• Published 8th Oct 2013
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Repair and Deliver - SleeplessScribe



If there are two things Torque loves more than anything, they're helping people and mechanical work. When a worker shortage forces him to move to Ponyville, he meets a young filly with a struggling mother that allows him to do both.

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Chapter 12: Mediator

Repair and Deliver
Story 6
Chapter 12: Mediator
By: SleeplessScribe

It took a few moments before I was finally able to move again. In fact, the radio needed to come on before I could even regain my bearings.

“Torque, your time is up! Get your tail over here in five minutes or I chew you out like a pack of gum… bad analogy. Just get over here fast.”

I shook my head quickly before looking down. I’d forgotten I never had a chance to put the radio back in its place at home. “Well, Ditzy, I’ll see you later.”

She flashed a bright smile and waved at me. “By, Torque! I’ll get plenty of rest and feel better soon, I promise.”

“I’m going to hold you to that!”

With that taken care of, I made a mad dash to the shop in the hopes of cutting down on the time my lecture would take. Sparkplug would probably take at least an hour to reprimand me anyway, but at least I could get there quickly and have it done with sooner. However, when I got to the shop, it was completely empty save for my cousin.

“Um… I swear I’m not a bad influence!”

The mare raised her brow and stood up. “Nopony else has even radioed in. They’re lucky we haven’t gotten any jobs yet.”

Just as she had finished speaking, the door opened and Fuse Box walked in. “Sorry I’m late, fridge stropped working and I had to fix it.”

Not long after he came in, Drill Bit made his way inside. “My apologies, Sparkplug. Had to get some food for the cat. Poor thing is completely out.”

As if on cue, Sprocket poked her head in the door. “Sorry for the holdup, I needed to get my prescription filled. I freaked when I saw I only had one pill left.”

I tilted my head, but she responded to me right as I opened my mouth. “ADHD. I get really irritable without my meds.”

I should have seen it coming, but Fuse’s muttering still surprised me. “Not sure if those meds actually help.”

She apparently heard him, as she started towards him with a frown. However, she froze as soon as Stainless Steel walked through the door. “Whoa, is this a party?”

My cousin shook her head. “No, but you’d better have a good reason why you’re late. At least Torque thought ahead and left me a note. Honestly, I can understand him being late since he took Ditzy to the doctor, I can sympathize with Fuse and his fridge, I definitely don’t want an even more pissy Sprocket here, and Drill… you love that cat too much. So, what’s your story, Steel?”

“I was toting this.”

He pushed the door open completely, revealing the large wagon of boxes behind him. “My buddy Scrap got his hands on some intact spare parts and tools, and he thought we could use them. I brought them all the way here from his junkyard outside of town.”

Her eyes lit up as she bolted to the wagon. Sparks began to squeal as she rummaged through the cargo, quickly wrapping her forelegs around the colt with a smile bigger than I have ever seen before.

“You are the best Steel!”

Suddenly aware of all the stares she was receiving, she backed away with a nervous giggle and cleared her throat. “Alright, let’s unload all this stuff. Move it! Move it! Move it!”

It took at least an hour to unload everything and get it sorted out. Just after we had finished and sat down for a rest, my cousin poked her head in the door. “Wake up! Torque, Fuse, grab your tools and get over to Sugar Cube Corner. They’re having problems with their water again.”

Fuse clicked his tongue and rolled his eyes. “Again? That’s the third time in as many weeks! What the heck are they doing to keep screwing up their plumbing?”

She just shrugged as we got our belts on. “I don’t know. Just get over there and see if you can take care of it.”

“Fine.”

Once we were both ready, we made our way out and towards the sweet shop. The trip was silent, for the most part, until I decided to give in to something that had been nagging at me for a while.

“Fuse, why are you so grumpy?”

He turned to me with a raised brow. “Excuse me?”

“Well, let’s be honest, you’ve been kind of sour for the last few days. Since I’m being honest, I’ll also tell you that I know what happened between you and Sprocket. However, I only know what Drill and Steel know. Care to shed some light on the subject?”

He rolled his eyes again. “What makes you think you can help? Yeah, I’m bitter about losing the pony I’ve loved more than anyone else, but you’re no counselor, and we’re on a job.”

As he turned away from me, I moved to his other side and forced him to look at me. “Well, I can at least try to help! It’s better than you two being at each other’s throats every day!”

The colt let out a sigh and closed his eyes. “I appreciate it, but there really is no point. Even if I told you the story, what good would that do? It’s not like you can make her take me back. Even if I told her the story, she’d never believe me!”

“Wait, you mean you never even told her your side of the story?” My eyes widened when I heard this. If that was truly the case, then he didn’t really have any room to complain.

“Well, she’s never given me a chance. The only time she ever talks to me is when she’s mad and yelling. Look, if you’re really going to stick your nose in my business, I’ll tell you the story, but how about we wait until after we take care of this job?”

“That’s fine with me.”

Well, I have to say, if first impressions really do last forever, then Sugar Cube Corner will never die. The minute I walked in, I was overcome by the aroma of who knows how many delicious treats. The sweet scent of chocolate mixed in with freshly baked bread, the smell of various kinds of cake frosting rose up and brought my mouth to a dog-like watering. That’s not all, either; the sight of the place was amazing too. From the outside, it looked like a giant gingerbread house, and the inside looked like a place the Muffin Mare—not Ditzy, but the one from the little song—would’ve called home.

We were greeted by a rather bouncy pink mare who was jumping around like a living pogo stick. I heard a little chuckle from Fuse as they exchanged hellos, but the earth pony froze in place, resulting in both her right legs being up in the air for some reason, when she saw me. After a moment, she gasped loudly and fell back on all fours.

“Um… hello? My name’s Torque, and we—”

“Oh my gosh! You’re new! You’re new! Oh, how could I have not noticed you before?” She nearly threw herself at me and grabbed my hoof, shaking it energetically. “Hi there! I’m Pinkie Pie, and I know everyone in Ponyville. That’s why I went,” she repeated the noise that she had made when she first saw me, “just now when I saw you, because I didn’t know you! That means you’re new, and if you’re new, then I haven’t done my super special welcome yet!”

Fuse pushed himself between us and turned his attention to Pinkie. “That can wait, Pinkie. Where are Mr. and Mrs. Cake? We’re here to look at the water… again.”

“Oh, they’re picking up ingredients for a special recipe! The problem is upstairs… and it’s bad. It’s really bad.”

We both exchanged looks before turning back to the mare. “Like, how bad?”

She looked up at the ceiling for a moment. “Like everything’s a mess bad.”

We traded looks again before starting towards the stairs. I rubbed my chin for a moment and turned to Pinkie. “Is it flooded or just wet?”

Again, she looked up, but she didn’t look down when addressing us this time. “There might be a little flooding up there. I’m not sure if the water came back on or not.”

She actually followed us as we continued our trek up the stairs. Pinkie motioned to a door on the right side of the hallway, and boy, was she not kidding. As soon as we opened the door, we stepped in a puddle of water. The wall on our left was completely soaked at least halfway up, and further inspection revealed that the bathtub in the room was missing a knob.

Pinkie surveyed the room before pointing to the bathtub. “I don’t know what happened! I was trying to give Gummy a bath, and the cold water knob just came off! After that, the water just started spraying out of the hole!”

It only took us a few minutes to figure out what the problem was. We had to have some parts brought to us, but once we had what we needed, the repairs didn’t actually take that long. A quick test sealed the deal, and we both got hugs from Pinkie. She happily gave us more when we volunteered to help her clean up, as well, though we did have to endure one of Sparkplug’s long, unamused sighs.

By the time we were completely finished, it was close to lunch time. Pinkie offered to make us something, but both Fuse and I agreed that it wouldn’t be fair to take anything unless there was enough for everyone back at the shop.

The mare jumped up and sprinted into the kitchen with a grin wider than I thought anatomically possible. Then again, Pinkie had been doing many things I thought anatomically impossible throughout the course of the day.

She popped up behind the counter with two dozen doughnuts in a very large box. “I keep at least two dozen doughnuts at the ready, in case of doughnut emergency.”

Fuse took them and reached for some money, but Pinkie almost pounced on him when he did. “Oh no! This is on the house! It’s the least I can do for you guys helping me clean up!”

I was about to say something as we heard chattering outside. The perky pony jumped up and shoved us through the back door. “Thanks for all the help, but I don’t want the Cakes knowing this happened. Wouldn’t want them to worry! Okie dokie, have a good day you guys!”

We both waved at her as she slowly closed the door. Fuse made to start walking, but I stepped in front of him to remind him of our agreement.

“What?” It only took a moment of my silence for him to figure it out. “Oh, right. Fine. Grab some popcorn, it’s a long story.”

Our trip to the shop started off slow, just to give him time to tell the story. “Sprocket and I had been dating for at least six months when this happened. See, Torque, I’m not from around here, and where I come from, it’s customary to greet family members of the opposite gender with a kiss on the cheek. Well, my sister came to visit me unexpectedly, and I guess she caught me kissing her and didn’t realize who it was. We both saw her after the fact, but before we could say anything, she ran off.”

Seems today was National Tilt Your Head Day. “She’s never let you explain yourself?”

He slowly shook his head. “We’d been living together, and she didn’t even tell me she was leaving. I just got home one day and all her stuff was gone. Every time I try and bring it up, she either screams at me to shut up or walks away.”

I tapped my chin as we walked. This was quite a pickle, and I don’t even like pickles. “Well, we need to do something. She’s snuggling up to me, and I’m really not comfortable with that.”

Fuse hung his head and sighed. “It’s a waste of time, Torque. She won’t even try to listen.”

This was worse than a pickle. Not only were they both stubborn, but Fuse’s pessimism, was making this even more difficult. “Haven’t I made my stance on impossible clear already? She might listen if I say something to her about it.”

“Whatever. I’ll give it a shot if you actually manage to convince her, but I’m not holding my breath.”

I rolled my eyes as we approached the shop. “When do you ever?”

Luckily for us, everyone was still here. Fuse set the boxes of doughnuts down on the table and I started tapping on it. “Free lunch for everypony! Doughnuts from Sugar Cube Corner!”

Everyone flocked over to the table as we opened the boxes. Unfortunately, a certain somepony didn’t get any, as her hoof was lightly smacked when she reached for one. “Ow! Torque, that hurt!”

I crossed my front legs and stared at her. “You don’t get any lunch until you sit down and talk to someone.”

She drew back and scoffed. “Excuse me? Who are you to tell me what I can and can’t do?”

“I’m someone that wants to see this conflict ended and this shop regain a mood of friendliness. It’s only happened one time in front of me, and already I’m tired of you and Fuse Box fighting. I don’t care how angry you are, you are going to seat yourself and listen to his side of the story!”

Sprock stared at me for a moment before my cousin walked in. The mare pointed at one of the chairs before angling her hoof downward. “Park it.”

As soon as our boss said something, she sat. She had quite the scowl on her face, but she still managed to look at Fuse when he sat across from her. “Alright, say what you’re gonna say and let’s be done with it.”

Fuse sighed as he sat down. He kept his head down, but as he got into the story, he slowly started raising it up. “Alright, Sprock, you know I’m not from around here, right? Where I come from, it’s normal to greet family members of the opposite gender with a kiss on the cheek. That mare you saw me kiss was my sister, and she had stopped by to surprise me and tell me she was getting married. Besides, I would never cheat on you. I still love you.”

Sprocket blew a raspberry, her brows angled down and an even worse scowl stretched across her muzzle. “Really? Then why didn’t you just say so? Do you honestly expect me to believe that when you’ve had such a long time to make up a story?”

He slammed his hoof down on the table and narrowly missed one of the boxes. “I’ve tried! Unfortunately, every time I did, a certain someone chose to ignore me or even go so far as to shout at me! It’s not my fault you’re a stubborn mule!”

Her jaw dropped at his words and she shot him a glare I thought might bore a hole between his eyes. “Well, you know, if you had been more stubborn instead of being a pessimistic defeatist, maybe I would’ve given in and listened to you long ago! No, you had to let the breakup take you down! I… I… I still love you, Fuse… but you’re not you anymore.”

Now was my chance to set my hoof on the table between them. “I swear on all that is good, if either of you say getting back together is impossible, I will flip this table and take the doughnuts away!”

They both stared at me for a moment before looking back to each other. After some time, Fuse held his hoof out, doing his best to put on a smile. “Can we try again?”

Sprocket looked down at the hoof before her. Her eyes lidded for a second before she reached out and took it in her own. “We can.”

The minute she said this, the entire room erupted with a loud “woo”. Drill picked up both boxes with a massive grin on his face. “Doughnut party! This is like an anniversary… kind of. Maybe. Okay, never mind. Still, doughnut party!”

Everyone grabbed at the treats again once he set them down, but I was grabbed by the shoulder and pulled away. Spark’s mouth formed a crooked, curved line across her muzzle as she stared at me.

“You’re one to talk about being stubborn, you know that?”

I just shrugged and tipped my hat. “Eh, maybe. See, the thing is, I’m the good kind of stubborn.”

She rolled her eyes and playfully hit my shoulder. “Whatever. Honestly, I’m surprised at how easy it was to get these two back together.”

I turned back to the group for a moment before addressing my cousin again. “Well, their main problem was the fact that they just didn’t talk about it. They probably would still be together had Sprocket given Fuse a chance to explain himself right from the get-go. Speaking of, here’s hoping Fuse is a lot less… glass half empty from now on.”

My cousin brought me into a hug before hitting me again. “I hear you on that one, Torque.”