Nothing Matters
IC date: Spring 89, 1008
OOC date: June 18, 2013
Location: Town Square
PCs: Sadaka, Siyana

Once upon a time, in the magical land of Equestria, there was a young zebra with blue hair, and a stifling, choking sense of feeling like she doesn't belong. In the beginning, she only figured it was because she was a kid without her cutie mark. She would try all sorts of things with her friends, but that sense of not belonging she could never shake.

One day, that zebra got her cutie mark, and it was the happiest day of her life. But as the days wore on after that, she realized it hadn't actually changed a thing. She belonged no more now than she had before. Getting your mark doesn't change who you are, if who you are doesn't fit.

And so, gradually the young zebra became resentful, angry at her friends and her father and the world. She tried to throw herself into sailing and singing on her father's ship, but still she felt like an oddly shaped puzzle piece in the grand puzzle of life. Angry and resentful, she avoided other ponies, and gradually the chip on her shoulder grew to a chunk.

Which brings us to today. Siyana sulks her way through the town, unable to avoid the terrible notion of interacting with other ponies for today. At the very least, the rain suits her mood as she makes her way through the square toward some destination or another.

Just like the night before, the Square is mostly empty. /Not/ like the night before, Seafoam is missing her zebra-striped earring. Thanks to a fortuitous rescue by a certain metal-legged guardspony, Sadaka has apparently decided to postpone that whole 'bad weather flying practice' thing until she actually has somepony to, y'know… give her pointers.

Well, most of it. Running around on the ground and pracitcing take-offs - well, that's alright as long as she doesn't get more than a few feet off the ground, right? Sure.

Siyana, it appears, is too absorbed in her own upset to notice Sadaka flapping around, despite the odd sight it presents. Instead, she's focused on the herb shop at the end of the block. So focused, in fact, that she bowls right into an earth pony foal. As Dreamsicle tumbles, she glares at him. "Hey, watch where you're going!" she snaps.

Dreamsicle stumbles back up, ears flat and hunkered away from Siyana. "Sorry! But you shouldn't be so mean about it — it was a accident!"

"Yeah?? Is that what you think, pipsqueak? I shouldn't be mean about it? What SHOULD I be mean about, huh??" She takes a menacing step forward, sneering at the foal, who skitters back another step.

Sadaka freezes mid-flap, flumphing to the wet ground with a little splish. Her ears prick, then flatten. She scrambles to her hooves and bounds over towards the commotion, all set to be a tiny ball of stripey JUSTICE! "Hey! Leave him alone!"

"Nothin! You shouldn't be mean about nothin!" Dreamsicle replies, ears flat as he hunkers down. Siyana just wrinkles her muzzle at him, and just jumps on him with a yell, hitting him with her hooves. "TOUGH LUCK!" she yells, "That's how the world WORKS!!" Sadaka's warning, it seems, is lost in the rain and anger for now.

Yep. Yep, this is kick-it-in-the-nose territory. Unfortunately, Siyana's nose is a bit tricky to reach right now, so Sadaka settles for aiming a kick at the bigger zebra's side instead! "I /said/ leave him alone!"

That gets her attention. Siyana falls off of Dreamsicle, who scuttles away sniffling, hunkering against the wall of a nearby building. "Y… you get her, Sadaka!" The zebra, however, squirms to lash out blindly — but she manages to yank back before actually hitting Sadaka. Stunned hurt is plain on her face for only a few moments before it turns to anger. "What do you care?!" she yells. "I oughta beat you up too!!!"

Sadaka blinks, peering through the rain and seeming to notice the familiar stripes for the first time. She looks positively stunned. "/Siyana/? What… h-how… you… why… /what/?!" Clearly this does not properly compute. "What are you /doing/?"

Siyana bites back a sniffle, angry tears in her eyes as she scrambles to her hooves. "What do you care?" she says again, back hunched like a defensive cat. "Leave me alone! It's none of your stupid business!"

Sadaka stamps a hoof. And then the other one, for good measure. "Yeah it is! You're beating ponies up!" Stamp. "For no reason!"

"He tripped me!" Siyana shouts back, stomping her own hoof. Dreamsicle pipes up, "I didn't! Not on purpose! I didn't see her!" Siyana whips her head around to glare at him warningly, then looks back at Sadaka and takes a step back. "Whatever! It doesn't matter! Go— go back to your perfect life or whatever! It doesn't matter anyway!"

Sadaka stares over at her. "Perfect? /Perfect/?" She seems to steam on this for a minute, ears flat and wings flared. "You've been gone for months and now you show up and you're beating up a pony and being /mean/ and a /bully/ and you're not supposed to /be/ a bully and I'm supposed to stop bad ponies from hurting other ponies and… and… and /you/ aren't supposed to be a bad pony!" Stampstampstamp huff. She seems to hop a lot when she gets worked up like this. It is probably less-than-intimidating.

"I'm NOT a bully!" Siyana shouts. "But— but so what if I'm a bad pony?! I've ALWAYS been a bad pony! You're just— you—" She can't even finish that thought, biting back a few tears and a little sob. "Leave me alone!" She turns around to run, but it's a little hard to gain much speed in all these slippery mud puddles.

Sadaka blinks. Well she's not about to let her just get away like that! She scurries after her, wings fluttering. "You were /not/ a bad pony!" She seems positively offended by the idea. "You were big an' brave an' smart an' fun… you were my friend! I don't got many of those!" Sadaka. Grammar. Seriously. "If Sunshine can be a good pony, then you can't be bad!" Clearly, that is supposed to be meaningful.

Siyana shakes her head, blue braids flying as rain pelts the pair of old friends as they run. But a particularly muddy patch catches the older zebra unawares and Siyana goes crashing down with a *splut*. She wibbles…sniffles…and starts to cry. "I don't know who that /is/!" she cries, as if that's the issue that's most important at hand. Hoof. Whatever.

Sadaka skids to a stop, kicking up a bit of mud herself. She stands panting in the puddle for a moment before trotting over to Siyana and plunking her rear right on down in the mud. Sploosh. She gives a little "Hmph." Then extends a wing over Siyana like it's an umbrella, because that's /totally/ going to be helpful and make a difference right now. "…What're you so mad for?" She eyes her sideways. "…Did your Papa go somewhere too? Did somepony do something mean to you?"

Siyana rests her head on her hooves and utters a few more little sobs before she sniffles and shakes her head vigorously, braids splashing water everywhere. No! No crying! She's not a /foal/. "No!" she says hotly. "It don't matter why I'm mad. No one /cares/. You don't care, Cap'n don't care. Dad don't care. And /I/ don't care. No one cares. It's just a thing that is happening. Leave me alone to just… wallow in self-pity or whatever." Sniffle.

Sadaka raises an eyebrow, giving Siyana a quizzical look that would be almost comical in any other situation. "Oh. Yeah. Totally. I'm chasing you 'round and asking about it 'cause I don't care." Apparently Sadaka's been paying enough attention to Rusty to pick up on that whole 'sarcasm' thing.

"You don't get it," mutters Siyana, flopping her head into the mud. No, Sadaka gets it just fine. Siyana is just pre-teening it up. "I thought— … I thought I would feel like I have a purpose by now. Or a place. Or… something. You know? I thought…I would fit in somewhere. But I don't fit in nowhere. I don't belong on the ship or in the town or with you guys or…anywhere. So it don't matter."

Sadaka tilts an ear, then her whole head to follow it. "Why not with us? We missed you. /I/ missed you." She frowns. "'Course it matters. You got friends here. Or you could." She gives the non-umbrella wing a flick, as though that'd actually do any good to get the water off. "If you don't go bein' all mean. Dreamsicle's kinda nice."

"Cause I don't fit in! I just… follow you guys and feel awkward and outta place. I don't know what I'm s'pposed to /do/." Siyana looks up as Sadaka flicks water off her wing … sort of. "…I don' think that's gonna help." She has no reply for being mean; it's a mix of denial and shame that keeps her from saying much.

Sadaka looks her over curiously. "I thought /we/ followed /you/," she points out idly, with the air of one just thinking out loud. "What's 'fitting in'?" It kind of sounds like a dumb question, but she figures it's a legitimate one. If you've already got a couple friends who follow after you everywhere and like to be around you, /what more do you want/?

"What?" Siyana lifts her head and gives Sadaka an 'are you crazy' sort of look. "I just followed you guys everywhere. I'm not a leader or nothin'." The question seems to make the zebra struggle a little to find an answer. "…It's… Having things in common, I guess. I dunno. Feeling like you got something to say and something to share, like… like you're wanted and you contribute? It's hard to explain. I just kinda feel like I'm…drifting?"

Sadaka blinks. "…And you think you /don't/ do that?" Now it's her turn to look at Siyana like she's crazy. "We never woulda done… lots of stuff, if you weren't around. You had all the good ideas." She flicks her wing again, and shoots a glance to the side, as though trying to brush away some vague annoyance that it would be crazy to actually /say/ hush, because obviously nopony's there, geez. "I always wanted you around." She laid her ears back. "…You made me feel like I wasn't… weird and different and dumb."

Siyana looks down at the ground, ears flicking back. She opens her mouth to say something, and closes it again. She isn't sure what to say. Finally, she croaks out a quiet, "'m sorry."

"M'sorry I kicked you." Sadaka looks over at her. "You never were a bad pony. An' you shouldn't be now." She frowns as sternly as a tiny wet zebra can manage to be stern. "'Specially if you wanna feel like ponies want you around."

"…yeah, I know," Siyana mumbles. "I'm just— so… mad and unhappy. But I shouldn't've taken it out on the colt. You're right." Her ears plane out and she sighs, pushing to her hooves. "…thanks, Sadaka. I'm really sorry."

Sadaka smiles faintly, hauling herself to her hooves as well. "C'mon. Now I need a bath." She takes two steps towards Blackbird's place, pauses, frowns, glances up at the cloudhouse she's been staying in - not a good idea, and it doesn't last long - and then splays her ears out, puzzled for a second and blinking the water from her eyes. "…Er. Maybe Ms. Ruby will let us wash off at her place."

Siyana watches Sadaka, puzzled. "Why not your place? Don't you live with Mister Blackbird?" She glances that way, and then back at the little zebra.

Sadaka looks down, scuffing a hoof at the mud and clearing her throat. "He's… outta town."

"Oh." Siyana frowns, and looks that way again. "An' there's no showers on the boat, though it wouldn't much matter anyway cause we'd have to get /off/ the boat again into the rain and mud. Well, let's go hit up Ruby's place then…" She pauses, and then awkwardly hooks a forehoof around Sadaka in a little hug.

Sadaka perks up a bit, returning the hug and adding a little nuzzle for good measure. "Yeah. Ms. Ruby's got a shower." And a lot of foals. And usually cookies.

And so they started going that-a-way, toward Ruby's place, for a nice warm bath, cookies, and foals!