• Published 15th May 2015
  • 1,106 Views, 33 Comments

A New Home - Shadeol

Following the Canterlot Wedding, a defeated Chrysalis returns home only to have her and her hive exiled. Now, her changelings must find their own ways to survive. This is one changeling's search for a new home.

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Ch. 05 - Pay

The next few days passed like clockwork to the trio. Cherry continued selling her plants, Whitemane -- or Mane, as Muffin had started calling him, which had of course stuck -- cooked for the hungry townsfolk, and Blue did... whatever exactly he did.

Hmm, I'll have to remember to ask him later. Whitemane flipped a pancake before starting work on the order for eggs that just came in a moment ago. Big guy like that? Gotta be manual labor or something. Maybe construction? He flipped the finished pancake onto a plate, sliding it down the counter to Muffin before focusing on the other orders. No, he'd probably have tools, right? 'Course, they could have that stuff at his workpla--

"Mane, get your head outta th' clouds!"

He blinked, spacing out for a second, before noticing that he'd nearly burned the eggs. "Sorry boss!"

Right. Save that stuff for later.

Muffin flipped the sign on the window from 'OPEN' to 'CLOSED', turning back to see Mane cleaning off the last of the tables. He smiled, reminded of the fortune that walked into his store just a few days ago.

In fact, the pegasus' enthusiasm brought back memories of his previous assistant chef, Carrot Cake. The lanky stallion didn't look like he could even lift a frying pan, but his talent ended up shining through. The colt had a talent with cooking, particularly with pastries and sweets. The treats had made Muffin's place pretty popular.

Of course, that all changed when a certain mare showed up one day. It was love at first sight for Carrot; something Muffin had doubted was real. It only took Carrot and Cup a month of dating before they eventually decided to get married. The two had left for Ponyville soon after, with Cup telling Carrot that she had been looking at buying a home in the laid-back town. Muffin couldn't blame the colt -- heck, he was there to see him off and wish him luck -- but he wasn't too thrilled about losing his only employee. Seeing his good friend off had made Muffin realize how lonely and hard it would be without him around.

He realized that with the increased popularity of his restaurant and lack of help that work in the coming months would be hard. It also hadn't helped that his only major competitor had left town, leaving him alone with a workload that he couldn't handle.

But then Mane had shown up, and Muffin had been reminded of his days with Carrot. Both were young, enthusiastic colts with great gifts and passion for cooking that had appeared when he needed them most. He could already tell that they would be good friends should Mane decide to stay.

"That's all of 'em, Muffin." The pegasus exclaimed, placing the rag into a pocket on his newly-earned chef's apron. He wiped his forehead before sighing, grinning at a job well done. "Are all days normally like that?"

"Yea, but I usually don't get to actually serve 'em all. Ya really saved my hide today."

Mane smiled. "Thank you, sir. I was happy to help. I hope this means I'm hired," he joked.

Muffin laughed, slapping the pegasus on the back. "Ya say that like I'm gonna send my only help outta the door! I just hope ya stick around longer than my last colt."

"Oh, I plan to. I don't think I've ever lived in a town quite as rich as this." He raised a hoof up to his chin. "Hmm, except maybe Manehattan, but that place was more about its looks than its people."

"Well, here's hoping you do stick around!" Muffin walked back to the counter before fiddling with the register. "And just to give you some incentive, here's your pay." He shoveled out nearly a third of the bits, placing them in a bag and handing them to Mane.

Mane looked surprised at the weight of the bag. "Are you sure that's right? I don't think I even got paid that much working at some of Cant--"

"Nonsense," Muffin interrupted, "that's what that is. Look, I can live off about half of what's in there, with the rest going towards you and the restaurant. Ya did a good job today and you earned it. All I need from you is to go home, relax, get some shuteye, and be here again in the morning. Can ya do that for me?"

"S-sure," Mane choked out, "I'll be here!"

"Good. I'll see ya tomorrow."

Cherry smiled as she rested her head on her husband, hearing the faint beating of his heart as the two rested in their peace and quiet of their living room. They normally would have already been in bed, but they were waiting for the return of their recent housemate.

"This week's been pretty weird, huh Blue?"

"Hmm," he hummed back.

"And don't think I didn't see you show a little more emotion than normal today," she teased. "Could it be that our guest has made an impact on you?"

"Just glad he's not a freeloader."

"Don't think I don't know what you're doing. I can look after myself, you know."

He smiled down at her. "True, but I wouldn't be a good husband if I didn't protect you anyways."

"You're impossible," she giggled.

Their ears flickered as they heard their front door squeak open followed by a few hoofsteps. They didn't have to wait long before Whitemane entered the room.

"Good evening, Mane."

"Not you, too," he groaned.

"What? It's nice!" She laughed. "Calling you Whitemane sounds too formal. 'White' doesn't exactly work seeing as we already have a 'Blue'. It fits!"

He grumbled before dropping a bag on their table and plopping himself down on the couch opposite of the two.

Cherry looked at the bag quizzically. "What's that?"

"It's my reward for today's work. Seems like Muffin felt the need to seriously overpay me."

"Well it's understandable," Blue finally spoke up. "He's glad he's got some help now."

"Sure, sure." Mane sighed. "I just hope I don't end up bankrupting him."

"Have you decided what you're gonna do with it?"

"Ehh," Mane waved a hoof at them, "you guys can have it."

Shock crossed their faces, neither knowing how to reply. "A-are you sure?"

"Why not? I've got a roof over my head 'cause of you two, and I don't wanna go rent some room all to myself. Way too lonely." He turned his head to the side, grinning at the two. "Unless you're already getting bored of me, that is."