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Discount Slave Berry Punch 03: Sexual Harassment Training is Mandatory

By twilightgamenight
Created: 2021-07-16 21:31:33
Updated: 2021-09-26 01:54:37
Expiry: Never

  1. DISCOUNT SLAVE BERRY PUNCH 3: SEXUAL HARASSMENT TRAINING IS MANDATORY: THE RETURN OF BERRY PUNCH: THE RERETURNING
  2.  
  3. Drink 1: BASED ON A SHOCKING TRUE STORY! Actually multiple true stories (that happened to several different individuals) woven together like a tapestry of ABSOLUTE TRUTH. (Part A)
  4.  
  5. >"So in this scenario," HR BITCH drones on, "can anyone tell me what the employee did wrong?"
  6. >There's a moment of silence where you and Berry look at each other like holy fuck does no one else get this? and then your hand shoots up.
  7. >Participation *burns* like happiness, but the faster it's over, the faster you can get back to real work.
  8. >Which means it has to be you because you're kind of afraid - no, you're pretty fucking *certain* - no one but you and Berry get this.
  9. >"Yes, Anon? Can you explain?"
  10. "So let me just get this straight in case I misheard something."
  11. >Not that you're ever wrong (except on purpose), but you can be polite about this.
  12. "In this scenario, a mother and daughter go up to an employee and ask where the toy planes are, and he pats the girl's head, runs his fingers through her, tells her she's pretty, and then suggests the mother buys her a doll instead of a plane like the girl wants, right?"
  13. >"Yes," HR BITCH nods. "Exactly. But can see where he made a mistake?"
  14. "Probably the part where this fictional employee molests a goddamn child."
  15. >SEEMS PRETTY FUCKING OBVIOUS, RIGHT!?
  16. >Though this is supposedly inclusivity training, so...
  17. >"Um."
  18. >She looks more upset about you swearing (why? fucking twat should be used to it by now) than the fact that you solved her puzzle.
  19. >"Yeah, that's pretty obvious," Berry adds. "That's where everything started going downhill."
  20. >"Well, that's not *good*," HR BITCH (seriously, *fuck* learning her name - she'll just be replaced in a month or two with someone who looks just like her) mumbles, "but that's not what we're looking for here. This class is about being inclusive and not making assumptions about customers like -"
  21. "Like that this kid wanted to get creeped on by the kind of loser that works here? Seems like the kind of assumption we really shouldn't be making. Oh, *and* assuming that her mom is okay with it since she's kinda standing right fucking there."
  22. >"Okay, okay, that's *true*, but what we're looking for is -"
  23. >"Oh!" Flusherpie gasps as her little yellow hoof shoots up like a fucking rocket.
  24. >HR BITCH sighs.
  25. >Hah. Stupid twat. She thinks this is over.
  26. >It is only just beginning.
  27. >"Do you see it Fluttershy?" she JUST COMFUCKINGPLETELY slides past the issue of corporate-authorized pedophilia.
  28. >"I- I think so?"
  29. >HR BITCH smiles.
  30. >"Can you explain it for Anon?"
  31. >Oh okay well fuck you whore and the cock you rode to get this job.
  32. >"Well..." Buttercry mumbles, "is it that there's no penetration...?"
  33.  
  34. "Sweet!"
  35. >"What is...?" YELLOWHORS asks as the three of you walk out of the training room.
  36. "Oh shit, did you not do that on purpose?"
  37. >"Um, do *what*?"
  38. "That penetration comment."
  39. >"It just made sense, Anon," she sighs and kicks her little hoovsies at the tiles like a sad critter. "If *not* touching the girl wasn't the right answer, maybe we're supposed to touch her more."
  40. >Yeaaaaaaaaah. Another worried glance exchange with Berry.
  41. >Maybe you two really should keep Fluffernuffer away from Sam.
  42. >Y'know... just for her own safety.
  43. >Again.
  44. >One of these days you're going to find out where Sam got that can of mace.
  45. "I *think* the 'correct' answer has something to do with trying to force someone that wants to buy a toy plane to buy a doll instead."
  46. >"But why would you do that?" Shusherbye gasps.
  47. "Shit man fuck I don't know, seems pretty fucking stupid to me."
  48. >Berry nods.
  49. >Yeaaaaah she does. She's a good pony.
  50. "It's like 'OH HAY YOU'RE LOOKING FOR BEDSHEETS OKAY WELL HERE'S OUR COOKIES BECAUSE YOU LOOK LIKE A FATTY I GUESS.'"
  51. >"Oh."
  52. "Yeah."
  53. >YEP.
  54. >You’d be willing to bet that was probably the next scenario too.
  55. >Singleply nods.
  56. >"That *does* seem rude. "
  57. >"It's stupid," Berry growls. "Who cares about rude? The faster you help them find what they want, the faster they'll leave you alone to do *real* work."
  58. >Uddercry stops and stomps a hoof.
  59. >"Hey!" she whimpers. "Helping customers *is* real work!"
  60. "Uh-huh."
  61. >"Suuuuure it is, Fluttershy."
  62. >"Hey! Hey!"
  63. >You just keep walking.
  64. >It's not long before there's a fast pitter patter of pegahooves rushing to catch up to you.
  65. >"Soooooo..." your stalker mumbles, "what's sweet...?"
  66. "Whadya mean?"
  67. >"You said 'sweet'."
  68. "Oh. Yeah. That training was supposed to take an hour. You got us kicked out in 5 minutes. I think that's a record. Is that a record, Berry?"
  69. >"You're usually a little more subtle about it," Berry sighs. "I think you get off on dragging it out and being a jackass as long as possible."
  70. "Do I?"
  71. >"You do."
  72. "But do I really?"
  73. >"Yes."
  74. "But do I *reaaaaally*?"
  75. >"Yes, you do."
  76. "Huh. If you say so."
  77. >"I do."
  78. >You... *shrug*.
  79. >Then kneel slightly - just a bit - more like a MASCULINE AS HECK CURTSEY - and pat Flusherplush's head.
  80. >She makes this happy little squee that doesn't quite grate on your soul for some reason.
  81. "We've got to go back to seasonal and keep tearing down Christmas."
  82. >BECAUSE SOMEHOW SINCE SEASONAL IS *NEAR* RECEIVING THAT'S YOUR FUCKING JOB YOU GUESS FUCK YOU YOU DON'T KNOW BUT NEITHER DOES MANAGEMENT BUT THAT'S FUCKING PAR FOR THE FUCKING COURSE.
  83. >She gets this horrified look that you nod along with until you realize she's not sympathizing or feeling sorry for you but probably thinks you're about to demolish the whole concept of Christmas and possibly all other winter holidays while you're at it.
  84. >Well... you probably *could*... if you *tried* hard enough...
  85. >Hmmmm...
  86. >"We're just taking down the tables, Fluttershy," Berry sighs. "Not everything. Paul wants to use that space to put out more wrapping paper.
  87. >You can almost feel her hoof smacking the back of your head and her calling you a jackass.
  88. >"O-oh. Okay."
  89. "Yep. Head on back to Customer Service and we'll see you when our shifts end, 'kay?"
  90. >"'kay!"
  91. >You hold out an open hand.
  92. "High five!"
  93. >MORE HAPPY SQUEE NOISES.
  94. >[SOUND EFFECT OF A HOOF BEING PRESSED AGAINST YOUR PALM]
  95. >Hah. Sucker. You've sure got *her* trained.
  96.  
  97. >You stare at the table.
  98. >It stares back.
  99. >So you kick it, because who the fuck does it think it is? The fucking abyss? Fuck no.
  100. >And then you kick it again for good measure.
  101. >"That was productive," Berry mumbles.
  102. "Just establishing dominance."
  103. >"Don't make me kick you."
  104. >You step away from Berry. Just for good measure.
  105. >"So how do we do this?"
  106. >That *is* the question, isn't it?
  107. >These tables aren't *that* heavy.
  108. >You could flip one by yourself.
  109. "Well..."
  110. >You mean... you wouldn't get a full 540-degree rotation, but you could like... *tip* it over...
  111. "Whoever the fuck thought it would be a good idea to supply us with solid metal tables was an idiot."
  112. >"Or he knew exactly what he was doing."
  113. "God, I wish I had his job. I would have ordered tables like... twice as big."
  114. >You hold your hands far apart, because clearly you are showing off the size of the fish you once caught and not anything remotely related to the words that came out of your mouth because your hands aren't anywhere clear to matching the length of the table, let alone twice that.
  115. "Well, all we've got to do is flip them over onto the - uh, hold on."
  116. >You sprint all 50 feet or so to the backroom, dodging customers as you go, and sprint back with a flatbed cart.
  117. >HAHAHA.
  118. >THIS TIME IN CAPITALIST RETAIL, CUSTOMERS DODGE *YOU*!
  119. >You sidle the cart right up almost beside the table, or where it'll be once it gets half-flipped.
  120. "So we flip the table onto the cart, get the legs detached, and store everything away."
  121. >"Sounds... easy...?"
  122. >You nod.
  123. "Luckily someone cleared all the candy and shit off of the table before we got here, so -"
  124. >"No, I did that while you were standing around being useless like you were management."
  125. "Oh."
  126. >Huh.
  127. "When was that?"
  128. >"When you were staring at the table like it drank the last cherry cider."
  129. "Hey. I wasn't being useless. I was *planning*."
  130. >Berry grimaces.
  131. >"Planning how to flip the table?"
  132. "No."
  133. >Fuck.
  134. >Uh...
  135. "Dinner. How does -"
  136. >"Do I have to cook it?"
  137. "Nope."
  138. >Maybe? Well no, you just said no, so you'll come up with something that even Fluttershy can handle.
  139. >"Sounds perfect."
  140. "Great. Now go put your hoof at the base of the far leg and I'll lift this side up. I think -"
  141.  
  142. - 15 MINUTES LATER -
  143. - ALTERNATIVELY, TWELVE FUCKS, A DOZEN SHITS, AND A FEW THUDS LATER, DEPENDING ON HOW YOU KEEP TRACK OF TIME -
  144. (Anon was using the later, as checking the clock is more complicated than keeping track of the number of things that made him swear)
  145.  
  146. "Well, *fuck*."
  147.  
  148. - SHORTLY AFTER THAT -
  149.  
  150. "Okay, good, we got it flipped. Now all we have to do is take the legs off and the hard part is done."
  151. >You move to the closest corner and point at the semi-magical mechanism that holds the legs in place.
  152. "Just twist this knob counterclockwise a couple times and that'll loosen it enough for the leg to -"
  153. >"This one doesn't have a knob."
  154. "Fuck."
  155. >You squat-scoot over to her corner and -
  156. "Fuck. This is what happens when I don't personally do everything myself."
  157. >Berry clears her throat in a most obnoxious manner.
  158. "Hey, I own you. So..."
  159. >"So everything I do is your fault?"
  160. "Yeah, let's go with that. But *this* -! Fuck. I wish they hadn't set this shit up while we were off. This... is going to *suck*."
  161. >Some twatmonkey has replaced the normal and simple knob thingy with an l-bracket and four (what you're going to assume are) self-tapping bolts.
  162. >Yes, *bolts*. Not screws. Nooooo, that'd be too easy. All you would need in that case is a screwdriver.
  163. >Nope.
  164. >Oh, yeah, and the metal leg those are holding in place?
  165. >It's wood. Spray painted silver.
  166. >Yep.
  167. "Let me guess, they threw away some of the legs while we weren't looking, didn't they?"
  168. >Berry shrugs.
  169. >"Does that surprise you?"
  170. "No. No it does not."
  171. >BEST PONY puts a hoof on your leg and makes comforting pat pat gestures.
  172. >"Should I bring emergency chocolate?"
  173. "I appreciate the thought, but not on the sales floor. Some pliers from the tool stash in our desk will suffice."
  174. >You pat her head and get to work on the other legs.
  175. >Riiiiiiiight about the time you've finished with that and waited long enough you're considering going looking for her for about the third or fourth time, you hear the most ominous scratching/dragging/clanking.
  176. >There's no goddamn valid reason you should be hearing an ominous scratching/dragging/clanking.
  177. >But you can make guesses.
  178. >Berry coming around the endcap dragging an oversized pipe wrench in her mouth was not one of them.
  179. >Literally dragging.
  180. >She's got the tail end of the handle clamped between her teeth and is letting the head dig a deep scratch in the vinyl tiles.
  181. >Yes. Letting.
  182. >She's strong enough to carry it normally.
  183. >Fucking ponies and their stupid magic muscles.
  184. >Well.
  185. >You assume she has a good reason for this.
  186. >Like being a little shit because fuck everyone else in this place.
  187. >So you cross your arms and wait until she drops it at your feet with a rattle/clang/thud that makes that kinda cute customer over by the wrapping paper jump and look around.
  188. >Ew. Nose ring.
  189. "Seriously?"
  190. >"Yeah," Berry snarls. Oh, right. Not... like... at *you* or anything. You don't take it personally. "It's all that was in the tool bin!"
  191. >Yep.
  192. >Your face instantly goes into the same frowny-HATE-EVERYTHING grimace.
  193. >STILL.
  194. >You wave a hand at the little bolts.
  195. "How the fuck am I supposed to use a pipe wrench to get those off? They're like... quarter-inch heads!"
  196. >"Use it to hit someone until they bring back your tools."
  197. >GODDAMN.
  198. >You *knew* she had a good reason for bringing the wrench.
  199. >But...
  200. "Tempting but thanks to turnover whoever 'borrowed' our gear is probably long gone."
  201. >"So? Hit someone anyway until someone else brings back the tools or gets us new ones."
  202. >VERY FUCKING TEMPTING.
  203. >But no.
  204. >You shake your head.
  205. "There are better things to get arrested for."
  206. >"And yet no matter how often you threaten to crucify someone..."
  207. "I know, I suck on the follow-through. Let's just get this done so we can go home. I'll just... try the wrench I guess."
  208. >You know exactly how that works out and don't need to narrate what a fucking stupid idea that was.
  209. >It's not long before you give up and send Berry to the tool aisle to nab something off the shelf while you yank on the table leg like it's December 1st and that's not a table leg.
  210. >Because YES THAT WILL TOTALLY WORK.
  211. >Of course it doesn't. But it's better than standing around doing nothing.
  212. >Except it's not because your hand slips.
  213. >While you're shaking the end of the leg. And putting your full weight behind it.
  214. >And you don't exactly fall down but you do fall forward.
  215. >At a bit of an angle.
  216. >That drags your forearm along one of the corners.
  217. >And for a piece of wood, it's surprisingly sharp.
  218. >yep
  219. >Fuck.
  220. >OW.
  221. >You're smart enough not to touch it.
  222. >Not smart enough to look at the gouge along the underside of your forearm and breathe a sigh of "OH THANK FUCK IT'S NOT THAT BAD" when you don't see any blood.
  223. >And then the blood starts coming up.
  224. >YEP
  225. >That's a lot of blood for a scratch.
  226. >Well.
  227. >A very deep, very long scratch.
  228. >That's more of a gouge, really.
  229. >Great.
  230. >So... uh...
  231.  
  232.  
  233. Drink 2: FUCK TOPICAL CHAPTER TITLES.
  234.  
  235. >You're standing there being an indecisive cunt and bleeding (yes, you're multitasking) for a few minutes until you hear the thipy-thump of hooves and make some assumptions.
  236. >Which the training you just TOTALLY COMPLETED (at least that's what the paperwork will say) told you not to do, but fuck that because you're better than best practice.
  237. "No pliers on the tool aisle?"
  238. >"Of course not," Berry growls from behind you. "And I checked with maintenance, too, but he kicked off early, so -"
  239. "No one can get into his office to get to his tools since he has the only key."
  240. >"Not unless you want to unscrew his lock to get in there again."
  241. >You sigh.
  242. "Too much work."
  243. >You sigh again FOR EMPHASIS.
  244. "This is his fucking fault too. I *know* he's the jackass that did this. Who else would even *have* self-tapping bolts!?"
  245. >You kick at the table leg.
  246. >Hard this time.
  247. >Like you really fucking mean it.
  248. >Fuck.
  249. >OW.
  250. >Fuck.
  251. "Fuck. Ow."
  252. >dammitalltohell
  253. "Why did I stop wearing steel toes!?"
  254. >You kick it again because you're smart.
  255. >"Why would you do that again!?"
  256. "Establishing dominance. I can't let it think it's got the best of me."
  257. >[DISGRUNTLED HORSE SIGH]
  258. >"Move."
  259. >You suddenly and quite violently learn two new things that you already knew but it's occasionally good to get a visual demonstration.
  260. >1) Horsey kicks hard.
  261. >2) Berry is in charge.
  262. >She establishes dominance like a fucking champion and breaks the wooden leg clean off with a single kick.
  263. >"There. Problem solved."
  264. "I wish there were a few other problems you would solve this way."
  265. >You start marching off towards the clothing department.
  266. "Wait right here, Berry. I'll go get -"
  267. >"I'm not kneecapping Cristal for you, Anon."
  268. >You do a quick 180 spin and grab the flatbed cart's handle.
  269. "Then let's get the table put away so we can move on to our next thankless quest."
  270. >"Putting out the wrapping paper?"
  271. "Exactly."
  272. >Remember how customers dodged you when you came out with the flatbed cart?
  273. >For some reason whatever threat you posed in their minds doesn't exist now that the cart is loaded up with a big metal table at just the perfect hight for fucking their shins so hard their grandparents get pregnant.
  274. >Nope.
  275. >They don't dare move one inch out of your path lest some other customer nab the last whatever while they're distracted being polite.
  276. >Soooo... yeah. It takes a while to get out of seasonal, but after that it's fairly smooth sailing to the back room.
  277. >Oooooooh, you should hook up a sheet and see if you can -
  278. >That's fucking stupid.
  279. >There's not enough air circulation in the building to make a sail-based landship.
  280. >So you content yourself with pushing the damn cart all the way to the backroom and down to the designated storage space (of the week, until some manager decides it should be at the other end of the stockroom for whatever reason).
  281. >It's a narrow space about... oh... does it really matter how big the space is?
  282. >What's important is there's a gap between the steel racking and the concrete wall just big enough to hold three of these tables upright and it's currently only holding two.
  283. >The most important part?
  284. >*Upright.*
  285. >You sigh.
  286. "Alright Berry, help me get this fucker up on end."
  287. >"How are we going to that!?"
  288. "The same way we flipped it over."
  289. >"Through the magic of friendship and swearing just loud enough to make us feel better but not loud enough for others to be offended?"
  290. "Exactly."
  291. >You reach for the table and -
  292. >GRAB
  293. >It takes a second for you to realize that wasn't you.
  294. >Something got grabbed, but it wasn't by you. And it wasn't the table.
  295. >"What happened to your arm!?"
  296. >Oh. It *was* you. Just on the opposite end of the whole grabbing thing.
  297. >There's a fuzzy pony holding your hand.
  298. >This is nice.
  299. >Um...
  300. >Right.
  301. "I scratched it on the table leg when I was being an idiot. It's nothing."
  302. >"Doesn't look like nothing to me, Anon. I think we need to take care of this."
  303. "Nah, it's..."
  304. >Oh shit. When did it start bleeding that much?
  305. "... uh... yeah. Maybe. But let's get this table put away first."
  306. >"Anon!"
  307. "Someone will bitch if they see it out without us standing here and I don't want to deal with that."
  308. >"Then they can put it away!"
  309. >[silence]
  310. >[staring]
  311. >[a duet of ludicrous cackling]
  312. "Holy shit you said that so seriously!"
  313. >"I know, right!?" Berry snorts. "But RIGHT AFTER we're going to see to your arm."
  314. "Deal."
  315. >You get a good grip along one side and heave like you were remembering... *something*. But as in a tossing sense instead of a vomiting sense.
  316. >Okay, that didn't really work and you couldn't come up with a good simile for it on account of not really finding anything disgusting so much as mildly amusing anymore.
  317. >You might be a little fucked in the head.
  318. >But anyway, you put your back *and* legs into it and get the table levered up far enough for Berry to kick the flatbed out from under it and brace herself underneath.
  319. >Dangerous as fuck, except... well... she's not human. BOY YOU SURE WISH CERTAIN OTHER COWORKERS WERE HELPING YOU INSTEAD AND WHOOPS YOUR HANDS SLIPPED.
  320. >But that didn't happen, because you'd never drop a table on Best Pony. BUT CERTAIN OTHER COWORKERS...
  321. >Also because she's done fucking about and basically throws it out of your hands with a good shove that sends it slamming up against the wall.
  322. >And from there it's a simple task of shoving it into the gap.
  323. >AND YOU ARE AN EXPERT AT FITTING LARGE THINGS INTO SMALL PLACES.
  324. >Seriously, it's ridiculous how little storage room this store has.
  325. >Like... needs-three-external-40-foot-storage-containers-during-all-of-fourth-quarter-but-district-only-authorized-two-and-now-you're-taking-double-trucks-every-night-but-without-enough-people-to-stock-that-amount-of-freight-out levels of no space.
  326. >So, yeah. That's pretty easy. Just some shoving and shimmying and wiggling one of the other tables over a little and bam job's a good'un.
  327. >"Okay," Berry groans, "let me take another look."
  328. >You wave your hands towards the table and do a little half-bow because that's how the fancy British people over in Britland present stuff, right?
  329. >Though you are a little curious why she wants to see the table again.
  330. >"Your *arm*, you dick."
  331. "Oh. Right."
  332. >So you hold that out.
  333. >"The *other* one."
  334. "Oh, the bleeding one?"
  335. >"*Yes*. Don't make me kick you."
  336. >NOPE YOU LIKE YOUR LEGS ATTACHED.
  337. >You present your injured limb before pony gives it some friends to keep it company.
  338. >"Well, it's not as long as it looks, but it is deep. Let's start by cleaning it out and -"
  339. "I know how to treat a cut, Berry. I'm a grown-ass adult and can take care of myself."
  340. >"Bullshit," she grins.
  341. "OH LIKE YOU'RE ANY BETTER! At least I don't try to drink myself to-"
  342. >fuck
  343. >that wasn't the right thing to say
  344. >not to her
  345. >not...
  346. >Berry's mouth is all make-anon-feel-guilty-and-like-shit wibbly.
  347. >She's either going to cry or kill you and what's worst is that's really not what worries you so much as that you were a cunt.
  348. >You don't like feeling this way.
  349. >Then she snorts.
  350. >"Yeah, okay," she says with one of those totally sincere and kind but a little sad smirks. What are they called again...?
  351. >Oh, yeah. A smile.
  352. >"I can't take care of myself," she sighs, "but at least I can take care of you."
  353. "Um... sorry, I..."
  354. >"And you take care of me. Together we almost make one functional adult."
  355. "Yeah, I guess. But Berry, I didn't..."
  356. >"I know. Come on, let's get this cleaned up."
  357.  
  358. >Washing it off is the easy part.
  359. >You only have to move about a dozen carts to get to the "DO NOT BLOCK ON PENALTY OF OSHA FINE" sink and eyewash station.
  360. >Sure, the dispenser there is out of paper towels (which you didn't know at the time), but the closest other sink is in the employee restroom but those walls probably have enough blood smeared on the walls already.
  361. >Yet supposedly *men* can't aim.
  362. >Hah!
  363. >You set aside those unpleasant thoughts and press a hopefully clean wad of pa- uh, nope.
  364. >That's right.
  365. >And that explains the weird look Berry is giving you. *And* why no paper towels are coming out of the dispenser no matter now many times you yank on the lever.
  366. >You already tried this and it's empty.
  367. >WHELP.
  368. "First-aid kit still at our desk?"
  369. >Berry nods.
  370. >"It was. Should be."
  371. >Good.
  372. >Since your desk is kinda *right there* where the overnight team unloads the truck, it's a good spot for it to be. Probably more injuries there than anywhere else in the store.
  373. >Berry gives you a little push towards receiving.
  374. >"Hurry up before it starts bleeding again."
  375. >Good advice. You see no reason to argue with it.
  376. >So you make your way to your desk and... uh...
  377. "Um... Berry...? Where is it?"
  378. >"Right next to the..."
  379. >She ducks under your arms and climbs up the chair to peer around.
  380. >"It was right here," she mumbles. "It was right fucking here when I was looking for pliers!"
  381. "Surprise!"
  382. >JAZZ HANDS!
  383. "Someone jacked it too!"
  384. >"Shit!"
  385. >Oooooof, slightly blood jazz hands.
  386. >Yep, that's a dripper.
  387. "It's fine, Berry. There's another one in the grocery prep room."
  388. >And that's just down the hallway a bit, soooo...
  389. >"Okay, wait right here and I'll be back with -"
  390. "No, I think I need to wash this off again."
  391. >Bandaids don't really stick to blood, after all.
  392. "Might as well use the sink in there."
  393. >"Good idea."
  394. >SO YOU AND BERRY START YOUR QUEST.
  395. >Why does this feel like one of those fucking annoying fetch quests from the kinds of games nerds play where you get sent from one place to another to another to another to another to another and probably get sent right back to where you started but then you have to do the exact same chain but in reverse?
  396. >Are you *that* genre savvy?
  397. >You get some odd looks from the assorted, random, possibly procedurally generated coworkers you pass.
  398. >Not from everyone, of course. Most seem pretty oblivious to everything.
  399. >At least until one brave soul has the courage to speak up.
  400. >"Uh, Anon?"
  401. "Yes, total stranger?"
  402. >Oh wait, is this the new manager for the... uh... *whatever* department?
  403. >Might be.
  404. >"You're bleeding."
  405. "I'm vaguely aware of that -"
  406. >You hold up your bloody hand.
  407. "- and trying to find a bandage right now."
  408. >"But... um... you're bleeding on the floor."
  409. >You check. Huh. So you are.
  410. >If this guy and/or girl was wearing his and/or her name badge, you might bother to learn her (or his) name on account of their unusually perceptive perception skills.
  411. >But he (or she) is not.
  412. >Oh well.
  413. "Sadly I'm not certified to clean up bodily fluids so this sounds like a problem for someone who won't get fired for wiping it up."
  414. >"But -"
  415. "Nope. Not certified."
  416. >You point to Ol' Bleedy.
  417. "Want me to go get on the computer and take that training before seeing to this?"
  418. >"Nooooo, you should probably get a bandaid on that."
  419. "Cool."
  420. >Y'know what's not cool?
  421. >The first aid kit in the grocery prep room.
  422. >When you pop that fucker open, you find -
  423. >Yes, that's right. It's actually there.
  424. >You're surprised. So is Berry.
  425. >The kit itself might even be a little caught off guard.
  426. >Which might go some way towards explaining why there are no bandages.
  427. >Nope, not a one. There's some gauss, but the package has already been torn open and it's not exactly clean.
  428. >Not to say that the first aid kit is empty.
  429. >But... uh... yeah.
  430. >You dig around a bit but none of this crap will be useful in this particular circumstance.
  431. >"Well!?"
  432. "No bandages. Let's try... uh..."
  433. >"Customer service?"
  434. "That's on the other end of the store."
  435. >"It's the next closest spot I know of."
  436. >You shrug.
  437. "Pharmacy is closer."
  438. >"But they don't have a... you're just going to open a box and defect it out, aren't you?"
  439. >That *was* your plan, but... eh...
  440. "Let's check customer service."
  441. >You close the kit back up and stow it away. You're not a monster, after all.
  442. >*Someone* might have a need for all the junk in there. Just not you.
  443. >You're not exactly sure *who*, but it's possible.
  444. >After all.. eh... it could happen.
  445. >You're halfway to the customer service counter, passing by the office supplies, when you realize... well, you've realized you are actually bleeding quite a bit and while it's not exactly life threatening you have decided that putting pressure on the cut with your other hand is probably a GOOD IDEA, but you've also realized -
  446. >Hold on, that realization will have to wait.
  447. >There's a customer flagging you down.
  448. >"Go on, I can take care of this," Berry says with a nudge. But nah.
  449. >Customer is looking at you, not Berry.
  450. >There's probably a reason. Like you're bigger so she saw you first or she's some kind of pony-hating bigot.
  451. >Either way... she'll probably get bitchy if you walk away.
  452. >They always do.
  453. >You sigh and shake your head. Internally.
  454. >Outwardly you nod to the woman and turn her way. You need to at least explain that Berry will be helping her or...
  455. >SIGH.
  456. >"Excuse me! Excuse me!"
  457. >Yes, dumb bitch, calling out is absolutely essential when the person you were flagging down is already walking towards you and has acknowledged your existence.
  458. "Hi!"
  459. >Oh fuck, that sounded cheerful. And you didn't have to try.
  460. >That's depressing.
  461. "Is there something I can help you with?"
  462. >"Yes," the customer answers and points to... ah. "Could you get that notebook for me? It's on the top shelf and I can't reach it."
  463. >Good thing you didn't let Berry try to do this herself. Though... nah. She might hurt herself climbing the shelves.
  464. "Sure thing."
  465. >But did this cunt even *try* to get it herself? Probably not.
  466. >Whatever.
  467. >You grab the notebook and hand it to her.
  468. >She smiles for a moment, then looks at the bloody fingerprints you've left on the cover.
  469. >For some reason this seems to confuse her.
  470. >"This one has blood on it."
  471. "Looks like."
  472. >"Could you clean it off?"
  473. "Sorry, I'm not qualified to clean up bodily fluids."
  474. >OOOF.
  475. >Her unhappy frowny face gets you all excited in the wrongest ways.
  476. >"Then could you get me another one?"
  477. "If you don't mind waiting a bit, I can call someone over to help you or I can just take care of this -"
  478. >You raise your bloody hand. Actually, both of them so she takes the hint.
  479. "- and I'll be right back. It'll just take me -"
  480. >"This will only take you a second," she huffs.
  481. "Okay, sorry about that."
  482. >So you hand her another bloody notebook.
  483. >Sooooo weird how every single one you pick up seems to be just like that somehow.
  484. >What a random coinkidonk.
  485. "Here you go."
  486. >Aaaaaaand flash her your bestest, most sincere smile.
  487. "Have a nice day."
  488. >No wonder you greeted her so cheerfully. You had a jackass planned all along and didn't even know it.
  489. >Fuck yeah, you're good.
  490. >She's so stunned that...
  491. >"Um, *excuse me* -"
  492. >OHSHITLEGIT.
  493. >Hah. Berry is quickwalking ahead of you. She knows what's up.
  494. >You remembered not to wear a name badge today, right?
  495. >You slap at your chest to check and... yes...! No!
  496. >Now your shirt is all bloody. Fuck.
  497. >But at least no name badge.
  498. >There are some very strong advantages to looking like a generic background character, aren't there?
  499. >Okay, uh, Berry is looking at you funny.
  500. >Um...
  501. "What?"
  502. >"Why are you laughing?"
  503. "I am? Huh. That's weird."
  504. >Honestly a little fucked up.
  505. >What is wrong with you?
  506. >Well...
  507. >There are *many* answers to that. All equally true and horrifying in their own unique way.
  508. >So you don't spend any time trying to narrow down this particular incident to one specific cause.
  509. >Because you've got a first aid kit to kind.
  510. >"Are you going to -" Berry starts as the two of you approach customer service.
  511. >She's pointing over towards the customer bathrooms and you can figure opurt the rest.
  512. "Nah. Might as well find a bandapid before washing it off again. The more I bleed, the less likely it is customers will try to stop me, right?"
  513. >"No."
  514. "Well, a man can hope."
  515. >"Hope is the first step on the road to disappointment."
  516. "Old pony saying?"
  517. >"I heard it from you."
  518. "You did? Shit, that's a little fucked up."
  519. >You don't slow your pace and swing around the customer service counter at the same brisk walk you've maintained since your escape.
  520. >Luckily you've got good shoes and can corner like a beast.
  521. >And double lucky customer service isn't packed like it usually is. Just one employee. Fluttershy.
  522. >Well, lucky for you. Not so lucky for the line of people stretching almost to the door.
  523. >Particularly at poor sucker at the front of the line. As soon as the guy that sees you he immediately steps forward thinking you're there to help him.
  524. "Sorry, I'm not trained to -"
  525. >"Oh, ah."
  526. >WELL, THAT WAS EAS- WHY ISN'T HE -
  527. >"Neither am I," Berry adds.
  528. >Man frowns, but backs up.
  529. >GOOD.
  530. "Everyone abandon you for training, Flufflepuff?"
  531. >Yellowbelly nods without breaking her stream of chatter with the customer she's.... doing something with.
  532. >You weren't bullshitting when you said you weren't trained for this shit, so you don't know exactly *what* she's doing.
  533. >Hopefully not just fucking about and wasting the time of everyone in line.
  534. >Hooooopefully.
  535. >"You're giggling again."
  536. "Whoops."
  537. >Now where did they...?
  538. >You look around - WITH YOUR HANDS *NOT* ON YOUR HIPS* LIKE SOME KIND OF MANAGER - until... untiiiiiiiiil...
  539. >Ah.
  540. >You grab Shuddermutter around her midsection and lift her off her little stool.
  541. >The customer on the other side of the register gets this big eyed shocked look but pony never stops chattering as you set her on top of the counter.
  542. >Good for her.
  543. >"Um... that was rude..."
  544. >"No, it's okay," NOT-BEST-BUT-DECENT-YOU-GUESS PONY tells the customer, "he owns me. So would you like this back on your card or -"
  545. >You nudge the stool aside to get to the first-aid kit stuffed under the counter.
  546. >Pop it open aaaaand...
  547. "Sigh."
  548. >The same as the other one.
  549. >Shove it - wait, no. Whoops. Customer was right, that *was* kinda rude.
  550. >You grab one of the last alcohol wipes out of the kit and *then* shove the first aid kit back.
  551. >But not before giving Berry a sad shake of your head.
  552. >Kick stool back. Replace pony. Wipe your bloody handprints off your little URUK-PONAI's sides with the wipe while she calls the next customer over.
  553. >Pat h- nope. No headpat.
  554. >Wouldn't be workplace appropriate, not out here where customers can see. Plus you'd get blood all over her face and...
  555. >Hmmmm, she *does* owe you for that Gundam/wall/housepaint incident...
  556. >"Stop it."
  557. "Okay."
  558. >Wait, was that Berry or - eh, does it matter?
  559. >You stop it.
  560. "Okay, let's check clerical I guess. And *then* I'm looting the first aid aisle."
  561. >"Sounds fair," Berry agrees.
  562.  
  563. >SO YOU FAST TRAVEL BUT IN REAL WORLD, BUT YOU KNOW IT WORKS BECAUSE IF YOU'RE WALKING FAST ENOUGH WITH A CERTAIN LOOK ON YOUR FACE CUSTOMERS DON'T TRY TO STOP YOU.
  564.  
  565. "Great. They fucking moved it."
  566. >AT LEAST YOU'RE ASSUMING THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED BECAUSE YOU'RE STANDING IN CLERICAL BEHIND THE DESK AND YOU DON'T SEE A DAMN FIRST AID KIT ANYWHERE.
  567. >FUCKERS.
  568. >"Uh..."
  569. "It's usually RIGHT HERE next to the paper cutter."
  570. >Pure coincidence. You think.
  571. >"Yeah, they moved it," Berry sighs and pokes at the desk. "To the drawer labeled 'first-aid kit'."
  572. "Those fuckers."
  573. >Berry noses it open and you pull the kit out because yeah it actually is there. Cool. That's something of a surprise - it being where it's supposed to be which *isn't* where it's supposed to supposed to be but still it was where it was supposed to be you guess so that's a win.
  574. >But is it -
  575. >You drop it on the desk top, making the HR girl whatshername jump.
  576. >Not that HR girl. The other one. The hourly one.
  577. >Well shit, if she didn't want people using her desk as a medic station, she shouldn't have hid the first-aid kit there.
  578. >"Is everything alright...?" she asks. Because obviously everything is alright.
  579. "Bleeding."
  580. >"What happened!?"
  581. "Bled."
  582. >You fumble with the latch for a sec and then...
  583. >The latch snaps open with a harsh click and you fling the lid up.
  584. >Yup.
  585. "SIGH."
  586. >"What's wrong?" she asks and you can *hear* Berry roll her eyes.
  587. >You should probably get her some eye drops or something. You shouldn't be able to hear that.
  588. "There's nothing useful in here."
  589. >"What do you mean!? I just filled them all up yesterday!"
  590. >Ah.
  591. "Ah."
  592. >"Ah," Berry sighs.
  593. "I guess that explains why they're stuffed full of tampons and pads."
  594. >"Well, those are for -"
  595. "Useful if I get shot I suppose, but other than that..."
  596. >You shrug.
  597. "Not so useful for a cut, y'know?
  598. >SHRUG HARDER.
  599. "Whatever. I don't mind bleeding on everything."
  600. >Maybe people will stop stealing your shit if it's covered in blood.
  601. >Huh.
  602. >You really hadn't considered that before.
  603. >It's true what they say - whoever they are and however insane they may be: there is a bright side to everything.
  604.  
  605.  
  606. Drink 3: A Day in the Life of - oh? Wait? Nevermind. Hold up. We've got some mandatory training. SIGH.
  607.  
  608. >"Do you know... um... do you know why I called - oh!"
  609. >You catch SILLY PONY's mug before it falls full off the desk and - wait, that's not coffee. Is that fruit punch? - and put it back.
  610. >But you put it somewhere a little more *away* from the stacks of employee reviews that *should* be locked up where you can't see them and *not* cluttering her desk up so every little moment makes *something* fall.
  611. >"Thanks!" she grins and shakes her yellow mane out of her wonky eyes.
  612. >Shit.
  613. >How is *this* your favorite (current) manager in the store?
  614. >"So, um, do you -"
  615. "Why you called me in here?"
  616. >She nods, happy enough to not have to say it herself you guess.
  617. "Because HR is staffed entirely by fucking pussies who are too scared of me to talk to me themselves."
  618. >"Um. Ummmmm..."
  619. >She looks down at the paper in front of her. Which is...
  620. "That's a coupon for Pizza Hut."
  621. >"Whoops. I guess HR emailed it to me."
  622. >She pushes the coupon aside - and nearly knocks over the stack of employee reviews, but Berry leans forward in her chair to catch it before it takes flight - to make room for her pony-sized keyboard.
  623. >Picks up her little stylus with her mouth.
  624. >Checks the post-it slapped on the side of the monitor for her password.
  625. >Types it in three times.
  626. >*Eventually* pulls up her email.
  627. >"Um... no, Anon. It doesn't say anything here about them being pussies... so... I *guess(?)* that's not why you're here. Um... oh!"
  628. >Okay. This is exciting.
  629. >You're on the edge of your fucking seat here.
  630. >Berry thinks you've been called in because of all your swearing.
  631. >You think it's because you don't beat enough coworkers. OOr at least that you can get Manager Horse to say that.
  632. >And there's a Renegade Tea-Rex Cider at home in the fridge for he winner.
  633. >"It says here... um... a customer complained because you picked up Fluttershy and put her on the counter."
  634. "Oh."
  635. >"HR has... uh..." she puts her hoof up to the monitor to read along "... uh, they have concerns that you're acting inappropriately towards your ponies. They say I have to remind you that as their owner, you need to... um... lost my place... oh - that you need to be mindful to keep a professional relationship with the ponies you own while in the workplace."
  636. >She smiles. Not smug, just very satisfied that she was able to tell you why you're here.
  637. >You almost pat her head, but that probably wouldn't be very professional now would it?
  638. >Then again, you don't own her, sooo...
  639. >Well... fuck.
  640. >Luckily -
  641. >"Oh," Berry snorts to break your train of thought before you decide to see what HR thinks of petting managers. "Then why am *I* here?"
  642. >"Ummmm..."
  643. >BEST PONY crosses her legs like they're arms and... d'aaaaaaaaw, Berry thinks she's a human.
  644. >"Is it because you think I'm Fluttershy," she groans at Manager Horse, "or because you think I own Fluttershy?"
  645. >"Um..."
  646. >Manager Horse looks at the email again and nods.
  647. >"Yes."
  648. >"Well that answers that. Thanks."
  649. >"You're welcome!" Manager Horse answers with a pleased grin. "But I suppose Fluttershy - uh, the *real* Fluttershy - should be here too. Let me... um..."
  650. >She fumbles with her walkie for a bit before calling out "Heeeeeeeey, Fluttershy? Come in, Fluttershy?"
  651. >GIGGLES.
  652. >You. Not her. And not Berry. But she gets it. You can tell from the disgust in her face.
  653. >What *you* don't get is why she isn't giggling too if she gets it.
  654. >Oh well. No accounting for taste, you suppose.
  655. >There's a moment of silent static before Manager Horse gets a response.
  656. >"Um... go for Fluttershy?"
  657. >Manager Horse glances towards Berry with one eye, like she's checking to make sure BEST PONY isn't pulling some kind of joke on her. And that she's not really Fluttershy pulling some kind of ventriloquist act. But no, Berry doesn't even have a walkie.
  658. >"Oh, um..." Manager Horse mumbles, "... uh... Fluttershy? I was wondering, does Anon own you?"
  659. >"Yep!" Birdpony chirps back over the handheld - or, uh... hoofheld - mechanobox talking machine.
  660. >"And does... um..."
  661. >Manager Horse has to squeeze her eyes shut tight to help her think.
  662. >"... does Berry... Punch...? also -"
  663. >"Oh yes!" Lady Hawksmore cuts her off.
  664. >Wow, no. Bad internal monologue. Bad. That wasn't a good name for Fluttershy. Your inner voice needs to get its shit together. Maybe make a list ahead of time you can reference when necessary.
  665. >Anyway...
  666. >"... he owns her too," Fluttershy says with something that sounds disturbingly like victory.
  667. >"Oh," Manager Horse cheeps. "Okay. Well, could you come to my office?"
  668. >"Ummmm... well..."
  669. >"Oh!" Manager Horse slaps her forehead. "Sorry! Do you have customers you're helping?"
  670. >"Nooooooooooooooooooooo, not right now."
  671. >"Then could you come to my office? This shouldn't take long."
  672. >"Well... uh... um..." Fluttershy moans. "I... um... I *can't*. I'm stuck."
  673. >Fuck the what?
  674. >Stuck? What is she -
  675. "Oh, right. *Shit*. Whoops."
  676. >"What did you do?" Berry sighs.
  677. "Well you remember that case of band-aids the unload team busted this morning?"
  678. >She nods. Manager Horse does too, for some reason.
  679. >Weird. You're pretty sure she wasn't there.
  680. "I thought I'd use them to restock the first-aid kits since they're still full of nothing but tampons and pads. And Fluttershy was in my way again."
  681. >Berry rolls those giant pony eyes of hers.
  682. >"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand?"
  683. "And I think I left her on the counter at customer service. My bad."
  684. >"Oh!" Manager Horse gasps. "Oh, no! Okay, Fluttershy, you stay *right there* until someone can help you down. I'll... uh... I'll send Anon just as soon as we're finished here, okay!?"
  685. >"Thank you!" Fluttershy tweets like a lost little baby bird begging for food.
  686. >No, not like that stupid internet thingy. It was a word before the internet existed. Fuck you, internet.
  687. >But anyway...
  688. "Is that really necessary? It's like... what? A three foot drop? She can just jump."
  689. >"Well... uh... we don't want her to do anything unsafe," Manager Horse mumbles, "so I think it would be best if she stayed where she is for now until someone can help her down."
  690. "But she's a pegasus."
  691. >Manager Horse stares - partially at you and partially at the ceiling.
  692. >Oh. Right. Management.
  693. >Well intentioned and pleasant management, but still management.
  694. >You've got to explain this shit.
  695. "Fluttershy has *wings*. She can fly. I've seen her do it. I know they're not just decorative."
  696. >Shit, Manager Horse has wings too.
  697. >"I... um... well... we don't want her to have to do anything she doesn't feel comfortable with."
  698. "Fuck, in that case I don't feel comfortable wearing pants, so can I -"
  699. >"No," Berry snorts.
  700. "*Fine*. Then let's just get this over with. I'm here because some customer didn't like me picking up *my* miniature giant dwarf horse because she was in my way while I was bleeding out? Okay. Say what you've got to say so I can get back to work."
  701. >"Ummmmm... well..."
  702. >Manager Horse has to refer to her computer again.
  703. >"Okay, soooooo... it says here that you have to be... um... mindful of your relationship with Fluttershy. And... uh... Berry Punch too, I guess."
  704. "Okay. But I own them."
  705. >"Yeah," Berry signs, "he owns me."
  706. >You do the ol' THIS hand gesture with double fingers jabbed in pony's direction.
  707. "Exactly. She's literally my bitch. And Fluttershy too."
  708. >Berry shrugs.
  709. >"Well, his mares."
  710. >"Oh," Manager Horse says in her best surprised pigeon voice. "Really?"
  711. "Yes. Did we not just establish this?"
  712. >"I guess...? Okay, well... but you have to be... um..."
  713. >She glares at her computer screen before continuing.
  714. >"... 'more mindful of your work relationship with your ponies and not abuse your authority.'"
  715. "Authority? What authority? We're coworkers."
  716. >"Yes, but... well... you have a position of authority over them," Manager Horse tries to explain.
  717. >But that doesn't really explain anything, does it?
  718. "No I don't. Not here, anyway. I'm not their manager."
  719. >"Shit," Berry snarls, "he's not *anyone's* manager."
  720. >"Yes," Manager Horse nods, "but... um... he's still in a position of authority over you."
  721. >"No shit. He owns me."
  722. >Manager Horse shrugs.
  723. >You shrug. Berry shrugs.
  724. >Awww, lookeet that. You're all in agreement.
  725. Manager Horse looks hopeful.
  726. >That's sad. You almost feel sorry for her.
  727. "Well, just remind HR that I could take Berry home right now and fuck her and there's nothing she can do to stop me."
  728. >"I can kick you."
  729. "- and there's *legally* nothing she can do to stop me."
  730. >"And that's what HR is concerned about. I think? You... well... they *say* you have authority over your ponies and it would be..."
  731. >She puts a hoof back up to her computer screen to help her read along.
  732. "...'wrong of you to leverage that authority to coerce your ponies into anything inappropriate.'"
  733. "I *own* them."
  734. >"But... well..."
  735. "But as a coworker, I can't?"
  736. >Manager Horse nods eagerly.
  737. >Hah, you bet she thinks this is over.
  738. "I didn't think relationships between coworkers were forbidden."
  739. >It's over when you *say* it's over.
  740. >She stops nodding.
  741. >Poor Manager Horse.
  742. >"Um... well... they *aren't*."
  743. "Then -"
  744. >"But you have authority over Berry Punch -"
  745. >"But does he *really*?" your little rebel snorts.
  746. >"- and Fluttershy -" Manager Horse continues.
  747. >"Again, does he *really*? Anon isn't an anime character."
  748. >" - so..."
  749. "But what if I dressed up in cosplay?"
  750. >"That might do it," Berry concedes. "Or it might get you tied up and shoved in the closet where she keeps the rest of her dolls."
  751. "Oh shit, is that where she's been putting them?"
  752. >"Uh... guys..." Manager Horse whimpers.
  753. >Whoops.
  754. >You didn't mean to hurt her feelings.
  755. "Sorry, please continue."
  756. >"Um..." she moans, "I lost my place. Sorry. But... uh... do you remember what I was saying?"
  757. "You said I have authority over Berry and Fluttershy."
  758. >"Right! Thanks! So... yep, there we are! You need to be professional with your ponies and with other ponies as well, so -"
  759. "So now I have questions."
  760. >Berry facehoofs.
  761. >Manager Horse grins.
  762. >One of these is probably the right reaction and if someone put a gun to your head and told you to choose, you'd probably go with Manager Horse.
  763. "Can I pick up ponies I don't own?"
  764. >"Um...! Well -! No, I... uh... maybe? But... well..."
  765. >She turns to her email for rescue.
  766. >"... well... you... uh... still have authority over them, so... I... um...?"
  767. "How do I have authority over them? I don't own them and I'm not their manager, so..."
  768. >"Yes, but -!"
  769. >"Maybe she means you're human?" Berry suggests.
  770. "Nah, that'd be racist. Maybe she mean seniority? I've been here longer than any of the ponies."
  771. >"And any of the other humans," Berry adds.
  772. >Manager Horse shrugs. Kinda almost smiles. But not like for real but because her face forgot what a frown was and this is the closest she can manage.
  773. >"I don't know," she moans softly. "HR didn't say."
  774. >Awww, Manager Horse needs a hug.
  775. >WELL.
  776. >Meh. If she wanted a hug, she wouldn't be sitting on the other side of the desk.
  777. >So you settle for petting Berry's head.
  778. >"Maybe," your little drunkard hums softly, "maybe she means you're the only person in this place that knows how to do anything?"
  779. >Huh.
  780. >Hadn't considered that.
  781. "You might be on to something. People *are* always coming to me for help because they don't know how to do the most basic shit."
  782. >"He's not..." Manager Horse starts, then goes cross eyed and frowns. "Well..."
  783. "Berry, I promise I will never hold my work-related knowledge over you and demand sexual favors in return."
  784. >"And I promise I'll kick you if you try."
  785. "Deal. Is that good enough for you, Manager Horse?"
  786. >Oh shit, did you -
  787. >Are you about to question if you actually just called her Manager Horse out loud because yeah you did and it wouldn't be the first time.
  788. >"Wellllllll... uh... I think..."
  789. >Her mouth tightens up into something almost like a frown as she thinks it over.
  790. >"... I think what they want, is... um... for you to just treat your ponies the same as... well... the same as you would any other coworker."
  791. >She slowly turns that frown into a hesitant grin.
  792. "Okay."
  793. >You can *hear* the squeal of happiness from inside her head.
  794. "That sounds fair. Makes sense. Hey, since you're my favorite manager, would you like me to bring you a coloring book and some crayons?"
  795. >She kinda tilts her head one way and then the other, with her eyes going other *other* ways and then other other *other* ways (but not at the same time).
  796. >Then she kinda... aaaaaaalmost... yep. There we go. She nods.
  797. >And that's how Manager Horse got trapped on her desk until lunch when you remembered to help her down.
  798. >At least she wasn't bored.
  799.  
  800.  
  801. Drink 4: A Day in the -
  802.  
  803. >"Not now, Fluttershy."
  804. "Oh. Okay. Sorry."
  805. >You unpause your show.
  806.  
  807.  
  808. Dri-
  809.  
  810. >"I'm just so fucking tired I can’t –"
  811. >You pause your show.
  812. >It can be *really* hard to tune Anon out when he gets like this.
  813. >"- I can’t even come up with a stupid name for you. Those BASTARDS fucking PROMISED ME that I would get an extra day off to make up for all this MANDATORY OVERTIME I've been having to do, and how long ago was that!?"
  814. >You shrug.
  815. >It all kind of blends together.
  816. >"Shit, I don't even remember either! At least two weeks! But NO! I had to do EVEN MORE mandatory overtime then! And the week after they said I could leave on time, but you remember what happened THEN and every week since!?"
  817. "Um... *more* mandatory overtime...?"
  818. >"DAMN FUCKING RIGHT MORE MANDATORY OVERTIME. I THOUGHT WE WERE PAST THIS!"
  819. >You put on a sad face, turn around on the sofa to face Anon, and pat his head.
  820. >Um, nevermind.
  821. >He might bite.
  822. >You pat his leg.
  823. >"I mean, *fuck*, now I don't even have time or energy to do any of the shit I *need* to do, let alone everything I *want* to do."
  824. >He pauses.
  825. >Oh no.
  826. >Was that a question?
  827. >It didn't sound like a question.
  828. >But it feels like a question.
  829. >Anon's not ranting.
  830. >That must have been a question.
  831. >Is he waiting for an answer?
  832. >Do you *have* an answer?
  833. >Does that matter? He's waiting for an answer, even if you don't have one.
  834. >But to what question?
  835. >Um.
  836. >Okay.
  837. >Just do your best.
  838. "Have you tried... um... well... have you tried doing the things you *want* to do instead of complaining about work and -"
  839. >EEEEEEEEEP.
  840. >HE FOUND WHERE YOU HID THE SQUIRT BOTTLE!
  841.  
  842.  
  843. Drink 5: A Day in the Life of Fluttershy, Part 1
  844.  
  845. >You are nameless.
  846. >Berry Punch took your name badge.
  847. >Somehow this doesn't bother you much.
  848. >This isn’t the first time. You doubt it will be the last.
  849. >"C'mon!" Anon yells. "Time for work! And school, I guess. Someone got Sam up, right? Oh, good, there you are. Let's go, everyone."
  850.  
  851. >You are now Bluebell.
  852. >At least that's what the name badge Anon brought you says.
  853. >That's okay. You can be Bluebell for a day.
  854. >You don't understand why Berry couldn't be Bluebell, but that's fine.
  855. >For that matter, you're not sure why Anon has to be Berry and not Bluebell, but oh well, Anon said they aren’t delivering today so you could use the vendor name badge.
  856. >It’s probably something he’s not allowed to do.
  857. >You wish you were Big Red instead.
  858. >"So... you're sure you'll be okay, Flufflepuff?"
  859. >Anon pats your head again so of course you're okay.
  860. >Even if you can’t be Big Red and have to be Bluebell.
  861. >You nod and smile and nod some more and go "Mhm!"
  862. >Anon still makes worried expressions with his face.
  863. >"I don't know why they decided you needed to be the floater today - I mean, have you ever even done this before?"
  864. >You nod.
  865. >He would worry if you didn't nod. He'd think you hadn't done this before.
  866. >*Have* you done this before...?
  867. >Does it matter?
  868. >You don't think so. You would still have to do it anyway.
  869. >So you nod.
  870. >"Alright, get on over to customer service them and I'll check on you later. Probably not before you get moved to greeter, but..."
  871. >Anon sighs.
  872. >He shrugs.
  873. >He sighs again.
  874. >"If it gets too bad..."
  875. "I'll offer to bring the damaged returns to receiving!"
  876. >And while you’re there, raid Anon's candy stash. He *always* has a candy stash. And if he didn't want you to raid it, he wouldn't have told you about it, where it is, and that you could raid it if you needed something to cheer you up.
  877. >So clearly he probably doesn’t mind and you don’t think it’s a trap and if it was it’s not a very good trap because you haven’t got in trouble for doing it yet.
  878. >It's not anime, but it's still nice.
  879. >And he told you that you could do it so it’s not stealing.
  880. >Even if it is a trap.
  881. >But you don’t think it’s a trap.
  882. >"Good call."
  883. >He still walks you halfway to customer service anyhow.
  884. >You don't mind.
  885. >Why would you?
  886. >Kristine is there, banking the registers. And that new girl from HR. You think her name is Carla.
  887. >It's hard to tell.
  888. >Her honkers are redonkers (you heard that on the internet!) so it's hard to read her name badge from down here at pony level and it would be awkward to ask, right?
  889. >They're talking about... um... something. It's not work and it's not interesting.
  890. >It doesn't make any sense to you, so you just ignore it and hope they don't ask you anything.
  891. >Kristine is *always* too cheerful and talkative about things you don't understand at all, but you can't exactly ignore her since she's your manager which is kind of like a temporary owner so you have to be polite but it's also really confusing because why would she want to talk to you except to tell you what to do except Anon talks to you too but you tune him out so it doesn’t count and usually when you don’t he's talking about anime so that also doesn’t count either, but *her*?
  892. >It's weird.
  893. >But if Anon is with you...
  894. >Kristine looks up and frowns when she sees him.
  895. >"Good morning, Fluttershy," she says sweetly, so she probably saw you too you guess, and then "hi, Anon."
  896. >"Morning," he sighs and starts to veer off. "See you later, Buttercream."
  897. >Noooooooooooooo.
  898. >You need him to distract these people so things don’t get awkwaaaaard!
  899. >"Hey, Anon!" Carla(?) shouts. "I've got a question -"
  900. >Yessssssssss!
  901. >"- have you seen Henry today?"
  902. >Anon stops. He shrugs.
  903. >"Depends."
  904. >"On?" Carla(?) asks.
  905. >"Who's Henry?"
  906. >Now it's *her* turn to sigh.
  907. >Sometimes you wonder if that's humans' favorite sound.
  908. >They do it sooooooooo much.
  909. >But not in anime.
  910. >Hmm.
  911. >Maybe your shows aren’t real…?
  912. >Or Japan might just be different!
  913. >Oh! That’s obviously it.
  914. >You hope Anon will take you for a walk there someday. You can’t find it on the bus route, but you know it exists.
  915. >"Henry," Carla(?) repeats, because maybe that will help and you guess the humans are still talking. "You know, he's -"
  916. >Anon snorts.
  917. >"You drastically overestimate how important it is to me to learn my coworkers' names."
  918. >Carla(?) stops talking and looks to Kristine, then to you, then back to Anon, then -
  919. >"Add that one to the list," your manager says without looking up from the money she's counting out.
  920. >Carla(?) nods.
  921. >"Oh, nooooooooo," Anon whines and walks -
  922. >NOOOOOO!
  923. >You jump forward and bump your head into his leg.
  924. >HEADPATS!
  925. >Anon is a good master. He understands.
  926. >He pats before he leaves.
  927. >You’re a good girl for reminding him!
  928. >So good you probably deserve more head pats, but for now you take your place behind customer service and grin.
  929. >The day is almost started.
  930. >Which means the day is closer to being over.
  931. >You learned that from Anon!
  932. >And when it’s over you can go home and Sam can help you clip out your new Gunpla if she doesn’t have any homework and even if she does she’s a child and should try to get out of it and as a fellow pony it’s your responsibility to help her undermine human authority!
  933. >Or so Spitfire said once.
  934. >*Was* it Spitfire?
  935. >Who even *is* Spitfire? But that name sounds right. You’re going to assume it’s right.
  936. >She’s probably a bad pony.
  937. >Kristine smiles when she sees your smile.
  938. >Took her long enough, but you’re a patient mare!
  939. >"Excited for today?"
  940. "Always!"
  941. >Management likes it when you're happy.
  942. >So it’s important to make them see that you’re happy, even when you aren’t - *particularly* when you aren’t.
  943. >So you always make sure they think you’re happy.
  944. >Kristine checks her phone and pulls out her walkie.
  945. >You still don't know why they're called walkies.
  946. >Those little radios don't have legs.
  947. >Humans are weird. They give things weird names. Like other humans.
  948. >What the stars does 'Kristine' even mean!? It’s just gibberish like the names Anon comes up with for you!
  949. >Oh no, is her name gibberish?
  950. >Did her parents not love her enough to give her a real name?
  951. >Do *all* human parents not love their children enough to give them real names!?
  952. >That would explain so much.
  953. >Huuuuuuuuh.
  954. >"Good morning, team!" Kristine shouts into the walkie.
  955. >Why is she being loud? Can't everyone just turn up their walkies if they can't hear her?
  956. >Oh. Oh no. Did you just question management!?
  957. >"Five minutes to open!"
  958. >Anon is a Bad Influence.
  959. >"We’ve got a line of guests outside so be ready for -"
  960. >You giggle. You shouldn’t, but you do.
  961.  
  962. >The first hour goes by quickly, with a constant flow of customers making returns but not so many you have to call for help.
  963. >There was even a small line outside the doors before the store opened.
  964. >You don't know why.
  965. >It just happens sometimes.
  966. >Anon would probably have a theory, but he’s not here and the why isn’t that important.
  967. >It just is.
  968. >You finish folding up the latest returned shirt, put it in the proper return bin, and turn back to the counter.
  969. >Hmm.
  970. >Is the next customer angry?
  971. >He's leaning over the counter and staring at you.
  972. >But why would he be angry!? You haven't -
  973. >Oh!
  974. >You're making him wait!
  975. >Only bad ponies make customers wait!
  976. >You climb your little stool two steps at a time until you’re back up to counter height and smile a smile like... like... one of your old friends would do all the time.
  977. >Thinking about it makes your smile a little smaller. You can't help it.
  978. >But it’s okay. You can’t remember her very well so it doesn’t hurt much.
  979. "Sorry for the wait, sir. What can I help you with today?"
  980. >He straightens and pushes a plastic shopping bag across the counter.
  981. >"Yeah, uh..."
  982. >OH NO. YOU MADE HIM WAIT SO LONG HE FORGOT.
  983. >YOU’RE A BAD PONY, JUST LIKE ANON. EXCEPT A PONY.
  984. >"Sorry," the customer grins, "I kinda got lost in the view. I'd like to return this."
  985. >Oh. Good. He didn't forget.
  986. >You're not sure what the punishment is for giving a customer brain damage and you don't want to find out!
  987. >View...?
  988. >You shake it off. Humans always say weird things when they're trying to be polite to ponies.
  989. >That's why you like Anon.
  990. >What he says always makes sense, because he never tries to be polite.
  991. >You push open the customer’s bag with your hooves and look at the... um...
  992. >Oh. Ew.
  993. "Not a problem!"
  994. >Customers don't like it when there's a problem.
  995. >You can wash your hooves later.
  996. "Do you have your receipt?"
  997. >"Nah, I threw it away. Can't you just do it off my card instead or something?"
  998. "Of course!"
  999. >"Nice."
  1000. >He shoves his card into the chip reader slot and makes a face like you see on your anime sometimes before things happen and Anon makes Sam leave the room or turns off the TV.
  1001. >"Yeah, my marefriend broke up with me, so I don't exactly need those anymore if you get what I mean."
  1002. "Oh, that's a shame."
  1003. >Polite small talk is covered in the training!
  1004. "Don't worry, I'm sure you'll get another g-"
  1005. >Um. Wait. *What* did he say?
  1006. "Well, I'm sure everything will turn out fine. Would you like everything back to the card, or -"
  1007. >"I... uh..."
  1008. >OH NO. HE WANTS IT BACK IN CASH.
  1009. >You'll have to call a manager over and you'll have to make him wait even longer!
  1010. >"I can't tell, but does this store hire..."
  1011. >OH.
  1012. >YES.
  1013. >YOU CAN ANSWER THIS.
  1014. "Oh yes, sir! We're always hiring! If you'd like, I can -"
  1015. >"No, what I mean is -"
  1016. >OH NO AGAIN. YOU MISUNDERSTOOD!
  1017. >You're going to be in trouble and have to retake your small talk training!
  1018. >"- does this store hire... um... you know... non... well... *non-free* ponies?"
  1019. >OH NEVERMIND.
  1020. >YOU CAN STILL ANSWER THIS.
  1021. "Yes, sir! We hire free *and* servant ponies in addition to humans!"
  1022. >Training was clear. *Never* use the word slave.
  1023. "Would you like that money back on your card or -"
  1024. >"There are free ponies working here?"
  1025. >You nod.
  1026. "Yes, quite a few!"
  1027. >That always makes customers feel better for some reason.
  1028. >You don't know why.
  1029. >Wouldn't free ponies be harder to train?
  1030. >They still have free will and -
  1031. >OH NO.
  1032. >YOU'RE QUESTIONING A CUSTOMER.
  1033. >BUT NOT IN A GOOD WAY THAT WILL HELP YOU HELP HIM!
  1034. >"So... uh..." the customer smirks.
  1035. >That means he's not angry that you questioned him in your head, right?
  1036. >"... what'd you say the ratio is here of slaves to free ponies?"
  1037. "I... um... I didn't."
  1038. >"But what *would* you say it is?"
  1039. "Um..."
  1040. >This wasn't covered in your training.
  1041. "... well... most of the ponies that work here are happy to... um..."
  1042. >He doesn't look happy!
  1043. "... I mean... mostly... um... *free* ponies...?"
  1044. >That *might* be the truth.
  1045. >It would be rude to ask and maybe everypony else is just wearing a collar because it helps them not get into trouble because sometimes some humans are mean to free ponies because they don’t have a big, strong human to protect them.
  1046. >But that answer makes the customer happy so it was the right answer, right, even if it’s not true?
  1047. >"I was hoping that would be the case."
  1048. "I'm glad you're happy. Would you like that back on your -"
  1049. >"Slave ponies are just... *weird*, you know?"
  1050. >OH NO.
  1051. >HE KNOWS YOU’RE A SLAVE.
  1052. >HE THINKS YOU'RE WEIRD.
  1053. >CUSTOMERS DON'T *LIKE* WEIRD!
  1054. >"There are always these restrictions and it's just really awkward, you know what I mean?"
  1055. >YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT HE MEANS BUT THAT MAKES THIS AWKWARD SO HE’S RIGHT.
  1056. >This is bad.
  1057. >You shake your head.
  1058. >Maybe you'll understand if he tells you more…?
  1059. >Does he think you're not allowed to process his return!?
  1060. >"Oh, you've never run into that before?"
  1061. >You shake your head harder.
  1062. >"Yeah, I kinda thought so. You're a free pony, aren't you?"
  1063. >YOU'RE NOT ALLOWED TO ANSWER THAT.
  1064. >BY COMPANY POLICY.
  1065. >IT MAKES CUSTOMERS UNCOMFORTABLE.
  1066. >UM.
  1067. >WHAT DID ANON TELL YOU TO DO...?
  1068. >You giggle nervously. That always seems to help.
  1069. >It doesn't help.
  1070. "Um..."
  1071. >"Oh," the customer grunts. "I see, well..."
  1072. >OH NO.
  1073. >OKAY.
  1074. >NORMALLY YOU WOULD NEVER DO WHAT ANON SAYS TO DO EXCEPT WHEN YOU'RE NOT AT WORK BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO DO WHAT HE SAYS BUT YOU'RE AT WORK RIGHT NOW AND NORMALLY YOU CAN'T BUT YOU CAN'T THINK OF ANOTHER THING TO DO SO YOU DO IT.
  1075. "... *free*? I'm afraid *none* of the employees here are for purchase at the moment, at any price."
  1076. >You... um... you try giggling again...?
  1077. >OH YES! IT WORKS!
  1078. >He laughs.
  1079. >You don't know why, but he does, and you don't understand humans anyway so that's all that matters.
  1080. >"So you're not... *attached* to anyone right now?
  1081. >No, you’re just you, so you shake your head.
  1082. >"That's what I thought."
  1083. >You're confused.
  1084. >You really shouldn't be.
  1085. >Oh wait.
  1086. "Oh, no. I don't have a boyfriend."
  1087. >"That's... uh... not what I meant but good news. *Really* good news. So..."
  1088. "OH!"
  1089. >You get it now.
  1090. >The weird looks.
  1091. >All the questions.
  1092. >The perverted contents of his bag.
  1093. >You get it now.
  1094. >He’s just like you.
  1095. >You don’t have to keep your spaghetti contained.
  1096. "YES. I *DO* HAVE A HUSBANDO!"
  1097. >Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
  1098. >You were always hoping someone would ask!
  1099. "Actually several but only one at a time so it’s not cheating exactly because I know more than one waifu will ruin your lifeu even though husbandos aren’t waifus but it’s basically the same thing, right? But I know it’s not because I have a waifu too, but only one – and only one because she’s perfect – but no husbando is perfect, right? Which is why I have several because some are better in certain circumstances than others and oh yeah I do kinda wish master would fuck me. He kinda looks like my husbando from –"
  1100. >"What did you say?"
  1101. "Oh. "
  1102. >You messed up.
  1103. >Bad pony.
  1104. "Sorry. I know I should only have one, but -"
  1105. >"You have a master?"
  1106. >You nod.
  1107. "I’m saving up for a cosplay outfit for him. I measured him while he was sleeping so I already know what size to get and –"
  1108. >He sighs.
  1109. >Is that good or bad?
  1110. >Humans *love* sighing, so…
  1111. >"Fucking tease. Just give me my money back on the card. "
  1112. >So… good?
  1113. >Humans like being teased!
  1114. "Okay!"
  1115. >You tap a few buttons on the register with your handy dandy poker pen and then grin at the man.
  1116. "All done! Should be back on your card by the end of the day. Anything else I can help you with?"
  1117. >"Apparently not,” he says in a kinda mean tone but that doesn’t make sense because you teased him and humans – particularly males – enjoy being teased, or at least that’s what… um… oh, dang. You forgot her name. But it’s what she said and she was usually right about these kinds of things so you’re probably being stupid right now if you think he’s unhappy.
  1118. >So you just smile wider.
  1119. "I’m glad you had a pleasurable experience today! If you want, there’s a survey at the bottom of your receipt that –"
  1120. >Oh. He’s leaving. Okay.
  1121. >Must be something you just aren’t smart enough to understand.
  1122. >Maybe he *really* enjoyed getting teased and is off to… uh… oh. Ew.
  1123. >That’s right.
  1124. >You poke at the bag he left behind with your hoof.
  1125. >You really should put it… ummmmm…
  1126. >Oh!
  1127. >No one is watching!
  1128. >You sweep it off the counter with your leg.
  1129. >People dump stuff on the ground *all the time* back here when they’re too busy because making customers wait is bad so even though there’s no one in line right now it’s fine and no one will notice.
  1130. >You hope.
  1131. >Oh, the late opener is here.
  1132. >Break time!
  1133.  
  1134. GAN GAN GA GAN GAN GA GAN
  1135. MI AGERU SORA NI
  1136. GAN GAN GA GAN GAN GA GAN
  1137. KAGAYAKU V DA GEKIGANGAA V
  1138. >"What’s that sound?"
  1139. >"I think that’s Fluttershy humming."
  1140. >"Huh, I thought ponies *sang*."
  1141. >"Dude, I don’t know."
  1142. >"It’s kinda creepy."
  1143. >"What?"
  1144. >"Look at her eyes."
  1145. >"Oh, wow. Shit."
  1146. >"And just sitting there rocking back and forth and humming? Creepy as fuck. Want to take break outside?"
  1147. >"Yeah, let’s go."
  1148. MITSU NO CHIKARA NI MIRAI O KAKETE
  1149. TOMOYO MITE KURE ORE WA YARU
  1150. SEIGI O SHINJITI INOCHI O MOYASE
  1151. AI SURU CHIKYUU MAMORU TAME
  1152. >You think you’re going to tell Anon about them.
  1153. GAN GAN GA GAN VICTORY
  1154. GAN GAN GA GAN TATAKAE
  1155. GAN GAN GA GAN VICTORY
  1156. GAN GAN GA GAN IZA YUKE
  1157. >He’s going to fuck them up.
  1158. SHORI NO V DA GEKI-
  1159. >Oooops, break time is over.
  1160.  
  1161. >You clear your throat a few times before Long Shot notices you.
  1162. >"Oh, here to take over for me as greeter?" he sighs.
  1163. >OH NO THE HUMANS HAVE GOTTEN TO HIM.
  1164. "Mhm!"
  1165. >You do your best to make it the poniest, friendlies mhm in the history of mhms to remind him that he’s not a human and doesn’t have to sigh all the time, but he doesn’t seem to notice.
  1166. >"Great," Long Shot sighs (nooooooooooooooooooo! You’ll have to ask Anon to help you fix him. Sometime. Not today.) "You’ve done this before, right?"
  1167. "Of course!"
  1168. >Maybe.
  1169. >"So you know what to do?"
  1170. "Greet everyone and make them feel welcome!"
  1171. >He rolls his eyes.
  1172. >"I take it you didn’t do the training?"
  1173. "There’s training?"
  1174. >HE MUTTERS SOMETHING VERY ANON-LIKE.
  1175. >OH NO.
  1176. >"Look… you know what? Yeah. Just greet everyone and direct them where they need to go if they have any questions. Oh, and there was a policy change last week. We aren’t allowed to ask any ponies if they’re free or not."
  1177. "Okay."
  1178. >You didn’t think you needed to, so it’s good to hear that you *can’t*.
  1179. >"But if you know they’re not free, make sure they’re wearing a collar and have a human with them, or we’re liable if they do something."
  1180. >He says that like doing something is bad.
  1181. >Maybe it is…?
  1182. >Maybe that’s why Anon says working is against company policy.
  1183. >You’ll have to ask him later.
  1184. >But right now…
  1185. "But if I’m not allowed to ask if they’re free ponies, how will I know?"
  1186. >OH NO.
  1187. >HE’S SIGHING AGAIN.
  1188. >"Look, it’s basically just like our service animal policy now. We can’t ask, but we can’t let pets in that aren’t service animals, so -"
  1189. "We can’t let in pets that aren’t service animals?"
  1190. >"Nevermind, you’ll do fine."
  1191. >yay
  1192. >"Just stay here until I get sent back to relieve you."
  1193. >Long Shot believes in you!
  1194. >You take his place by the metal detector thingies that don’t detect metal and smile smile smile.
  1195. >It’s only for a few hours until you get moved to the next place they forgot to schedule someone to cover.
  1196. >And it’s really easy!
  1197. >You smile and wave and give stickers to the little children (Long Shot didn’t say anything about that, but why else would there be a roll of stickers hidden behind the non-metal detector? Children love stickers! There are also some markers, but you can’t guess what they’re for because they aren’t sharpies.)
  1198. >(You know what to do with sharpies. From the internet. People on the anime boards are really smart about these kinds of things!)
  1199. >There aren’t even very many ponies that come in and they’re all either dressed in nice clothes or on a leash so you don’t even have to think about –
  1200. >Um.
  1201. >Oh.
  1202. >But…
  1203. >Um…
  1204. >You didn’t know them. So you made assumptions.
  1205. >And that worked out, right?
  1206. >But *this* pony…
  1207. >You know *this* pony.
  1208. "Uh… miss? Excuse me… um… miss… but…"
  1209. >"Oh? Oh, hello, Fluttershy," PRINCESS CELESTIA greets you with a little nod. "I didn’t realize this was the hellhole you worked at."
  1210. "Um… actually it’s a… um…"
  1211. >You move closer and stretch to whisper into her ear.
  1212. >You come close.
  1213. >Almost close.
  1214. >About level with the base of her neck.
  1215. >And then you whisper.
  1216. "Actually we prefer the term ‘shithole’, princess. Hellhole might have religious connotations that make some of our guests uncomfortable."
  1217. >She snickers.
  1218. >Why?
  1219. >Oh. At herself. She must feel really silly.
  1220. "Please remember to use the right term. I don’t want you getting into trouble."
  1221. >"Thank you, Fluttershy," the princess snorts just like another princess you used to know. "I will be sure to keep that in mind. Now, would you mind pointing me towards the stationary? I left Sam with a selection of math problems to go over, but that won’t take her very long. I just popped in to pick up some receipt tape for Ethel."
  1222. "Um… about that, princess, I… um… I can’t… well…"
  1223. >"Out with it, Fluttershy."
  1224. "… let you in."
  1225. >She raises an eyebrow in a very princessly fashion.
  1226. "I’m sorry, but I can’t let you in, princess."
  1227. >"And why not?"
  1228. "Because… well…"
  1229. >You have to say this politely and can’t mention her being a not free pony but there wasn’t training about what to say in this situation what do you say?
  1230. >OH. YOU KNOW.
  1231. "Because you aren’t wearing a collar."
  1232. >"So?"
  1233. "Because there’s nothing to attach a leash to."
  1234. >"And?"
  1235. "If you don’t have a leash, what’s your owner going to hold on to?"
  1236. >"Most likely a bottle of gin in one hand and an unused shot glass in the other."
  1237. >OH NO!
  1238. "I’m afraid consumption of alcohol in the store is against the law, princess. She can’t –"
  1239. >"That won’t be an issue, Fluttershy. Ethel stayed at the liquor store. I’m here alone."
  1240. >IT’S WORSE THAN YOU THOUGHT!
  1241. "Um… um… ummmmm… that’s… well… I’m sorry, princess, but I can’t… um…"
  1242. >OH NO. HOW DO YOU ACTUALLY TELL A CUSTOMER NO!?
  1243. >This is bad.
  1244. >Nothing in your life has ever prepared you for this.
  1245. "… you have to… um… I can’t *ask* but since I know, princess, I’m sorry, princess, but I know you’re a…”
  1246. >YOU ALMOST SAID A NO-NO WORD!
  1247. "… a… um… non-free pony… well…"
  1248. >"I’m not allowed to shop here?" Princess Celestia snorts. "What silly little rules these humans have."
  1249. >OH NO BUT OH YES.
  1250. >SHE’S ANGRY BUT NOT AT YOU.
  1251. >Still…
  1252. "You’re allowed to shop here, princess, but non-free ponies have to have a human accompanying them."
  1253. >"But you're unattended."
  1254. "I'm... um... it's different. I work here."
  1255. >Princess Celestia frowns.
  1256. >"I understand. Rules are rules."
  1257. "Ruurs."
  1258. >"What was that?"
  1259. "Nothing, princess."
  1260. >"Very well, I wouldn’t want to put you on the spot, Fluttershy."
  1261. >She cranes her neck around, looking left and right and behind her.
  1262. "I’ll be back with a human shortly. And I shall be borrowing this…"
  1263. >One of your markers floats up from behind the detector that doesn’t detect metal and follows after the princess as she trots back out the in door.
  1264. >What a wild, rebellious princess. Doesn’t she know the in door is for coming in only?
  1265. >You giggle silently on the inside only because it wouldn’t do to laugh at a customer, even one you had to turn away.
  1266. >Hopefully her owner is willing to come back with –
  1267. >"I’m back, Fluttershy. Thank you for the use of the marker."
  1268. "That was qui-"
  1269. >OH NO. OH NO OHNOOHNOOHNO
  1270. >"I assume this child will suffice. He’s a human."
  1271. "I’m… um…"
  1272. >OHNONONONONONONONONONONONONONO
  1273. "I’m not sure this is right."
  1274. >The princess’ face gets all wibbly!
  1275. >And if that means anything, it probably means that she’s almost as confused as you are about what’s happening right now because oh no this can’t be real.
  1276. >She turns her head to look at the child riding on her back.
  1277. >"You are human, aren’t you, boy?"
  1278. >"I’m a girl!"
  1279. >"Close enough. You all look the same to me when you’re so young. See, Fluttershy? It’s fine."
  1280. "But where did you get -"
  1281. >"His - *her*, sorry –" she nods to the child, then nudges it softly with her nose, bringing a short burst of giggling from the pair of them "- said I could borrow her for a few minutes. So. I have a human. I can shop here. Where is the stationary?"
  1282. "But… uhm… *where*s your collar!?"
  1283. >"Oh, right. Here, let me return this."
  1284. >Oh. Yay. Your marker.
  1285. >It zips around in front of your face a bit before dipping down and around and – oh no the cap is stuck on the backside!
  1286. >You spin and snatch it in your teeth quickly and put the cap back on the RIGHT end and put it back where it was with the stickers and – oh, should you give the child a sticker? You probably should, but –
  1287. >OH, RIGHT!
  1288. "Thank you, princess, um… but… the collar?"
  1289. >Princess Celestia points to her neck.
  1290. "Um…"
  1291. >The child leans forward and grab the princess’ hoof.
  1292. >She pulls it up higher.
  1293. >"Oh, it’s that far up? Thank you, child. Well, there you go, Fluttershy. Does this not suffice?"
  1294. >Now she’s pointing at a roughly drawn thin black line around her neck.
  1295. >There’s a little circle in the front that has ‘FIDO’ written in it.
  1296. "I… um… uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…"
  1297. >"Oh dear, I think we broke her."
  1298. >Do you call a manager…?
  1299. >Where’s your walkie?
  1300. >It’s not here.
  1301. >Why didn’t it follow you!
  1302. >WHY DON’T THESE THINGS HAVE LEGS!?
  1303. >"I need to get back to Sam and Ethel, so I’ll just be going on ahead if you don’t mind…"
  1304. >You… shrug.
  1305. >"Good. I’ll see you after work, Fluttershy."
  1306.  
  1307. >An hour later, someone asks, why your namebadge says ‘Blueball’.
  1308. >You don’t know what to say.
  1309. >Not even after you take it off of your vest to check and oh someone *has* written on it! They changed one of the letters!
  1310. >You have no idea why.
  1311. >But you have a suspicion on who to blame.
  1312. >Only *one* pony was playing around with markers and could have written on your name badge!
  1313. >This is going in the book, Long Shot!
  1314. >You don’t know what that means, but Anon says it sometimes and it just feels right.
  1315. >Oh well.
  1316. >LUNCH TIME!
  1317.  
  1318. FUTATSU MUSUBI NO RONDO OSHIOKO NO SUTATO
  1319. BARBARA NI SHITE AGERU NO
  1320. SEIGI NO INISHARAIZU
  1321. >"Shit, she’s doing it again."
  1322. MISEIJUKU NO HATO-GOTO BUTSUKETA TEKITAISHIN
  1323. IKIBA NO NAI BORUTEJI KAKUSHITA TIAZU
  1324. >Yeaaaaaaaaaaaah, they can go in the book too.
  1325. GIZENSHA TO HAITA KOTOBA WA ATTE IRU NO
  1326. KIRIKIZAMU KOTO NAI SEKAI NI YUME IDAKI
  1327. KISU WO SHIMASHO
  1328. >Oh, you should eat something.
  1329. TSUYOKU NARITAI MAMORARERU DAKE DATO
  1330. MUNE NI ARU OMOI HATASHI KIRE YASHINAI
  1331. >Where did you leave your lunch…?

Cuddleshy

by twilightgamenight

Game Night 01: Twilight Game Night (Part 1)

by twilightgamenight

Game Night 02: Twilight Game Night (Part 2)

by twilightgamenight

Game Night 03: Twilight Game Night (Part 3)

by twilightgamenight

Game Night 04: Twilight Game Night (Epilogue)

by twilightgamenight