Hearth's Warming in the Salon
IC date: Winter 11, 1007
OOC date: December 30, 2012
PCs: Ruby-Blossom, Magpie, Unknown, Kludge
NPCs: None
GM: None

Day: Hearth's Warming. Time: Morning. For three of the four primary occupants of The Mane Affair this will be a far different Hearthe's Warming than previous years. Ruby lies awake in her bed, admittedly feeling a tad uneasy - and a tad excited about the whole thing. There's a pile of presents downstairs that she put out after putting Maggie and Unknown to bed; the presents huddled under a live, decorated tree that will be planted in the wild after winter. Ruby stifles a small yawn and glances towards the window to admire the morning sun peeking through the storm clouds.

Magpie slips down the stairs with the all the stealth and guile she can muster. It's still mostly dark out, and, well… Ruby promised presents. She comes out into the main room and her rump just hits the floor. "O-oh my gosh." She starts looking at them. At the number with her name on 'em.

For her part, the strange foal has curled up on the hearth of the fireplace, content and warm…until the fire died down in the night. Now she's under her pile of blankets, nose poking out as she breathes softly in her sleep. Finally, though, she wiggles beneath at Magpie's soft exclamation, and opens a sleepy eye. "Mrr?" she mumbles

Kludge wakes up with a big yawn. Hearth's Warming day. The first one he's actually celebrated with others in… longer than he wants to think about, really. At least today should be a relaxing day, a change of pace from the hubbub of the rest of Horseshoe Harbor.

Magpie spins around at the little noise and backs up a few steps. "Oh. It's YOU." She lets out a little shivery sigh, though. She flops down with her rump against the bottom of the stairs and rubs at eyes that started to tear up. "I… I haven't had a Hearth's Warming in, in… I mean, not a real one… n-not w-with gifts just for, for me, really for me and… and…" She starts to sniffle as her muzzle gets wet.

Under the tree Maggie can count at least 4 four presents for herself without moving them about to check for me; one long and wide flat box and several smaller boxes, there are couple for Kludge, and even a couple for Unknown - who maybe called Lilac-Berry, but the jury is still out on that one

Ruby Rolls out of bed with a yawn and swiftly brushes her hair before trotting to the end of the hallway where she spies Maggie sitting. A long moment of hesitation before she trots silently up behind the teary eyed Maggie, and then proceeds to give her an affectionate nuzzle.

The foal pokes her head out more fully, her mane a mess of static as she looks at Magpie quizzically. She starts to slink out from beneath before the presents catch her attention. Something new! Trotting that way, she starts to nose them about, sniffing curiously, tail up like a cat's…as best as she can manage anyway. It seems, after a rigorous washing, that she's the color of lilacs, with freckles and a lighter purple mane with darker berry-colored stripes. Watch out though— she's nosing one of Magpie's presents now. Sneeeeeeff.

Magpie grabs Ruby's head and hugs on tight, clinging… then That Filly starts getting into her stuff! "Hey! Leave that alone, that's mine!" She struggles back to her hooves and trots over, waving her hooves as if to ward off the other filly.

Kludge comes out of his room and smiles at the scene. He walks over and nuzzles Ruby and ruffles Maggie's mane. "'Morning, all," he says with a small yawn.

Unknown jerks back as Magpie starts advancing on her, and she hisses and darts around the other side of the tree to hide from her so-called sibling. She pokes her head between the branches as Kludge arrives, her gaze curious and cautious and distrustful, especially regarding Magpie. Like two peas in a pod. A very constricting, unpleasant pod.

Ruby can't help but softly giggle as she trots after Maggie to intervene before the foals start arguing. "Now now. Everything's okay you two." offering both Maggie and Unknown a warm smile. She pushes the large, flat present towards Maggie while grabbing a rather sizable box for Unknown and pushing it a few feet away from the tree before patting while looking at Unknown "This one is yours!" She glances to Kludge "You've got a couple too, you know.

Kludge smiles and rummages around in the presents, pulling out one for himself and one for Ruby. "As do you," he points out as he slides over the present for his marefriend.

Magpie blushes a little and waves to Unknown. "Sorry," she says. Then she bashfully noses under the tree and pushes a plain brown horseshoebox with a ribbon inexpertly tied around the middle over to Ruby.

Ruby blushes quite furiously when she finds presents being piled in front of her - a hint of a small but nervous smile on her face. "Thank you." sincere as could be even if the idea seems so foriegn to her - a moment later she laughs softly while realizing she's not the only pony feeling this way at the moment. "I hope you all like your gifts, my special someponies."

Unknown sniffs at the box Ruby points out, and starts to paw at it with a hoof. And then sniff around it some more. She starts to chew on a corner. "Rrrr," she mutters, chewing and gnawing at the box without actually…y'know, opening it.

Magpie wiggles a bit and glances at Ruby. Then she picks up the biggest box and tears into it with hooves and magic together.

Kludge opens his present… well, "delicately" isn't quite the right word, but he does unwrap it with a craftpony's touch, cutting the spots of tape and unfastening the ribbons, removing the wrapping paper without tearing it apart.

Ruby sets the present handed to her by Kludge atop of present given to her by Maggie, and turns to tear away some of the wrapping paper on Unknown's gift so she can get into the large present - Unknown will find a large pillow (easily large enough for her to lay on) and a big, heavy blanket inside. As for Kludge - he receives a fancy new pocket watch…which may or not may have a photo inside (possibly a photo of Jellybean in drag, cause that is hilarious). Last but not least - Maggie's largest present is in fact that pretty gothic lolita dress she was checking out several weeks back!

Unknown chews a bit longer, and finds a bit of wrapping paper has come off in her mouth. She wrinkles her muzzle and makes a face, and then pulls away with it in her teeth. Oh, look! It rips! One cannot express the delight on her face as she starts to dig at the base of the box, wrinkling and tearing at the paper with no purpose other than to hear it crinkle and make confetti. She then proceeds to leap on to the cushy present and rip into the paper all over. YAY, MESSES. And then she hops to the side— and then the other side! Excited kitten!

Magpie makes a tiny squeak. That's her only response. Then she runs over and hugs Ruby and runs back and hugs the dress and drags the dress over so she can hug them both at once and oh my gosh I'm crinkling the velvet.

Kludge smiles at Maggie's reaction, beams appreciatively at Ruby for the watch… and then he opens it. Upon seeing the pic of Jellybean in drag, Kludge just snerks. "Yeah, that's a good outfit for him," he chuckles.

Ruby giggles softly "You're welcome to put a different photograph inside - unless you want everypony to think you've got a crush on him." snuggling Maggie while being mindful of the dress. "Grab that one next." she tells Maggie with a playful grin while pointing at a particular box - about the size of a shoebox; all the while giving her an affectionate little nuzzle. Unknown's reaction to the box containing the pillow and blanket is humorous and brings her good cheer. "Do you want another present, sweetie?" she asks the foal.

Unknown tumbles around in the wrapping paper, leaping, pouncing, then skittering around the tree to stalk…and pounce again. She slides all over the floor, tumbling with the paper, until she's all wrapped up in a wrapping paper burrito that rolls and bumps into Kludge and Magpie. Thud. "Mrewr!" she yelps in surprise. And then she starts wriggling out of it, though it's not precisely easy. Ruby's question is, of course, totally unanswered.

Magpie has to giggle a bit at that. She peeps in the end of the roll, then tugs, helps unroll the little filly… Silly thing. She opens up her next box and — Matching shoes! They're black! And they lace up around her ankles! With stockings and everything!

"I have an idea of the picture I'll place inside the watch," smiles Kludge. "I should probably get a photo album or two for other photos, too."

Ruby nudges the next gift towards Kludge while giving him a quizzical look - clearly wondering where these photo's are that Kludge is mentioning. She gives a small shrug and reaches over to playfully ruffle Unknown's mane before placing another present in front of her - this one is smaller than the last. As for Maggie - she still has two more presents from Ruby, and hopefully one from Kludge. Under the tree are presents for Winny, Rising, Fizzy, and Jelly too!

With Magpie's help, the filly scrambles out from her wrapping paper imprisonment in the sideways-arch-run of a particularly clumsy kitten. And then she runs smack into the other present and trips head over heels. Look! More paper! She scrambles to her hooves and tackles the box, scooting it across the floor and chewing at the paper again, tail lashing. "Rrrrr!"

Magpie eagerly rips into her next gift, eyes bright with … well, okay, greed. It's a thing.

Kludge opens his next present with the same sort of precision he opened his first one, idly wondering when Ruby was going to open hers… and also realizing that he might want to make sure that Unknown can't get a running start at his gift to her! He also slid his gift to Maggie a bit closer to her, so it would be easy to find amidst the growing blizzard of shredded wrapping paper.

Ruby may not be ripping into her presents at the moment, because honestly she's just happy to have received them! The mare watching her…family, is family the right word…with a small smile. Kludge receives a fancy new beer stien - complete with lid and all. Unknown receives a rain coat and goulashes. Maggie's box is much smaller and contains a pair of pretty gold stud earrings - what's better than presents? How about a small acknowledgement you're a young lady and not a foal,hmm? Ruby glances towards Kludge's gift to Maggie - curious to say the least.

The filly is too busy playing with the wrapping, and honestly has no idea what these things are, but she plays with them anyway, diving under the raincoat and rolling around before tossing it and chasing it again. One galosh is kicked, and goes sailing toward Magpie's head. Duck!

Magpie yelps and her horn flashes as she ducks. A second later the tree is wearing a rainboot on one of the higher boughs. She blinks up at it and rubs her neck. "Uh.. oops." She loves the earrings, though. They're shiny, and that's her favorite thing. "Thank you, Ruby," she says quietly. Then has to see what Kludge gave her, too…

Kludge raises the stein in a silent toast to Ruby, then smiles as Maggie opens up the present he gave her. It's a durable, weatherproofed adventuring jacket, with matching hat. There are plenty of pockets, both on the inside and outside of the jacket, and even a few on (and in) the hat as well. While it might not be as stylish as some of her other outfits, it's quite durable and should serve well in the rough-and-tumble adventures the foals often have.

Ruby grins softly as she sees what Kludge got Maggie - hoping the mare likes the gift. She watches the flying boot with some concern, and a sigh of relief as no pony gets hurt - no harm no foal. "Those are for you to wear outside sweetie, they'll help keep you dry." offering Unknown a warm smile. "Maggie - did you have any name suggestions for her? Lilac-Berry came to mind - not riveting, I know…" softly pawing at the gift from Kludge she begins cautiously open it. Of course Maggie still has one more gift!

The foal flops over and yawns, having exerted all her energy for the time being as she lays half-on the jacket. She watches the others, blinking intelligent, inquisitive eyes. Curling up, she continues to observe, one ear twitching silently.

Magpie pffts. "Nightshade maybe," she says, but she's grinning too much to really mean it. She carefully rips open the one last gift now, giggling and almost dancing on her hooves with anticipation!

Noting that Unknown has gone into a relaxed mode, Kludge starts loosening the tape and such on his gift to her. He does hold off on actually unwrapping it, though; time enough for that later.

Ruby curiously peeks into the gift provided to her by kludge - curious what the stallion could have gotten her; surely she must be hard to shop for considering she's got plenty of bits and can swipe something were she really unable to afford it.

As for Maggie: Pretty dresses, shiny earrings, and shoes are nice - but this what Ruby hopes will be the most precious to Maggie. Inside the box is a small brown teddy bear wearing an adorable little vest - almost as if dressed up to accompany Maggie when she wears her new dress - below the bear is a pair of bear sized PJs to boot. The teddy bear itself is incredibly soft and has a cute teddy bear - it's clearly hoof-made, which explains what Ruby had been working on for the past few weeks.

Magpie lets out a little whimper. She hugs the bear tight and a few tears slip out. That one is … personal. She pushes up against Ruby's side and squeezes the bear in her hooves, the happiest tearful foal in equestria…

The foal watches all of this, blinking curiously. The bear, the tears, the hugging… It's all so strange. But at last she does get up, and she headbutts Maggie in the side and rubs against her. What is this contact you speak of? Can I eat it?

Inside Kludge's gift for Ruby are… picture frames. Several picture frames, like the type for displaying photos of friends and family, suitable for sitting atop furniture or hanging from the wall. All of them are made of wood, and show a high level of craftsponyship. To top it off, there's also a camera in there and several rolls of film, so pictures can be taken to go in the frames.

Ruby couldn't be happier and offers Maggie a very affectionate nuzzle atop of the younger filly's head - really should co go without gifts as she's happy just seeing Maggie so happy with her gifts - hopefully one day Unknown will appreciate her gifts in the same fashion. She offers Kludge a small smile in response to his gift then slides the box towards him - after all she's surrounded by foals at the moment - now that denotes picture time.

Magpie awwws…. She reaches over and rubs Unk's side, pulls the little foal up against her side with one hoof.

Unknown squawks in surprise and wriggles a little — she hadn't expected that at all, somehow — but somehow she submits to being hugged up like a second teddy bear, if uncomfortably. "Mrraaaaaaaa!!" she protests, hind hooves wheeling in confusion. (This may create a rather weird expression for the photo.)

Kludge smiles and takes a picture of the three, then carefully aims the camera, sets the timer, and trots over to join the picture, sitting close to Ruby so the picture is of Ruby and Kludge bracketing Maggie (and her bear) and Unknown.

Ruby certainly has the silliest smile on her face at the moment - front leg hugging both Magpie and Unknown at the same time; her silly giddiness shows clearly as Kludge takes the photo. Yup, she's delighted with FOALS! FOOOOALLLS

Magpie gives Ruby a nudge. "Hey. Hey. Open mine!"

Unknown scrambles away at the first opportunity and shakes herself off, before plonking down in the midst of all the wrapping paper to start grooming herself with a hoof. And eye them all with a bit of a snooty air. Harumph.

Ruby gives Unknown a little 'look' that seems to emphasize 'remember who feeds you'; then she gets down to opening Maggie's present - she's extra curious about this one.

The box is really light, and it rattles. It's barely wrapped. Inside there's… a bunch of cotton balls. "Augh, it fell down!" Magpie complains.

Kludge sits down over near his present for Unknown; it will probably work best as the last gift, as it will also technically take the most time.

Ruby carefully nudges the cotton balls around with hoof in search of the tur..present.

Curiosity always did kill the foal. The filly eyes that box…and the cotton balls. Ooh, what are those? And she gets up to creep over, nose extended to sniff.

Deep down under the cotton there's a ring. It's a horn ring — silver, so it's clearly not an engagement band or anything. It's cleverly worked, either three braided wires of silver worked so they form a single solid piece, or a solid piece carefully crafted to look like three wires. Either way it's exquisite. And heavy, too, pure silver if Ruby's any judge.

Kludge nods in appreciation. Jewelry might not be his forte, but any craftspony can recognize high-quality work, no matter the type.

Of course Ruby is a judge - any thief worth their weight in silver would know how to identify items of quality! Ruby hmms curiously while examining the silver ring with a small smile. "Would you be offended if I wore it around my neck, Maggie? Or is this encouragement for me to stop hiding?

Magpie giggles a little and shakes her head. "You can, you can wear it wherever you want… I just wanted to give you, um… a pretty thing." She kicks a hoof.

Ruby-Blossom giggles softly "It's very pretty, Maggie - I like it. No pony has given me jewelry before." brief-almost-non-existent glance towards Kludge.

Teeth close around the edge of the box, and the filly tries to yoink it from Ruby's grasp. Not because of the pretty thing, but because /cotton balls/, eee!

Ruby gives up the box but not without snagging the cotton balls first - she'll not be having the filly eat those! "Kludge - did you have one last gift for somepony there?

Kludge chuckles at Unknown's antics, then starts the final part of unwrapping his gift to the semi-feral filly. It's… lumber? No, not lumber - wooden pieces. As Kludge starts to put the pieces together, the actual shape becomes clear: it's a bed frame, designed so Unknown can either be on the bed up top, or have a modest hiding space under the bed itself.

The filly blinks as the cotton balls are gone — and a bed is constructed instead. She starts investigating it up and down as he builds it, and then squirms under, purring happily. A success!