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Cooking Anon(EqG)

By BetAnonTheSecond
Created: 18th December 2020 12:10:11 AM

  1. >Season the meat with kosher salt
  2. >Heat the pan.
  3. >Coat the pan with canola oil.
  4. >Place meat in pan.
  5. >3 minutes on one side.
  6. >Flip over.
  7. >1 minute 30 seconds in.
  8. >Toss in some butter, minced garlic and fresh rosemary.
  9. >Let the butter melt into the meat juice to make a sauce.
  10. >The minced garlic and rosemary adds in extra flavor.
  11. >Baste the meat with said sauce cooking in pan.
  12. >Once done, take meat out of pan and let rest for a minute.
  13. >Slice steak in half at 45 degree angle.
  14. >Now slice those halves in half.
  15. >Place meat on place.
  16. >Slightly spread them so that the edges of each piece is at the end of the other.
  17. >Use the remaining sauce left in pan to drizzle over meat.
  18. >A scoop of mashed potatoes on the side.
  19. >Done.
  20. >Simple cooked steak flanks.
  21. >You place the dish over on the end of the kitchen counter and ring the bell located over on the other end of the counter.
  22. “Flanks up! Medium rare!”
  23. >Be Anon.
  24. >You are the sous chef at one of the more well respected restaurants in Canterlot.
  25. >Fluer De Pone.
  26. >Odd name yes.
  27. >The head chef, like all head chefs from your experience.  Tend to have a sort of crazy trait in giving restaurants completely arbitrary names.
  28. >This really was something you fell into.
  29. >You took a job here when you were 14 as a dish washer just to get some disposable income.
  30. >One thing led to another, you became a prep cook 2 years in.
  31. >Prepping is what started this addiction.
  32. >Learning to cut, dice, mince and puree ingredients.
  33. >Making stocks out of beef and chicken bones.
  34. >You took to your duties pretty well.
  35. >The Head Chef, Chase Palomino, took a liking to your attitude.
  36. >He took you under his wing whenever he was available.
  37. >He owned several other fine dining restaurants all over Equestria so his time with you was scarce.
  38. >But the time he did spend with you, you gained priceless knowledge.
  39. >After a few years, you were promoted to line cook.
  40. >Basically now you cook some of the meals.
  41. >The restaurant has a rotating menu over the seasons of the year.
  42. >Usually keeps things exciting and fresh.
  43. >6 years into that and you became the kitchen manager.
  44. >Now you're in charge of ordering ingredients and making suggestions to the Sous chef on daily tasks with the line and prep cooks.
  45. >You're also responsible for kitchen cleanliness.
  46. >Several years of that and boom.
  47. >The previous Sous chef left to try and open his own restaurant.
  48. >Which is the norm.
  49. >Now you've been promoted to Sous chef.
  50. >You're one month in at the moment.
  51. >And the hours suck.
  52. >6 days a week.
  53. >From 6 AM to help and train prep cooks.
  54. >All the way to past closing at 11 PM.
  55. >To help clean and help the kitchen manager set the schedule for the next day.
  56. >Add in the fact that Chase Palomino is almost never there,
  57. >You're basically running the show.
  58. >Perhaps that's why most Sous chefs branch off to open their own spots.
  59. >You need to truly love what you do to have to do this.
  60. >Which you now give great respect to anyone in the restaurant business.
  61. >Tonight's shift is almost done.
  62. >The last order was cooked.
  63. >Most line cooks are now breaking down stations and giving their used utensils to the dish washers.
  64. >Others are wiping down the stoves with disinfectant to clean them of germs and residue from the day.
  65. >Some prep cooks are gathering used oil and grease to store them away in a separate locker for proper recycling.
  66. >This process usually takes an hour after closing.
  67. >You have a small meeting with the entire staff.
  68. >The summer season is coming to an end.
  69. >Things tend to slow down a bit.
  70. >But soon you will need to change the menu.
  71. >One thing you would like to try is to give some of the line cooks a chance to shine and see if they can come up with an interesting dish for the menu.
  72. >You already have a few ideas on your mind.
  73. >Of course the head chef will have to give final approval of it as well.
  74. >You end the day and meet with the staff by giving out a small glass of red wine to everyone who can drink.
  75. >Something that has always been done since you started here and will continue on, yourself.
  76. >And you all toast to a good day and hope for another one tomorrow.
  77. >Everyone leaves and you clean the glasses and do some paperwork in the back.
  78. >Finally you lock up for the night.
  79. >Check your phone.
  80. >11:24 PM
  81. “At least tomorrow is my day off.”
  82. >You reassure yourself by putting on an apathetic smile.
  83. >You head to your car at the end of the parking lot.
  84. >It's a 5 year old simple sedan you bought with the help of your parents when you were promoted to Kitchen Manager.
  85. >Really, the promotion only came with a $3000 raise per year.
  86. >The pay is salary so in the end it doesn't matter how many hours you work.
  87. >You make your way back to your personal sanctuary that is your one bedroom apartment.
  88. You head to the kitchen and grab a frozen dinner and toss it in the oven and head off to shower.
  89. >Ironic
  90. >You're a chef but when it comes to your personal time you want nothing to do with cooking.
  91. >Also you're tired as fuck.
  92. >You're not used to this.
  93. >Perhaps you should make a meal before you close up shop.
  94. >But now you want little to do with food outside of the restaurant.
  95. >You have your dinner and watch some shows on your laptop and read the news.
  96. >Finally you head to bed.
  97.  
  98. >Today is your day off.
  99. >You feel you want to do something.
  100. >But most days off you just stay in and do nothing.
  101. >It's currently 7 AM.
  102. >You usually wake up at around 4 to get ready to head to the restaurant and help prep for the day.
  103. >You want to sleep in some more.
  104. >But the job has set your internal clock to wake up early and refuses to let you go back to sleep.
  105. >You get up.
  106. >You walk to the kitchen to grab some coffee to start your day.
  107. >You're out of coffee beans.
  108. >Well shit.
  109. >No coffee today.
  110. >You head off to the fridge to see what you do have.
  111. >Turns out you have nothing.
  112. >Looks like you're going grocery shopping today.
  113. >You get into your car and head off to the grocery store.
  114. >Morning traffic.  
  115. >Something you did not miss thanks to your hours.
  116. >The traffic jam has gotten you a bit annoyed since you've had nothing to eat or drink.
  117. >You decide to drop off at this local cafe.
  118. >A popular joint called the Sugarcube Corner.
  119. >You've heard good things about this place.
  120. >So lets see what's the hype for.
  121.  
  122. >You walk inside.
  123. >The atmosphere is...
  124. >Welcoming.
  125. >Warm colors greet you at all corners of the cafe.
  126. >The walls are a bright shade or orange and with wood finish for the counter that stretches over on the back wall.
  127. >The booths that line along the walls have wood bases as well and a velvet red coloring to the cushions.
  128. >The almost diabetic smell of freshly baked sweets fill your nose.
  129. >Your senses can detect fresh strawberries, cherries, apples, cinnamon, chocolate...
  130. >The usual suspects you would find in a place like this.
  131. >You make your way to the front counter.
  132. >Nobody is there to greet you.
  133. >You look around to see if you can find anybody who works here.
  134. >You see several couples who were seated at the booths enjoying their pastries and drinks.
  135. >The second you turn your head back to the front counter you are bombarded with a large mane of pink fluffy hair
  136. >You are taken back at the sight and see that it is a girl.
  137. >Pink hair
  138. >Pink skin
  139. >And the bluest eyes you've ever seen.
  140. >Wearing a blue and white shirt with a heart imprinted in the center.
  141. >Darker shade of pink than her skin skirt with some balloon designs on it.
  142. >Feels a bit childish.
  143. >She gives you a big smile.
  144. >”Hiya! Welcome to Sugercube Corner! What can I get ya!?”
  145. >Boy is she energetic.
  146. >And loud.
  147. >Her overenthusiastic attitude is a bit uncomfortable.
  148. “Uh, hi.  I'll just take a coffee with cream, and...”
  149. >You look to your right into the glass container at all the available sweets.
  150. >They all look pretty good.
  151. >One odd one catches your eye.
  152. “Excuse me, but what is that one?”
  153. >You direct her to the item on the second shelf from the top.
  154. >”Oooooh! That's a Sugarcube Corner original! The Chimicherrychanga!!”
  155. >Wut
  156. “Excuse me?”
  157. >What kind of witchcraft is this?
  158. >”We take our cherry pie filling and mince it up a bit more and we wrap some in dough and we fry them!  A fresh batch of them just came out a few minutes ago!”
  159. >Interesting.
  160. >Even though it almost sounds like those mini fruit pies you used to eat as a kid.
  161. >Except home made?
  162. “Okay, color me interested.  I'll take one of those to go with my coffee.”
  163. >The girl gives a quick nod.
  164. >”Oooookie Dokie lokie! One coffee and one Chimicherrychanga!  That'll be 6 bits!”
  165. >You hand over some money and she gives you back some change.
  166. >She never loses her smile the entire transaction.
  167. >”Alrighty!  Please have a seat anywhere and I'll bring you your items when they're ready!”
  168. >You give her a small smile back and nod.
  169. >you set yourself at a booth closest to the door.
  170. >You look out into the busy streets of Canterlot and watch passersby as they rush up and down the streets.
  171. >Several people come in and order.
  172. >The girl gives them the same amount of enthusiasm that she gave you.
  173. >Each one as genuine as the last.
  174. >She begins to take other orders to other patrons and finally makes her way to you.
  175. >”Oookay! We have a black coffee!”
  176. >As she places the coffee down she deepens her voice when she says black.
  177. >”And the piece de resistance, The chimicherrychanga!”
  178. >She triumphantly places the dish down in front of you.
  179. >A small bar of fried dough with a sprinkle of powdered sugar with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.
  180. >Geez, this may be a bit much for the morning.
  181. >You still gotta lover her continued energy.
  182. >You feel another smile come across your face as her positive attitude is infectious.
  183. “Thank you uhh...”
  184. >You never caught her name.
  185. >”Oh how silly of me, my name is Pinkie Pie!”
  186. >She extends her hand towards you, another big grin on her face as she does.
  187. >You take her hand and give a gentle shake.
  188. “My name's Anonymous.”
  189. >She then tightens her grip on you and shakes more violently.
  190. >”That's a silly name!  It's very mysterious.”
  191. >She begins to waver her arm across you
  192. >Not sure whether to be insulted of charmed.
  193. >From what you gathered she probably means well.
  194. >You laugh it off.
  195. “Well, most people just call me Anon to make it more simple.”
  196. >She gave off a giggle
  197. >”Well if you don't mind I'll call you Nonny!”
  198. >Nonny?
  199. >That's a new one.
  200. >For her, sure.
  201. >You'll roll with it.
  202. “That's fine Pinkie Pie.”
  203. >You reassure her.
  204. >She throws her arms up.
  205. “Yay!”
  206. >Your smile widens a bit.
  207. >Is this the power of positivity?
  208. >”Well Nonny, it was a pleasure to meet you, but I have to get back to work! Enjoy though!”
  209. >She skips off back to the counter and grabs other plates to deliver to other customers.
  210.  
  211. >You take a knife and fork and cut a corner piece off to give it a try.
  212. >It's pretty good.
  213. >It's tart.
  214. >As you would expect from something with cherries in them.
  215. >There is a hint of cinnamon in the filling.
  216. >The dough is light and flaky.
  217. >Clearly they know what they're doing.
  218. >You cut another piece off.
  219. >This time you take a bit of the ice cream that was topped with the pastry
  220. >The mild flavor of vanilla enhances the tartness of the cherry.
  221. >You forget you also ordered a coffee.
  222. >You take the mug and inhale the aroma.
  223. >It's still piping hot.
  224. >You take a small sip.
  225. >Fresh roasted.
  226. >Seems to be from the local coffee maker.
  227. >You only know this because it's the blend you usually get from work.
  228. >You finish your pastry and just sit there with your coffee and watch Pinkie Pie do her work.
  229. >Every customer she greets she give the same amount of energy and enthusiasm she did when she served you.
  230. >You have to wonder how she keeps this up?
  231. >Probably from being around all the sugar gives her a contact high.
  232. >You feel like you've got diabetes from that pastry alone.
  233. >Still worth it.
  234. >As you are nearing the bottom of your mug she reapers with a canister.
  235. >”Need a refill?” She says eagerly.
  236. >You sit back in your seat and laugh.
  237. “Oh man now way!  That was too much for me.  Now I have to run laps to get all this excess energy out of my system.”
  238. >”Oh you!” She chuckles and picks up the empty place that had your pastry.
  239. >”So?  How was the chimicherrychanga?”
  240. >You nod your head.
  241. >”It was very good”
  242. >Pinkie's smile manages to somehow grow even wider upon hearing your complement.
  243. >”I'm so glad to hear that! The pastry was my idea and I even made them myself and I was a bit worried that nobody would like them but they've been super popular with everyone!”
  244. >That was a mouthful and you barley caught all of it.
  245. >Man she speaks fast.
  246. >Wait, did she say she made those herself?
  247. “Wait, you said you made those?”
  248. >She nods furiously.
  249. >”I sure did! I make a lot of the desserts we offer here!”
  250. >That's impressive.
  251. >If they were as good as that first odd concoction of hers...
  252. >You can see why this place is so popular.
  253. “I must say I'm impressed.”
  254. >”What's so impressive?  It's just sweets!  If you put  little love into each batch they'll always come out yummy!”
  255. >She's got a point.
  256. >The same can be said for cooking.
  257. “Well, I work in as a chef in a restaurant myself so I can understand putting love into everything you make.”
  258. >Now for the first time it seems like you have caught her attention.
  259. >”Oooh! Sounds fun!”
  260. >It really isn't.
  261. >Sure, you do like cooking.
  262. >But you didn't see the big whoop about it.
  263. >You bob your head to the side.
  264. “Eh, it definitely has it's moments.”
  265. >She gently pushes you over your comment.
  266. >Don't be silly, it's lot like baking!  I have a general idea of what it's like!  The hours, the pressure of having to get the recipe juuuuuuust right!” She squints her eyes and fingers to signify the precision of cooking. “If you didn't love what you were doing you'd have quit faster than it took you to eat my yummy pastry!”
  267. >You don't remember eating it that fast.
  268. >Was she paying attention to you?
  269. >You sigh and nod to agree with her.
  270. “You're right about that.  In fact, autumn is coming around so I need to come up with new recipes for the menu.”
  271. >You have a few ideas in your head,
  272. >Some traditional
  273. >Some new wild ideas as well.
  274. >You'd have to get them approved by Palomino of course.
  275. >Pinkie looks excited.
  276. >Really, when does she not?
  277. >”Oooh, that sounds super exciting and fun! I LOVE coming up with new recipes! The anxiety of if this will work with that! The hope of if these will taste well! The crazy experimentations!”
  278. >There she goes again.
  279. >Good god she makes it seem like it's some extreme sport.
  280. >You have to admire her passion though.
  281. >”Oh, sorry! I was rambling off again.  By the way.  Where do you cook at?”
  282. ”Fluer De Pone.”
  283. >Pinkie's face goes from excitement to amazement.
  284. >”Wow, that's a super fancy restaurant! I could never afford to eat there!  You're gonna need to make me a meal one day from there so I don't have to pay!” She nudges and winks at you.
  285. >She got an audible laugh out of you.
  286. “Come on Pinkie!  I wouldn't even be able to afford the ingredients we use to make the meals.”
  287. >You tell her, finally calming down yourself.
  288. “But It shouldn't be difficult to get a discount for you if you ever show up.  I'm there most of the time.”
  289. >Pinkie Pie puts her trademark smile back on display at your offer.
  290. >It's not big deal to get her a discount.
  291. >”That sounds great!”
  292. >She looks back to the counter and sees that a line has formed so she quickly turns to you.
  293. >”Oh! I got lots of customers to serve! You have a great day Nonny!  Don't be a stranger and visit again and I'll be sure to come try your food out soon!”
  294. >You match her smile and waver her off as she rushes off to tend to the line.
  295. “Take care Pinkie!”
  296. >You get up from your seat and head out back to your car.
  297. >That was a rather pleasant experience.
  298. >You wonder if she'll actually show up at the restaurant.
  299. >Now that that's taken care of.
  300. >You go and grab some groceries and continue on with your day.
  301.  
  302. >Grocery shopping is always a great reminder of the state of available foods.
  303. >Having learned how to cook at a high end restaurant, you are shown the importance of high quality ingredients.
  304. >Of course the high quality foods are all locally grown and in smaller quantity so less pesticides and chemicals to speed up the growing process for high demand production.
  305. >Organic, as it is called.
  306. >Most people think it's a scam.
  307. >But you've been shown it to be true.
  308. >But even with your knowledge.
  309. >Because of your pay.
  310. >You simply cannot afford to buy for personal use.
  311. >But that's another story for another time.
  312. >You get what you can afford.
  313. >Some fruits, veggies, rice, oats, and some meats.
  314. >Not much though.
  315. >With your hours you opt to cook less.
  316. >Just simple meals.
  317. >And coffee beans.
  318. >Glorious coffee beans.
  319. >You get back home and put everything away.
  320. >You get laundry done and cook yourself some chicken and rice with a homemade cilantro dressing for dinner.
  321. >Not a bad day if you do say so yourself.
  322. >You made a new friend out of it.
  323. >At least you think so.
  324. >She may be like that to all the customers.
  325. >She was a pretty cheery, upbeat person so it wouldn't shock you.
  326. >Let's try not to dwell on it too much.
  327. >Work resumes tomorrow.
  328.  
  329. >Alarm goes off.
  330. >4:30 AM
  331. >You crawl out of bed.
  332. >Hop in the shower to let the hot water wake you up.
  333. >Get dressed.
  334. >Make some coffee with some milk.
  335. >Out the door by 5:20
  336. >You reach the restaurant at around 5:40.
  337. >First one here as always.
  338. >You begin to fill some pots with water and set them to boil and pull out some vegetables.
  339. >The first prep cooks show up at around 6:30 so you usually get things up and ready to go.
  340. >While the water begins to simmer you got and check inventory on several ingredients.
  341. >You start writing a list for stuff to order for the day and plans out assignments.
  342. >There is a knock at the back door.
  343. >First delivery of the day.
  344. >You head to the back and open the door to find something you wouldn't expect.
  345. >A young lady around your age, give or take, is standing before you, holding a clipboard.
  346. >Long blonde hair that goes down to her waist
  347. >Freckled face.
  348. >White and green flannel shirt
  349. >slightly worn out blue jeans and cowboy boots.
  350. >Something out of a country themed restaurant.
  351. “Uh, may I help you?”
  352. >You ask her.
  353. >”Mornin'! is this uh.., floor day pony?”
  354. >Butchered the name as she looks over the clipboard.
  355. “Yes it is.”
  356. >You answer.
  357. >”Fantastic. I'm AppleJack and I have a delivery of apples from mah farm for this place.”
  358. >She's from Sweet Apple Acres?
  359. >Usually your delivery guy is Big Mac.
  360. “Where's Mac?”
  361. >You ask.
  362. >”Ah ol Mac is mighty sick today so ah made him take a day off,”
  363. >Doesn't sound like Mac, he's usually pretty resilient and too hard working for his own good.
  364. >”At least ah tried to make him take the day off but ah could only manage to make him do light work today and ah would take care of the deliveries. Stubborn as a mule that Mac is.”
  365. >Okay, that sounds a bit more like Mac.
  366. >You give a chuckle.
  367. “Yeah he sure is;  Well, let me help you unload the truck and get it in.”
  368. >You start to walk out the door when she holds her hand up to you.
  369. >”No need to worry ah got this all handled.”
  370. >You stop.
  371. “You sure?”
  372. >She nods.
  373. >”Course ah am! Ah ain't Mac's sister fer nothin!”
  374. >A proud one she is.
  375. “Alright, Let me see the invoice and I'll be in the office to get your check ready. Let me show you where they go and let me know when you're done.”
  376. >She starts to limber up.
  377. >”Will do!”
  378. >You head into the back and to the walk in cooler and show her a spot in the corner of the room.
  379. >She nods and heads out to her truck.
  380. >You then head to the office and open the safe that only you and Palomino have the keys for.
  381. >You pull out the checkbook for the restaurant and begin to write it out to Sweet Apple Acres.
  382. >Between looking at the check and the invoice you catch a glimpse of AppleJack hoisting four large crates of apples.
  383. >Damn, she definitely has Big Mac's strength.
  384. >You place the checkbook back into the safe and rejoin the delivery woman.
  385. >”Alright, all done!”
  386. >You look inside the cooler and see the apples neatly stacked where you wanted them.
  387. >You check each crate for each type of apples.
  388. “Ok, everything looks to be here.”
  389. >You hand her the check and sign her invoice.
  390. >”Those sure are a lotta apples, what do ya use them all for?”
  391. >You close the door to the cooler and walk her out the building
  392. “All sorts of things.  We make our own apple cider vinegar, we use them as garnishes and desserts and homemade applesauce for our pork dishes. Just to name a few things.”
  393. >AppleJack looks a bit amazed.
  394. >”Ha, didn't realize apples could be used fer more than desserts and cider and just plain ol eatin.”
  395. >You both exit the restaurant.
  396. >You see the trademark Sweet Apple Acres red vintage Chevy truck.
  397. >She get's into the truck and waves you off.
  398. >”Pleasure doin business with ya and have a fine day!”
  399. >You wave bask as she drives off.
  400. >You head back into the restaurant and continue your prep duties until the first prep cook reports in for the day.
  401. >You pull out some chicken bones and skin you extracted from yesterdays poultry meals and toss them in the now boiling water.
  402. >Add in chopped carrots.
  403. >A chopped Red onion.
  404. >Chopped leek.
  405. >Chopped celery stem
  406.  >And a clove of crushed garlic.
  407. >Now you have chicken stock in the works.
  408. >Now the first two prep cooks show up for work.
  409. >You direct one to start on a vegetable stock.
  410. >The other to take over looking after the chicken stock and dicing more vegetables.
  411. >You now need to make a quick run to a farmers market and butcher to get your main attractions for the day.
  412.  
  413. >You take the restaurant's truck it has specifically for stuff like this and head off downtown.
  414. >You pick up all the essentials.
  415. >Even stopping by the butchers and getting a large section of beef shoulder.
  416. >You get it all back to the restaurant.
  417. >By this time, all the prep cooks are present and help you unload the truck.
  418. >You direct the other preps to begin making brine and marinades while you start to cut the large portion of beef into smaller strips of steak.
  419. >You also begin to bone and fillet the chicken and save the bones for tomorrow's chicken stock.
  420. >Things are really moving in the kitchen now.
  421. >Before you know it you are now open.
  422. >The orders come flooding in.
  423. >Curried Chicken Cordon Bleu.
  424. >Split pea and Cilantro soup.
  425. >Steak tartare.
  426. >You tend to take the more time consuming meals to prepare while your line chefs take care of the others.
  427. >All the while the preps keep at cutting and chopping to make sure there is an abundance of ingredients ready to be used.
  428. >You are then pulled aside by your kitchen manager.
  429. >”Hey Anon.”
  430. “What's going on Rumble?”
  431. >A Young man, Rumble has proven himself over to be responsible and competent enough to take the lead in your stead.
  432. >”Two things sir.”
  433. >You motion him to continue while you are stuffing chicken breasts.
  434. “Go on.”
  435. >He clears his throat.
  436. >”So, there is this woman who wants to return her seared quail.”
  437. >You stop what you're doing and look up to Rumble.
  438. “Oh?  Why's that?”
  439. >Someone fucked up.
  440. >”She says it was overcooked.”
  441. >Who fucked up?
  442. “Where's the dish?”
  443. >He points to the counter top at the edge is where the dish in question lies.
  444. >You go up to it and give it a look.
  445. >White meat all around
  446. >It passes the looks test.
  447. >You grab a spare fork and press the back of it onto the quail and see the juices pour out from the chicken.
  448. >Still moist.
  449. “This looks fine.  What exactly was her complaint?”
  450. >He then starts to rub the back of his head.
  451. >”Uh, she apparently wanted her chicken cooked medium rare...”
  452. >You drop the fork and look back at him.
  453. “Are you fucking kidding me?”
  454. >He then presents you with the note the waiter had wrote the order down on.
  455. >Sure enough, his dumbass wrote for the chef to cook the quail medium rare.
  456. >Talk about a lawsuit waiting to happen.
  457. >At least your cooks weren't dumb enough to actually do it.
  458. >But why didn't anyone tell the waiter?
  459. >You drop your face into your hands.
  460. “Did you at least tell her we can't sell her undercooked poultry because it could kill her?  In a nice way of course.”
  461. >Rumble nods.
  462. >”She insists she's had it at other establishments.”
  463. >You shake your head.
  464. “Offer her a refund, she's clearly too stupid to get that poultry is supposed to be fully cooked and there is nothing we can do.”
  465. >Rumble nods again.
  466. >”Gotcha, second thing.”
  467. >He continues.
  468. >”The new dishwasher starts in an hour.  So I just wanted to give you a heads up.”
  469. >You nod and give him a thumbs up.
  470. >You then take the untouched meal and cover it up and place it out of the way for now.
  471. >It was still a perfectly cooked chicken breast and damned if you were going to throw it out.
  472.  
  473. >Time flies.
  474. >The new dishwasher is some 16 year old kid named Button Mash.
  475. >You give him the grand tour and his work station and how to handle what stains in the pans.
  476. >Seems shy but at least slightly interested in what needed to be done.
  477. >You finally take the waiter who was guilty of writing down to serve undercooked poultry.
  478. >You scold him for a bit and tell him that stunt could have had them shut down.
  479. >Health code violations and such.
  480. >You give him a warning this time.
  481. >Dinner rush comes and goes.
  482. >You take the cooked untouched quail and dice it up and seal it and place it in the freezer for later use.
  483. >At least there were no more complaints tonight.
  484. >End of the night.
  485. >You do the usual closing routine.
  486. >You head home.
  487. >On your way you drive by the Sugarcube Corner and see lights on in the back room of the cafe.
  488. >Probably preparing for the morning.
  489. >You never found out if Pinkie Pie works late night hours.
  490. >She was there the morning you were there but that could have been the ass end of her shift.
  491. >You're putting too much thought into this chick.
  492. >You barley know her.
  493. >But being around her seemed to have made the day a little bit... pleasant.
  494. >Even when only talking with her for a few minutes.
  495. >Whatever, another time.
  496. >You make it home late
  497. >Again
  498. >You make a simple chicken and rice again.
  499. >Shower.
  500. >Finally, you head off into the night to do it all again tomorrow.
  501.  
  502. >The next days is more of the same.
  503. >The day after that you spend a little more time at the markets to look around for any new ingredients. >Time to start preparing new menu items.
  504. >Lots of new seafood additions.
  505. >Perhaps you can add squid to the menu and double down with their ink pouches and make squid ink pasta.
  506. >Not a bad idea.
  507. >You buy a few squids for experimentation.
  508. >And some whole salmon for good measure.
  509. >After today you'll have the cooks stay and try out some recipes.
  510. >Some of them seem excited.
  511. >Others not so much.
  512. >Today didn't seem so busy as yesterday did.
  513. >It can be both a good thing and a bad thing.
  514. >Good thing? Less hectic in the kitchen
  515. >Bad thing? Less business revenue.
  516. >Tonight it'll be perfect because you got to close shop early and have a meeting with all the line cooks.
  517. >You scatter all the new ingredients onto the counter.
  518. “Okay gentlemen, here are some of the new ingredients for the new season.  I'm going to do something here a bit different than in the past.  We are going to make a dish for each of the new ingredients and we will all vote on what makes it to the new menu. Any and all winners besides me will receive a bonus $100 from my personal finances!”
  519. >Some of the chefs look more interested than they did before.
  520. >After they heard the reward.
  521. >One of the cooks raises their hand.
  522. >”What if you're chosen the winner?”
  523. >A few laughs from around the kitchen.
  524. “Then I keep the money! Not that hard to understand.”
  525. >Some more laughs.
  526. “Alright everyone, anyone who chooses not to participate may leave for the night, or you can stay and judge.  Your choice!”
  527. >Seems like everyone is staying for a free meal.
  528. >At least a bite.
  529. “Okay! You get one hour. If you're not done you will be allowed to finish but don't try anything too complicated!  Now let's get to work!”
  530. >You clap your hands and everyone grabs what they can and gets to work.
  531.  
  532. >You start off by taking some squid and a small piece of salmon along with some apples.
  533. >First thing you go for is some flour.
  534. >You begin the gut the squid and take the ink packs from them.
  535. >You're going for the squid ink pasta.
  536. >You begin by mixing flour, an egg and the ink sac together until it comes together.
  537. >You knead for about 15 minutes and will now let it sit for another 30.
  538. >In the time it needs to rest you begin to boil one egg.
  539. >While that boils you turn your attention to the squid.
  540. >You take a bowl and toss some pieces of squid in.
  541. >You then add salt.
  542. >Pepper.
  543. >Lemon juice.
  544. >Cilantro leaves.
  545. >Dried oregano
  546. >A splash of olive oil.
  547. >Toss it all together for a few minutes.
  548. >And place them on a grill.
  549. >The egg should be done.
  550. >You take it out of the boiling water and place it in a bath of ice water to cool it.
  551. >You go back to your squid pieces and squeeze some more lemon juice on them and flip the pieces over.
  552. >You coat a pan with olive oil and set it on the stove and start to heat it
  553. >Now you grab a few tomatoes and chop them into fours.
  554. >You toss those into a food processor and pulse them into a chunky paste.
  555. >You then take some garlic and basil and mince both but toss only the garlic into the pan with oil.
  556. >While that is going you turn your attention back to your squid.
  557. >You squeeze some lemon juice on that side and take them off the grill.
  558. >Back at your pan with garlic, you toss your minced tomatoes in and give it a quick stir.
  559. >You take another pan and coat it with oil and set it on the stove.
  560. >once the second pan is hot enough you take the fillet of salmon and place it in the pan.
  561. >You cook them one minute on each side and takes them out and set them aside.
  562. >Then you toss some white onion.
  563. >Butter.
  564. >And cinnamon into the same pan and cook.
  565. >During this time you take your tomato mixture and add some kosher salt and take it off the stove.
  566. >You set it to the side and add the chopped basil ad mix some more.
  567. >You let that rest.
  568. >Now you take your rested dough and begin to knead some more and put it through the pasta roller.
  569. >Between rolls you toss your butter, cinnamon and onion mixture to prevent them from burning.
  570. >Once the pasta is done you then chop an apple into thin slices.
  571. >You toss the apple slices into the pan and cook until the slices are tender.
  572. >You put the half cooked salmon back into the pan and cook for 2 minutes on each side.
  573. >You take the salmon out and place it on a plate.
  574. >One dish done
  575. >You add some white wine vinegar to the apple sauce-like mixture in the pan and mix.
  576. >You drizzle the sauce over the salmon and neatly place the apple slices over the salmon.
  577. >You then cut the pasta to thin strings and place them in another pot of boiling water.
  578. >You add kosher salt to the water and let the pasta cook.
  579. >You grab a curved plate and coat the bottom of the plate with the tomato sauce.
  580. >You take the pasta out the pot and strain it.
  581. >You place the pasta in the plate on top of the tomato sauce.
  582. >You arrange the squid ink pasta into a ring with a hole in the middle to make it resemble a nest.
  583. >Then you take the cooked squid pieces and arrange them around on the pasta.
  584. >Finally, you take the soft boiled egg and cut it in half and place it in the middle of the pasta ring.
  585. >Letting the raw yolk slightly drain into the pasta and sauce.
  586. >You are done.
  587. >And it looks like everyone else is finished with their meals as well.
  588. >Some of the other dishes look pretty good.
  589. >You feel a bit proud of them.
  590. >Now it's time for the judging.
  591.  
  592. >All the dishes are presented on the counter.
  593. >You decide to show initiative and go first.
  594. “Okay, first I have this 'bird's nest', it consists of squid ink pasta atop of some tomato sauce with some grilled squid and a soft boiled egg in the center.  I would have loved to marinate the egg but time constraints.”
  595. >The dish is passed among everyone.
  596. >Everyone has a bite and seems to like the dish.
  597. “Next I have seared salmon with caramelized apples and onions.  Pretty straight forward.”
  598. >Dish is passed and you see some nods of approval.
  599. >Not bad.
  600. >Next is the youngest of your line cooks.
  601. >”Okay, so I have this crazy bold idea.”
  602. >He places his first dish up.
  603. >”This is a simple dish with raw squid  with aromatic herbs like spring onion shoots, salty fingers and green chilies, layered over thinly sliced tomatoes.”
  604. >Okay, that is simple.
  605. >Not sure what is so crazy or bold about it.
  606. >Before you could go for the meal he stops everyone.
  607. >”BUT, the real kicker is we serve this to the patrons but then there is an extra step.”
  608. >Oh?
  609. >He pulls up a pan with what looks like a pile of salt inside a cheese cloth.
  610. >”When the dish is served we have the waiter bring out this cloth filled with heated salt and we place it over the dish.”
  611. >He does so while explaining.
  612. >”We leave the cloth on for 2 minutes to cook the light seafood ingredients.  And while we wait let me introduce you to my second dish.”
  613. >He pulls up a bowl.
  614. >”This is an apple and zucchini salad, just chopped apples, zucchini, fresh peppers and red onion coated in lemon juice, salt, pepper, white sugar and E.V.O.O”
  615. >He passes that around to everybody and he goes back to his main dish.
  616. >He lifts the cloth to reveal a colorful display of cooked squid and the fresh greens being cooked.
  617. >”Now that it's cooked, I will add a dressing I made with some oil and fried crisped squid tentacles I mixed together.”
  618. >He drizzles the dressing over the fine looking dish.
  619. >He then passes this one among the rest of you.
  620. >Everyone seems to like this dish.
  621. “This is amazing and innovative.”
  622. >You say taking a second bite of the dish.
  623. “My only complaint here is it seems like the cloth bath of salt didn't season it, so perhaps we throw a pinch of salt on afterwords?   A simple suggestion but otherwise phenomenal job.”
  624. >He nods.
  625. >”Thank you chef.”
  626. >The salad was okay, but you think the star for him was that squid dish.
  627. >You may need to convince the Head chef when he comes by to do the whole 'waiter cooking the rest at the table' bit, but still a great job.
  628. >This continues on.
  629. >In the end everyone agreed on 3 dishes.
  630. >The obvious winner being the salt bath squid.
  631. >Your bird's nest pasta.
  632. >And salmon wrapped caramelized apples with a salmon puree.
  633. >All around good choices.
  634. >You hand out $100 to two of the winners.
  635. >But you give some money to the others who participated and showed off creativity.
  636. >Everyone begins to clean up.
  637. >You work on payroll.
  638. >Everyone is gone.
  639. >You lock up and take your own leave.
  640. >Once again you drive by the Sugarcube Corner.
  641. >And again you notice lights on in the back room.
  642. >Wondering of Pinkie is hard at work on her own creations.
  643.  
  644. >Alrighty
  645. >3 cups of pastry flour
  646. >A tablespoon of sugar
  647. >A teaspoon of salt
  648. >And 8 ounces of cubed butter.
  649. >Stir for 2 minutes in a mixer.
  650. >Stop mixer and add three quarters of a cup of water and slowly mix again.
  651. >Over time add the final quarter of water a teaspoon at a time.
  652. >Take dough out of mixer and begin to fold several times.
  653. >Wrap it up in plastic wrap and let it rest for an hour.
  654. >Preheat the oven to about 350 degrees F.
  655. >Take two and a quarter cups of all purpose flour.
  656. >One and a third cup of sugar.
  657. >Half a teaspoon of salt.
  658. >3 teaspoons of baking power.
  659. >Mix that up a bit then add the half cup of butter.
  660. >Continue mixing until fused together.
  661. >Once all dry ingredients are well mixed.
  662. >Turn the mixer to slow.
  663. >Add one teaspoon vanilla extract.
  664. >Slowly stream in one cup of low fat milk.
  665. >Continue to mix batter for one minute.
  666. >Once thoroughly mixed.
  667. >Drop in two eggs, one at a time.
  668. >Continue to mix until batter is smooth.
  669. >Lube up two cake pans with cooking spray.
  670. >Distribute the batter into the two pans.
  671. >And place them in the oven for 30 minutes.
  672. >With cakes baking and pie dough resting, you turn to tome filling.
  673. >You take cherries and add them into a sauce pan with boiling water and
  674. >Add sugar, a pinch of ground nutmeg and pinch of cayenne pepper.
  675. >That's the secret.
  676. >Stir until caramelized.
  677. >Add a mixture of water and cornstarch and stir until filling is thickened.
  678. >You are Pinkie Pie
  679. >And your “day” is just beginning.
  680.  
  681. >These aren't your hours everyday.
  682. >Thankfully.
  683. >But some nights you work the overnight and into the opening shift.
  684. >You're in the middle of learning the trade of baking.
  685. >And it's going pretty well.
  686. >You've always had a love for sweets.
  687. >Ever since you were a little girl.
  688. >These aren't the best hours.
  689. >But if it meant you could let out creativity into the baked goods and have people love your work,
  690. >There is no greater feeling.
  691. >Speaking of which your pie dough should be ready.
  692. >You pull it out, unwrap it and begin to roll it out.
  693. >You hum a tune in sync with each roll of the dough.
  694. >Once it get thin enough, you lay it over several pans and cut them perfectly.
  695. >You mold together the excess dough and roll that into an even thinner dough to use for your chimicherrychangs.
  696. >A pastry you call your own.
  697. >It took some convincing of your boss to let you give it a go.
  698. >In the end they let you go for it.
  699. >And it payed off.
  700. >Customers seemed to like the oddity.
  701. >Which only boosted your confidence.
  702. >You get all giddy when you're reminded of it.
  703. >”Good morning!~”
  704. >Your boss, Mrs. Cake has arrived for the day as well.
  705. “Morning!~”
  706. >You wave to her.
  707. >If she's here then that means it almost time to open.
  708. >You begin to roast some raw coffee beans.
  709. >Mrs. Cake takes the reigns from you of decorating the pastries.
  710. >Pastries are done.
  711. >You take some out to the front and place them in the glass display container.
  712. >The coffee beans are now roasted and you grind them into a fine ground powder.
  713. >You set the ground beans into a coffee maker and let it do it's magic.
  714. >You give the counter tops and tables a quick wipe to ensure complete cleanliness.
  715. >Two minutes til opening time and there is already a line outside the door.
  716.  
  717. >6 AM.
  718. >Time to open.
  719. >The line thankfully files in at a respectable manner.
  720. >You head back to the back of the counter.
  721. “Welcome to Sugarcube Corner!  What can I get ya!?”
  722. >The first patron of the day.
  723. >He pulls out some money.
  724. >”I'll just have a coffee to go.”
  725. >You grab a foam cup and pour some of the freshly brewed hot liquid.
  726. >You hand him the coffee and also give him a freshly baked muffin.
  727. >”What's this for?”
  728. >He questions the the muffin.
  729. “First customer of the day! Free Muffin courtesy of Sugarcube Corner and me!”
  730. >You give him your best smile.
  731. >He's confused for a bit but smiles back at you.
  732. >”uh, thanks?”
  733. >He says as he begins to mix his coffee with sugar and cream and leaves.
  734. “Have a great day!”
  735. >You quickly turn your attention to the next customer.
  736. “Welcome to Sugarcube Corner! What can I get ya!?”
  737. >Next customer is taken back at your cheery attitude.
  738. >”Y-Yes I'll have a lemon scone please.”
  739. “Coming right up!”
  740. >You grab a scone from the glass container and wrap it neatly for the patron.
  741. >You then fill a small cup of coffee for him as well.
  742. >”...What is this for?”
  743. >You smile again.
  744. “Second customer of the day!  Free coffee courtesy of Sugarcube Corner and me!”
  745. >He seems just as confused as before.
  746. >”...okay then. Thanks?”
  747. “You're welcome!  Please do come again!”
  748. >The customer leaves as the next one comes up to the counter.
  749. 'Welcome to Sugarcube Corner! What can I get ya!?”
  750. >Morning rushes can be quite hectic.
  751. >Mostly for the first hour it's people in the business class getting fresh coffee for their morning commute.
  752. >Sometimes they'll over over 10 coffees and that really puts things at a grind.
  753. >You'll be low on coffee and it holds up the line.
  754. >Luckily nothing like that happens today.
  755. >Things go smooth.
  756. >You sell a few chimcherrychangas.
  757. >You get hit on by a few older businessmen.
  758. >You play them off.
  759. >Again, nothing new.
  760.  
  761. >9 AM.
  762. >You're done for the day.
  763. >And you have the next day off.
  764. >You make your way home.
  765. >You still live with your family.
  766. >You've been saving up all your money so that one day you'll be able to move out and live on your own.
  767. >Still living with your parents isn't the ideal situation you want.
  768. >But it's what you got to do even if...
  769. >”About damn time you got home! Where the hell were you!?”
  770. >Your father.
  771. >He's an old fashioned man and kind of not too thrilled you have a job as you do.
  772. >He works for a mining company.
  773. >Mining precious metals at various sights around the country.
  774. “I was at work dad.  Like I told you for the past few days I was going to work the overnight to help bake.”
  775. >He eyes you suspiciously.
  776. >He's like this to you and your other sisters.
  777. >Who, you hope not against their will, assist him in the mining business.
  778. >He had tried to have you be a part of the business too.
  779. >But you just weren't into it.
  780. >You wanted something new.
  781. >He was very against this.
  782. >It took you and your mother almost begging him not to kick you out into the streets.
  783. >But you were on thin ice.
  784. >He really didn't take to your overly friendly attitude very kindly.
  785. >”Pah, whatever, you were probably whoring it up somewhere.”
  786. >Those words never cease to hurt.
  787. >He has never given you respect.
  788. >All because you didn't want to follow in his footsteps.
  789. “Okay dad! I'm going to bed because I'm exhausted from WORK.”
  790. >He doesn't respond.
  791. >You head up to your room.
  792. >And just flop onto your bed.
  793.  
  794. >You wake up.
  795. >Look over at the clock on the dresser.
  796. >4:21 PM.
  797. >You can hear the shower running from your room.
  798. >Your guesstimate would be that Maud is home from working in the mines.
  799. >Maud was your older sister.
  800. >Not the oldest of the 4 of you.
  801. >But she was always the one who was closest to you.
  802. >She always had this strange fascination with rocks.
  803. >So mining seemed to be up her alley.
  804. >She was also studying for her Ph'D in Geology.
  805. >She should be ready to be promoted to a management position with dad pretty soon.
  806. >But it if were up to her, she'd probably stay in those mines.
  807. >You grab your phone and see that you have several missed messages.
  808. >All from your friends asking if you wanted to do something tonight.
  809. >If it means getting out the house, you're all for it.
  810. >You message Rarity to pick you up at around 6 PM and you'll figure it out from there.
  811. >You decide to sleep for another hour.
  812. >Your phone alarm goes off.
  813. >You hop in the shower and get ready to leave the house.
  814. >You doll yourself up.
  815. >But not too much.
  816. >Not like you're doing anything big
  817. >Blue skirt with a shite shirt and a denim jacket.
  818. >You puff up your hair and are ready to go.
  819. >You step into the living room and it is empty except for Maud who is preoccupied reading a book.
  820. >You skip past her and to the door.
  821. “Hi Maud, Bye Maud!”
  822. >You tell her as you try to get out the house as fast as you can but you hear Maud call out to you.
  823. >”And where are you going?”
  824. >You stop dead in your tracks in the doorway and turn back to Maud.
  825. “Oh,  well, you know, just gonna hang out with some friends!”
  826. >There was no change in Maud's dead pan look.
  827. >Her bright blue eyes look so gentle but could stare daggers through you.
  828. >You begin to feel nervous that she's still staring at you.
  829. “Sooo, I'll see you...”
  830. >”You had a fight with dad again today, didn't you?”
  831. >Maud interrupts you
  832. >Always ever the blunt one.
  833. >You slightly deflate at her words.
  834. “It really wasn't a fight, he had just forgot that I worked the overnight shift baking.”
  835. >Maud blinks slowly.
  836. >”I'm sorry, there's been a lot of stress at the business.  He was taking it out on everyone today.”
  837. >Maud gives you a smile that only she could muster.
  838. >”You have a good night.”
  839. >She adds and goes back to her studying.
  840. >You smile and giggle.
  841. “Thanks Maud! I won't stay too late!”
  842. >You shut the door and wait out front for Rarity to pick you up.
  843.  
  844. >Standing outside.
  845. >Waiting for your friend to come scoop you up for something to do tonight.
  846. >It takes rarity some time to finally arrive.
  847. >She finally shows up in her posh new car.
  848. >Looks like business at the boutique is doing well.
  849. >She pulls the car right next to you and unlocks the door.
  850. >You get in.
  851. >”Good evening Pinkie!”
  852. >She leans over and embraces you for a moment.
  853. “Hiya Rares!”
  854. >You give her a squeeze and she lets out a small grunt over it.
  855. >You let go of her when you hear it.
  856. >”And how are you this evening hon?”
  857. >You let out a sigh.
  858. “I'm well, I'm just glad I have a few days off so I don't have to worry about work.”
  859. >Rarity gives you a pat on the shoulder.
  860. >Well now that's wonderful to hear.  Let me tell you work at the boutique has been quite the chore!”
  861. >She goes on about how one of her employees ordered the wrong fabric and she had to push back the date for some clothes.
  862. >Then she goes on about how all the good guys are always taken and whatnot.
  863. >Stuff that totally doesn't interest you too much.
  864. >”..I swear most mean have no clue on how to treat a lady.”
  865. >She's finally done.
  866. >”Anyways, I forgot to mention,  Twilight, Shimmer and Rainbow Dash both had prior commitments so they will not be joining us.”
  867. >That's a little sad to hear.
  868. “Aww, what about Fluttershy and AJ?”
  869. >Rarity just shakes her head.
  870. >”Well, Fluttershy hasn't been answering her phone. But AppleJack is still free.”
  871. “That's good enough for me!”
  872. >You say joyfully.
  873. >”Ah, but we first must decide on what to do first!”
  874. >True that.
  875. >You sit back and think for a minute.
  876. >You look around Rarity's car and can't help but feel out of place in the posh exteriors.
  877. >Wait.
  878. “I got it!”
  879. >You yell and causes Rarity to jerk the wheel of the car.
  880. “I made a new friend who is a chef at a REALLY fancy restaurant!  We should go there and eat his food!”
  881. >Rarity looks confused.
  882. “I beg your pardon?”
  883. >You nod furiously.
  884. “Yep yep yep! I met him the other day, he says he's a...soos chef?  At that fancy restaurant named flour de pony or something!”
  885. >Rarity gives you a questioning look.
  886. >”Fluer De Pone?  Oh please now darling.  That place is a bit above our pay grade”
  887. >You shake your head.
  888. “He said if I showed up he'd get us a discount!”
  889. >Rarity shakes her head, but contemplates the offer.
  890. >She then sighs.
  891. >”Alright hon, I'll call yours, and his, bluff.  But you must inform AJ to wear something proper.  This is no normal restaurant we're going too.”
  892. >You reach for your phone and text AppleJack.
  893. “Will do!”
  894. >You tell AppleJack that you were going someplace fancy and to look fancy.
  895. >AJ protested most of the way to pick her up.
  896. >But in the end she finally said fine.
  897. >You waited a few minutes outside her place.
  898. >She finally shows up.
  899. >Wearing a sleeveless ocean blue dress.
  900. >Still wearing cowboy boots though.
  901. >Her hair is straightened out and twirled into a large ponytail.
  902. >”You look gorgeous AJ but, don't you have any other shoes than those boots?”
  903. >AJ gives Rarity a nasty look.
  904. >”Pinkie said to look fancy, and this is about as fancy as ah can get! Ah really don't know why ah agreed to do this!”
  905. >Rarity sighs.
  906. >”Ok, ok, no problem, I have spare shoes in my trunk.”
  907. >AJ shakes her head.
  908. >”Ah ain't wearin anythin else, it they don't like it they can kiss mah apple lovin butt!”
  909. >Rarity places her face in her palm.
  910. >”Fine, I can make this work.”
  911. >All three of you make your way to downtown Canterlot for a dinner experience.
  912.  
  913. >You all make your way to downtown Canterlot.
  914. >The more upscale part of it at least.
  915. >The streets seems to be smaller and more people are walking around on the sidewalks.
  916. >Low hanging lights illuminate the streets and give it a small town feel even though it is a large city.
  917. >”My boutique is only two blocks from here.”
  918. >Rarity has the need to tell you again.
  919. >You finally make it to the parking lot.
  920. >You all get out of the car and Rarity gives the keys to the valet.
  921. >”Hey! Ah know this place!”
  922. >AppleJack chimes in.
  923. >Rarity give her a look of surprise.
  924. >”Do you now?”
  925. >AJ nods.
  926. >”Sure do, ah delivered some of our apples here the other day.”
  927. >Perhaps she knows Nonny?
  928. “Oh, so then did you meet Nonny!?”
  929. >You grab AJ's hands and jump up and down excitedly.
  930. >”Nonny?”
  931. >She's confused.
  932. >”Umm, Ah met a fellow named Anon, I believe.”
  933. >You nod your head furiously.
  934. “That's Nonny!  He came into the SugarCube Corner the other morning and I talked with him for a bit.  He said he could get us discounts and I totally thought it'd be fun to take him up on his offer today!”
  935. >”Really Pinkie Pie?  Do you think he even remembers you?  How can you be so sure he will honor his fib of giving us a discount on what will probably be a lavish meal?”
  936. >You look at Rarity.
  937. “Why would he lie about something like that?  I believe in him.”
  938. >Both Rarity and AppleJack just look a bit nervous.
  939. >”If you say so.  You really shouldn't use your womanly charms to get through in life.”
  940. >Rarity turns her attention to the host at the front podium.
  941. >”Good evening sir, I would like a table for 3 please.”
  942. >The young man at the podium looks at all three of you and then at a piece of paper.
  943. >”I'm sorry ma’am, there is a long line of patrons and most of our seating is reserved.”
  944. >Well that's a bummer, you didn't think this place would be so popular.
  945. >Rarity doesn't seem too fazed.
  946. >She leans in closer to the young man.
  947. >”Oh dear, how foolish of me.”
  948. >She overacts and places the back of her hand over her forehead.
  949. >She then runs her fingers through her hair and looks seductively at the host.
  950. >”But I did have a reservation, we just oh so forgot to write in on your list there.  Perhaps you can help me with this... 'problem'?”
  951. >Her lips makes kissing motions to the host.
  952. >The poor host starts to shake a bit.
  953. >”Uh, I-I'm sorry ma'am, you're the third person to try this tonight.   I can't do anything for you.”
  954. >Rarity put on a smile and inches closer to the host.
  955. >”Oh but I can do anything for you.”
  956. >She whispers something else in his ear.
  957. >The hosts face turns a hint of red and he closes his eyes hard.
  958. “Bu-but the dress code.  Your friends aren't...”
  959. >She gives him a wink
  960. >”Okay, There was just a cancellation of the previous reservation.  I'll call your name shortly.”
  961. >She runs her fingers through the young host's hair.
  962. >”You're a very kind young man.”
  963. >She turns away and meets back with you two.
  964. >And she was scolding you about using your 'womanly charm'.”
  965. >”That was uncalled for Rarity.”
  966. >AppleJack didn't approve of her antics.
  967. >”Oh don't worry too much about it, he's just a charming young man.”
  968. >She waves it off nonchalantly.
  969. >Several minutes pass and your name is called.
  970. >You are lead into this large hall with tables lined neatly in rows of four and there seems to be a balcony inside the restaurant with more tables.
  971. >The lighting is dim with candles seeming to be the dominant source of light.
  972. >Black, white and velvet red are the colors most prominent through the restaurant.
  973. >You are seated and are handed a menu.
  974. >You take a look inside and.
  975. >Holy moley these prices!
  976. >Perhaps you did bite off more than you can chew?
  977. >AJ seems to have the same idea as she as pale as Rarity by just looking at the menu.
  978. >Rarity is just looking at you again.
  979. “Uh, I-I'm sure he'll come through for us!”
  980. >You tell her nervously.
  981. >”Let's hope so, I won't be able to charm our way out of these prices.”
  982. >The waiter shows himself to you.
  983. >Orange skin and slick back purple hair.
  984. >Fancy tuxedo while holding some glasses of water.
  985. >He places the waters by each of you
  986. >”Good afternoon and welcome to Fluer De Pone. I'm Tender Taps and I'll be your waiter for tonight.  I would just like to let you know our soup of the day is a consomme de boeuf a la royale. Which is a beef consomme with extra flavor and a savory custard mold in the soup for an extra kick.  Would anyone like to try our soup of the day?”
  987. >All three of you look at each other.
  988. >And you all shake your head no.
  989. >Tender Taps nods
  990. >”Very well, may I start anyone off with a drink?”
  991. >Again you all look at each other.
  992. >”We'll look it over in the menu.”
  993. >Rarity speaks up for the group.
  994. >”Oh, also, is...what was his name?”
  995. >AJ speaks up.
  996. >”Is Anon in the back?”
  997. >Tender looks at all three of you.
  998. >”Y-yes he is in the back.”
  999. >”May we see him for just a moment please?”
  1000. >Rarity sweetly asks.
  1001. >Tender Taps stands there for a moment.
  1002. >”Uh, he may be a bit busy.”
  1003. >Rarity bats her eyes a few times.
  1004. >”Just for a quick moment, we promise.”
  1005. >The waiter sighs.
  1006. >”I'll go check up on him.”
  1007. >He then makes his way to the kitchen.
  1008.  
  1009. “WHO THE FUCK RUINED THE CONSOMME!?!?”
  1010. >You are Anon.
  1011. >And you're pissed.
  1012. >Someone left the stove on high over the consomme and now the soup has been clouded.
  1013. >You've been yelling at everyone.
  1014. >The stock alone to make this consomme takes a full day and it's all wasted.
  1015. >Never mind that it was the soup of the day.
  1016. “Someone better fess up to this or else HEADS will be rolling!”
  1017. >You toss a ladle into the sink and scare poor Button Mash who was preoccupied with his duties.
  1018. >You look around the kitchen.
  1019. >Most of the other cooks are trying hard not to look up to you.
  1020. >Some for good reason as they are still tending to their cooking duties.
  1021. >Some are deliberately avoiding eye contact.
  1022. “This shit isn't funny!  This is a whole day's work down the fucking toilet!  Now what are we going to serve for our soup of the day, huh!?  Anybody have a fucking time machine!?”
  1023. >You are then tapped on the shoulder.
  1024. >You turn to see young Button Mash.
  1025. >He looks worried.
  1026. >”Uh, I-I'm sorry sir, but I moved the pot of soup when I needed to get the large empty pots to wash.”
  1027. >He lowers his head in shame.
  1028. >You start to laugh.
  1029. “OH FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC!! THE KID HAS MORE BALLS THAN ANY OF YOU!!”
  1030. >You place a hand on the kid's shoulder and point out everyone else in the kitchen.
  1031. “Kid, I doubt you actually did do it, but I do admire your courage to fess up to it!”
  1032. >You lightly push Button back to his station and you begin to rub your temples.
  1033. >Trying to come up with a quick solution to this problem.
  1034. >”Uh, chef?”
  1035. >Someone else is calling for you.
  1036. “Who the fuck was that!?”
  1037. >Oops, you're still in a bad mood.
  1038. >You look to see one of the waiters, Tender Taps, standing by the swinging door that leads to the dining hall.
  1039. >He seems to have a nervous look on his face.
  1040. >Hopefully it was because you just wrongfully yelled at him and not that there is a customer with a complaint.
  1041. >”Uh, is now a bad time?”
  1042. >You snort.
  1043. “It's always a bad time, but what seems to be the problem?”
  1044. >He straightens himself up and clears his throat.
  1045. >”There seems to be some customers who want to speak with you personally.”
  1046. >This isn't out of the ordinary.
  1047. >There have been times where customers love your cooking so much thay they wanted to personally complement you.
  1048. “I don't think now's a good time.”
  1049. >You turn back to the pot of overcooked soup when you hear Tender call out again.
  1050. >”I think you may want to see them, they're all pretty hot chicks!”
  1051. >You look up from the pot.
  1052. >Why would that matter?
  1053. >It's not like you're trying to hook up with anyone.
  1054. >Then you had a thought.
  1055. >Perhaps.
  1056. >Maybe?
  1057. >You turn back to Tender Taps.
  1058. “What do they look like?”
  1059. >Taps begins to smile.
  1060. >”One is this really gorgeous lady with silky white skin and purple hair.”
  1061. >Okay, not the one you were thinking.
  1062. >”Another one is this hot blonde chick.  Though I don't know how they let her in with her denim dress though.”
  1063. >Also not the one.
  1064. >”And the third one is this  pink chick with some wild puffy pink hair.  She's pretty cute too.”
  1065. >Bingo.
  1066. >Well son of a bitch.
  1067. >You didn't think she'd actually take you up on your half assed flirt.
  1068. >If you would call it that.
  1069. >You sigh.
  1070. >Not only did she actually come, but she brought TWO friends.
  1071. >You already told her you'd give her a discount.
  1072. >But three discounts?  That's gonna be pretty steep.
  1073. >You walk over to the swinging door and peek out of the window.
  1074. >Sure enough, there she was.
  1075. >Hey, it's the apple delivery girl from the other day as well.
  1076. >Small world.
  1077. >You've never seen the other one before.
  1078. >Tender begins to snicker.
  1079. >”Well?  Go get 'em!”
  1080. >He gives you a nudge.
  1081. >You swat his hand away.
  1082. “Don't you start!”
  1083. >You shake your head.
  1084. >Take a deep breath.
  1085. >And head out to meet the lovely ladies.
  1086.  
  1087. >As you get closer to the table, AppleJack is the first to notice you.
  1088. >She smiles and waves at you which then prompts the other two to look over at you.
  1089. >Pinkie sees you and gives you that signature big smile that you've been growing to like a little more.
  1090. >”Nonny! We made it!”
  1091. >She proudly proclaims as she gets out of her seat and give you a bear hug.
  1092. >Geez, you've only known the girl, maybe 15 minutes?
  1093. >And she acts like you're one of her good friends.
  1094. >A little bewildered, but still not as awkward as it could be.
  1095. “Uh, nice! Glad you could actually make it out.”
  1096. >Pinkie lets you go.
  1097. >She then points to AppleJack.
  1098. >”AJ here says she met you the other morning.”
  1099. >AppleJack looks a little embarrassed over the situation but still manages to put on another smile and extends her hand out to you.
  1100. >You reach out and shake her hand.
  1101. >”Fancy seeing you again!”
  1102. >You nod.
  1103. “Likewise.”
  1104. >You then turn yourself to the new face.
  1105. “You're a new face.  Pleasure to meet you. I'm Anon and I cook here.”
  1106. >You extend your hand towards the lady.
  1107. >She happily obliges and takes your hand and shakes it.
  1108. >”Pleasure is all mine, Anon.  My name is Rarity.”
  1109. >She bats her eyes and gives you an almost seductive look.
  1110. >She's one of those women.
  1111. “Well, Welcome to Fluer De Pone. We are a high end neo-fusion cuisine establishment.  Feel free to look over the menu and let Tender Taps know what you want and we'll get it out to you soon!  I cannot guarantee I will personally make your meals but I assure you our chefs are top of the line!”
  1112. >Rarity speaks up again.
  1113. >”Do you run this establishment?”
  1114. >You chuckle.
  1115. “Yes and no,  I am not the owner or the executive chef, however, I am the sous chef and our head chef and owner is always busy with his other restaurants so I am usually in charge here.”
  1116. >Rarity gasps.
  1117. >”Oh how demanding!  The results must be rewarding though.”
  1118. >You feel like she's hitting on you.
  1119. >You wouldn't have gotten that feeling at first.
  1120. >But after seeing a slightly annoyed look on Pinkie Pie's face then you were getting second hand annoyance.
  1121. “Not so much.  The hours suck and the pay is even worse.  You really must love what you do to keep on doing this.  The real reward is seeing and hearing how satisfied people are with my cooking.”
  1122. >Rarity sits back and smiles.
  1123. >You turn back to Pinkie Pie.
  1124. “It was great to see you again, though, don't you work tonight?”
  1125. >Pinkie shakes her head.
  1126. >”Nope! I have tomorrow off and for the next few days I will be working normal 9 to 5 hours!”
  1127. >You smile and nod.
  1128. “Alright then, I must get back to the kitchen.  Please look over the menu and Tender Taps will take care of you.  See you all later!”
  1129. >You rush back to the kitchen.
  1130. >After the consomme incident you don't want to leave the other chefs alone to their thoughts.
  1131.  
  1132. >You walk back to the kitchen.
  1133. >It's not on fire.
  1134. >Good sign.
  1135. >You pass by Tender Taps on your way to your station.
  1136. >He grabs your arm.
  1137. >”Well?”
  1138. >You look at him.
  1139. “Well what?”
  1140. >He tilts his head towards outside the kitchen
  1141. >”The ladies?”
  1142. >You shake your head.
  1143. “What about them?”
  1144. >He gives you a stupid smile.
  1145. >”Are they free game?”
  1146. >What?
  1147. “What's it matter to you? You're too young for those ladies anyways.  But have at it.”
  1148. >You pat him on the shoulder.
  1149. >From the looks before you'd imagine Rarity would have him by the balls.
  1150. >You place your hand on his shoulder.
  1151. “Just when they're down with the bill, give it to me and I'll take care of it.”
  1152. >He nods and goes back out to the dining hall.
  1153. >Back to cooking.
  1154. >You're still not sure what to do with the ruined consomme.
  1155. >You have ideas.
  1156. >But you also think it may further ruin the soup.
  1157. >It's probably best to just serve the consomme as is as it would only get worse.
  1158. >Hopefully there are no food critics out tonight.
  1159. >Taps comes back in the kitchen.
  1160. >He goes straight to you.
  1161. >”So, the fancy flirt ordered the Oeuf Poche Meurette.”
  1162. >Seems befitting for someone like her.
  1163. >”The blonde one only wanted apples.”
  1164. >He shrugs his shoulders at you.
  1165. >Damn is she obsessed with apples.
  1166. >You may have the chef who made the apple and zucchini salad the other night make that specially tonight and figure it out later.
  1167. >”And finally the ADHD pink one said to surprise her because she loves surprises.”
  1168. >Such fine names.
  1169. >But that is a problem
  1170. >So many choices
  1171. >What do you do?
  1172. >While you think about it you get to work on Rarity's dish.
  1173. >It's basically an egg poached in red wine served with a mushroom puree topped with a strip of bacon and a wince sauce made with the same wine you poached the egg in.
  1174. >You've had this one once before.
  1175. >It's pretty tasty.
  1176. >You ask your line to make his apple salad the other night for AppleJack.
  1177. >Now Pinkie.
  1178. >This is a bit of a tough one
  1179. >Just by going on the few times you've been with her.
  1180. >And it has been a few.
  1181. >She loves sweets.
  1182. >You could just let your pastry chef make her a dessert or something.
  1183. >But that's bad etiquette.
  1184. >You've got it.
  1185. >You'll cook her a mint chocolate espresso pork tenderloin.
  1186. >You get to work.
  1187. >rub the pork with salt, pepper and minced garlic.
  1188. >Sear the meat.
  1189. >Once cooked, you slather it in Dijon mustard and chocolate syrup.
  1190. >You make a rub out of crushed chocolate chips, crushed mint leaf and ground espresso.
  1191. >You toss the pork in the rub and put it in the oven.
  1192. >You take red wine,
  1193. >Fresh thyme,
  1194. >Garlic,
  1195. >Shallots,
  1196. >Bacon fat
  1197. >Pepper
  1198. >Bay leaves
  1199. >Add it all in a sauce pan.
  1200. >Let it reduce.
  1201. >Add in chicken stock.
  1202. >Let that reduce
  1203. >Sift
  1204. >A tiny splash of raspberry vinegar.
  1205. >Shave some dark chocolate.
  1206. >Reduce some more.
  1207. >Voila.
  1208. >Red Wine Chocolate sauce for the Mint Chocolate Espresso Pork.
  1209. >Probably going overboard on the chocolate.
  1210. >But this may be up her alley.
  1211. >All meals are done.
  1212. >You ring the bell.
  1213. >Tender enters the kitchen and grabs the plates.
  1214. >And off he goes.
  1215.  
  1216. >One thing about being being in your position is you can't really see a reaction from people to your cooking.
  1217. >There have been times where patrons wanted to meet you and complement you and your cooking personally.
  1218. >And it really didn't matter to you.
  1219. >As long as they were satisfied, you were satisfied.
  1220. >You'd hear good reviews from your staff via social media and whatnot.
  1221. >But this was different.
  1222. >You wonder how it was going.
  1223. >You focus on some other meals for the time being.
  1224. >After some time, tender Taps comes into the kitchen with empty plates and calls for you.
  1225. >”So ADHD Pink wanted me to tell you she loved her meal but she would have added more chocolate.”
  1226. >You snort and shake your head.
  1227. >You wonder if sugar is a drug to her or something.
  1228. >It would explain her over-friendliness
  1229. >And hyperactivity.
  1230. “Are they done?”
  1231. >Tender nods.
  1232. >”Pink wanted dessert and ordered a slice of 30 layer crepe cake.”
  1233. >You nod and let him back to his business.
  1234. >And you go back to yours.
  1235. >He takes the slice out to Pinkie Pie.
  1236. >it's getting late.
  1237. >You start to shut down stations and clean up for the night.
  1238. >Tender comes back into the kitchen with the plate that had the slice of cake and it was only a quarter eaten.
  1239. >You kook a bit shocked and Tender noticed this.
  1240. >He pointed to the plate and pointed to you.
  1241. >”She hated how it tasted and said it was poorly made.”
  1242. >He shrugs his shoulders.
  1243. >So do you.
  1244. >Your pastry chef isn't going to be happy to hear that.
  1245. >You would have to talk to her about it because this is also your problem.
  1246. >She seems to have a good sense of baking so you would at least give her the benefit of the doubt.
  1247. >Whenever you're free that is.
  1248. >And you happen to run into her.
  1249. >Tender finally comes up to you and hands you the bill to their meal.
  1250. >You head over to the computer system and start adding discounts.
  1251. >You were able to cut the price in half.
  1252. >Some of it was going to come out of your pay.
  1253. >But they called you on your bluff.
  1254. >And maybe.
  1255. >Just maybe.
  1256. >You can get a little something more out of it in the long run.
  1257.  
  1258. >Things calm down a bit more.
  1259. >20 minutes til closing time.
  1260. >Tender Taps walks in the kitchen again and motions for you.
  1261. >”The chicks are still here and want to see you again.”
  1262. >You guess it makes sense.
  1263. >You go and wash your hands and head back out to the dining hall.
  1264. >The dining area is almost empty.
  1265. >Few people are finishing meals and a few more people at the cocktail bar.
  1266. >You see the girls and they are chatting it up amongst themselves.
  1267. >You make it to their table and finally catch their attention.
  1268. “Hello again ladies, how was everything tonight?”
  1269. >Rarity smiles and nods.
  1270. >The food was delicious and befitting of such an established restaurant.
  1271. >Flattering.
  1272. “Thank you kindly, and how about you?”
  1273. >You turn to AppleJack.
  1274. “And how about yourself?”
  1275. >She runs her hand through her hair and shy's a bit away from you.
  1276. >”It was okay, ah felt it could of used more apples.”
  1277. >Of course.
  1278. >Why would you think otherwise?
  1279. >You chuckle.
  1280. “I'll make sure to tell the chef.”
  1281. >Finally you turn to Pinkie Pie.
  1282. “And how about you?  What'd you think about the meal other than more chocolate?”
  1283. >She seems giddy and is lightly bouncing in her chair.
  1284. >”I loved the chocolate pork! Could have used more chocolate and maybe you could have used chocolate mint cookies instead of fresh mint for the rub!”
  1285. >Not a bad suggestion.
  1286. >”But that cake wasn't very tasty.  It was too pale and it was sitting too long! The whipped cream in between the crepes wasn't sweet enough!”
  1287. >She would know about sugar.
  1288. “Perhaps you should work here as our pastry chef.”
  1289. >You jokingly tell her.
  1290. >”You really think so!?”
  1291. >She perks up some more.
  1292. >You shrug your shoulders.
  1293. “I don't see why not.  But don't get too excited! We aren't looking for one right now.”
  1294. >She nudges you a bit.
  1295. >”It's okay!  I wouldn't have wanted to leave Sugarcube Corner anyways.  It was nice to know I would been wanted somewhere else!”
  1296. >That was an awkward statement.
  1297. “Well, I'm glad you all enjoyed the meal and I was able to cut your bill in half.”
  1298. >You say as you hand them the bill.
  1299. >”Oh, how generous of you!”
  1300. >Rarity chimes in again.
  1301. “It was the best I could do for you all.”
  1302. >”Really darling that is very gracious of you!  How can we ever repay you?”
  1303. >You smile and shake your head.
  1304. “It's really nothing.  Though I can't do something like this often.”
  1305. >The girls nod.
  1306. >Still thankful for the kind gesture regardless.
  1307. >You let out a deep breath and clap your hands together.
  1308. “Well, it was a pleasure meeting you.”
  1309. >You point towards Rarity.
  1310. “It was a pleasure seeing you two again.”
  1311. >You look over to AppleJack and Pinkie Pie.
  1312. “I do hope you all truly had a good time here, but I must get back to the kitchen and finish closing up shop.”
  1313. >Rarity nods but Pinkie sits up and speaks.
  1314. >”You should totally hang out with us after work, we could go bake some goodies or have a few drinks!”
  1315. >She's getting a little too ahead of herself.
  1316. >The other two seems to think so as well.
  1317. >You laugh.
  1318. “I'm flattered, but I'll be here until the late hours of the night.  Then I'll have to be back here at the break of dawn to do it all over again.”
  1319. >Pinkie deflates a little.
  1320. >”Aww, Well, what about your days off?  After all I met you early one morning!”
  1321. >You nod in agreement at her comment.
  1322. “I did meet you on my day off.  Thing is, that's my only day off.”
  1323. >She seemed down for a bit but then she perks herself up again.
  1324. >”Well then we'll do something on your day off!”
  1325. >She really wants to hang out with you.
  1326. “Well I-”
  1327. >You are interrupted by another voice from behind you
  1328. >”He'd love to hang out with you on his day off.”
  1329. >Tender Taps found his way to your side and wraps his arm over your shoulder.
  1330. >”In fact this Sunday, his last day before his day off, we'll be off early.  And I'll be performing with some friends at a small club later that night.  You should join my friend here and come have a good time!”
  1331. >Where the hell did all this come from?
  1332. >”And what exactly will you be doing?”
  1333. >Tender takes his arm off of you and straightens the bow tie on his suit.
  1334. >”I'm a tap dancer! I also scored a gig with a small live band who will be performing this Sunday! I invited Anon here to come along and see me in action!”
  1335. >You look over to Taps.
  1336. “When the hell did you invite me to this?”
  1337. >With a straight face and smile he replies
  1338. >”Just now!”
  1339. >Charming.
  1340. >Rarity seems to be considering it.
  1341. >”Oh, I don't know. I think I'll be bust with work that night.
  1342. >For some reason it's hard for you to picture someone like her working a night shift anywhere.
  1343. >AppleJack is the second to chime in.
  1344. >”Count me out, ah have too many commitments to mah farm to do anythin.”
  1345. >Finally Pinkie Pie.
  1346. >Who seems to like the idea.
  1347. >”Oh, oh, OH! I love live music and I'll have that night and day off! I'll definitely be there!”
  1348. >Tender just nods and taps you on your shoulder.
  1349. >”Then it's a date, Anon will pick you up after work.”
  1350. >You brush Tender's hand off you.
  1351. “Whoa whoa whoa! Hold the phone!  Don't I have any say in this!?”
  1352. >Seriously, Tender just made plans for you in front of you without your consent.
  1353. >”You need to live a little, and I think this fine lady here will give you a good time.  Also I think you'll like my show!”
  1354. >He turns to the ladies.
  1355. >”It was a pleasure serving you, but I must head back.  Have a great rest of the night!”
  1356. >He quickly makes his way to the kitchen.
  1357. >Cheeky bastard.
  1358. >You let out a sigh.
  1359. >You look back at Pinkie who seems to be excited for the opportunity.
  1360. >You guess it can't be bad.
  1361. “Well, that happened.  Uh, I'll see you Sunday night?”
  1362. >Pinkie shakes her head and puts on her sweet smile.
  1363. >”It's a date!”
  1364. >You nod again and take a few steps back.
  1365. “Well, I really do must get back to the kitchen myself. So, you all have a fantastic night and I'll see you all again soon.  I guess.”
  1366. >Before you could fully leave Pinkie Pie calls out to you again.
  1367. >”You'll need this!”
  1368. >She hands you a piece of paper.
  1369. >It's her number.
  1370. “You're right, I do need this!”
  1371. >You wave the piece of paper and place it in your pocket.
  1372. >Both Rarity and AppleJack giggle at the gesture.
  1373. “I'll call you soon!”
  1374. >You finally make your way back to the kitchen.
  1375. >You scold Tender Taps for his actions.
  1376. >But you can't be too mad.
  1377. >He did score you a date, even if he was trying to score one himself.
  1378. >Perhaps that is suitable a punishment for that and leave it be.
  1379.  
  1380. >So despite any effort on your part,
  1381. >You now have a date on your only day off.
  1382. >On one hand,
  1383. >Hooray companionship
  1384. >On the other hand.
  1385. >You work yourself too much to be putting in any extra effort into stuff that doesn't involve your career.
  1386. >And that includes having to worry about trying to impress some chick.
  1387. >You'd rather relax at home doing nothing.
  1388. >Then again.
  1389. >If you keep this pace up you may be dead by 35 with absolutely nothing to show for it.
  1390. >Other than your epitaph reading 'Here Lies Anonymous.  He Never Scored.  But He Cooked A Fine Meal'
  1391. >Which is something you wouldn't want as your legacy.
  1392. >Not that you really cared.
  1393. >Well, maybe you did care.
  1394. >Perhaps you do want to unwind just a bit.
  1395. >You've been doing nothing but busting your ass off for the restaurant.
  1396. >And the fruits of your labor has paid off for sure.
  1397. >And maybe now you're getting greedy with life.
  1398. >The only thing to do now is let this date take it's course and see where it leads.
  1399. >You have a few days until said date.
  1400. >Not like you can do anything different or special for it since you're locked up in the restaurant all day.
  1401. >You don't get much more info about this 'live performance' you'll be attending.
  1402. >Tender Taps just says to 'dress formal and casual'.
  1403. >Which doesn't make sense
  1404. >It also doesn't sound really that fun and almost feels like work.
  1405. >He assures you that it'll be a good time for you and her.
  1406.  
  1407. >A day passes.
  1408. >Nobody ruined the consomme.
  1409. >You feel pleased at that.
  1410. >You taught some prep cooks how to cut a large piece of beef into proper steaks.
  1411. >The next day you are met with another surprise.
  1412. >”Anon! How are you my good friend!”
  1413. >Chase Palomino has decided to grace you with his presence.
  1414. “Chef! It has been too long!”
  1415. >You both embrace each other as if you were siblings.
  1416. >”Tell me my boy; how are things here? “
  1417. >You give him a nod.
  1418. “Things have been running smoothly. Customer traffic has been up.  Complaints have been minimal.”
  1419. >Chase has a big smile on his face.
  1420. >”That is good to hear.”
  1421. >He pats you on the shoulder.
  1422. >”You have grown so much since you were that kid that walked in looking for a summer job all those years ago.”
  1423. >Chase says as if he were a proud father.
  1424. >“I've been watching you grow up throughout all these years and now look at you!”
  1425. >He grabs both your shoulders.
  1426. >”I better be careful. I may loose you when you want to go run your own restaurant.”
  1427. >You feel bashful.
  1428. “Please chef,  I could never do that.”
  1429. >Chase wags his finger in front of you.
  1430. >”Nonsense! That's the natural order of chefs!  You'll see, after enough time, you'll want to try things on your own!  It's how I got started.”
  1431. >Words of wisdom you suppose.
  1432. >It still feels so far away and it's no good to dwell on something that isn't on the horizon anytime soon.
  1433. “Well, One day chef.  But for now, I have some meal ideas for the new season!”
  1434. >You tell him with an excited tone in your voice.
  1435. >He seems enthusiastic as well.
  1436. >You bring your two chefs who had the winning meals from your pseudo contest and had them present it to the head chef.
  1437. >You also make your bird's nest as well.
  1438. >”These are all wonderful ideas!”
  1439. >He seems ecstatic over every meal.
  1440. >”But, I must pass on the salt bath squid.”
  1441. >You could feel your line chef's heart sink to the bottom of the ocean over that comment.
  1442. >Chase then turns his attention to the chef in question and places his hands on his shoulders.
  1443. >”Do NOT get me wrong! It is a wonderful idea! But it just does not suit an establishment as this one. Your idea is bold and new! But I'd like to keep this place a bit old fashioned. Do keep up your good work and you'll be like this strapping lad here!”
  1444. >Chase wraps his arm around the young cook and points to you.
  1445. >You young cook seems to have liked the encouraging words at least.
  1446. >As did you. The kid put a lot of effort and heart into that meal.
  1447. >He still seems to have a kind heart.
  1448. >”In fact, Anon, give this kid a small raise for such an ingenious idea!”
  1449. >Yeah, definitely still has a kind heart.
  1450. >The rest of the day is just him catching up with other personal around the restaurant and then he is off for another week or two.
  1451.  
  1452. >Okie Dokie Lokie.
  1453. >12 eggs.
  1454. >1 cup of water.
  1455. >4 cups of whole milk.
  1456. >Whisk together.
  1457. >Now add 2/3 cup of melted butter.
  1458. >6 tablespoons of sugar.
  1459. >1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  1460. >Whisk all that together.
  1461. >2 ½ cups of flower
  1462. >Be sure to sift it first for a smoother batter.
  1463. >Whisk all those together.
  1464. >Pour batter through another sifter for an even smoother batter.
  1465. >just barley coat a pan with the batter.
  1466. >20 seconds on each side.
  1467. >You now have a crepe.
  1468. >You are Pinkie Pie.
  1469. >And after your experience with that awful mille crepe cake you were so sure you could do better that you were seeing for yourself and making your own at home.
  1470. >You make your crepes
  1471. >You made a lot of batter and almost over 50 crepes.
  1472. >You didn't really need that much.
  1473. >But extra crepes mean more desserts to make.
  1474. >Now for the whipped topping.
  1475. >2 cups of heavy cream.
  1476. >Whip that for about 5 minutes until the cream thickens up.
  1477. >Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  1478. >Whip for another minute.
  1479. >Add in ¼ cup of powdered sugar.
  1480. >A little at a time.
  1481. >Let sit for a few minutes.
  1482. >Lay one crepe down
  1483. >Add a thin layer of whipped topping on top.
  1484. >Lay another crepe above that.
  1485. >Rinse and repeat as high as you want.
  1486. >General rule of thumb is 30 layers.
  1487. >You cut yourself a piece.
  1488. >And you are pleased with the result.
  1489. >You're starting to think the problem with the one you had a Anon's restaurant was that it wasn't fresh.
  1490. >Then again your whipped filling is way more tasty than the other one.
  1491. >Still this makes you proud.
  1492. >You decide to head out into the living room to see if anyone wanted to have a slice of your cake.
  1493. >You walk into the living room to see your dad sitting in his chair reading something on a tablet.
  1494. “Hey dad! You want a slice of mille crepe cake I just made?”
  1495. >Your father doesn't even look up from his tablet.
  1496. >”What the hell is that?”
  1497. >You were expecting that.
  1498. “It's a cake made entirely out of crepes and whipped cream. It's super yummy!”
  1499. >He then finally looks up to you for a second.
  1500. >”No, I'll pass.”
  1501. >At least he let you down lightly.
  1502. >You turn to your other older sister besides Maud.
  1503. >Limestone Pie.
  1504. >She was at a makeshift desk with stacks of papers littered everywhere.
  1505. >You approach her.
  1506. “What about you Limestone!? Want to try a piece of my yummy crepe cake?”
  1507. >Limestone looks up from what she was doing.
  1508. >”Can't you see I'm busy with REAL work!?”
  1509. >She's annoyed.
  1510. >Much like the rest of your family. She joined in on the family business.
  1511. >She's worked her way through and is now head of several mines outside of Las Pegasus and Appleloosa.
  1512. >She returns back to her stacks of paperwork.
  1513. >She was home for a few days and then would head out to supervise some of the sites.
  1514. “Aww, don't be grumpy! Why not take a break with a yummy dessert to better your mood and calm your mind?”
  1515. >You try to reassure her.
  1516. >She snaps back at you.
  1517. >”Because I'm not useless like you and have actual work to accomplish!  I don't have time for your stupid baking games!”
  1518. >You take a step back from Limestone's lashing out
  1519. “Hey, that wasn't very nice!  I was only trying cheer you up and offer you a snack.”
  1520. >This time another voice snaps at you.
  1521. >”Don't you argue with your sister! If she doesn't want your poison, don't force her!  Some of us actually contribute to this family and not freeload and try to con their way through by offering that crap!”
  1522. >Your father finally reveals himself.
  1523. >And again, you were hurt.
  1524. >You feel all the energy in you be sapped out from all the negativity in the room.
  1525. “Fine!”
  1526. >You start to storm out the living room.
  1527. >Your head held down and trying to fight back tears when another voice comes from another side of the room.
  1528. >”I'll have a slice of your cake.”
  1529. >You lift your head back up and look to see who it was.
  1530. >Maud.
  1531. >She was in her usual spot with a text book on her lap.
  1532. >She usually doesn't show too much emotion.
  1533. >But in this one instance she shows off one of her rare smirks towards you.
  1534. >Seeing her and her semi-smile brings light and energy back into your body and you wipe the tear that formed over your eyes.
  1535. “Sure Maud, I'll bring you a slice.”
  1536. >No matter how harsh the rest of your family treats you.
  1537. >Maud has always been the one to encourage and support you and your dreams.
  1538. >You grab a slice of the cake and bring it out to Maud.
  1539. >”Thank you Pinkie.”
  1540. >She takes the plate and takes a few bites.
  1541. >”It's really good.  I like it.”
  1542. >Her monotone voice never changes.
  1543. >But that's what makes her Maud.
  1544. >And you would never change that.
  1545. >You're beginning to fight back tears again
  1546. >But now they're tears of joy.
  1547. “Thanks Maud. I appreciate that.”
  1548. >You hear Limestone snort over in her part of the living room.
  1549. >But you pay her no mind.
  1550. >You head back to the kitchen and have another slice for yourself.
  1551. >You then wrap the rest of it up and set it away in the fridge for later consumption.
  1552. >Another day goes by.
  1553. >You have your usual day at Sugarcube Corner.
  1554. >You're starting to notice you're getting way more busier than usual.
  1555. >This place it getting a reputation.
  1556. >You may need to convince the Cakes to hire on new staff pretty soon.
  1557. >The day comes and goes.
  1558. >Finally it's the day of your date night with Anon.
  1559.  
  1560. >Be Anon.
  1561. >Sunday.
  1562. >You open late and close early on these days.
  1563. >Most restaurants you've seen are like that.
  1564. >Some are even closed altogether for the day.
  1565. >Sundays are usually chill days.
  1566. >Luckily for you today was no different.
  1567. >There was a brief dinner rush.
  1568. >Nothing you haven't seen or couldn't handle before.
  1569. >You were supposed to work on the new menu tonight.
  1570. >But that can wait until your actual day off tomorrow.
  1571. >Tonight you were going to attempt to have a little fun with someone.
  1572. >Nothing lewd.
  1573. >Yet?
  1574. >Can't get too ahead of yourself.
  1575. >You get everything cleaned and locked up by 9 PM.
  1576. >You rush home and shower.
  1577. >Tender Taps says formal and casual.
  1578. >You go for a pair of gray slacks with a white long sleeve shirt with red tie.
  1579. >Add in a vest over the shirt and a gray duckbill hat and hopefully you won't get laughed at.
  1580. >You're good to go.
  1581. >Then something hits you.
  1582. >You don't know where to meet pinkie Pie.
  1583. >Was she expecting a call from you?
  1584. >She gave you her number.
  1585. >And here you are still standing around.
  1586. >You grab your cell phone and enter the number.
  1587. >You take a deep breath and press 'dial'
  1588. >It rings.
  1589. >and rings.
  1590. >finally an answer.
  1591. >”Hello!?~”
  1592. >You froze for a minute.
  1593. >”Hello?”
  1594. “Uh, hey, It's me! Anon! I was wondering-”
  1595. >You were cutoff by her voice on the other line
  1596. >”Who!?”
  1597. >Your heart sinks a bit at that question.
  1598. >You don't know what to say.
  1599. “It's Anon? You know, we met at sugarcu-”
  1600. >You were cutoff again.
  1601. >”Hold on!~”
  1602. >You wait for a second.
  1603. >This doesn't seem like her.
  1604. >Then you realize something.
  1605. >You decide to play along to see.
  1606. >”Hey there's something I need to tell you.”
  1607. >You don't answer back.
  1608. >”You just got tricked! This is a voicemail! Please leave a message and I'll get back to you!”
  1609. >*BEEP*
  1610. >You hang up and didn't bother.
  1611. >Who the hell still does that?
  1612. >You take a seat on the couch for a second.
  1613. >You may just go to Tender's concert just to go and support him.
  1614. >With or without Pinkie.
  1615. >Then your phone rings.
  1616. >It's Pinkie.
  1617. >You answer.
  1618. “Hello?”
  1619. >A slight hint of annoyance in your voice.
  1620. >”Hi Nonny!  Sorry about that! I was still getting ready!”
  1621. >You should have figured.
  1622. “Well, It's fine, really I should have called you earlier in the week because I didn't know how we were going to meet up tonight.”
  1623. >She stays silent for a second.
  1624. >”That's Okay!  Uh, We can do whatever really, I can pick you up,  or you can pick me up!”
  1625. >You opt to pick her up.
  1626. >Not wanting to see if her driving matches her personality.
  1627. “I can pick you up, that's no problem.”
  1628. >You pick up your keys and head out the door.
  1629. >Still on the phone with her.
  1630. >”That sounds super duper! I live in the Cooperfield District!”
  1631. >You make your way downstairs to your parking garage
  1632. “I'm getting into my car right now, so go ahead and text me your address and I'll be there soon.”
  1633. >”Okie dokie lokie! I'll see you soon!”
  1634. >You both hang up.
  1635. >You get into your car and start it up.
  1636. >Off you go
  1637.  
  1638. >You head off over to the Cooperfield District in Canterlot.
  1639. >It's not too far away from where you live.
  1640. >It's an upper middle class suburbs kind of neighborhood.
  1641. >It used to be the rich part of town.
  1642. >Until the new economic boom hit and all the new millionaires set up at another part of Town
  1643. >Then a lot of the older millionaires migrated there as well.
  1644. >You remember as a kid wanting to move into the neighborhood
  1645. >Really, you still would love to live there.
  1646. >10 minutes by freeway.
  1647. >You have arrived.
  1648. >It's still a nice area.
  1649. >Decent sized Victorian style houses lined neatly along with classic looking street lights.
  1650. >A very old fashioned neighborhood.
  1651. >You find Pinkie's house
  1652. >Not bad.
  1653. >But considering the house her family may be part of the millionaires who refused to move.
  1654. >You text Pinkie that you were outside.
  1655. >After a few minutes you see her come outside.
  1656. >She seems to be wearing...
  1657. >What is she wearing?
  1658. >It's a frilly yellow skirt with hot pink polka dots littered all over that goes down to her knees.
  1659. >>Hot pink leggings and white platform shoes.
  1660. >A white skin tight top with pink stripes.
  1661. >And a miniature white and pink top hat.
  1662. >She skips along the pathway to the sidewalk and enters the passenger seat.
  1663. >”Hiya Nonny!”
  1664. >A little speechless for a moment you snap back,
  1665. “Uh hey!  Good to see you again.”
  1666. >She smiles.
  1667. >”Likewise Nonny!”
  1668. >She leans in and gives you a tight hug.
  1669. >You don't feel awkward at all
  1670. >You clear your throat and turn the ignition to the car on.
  1671. “Well then, shall we?”
  1672. >She nods and you head back on the road.
  1673.  
  1674. >You drive down the road.
  1675. >Heading back towards the freeway that will take you to another part of town.
  1676. >You're still in the Cooperfield District.
  1677. >And still ogling over the houses.
  1678. “So have you lived here your whole life?”
  1679. >You decide to break the ice for once.
  1680. >”Yup!  Ever since I was born! In fact the house I live in belonged to my grandparents!”
  1681. >Considering the neighborhood her family must be loaded.
  1682. “Wow, that neighborhood has a lot of rich history.  What does your family do?”
  1683. >She sighs.
  1684. >Something tells you this is something she doesn't want to talk about it.
  1685. >”Well, My grandparents started a mining company long ago. They were pretty big back then and owned a bunch of mining sites all over the Country. Still do.  Now my father runs it but he was raised very sternly and in old world ways.  So he can be a bit,  intense to deal with.”
  1686. >You nod at her comments, not wanting to take your eyes off the road.
  1687. >But you feel a vent coming along.
  1688. >”I mean, I get that he's upset with me being the only person out of the family not wanting to join in on the family business.  But it was just so lifeless!  Looking at how everyone acts around those places and how it just sucks the fun out of everything, it just wasn't for me;  And my father couldn't accept that.”
  1689. >You figuratively make yourself comfortable.
  1690. >This could take the whole drive over.
  1691. >”...and once he found out I was going to be a baker?”
  1692. >She begins to laugh nervously.
  1693. >”He tried to kick me out,  but mom was able to convince him otherwise,  but then it always feels like I'm on thin ice with him.”
  1694. >You nod some more.
  1695. “Any siblings?  Do they work for your dad?”
  1696. >She sighs again.
  1697. >”Yeah, 3 sisters.  Two older and one younger, and they do work for my dad.  One is already in charge of some sites on the west coast of the Country.  Another is still working in the mines.”
  1698. >You finally look at her.
  1699. “Really?  You're the daughter of the owner and he still made you guys work in the mines?”
  1700. >She laughs a bit.
  1701. >”He really wanted boys.  But only ever got girls.  He was super strict.  I even worked in a mine when I was younger during summers off of school.”
  1702. >You shake your head at this.
  1703. “Geez that's rough.”
  1704. >Pinkie shrugs.
  1705. >”Maud really likes it and is a pretty strong woman. I think the only reason she hasn't been promoted yet is because of her own choosing.”
  1706. >You shrug.
  1707. “To each their own, right?”
  1708. >Pinkie leans back in her seat.
  1709. >”Oh, if only it were that simple.  Then I wouldn't have to live in fear of him.”
  1710. “And your other sister?”
  1711. >”Oh, my younger one, Marble?  She works in the office as a secretary.  Poor thing is just like me and working in the mines was just not for her.  So dad stuck her in the office.  Which is also kinda bad because she's as shy as a deer.”
  1712. >You chuckle.
  1713. “So, why haven't you just moved out?
  1714. >You hear grumbling from her.
  1715. >”Bakers don't make that much so I've been saving up all I can so that I will be able to move out.”
  1716. >You can attest to that.
  1717. >You weren't able to move out until you made it to Kitchen manager
  1718. >And even then it took you months to accumulate a reasonable amount to live off of and to find the right apartment.
  1719. “So, why baker?”
  1720. >You ask her.
  1721. >She looks back to you.
  1722. >”So, why chef?”
  1723. >She threw the question back at you.
  1724. “It wasn't something I was always passionate about.  I just kind of fell into it.”
  1725. >Pinkie stares at you intensely.
  1726. >”But why do you still do it?  You've said yourself a bunch of times the pay and hours suck.”
  1727. >You snort but nod at her comment.
  1728. “I did state that,  and I did also say that you really have to love what you do to keep on doing it.”
  1729. >Still staring intensely at you.
  1730. >”Are you happy?  Is something like cooking make you happy?”
  1731. >You think for a second.
  1732. “It was something I grew to love. There is something therapeutic about hovering over a hot flame and watching stuff whither and placing it on a plate ever so slightly.  Then seeing people being happy over something I made sure does feel like a drug I can't get enough.”
  1733. >You're rambling along.
  1734. “But to answer your question.  Yes it does make me happy.”
  1735. >Pinkie finally sits back and smiles at you.
  1736. >”Then you know exactly how I feel!”
  1737. >You smile back at her.
  1738. “Perhaps one day we should open up our own little cafe.”
  1739. >Pinkie's face lightens up at your suggestion.
  1740. >”That would be AMAZING!”
  1741. >You chuckle at her new found enthusiasm.
  1742. >You finally reach your exit.
  1743. >Downtown Canterlot.
  1744. >The place you're looking for seems to be a bar.
  1745. >After several drive by's you finally found the place.
  1746. >It was a hole in the wall kind of bar.
  1747. >How in the hell could there be a show in this place?
  1748. >You park your car and help Pinkie out and head inside.
  1749. >Sure enough, it's a small bar.
  1750. >A single bar that lined the whole of the small room.
  1751. >A single bartender behind the counter with several patrons seated.
  1752. >Minding their own business with beers and mixed drinks.
  1753. >Needless to say you were confused.
  1754. >”Can I help you?”
  1755. >The bartender call out to you and Pinkie Pie.
  1756. “Yeah uh, we were told there was a concert here?”
  1757. >The bartender then points you to the back of the bar.
  1758. >You and Pinkie head to the back of the room to find a flight of stairs.
  1759. >You look back to the bartender.
  1760. >”Downstairs! Knock on the door!”
  1761. >Alright then.
  1762. >You both make your way downstairs to find a single door with a slider hole at eye level.
  1763. >You hesitate for a second.
  1764. >Then you finally knock.
  1765. >The slider opens up revealing a pair of eyes staring at you.
  1766. >”Yes?”
  1767. >You were a bit taken back at the sudden pair of eyes.
  1768. “Uh, yeah. We were told there was a concert going on.”
  1769. >The pair of eyes stays still.
  1770. >”Don't know where you got your information from.  Ain't nothing like that going on here.”
  1771. >He is about to close the slider when you blurt out.
  1772. “I was told by Tender Taps he would be performing!”
  1773. >The guys pauses for a second.
  1774. >Then closes the slider.
  1775. >You hear the door unlock.
  1776. >The door opens.
  1777. >The person on the other side waves you in.
  1778. >The guys is dressed in a zuit-suit and top hat like he was from the 1920's
  1779. >Both you and Pinkie slowly walk by the 'bouncer'.
  1780. “Is this some sort of Speakeasy?”
  1781. >The bouncer nods.
  1782. >”Sure is. It's a gimmick we do here at the bar.”
  1783. >Interesting.
  1784. >Pinkie seems to like the idea.
  1785. >”That's so COOL! It's like we're criminals back in the day breaking the law and going to a secret party! This is going to be so fun!”
  1786. >Both you and Pinkie continue down the hall.
  1787. >You can hear music from the distance.
  1788. >The closer you get to the end of the hall,
  1789. >The louder the music gets.
  1790. >You reach the end of the hall to find a large open room.
  1791.  
  1792. >This is something new.
  1793. >And old, for that matter.
  1794. >This place converted their, what you would assume, basement into an extra bar and dance floor.
  1795. >You'd say the room is about as large as your entire apartment, bedrooms and all.
  1796. >Which isn't huge.
  1797. >Nut it isn't small either.
  1798. >A large wooden dance floor in the middle of the room.
  1799. >Another bar in the far back that extends around a corner of the room.
  1800. >The other end of the room there is a stage with a band playing music.
  1801. >The dim low hanging lights giving it a more underground vintage feel.
  1802. >Everyone around you is wearing suits fitting of the 1920's era.
  1803. >Luckily your own outfit was somewhat similar.
  1804. >The dance floor is littered with people dancing and swinging each other to the music.
  1805. >Which is, of course old style hot jazz music.
  1806. >You admit this was pretty neat.
  1807. >Then you listen closer to the music.
  1808. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2kOj-GFN8k [Fountains of Wayne/Postmodern Jukebox - Stacy's Mom - Vintage 1930s Hot Jazz Cover ft. Casey Abrams])
  1809. >Wait.
  1810. >You know this song.
  1811. >No way.
  1812. >These guys are totally playing modern songs in older styles of music.
  1813. >This is going to be fun.
  1814. >You don't see Tender Taps on stage though.
  1815. >Perhaps he'll perform later.
  1816. >You turn to see Pinkie.
  1817. >She looks like a kid in a candy store.
  1818. >A smile bigger than any you have seen her muster before.
  1819. >Eagerly bobbing up and down with excitement at the scene in front of her.
  1820. >She looks to you with her almost creepy smile.
  1821. >You muster a small smile yourself and you hold out your hand.
  1822. >She takes your hand and pulls you out to the dance floor.
  1823. >You try to match her energy.
  1824. >Which is a lot.
  1825. >She taps her shoes to the rhythm of the song.
  1826. >Swinging your arms from side to side.
  1827. >You feel a bit awkward for a minute.
  1828. >Then the song ends.
  1829. >The crowd roars with approval.
  1830. >”Thank you very much ladies and gentleman. We're gonna take a quick break but don't stray too far! We'll be back in a few!”
  1831. >The crowd cheers once more as the band makes their way off the stage and to the bar.
  1832. >You do the same with Pinkie.
  1833. >The bartender is busy with the new influx of customers that came from the dance floor.
  1834. >Little by little he makes his way to you.
  1835. >”Whataya like chief?”
  1836. >Even the bartender is acting the part.
  1837. >You assume.
  1838. >You can't imagine anyone talking like that nowadays.
  1839. >But what do you know?
  1840. >You spend most of your time in a kitchen.
  1841. “Uh, Surprise me!”
  1842. >He then points to Pinkie Pie.
  1843. >”How 'bout you missy?”
  1844. >Pinkie throws her hand up in the air.
  1845. >”I love surprises too! I'll take one of those!”
  1846. >The poor bartender looks at both of you.
  1847. >”...Right you are, One sidecar for the gentleman, and one Bees Knees for the lovely lady comin' right up!”
  1848. >Now you get to watch as a mixologist readily prepares your drinks.
  1849. >It's almost like cooking and baking.
  1850. >Maybe a little less complicated.
  1851. >Or more.
  1852. >He takes a cocktail shaker and adds a few ice cubes.
  1853. >He then adds cognac.
  1854. >Cointreau.
  1855. >And gets a lemon squeezer and adds lemon juice.
  1856. >This guy must be an expert since he's pretty much eyeballing everything.
  1857. >At least you hope he knows what he's doing.
  1858. >He puts a lid on the shaker and shakes vigorously.
  1859. >He takes a martini glass.
  1860. >He cracks open the cocktail shaker slightly so the liquid drips out into the glass with no ice.
  1861. >He then serves you the glass.
  1862. >”One Sidecar cocktail!”
  1863. >You now watch as he prepares Pinkie's cocktail.
  1864. >Another cocktail shaker.
  1865. >Honey.
  1866. >Gin.
  1867. >Lemon juice.
  1868. >And orange juice
  1869. >He then adds a flower inside the shaker and takes a wooden stick and mashes the flower in the shaker.
  1870. >He finally adds the ice.
  1871. >Closes it up and shakes it.
  1872. >This time he takes the top off the shaker and adds a strainer.
  1873. >He pours it into another strainer into the glass.
  1874. >”And one Bees Knees!”
  1875. >Pinkie  takes her drink.
  1876. >You pay the bartender and tip him.
  1877. >You take a sip.
  1878. >Holy hell this has a kick.
  1879. >Not sure if it's too boozy or what.
  1880. >But you look over to Pinkie and she seems to be enjoying her drink.
  1881. >She looks over to you.
  1882. >”How's your drink!?”
  1883. >You thin out your lips.
  1884. “Boozy!”
  1885. >She smiles wide.
  1886. >”Tonight's gonna be fun!”
  1887. >On cue. The band makes their way back up on stage.
  1888. >”Alright folks! Time for some more hot music! For this next performance we have a special guest! Tap dancing for our next song is a good friend of the band, Tender Taps!”
  1889. >Cheers and claps for your waiter as he makes his way up onto the stage.
  1890. >Funny thing is he doesn't look too different than he does at work.
  1891. >A nice suit and dorky bow-tie.
  1892. >He waves to the crowd and notices you.
  1893. >He points and winks at you.
  1894. >There is a large piece of plywood on stage that he stands on.
  1895. >The band nods and counts down.
  1896. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBmlCZTF4Xs [Rihanna/Postmodern Jukebox - Umbrella - Vintage "Singin' in the Rain" Style Cover ft. Casey Abrams & The Sole Sisters])
  1897. >The music starts.
  1898. >And Tender does his thing.
  1899. >You'd be lying if you said he didn't look stupid doing this.
  1900. >But it was still amazing to watch.
  1901. >You then feel a tug.
  1902. >Pinkie is pulling you out to the dance floor again.
  1903. >You oblige.
  1904. >She pulls you in close and wraps her hand around your waist.
  1905. >She begins to swing you upward and downwards.
  1906. >You're matching her pace.
  1907. >Maybe it was the alcohol kicking in.
  1908. >But you're getting the hang of this.
  1909. >You start to out pressure her and made her follow your lead.
  1910. >You swear you could hear her giggle at your new-found confidence in dancing.
  1911. >You begin to twirl with her.
  1912. >You hold her outwards and she hangs off of your forearms.
  1913. >She throws her head back.
  1914. >You can hear her screaming with joy.
  1915. >You pull her back up.
  1916. >And continue to swing her around.
  1917. >You let her go and she attempts to mimic Tender Taps' dancing with her own shoes.
  1918. >This is starting to get fun.
  1919. >The song ends.
  1920. >Cheers from the crowd.
  1921. >Including yourself and Pinkie.
  1922. >The singer begins to wipe sweat from his forehead.
  1923. >”How're you all doing so far!?”
  1924. >More cheers.
  1925. >”Fantastic! That'll be all for me, but don't you worry, We still have good ol' Tender here tappin away!”
  1926. >Tender does a little tap routine on stage.
  1927. >More cheers.
  1928. >”The next singer tonight though, is the fresh sexy voice all the way from Manehattan!  Give it up for Coco Pommel!”
  1929. >He stands aside as a woman gets up on stage.
  1930. >Pale skin with light blue hair in a bowl cut and red flower in her hair.
  1931. >Short tight lavender dress that complements her skin and curves.
  1932. >She smiles and waves to the crowd.
  1933. >”Alright folks! Who's ready for some more music!?”
  1934. >Cheering again.
  1935. >This time there are some hoots in the crowd.
  1936. >Coco laughs as she cues up the band.
  1937. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCTOpdlZJ8U [Lady Gaga/Postmodern Jukebox - Bad Romance - Vintage 1920's Gatsby Style Cover ft. Ariana Savalas & Sarah Reich])
  1938. >The music starts playing.
  1939. >Slow start.
  1940. >Finally it kicks in.
  1941. >So does Pinkie.
  1942. >”My turn!”
  1943. >She begins to sway you again to the music.
  1944. >you match her enthusiasm.
  1945. >Not sure where all this extra energy is coming from.
  1946. >But you don't question it.
  1947. >You grab her hand and begin to twist her in place.
  1948. >Once she faces you again she catches you by surprise and jumps into your midsection.
  1949. >She wraps her arms around your neck.
  1950. >The resulting weight causes you to pull forward .
  1951. >You're lucky you catch yourself and you wrap your arms around Pinkies midsection and catch her.
  1952. >You pull her back up and she hops off.
  1953. >”Nice reflexes Nonny!”
  1954. >You grunt as that took a lot of effort to pull off.
  1955. >You're getting a good workout.
  1956. >There's another tap dancing solo.
  1957. >And Pinkie attempts to mimic it again.
  1958. >Watching her in her element.
  1959. >She is giving off this glow you've never seen before.
  1960. >She looks amazing.
  1961. >And you're just now realizing it now.
  1962. >She comes to and the music continues.
  1963. >You both lock hands.
  1964. >Smiles everywhere.
  1965. >And you both swing away until the music dies down.
  1966. >Two more songs go by.
  1967. >You should be getting tired.
  1968. >But the adrenaline you're getting from this date is keeping you going.
  1969. >”Now for something a tad bit different!”
  1970. >Tender Taps gets off the plywood and takes a seat over on the side of the stage.
  1971. >He then picks up a banjo.
  1972. >”Who's ready for a hoedown!?”
  1973. >Coco hypes the crowd.
  1974. >What?
  1975. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nz-OMn1o22Y [Robin Thicke/Postmodern Jukebox - Blurred Lines - Vintage "Bluegrass Barn Dance" Cover])
  1976. >The music starts.
  1977. >People start dancing.
  1978. >You decide to sit this one out.
  1979. >To conserve energy.
  1980. >You make your way to the bar and have a seat.
  1981. >Waiting for the bartender to come up to you.
  1982. >You feel a hand on your shoulder pull you around on your stool.
  1983. >You're facing Pinkie Pie again with an angry look on her face.
  1984. >”Never EVER stop in the middle of a Hoedown!”
  1985. >She pulls you back onto the dance floor.
  1986. >You groan loudly as you are dragged back out.
  1987. >This time you let her take control of the dance.
  1988. >She starts to toss you around like a rag doll.
  1989. >You're amazed at the amount of energy she has.
  1990. >She pulls you in and the both of you twirl around.
  1991. >You both separate from each other.
  1992. >And change partners.
  1993. >You're now dancing with completely different woman.
  1994. >You're taken aback but go with it.
  1995. >You twist and dance with her for a few seconds before everyone separates again.
  1996. >You're now with another guy.
  1997. >Feeling a bit awkward.
  1998. >The other guy doesn't seem to be faded.
  1999. >He smiles at you and does a quick shimmy.
  2000. >You just give him an uncomfortable smile.
  2001. >Finally you change back to your original partners.
  2002. >The song finally ends.
  2003.  
  2004. >She's finally looking a little tired.
  2005. “Can we now take a break?”
  2006. >She nods.
  2007. >Both of you make your way back to the bar.
  2008. >Another song goes by.
  2009. >Coco wipes sweat from her forehead.
  2010. >”Boy it's hot down here.”
  2011. >Couple of coos can be heard in the crowd.
  2012. >”Well, that's all I have for tonight.  Following me is your homemade banjo player and tap dancer, Tender Taps.”
  2013. >Crowd cheers ad Tender waves.
  2014. >He's going to sing?
  2015. >”But first we're taking another short intermission!  Have a rest, grab a drink and loosen up a bit more!”
  2016. >She walks off the stage.
  2017. >”Any drinks folks?”
  2018. >The bartender appears behind you.
  2019. >You look at him.
  2020. “Got a menu at all?”
  2021. >He shakes his head.
  2022. >”Not how we do things here!”
  2023. >Well shit.
  2024. “Alright, hit me with whatever.”
  2025. >He gets to work.
  2026. >A mixing glass from the cooler filled with ice.
  2027. >Angostura bitters.
  2028. >A teaspoon of cherry liqueur.
  2029. >You knew that measurement because that's what he used.
  2030. >Gin.
  2031. >Sweet vermouth.
  2032. >He takes another teaspoon and mixes the drink.
  2033. >He takes a coupe glass from under the bar.
  2034. >Pours the drink without the ice into the glass.
  2035. >Finally, He takes a lemon and slices a thin peel off from it.
  2036. >Twists it over he drink and drops it in the drink.
  2037. >”One Martinez!”
  2038. >He then looks over to Pinkie.
  2039. >”I assume you'd like a surprise too?”
  2040. >She nods vigorously.
  2041. >”Hit me with something hard!”
  2042. >The bartender snorts and looks at you.
  2043. >He then smiles and gets to work.
  2044. >Another mixing cup.
  2045. >Now he's pulling out vodka.
  2046. >Oh boy here we go.
  2047. >Pours the vodka in the mixing cup.
  2048. >Once again he's eyeballing it.
  2049. >You now really hope he knows what he's doing.
  2050. >He grabs a lime and uses a lemon squeezer to get fresh lime juice in the drink.
  2051. >Then he adds simple syrup.
  2052. >He takes several mint leaves.
  2053. >Rips them up and adds to the mixing cup.
  2054. >Finally he adds ice to the cup and seals it.
  2055. >He shakes the cup more violently then the other drinks you've seen him made.
  2056. >After he shakes the drink. He takes a classic martini glass.
  2057. >Adds in what looks to be cherry syrup to the bottom of the glass.
  2058. >Now he is very gently pouring the drink in the glass.
  2059. >He's doing it very slowly.
  2060. >Looks like it's done.
  2061. >He places it in front of Pinkie.
  2062. >It looks like a layered drink
  2063. >She tries to go for the drink but the bartender stops her.
  2064. >He takes a bottle of sparkling champagne.
  2065. >He pours it into the drink and causes the red syrup on the bottom to expand into the drink.
  2066. >Now it's full on red.
  2067. >That was some showmanship from him.
  2068. >Pinkie looks awed from the trick.
  2069. >”One Royal Blush!”
  2070. >You chuckle at the name.
  2071. >Pinkie takes the drink and takes a few sips.
  2072. >Her face puckers up a bit.
  2073. >But seems satisfied nonetheless.
  2074.  
  2075. >You are Pinkie Pie.
  2076. >And you're working on this drink.
  2077. >You had to give him free reign.
  2078. >The bartender hadn't used vodka all night.
  2079. >Now he's pulling out heavy hitters.
  2080. >Not that you really mind.
  2081. >This drink wouldn't be too much for you.
  2082. >If you had eaten before.
  2083. >But with no food to absorb all the alcohol getting into your system,
  2084. >You could be tipsy in no time.
  2085. >Anon seems to be enjoying his drink.
  2086. >All fancy and old fashioned.
  2087. >With his sleeves from his white shirt rolled up.
  2088. >His funny hat that fits with the rest of his outfit
  2089. >And really the overall feel of this place.
  2090. >It's really cute.
  2091. >He looks over to you.
  2092. >He then raises his glass in the air at you in a toast.
  2093. >A smile on his face.
  2094. >You return the gesture and smile back at him.
  2095. >Both of you take a drink from your cocktails.
  2096. >Finally, Anon's friend gets back up on stage.
  2097. >”Alright folks, we're getting ready to wind down for the night.  But we still got a few songs to play for you!”
  2098. >The crowd cheers.
  2099. >It almost feels like the audience is now tired from the night of dancing as well.
  2100. >”I'll be doing a few songs and we'll end the night right.  So lets get to it!”
  2101. >Some more cheers.
  2102. >”Oh, by the way, they didn't tell you, but this will be my first singing performance.  So please be gentle!”
  2103. >He winks at the crowd and cues the band up
  2104. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tv94swj4sjo [Taylor Swift/Postmodern Jukebox - Shake it Off - Vintage Motown Cover ft. Von Smith])
  2105. >First song starts.
  2106. >You both decide to sit this one out.
  2107. >He's got a pretty nice voice.
  2108. >You actually like the modern version of this song.
  2109. >So it's exciting for you to hear a vintage version.
  2110. >You bob and move your upper body to the song.
  2111. >Causing some chuckles from Anon next to you.
  2112. >You start grooving.
  2113. >You hop off your stool and begin to groove on the dance floor with nobody in particular.
  2114. >Perhaps the alcohol is kicking in.
  2115. >You didn't care.
  2116. >This whole night has been amazing.
  2117. >The song ends.
  2118. >The crowd goes wild.
  2119. >Tender Taps? That was his name, right?
  2120. >He seems to have a large smile on his face.
  2121. >”You like that huh?”
  2122. >The crowd, including you, scream in agreement.
  2123. >”Well then, I'm sorry to say but this'll be the last song for the night.  So if you came with a partner be sure to dance with them and get a little close!”
  2124. >You turn to Anon.
  2125. >You motion for him to join you for one last dance.
  2126. >He smiles and gets off his stool and joins you.
  2127. >Both of you are waiting for Tender to begin.
  2128. >He clears his throat.
  2129. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9yMXzARTZE [MAGIC!/Postmodern jukebox - Rude - Vintage 1950s Sock Hop Style Cover ft. Von Smith])
  2130. >A pretty simple paced song.
  2131. >Both of you are in a closed dance hold and just bouncing to the rhythm of the song.
  2132. >Neither of you are caring about the music at the moment.
  2133. >You're just staring into each others eyes.
  2134. >You start to lean in closer to his face.
  2135. >He takes your hint and he also comes in closer.
  2136. >You close your eyes.
  2137. >Hoping for the best.
  2138. >And it comes.
  2139. >You feel a pair of lips press against yours.
  2140. >You're still dancing to the music.
  2141. >Nut to you there may as well be no music because everything went still.
  2142. >After what felt like minutes.
  2143. >You both separate.
  2144. >Anon's face is a shade of red over the move.
  2145. >He seems a bit bashful over it as he begins to look away.
  2146. >A smile still on his face though.
  2147. >The song finally ends.
  2148. >But you're still holding onto each other.
  2149. >You lay your head on his shoulder as the crowd cheers for Tender Taps.
  2150. >”Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen! We had a wonderful night and we hope you also did as well.  We will be back very very soon! Until then drive safely and have a great rest of the night!”
  2151. >The band all stand up and bow in unison.
  2152. >Everyone around you is cheering and clapping for the band.
  2153. >But the the two of you seem to be in your own world.
  2154.  
  2155. >You're finally snapped back into reality.
  2156. >Mostly from people trying to exit the room
  2157. >People are lightly shoving the both of you around trying to get by.
  2158. >At least a lot of them are saying 'excuse me'.
  2159. >You stand close by Anon.
  2160. >You see Tender Taps make his way towards the both of you.
  2161. >He stops and shakes hands of other patrons a few times.
  2162. >Takes pictures with them.
  2163. >Finally he makes his way to you.
  2164. >He holds his arms out.
  2165. >Anon embraces him.
  2166. >”Good fucking job man!  I didn't think you were that talented!”
  2167. >Anon praises him for his performance.
  2168. >It was pretty good.
  2169. >Tender laughs and lightly shakes Anon.
  2170. >”Thanks man! I appreciate that!”
  2171. >He turns his attention to you.
  2172. >”What did you think about the concert?”
  2173. >You place your hands on his shoulders.
  2174. >And shake him violently.
  2175. >”IT WAS AMAZING!!”
  2176. >You're tipsy.
  2177. >You're not gonna deny that.
  2178. >And you usually get a bit more... active the more alcohol you have in you.
  2179. >Tender is scared now.
  2180. >He gently takes your hands and moves them from his shoulders.
  2181. >”Eh, glad you had a good time.”
  2182. >His voice a bit nervous.
  2183. “I HAD A SUPER TIME!!”
  2184. >You usually don't get this loud though.
  2185. >Both Anon and Tender seem a bit uncomfortable.
  2186. >You place your hands over your mouth.
  2187. “Sorry!”
  2188. >Tender places a hand over your shoulder now.
  2189. >”It's quite alright.”
  2190. >Anon taps him on his shoulder.
  2191. >”So how long have you been doing this?”
  2192. >Tender looks back up on stage.
  2193. >”Well I've been tap dancing since I was a kid.  I didn't know what to do with it since it was such a niche hobby.  Then by chance I found an ad from this band who wanted a tap dancer for a few songs.  One thing led to another, and like I said earlier;  Tonight was my first time singing.  Making me a regular member of the band!”
  2194. >Anon lightly taps Tender on the face.
  2195. >”Good for you kid!  Any tours soon?”
  2196. >Tender shakes his head.
  2197. >”Nah, not for a while.  We're still fairly new and are still getting our name out there.  We've been using this basement as a sort of home base for shows for the time being.”
  2198. >Both you and Anon nod.
  2199. >”Well, we better head out.”
  2200. >Tender halts you.
  2201. >”You okay to drive?”
  2202. >Anon laughs.
  2203. >”I'll be fine, this isn't much.  I may need to get her home soon.”
  2204. >He points to you.
  2205. >You puff your cheeks.
  2206. “Hey!  I'm not drunk!  I'm tipsyish!”
  2207. >You wave both your arms at Anon and Tender Taps.
  2208. >”Well, alright then,  drive safely regardless and I'll see you soon!”
  2209. >As you both begin to exit the room you turn back to yell at Tender Taps.
  2210. “AJ WOULD TOTALLY BANG YOU!”
  2211. >Your outburst caused Tender to stiffen up.
  2212. >He blushes as his band-mates on stage heard the comment and were laughing.
  2213. >You both make it back to Anon's car.
  2214. >Get in.
  2215. >Anon takes a deep breath.
  2216. >And on you go.
  2217.  
  2218. >Driving down the street.
  2219. >You're still feeling good from the music and alcohol.
  2220. >You turn on Anon's radio.
  2221. >And tune in to a random station.
  2222. >This song is getting under your skin.
  2223. >You begin to groove to the music in your seat.
  2224. >Anon is just laughing.
  2225. >”Having fun?”
  2226. >He teases.
  2227. “Sure am, I had a great time tonight.”
  2228. >He nods.
  2229. >”I'm glad,  I had a pretty good time too.”
  2230. >All the while you were grooving. Anon was bobbing his head to the music as well.
  2231. >After a while Anon speaks up.
  2232. >”So, this may be an inappropriate question, but I feel it should be asked.  Did you want to be dropped off home?  Or would you be okay with staying at my place tonight?”
  2233. >You giggle.
  2234. >You get why it would be inappropriate to ask.
  2235. >But in your condition.
  2236. >And how your father is.
  2237. >Staying at his place really didn't seem that bad of an idea.
  2238. >Then again, you totally would jump his bones.
  2239. >But not tonight.
  2240. >You don't want to be 'that girl'.
  2241. “I think you can go ahead and drop me off at home.”
  2242. >Anon nods.
  2243. >He doesn't seem to phased about being denied.
  2244. >”Alright, you sure?  I'm just asking because I remember what you said about your father.  I don't want you to get in trouble.”
  2245. >You wave him off.
  2246. “Aww, you're sweet like my pastries for worrying about me.  But I'll be fine  It should be late enough that he'll be asleep and I can just sneak in silently.”
  2247. >Anon shrugs one of his shoulders.
  2248. >”Alright, no problem.  I just didn't want to cause you any trouble.”
  2249. >You make it to her place.
  2250. >Anon sets the car on park near the sidewalk.
  2251. >”Alright, we made it.”
  2252. >You unbuckle your seat belt.
  2253. >You both sit there for a moment.
  2254. >Anon speaks up.
  2255. >”Well, again, it was fun.  I know our hours are awful but we really should get together again.”
  2256. >You nod in agreement.
  2257. “Yesserie We'll keep in touch!”
  2258. >You open the door to get out.
  2259. >But before you do, you turn back to Anon.
  2260. >You lean for another kiss.
  2261. >He smiles and obliges.
  2262. >”Also text me if anything happens.”
  2263. >You step out the car.
  2264. “Will do, you drive safe Nonny!”
  2265. >You close the door and head up the walkway to the house.
  2266. >You reach the front porch.
  2267. >You turn to wave to Anon.
  2268. >He waves back and he finally drives off.
  2269.  
  2270. >The porch light is on.
  2271. >Which is normal.
  2272. >You take off your platform shoes.
  2273. >To avoid making loud footsteps on the wood floor in the house.
  2274. >You gently unlock the door with your key.
  2275. >You slowly open the door and enter.
  2276. >All the lights are off.
  2277. >Great sign.
  2278. >You close the door gently and lock it.
  2279. >You tiptoe across the living room.
  2280. >You reach the stairs when the lights flick on.
  2281. >You turn to see your dad.
  2282. >He was standing in a doorway that you knew led to the basement.
  2283. >Oh no.
  2284. >What was he doing up?
  2285. “Uh, Hi dad what are y-”
  2286. >”And just where were you all night?”
  2287. >He cut you off.
  2288. >His voice was calm.
  2289. >Normally it would be full of venom.
  2290. “I was out with friends.”
  2291. >He takes a step closer to you.
  2292. >”Don't give me that, When you're out with 'friends', you usually call and check in if you were late! Now, where.  Were.  You?”
  2293. >His tone was getting louder.
  2294. >But he had a point.
  2295. >You always did call ahead that your were going to be a bit late.
  2296. >But it totally slipped your mind.
  2297. “I, just forgot, I make mistakes sometimes.  We were at a concert and it was loud and-”
  2298. >You were cutoff again.
  2299. >”Dressed like a two dollar whore!?  What self respecting establishment would let you in looking like that!?”
  2300. >Seriously, your outfit wasn't anywhere near revealing or provocative.
  2301. >He's really getting on your nerves.
  2302. “So you just stayed up all night just so you could call me a whore!?”
  2303. >You rose your voice a bit back at him.
  2304. >Tonight you weren't having any of it.
  2305. >You had an amazing night and you won't let him put a damper on it.
  2306. >”If you keep looking like that and staying out at ungodly hours!”
  2307. >He points to you and takes a step closer to you.
  2308. “You call me a whore every time I work an overnight shift at the bakery!  What is it about me being a baker that you hate so much?”
  2309. >You take a step towards him now.
  2310. >”I didn't raise you to be no damn baker!  I raised you to be part of this family!”
  2311. “You didn't raise me at all!  You were always at work and even when I was around you you just stuck us in the mines picking up rocks!  Who does that!?”
  2312. >You raise your voice a little more.
  2313. >You think you're waking some people up at this point.
  2314. >”This business IS this family!  It's given us everything and you're just being an ungrateful little brat and spitting in our faces by abandoning it!”
  2315. >He slams his hand on the wall.
  2316. >He's getting really angry now.
  2317. “Business is the family!?  Is that how you see all of us!?  As your employees!?”
  2318. >He's another step closer to you.
  2319. >”No, I see all my employees as family.  Which means exactly what it means and that you're not part of this family!”
  2320. >Your eyes go wide.
  2321. >Did he just disown you?
  2322. >You feel a rush of emotions in you.
  2323. >You're starting to breathe heavy.
  2324. >You're trying to desperately fight back tears.
  2325. >Your dad is now in your face.
  2326. >He then takes a few sniffs.
  2327. >”You've been drinking!  I can smell it in your breath!”
  2328. >You don't don't answer him.
  2329. >You just take a step back from him.
  2330. >”You truly are a despicable mistake!”
  2331. >You shut your eyes.
  2332. “I'm not a mistake!  I didn't want to follow in this families footsteps because there was no sense of family or love amongst any of you! I-”
  2333. >You're interrupted  by your father again.
  2334. >But not by his voice.
  2335. >But by his hand.
  2336. >He just struck you.
  2337. >The first time he's ever laid a hand on you.
  2338. >He sent the palm of his hand across your face.
  2339. >The force of his hit causes you to fall to the floor.
  2340. >”DON'T YOU DARE TALK BACK TO ME OR TRY TO LECTURE ME ABOUT FAMILY!! YOU'VE BEEN NOTHING BUT A BURDEN TO ME AND YOUR SISTERS!!”
  2341. >He raises his hand to try and lay another hit on you.
  2342. >But was stopped.
  2343. >You look up to see Maud
  2344. >Standing over you and stopping your father from causing any more harm.
  2345. >”Leave her alone.”
  2346. >Even in this tense situation, her voice is still as deadpan as ever.
  2347. >Your father's eyes go wide at Maud for standing up to him.
  2348. >”This has nothing to do with you Maud!”
  2349. >He tries to release his hand from her grip but she refuses to let go.
  2350. >”She's still my sister, so yes this is my business.”
  2351. >Your father growls.
  2352. >”Igneous!”
  2353. >Your mother screams from the top of the stairs.
  2354. >She rushes to you and helps you back to your feet and away from your father.
  2355. >You're in tears now.
  2356. >You father finally get his hand free from Maud's grip.
  2357. >He then points to you.
  2358. >”I want you out of this house now.  I have no use for useless whores!”
  2359. >You glare at your dad one more time.
  2360. >You begin to head to the door.
  2361. >”Wait Pinkie, please he doesn't mean this!”
  2362. >Your mother tries to stop you.
  2363. >”Shut it Cloudy!  I want her out and you will NOT talk your way into this one!”
  2364. >He looks at you again,
  2365. >”You, out, NOW!”
  2366. >You flinch at his scream.
  2367. >You take one last look at Maud.
  2368. >For the first time in forever you see a change in her expression.
  2369. >She has a sombre look on her face.
  2370. >You take one last look at everyone and leave the house.
  2371. >You quickly rush to your car and get in to drive off before your father realizes you still had the car and takes that away from you too.
  2372. >You stop off somewhere a distance away from home and just let everything out and cry.
  2373. >You didn't know what to do.
  2374. >You didn't want to call Anon.
  2375. >Yes he did say to text or call him if anything happened.
  2376. >But he's still being introduced to your life for him to get involved for now.
  2377. >You text Rarity and head over to her place for the night to try and calm your nerves.
  2378.  
  2379. >Be Anon.
  2380. >It's the next morning.
  2381. >It's your day off.
  2382. >A glorious day off.
  2383. >Since it's your only day off,
  2384. >You do your essential chores that only the luxury of an off day can offer.
  2385. >Like laundry.
  2386. >Cleaning your apartment.
  2387. >You're rarely home so it's more mostly dusting off stuff.
  2388. >You shower and get ready for the day.
  2389. >You make yourself a simple breakfast.
  2390. >You stare at your phone while eating.
  2391. >You wonder what Pinkie was going to do today.
  2392. >You wonder to yourself if yous should text her.
  2393. >Would that make you the creep?
  2394. >Usually it's the girls who text you back.
  2395. >Right?
  2396. >You're not sure how this all works.
  2397. >You can't stress enough that almost all of your time has been in the restaurant.
  2398. >You put in the back of your mind.
  2399. >Pinkie seems like the type of girl who would definitely text or call you.
  2400. >You finish up.
  2401. >You gather your dirty clothes and head to the laundry room provided by your complex.
  2402. >You start.
  2403. >You head back to your apartment and clean up.
  2404. >Your phone rings.
  2405. >You take a look.
  2406. >It's Chase Palomino.
  2407. >Your heart sinks a bit.
  2408. >Not just because it's not Pinkie.
  2409. >But because it's your boss.
  2410. “Hello?”
  2411. >You answer.
  2412. >”Anon! How are you my friend?”
  2413. “I'm good, just catching up on some chores on my day off.”
  2414. >Chase give a chuckle.
  2415. >”Good man! Hey I have a small favor to ask of you.”
  2416. >Of course you do.
  2417. “Go ahead.”
  2418. >He pauses for a second.
  2419. >”One of my sous chef's at another restaurant had an emergency and asked for a day off later this week.”
  2420. >At least it's not today.
  2421. >”I was wondering if you would cover for them just during dinner hours since I trust you out of all my sous chefs and you have Fluer De Pone well run that you could take an extra day off from there.”
  2422. >Well that was nice of him you guess.
  2423. >May be a good excuse to see another restaurant.
  2424. “Where would you need me?”
  2425. >You decide to have him humor you.
  2426. >”Mona Roma over in Appalossa.”
  2427. >Appalossa?  That's a long distance from here.
  2428. “That's a 3 hour drive for me!  What could have possibly made you consider me for this?”
  2429. >That's crazy.
  2430. >No way you could make that work unless You take the next day off.
  2431. >”As I said, I trust you out of all my other sous chefs.  I get that it's a drive for you.  I would allow you to rearrange the schedule over at Fluer De Pone so it wouldn't affect you too much.  Plus I'll throw in extra pay for what you do over at Mona Roma.”
  2432. >Damn.
  2433. >More pay is always nice.
  2434. >But 3 hour drive.
  2435. >Then again you can reschedule the next day so you could start late.
  2436. >It's not like this happens often.
  2437. “You don't see any problem with me not knowing the menu?”
  2438. >From the sound of the name it's most likely Italian.
  2439. >Which is pretty straight foreword.
  2440. >But you never know.
  2441. >”It is an Italian fusion with some seafood.  There are similar dishes served there that we do at Fluer De Pone.”
  2442. >You shrug.
  2443. “Alright, I'll do it.”
  2444. >Why not.
  2445. >”Ha ha! I knew I could count on you!  I'll contact you later with more information on when to go!”
  2446. >You mentally sigh.
  2447. “Sounds good Chase.”
  2448. >You hang up and continue with your day.
  2449. >You finish up with laundry.
  2450. >...that was really the only thing you had planned.
  2451. >Cleaning the apartment was a quick job.
  2452. >You look back at your phone.
  2453. >Fuck it.
  2454. >You grab it and text Pinkie.
  2455. >'Hey Pinkie, How are you feeling today?'
  2456. >Send.
  2457. >Now the waiting game.
  2458. >Minutes go by.
  2459. >You decide to go watch some TV.
  2460. >Not much is on.
  2461. >And still no response from Pinkie.
  2462. >You put on the cooking channel.
  2463. >It's a show where a bunch of cooks are thrown in the woods and have to cook what they find.
  2464. >What kind of shit is this?
  2465. >Is this what cooking is coming to?
  2466. >This is just stupid.
  2467. >20 minutes later.
  2468. >You're glued to the TV.
  2469. >Watching people essentially 'Mcguyver' their way to a halfway decent meal was pretty damn exciting to watch.
  2470. >You wonder if it's staged though.
  2471. >A lot of the situations were too convenient for each other.
  2472. >Show's over.
  2473. >Next is a baking competition.
  2474. >Sweet.
  2475. >Maybe you could get some pointers from this show about baking.
  2476. >It's just about decorating cakes.
  2477. >No tips on perfect cake or batter.
  2478. >Just decorating.
  2479. >And forced drama.
  2480. >You change the channel.
  2481. >That was actually stupider than the show before it.
  2482. >You grab for your phone again.
  2483. >'Everything OK?  I was wondering if you wanted to grab something for dinner.'
  2484. >You aimlessly channel surf for something even remotely interesting to watch.
  2485. >Nothing.
  2486. >Your phone finally beeps.
  2487. >You take a look.
  2488. >'Hey Nonny, Sorry for not responding.  Kinda going through something right now.  Nothing to worry about!  I'll be A-OK.  Ttyl!'
  2489. >She's going through something?
  2490. >She seemed to be fine last night.
  2491. >Until you dropped her off...
  2492. >Did something happen at home?
  2493. >Who would you ask?
  2494. >She seems to not want to talk about it.
  2495. >You're not going to force it out of her.
  2496. >Perhaps on the day when you drive up to Appaloosa you'll stop by Sugarcube Corner and see her.
  2497. >You continue with your day.
  2498. >You do some light shopping for stuff like shampoo, dishwasher soap, etc etc...
  2499. >Return home.
  2500. >Make a simple chicken with homemade Italian dressing for dinner.
  2501. >Ready to get back to the grind of work tomorrow.
  2502.  
  2503. >First day back at work was uneventful.
  2504. >Same routine.
  2505. >Next day you and the kitchen manager begin to implement the new menu.
  2506. >Several new dishes and some classics from previous years autumn menu.
  2507. >You finally get the info from Chase.
  2508. >You talk it over with your kitchen manager and line cooks.
  2509. >You'll pretty much be taking a day and a half off.
  2510. >The day finally comes.
  2511. >You still wake up early.
  2512. >You do your morning routine.
  2513. >You decide to stop by the Sugarcube Corner.
  2514. >It's busy.
  2515. >You walk past the window to find an older lady working the counter.
  2516. >Pale blue skin with pink swirly hair.
  2517. >You try to get in the cafe but people in line force you to stand in line.
  2518. >Assholes.
  2519. >You only wanted to ask a question.
  2520. >So you wait in line.
  2521. >You finally make it to the front counter.
  2522. >”Welcome to Sugarcube Corner! What can I get ya?”
  2523. >The older lady has a kind aura around her.
  2524. “Good morning.  I was just wondering.  Is pinkie Pie working today?”
  2525. >The woman’s demeanor goes from upbeat to frustrated.
  2526. >”Afraid not.  She's taken a few days off for some family business.  Now I don't want to be rude,  but since she's not working, we're short staffed.  So if you aren't going to order anything I may need to ask you to step aside.”
  2527. >You nod.
  2528. “I'll take a coffee to go.”
  2529. >She nods.
  2530. >Still with hints of frustration.
  2531. >”I just don't know what happened.  She called in very distraught.”
  2532. >Distraught?
  2533. >Something happened at home.
  2534. >”Thank you kindly! Please wait for the coffee over there.”
  2535. >You comply.
  2536. >Not wanting to hold up their business.
  2537. >You receive your coffee.
  2538. >You add half and half.
  2539. >And you're on your way.
  2540. >You head on the freeway to Appaloosa.
  2541. >You decide to stop by her house.
  2542. >You just want some clarification.
  2543.  
  2544. >You arrive at the Cooperfield district.
  2545. >Passing by all the nice Victorian style houses.
  2546. >They don't catch your attention this time around.
  2547. >You make it to Pinkie's house.
  2548. >Looks like nobody may be home.
  2549. >Just to be sure, you park your car on the sidewalk.
  2550. >You walk up to the front porch.
  2551. >Ring the doorbell.
  2552. >Nothing.
  2553. >You wait for a few moments.
  2554. >Still nothing.
  2555. >You're getting a bad feeling about this.
  2556. >You turn to leave in defeat when the door finally opens.
  2557. >An older woman has answered.
  2558. >Her face reminds you of Pinkie.
  2559. >Only older.
  2560. >And her face seems to show more sorrow than Pinkie's joyful.
  2561. >Her skin a light shade of gray.
  2562. >”May I help you young man?”
  2563. >You clear your throat.
  2564. “Hello, My name is Anonymous, I'm a friend of Pinkie Pie's.  Is she here at the moment?”
  2565. >Her face goes to slightly gloomy to full on depression.
  2566. >”I'm sorry young man, she is not here.”
  2567. >She tries to shut the door quickly on you.
  2568. >You stop her before she closes it fully on you.
  2569. “Wait! Can you tell me where she is?  I'm starting to get worried about her.”
  2570. >Now she has a pained look on her face.
  2571. >”I don't know,  and if I did I would be there right now!  Now please, you must leave!”
  2572. >She closes the door.
  2573. >Before she did you noticed her eyes were watering up.
  2574. >Something definitely happened last night.
  2575. >Unfortunately you can't waste any more time.
  2576. >You need to start heading to Appaloosa.
  2577. >You send one more text to Pinkie before you drive off.
  2578. >'Hey, I just went to your work and they told me you took a few days off.  I also stopped by your house and they told me they didn't know where you were.  I just want you to know that even if we only barley know each other, I am here for you.  I need to work out of town tonight but whenever you feel like talking.  Don't hesitate to call me.'
  2579. >A bit wordy for a text.
  2580. >It also sounds like you were some sort of stalker.
  2581. >Going to her work then her house.
  2582. >This is all you can do for now.
  2583. >You finally make your way to Appaloosa.
  2584.  
  2585. >The drive was long.
  2586. >But scenic.
  2587. >Lots of green hills.
  2588. >Trees.
  2589. >Lots of farm land.
  2590. >The further out of Canterlot you go,
  2591. >The more 'rustic' it all gets.
  2592. >At long last,  you make it to Appaloosa.
  2593. >It's size is nowhere near as large as Canterlot.
  2594. >Looks to be a large farming community.
  2595. >No sky scrappers.
  2596. >Very much a midwest vibe.
  2597. >You're a bit surprised a city like this would have one of Chase's high end restaurants.
  2598. >Then again.
  2599. >With all the farms nearby.
  2600. >The ingredients he must get around here must be top notch.
  2601. >You find the place.
  2602. >It even looks like an old fashioned Italian villa.
  2603. >The building looks to be made out of clay and stone.
  2604. >It probably really isn't.
  2605. >But it gives to the rustic Italian look.
  2606. >You park your car and walk up to the front door.
  2607. >It's locked.
  2608. >It's closed?
  2609. >Weird.
  2610. >You walk around over to the back room.
  2611. >And find the back door is open.
  2612. >You make your way in and find several cooks prepping.
  2613. >They all look up to see you.
  2614. >Awkward silence.
  2615. “Hey! I'm Anonymous and I'm gonna be your Sous chef tonight...”
  2616. >You introduce yourself.
  2617. >Some go back to their prep work.
  2618. >Some make small comments to each other.
  2619. >Finally someone comes up to you.
  2620. >A woman chef.
  2621. >”Ah! Hello there good sir.  You are the one Chase Palomino keep talking about!  My name is Roma and I'm the Sous Chef here!”
  2622. >Roma?
  2623. “Roma?  As in the namesake of this restaurant?”
  2624. >She laughs.
  2625. >”Oh dear, the name was just a coincidence!  This place was here before I started working here.”
  2626. >Okay then.
  2627. “How long has this place been here?”
  2628. >She takes a minute to ponder the question.
  2629. >”Um, I believe it opened up about seven years ago.  I came along and was hired as the Sous Chef three years ago.”
  2630. >So this place was newer than your restaurant.
  2631. >”How about you?  Where are you from and how long have you been working for Chase?”
  2632. >You tell her your story.
  2633. >How you started at 14 as a dish washer.
  2634. >Then got promoted to prep cook.
  2635. >Then line cook.
  2636. >Ten Kitchen Manager.
  2637. >And how now you made it to Sous Chef.
  2638. >She pats you on the back.
  2639. >”That is some serious dedication and talent you have!  Especially since you didn't even go to Culinary school!  I had to work for years after School to get where I am and you did it right off the bat!”
  2640. >You feel bashful being praised by a fellow Sous chef.
  2641. “Thanks Roma, It wasn't always an easy road,  but I kept at it.”
  2642. >She nods and shakes your shoulder.
  2643. >”Well, let me and the other chef's give you a quick rundown of this restaurant and the menu.  We just implemented a revised menu and have some new dishes to offer.”
  2644. >She tells you that they are only open for lunch and dinner and closed during the 'in-between' hours.
  2645. >You know of several restaurants that do this.
  2646. >Interesting that this one does it.
  2647. >Next she shows you the menu.
  2648. >Pretty much what you would expect from an Italian place.
  2649. >Pastas and pan seared meats.
  2650. >Some oddball recipes here and there.
  2651. >You're looking over the menu.
  2652. >Most of the dishes are in Italian.
  2653. >You see the seafood section.
  2654. >There really isn't an ocean around here so you wonder how they source their fish.
  2655. >You see a lot of calamari dishes.
  2656. >'Calamari Bagno Di Sale'
  2657. >That's a new dish they added.
  2658. >You point this one out to Roma.
  2659. “Hey Roma, what's this one?”
  2660. >She looks over at the menu.
  2661. >”Ah, that was a new addition from Chase Palomino himself!  It's Italian for Salt Bath Squid!”
  2662. >What?
  2663. >”It's actually pretty ingenious! You take some raw baby squid and some thinly sliced tomatoes and you serve them raw.  BUT, then you take a cloth with heated salt and press it over the raw ingredients and it cooks before the customers eyes!”
  2664. >No way.
  2665. “Interesting...”
  2666. >You decide to hold your tongue for the moment.
  2667. >Perhaps there's a reason for this.
  2668. “Did he say where he got the idea for this dish?
  2669. >Roma gives you an odd look.
  2670. >”No, this was a creation of his own doing.”
  2671. >You try to hold it in.
  2672. >But your face starts to show a bit of anger.
  2673. >That mother fucker.
  2674. >He just stole a recipe from one of your line cooks and is passing it off as his own.
  2675. >You're not sure how to handle this.
  2676. >It's not like recipes can be copyrighted or anything.
  2677. >But the fact that Chase is making money on someone else's idea
  2678. >And not giving due credit is a bit infuriating.
  2679. >”Is everything okay Anon?”
  2680. >Roma has now noticed your obviously mad face.
  2681. >You try to save face.
  2682. “It's nothing, It's always interesting how chefs with all that experience can come up with such innovative new techniques for recipes.”
  2683. >An excuse you had to make on the fly.
  2684. >You hope it's passable.
  2685. >You see that Roma has a more relieved look on her face.
  2686. >”I know right?  I guess we could never understand the mind of geniuses!”
  2687. >She laughs it off.
  2688. >”Well, I must head out.  You'll do wonderful here and I can't thank you enough for covering for me!  Especially for driving all the way here to do so!”
  2689. >You just nod at her.
  2690. >She tells the rest of the kitchen that you will be in charge and to ask you or the kitchen manager for anything.
  2691. >You get ready.
  2692. >You start helping prep some pasta dough.
  2693. >And get started on a tomato sauce.
  2694. >It's almost time to open for dinner.
  2695.  
  2696. >It's 5 PM.
  2697. >Considered dinner time.
  2698. >You open up.
  2699. >You get a few customers.
  2700. >Seems like it's still too early.
  2701. >But its good practice to make some of these dishes.
  2702. >The first dish you attempt to make is a risotto.
  2703. >You add Italian rice and some onion into a pan.
  2704. >Let that cook until the rice starts to break down.
  2705. >Add a 'generous' amount of white wine.
  2706. >Much like how in french cooking how they use a lot of red wine.
  2707. >Italians love using white wine.
  2708. >Let the white wine evaporate and then add fish stock.
  2709. >Which was prepared earlier today before you got there.
  2710. >It was actually a good fish stock from what you tasted.
  2711. >Cook for about 12 minutes.
  2712. >Add in a quarter stick of butter.
  2713. >Let it dissolve and the rice is done.
  2714. >Once the risotto is done you begin to gather sea food.
  2715. >Two different variations of prawns.
  2716. >Small octopus bits.
  2717. >Scampi tails.
  2718. >Mussels.
  2719. >and some clams.
  2720. >Add that all in some fish stock and let it slightly cook.
  2721. >You garnish a place with bread crumbs and diced olives
  2722. >You neatly arrange the cooked seafood on and around the plate.
  2723. >You take some mussel shells that were made out of bread that was baked with squid ink.
  2724. >a technique you learned as well.
  2725. >Finally you add the risotto on top of all that.
  2726. >Done.
  2727. >The night moves on.
  2728. >You get several orders for the salt bath squid.
  2729. >It seems to be a hit with the people.
  2730. >Again you're happy.
  2731. >But also mad as hell.
  2732. >How would you confront Chase about this?
  2733. >Like you said before.
  2734. >It's not like cooking recipes are copyrighted.
  2735. >He did tell you to give your chef a raise.
  2736. >Maybe you'll give him another raise just to spite Chase.
  2737. >You'll let your chef know what happened of course.
  2738. >If he doesn't care, then you wont care as much.
  2739. >Still.
  2740. >Is this that 'cutthroat' lifestyle to cooking and chefs?
  2741. >Do they steal their own ideas behind their backs?
  2742. >Something you don't want to think about right now.
  2743. >There seems to be an abundance of complaints coming in.
  2744. >Mostly for the littlest of things like the food not being arranged right on the plate.
  2745. >To the restaurant being too hot.
  2746. >Who the hell complains about that?
  2747. >Even the snobby customers you get at your restaurant don't go out their way for that.
  2748. >At least this got your mind off of Pinkie Pie for a minute.
  2749. >And then you're thinking about her again.
  2750. >You wonder if she's alright.
  2751. >Who she's staying with.
  2752. >Again, you try not to dwell too much right now.
  2753. >You just want to get this day over with.
  2754. >And before you know it.
  2755. >It's over.
  2756. >Just like that.
  2757. >You kinda like the only open during peak dining hours.
  2758. >You try your routine of everyone having a toast of red wine.
  2759. >People seemed to like that.
  2760. >You help clean up.
  2761. >Another good thing about covering up here is apparently you don't have to do any paperwork.
  2762. >So once the kitchen is clean, you got to leave.
  2763. >You missed that privilege from when you were a line chef.
  2764. >You chat with a few of the other line chefs who were hanging around.
  2765. >They all seemed interested in you and your job over in Canterlot.
  2766. >A lot of them were locals and hadn't really left the area all too much.
  2767. >You told them it was pretty much the same.
  2768. >Except that your restaurant was open all day.
  2769. >Most of them were in awe over that.
  2770. >You finally make your leave.
  2771. >At least Chase had the decency to get you a hotel room for the night.
  2772. >It's actually a nice hotel.
  2773. >Nothing too fancy.
  2774. >But nice.
  2775. >You make it to your room.
  2776. >And shower.
  2777. >The shower is an overhead shower.
  2778. >Holy fuck does that make all the difference.
  2779. >You feel relaxed.
  2780. >You lay in your bed.
  2781. >You stare at your phone for a bit.
  2782. >You wonder if you should text or call Pinkie.
  2783. >She was very vague with her texts before.
  2784. >You're still not sure if she would even welcome a call or not.
  2785. >Fuck it.
  2786. >You find her name in your phone.
  2787. >And press dial.
  2788. >It rings.
  2789. >You wait.
  2790. >”Hello!?~”
  2791. >She either cheered up from last night quickly.
  2792. >Or this is her voicemail.
  2793. >You say nothing.
  2794. >”Hello?”
  2795. >You still say nothing.
  2796. >You give it a few more seconds.
  2797. >”Who?”
  2798. >Yeah, it's her voicemail.
  2799. >You let the rest of it play out.
  2800. >You hear the beep.
  2801. “Hey Pinkie, it's Anon.  I just wanted to call because I was still thinking about earlier.  How I went over to your house.  I just want to make sure you were alright.  I'm in Appaloosa right now for work.  Just... I don't know.  Just call me if you need anything...”
  2802. >You hang up.
  2803. >You press the phone to your forehead as you just lay in bed.
  2804. >Blankly staring at the ceiling.
  2805. >You may as well call it a night.
  2806.  
  2807. >You are Pinkie Pie.
  2808. >And you're laying down on Rarity's couch.
  2809. >She was generous enough to house you for the time being.
  2810. >You won't stay too long.
  2811. >You hope.
  2812. >Everything is just a mess right now.
  2813. >Both Maud and Limestone have been texting and calling you like crazy today.
  2814. >Maud you can understand.
  2815. >She was the sister who always loved you and stood up for you to the family.
  2816. >Marble loved you too.
  2817. >But she was too meek to ever stand up for anyone.
  2818. >Even herself.
  2819. >You love her to death.
  2820. >But she needs to be more confident.
  2821. >But Limestone,
  2822. >Her texting you if you were alright and even supporting you made you feel good.
  2823. >She was almost as hard on you as your father.
  2824. >She took to the family business the most.
  2825. >So her support in this was really needed.
  2826. >And mom.
  2827. >Well, mom really isn't into technology.
  2828. >She has no cell phone of her own.
  2829. >But she always loved and was warm to you.
  2830. >Even Anon reached out to you.
  2831. >And he doesn't even know what had happened.
  2832. >He had texted earlier saying he went by your work and even home to check up on you.
  2833. >Which was cute.
  2834. >If not a bit creepy.
  2835. >But he didn't give off a creeper vibe.
  2836. >So you assume it's all coming from the right place.
  2837. >You did take a few days off work.
  2838. >You don't want to show up for work with a bruise on your face.
  2839. >You're not scheduled to bake this week.
  2840. >So no overnight hours either.
  2841. >You did tell your bosses you were having some issues.
  2842. >They weren't too happy, but they understood at least.
  2843. >So here you are.
  2844. >Unsure where to go from here.
  2845. >You're hoping your father comes to his senses.
  2846. >But you don't want to be a burden to any of your friends.
  2847. >Your phone rings.
  2848. >It's Anon.
  2849. >You want to answer.
  2850. >But again.
  2851. >You don't want to feel like you are going to drag him into this mess.
  2852. >You let it go to voicemail.
  2853. >You smile as you think of Anon having to hear your message.
  2854. >It seemed to have fool him last time.
  2855. >You giggle a bit now.
  2856. >The phone chimes that it has received a voicemail.
  2857. >You listen to it.
  2858. >”Hey Pinkie, it's Anon.  I just wanted to call because I was still thinking about earlier.  How I went over to your house.  I just want to make sure you were alright.  I'm in Appaloosa right now for work.  Just... I don't know.  Just call me if you need anything...”
  2859. >He sounds so defeated.
  2860. >And tired.
  2861. >Sounds like it could have been a long day.
  2862. >Wait.
  2863. >Appaloosa?
  2864. >That's a long way from Canterlot.
  2865. >Did he drive all the way there?
  2866. >Wow, wonder why he went all the way out there for work?
  2867. >Either way.
  2868. >You're not sure how to approach him about this.
  2869. >He's a busy guy.
  2870. >So you won't have to see him until next week really.
  2871. >But he seems adamant that he at least wants to hear from you.
  2872. >What do you say?
  2873. >'Hey Nonny!  I'm REALLY sorry I've been quiet all this time...'
  2874. >Is what you have right now.
  2875. >You sigh deeply.
  2876. >'Perhaps we can talk on your day off!  Until then I will try to settle this a bit.  Thanks for understanding! XoXo~'
  2877. >You hit send.
  2878. >Did you just send him 'xoxo'?
  2879. >You did.
  2880. >Are you two even an item?
  2881. >Will he understand it?
  2882. >Arrgh, more menial things to worry about!
  2883. >You set your phone aside.
  2884. >”Is everything alright hon?”
  2885. >Rarity makes her way into her living room.
  2886. >Which was your designated room for the time being.
  2887. >You sit up.
  2888. >You notice she is wearing a lavender night gown.
  2889. >Her hair all tied up in a towel over her head.
  2890. >And try to unsuccessfully straighten your messy hair.
  2891. “Hey Rares!  What's up?”
  2892. >Rarity come over and takes a seat next to you.
  2893. >”I just want to see how you were doing.”
  2894. >She wraps her arm around your shoulders.
  2895. >”I can't say I know what you are going through,  and quite frankly, I don't want to know.”
  2896. >Her grip on you tightens.
  2897. >”I couldn't imagine any father laying their hands on their fully grown daughter!  It's a despicable!”
  2898. >That's nice of Rarity.
  2899. >You lean into her a bit.
  2900. “I'm doing okay.  I'm still a bit shaken up, but.”
  2901. >You reflect back on it.
  2902. >You start to tear up a bit.
  2903. “Rarity, did I mess up?”
  2904. >Rarity pulls her head back in confusion.
  2905. >”I beg your pardon!?”
  2906. >She almost seems offended.
  2907. “I mean, did I do something wrong? Was I not supposed to talk back to my father?”
  2908. >The tears are coming out now.
  2909. “I never wanted it to go this far.  I thought if I'd work hard at my job like they do for their work,  they'd acknowledge me and my efforts and accept me.  But, it seems like simply because I chose not to work with the family now they're as cruel as ever.”
  2910. >You sink your face into her chest.
  2911. “I just wanted to make them smile.”
  2912. >Rarity hold you tight.
  2913. >”I want you to listen to me Darling.”
  2914. >She pulls you out to arms length.
  2915. >”You did NOTHING wrong!  You are your own person and nobody has any right to tell you otherwise!  Not friends, not co-workers, and especially not family!”
  2916. >She has a stern look on her face.
  2917. >”I understand you love to make others happy, but please, you MUST consider your own happiness before anyone elses!”
  2918. >You wipe tears from your eyes.
  2919. “I know, and that's why I'm still a baker. But-”
  2920. >Rarity cuts you off.
  2921. >”But nothing.  If your family can't accept that you are not like them, then are they really 'family'?”
  2922. “Yes?”
  2923. >Rarity rolls her eyes.
  2924. >”You know what I mean!”
  2925. >You take a deep breath.
  2926. >Rarity then pats you on the shoulder.
  2927. >”You are more than welcome to stay here as long as you like!”
  2928. >You are a little more at ease.
  2929. “Thanks Rares, I really appreciate it.”
  2930. >Rarity seems to be satisfied with you response.
  2931. >She smiles and gets up from her seat.
  2932. >”Think nothing of it dear!  Now, I must get some sleep.”
  2933. >You nod.
  2934. >She begins to leave to her room.
  2935. >But before she makes her exit, she turns back to you.
  2936. >”Perhaps you should spend some time with that fine gentleman you were with last night?  Maybe another night of passion is what you need to knock you out of your funk.”
  2937. >You chuckle at her response.
  2938. “We didn't do anything last night but dance and kissed once!”
  2939. >She leans on her door sill with a smug look on her face.
  2940. >:Well it wouldn't hurt to take it to that level.  I have some lingerie you can borrow that would do the trick!  Just, you know, wash it before you return it.”
  2941. >You flop back down on the couch.
  2942. “Good night Rarity!”
  2943. >She shrugs her shoulders.
  2944. >”The offer is still there~”
  2945. >She closes the door.
  2946. >Leaving you to your thoughts.
  2947. >You finally look back to your phone.
  2948. >Perhaps you'll wait a day before finally texting him back.
  2949. >Knowing him once he sees your text he'll respond quickly.
  2950. >That thought puts another smile on your face.
  2951.  
  2952. >It's morning.
  2953. >Be Anon.
  2954. >You roll around on the hotel bed.
  2955. >it's bigger than the bed you have at home.
  2956. >But your bed is more comfy.
  2957. >Or it could just be you're more used to the one you have.
  2958. >The sunlight from the rising sun is what wakes you up.
  2959. >You look over at the clock on the night stand.
  2960. >6:24 AM.
  2961. >You're not due back at Fluer De Pone today regardless.
  2962. >Maybe you should wander around Appaloosa for a few hours.
  2963. >Why not?
  2964. >You make yourself comfortable again and sleep in some more.
  2965. >At least you try to.
  2966. >It's only good for about an extra ten minutes.
  2967. >Then you're just awake.
  2968. >Ah well.
  2969. >You turn on the TV and put on some local news.
  2970. >You then grab for your phone.
  2971. >You notice you have a message.
  2972. >Did that come in from last night?
  2973. >You check it out.
  2974. >It's from Pinkie Pie.
  2975. >' Hey Nonny!  I'm REALLY sorry I've been quiet all this time. Perhaps we can talk on your day off!  Until then I will try to settle this a bit.  Thanks for understanding! XoXo~'
  2976. >xoxo?
  2977. >People still use that?
  2978. >And you thought you were out of the loop.
  2979. >But it looks like she is putting this off until she sees you on your next day off.
  2980. >You really have no choice but to let her have her space.
  2981. >You sigh and lay back down.
  2982. >The newscasters on TV talking about some festival that was coming up.
  2983. >But it all sounds like white noise to you.
  2984. >You didn't really care.
  2985. >You decide to get up from the bed a second time.
  2986. >And take another shower.
  2987. >Because overhead shower.
  2988. >By god, if you ever buy a house you are getting one of these installed.
  2989. >You take your time and just let the water fall on you.
  2990. >Feeling pretty good, you finally get out.
  2991. >You dry up.
  2992. >Get dressed.
  2993. >And finally check out of the hotel.
  2994.  
  2995. >You get into your car.
  2996. >And aimlessly drive around Appaloosa.
  2997. >Looking for a condensed area of people that would resemble a downtown.
  2998. >you finally find one after twenty minutes of driving.
  2999. >You find a public parking lot and park.
  3000. >You walk around the town.
  3001. >lots of cowboy hats and flannel shirts.
  3002. >Everybody talks like AppleJack.
  3003. >You start to feel out of place.
  3004. >Being the 'City boy' you are.
  3005. >Most of the shops are just  boot shops.
  3006. >Country living.
  3007. >A blacksmith?
  3008. >Those are still necessary these days?
  3009. >You shake your head.
  3010. >You're about to turn back when a smell catches your attention.
  3011. >Smoke.
  3012. >Cumin.
  3013. >Garlic.
  3014. >Pork?
  3015. >You follow the smell to a huge opening behind a building.
  3016. >There you see a large black... oven?
  3017. >Is this an oven?
  3018. >There is a lot of smoke coming out of a tube above the large container.
  3019. >Looks like it's made of iron.
  3020. >You get closer.
  3021. >it's definitely an oven.
  3022. >it's giving off a lot of heat.
  3023. >Is there meat being cooked in them?
  3024. >You reach to open it's door.
  3025. >”Hey you! Get yer stinkin paws away from mah smoker!  Or Ah'm a fixin ta send ya six fee under!”
  3026. >You jump at this new voice yelling you.
  3027. >You quickly turn to see a male, roughly around his late 30's
  3028. >Dirty blonde flowing hair draping from his cowboy hat.
  3029. >Wearing a brown leather vest with a black t shirt underneath.
  3030. >And he doesn't look to happy.
  3031. >In fact He's storming his way towards you with a baseball bat.
  3032. “Wait wait!  I'm sorry!  I didn't know this was private property!  I just wanted to know what this fantastic smell was!  I'm an out of towner!  Don't make me squeal like a pig!!”
  3033. >You take a few steps back with your arms in front of you in the hope they could do something.
  3034. >Yelling and begging for forgiveness.
  3035. >Though you just realized making the 'squeal like a pig' reference may not have been the best thing to yell.
  3036. >You take a few more steps back and bump into the large smoker
  3037. >And feel all the heat sear you for a quick second.
  3038. >You jump forward and squat down in a panic.
  3039. “AHH FUCK!! I'm sorry!”
  3040. >You stay in this position waiting for any kind of punishment.
  3041. >But nothing comes.
  3042. >You finally gather enough courage to look and see why there was no angry hick beating you.
  3043. >The person who was charging you was just standing a few feet from you
  3044. >With an almost amused look on his face.
  3045. >He starts to chuckle.
  3046. >”Hah, ya city slickers are a jumpy bunch!”
  3047. >He places his bat over his shoulder.
  3048. >He comes closer and extends his hand out to you.
  3049. >You hesitate, but finally take his had and he helps you back to your feet.
  3050. “Uh, I'm sorry,  I didn't know this was private property.”
  3051. >He waves you off.
  3052. >”Nah, ah understand, ya out'a towners always find yer way ta mah Barbecue pit here.  There's no fences so most can't tell whos who or whats what.”
  3053. >He points to the massive iron container behind you.
  3054. >”Mosta the time it's some damn thieves tryin ta steal mah meat fer mah restaurant.”
  3055. >Restaurant?
  3056. >You look back at the large container.
  3057. >Then back to the gentleman.
  3058. “You're a chef for a restaurant?”
  3059. >He looks a bit proud of himself.
  3060. >”Ah wouldn't really call mahself a chef.  Chefs make all dem fancy meals.  Ah'd rather call mahself a  pitmaster.”
  3061. >You've seen a bunch of these on TV
  3062. >Barbecue.
  3063. >Slow cooking over smoke.
  3064. >But being in Canterlot any barbecue spot is almost nonexistent.
  3065. >You chuckle.
  3066. “I'm actually a chef myself.”
  3067. >The guys is now eying you.
  3068. >”What brings ya ta ol' Appaloosa?”
  3069. >You wave your hands at him again.
  3070. “I'm originally from Canterlot,  I came here to work for my boss at his new restaurant Mona Roma.”
  3071. >He's still eying you.
  3072. >”Canterlot's a mighty distance away from here... And just ta cook fer that fancy shmancy Italian joint?”
  3073. >You almost want to laugh at his pronunciation of 'Italian' where over enunciates the 'I'.
  3074. >But you now know better.
  3075. “It's a bit foolish I know,  but the money was worth the long drive.  I was looking around here for something to do when I smelled garlic, Cayenne pepper, seasoned salt and pork so I wanted to find the source.”
  3076. >He stopped eying you and puts his bat down.
  3077. >”Ya got all the by just smellin the smoke?”
  3078. >You nod.
  3079. >”Not bad City slicker, them are spices ah use fer mah spice rub for mah pulled pork.  Got several pounds in there slow cookin fer dinner later.”
  3080. >He walks past you to his large smoker.
  3081. >He motions you to follow him.
  3082. >You stay close behind.
  3083. >He then takes a mitten he had on the side of the smoker and opens the iron door.
  3084. >There he reveals to you several layers of racks with large portions of pork shoulder.
  3085. >They were currently a dark hue of red with some charring.
  3086. >The overwhelming smell makes your mouth water.
  3087. >You close your eyes and take a deep breath.
  3088. >The guy laughs and closes the door again.
  3089. >”Ah take it ya like that.”
  3090. >You simply nod.
  3091. >”Well, ah hate ta be rude, but the meat ain't done til dinner time.  Which is when we open up as well.”
  3092. >He then scratches the back of his head,
  3093. >”Ah shoot, speakin of rude, where are mah manners?  Mah name's Braeburn!”
  3094. >He extends his hand out to you.
  3095. >You take it and give it a shake.
  3096. “Pleasure to meet you, My name is Anon.”
  3097. >He tips his cowboy hat.
  3098. >”Pleasure's all mine.”
  3099. >After the introductions you look back at the smoker.
  3100. “When do you open up for dinner?”
  3101. >Braeburn stands besides you.
  3102. >”round 5 PM.”
  3103. >You've got some time to kill.
  3104. >You're not sure what to do until then.
  3105. >Braeburn looks back at you.
  3106. >”Say, this may be a dumb question.  But ya say yer a chef, right?”
  3107. >You nod yes.
  3108. >”Do ya happen ta cook with apples?”
  3109. >Apples?
  3110. >What does that have to do with anything?
  3111. “Uh, I'm starting to for the new autumn season, why you ask?”
  3112. >He readjusts his hat.
  3113. >”Where do ya get yer apples from?”
  3114. >You raise an eyebrow and stare at him.
  3115. “The restaurant I work for has a deal with a local farm named Sweet Apple Acres.”
  3116. >He starts to look excited.
  3117. >”Do ya happen ta know Big Mac or AppleJack?”
  3118. >You look a bit surprised.
  3119. “Ah yeah, Mac is a good dude, he usually delivers my apples to us.  I just met AppleJack the other day when Mac was sick.  Sweet girl.”
  3120. >Braeburn then slaps you on your shoulder.
  3121. >He then lets out a yell.
  3122. >”Yeaahah! Them's my cousins!”
  3123. >He then takes his arm and wraps it over your shoulders and pulls you close.
  3124. “I-Is that so?”
  3125. >You're getting a bit worried at his now overfriendly demeanor.
  3126. >”Anybody whose good pals with ol' Mac and AJ are as good as family ta me!  Come on in and ah'll show ya the rest of mah cookin'”
  3127. >He then pulls you towards the large building with more smoke coming from the roof.
  3128. >You shrug.
  3129. >At least it'll be a time killer.
  3130.  
  3131. >Braeburn leads you into his kitchen.
  3132. >There is a single old man who is mixing a large pot of sauce.
  3133. >He looks over to you and Braeburn.
  3134. >A hint of confusion looms on his face.
  3135. >Or perhaps that's how he always looks.
  3136. >”o'a'ell' es'is Braeburn?”
  3137. >You did not catch any of that except for Braeburns name.
  3138. >His voice was crackly.
  3139. >Like some crazy old hick you'd find in the backwoods of some rural... nevermind.
  3140. >”Daw, this here is Anon! He's a friend a Big Mac and AppleJack.”
  3141. >Braeburn tells the old man as he pats you on the back again.
  3142. >The old man's face goes from confused to happy-confused.
  3143. >”Ahh! His'guy'kno'a Mac'n'AJ? Well'at'esgoo'wi'meh!”
  3144. >He extends his hand to shake yours.
  3145. >You hesitate for a moment. But finally take his offer.
  3146. >He vigorously shakes it.
  3147. >”Ere'ya'go! Gooman! Dis'ereare'ma'boy'an'mah'qin!”
  3148.  >He goes back to his duty.
  3149. >”That there is mah pappy.  He taught me everything ah know about cuein!”
  3150. >You're rubbing your hand.
  3151. >Man he has a grip on him.
  3152. “Still seems pretty damn spry for his age.”
  3153.  >Braeburn nods in agreement.
  3154. >”He sure is! Right now he's makin our Apple family BBQ sauce!”
  3155. >You nod.
  3156. “I assume there is some sort of apple ingredient in it?  Like apple cider vinegar or applesauce?”
  3157. >The old man laughes.
  3158. >”Ahr'eh'es'a'smarass'dat'he's!”
  3159. >Again, didn't catch any of that.
  3160. >Braeburn laughs with the old man.
  3161. >”Well Mr. Fancy chef let's see what ya got!”
  3162. >he grabs a spoon and takes a dip in the sauce and give it to you.
  3163. >You give it a taste.
  3164. >You let it sit on your tongue for a moment to see if you can make out single ingredients.
  3165. >You smack your lips.
  3166. “Let's see, brown sugar, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, Dijon mustard, garlic, be it minced or powder, but there is garlic in here, granulated onion-”
  3167. >You would have continued if the old man hadn't startled you with his yelling again.
  3168. >”Gotdam'Egoo!”
  3169. >Braeburn starts shouting as well.
  3170. >”HooE! That's good Anon! Ah better keep an eye on ya, yea might steal our recipes!”
  3171. >You chuckle and cross your arms.
  3172. “I had a lot of hands on experience with cooking for years.  As I am sure it's the same as yourself.”
  3173. >Braeburn tips his hat.
  3174. >Which he is still wearing in this kitchen.
  3175. >”Yessir!”
  3176. >He finally leads you to another large iron door.
  3177. >You can once again feel the heat in this part of the room.
  3178. >”This here is another one'a our smokers.  In here we got some chicken and some tri-tip cookin.”
  3179. >He opens the door and yet again,  an overwhelmingly strong smell of smoke and spices flood out.
  3180. >”Fer the chicken we're usin a wet rub, an the tri-tip also has a dry rub like the pork out back.”
  3181. >Rows of whole chickens with a caramelized color to them.
  3182. >Next to the chickens are the racks of tri-tip getting their slow cooked color.
  3183. >Braeburn then closes the door.
  3184. >”Now lemme show some other stuff we got cookin'”
  3185. >He takes you over ht other fridge.
  3186. >There are containers of some pork and chicken that are marinating in more spices and juices.
  3187. >He explains how some of them have been marinating for several days.
  3188. >You then both start talking about which spices and ingredients to use for other cooking methods.
  3189. >You gains some priceless knowledge on smoking and slow cooking that doesn't involve a a slow cooker or a corckpot..
  3190. >During your discussions, a few more people come in.
  3191. >They are Braeburn's prep cooks.
  3192. >They start cutting and cooking vegetables and starting on making the more quicker dishes.
  3193. >One starts slow cooking beans and adds some leftover pork bits from the other day to make pork'n beans.
  3194. >You stand back and watch everyone at work.
  3195. >It's funny how it's all different but also the same.
  3196. >You now have an urge to go in and help with whatever you can.
  3197. >But decide it's best to leave it to them.
  3198. >You know you wouldn't want some new face just waltzing into your kitchen and dictating what to do.
  3199. >It's almost dinner time.
  3200. >More staff reports in.
  3201. >Waiters.
  3202. >Bus boys.
  3203. >They get the dining hall set up and ready to go.
  3204. >You look outside and there is a crowd of people waiting to come in.
  3205. >Impressive.
  3206. >Braeburn comes up next to you.
  3207. >”Yeahp! Looks like a good haul tonight!”
  3208. >He then takes a 'reserved tag and places it on a stool up front.
  3209. >”Hope ya don mind if ya hafta eat up here!”
  3210. >You shake your head.
  3211. “I'm not picky.  Thank you for your hospitality.”
  3212. >”Don't mention it pal.”
  3213. >He makes his way back to the kitchen.
  3214. >You then smell the meat again.
  3215. >You make your way back into the their kitchen.
  3216. >They have pulled all the pork, chicken and tri-tips from the smokers.
  3217. >Chickens are being deboned.
  3218. >tri-tips being sliced thin.
  3219. >Pork getting pulled apart.
  3220. >It's like some southern tier food porn.
  3221. >Smells of all the varieties of meats and sauces are making you starving.
  3222. >Finally, 5 PM rolls around.
  3223. >The doors are unlocked.
  3224. >The staff starts seating patrons and the place fills up quick.
  3225. >You then take your assigned seat at the front of the room at the bar.
  3226. >The waitress comes up to you.
  3227. >You both say your pleasantries and just continue on.
  3228. >She brings you a soda.
  3229. >After a few minutes, Braeburn comes out with a platter and sets it in front of you.
  3230. >It's pretty much a sample of every meat that have to offer tonight.
  3231. >A small cup of Pork'n Beans and Mac'n Cheese and coleslaw.
  3232. >”The 'Chef's' special sampler!  On the house pardner!”
  3233. >He give you a wink and makes his way back into the kitchen.
  3234. >Holy fuck this was a lot of food.
  3235. >and it's free?
  3236. >You feel bad.
  3237. >You take a bite of the chicken drumstick he gave you.
  3238. >It was amazing.
  3239. >The meat was so tender it damn near fell off the bone.
  3240. >The pulled pork?
  3241. >Sweet and savory.
  3242. >The tri-tip still kept a lot of it's juices.
  3243. >All of it.
  3244. >It was damn good.
  3245. >The Mac'n Cheese was good.
  3246. >Not great.
  3247. >You've had better but that doesn't mean this wasn't good.
  3248. >Pork'n Beans were on point though.
  3249. >It was a lot of food.
  3250. >You couldn't finish it all.
  3251. >That's barbecue for you.
  3252. >Heavy hitting flavorful chunks of smoked goodness.
  3253. >You just sit there.
  3254. >As satisfied as you are.
  3255. >Braeburn comes out to check up on you.
  3256. >”How ya doin?”
  3257. >With a satisfied smile on your face.
  3258. >You give him a thumbs up.
  3259. >Braeburn gives out another holler.
  3260. >Which luckily falls on deaf ears and over the now bustling restaurant.
  3261. >”Well glad to hear it.  But I gotta get back ta cookin!”
  3262. >You nod.
  3263. “I understand.  I honestly better get going myself as I have a long drive ahead of me.”
  3264. >Braeburn nods.
  3265. >”Well it was a pleasure meetin ya, 'Chef Anon'!”
  3266. >He mocks with a smile.
  3267. >Let me box up that food fer ya and ya can be on yer way!”
  3268. >He does so and hands it back to you.
  3269. “Thank you so much again for your hospitality!”
  3270. >You shake his hand and bow for extra polite points.
  3271. >Braeburn just waves you off.
  3272. >”Aww shucks don't mention it pal!  Make sure when ya see ol' Mac again tell'em Braeburn said hello!”
  3273. >You nod.
  3274. “I will.”
  3275. >you walk out of the place and see there is a large crowd waiting outside.
  3276. >Well worth the wait you say.
  3277. >You make your way back to your car.
  3278. >Time to head back to Canterlot.
  3279.  
  3280. >The drive back to Canterlot isn't as long as the drive to Appaloosa.
  3281. >You barley make it back by 11 PM.
  3282. >Gotta get to bed.
  3283. >Back to the grind tomorrow.
  3284. >The next day comes around.
  3285. >You wake up.
  3286. >You do your morning routine.
  3287. >And make your way to work.
  3288. >Looks like the place still hasn't burned down to the ground.
  3289. >Which is always good.
  3290. >It just so happens to also be the day you get your apple delivery.
  3291. >Big Mac is back to his normal duties.
  3292. >You tell him of your journey to Appaloosa and your meeting with Braeburn.
  3293. >Mac gives a hefty laugh.
  3294. >He usually doesn't show much emotion so it was nice to see him react to something.
  3295. >You talk for a bit about him.
  3296. >Then he leaves for the rest of his day.
  3297. >You start prepping as well.
  3298. >You have a small meeting with your kitchen staff.
  3299. >Today was the day you start the new Autumn menu.
  3300. >You give a crash course on some of the new dishes.
  3301. >Afterwords you pull your line chef to the side.
  3302. >You tell him about how you discovered that Chase Palomino essentially took his idea for salt bath squid and made it his own and was offering it at another restaurant.
  3303. >He seems a bit upset but also seems fine with it.
  3304. >He was still getting a raise for his efforts.
  3305. >But he says it would have been nice to have been told he was going to do it.
  3306. >Perhaps you'll still have a talk with Chase.
  3307.  
  3308. >The lunch hour didn't seem too busy today.
  3309. >Which was mostly fine.
  3310. >Some preps were just lounging around due to it not being busy though.
  3311. >You tell them to go help the dishwasher if they have so little to do or even clean their areas.
  3312. >You decide to get a head start for tomorrow's day and start to make some beef stock for the consomme.
  3313. >The day rolls on.
  3314. >Once dinner rolls around things pick up.
  3315. >In a big way.
  3316. >Seems you are busier than normal.
  3317. >Yeah.
  3318. >Watching your prep cooks and line chefs sweat and whine and run around the kitchen.
  3319. >Just mere hours ago they were all sitting around.
  3320. >it always brought a smile on your face when this happens.
  3321. >Especially since some of your guys haven been through this but still never learn their lessons.
  3322. >Things are moving at a comfortable pace for you though.
  3323. >You get some orders for your bird's nest pasta.
  3324. >Which is always encouraging to know your ideas are at least looked at.
  3325. >You again to feel a bit bad about your line chef though.
  3326. >As the night moves on and the rush dies down.
  3327. >You make your way to the back office and shut the door.
  3328. >You pick up your phone and give Chase Palomino a call.
  3329. >The phone rings.
  3330. >”Hello?”
  3331. >He picks up.
  3332. “Hey Chase, it's Anon.  How are you?”
  3333. >”Anon my boy!  How are you!?”
  3334. >His usual cheerful demeanor comes across the phone.
  3335. >”How was your time in Appaloosa? Did everything go well?”
  3336. >You rock yourself in the office chair and nod to yourself.
  3337. “Yeah, everything went pretty smoothly.  Very nice establishment you have there.”
  3338. >You pause for a second.
  3339. “Lots of amazing dishes and honestly quite adventurous to put an Italian restaurant in the middle of the backwoods.”
  3340. >Chase begins to laugh.
  3341. >”Ahh, people thought I was crazy!  But I knew there was untapped potential in the area!”
  3342. >Yes, untapped potential.
  3343. “Yes, it is nice.  But...”
  3344. >You take a deep breath.
  3345. “There is something that slightly bothered me about it than I just wanted to talk to you about.”
  3346. >You stop rocking in your chair and wait to see if he answers.
  3347. >”What seems to be the problem my friend?”
  3348. >Well, he asked.
  3349. >You clear your throat.
  3350. “So, it looked like you had started your new menu over there.  And I couldn't help but notice a dish that was on the menu.”
  3351. >You pause.
  3352. >He doesn't respond.
  3353. >So you continue.
  3354. “I have to admit I'm a little flabbergasted that I found one of my chef's idea's on your menu without at least consulting him about it. I've already talked to him abou-”
  3355. >You were cut off.
  3356. >”Now now Anon, he's technically My line chef.  I'm still the boss here.”
  3357. >He's right.
  3358. >He didn't hire him, but he's right.
  3359. >You hold your tongue.
  3360. “Be that as it may, Don't you think it's in bad taste to be taking someone elses recipe and passing it as your own?”
  3361. >There was a hint of venom in your tone that Chase seemed to have caught.
  3362. >”Don't give me that tone, my boy.  Don't tell me you have a problem with this!”
  3363. >Tread carefully here.
  3364. >You don't feel like losing your job now.
  3365. “I mean, I kind of do.  At the very least you could have said the dish was created within 'your culinary empire' or something like that.”
  3366. >Chase begins to laugh.
  3367. >Which is starting to get on your nerves.
  3368. >”My boy, I like you, I really do.  So I'm going to give you a piece of advice.  In this business, reputation is everything.  And it's now what you know,  it's WHO you know!”
  3369. >You sit up from the chair.
  3370. “I'm sorry sir, was that some sort of threat?”
  3371. >”What?  No!  I am merely telling you that connections are everything to raise up in this business.  Whether you comply or not is all up to you.  Things like this happen all the time and chefs can be made or broken.  Good chefs too.  Why, when I was coming up as a young chef my boss took dish ideas from me like they were candy!  Besides, you gave him the raise right?”
  3372. >You just put your face into your free palm.
  3373. “I did, but that's not th-”
  3374. >Chase cuts you off again.
  3375. >”Then there is no problem, he is being paid for his efforts and I now consider this matter closed!  Now if you'll excuse me, I need to close up where I'm at.  I assume you would be doing the same.”
  3376. >You shake your head in your palm.
  3377. >Not knowing what else to say.
  3378. “Whatever, I mean I-”
  3379. >Once again he cuts you off.
  3380. >”You have a good night!”
  3381. >He hangs up.
  3382. >you lightly toss your phone onto the desk.
  3383. >You have just seen a side of the restauranteur business you probably wished you'd never seen.
  3384. >You lean back into the desk chair.
  3385. >You run your hands over your face.
  3386. >Pulling with each stroke of frustration
  3387. >You're at a bit of a loss.
  3388. >You simply go into autopilot mode and begin to close up shop.
  3389. >You don't have a post dinner meeting.
  3390. >You just clean up.
  3391. >Do your paperwork.
  3392. >Lock up.
  3393. >And drive home.
  3394. >You get in the shower.
  3395. >After your pampering of an overhead shower this feels neither relaxing or good.
  3396. >You watch some TV for the few minutes you are still up.
  3397. >Watching cooking shows on the cooking channel.
  3398. >All these TV chefs.
  3399. >You wonder if they had to do through this kind of bullshit?
  3400. >You wonder if you still want to go through with this.
  3401. >You turn off the TV and let sleep take over.
  3402.  
  3403. >You are Pinkie Pie.
  3404. >It's been a stress free few days.
  3405. >Your sister,  Limestone, actually stopped by and brought you some clothes.
  3406. >She tells you they are still working to calm down father so he would welcome her back.
  3407. >Until then, he was out of town with Maud.
  3408. >She was finally getting promoted to head her own Mining site.
  3409. >You were proud of her.
  3410. >You knew she loved being in the depths of those mines.
  3411. >But you guess she felt it time to move on and up in the family business.
  3412. >Family...
  3413. >It still hurts to think about.
  3414. >At least your sisters are still supportive of you.
  3415. >You even got an outpour of love and support from all your friends.
  3416. >Which was a much needed boost to your emotional state.
  3417. >Which is good because you had to return to work.
  3418. >Your alarm goes of on the coffee table that was placed next to your makeshift bed.
  3419. >Which was Rarity's couch.
  3420. >It was a pretty comfy couch as well.
  3421. >You slowly got up.
  3422. >The apartment was empty.
  3423. >Rarity had already gone on with her day.
  3424. >You wonder if she is starting to get annoyed with seeing you sleep whilst she is leaving for work.
  3425. >Rarity isn't like that.
  3426. >But it's still a bit difficult to shake off those negative thoughts.
  3427. >Regardless, you make your way to the shower.
  3428. >Once out you stare at yourself in the mirror.
  3429. >The bruise on your face is almost completely faded away.
  3430. >Which is also good so you won't have to explain in detail to your boss.
  3431. >You're working the closing shift today.
  3432. >Sugarcube Corner closes relatively early than most places.
  3433. >Due to it being mostly a coffee shop and bakery.
  3434. >You get dressed and head out the door.
  3435. >It's a quick drive to work.
  3436. >Mid day traffic isn't bad.
  3437. >You like when you work the overnight shift because you miss the traffic overall.
  3438. >This was still fine.
  3439. >You make it to Sugarcube Corner.
  3440. >You walk in to find a line and Mrs. Cake at the register.
  3441. >She notices you come in.
  3442. >There is a mixture of relief and frustration on her face.
  3443. >You quickly make your way to the back room and clock in.
  3444. >You relive Mrs. Cake of her front duties.
  3445. >She breathes a sigh as she walks past you.
  3446. >”Good to finally have you back.  It's been a mad house since you've been gone.”
  3447. >You nod .
  3448. “I'm sorry, I really needed the time off. I'll explain later.”
  3449. >Mrs Cake shakes her head and makes her way to the back room.
  3450. >You take a deep breath yourself.
  3451. >You mentally prepare yourself for your day.
  3452. >Then like magic, you turn to face the customers in line with your trademark smile.
  3453. “Welcome to Sugarcube Corner! What can I get ya!?”
  3454. >Your day finally begins.
  3455. >it's been a few days since you last worked.
  3456. >But after the emotional roller coaster you've been on the past few days.
  3457. >It felt like an eternity.
  3458. >Luckily it doesn't take long to get back into your rhythm.
  3459. >Things go smoothly.
  3460. >It's almost closing time.
  3461. >A customer comes in and orders a coffee with an apple scone.
  3462. >You get his order up quickly.
  3463. >You thank him for his business. and go on to start cleaning up the front counter.
  3464. >The customer calls for you back.
  3465. >”Excuse me!  My scone is stale!”
  3466. >Well that's not good.
  3467. >But it's the end of the day.
  3468. >And that was the last of the scones.
  3469. “I'm super sorry!  That was our last scone!  I can give you a refund if you would not like a stale product.”
  3470. >The customer looks insulted.
  3471. >”I wanted a scone with my coffee!  Don't you have any baking in the back or something?”
  3472. >Man he's persistent.
  3473. “I'm sorry sir.  We make only so many fresh daily and the dough is getting ready for tomorrow's batch.  Like I said, I can give you a full refund and you can keep the stale scone if you want!”
  3474. >The customer looks disgusted.
  3475. >He then tosses the scone at you.
  3476. >”Why the hell would I want a damn stale product!?”
  3477. >You are completely caught off guard at this.
  3478. “I-I'm sorry sir!  I'm trying to make it better for you!”
  3479. >The customer raises his voice.
  3480. >”I want to talk to someone who isn't useless and I want this fixed!!”
  3481. >What the hell is his problem?
  3482. >You're trying to get this fixed.
  3483. >But his words pierce right into you
  3484. >'useless'
  3485. >Of all the words he could have used.
  3486. >Any other day you could have handled it.
  3487. >You are now on the verge of tears.
  3488. >Mrs. Cake makes her way to the front counter to see what the problem is.
  3489. >”What in the world is going on?”
  3490. >Mrs Cake asks you.
  3491. >You point to the customer.
  3492. “He..., wants to talk to you.”
  3493. >You quickly finish your sentence and quickly run to the back room.
  3494. >Damnit! Everything was going so well.
  3495. >One customer.
  3496. >Just one customer was all it took to send everything tumbling down.
  3497. >Again, if you weren't having confidence issues at the moment.
  3498. >This would be nothing.
  3499. >But you're now set off into a blunder of tears.
  3500. >Still.
  3501. >What an asshole.  You were doing what Mrs Cake is probably going to do.
  3502. >You have a seat in the little office by the kitchen.
  3503. >You take another deep breath.
  3504. >And drop your head into your hands.
  3505. >Breathing heavy into your hands.
  3506. >You start to groan.
  3507. >Your hands are getting wet from the tears that are coming out.
  3508. >This is getting stupid.
  3509. >You can't keep being this sensitive.
  3510. >But you also can't help it.
  3511. >Your groans turn into growls.
  3512. >Your fingers begin to curl and dig into your cheeks.
  3513. >You finally let go and sit up to find Mrs. Cake looking at you.
  3514. >”Okay hun, that was one rude customer and I don't blame you one bit for his actions.  But,  I need to know whats going on.  I can't have you break down at the first sign of an angry customer.”
  3515. >You look over at her with semi dry tears.
  3516. >You take another deep breath and you tell her the whole story.
  3517. >Your argument with your father.
  3518. >What he said.
  3519. >What he did.
  3520. >Where you've been the past few days.
  3521. >Mrs. Cake is sitting next to you.
  3522. >After you finish your story, Mrs. Cake shakes her head and pulls you in for a hug.
  3523. >She keeps you in the hug for several moments.
  3524. >”I'm sorry you had to go through that.”
  3525. >She whispers in your ear.
  3526. >She finally lets you go.
  3527. >Both of you are there in the back room.
  3528. >You both sit straight up.
  3529. >You feel a bit better.
  3530. >But then Mrs. Cake sighs.
  3531. >”Look Pinkie Pie,  I'm truly sorry for what happened.  I want to know if you really are okay.  I can't have this happen to often, nor can I afford to have you take more days off.”
  3532. >You down away from her.
  3533. >But you nod in agreement.
  3534. “I understand.”
  3535. >You understand that you are now walking a thin line with working here.
  3536. >Mrs Cake continues.
  3537. >”You are a fantastic baker, Pinkie, and I would hate to lose you.  But....,  We just need to work together.”
  3538. >You nod again.
  3539. >Still not looking at her.
  3540. >She then pats you on your shoulder as she gets up.
  3541. >”Okay hun, We should finish up and you could get out of here.
  3542. >You do as you're told.
  3543. >You wipe down the tables.
  3544. >The counters.
  3545. >You wash some dishes.
  3546. >Finally you are closed.
  3547. >Mrs Cake lets you go for the day.
  3548. >She's staying behind with her husband to bake the new batches of tomorrow's sweets.
  3549. >You head back to Rarity's place.
  3550. >Rarity is home and seems to be working on some fabric in her little sewing corner in her apartment.
  3551. >You both say your pleasantries to each other.
  3552. >You flop on her couch.
  3553. >And take a look at the time.
  3554. >It's 8:21 PM.
  3555. >Anon is probably still busy at work.
  3556. >But you finally decide to text him.
  3557. >His day off should be coming up.
  3558. 'Hey Nonny!  I was still wondering if you still wanted to hang out on your day/night off!  Let me know!'
  3559. >Send.
  3560. >You decide to go back to Rarity's work corner
  3561. >And start have a chat with her while you wait for an answer back from Anon.
  3562. >You don't hear back from him for hours.
  3563. >Rarity has gone off to sleep.
  3564. >You're getting ready to head off to bed yourself.
  3565. >When your phone finally beeps.
  3566. >You take a look at it.
  3567. >'Hey Pinkie!  Tomorrow is actually my day off.  If you want to do something tomorrow that would be great.'
  3568. >You bite your lip.
  3569. >And text back.
  3570. 'Would you mind if I were to come to your place tonight?  Maybe we can do something like we did last time?  I can drive to your place'
  3571. >Send.
  3572. >A few minutes pass.
  3573. >He answers back.
  3574. >'Uh, sure, I guess.  I don't know what much we can do.  But you are more than welcome to come by.  My address is...'
  3575. >You get his address.
  3576. >You text him you got it and thank him.
  3577. >You get up from the couch.
  3578. >Head to the bathroom.
  3579. >You spruce yourself up a little bit.
  3580. >And head out the door.
  3581.  
  3582. >Be Anon.
  3583. >This is a surprise.
  3584. >Seems like Pinkie Pie wants to come over and hang out.
  3585. >Nevermind the fact that it is almost 12 midnight.
  3586. >Which severely cuts things to do out to next to nothing.
  3587. >Is she coming for a shoulder to cry on?
  3588. >You suppose you could do that for her.
  3589. >You're trying hard not to focus on the possibility of there being any kind of sex.
  3590. >As nice as that would be.
  3591. >It would almost feel... not right.
  3592. >Or something.
  3593. >Who are you kidding.
  3594. >If she initiates it.
  3595. >Then it's going down.
  3596. >Or in.
  3597. >Whatever.
  3598. >You throw on some clothes.
  3599. >Spray on some cheap cologne.
  3600. >And wait.
  3601. >A few minutes pass.
  3602. >You throw on the TV.
  3603. >Put it on the cooking channel.
  3604. >...it's all you really watch at this point.
  3605. >Not like anything else interesting is on late night on a weekday.
  3606. >Also because it's late night, there's actually cooking shows on.
  3607. >Right now the TV chef is showing off a recipe for stuffed mushrooms.
  3608. >Meh, not too exciting.
  3609. >The TV chef using Tabasco sauce was the most interesting thing about the recipe to you.
  3610. >There is a sound at the door.
  3611. >Sounds like she is here.
  3612. >You take a deep breath.
  3613. >And get up from your seat and walk to the door.
  3614. >You open the door to find Pinkie Pie standing there.
  3615. >Her hair is as puffy as ever.
  3616. >She seems to be dressed pretty casual.
  3617. >Purple baggy sweat pants.
  3618. >A shirt with a shade of pink slightly darker than her skin.
  3619. >She also had a light blue purse over her left shoulder.
  3620. >”Heya!”
  3621. >She casually waves at you .
  3622. “Hey.”
  3623. >You step aside and invite her in.
  3624. “Please, come on in.”
  3625. >She pauses for a minute.
  3626. >But finally obliges.
  3627. >She comes in and walks past you.
  3628. >You close the door and catch up with her in your living room.
  3629. >”This looks really cozy!”
  3630. >You look around your own living room.
  3631. >There really isn't much here.
  3632. >TV on a dresser.
  3633. >Love seat couch.
  3634. >Coffee table in between table and stand.
  3635. >A couple of pictures of you and your parents throughout your life.
  3636. “You think so?  I feel it's pretty plain in here.”
  3637. >Pinkie looks around with you.
  3638. >”Yeah, but it's small and everything is so close together!  All you need is a bit more color.”
  3639. >She walks ahead of you.
  3640. >She goes behind the love seat which was in the middle of the room.
  3641. >She points to your back wall.
  3642. >”You could TOTALLY post pictures of the fancy meals you've made up here!”
  3643. >You give her a stink eye.
  3644. “That would be awful and creepy.”
  3645. >She pouts a bit.
  3646. “I'm trying NOT to give people the impression that I'm a socially awkward serial killer.”
  3647. >Pinkie laughs at your comment.
  3648. >”Oh Nonny, nobody thinks you're a serial killer!”
  3649. >You give yourself a chuckle.
  3650. “You'd be surprised.”
  3651. >You tell her and you walk to the couch and have a seat.
  3652. “So, what do you want to do?”
  3653. >Pinkie stands right above you and places her hands on your shoulders.
  3654. >She slightly leans forward putting a little pressure on you.
  3655. >”Uhh, I dunno...”
  3656. >There is a awkward silence for a moment.
  3657. >Then the TV answers the question for you.
  3658. >”Coming up next, On the Great Baking Challenge...!”
  3659. >Pinkie lets go of your shoulders.
  3660. >”OHH! A SHOW ABOUT BAKING!!”
  3661. >She yells.
  3662. >She then hops over the couch and plops down right next to you.
  3663. >She takes a hold of your arm and nestles herself close to you.
  3664. >Her eyes glued to the TV screen.
  3665. >You shrug with your free arm.
  3666. >You get comfortable with her.
  3667. >And watch a show.
  3668. >About people baking.
  3669. >People baking really stupid cakes.
  3670. >Like, it's not so much about baking as it is making cakes look like things.
  3671. >You look over to Pinkie.
  3672. >Judging by her scrunched up face, she probably feels the same.
  3673. “Enjoying the show?”
  3674. >You nudge her for a reaction.
  3675. >She shakes her head.
  3676. >”This is getting intense!”
  3677. >Your eyes go wide.
  3678. “Come again?”
  3679. >She nods her head.
  3680. >Eyes still glued to the TV.
  3681. >”The amount of frosting needed to keep cake sculptures upright is a delicate balance!  These guys are good!”
  3682. >Okay then.
  3683. >Different strokes you suppose.
  3684. >You tilt your head with a surprised look on your face.
  3685. “I guess... I'm no baker so I figured this would be more focused on baking a good cake.”
  3686. >Pinkie gives a half shrug.
  3687. >”Baking a cake is an exact science mostly, It's not like cooking where you can add a pinch of salt here, or a dash of pepper there.  The measurements need to be exact otherwise it all goes belly up.”
  3688. >She's got a point.
  3689. >Still doesn't change the fact that you feel this is stupid.
  3690. >The show ends.
  3691. >Pinkie seems satisfied.
  3692. “Well that was fun.”
  3693. >You say as you wrap your arm around Pinkie.
  3694. “What now?”
  3695. >Pinkie sits there for a minute.
  3696. >Thinking.
  3697. >She finally sits up.
  3698. >”Let's bake a cake!”
  3699. >That was out of nowhere.
  3700. “What?”
  3701. >She jumps out from her seat on the couch.
  3702. >And turns back to you.
  3703. >”Yeah! We should totally bake our own cake right now!”
  3704. >You look to your right and your left.
  3705. >Expecting to see someone else.
  3706. >You throw your arms up at Pinkie.
  3707. “Why?   I don't even have the ingredients to make a cake!”
  3708. >Pinkie, still pretty energetic about the idea, lightly taps you on your knee.
  3709. >”We can go get some!   I know of a good grocery store that is still open at this time!”
  3710. >You know of some 24 hour grocery stores yourself.
  3711. >It's usually those cheap value stores with a shady atmosphere.
  3712. >You pinch the bridge of your nose.
  3713. “I don't know, it's late and I-”
  3714. >Pinkie cuts you off.
  3715. >”Aww don't worry about it!  I'll drive and I'll pay for the ingredients!”
  3716. >You look into her eyes.
  3717. >They are filled with joy.
  3718. >If this were any other situation, you'd probably argue over it a bit more.
  3719. >But given Pinkie was seemingly trying to forget about something traumatic.
  3720. >You'll give her the benefit of the doubt.
  3721. >You sigh.
  3722. “Alright, fine.”
  3723. >Pinkie lets out a 'yay' and throws her arms in the air in victory.
  3724. >you get up from your spot on the couch.
  3725. >Once you do, Pinkie is waiting for you and gives you a kiss.
  3726. >Well, at least it still seems like you two are still sort of a thing.
  3727. >You'll take it.
  3728. >She runs off to the door.
  3729. “Hold your horses.”
  3730. >You got into your room and get dressed in some jeans and a shirt you don't sleep in.
  3731. >You meet up with Pinkie at the doorway.
  3732. >You grab your jacket hanging by a hook next to the door.
  3733. >You open the door and stand aside for your now sort-of-girlfriend.
  3734. “Okay, after you.”
  3735. >You let Pinkie pass you through the door and you follow behind.
  3736. >She skips off ahead while you lock up.
  3737. >You walk out to see her standing next to her car.
  3738. >Nothing too fancy.
  3739. >A bright orange 4 door hatchback.
  3740. “Huh, this ride doesn't really suit you.”
  3741. >She rolls her eyes and shrugs.
  3742. >”Can't be picky when your family give you a car.”
  3743. >You acknowledge her comment by pointing up.
  3744. “Good point,  I'll shut up and get in.”
  3745. >And you do.
  3746. >She does as well.
  3747. >She starts up the car.
  3748. >And you both are on your way.
  3749. >To a 24 hour grocery store.
  3750. >To buy ingredients.
  3751. >To bake a cake.
  3752. >At 1:30 AM.
  3753. >You swear you're both not crackheads.
  3754. >At least you're not.
  3755.  
  3756. >So here you both are.
  3757. >In Pinkie Pie's car.
  3758. >Seems like you're going to a different spot for the cake ingredients.
  3759. >You don't recognize this route she is taking.
  3760. >The 24 hour grocery store is on the other side of town.
  3761. >Yet you're on the freeway going in the other direction.
  3762. “So, where are we going exactly?”
  3763. >Pinkie, who is grooving to the music playing from her radio.
  3764. >Without looking at you she responds.
  3765. >”We're going to the grocery store, silly!”
  3766. >You look back at the road.
  3767. >Empty at this time of night.
  3768. >Or morning.
  3769. “Okay but, which one?  The only one I know of was over back on the other side of town.”
  3770. >She finally takes her eyes off the road for just a second to look at you.
  3771. “Oh! We're going to the QFC in uptown.  They usually have great baking ingredients!”
  3772. >QFC.
  3773. >That never registered into your head.
  3774. >Mostly because it's one of those higher end grocery stores.
  3775. >If you have the money, it's actually quite nice to have a 24 hour high end food store.
  3776. >But you don't.
  3777. >Or you just choose to go to a closer location.
  3778. >You continue on in silence.
  3779. >A few minutes pass.
  3780. >You give off a sigh.
  3781. >”So, how has your few days been...”
  3782. >Pinkie breaks the ice.
  3783. >You rest your head on the car seat.
  3784. “Eh, it had it's ups and downs.”
  3785. >Pinkie nods and taps her fingers on her steering wheel.
  3786. >”How so?”
  3787. >You cross your arms and make yourself comfortable.
  3788. “As you already know, I had to work out in Appaloosa one day this past week.  I was sent to this fancy Italian restaurant out there. Met some nice people,  and found out my boss stole a recipe from one of my line chefs from down here.”
  3789. >Pinkie looks at you with one eyebrow raised.
  3790. >”Like, as in he took a recipe from your restaurant and put it there?”
  3791. >You shake your head.
  3792. “Nope! He stole it as in it was an idea for the restaurant here but he shot it down.  Next thing I know it's featured on the menu out there with him taking credit for creating the dish.”
  3793. >The tone of your voice makes light of the situation.
  3794. >Which maybe it isn't that big of a deal.
  3795. >Pinkie doesn't think so.
  3796. >She has a furious look on her face.
  3797. >”That's not nice!  You need to do something about it!”
  3798. >She practically almost yells at you.
  3799. >All the while still with her eyes on the road.
  3800. >You slouch a bit into your seat.
  3801. “I mean, he did approve a raise for him.  So there's that.”
  3802. >Pinkie still doesn't look convinced.
  3803. >”And you're okay with that!?  What about your chef?”
  3804. >You shrug at her question.
  3805. “He said he was fine with it, for the most part.  He said he was a little disappointed in not getting any formal recognition for it,  but he took the raise.”
  3806. >”Money is not the point, Nonny!”
  3807. >Her voice still heightened.
  3808. >”Taking someone elses creativity and not acknowledging their efforts in a sure fire way to kill their passion for their work!  It's even worse for chefs and bakers like us because you can't 'copyright' a recipe!”
  3809. >You interject.
  3810. “What about compensating him?  He was fine with the raise.  What's to say if I were to do something like this again and this same situation happens again and he get's another raise?”
  3811. >Pinkie snorts.
  3812. >”Nonny, as someone whose father is a business owner, and even you, who is pretty much in charge of a restaurant.  Do you REALLY think raises can be just given out like candy?  While I'm at it, did you talk to your boss about it?”
  3813. >She is passionate about this.
  3814. “Yes, I did.”
  3815. >There was a pause.
  3816. >”...and?”
  3817. >Pinkie awaits an answer from you.
  3818. “Uh, I pretty much got told in a nice,  subtle way to 'shut up or I'll ruin you.'”
  3819. >You look over to Pinkie Pie.
  3820. >She is rolling her eyes.
  3821. >Both her hands are gripping the steering wheel tight now.
  3822. >”Nonny, I think that right there is a good indication right there that he doesn't care.  He seems to be willing to get rid of a good hand like you over this.”
  3823. >She glances over to you for a second.
  3824. >”So tell me,  and be honest.  Do you still love what you do as much as you did before all this happened?”
  3825. >Well shit.
  3826. >She's got you there.
  3827. >You spent a day or two pretty much asking yourself that same question.
  3828. “I...”
  3829. >You pause.
  3830. “I have to admit a little bit of my passion took a hit.”
  3831. >Pinkie gestures her arm at you in a flicking manner.
  3832. >”See?  It'll only be a matter of time before you'll be phoning it in.”
  3833. >Funny.
  3834. >You kind of already are if you're being honest with yourself.
  3835. >Perhaps it's time you make a change in your life.
  3836. >But since she's now all riled up.
  3837. “Alright, well that's been my week.  How about you?”
  3838. >She freezes a bit.
  3839. “Is everything okay with you?”
  3840. >She tenses up a bit.
  3841. >Her eyes begins to dart from side to side.
  3842. >Seemingly like she's trying to figure something to say.
  3843. >Finally after a good minute.
  3844. >She eases up.
  3845. >And takes a deep breath.
  3846. >”My father and I had a... Falling out.”
  3847. >Silence for a minute.
  3848. “I assume by the long pause there that this was a bit more than a falling out.”
  3849. >She further deflates at your comment.
  3850. >”It's.  Just everything that drove us apart over the years finally came out, and things are bad right now.”
  3851. >You look at her deflated state.
  3852. “Just how bad are we talking about here?”
  3853. >There's another pause.
  3854. >Then she finally speaks up.
  3855. >”He kicked me out of the house.”
  3856. >You don't say anything.
  3857. >What do you say to something like that?
  3858. “Do you have a solid place to stay at the moment?”
  3859. >Probably the best question to ask at the moment.
  3860. >She nods.
  3861. >”Yeah, I do, a friend of mine is housing me for the time being until it all gets situated.”
  3862. >Okay you suppose that's good enough.
  3863. >Now for the next question.
  3864. “Alright, so what about the mark on your face?  I know for sure it's healed up after a few days but it's still noticeable.”
  3865. >She sighs and shakes her head.
  3866. >”Would you believe me if I told you I fell down some stairs?”
  3867. >You get a chuckle out of that.
  3868. >You're not sure if you should have been laughing at that.
  3869. “Judging from your mocking tone, No, I wouldn't.  Which leaves probably the seemingly obvious answer of he hit you.  Didn't he?”
  3870. >She doesn't respond.
  3871. >She doesn't have to.
  3872. >You know it's true.
  3873. >You place your right elbow on the side panel of the car.
  3874. >And rest your head on your hand.
  3875. >Not like there is much you can do for her.
  3876. “You call the cops?  I'm pretty sure hitting a woman is grounds for some arrest warrants.  Even if he's your father.”
  3877. >She takes one hand off the steering wheel and rubs her face with it.
  3878. >She then shakes her head.
  3879. >”I can't do that.”
  3880. >You shake your head at her.
  3881. “Why not?  He shouldn't be hitting you.  Unless, you were attacking him first, but You're not the type to be attacking anything but a dessert.”
  3882. >She snorts at your comment.
  3883. >Which is good.
  3884. >You weren't sure if she was going to take that as a complement or insult.
  3885. >”I just can't.”
  3886. >She's one of those.
  3887. “Of course you can!  Don't tell me you plan on still living there with him.  He clearly doesn't respect you or your decisions!  It's one of those situation were you need to break free and make it on your own to SHOW him he's wrong!”
  3888. >She begins to rub her eyes.
  3889. >You may have struck a nerve with her.
  3890. >Fuck it you had to tell her.
  3891. >With how she was telling you how to handle your situation earlier.
  3892. >You now will do the same.
  3893. >Though this is probably a bit more serious than a stolen recipe.
  3894. >”I get it Nonny.  I probably really do need to break free from my family.  I'm still just not stable enough to keep up on my feet.”
  3895. >She did say that before.
  3896. >But this time around she may have no choice.
  3897. >And you think she knows it.
  3898. “I think this is where you would probably have the cliché choice of live in poverty but happy,  or live comfortably but miserable.  And after all this time you've been telling me to do what makes me happy,  then perhaps you should take your own advice for once.”
  3899. >She still says nothing.
  3900. >But you continue.
  3901. “I think I can say for sure now that we are friends.  Maybe a little more than that.  Would you agree?”
  3902. >She pauses.
  3903. >She looks over at you
  3904. >And looks into your eyes.
  3905. >Her blue eyes glossy from tears starting to form.
  3906. >She then looks away with a shade of red on her face.
  3907. >”Yeah, I guess you can say that.”
  3908. >You nod.
  3909. “Well then, I am here for you as much as your other friends are and can help wherever I can”
  3910. >She smiles.
  3911. >You begin to pull into a parking lot.
  3912. >You've made it.
  3913. >”Well Nonny; What would make me happy right now is to make this cake.  So we can start there!”
  3914. >You nod and shrug.
  3915. “Fine by me.”
  3916. >You both get out of the car and walk into the store.
  3917.  
  3918. >As you would expect from it being almost 2 AM.
  3919. >It's empty.
  3920. >Save for a few workers stocking shelves and buffering some aisles.
  3921. >It's a nice store.
  3922. >Pinkie picks up a basket and off into the store.
  3923. >You follow Pinkie down some aisles.
  3924. >Eying a lot of the products available on the shelves.
  3925. >And the prices of them.
  3926. >You have no idea in what world you could justify charging $6 for a can of beans.
  3927. >They aren't even organic at that.
  3928. >You continue on to the back of the store to the dairy section.
  3929. >She looks intently for a milk while you look over at the eggs a few feet over.
  3930. >She grabs a glass bottle of milk.
  3931. >Looks to be a local organic brand.
  3932. >You shake your head.
  3933. >You get it, especially as a chef, that the quality of ingredients are important.
  3934. >And while she already stated she will pay for everything.
  3935. “You know, given your current situation, should you be... 'splurging' on such pricey ingredients for this cake?”
  3936. >You ask out of concern.
  3937. .She looks to you as she places the milk in her basket.
  3938. >”Oh don't worry about it Nonny!  It's important we get the best ingredients for this labor of love!”
  3939. >Whatever that meant.
  3940. “Well then, I guess I'll check the eggs.”
  3941. >You go and do so.
  3942. >There's so many varieties.
  3943. >Varieties of chicken eggs.
  3944. >Varieties quail eggs.
  3945. >There's even Ostrich eggs.
  3946. >You pick one up.
  3947. >These things are massive.
  3948. >But not what you are looking for.
  3949. >You turn your attention back to the rows and rows of chicken eggs.
  3950. >Lots of eggs from mass produced farms.
  3951. >Some from self proclaimed local farms.
  3952. >The eggs you get for work come straight from a local farmer himself.
  3953. >You try to see if you can spot his farm's name on any of the packages.
  3954. >Nothing.
  3955. >You may have to settle for one of the self proclaimed organic brands.
  3956. >Pinkie makes her way next to you.
  3957. “Speaking of which, how many eggs are we going to need?”
  3958. >She lays some of her bodies pressure on you.
  3959. >”Uh, probably safe to just get a half dozen.  Just in case.”
  3960. >Good enough.
  3961. >You look back to find something.
  3962. >You settle for a half dozen carton that claims to be local.
  3963. >Again, you're not paying so it's really not that important.
  3964. >You both begin to stroll around the store and see all the other options.
  3965. >”So what kind of cake do you feel like having?”
  3966. >You just throw up your arms.
  3967. “I already feel a bit crazy for wanting to do this this late at night.  May as well surprise me!”
  3968. >She gives you a big smile and grabs your hand.
  3969. >She pulls you down several aisles and picks up some canned milk products.
  3970. >She then takes you to the baking aisle.
  3971. >She picks up a bag of cake flour.
  3972. >She looks back at you.
  3973. >”Do you have sugar and salt at home?”
  3974. >You chuckle and cross your arms.
  3975. “I wouldn't be much of a chef if I didn't at least have those simple items at home.”
  3976. >She smiles again and continues her shopping spree.
  3977. >Picking up some vanilla extract.
  3978. >Baking power.
  3979. >And a baking pan.
  3980. >Looks like you have all the ingredients ready.
  3981. >Even some utensils as well.
  3982. >You both are back at the front of the store.
  3983. >”I think that's everything.  Think of anything else?”
  3984. >You shake your head.
  3985. “I mean, you're the baker, you would know a whole lot better than myself.”
  3986. >She stands there for a minute.
  3987. >Then her face goes wide with shock.
  3988. >”I ALMOST FORGOT!”
  3989. >She screams.
  3990. >Luckily there is nobody in your immediate area to have seen the outburst.
  3991. >She shoves the basket full of products to you and runs off into the store again.
  3992. >You're waiting at the self checkout kiosks for her to return.
  3993. >You start to ring up some of the items.
  3994. >There is one store employee who was moping up the front lobby who was eying you.
  3995. >You wonder if he saw everything earlier.
  3996. >”Your girlfriend on drugs or something?”
  3997. >The worker asks.
  3998. >Feeling a bit insulted.
  3999. “What the hell makes you ask that?”
  4000. The guy still swaying his mop over the floor.
  4001. >”You guys are here at this hour buying baking products that are suspiciously used for enhancing drugs.  And her little outburst and overly energetic nature is textbook cocaine high.”
  4002. .You look down and see the baking powder.
  4003. >Then you look back at him.
  4004. “You seem to know a lot about drug behavior and what enhances said drugs.  You've been standing at the spot for a while mopping up what seems to be nothing.  You sure YOU'RE not on drugs?”
  4005. >The guy shrugs.
  4006. >”Helps make the time go by faster.”
  4007. >Well then.
  4008. >Pinkie Pie comes back to you
  4009. >With a small carton of heavy whipping cream.
  4010. >”I almost forgot the most important part of a cake,  the frosting!”
  4011. >The worker snickers over in his area.
  4012. >You finish scanning everything.
  4013. >Bag it all up.
  4014. >and make your way to the car.
  4015. >And drive back to your place.
  4016.  
  4017. >The drive back to your place is a relatively quiet one.
  4018. “So, what kind of cake are we going to be baking?”
  4019. >She places her finger on your lips as if to quiet you.
  4020. >”It's a surprise, Nonny!”
  4021. >Alright then.
  4022. >Judging by the ingredients it's going to be a simple recipe.
  4023. >You make it back home.
  4024. >You both set everything up in your small kitchen.
  4025. >She then looks to you.
  4026. >”Wait, do you have a kitchen aid?”
  4027. >You snort.
  4028. >Of course you don't.
  4029. >You go to one of your drawers and pull out a metallic stick with several tiny metallic wires round out at the end of the stick.
  4030. “I have a whisk?”
  4031. >Pinkie slaps her hand onto her face
  4032. >”Gah! This'll make it a bit harder now!”
  4033. >You begin to pull out bowls and dishes to use for the upcoming process.
  4034. >She takes out the baking pan and places it aside.
  4035. >She then hands you the half dozen eggs.
  4036. >”Okie Dokie Lokie Nonny, Mr. Chef!  I'm going to need your awesome chef skills and separate the egg yolks and whites into separate bowls.”
  4037. >You do as you're told.
  4038. >She begins to preheat the oven.
  4039. >You take and egg and crack one open.
  4040. >You carefully slide the yolk from one half of the shell to the other.
  4041. >By doing this the egg whites slide out from underneath the yolk.
  4042. >You repeat the process several times to get all the whites separated from the yolk.
  4043. >You move onto the next egg.
  4044. >You look over to Pinkie and she is mixing some of the dry ingredients.
  4045. >You finally have separated all the eggs.
  4046. >You take both bowls over to her.
  4047. “Alright, egg whites and yolk are separated.  Now what?”
  4048. >She looks over to you.
  4049. >She takes out one of your larger bowls and hands you a small cup of sugar.
  4050. >”I need you to mix them together until it becomes a pale yellow batter.”
  4051. >You nod and turn back to your spot in the kitchen.
  4052. >You dump the yolks into the bowl and drizzle the sugar onto them.
  4053. >You then stand there.
  4054. >Now realizing you don't have something to mix this with.
  4055. >When you turn back to Pinkie she was waiting for you to do so.
  4056. >With a cute smile on her face, she hands you the whisk you pulled out earlier.
  4057. >”I'm afraid you're gonna have to mix with this.”
  4058. >You take the whisk from her and turn back to the bowl.
  4059. >You sigh and begin to vigorously whisk at the ingredients.
  4060. >You go at it hard for several minutes.
  4061. >It's tiring.
  4062. >After several more minutes you finally get the consistency that Pinkie was looking for.
  4063. >You take the bowl over to Pinkie.
  4064. “Alright, now what?”
  4065. >She looks at you.
  4066. >And then the bowl
  4067. >She then takes some vanilla extract and adds it into the bowl.
  4068. >And then a cup of milk is thrown into the bowl.
  4069. >”Okie Nonny!  Mix some more until it's a thick batter.”
  4070. >You just stand there for a second.
  4071. >She goes back to whatever she was doing.
  4072. >You shake your head and get mixing.
  4073. >Again.
  4074. >More minutes pass.
  4075. >You feel your forearm cramping up.
  4076. >You take the mixture back to Pinkie.
  4077. “This good?”
  4078. >A little bit of annoyance in your tone of voice.
  4079. >She takes a look at the batter.
  4080. >Then a satisfied smile creeps onto her face.
  4081. >”Looks super!”
  4082. >She takes the bowl from you and pours it into another bowl full of cake flower.
  4083. >She begins to fold the batter and cake flour into each other.
  4084. >”Okay Nonny, Hope you're not tired!  Now I need to to whisk the egg whites over there into a fluff!”
  4085. >You sink.
  4086. >You're tired already.
  4087. >And now you need to expend more energy just to make some whites fluff up.
  4088. >Then it hit you.
  4089. “Hold on.”
  4090. >You run from the kitchen and into your closet in your bedroom
  4091. >You begin to fling clothes and other nic nacs that were laid about the closet.
  4092. >Until you found a big box.
  4093. >You open it and begin to empty it's contents.
  4094. >And then you found it.
  4095. “Yes!”
  4096. >You walk back to the kitchen with the new item held above your head like a championship trophy.
  4097. “I thought I had one!”
  4098. >You indeed had an egg beater.
  4099. >It was a house warming gift from your parents for when you moved in on your own.
  4100. >”That's great Nonny,  That'll save us lots of time!”
  4101. >You nod in agreement.
  4102. >You happily plug the egg beater into the wall.
  4103. >You then quickly give the metal prongs a rinse in water.
  4104. >You then start the beater and it whisks at a fast speed.
  4105. >Not having to violently shake your forearm around in circles is a welcome feeling.
  4106. >You to just sit there and watch as this labor saving device work it magic.
  4107. >The egg whites begin to whiten and fluff up.
  4108. >This didn't take nearly as much time as the other ones.
  4109. >Thank you technology!
  4110. >Once it's at a consistency you were pleased with you show Pinkie.
  4111. >She takes the bowl and adds a half a cup of sugar.
  4112. >”Now mix it until it looks like whipped cream!”
  4113. >You happily oblige.
  4114. >You mix and beat the whites some more until it stiffens up and gets glossy.
  4115. >You hand the bowl over to Pinkie again.
  4116. >She takes it from you and looks at it.
  4117. >She smiles at the mixture and then smiles at you.
  4118. >”Alrighty, I'll take it from here!”
  4119. >She then adds the fluff into the cake batter and begins to fold them together.
  4120. >It finally becomes a thick batter.
  4121. >She then takes the baking dish she bought earlier today and poured the batter into the dish.
  4122. >She moves the batter around and evens it throughout the dish.
  4123. >And she places it in the preheated oven.
  4124. >”Okie Dokie Lokie!  We have to wait about 30 minutes!”
  4125. >You take a look at the clock in your living room.
  4126. >Almost 3 AM.
  4127. “This is going to end up being our breakfast, isn't it?”
  4128. >Pinkie puts on an almost innocent cute smile at you.
  4129. >”Nothing wrong with sweets to start the day!”
  4130. >You take a deep breath.
  4131. >How are you staying awake for this?
  4132. >You really shouldn't be doing this.
  4133. >This may screw your internal clock over for a few days.
  4134. >Yet, you're really not caring too much about that right about now
  4135. >Nor about work.
  4136. >You're just thinking about Pinkie and how satisfied and happy she is.
  4137. >By simply just mixing and baking a cake.
  4138. >Also her seemingly endless amount of energy.
  4139. >You decide to go and sit down on the couch and put on some late night TV.
  4140. >Surprise, surprise, nothing but infomercials are on.
  4141. >You and Pinkie decide to just watch an infomercial about a pillow that is soft but doesn't go flat.
  4142. >The things you'll find.
  4143. >Pinkie got really comfy on you during all of this.
  4144. >Both her legs are kicked up onto the couch.
  4145. >Both her arms were wrapped around one of your arms.
  4146. >And her head is nestled onto your shoulder.
  4147. >It almost leave you stuck.
  4148. >You can't do the smooth 'yawn and wrap your arm around her' move since she is locked into the appropriate arm.
  4149. >This will have to do.
  4150. >You turn to her and give her a kiss on the top of her head.
  4151. >Her hair smells like pomegranate shampoo.
  4152. >Very sweet.
  4153. >Very much like her.
  4154. >And before you know it.
  4155. >The oven begins to chime.
  4156. >Cake is done baking.
  4157. >Pinkie excitedly gets up from the comfort of your side.
  4158. >She quickly dashes to the oven and grabs a pair of mitts you have.
  4159. >She slowly pulls out the warm baked cake.
  4160. >It smells pretty good.
  4161. >You get up to go help her.
  4162. >By the time you reach her, she has already placed the cake on the counter.
  4163. >”Now it needs to cool.”
  4164. >She continue to grab another bowl.
  4165. >Then she takes the cart of heavy cream.
  4166. >”Wanna make the frosting?”
  4167. >You shrug.
  4168. “Sure.”
  4169. >She hands you the items needed to make the cream.
  4170. >Before you get started you go the sink and wash off the whisks.
  4171. >You pour the heavy whipping cream into the bowl.
  4172. >You place the egg beater in the cream and begin whisking.
  4173. >You start slow, as to not send cream flying all over your kitchen.
  4174. >After a minute or two, the cream has stiffened up.
  4175. >You take a teaspoon and fill it with vanilla extract.
  4176. >And add it to the cream.
  4177. >Continue mixing for about another few seconds.
  4178. >You look over to see Pinkie ever so slightly take the cake out and flip it upside down in the baking pan.
  4179. >She then takes a fork and begins to poke all over the cake.
  4180. “What are you doing?”
  4181. >This is something you haven't seen before.
  4182. >”Making a cake silly!”
  4183. >She gives you another smile as she goes back to the grocery bag.
  4184. >She pulls out two cans.
  4185. >One of condensed milk.
  4186. >The other of evaporated milk.
  4187. >She mixes them into a large cup.
  4188. >You've run out of bowls at this point.
  4189. >She finally adds a little bit of whipping cream to the milk mixture.
  4190. “What kind of cake are you making?”
  4191. >She looks over at you with squinted eyes.
  4192. >”It's a surprise!”
  4193. >You stand there.
  4194. >Staring into her very serious eyes.
  4195. >Yes,  she was taking your 'surprise me' throwaway line seriously.
  4196. “Okay then...”
  4197. >You shake your head and grab some sugar.
  4198. >You add the sugar little by little into the whipped cream mixture.
  4199. >When you look back up she is pouring the milk mixture all over the cake.
  4200. >She stops for a minute.
  4201. >Letting the liquid absorb into the cake.
  4202. >And continues to pour some more onto it.
  4203. >More of it seeps into the cake.
  4204. >And she pours the rest of it onto the cake.
  4205. >And again, all of it gets absorbed into the cake.
  4206. >”Alrighty!  The cake needs to rest for another 30 minutes and we're all done!  How's the frosting?”
  4207. >You pour the rest of the sugar into the cream.
  4208. “Just about done.”
  4209. >You use the egg beater to whisk it a little more.
  4210. >Seems like it's at the consistency you want it.
  4211. >You present the bowl to Pinkie to give it an inspection.
  4212. >She takes a look at the whipped cream.
  4213. >She sniffs it.
  4214. >Then she takes her finger and traces a line in the cream.
  4215. >She gets a bit from the bowl onto her finger.
  4216. >And gives it a taste.
  4217. >Her face looks satisfied.
  4218. >And if that wasn't a good enough sign, she starts to squeal a bit.
  4219. >”Perfect!”
  4220. >Good to hear.
  4221. >You may know how to cook.
  4222. >But baking isn't something you're too cued in on.
  4223. >Granted a lot of the principals are in tact with each other.
  4224. >At least you made the frosting on your own.
  4225. >You place the egg beater off to the side.
  4226. >You then stretch your arms upward and yawn in unison.
  4227. >You might be mentally tapped out.
  4228. >After your yawn, you now feel your eyes go heavy.
  4229. >Yeah, You're at your limit.
  4230. >You look to Pinkie and notice she was watching you the entire time.
  4231. >She smiles again and runs her hand through her hair.
  4232. >And she rests on your counter.
  4233. >”Reaching the end of your tank?”
  4234. >You nod.
  4235. >Scratching your eyes and placing the whisks and other sorted utensils into the sink.
  4236. “Yeah, I'm usually not up past this point.  I don't think I'm gonna make it to the finish to see the cake.”
  4237. >You chuckle as you get some plastic wrap from one of your cupboards.
  4238. >You wrap the whipped cream and place it off to the side.
  4239. “So, can you tell me what kind of cake it was supposed to be?”
  4240. >Pinkie has a little pouty face.
  4241. >You're not sure if it's because you're calling it a night/morning.
  4242. >Or if you're forcing her hand to tell you what the 'surprise' is.
  4243. >”It's called a Tres Leches cake.  Hence why it was made with three different kinds of milk.  It was a recipe I always wanted to try.  Oh well,  We can let it sit overnight.  But we're having cake for breakfast tomorrow!”
  4244. >You nod and chuckle at her insistence of having cake in the morning.
  4245. >Or afternoon with how late you're going to bed.
  4246. >You toss her the plastic wrap so she can seal up the cake in the pan.
  4247. >You go and turn off the TV.
  4248. >Then you realized something.
  4249. >Well, honestly you knew all along.
  4250. >But the situation is now present.
  4251. >Where is Pinkie going to sleep?
  4252. >It'd be rude to have her sleep on the couch.
  4253. >You don't want to make her uncomfortable by suggesting you both sleep together.
  4254. >Perhaps the only logical choice is to offer her your bed while you sleep on the couch?
  4255. >You look over to Pinkie.
  4256. >She has finished wrapping up the cake.
  4257. >And placed it in the fridge.
  4258. >You both stand there.
  4259. >Awkward silence.
  4260. >Pinkie begins to dawn a shy smile.
  4261. “So...”
  4262. >You begin.
  4263. “I guess you can take the bed, and I'll stay out here and sleep-”
  4264. >She didn't let you finish.
  4265. >She pulled you in for a kiss.
  4266. >It was sudden or forceful.
  4267. >She just casually moved closer to you and pressed her lips to yours.
  4268. >Well, you now know she is more than comfortable with you in the bed with her.
  4269. >She breaks the kiss.
  4270. >You clear your throat.
  4271. >Face a little red from the encounter.
  4272. “Well then,  that takes care of that.”
  4273. >She giggles softly.
  4274. >She then wraps her arms around your shoulders.
  4275. >You wraps your arms around her waist.
  4276. >You pick her up from her spot.
  4277. >She giggles and yelps at your move.
  4278. >You take a few steps towards your bedroom before you set her down and give up on the gesture.
  4279. >Pinkie laughs a little.
  4280. >”That tired?”
  4281. >You snort and chuckle.
  4282. “Yeah..., We'll go with that.”
  4283. >You both slowly walk into your bedroom.
  4284. >Arms still around each other.
  4285. >And find your way into your room.
  4286. >You use your leg to close the door behind you.
  4287.  
  4288. >You both continue to waddle towards your bed.
  4289. >Both still clinging to one another in a hug.
  4290. >It makes for an awkward walk.
  4291. >You both giggle at the notion and falter over onto your bed.
  4292. >You both finally let go.
  4293. >You get out of the bed and make yourself comfortable.
  4294. >You take off your shoes,  socks and pants.
  4295. >You switch your shirt for something more snug.
  4296. >You start to hear music.
  4297. >You turn to see Pinkie has found your 'music box'
  4298. >Mostly just some second hand speakers and a cheap amp.
  4299. >All hooked up into a MP3 music player dock.
  4300. >A poor mans sound system.
  4301. >It was an accumulation of years of finding decent cheap parts.
  4302. >And another gift from your parents.
  4303. >And then you lost your free time.
  4304. >So it mostly sits there.
  4305. >Looks like Pinkie decided to turn it on.
  4306. >With your player still connected to it.
  4307. >You honestly can't remember the last time you used the thing.
  4308. >So it'll be fun yet really weird to hear the songs that'll come out of it.
  4309. >The first song plays.
  4310. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=b74-GXalgv4 [Blink-182 - All Of This - Blink-182])
  4311. >Off to a good start.
  4312. >You think to yourself sarcastically.
  4313. >You head into bed and watch Pinkie.
  4314. >She grabs the sides of her sweat pants.
  4315. >And pulls them down.
  4316. >Showing off a pair of pale yellow panties with faded balloons printed over them.
  4317. >The panties themselves seem to fit tightly on her as it reveals all her curves.
  4318. >And a really nice ass if you do say so yourself.
  4319. >She then reaches under her pink shirt with both arms
  4320. >Looks like she is undoing her bra.
  4321. >You were right.
  4322. >She pulls from underneath one of her shirt sleeves a blue baby blue bra.
  4323. >Which matches her eyes.
  4324. >Another observation you had.
  4325. >She finally turns to you.
  4326. >It looks like she has a tired smile on her face.
  4327. >Or it could be a lewd one.
  4328. >You're not sure.
  4329. >Pinkie slowly gets on the bed and crawls up to you.
  4330. >You see her now free breasts sway in her shirt
  4331. >And with her bent over and crawling up to you.
  4332. >It is a glorious shot at her pink cleavage.
  4333. >You start to breathe heavy.
  4334. >Not really sure you are ready for this.
  4335. >She gets up to your face.
  4336. >She licks your cheek and suckles on it for a little bit.
  4337. >Oh god your boner is at full mast.
  4338. >She lifts herself above your face.
  4339. >”You still had some whipped cream splattered on your face.”
  4340. >She goes back to her cute smile and then snuggles up to you.
  4341. >You exhale for the first time in what you think was hours.
  4342. >Gasping for air.
  4343. >Way to spill your spaghetti in the bed already.
  4344. >Still, what a tease.
  4345. >You let out a nervous chuckle at her.
  4346. >Boner starts to deflate.
  4347. >You start to recompose yourself.
  4348. >You slide your arm under her side and pull her in close
  4349. >She begins to giggle with you and sighs.
  4350. >She wraps her arm around your chest and around your neck.
  4351. >She lightly pulls you in.
  4352. >You help out with moving your head over to hers.
  4353. >You both plant each others lips onto the other.
  4354. >You both break free.
  4355. >And settle by resting your heads.
  4356. >Yours on your own pillow.
  4357. >While she rests her head on you chest.
  4358. >She takes a deep breath and lets out a sigh.
  4359. “This good enough for you?”
  4360. >You look down at her.
  4361. >And ask her softly.
  4362. >”Of course, this is fine for now.”
  4363. >You hum in agreement.
  4364. >You place your head back down on the pillow.
  4365. >She then goes on to wrap her leg over you.
  4366. >Having her completely attached to you.
  4367. >She's so soft.
  4368. >It feel really nice.
  4369. >Warm.
  4370. >Soft.
  4371. >You really don't know what else to use to describe it.
  4372. >After about a minute your mind comes back into it and you hear the song in play again.
  4373. >While not a good 'song' to have on.
  4374. >The overall feel and mood of the song fits perfectly with what is going on here.
  4375. >You could probably think of better songs to have play at a moment like this.
  4376. >Songs that would make you want to do a lot more than just lay here and cuddle.
  4377. >But honestly.
  4378. >You're too damn tired for that.
  4379. >So this here.
  4380. >Whatever it is.
  4381. >It'll do.
  4382. >For now.
  4383.  
  4384. >The morning hours roll on by in a quick fashion.
  4385. >Probably because you went to bed to early/late.
  4386. >You are awoken by the bright light of day making it's presence known in your room.
  4387. >You have yet to open your eyes but have observed one thing so far.
  4388. >You are noticeably lighter and colder.
  4389. >You sway for arm around.
  4390. >Pinkie isn't in bed with you anymore.
  4391. >You finally open your eyes and look around your room.
  4392. >No Pink girl in sight.
  4393. >You slowly crawl to the other side of the bed and look over.
  4394. >You still see Pinkie's sweat pants on the floor.
  4395. >She's still here.
  4396. >Probably in the bathroom or something.
  4397. >You go back to your spot on the bed.
  4398. >And try to go back to sleep.
  4399. >But with having gotten used to waking up at a certain time.
  4400. >It was almost impossible to go back to sleep.
  4401. >You finally got out of bed.
  4402. >Threw on some shorts.
  4403. >And went out into the main room.
  4404. >There she is.
  4405. >Sitting on the couch.
  4406. >With a plate of the cake.
  4407. >Happily watching whatever was on TV.
  4408. >She takes another bite of the cake and she looks over to you.
  4409. >”Mornin'”
  4410. >She says with a mouthful of cake.
  4411. >You walk up to her.
  4412. >Returning her smile.
  4413. >You give her a kiss on the lips.
  4414. “Morning to you too.”
  4415. >She hums with delight at your kiss.
  4416. >”Get yourself some cake!”
  4417. >She points back to the kitchen.
  4418. >You stand straight up.
  4419. >And head off into the kitchen.
  4420. >You grab a plate and fork.
  4421. >And over to the cake.
  4422. >You notice it's still runny.
  4423. “Hey, Pinkie.  Is the cake still supposed to be wet like this?”
  4424. >You take the knife and cut a piece.
  4425. >more of the milk mixture seeps out of the cake as you pick it up.
  4426. >You place it on your plate.
  4427. >You bring it up to eye level.
  4428. >You press the flat part of your fork into the cake and see more of the liquid seep out.
  4429. >It doesn't look too appetizing.
  4430. >”Of course it does!  That's why it's called a Tres Leches Cake!”
  4431. >Damn foreigners and their odd desserts.
  4432. >You shrug and join Pinkie over at the couch.
  4433. >She seems to be enjoying it.
  4434. >You take a piece off with your fork.
  4435. >Hold it up to your face.
  4436. >And finally, you take a bite.
  4437. >Moist.
  4438. >Very moist.
  4439. >You're not a fan of the consistency.
  4440. >That isn't to say it's not good.
  4441. >But this is something too out there even for you.
  4442. >Unbeknownst to you, Pinkie Was watching your every move.
  4443. >And noticed your discomfort in eating the sweet treat.
  4444. >”Aww, Don't like it?”
  4445. >Now you feel bad.
  4446. >You could have bullshitted her.
  4447. >But the fact that she saw your initial reaction would mean she knows you're lying.
  4448. >Not something you want to do at this point.
  4449. >You sigh.
  4450. >You look at her with a sad expression on your face.
  4451. “Sorry, Not that it's not tasty. But I cannot stand how moist it is.”
  4452. >She looks sad for about a minute.
  4453. >”Oh well, More for me!”
  4454. >She cheerily announces as she finishes her piece of cake and takes yours out your hand.
  4455. >You smile at her and give her another kiss as you both sit there and just enjoy each others company.
  4456. >And some cartoons which are on at the moment.
  4457. >Pinkie's phone begins to ring.
  4458. >She sends the call straight to voicemail.
  4459. >After a few minutes.
  4460. >No message is left.
  4461. >Her phone rings again.
  4462. >This time she picks up her phone and looks at it.
  4463. >”Huh, it's Limestone.”
  4464. >She answers it.
  4465. >”Hello?”
  4466. >You hear a faint frantic voice from the other line.
  4467. >”What?”
  4468. >She looks confused.
  4469. >”What?”
  4470. >Now she looks worried.
  4471. >”What do you mean?  What happened!?”
  4472. >She sits up from her seat.
  4473. >You do the same.
  4474. >Now watching her every move.
  4475. >Her eyes dart from side to side.
  4476. >She still doesn't say anything.
  4477. >She just hangs up the phone and runs to your room.
  4478. >You get up off from the couch and make your way to the room as well.
  4479. >She now has her pants on and her purse over her shoulder.
  4480. >”I'm sorry Nonny.  I need to go!”
  4481. >She tries to hurry past you but you stop her.
  4482. “Hold on!  Can you at least tell me what's going on?”
  4483. >If you're going to be in a relationship with her she can at least tell you something that is going on.
  4484. >And not leaving you in the dark.
  4485. >She looks at you with a panicked look.
  4486. >”Something happened!  I need to go!”
  4487. >She tries again to squeeze by you again.
  4488. >Again, you don't let her.
  4489. “I'm coming with you.  You're not gonna go through this alone!”
  4490. >She gives you another look.
  4491. >It's a mixture of shock, fear and annoyance.
  4492. >”F-fine!  Just..., Hurry!”
  4493. >You run off into your room.
  4494. >You throw on what you were wearing yesterday in a quick attempt to get ready.
  4495. >You meet Pinkie at the door of your apartment.
  4496. >You nod at her and both head out.
  4497.  
  4498. >You are Pinkie Pie.
  4499. >Both you and Anon are now making a mad dash to your car.
  4500. >And are now driving fast down the freeway.
  4501. >You just received the call you always thought you'd get.
  4502. >It's an awful one.
  4503. >And really it's awful to think about ever receiving such a call.
  4504. >But the fact that your family works in mines.
  4505. >And mines are almost always unstable death traps more often than not.
  4506. >You had a thought in the back of your head that one day an accident would occur involving someone in your family.
  4507. >Well.
  4508. >It happened.
  4509. >Limestone called in a panic.
  4510. >Seems like while Father was out training with Maud.
  4511. >Some equipment malfunctioned.
  4512. >Some tanks exploded.
  4513. >Massive cave in.
  4514. >Both father and Maud were in the cave when said accident happened.
  4515. >They are both in the hospital at the moment.
  4516. >A Hospital that is two hours outside of town.
  4517. >So you're hauling ass.
  4518. >As fast as you can.
  4519. >Hoping not to get pulled over.
  4520. >Anon looks a bit uncomfortable.
  4521. >Probably because you still really haven't filled him in on exactly what's going on.
  4522. >”So, care to tell me what is going on and why we are driving like we're in a race here?”
  4523. >He finally speaks up.
  4524. >His voice in a panic.
  4525. >You can't really blame him.
  4526. “Accident at one of my families mines.  Both my father and my sister were involved.  Both are at the hospital.  I don't know more than that.”
  4527. >Anon has now eased up a bit.
  4528. >He seems to understand your need to rush now.
  4529. >Instead of being afraid and uncomfortable.
  4530. >He's just plain afraid now.
  4531. >You would smile at that right now if the situation wasn't so dire.
  4532. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGFgpAZZzvo[Death Cab For Cutie - What Sarah Said - Plans])
  4533. >You finally make it to the hospital.
  4534. >You stop right in front of the entrance.
  4535. >Obviously illegal.
  4536. >You obviously didn't care.
  4537. >You told Anon to park it for her while you went in ahead and reunited with your family.
  4538. >Reunited.
  4539. >Even though you're thrilled to be reuniting with them.
  4540. >It tears you apart inside that it had to come to this anyways.
  4541. >Even more so now because it's happening or something like this.
  4542. >You're hoping they're both safe.
  4543. >Not even thinking about anything worse.
  4544.  
  4545. >You make it to the waiting room.
  4546. >It's packed full of people.
  4547. >Doctors and nurses frantically running around
  4548. >Stretchers and wheelchairs pack the halls with injured people.
  4549. >You maneuver yourself around the crowds of people to find your two sisters together.
  4550. >They were sitting with and comforting your mother who seems to be in tears.
  4551. >That's when your heart sinks.
  4552. >You finally reach their location.
  4553. >They all look up to you.
  4554. >All with the same sad expression on their faces.
  4555. >Your mom is the first to get up from her seat and embrace you in a tight hug.
  4556. >She's now sobbing into you.
  4557. >You didn't care.
  4558. >That's when your two sisters joined in.
  4559. >And that's when you begin to sob.
  4560. >You wrap your arms around as much of all three of them as you could.
  4561. >You all stand there letting tears flow freely.
  4562. “So how are they?”
  4563. >You finally muster the courage to ask.
  4564. >”We don't know.”
  4565. >You mother whispers to you.
  4566. >You dig your face deeper into your mothers shoulder.
  4567. >Letting out a small gasp of air.
  4568. >Tightening your grip on your family.
  4569. >Them doing the same to you.
  4570. >”It was a big accident.  A lot of the injured people here were from the mining site.”
  4571. >Limestone informs you bit more on what's going on here.
  4572. >All poor Marble could do right now is sob and whine into you.
  4573. >You take one of your free hands and pat your younger sister on her head.
  4574. >She sitrs and shivers bit in her position from your gesture.
  4575. >Your mom finally lets her grip loose of you and wipes her eyes dry.
  4576. >”I'm glad you're here Pinkie.”
  4577. >Your mother tells you.
  4578. >Giving you a tired smile.
  4579. >You do your best to force a smile on your own face.
  4580. >It's a fake smile.
  4581. >You know it.
  4582. >Does she?
  4583. >Does it matter right now?
  4584. >You'd be lying if you said you were there for your father.
  4585. >That's a mean thing to say.
  4586. >But after everything he's put you through.
  4587. >Well, a nice little reality check is maybe what he needs.
  4588. >That was also an awful thing to think of.
  4589. >You wouldn't wish this on anyone.
  4590. >But the truth is you're more concerned for everyone else but your dad.
  4591. >So here you are.
  4592. >In a hospital waiting room.
  4593. >Waiting.
  4594. >For any updates.
  4595. >On anyone.
  4596. >Maud
  4597. >Dad.
  4598. >Something.
  4599. >Anything.
  4600. >You hate waiting.
  4601. >You hated this feeling even more.
  4602. >You nervously pace back and forth in front of your siblings.
  4603. >You hold your breath every time a doctor makes his way into the waiting room.
  4604. >And continue breathing every time he goes to someone else in the room.
  4605. >The waiting room is getting less crowded.
  4606. >It was then you realized Anon hasn't found his way to you yet.
  4607. >Was he still trying to park the car?
  4608. >Did he get lost?
  4609. >Really, he could have stolen the car right now for all you cared.
  4610. >None of it seemed important at the moment.
  4611. >Another doctor makes his way into the waiting room.
  4612. >You look over to him.
  4613. >And hold your breath again.
  4614. >”Mrs. Ricter?”
  4615. >Not your name.
  4616. >You exhale.
  4617. >And continue pacing.
  4618. >Another doctor come out.
  4619. >Someone else gets news.
  4620. >It's getting frustrating at this point.
  4621. >Your pace quickens.
  4622. >You look over to your family.
  4623. >Your mom is sitting in a proper manner.
  4624. >Looking down at the floor.
  4625. >For what you can see of her face.
  4626. >It almost looks like all life has left her.
  4627. >Limestone is sitting to her right.
  4628. >She is hunched over her seat with one elbow resting on her knee.
  4629. >Her face planted squarely in the hand that was resting on her knee.
  4630. >Marble was to your mom's left.
  4631. >Both her legs were curled up to her chest.
  4632. >Arms wrapped around them as if they were some sort of plush.
  4633. >Her face buried in her knees.
  4634. >There was finally a free spot net to them.
  4635. >But you opted to stay standing and pacing.
  4636. >After all, you were the energetic one, right?
  4637. >The one that was going to haul more coal than any of your siblings?
  4638. >The one that was going to put all that energy to great use?
  4639. >It just so happens that now is a good time for your mind to be playing all the good memories you have of your dad.
  4640. >You try hard to block them out.
  4641. >You don't want any-
  4642. >”Mrs. Pie?”
  4643. >You jump at the doctors voice.
  4644. >You didn't even notice him come in.
  4645. >You quickly turn to face the doctor.
  4646. >Tears ready to roll down your cheek.
  4647. >Both sisters and your mother quickly get up from their seats to join you.
  4648. >”Y-Yes?”
  4649. >Your mother speaks up for all of you.
  4650. >Voice a little crackly.
  4651. >The doctor looks at all of you.
  4652. >He takes a deep breath.
  4653. >”Mr. Igneous Rock had suffered various injuries in the collapse.  While some were serious, none of them are fatal. He only suffered several broken ribs, bruised lung and, well.”
  4654. >He hesitates for a second.
  4655. >”A small portion of his face was smashed.  While most of the tissue there can repair itself.  I'm afraid he'll loose all vision in his left eye.”
  4656. >That's unfortunate.
  4657. >”What about Maud!?”
  4658. >Limestone is quick to ask the doctor.
  4659. >”Yes, what about my daughter?”
  4660. >You mother adds in on the pressure to the doctor.
  4661. >The doctor is frozen there.
  4662. >His eyes dart to all of you.
  4663. >”Ms. Maud..., suffered many injuries. Punctured lungs,  shattered ribcage.  I mean-”
  4664. >He stops himself for a second and rubs his hand over his face.
  4665. >He then sighs again
  4666. >”These are never easy..”
  4667. >He mutters under his breath.
  4668. >”I'm afraid she's gone.  She was pronounced dead on arrival.”
  4669. >The doctor holds his head down and takes a step back from you all.
  4670. >”I'm very sorry.  She had suffered too much damage in the collapse and there was absolutely nothing we could have done.”
  4671. >It feels like time stops.
  4672. >Nobody is moving.
  4673. >You see your mother begin to fall over to the floor.
  4674. >It looks like she is screaming.
  4675. >But you can't her her.
  4676. >You can't hear anything.
  4677. >Maud is dead.
  4678. >Gone.
  4679. >The one sister who was always there for you.
  4680. >The one sister who supported your wanting to be a baker.
  4681. >The sister who never had a bad thing to say about you.
  4682. >Suppose it's not fair to Marble.
  4683. >But she never showed support nor did she ever put you down either.
  4684. >Still.
  4685. >You look down.
  4686. >Both sisters have now joined in with your mother in screaming at the floor and crying.
  4687. >The one thing playing in your mind right now is the last time you saw Maud alive.
  4688. >Was it of her trying one of your sweets?
  4689. >No.
  4690. >Was it when you congratulated her when she was promoted to finally get out of those death trap mines?
  4691. >No.
  4692. >It was when you got kicked out of the house.
  4693. >And she defended you.
  4694. >'She's still my sister, so yes this is my business..'
  4695. >Those were the last words you heard her speak.
  4696. >The very last image you have of her was her with a sad look on her face.
  4697. >An expression she never shows.
  4698. >And it was your last memory of her.
  4699. >Forever.
  4700. >You hated that.
  4701. >You hated that so much.
  4702. >You look around the waiting room.
  4703. >Anon finally decided to show his face.
  4704. >He also looks a bit tired.
  4705. >He then notices you.
  4706. >And your family on the ground.
  4707. >He stands up straight.
  4708. >He looks to his left.
  4709. >Then to his right.
  4710. >Finally back at you.
  4711. >You take a step towards him.
  4712. >Your eyes are wide open.
  4713. >Tears are flowing.
  4714. >But your lips are curled into a smile.
  4715. >A smile.
  4716. >Not very appropriate for the situation.
  4717. >But they say smiles always brighten the mood.
  4718. >Right?
  4719. >Will it work here?
  4720. >Sure as hell doesn't feel like it.
  4721. >Anon looks confused.
  4722. >But he holds his arms out open for you anyways.
  4723. >You fall into him.
  4724. >He barley catches you.
  4725. >And you empty out your lungs into his chest.
  4726.  
  4727. >Several days pass.
  4728. >In what feels like minutes.
  4729. >You've had no concept of time recently.
  4730. >You just let it pass.
  4731. >Even missed a few days of work.
  4732. >The cakes have almost had enough of you.
  4733. >Until they heard what had happened.
  4734. >They still had to hire a new hand.
  4735. >Now it'll feel like you're walking a fine line at work now too.
  4736. >Lovely.
  4737. >Anything else want to go wrong?
  4738. >Now seems like the best time.
  4739. >Go ahead.
  4740. >Let Rarity kick you out.
  4741. >Let your friends all hate you
  4742. >Let Anon leave you.
  4743. >Why not?
  4744. >Speaking of which.
  4745. >You've been staying at his place.
  4746. >Despite your families protests to have you come home.
  4747. >You still feel not right about going 'home'
  4748. >Having a body to hold at nights seems to help.
  4749. >He seems to be trying too hard for you.
  4750. >You can tell your constant hugging and crying to him at night causes him to not get enough sleep.
  4751. >He still has a job to do.
  4752. >So some mornings you try to get up before him to make him some coffee.
  4753. >Or anything really.
  4754. >Cereal.
  4755. >Eggs.
  4756. >Waffles.
  4757. >Whatever you can.
  4758. >It also helps with not thinking about your loss.
  4759. >You're not even sure where to go from here.
  4760. >One day, you decided to try baking.
  4761. >It's always helped you before.
  4762. >Maybe you'll try and bake a regular cake for Anon.
  4763. >Something of a 'thank you' for putting up with you at this moment.
  4764. >You go and buy some ingredients for the cake.
  4765. >It's the first time you've left his place.
  4766. >I guess this is a start.
  4767. >Thinking of him and not of tragedy.
  4768. >And for the first time since this all went down.
  4769. >A genuine smile crept on your face.
  4770.  
  4771. >You are Anon.
  4772. >And goddamn you're tired.
  4773. >The last few days haven't been to kind to you.
  4774. >Granted it's been worse for Pinkie.
  4775. >But offering her support is something lovers do.
  4776. >Right?
  4777. >Sure, a death in her family is a bit extreme.
  4778. >Especially since she merely a few days ago she was exiled from said family.
  4779. >She was adamant to not spend this time of grieving with them.
  4780. >You didn't get that.
  4781. >They were somewhat shitty to you but they were still your family.
  4782. >You shake your head.
  4783. >Maybe it's something you'll never understand.
  4784. >Since you were raised in an encouraging and loving environment.
  4785. >It also shows that she truly feels something for you.
  4786. >She could have stayed with her friends.
  4787. >Who in all accounts would have known her longer than you.
  4788. >Still.
  4789. >In that sense you were fine.
  4790. >It was the constant of having to hold her and let her cry herself to sleep every night since it happened.
  4791. >You already feel as though you don't get enough sleep as it is.
  4792. >Now you'd be lucky to have a solid 4 hours.
  4793. >Days off?
  4794. >What the hell are those?
  4795. >They say the quality of a chef's restaurant is not how good he cooks at it.
  4796. >But how good it is when he's not there.
  4797. >And for Chase Palomino.
  4798. >Who is almost never there mind you.
  4799. >And when he is, he doesn't cook.
  4800. >So yeah, for him he's got a pretty damn good establishment going on.
  4801. >And if you're not there?
  4802. >You can't say for sure.
  4803. >But the fact that you always have to worry the place will burn down if you're not there is not a good thing on you.
  4804. >Or perhaps you're just too hard on yourself.
  4805. “Fuck!”
  4806. >Whilst in the middle of your thoughts, you dozed off.
  4807. >In front of a stove.
  4808. >With a pan of searing steak.
  4809. >The steak overcooked and popped oil all over.
  4810. >Waking you up in the process and you jolting awake.
  4811. >Flipping the pan with the steak and sauce all over the floor.
  4812. >You take a deep breath.
  4813. >Massage your face with your hand that didn't get splattered with oil.
  4814. >And make your way to the bathroom and wash off your hand.
  4815. >Your kitchen manager comes over to check up on you.
  4816. >”Hey man, are you okay?”
  4817. >You look at him for a second.
  4818. >You then walk past him and into the office.
  4819. >You take a seat at the desk and lean back.
  4820. >Your Kitchen manager follows.
  4821. >”Hey! Are you listening to me?”
  4822. >You straighten up.
  4823. “No.  I'm fucking tired.  I haven;t had a decent amount of sleep since my girlfriend has been staying with me.”
  4824. >He then has an impressed look on his face.
  4825. >”Well than,  I know having some ass every night is a good thing but you can clearly see it's affecting your performance.”
  4826. >You snort.
  4827. “It's not even like that!  She just had a close family member die, and I've been holding her while she cries to sleep every night.”
  4828. >He drops his impressed look and dons a disappointed look.
  4829. >He then looks behind him.
  4830. >”Well, If I were you I'd use my excuse because Chase is here and wants to talk to you.”
  4831. >You shoot up from your seat.
  4832. “What!?”
  4833. >He then hurries out of the way.
  4834. >Where you see your boss walk up to you in the office!
  4835. >”My boy!  How are you?”
  4836. >You sit back into your chair.
  4837. >And sigh.
  4838. “I've been a lot better, I gotta tell you.”
  4839. >Chase gives his hearty laugh as he closes the door to the office and has a seat across from you.
  4840. >”Level with me son, I've gotten lots of complaints here for a few days.  Food is getting undercooked.  Overcooked.  Missing items on the plate, and I hear you've been short with the staff.”
  4841. >What?
  4842. >You eye Chase suspiciously.
  4843. “Hold on, I can explain my cooking shortcomings.  But where the hell is this 'me being short with the staff' business coming from?”
  4844. >Chase crosses his arms.
  4845. >And leans back into his chair.
  4846. >”So there has been problems.”
  4847. >You throw up your arms in the air.
  4848. “Look, some shit went down in my personal life.  There was an unfortunate accident that involved my girlfriends family and had to be there for her.”
  4849. >He raises a single eyebrow.
  4850. >”You mean that big accident over at the Mines?  Where several people lost their lives?”
  4851. >You nod.
  4852. “Her sister was one of the victims.”
  4853. >His head lowers at that comment.
  4854. >”Well I must offer my sincerest condolences then.”
  4855. >He then raises his back and stares straight at you.
  4856. >”But,  I'm afraid that doesn't excuse the dip in quality of our establishment.  You are a chef.  You must always put these matters in the back of your head if you want to continue to excel in this business.”
  4857. >You just stare at him.
  4858. “Really now.  It's been more of me trying to comfort her in these rough times.  She kinda has nobody else to turn to.”
  4859. >Chase just nods.
  4860. >But it looks like he's not listening.
  4861. >”Be that as it may,  This is my restaurant and we can't have too long a stretch of this bad reputation.  And especially you snapping at your staff.”
  4862. >You stop him.
  4863. “Hold on, who has said I've been snapping at them?  Because that's the last thing I would have done to anyone here!”
  4864. >He shakes his head.
  4865. >”I cannot tell you, it would put this person in a tough spot.  The point is straighten up.  You've been going at this since you've gotten back from Appaloosa.”
  4866. >Hold on.
  4867. >Ever since you've gotten back from Appaloosa?
  4868. “What do you mean by that?”
  4869. >He shrugs.
  4870. >”I just wanted to give you a reminder of who you work for.”
  4871. >You start to chuckle.
  4872. “Yeah, who I work for.  You know, up until recently I always knew who I worked for.  Recently I've been seeing this new person who claims to be my boss,  and all he's been doing is threatening me, falsely accusing me of mishandling staff and just being an overall asshole.”
  4873. >He leans forward in his seat.
  4874. >”Watch your tongue boy.  You're walking on thin ice here and you don't want to know what happens when it breaks.”
  4875. >You get up out of your seat.
  4876. “You know what?  I do want to know what happens.  I could care less!”
  4877. >You take off your apron and throw it on the desk.
  4878. >And walk out the office.
  4879. >You walk past everyone in the kitchen.
  4880. >You can hear Chase yell something from the office.
  4881. >But you block him out.
  4882. >You start Eying each person as you pass by.
  4883. >Everyone has a confused look on their face.
  4884. >You walk out the back of the restaurant.
  4885. >To your car.
  4886. >And drive home.
  4887. >Did you just quit your job?
  4888. >You did.
  4889. >You start to laugh.
  4890. >You sigh.
  4891. >Fan-fucking-tastic.
  4892. >You can't believe you just did that.
  4893. >What now?
  4894. >The rush of having just done that has worn down.
  4895. >Now stress is starting to loom.
  4896. >Where can you find a good paying job.
  4897. >Do you still want to be a chef?
  4898. >What will your parents think?
  4899. >What will Pinkie think?
  4900. >You shake your head.
  4901. >And take a deep breath.
  4902. >You make it home.
  4903. >You slowly walk to your apartment door.
  4904. >And stand there for a few minutes.
  4905. >Thinking of what to tell Pinkie.
  4906. >You don't want her to worry more than she already has to.
  4907. >Perhaps you should wait until you have to 'be home from work'
  4908. >Fuck it.
  4909. >You walk in.
  4910. >You smell something sweet.
  4911. >Pinkie isn't in the living room.
  4912. >You look to see if she was in the kitchen.
  4913. >She wasn't.
  4914. >But what was there.
  4915. >Was a single cake on the kitchen table.
  4916. >You get a closer look.
  4917. >It has vanilla frosting.
  4918. >And pink writing on the top of the cake.
  4919. >'Thank you for being here for me'
  4920. >The writing is decorated with hearts.
  4921. >Just by looking at this.
  4922. >All of your worries are absolved.
  4923. >You don't know why.
  4924. >You have a big grin on your face.
  4925. >You decide to try and find Pinkie so you can cut the cake together.
  4926. >You walk over to your room's doorway.
  4927. >You see her sleeping.
  4928. >As you get closer.
  4929. >You notice she has a smile on her face.
  4930. >You stop in your tracks.
  4931. >This is the first time she has had a smile on her face since then.
  4932. >You nod to yourself and leave her be.
  4933. >You cut yourself a piece of the cake.
  4934. >Have a seat at the couch and watch some TV on low volume.
  4935. >The cake was delicious.
  4936. >A lot better than the Tres Leches cake you both made the other night.
  4937. >This one was a lot drier.
  4938. >But still had a moisture to it.
  4939. >You finish your piece.
  4940. >Place the empty plate in the sink with the rest of the dirty dishes.
  4941. >You stretch.
  4942. >you put on your sleeping clothes.
  4943. >And join Pinkie in the bed.
  4944. >You snuggle up from behind her.
  4945. >Wrap your arm around her.
  4946. >And just hold her close.
  4947. >Burying your head into her large mess of hair.
  4948. >And you just stop thinking.
  4949. >And letting sleep take you away.
  4950. >With her.
  4951.  
  4952. >You are Pinkie Pie.
  4953. >And you feel heavier than you did when you fell asleep.
  4954. >And someone is behind you.
  4955. >Then you realize it's Anon.
  4956. >You honestly forget you're staying at his place some nights.
  4957. >It's pretty cozy actually.
  4958. >Nice and warm.
  4959. >You really do appreciate his hospitality while you go through this.
  4960. >That isn't to say your other friends wouldn't have been there for you.
  4961. >They would have been there in less than a heartbeat.
  4962. >And while he wasn't there to hear the news.
  4963. >He was there.
  4964. >With you.
  4965. >In person.
  4966. >That counts for so much more.
  4967. >He was there for you at your worst.
  4968. >You feel he'll be there for you for it all.
  4969. >You reach for his had that was nestled around your waist.
  4970. >And grab his hand.
  4971. >You intertwine you fingers with his and hold it closer to you.
  4972. >You gently scoot a little more into him.
  4973. >And fall back asleep.
  4974. >It's morning now.
  4975. >It's about 7 AM.
  4976. >Anon is still here.
  4977. >Weird.
  4978. >He should have left for work already.
  4979. >You ever so gently move from his warm body and off of the bed.
  4980. >You make your way into the kitchen.
  4981. >You notice there was a slice of cake already missing.
  4982. >Anon must have already cut himself a piece when he got home last night.
  4983. >The thought of it put another smile on your face.
  4984. >Your phone chimes to signify you received a message
  4985. >You check your phone.
  4986. >There was a message from Limestone.
  4987. >'Dad is home.  He wants to talk to you here.”
  4988. >You read the message few times.
  4989. >You lightly shake your head and take a deep breath.
  4990. >You figured this was also going to come sooner or later.
  4991. >You just kinda hoped it were later.
  4992. >You don't know if you want to face your father.
  4993. >Is he just going to pin all this on you?
  4994. >You were getting mad just thinking about it.
  4995. >Something you do not want at this moment.
  4996. >Then again.
  4997. >Getting angry is a lot better than getting depressed.
  4998. >”Morning.”
  4999. >You quickly turn to see Anon standing in the door way.
  5000. >His eyes half open.
  5001. >Wearing a plain t-shirt with some shorts.
  5002. “H-Hey! Morning Anon!”
  5003. >In a bit of a surprise to see him up.
  5004. >And home.
  5005. “Don't you have work today?  What're you doing home?”
  5006. >He leans on the side of the doorway.
  5007. >”Well, looks like I wasn't about to take my boss' shit anymore.  He decided to attempt to make my time there a hassle over the 'borrowed' recipe.  So I told him, but actually didn't tell him, to go fuck himself.”
  5008. >He quit his job?
  5009. >Over the disputed recipe?
  5010. “But why?  I thought you loved what you did!”
  5011. >He nods.
  5012. >”I did.  Then something you told me had struck a chord with me.”
  5013. >Something you said to him?
  5014. “What was that?”
  5015. >He smiles.
  5016. >”While I guess it really wasn't something you 'said' but the general idea of what you said; and that stealing someone elses ideas and creativity is a surefire way to have your passion killed.”
  5017. >Okay, but that really has nothing to do with this.
  5018. >”Okay, so basically I thought to myself while he was going on about some shit that 'This guy, who fueled my passion for cooking, is now killing it with little petty threats and things outside of cooking.”
  5019. >You tilt your head and look at him with one eyebrow raised.
  5020. >He then chuckles to himself.
  5021. >”Okay, so it only makes sense in my head. But basically my boss was becoming a source of inspiration and passion killer and I wanted out before I 'phoned it in' as you put it.”
  5022. >You smile at him.
  5023. “See?  Was that so hard to say before?”
  5024. >He blows a raspberry at you.
  5025. “What are you gonna do now?”
  5026. >That question seemed to have brought him back down to earth.
  5027. >As his demeanor changed from positive to indifferent.
  5028. >”I dunno.”
  5029. >He starts to look down at the floor.
  5030. >As if the floor was going to solve his problems.
  5031. >”I suppose I should get a head start on finding a new job before Chase can start spreading rumors out there.”
  5032. >He puts on a smile for you.
  5033. >”What about you?  When do you go back to work?”
  5034. >You do have to be in tonight to bake.
  5035. >Then you take another look at your phone.
  5036. >After hearing what Anon just did.
  5037. >You now feel like if he can get over his problems and just walk away from it.
  5038. >Perhaps you could have one last conversation with your father before finally leaving him.
  5039. >Maybe even start a family with Anon.
  5040. >Now you're getting ahead of yourself.
  5041. >You look back to Anon.
  5042. “I...,  Actually have some business to attend to today.”
  5043. >You say as you wave your phone to him.
  5044. “Something I need to take care of myself.”
  5045. >Anon smiles and makes his way to you.
  5046. >He holds you close and gives you a kiss.
  5047. >”Good luck to the both of us today then.”
  5048. >He rests his forehead on your own.
  5049. >You both hold each other for a brief minute before finally letting go.
  5050. >You go and shower and get ready.
  5051. >You give Anon one more kiss before heading out the door.
  5052. >You get into your car.
  5053. >And head off to your parents house.
  5054.  
  5055. >The drive over gave you a chance to think.
  5056. >And prepare.
  5057. >You decided you weren't going to take his crap.
  5058. >Not this time.
  5059. >You weren’t sure how he is going to react.
  5060. >Or how he was going to feel for that mater.
  5061. >One thing was for sure though.
  5062. >If he acted up.
  5063. >You were simply just going to walk out.
  5064. >From his room.
  5065. >From his life.
  5066. >You'll keep tabs with your sisters and by proxy, your mother as well.
  5067. >But you were simply not going to stand for your father mocking you.
  5068. >Even after such a loss.
  5069. >The thought still brings you on the verge of tears.
  5070. >But you hold them in.
  5071. >You may need them in a minute.
  5072. >You finally make it there.
  5073. >You haven't seen this place in about a week.
  5074. >Obviously nothing has really changed.
  5075. >You walk up the concrete walkway up to the porch.
  5076. >You open the front door.
  5077. >Which was unlocked.
  5078. >Once in the house you see many bouquets of flowers decorated all over the living room.
  5079. >Some even spilling off into the dining room and even kitchen.
  5080. >The various flowers gave off vibrant colors to the classical theme the house has always had.
  5081. >You walk over to a table at the end of the living room.
  5082. >It is littered with picture frames of Maud and more flowers.
  5083. >One of the first pictures you notice is one of all your siblings and yourself.
  5084. >You're all sitting on a large rock at the entrance of a mine.
  5085. >All of you are smiling.
  5086. >Even Maud.
  5087. >It was just her signature upside down frown.
  5088. >That's what you always told her when you were kids and when she tried to smile.
  5089. >Her smile would get slightly wider when you told her that.
  5090. >You can feel the waterworks begin to turn in your head.
  5091. >You turn away from the pictures and stand off in the middle of the room.
  5092. >It was then you see your mother walk from the top of the stairs.
  5093. >Wearing her usual sun dress as what the weather called for today.
  5094. >Holding a small purse as she always did.
  5095. >Her eyes looked tired and strained.
  5096. >Probably from crying a lot as well.
  5097. >She spots you and quickly comes to you.
  5098. >She grabs you and gives you a long tight hug.
  5099. >You return the favor and wrap your arms around her.
  5100. >And try to squeeze just as tight as her but can't.
  5101. >You both stand there for a while.
  5102. >You can now hear your mother sob.
  5103. >It was then finally you let some tears flow.
  5104. >You bury your face into your mothers shoulder and use it to wipe away the tears.
  5105. >You break free from your mothers grasp and take a deep breath.
  5106. “Hi mom.”
  5107. >You meekly tell her.
  5108. >”It's so good to have you in this house again.”
  5109. >She tells you.
  5110. >She opens her purse up and takes a napkin out.
  5111. >She goes on to wipe her tears dry and blows her nose.
  5112. “It's good to see you mom.”
  5113. >She nods.
  5114. >Trying to hold back more tears.
  5115. >Poor woman.
  5116. >She's probably been like this the whole time.
  5117. “Where's Limestone and Marble?”
  5118. >You ask to try and distract her.
  5119. >If only for a bit.
  5120. >”They're at work.  Igneous is too hurt to work or even leave the house so the girls are running things while he heals up.”
  5121. >Yeah.
  5122. >He was injured.
  5123. >You suck in your lips and look down at the floor.
  5124. >You look up to your mother.
  5125. “Where is he?”
  5126. >She moves out of your way.
  5127. >”He's in his office.”
  5128. >She points out a door in the corner of the room.
  5129. >You nod at her.
  5130. >You give her one more hug and kiss.
  5131. >You stand in front of the door.
  5132. >You place your hand on the doorknob.
  5133. >You freeze for a moment.
  5134. >This is it.
  5135. >You open the door and enter his office.
  5136. >And close the door behind you.
  5137. >There he was.
  5138. >Looking away from you.
  5139. >He was sitting in a wheelchair.
  5140. >From what you can see there is bandages wrapped atop his head.
  5141. >And can see one arm resting on the side of the chair.
  5142. >His head is tilted downwards.
  5143. >He doesn't seem to notice you were in there.
  5144. >You clear your throat.
  5145. “Hey Dad.”
  5146. >You put a little volume in your voice to try and catch his attention.
  5147. >He slowly raises his head.
  5148. >He's still looking away from you.
  5149. >”When I was a child.  Nothing I ever did was good enough for my parents. In school, at home, anything I did.”
  5150. >He lowers his head again.
  5151. >”I resented them at the time for this.  Growing up, I wanted to be an architect.  They didn't care much for anything other than the family business.  So they saw my sketches and works as a 'waste of time.'”
  5152. >Sounds oddly familiar.
  5153. >But you still say nothing.
  5154. >Wanting to see where he is going with this.
  5155. >”It only made me obsessed.  I wanted to please them so badly, I attended college to pursue architecture.  I overworked myself,  had a mental breakdown.  Only for my parents to muse about how I failed.  I dropped out of college.  Went to work for the family business.  And even then,  everything I did wasn't good enough for them.”
  5156. >This is the first you've heard about him wanting to be an architect.
  5157. >”Before I realized it.  I was married with a single daughter.  Grandpa passed away and he did not once in my life tell me he was proud of me.”
  5158. >His voice started to crack at the end of that.
  5159. >He then cleared his throat and continued on.
  5160. >”In the end, I had the 4 of you.  Not sure what to do with daughters. I just raised you as differently as I could from how I was raised.”
  5161. >Yeah, that's bullshit.
  5162. >He raises his head again.
  5163. >”Didn't end up going that way.  I kept you all from doing your own things and turned you all towards the family business.  You were the only one that had any sort of resistance over time while the other three complied.  When you did that. I panicked in my head.  I didn't want you to go through what I did.”
  5164. >He shakes his head.
  5165. >”I say that now, but what did I do to you?  Did I encourage you to follow your dreams?  Did I offer any sort of help?  No, I did the same exact thing my parents did to me.”
  5166. >It's starting to hit close to home now.
  5167. >”I took to your defiance and kicked you out of the house.  Thinking you'll give up on your hopes and dreams and to come back and work for the family.  Little did I know that you were not the only one I was losing.”
  5168. >He lowers his head once more.
  5169. >”Maud had refused to speak to me after that night.”
  5170. >His breathing is getting erratic.
  5171. >”I thought she would get over it over time.  But oh how fragile life truly is.”
  5172. >He is sobbing now.
  5173. >”She died hating me.  I know she did,  and I..., I have to live with that for the rest of my life.”
  5174. >He raises his hand to rub his eye.
  5175. >Is he breaking down?
  5176. >”No parent wants to bury their own child.  Ever.  I've been spending everyday since the accident wishing, praying that I would give everything I own for it to have been me and not Maud.”
  5177. >This is getting sad.
  5178. >And not in the pathetic sense either.
  5179. >He finally turns his wheelchair to face you.
  5180. >There are bandages covering his left eye.
  5181. >His right arm is in a cast and sling.
  5182. >His midsection is bandaged up.
  5183. >His one good eye is red.
  5184. >Probably from crying.
  5185. >Something you thought he wasn't capable of doing.
  5186. >He was staring at you with a stream of tears flowing out of his good eye.
  5187. >”I have nobody to blame but myself for all this...”
  5188. >He slowly rolls towards you.
  5189. >”But I want you to know that I am sorry...  From the bottom of my mangled heart for everything I have done to you over the years.”
  5190. >He stops in front of you.
  5191. >And looks up to you
  5192. >“...and that I love you.  I have been a terrible father to you all.  I am also sorry that a tragedy like this had to happen for me to realize this.”
  5193. >He grabs one of your hands.
  5194. >And he gives it a squeeze.
  5195. >His grip is as strong as ever.
  5196. >Even in his injured state
  5197. >”I don't expect you to forgive this old man for a lifetime of hardships.  I accept that.  If you want to walk out of my life for everything I have done,  I will respect that.  But please just know...”
  5198. >He starts to cry again.
  5199. >”...That I will love you no matter what you do with your life and I will be proud of you.”
  5200. >He lets you go.
  5201. >”I've lost one child already.  I don't want to loose anymore...”
  5202. >He slowly begins to roll away from you.
  5203. >You just stand there.
  5204. >You were not expecting this.
  5205. >You really weren't.
  5206. >You were ready to lay into him if he got out of hand.
  5207. >But now.
  5208. >Of all times.
  5209. >He decides to pour his heart out to you.
  5210. >You just stare at him.
  5211. >Waiting for a reaction.
  5212. >You stay still for a moment.
  5213. >Not sure how to process this.
  5214. >Finally you speak up.
  5215. “Does this mean I'm welcome back in the house?”
  5216. >Your father snorts and causes him to have another silent crying fit.
  5217. >You go up to him.
  5218. >You get down on one knee.
  5219. >And embrace him.
  5220. >He is taken back at your reaction.
  5221. >He wraps his good arm around you.
  5222. >And much like your mother did before.
  5223. >He sobs into your shoulder.
  5224. >You let some tears flow yourself.
  5225. >But in all honesty.
  5226. >You're not sure if you're ready to fully forgive him.
  5227. >But you suppose this was a good start.
  5228.  
  5229. >ONE YEAR LATER
  5230.  
  5231. >Toasted coriander.
  5232. >Toasted fennel.
  5233. >Black Peppercorn.
  5234. >Dried curry leaves.
  5235. >Cumin seeds.
  5236. >Black mustard seeds.
  5237. >Sweet paprika.
  5238. >Turmeric.
  5239. >Blend it all up into a power.
  5240. >Rub onto a whole pork shoulder.
  5241. >Place into a smoker.
  5242. >That'll be done in about 8 hours.
  5243. >In the meantime.
  5244. >You have one ready to go.
  5245. >You begin to pull it into shreds.
  5246. >You place some onto a toasted bun.
  5247. >You spray it with a little bit of house-made BBQ sauce.
  5248. >And some house made sliced dill pickles.
  5249. >Add a side of some house-made coleslaw.
  5250. >*BING*
  5251. >”Order up!”
  5252. >A Young woman looking to be in her early twenties whips on by and grabs the plate.
  5253. >She walk on by another part of the kitchen where more 'magic' is happening.
  5254. >Mixing milk, cream and sugar into a sauce pan over a heated stove.
  5255. >Once done, remove the pan from the heat and add yeast.
  5256. >Allow the yeast to do it's job and let the mixture sit.
  5257. >While doing that, take flower, salt and butter.
  5258. >Put them all into a mixing bowl and knead with your hands.
  5259. >Once it's at a constancy you like you add the milk and yeast mixture.
  5260. >Add in a beaten egg.
  5261. >Mix all ingredients until a doughy texture is reached.
  5262. >Place dough onto a flower covered flat surface.
  5263. >Begin kneading until dough is smooth and elastic.
  5264. >Let dough sit for about 90 minutes so it can expand twice it's size.
  5265. >Once done, flatten and knead the dough once more.
  5266. >Mold dough into a log.
  5267. >Cut log into 6 pieces as evenly as you can.
  5268. >Roll the pieces into balls.
  5269. >Let those sit for another 90 minutes.
  5270. >Once done, brush some eggwash on each roll.
  5271. >Sprinkle sesame seeds on them.
  5272. >Place in oven for 15 minutes.
  5273. >Or until all of them are golden brown.
  5274. >Let them cool.
  5275. >You now have hamburger buns.
  5276. >Hand them over to the chef.
  5277. >Onto the next recipe.
  5278. >On your way back you pass by the waitress who was taking out food to patrons.
  5279. >She's holding several plates this time passing you by.
  5280. >The young woman.
  5281. >Who looked maybe in her early 20's
  5282. >With short purple hair.
  5283. >Wearing a black t-shirt with a gray sweater over.
  5284. >The sleeves pushed up to her elbows.
  5285. >And brown short cargo pants that only go down to her shins.
  5286. >She continues on into a relatively small dining area.
  5287. >Yet the dining room is at capacity.
  5288. >And there is a line out the door waiting for a seat.
  5289. >It's been like this for weeks.
  5290. >In the year since everything happened.
  5291. >You both had come to an understanding.
  5292. >To go for broke and put all your resources in going through with the joke ambition you both came up with.
  5293. >And that was to start your own establishment.
  5294. >A fusion style gastropub.
  5295. >Anon obviously heading the food side.
  5296. >Whilst Pinkie Pie handles baking anything the food side needs.
  5297. >Then later in the day begins to bake sweets such as cakes and cookies and pies.
  5298. >It wasn't easy to get to this point.
  5299. >You both had to put all your finances together.
  5300. >Despite what Anon says.
  5301. >He actually had a sizable amount saved up.
  5302. >Still wasn't enough.
  5303. >So you went to the bank for a loan.
  5304. >You were granted a pretty decent loan.
  5305. >Even ran away with a micro-interest rate.
  5306. >That was mostly thanks to Pinkie Pie's dad.
  5307. >He signed on as a co-signer and due to his line of credit and financial status.
  5308. >The Bank literally let him dictate the stipulations of the loan.
  5309. >He really didn't have to.
  5310. >But he did it all on his own.
  5311. >He didn't even find out you were going through with this if it weren't for your mother mentioning it to him.
  5312. >Guess you could say it was another 'I'm sorry' gift to you two.
  5313. >With it, not only were you able to secure a prime building in a prime location.
  5314. >You also both live above the establishment in a 3 bedroom condo.
  5315. >You still had extra cash from the purchase.
  5316. >So Anon used it to get a medium sized smoker installed into the building.
  5317. >After quitting his job, Anon spent some time in Appaloosa
  5318. >With the help of the Apple siblings, he was able to apprentice under Braeburn in the art of barbecue.
  5319. >With his previous cooking knowledge, it really only took him maybe two weeks to get it all down.
  5320. >Now he uses the new restaurant to try out experimental BBQ rubs and sauces.
  5321. >You both agreed to have a bar installed with a 22 tap draft system.
  5322. >Because craft beer was the way of the future.
  5323. >But an experienced bartender handy would be nice as well.
  5324. >Finally.
  5325. >You both agreed to have a small stage built at the far end of the restaurant.
  5326. >Just behind the bar.
  5327. >Some nights you would hold small gatherings in the later hours.
  5328. >You'd let local musicians come in and perform while you still serve beer and drinks.
  5329. >Pinkie would bake some experimental pastries and sell them only during these hours.
  5330. >Same with Anon and trying out some finger foods.
  5331. >You'd have an assistant working along side you both as well.
  5332.  
  5333. >You are Anon.
  5334. >And you are just about finishing up for the day.
  5335. >More like, you were shutting down most of the kitchen.
  5336. >Tonight was a night you were going to have a live band play.
  5337. >And look who it is.
  5338. >It's Tender Taps' 'vintage' band.
  5339. >You know you should be heading the kitchen tonight.
  5340. >But with your friend performing, You have to be there for just this one.
  5341. >So you decide to let your assistant go nuts tonight and come up with something.
  5342. >All credit will go to him, of course.
  5343. >You walk out into the dining area.
  5344. >It's packed tonight.
  5345. >You moved some tables off from the floor to have a mini dance floor.
  5346. >And the people are making good use of the space.
  5347. >You squeeze your way to the bar.
  5348. >And order a beer.
  5349. >Nothing fancy tonight
  5350. >You catch the song currently in play.
  5351.  
  5352. >Tender does his thing.
  5353. >Looks a lot less formal than he did the last time you saw him.
  5354. >Gray slacks with a white long sleeve dress shirt.
  5355. >He's rocking suspenders instead of a belt.
  5356. >The song ends.
  5357. >People cheer for the group.
  5358. >You add your own voice in.
  5359. >”Thank you people and thank you very much for coming out to this great place to see us!”
  5360. >More cheers from the crowd.
  5361. >”We're gonna take a short break, but don't you worry!  We'll be right back with our boy tender Taps on the mike!”
  5362. >Tender does a little tap routine on stage to more people cheering.
  5363. >Sounds like a lot of the ladies in attendance are feeling it too.
  5364. >They all go off stage.
  5365. >Some mingle with the people.
  5366. >Some head to the bar and grab a drink.
  5367. >Tender comes straight to you.
  5368. >He extends his arms out to you.
  5369. >You embrace him for a bro hug.
  5370. >”My man!  How are you doing!?”
  5371. >Tender seems to be excited to see you.
  5372. “I'm doing a lot better!”
  5373. >You yell over the loud sounds of people talking yelling, laughing and genuinely having a blast.
  5374. >”That so!?”
  5375. >He asks as he orders a drink from the bar
  5376. “I mean;  The hours are worse,  the pay is nonexistent,  the responsibilities are endless!”
  5377. >You take a chug of your beer.
  5378. >Then you feel a weight on your back.
  5379. >You turn to see Pinkie Pie.
  5380. >Already with drink in hand.
  5381. >Wide grin on her face.
  5382. >You return her smile.
  5383. >You wrap your arm around her and hold her close.
  5384. >And turn back to Tender.
  5385. “And I wouldn't trade it for anything else in the world!”
  5386. >Tender laughs.
  5387. >He receives his drink.
  5388. >A simple rum and cola.
  5389. >You both chat up for a bit.
  5390. >Catching up on things.
  5391. >About music.
  5392. >About life choices.
  5393. >Tender finishes his drink.
  5394. >”Alright, well I need to get up there and knock them down!”
  5395. >You pat him on his shoulder.
  5396. ”Good luck my friend!”
  5397. >He then takes a look at the both of you.
  5398. >”Good luck to the both of you!”
  5399. >He holds his hands out.
  5400. >Then clasps his hands together to signify the unity between you two.
  5401. >He then makes his way back on stage with the rest of the band.
  5402. >The crowd goes crazy again.
  5403. >”Thank you thank you!”
  5404. >He waves to the crowd.
  5405. >Who is finally settling down.
  5406. >”I just want to say it's great seeing all your faces out here, supporting us and supporting this new local spot!”
  5407. >More cheers from the crowd.
  5408. >”I would like to start off with a song dedicated to the lovely couple who actually own this place.  It's..., kiiiiinda how they met.  Not really but I like to think so!  It's also an excuse to play this song!”
  5409. >The crowd claps and goes silent.
  5410. >The pianist starts off.
  5411. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1D6qWO-JzQ[Carly Rae Jepsen & Postmodern Jukebox - Call Me Maybe Reboxed Cover ft. Von Smith])
  5412. >Both you and Pinkie laugh at the song choice.
  5413. >While true.
  5414. >It's not how you two met.
  5415. >But it's more accurate to say it's how you got together more or less.
  5416. >You get up off your stool.
  5417. >And extend your hand to Pinkie.
  5418. >She looks at you for a moment.
  5419. >A warm smile on her face.
  5420. >She finally takes your hand.
  5421. >But she was one step ahead of you.
  5422. >As soon as she takes your hand she pulls you onto the dance floor before you could.
  5423. >You both twirl and dance to the music.
  5424. >Two step.
  5425. >And genuinely act like dorks on the dance floor.
  5426. >Pretty much like everyone else.
  5427. >You finally both hold each other close.
  5428. >Pinkie places her nose onto yours.
  5429. >Then both your foreheads meet.
  5430. >Your eyes are closed.
  5431. >You don't need them at this moment.
  5432. >You know she's smiling and happy.
  5433. >As you are sure she knows the very same for you.
  5434. >Because you are smiling.
  5435. >This was your life.
  5436. >This was how it was going to go.
  5437. >You don't know for how long.
  5438. >You hope for the rest of your lives.
  5439.  
  5440. -END
Equestria Girls EqG Pinkie Pie Anon drama

Beavis and Butt-Head Do Equestria [Series of Shorts](FiM)

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