It took Pinkie Pie fifteen seconds to pull out the cookies and arrange them into a cookie castle on the plate. It would have taken ten if there had been more cookies, but apparently Summer Rose was one of those people who believed in only baking forty cookies at a time. Four tens, and no more. In Pinkie's professional opinion, that was pretty terrible. Still, it was her house, her cookies, and her wife she was handcuffing as Pinkie returned to the living room, and Pinkie Pie had learned long ago that attempting to impose her own standards in somebody else's home was not the best idea she could have had.
"You're getting off on this aren't you?" Raven accused with a smirk.
"I'm sure I don't know what you mean," Summer replied. "And I definitely won't answer while we have a guest in our house."
"Is this the part where I'm supposed to act flustered and embarrassed?" Pinkie asked, putting down Cookie Mansion. "Cause I know about BDSM."
"PINKIE!" Ruby squeaked.
"I mean the internet exists," Pinkie backpedaled rapidly. "And Rarity is a, um, professional dressmaker, so sometimes she gets interesting commissions and... I haven't done it myself obviously, not that there's anything wrong with it so long as it's safe sane consensual and fun for all parties, it's just that I don't quite project the energy needed for that sort of thing, because I'm kind of hyper and run-onny and..."
She considered for a moment.
"...You know what, there is no way for me to save this conversation. So I'll just stick to facts: I am aware of BDSM and have studied but not used any of the techniques so that I can keep up with people when they bring it up. So... yeah." She coughed into her fist.
"...I see," Summer stated flatly.
"Want tips?" Raven offered.
"MAM!" Ruby shrieked. "That's--oh my Shimmer... She's as young as I am!"
"You mean as old as you are," Summer corrected.
Raven shot her a flat look. "You're not putting me in that position."
"That was a blatant 'let's tag-team to tease our daughter' line, and I'm supposed to reply with 'when are we getting grandkids' except I don't want grandkids. I mean I wouldn't mind, but in the end it's Ruby's choice and frankly I'd be hypocritical if I tried to pressure down that road."
"You're right," Summer agreed, bowing her head. "I apologize, I should not have tried to open that avenue of teasing."
"Wow, I can really tell they're married," Pinkie murmured to Ruby. "I mean--"
She paused, taking in the other girl's horrified expression. And it seemed to be a genuine horror, formed not from extreme embarrassment but actual, deep-rooted fear.
"Um... Ruby? Are you--?"
Ruby ran out of the room. Then she returned to the room, grabbed the west wing of Cookie Mansion, and ran back out.
Summer Rose sighed, slowly pinching her headgem. "...We took it too far."
"You go talk to her, you're better at this sort of thing." Raven jabbed a thumb at Pinkie. "I'll keep an eye on the walking cotton candy."
"That... should work, yeah." Summer followed Ruby's path out, turning in the doorway. "Just... try not to scare her too badly? She is technically a VIP."
"Fine, whatever, I won't scar her delicate psyche." Raven rose a hand enough to wave Summer off. "Go talk to Ruby already."
Pinkie watched the unicorn aspect walk out, before turning back to the other woman. Who had apparently managed to move forward so swiftly that they were now nose-to-nose. "Oh. Hello...?"
"Let's cut the crap and get right to the point. I'm an international criminal, Summer's a government agent, and Dragon's got his own bevy of skills. We can do a lot without being caught. You've got a thing for Ruby, fine, she's a great girl. But you ever do anything to break her, and you'll find out just how much of a hellhole your life can be. You get me?"
"Uh..." Pinkie glanced down at the pair of hands held in metal restraints and cuffed together, and further down at what was apparently the highest-tech ankle monitor on the market. "...s-sure. I get you."
"Good." And just like that, Raven was lounging in the armchair again, as if she hadn't been in Pinkie's personal space not two seconds ago. "I mean, I'm not saying 'don't ever hurt her,' cause you know, you're going to fuck up sometime. Shit happens. And she's got that monster scythe to defend herself if you ever get really bad. But that's different from breaking her, you know? From making sure she can't heal."
"I... think I understand the distinction." Pinkie Pie swallowed, forcing herself to sit down on the couch. "I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. You know, if I had enemies. I'm more of a not-very-serious rival sort of girl." One hand idly started grabbing cookies and stuffing them into her mouth. "And I definitely wouldn't want Ruby to break--I mean obviously I wouldn't want her hurt in any way, bumph fa wah 'u're describing I really wouldn't want. Because it's bad."
"And because you want to get in her pants."
"S-she wears a skirt!" Pinkie protested.
Raven's eyebrow slowly rose.
"Also I don't just think of her as a sex object," Pinkie quickly added. "I want--um. Well, imf I wem 'o 'ursue a relationship with her, I would want it to have an emotional bond."
"Are all kids these days so serious about relationships?"
"Nah. But this relationship would be serioumph nm mammeh hm 'eriously we took it. I mean, Ruby's a pope!"
"I still don't understand why Sunset Shimmer lets her do that. From what I hear she's not big on the whole worship thing."
"She can't actually stop people worshipping her. Not without abusing her power in ways she... doesn't want to. So she tries to at leamph irec herm 'ormphippehmph 'owarn good habits, keep them from committing atrocities in her name... Ruby's a little quirky, but she's also somebody who actually asked Sunset permimphmnn 'o 'aph a shursh. And for all her 'interpreting' of Sunset's words, she does actually listen to the meaning behind them."
Raven nodded thoughtfully. "Vetting the heads to keep the whole thing from being a mess. That's probably one of the better ways to run a hierarchy."
"I mean, I'm kind of curious why Ruby didn't just start the Church of the Divine Bacon Horse right away. She's clearly very skilled at it, and she lived pretty close to Hunhemph e'fe bmmfoh fe Hachurashun--"
"Sunny Dragon came home without an arm."
Pinkie choked on her cookie.
"It was the whole mess in Tauros," Raven explained. "Sunny was in one of the neighboring countries for some university thing, and she heard about what Tirek was doing. Summer apparently did too well instilling virtues into that girl, because she dropped everything and snuck over the border to help refugees, fight corrupt cops, you know, usual hero shit. Got together with a local resistance cell, was a combat medic--she was studying to be a doctor, you know? And then, one of Tirek's bitches got ahold of her."
"She was obviously from out of the country," Raven said. "So, logically, she had to be an agent of somebody--so starts the interrogation. And she had the luck to be picked up by a woman the rebels called 'Cinder the Ashen-hearted.' Who had a way with magic fire--"
"Oh my god," Pinkie breathed.
"...Yeah, that was about my reaction when I found out. Luckily Sunny was rescued by her rebel friends, and they spirited her across the border--into Summer's hands, as it so happened. I only saw the photos after the fact, she..." Raven sighed. "She had to cut off Sunny's arm herself."
"...I... I didn't know," Pinkie murmured. "I thought..."
"Yeah... Well, Summer pulled some strings, got her one of the first-generation enchanted prosthetics. There's a spell that makes it look like her original arm unless the light hits it in a particular way. Of course, Sunny was a wreck when she got home, and Ruby... I think Ruby had a crisis of faith. Which really says something, since she didn't have a faith before. Then she heard about that bacon horse joke and... well, she threw herself into it."
"Wow." Pinkie sunk into the couch. "I mean... I know she took it seriously, I just thought... I never thought about why."
Raven shrugged. "Not really something that comes up in casual conversation."
"...do you know what ever happened to this, uh... Cinder woman?"
"What, are you worried about her tracking Ruby down and exacting vengeance for something that happened years ago during a war in the streets?"
"...strangely yes," Pinkie admitted. "I honestly don't know why."
"Well, you don't need to worry about that," Raven assured her. "I tracked her down and had a little... chat." She snapped her fingers. Then she looked at them with a frown. "This would be a lot more impressive if I didn't have these magic-resistant gauntlets on."
"Er... when you use chat as a euphemism--"
At that very moment, a loud roar came from the backyard.
"Sounds like The Machine is acting up," Raven grumbled, standing.