AMBER FERN'S HOUSE - AFTERNOON
Lucky Lightning has been in the guest room since morning, working on her little 'project'. The room's floor is nearly covered with a huge curtain, the tiny filly carefully hoofing around it as she paints this side and that in hopes of creating a decent picture on it. Levels of success have varied wildly.
Amber Fern has been working not quite non-stop, she looks exhausted, her eyes and nose red from the constant allergies and she still sniffles, the damn weeds keeping her awake just as much as her need to figure out the answer to Radar's plight. Still, mare's gotta eat. With that in mind, she carries a tray of hastily made sandwiches up the stairs to the guest room, knocking. "Lucky? You doing alright in there? I have some food."
Lucky Lightning sighs: "Yeah, m'fine." Her stomach growls a direct and obvious answer, as well.
Radar dozes curled up on Amber's back, the bat tired from all the flying back and forth to help with Amber's research.
Amber Fern nods, opening the door. "I'll just leave the sandwiches then. They're not much, but they were the best I could do... considering... err..." She glances around the room. "You've been busy."
Radar perks up a bit and looks around the room. She peers at the curtain curiously, but not enough to bother dislodging herself from Amber's back.
Lucky Lightning weaves around still-drying curtain bits and various art supplies: "Yeah, um." She steps next to Amber, sighing a bit: "I woke up early, couldn't sleep. Figured... I might as well get onto doing this thing." It's somewhat obvious there's paint on every surface of the room, good chunk of it on Lucky herself.
Amber Fern doesn't quite know what to make of all of this, just sorta staring at the guest room. "...Yeah. Well, me too I guess." She itches the side of her mane idly. "I couldn't sleep either. Been working all night."
Lucky Lightning looks up at Amber: "Any success?"
Radar skrees irritably at Lucky, showing that she is still clearly a bat.
Lucky Lightning glances at Radar: "Well, uh, I can see that. I just... nevermind."
Amber Fern frowns, reaching a hoof up to carefully skritch Radar. "Err, yeah. Good progress. Nothing final yet." She sighs, less than happy with herself in that regard.
Lucky Lightning considers a moment, then touches her hoof to Amber's: "...you can do it."
Amber Fern blinks in surprise at Lucky's encouragement, then smiles tiredly, not quite as confident, but unwilling to say anything in front of Radar. "I'm sure I can. Thank you." She glances at the paint splotches on the floor. "This is um... creative."
Radar squeaks gently and nuzzles at Amber's hoof. She lets out a small yawn and nestles back against the base of Amber's weedy mane.
Lucky Lightning turns to look around the mess she has managed to create in the last eight or nine hours and sighs a bit: "Well. I was... sort of decent with this kind of thing once. It's just been too long-" she lifts a tiny hoof: "-and honestly, these tiny hooves aren't helping."
Amber Fern sighs, sniffling again. "Seems the Poison Joke isn't doing much to help either of us." She walks closer, carefully stepping over pain and paint cans, and sets down the tray of sandwiches before sitting on the bed. "What about you? How are you doing?"
Lucky Lightning walks over to the bed and with some difficulty clambers up on it. Sitting down, she looks over: "I'm... dealing. This helps me not think about it too much, at least."
Radar chirps sadly at Lucky, still feeling guilty that this happened because of her.
Amber Fern nods. "That's how I've dealt with a lot of things I can't handle in life. Put my head down and just focus on my work."
Lucky Lightning nods at Radar, turning to stare at her 'painting'. It's mostly just various splotches of color on an originally-white curtain, maybe eventually it might even resemble a landscape of sorts, but if she's honest to herself she has spent most of the morning just trying to find a method that works with the small form and limited tools. After a moment she chuckles to herself.
Amber Fern tilts her head at the laughter. "Hm? Are you alright?"
Lucky Lightning shakes her head, looking up at Amber: "Yes, it's just... if you would have told me six months ago that I would be a small filly, doing an art project for a friend I owe because I used her money for a sex toy to explore my mare's body - which I already miss in some odd way - in some rural town way far from Manehattan, where I am not welcome anymore because I was disowned... and yet,
Lucky Lightning somehow thinking 'things could be worse'... I would have rightfully called you insane." She lets out a sound somewhere between a sigh and a chuckle: "Yet here I am."
Radar bursts out in a fit of squeaky laughter, the bat ending up dangling from Amber's mane by her feet as laughs at the absurdity of the situation.
Lucky Lightning frowns at Radar, but does not really have the anger in her at this point.
Amber Fern laughs as well. "That's... true. All too true. I've been there, trust me."
Lucky Lightning sighs, then picks up a sandwich to munch on as she tries to get her thoughts in something resembling an order.
Radar collects herself and scrambles back up onto Amber's back before fluttering over next to Lucky. She chirps gently at her before leaning in to give her cheek a little nuzzle.
Lucky Lightning looks at Radar, surprised for a moment, but manages a little smile. "I reckon this is one of those things we can leave unsaid once we're both back to normal, eh?"
Amber Fern watches Radar with a bit of a smile, then grabs a sandwich, but nearly drops it with an ill-timed sneeze. "Gah... I'd have half the progress I do now if she wasn't helping."
Radar squeaks in agreement. She picks up an apricot from the food tray and settles down onto the bed to consume it hungrily.
Lucky Lightning takes another bite of the sandwich: "I just... mm, wonder. What can I do? Working on this gets boring, but I can't really risk going outside much either..."
Radar cocks her head and skrees at Lucky as if to ask why not.
Lucky Lightning tilts her head at Radar: "I can't have ponies see me! They'd... I don't know, interrogate me or something. Treat me like a kid, anyway."
Amber Fern is thinking along the same lines as Radar. "Well... I mean, it's spring break at the school, so not like anypony would expect you in class. Would anypony recognize you? I suppose that'd be why they'd treat you like a kid, but..." She shrugs, not really sure of it one way or another. "At least everypony isn't allergic to foals."
Lucky Lightning lifts a hoof to her chin, frowning: "I suppose... it just... feels like I should hide this. I don't know." Her hoof moves to her head: "...or I should stop thinking about it before I get a headache. That works too."
Amber Fern: I don't think you'll have anything to worry about... but whatever makes you feel comfortable, Lucky, or at least, whatever makes you feel the least awkward. Again, I'm real sorry about how this all turned out.
Lucky Lightning leans back on a pillow, sighing: "No, it's just... so confusing. I'm not happy, but it was that stupid cockatrice that got us into this, right? I can't blame you for that thing ambushing us. At least I'm not a statue for the Lightning Estate in a field in Everfree."
Radar finishes her apricot and returns to Amber's back after depositing the pit back on the tray. She blinks at the mention of a cockatrice. She hugs the back of Amber's neck warmly, very glad that her friend isn't now a statue in the Everfree.
Amber Fern fails to suppress a shudder before Radar hugs, then nods. "I think we're both glad of that. As you said, it could have been worse."
Lucky Lightning sighs, feeling a bit restless. She gets up enough to look out of the window: "...I guess going out would not be the worst thing to do. Get some fresh air, and these paint fumes are probably making me delirious anyway..."
Radar chirps in agreement. She snuggles in against the base of Amber's mane again and yawns.
Amber Fern chuckles. "Judging by all the paint in here... might be worth getting a bit of fresh air, at least. I... just wanted to make sure you were okay and got some food before I head back to work."
Lucky Lightning blinks, then turn to look at Amber. She smiles: "...thank you for that."
Amber Fern lifts the nearly empty plate off the bed and stands back up, careful not to step in any of the paint. "Of course, Lucky. Least I could do."
Lucky Lightning gets up as well, then thinks of something: "Amber? Could I ask for a favor before you go?"
Amber Fern turns her head back and nods. "What do you need?"
Lucky Lightning points at a paint can in the corner that has been a battered a bit and has a screwdriver sticking from the lid. She grins a bit sheepishly: "...can you open that one? It refused to co-operate, and I kind of lack the physical prowess."
Amber Fern looks over at the particularly beaten can and nods. "I can give it a shot..." She steps over to the can and gets her hooves around it, gripping the screwdriver in her mouth and prying. As she seems to be struggling as well, her nose feels that familiar itch, and as she starts to pull away, she sneezes, screwdriver dislodging the paint lid with an impressive flip that spins more paint across the floor, but the can is now open.
Amber Fern drops the screwdriver and eyes the paint trail, then shakes her head. "There. I think."
Lucky Lightning tilts her head: "Well, still better than I did with another one earlier." She chuckles a bit, hopping down from the bed: "Thank you."
Amber Fern gathers herself back up, doing a quick check of her hooves to be sure she didn't get any paint on herself, then smiles. "Certainly. Good luck with your project."
Lucky Lightning nods: "I will clean up a bit", she looks around: "...or at least, make sure the paints don't dry out, then head out. Find that fresh air."
Amber Fern laughs as she heads out the door. "I admit... I would appreciate that."
Lucky Lightning giggles despite herself, despite her conflicting emotions, despite the mess: "I'll be here all week. I'll clean up proper when I have my own hooves back."
Amber Fern grins. "Once all three of us are back, I'll help as well. For now... well, it's back to the alchemy table for me."
Lucky Lightning nods, and starts seeing about for-now tidying the room to continue later.
Radar flies off of Amber's back once they're downstairs again. She skrees loudly from the kitchen, definitely wanting Amber's attention.
Amber Fern tiredly heads back downstairs, only stopping in the kitchen at her friend's insistence. "Hmm? What's wrong, Radar?"
Radar perches on the edge of a mostly depleted fruit bowl. All it contains now is half a bunch of wrinkly grapes, a lemon, and an old apple with a large, ugly bruise on it. She skrees again, nodding down into the bowl.
Amber Fern looks down into the bowl and frowns, idly itching at her mane. "I suppose I've been neglecting to get anything fresh from the market, haven't I?"
Radar nods. She quickly flies into the side room, then returns with her letter bracelet. 'WE GO NOW' she spells out.
Amber Fern blinks, despite her words of encouragement to Lucky, suddenly finding herself feeling more than a little self conscious about going outside. "Err... well... there's so much work to do and... um..."
Radar looks up at Amber's mane and lets out a frustrated breath. She spells out HAT on her bracelet.
Amber Fern hesitates another moment, biting her lip, but finally she sighs. "Alright, you win. Fresh air would do me just as much good as it'll do Lucky."
Radar chirps happily. She spells out another word on her bracelet 'PHOTO', then points between herself and Amber.
Amber Fern retrieves a sunhat from a nearby closet, setting it awkwardly atop her head as she returns to the table to glance at the bracelet. "Photo? Of us? Like this? Are you sure?"
Lucky Lightning walks downstairs and to the kitchen: "I forgot to mention, sorry about that paint splotch on the stairs. I kind of slipped bringing the things in. Add to the list of things I can clean up I guess."
Radar nods. She spells out 'SCRAPBOOK' and gives a big grin.
Amber Fern 's jaw drops a moment, looking at Radar and almost not even hearing Lucky. Feeling a little overwhelmed, she nods and turns back to Lucky. "Radar and I are uh... heading into the market. And... to get a photo taken."
Lucky Lightning tilts her head at Amber: "...a photo? Of... this?"
Lucky Lightning looks at Radar, not quite comprehending.
Radar laughs so much that she loses her balance and falls over backwards into the fruit bowl.
Amber Fern smiles softly, "I think... I think she wants to make sure she remembers this. And... us." She looks back at Radar. "Lucky too, then. If... if you want, Lucky."
Lucky Lightning looks at the giggling critter, frowning: "I'm... not sure. Do I really want to remember this when it's over?"
Radar nods and chirps in assent after climbing out of the fruit bowl. (And eating a couple of grapes while in there.)
Amber Fern: Up to you, Lucky. I just... know that a photo means a lot to Radar.
Lucky Lightning considers this a moment, then softly shakes her head: "...I suppose. It's not like I really have anything left that's worth blackmailing me FOR, at this point." She looks at Radar: "Right?"
Radar looks to Lucky and spells out 'UP TO YOU' on her bracelet.
Amber Fern chuckles sadly. "That's one way to think of it. But I doubt that's her purpose."
Lucky Lightning pauses a bit, then sighs: "...sorry. Did not mean to, it just..." She pauses again, gathering her words before turning to Radar: "...you're on."
Amber Fern grins. "Alright then, it's settled. Let's go get some fresh food."
Lucky Lightning smiles at Amber: "Now that, I have definitely no objections on."
Radar flutters onto Amber's back again and skrees happily.