• Published 15th Jan 2014
  • 3,874 Views, 107 Comments

Kinds of Love: The World - Rainedash



A series of short stories set in the 'Kinds of Love' universe.

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A Maid's Tale

Spic and Span busied themselves cleaning up the royal living quarters. Serving the princess of love meant that the bedspread needed to changed quite often, usually due to various fluids left behind by the royal couples' exploits. The pair of maids were nearly identical in appearance: earth pony, light-grey fur, and blonde manes. Since they didn't enjoy others getting them mixed up all the time, they had made it easier to tell one another apart. Span's mane was cut short, while Spic's mane was pulled back into a ponytail.

As Spic put the finishing touches on the bed, placing the pillows in their rightful spot, she listened to Span talk about some get together the others were planning.

“We're going to that karaoke bar, The Crystal Song. Oh, and a bunch of the guards will be there too. It'll be really fun. We can even stay as late as we want, since we have tomorrow off,” said Span. She nudged Spic's hip, causing Spic to look back to her, giving her full attention. “So...”

“So... what?” asked Spic, raising an eyebrow. She wasn't sure if she liked where this line of inquiry was going.

“So are you going?”

Spic scrunched her nose and turned her lips downward. “Drunken ponies singing badly? As fun as that sounds, I think I shall pass on this one.”

“Alright, I’ll rephrase, are you going on your own free will or do I have to drag you there?”

Spic stared at her sister.

“Sis, I'm not going to sit here and watch you become a hermit. Or worse, an old cat lady.”

“I don't even own any cats!”

“Not yet.” Span sat down, and went through the motions of petting a cat, and then put on her best impression of Spic, “Oh, how nice to see you sister. You're just in time for Puss'n'boots' birthday party. Isn't that right kitty... indeed.”

“Hardy, har sister. You fancy yourself to be quite amusing, don't you?” said Spic, with an indignant huff.

“Just answer me this, besides me, how many friends do you have?”

“Well-”

Span lifted her hoof, cutting off Spic. “And before you say any of the other palace staff, unless you hang out with them off the clock, it doesn't count. Those are coworkers that you happen to get along with.”

“Okay, so I do not possess some extensive social network. That does not make me a hermit.”

“Sister, you're going. And so help me, you will make some friends.”

***

Roughly an hour later, Spic sat in The Crystal Song. While others danced around and sang on stage – usually off key, mind you – she was on her lonesome at the bar with a half filled glass of hard cider. Her ears laid flat against the sides of her head. “Oh, they won't be too bad at singing, sis. You might enjoy it,” she grumbled, copying what her sister had told her. “Yes, real enjoyable.”

“Excuse me, miss?” came a soft, male voice from behind her. It had none of the drunken slur the others did and was surprisingly quiet. “Is this seat taken?”

Spic turned to see a dark blue pegasus with a silver mane. If she was recalling correctly, he was one of the guards, though his name escaped her. “Go ahead,” she replied, nonchalantly.

He plopped down onto the stool next to hers. “So, um... great party. I guess.”

She responded with a flat, “Sure,” before taking a sip of her drink.

“Yeah, I'm not much of a party pony either. My friend, Fencer, dragged me here.”

“I know the feeling. It was my sister that dragged me here. Didn't want me to be an old cat lady, she said.”

The stallion laughed, but zipped up when he saw Spic turn and stare at him. “Sorry.”

Spic shrugged. “Nothing for you to apologize for.”

They sat there in an awkward silence as the seconds slowly ticked away. Spic spent the time looking at her drink. While I appreciate sister's concerns, she could have at least taken me to a less boisterous location.

The stallion broke her train of thought, when he spoke up again. “So, you must have been part of Canterlot's staff that came over with Captain Shining Armor and Princess Cadance.”

“I suppose the fact that I'm not a crystal pony gave it away. I have served my mistress, Princess Cadance, for many years before she took her rightful spot upon a thro-”

“AND IIIIIII WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOUUUUUUU!” came a loud singing voice from behind them, the worst part being that it was her sister.

“Hey, want to go outside? Should be quieter out there,” suggested the stallion.

“Gladly.” She finished her drink in one gulp, payed off the tab, and followed the guard pony outside. The door closed behind them, blocking nearly all the noise. From this spot, it was hard to tell that there was any party at all. Once more, Spic was able to hear her own thoughts.

“I'm Typhoon, by the way. It's nice to meet you.” He reached out one of his forehooves.

After studying it for a moment, Spic returned the proper show of manners and shook it. “Spic.”

“So, like you were saying, you've worked for Princess Cadance for a long time?”

Spic nodded. “Correct. I actually became the personal servant for the mistress when she was a mere teenager.”

“Wow. The princess doesn't seem like the type that would have had personal servants that young.”

“She wasn't spoiled if that's what you're inferring. I came to be in her service though unique means. Otherwise I doubt she would have accepted having anypony wait on her. The princess prides herself on being self reliant. At least far more so most of the nobility.” Spic smiled as she talked of the princess, taking pride in serving a mistress like her.

Typhoon sat down as he listened to her, leaning back against the The Crystal Song. “It sounds like you enjoy it.”

“The work can be trying at times, but yes, I enjoy working at the palace and for Princess Cadance.”

“Those unique means, what were they? If you don't mind me asking, that is.”

Spic went silent, the smile vanishing.

“You don't have to say what happened if you don't want to, but it beats awkward small talk until the party is done.”

Spic looked back to the door, thinking of just how long the party might go on. Her sister's words about not having to go home early replayed in her mind “I'm inclined to agree. Very well.”

***

My sister and I do not come from a well off family. Matter of fact, it was just the opposite, we barely got by. It hadn't always been that way. While we weren't rich, we did well enough when mother was employed as a maid, but then she was fired. From what I've gathered, her and her master were rather close. Too close as far as his wife was concerned. She grew jealous and accused them of having an affair behind her back. She demanded that my mother be released of her services or she would leave, destroying his standing in the process. His wife spread the word to other noblemares not to hire her, unless they didn’t care if their husbands were unfaithful.

***

Typhoon shook his head. “Sorry to hear that. It sucks when lies are spread around like that.”

“To be honest, I can’t say it’s a lie. Like I said, mother and him were close. I never actually asked her directly if the accusations were true, as it was none of my business,” said Spic, before continuing her story.

***

The day everything changed went as most did in the beginning. I kept myself busy by walking around the rich districts of Canterlot, watching the noblemares and window shopping. I fantasized about wearing the flowing gowns they did, and tried my best to have the same aura of nobility. Regardless of my station in life, it didn't mean that I couldn't carry myself with class and dignity.

Unfortunately, I was smacked in the face by reality once I went back home, to the little apartment my family lived in. I sighed and walked into the bedroom that my sister and I shared. I buried myself in the fantasy book as a means of escape. One that was abruptly ended when Span walked in and started poking at me. I don't rightly remember what I said in response, though I'm sure it was an insult of some sort. What Span said next though got me to turn away from my novel.


“Fine, I'll eat this by myself then.”

I immediately jumped out of bed at the mention of food, and saw her holding five or six apples. “Sister!? Where in Equestria did you get those?”

“Promise not to go blabbing to mom?” she asked, taking a step back.

“Fine, you have my word. Now just tell me.”

“I struck up a conversation with this apple merchant. Batted my eyes, talked up how handsome he was, then when he wasn't looking-”

“Wait... please, please tell me you didn't.”

“Sis, I'm sick of this. I'm sick of us never having enough food. I'm sick of seeing mom starve herself just because that witch ruined her reputation.”

I listened in shock. This wasn't like my sister at all. She’s carefree, didn't hold grudges, and almost always seemed to let whatever the world threw at her roll off her back. In that moment though, she was so bitter. I saw the hate in her eyes, and felt it in her voice.

“And I don't want to just sit around hoping for some noble to take pity and give mom a crappy job. Sis, don't look at me like that. I'm not some common thief. I'm not stealing from poor looking shops and I'm not stealing stuff for money. I'm just taking what I need to survive.”

“It's still stealing. What if you get caught?”

Sister grinned at that line. The look she gave seemed to say, just what I wanted to hear. “You know sis, it'll be easier with two ponies working together.”

“I will not.”

She held out an apple. The light reflected off its skin, and my stomach growled, reminding me that I had not eaten breakfast yet. The dinner I had the night before wasn't particularly filling either. “You can't say you aren't just as tired of this as I am. Come on sis.”

My stomach growled again. The scent of the apple begged me to come closer. “J-just what we need, and no more. Right?”

“Right.”

It is not something that I'm proud of, but I took the apple and bit into it. It was one of the crispiest, juiciest apples I have ever eaten. I had almost forgotten what a fresh one tasted like. From then on, I would go out and help my sister steal food. She was a mare of her word, we only ever took just enough for us to get by. The plan was simple but worked like a charm. My sister, being the flirt that she is, kept the merchant busy. Meanwhile, I would snatch a few things from the corner of his display, out of sight.

For the most part, I felt no guilt for doing it. Like Span said, we were just doing what we had to. That's what I believed at the time, anyways. Now, I'm not so sure, but I'm not sorry I did it. We did run into one snag when mother caught us coming into the house with food. We should have expected that to eventually happen but we didn't think that far ahead. “Where did you two get those?”

“I... er, well...” I stammered. Luckily for me, Span is good at coming up with stories on the spot.

“Mom, I know you aren't going to like this, but me and Spic did a bit of panhandling. It's just that, we really wanted to help you.” I placed everything that we had stolen that morning on the kitchen table. It was just a few heads of lettuce and a bunch of berries. Span kept talking, “You're not mad are you?” Stealing was one thing, but lying to our mother? That, to me, was crossing a whole new line. One that I really disliked.

Mother sighed and shook her head. I didn't realize it then, but I'm sure the thought of her daughters having to beg for food and bits must have hurt her badly. I can't imagine how heartbroken she would have been if she knew the truth. “We have enough for you tonight, so you don't have to skip dinner,” I added. The guilt I felt at that moment was assuaged when I saw mother getting to eat something fresh again.

The next problem came when my sister and I had a falling out. I can still remember that day in great detail. I was at our meeting place, scoping out our next target in the market. I waited for her for what felt like hours, just sitting there and tapping my hoof against the pavement. “This is ridiculous.” I got up and searched her out, eventually finding her hitting on the wrong target. The stallion running the cart was quite handsome, I'll admit, and it was obvious that she wasn't doing this for us. She was merely looking to have a fun time with him.

I couldn't believe it! She knew better than this! There I had been, sitting around waiting for her, and she was just trying to get laid! She had made this mistake before but it never took her this long to end the conversation and come find me. I stomped over there, seething. “Excuse me, but I need to have a word with my sister,” the words came out with a growl. She protested but I wasn't having any excuses. I dragged her away until I found a deserted alley, where I didn't have to worry about anypony overhearing us. “What is wrong with you?! You know we had stuff to do.”

“Geez, sorry. I must have lost track of time. We still have plenty of time before the stalls close though.”

“This is just like you. Blowing off any responsibility just to jump at some guy.” Yes, I know I was being too harsh, but her flirty nature had rubbed me the wrong way once too often. “You need to start thinking with your brain instead of your vagina. If you get too close to the merchants, they'll get to talking and might realize wait we've doing. Do you not understand that?”

“Great, here we go with the lecturing. Sis, you need to loosen up.”

“Loosen up nothing. You need take this seriously.”

Sister stepped forward, getting into my face as she spoke, “Well sorry for having a bit of fun once in awhile and not walking around like some wannabe noblemare. Sis, you can try to put on this high class act, trying to talk like them and behave like them all you want, but the truth is, you're just a poor thief.”

“Just a... just a... how dare you! I will not apologize for acting like I have a touch of class instead of some harlot.”

“H-harlot! Well fine. If that’s how you feel,” She turned away. I saw tears in her eyes, and I’m sure calling her that cut deep. “Good luck getting your own food.” And with that, she stormed off.

But I didn't need her. If anything, I could do better on my own. Ha! I was a right idiot at the time. Too prideful for my own good. The right thing to do would have been to patch things up with my sister and continued as we had been doing. Instead, I tried to not only steal some food on my own, I tried to one up her.

I went back to the market and saw a cart with cakes being pulled by an armored unicorn. The last time I had cake before this was for my fifth birthday many years before. He stopped by one of the stalls, a donut one I think, and talked to the merchant, giving me the perfect opportunity. It was far too tempting of an offer to turn down. Keep my body low to the pavement, and following groups of shoppers, I drew closer. I steadied myself when I was right beside it, then grabbed the nearest cake, some type with vanilla frosting, and ran. You know what happened next? I didn't even make it two steps before his magic pulled my hooves out from under me and took away my prize.

Maybe he turned around at just the right moment or perhaps he had the cart enchanted. I'll never know and it's no longer important. I hung upside down and stared into the unicorn's glare. I probably don't have to say this, but that's very intimidating. “I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.”

“Do you have any idea what you just tried to do?”

“N-no?”

He pulled me closer. “These are for her highness, Princess Celestia. You just tried to steal from her highness.”

My breath was forced out as if I had just been bucked in the gut. I trembled and begged for him to let me go. “Please! I swear I shall never try this again, but please let me go.” Stealing from the princess? That was a guarantee that you'd end up the dungeon.

“'Fraid I can't do that miss.” He sat me down and I felt his magic wrap around my neck, insuring that I couldn't run. He turned back to the merchant, “Sorry Joe, but duty calls.”

We walked to the palace in silence. The whole time, I kept my head down, chastising myself and coming up with wild ideas of what the princess might do to me: hard labor, lifetime banishment, or perhaps being changed into a rat. Oh I know now that Princess Celestia would never do such a thing, but well, I was young and scared. I dare say I didn’t have any of my senses intact at all at that moment.

I stood outside throne room as my captor spoke to the guards within. They ushered my inside and forced me to stand before Celestia. She was far larger up close than I imagined. I followed through with my first instinct and bowed down as I begged for mercy. Tears roll down my cheeks. What happened next was quite unexpected. I felt her magic brush away my tears. Unlike the magic of guard, her's was warm and, forgive the rather cliché simile, felt like the same warmth as the light of the sun.

“There is no need for tears, little one,” she said. Her voice melted away my fear. “As I understand it, you attempted to steal one of my cakes. Know this, I do not hold personal grudges. However, I cannot allow theft, especially not here in the capital.” She looked me over, appraising me. “Tell me, why would a young mare resort to petty theft?”

I'm not sure why, but I started telling her everything: how and why mother was fired, the talk with my sister, and what we ended up doing.

“So, you say that you felt as though you had no other choice?”

“Y-yes your majesty.” She closed her eyes and I could tell that she was thinking something over. I waited with baited breath for her next response.

“Very well then, I shall give you another option. You shall become a servant here at the palace. I believe I already know a good position.”

“Servant at the palace?” I repeated her in shock.

“Correct. As such, you'll be given one meal a day and the bits needed to pay for any more food you require.”

“Your majesty, I know I'm in no position to make requests, but there is something I must ask.” I must have been out of my mind to ask for more than the mercy she was already showing me, and yet, it paid off. “As I said, my sister is, or rather was, in the same position as I. If at all possible, could she be granted a job here at the palace too? Together, we'd be sure to be able to take care of each other and mother.”

She smiled at the request. I swear, it's almost like she was proud of me for thinking of my sister at that moment. “I think something can be arranged. I shall send for her. In the mean time, you may wait at the palace entrance for her arrival. I need to discuss something with another pony in privacy.”

“Yes, your majesty.” I gave her one more bow before being escorted out.

After waiting at the palace entrance for awhile, I saw a guard walking up with my sister in tow. She looked worried. The moment our eyes met, she sprinted up to me and pulled me into a hug. “Sister? What exactly did the guard tell you?”

“Only that you stood trial before Princess Celestia and that she requested my presence.” She nuzzled me. “This is all my fault. I shouldn't have walked away, I should have been there to-”

I pressed my hoof against her muzzle, stopping her from saying anymore. “Sister, I am fine. Better than fine, actually. I got us both jobs, ones that come with a free meal.”

“But... how?”

I shot her a grin. “Do you think yourself as the only one of us with a smooth tongue?” I took my opportunity to impress my sister. It was childish but it seemed to properly break the ice between us.

“Sis, I'll never doubt you again.”

There was one last thing I needed to do. “Um, hey, Span? I’m really sorry about calling you a harlot.”

Span looked away from me. “You aren’t the first pony to call my that you know. Mom’s reputation only makes it worse.”

“I know. And I was just as wrong as they are.”

Span waved it off, though I could tell it was still bothering her a little. “It’s fine. I said stupid things too. We’re even.”

Both of us were brought into the throne room, where Celestia sat talking to a young looking, pink alicorn. My jaw hit the floor, or came very close. I did not think there were other alicorns in existence, but here was one standing before me, one that appeared to be the same age as me.

“Auntie, I'm not comfortable ordering around other ponies,” said pink alicorn.

“Cadance, someday you'll be overseeing many ponies and I'm curious to see just how ready you are. Consider these two as a test,” replied Princess Celestia. Her voice made it abundantly clear that this wasn't just a suggestion. “Ah, your new maids are here.”

Cadance, as Princess Celestia referred to her, looked back and stared at us, looking almost as surprised as I felt. I quickly bowed, and Span was smart enough to follow my example. “We are at your service, mistress.” I swore that I wouldn't make Princess Celestia regret giving me and my sister this chance. I would serve my mistress in a way that would make her proud to have me.

“Um... hi?” Cadance sheepishly waved while rubbing the back of her mane. “Auntie, what do I do with them?”

“Well, for starters, you can have them clean your room. Shining is coming over soon, is he not?”

“O-oh! Yes! Maids, clean my room.”

Span and I waited in silence for a moment, and I saw the growing nervousness in Cadance. “Um, mistress, we need to be shown where you room is.”

“O-of course!” She flew over us and landed in the doorway. “Right this way.”

***

Spic had been staring into the sky while telling her story, watching it grow darker. The first colors of the aurora borealis were beginning to show. “Span and I have served her to the utmost of our abilities ever since.”

The door flew open and out came Span, pulling Spic into an overly tight hug. “Sis! You made a friend!” said Span while nuzzling Spic.

“S-Span! Unhoove me this instant!” Spic struggled against her sister's grip, only getting a drunken laugh from her in response.

“I'm so proud of you.” Span finally released her. “Also, since you actually talked to another pony, you may go home if you want, but don't wait up for me. I found a cute stallion.”

“Hey Span, we're up next,” called out a voice from inside.

“Coming!” Span called back and gave her sister another hug before running back in.

Spic looked over to see Typhoon roll his eyes. “I'd know that voice anywhere, it's Fencer.”

“He's the friend that made you come here, right?”

Typhoon nodded. “And my roommate. He's going to end up coming back to our room drunk, with a girl – probably your sister – and be loud as tartarus, I just know it.”

Spic couldn't help but to giggle. “Trust me, I know that feeling. It's happened to me with Span a more than a few time... Hey, want to go for a walk? Maybe we can grab some tea or something. It's better than going home and waiting for them to show up.”

Typhoon smiled. “That sounds nice. Count me in.”

Author's Note:

Sorry for the delay. Hope you enjoyed it.

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