It was raining. The morning paper which had been put through the letterbox that morning had mentioned that rain was on the weather schedule all day. It had also mentioned the opening of a new shop in town, Links was pleased to note, which the advert proclaimed would cater to the tailoring needs of any mare, stallion or gentledragon. Not that Links expected any dragons to come by, but the stallion who had written the advert for him had said something about it rolling off the tongue. Advertising not exactly being his forte he had simply agreed and paid his Bits. Admittedly, it did look good. Since the same advert had been posted in the Canterlot papers he hoped that in the next day or so he would start seeing some custom.
As if the world had read his mind there was the tell tale tinkle of the bell over the shop door. Odd, he’d only arrived the day before, and put the open sign in the window not fifteen minutes before. That was fast for somepony to drop by, especially on such a lousy day. Poking his head around the dividing screen into the front he spotted the overeager customer. An elderly green mare with a pie for a cutie mark was just folding her umbrella.
“Excuse me dearie, are you home?” she called, craning her neck around. Links straightened up his tie and trotted out to greet her, wondering what she wanted so early in the morning.
“Ah there you are my dear, “she smiled warmly, “Rarity dear would you do me a favour and fix this up for me?”
Rarity? Was she mistaking him for somepony else? With a look of concern Links approached to explain when suddenly a doll was pressed into his hooves.
“Yes dear it’s little Apple Bloom’s favourite doll and it’s getting a little worse for wear you see,” she began to explain, cutting him off, “She still loves the poor thing ragged and I thought it would be nice to spruce it up a bit. Now don’t worry Rarity dear.” she continued, reaching into her saddlebags again and pulling out some Bits, “Here’s something for your troubles. Applejack’ll be along to pick it up later.”
With a last attempt to protest the strangeness of the situation the mare walked out, putting her umbrella up in the process and trotting away. What a bizarre way to gain a first customer, be mistaken for somepony else and simply be left with the item in question and no way to give it back. Links could only stand there dumbfounded and hoping that this Applejack could eventually find their way over to retrieve the doll later.
Applejack and Apple Bloom, he wondered if they were related as he sat down to work. It was a simple job, sew an eye back into place here and stitch a seam there. It could also do with some fresh stuffing, perhaps there was some in that blue case of oddments. It may have been a case of mistaken identity but Cuff Links had no intention of not doing the job. He had been paid upfront after all and it wouldn’t do to get a reputation as a pony that couldn’t do simple things for other ponies.
It was an hour or so later when the door tinkled again. “ H’ex-h’excuse me?” It was a young voice, with a strong accent. Two mares in two hours? Links put down his needle and trotted round the screen again trying out what he hoped was a winning smile. What he found quickly wiped it off to be replaced with a look of concern. The mare in the doorway was shivering something chronic. She had clearly been charging about in the rain with no protection what so ever and was both panting and shivering. Her blond mane and tail were dripping and her hat was positively flaccid.
Without a moment’s hesitation he was back behind the screen to return with a blanket.
“Oh..there’..no need…for..that..” she panted although she took it nevertheless. Links shook his head, he would have nopony sit soaked though and shivering in his shop. What had possessed this pony to go charging though the rain like that?
“Ah’m mighty sorry sir,” She began again, after finally catching her breath. “Ah’m just looking for something. See, Granny Smith was wandrin’ round the house when she found Apple Bloom’s old toy, and she decided to give it to Rarity to fix up. Now that’s fine and all ‘cept Ah just went to see Rarity and Sweetie Belle says she hasn’t left her room all day and no pony’s been to see her since Twilight dropped her off yesterday! Granny gets awful confused at times and Ah was just worried she’d gone and lost the thing somewhere.”
Links took in the explanation, nodding sagely. He still had no idea who Rarity was, but presumably this was Applejack and that had been Granny Smith earlier that morning. The whole story made sense, and while he weren’t exactly happy having his first job be the simple mistake of an old mare he was pleased to have it come out well in the end. Links walked into the back and returned with the doll. It was almost as good as new. Cleaned up and stitched up, he had even given it back its soft cuddleabilty. Applejack’s eyes went wide when she saw it.
“You fixed her up?” she asked, surprise apparent in her voice. You gave it to her and nodded. Of course you did, that’s the point of a tailors. “Ah guess that’s what tailors do,” she said sheepishly, “Sorry, Ah just saw the window and thought Granny may have gotten this place mixed up with-. Well never mind, you’ve fixed her up right and proper. Ah’m sure Apple Bloom will love it.”
You beamed at the complement. “Ah suppose Ah’d better be heading back to the farm now,” Applejack was looking out the window while putting the blanket back on the side. You couldn’t have that. The rain wasn’t scheduled to stop for another hour and she had only just gotten dry.
“Oh Ah couldn’t impose on y’all like that,” she tried to refuse but Links wouldn’t have it. What kind of Gentlecolt would he be if he let her back out in this weather? “Ok Ah s’pose Ah could stay till the rain clears. Thank ya’ll for the invitation.” She picked the blanket back up and took a seat. There was a few moments of silence as Applejack looked around the room at the various suits and dresses which had been put on display. Eventually Applejack turned back to Links, looking him up and down properly for the first time.
“So…” she asked,”...you’re new in town?”