THE LUSTY SEAPONY - EVENING
Lucky Lightning is sitting in a booth, sipping a (cheap) beer and looking out of the window, lost in her thoughts.
Sunrise comes down the stairs from her room and takes a seat at the bar. Barkeep pours her a not-inexpensive glass of wine, which she sips thoughtfully as she looks over some correspondence that piled up while she was away.
Julienne emerges out of the portal in her maid uniform, looking a little exhausted, but satisfied. She walks up to the bar and digs out a gold piece, taking a soda in return.
Lucky Lightning looks up at the two mares entering, then quickly turns to look out of the window again when she sees Julienne, blushing a bit.
Julienne takes a drink of her soda, not quite noticing Lucky yet. She dips her head to Sunrise. "Hello, Ma'am."
Sunrise nods back. "Evening." She looks Julienne over for a moment before looking down at her letters again.
Lucky Lightning glances back up, opening her mouth to say something, but shakes her head. Instead, she gets up and starts taking steps towards Julienne, trying to keep a brave face.
Julienne finishes her soda more quickly than intended, then sighs, exhausted, but so much still running through her mind after work. She glances at Sunrise again. "Pardon but... this may sound a bit odd coming from a pegasus, but... magic? Is it... really tiring?"
Mahogany wanders into the bar humming to himself, and wanders to his spot at the bar and orders a Buzzard.
Sunrise takes a sip of her wine, the glass held in her magic as is usual for unicorns. "Hmm? Not particularly. Not for simple things like holding a glass. It's about the same as if I were to hold it in my hoof. Magic is a bit harder when you're trying to do things you're not used to with it, though."
Lucky Lightning pauses in her steps, looking up at Mahogany entering, blinking as her train of thought is derailed.
Julienne seems to nod in affirmation. "Well, that certainly makes sense then. I am definitely not used to this..."
Sunrise cocks her head. "Used to what?" She notices Mahogany and blinks. "Woody?"
Julienne blinks, "Woody?" She turns and glances at the newcomer, then dips her head, "Oh, my forgiveness, Sir."
Lucky Lightning stands a few steps away from the others, confused as to how to continue from here.
Sunrise nods to Julienne. "Excuse me a moment..." She stands up and walks over to give Woody a warm hug.
Mahogany blinks, hugs back. "What's going on 'round here tonight?"
Sunrise walks back to her seat. "I'm just catching up on my mail, and talking to..." She looks to Julienne. "Sorry, I guess we didn't introduce ourselves. I'm Sunrise, and you?"
Julienne gets up, only now seeing Lucky standing there, she bows her head low. "Julienne, ma'am. Sir. Maid Julienne."
Mahogany mimics the bow. "I'm Mahogany! Shipper Mahogany. Sometimes Drinkin' Mahogany." He sips his drink.
Lucky Lightning looks between the others, her plans completely derailed now. She just mildly bows at Julienne, coughing a bit but words failing her for actual introduction.
Sunrise takes another sip of wine. "Nice to meet you. You were saying you weren't used to... magic?"
Julienne nods to Lucky as well, looking away from her before she answers. "Err... yes. Magic, right. It seems very tiring."
Sunrise: Well, it would be for a pegasus, I imagine... I mean, how would you even do magic?
Mahogany: Probably depends on how much you're using. I'm not exactly brainy enough to be a magical theoretician. I just schlep boxes.
Lucky Lightning taps her hoof to the floor awkwardly, her usual instinct of taking over the situation completely disappearing as she keeps glancing at Julienne instead.
Mahogany: Pegasus magic is usually weather stuff.
Sunrise: What are you finding difficult?
Julienne: Oh, err, never been good with weather magic myself. But in this case...
Julienne points a hoof to the necklace she's wearing. "It's this. Kind of a magic... focus, I suppose? Needs a lot of concentration for me to make it work."
Lucky Lightning looks over at the necklace, muttering without thinking: "It does fit you, at least..."
Sunrise looks at the amulet and cocks her head. "Interesting... what does it do?"
Julienne adjusts it subconsciously. "I'm not entirely sure... I guess it just lets me see magic? Like, it lets me see 'spilled' magic, to clean."
Mahogany: That's fancy maiding then.
Julienne dips her head to Mahogany in acknowledgement. "I take pride in it, Sir."
Mahogany: Well it's definitely important to like what you do, I guess?
Sunrise cocks her head. "Huh. That sounds neat. I don't know much about magic theory though, so I'm sure what that's all about."
Lucky Lightning coughs a bit louder, clearing her voice: "H-hello, Julienne. We... I think we need to talk. When you can." With that, she turns around and walks back to her table.
Julienne sighs. "I don't really get it either, honestly. Makes it feel like I'm moving so much slower at work, it takes me so long to see this magic, thenI end the day so tired, and I..." She pauses as Lucky coughs. "A-and I should probably speak to him. Err... her."
Mahogany: Uh. Ok. Good, uh, luck?
Julienne dips her head. "A pleasure meeting you, err, Woody? Sunrise."
Mahogany sips his drink, eyeing the pushy pony's table.
Sunrise nods to Julienne, then looks to Mahogany. "How have you been, Woody?"
Julienne steps back towards Lucky's table and forces a small smile. "You um, wanted to talk?"
Lucky Lightning likewise forces a small smile, nodding to the empty seat opposite her: "Please... if you could, Julienne."
Julienne slips into the seat, but doesn't quite make eye contact. "If... if this is about before..."
Mahogany: I've been away for a while. Transferred out to Las Pegasus. Came back a little while ago to take over the old store since the old owner was forced to retire. How about you?
Lucky Lightning sighs and looks down for a bit, then forces herself to look up: "I'm... sorry. I went too far... hoped too much. B-but..." she takes a breath, trying to keep her voice level: "We... have to move on. As f-friends."
Sunrise: Uh, well, me and Sly... aren't anymore. That's the biggest news. Just got back from a long job in Saddle Arabia, now I have to figure our where I'm going to settle down, at least between jobs."
Mahogany: Ooh nice, Saddle Arabia! Sorry to hear about you and Sly though.
Julienne nods. "As friends, yes, Lucky." She pauses. "But nothing more. I'm... I'm really sorry."
Sunrise shrugs. "Yeah, it was good. A bit too hot for my liking though. Anyway, ponies change. I'm not the naïve artiste I was when I first met him and I just... I dunno... it didn't work anymore..."
Lucky Lightning takes a sideways glance, but looks back up: "As... as am I. Sorry I never noticed it, until too late." She coughs: "I-I mean, I just, uh... damnit. I had this whole speech for you, but now I forget what I meant to say."
Mahogany nods. "Sometimes relationships just end."
Sunrise nods and sips her wine. "So you and... what was her name again? Anyway, it sounds like you're not anymore either."
Mahogany shakes his head. "Nah, Natural Seven took off ages ago."
Julienne shakes her head. "There's no need, Lucky. I can always be your friend, but Manehattan is a long ways away." She glances down at the necklace which Brise gave her. "And we're both very different than we were all those years ago."
Sunrise raises her glass. "To love lost, I suppose."
Lucky Lightning nods, forcing a weak smile: "I guess... yes. It's just... I would have hoped... but I have had a lot of hopes trashed lately, what's one more, you know?" Her voice betrays hurt her smile quite doesn't.
Mahogany clinks his drink against Sunrise's. "Hear hear."
Sunrise sips her wine. "Seems like you're doing OK though? I mean, I'm not having to force you to take a bath at least..."
Mahogany: Blrf. I barely remember that... Things were rough for me the last few months I was here before.
Sunrise: But you're still here, so that's good.
Julienne takes a deep breath and closes her eyes, remembering the distinct moment when a wine rack mattered more than she ever did to this very same pony. She shakes that thought away. "Y-yeah. It hurts. I'm... well aware."
Mahogany: Yep! And all it took was a stretch in the weirdest, most corrupting city this side of Manehattan. Viva Las Pegasus!
Mahogany swigs down his Buzzard, and orders another.
Lucky Lightning looks down: "I'm sorry. For everything. I will... move on." She looks up, hopeful though seemingly on the verge of tears: "...friends, though?"
Julienne reaches a hoof out across the table. "Friends, certainly."
Sunrise laughs. "Luckily I've only been there a couple of times for work. They seems to like having me do presidential suites at new hotels there."
Lucky Lightning takes the hoof, wiping her eye with the other, but managing a smile: "T-thank you, Julienne."
Mahogany: I don't think I ever ended up staying in any of the big hotels. I just had a rinky dink little apartment.
Sunrise nods. "Didn't gamble a single bit either time, though. That's a hole I don't want to even risk falling down."
Julienne nods, smiling a little more genuinely. "I'm glad. I mos-" She yawns suddenly. "P-pardon! I can't believe I'm so exhausted from just a standard shift."
Lucky Lightning chuckles softly, shaking her head: "Don't worry about it. I've pulled a few 'doubles' myself lately, between the greenhouse and theater." She looks down, her smile disappearing: "...probably more work than I ever did in my life before."
Mahogany: Yeah, I didn't do much gambling either. It's way easier to just fly over the casinos and fling your bits down at it.
Julienne raises an eyebrow. "Greenhouse And Theater? I had no idea."
Mahogany: But, uh, don't. The police don't like it when you do that.
Sunrise giggles, then pauses. "Wait... was that a joke... or did you really...? Knowing you, I'd believe either one.."
Lucky Lightning looks on the table, gathering her thoughts: "Yes, I... took your suggestion. I am an assisting sub-intern at Ponyville Theater as a stagehoof... and because that gives me next to no money, I also help at a greenhouse here."
Sunrise finishes her wine and floats the glass toward Barkeep, who refills it without even looking. "So how did you get stuck being called Woody anyway? I mean, I get the connection but it's not like, a short version of your name or anything."
Julienne glances down at the bit purse under her dress, feeling oddly guilty at the amount of Ostfriesen gold in there. "Well... as long as its enough to get by, that's what matters. And uh, if you ever need a little extra for food and drinks here... I might need some spare bits on occassion."
Lucky Lightning considers this for the briefest of moments, but then shakes her head: "No. I said I am done taking from you... I meant it, Julienne. I have done enough on that front."
Mahogany: I'm... Y'know I'm not actually sure. I think it's just that Mahogany is a wood? And it's got fewer syllables than Ma-Ho-Ga-Ny?
Julienne shakes her head. "No no, I mean..." She pulls a hoofful of Ostfriesen gold onto the table. "I need some bits. The bar takes this stuff, but uh, no place else in Ponyville does."
Sunrise shrugs. "Fair enough. I think it suits you better too."
Mahogany: Oh, plus my last name used to be Forest, so there's a double wood connection.
Lucky Lightning blinks, looking up: "O-oh. Well, um... then..." She takes up her bit-bag and pours the less-than-impressive amount on the table: "...ask, and I will. I'll live on munching grass if I have to."
Sunrise: Used to be?
Mahogany swigs his Buzzard. "I had a pretty serious throwdown with my father a while back. He family-excommunicated me."
Mahogany shuffles his wings in a shrug. "Having one name is cooler anyway. It's way past hip."
Julienne nods. "It... honestly feels a bit greedy of me. I mostly want bits for... selfish things."
Sunrise sips at her wine. "Fair enough. I'm still not on the friendliest of terms with Borealise since I found out she wasn't my real mom..."
Mahogany: Oof. That sounds like it was probably pretty rough.
Lucky Lightning frowns ever-so-slightly: "H-how... selfish are we talking, here?"
Sunrise: It was... of course it was right around then that I fell in with Sly and yeah.. big old mess.
Julienne shakes her head. "Not too much, just, a dress... or two. Little things. I already traded for some bits from Radar. It's just... silly of me." She pulls the gold back and returns it to her purse.
Lucky Lightning considers: "Julienne, I'd help if I could, but..." she motions at the meager bit-pile she has: "...as you know, I was disowned. This is all I have until I am paid again."
Mahogany: Dumb ol' Sly, and dumb ol' families.
Julienne shakes her head again. "No no, I'm not asking for anything like that. I just want to make sure you have enough to pay for your room here, and food to... but I know you don't want me giving you anything more than I already have, so... I just thought a trade would benefit us both."
Sunrise shakes her head. "He wasn't all bad... just... not what I needed anymore." She sighs a bit, then blushes a bit. "Hey, do you remember how I used to have a big crush on you when I first got to town?"
Lucky Lightning looks up: "Trade? I... guess." She pauses: "How much... how much are these Ostfriesen gold coins worth?"
Mahogany splutters on his drink, coughs. "Wat?"
Julienne sighs. "I frankly have no idea. I have a purse full, and when I want something, I drop a bunch on the counter and the Barkeep takes however much he wants I guess. Radar and I just traded based on stack size."
Sunrise laughs a bit, her cheeks still flushed. "I'll take that as a no, then."
Lucky Lightning frowns, glancing at Barkeep then back at Julienne: "That's... amazingly inaccurate."
Julienne blushes in embarrasement. "I'm not the best with money, and working for a foreign nation makes it that much more difficult."
Lucky Lightning frowns, thinking a bit as she stares at the table. "Julienne... you don't have to take this idea, but... I might have an old contact in Canterlot, who did a lot of... family money things. He might be able to... help you, here."
Mahogany: Not something I was aware of, no. Heh.
Julienne raises an eyebrow. "Somepony in Canterlot? Who's that?"
Sunrise drinks her wine far too quick, especially for a not-cheap win. "Sorry to bring it up then. Nevermind."
Lucky Lightning looks at Julienne: "Certain Silver Value. I recall you met him more than once, taking care of... my little problems, as it were." She blushes a bit, but pushes on: "A-anyway, I know he collects coins and currencies on the side as a hobby. He might know of the actual rate of change, get you sorted on that."
Julienne nods. "Oh! I seem to recall him, yes. Might be worth a trip."
Mahogany: Nah don't fret about it. I'm just surprised to hear that.
Lucky Lightning smiles weakly: "I'd offer to come with you, to pull the 'family connection' bell on him, but... I am not sure if that helps anymore."
Julienne nods. "I appreciate the thought though, I'm sure he can help give me some idea on these."
Sunrise smiles. "You're charming in your own odd way." She laughs a bit. "At least I think so."
Lucky Lightning nods, trying to hide her disappointment: "Yes, he should be able to. Best merchant this side of anywhere when it comes to matters of money."
Mahogany: Well thank you.
Sunrise smiles at Woody and bites her lip a bit. "It was just a silly thought in my head. I was thinking that neither of us have had anyone in a while..."
Julienne smiles. "I'm sure. You did always did have the best contacts in Manehattan and Canterlot. You knew a lot of ponies."
Lucky Lightning smiles a bit: "I... I guess I sort of did. Not, perhaps, in the best ways, but..." she trails off, glancing aside: "...knowing a lot of ponies and knowing a damn thing about ponies, though... different things." She sighs, shaking her head.
Mahogany touches his hoof to Sunrise's. "Look, I understand that, but..." He sips his buzzard. "I've had a lot of this, you've had some of that and decisions made with those quantities don't always work out well, you know? I just don't want to screw anything up? I'm sorry if that isn't what you wanted to hear from me."
Sunrise blushes more and shakes her head. "Nah, I get it.. it's for the best." She smiles and hugs Mahogany.
Mahogany hugs back gently.
Sunrise sighs a bit. "Sorry. It was just really lonely over in Saddle Arabia..."
Julienne tries to stop herself from yawning again, but fails. "Gah... I think... I need to get some rest." She stands, nodding to Lucky. "You'll figure it out, Lucky. I'm sure."
Lucky Lightning smiles at Julienne, nodding: "I... thank you, Julienne. And... good luck."
Julienne walks towards the stairs, waving a hoof at Sunrise and Mahogany before she goes.
Mahogany: Yeah, I get that too. The crowds of Las Pegasus were strangely hollow.
Lucky Lightning looks at Julienne go, trying to suppress the thoughts that invade her mind currently. She sighs deeply once Julienne is out of sight of her.
Sunrise: Yeah, sure, but they're still ponies... Saddle Arabia is all horses. Everyone is like, Celestia-sized... i felt like a foal there. Got treated like one too most of the time if I was out alone.
Mahogany: Well! That was rude of them.
Lucky Lightning glances at her stale beer, then gets up and silently walks out, going for another thought-clearing walk even though her legs object at the idea of moving more.
Sunrise: Yeah, a bit...
Mahogany orders a fresh Buzzard and launches into a story about the pony he kept seeing on the skywalks in Las Pegasus who wasn't begging for bits, but instead had a sign that read 'Just Looking at Butts :D'