• Published 13th Aug 2013
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Married to Her Job, Single in Her Heart - Revenant Wings

Nurse Redheart believes her job is all she needs in life. That is, until she meets a mare and an almost forgotten memory who show her there's more to life than work. +COMPLETED+

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Chapter 6 - The Picnic


Redheart slept in during the morning again. She had not been restless as she had the previous night and she hadn’t cried again. The little book lay in its spot on the floor still and for the most part Redheart seemed to have forgotten about it. She was still thinking of Caramel.

Redheart kept telling herself the wrongs of four years ago were not to be washed away so easily. How could they, with what he had done to her? Yet… why was she already falling for him? It had merely been two days since the last time she had seen him, and even then she was seething with anger at what he had done. Could things have been changed over the course of a single afternoon with him? It certainly seemed like he had changed. Perhaps things could be different this time.

Redheart woke up later than the previous day feeling refreshed. She went and took a nice warm shower, letting the water rinse over her as she hummed to herself. It was so long since she had felt this good, but even then she regarded her feelings with caution. She didn’t want a repeat of what happened four years ago and yet she didn’t want it to be over so quickly.

At eleven thirty, there was a knocking on the door. By now, Redheart had gotten out of the shower and dried herself and was making herself a cup of coffee. Leaving the pot to brew, Redheart opened the door to see Twilight at the door.

“Good morning, Miss Redheart!” Twilight said cheerfully. “I was wondering if you wanted to come with us on the picnic this afternoon.”

“Are you going right now?” Redheart asked.

“Not yet. I was going to ask you if you wanted to come so I knew how much to take of things. If you were coming along with, I was going to pack an extra serving. If not, I would have just packed the normal.”

“Um… I guess you can count me in. What time are you going?”

“Oh, we were going to head over to the lake at about twelve thirty.”

“Okay. I… I was thinking I’d be coming by a little later. I wanted to do some housecleaning before heading over there.” It was a lie and Redheart could tell Twilight knew it. Even from the doorway, anypony could see Redheart’s apartment was sparkling clean without even having to step across the door. “However,” Redheart continued before Twilight could ask, “I do want to talk with you about the books, so I won’t be taking too long.”

Twilight smiled. “Great! I’ll pack an extra serving and I’ll see you later!” Twilight turned around and headed out, Redheart smiling back at her as she left.

Redheart was not going to clean. She didn’t have to. The lie was an excuse to buy some time for what she wanted to do next. She gave her mane a quick brush and left it loose instead of tying it in the bun before putting on a red sweater; the breeze from the past few days had kicked up and it was almost chilly going outside. Redheart made sure she had a few extra bits and walked down to the bookstore.

As she suspected, Caramel was there working. She didn’t go straight towards him, preferring to go to the magazines and find a medical journal and pretending to read it at the table as she watched him. Caramel, oblivious to her presence, went about his work putting away books. No one disturbed him as he worked and no one bothered him.

Redheart eventually let herself relax. She began to read an article in the journal instead of just hide behind it though her eyes still strayed upwards to watch Caramel every once in a while. Satisfied with the articles she was reading, Redheart decided to buy the copy of the journal but spent a few minutes more reading it.

She was almost glad she had stayed. Off at the far end of the bookstore, Caramel was talking with a mare wearing another of the green aprons; another employee. This one was an aquamarine unicorn with a similar colored mane boasting a skunk-stripe of white. She went over and at first was helping him put books away, but when the job was done, she went over to him and kissed him on the cheek. Redheart could not see Caramel’s face, but she could watch as his body stiffened up and then turned to look at her, his eyes wide. The unicorn giggled at him and continued talking. After a while, Redheart watched as Caramel relaxed as the unicorn finally left him, going off to the front of the store and the registers.

Redheart was distracted by the sound of a distant booming noise. She whirled around in her chair and looked out of the bookstore to see a flash of a rainbow going through the sky. There was nothing to worry about; Rainbow Dash had simply performed another of her signature Sonic Rainbooms. Redheart shrugged it off and went up to the counter, where the aquamarine unicorn was the only one available. Redheart got a look at her name tag as she approached: “Lyra Heartstrings.”

“Good afternoon, ma’am!” Lyra said cheerfully. “Is that journal there going to be all?”

“Yes,” Redheart said, placing the magazine on the counter. “You’re the mare who usually plays the lyre in the town square some nights, aren’t you?”

“Yeah,” Lyra said as she scanned the magazine, “but that doesn’t exactly pay the bills, you know.” She told Redheart her total, and the mare began counting out her bits. “You’re one of the nurses down at Ponyville Hospital, aren’t you?”

“Yes. I think I may have had you come in for an appointment once.”

“Cool!” Lyra said excitedly as she pulled out a bag for Redheart’s purchase. “I thought about becoming a doctor once, but I couldn’t focus in the classes. Oh, I almost forgot to ask if you wanted to sign up for subscriptions to the store newsletter. We’ll also let you know when more issues of the journal come in.”

“I think I’ll be alright,” Redheart replied. “It’s not too long of a walk to get here.”

“Alrighty, then! See you again sometime!”

Redheart took her bag and walked off. It was too quick to make accusations now. Besides, Lyra was just a coworker and could have been flirting with Caramel. Even if she was, Caramel had looked like he wasn’t comfortable with it. And besides, Lyra seemed nice enough that she would have backed down if Caramel asked her to. Redheart tried her best to keep from assuming any further things and walked off.

As Redheart walked off, the sight of a medical carriage confused her. Moreso were three things: the carriage was traveling in the direction of the hospital, the carriage was going particularly fast, and the carriage was coming from the direction of the late. Redheart picked up the pace as she walked to the lake.

At the lake was not the promised picnic that Twilight had been talking about. There was a single pony sitting at an empty blanket: an orange pony with a blonde mane and a light brown Stetson hat. Redheart sped up and galloped over to where the pony was sitting. She looked up as Redheart approached her.

“You must be Nurse Redheart,” the mare said. “Twilight said you were supposed to be coming this afternoon.”

“You’re Applejack, aren’t you?” Redheart asked.

“That I am,” Applejack responded.

“Sorry about the late arrival. Where are the others? And do you know anything about the medical carriage that just came from this direction going to the hospital?”

“I thought you’d be wantin’ to ask about that,” Applejack said. Redheart could tell her voice was full of concern, and she could tell why as Applejack continued. “Well, I saw everythin’. Twilight was tryin’ to practice her flyin’ skills since she became a princess not long ago. So, she was at least ten feet in the air when Rainbow Dash, herself tryin’ to make an entrance, pulled off a Sonic Rainboom and smashed right into Twilight and then into the ground. Rainbow Dash made it out okay, but that medical carriage you just saw was takin’ Twilight to the hospital.”

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