Just Another Tuesday
IC date: Autumn 13, 1007
OOC date: October 2, 2012
PCs: Ruby-Blossom, Jellybean, Rising-Chaos, Kludge, Sky-Sparkler, Winter-Solstice, Windrose
NPCs: None
GM: None

Ruby-Blossom can be found quite settled on a bench in Town Square with a large set of drafting plans on her lap - currently somepony is up to something! The mare glancing up every now and again - clearly expecting some pony capable of helping with the said construction plans. Her mane is marginally shorter than a few weeks back, and her tail reduced to little more more than a bushy bush! She's all sorts of plans in the work, some involving construction and some involving magic! Boy she's busy!

Being a fugitive from grown-ups is hard. There's so much you have to keep track of, so many things you need to notice before they notice you. It can take a lot out of a pony, but the clever and the quick-thinking can manage it quite handily.

Unfortunately this is Jellybean we're talking about, who is neither of these things. Instead he's trying to be serriptitious and incognito while shopping for groceries by wearing a makeshift hooded cloak that has a decidedly bedsheet-like nature to it.

Ruby-Blossom waves a hoof at Jellybean during one of her random glances up from draft papers - intending to spy Kludge or Rising but so far neither. "Grocery shopping? That's cool." The foal and filly crazy mare is likely one of the few adults who could care less about Jelly being a foal! Strange she just saw /right/ through his disguise with a glance - the mare actually quite adept at costumes and disguises, of course very few ponies know that.

Rising-Chaos trots into the square, her long cape flowing behind her and her wagon in tow. Her cart is filled with scientific instruments and magical tomes, to study a certain branch which had caused her so much trouble to get. She spots Ruby and trots over. "Hey there, sorry for taking so long!" She recognizes Jellybean with no problem, giving her a nod as well. "I brought all my stuff to study the branch, may I see it?"

Kludge wanders in after having taken a mini-vacation from the aftermath of that crazy expedition. Nothing quite like getting your thoughts in order after being on more adventure than you're quite sure what to do with! Now it's time to get back into the swing of things, and doing some design work is a good start. He notices Ruby and waves before trotting over. "I think I needed those naps," he remarks to her as he sits down.

Ruby-Blossom becomes the shining center of attention without any noteable objections! *beam* "Hi Rising! Of course, I totally brought that branch." lifting her flank from the bench to show the other mare the remnants of her tail "I was able to do a little something with this, might have been able to do more if my salon didn't burn to the ground." she plops back down and pulls the strangely red-orange branch from her saddle bag to offer it to Rising.

Even before she manages to hand off the branch yet another one of her sought after friends arrives! She beams "Hey Kludge - so how did things go with you know?" a broad, knowing grin. "Yeah that was quite the adventure, I went on another adventure last night with Rising. I totally got my tail burnt off because you weren't there to cover my flank." she lifts her flank to again expose her bob of a tail. "See?

It's easier to be such a fugitive when the adult most interested in catching you isn't the most skilled in dirty tricks. Which is why Sky Sparkler hasn't noticed the thing under the bedsheet, as she looks around for Jellybean's distinctive mane. Still, she's perched on a cloud she moved to just above the statue, for a better perch, as she whips her head back and forth.

The Mysterious Pony In A Bedsheet buys some apples and some bread, trying to sound gruff as he talks to the merchants. This doesn't exactly work. Both times he's caught he freezes, wings fluttering nervously underneath the sheet.

Rising-Chaos takes the branch, pulling out glasses from seemingly nowhere as she settles into research mode. "hmmm, yes, let's get to work then" She mutters to herself. She takes out several small devices and a large book titled 'Terrestrial trees'. Chaos chances to glance up, spotting Sky, prompting a small squeak. Chaos dives under her wagon, taking the branch and book with her.

Kludge gives Ruby a grin. "Worked about as well as hoped. Not undamaged, but in much better shape than it was in. Even affected my cutie mark when it came back in." Sure enough, the taped hammer and bent screwdriver of Kludge's old cutie mark have slightly changed, and now look normal - and possibly a bit sturdier, but that's harder to tell.

Ruby-Blossom curiously perks at Rising's strange foalish behavior before spotting the cause - Sky-Sparkler! whom she waves a friendly hoof to~ "What you looking for?" grinning at the pegasus before turning her attention back to Kludge. "I'm glad to hear that things are better for you." sincere smile!" she turns the plans around to offer them to Kludge. "I had some modifactions made from the original. I have Rising-Chaos exploring some options to help protect the place too.

So there are two ponies attempting to hide from Sky Sparkler's EAGLE EYE IN THE SKY! Only one really needs to be worrying, though. The unicorn isn't looking for her parttime boss as much as her full time boss. At least not unless Rising Chaos also wants to remain a foal. But for the moment, Sky hops down from the cloud. (Oh yeah, and Sky Sparkler is a Unicorn. The BEST WEATHER UNICORN IN ALL EQUESTRIA!) "I'm looking for Jellybean," she says to Ruby. "He's not behaving his age, so someone needs to make sure he does."

Jellybean hears his name mentioned and freezes for a moment before his habitual state of panic sets in. He tries to edge his way out of the marketplace as fast as he can but unfortunately he trips over another marketgoer's hooves and lands awkwardly. Standing up he realizes too late that his makeshift hood is down.

Rising-Chaos gives a little wave to Ruby and Kludge. "Sorry, gotta hide, Sky grounded me and she might make me go home." She looks geniuinely worried, and sets to work, giving frequent furitive glances upwards. "I should get a working charm spell in a day or two at most, this wood is really easy to work with."

Kludge looks over the designs Ruby has. "Hmmm, yeah, that'd work… okay, the reinforcing is put there instead of there, perfectly fine… that redivided room will allow an extra internal brace…" After a few more moments of mumbling like that to himself, he nods in satisfaction. "Looks good! Shouldn't take any more time than what the previous one was expected to take."

Awkwardness related to grounding a boss that is no longer a foal is put aside, for the moment, as Sky Sparkler turns to look at the clatter of a falling foal that is still a foal. "Jellybean! Is that you?" she calls out, seeing that familiar mane on a pegasus. She starts moving over, in case it is.

Jellybean lets out a yelp, wings flapping frantically but tangled in his ingenious disguise. "Don't take me back, Miss Sparkler, I don' wanna go back. Me an' Typhoon have a plan!" With that he clumsily begins running off as fast as his little hooves will carry him.

Ruby-Blossom grins warmly at the strange behavior of the unicorns and pegasus around her - a delighted chuckle to be had. "Excellent, I'm glad to hear that things shouldn't be an issue. Rising and I totally went into the forest last night to retrieve a component for a fire charm - this should prevent fires. I'll still need something to protect from everything else of course.!" she leans over to whisper to Rising "We'll need to the best you've got for this place.

Rising-Chaos smiles at Ruby, "you've got the best there is then. With my charm, your house will never burn down, trust me." She sets to work, skimming through her book, grabbing several more tomes from the cart above her as she flies through information. Many different strange and bizzare instruments are employed, poking, prodding and drawing all over the branch. Chaos is oblivious to the world now, it's research time.

"A plan, right!" Sky Sparkler shouts as she goes in persuit. She can't teleport on the ground, so she's limited to running. "Is this the plan where you two slack off and I do all the work?" she asks, somewhat scarcastically.

Kludge nods at Ruby's comment, then resumes looking over the plans. Most of the rooms are the same from the previous design, and the ones that have been changed are still obvious in their purpose. However, there's a room or two that doesn't quite seem to fit in with the previous design; almost like a small annex, really. "Hey, Ruby? What's with these rooms over here?" he inquires, pointing to the annex.

Jellybean stops, turning around. He tilts his head. "I never said I wasn't gonna help with the weather," he says, perhaps a little sulkily. "Why would I do that? That'd be mean. I just don't wanna have to be a grown-up again."

In typical Ruby fashion the mare answers but not really. "Just a little something that's needed." sticking her tongue out. "That a problem? Too much for you to handle, hmm hmm?" a broad and very amused grin gracing her face. "I know you can handle such a small alteration, I've got no doubt. None what's so ever." she rolls off the bench and disappears under Rising's cart. "Going good?" doing her best /not/ to startle Rising - cause she's really good at taking ponies by surprise and now isn't the time for that!

Sky Sparkler takes the oppertunity to catch up with Jellybean. "Which is why I've been doing most of the weather work for the past week," she grits out. And it's true, she has been taking on herself more than her usual load of work.

Jellybean scuffs a hoof, looking up at her through his mane. "W-well, things were really confusing before, but now I'm ready to go back to work. An' I only haven't been doing things because I keep worrying that if me an' Typhoon go outside somepony's gonna grab us and send us to the bubble baths." More ominous than it sounds. Big eyes come into effect. "I wanna help, honest."

Rising-Chaos is fully engrossed in her work, barel even noticing the fully grown pony joining her under the cart. She in the process of zapping the log with her magic over and over. "See, this is interesting." She murmurs to herself, "the log seems to repel all magic, so if I just reverse the polarity…" She drifts off, grabbing another array of wires and instruments and getting to work. "Hey Ruby" she says, peeking out from under the wagon, confusion dawns on her face when she doesn't find the mare there. She peeks back under, "Ruby?" She lets out a yelp of surprise and falls to her side when she finds Ruby, right beside her!

Ruby-Blossom beams addorably at Rising "What's up?" the mare asks - despite trying her best to be noticed she once again managed to surprise somepony. "Whats going on? How can I help? Do you Kludge do some heavy lifting? I can totally get him to do heavy lifting.

Sky Sparkler looks at Jellybean with a raised eyebrow. "And are you really sure you can keep up your end of the work?" she asks, looking down at foal-Jellybean.

Kludge chuckles, chalking up the annex as a surprise of Ruby's and willing to leave it at that. If he needs to know about it, Ruby will likely tell him; if not, no big deal - it's just curiosity.

Jellybean nods earnestly, mane bobbing up and down. "Uh huh! I'm a really hard worker an' I can still remember most of how to handle the weather an' I PROMISE I can follow instructions an' everything. Just please please pleeeeeease don't make me an' Typhoon take the bubble bath?" Eyes are getting bigger. Wobbliness is approaching.

Rising-Chaos recovers from her surprise. "Oh, I just wanted to say that I can have this done overnight." She beams, full of confidence. "Mind if I take it home so I cna work on it in my lab?"

Ruby-Blossom grins at Rising "Of course you can take it home." she pats the other mare before rolling out from under the cart all gung-ho Rambo style - the roll finishing with her standing upright right beside Kludge as if she never left.

"There's the thing," Sky Sparkler says to the foal-sized Jellybean. "Normally you know the job better than I do. You knew how to do it better than I could explain it to you. Are you sure you want to leave me in charge?" she asks, curious.

Winter-Solstice arrives. That's about it. No rocks, nothing fancy. She is just walking by on her daily business. It is not exciting. It is not unusual. About the only thing particularly noteworthy about her appearance is that she appears to be an adult once more, head and shoulders taller than most everybody else on the street, cutting a swath through the crowd through SHEER PHYSICAL PRESENCE. She is wearing a saddlebag, though, indicating that there is probably SOME productive use to her trip other than a desire to go out and get in everybody's way.

But now that she sees people she knows, she's sure to change that. Priority #1: Get in the way, and say hello! Approaching the cart around which Kludge, Ruby and Chaos assemble, she tromps up to stand right behind Chaos. "Chaos! Kludge! Ruby!" she chirps on her way in. "You guys! You guys, can you believe it! There's so many grown ups! It's amazing! I haven't seen this many grown up ponies since, like, a week and a half ago!"

Jellybean opens his mouth, then crouches with a decidedly hangdog expression. "I just… I don't wanna mess things up again, an' I know if I go back to being a grown-up I'm gonna do it."

Kludge chuckles. "And hello to you too, Winny. Nice having things back to normal, isn't it?"

Ruby-Blossom slings one front leg around Winny before deciding better against giving her noogie - not like Ruby could reach anywho. She gently nudges the mare's shoulder instead "Good to see you, full sized flank like a tank, right?

"You haven't seen me in charge," Sky Sparkler replies. "Do you think I'm not likely to make all the mistakes you've learned from?"

Winter-Solstice takes the nudge like a champ, and beams a smile at Kludge like a sunlamp. You know what else rhymes? *Stamp.* Which she does. Her hooves, that is. Stamp stamp! "INDUBITABLY," she intones. "I can reach the top shelf of the pantry again, which is great, because I'd left some ice cream up there before this whole thing happened, although by now it's all melted, so really, it's not so great. Also it melted and then dryed out. And then got all sticky. And the boss was like, CLEAN IT UP." She stares into the distance. "So I did." She looks back to the others for a moment, then blinks. "Hey! A cart!"

It doesn't take long for word to spread, and when it does, it's like wild fire. Fortunately, it's not -actual- fire, we've had enough of that lately. But once it gets around, Windrose comes barreling into the square and, still a foal, practically pounces on the nearest normal sized pony she comes to. "WHERE IS IT?! Where's the cure?!"

Rising-Chaos creeps out from under the cart and hitches herself up. "Then I will do just that! I should be going home anyways, I'm not much use here." She casts a glance Sky's way, hoping to avoid attention. She turns around in panic when Winter makes her appearance. "Hi Winter, I was just leaving, but nice to see you back to your old size." She beams at her muscular friend, then turns to wave goodbye to Kludge and Ruby. "See you guys tomorrow with the charm ready to go." Chaos trots out of the square, making sure to take the direction opposite from the mare who had grounded her, she doesn't want to get into more trouble!

Jellybean whimpers, scuffing a hoof and starting to edge away. "But I don't wanna," he moans. "I bet you can handle it just fine. I'm not even a good leader." He blinks at the sudden appearance of Windrose running by, train of thought completely lost. Blink. Blinkblink.

"What flavor ice cream?" inquires Kludge, letting curiosity get the better of him again. After all, this is Winny we're talking about; there's a chance that the flavor is something quite unusual!

Ruby-Blossom trots around to Kludge's other side then peeks at Winny from over his shoulder - peek-a-boo perhaps?

Winter-Solstice turns her head, noting Windrose's sudden and voiciferous appearance. "Windy! You still have the plague! Over here, over here!" Windrose might not recognize Winter at first, if not for certain telltale details like BRIGHT PONY COLORS and, you know, CUTIE MARKS and stuff. Unlike fat, broad, hair-in-the-face filly Winter, Adult Winter is head and shoulders taller than most other ponies, all burly and lean like a pony honed by physical labor into a walking weapon. Who happens to be smiling cheerfully and waggling a broad hoof towards the fountain. "Get in! Get in before we quarantine you!" She looks back to Kludge. "And the ice cream was vanilla, of course." There's your unusual flavor, bucko

Windrose tumbles to a stop at the reply, blinking. Looks around. Blinks again. "… I realize I know -none- of you as adults." Wings ruffle as she shrugs a bit, and trots over to the fountain. Gets her lanky front legs up onto the edge, wiggles her flank as if to jump in… and then stops and lifts her head to look to the others. "… There hasn't been ponies peeing in it all day this time, right?"

Ruby-Blossom can't resist charging Windrose from behind - intent on knocking the foal into the fountain, and this wouldn't be the first time! She peeks over the ledge of the fountain and beams happily at Windrose "Probably~" Certainly Windrose can now figure out /which/ foal this was.

*sploosh* All she needed was a helping hoof… to go tumbling head over tail into the fountain that is. A few moments later she comes back up, spewing water into the air like a lawn sprinkler. "Ugh. Cure or not, this cannot be sanitary." Glares at the pony that shoved her in, though she's already wandered off by this point. "Must of been Ruby."

Winter-Solstice does a little shimmy. "If they have peed in it, it's with SHEER DELIGHT from being CURED of their HORRIBLE AFFLICTIONS." She cheers as Windrose ends up in the drink, voluntary or otherwise. "And don't worry! You can always go home and take a bath after you've taken a bath."

"Yup, that's Ruby, alright," chuckles Kludge, who isn't surprised by Ruby's sudden "assist."

Windrose climbs out of the fountain and shakes herself off. Then sits and clamps her hooves over her ears at Winter and Kludge. "NaaaaanaaaanaaaI can't hear you." >_<

Winter-Solstice leans forward slightly, staring at Windrose. Her mile drops as her eyes widen. "Did it work?" she asks, despite the fact that Windrose has her ears covered and just plainly stated that she cannot hear Winter.

Windrose .. ohs, and looks down at herself. That 'can't hear you' thing never really works, anyways. Makes sure her legs and wings are all in proper porportions again, then stands up. Looks down. Height, check. "It looks like it."

"I'm not ready," Sky Sparkler replies. "I'm just a few weeks, two months, out of school, and most of that time was spent looking for a place that would take a chance on me." She sighs. "I'm not ready to lead."

Winter-Solstice sits back up and smiles broadly. "Fantastic! You look adult enough. Congratulations! You are once more welcome in bars! Not that, you know. They ever really, like. Refuse foals or anything like that. But you can, uhh…" Her voice trails off as she thinks. "… you can… you can vote?"

Jellybean is about to say something more, something encouraging, something to maybe explain that he's not the world's best leader either, when a stallion comes barrelling through the marketplace with an old mare chasing after him, angrily shouting something clearly foreign but presently unintelligable and throwing bowls of salad at him. Jellybean and Sky Sparkler both end up wearing salad bowls as well as a good part of a salad as hats: his eyes covered, Jellybean screams "They're coming for me! AAAAAHHH!" and starts running blindly.

Kludge looks at the panicking Jellybean, and gets a mischeivous grin. "There, there, Jellybean, it'll be all right," he says in a voice that would be soothing… except for the fact that the grin refuses to leave his face.

"It means I can -finally- get a proper cloud house set up and stop having to cramp my wings crashing at Chaos's place, as generous as that was," Windrose quickly fills in, grinning happily. Speaking of chaos, here comes more of another sort. But before she can get run over or saladed the pegasus quickly beats her wings and assumes a hover just over the square instead. "… Not that ponies being cured has cut down the weird factor any."

"Jellybean!" announces Winter. "That's a great hat, AND it looks like you've packed your lunch in underneath it! Very practical! Might want to stop screaming, though, I hear that makes the lettuce taste like fear! Hey, you're still a foal! Want a lift into the bath? I can scrub behind your ears! I even have a sponge with me right here." She roots about in her saddlebag and produces a pencil.

Sky Sparkler blink blinks as her moment of serious is interupted by a salad-hat. On the one hand, she REALLY should catch Jellybean.

On the other, she hasn't been eating as well as she should have lately. *munchmunchmunch* "Hey, this is from that crazy forgin mare's stall," she muses.

Jellybean can't actually see Kludge's face at the moment with the salad bowl still cocked on his head, but Winter's exuberant… Winter-ness… along with her suggestion of giving him the dreaded bath make him leap into the air and start screaming all over again. More running ensues: it's a wonder he hasn't run into anything yet. "I don't wanna take a bath!"

Windrose slaps a forehoof over her face at Jellybean's antics as she hovers overhead. "Yeah, I'm definately -not- having my own kids anytime soon."

Winter-Solstice grins, watching Jellybean, but her grin begins to wilt like so much fear-soaked lettuce, and she starts to glance about. Relatively recently, Jellybean screaming meant there were monsters about, so Winter is suddenly concerned there are perhaps monsters she hasn't seen yet- or perhaps she's got it wrong all this time and Jellybean's screaming is what actually CAUSES the monsters. She squints her eyes and leans over to whisper to Kludge. "Kludge! Do you see any beasties?"

While a salad-bowl-armored Jellybean isn't as dangerous as a snow wolf (except maybe to the shins of unsuspecting ponies), it's still a moving target, and Kludge isn't that good with those. He still does his best, though: diving one way (and sailing over Jellybean), jumping another (and missing as Jellybean turns), and finnaly a massive POUNCE!

…which completely misses the panicked pegasus and connects with Winny instead. "No beasties, but I'm pretty sure I just found a brick wall," he groans as he slowly falls to the ground in a pile.

Winter-Solstice budges about as much as a wall would following the impact. She giggles afterwards, though. "Hee hee! That tickles!" Reaching down, she hooks a leg around Kludge and hauls him back onto his feet. "Do it again! Wait, no. No, wait! I got it. I tried this once the other day and it worked, let's see-" Scooting over, she tries to intercept Jelly's panicked running with her own flank.

Sky Sparkler is still munching. "Yeah, I'm going to need convince Typhoon too, before I can get either to cooperate." And still wearing the bowl on her head as she stands there.

Jellybean's panicked flaily running is erratic in the extreme but it's not unpredictable, and indeed Winny's efforts to get in his way prove quite fruitful, ending with the foal running headlong into her flank and falling to the ground in a little bedsheet-and-salad-(and, now that the sheet is more or less down, it would appear another dress)-wearing heap. He sniffles, then whimpers, then starts bawling again, howling and rubbing his nose.

Windrose aughs, covering her ears once more. "Oh for goodness sake, somepony adultify him so he stops hurting our ears."

Winter-Solstice pumps a hoof as Jellybean flops over. "Success! We have defeated the encounter." She then turns towards Jellybean, who is -so small- compared to the amazonian mare, and looks about ready to say some other stupid thing, and gets halfway there before it catches in her throat, and her smile fades a bit. She watches him for a moment, then looks up and around. People are starting to stare. Her eyes widen. "I didn't- he was- he did that on- but-" She sits down, dropping her duff to the street, and reaches out to awkwardly pat Jelly on the head. "Ch-cheer up, Jellybelly! It's okay! The monsters are gone (I think)! Hey, remember that one time we, uh-" no don't remind him of that one time it was scary "… we… we had a… an ice cream party… in the totally safe and quiet park where there were no monsters?"

Kludge tries to stand up, but his legs wobble out from underneath him and he collapses onto his rear. He blinks groggily and looks around, squinting at the various ponies. "We're ponies, not insects or spiders, right? So… why do we have six or eight legs?"

Sky Sparkler closes her eyes in a wince. Not that you can see it. She finishes off the salad, and removes the bowl.

Jellybean takes a minute but he does stop his howling, looking up at Winny. "I, I just thought ponies were gonna grab me an', an' try to throw me in the fountain but I don't wanna be a grown-up because I'm dumb about things when I'm a grown-up an' me an' Typhoon really like each other but we didn't say anything 'till we were little again."

Windrose stares. Just staaaares at that little reveal. Then rears up and snaps off a mock salute with her hoof. "Have fun you two, this one is -all- yours to deal with. I need to go see about getting a proper pegasus place for myself. Ciao!" And the navigator quickly takes off for the section of clouds that's there for pegasi to home in.

Winter-Solstice stares at Jellybean. No monsters? Why is it never monsters? That's the one thing she's good at! Gosh. She relaxes a bit, though, since the tiny colt in the dress is no longer crying around the hulking mare so it makes Winter look a bit less beastly, although a few in the crowd around the more businessy businesses in the town square still eye her suspiciously. Winter is quiet as she parses everything Jelly just said and understands about half of it. "Don't you get… smarter when you're a grown-up, though? Not dumber? You can reach things on higher shelves, too, like this one time I left some ice… uh… nevermind…" She sits up and looks around once more. Parents, parents. Does Jellybean have parents? If the curse goes on long enough are your parents obligated to come collect you and take care of you? She bites her lower lip and waves in a somewhat distressed fashion to Windrose. "Bye, Windy…" She then looks towards Kludge. "Kludge! I heard you're romancing Ruby. You guys talked about kids yet?"

Kludge blinks a few times as his brain first descrambles itself, then unscrambles what Winny just said. "Roma— ro— wait, wha— romance? Kids? What?" He shakes his head to try to get his thoughts sorted out - okay, that mildly hurt; looks like he has a slight headache. Rubbing a hoof to his head, he sighs. "I'm not really romancing Ruby. We're just friends, and I like hanging out with her and helping her with whatever odd projects she's working on." Yup, just friends… right?

Jellybean trots up to Kludge, looking up at him. "How do grown-up ponies say they like each other? I didn't know as a grown-up."

Winter-Solstice slicks her ears back and grimaces as Kludge denies everything. "That's not what you're supposed to say! You're supposed to say" And here her voice drops an octave, which is the manly way to speak, "'Yes, Ruby and I are boy and girlyfriend and every day we're smoochin'.'" She sighs and drops the deep voice. "But I guess you wouldn't really Know Kids, anyway, huh. You guys aren't even as old as I am and I'm like not even that old." She stares at Jellybean for a bit. He's not crying as much. That's good. After hearing his question, she looks to Kludge. "Yeah, Kludge, how DO grown-up ponies say they like eachother?"

Kludge, a disbelieving look on his face, looks at Jellybean, then at Winny, back at Jellybean, and then off into nowhere. Two ponies, asking him for advice and insight on how to declare one's love!

And he has no clue.

He had to leave home not too long after he got his cutie mark (the first time, natch), and up until he made it to Horseshoe Harbor he never really had any enduring friendships, much less any sort of romantic relationship. All he knows is that Ruby is one of the first friends he's had in a long time, and he enjoys being with her. But a declaration of love? "Uh…"

The longer Kludge hesitates, the darker Winter's expression. Soon she's mouthing, 'you are so bad at this!!!'

Jellybean keeps looking up at him patiently, tail swishing as he awaits Grown-Up Wisdom.

Winter-Solstice sighs, looking back to Jellybean. "Look, here's what you do," she says, in an Authoritative Fashion. "What you do is, is, you say, 'I think you're really neat.' You can probably rhyme it with something while you're at it, like… like… 'I think you're really neat, especially your feet.'" She thinks. "But not unless you're actually serious and like their feet most which come to think of it is probably a little weird? But you should be honest, that's for sure. Be honest."

While he's still trying to ponder the question, Kludge does take note of what Winny is saying. There's undoubtedly a nugget of wisdom in there, and at least it's more of a clue than what he has.

Jellybean nodnods, but a trifle uncertainly. "But when I was a grown-up I couldn't say all that stuff an' I kept worrying about what she'd say or what to do next. When I became little I just said I really liked her and she said she really liked me too." His wings flap happily at that particular memory. Cookies were involved.

Winter-Solstice reaches up to scratch the back of her head with a hoof. "Well, uh, you already said you like eachother, then, didn't you? I mean, that wouldn't change just because you were grownups, would it? You'd still remember. I mean, I still remember what happened to ME when -I- was a foal." She sits up a bit. "Like that one time with the boat! You remember that, guys?! And there were skeletons and then the blob chest was like WHOA and-" She hesitates, her visibly rising excitability halting, then reversing. Yes, Jellybean, monsters, screaming. Careful now. "Ahem, well, uh… anyway… anyway, I guess I just don't see why it would change much, that's all. Whether you're an adult or a foal or anything, that is. It just sort of is what it is."

A thought crosses Kludge's mind. "How about if you write her a letter, saying that you really like her, and she writes you one in return, but neither of you actually read the letters until after you're adults again? Say what you feel as a foal, then let your words convince your adult selves that there's nothing to worry about." Sometimes Kludge can think of these things!

Jellybean starts trembling when the skeletons are brought up again but Kludge's suggestion perks his interest. "That's a great idea, Mister Kludge! I bet that'll work just great!" He hops to his hooves and gives the stallion a hug, which seems to be his default response to a lot of things no matter what his age is. On the other hand he does still have more than a bit of salad oil on him

Winter-Solstice looks like she's about to panic alongside, and in direct response to Jellybean, but breathes a sigh of relief as Kludge FINALLY says something befitting Horseshoe Harbor's handsome-est handyman. She pushes to her feet and bites her lower lip, stifling anything further, because even she realizes this is about as high a water mark as she's going to set with Jellybean and she should probably not risk anything else.

Jellybean says "Buuut I think it'll take me a while to write that. So I can't change back right away. An' I have to help out in the town while I'm still like this, 'cause it wouldn't be right for me to be a lazy flank just because I'm litle."

Kludge chuckles and hugs Jellybean back. "Hope it goes well for you whenever you get it written, Jellybean." Noting Winny's worried expression, he also gives her a comforting hug. Just because.

Winter-Solstice seems a bit perplexed by the hug, and pats Kludge in return. "Just be honest, Jelly!" she reiterates. "-Honest.-" It was advice she received once (admittedly about something other than romance entirely, probably related to something she might have stolen? who remembers these things or who they belong to, anyway, ha ha ha!) and it made sense then so it makes sense now. "… honest!"

Jellybean meeps. She's putting a lot of emphasis on honesty. An almost intimidating amount. He nods a few times, then starts rifling through his saddlebags for a moment. "Would you two like a cookie?"

That gets a relaxed smile from Kludge. "Sure! Cookies are always nice."

Winter-Solstice's eyes widen. She drops her duff back down to the street and leans over Jellybean with a plaintive expression. "I would love a cookie!"

Jellybean pulls out a small bag full of chocolate chip deliciousness and opens it up. "I got some an' I thought it's more fun to share them." He presents the bag to the two grown-ups, then asks another question. "Do you think I'm weird?"

"What makes you say that?" inquires Kludge as he takes a cookie. Mmm, this is a good cookie! Would be better with milk, of course, but one should put a gift cookie in their own mouth and not try to find one on the cookie.

Winter-Solstice descends upon the offered bag like a rabid beast, until she actually reaches it, at which point she reaches in as neatly as she can and plucks out a single cookie. That she cna manage to do so with hooves as big around as hers is a credit to how careful she feels she has to be around Jelly. Settling back, she nibbles the cookie. "Weird compared to what? Kludge? Not really. Not really compared to most ponies in town, I guess. Did someone call you weird?" Her eyes widen slightly. "Is someone -bullying- you?"

Jellybean nibbles on his cookie. "No, I was just noticing that other ponies think differently than me." Says the colt in a dress. "And I was wondering how it looked to other ponies? It's like not knowing if you're a good singer or not 'cause you can't hear your own voice right?" Where did he pick that up from?

Kludge shrugs. "Nothing wrong with thinking differently. After all, someone has to have the ideas that are different enough to lead to new discoveries. And as long as you're a good pony, what does it matter?"

Winter-Solstice deflates slightly as Jelly denies the existence of bullies. Being a HERO is going to have to wait for another day. She chews on her cookie for a few more moments, then points at Kludge. "What he said." She then stuffs the remainder of her cookie in her mouth in one go, homf, and speaks AROUND it WITHOUT swallowing first, which is rude. "Anyway everybody here thinks a bit differently so I wouldn't worry too much about it. S'not hurting anything." Chew chew swallow. Standing up straight, she reaches out to pat Jelly on the head. "Thanks for the cookie, 'Bean! I guess I should get back home right now because I am probably gonna get in trouble for leaving the fridge open OR leaving the oven on OR leaving something on the roof, it's always something." She turns to go, and waves to Kludge. "Bye, Kludge! Remember: HONESTY."

Jellybean brightens a little. "I guess it doesn't. I just thought of it." He gets back up on his hooves, packing the bag away. "I'm gonna go home and have some food with Typhoon now. Thanks for listening an' thanks for not throwing me into the fountain." With that he canters off and flaps his wings until he's airborne.