NewFagAlphaCentauri

Anon Sparkle [1]

Sep 4th, 2015
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  1. >You are Anon Sparkle.
  2. >The youngest of the Sparkles.
  3. >Your fur is green, and you have black hair, but you dye it a darker shade of green most of the time.
  4. >You admit, it looks less distinct, and fits in well with how ponies are normally colored.
  5. >It doesn't take away how odd your cutie mark is, though.
  6. >It's just a simple question mark.
  7. >It managed to get you made fun of through the last year of Elementary School, and Middle School.
  8. >High school was better, but you still hated it.
  9. >The jocks were the worst, but you had a small frame, and could dodge and sprint your way out of any kind of confrontation.
  10. >If you can help it, you'll never know what toilet water tastes like.
  11. >You blamed your cutie mark on all that... but, to be honest, it wasn't the only thing odd about you.
  12. >During pregnancy, your mother thought it was a great idea to accompany Twilight and your father to Twilight's entrance exam for Celestia's course for special kids, or something.
  13. >Not that you blame her. She ought to be there for her kids, and all.
  14. >Your mom always get nervous when talking about you and that day at the same time, for some reason.
  15. >Anyways, after long periods of constantly asking her, she broke down and told you the whole story.
  16. >Twilight turned your parents into... objects. Plants, you think they were.
  17. >This frightened them greatly, as it led to immediate complications in your mother's pregnancy.
  18.  
  19. >You.
  20. >You were the complication.
  21.  
  22. >One panicked trip to the hospital later, they got bad news.
  23. >You weren't, er.... entirely normal, anymore.
  24. >One Ultrasound showed that your tail had immidiately jumped in length, and a subsequent X-ray showed bones in it as well.
  25. >Everthing else seemed fine, at the time, so everything continued on as planned.
  26. >But, months later, they noticed that your horn was quite small.
  27. >Nearing your complete form, they already knew that the horn had stopped growing the day the 'event' happened.
  28.  
  29. >At birth, nothing more was present than a hard bump.
  30. >It was impossible to see under your messy hair, but it's there, to this day.
  31. >The tail is harder to hide, though.
  32. >It's long, and you can use it fairly well. It reaches your chest when you put it forward all the way.
  33. >You keept the thing shaved, since the hair just makes a mess all the time.
  34. >Since you don't have magic, you became good with using the tail instead.
  35. >It was good for small, dexterious tasks that unicorns were known for doing well, so it made a decent replacement, in hindsight.
  36. >It still pissed you off that you can't teleport, though.
  37. >That, and Pyromancy.
  38. >You wanted to learn both of those, but that path of brooding was for another day.
  39. >Anyways, you just tell most people you're an earth pony with a distant dragon relative.
  40. >Most people eat it up.
  41. >Of course. this led to one of several reactions.
  42. >The 'Oh, that's cool' was the classic. That was how most chicks told you they suddenly dropped interest, because you sated their curiosity.
  43. >The 'bullshit'-ers actually did believe you, they just wanted you to tell them all about it. They were the most difficult to deal with without them getting suspicious.
  44. >Then there were the ones that just flat out didn't care to respond to it. This was often followed by attempts to either mug you for change or beat you up for free.
  45.  
  46. >Of those three options, the latest was the one that led you to today's predicament.
  47.  
  48. >"Come down here you little cocksucker!" Called out a muscular stallion.
  49. >You shrugged.
  50. "Sorry! I know you like it, but I'm a LITTLE outside your price-range!"
  51. >Ha.
  52. >You stood atop the sliding bleachers in the gym, wagging your tail seductively at the tan stallion.
  53. >"You'll pay for that, you little shit!"
  54. >Oh, good one.
  55. "No, YOU'LL be paying for this-"
  56. >You slap your ass at him.
  57. "-when you get the money, of course. Which I doubt a little salad tosser like you could manage!"
  58.  
  59. >"What in Tartaurus is going on in here?"
  60. >Uh oh.
  61.  
  62. >Uh
  63. >Uh.....
  64. >Think fast!
  65. >You jump over the end of the bleachers, hiding yourself from where the voice came.
  66. >You press open the door, slowly at first, then bolt out of there, but not before giving tall, thick, and queer a wink.
  67. >You bolt away, going straight into the girl's bathroom.
  68. >There was no door, just a bent path that can't be seen through, so you could still hear anything happening in the halls.
  69. >Why the girl's bathroom? Well, it's past five in the afternoon, and there was not a soul in this chunk of the building, barring you, the jock, and the coach, apparently.
  70. >As long as you didn't clop your hooves around like a retard, they have no reason to suspect you're in there.
  71. >Which is great for you.
  72. >Because they other two were passing you by already.
  73.  
  74. >"C'mon, coach! The little snot is askin' for it!"
  75. >"I don't care. Every time you get near that colt you nearly risk suspension."
  76. >"But-"
  77. >"Stop right there."
  78. >They actually did stop in the hall.
  79. >"I don't care what he said or you said. You stop dealing with him altogether."
  80. >They continued on in silence, leaving the halls empty soon enough.
  81.  
  82. >You moved around and poked your head out slowly, listening for anything, before sliding right out and against the wall.
  83. >You went the opposite way, towards the back entrance of the school. A few minutes later, you reached the band room.
  84. >That was the real reason you were here, before you were spotted and chased by a hoofball player smooching his girlfriend, at the building's side.
  85. >What got you into trouble in the first place was that you threw a bit at the hot cheerleader -who happened to be the child of a 'noble' family, for what 'noble' evens means, these days- and you called out very clearly 'Can I get a BJ too?'
  86. >It was funnier in your head, up until the moment the jock managed to trip and rack himself in the nuts.
  87. >Then it was hilarious!
  88.  
  89. >Anyways, you move on into the band room, spotting a mare and a stallion sitting together.
  90. >They wave you over, and you joined them.
  91. >This is the real reason you bothered coming to school so late.
  92. >Two of your friends offered to teach you about reading and writing music, after you had lightly prodded them about it.
  93. >Learning about new things like this is the thing that interested you the most.
  94. >It lets you branch out into new perspectives, see new things, or do old things differently.
  95. >It is what your cutie mark means, or at least that was the conclusion you came to.
  96. >You were just somewhat good at.... everything, really.
  97. >Well, except for anything involving strength.
  98. >Celestia above, do you suck at lifting.
  99. >You blame your small frame.
  100. >You were great at learning new things, and trying them; and today, you were learning about music.
  101.  
  102. "Okay, so what the tartaurus are we talking about?" You ask.
  103. >Thumper, the stallion, takes up the mantle.
  104. >"We're starting with how to read bass clef. After that, we'll show you the notes, talk about flats and sharps, and some of the more difficult things if we can, like the difference between tone and pitch.
  105. >You nod, letting him instruct away, with you listening closely.
  106.  
  107. >Thumper here is a great drummer.
  108. >He's in the school band, but his real talent shows when he's with his rock band, 'Talon Squad'.
  109. >It's an odd name, you think, but unique enough to gather attention without sounding 'too wierd'.
  110. >Vibrato, the mare, is little sister to Octavia, and plays the violin.
  111. >She wants to make an electric violin to play in a band like Thumper's, but she's been made fun of for it, so she clamps up about it these days.
  112.  
  113. >The evening went rather nicely.
  114. >You learned a fair amount about music, which was your current interest.
  115. >Not that you were going to buy an instrument, or anything.
  116. >You knew better than to just up and buy things without thinking it through.
  117. >The day moved on, and you left your friends to get back home.
  118. >It was friday night, and since you were a social outcast any time past seven p.m, that meant two things.
  119. >Sleeping in the next morning...
  120. >...and game night!
  121.  
  122. "Heck yeah!"
  123. >You stick your face in the massive tub of buttered popcorn that was sitting next to you, eating a mouthful of the stuff.
  124. >You wash it down with some off-brand soda, and wipe your face clean with a nearby paper towel.
  125. >"Careful, sweetie, you might get butter in your eye." Mother said.
  126. >Pfft. She's just envious that you dodged Pone-ssylvania with her hotel.
  127. >She giggled at your enthusiasm nonetheless, and adjusted the paper crown on her head.
  128. >Father grinned evilly, and rolled his dice.
  129. >"Free chariot parking!" He called, pumping a hoof into the air.
  130. "AWWW."
  131. >You fall back on the couch dramatically, watching Nightlight take ALL of the tax money collected so far.
  132. >It wouldn't hurt your pride so bad if you didn't miss it by a single space every time you went around.
  133. >At least you own all the red and orange spaces.
  134. >"Anon." Mom put on her game face. "Help me take down your father, or you're grounded, mister!"
  135. >You just snickered, knowing that it was an empty threat.
  136. >Dad looked apalled, then put his on as well.
  137. >"Anon, help me take HER down, or you're grounded!"
  138. >You just kept snickering, munching away at the popcorn beside you.
  139. >Sweet sisters, did you love game night.
  140.  
  141. >Well, most game nights.
  142. >Sometimes, mom decided to bring up issues during that time.
  143. >You weren't sure why, but you have a sneaking suspicion that it was to get you flustered as much as she could.
  144. >It doesn't always work.
  145.  
  146. >"So, Anon." She said, grabbing your attention. "I was told by a little bird today that you were harassing a pair of students after school today.... again."
  147. >She eyes you carefully. "Do you mind explaining what you were doing?"
  148. >You set your glass of water down.
  149. "I distracted them from their sexual activities, so they wouldn't commit any misdemeanors." You say.
  150. >"An excellent cover story." She says. "But I'm not the guards, I'm your mother. I want the truth."
  151. >You shuffle your hooves, and look at dad for a second. He just smiles at you the same way he has all night.
  152. "I caught them making out at the side of the school, so I threw a bit at them and let them know they should find a better hiding place.
  153. >Dad chuckles lightly.
  154. >"Ah, I remember those days. We had fun, right Velvet?"
  155. >She nods to him affectionately, then looks at you.
  156. >"Sweetie, if they're just kissing, there's no need to call them out. Just let them have their fun."
  157. >"Yeah." Dad says. "And if it's not, just remember; voyeurism isn't illegal, and neither is taking pictures!"
  158. >"Nightlight!"
  159. >Mom picks up a nearby newspaper and swats his nose.
  160.  
  161. >He laughs it off, picking up his cheap hat from the floor.
  162. >"Oh, like you weren't thinking about it." He says.
  163. >"I would hate to be in that girl's place if someone did that." She says dignantly.
  164. >You roll your eyes, and then the dice, deciding to opt out of the conversation for a moment.
  165. "Landed on GO." You say. You stick your tail out towards dad, who runs the bank. "Four hundred bits, please."
  166. >He gives you the money, smiling evilly. "I hope you're ready to fork it over once you land on my property."
  167. >Your eyes go over towards your piece, the airship, then to his properties around it.
  168. >Dad owns the browns, and both shades of blues, all of which had...
  169. "...hotels?"
  170. >When did he get the hotels?
  171. >Crap.
  172. >You stare at him accusingly.
  173. "You're on."
  174. >"Not yet, you're not." Mom says, grabbing the dice. She tossed them, getting a seven. She goes straight from your railroad to-
  175. >"Magic utilities?"
  176. >She puts the silver ball of yarn on the property, and lets her lips quiver. She hoofs over a fifty bit bill and a twenty bit bill
  177. >"My own son is going to bankrupt me."
  178. "That's a shame."
  179. >You readily take her money, adding it to your own pile.
  180. >Right as dad was about to roll his dice, a knock came at the door.
  181. >Dad went up to answer it, and your smile faltered.
  182. >It was one of his work buddies, all suited up.
  183. >Great.
  184.  
  185. >You and your mother look at eachother for a moment, both curious about what is going on.
  186. >A moment later, dad closes the door, and walks back to the coffee table.
  187. >"There's an emergency meeting right now with the department at work." He says. "Someone dropped the ball. We aren't getting some of the research grants we thought we were."
  188. >Mom puts a hoof over her mouth. "Oh, dear." She says.
  189. >Dad kisses mom, and tussles your hair, before going back to the front of the room. He grabs the pressed suit that always hangs near the door, and puts it on.
  190. >"Don't you worry about me, you two. I doubt this will affect us too much."
  191. >You and mother nod at him.
  192. >"See you in a few hours, then." She says.
  193. "Later, dad."
  194. >"I'll be back as soon as I can." He says.
  195. >And he's gone, leaving you and mom alone.
  196. >You stare at the board game, knowing that it just isn't fun to play with only two people.
  197. >"Sorry, sweetie."
  198. >Mom moves around and puts a foreleg around you. She holds you close, the same affectionate way she always does.
  199. >You take off your own paper crown, and leave it next to dad's on the floor.
  200. "I guess we ought to clean up now, huh?"
  201. >She gives a nod, and you both start putting everything up.
  202. >She grabs dad's drinks and snacks, or what was left of them, and begins storing what she could, and throwing away what she couldn't.
  203. >You wipe the board clean of the pieces, putting everything into its respective container.
  204.  
  205. >Soon enough, everything is cleaned off. The only things that remain are your soda and water, and mom's wine and water.
  206. >A look up at the clock lets you know that it's nearly ten.
  207. >Odd. You're usually tired by now.
  208. >Early to bed and early to rise, and such.
  209. >Maybe it's the sugar.
  210.  
  211. >With the fun mood gone, you don't really even want to find a game for just you and mom.
  212. >You're pretty sure she doesn't want to play a game right now either.
  213. >Still, though, you aren't tired, so you need to find something to fill your time.
  214. >You trot to the back wall of the living room, where a large collections of books are kept.
  215. >You scan along the lower shelves until you find a book called 'Meticulous Metalworks: The Rise of the Steam Era'
  216. >You grab it with a hoof, and walk back to the coffee table.
  217. >You put it down, and begin flipping through pages with your tail.
  218.  
  219. >It's a book you have been meaning to get back on again.
  220. >It's about the history behind some of today's technology; particularly dealing with machinery like the printing press, the steamboat, and the dirigible.
  221. >All of some of the most advanced technology to date.
  222. >And it's just all amazing to you, even now.
  223. >You really wish you had the money to buy some of this stuff, but sadly, you don't
  224. >You have a job, and you have some business investments, but nothing near what you would need to just buy something like that.
  225. >"Don't stay up too late, Anon."
  226.  
  227. >You shift your attention to mom. She has a half glass of red wine in her magical grip, and is looking at you from her open doorway.
  228. "Okay, mom." You say.
  229. >She closes the door with a smile, though she leaves the bedroom light on.
  230. >You shrug, and go back to reading-slash-thinking.
  231. >Where were you...?
  232. >...
  233. >Right. Incomes.
  234. >That reminds you; you need to go talk to the lemon twins sometime tomorrow.
  235. >They still need to give you your cut.
  236.  
  237. >You hope to one day afford the full purchase of an airship.
  238. >It would be fun; You'd hold parties on it all the time.
  239. >Best of all, you could show up your siblings with how awesome your life becomes.
  240. >...
  241. >...yeah, okay.
  242. >You admit that you are pretty envious of how their lives are turning out.
  243. >Shining went off to the academy long ago, so he spent most of his weekends always training with the others.
  244. >He visits sometimes, but not as often as you'd like.
  245. >He's just so busy, and his most recent promotion only seems to take him away even more.
  246. >Twilight was always in Celestia's School for gifted unicorns. She is the alicorn's personal student to this day.
  247. >It usually meant Twilight was gone for longer lengths of the day just learning, which was amplified by the fact that she'd stick herself in the library once she was done at school.
  248. >You wanted to play with her all the time, but the age difference was just too much.
  249. >Her studies became demanding around the time you started wanting to play with her.
  250. >She frequently became annoyed when you tried to get her to play soccer with you.
  251. >She did teach you how to read, though, and very well, at that. You appreciate that to this day.
  252. >But it didn't change how you were the black sheep of the family. The outcast... the mutant.
  253. >You family didn't care about it. In fact; they loved you all the more for it.
  254. >But it really didn't help when you're still shoved off and ignored by nearly all of the other nobles.
  255. >It didn't matter what your last name is, or who you know; At least when the situation involves you.
  256. >It boils down to one fact: You are rejected by the higher class you were born into.
  257. >And by the Celestial Sisters, you are either going to find a way to MAKE them accept you...
  258. >... or you are going to get the tastiest revenge ever served.
  259.  
  260. >Minutes later, you close the book up, and put it back on the shelf.
  261. >You head upstairs to your room, turning off the crystal lights on your way.
  262. >You toss off your jacket that you always wear onto the edge of the bed, and hop up in it.
  263. >Next to your bed is a nightstand, matching the dark coloring and electric pattern that your covers have.
  264. >You rummage through the top drawer, and pull out a notepad and a pencil.
  265. >You put the pad on the nightstand, and grab the pencil with your tail.
  266. >You scratch out a reminder to talk to the lemon twins in the morning, before you go to work.
  267.  
  268. >They had come to you, a year or two ago, right as summer was about to start.
  269. >They asked for a loan, so they could sell lemonade all summer.
  270. >Turns out, banks don't allow business loans for less than a thousand bits.
  271. >They only needed three hundred to start with, so they tried asking friends, instead.
  272. >At first, you were unsure. Three hundred bits was a lot, after all.
  273. >They managed to convince you after promising a third of the profit, rather than just paying back the amount owed and interest.
  274. >It was a gamble, but wasn't every business?
  275. >But, shit.
  276. >It was a damn good gamble.
  277. >You got them set up, and they fulfilled their promise.
  278. >By the end of the summer, you had nearly two thousand bits from them.
  279. >With that, and your waiting job down at Griffonia's Cafe, you were rolling in bits.
  280. >For a highschool student, at least.
  281. >You need to plan this all out. Surely you can find a way to show you're worth acknowledgement.
  282. "Surely..."
  283.  
  284. >You hop into bed, and turn out the lights, hoping Luna might visit you again tonight.
  285.  
  286. >You sleep rather well.
  287. >You don't recall any dreams, but you don't really care.
  288. >What you DO recall, though, is a plan that you've been churning out over night.
  289. >Your business with the lemon twins has exploded.
  290. >This year, they expanded into a bunch of other flavors of lemonade, and limeade too.
  291. >This got you thousands more bits than you could have expected.
  292. >Now, though?
  293. >Last you heard it, they're trying to find a place to buy and renovate, so they can make a smoothie shop.
  294. >You don't know much more than that, but if you want to keep a stake in the business, you ought to talk with them about it.
  295.  
  296. >You toss your covers off, and hop on out, ignoring your morning wood.
  297. >You crack open your bedroom door, and make sure no one is watching.
  298. >With the way clear, you trot across the hall to the bathroom.
  299. >You enter, locking the door once you do, and turn on the water.
  300.  
  301. >You exit the bathroom once more a few minutes later, with your body clean and pride now hidden.
  302. >You march on down the hall, and descend the stairs.
  303. >It's just past seven A.M., according to the clock on the wall.
  304. >Hmm. It seems you did sleep in.
  305. >You Usually awaken at six, roughly.
  306.  
  307. >You shrug, happy for the extra sleep, and continue on to the kitchen.
  308. >Mother and Father aren't awake yet, so you suppose you can cook them breakfast.
  309. >Not that you were a master chef, or anything, but shit; who can mess up pancakes?
  310.  
  311. >You grab the pancake mix and some measuring cups.
  312. >You take out a little more than what you'd probably need, and put it in a bowl. Then, you dump water on it.
  313. >You pull a pan from one of the many cabinets, and shove it on the stove, turning the fire on.
  314. >You grab a bottle of oil, and dump some into the pan, setting the bottle aside afterward.
  315. >You pour batter into the pan, forming a single, massive pancake.
  316. >A moment later, you flip it over. After about the same period of time, you flip it out onto a plate.
  317. >You keep doing this until three plates have thick, steaming pancakes on top
  318. >See? Easy as shit.
  319. >But now, you have a different problem.
  320. >You must awaken the parents.
  321.  
  322. >You leave the kitchen, cross the livingroom, and trot right up to the bedroom door.
  323. >You don't even knock. You just open it up and walk right in.
  324. >Privacy is an illusion, here at the Sparkle residence.
  325. >You keep going, hopping onto mom and dad's bed.
  326.  
  327. >The first thing you notice is that they look fucked up.
  328. >Not like they were in a fight, or anything.
  329. >Their manes are wild, they're snoring and drooling, and they're cradling eachother.
  330. >The bottle of wine mom was drinking from last night? Empty. There's also a bottle of whiskey that is sitting there, missing a third of its contents.
  331. >Shit.
  332. >They don't usually drink that much in one setting.
  333. >Something must have happened.
  334.  
  335. >You hop onto the bed, next to mom. You nudge her shoulder repeatedly, whispering into her ear.
  336. "Mom."
  337. >After a minute or so, she wakes up, stretching and yawning. She looks at you bleary-eyed, taking some time to register what was going on.
  338. >"Anon? What do you need?"
  339. >You choose to put it bluntly.
  340. "You and dad look like you got wrecked last night."
  341. >She looks over at Nightlight, and spots his normally well-kept mane, which is now wild and tangled.
  342. >You think she smiles, and she magics over a small mirror, looking at herself.
  343. >Now she giggles.
  344. >"It's been a while since It's been like this."
  345. >She gets a comb, and starts fixing her hair, which was previously sticking out in all directions on the left side, and simply frazzled on the other.
  346. "So, what happened at the meeting?" You ask. "And why do you guys smell like a bar?"
  347. >She looks at you, still combing her hair.
  348. >"Well, your father came back home about an hour after I closed my door." She says.
  349. >"He was going on and on about how the financial department screwed everypony over, and should be the one getting cuts."
  350. >Yikes.
  351. >Sounds like shit hit the fan at dad's work.
  352. "He didn't lose his job, did he?"
  353. >She shakes her head.
  354. >"No, but he did get a cut in paid hours, so he is miffed. A couple of his friends have been put on economic suspension until some more research grants come through."
  355. "What's 'economic suspension'?"
  356. >"It means they're not receiving work from the university anymore, but they haven't been fired."
  357. >Sounds retarded, but whatever.
  358. >You guess they know what they're doing.
  359. "Okay. You guys should get up soon; I made pancakes."
  360. >And with that, you leave the bedroom.
  361.  
  362. >The fact that your parents banged last night didn't escape you. The room stunk of their.... eugh.....
  363. >Whatever. Fact was: You don't want to think about it.
  364. >Moving on.
  365.  
  366. >Breakfast goes by pretty fast, mostly held by silence.
  367. >Mom thanks you for cooking, hugging you affectionately.
  368. >Dad would thank you, but you can see he's still recovering from the rough night.
  369. >You're still not sure why a university would cut their magical research teams before anything else.
  370.  
  371. >But, life goes on, and you grab your favorite hoodie before offering farewells to the parents.
  372. >It's just past nine, and you're out and about the bustling streets.
  373. >You've got your jacket, your bags, and your ego, all ready to go.
  374.  
  375. >Your first stop is down at Vibrato's house.
  376. >You make your way out of the Noble district, and down the steps separating it from the businness district.
  377. >The city is built in a kind of terrace formation.
  378. >Each section is build from the castle, out. Every section is called a 'district' for zoning purposes.
  379. >The more money your family has, the higher you are, and the closer to the castle you live.
  380. >low incomes homes are huild further out, in the lower sections of the city.
  381. >If anyone tries to say it was planned that way to separate the money from the lack of.... well, they'd be right.
  382. >Because it damn well was planned that way.
  383. >The business district acts as a buffer zone between the noble district and the middle district.
  384. >This means that most of your friends live, at minimum, two-thirds of a mile away.
  385. >But that's okay. You enjoy the walk, and your path goes right down the food vendors' block
  386. >Not that they are the only food vendors in the district; just the only area dedicated to just them.
  387. >Vibrato happens to live just on the other end, right at the bottom of the stairs.
  388.  
  389. >You make your way through, passing by one vender after another.
  390. >You pass by the lemon twins' stand, but as you expected, they aren't quite there yet.
  391. >It isn't long until you make it through, and descend the long set of stone stairs.
  392. >Decent looking houses meet your eye, with a couple of small apartment buildings scattered in.
  393. >Most of the ones around you are two-story, made with some refined lumber
  394. >Vibrato's house is one of the unique ones, because it's made of mahoghony.
  395. >And it's sanded into the smoothest fucking wood that ever existed.
  396. >Seriously.
  397.  
  398. >You veer off the road and make an approach to her house.
  399. >Once you get to the door, you pry open your bag with your tail, and pull out a few papers.
  400. >You place the borrowed music sheets into the mail slot, being careful not to crinkle them.
  401.  
  402. >With your first objective complete, you make your way back up the steps.
  403. >By the time you reach the top, your legs are burning a little.
  404. >Yeah, maybe you could use more exercise.
  405. >At least you aren't fat, or anything.
  406. >Like Twilght.
  407. >She has a plump ass, and you never stopped poking fun at her for it.
  408. >She gets so flustered; it's real funny to you.
  409.  
  410. >Anyways, you move on through the vendors' area, weaving through the crowd that is gradually increasing.
  411. >You spot the lemonade stand again, but no one is there yet.
  412. >You look at a nearby clock tower to see the time.
  413. >9:42
  414. >You've got time. They should be here soon anyways.
  415.  
  416. >The wait is actually shorter than you had expected.
  417. >At ten sharp, a yellow mare, with wavy green hair that turns yellow at the tips, walks up to the stand, with a small cart in tow.
  418. "Hey, Lemondrop."
  419. >She looks at you with a smile, and sets the cart down next to the stand, kicking up a leg to keep it level.
  420. >"Hey, Anon." She says. "You're just the stallion I've been looking to see."
  421. >You smile back.
  422. "Is that so?"
  423. >She nods, and starts unpacking her cart. Or, some of it, at least. She takes out a chair and umbrella, but leaves the small vat in its place.
  424. >"Yeah. We've worked out your cut for the month."
  425. >She takes out a large metal box, covered in runic symbols, and places it at the leg of the cart, right under where a faucet stuck out from the vat.
  426. "That's great." You say. "But I also wanted to ask about any plans you two might have for expansion."
  427. >She sets up the supplies of paper cups and straws, and puts some extra ingredients under the stall, invisible to any customer.
  428. >She looks at you incredulously.
  429. >"Are you a mind reader?" She askes. "Cause I was suppose to ask you about that!"
  430. >You raise an eyebrow, and lean over the side of the stall.
  431. "Really?" You ask. "What were you guys thinking about it?"
  432. >She goes over all of her inventory, making sure she didn't miss a step.
  433. >"Well, we've been thinking about renovating a place, but we just can't find a place that's good for a smoothie shop."
  434. >"So we've been thinking about getting a C-class vendor's permit and expanding out shop here instead."
  435. >She goes on explaining.
  436. >"We can get the paperwork, and everything, but, um.....
  437. >"....well, most of our money has gone back to improving our home, and such -ya know, us being from a lower income family and all- and, we..."
  438. >"We were kinda hoping you'd be kind enough to make another investment."
  439.  
  440. >Sure. These two were giving you the easiest money you'd ever made. Why not make more?
  441. "How much are you needing right now?"
  442. >She seems to cringe a little. "About... four thousand...."
  443. >You furrow your brows.
  444. >That's actually quite a bit of money.
  445. >Not as much as you've made already, but still.
  446. "If I give it to you tommorow, what's the timing on everything?"
  447. >She gains some optimism.
  448. >"We could get the permit any time, but the new stall could take a week, and getting new storage for other flavors could take a month. Not to mention we'll need a new cart."
  449. >You chew on this information a bit.
  450. >Really, you were sure the length of times here might be at least a little optimistic, but, heck, it's not like they'll have to shut down the vending in the meantime.
  451. >Okay, maybe they will when upgrading their stall, but still.
  452. "Sure." You say.
  453.  
  454. >Lemondrop gives you a warm hug. Before she lets go, however, she also gives you a light kiss on the cheek.
  455. >"Thank you, Anon!" She says. "You're just the best! We couldn't have done this without you!"
  456. >She gives you a large bag of bits, along with a-
  457. >Shit, that's a full gold bar, isn't it?
  458. >"Here's your dues, too. We'll talk about amounts tomorrow, okay?
  459. >You sit there, blushing, for a small moment, before you smile back.
  460. "No problem." You say, before stuffing the dosh into your saddle-bags.
  461. >She waves at you happily.
  462.  
  463. >And thus, you go on your way back home.
  464.  
  465.  
  466. >After going home and dropping the payment into the stash under your bed, you make your way further into the noble district, towards the Griffon Embassy.
  467. >Yeah, you work at a place called 'Griffonia's'.
  468. >There really isn't a place for a griffon-specialty restaurant except next to an embassy, or in Griffonia itself.
  469. >Or Chickago, but that's another story.
  470.  
  471. >You continue on down the road, passing by other embassies and foreign-themed businesses.
  472. >A slew of guards litter the place, walking all up and down the streets; not all of them are Equestrian, either.
  473. >The ones that aren't native, though, stay within the fenced confines of their respective embassy.
  474. >Still, though.
  475. >They look pretty threatening.
  476.  
  477. >You get to Griffonia's.
  478. >It's a large place, built to accomodate a rush at any time.
  479. >The marble columns and granite walls give off an air of respect, of importance.
  480. >Most days, it wreaks of the self-important nobles, of both pony and griffon.
  481. >But the pay is good, and you figure if you can make a good image for yourself, you'll start being respected.
  482. >If not, you can always spit in their food.
  483. >Or worse.
  484.  
  485. >Anyways, you move on around the to the back, through the alley at the side of the building.
  486. >You go into the employee entrance, and arrive at a small locker room.
  487. >You go you your locker, and take out the full coat from your saddle-bags, and put it on, taking your bags off right before.
  488. >You see, a full coat simply means that it's a coat that reaches from your chest to past your arse.
  489. >Most places have half-coats for their uniform, where it cuts off just past the midsection, but not here.
  490. >Apparently, it is 'more fitting' to griffons.
  491. >Whatever that meant.
  492. >Their populations like being just as naked as Equestria's.
  493.  
  494. >You shake around in the large black coat -which is a size or two too large, you might add- until it settles into a comfortable position.
  495. >It looks like a regular black suit would, but goes over and covers your arse down to the bend in your legs.
  496. >A cloth screen covers the area between the back legs and front legs at the same height, removing any possible view of your jiggly bits unless from straight on and below.
  497. >With your short stature, though, no one could see if they tried, which you're pretty thankful for when your teenage body decides to pop an erection mid-shift.
  498. >You are pretty miffed at the lack of a tail-hole, though.
  499. >It makes it a bit more difficult to write orders when your tail is constricted by the clothing.
  500. >Oh well.
  501. >You lock everything else of yours up, and walk into the kitchen.
  502. >Your manager greets you at the front of the kitchen, where the doors to the dining area are.
  503. >He clocks you in, and gives you the things you need: A notepad, a pencil, and a leather bag to gather bits in.
  504. >You get on your way.
  505.  
  506. >On the way to the front, you see that your section of the restaurant is empty.
  507. >The front is just as empty.
  508. >With the realization that you must wait on someone so that you may wait on them, you come to the conclusion that you have become the very thing the waitor always strives to achieve:
  509. >Being the one who waits.
  510. >And so you wait, everything at the ready, for the next customer to come up.
  511. >...
  512. >...
  513. >There!
  514.  
  515. >A pair of griffons arrive; one is young, a girl, and sporting a flower in her ear, while the other is a much larger, much older male, dressed in a void black suit. Both seem to be adults.
  516. "Hello sir, ma'am; welcome to Griffonia's. Will it just be the two of you this morning?"
  517. >The male nods. "Yes."
  518. "And would you prefer a table or a booth?"
  519. >"A booth is preferable." The hot, young chick says.
  520. >You nod, and grab two menus, checking off a table from the ledger.
  521. "Alright. If you'll follow me, I'll take you to your seats."
  522.  
  523. >You take them to a nearby booth, hoofing them their menus once they sit down.
  524. >You let them get situated, then look at them expectantly.
  525. "Do you know what you want to drink, or do you need a minute?"
  526. >The burly one looks down at you.
  527. >"I'll have a Red Shiner and some water, please."
  528. >You look at the chick.
  529. >"I'll have some water with lemon."
  530. >You mentally note their order and begin going to the kitchen.
  531. "Alright, I'll have those out in just a moment."
  532. >You get back to the kitchen, and make two glasses of water, one with lemon.
  533. >Then, you grab a Red Shiner from the Icebox, along with a bottle opener.
  534. >You set one of the serving plates on your back, with a saddle-looking piece that keeps it from tipping.
  535. >You record their order on their ledger that hangs in the kitchen, then move on out to deliver.
  536. >You walk right up to them, and turn your body to make it easier to use your tail.
  537. "Here you go, ma'am."
  538. >You say, giving her water.
  539. "And here you go, sir."
  540. >You do the same, then the beer. You hold it in your tail's grip a moment longer, and crack it open with the opener.
  541. >You set it in front of him, and he happily grabs it.
  542. >You put the opener back on the tray, and look at them.
  543. "And do you know what you want, or do you need a few more minutes?"
  544. >"We need a few." The chick says.
  545. "Alright." You say. "I'll check back in a few."
  546. >You go back to put the tray and opener up, before going back to the front entrance again.
  547. >Today may very well be a slow day.
  548.  
  549. >And it IS a slow day.
  550. >Kinda.
  551. >The lunch 'rush' doesn't carry the influx of customers it usually does.
  552. >Which you don't really mind.
  553. >You get paid ten bits an hour, and keep 50% of the tips your get.
  554. >The other half is pooled for the chefs, which you think is just fine; They very well earn it most days.
  555. >Regardless, you make a decent amount of money, even when the demand is slow.
  556. >You're pretty thankful, though.
  557. >You hear that in Taurus a server will usually make less than the minimum wage, and have to make up for it through tips.
  558. >Yeah, you wouldn't like that very much.
  559. >"Excuse me, sir?"
  560.  
  561. >Huh?
  562. >Oh, it's the beautiful griffon-lady.
  563. >...
  564. >Yeah, you have a thing for griffons.
  565. >You're pretty sure it's the wings.
  566.  
  567. >Anyways, you quickly make it to their table, where the larger griffon has disappeared on you, leaving the chick alone.
  568. "Yes, ma'am? Is there anything I can do for you?"
  569. >You begin to wonder if you failed to bring a refill, but lo and behold, every beverage present is full, and their used plates were taken an hour ago.
  570. >Yes, the pair had been sitter there talking for nearly three hours.
  571. >You're pretty sure they're long lost lovers, or something.
  572.  
  573. >"What's your name, again?"
  574. "Anonymous Sparkle, ma'am."
  575. >"Anonymous." She said, grasping it. "I was wondering; have you ever modeled before?"
  576.  
  577. >what
  578.  
  579. "No, ma'am. I have not." You say, wondering why she'd ask.
  580. >"Would you like to try?"
  581. >You open your mouth to speak, but close it up again once you realize you don't know what to say.
  582. >Your eyebrows furrow, pondering it.
  583. >You just shrug.
  584. >"I've been looking for a stallion to personally model for me in a variety of attires."
  585. >She hands you a note, and you take it.
  586. >"This is where I'm staying, if you decide to take up the offer."
  587. >And with that, she leaves some bits on the table, and takes off.
  588.  
  589. >You body goes through the motions necessary to tally the order and pocket your half of the tip, but your mind is in other places.
  590. >You'd never even thought about going into something like modeling.
  591. >You figured the tail would probably be a bit of a turn-off for anything like that, though you aren't sure why.
  592. >She DID see the tail, right?
  593. >....right?
  594. >She had to have. You used it to give them their drinks!
  595. >Maybe that's what she's looking for; something different, something...
  596. >well, you wouldn't say 'exotic', but that's the only word you can come up with at the moment.
  597. >You'll have to think on it.
  598. >Maybe there's a book in the living room on modeling, just so you know what to expect.
  599. >If not, there's always the library.
  600.  
  601. >You continue on about the day, though, stuffing the note back in your saddle-bags when you get the chance.
  602. >The rest of the day is more or less average for you, but thirty minutes before the end of your shift, a familiar voice rang out from the front entrance.
  603. >"Excuse me, I've been in here a full twenty seconds and I have YET to be helped."
  604. >You look over to see-
  605. >Oh-
  606. >Oh crap.
  607. >It's Duke Goldenhoof.
  608. >The local asshole that harasses waiters and waitresses over the smallest things.
  609. >He's the epitome of being a dick, but he's too well connected to get banned without the place getting flak for it.
  610. >Most of the staff fake a smile and move on, knowing it's a risk that comes with the job.
  611. >And today, you are unlucky/lucky enough to be his server.
  612. >You're going to hate him....
  613. >But you're also in the perfect position for revenge...
  614.  
  615. >"-and make SURE there is NO meat in the salad. I know this is a griffon establishment, but I just can't have any of it coming close to my food."
  616. >You scratch that part into the order.
  617. "Okay." You say. "So you want an equestrian sampler with low-fat ranch, three random dipping sauces from the wings section that are below 'mild' in spiciness and don't contain garlic, two half glasses of cream soda, a shot and a
  618.  
  619. half of Chucklhouse whiskey, a shot of Cyka cider, a glass of water, a full lemon, and a house salad with no meat, and double the ranch, but on the side."
  620. >You look at him expectantly.
  621. "Anything else?"
  622. >"A cup of tomato soup to go with the salad."
  623. >Wow.
  624. >This guy.
  625. >You scratch out the order, and nod to him.
  626. "Alright. I'll be right back with your drinks, sir."
  627. >You grab the menu, and make your way back to the kitchen, dumping the menu off onto a stack once you arrive.
  628. >You grab the glasses you need, and make the drinks requested.
  629. >You toss them onto a tray, and make your way to the table again. You put the drinks down in front of him.
  630. >He looks at you expectantly.
  631. >"Where's the whiskey?"
  632. >You point to the nearer two shotglasses, one only half full.
  633. "These two are the whiskey, sir."
  634. >"Chucklehouse whiskey is much lighter than that." He stared at you. "What are you trying to pull?"
  635. >Are you fucking daft or something.
  636. "Sir, it looks darker because the wood table is behind it. If you put put it on your napkin, you can see-"
  637. >"DON'T backtalk me." He commands.
  638. >You look at him like he's retarded.
  639. "That's how a conversation works."
  640. >He stares at you with the fury of a thousand wet house-cats.
  641. >"Quit this at once, or I'll have a talk with your manager."
  642. >You begrudgingly oblige, and go back to the kitchen.
  643. >Oh, that was the first and last straw.
  644. >No one threatens you with the 'speak with your manager' crap.
  645. >He's going to pay.
  646.  
  647. >No one messes with Anonymous U. Sparkle.
  648. >No one.
  649. >There has not been one person who has gotten away from your REVENGE.
  650. >And today is one of those days.
  651. >A day when you serve delicious, narcotic revenge.
  652.  
  653. >You make your way into the kitchen, but pass through the area, and get into your locker again.
  654. >You rummage through your back until you find a small white box with a red cross on it.
  655. >Yes, you do, in fact, carry an emergency medical kit with you at all times.
  656. >And, yes.
  657. >Revenge counts as an emergency.
  658. >You pull out a bottle of painkillers, the kind that don't have that plastic-looking crap on the outside.
  659. >You take one, and put the rest away.
  660. >You put everything up, and go back through the kitchen.
  661. >You get to the alcoholic beverages, and you pour a shot of whiskey.
  662. >Making sure no one else is paying you mind, you take a nearby knife and crunch the pill you had into a fine powder.
  663. >You shove it into the shot, and mix it up as best you can with a stirring rod.
  664. >The pill is basically morphine and sugar, and it's fairly weak, in spite of how strong morphine usually is.
  665. >There shouldn't be any side effects other than the one you're shooting for.
  666.  
  667. >The powder mixes in fairly well, and, after a minute or so of mixing, is completely dissolved.
  668. >You set it on a tray, and put on the best humble, sorrowful face you can manage.
  669. >You exit the kitchen, looking on towards the duke.
  670. >About halfway towards him, he looks at you, so you glance around at everywhere but forward, making yourself as small as possible to him.
  671. >You reach him, and he looks at you annoyed.
  672. "A- as an apology, I'm offering a shot of Cyka Cider at my own expense, sir."
  673. >You send your eyes this way and that, only meeting his stare every third time or so.
  674. >"....very well." You place the shot on the table. "But don't think this will get me to tip you."
  675. >You nod, and quickly make your way back to the kitchen.
  676. >Phase one is underway....
  677.  
  678. >You immediately go to the schedule, and find out who's about to be on break.
  679. >The next one is Sha'ik, a nimble zebra that you're actually fairly good friends with.
  680. >And he's on break...
  681. >Right now, actually. It just started.
  682. >You go to the locker room, where you expect him to be.
  683. >And you're right; he's sitting right there in one of the chairs in the corner.
  684. >Next to him is a half-eaten plate of food, probably one of the extras rather than something he made himself.
  685. >You catch his attention as you approach.
  686. "Hey, Sha'ik, could I get you to do a really big favor?"
  687. >He looks at you, and swallows.
  688. >"What do you need?"
  689. "I need you to go to the pharmacy five doors down and grab me a box of Dixie Rise."
  690. >He furrows his eyebrows.
  691. >"You're drugging people again?"
  692. >You nod excitedly.
  693. >"You do realize how illegal that is, right?"
  694. >You nod excitedly.
  695. >"And you didn't think to carry some on you instead of waiting until now?"
  696. >You nod solemnly.
  697. "I'll pay you triple the reciept."
  698. >He sighs.
  699. >"Yeah, yeah. I'll get your crap."
  700. >You hoof him ten bits.
  701. "This should cover it. Just tell me how much it is and I'll give the rest when you get back."
  702. >He nods, and gets up, heading towards the back door.
  703. >Good, good.
  704. >It'll only take seven or eight minutes for him to get the aphrodisiac, so you'll have a small window to work with.
  705. >For the time being, you'll just have to wait it out.
  706. >You go back through the kitchen, and grab a pitcher of water.
  707. >Time to find a target...
  708.  
  709. >After waiting on a few other tables, refilling drinks and such, you get back to the locker room, where Sha'ik meets you.
  710. >You hoof him another fourteen bits to cover your promise, and he goes back to eating.
  711. >You pull out one of the pills from the box, and stuff the rest in one of your bags.
  712. >You go to the drinks again, and pour a small glass of whiskey.
  713. >You crunch up the pill, same as last time, and make sure it dissolves as much as possible.
  714. >You put the glass on a tray, and put on your best smile.
  715. >You walk out to the Duke's table again, offering a happy attitude, which he immediately finds suspicious.
  716. >Or, he might have, if he wasn't busy rubbing his eyes and yawning.
  717. "Excuse me, sir."
  718. >He stares at you, with a slightly tired face.
  719. >"What do you want?"
  720. >You slide the drink to him, and start piling empty cups onto your trap.
  721. "Do you see that pretty little lady over there?" You ask, pointing towards a well-dressed unicorn, talking to a feminine griffon, both of whom are actually quite beautiful.
  722. >Before he can say anything, you explain.
  723. "The mare over there bought you this round. She said she loves a stallion that can drink others under the table."
  724. >You pause.
  725. "Oh, and she's a dutchess from Trottingham."
  726. >He looks at you, then the mare, then the drink, and forms a small smile.
  727. >"You know what?" He asks. "I think you may have earned that tip, now."
  728. >You smile.
  729. "It's a pleasure, sir. Though if I were you, I'd wait a bit, or she might think you're desperate."
  730. >He frowns at you.
  731. >"And now I think you've unearned it." He says. "Don't tell me what to do."
  732. >You frown as well, and just nod, taking the dirty dishes back to the kitchen.
  733. >You don't have the time to see what happens as part of the staff, but that might be a good thing.
  734. >Anyways, you get to the manager, and clock yourself out.
  735. >Now, to watch the show.
  736.  
  737. >You get out, and don your favorite hoodie, then make your way around from the back.
  738. >You get to the front entrance, and go in, but make sure not to get seen by the Duke.
  739. >You pull your hood up, covering your face, and stroll right by the duke, hoping he wasn't paying enough attention to see you.
  740. >You doubt he did, since you have a small stature, and the tables are so high.
  741. >You nab an empty booth close to the 'dutchess', and keep your hood up, grabbing a menu once you seat yourself.
  742. >You sit facing away from the duke's direction, and lower the menu every few seconds to see when he decides to go to the
  743. >...
  744. >...
  745. >He sure is taking his sweet time.
  746. >You expected him to almost jump onto the prospect of easy, noble pussy, but maybe not.
  747. >Maybe you should have thought this through some mo-
  748. >No- wait, he just passed you.
  749. >He goes on, levitating a less-than-half-full glass of cream soda with his magic, and introduces himself.
  750. >Damn. He must not have drank the whiskey.
  751. >You turn around, and look at his table, and you're filled with mild surprise.
  752. >He DID drink the whiskey, but he isn't at attention.
  753. >Wierd.
  754.  
  755. >You watch him closely, trying to decipher what went wrong.
  756. >The medicine is almost instantly acting, especially since it's made with some magical accelerant, and going down with alcohol, to boot.
  757. >He shouldn't be able to resist it, either. It's not like mere willpower can keep the erection at bay with THAT stuff.
  758.  
  759. >The duke takes a seat, and begins flirting with the girls, though the chick seems only half interested in him.
  760. >The mare gets him a coaster and ... he doesn't want it?
  761. >He says he prefers to just hold it.
  762. >Now what wouldn't he just put it....
  763. >Wait a second.
  764. >He's using magic to hide his erection.
  765. >That sneaky bastard.
  766. >Well.... two can play at that game.
  767.  
  768. >You ruffle through your bag.
  769. >You have a took for this very reason, but you just can't seem to find it...
  770. >....there it is.
  771. >You pull out a slingshot, along with a rubber ball.
  772. >Your choice of ammo was a mercy on your enemies; you want to get revenge, not break their horns and rip their eyes.
  773. >Not that they two were mutually exclusive.
  774.  
  775. >Anyways, you pull it down under the table, just to make sure you don't look TOO suspicious.
  776. >You lay down, getting your eyes level with the table, and set the launcher against the edge.
  777. >You whip your tail around and load up the shot.
  778. >By now, the mare has smelled the alcohol on the duke's breath, since she's giving him an apprehensive look.
  779. >Right.
  780. >He's leaning into her personal space, at this point.
  781. >It's now or never.
  782. >You grasp with your tail, and pull back, aiming right for the duke.
  783. >You aim a little higher, and...
  784. >Release!
  785. >BOING
  786.  
  787. >The ball sails through the air, striking the duke's horn right at the base.
  788. >Color bursts out as his magic cuts off.
  789. >He flinches away from the ball, making him lean towards the mare more.
  790. >"Ouch! Shit!"
  791. >His sudden cursing brings the attention from a few tables around, which multiplies with the whispering starts.
  792. >They all stare at him, and you snicker silently.
  793. >He doesn't know what they're looking at, until he looks down.
  794.  
  795. >His hard, throbbing erection meets his vision, and he clams up.
  796.  
  797. >You only barely hold in laughter as the situation really hits home for the duke.
  798. >The griffon chick is the first to talk.
  799. >"Wow. What are you, fifteen? Showing in public will get you nowhere."
  800.  
  801. >Somehow, that line makes you let out a snicker.
  802.  
  803. >The duke shuts his mouth, unable to think of what to say in a situation like this.
  804. >His eyes dart around, and the blush on his face grows.
  805. >"I- I, uh....."
  806. >"Get out."
  807. >He just stares at the mare as she says it.
  808. >Her hesitant attitude takes a turn for the aggressive.
  809. >"I said get-"
  810. >She plants a back hoof on the duke's side.
  811. >"-out!"
  812. >The duke sails across a few meter's distance, with a horseshoe-shaped print somewhere behind his ribs.
  813. >He hits his head on a chair, and tumbles into a table.
  814. >Almost comically, this causes a glass of water to tip over the edge and spill all over him.
  815. >Now soaked and embarrased, the duke gets up, and manages to hit his snout on the table.
  816.  
  817. >Poor guy.
  818. >You'd almost feel bad for him, if it wasn't all part of your plan for revenge.
  819.  
  820. >You were hoping for a fight to break out, or something, but it hasn't, and doesn't appear to be going that direction.
  821. >Still, by the time everything is said and done, the nobles around him were giving angry stares and nasty comments under their breath.
  822. >While it didn't go as well as you hoped, you did get what you wanted.
  823. >Now, the duke knows the true meaning of shame.
  824.  
  825. >You wait around for a bit, making sure Goldenhoof doesn't see you, then make your way back out the front.
  826. >Stripping away the social stature of another abusing noble is exactly what you look forward to on a good day.
  827. >And today, you managed to get one of the ones that spreads his filth right in front of you.
  828. >Yeah. Today is a pretty good day, so far.
  829.  
  830. >You go on, strolling through the mix of embassies and shops, taking in the scenery.
  831. >Then you remember the note, and stop to get it out.
  832. >You read over it, wondering if she had her own studio.
  833. >The chick's address is at copper creek road, somewhere between the streets fushia and violet.
  834. >Wierd.
  835. >That area is in the middle district.
  836. >Most in that area don't have the connections to make a living off artistry, so you doubt it's a paying gig.
  837. >Then again, she WAS eating at Griffonia's, so maybe she does have connections.
  838. >Either way, it's something new, and you're planning on going over tommorow.
  839. >Paying or not, it ought to be fun at least.
  840. >That reminds you, you should find a book on it, just to get your hooves wet.
  841. >There might be one or two back home, but you can't be sure.
  842. >It's best if you just go to the library anyways. It's not like it's not on the way anyways.
  843.  
  844. >You cuve this way and that, going around bends and turns until you reach Canterlot University, the greatest wealth of knowledge since the Canterlot historical archives.
  845. >Yeah, surely they have a book on modeling.
  846.  
  847. >Well, sure as shit, the library had books on modeling.
  848. >Too many, probably.
  849. >You grabbed only a single book on the subject; "Artist's Anthology: A Guide to Posing"
  850. >It seemed to be the only one that touches on both artistry and outfitting, since you still aren't sure which of the two you're about to head into.
  851. >Your guess is that the chick is an artist, but you have no proof.
  852. >So, you read bits and pieces last night, and went to bed with the book between you and your pillow.
  853.  
  854. >Which, you kinda regret allowing to happen, considering how much you drooled on the thing.
  855. "Aw, crap."
  856. >You flick up a dozen or so pages, all stuck together with dried spit.
  857. >You wipe off any of the fresh spit, and toss the book to your side.
  858. >You go through your morning routine, but after the show, you take a good look in the mirror, and realize that your roots are showing.
  859. "That time of the week, isn't it?" You ask yourself.
  860. >You pull open a drawer and pull out and dark green can.
  861. >You hold it with your tail, and press it against your scalp.
  862. >A jet of dark green foam releases as you press the head, getting all in your hair.
  863. >Once a decent amount is out, you put the can back up.
  864. >You rub the stuff in, making sure to get it down to your roots.
  865. >When it's all mixed in, giving your hair a firm, slick form.
  866. >You make sure to wipe away any of the extra foam at the sides.
  867. >You don't want to dye your fur, after all.
  868.  
  869. >After a good five minutes or so of dicking around, you wash out the dye, leaving your hair a lively dark green.
  870. >Damn, it feels so good to be sexy.
  871. >Now just to get some breakfast.
  872. >And then, you can go drop the book off, and see if what's-her-name is awake.
  873.  
  874. >Well, shit. On your way to the griffon's house, you remember that you still need to talk to the twins again.
  875. >It's only, what, nine thirty? It's not like the chick is skipping town today or anything.
  876. >Besides, she might be a last sleeper, or something.
  877. >It would look poorly on you to appear at an innapropriate time.
  878. >If it's employment, that is.
  879. >If not, you'll damn well appear any time you want.
  880. >Ain't no chick can tell you what to do.
  881.  
  882. >Anyways, you make it down and around the street, and manage to get to the stall right about the same time as Lemon Punch.
  883. >He's the elder sibling by about thirty seconds, but is far too muscular to be in the lemonade business, of all things.
  884. >Seriously. His muscles pack more heat than a dragon, and he's a pegasus, of all things.
  885. >Some days you wonder how he's even capable of flight.
  886. >He sports the same yellow fur that his twin does, but his short hair is a bright orange and wind-blown.
  887. >He also has one of those tattoos that zebras do, right on the chest, of a winged shield, all black.
  888. >All in all, he could probably kill you if he wanted to.
  889.  
  890. >"Hey, Anon." He says as you approach him.
  891. >He starts setting up the same way Lemondrop did the day before, but with an eye on you the whole time.
  892. "Hey, Punch." You say. "Lemondrop already tell you what we talked about yesterday?"
  893. >"She sure did." He says, unloading the ice box.
  894. "Alright." You say. "So do you guys know the exact amounts of everything, or are we still trying to figure it out?"
  895. >He puts up the finishing touches on the stand, and grabs clipboard that he had stored.
  896. >He flips up a few pages, and looks between them and you.
  897. >"The new stall is gonna cost sixteen hundred bits, with another three hundred for us both to get licensed. We're also ordering three vats for lime, strawberry, and raspberry flavors. Just to make sure we're not investing in the right things at the wrong time, we're getting a half-dozen mini-ovens for our when we switch to baking for the winter."
  898. >You nod.
  899.  
  900. >"The ovens are one-fifty a piece, and the vats are three hundred a piece, putting us at three thousand and seven hundred before taxes, shipping, and handling."
  901. >Yikes.
  902. >Adding in the other stuff, you'll definitely need more than four thousand.
  903. "And what about a new cart?"
  904. >He puts the clipboard up.
  905. >"We talked about it, and decided that it would be cheaper to make it ourselves. The lowest cost we got back was twelve hundred bits, and it only barely gets us what we need. Raw materials are a quarter that, and we have enough tools at home."
  906. >Well, that's good, you guess.
  907. "Do you need me to help with it at some point?"
  908. >He looks you up and down, then shrugs.
  909. >"If you want. Sis is gonna help, so I don't think you'll be needed for it."
  910. >Ah, sounds good.
  911. >You should probably help anyways, though.
  912. >If nothing else, you don't want to look like some noble faggot that hates real work.
  913. "Sure. Just tell me when you guys are putting it together, and I'll stop by."
  914. >He chuckles. "Sounds good." He moves the cart a little and takes a seat. "Is tomorrow a good time for us to go pick up the dosh?"
  915. >You nod.
  916. "Sure thing. I'll get home right after school and wait for you there."
  917. >"Alright." He says. "See you then."
  918. "Later."
  919. >You wave him off, and make your way through the vending area again, heading towards the middle district.
  920. >You turn onto Copper Creek, and slow down a bit, reading every housing number along the way.
  921. >Soon enough, you get to a large, stone home, with two palm trees just in front, being kept alive only by piles of fertilizer and copious amounts of runic magic.
  922. >Yep. This is the place.
  923.  
  924. >You walk right up to the door and knock heavily, causing a light echo to come back to you.
  925. >You wait around for a small moment, before the heavy door creaks open.
  926. >"Hello?"
  927. >It's the chick again.
  928. >She's wearing a red beret, and is adorning the side of her head with some dark feathers; a real offset to her white head and light brown body.
  929. >You wave.
  930. "Me, again."
  931. >She looks down at you, as if surprised that you even came.
  932. >"Oh, hey there. Didn't expect you to come so soon." She says. She steps back and widens the door. "Come on in."
  933. >You do, heading straight into a large livingroom.
  934. >'large' doesn't really cut it. The whole house is three stories high, and in this room you can see the roof.
  935. >The second level takes up about half the length, but otherwise does the same.
  936. >A series of walkways and doors line the sides, making the place look more like a small hotel than a home.
  937. >The furniture on the ground floor is mostly a few couches and tables, and there's a bathroom in the back.
  938. >The second floor has a kitchen, but you can't see any furniture from here.
  939. >Next to you, a white tarp extends all the way up against the nearest corner's walls, and a stand with a canvas is placed.
  940. >At the edge of the white tarp are a few metal stands, covered in clothing for both genders that seems fit for a pony, but not in your size.
  941. >"Wierd place, huh?" She asks.
  942. >You guess you were taking a while looking around.
  943. >"This place was built for some rich guy that couldn't quite afford a home in the noble district with everything he wanted. So he had it built here, instead. He partied all day and night, so that's why it looks off."
  944. >Huh.
  945. >Still, a very nice place.
  946. >"So." She goes on. "Did you decide to take up my offer, or do you want to talk about it."
  947. >You look at her.
  948. "I'd like to talk about it first."
  949.  
  950. >"Sure thing." She says. "I pay ten bits an hour during painting sessions, and if you get hungry in the middle of one you can snack on whatever's in the pantry upstairs."
  951. >Well shit.
  952. >That's already pretty good.
  953. >Do you get dental, too?
  954. "What do I do during sessions?"
  955. >She gestures to the white box in front of the canvas.
  956. >"You'll usually just stand there in a pose while I paint. It can get pretty exhausting, just staying rigid the whole time."
  957. >Sounds fun.
  958. >You're getting a job to literally stand around and do nothing.
  959. >Not intellectually stimulating, but you can probably use it as meditation time, or something.
  960. >Still, you have a few more questions.
  961. "What're the racks of clothing for, though?"
  962. >She grimaces a little.
  963. >"Well, those are the ones my last subject wore, before he quit on me. It's all custom, so we'll have to get it refitted for you if you're going to model for me."
  964. >Oh. Well, that explains it.
  965. >...
  966. >Wait...
  967. >There are dresses on there.
  968. >You look up at her, a little puzzled.
  969. "He crossdressed too?"
  970. >She scratches her neck.
  971. >"Yeah, I don't really like having many different people in my home, so I keep it to one person every time I can."
  972. >Well, that's actually pretty reasonable.
  973. >Still, you aren't sure....
  974. "....If I do it, can I keep the clothing?"
  975. >There is a use for everything, after all, even if you don't know it yet.
  976. >She shrugs.
  977. >"Sure. Once it's down to your size, I don't think it'll be good for many others anyways."
  978.  
  979. "Okay." You say. "I'm not going to be recognizable in the paintings, am I?"
  980. >She looks you over again.
  981. >"A few of them, yeah."
  982. >You eye the dresses again, then her.
  983. "I'm not going to be wearing dresses in those ones, am I?"
  984. >She shakes her head.
  985. >"No, and I won't expect you to."
  986. >She points to a nearby room.
  987. >"I've got a bio-safe dying vat in there, so we'll just change your colors, and I won't draw your cutiemark."
  988. >Hm...
  989. >Still, something about it just doesn't feel right.
  990. "I'm still not sure I'm comfortable with the dresses, though."
  991. >She shrugs.
  992. >"We can skip them for while; I don't have any deadlines soon."
  993. >Good.
  994. >You'd like to have some more time to think that part through.
  995. >At least she isn't asking you to put on makeup, or anything.
  996.  
  997. >That'd be gay.
  998.  
  999. "Alright." You pause. "When do we start?"
  1000. >"You in school?"
  1001. >You nod.
  1002. >"What's your schedule look like?"
  1003. "I get out at two thirty and usually run around town for the afternoon, either with friends or for business reasons. I work Saturday afternoons and evenings, and my sundays are free."
  1004. >"Sounds good. Want to make it here every Sunday, about one to three?"
  1005. "Sure." You say. "Do you want to start today?"
  1006. >"Honestly, I can't. I'm jumping over to the other side of Canterlot Mountain for some landscape practice here in an hour or so."
  1007. "Okay."
  1008. >You head towards the door.
  1009. "So, see you at one next week?"
  1010. >She gets the door for you.
  1011. >"Yep. We'll get your measurements then, so my friend can refit all the clothing here."
  1012. "Sounds good." You say, walking out. "See you then."
  1013. >"See you."
  1014.  
  1015. >Well.... that was interesting.
  1016.  
  1017. >Anyways, on to the next-
  1018. >Wait.
  1019. >It's sunday.
  1020. >You don't have jack shit to do for the rest of the day.
  1021. >...
  1022. >...
  1023. >...
  1024. >Well, you'll think of something.
  1025.  
  1026. >You continue on down the street, passively looking over houses as you go.
  1027. >Really, some of them are pretty well designed.
  1028. >Equestrian architecture is pretty much the most advanced, as advanced as cutting stone and wood can get.
  1029. >Really the biggest problem present is that fact that the upper and middle classes tend to do their own designs.
  1030. >Not that it's much of a problem, really.
  1031. >But you firmly believe having a house akin to a small castle just doesn't fit between a mostly glass house and a house that's made up of dirt and a wall of vines.
  1032. >You're pretty sure that last one is a health code violation as well.
  1033. >At least the lower class tends to have similar housing designs, but you're certain it's because of financial restriction than anything.
  1034.  
  1035. >You make your way through the business district again, wondering if you should just wait around and eat while you're there.
  1036. >It's like, what, eleven twenty?
  1037. >Yeah, it's about the time you usually eat anyways.
  1038. >You blame school for that.
  1039. >Lunch at 11 sharp.
  1040. >Rediculous.
  1041. >You really don't want to eat until high noon, but you don't want to have to come back, either.
  1042. >Fuck.
  1043. >You can't remember if there's anything good at home, either.
  1044. >Oh well, early it is.
  1045.  
  1046. >You stroll around until you find a good sandwhich stand, which surprisingly has a small line already.
  1047. >You dick around for a good ten minutes, not that you really complain.
  1048. >Midways through, though, you got an idea of how to pass the afternoon.
  1049. >A wicked, genious idea.
  1050. >You...
  1051. >....are going to go see Shiny.
  1052.  
  1053. >You grab an extra sandwhich, with lots of extra mustard and mayo, just like he likes it.
  1054. >You stuff everything in your bag and make your way through the noble district.
  1055. >You take a few side streets, making sure to get to Main Avenue, then head straight up the road, through the dead center of the city, and to the castle gates.
  1056. >You pass by a pair of guards guarding the gates, and make your way past the Equestrian flag.
  1057. >A fresh platoon of recruits are training in the yard, like they do most days.
  1058. >None of the dangerous crap, though.
  1059. >Like spear throwing.
  1060. >They almost knocked your melon off last time you watched.
  1061. >Friggin' ametuers.
  1062. >Well, you suppose that's why they're training in the first place.
  1063.  
  1064. >Anyways...
  1065. >You climb up the steps to the castle.
  1066. >Since there isn't an event, and all is business as usual, they let you right in.
  1067. >You're pretty sure a couple of them know you, too, but with the that magic armor, you just can't tell who's who.
  1068. >Except for Shiny.
  1069. >The captain and his lieutenants don't where the disguising armor.
  1070. >Which makes finding him fairly easy.
  1071. >Or you can just go to his office.
  1072. >Which you just did.
  1073.  
  1074. >Two guards greet you at his office, but the door is closed and the light is off.
  1075. "How long until he gets back?"
  1076. >You ask lefty.
  1077. >He stares at you with indifference.
  1078. >"In about fifteen minutes."
  1079. >You groan.
  1080. "Whatever." You say, pulling out his lunch. "When he gets here, give him this."
  1081. >The guard takes it, and sets it against the wall.
  1082.  
  1083. >Well, he's not here right now.
  1084. >Time to go to the restroom.
  1085.  
  1086. >You go into the nearest bathroom, which is RIGHT next to Shiny's office.
  1087. >You go in and lock the door, and immediately go through your bag.
  1088. >You keep rummaging until you find a nice screwdrive handle.
  1089. >You grab the correct head, and attach it, then go under the sinks.
  1090. >A large vent greets you, hidden by a trashcan that you pull out of the way.
  1091. >You unscrew the four screws, and put them on the ground.
  1092. >You pull up on the vent, swinging it up enough for you to enter.
  1093. >The tape you had placed there months ago looks almost ready to be replaced
  1094. >You'll have to remedy that at some point.
  1095. >You slowly let the vent down, leaving it the same spot it's always in.
  1096. >You squeeze your way through the vent, making sure your ears and tail aren't caught by the fan that sits at the top, midway through.
  1097. >You get to the other end, where another vent cover greets you.
  1098. >You gently pushe forward, and the same happens to this vent as the last.
  1099. >You go in and walk your way around the darkness.
  1100. >You quickly find your way under his desk, and crouch, peering under the metal sheet that separates in front of the desk from under it.
  1101. >Now, to wait....
  1102.  
  1103. >A few moments later, you hear the muffled voices of the guards outside.
  1104. >"Sir!"
  1105. >The subtle scratching of keys sound out.
  1106. >"At ease."
  1107. >The bolt and knob unlock, and the door opens.
  1108. >You spot four white hooves enter the room.
  1109. >The door closes behind him, and the lights are turned on.
  1110. >He puts the keys down somewhere, and the sound of his magic cuts out.
  1111. >He moves around the desk, and you slide forward, sitting in the front, out of view.
  1112. >He pauses.
  1113. >Crap.
  1114. >You didn't grunt, did you?
  1115. >...
  1116. >Phew.
  1117. >He puts some bags on the ground, and you hear his magic start up again.
  1118. >"Let's see, what's in...."
  1119. >He pauses, and you almost let out a snicker.
  1120. >"Damn it Anon, you KNOW it's corndog day at Sweenie's."
  1121. >Yep. Perfect start so far.
  1122. >He eats it anyway, not wanting good food to go to waste.
  1123. >"Every time, I swear...."
  1124. >You wait a moment, trying to find the perfect time to pop out.
  1125. >After that moment, though, Shining stops eating.
  1126. >His magic has been going on, by he's not writing, and you think you heard him put the food down.
  1127. >... what's he doing?
  1128. >You wait a few seconds longer, and you just hear him let out a sigh.
  1129. >Oh well.
  1130. >Now or never.
  1131.  
  1132. >You shove your head directly up, halfway just onto the desk.
  1133. >"What'cha whackin' it to?"
  1134. >"SWEET MOther of...."
  1135. >Shiny snapped a nearby blade between you and him in an instant, which he lays down on his desk when he realizes who you are.
  1136. >"Anon, I don't even know how a pony can get that sneaky."
  1137. >You shrug.
  1138. "You have carpet is how."
  1139. >You look down at the desk, and see an odd box object.
  1140. "What's that?"
  1141.  
  1142. >He instantly magicks it out of view.
  1143. >"What's what?"
  1144. "The box."
  1145. >You stare at him accusingly.
  1146. >"What box?"
  1147. "The small black box that you stole away from my vision and proceded to deny the existance of."
  1148. >He just smiles.
  1149. >"Nope. Don't remember ever having a box that fits that description."
  1150. >You stare at him.
  1151. >He smiles at you.
  1152. >You stare at him harder.
  1153. >He continues to sm-
  1154. >"What are you two doing?"
  1155.  
  1156. >You both look to the door to see Cadance standing there.
  1157. >She had somehow opened the door without either of you knowing.
  1158. >Well, maybe Shiny knew and just didn't react.
  1159. >Either way, you run up to her and jump, attaching yourself to her chest in a powerful hug.
  1160. "Cadance!"
  1161. >"Anon!"
  1162. >She returns the hug, then walks over to the desk like your weight doesn't affect her.
  1163. >You look at Shiny from your upside down position.
  1164. "You didn't tell me she'd be here today."
  1165. >"You didn't ask." He smirks.
  1166. >Smartass.
  1167. >"Don't worry, Anon." Cadance says. "You can buy me lunch next time, okay?"
  1168. "Ha!"
  1169. >You laugh.
  1170. "I only bought lunch so Shiny couldn't eat corndogs."
  1171. >"I knew it!" Shining points at you. "You made me eat delicious food so I can't eat REALLY delicious food!"
  1172. >He wads up a sheet of paper and throws it at your head.
  1173. >You blow him a raspberry.
  1174. >Cadance just giggles.
  1175. >"If it's that big of a deal, I'll just take it."
  1176. >She magicks over the sandwhich, which has about two thirds left, and takes a bite.
  1177. >"Any objections?" She says.
  1178. >Shining stares for a bit, then pumps a hoof.
  1179. >"Woo! Corndogs!"
  1180. >May Princess Mi Amora Cadenza be cursed.
  1181. >She has ruined another one of your plans.
  1182. "Since you're eating this one, I don't have to buy you lunch later!"
  1183. >Ha! You still win.
  1184. >"Yes you do, too bad."
  1185. >She gives you a wet, mayo and mustard-y kiss on the cheek.
  1186. "Ew ewewew."
  1187. >You drop onto your back and wipe away the condiments.
  1188. >She just giggles again.
  1189.  
  1190. "Whatever."
  1191. >You say, wiping off the last of the mayo. You stand up and lean on the desk.
  1192. "Since you guys are back, you wanna go bowling or something?"
  1193. >"Oh, we can't." Says Cadance. "We're going on a little date tonight, then packing up for our trip tomorrow."
  1194. "Trip?" You ask. "But you just got back from Las Pegasus!"
  1195. >She waves her hoof. "That was a mission trip, silly. Do you know how many ponies are below the poverty line there? I was making soup and sandwiches all week!"
  1196. >You lean your face on your hoof.
  1197. "So where are you going this time?"
  1198. >"Oasis Falls." Shining cuts in. "We're leaving tommorow morning and coming back wednesday evening."
  1199. >You look at him, purplexed.
  1200. "How did you convince Celestia to give you three days off in a row?"
  1201. >"I said please."
  1202. >You furrow your eyebrows.
  1203. "Somehow, I don't believe you." You say. "Besides, isn't that place, like, REALLY expensive?"
  1204. >"Yeah." He says. "Which is why we're reserving for two days instead of the regular five."
  1205. >Pfft. He says that like he-
  1206. >Wait....
  1207. >...
  1208. >They're going on an expensive vacation together.
  1209. >Shining was thinking profusely over a small black box.
  1210. >He managed to convince Celestia three whole days off in a row.
  1211. >...
  1212. >Holy shit.
  1213. >He's going to propose!
  1214.  
  1215. >You lean onto both of your hooves in a way that Cadance can't see your mouth, and you give Shining the most shit-eating-est grin there ever did exist.
  1216. >He purses his lips and stares at you with a neutral face.
  1217. >His eyes betray him, however.
  1218. >They're screaming at you, begging you to stay quiet.
  1219. >If you mention anything, the whole thing is blown.
  1220. >You swear you even see a drop of sweat travelling down his face.
  1221. >You open your mouth and say the best thing you can think of.
  1222.  
  1223. "Well that sounds great! I hope you both have a wonderful time, and please remember to visit every once in a while, Shining, because mom misses you often and She'd love to see Cadance again."
  1224. >You give them both a quick hug and walk out of the office, brushing off the suspicious eyes of the guards as you go.
  1225.  
  1226. >Well, that was fun.
  1227. >Really, though, you weren't expecting to catch him like that.
  1228. >Sure, it would have been fun to ruin it, but that would cross the line between 'mischievious trickster' to 'just another asshole'.
  1229. >Honestly, you're pretty happy for him.
  1230. >Kinda makes you wish you had a girlfriend.
  1231. >...
  1232. >Anyways, you make your way home.
  1233. >The day has gone pretty good for you.
  1234. >You don't really know what to expect from now on, though.
  1235. >Your business is going to, hopefully, skyrocket, similar to how it has so far.
  1236. >And now you're jumping into the modeling business.
  1237. >Maybe.
  1238. >The notion of dressing in.... well, dresses, gets at you, but you still aren't sure it would be for you.
  1239. >If successful, it could get your name thrown into the noble crowd a bit, maybe land you some connections.
  1240. >You are somewhat seeking to prove you're nobility, after all.
  1241. >But the crossdressing may just set you back further.
  1242. >Or, worse, make you the laughing stock of all but your family.
  1243. >...
  1244. >Maybe...
  1245. >...
  1246. >No, It's too..
  1247. >Well...
  1248. >Maybe you could find some dirt on some people.
  1249. >Make sure the chick's artistry is legitimate before you dive straight in.
  1250. >Maybe you should have done that sooner....
  1251. >Whatever. Fact is, you have research to do; a LOT of research if you do end up deciding to 'dress for all occasions', so to speak.
  1252. >It doesn't hurt to have piles of dirt on people, after all.
  1253. >You're going to need a camera.....
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