically motioning with both hoofs to get the other foals attention. "here here here. Look at me, ooo ooo ooo.

Jellybean comes to an awkward landing: he hasn't yet burst into tears but he keeps giving the impression that it's only a matter of time. "I don't understnad what's going on. Where are all the big ponies? Is everypony little now? How are we going to get things done? I'm hungry."

Kludge lets out a hearty laugh. "Sounds like she's being more of a hoof-full than usual! Take care, bros!" With one more hoofbump, he then trots over to Ruby. "You feeling better today, Ruby?" he asks with his eyes wide in heartfelt concern.

Magpie blinks. She lets herself be called over, but just peers at the little filly. "Do I know you?" she asks suspiciously.

Maddie sighs dramatically, but lets herself be pulled upright again. Tiny Metal Legs aren't nearly as effective on a foal! She starts dusting herself off, shooting Rock'em a dirty look. Hmph. "What adventure?" she asks the distracted Ruby, also eyeing the approaching Magpie. "What do /you/ know that I don't, huh? Huh huh huh?"

Rock'em and Sock'em snicker together, saluting Kludge when he turns tail. "Later~" They trot up to resume lounging behind Maddie and Ruby. Because that's their rightful place. Even as foals.

The Young Captain settles 'Jerry' atop his head, giving Jellybean a pat on his shoulder. "All of those are very good questions! I'm sure someone around here has a very good answer for them. Maybe we should find them. I'm getting kinda hungry too, and this Jerry doesn't look /nearly/ as tasty as the others did." He looks around, spying the Big Group over Thataway, pointing a hoof dramatically at them. "There! They look like they might know where the food is! Let's go ask them!"

Ruby-Blossom reaches out to poke Maggie's cheek with one hoof "It's me, Ruby. You know the mare that's been trying to get you to open up a little, the one willing to help you out, and stuff. I can totally relate to you. I've been where you are before, and done what you've done." Currently under the effect of two poison jokes! She's both a foal, and her usual cautious, reserved nature has been replaced by a far more honest one. She grins at Kludge "Honestly I think I'm liable to hurl if I don't calm down, but I can't seem to sit still. I also came to realization that we're runnign about like idiots for the amusement of a dead pirate."

Ruby glances sideways at Sunshine "Oh, I actually know alot of things I'm not telling you. I'm honestly not very honest, I tend to keep alot of secrets and justifiably so, why you wouldn't believe what I actually do for a li…" It would be this point where Kludge silences her with a hoof.

Which he does. Even with the youthful indiscretions of being a foal, there are some secrets that are better kept quiet. Take, for example, the reason why Kludge is still wearing his hat. "Ruuu~by," he warns with an exasperated (yet friendly) tone.

Magpie blinks. "W-wait, what?" She blinks at Ruby. "You mean you're her… uh… kid..?" The pied pony actually only lost a couple of years in the incident, which means she's at her most foalishly adorable.

Ruby-Blossom continues to talk despite everyword being muffled by Kludge's hoof - seemingly unhindered by the fact nopony can understand anything she's saying. "Mf Mmmmmfff mmmmmfff M'Mfff, mmfff mmmfff mmmff." (I'm actually Scarlett O'Mare, world famous thief." she totally answered Sunshine despite not being able to be understood - Ruby was admittedly a much more outgoing pony at this age - coupled with her other poison joke she's partically willing to tell somepony she likes ANYTHING. Suddenly Ruby bounds fourth to hug Magpie - disloding herself from Kludge's hoof in the process. "No silly. Some strange event appears to have turned everypony into foals, it's really quite addorable - squeeze~

Jellybean joins everypony else, looking around in a fretful fashion with a hoof in his mouth. "Does anypony know what's happened? Why's everypony all little?" He whimpers. "I want a grown up!"

The promise of Secrets Yet Untold is more than enough to keep Maddie pouting! Pout! "H..hey! I've been spilling my guts to you every other meeting, and now you're telling me you know everything? That's so not fair…" Sulk. Pout. Grump. At least until Rock'em and Sock'em lean in, and…apply a sudden, liberal amount of tickling to the poor metal-legged foal. "What are you—NOOOO! Aieeee ahhahahahahahstooooop!"

Young Captain Flintlock strides up with the small Jellybean. "Hello fellow midgets! Do you lot happen to have any food? My friend here is starving, and I think I missed breakfast too." He blinks, then adds with a lifted hoof, "Also, do any of you know why we're shrunk? Jerry's pretty confused about all this…"

Magpie aughs and flails her hooves a bit! Unexpected hugging! Augh!

Kludge gives Jellybean a sympathetic pat on the back. "Would level-headed foals work instead? Because I think there's a few of us who can do that."

Ruby-Blossom <3 as she looks over her shoulder while smothering Maggie with unexpected attention - one foal warmly cuddling the smaller foal; she releases Maggie to pounce Sunshine and join in the tickle-assaults "Sooo cute~<3<3<3" seemingly easily distracted at the moment even though she pipes aloud at the mention of food "Food is yummy, I think we should make some PB&J, maybe with pickles and ice cream" feverishly tickling Maddie's underside. "Oh, I'll tell you all of Ruby's secrets~ When you say it again, and mean it.

Jellybean nodnods and makes a little 'mmmhmm' noise to Kludge. "I'm scared," he says, wings a-flutter and knees-a-knocking, "what if there isn't a cure and everypony's stuck like this? What if something happens? What if there are ghosts?"

The Young Captain nods sympathetically to Jellybean's plight. "See? The wee-est one brings up very good points! What if we're stuck like this? FOREVER?" He perks his ears up, the floating fish head bobbing like it were saying something. Flintlock clears his throat. "Jerry does say, however, that there are no such things as ghosts. Only zombies." He nods once.

Maddie is, regrettably, too busy being tickled to death by three sets of hooves to answer anyone on anything. She's gone beyond protests, and has moved on to whimpering, weak flailing, and crossing her legs. Because, GEEZ. Eventually, Rock'em and Sock'em relent though, and both tackle Ruby to get her to stop too, making an impromptu foal wrestling match out of it! So their boss can, y'know, catch her breath again and not accidentally make a mess of the Boardwalk.

Ruby-Blossom is surpsingly spry and agile - within moments of being tackled she's managed to slip out of the wrestling match unnoticed - leaving Rock'em and sock'em to duke it out until somepony's head goes flying off - or however that works. She promptly plants her flank in front of the gasping Maddie with a broad, broad grin - her grin says it 'I know secrets~'.

Kludge gives Jellybean a brotherly hug. "As long as all of us work together, we'll be able to face down practically anything," he declares with a confident smile. After all, things are always easier to face with friends, and the foals of the Harbor tend to be friendly - thus, it's easy to make friends!

Jellybean seems to calm down a little, or at least step back from Defcon 2 Waterworks. Kludge gets a nuzzle and an arm wrapped around him. "But if we're all little, maybe the little ones got big?" This is the sort of thing that usually makes sense to him, rather than something that would specifically occur to foal-him.

Ruby-Blossom tilts her head backwards so she's staring at Kludge and Jelly bro-ing it up "Awww…Kludge is into that?" a upside down grin ensues! "But not nearly as into it as Rock'em and Sock'em, any moment now." she makes a smoochy face.

The Young Captain apparently thinks this makes sense too, because he's nodding his head in total agreement. "Yes! Maybe they did! Then they can cook lunch!" He promptly starts to trot off down the street. "Heeeeeere kiddy kiddy kiddy! Come on out and cook us some lunch please! Grilled cheese sounds /so good/ right now!"

Rock'em and Sock'em have a good time beating each other up. Well, play-beating anyway, since when the smoke clears neither of them are exactly hurt. Rock'em has Sock'em pinned though. "Hah! I win!" Sock'em frowns. "Only cuz' you cheated… I told you /that/ move is against the rules." Rock'em squints. "You don't make the rules of wrasslin'!"

Maddie huffs. Once she's caught her breath sufficiently, she gets up on shaky hooves and starts to brush her mane back. "Geez… If this is what you were all like as kids, I'm /so glad/ I wasn't in your neighborhood."

Kludge cheerfully pokes Ruby on the nose. "Friends are the family you choose, right? My family always was there for each other…"

His smile falters as he recalls a certain event. "…well, other than that one time…" He shakes his head and gets a thoughtful expression on his face, subconsciously tapping his forehead as if he's re-evaluating something.

Sunshine doesn't need to worry about her shaky hooves as she doesn't spend more then a moment on them before being pounce-cuddled by Ruby again - seems the turquoise filly is alot more than affectionate as a foal. "I lived alone as a foal for the most part. For a while I took care of another foal." a moment of sadness crossing her face before she beams "Want me to take care of you and your shiny metal flank?" knowing full well Maddie's flank is neither metal nor shiny.

The mare blinks at Kludge's nose poke - crossing her eyes to uhh softly. "I wouldn't know…I've never really had either." she admits without hesitation. "Couldn't tell you how either work properly.

Jellybean raises a hoof shyly. "I've got two sisters. One's older and one's younger." He pauses, an ear flopping. "I guess both of them are older right now."

Maddie gets a wide-eyed 'erk!' look the moment before she's tackled back down to the ground! "Ahhhh! Why meeeee!" she whines, her pitiful flailing resuming. "Darnit Ruby! I can't get any work done if you're hugging me all day!"

"Pff. Like she did any work anyway." Rock'em snerks, letting Sock'em up so the pair can go sit near Kludge instead. Apparently their boss is well in hoof now, or something. "That was super sappy." Rock'em notes to Kludge, with Sock'em's head bobbing. "Yeah… But it's kinda true. And I'm hungry too. Where d'ya think they keep the food stashed? Without, y'know, barging into pony homes. Cuz' that would be naughty."

Kludge snaps out of his contemplative state. Ponies need food; what do you do when you don't have food? You go shopping! Just have to buy food from the shops, and…

Wait. Wouldn't the shopkeepers also be affected by this mishap? Then would the shops even be open? This is going to take more thought…

Ruby-Blossom resumes sitting on Sunshine - only face the trio of colts this time. "What is everypony worried about?" she points at Rock'Em "Go get a few loafs of bread." Sock'Em "Go get some edible flowers after getting bread with Rock'Em." she points to Kludge "You…umn, make sure they get their jobs done. I'll make sandwhiches." hertail totally in Sunshine's face!

Jellybean raises a hoof again. "Uhm. Uhm." Pause. "Uhm. What can I do?"

Now she's being SAT ON! The Mad Filly is so tormented, and having to deal with Ruby's tail slapping her in the face. "Somepony get this crazy thing offa meeeeee!"

Rock'em salutes! "Bread! Got it!" He immediately dashes off. Sock'em salutes too! "Flowers! Check!" He, too, dashes off.

Ruby-Blossom spins about atop of Sunshine - freeing the foal from the tyranny of the ruby tail! Once again slipping off Sunshine and helping the foal to her hooves. "I bet you're hungry, and thus cranky." one arm slipping around Sunshine all friendly-affectionately like. "You're…" she peers at the pegasi "Jellybowl, right? I don't think we really ever got to know one another. I'm Ruby - Maddie's best gal pal.

A friendly way of saying 'only friend'.

Huh. That works, although it will probably be polite to keep track of where the food came from, so that the relevant shops can be paid once things get back to normal. Kludge just shrugs and decides to file that in the back of his mind, under 'low priority; can be dealt with later'.

It would probably be more sad to imagine Maddie with only one 'friend' if it bothered her at all. When she's helped up again, all she gives Ruby is a sulk. "I'm not hungry…" she mutters, though the angry 'growl' her stomach gives belies her actual state. Which makes her promptly blush and look down at the ground. "…Or cranky… And who made you boss anyway? Those are /my/ minions you're ordering around!" She glances up at Jellybean, shaking her head, "She's not my 'gal pal'! She's just a super-huggy girl!"

Jellybean flaps his wings eagerly, lifting himself a good foot in the air in the process. "I'm Jellybean! It's nice to meet you! So what can I do to help? I like helping."

Ruby-Blossom ponders thoughtfull all the while hanging off Sunshine - one arm around her gal pal plus. "Jellybean, got it. Oh! Go procure us some desert, a meal isn't complete without desert. Meet back here, and we'll have us a nice little meal. Oh, grab some plates too - we're not animals!" she nudges Sunshine and whispers "I became the boss the moment you confessed your love for me." lifting one hoof to conceal her mouth from view while whispering.

"Ew!" Maddie whines, ducking her head after Ruby's 'whisper' turned out to be something else entirely! She rubs her cheek, scampering off behind Kludge! "She's /gross/ is what she is! And totally not the boss! I'm the boss, I got the badge!" Somewhere. Y'know, in her other legs or something.

Jellybean puts a hoof in his mouth again as he thinks. He suddenly nods in an energetic fashion. "I bet I know where I can find dessert!" With that he suddenly flies off, clumsily gliding down the street. I suppose he must know where he's going.

Ruby-Blossom commits to a spectacular bound - leaping through the air and over Kludge to land behind Sunshine - a small rolling lump - not nearly as graceful as when all grown-up "Gosh darn it!" she manages to right herself and give Sunshine a little glare. "I'm not gross! You have cooties!"

Kludge watches this amusedly. "Looks like the one who takes the lead is the one who leads - at least, for now," he shrewdly observes. As for him, he's more likely to be a hooves-on advisor, not a leader or a henchgoon. The only time he'd lead would be when it comes to his talent, as reflected by…

…um, as /was/ reflected by his cutie mark, which seems to be missing. Huh.

Maddie flails as Ruby leaps and lands behind her! She scrambles to scoot back around, trying her darndest to keep Kludge between her and the small turquoise filly. "Nuh-uh! YOU have cooties, you're the one tryin' to spread'em everywhere!"

Ruby-Blossom runs straight at Kludge and slides under him - knocking the big goof over and taking Maddie down with her- quickly wrestling the girl to the ground to begin peppering her with kisses "I'll give you cooties! I'll give you all the cooties!" There's about zero percent anything romatnic here - it's ENTIRELY an immature assault at Sunshine's expense!

Magpie looks over at the two of them and sighs. "You're both fillies. You can't get cooties from a filly, dummy."

Jellybean comes back a few minutes later and lands nearby Ruby with a small bag in his mouth. He sets it down. "I guessed that with everything going on the baker might have forgotten about some cookies and they probably wouldn't mind if we had some. But I'm going to make sure that I pay them back later because I'm a good colt," he says, earnestly.

"Me too," Magpie lies, with a saddlebag filled up so much that it'll be a wonder if she even remembers where she got it all from.

Kludge dusts himself off from being knocked over, then gives Jellybean a hoofbump. "Good call," he agrees, then looks over at the two fillies wrasslin'.

An impish grin crosses his face. "Shouldn't the two of you be sitting in a tree?" he says with a teasing mock-innocence.

Ruby-Blossom looks up from her 'assault' on Maddie to smile at Jelly and Maggie - though her eyes tell Maggie loads more than they tell anypony else; Maggie can't fool Ruby! "Thanks Jelly, Maggie…" her tone a little more inflected towards Maggie - almost sisterly or motherly. She gets off of Maddie yet again, and helps the other mare to her hooves yet again.

"WAUGH!" Maddie falls over, getting assaulted! ASSAULTED by kisses! She flails, and whines, and looks totally defeated by the time Ruby stops. She doesn't even bother to get up this time. Just sighs, rolls onto her belly, and hides her face.

Rock'em and Sock'em return right about then~ One with a big ol' loaf of bread, probably swiped form the same bakery Jellybean got dessert from, and the other with a bag of daisy flowers. "We got supplies!"

Ruby-Blossom forcibly pulls Sunshine to her feet via a big heart-felt hug; even after embarrassing the other foal Ruby is very friendly. "You're only saying that Kludge cause you're jealous."

Magpie settles down and starts to nibble on a bun. Ooh, bean paste filling!

"Mmm… only a bit," Kludge admits after a moment of thought, then grins. "Most of it is just friendly razzing, though. If you're gonna flirt like that, expect your friends to tease you!"

Ruby-Blossom leaves her foal friend to gather the bread, flowers and deserts - gingerly whipping up a handful of sandwhiches and distributing the food almost evenly; with an extra sandwhich for Maggie! Even giving the little ragamuffin a hug so she can whisper. "We still need to talk - serious."

Magpie eeps, looking awkward and stuff at the hug. She… doesn't get a lot of those, and is not very 'touchy'. "Um… er… okay?" she says with a confused look. She downs her bun and starts on the sandwich.

"I don't flirt!" Maddie whines, even when she's forcefully propped up on all four hooves again. Metal and non. When she's given a sandwich though, she relents. Just a little. Though she does scoot back to hide behind her two ponygoons to eat her sandwich. Both of which are being oblivious boys and simply chowing down like there were no tomorrow. Nom nom~

Ruby-Blossom slips one hoof over Maggie's shoulders - attempting to have a conversation with the foal while not drawing attention; then again everypony is busy stuffing their faces. "I'm alot like you, ya know. I've been where you are, done what I needed to do to get buy." her voice remaining consistently low to keep things between herself and Maggie. "What I'm trying to say is, you don't need to go at it alone. Let me help you have a normal life." a beaming broad smile - hoping the important parts get through since she cant' really go explaining herself in public.

Y'know, having a calm, cheerful picnic like this is kinda fun! Kludge is enjoying this respite from the recent chaos and cheerfully noms his food. After finishing his sandwich, he mentions "Why don't we do this more often? It's nice, relaxing, and enjoyable."

Magpie squirms a little uncomfortably. She cuts a glance at Ruby. "Whadda you know," is her mumbled response.

From everypony elses perspective Ruby and Maggie are chumming it up. In reality a serious little conversation ensues. "I know you're starved and alone, and do what you need to get by. I know what it's like to be all alone, honest." her tone though quiet is very sincere, as are her large expressive eyes. "You're alot like me, and I'm just hoping you'll give me a chance. I don't want to see any pony grow up like I did."

"Yeah!" Rock'em quips up. "Picnics rule!" Sock'em adds in. "Mostly cuz' of the food."

Mad Filly doesn't quip. She's too busy hiding, and blushing, and and… Sneaking away, sandwich in mouth, while Ruby's busy discussing something. Sneak sneak sneak!

Kludge noms on dessert, then sits back and smiles. Nothing quite like being able to just socialize with five other ponies that aren't always on the best of terms.

…wait, five? There were six others here - Ruby, Jellybean, Magpie, Rock'em, Sock'em, and…

Edging over to the two henchfoals and speaking in a low voice to not interrupt Ruby and Magpie, he inquires "Hey, where did Maddie go?"

Magpie's face is a blank. She literally doesn't know what to say. Her ears lay back and she tenses. "I can't —" She breaks off, then suddenly blurts, "I don't trust you!"

Ruby-Blossom taps Maggie's nose with one hoof "You have no reason to." re-affirming the younger foals feelings while offering a sincere smile. All the while whispering "Save for the fat I didn't tell anypony you stole those coins at the ice cream shop? Or the fact I've been doing my best to keep you fed?" she looks down at the younger foal - eyes full of sincerity although a tad stern. "I went through my life not trusting any pony, and I ended up here - without any friends or anyone to rely on, and I realized just how alone I was." Taking a deep breath - doing her best to stay quiet. "I still have trouble believing any pony wants to be my friend, but…you know. It's better to not be alone." hugging the other foal even if she doesn't want it >.<

"Hm?" Rock'em and Sock'em look blankly at Kludge, their faces stuffed. They glance back behind them, then back at Kludge. Then they shrug! "Dunno bro." "Eh, she'll turn back up again. We'll find her after we're done eating."

Magpie tries to wiggle out of Ruby's embrace, almost panicky. "I don't wanna! L-leggo, it's not-!" As she wrenches away from the other filly, there's a snap, and her saddle bags — likely rescued from a dumpster in the first place — part along the strap, and tumble to the ground, spilling ill-gotten bread across the cobbles while she runs as fast as her little filly legs can take her!

Ruby-Blossom fumes adorably before sprinting into chase after Maggie - Ruby's quite the little athlete with real strong backlegs as Kludge can attest to! "Calm down Maggie!" scrambling desperately after the other foal. "Come back!"

Kludge looks over at the commotion. He starts picking up the spilled bread and ruined saddlebags, just in case Magpie wants to come back and reclaim them.

Magpie charges though lowtown, weaving around ponies, between and under carts. She skids on her hooves as she makes a corner, and shoots down a narrow alley. A little metallic clang, and the filly is gone from sight.

Ruby-Blossom manages not to lose Magpie until the filly reaches the alleyway. She inspects the alley curiously - surveying and recalling what she would have done at this age.

Ruby-Blossom huffs angrily and stops her feet. "Maggie, when you're ready to talk with somepony who actually gives a dang about you, come find me!" she huffily calls out before storming off to find Kludge - seems everypony is intent on ditching her today!

There's a dislodged grate at the end of the alley, the sort that leads into the stormwater drains. It'd be a tight fit for any full grown mare, but a little filly could do it easily. It may be hard to hear the sounds of heavy breathing from deep i nside…

Ruby-Blossom stops mid-stomp to back pedal and call out into the dislodged grate "I said come see me when you want to talk with somepony who actually gives a dang! Who will feed you, clean you, and help keep you safe!" she huffs then storms off to find Kludge - likely to just be ditched by him!

Nope, Kludge is still back at the picnic spot. The things Magpie dropped have been gathered up, and since he figured he couldn't effectively catch up, he just stayed where he was.

Upon seeing Ruby return in a huff, he walks over and gives her a small hug. "No luck?" he asks somewhat rhetorically.

Ruby-Blossom huffs huffily "Do I have any luck these days?" suddenly realizing she needs to sit- quickly doing so with one hoof against her temple. "dang it, I have no business running." huffily continuing "I know where she's coming from, I really do. I would likely run too.

Kludge sits next to Ruby - sometimes you just have to be there for your friends. "You want to tell her your past so she knows that you know what it's like, but first she has to trust you enough in order for you to tell her securely?" He contemplates the conundrum, trying to come up with a good idea.

Ruby-Blossom sits there beside Kludge all pouty and puffy cheeked. "I know…" she mutters - the foal clearly didn't get her way and is pouting about it. "Been just a super week for me, surprised I didn't get clobbered…again.

Kludge hugs Ruby more. "You know that I'll help out however I can; all you have to do is ask." Looking around, he notices that things have quieted down in the area. Leaning in, he quietly asks "How good are you at first aid?"

Ruby-Blossom glances sideways to Kludge "What are you planning." She asks dryly while Kludge leans into her.

After a quick glance to make sure nobody's paying attention to them, Kludge lifts up his hat. There's his horn, as fitting for the age he appears to be - which was not too long after he got his first hairline fracture of the horn. When he grew up, the damage went unnoticed until after it had compounded and was too late to fix. But now…

"I want to make the most of this age problem and try healing my horn properly," he says in explanation. "Can't properly splint my own horn, and you're one of the few I trust with this secret."

Ruby-Blossom huffs softly "I don't know if it will work, but lets head back to..uh…my temporary room to fix that thing. Maybe you'll get lucky and this will actually fix things for you, wouldn't that be swell?

Kludge smiles. "I'd be happy even if it's only less damaged than before," he admits. "If this works, awesome; if not… well, at least we can say we tried, right?"

Ruby-Blossom gives a small nod before standing up and motioning for Kludge to follow her back to the room she's currently renting - since some ponies decided inciting explosive avians outside her shop was a good idea.

Kludge nods back and walks with Ruby. He's not one to turn down a second chance, even if it might not be real. If he can get better control of his erratic and partially independent telekinesis, then maybe the root cause of his problems in the past might be solved.

Ruby-Blossom 's rented room is exactly that - a small room with no personality. She pushes her foal friend down to have him sit on the floor then retrieves a small first aid kit. Pulling a chair up she flicks the hat of Kludge's head to examine his horn.

Yup, hairline fracture, and a fairly clean one at that. It's already started to set; it would most likely take a doctor to properly re-set the break, but it can still be treated with a splint to keep the damage from spreading.

Ruby-Blossom frowns softly and goes to work - preparing a splint then proceeding to gently splint the damaged horn - she takes great care to be careful but does exhert some pressure to try and get things to set properly - who know's she may get lucky and really make things right.

After Ruby is done tending to Kludge's horn, she finds herself hugged by the grateful colt. "Thanks, Ruby," he says with a happy smile. Placing his hat back on his head, Kludge now feels ready for whatever fate and intrigue throw his direction. After all, he has friends, and together they can face down whatever life throws at them!

Ruby-Blossom plops her flank down but not before giving Kludge's horn a little kiss - just for good luck, don't get the wrong idea! She plops and quietly stares at Kludge "We'll need to get that scamp her saddle bag back. I hate the idea of her being even worse off than before."

Kludge gives Ruby Magpie's saddlebags. "Did you get an idea of where she went?" He knows that the help he can offer on this topic is probably limited, but he'll still help where he can.

Ruby-Blossom says "She wiggled into a vent down a back alley." pouting addorably with her ears flattened against her head. "All I wanted to do was help…but I made things worse."

Kludge contemplates this. "Do you think she'd trust you more if you were able to tell her more details about your past?" he finally asks, a slight frown of 'this is probably not a good idea' on his face.

Ruby-Blossom waves a hoof. "I don't know, she might..but…" she looks down - seemings she might be just as untrusting. "I'd like to tell her, but I don't know her." her pout factor increases - even slumping forward a little. "Maybe we should go look for her?

Kludge gives Ruby another hug, then on impulse nuzzles her cheek. "Sounds like an idea. Maybe we could ask Dreamy and her friends to help, too - friends of friends and things like that."

Ruby-Blossom says "They might actually have more luck than me." she chuckles addorably - ears still splayed. "I really don't have any at the moment."

Kludge is still hugging Ruby. "Everyone has their bad luck streaks. The trick is to have someone who will stick by you when you're in the thick of one."

Ruby-Blossom glances sideways to Kludge before softly socking him in the arm "You're good pony." She glances out the window - now looking away Kludge "Wonder why I like Maddie so much, maybe I'm just a sucker for hard cases?

Kludge smiles at the compliment, then shrugs at the question. "When you first started liking her, what was going through your mind? Maybe the secret lies somewhere in that."

Ruby-Blossom pffts softly "I don't know, we just started talking - I just thought she wasn't as bad as everypony made her out to be, ya know?" stiffling a small yawn with one hoof. "Then she had to go and say something /stupid/ like /that/ you know?" slumping forward. "It's not like I want /that/ or anything, just…" she falls back onto the floor and sighs heavily "You must hate me sometimes.

Kludge gives Ruby an enigmatic look. "You're impulsive, sneaky, utterly baffling at times…"

And then he gives her a big hug and a tender smile. "…and one of the kindest, funniest, liveliest ponies I know. I enjoy being with you, even when things do turn out all weird." With a chuckle, he adds "I enjoy being your friend, and I really like being in your company. If I didn't, then why would I keep wanting to hang out with you?"

Ruby-Blossom gets a hug from Kludge while laying down - if the pair weren't foals right now it might be a little romantic, and a little akward - it's still the latter. Gently Ruby pushes Kludge's cheek away. "Stop it, you lunk." addorably flushed. "I know you enjoy being friendly, and stuff. I just know…" she hushes - best not to point out the obvious. "I certainly am a weirdo~

"Nothing wrong with being a weirdo," Kludge points out. "In a way, it actually makes things easier - those that like you will like you for who you are, and not what they think you fit as." Looking out the window, he adds "Besides, I like seeing you happy. If there's anything I can do to help you find your happiness, you know I'll do my best to help."

Ruby-Blossom gently socks Kludge again, then again. "You lunk." she hops to her feet "Stop being so nice, I might end up liking you or something." she whaps him again. "I ain't in the business of getting all smoochy, and loving." So she says.

"Well, we've also know each other for… what, a month now?" Kludge points out. "The fact that we're such good friends is great, but it doesn't mean that we're definitely going to fall in love. We'll just see where things go with this friendship, and what happens, happens. Deal?" He grins and offers a hoofbump.

Ruby-Blossom swats that hoof and gently baps Kludge atop the head. "I'm not planning on falling in love with any pony." she fumes addorably, all red in the ears. "I need some air." shops to her feet and scampers out the door!

Kludge gives a quiet chuckle with a faint smile on his face. Walking out, he looks for Ruby, but the filly had hidden herself well. With a content smile on his face, he gives what looks like a salute (tapping his forehead) and whispers "Thanks for the help, my friend."