Love and Madness
IC date: Summer 86, 1007
OOC date: September 14, 2012
PCs: Ruby-Blossom, Mad-Mare, Kludge
NPCs: Rock'em, Sock'em
GM: None

Ruby-Blossom trots into the square, saddle bag slung over her body as she makes her way about town after a early afternoon of shopping. (Shopping for groceries…I've really begun to settle in - that feels plain weird.)

It seems like the sort of day that warrants weirdness. Colors are changing, days are getting cooler, pleasanly so even. The ponies of the Watch have been doing their share of the season's changing, much to the surprise of the general population. More and more, it seems, the Watch is turning from a mob of crooks and criminals to something halfway respectable!

Despite her best efforts, Mad Mare has been much tamer than she used to be. Sure, she's still a surly grump of a pony, and nobody in their right mind would want to go out of their way to spend time around her (except her loyalest of goons, bless them~), but nor do ponies actively scramble out of her way anymore either. She's become the Grumpy Captain to all but the ones in the jail. And those ponies don't exactly get to spread their filthy lies very far.

Said grump happens to be roaming the streets today, head lowered and ears tipped back. The perfect picture of a pony with a problem. As always, flanked by her goons, whom have taken it upon themselves to try and discern the problem with their Boss.

"Is it…a tummyache?" Rock'em wonders.

Maddie shakes her head.

"Headache then?" Sock'em says, his head tilting.

Maddie shakes her head again.

"…Backache? You've been walking all day."

Another shake.

"Y'know Boss, we can't really give ya advice on how to feel better if ya don't cooperate…"

Maddie is wrong about one thing - there is at least one arguely mis-guided pony that has actually made an effort to spend time Maddie. That very same turquoise mare trotting from across the square to intercept Maddie. "Hey there…" she honestly only knows Maddie as Mad-Mare, and doesn't quite care to call her that! "You okay? Something on your mind? Would a pedicure help?" cocking her head and leaning forward until her face is obscuring Maddie's view from anything else; she even waves a hoof at the goons despite not looking their direction at the moment - big ruby red eyes all up in Maddie's business now.

The trio of ponies have to come to a stop, what with Ruby being pretty much In The Way now. Maddie sees nothing but Ruby! So much Ruby. She blinks, even, halting her generally plodding forward progress to squint up at the other mare. "…Hm? Oh. You." she says, without really any hints of malice. Or enthusiasm, for that matter. "I've felt rather…muddled today."

A comment both of her goons are quick to nod their agreement to. "But not bleh. She says it's definitely not bleh." Rock'em offers, helpfully.

"Or sick…" Sock'em adds, giving his boss a nudge on the flank. "But she won't tell us what's wrong!"

Maddie rolls her eyes. "Because I don't /know/." she grumps in grumbly tones. "Honestly. Have they always been this…nanny-ish to me, or have I just started noticing?"

Maddie's vision goes from being filled with ruby red eyes to being obscured by a stupid grin before Ruby takes several steps back to allow the mare some room to breathe. "Soo…what would get the knot out of your knickers? Adventure? Mischief? Booze?" going as far as gently bopping Maddie's nose with a hoof. "Or maybe it's…" leaning waaaay in to whisper to Maddie - though the goons can likely over hear "That /time/ of the month?"

Surely /that/ comment earns another roll of the Mad Mare's eyes. That time of the month indeed! The mare frowns, casting a baleful glare at the mischevious thief of a pony.

And stops.

Like she were frozen as a statue, for several seconds Maddie just…stares at Ruby. Into Ruby's eyes, even. Nary a blink.

By the time the moment passes, the Mare's eyes lid, ever so slightly. "…Have…I ever mentioned how /cute/ you are..?"

Rock'em and Sock'em blink, glance at each other, and echo the same word. "Cute?"

Ruby-Blossom 's head tilts curiously to one-side then, then curiously to the other - big overly expressive ruby eyes to be had. "I thought you'd never notice." Ruby does take care of herself, a fine coat, trim physique, beautifully groomed mane - she is quite the look although the personality could use some work! She beams triumphantly as if the victor of a great quest. "I'm pretty sure Kludge thinks I'm cute too, even if he won't admit it." a slightly silly grin appears again

"So did any of those suggestions tickle your fancy?

About that time, Kludge was wandering by. He'd been helping out with the season changing, and had been heading back to his wagon. Noticing the assortment of facial expressions and body language, he discretely pauses within earshot. Something's up, and he's not about to go poking his nose into things without understanding them better.

Maddie's posture shifts, ears perked, eyes focused. Somewhat focused. Actually they seem slightly…off, even as they keep staring at the Ruby mare.

"Any of them do, long as it's with you~" the Mad one chimes, lifting her head. She's got the /biggest/ grin on her face now.

It's even /real/.

A fact which practically spooks the Mad Mare's bodyguards. "…Uh… Boss…?" Rock'em says, while Sock'em gives Maddie another nudge on the flank. "I think she's definitely sick."

Ruby-Blossom 's big ol ruby red eyes dart curiously to the goons behind Maddie as she too finds the grin very, very odd to say the least! The turqoise mare shrugs her shoulders, figuring she doesn't know Maddie well enough to really make a judgement call. "Well alright, I am a tad hungry. Lets grab a bite, and drink." Perhaps being chummy has paid off? She turns about to try and lead the mare away from the Square and to one of the nearby cafes.

"You look like you're suddenly feeling tons better, friendly face make everything better?" a playful sing-song voice. "I thought you'd still be glowering at me by this point.

Maddie seems all too willing to follow! Heck, she's even got a spring in her step now. "Oh I could /never/ glower at my special somepony~ Of /course/ you make me feel better!"

This earns a jawdrop from Rock'em. And Sock'em's got a one-eyed squint going on. They don't budge when Maddie starts skipping off after Ruby.



Kludge quietly joins the goons. "Are you two as confused right now as I feel?" he asks, somewhat rhetorically. From what he's seen of Maddie, this is incredibly unexpected, and the fact that her goons are also visibly flummoxed is both a relief and a source of worry - if they have no clue what's going on, then just what IS going on?

The background ponies in the area all do their best not to stare, clearly drawn to the train wreck of events occuring - but fearing Maddie's wrath. There's even a photoflash or two as somepony with a camera catches Maddie skipping along.

A small tingle shoots up Ruby's neck as she hears the words 'Special somepony' - a powerful confusion compounded by her heart skipping a beat. "Wh..what?" turning to curiously look at Maddie - clearly quite confused, and this happens to be the first time somepony has said something so special? The curiousity turning into a mix of emotions - wondering if she's being toyed with or teased. "What the hay?

Maddie, naturally, blinks. "W..what? Did I say something bad..?" The Mad Mare takes a slightly awkward posture, crossing one front leg over the other, very much blushing an adorable shade of pink. "I just realized how awesome you are. I thought…" Her eyes start to go downcast, but only make it so far before they have to rise up again, as though drawn by some unseen magnetic force. Some need to keep eye contact whenever possible.

"I just thought you might..feel the same. You're my only friend here…"

By now Rock'em has found his jaw from where he dropped it, and Sock'em is looking downright panicked. When Kludge comes over to ask them a question, they both nod dumbly in response. "Confused is an understatement." Rock'em notes. "Boss just done cracked. I'm sure of it."

Ruby-Blossom reaches out to gently tussle Maddie's mane - clearly not afraid of touching the other mare as demonstrated earlier, and the lack of earlier retribution from the playful bop on the nose is a sure sign Ruby might actually be Maddie's friend? She can't help but purse her lips before giving a small nod "I understand, just…saying special somepony, is like you know." she ponders how to explain it. "Serious business

Ruby-Blossom reaches out to gently tussle Maddie's mane - clearly not afraid of touching the other mare as demonstrated earlier, and the lack of earlier retribution from the playful bop on the nose is a sure sign Ruby might actually be Maddie's friend? She can't help but purse her lips before giving a small nod "I understand, just…saying special somepony, is like you know." she ponders how to explain it. "Serious business" she shrugs chalking it up to Maddie's ackward social nature. "Any place you recommend for a bite?" trotting away from the confused trio of stallions - but it's unlikely they'd let such an odd situation get out of their sight, would they?

Keeping his eyes on the unfolding chaos, Kludge gulps. "If either of you two have any suggestions on how to deal with this - with/out/ angering Ruby or Maddie, that is - I'd love to hear them." Things might be going in a not-good way, but there's no need to tempt them into becoming worse.

Watching the two mares start to head away, Kludge gives a tilt of his head to indicate to the confused goons that they should follow the mares… at a discrete distance, of course.

"But I /was/ serious…" Maddie says, in soft tones, trotting after Ruby with the aforementioned spring in her step. She surely didn't mind all the touching. She didn't even bat an eye. Maybe even leaned into it! And when talk goes elsewhere, such as where to go, Maddie can't help but grin another wide grin. "Oooh there's this /fancy/ place just up the street we could hit up. My treat~"

Rock'em gulps along with Kludge, Sock'em pawing at the ground nervously. "Maybe we just..missed something? I didn't know Boss liked that mare at all."

The pair do take Kludge's suggestion though, opting to follow as discreetly as two awestruck stallions can. "You'll have to give us a few minutes to think on that." Rock'em admits. They have to figure out what's going on before they can say if they have a right to step in!

Kludge and the goons can hear the curious whispers of the background ponies that occur only after Maddie and Ruby pass - clearly this event isn't going unnoticed!

Ruby's ears are perked to attention - catching Maddie's little confession which brings a noteable blush to her cheeks "S.stop." embarrassed for sure, but not really trying to get Maddie to knock it off - admittedly Ruby has worked very hard to avoid relationships as they're a liability, but having semi-settled down in Horseshoe Harbor she's really begun to notice how lonely she is. "Lead the way ~o" all the while blushing furiously at Maddie's strange but not entirely unwelcome behavior. "Just don't get too ahead of yourself…I…" she finally admits while walking trotting along. "I don't like the idea of calling you 'Mad-Mare' is there something else I can call you that isn't so hostile?

It might be hard for a trio of stallions to follow discretely, but between the gawking crowd and the distracted mares, Kludge and the goons are managing to not be too blatant about their shadowing.

Oh the confusion! There's so much of it. From the Harborfolk that are, indeed, open-mouthed, staring, and taking pictures, to the trio of studs that are pretty much being ignored in favor of the main attraction. All the way to the fancy place down the street.

Maddie does indeed lead, high-stepping with her new /best buddy in the world/ thing going on. "Don't get ahead of what?" she asks innocently, marching right past the doorpony whom opens up for them. "What's wrong with Mad Mare..? Maddie's good too. I use that name a lot. It's nowhere near as cute as Ruby though~ Not even my real name…" though she stops short of actually /saying/ what it is. "Table for two please!" she chimes to the waiters. Whom aren't about to argue with the Captain of the Watch.

Rock'em and Sock'em stop at the door to the restaurant. "Ngh. This place…" "…is really horribly expensive…" the bodyguards grumble. "Maybe it's not worth spying on'em that far."

Consider curiousity perked at the mention of Maddie's real name "Maddie is pretty alright, better than the other thing." she can't help but grin as she trots into the fancy pants resturant - she's been to plenty of places like this before, and frankly surprised to find one here in this little Harbor Town. She settles comfortably into a chair, waiting for Maddie to join her before asking "Any chance I could know your real name?" genuinely curious - then again she's been genuinely curious from the start.

The patrons at surrounding tables attempt to discretly tu their tables a little further away from the ackward couple - at least one of the two ponies consider the pairing a couple, and it ain't Ruby.

Kludge ponders the latest complication for a bit, then gets the worrying fragment of an idea. "I think I know a way we can get in, but it won't be easy." He gives Rock'em and Sock'em an odd look, then continues. "How well do you think you can pass as waitstaff?"

Such is the fog in Maddie's brain right now. Making everything seem so..happy and rosy around this Ruby mare! She claims her own cushion at the fancy table, looking smug as sin at the other tables. Surely /her/ company's much better than any of the other 'hoity-toity' attitudes that lurk in this joint. What few there are. It's true… Horseshoe Harbor isn't exactly the best place to be rich. So it's surprising how many ponies are actually in here!

"My real name..?" Maddie says, a slight hint of worry in her voice. "I don't know… I mean, the whole Harbor knows it already. They tease me over it." She looks downright crestfallen at the thought. "But for you…" Her head lifts, that eye contact absolutely /necessary/. "I.. For you. You can call me Sunshine." Her visage darkens, just a touch. "But I'll still buck anyone else who calls me that into next week…"

Outside, Rock'em and Sock'em look at Kludge. "We tried once." Rock'em says, his head hanging. Sock'em rolls his eyes at his cohort. "…We almost got new jobs because of it. I made more in tips in one night than I ever did workin' a full week under Boss."

The mare's confession is greeted by a warm, sincere smile. "It's a very cute name." head cocked to one-side "But it's obvious you don't like being called that…and I remember you talking about abandoning your family, so I'm sure calling you that wouldn't be a good thing. Unless you really want it."

The mention of Maddie's name sends the patrons into the typical cowering positions, a waiter understandably dropping an entire tray of food at the sheer sound of Maddie's name, utter confusion setting in as the patrons and staff realize Maddie /spoke/ her own name. Ruby flags a waiter down even as a patron runs screaming from the resturant "Dischord has been friend, choas reigns!" perhaps reading too much into the situation. "Anything you'd care to drink, Maddie? Think a margarita would be too uncouth for this swanky establishment?" friendly smile - pleasantly obviously to the entire situation.

Kludge and the goons step out of the way as the panicking patron runs out of the door. "I take it your boss was rather… /vocal/ in her opposition about you working here last time you tried?" Kludge asks, trying to gauge what the problem had been. "Because given how distracted she is, I don't think she'd notice, especially if you two aren't the ones serving her table." Leaning in conspirationally, he adds "And if she doesn't notice you, just think of the bits you'll make." with a sneaky wink.

The wind kicks up some leaves as it blows past, and if you glance the right direction at the right time they seem to make a heart-shaped frame around Ruby and Maddie…

If Just as oblivious in her current frame of mind, Maddie simply shakes her head. "Oh of /course/ not. They'll do anything for my friends here~" …This may actually be true. Surprisingly enough this isn't the first time Maddie's had a friend in this swanky establishment. Though 'friend' may have been a strong word. Either way the waiter, whom has the good form not to be as rattled as the various diners, scuttles off to comply with a curt nod of his head. "Of course, madame."

"Anyway~" the Mad one chimes, resting her head on her hooves, elbows on the table's top, just /gazing/ with such adoration at the mare across from her. "Call me whatever you want. I'll never kick you~"

Rock'em and Sock'em blanch at the few patrons that leave in their rush. Surely the mayor's manor will see some complaints over this tomorrow! Rock'em coughs on a hoof, glancing Kludge's way again, "When she found out, she almost ordered us to /stay/ here. It's just not my kind of job! I'm not a waiter!"

"Even though he's /good/ at it." Sock'em notes, earning a glare from the other bodygoon.

Then the both of them squint at Kludge. "I guess it could work. At the moment I doubt Boss'll notice /anything/. You saw how they both just wandered off."

Ruby-Blossom glances away from Maddie - at least long enough to order a drink "Strawberry Margarita, top shelf - don't be stringy." Ruby red eyes meeting Maddie's once more "and you?" she inquires to Maddie's drink choice before suddenly leaning over the table to gently brush a little bit of Maddie's hair back into place. "Your mane really gets beat-up, it must be all this salt-water." she fuses with Maddie's hair from across the table - unintentionally giving the appearance of a real couple - much to Maddie's delight.

Kludge gives a wry grin and gestures towards the employee entrance. "Well, unless either of you two have any better ideas… shall we?"

What is with this wind? Now it seems to be blowing past the goons towards the employee entrance of the restaurant, as if to encourage them…

The blush that Maddie gets from Ruby's attentions practically makes her whole head turn red! Oh my~ "W..well it never quite recovered from the incident…" she admits, adopting a lazy half-gaze. She doesn't dare move, lest it somehow stop the tender touches she's getting now, looking so thrilled she might explode! She doesn't even realize she was asked about a drink for almost a minute, until the pony waiter clears his throat.

"Madame? Your drink?"

Maddie blinks, yet doesn't break eye-contact. "…I'll have whatever my sp-… …My friend is having."

Outside, the goons grunt their acknowledgement, following behind Kludge towards the service entrance. Which is already open, what with the three or four waiterponies smoking and heavily gossiping about what could have caused the Watch Captain to fall so hopelessly in love with another mare!

"She always seemed a little off…" "I swear she hit on me last time she was here." "Really? Why didn't you let her? That could've been a huge tip!"

As engrossed as they are, it's going to be extremely easy to slip past them and into the restaurant.

Ruby-Blossom pats Maddie atop the head before settling back into her comfy seat - clearly she has no intentions of living up to the froo-froo expectations of this establishment or it's patrons. "I can set you up with some a great shampoo, and conditioner. It will do wonders for your your mane - as long as as you actually /use it/." she emphasizes before nodding to the waiter as her drink arrives - greedily taking a big sip of the cold, alchohal infused flushie. With a relaxed sigh she slumps into her seat, glancing downwards "I really shouldn't enjoy drinking so much - eye contact broken.

The waiter setting a blended strawberry margarita in front of the harbor watch "Madame." Stepping back before inquiring "Are you ready to order?" Ruby's gaze is drawn to the waiter and she pipes up "Give me whatever's good."

Kludge just realized a small flaw in his plan: the hat he always wears doesn't exactly fit the decorum of the restaurant. Ducking into the washroom for a minute, he furiously brushes his mane into a more respectable shape, with enough added fluffing to keep his forehead well-hidden. Satisfied that his malformed horn is hidden, he rejoins the goons and follows their lead as waitstaff.

The trio of undercover stallions circulate through the restaurant, doing proper work as waiters… but still keeping track of the two mares that are at the center of the chaos.

Well, one of the trio is keeping track of the chaos. Rock'em and Sock'em have a hard time differentiating between spying on their boss, and actually doing the job they've ursurped from the real waitstaff. Several of the patrons even recognize them! ("Oh, you still work here! I was worried they'd fired you after all that ruckus!")

Meanwhile… The staff and patrons of this high-class place don't seem to be able to rouse up enough gumption to be offended at Ruby's flagrant bucking of the trend, as it were. They're too mortified by everything else! At best, the ones that haven't decided to ruin their evenings by fleeing the restaurant have all made every effort to either get tables away from the pair, or sit with their backs to the mares. Tomorrow's gossip is going to be /so/ juicy!

"Shampoo..? Hmm. If you say it's good, then it must be!" Maddie decides, cheesy grin and all. When the drinks arrive, she does allow herself a full minute to enjoy the alcoholic wonder, several sips and then some, but each time there's a flick of her eyes, and a glimmer of hope that she can keep looking into her /dear friend's/ own adorable expression. "I..if it makes you happy I'll give my mane the best treatment you suggest! Anything for y ou~~~"

"Ah… Should I just make that…two of whatever's good?" the waiterpony asks of Ruby.

Ruby-Blossom replies to the waiter with a little nod. "Don't dissapoint." she leans forward while discreetly motioning towards Maddie "I don't think she handles dissapointment well." she settles back into the chair while curiously looking across the table at Maddie. "You're awefully sweet this evening. Really, what's on your mind?" the waiter carefully tip-toeing away to encourage the kitchen staff to bring their A-game less they incur the wrath of Mad-Mare. Ruby really does have stunning eyes, even if no pony *ahem glare* has told herself before Maddie!

Kludge might not be making the tips that the goons are, but he's able to avoid upsetting the patrons while he keeps an ear on the unlikely pair. During a brief lull in activity, he quietly asks Rock'em and Sock'em "Have you ever seen your boss in love before? And any idea of why she decided to fall in love with Ruby now?" Although he can't really blame Maddie for falling in love with Ruby, this does seem to be rather sudden.

"On my mind..?" Maddie blinks blankly at the question, as though the answer should be obvious. "Well… You are. Of course. I swear I spent all day thinking about how nice it'd be to see my bestest buddy in the whole wide world again. Just seeing you sets my heart aflutter~" It's probably a good thing she's not a pegasus, or she'd be floating all over the room. Really, what's with that slightly odd glimmer in her eyes, anyway?

Okay, so maybe Maddie's goons aren't /quite/ as caught up in their jobs as they give the impression to be. The pair manage to meet up with Kludge near the kitchens, glancing at the table in question. "Never." Rock'em replies.

"And we've been with her for years now. She doesn't love. Heck, she doesn't even love herself." Sock'em adds, his head shaking slowly. "This is too sudden to be real."

"At least, /that/ real." Rock'em agrees, pointing to the table. Where Maddie is totally caught blowing a kiss off her hoof at her dear friend.

"Magic maybe?" suggests Sock'em. "Could someone around here have magicked her into this..?"

Ruby-Blossom can't help but frown a little at Maddie's behavior - it really is too odd, and that blown kiss finally sets Ruby off. A fiery gaze in those Ruby red eyes as she does her best to avoid making a scene. "S..stop making fun of me." what was before a small blush has grown into a blush of rage. "I actually thought you were taking an interest in me. I should of known your just like everypony else." Seems that making a scene is out of the question as the turqoise mare has just flipped the table she and Maddie were sitting at it. The perfect spell for chaos - one pony that's never known love and another stuck by a love spell! Despite flipping the table Ruby manages to catch her drink in hoof, and down the cold, cold beverage with results in a brain freeze and a further fit of rage as she stomps the ground while coping with the brain freeze - eyes snapping open as she /glares/ at Maddie "Pretending to be nice is one thing, but pretending to love me is another!" storming towards the front door after creating a huge scene and literally blowing up!

"What…" There's a look of absolute shock on Maddie's face when the table's flipped and all this /rage/ happens! It's like… It's like what SHE usualy does! And yet, being the subject of such a tirade (under these circumstances) only brings a teary look to the Mad Mare's eyes. "B..but.. What did I do..?" She's lost her own drink. It got sent across the room, landing on Rock'em's head of all places. It's all she can do to force her metal legs into action, scrambling after the fleeing pony! "W..wait! I don't understand! I /do/ love you!"

Rock'em, naturally, looks surprised. Why's stuff like this always happen to him? Why does Sock'em never get Joked, or poked, or drenched in booze? It's not fair. He sulks… Leaving Sock'em to nudge Kludge and start after the mares. "Maybe we better tackle Boss and drag her home…and maybe you ought'a go after Ruby and make sure she don't kick anybody over this."

Kludge takes one good look at the unfolding scene and grimaces. "Rock'em, cover table six for me; I need to go," he forcefully says in a quiet voice. Without bothering to wait for an acknowledgement, he quickly ducks back into the staff area of the restaurant, roughly hanging up the waiter outfit before putting his normal hat and vest back.

Stepping out of the employee entrance, he trots towards Ruby until he's a few lengths back, then speed-walks the rest of the way until he's walking in parallel with Ruby about two pony-widths away. He says nothing, just nodding to acknowledge her presence.

Oh hey, Kludge is on the ball! Sock'em doesn't even get to nudge the pony, he's already off doin' his thing. "…Yeah, that's a real friend. Ruby's lucky." he notes to himself, since Rock'em's pouty right now.

Ruby isn't exactly rushing - her storm is a slow moving fit of rage that stomp stomp stomps down the sidewalk; she's praticall on fire with how livid she is at the moment. Her pace isn't one that puts her out reach of any pony who wants to catch-up, but her demeanor is extremelly unapproachable. Lovely concidence brings Maddie and Kludge together about the same moment - right about the time Maddie yells that she /does/ love Ruby; causing the ruby eyed, ruby haired pony to stop mid-step. She doesn't turn around, and she doesn't respond - would Maddie follow her this far just to make her feel bad? The mare clenching her teeth in confused frustration.

One startled patron mummbles "W..wasn't that table bolted down?

Kludge stays quiet for another few moments, giving Ruby a chance to gather her thoughts. He then steps over to Ruby, gently tapping her shoulder and looking her in the eye. "Follow your heart," he whispers with a small (and possibly sad?) smile.

"Okay, that's enough." Rock'em grunts, breaking out of his Moody McPoutstud mode to march up along side Sock'em, the two ponygoons then springing up behind Maddie to come crashing down on her flank! "Yer comin' /home/ Boss!"

The Mad Mare cries out at the tackle of big stallion bodies, taken down beneath the burly pair, but her teary, bleary eyes never stop watching Ruby. Her flesh-and-bone front legs flail, reaching for the poor confused manestylist, an absolutely heart-wrenching sob rising in the mare's chest. "N..Noooo! Let me go! I love her! I love herrrrrr!"

All the support staff can do is look on and shake their heads. They can't even, y'know, call the Watch for help. This IS the Watch.

For a long monent there is no response from Ruby - save for intense furious fuming. She stomps one foot before turning to face Maddie and the goons; she knows something isn't right but it still hurts like hay to be told you're loved when frankly you never have been - except maybe by a single pony that than cast her aside. She fumes while looking Maddie dead in the eyes "Tell me that again tomorrow, and maybe I'll believe it." turning away to roughly clop Kludge straight in the cutie-mark (no euphamism to be had) before storming down the street and towards her home - every step, every motion indicating she's fuming in a manner which makes Maddie look level headed on her worst day - stopping to buck a lamp post certainly doesn't help this image.

Kludge winces from the hoof to the flank - Ruby sure can kick when she want to! Giving the goons a nod (and a silent prayer of support), he turns and follows Ruby at a respectful distance.

As Ruby leaves, Maddie's wails get louder. "Nooooooo!"

At least, until five more members of the Watch go charging into the building after Ruby and Kludge leave. The wailing stops, and the crew are seen moments later leaving the restaurant, a bound and gagged Maddie hoisted on their backs. Celestia knows what her mood will be like in an hour.

Poor restaurant. So much mess to clean up. There's still a couple tables of ponies too stubborn to leave despite all the drama, too. One of them even leans towards a waiter passing by with a broom. "That was the best floor show I've ever seen. When will you gentlefolk be holding the next showing?"

"With any luck, madame, never." the waiter states in a droll tone, putting his broom to use to clean up some debris.