IC date: Summer 44, 1008
OOC date: August 3, 2013
Location: The Mane Affair
PCs: Ruby-Blossom, Dragonheart, Kludge

Another chilly summer evening in the Harbor prompts a gathering around the fireplace in the Blossom home. Ruby's settled in with a big bowl of caramel popcorn beside her, and one front leg around Dragonheart who's settled in front. Her other hoof holds a book from which she reads. "So the little tortoise continued, slow and steady - while the hare stopped to take a nap."

"Yuck, nap!" Dragonheart huffs. At least she knows what that means. She leans in to look at the pictures, and then up at Ruby, and then down at the pictures. "Terrtiss," she repeats, mostly to herself.

Gently tapping the picture of the tortoise Ruby repeats "Tor-toise." she flips the page and clears her throat before continuing. "The little tortoise continued his slow, steady journey up the hill. One step, two step, three step, four. 'Just a little more.' He told himself as her neared the crest of the hill. All the while the bunny lazily napped under a tree at the top of the hill - dreams filled with thoughts of glory and carrots."

Kludge is cleaning up the dishes from dinner, chuckling slightly at Dragonheart's reaction to the word "nap". He can't say that he's surprised by the reaction, given how energetic the feisty filly usually has.

"Torrrrtise," Dragonheart mumbles. "Tortise tortise tortise. Harrr. Tortise anna harr go race. Jussa liddle more." She nestles a little closer to Ruby, apparently getting comfortable — and cuddly even — as she yawns. "Why is he nap?" she asks, pointing a hoof at the hare.

Ruby gently squeezes Dragonheart with the hoof she has around the foal. "The hare is napping in the middle of the race, because he thinks he's won. He's over-confident." she ponders this explanation for a moment before simplifying. "He's looking down on the hare." she tells the foal on her 'lap'. She gently taps the picture book again before she continues. "As the tortoise reached the top of the hill he saw the hare asleep under the tree, and thought 'This race is hard, and I could sure a nap. But there's no time for that now.'. With a look of determination the tortoise continued onward, step by step until he reached the downhill. Downhill he found was a lot easier - after the first couple steps he proceed to roll down the hill. 'Arooo' he shouted, startling the hare from his sleep.

"I've heard that a rolling stone gathers no moss," muses Kludge to no-one in particular. "But what does a rolling tortoise gather none of?" A cheeky wink towards Ruby hints that he's just being silly.

"Arooooo!!!" yells Dragonheart in echo with a grin. It's hard to tell if she's understood Ruby's explanation, but she's trying. "Run fast!" she says, though whether she urges the tortoise or the hare is rather up in the air. Kludge's question gets a baffled look. "…cookies?"

Ruby offers Kludge a warm smile. "You heard her, we need some fresh baked cookies - stat." winking at the stallion before flipping the page which displays the tortoise rolling across the finish line while the hare races to catch just a few yards short. "The hare sprung into a frantic pace, darting after the tortise who rolled down the hill quickly. 'How did that slowpoke get ahead of me!? I'm faster by far!' the hare muttered between labored breathes while every swift step brought him closer and closer to the tortoise. 'I've almost caught up.' thought the tortoise before he realized the rolly polly tortoise had just crossed the finish line! 'I lost! How could I have lost to someone so slow!' the hare cried out as his run slowed to a stop. The other forest critters cheered upon the tortoise, adorning him with a whirly gig so he wouldn't have to run.

Dragonheart pops up her head excitedly. "Cookies!" she beams. And when Ruby continues to read, the story distracts her. She blinks. "He run. Why…why bad run?" Limited vocabulary makes it hard to communicate, but she tries.

Kludge chuckles and starts measuring and mixing ingredients for cookies. "I hope the tortoise wasn't too dizzy after that roll," he comments.

Ruby-Blossom hmms cutely while bringing her hoof to Dragonheart's mane. "Why did the hare lose?" she asks the foal while tapping the picture of the hare sulking. "Is that what you're asking, sweetie?"

Dragonheart thinks for a moment, looking at the picture book where Ruby taps it. Then she nods.

Mix mix stir mix mix. Kludge starts dolloping out the dough onto cookie sheets, humming an idle little tune.

Ruby-Blossom mmms softly. "He didn't try - he quit in the middle of the race and took a nap.. The tortise wone because he stuck it out, and didn't quit. The tortise is a hard worker, even if he isn't quick." she sets the book down in front of Dragonheart and gently boops her nose. "You shouldn't quit even if you are a head, always keep at it."

Dragonheart listens carefully…and nods slowly, taking in the information. And then: "Oh-ay-see," she claims, nodding more definitively. "No naps!"
Ruby-Blossom laughs cutely. "That's not the moral. There is always a place and time for a nap - and that's nap time." she nuzzles the little foal firmly against the cheek. "You silly thing." she glances over to Kludge then back to Dragonheart. "Dragonheart~" she squeezes. "Mine."

Dragonheart giggles and squirms against the nuzzle, but then seems to nuzzle back and flop over in Ruby's arms. "Miiiine!" she echoes, flinging her hooves up with a giggle. Then she sits up again, looking toward the kitchen. "Kluuuu!!! Cookies!"

"Mine~" replies Kludge as he come over and hugs Ruby and Dragonheart after putting the cookie sheets into the oven to bake. He nuzzles the mare and the filly, sitting next to them. "Cookies are baking, Dragonheart," he says, lightly beeping her nose.

Ruby-Blossom huffs cutely and nuzzles both Kludge and Dragonheart. "Dragonheart? Can I ask you a question?"

"Cookies!" beams Dragon, though she wrinkles her nose at the beep. When Ruby address her, she looks to her and cants her head, ears flicking. "Huh?"
Ruby-Blossom 's cheeks puff up as Dragonheart looks up at her and the inside of Ruby's ears turn red before; suddenly she snaps her gaze away and squeeks "Nothing!" clearly embarrassed.

"I'm sure the question can't be /that/ bad," Kludge remarks as he nuzzles Ruby. "Besides, now you have /me/ curious," he chuckles.

Dragonheart tilts her head a little more, extra confused now. "Huh?" she asks again. "Ruuu. No naps."

Ruby-Blossom mutters cutely "Ruby's not na…" blink blink, oh my Dragonheart just caught her quitting - didn't she? It's clear even while not facing stallion and foal that Ruby is puffing up her cheeks as she often does. A moment passing before she muttes shyly. "Wondering if it was okay…" voice growing a little quiter and a little quicker. "ificouldbeyourmommy." Ruby might die, but that'd be rude.

Kludge smiles gently, awaiting Dragonheart's answer.

Dragonheart blinks again, trying to parse that. And then she looks extra confused. "Mommy?" she asks. "Whatsa mommy?"

Ruby-Blossom had actually considered that Dragonheart might /not/ know considering her 'upbringing'. "Well, umn…mommy is the mare that takes care of you, loves you, keeps you warm, keeps you safe, and sometimes makes you do things you don't want to do - because it's good for you. Mommy is the mare that will always be there for you, and the one who wants to be loved by you." she rambles on, all the while looking away - her face completely red by this point; she might as well be confessing her love to Kludge or something silly like that!

"And a daddy is a stallion who does the same kinds of things as a mommy," adds Kludge, heading to the kitchen as a timer goes off. He diplomatically refrains from mentioning how cute Ruby is when she blushes like that.

Dragonheart blinks a little more, and her brow creases a little. For a moment, she seems a little upset. But then she brightens a little hesitantly. "…Maybe…" she starts, struggling to convey it. "Maybe…Maybe Ru and Reeaawrru mommy?"

Ruby-Blossom glances over her shoulder for a split second while trying to make sense of what the little one is saying, she's all sorts of flushed. "Wha?" she asks softly, all the while holding the foal - communication is hard!

Dragonheart puffs her cheeks in frustration. Words! "Errr." Finally, she holds up one hoof. "Ru!" Then she holds up another hoof. "Reeaawrru." Then she waggles both. "Mommy?" Maybe she doesn't understand the word right. Words are hard.

Ruby-Blossom squeezes Dragonheart and does her best to look at the little foal; blushing something fierce to say the least. "Reeaawrru? Real?" she asks meekly; she knew better than to bring up such complicated matters!

Kludge pulls the cookies out of the oven and puts them on cooling racks, then pours a few glasses of milk as the cookies cool down far enough to be eaten without burning anypony's mouths. He places the milk glasses and cookies onto a platter, then walks back over to the couch with them.

Dragonheart looks blankly at Ruby for a moment, then tilts her head. Then shakes it. "No. Reeaawrru! Raaahhh, rrrr!" She hisses and bares her teeth, swiping a hoof and flicking back her ears — but not in aggression. It's in demonstration. "Reeaawrru?"

Ruby-Blossom scrunches her face in frustration. "The mountain lion that raised you?" she asks, looking adorably desperate to communicate with the little one. Roar?

Kludge blinks. "Is Reeaawrru your cat-mommy?" he asks, sitting next to Dragonheart and purring. The milk and cookies are placed nearby, waiting for a pause in the conversation.

Dragonheart scrunches her face in echo of Ruby, trying to figure out what they're saying. … Except, there's a distraction, in the form of cookies! She swivels her head that way and perks. "Cookies!" she pipes.

Ruby-Blossom leans forward to gently boop her nose against Dragonhearts "Reeaawrru?" swipping her hoof back at Dragonheart like a cat; mimicing her motions.

"Reeaawrru!" Dragonheart pipes, sufficiently brought back to attention. "Mommy Reeaawrru. Mommy Ruu. Mommy Kluu. Mommy Mahgpie!"

Kludge chuckles a bit at that, a bit of liquid pride in his eyes. He hugs and nuzzles Dragonheart, happy to be considered a parent to the filly… even if he did get called a "mommy".

Ruby-Blossom hmms cutely and continues to ponder this even while retrieving a cookie. "Reeaawrru…" she scrunches her muzzle. "Reeaawrru." Said cookie is brough to Dragonheart in offering while Ruby's other hoof remains on the foal's back.

Dragonheart takes a brief moment to look around when Ruby keeps saying it, but oh, cookie, who cares? She snarfs it up happily. "Weawwu," she echoes, spraying crumbs.

Kludge munches on cookies and milk, a smile still on his face.

Ruby-Blossom gently bumps her head against Dragonhearts in a sign of affection before retrieving another cookie for the foal. "I'm daft, aren't I?"

COOKIES. Dragonheart is in bliss. She stuffs the next one into her mouth, using her hooves for EXPEDITED PASSAGE. "Waff daff?" she asks.

"It's like being silly," explains Kludge as he offers some milk to Dragonheart. "Especially when you do things just to feel silly." He nuzzles Ruby, adding "And it's a perfectly fine way to feel at times."

Ruby gives the little foal a big ol hug when she's not chewing/swallowing then sets her down in favor of standing. "I should go check on my foals." she offers Dragonheart and Kludge a small smile. "Yes, What Kludge said."

"Oh!" Dragonheart swallows and rubs her hooves on her face to dislodge the crumbs — but only so she can lick them clean. "Okay Ruu." When she's set down, she scrambles to the plate to try and snarf another. Or, really, as many as she can before parents step in to stop her.

Ruby likely /could/ stop the foal before she got another, thief like reflexes and all; but she leaves that to Kludge while trotting away and down the hall to check on the littlest foals.

Kludge had thought ahead - there were some cookies set aside in the kitchen for Maggie, Snapragon, and Windrose - but he does have to play cookie shuffle to try to keep Dragonheart from snarfing a majority of the cookies. He finally isolates a decent share within the filly's reach, then hugs her and purrs, trying to hold her so she can reach her share but not the others.