***Tuesday, Day 17, morning***
“So what was that about last night?” Hydro asks me over breakfast.
I raise an eyebrow at him, “What do you mean ‘that’?”
He gives me a serious look, “I heard some rocks hitting your window last night, they woke me up from a nice sleep.”
Right, I forget sometimes how light of a sleeper Hydro is, from what he told me he’ll get woken up by the neighbor’s dog sneezing inside its own house… then there’s me who used to be able to get a good night’s sleep even with two large dogs barking right outside my window.
“You heard that huh?” I turn back to my food, “Sorry about waking you up, hope you got back to sleep fine.”
Hydro gives me a look, “I did, but you didn’t actually answer the question about why somepony was throwing rocks at the window.”
I finish eating and bring my dishes to the sink as I reply in a playful tone, “No, I suppose I didn’t.”
“Are you going to?”
“Tell you what, if you really want to know what it was about, meet me at the clinic say… around eleven, by then everypony else should have arrived and I’ll explain it to all of you.”
Hydro crosses his forelegs over his chest, “Now how are you going to make sure everypony gets there AND get to work on time?”
I smile, “I’m making some invitation arrangements with the mistress of parties herself, I’m sure she’ll be happy to get them to everypony before it’s time.”
“Pinkie huh,” Hydro gets up and starts packing for work himself, “Well before you go and get yourself a nice dose of crazy from spending time with her, I need to ask you something about your magic.”
Huh, he never asks about my magic aside from the usual “what are you working on” questions.
“What do you want to know?”
“Do you think you can cast a spell to break apart water molecules?”
“…Random… but maybe, not on the spot but with some preparation I suppose I could do it on a small scale…”
“Small scale works fine.”
“Might I ask what this spell would be for?”
Hydro smirks at me, “You might ask, but I won’t tell.”
I give him a flat look, “This is payback for me holding out on you earlier isn’t it?”
*Sigh* “Fair enough, I do look forward to seeing what you need a random spell for.”
“The same as I look forward to seeing why you need ponies throwing rocks at our windows in the middle of the night.”
**At the clinic**
I put on my white coat as I walk to the front of the clinic from my office to see everypony else chatting as they wait. I nod to Manila and she pulls out the files as Mane walks in yawning slightly from having to get here earlier than she’s used to. Everypony notices me and quiets down as I clear my throat.
I smile at the group as Mane and Manila shiver with anticipation, “Good morning everypony, I suppose you’re all wondering why I had Pinkie call you here today…”
Blue interrupts, “Why so serious Rhino? We’re all friends here.”
I chuckle a bit with the others as I realize how uptight I’m acting, “Alright I suppose I can tone it down a bit, but still this is at least slightly professional,”
Volt cuts in, “Says the guy with a squirrel on his head,”
I ignore him and turn towards my favorite pegasus, “Now Fluttershy, I have a question to ask you: How would you like to work here at the clinic? I’ve seen your skills with the animals and I think you’d fit right in.”
She smiles softly, “Oh I’d love to,” her smile falters a bit and she scuffs the ground with a hoof, “but I can’t, I don’t have a high enough degree.”
Exactly as I hoped she’d say.
“Now that is where a little idea I had comes in.” I gesture to my coworkers, “The others and I talked it over and we were wondering if you might join us as our first veterinary nurse.”
She cocks her head to one side, “I’ve… never heard of that job before.”
Manila raises her voice so the others can hear her, “That’s because your coltfriend there pretty much invented it himself!”
I try to keep a straight face even though I know very well I’m blushing as Mane continues where her sister left off, “We found him going through the files one day and asked what he was up to, he explained about this little surprise he had for you and once we saw the details we knew we had to help for both you and the clinic.”
I pick up the speech having gotten my voice back after Manila’s little praise, “See Fluttershy, essentially what we will be doing, is paying you to continue doing what you already do. You would be the pony we have on call for quick fixes and house calls, anything bigger and you simply send them to us here at the clinic. In return, we keep you constantly supplied with the basics such as bandages, disinfectants, and treats, as well as a steady paycheck. Oh and one more thing, you don’t need a doctorate, simply experience, which I’m sure everypony here can attest that you have.”
Hydro raises a hoof as Fluttershy stands there soaking in what we told her, “So two quick questions: Why are the rest of us here, and how does this explain why you had somepony meet you last night?”
Blue smirks, “Having some back alley meetings there Rhino?”
I roll my eyes at them, “For why the rest of you are here, wait a moment and I’ll tell you, as for the meetings-“
“That was me actually,” Manila interjected, “A few times when I was out on my nightly walks I would meet Rhino and tell him how progress was going on the project since telling him at work might have had somepony walk in and ruin the surprise. Plus it made me feel like I was in one of those spy movies! Sneaking around, covert meetings, it was so much fun! Manila, pony of espionage!” She claps her hooves in excitement.
The whole room goes silent for a moment until Hydro addresses the awkward silence, “…Okaaaaay… So most of that was convenience, what about the whole throwing rocks thing last night?”
Manila blushes slightly, “Oh sorry, did I wake you?”
I answer, “He’s a light sleeper, don’t worry about it.” Manila still ducks her head slightly as I turn back to Fluttershy, “And that actually brings me back to a little something extra I got, Manila got them to me when they arrived last night,” I pull out the small box from inside my saddlebags and open it to reveal two colorless gems, each of them with a single rune carved into their largest flat surface and the gems themselves appear as if mirror images of each other. I hear a gasp and look up to see Rarity with a wide eyed gaze and a hoof over her mouth. “I take it you know what these are then Rarity?”
She points with the hoof she was using to cover her mouth, “Those are Gemini gems!”
Twilight’s eyes light up at the name, “Gemini gems?!”
Blue looks between the two unicorn mares, “Okay, now so the rest of us can get excited too, mind explaining?”
Twilight goes into lecture mode, “Gemini gems are essentially twin gems that are the mirror image of each other, the gems are always colorless and not found very often. When they are found, their unique internal structures grant them the ability to resonate with each other. Unicorns have devised a spell to harness this innate resonance and use it to reflect what one gem sees into the other gem, and vice versa. This can allow for long distance simultaneous communication between the two gems. Each set can only communicate with the two gems within said set, and extended communication is out of the question, at maximum you have a few minutes at a time and they can’t be used again immediately afterwards.”
Blue gives her a look, “And the short version is…?”
Twilight rolls her eyes, “If you have one, and another pony has another, you can see them and talk to them through it, but only for a short time.”
Volt looks at me, “So why would a vet nurse need these?”
I set the box back in my bag as I explain, “Well, unless we get really swamped here at the clinic, Fluttershy could actually spend her shift at her house if she wanted to. These gems allow her to do that, but we could still be able to contact her whenever we needed her to go see somepony, or she needed to contact us about any emergency. That’s the official use for them anyway, unofficially, since I put up half the price, we can use them how we wish as long as we leave enough charge for work.”
I look back at the yellow pegasus, “So like I asked earlier, how would you like to work with us here at the clinic?”
Fluttershy beamed at me and walked up to me, “Like I said earlier… I’d love to.” I felt her soft lips against mine as she darted in for a quick kiss before darting behind her mane and peeking out with a face now thoroughly blushing, matching my own perfectly.
Wow… well this certainly turned out much better than I expected.
I thought I heard a huff but it was drowned out by the sounds of Fluttershy and I’s respective sexes dragging us off to opposite sides of the room to chat. I could hear much giggling and congratulations for the job from the mares as the guys started up.
Hydro began, “Well that explained a lot, but be honest with me Rhino.”
I cock my head to the side slightly, “About what?”
“You just did this whole thing so you could see Fluttershy in a nurse outfit didn’t you?”
I reply, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“Sure you don’t.”
Blue playfully takes a jab as well, “Is this what you have to do to get Ponyville mares? Beat down thugs then get the mare her dream job? I can handle the first one but the second is a bit of a stretch.”
We laugh for at that until the sound of stomping hooves interrupts us and we look up to see the end of a rainbow tail make its way out of the front door. Feeling something is wrong, I ask Specter to go play with Manila for a second while I go after Dash, Fluttershy beating me out the door with a look that spoke of the same intentions. I hear Fluttershy calling out to Rainbow who stops after a short distance and turns around.
I look at Rainbow who is looking increasingly agitated, “Is something the matter Dash?”
Her eyes narrow as she looks at me, her volume rising with every word, “Oh like you don’t know, you’re what’s the matter!” She points an accusing hoof at me.
What did I do?
Fluttershy darts in front of me, her stance more aggressive than I’ve ever seen her be before, “Rainbow Dash! You have no right to say that to him!”
Rainbow’s wings flare as she responds, “I have every right to say that to him! After what he did in Cloudsdale to those pegasi, who’s to say he won’t snap one day and do the same to you! And the first thing he does when we get back is to take you off alone with him?! He’s using you Fluttershy! All that stuff about it being to protect you, hah! All that nice stuff he’s been doing, an act! He’s just waiting until he can-“
I stare wide eyed at Fluttershy’s defiant yell, which to a normal pony would be about the voice one switches to in order to make sure one was heard clearly, but to the soft spoken pegasus was the equivalent of shouting someone down.
She continues in a voice still louder than her normal one, but not quite yelling anymore, “You don’t you what you’re talking about. You listen to me, he is not using me! You know why he did what he did to those ponies, and you also know how torn up he was about it!”
“He was just-“
“And that night we got back? He was escorting me home, and picking up his pet! Afterwards, he was a perfect gentle colt and took me on a great first date!”
“But the other day when I talked to you-“
“I thought you were just protecting me like you sometimes did in flight school so I thanked you for it, but like I told you then Rhino has been nothing but wonderful to me! You do not treat him like this when he has done nothing to deserve it!” I could see small tears falling on the ground from Fluttershy as Rainbow became more and more cowed with each word spoken. “You made it clear what you think of him, but you’re wrong. He’s not using me, he genuinely cares about me. *sniff* I’m happy with him, and I will not let anypony take that away from me!” Fluttershy softly stomps a hoof, but from Raindbow’s flinch, you’d think Fluttershy cracked the very ground with that stomp.
Rainbow backs off a few paces before turning and flying off at top speed while Fluttershy simply hangs her head and lets more tears out. I slowly walk up to her and put a hoof around her shoulders as she turn and cries into my chest.
**At the clinic**
Hydro walks back in with stunned look on his face, the others crowd around him asking what happened. He simply shakes his head before replying, “I think Fluttershy just chewed out Rainbow Dash…”
At the others questioning gazes Hydro tells them all of what he saw, Rarity summing it all up, “I guess that assertiveness training she took did stick a little, it sounds like it tore the poor dear up to use it on a friend though… *sigh* I think Rainbow will leave them alone now but… I’m not sure exactly how else she’ll react to this.”