• Published 30th Oct 2011
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Two's Company, Three's a Crowd - Lithe Kamitatsy



One night of fun for a certain musical pair will leave their lives upside down.

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Chapter Twenty-Two

"So tell me wha' it's like livin' in such a big city like this." Kester questioned as they made their way towards Madeline's favorite bar. She pondered the question for a few minutes, then answered.

"Well, it definitely has ups and downs. While it does have some conveniences that have become necessary in my daily life, there are many problems with this city. Crime, violence, the average things that happen in a big city. One just needs to be more careful when living in the city," she explained.

"A' see...must be tough at times. Well, A' got ta' say- A' like it here. It may not be nearly as peaceful as tha' farm back home, but this is definitely tha' way ta' live," he chuckled as they trotted down one of Birminghoof's many sidewalks. It was when Kester nearly knocked over a stallion wearing a suit that she asked him a question.

"Are you sure you are okay carrying that harp on your back?"

"Wha', me? A'm fine. A'm a workhorse, A've got muscles and looks ta' match," he grinned.

"Riiiight, sure...whatever you say, Kester." Madeline patronized as she raised an eyebrow.

"Wha', don't believe me? A' can do one-hoof push-ups with this thin' on ma' back," he announced, proud of himself.

"I will believe THAT when I see it," Madeline joked, not expecting anything to come from it. Unfortunately, something DID come from it. She looked around in shock when she saw him politely asking other ponies to step out of the way. Once the sidewalk was cleared, albeit surrounded by bystanders, he put himself in the push-up position, using only one hoof.

"Prepare ta' be impressed yet again lass," he grinned.

"ONE!" He did a perfect repetition, showing no signs of struggling.

"That was just one. I am STILL not impressed."

"TWO!"

"Uh...still not impressed..." she said, losing that bravado she had from before.

"WHA'S WRONG?! THREE! NOT WHAT YE'- FOUR! -EXPECTED?" He yelled as he went along, the crowd clamoring at his performance.

"Stop this RIGHT this instant! You are gathering UNWANTED ATTENTION!" She scolded under her breath, trying to get him to stop.

"NOT UNTIL- SEVEN! -YE ADMIT- EIGHT! -YER IMPRESSED!"

Madeline watched as the growing number of ponies slowly began to circle them, and sighed explosively. "FINE! I AM IMPRESSED WITH YOUR ABILITY, NOW GET UP OFF THE SIDEWALK!"

Kester, now very much pleased he was able to get her to admit she was impressed for the second time, did as he was told. "Thank ye all fer' watchin', but ma' real ability's the harp, so come out an' see me at a concert," he said, grinning like an idiot and waving at all the onlookers.

"...How this half-wit EVER managed to move me emotionally, I will never understand..." Madeline said under her breath, blushing from embarrassment. "Shall we get going before you decide to throw a circus?!"

"There's a circus in town?!" Kester asked, his eyes lighting up. The only response he got was Madeline's left eye twitching.

"...So about that drink." Madeline said, her voice light and cheery.

"Oh right! Let's get to it then." Kester grinned, letting her lead the way. "Once tha' is done, we can go find tha' circus ye mentioned!"

"THERE IS NO CIRCUS!" Madeline yelled.

"But I thought ye said-" Kester started, somewhat confused.

"Enough, about the circus..." Madeline said, cutting that end of the conversation short. "Tell me more about your harp. When did you discover that it was your special talent?" she asked, continuing their walk to her favorite pub.

"Well, A' was but a wee colt when ma' father introduced me ta' music. He would always talk abou' how he woulda' loved to play for crowds and how he woulda' loved ta' perform, but his callin' in life was the barley fields. A've never seen a happier stallion than ma' father as he worked," he sighed as he thought back. "Wha' about you Maddy? What's yer' special talent?"

Madeline blinked at being addressed in such an informal way. "I would prefer you call me Madeline...and I am surprised you did not recognize the bass clef I have as a cutie mark."

"A true gentle-colt does not place his eyes where they are not meant to be. Tha's what ma' father always told me," he responded.

Well that is quite the surprise. He actually DOES have gentle-coltly qualities about him, she thought. "Well, yes. It is a bass clef. I love classical music, and am a conductor at the Hippodrome. I will be honest with you, I never expected you to play the harp so masterfully, and without magic no less."

Kester chuckled. "A' don't need magic to play the harp. As a colt, ma' father told me this: 'True music comes from tha' heart, not the horn. It comes from deep within ya', and if ya' truly love what you play, the music will find its way.' Ever since then, A've never stopped playin' ma' harp fer nothin', even if they tell me A' can't," he said, grinning from ear to ear.

"Well, you certainly proved yourself earlier. You definitely know how to play." Madeline said as they finally came up on the pub. "Here we are, The Trough." She announced. Kester immediately moved up to the door and held it open for her. "Fillies first," he winked.

As she trotted past, she found herself blushing. Why am I blushing!? He maybe a gentle-colt, and he may be rather handsome...and have decent moral fiber as well as muscle fiber... She caught herself drifting. He is STILL a country colt!

"So, shall we get a table?" he asked as he trotted up to her. "Oi, ye look flushed. Are ya' alright?" he asked, a bit concerned.

"I-I am fine, Kester. Just find a table." she said, moving towards the bar. She trotted up to the barcolt.

"Evenin', Miss Madeline. What can I get ya?"

"Evening, Spritz. Two Jura's, one on the rocks, the other straight." she ordered.

"Two?" He then looked over at the stallion whose harp-case was propped against the wall. "O-ho, he your date, then?"

Madeline blushed. "He is NOT my date. He won a bet."

"A bet to take you out on a date?" Spritz grinned as he retrieved the two bottles of Jura and poured them out into glasses.

"Well, well, well, look wha' we 'ave 'ere." A familiar, and very much unwanted voice said from behind her.

Oh Celestia, not again... Madeline groaned internally. "What do you want, Blake?"

A stallion with a dark brown mane, blue coat yellow eyes and a mask with a split expression stood next to her. "Ya keep tellin' me ya don't want to see me, but ya' keep comin' back. I think yer' just playin 'ard to get."

"Believe me, Blake. I am so far out of your reach it would take you three lifetimes to come close."

"So there IS a number." he chuckled.

"Get out of here, Blake. No one wants you here"

"Not without my mare!" he said, forcefully grabbing her by the foreleg.

"H-HEY! LET GO OF ME!"

"Why don't ya just shut up and let it 'appen!?" He yelled, back-hoofing her across the side of the head. The moment she yelped out in pain, Kester was on them in a flash.

"Oi, Suzie!"

Blake looked up just in time to see a huge, gold hoof collide with his muzzle, sending him spinning to the ground. Kester towered over him, placing a hoof on the side of his face and gradually applying more and more pressure, Blake squirming and begging for mercy. Kester leaned low and stared him square in the eye.

"...Nopony, and A' mean NOPONY, EVER hits a mare in front a' me! Much less a mare like Maddy! Now either ye' apologize, or A'm goin' ta' pop open tha' empty skull a' yer's like a watermelon! A've got the strength, it'll be easy." He said, slowly applying more pressure.

"I'B SORRY I'B SORRY LEMEEGOLEMMEEGO!"

Kester backed off, Blake immediately taking to his hooves and dashing out of the pub.

"AN' DON'T LET ME CATCH YA' HERE AGAIN!" Kester yelled after him. Several of the other pub-goers cheered and applauded his chivalrous act, to which he ignored. Madeline couldn't believe what she had just seen. Not only had he beaten up the one idiot who wouldn't take no for an answer, he did it for her.

"You...you saved me." Madeline murmured softly.

"Nevermind tha', Maddy. Are ya alright? Did he hit ya hard?" he asked, genuinely concerned.

"Yes...I am quite alright..." she said with a smile, blushing wildly. "...and no, he just grazed the side of my head."

"Wha' a relief. A' woulda' never forgiven him or ma'self if somethin' had happened to ya."

"Nicely done, chap. Drink's are on me for gettin' rid of the nuisance." Spritz said, pleased with the display. "Maddy."

Madeline simply stared at Kester as he drank his Jura. He defended me...without even giving it second thought...I've never had anyone do something so noble for me...what does he think of me? she wondered. "...Do you have anywhere to stay?"

"Actually, no. A' don't. A' was goin' ta' rent an apartment." Kester answered honestly, finishing his drink. "Aaah, nothin' like a cup o' the good stuff." He grinned.

"Well...if you wish...you can stay at my apartment for a few days...until you find somewhere of your own, that is." she offered softly, blushing redder than his mane. "It is the least I could do after what you just did for me..."

"Well, ain't tha' the kindest thing. A'd love ta' take ye up on yer offer." he smiled. "Also, don't worry about wha' A' did for ye. A' was not goin' ta' let ya get hurt. Not fer nothin'." he winked, to which she smiled.

She finished her drink, and the two left the pub, making their way back to her apartment.

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