Pounds For Pumpkins
Back Home: Part Three
“Shut up, Pipsqueak.”
“But come on, can't you at least-”
“But what if-”
“Why can't we-”
“THAT WASN'T EVEN A YES OR NO QUESTION!”
“I DON'T CARE, PIP!”
Dinky huffed as she shot down every question her coltfriend threw at her. She knew each and every one was simply a different wording of the same request.
“But your sisters aaare pretty hot,” he commented right as Dinky socked him right in the face.
“Leave that stuff to Pumpkin,” she said as she tipped back her bottle of beer. His insistence was annoying her a lot more now that she was getting a little tipsy.
“And what's that supposed to mean?” Pipsqueak asked, the mood between them immediately taking on a colder edge. Even in her mildly inebriated state, Dinky could feel it.
She swallowed carefully.
“I mean, if I willingly went along with an orgy that my sisters are in- and yes, if you keep asking them they will eventually agree to it, so stop- then I would be committing incest. And I'm not trying to be rude, but I'll leave that stuff to Pumpkin. She can keep that.”
Pip let his face fall into his hoof as he sipped his scotch.
“Wow. I think that was the first time you ever actually managed to get me legitimately mad,” Pipsqueak said calmly.
Dinky looked at him in surprise.
“You're mad right now?”
“Care to elaborate?”
Pipsqueak took a quick swig of his drink before he began.
“Pound is my mate, we were buddies through basic and I have to say, he is the only pony I've met who really could care less how stupid I act sometimes. He helped me a lot, more than I'll ever give the kid credit. He's a strong colt, and y'know what? I kind of admire him for that. He's got a lot of balls.”
“He'd have to for what mess he's in now,” Dinky scoffed.
Pipsqueak replied by slamming his glass against the table, causing Dinky as well as a few other customers in the bar to jump in their seats, giving him a cautious eye.
“And that's the part that pisses me off!” he exclaimed. “Blokes like that, thinking they're better than him!”
Pipsqueak waved for another round as he pushed his glass away from himself.
“Didjew know that by the third week, he was promoted to our squad leader? Skyfire practically begged him to take the position, and Pound will never admit to accepting. He's too nice 'a pony for that. And with him at our charge, we excelled. I'll admit it, I don't think I ever could fire a rifle before. With his guidance... I still can't fire a rifle, but I'm a helluva lot better than I was!”
Pipsqueak hiccuped before continuing.
“Pound is, like, the nicest pony I know, and he has to deal with other ponies judging him. I know he banged his sister, and knocked her up to boot, but does that really matter? Why is it everypony's job to tell him how wrong he was? I don't think he was wrong at all, really.”
Dinky cocked an eyebrow.
“Oh? And why do you say that?”
Pipsqueak chuckled as he waved again, trying to get a waiter over to fill his drink. The bartender rolled his eyes, calmly swapping it out for a fresh glass filled to the brim. Pale was going to have a rough night with this one. Again. As per usual.
“He was always telling me about Pumpkin. I mean, I knew the mare, but he knew everything about her. Not really that surprising, I suppose, but it was... I'll say it. It was adorable. He is flat crazy over her. You should have seen him giggling when he was thinking of names for his foal. He even asked me. Me! Pumpkin really brings out the best in him, and y'know what?”
Pipsqueak paused, looking at his hoof. It was still raised for the waiter.
“What?” Dinky asked.
“What?” Pipsqueak asked, looking at Dinky, then back at his hoof.
“You asked y'know what, Pip,” Dinky said evenly.
“Did I?” Pipsqueak asked as he shook his hoof slightly, confirming to himself that it was indeed his hoof.
“Yes!” Dinky groaned. “Now what was it!”
“Probably as to why I am STILL HAILING FOR A NEW SCOTCH!” Pipsqueak yelled out.
“IT'S RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU, YA LITTLE SHIT!” Pale called back at him.
“NO IT'S-” Pipsqueak began before looking down. Sure enough, there stood a fresh glass of heaven.
“SO IT IS!” Pip yelled back.
“OY, SHUT IT YA DAMN PLEB!”
“OR WHAT, YA MINUTE PRICK!”
“OR YER TIP SHALL BE DOUBLED!”
“THAT'S WHAT I THOUGHT, DICK!”
Pipsqueak chuckled as he grabbed his drink, a full third of the glass disappearing in a single swig.
“I love that guy,” he laughed to himself.
“Really? Never would have guessed,” Dinky deadpanned.
Pipsqueak responded by taking another swig.
“Wait, I was saying something, wasn't I?” Pipsqueak asked.
“Hmmm... what was it- oh!” Pipsqueak exclaimed as he remembered. “I was saying how what Pound and Pumpkin have between them is the most sincere thing I've ever seen. So, buck whoever doesn't like it. Buck 'em to tartarus!”
With that, Pipsqueak threw his head back and cackled loudly. Dinky just sighed.
“It's pretty depressing that the most heart-felt speech you've ever given came about from being drunk,” she said, slightly disappointed.
“Buuut you love me for it,” he winked.
Dinky sighed again, allowing herself to crack a grin.
“I suppose from time to time, it is rather endearing.”
“And to that, I toast to victory!” Pip hollered as he downed his glass. As soon as the last drop disappeared down his gullet, he threw the glass to the floor, smashing it into many pieces.
“That was delicious! I demand another!”
Pale locked eyes with her as he brought a broom and dustpan over to the mess.
“Can you promise me he wont start singing Equestria Girls?” he asked Dinky.
“No promises, but if he does he ain't getting any tonight,” Dinky replied calmly.
Pale chuckled. “Then I suppose he can stay. But if he breaks another glass- aaand he's asleep.”
Sure enough, Pipsqueak was snoring contently, leaning back in the booth.
“Just make sure he doesn't do anything.... too stupid, okay?” Pale asked the mare. She nodded.
“My daily chore,” she joked, tipping her glass to Pale. He nodded and left.
A moment later, the bell hooked up to the front door jingled as three ponies made their way into the bar.
“Oh, hey Pound!” Dinky said, waving towards him. He smiled and waved back, pointing at her as he said something to Pumpkin and another mare.
Dinky did a double-take. There was another mare with them?
She looked after this new mare. She was a white earth pony, her coat tinted with a clean sheen of royal blue. Her two-tone mane couldn't decide if it wanted to be a calm green or a snow white and poked out in thick puffs beneath a red-and-white striped beanie, while the left side of her face was... bandaged up...
“Oh my,” Dinky murmured as the three approached the table. Pound whapped Pipsqueak upside the back of his head. Without even opening an eye or muttering a sound, Pipsqueak made room for his friends. Waldo decided to sit next to Dinky, who welcomed her into the seat beside her.
“Well, I must say I've never met you before,” Dinky said in address to Waldo.
“I've lived in this town for nearly two years, but thanks. I guess.”
Dinky opened her mouth, but (thankfully) no words came out.
“I take it Pipsqueak got straight to business?” Pumpkin asked Dinky while leaning lovingly against Pound. He responded by slinging a leg around his mare, rubbing her side softly.
Dinky grinned cheekily. “Right to the good stuff,” she said with a wink.
Pale returned to the table.
“Well well, looks like the gang's all here,” he chuckled.
“Uh, Pale?” Pound said, slightly confused. “We've all come here as a group, like, once.”
“Details,” Pale waved the fact away before turning to Waldo. “Hold on, I've seen you here before, haven't I?”
“Probably,” Waldo replied. “I've stopped by a couple times when I first moved here. It... helped.”
A thick aura of awkwardness settled over the group. Pipsqueak decided to be the one to fan it out. And what better way to do so than-
“Ew, Pipsqueak!” Pumpkin coughed, smiling softly.
“That one burned!” Pipsqueak bellowed, laughing merrily.
Pale rolled his eyes. “What'll it be for you all tonight?”
“The usual,” Pound said, immediately cringing as he realized he had a usual at a bar.
“A Manehatten, check,” Pale said before turning to Pumpkin. “And for the mare?”
“I'll stick with a Crystal Mist,” she replied. Pale nodded.
“A scotch!” Pipsqueak yelled.
“You're already plenty drunk!” Pale argued.
“And you're pretty ugly, but you...”
Pipsqueak paused, thinking hard.
“Your face... no... a bowling ball- of course not... Bah! Whatever! Another scotch, good sir!”
Pale facehoofed. He wanted to argue, he really did. Buuut....
Scritch-Scratch. He wrote down the request.
Dinky waved him on. “I'm good for now.”
That left Waldo.
“And for you, ma'am?”
Waldo looked briefly at the list of booze and wines.
“Platinum Scratch, heavy on the syrup. Toss in a lime, while you're at it.”
Pale's and Pipsqueak's eyes shot open. Pipsqueak could only utter in awe as Pale slowly wrote down the order. That was... not what he was expecting from the mare.
“A-Alright. One moment while I prepare the drinks.”
As Pale disappeared, Pip leaned across the table.
“I didn't know you could drink! I mean, I expected you to have wet your throat before, but... damn!”
Waldo rolled her eyes.
“That is... a rather strong order,” Pound commented. “Sure you can handle it?”
Waldo felt herself grin slightly in response to Pound.
“My dad was a jail warden, and on the weekends he used to-”
She froze, realizing what she was doing. She was opening up. She promised herself she would never do that again. And it wasn't for anypony else's sake but her own. Selfish, but intentional.
She coughed before waving what she was saying away.
“As I was, I can handle it. Don't worry.
Pound cocked an eyebrow, about to open his mouth. At the last second, though, he stopped himself. It wasn't his place to ask such a ques-
“What were ya saying 'bout yer dad?” Pipsqueak asked as he tried to wrestle Dinky's glass from her. She rolled her eyes as she simply pressed down on the glass from above, keeping his feeble attempt at bay.
“It was a, er, slip of the tongue. Forget about it.”
Pipsqueak opened his mouth again, but this time Pound nudged his ribs rather hard.
Pip looked at him.
Pound shook his head, motioning him to stop. Pipsqueak sighed.
A moment later, the drinks were ready and Pale brought them over, passing them out.
Everypony gaped in open shock at the dark sapphire elixir in Waldo's cup. Sure enough, a lime wheel was rimmed on the glass.
“Thanks,” she said as she paid upfront for her drink. She was used to paying immediately for the more expensive liquors.
And in defiance of what everypony at the table knew to be true and just in the world, she tipped the back of the glass, downing it in a single stroke. As she brought the glass down, she grabbed ahold of the lime, suckling it between her lips.
Pale and Pip were slack-jawed. Pound felt his face go slightly red, while Pumpkin just chuckled weakly. Dinky was taken back in shock.
“T-The whole... glass...” Pale whispered before slowly backing away, looking as though he'd seen a ghost.
Waldo looked around at everypony's (well, most of the pony's) horrified expression.
Pipsqueak let out a laugh.
Pound merely rubbed his temple.
Pumpkin was the only one to speak up.
“Yeah, you're going to fit in just fine here.”