I'm Not Mad
IC date: Spring 90, 1008
OOC date: June 19, 2013
Location: Portside
PCs: Blackbird and Sunshine-Stormcloud

Now there's a face most ponies haven't seen around in ages. Blackbird, the local schoolteacher, is trotting down the boardwalk. No, not trotting. /Skipping/. Bouncing, skipping, proinking — whatever you might call it, he's doing it, and he's doing it cheerfully, with the biggest dang grin on his face. Rain pouring buckets on his head? Doesn't care! It might as well be the sunniest, clearest, nicest day imaginable.

Which it isn't. It's pretty darn miserable outside, what with the rain on its last blowout day. A face which has been seen around more in the past couple weeks than Blackbirds happens to be plodding up the other side of the boardwalk. Not trotting, not skipping, certainly not proinking. Just plodding. Plodding with her head bowed just enough that rain will fall all around her rainhat.

It's not that Sunshine's in a bad mood. Far from it! She happens to be deep in thought, moving on some kind of autopilot, absently nodding greetings to ponies as she plods along her chosen route. Which might explain why she pretty much just nods to Blackbird when he skips on by without so much as a second glance.

Skip! Skip! Proink! THUD. That would be Blackbird skidding to a halt and whirling around, heart leaping in his throat. Mad-Mare? Here?? And just walking! And ponies are just letting her! "H…Hey!" he shouts, not quite able to get his mind under him.

Hey! Listen! The mare formerly known as Mad Mare flicks an ear. Hey? She lifts her head out of her thought-provoked daze, blinking at one of the rare ponies also out for a stormy stroll down the ol' Boardwalk. They shrug, pointing back the way Sunny came. Oh. Okay. That makes sense.

"Yes?" she calls, turning her head to squint through the rain. "…oh. Oh!" Well if it isn't Blackbird! What random coincidence! Let's see… What's the most appropriate response here. Um… mmm… Smile? Yes. Possibly smile. That's what Sunshine does, she…smiles. It's even a pretty sincere one too! "Back in town, are you? Uhm. Welcome back?"

Blackbird stares at her like she's grown a second head. Smiling. She's smiling! And not a crazy screwed up I'm-going-to-eat-your-entrails smile, no! This is a normal pony smile! It throws him even more off balance, honestly, as he just eyes her with confused suspicion, rooted in his spot a few feet away. "…What are you doing here?" he asks, an edge of accusation in his voice. "Come to orphan more little kids?" Still, the confusion on his face echoes in his words, like he's not entirely certain about saying them.

Sunshine's ears splay beneath her hat. She shuffles on her hooves, turning to more properly face her 'accuser'. "Ah… No. Because that would be wrong, and make me, and others, feel really horrible. Not to mention it'd get me fired, after I put some very strong effort into getting a job again." She smiles again! Though it's a little more hesitant this time. She hasn't quite completely mastered this whole 'happynice' thing. "Did you…have a good trip?"

Oh look! She grew a third head. Blackbird stares, brows knit, mouth open, lids twitched just a little. "…Uh…no…not really," he replies cautiously. Delicately. Like this bizarre fever dream will fall apart at any second, with the wrong word. "…How…are you?" Somehow the question is really not 'how are you' but 'is this the right question right now because I HAVE NO IDEA.'

This shall go down in history as the most awkward conversation, EVER! Good thing there's almost nopony around to witness it. At this point, Sunshine has the hesitant hope that maybe, just maybe, she won't get outright assaulted. She was worried about that. Seriously worried about that. But now..? Now she dares to take a single step closer towards the stunned schoolteacher, head dipping down ever so slightly. "I'm doing well! I um… Had a lot happen recently, but I think it's turning out alright. You look well. Happy, even." There's that smile again. "I'm glad I didn't completely ruin everything."

"…Iiii… I seem to be missing some vital information," Blackbird manages, still staring. "You…have a job, and are…/not/? a crazy killer mare? You know. Just … clarifying."

Sunshine Stormcloud glances up at the rainclouds, then down into the puddle-filled boardwalk, and finally back up at Blackbird. "…That sounds about right." she agrees. "I sorta had a reckoning with myself. Like… Literally. So now I've got the murderous tendencies and insanity more or less kicked and…" She shrugs. "I'm trying that whole 'productive member of society' thing. The mayor even let me be a guard again to start me off on the right hoof." She lets a moment of silence pass, lifting a foreleg to rub a hoof against the back of her neck. Wetness bedarned. "I'm sorry for being such a… A…" She trails off, trying to find the right word for it.

"…murderous psychopath?" Blackbird supplies dryly, though it doesn't seem to be with malice. "I can't really say it's fine; you blew up my daughter's parents. …But lord knows we all need second chances. So." He claps a hoof on her shoulder. "Good on you for giving it a go."

Sunshine's cheeks color in a rapid blush. "Yeah, that…" She tenses to the feel of a hoof on her shoulder, but when it isn't followed by anything painful, she clears her throat. "I'm…rather happy to hear you say that, too. I know I can't ever completely make up for anything I've done, but I'd like to at least make the effort." The smile returns to her features. "It's kind of funny. Your daughter was one of the reasons I'm not so crazy anymore."

"Been there, done that," Blackbird assures her with a slight, sad smile. "It's going to follow you forever. But the best you can do is chin-up and stick to a different path."

As for Sadaka, he blinks. "Is she? How did that shake out?"

"I'll do my best." Sunshine says, almost as soft as the rainfall. The other question earns something closer to a grin. "Well she..sorta protected my 'good' side from my 'bad' side. And gave me the courage to not be crazy. At least that's the mumbo-jumbo way to explain it." She shakes her head, "Details aren't completely clear, but suffice to say she played a big part."

"…That girl is growing up so fast." Blackbird shakes his head with a smile. "Wow. I'm really impressed, actually. I guess if my little girl can give you a second chance, then I of all ponies can, too, for sure." He nudges his head in a direction down the boardwalk, as an invitation to walk. "So, has it been hard? Coming back to society?"

It might be a good idea to get out of the rain! Or at least keep walking somewhere. Sunshine takes the invitation, turning about to start ambling along with the schoolteacher pony. "I'm not sure how to describe it." she admits, gaze dropping towards her hooves. "I've spent my whole life up to now being…" She makes a crazy face for a moment, followed by a shrug, "And now… Now I don't know what I am. Who I am. What to do." She grimaces. "I don't even have a cutiemark anymore. So you could call it hard."

Blackbird…sympathizes. A lot. "When I came to the Harbor, I was escaping a long life as a mercenary, raised and groomed since I was a foal. I took thousands of lives, only a fraction of them guilty. And suddenly I was faced with having to live a normal life after that. It was…not easy. If your special talent is in killing ponies… how do you start a life away from that path?" He shrugs. "It's hard, and it's going to eat you and you probably won't sleep for a while, if it's anything like what I went through. But. You do have one thing I didn't have at the time."

That hit the nail on the head, didn't it? Sunshine winces. "Sleepless is right…" Her ears perk up though, casting a sideways glance towards Blackbird. "What's that? And if you say 'friends', I'ma shoulder-check you into that fruit stand." She grins, showing (hopefully) that she's teasing about the violence. "Because I know I have friends. That's the only reason I'm even getting a second chance in the first place."

Blackbird opens his mouth to say it … and closes it with a grin. "You have…intuition?" he hazards with a laugh. "No, but…the /reason/ I was going to say that is less to point out that you have them and more… What I'm trying to say is if you need someone to talk to about all this, you can come talk to me if you want. I'll be your friend." However trite and playground that may sound.

Sunshine stops, eyes on Blackbird for a long moment. "You will?" Her ears splay out, tipping back under her hat. "…What do you even say to something like that? I have..mixed-up feelings. Like you and Sadaka shouldn't be this nice to me. And yet here you are offering outright friendship!" She scuffs a hoof in a nearby puddle. "It's… Nice. Even if I feel guilty for wanting the friends."

"Friends are a pretty vital part to a normal life," Blackbird says with a smirk. "And trust me…we all want you to succeed. And not just because the alternative is pretty terrible." He winks. "You can feel however you want. But in the end, I'm going out on a limb here and offering you a shoulder, or a hoof, or whatever you need. Yeah?"

"I guess." Sunshine admits, willing her legs to start a-walking again. "I'll just have to do my best to be a friend back!" Her head finally lifts to a somewhat more proud angle. "And that's that. Friends."

"Friends," agrees Blackbird with a grin. "So I guess that means that you get to be the first friend to know that I asked Rusty to marry me last night." Is that a skip picking up in his step again? It is! At least a little.

Sunshine gasps! "What? Oh my~ Well that explains the schoolcolt two-step you've got going on." she notes, nodding to the schoolteacher's skippy gait. "Well congratulations! If anyone deserves a full-blown family, it's you bunch."

Blackbird grins sheepishly. "That obvious, huh? Well…thank you. There's lots to do, and I was just gonna hit the library after I meet up with Jellybean. And speaking of," he nods to the Carrot Corner as they approach. "Here's where I have to depart. But… It's good to see you on this side of things, Ma— er. What do I call you?"

Sunny flashes a grin herself. "It is when you bring it up, yeah." They approach the Corner, Sunshine nodding, "I should get back to my patrol anyway. Thanks for walking and talking with me though! This…put a load off my back, I think." She turns to leave, pausing to glance over her shoulder. "I guess you can use my real name now. Sunshine Stormcloud. I kinda..prefer Sunny." She beams, then trots off down the street. "See ya around, buddy!"

"Sunny. Good to see you, then," Blackbird says with a smile. And with that, he salutes her and trots into Carrot Corner, intent on seeing the other groom-to-be.