How To Gather Leaves And Be Adorable
IC date: Autumn 59, 1007
OOC date: November 17, 2012
PCs: Skyflower, Whistlestop
NPCs: Skyflower's uncle
GM: None

thud thud thud Thud Thud Thud THUD THUD THUD Thud Thud thud thud

This is the sound that the outlying neighborhood of the Harbor has been hearing for the last hour. Annoying, certainly, to most of the occupants, but Whistlestop cannot be deterred. The big galoot has been thudding from tree to tree, carefully pushing all the leaves that have fallen from the trees into neat piles. At present, he's running to a new tree, mouthful of leaves.

Skyflower, having decided that noise has had its say and that she's not going to be able to work with all this thumping, has gone to look for the source. Happily, it's rather easy to triangulate, being both loud and relatively regular. When she finds the noise she raises an eyebrow elegantly. "Whistlestop? Whatever are you doing you silly goose?" She's smiling a little when she says it: he's being odd but in his own usual way.

thud thud thud THUNK. Whistlestop blinks and halts on a dime, wings fluttering in surprise at the voice. He turns around, mouth full of leaves and eyes wide. "Mmfh hmffmmfh hffh hmf heemfs!" he proclaims proudly.

Skyflower tilts her head. "Darling, I simply can't understand you with those leaves in your mouth. Put them down and say that again, would you? There's a good lad." She looks around at the piles. "Have you been, err, raking leaves? With your head?"

PTHUH. Whistlestop spits out his leaves…for the most part. A few stick to his lips, and he works his mouth, sticking out his tongue to try to dislodge them. But no, they're fairly pasted on like a leafy beard. Thppt. "Yes! I am cleaning up the leaves. They are on the path! Ponies walk on the path. What if ponies slip on leaves?" Such a pure look of concern on his face, there.

Even if his decision-making sometimes leads to… odd choices, he's so considerate and thoughtful of others. So kind. And of course such a strong physique… stay together, Skyflower. Mustn't be distracted. She shakes her head to clear any untoward thoughts, though the Beard of Leaves makes her giggle a little. "Why of course! That was ever so thoughtful of you. Only would you like a rake, darling? You may find it easier to use. Not to mention easier on your head."

"Umm… I will probably break a rake," Whistlestop says in embarrassment. "I am stronger than I look! That is what my mama said." He is actually probably exactly as strong as he looks, but hey. Mothers, right? He finally reaches up with a hoof to brush the leaves off his face, and he wrinkles his nose and snorts. "It is okay! I can use my head. I have a hard head. Whomp whomp whomp! That is the sound of my head, hitting things." Beam!

Skyflower's eyes shift from side to side. "Oh yes, of course. How silly of me." She hmms, then brightens. "Only you've taken down so many by now, it's quite the pile. Why don't we finish gathering up what's left, you and I, and then you can take a break? I have some nice warm apple cider back at the shop as a reward for such a hard-working stallion."

Whistlestop's face goes bright red. "Both…both of us? O-okay!" Suddenly, he's fidgety, and when Whistlestop is fidgety, it's loud. WHOMP WHOMP WHOMP is no longer the sound of his head hitting things; now it is the sound of his hooves dancing nervously on the ground. "You are a lady mare!" he blurts. "You should be not doing— I should— GENTLECOLT!" BAGH.

And now of course it's her turn to blush. "Wh-why Whistlestop, whatever do you m-m-mean? Are you?" More blushing. "Oh dear. Oh my, yes, th-that would be," she swallows, "that simply wouldn't be p-proper, no." She strokes her mane with one hoof. Her heart? Racing? Don't be silly. "Well then," she says, perhaps a mite quickly, "what say we go get lunch together instead? My treat. Somewhere public. I mean nice. Nice and public."

"But these leaves might hurt a pony! Leaves are very tricky." Whistlestop furrows his brow in disappointment and squeaky-thinky thought. His butt thumps down on the cobblestone (thud) and he thinks, and thinks, and thinks. Then suddenly, he brightens. "I will finish it very fast! You can ride on my back! Then we can go for lunch! It will be very fast!" And then FLOP, he's flat on his stomach, and looking at her with the most excited, eager, hopeful, expectant look as his wings flutter. Should she choose to crawl onto his back, he will be very excited, and shall leap immediately to his hooves, with zero grace or elegance.

How could she possibly say no to that face? "Oh, why, if you think that's all right I certainly wouldn't say no. It sounds quite fun, actually." She gently slides atop his back and gets herself comfortable while making sure that she's not jabbing her hooves anywhere. "Only, do be gentle would you? It's my first time."

Whistlestop LEAPS to his hooves and— and stumbles to a halt. "Oh. Gentle! Yes, I am gentle. I am a gentle giant." Clearly, parroting what others say of him. He picks up his hooves and starts very carefully picking his way along the paths, nose down to rub along the stones and push the leaves.

But, of course, soon enough his impatience and/or short-term memory get the better of him, and he starts picking up speed, until he's gone from trot to canter to gallop, shoving leaves out of the way with his great big, oafish swinging head. Surely he's scraping up is nose as he does this, but does he care? Not a wink. "Go away leaves!!" he bellows, leaping on a trail of unassuming plantlife and shaking his head to-and-fro.

Skyflower gasps and holds on to his neck when he gets into it, charging and swinging around all willy-nilly. "Oh! Oh my! Oh dear. Whistlestop, darling? Oh! That's lovely, only could you- eek!" She gives up and focuses on not being thrown.

"BAD LEAVES!" Whistlestop barrels forward, kicking and headbutting leaves around. But, unfortunately, the worst comes to pass! He misses one. His massive hoof comes down on it and, as predicted, he slips. With a bellow of surprise, he goes rump over teakettle, throwing his rider. "No— NO!" he yelps, flailing in the middle of his roll and winding up on his head against a tree and thrashing badly to try and get back to his hooves.

Skyflower flails in mid-air and lands with a most inelegant 'thud.' she sits up, head lolling dizzily. "Oh my, that was most exciting. Only next time can we have it without that last pa- oh dear! Lamb, are you all right?" She trots over to him and starts fussing.

"Miss Skyflower! Miss Skyflower!!" Flail flail flail! Whistlestop finally manages to push himself over with a THUD, and scrambles up. She's not the only one fussing; he picks her up in his forehooves and looks her over, up, down, all around. "Are you hurt? I am sorry! I am very sorry! Please do not be hurt." Brows knit, he adds in a harsh whisper, "I think the leaves are out to get us."

Skyflower blushes and turns to keep up with him. She tries to get his attention a few times and then settles for holding up a hoof to his mouth. "Whistlestop, darling, I'm fine. A little shaken up, but that's all. But you? Is your head all right? You did seem to hit that tree awfully hard. Why don't we take that break now?"

Whistlestop's eyes cross to try and see her hoof on his mouth, before looking up at her. Finally, sheepishly, he sets her as carefully as possible back on the stone. His nostrils flare, and he whuffs. "Okay. We can take a break. I will protect you from the leaves!" He leaps up with a thud, wings spread, eyes darting from side to side for suspicious would-be attackers, like maple and oak.

Skyflower giggles like a schoolgirl, leading the brave gentlecolt back towards town. "I don't know about you but I could simply devour some bread and fresh cheese right now. And of course some warm cider: there's nothing like warm cider when the weather starts to turn cool, don't you think? Sipping warm cider with a friend, relaxing by a fire…" She shakes her head to clear any daydreams which are most assuredly not happening.

Said brave gentlecolt jumps about, alternating between kung fu poses and low crouches. But after a huff and a snort, he trots beside her, glaring at their surroundings and just daring them to hurt Miss Skyflower. But fiiiinally, his attention is turned inexorably back to his lady friend. "Bread and cheese? Ooh… waaarm ciderrrr. … Wait, I did not know you could have cider warm! What is it like?" Blink blink.

Skyflower gasps and throws her hooves around Whistlestop. "Oh you poor, deprived thing! You've never had hot cider? It's simply the best way to have it." She resumes trotting as she explains. "Cold apple cider is fine on hot days, if a little heavy. But in cold weather one simply MUST have it hot. It's tangy and sweet and warm in your belly, it makes you feel like you're glowing from the inside."

Whistlestop pulls up short when she throws her hooves around him, face bright red and eyes wide. As she relinquishes him and continues on, explaining, he stays rooted, staring after her, blushing look a fool. "…I like glowing…" He finally shakes his head and trots after her, still blushig.

She seems oblivious to his reaction. "Oh then you'll simply love it. Why hello there! And a good afternoon to you as well!" she says to a passing pony. "One of my regulars," she explains, "for medicine, that is. Not fireworks. I don't think I /have/ any regulars who buy fireworks from me, come to think of it."

"I…I will buy fireworks from you!" Whistlestop trots quickly after her, watching the ponies she passes with fascination. "I didn't know you made medicines. Is it sploding medicines? Does it fizz in your tummy? LIKE POP ROCKS?!" Okay, NOW he's excited.

Skyflower titters girlishly. "Oh my. I work at the chemist's, darling, I thought I'd mentioned." She thinks. "I suppose some of my medicines are fizzy, usually for upset stomachs, but mostly they're the usual thing. You know, for headaches or sore throats or sick foals." She smiles. "It's very rewarding work, you know."

"You treat sick ponies!" Whistlestop blinks and sort of… frolicks oafishly behind her. "You are so nice, Miss Skyflower! You make sick ponies better and you make the sky pretty and you make the ground pretty and you are very nice, and you are showing me warm cider, and you like to help me with leaves!" Gallumph, gallumph — He smacks right into an unexpected lightpole. WHOMP. "— ow."

She's blushing, you know. Although it's hard to tell with her coat, isn't it? "Oh stop, you, I just try to do my best, that's a-" And then the thump. "Oh dear! You simply MUST be more careful, lamb: whatever am I going to do with you? Does it hurt? Are you all right? Would you like something for the pain?"

And then Whistlestop hits upon a bright idea. He doesn't have many of those. And…well, this one isn't reeeeally that bright, either. He stares at her blankly for a long moment, before crossing his eyes and falling back with a thump. "Oooh, it hurrrrts! I would like a thing for the pain, Miss Skyflower, pretty please. It is very painful." Sniffle! He's trying to cry, but he's not very good at it.

Skyflower gasps, trotting to his side and helping him up to his hooves. "Oh you poor thing! All right then, no arguments: I'm taking you to the shop. We'll get this settled in no time, don't you worry." She leads him down the avenue, holding one of his hooves in hers. Finally, they arrive at the chemist's.
"Coo-eee!" she calls out. "Uncle! Don't mind me, I'm just stepping in to grab some things for my poor friend here. He had a nasty fall and needs something for the pain."
A noncommittal but irritable-sounding grunt can be heard from the direction of the office.
"I'll just be a moment, that's all, just one moment." She turns around and gives Whistlestop a comforting smile. "Just you wait here a moment, there's a lamb."

Whistlestop follows along, moaning and groaning and making the biggest show of it. He's limping a little, but mostly because his forehoof is wrapped in hers. Once they finally get to the office, though, he starts to second-guess his brilliant idea as he huddles in the lobby of the chemist's place. "…ummm. Skyfloweeerrrrr?" he calls hesitantly.

It only takes about two minutes for Skyflower to come back with two pills and a glass of apple juice. "Thank you, uncle!" she calls out towards the back.
Grunt.
"Here we are, darling, just the thing for a headache. Just swallow the pills and use the juice to wash it down. Don't chew on them, though: they taste just awful."

"Oh…" As she returns, Whistlestop is hunched over in the corner, all drooped and sad. "…I am really sorry," he droops. "I was bad and I lied. I am not hurt at all; my head is very thick, actually. I just wanted to…be a pony Miss Skyflower did medicines for too." He droops so low, his nose is touching the ground, ears flat against his cheeks. "I am sorry…"

Skyflower gently sets down the juice and the pills. Her eyes are big and wobbly. She doesn't say anything for a minute and then… she throws her forelegs arouns his neck. "Oh you silly, silly colt! Whyever did you think I would be mad at you? Honestly, you're such a sweetheart. If you're ever sick I promise that I will personally nurse you back to health, so don't you fret or mope."

"Because lying is bad! And I am a bad pony." Droop droop droop. And yet! When she throws her arms around him, Whistlestop's ears perk up again, and he wobble-eyes right back. Sniff! Sniffle! "You mean you are not mad??" he wibbles.

"Well, I think you were being very silly, but I can hardly hold that against a pony, now can I? And you simply wanted me to feel needed: why, that's a compliment!" She hands holds a hankie up to his snoot. "Now why don't you give us a blow, there's a good lad. Let's have none of this silly crying: you're a perfectly upstanding and kind stallion and there's no reason whatsoever you should feel bad."

SNNNZZGGGHHKKTT. Whistlestop blows into the handkerchief obediently and then sweeps her up into a BIG, GIANT (kind of bonecrushing) HUG. "MISS SKYFLOWER IS THE NICEST MOST BEST PONY! And now we should go to eat lunch! Because I am pretty hungry. And I think Miss Skyflower is probably hungry too, and that is not good!"