Role Reversal
IC date: Autumn 68, 1007
OOC date: November 26, 2012
PCs: Winter-Solstice, Sodium-Fizz
NPCs:
GM: None

IT IS THE MORNING AFTER. Monday morning. Fairly early Monday morning, even, with the sun just rising over the horizon, promising a clear, crisp day, well-suited to the latter reaches of the season. A dusting of frost cakes the chains of moored ships outside and the leaves of browning grasses; ponies are wont to bundle up before setting out for early-morning business.

Nice and warm in the foundry, though, and its attendant satellite rooms. The forge, stoked daily by Iron Stock's magic, never goes out- only ever gets tamped down a bit at night- keeping the whole building nice and toasty. It is, of course, for practical purposes. It's used for work! Even this early in the morning, when heavy *BANGS* start ringing through the foundry. Two bangs, doubled up, the sound of metal pounding metal, every few moments.

*BANG*

*BANG*

It's loud, unfortunately. Someone not used to the noise would likely be woken by it.

*BANG*

Sleeping in one of the aformentioned sattelite rooms is a slate-grey pegasus. Or rather, she was sleeping a moment ago. This particular moment sees Sodium-Fizz half of the bed, her head planted firmly upside down on the floor and her hind-legs kicking in the air with residiaul panic as suprisingly awake eyes scanned around the room. One of the bonuses of being mildly paranoid, presumably. You go from sleep to wakefulness at the first sound of… loud sound.

"I… Maybe I should rethink staying…" she muttered half-heartedly as she pulled herself the rest of the way out of bed and picked herself up on her hooves, wings extending and flexing before folding back at her sides.

The noise doesn't care! The noise continues! *BANG.* … *BANG.* It's puncuated by an occasional *whoosh,* and the orange glow that seeps in around the edges of the door intensifies for a moment. *BANG.*

This is followed by the sound of a chain being pulled through gears, regular, leaden *tink tink tink tink tinks.* With the sound is a heavy rumbling, traveling through the ceiling and walls. It's not unreasonable to assume some of the machinery out in the broad shop floor is to blame, but what?! But what indeed.

Then everything falls quiet for a bit, aside from the occasional clink of metal on metal or a tool being set down on a table.

Sodium-Fizz mutters annoyedly as she makes her way to the door, by means of a detour around the covered-up mirror - both to stay as far away from the mirror as possible and for the fact that her journal and flight-jacket lies in a neat little pile at the far side and it's comforting to touch them. And of course, there's nopony around to watch her indulging in her less sensible side. As she turns away she pause for a moment, a hoof still over her little pile of possesion. Should she…? Well, Winter said she looked… Shaking her head for herself to clear it she scooped up her glasses and put them firmly on her snout before heading to the door.

And shooting the mirror a nervous glance, as if expecting it to jump of the wall and come after her.

Thrusting the door open she made her way into the shop propper, head craning around. "Winny?" she asked, then appended a, "Iron Stock?"

Just Winter, it looks like. She's over by the forge, on the opposite end of the shop floor. At the moment she's at the top of a ladder, toying with a clamp that affixes a large sheet of metal to a chain overhead. That chain feeds into a long track that winds around the edges of the shop, and hanging from that track are several sheets behind the current one- and one ahead of it. That one gleams, pounded nice and smooth, while the one currently hanging before the forge is crinkled in a few places or otherwise host to assorted imperfections. The broad, oven-like profile of the forge waits with bated breath of heat and soot, ready to start heating the current sheet so it can be pounded smooth like its predecessor.

But, as that hasn't happened yet, there's not a lot of noise, so Soda's voice carries easily across the shop. Winter looks back from her perch atop the ladder. "Soda!" she says. "You're up early." GOLLY, I WONDER WHY. The big mare climbs down the ladder- which is big to accommodate her, of course- until she touches down on the concrete floor. As she does, her rear hooves hit the floor with a *clunk.* She's wearing those big iron-plated boots of hers, although this time they're actually for WORK and not for smashing zombies. Which is also work, but since there aren't many zombies left here in this wold, it's kind of a dying market. "How'd you sleep?"

Fitfuly and snuggled right up next to Winter would be the answer to that, to keep away the… Sodium-Fizz shook her head before smiling back at the white mare. "I sleept just fine. As for why I'm awake… there were… banging. Lots of loud banging." As she spoke she glanced around the workshop, her tone going from annoyed to resigned. Of course, she should have seen this comming when she decided to stay around. Not really Winny's fault it's loud, it's loud for being a metal workshop.

"You get up early," said Soda and turned her attention back solid on Winter. "Though I guess you have to be… What are you working on?"

Winter-Solstice looks… like she's been working. Her mane is pushed up and out of her face by a headband, and there's a layer of soot on her chest and flanks- not much, but it stands out clearly against her white coat. She looks tired, too. "Ohh… ohh! Oh. Oh, I'm sorry! I didn't think… I kind of forgot you wouldn't be, you know. Used to it." She tosses her head towards the door to the kitchen, currently closed. "Boss is used to it, for example, she'll sleep through anything. She was up all night doing the books and just fell asleep at the table in there. I'm not… used to living with someone who isn't used to the noise." She shuffles one of her forehooves in the manner of someone genuinely remorseful, then turns to nod her head up at the metal. "And this is just some sheeting for a ship that's coming in next week. It's an ice breaker and they want to get it all spruced up during the winter." She looks back to Soda and reaches up, scratching behind her head. "I couldn't, uh, I couldn't sleep so I wanted to get an early start on things…"

"Don't worry about it, Winter. I'll get used to it no doubt," said Sodium-Fizz, implying she'd be around enough to have too, and reached out to give the now-slightly-more-of-white mare a pat on the shoulder. The last part made Fizzy's muzzle scrunch up as she bit her lip worriedly, pale yellow eyes watching Winter for… something. "I… Um, you didn't? Why? It's not anything…?"

Soda bit herself off as she put on a more un-worried face, the telltale shuffling sound of hooves on the floor and the rustling of feathers the only outward sign of her being nervous.

Winter-Solstice wobbles slightly at that pat, but doesn't give it much of a reaction, otherwise. "Well, uh…" says the big mare, glancing away. "Actually, hold on, hold on a sec. She turns away and weaves around a few objects, making her way back towards the door to her- and, as the case is for the time being, Fizz's- bedroom. Halfway there, though, she stops and turns around, clomping back, every other step *clank*ing as her metal-shod rear hooves hit the floor. Approaching the forge, she reaches up and starts turning a wheel crank on the side; as she does, a shutter is slowly ratched shut towards the big mouth-like opening on the front of the thing. As the heated interior is shut away, the orange glow spilling out is calmed, leaving everything looking unusually blue and dim. "Sorry… Boss gets mad if I leave it hanging open for a long time. I don't really… understand the magic involved. Keep holding on!"

The big mare hops back down from the crank and returns to the bedroom.

She's only in there for a few moments, the brief rustle of opened saddlebags escaping. Along with the sound of some stuff getting dumped on the floor- clink, clank, rustle, thump, splash? "Oops." Thump. "Oops. Again." A contemplative moment follows. "Oh well."

Winter pops back out and approaches once more; held in her mouth is a folded-up poster. She nears a table set near the open shop floor near the forge and lays it out, unfolding it. It's the Scarlet O'Mare wanted poster from yesterday.

Her expression is one of mild worry as she glances up- not without noticable hesitation- and looks to Fizz. "I kinda sorta need to really want to know what this is about, Soda."

Sodium-Fizz nodded uneasily and sat down. She could wait, no problem. None at all, it's not like paranoia was screeming at her to get out or anything. And her guilt hollering right back that it'd make sure she'd feel awfull for doing that to Winny. Soda tuned them out, tapping her hooves at the floor and counting silently for herself. At least till she caught the tell-tale whites and reds of Winny and she picked herself up, meeting her marefriend over at the table to look down on… Buck.

Paranoia got extremely loud, her wings halfway extending before she caught herself and folded them back at her sides. "I… know Scarlet O'Mare…?" she mumbled after several long moments of uncomfortable silence. "She's not… that bad, honestly. I don't want my friend and my marefriend to go at each others throats…"

Winter-Solstice turns and looks down at the poster as well, even if she knows it pretty well by now, having spent a good portion of yesterday staring at it in case it might reveal something new. "You do? Is it Ruby? It is, isn't it?" Reaching up with a hoof, she turns the poster slightly. Maybe from a different angle…? "I mean, there's always been… something kind of… like all these little things? The knives and the sneaking and a comment here or a comment there. Didn't seem to really add up to someone who -just- runs a salon." She frowns at the poster for a few moments. "Don't know about the horn, though…"

Winter falls quiet for several moments before looking up at Soda. "Did you know? I know you were talking about it yesterday but everybody hushed up when I got close so I don't know… if you know. Did you? Did she tell you?"

Sodium-Fizz was more or less chewing on her lip at this point. She had a sinking feeling this wasn't going to be pretty, at all. Fizzy let her head drop, ears pinning back against her head. "Yeah, it's Ruby… That's why I don't want you to go after her, she's our friend…"

"And, yeah, she did… Back in the Nightmare world. Feels like ages ago, but it's just about a month, I think. We were all… just sitting about and moping one night and… And we just wound up talking, Ruby, Solar-Wind and me. They almost had a go at each other there, for a bit, once Solar found out."

Winter-Solstice FLIPS THE TABLE. Well, she tries. The table is metal, and bolted down, so she just sort of braces her hooves against the underside and grunts against it for a moment. It does strain a bit, and if she kept at it she could probably tear it up and hurl it, but the moment passes as quickly as it came, so there's no real lasting damage, and Winter settles back down onto all fours looking a little sheepish.

"He thinks he's so fancy with his… with his connections and his wings, and his uniform, and his stupid harness," says Winter, in a huffy tone. "He kept- he was always giving orders to everybody. He's always doing that. He thinks he's this big hot-shot… guy from Canterlot and that it means he can tell everybody what to do. I'm not in his little adventure rescue squadd. He can't tell me to go… go do whatever, or try and push me out of the way when- aauugh!" She shakes her head and stalks away from the table for a bit. For a brief moment she has that jumpy, tensed-spring look that typically heralds something getting kicked, but she doesn't lash out any further beyond another toss of her head before circling back around towards Soda.

"I wouldn't turn Ruby in! I saw the poster once and thought, that's… well, that's kind of exciting, but- but Ruby's my best friend! I wouldn't do that to her! I wouldn't do that to you and Kludge and Magpie!" Again Winter circles away, starting a little circuit of pacing. "Why wouldn't she tell me? You guys have known all ths time! Why wouldn't she tell me? Why would she tell you and not me? Do you guys not trust me?"

Sodium-Fizz blinked, looking rather shocked. Then ashamed. She'd been rellying very much on Winter since they got back, and even before that. Much like a shipwrecked sailor would cling to the safety of floatsam. It, Winny, was steady and comforting. And she forgotten that the white mare would be bottling up her own frustration. With a soft whinny she slumped, her ears hanging. "I… I wouldn't know, why she havn't. I'm not Ruby. I… I think you'll have to ask her… As for why -I- havn't told you, it's not my secret to tell. It's hers… I'm going to have to go and appologize too, now…"

Turning her head she looked at Winter for a few moments before picking herself up and trotting over to her, a hoof reaching out for the large mare to get her to calm down for a moment. "As for Solar… Well… I guess he's a guard, I guess? Guards are just, you know, guardy?" Fizz fell silent for a moment. "And to be fair, he's no worse than me at throwing himself into trouble…"

Winter-Solstice is pacing up a storm, or at least a small localized weather disturbance. One is advised not to venture near without a hat or maybe an umbrella. Still, Soda braves the tempest and Winter's pacing steps are slowed up readily enough. The big mare turns towards Fizz and presses in, head lowered, bumping up against the pegasus's withers. "Yeah, it is her secret, but she still told you. I bet she thought I wouldn't figure it out because I'm big and dumb and the only thing I can do is break things. I bet that's what it was! She can just keep me in the dark because I'd never put it together on my own!" If anything, her tone is fearful. She drops back from the close contact to seat herself on the floor, and reaches up to hold the sides of her head between her hooves. Her eyes are red and expression worried as her voice is. "I bet she-" Winter's voice catches, and she tries again in huskier tones. "I bet she-" Her eyes are watering up and she blinks rapidly. "She- she d-doesn't-"

And just when the big mare looks about ready to burst into tears, she hiccups. No tears, but she does sink miserably to the floor, forehooves covering her head.

Sodium-Fizz shifted from hoof to hoof nervously. She's never had a not-quite crying marefriends on her hooves before. Admitedly she's never had a marefriend before either. Shaking her head to clear it of the two dozen runaway thoughts before they formed some kind of metaphorical motorway pileup, Fizzy bounded forward.

A moment later she'd wraped her forehooves around Winter, as far as they'd go, her head resting across the white mare's withers. Above them wide-spread wings formed a featherd canopy, blocking out the outside and leaving just them. "I… No, she don't think that. She just never got around too it, I promise… Nopony thinks that of you, Winny. None of your friends do, promise." A grey hoof came up to rest on Winter's head, stroking through her mane gently as Soda found herself for lack of comforting words.

Craning her neck forward she nuzzled her marefriend. "She does…"

Winter-Solstice hiccups a few more times after that, briefly bouncing her whole heavy frame against the floor, bumping Soda upward every now and then after the pegasus settles in over her. Aside from the hiccups, though, she doesn't have much else to say, instead just listening, and waiting. At first, she's tense to the touch, muscles tight beneath her short, soot-dusted coat, but gradually she relaxes, bit by bit, one leg at a time. Except for the hiccups. Even those pass in time.

And eventually, underneath the shelter of those wings, Winter's forelegs slip down, no longer covering the top of her head but hooking around Fizzy's foreleg as it curls around the earth pony's shoulders. Winter stares forward at the feathers over her face, and sighs. "I hope you're right," she says. "I don't really know if I could ever tell if you weren't." She twists about slightly, turning her head, and nuzzles back against Soda when the pegasus nuzzles in. "And I know you're hiding a lot of stuff of your own, and there's probably a lot of stuff you're not telling me or you don't really know how to tell me or something, but I don't think this is one of those things you'd be all secretive about. I trust you. And I guess… I should trust Ruby, too. It's gonna be… it's gonna be tricky, though."

Sodium-Fizz's ears pinned back against her head, she had things she lied about. A lot of them. She nodded though, her head resting cheek-to-cheek against Winter's. "I… yes, there's things I hide… but that's becaus I don't like them, or I don't know how to tell or… something, yes. But I'm not going to hide the fact I'm hiding it… And do that, yes, and… just go talk to her and ask her for the truth."

The grey mare sighed softly, her eyes locked on her hoof as it stroked through Winter's mane. "You deserve a lot better from us than you're getting, Winny. I'm sorry for that… I'll try to be more honest with you, myself… becaus I don't want to make you feel hurt, and I don't want you to leave me. I don't think Ruby want's to either, so… tell her how it is…"

Winter-Solstice closes her eyes and rests her head. After an all-nighter spent worrying over one thing or another, having her concerns allieviated is helping her to relax far more than she realized she had to. She goes all but totally loose, but keeps that half-hug around the legs looped around her withers. The floor may be concrete, and dusty, but near the ever-lit forge, it's adopted a permanent warmth, and caught between that and Sodium, Winter realizes there are few places she'd rather be trapped. "You're fine. I don't blame you. And I don't need you to apologize for anything," she says. "I know why you don't… tell me all the details about all the things. Well… well, that's not entirely true? I don't know why because I don't know what those things are to begin with. But I know you'll say in good time, when you're ready, and it's not really my business anyway so if just not talking about them is what it takes to be okay with them, then that's okay."

She sits up, drawing up enough she can turn and bump Soda's cheek with her nose. "And I'm not gonna… leave you. I…" She quiets. "I've wandered around a bunch ever since I left home and this is the longest I've ever been in one place, I've told you that before. And I was worried that when we got back from crazy nightmare planet that I'd be all 'oh, this is just Horseshoe Harbor, it's boring, let's go someplace new.' But that's not how it was at all. I wanna stay here, with you, and Boss, and even Ruby, and all my other friends, and I totally mean it. And that means being here for you. So if I'm gonna trust you, and I totally do!, you're gonna have to trust ME on that. Deal?"

Sodium-Fizz smiled softly and let her hoof slip from Winter's mane to her cheek, turning her head ever so slightly as she scooted over, muzzles bumping together. "Deal, Winny." Still smiling she leaned forward, pressing her lips to Winter's. Deals sealed with kisses are the best kind.

Winter-Solstice twists a bit further, partially rolling out from under the pegasus. It makes for a sort of awkward position, but the nice thing about being this close to someone is that even the awkward arrangements are kind of fun. And it does mean the big mare is in a better position to return that kiss, eyes closed and broad muzzle pressed up against Soda's own for a few sweet moments of locked lips and held breath. Winter even goes so far as to stifle a late hiccup that shows up to try and ruin the moment- but not today, hiccup, not today. She's smiling as she draws back. "Besides, this is where -I- live so it'd be kinda weird if I tried to leave you. I'd storm out and slam the door and just circle the building and come back in and you'd still be here." She starts pullingherself out from under Sodium and standing upright. "You snore at night, by the way. They're little snores. Did you know that?"

Sodium-Fizz pouts and huffed. "I don't snore…" muttered Fizzy as she picked herself up on her hooves.

Winter-Solstice grins… tiredly, but it is still a grin. She bumps Soda's cheek with her nose once the pegasus is upright. "Yeah, you totally do! And I'm glad that you do. Because when you're snoring, it means you're sleeping, and not that fake kinda sleeping where you're just having nightmares and talking to yourself." The big mare gives Soda's forehead an appropriately big smooch, then turns away. She collects the poster, folding it back up along well-worn seams that divide it into quarters, and takes a moment to double-check the crank that stifles the forge. "I'm gonna get some sleep," murmurs Winter around the paper in her mouth. "If you go into the kitchen, don't worry about waking Boss, she'll sleep through anything after she's pulled one of her paperwork all-nighters."

Sodium-Fizz blushed as Winter kissed the crown of her head, she nodded though. "Of course, you need to sleep just as much as everypony else." A slight skip and she was in the air, the open worskhop providing enough space for limited flight as long as she keept away from… stuff. The pegasus mare smiled and cuped Winter's face in her hooves - after plucking the rolled up paper from her mouth - and kissed her once more. "Sweet dreams, my wounderful Winter-Solstice," she murmured, her cheeks heaing up further as she put the scroll back.

A quick twist of the body and a stroke of her suprisingly large wings sent her soaring over in the direction of the bathroom, hooves clattering against the concrete floor as she touched down and turned, giving Winny a wave before ducking inside. She… was deffinatly going to have to get some chainmail thigh-highs, it would be a nice way to make it up to Winter - if not in the white mares eyes but at least for her own. Though she was pretty certain Winter would like it, a lot. And maybe, Fizzy admited to herself, it would be fun to see how she looked in them.

Winter-Solstice might be worried about her marefriend bumping into something or getting caught on a chain or a tackle or tumbling into the forge if not for how much she admires Soda's dexterity as the pegasus flits about. The lumbering earth pony maintains her position near the forge as she watches, a dumb sort of smile on her face, and then grins around the folded poster as she starts making her way back to the bedroom. She may be tired, but in light of how good she feels now after how rotten she was feeling a little while ago, she might as well be floating back to her bedroom on little wings of her own. Even the weight of the ironclad boots on her back hooves that she'd totally forgotten she was wearing seem forgotten. (And totally will be until she climbs into bed with them still on, no less.)