• Published 12th Jun 2012
  • 5,373 Views, 155 Comments

A Cog in the Machine - Zoom zoom

A 2nd person story where you are a child being raised by Pinkie Pie.

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Lunch Rush

Due of your injury, you had spent the week stuck in the hospital. During that time, Cheerilee had brought the entire class to wish you well during that time. As you supposed, only Applebloom and her friends were there in earnest. Though with their help you were able to get Featherweight to drop off your homework and help you with it. It only took a few visits for the two of you to get back on good terms again and you were able to see it was more Sweetie Belle having Featherweight around her hoof than Applebloom’s persuading, which allowed the two of you to be friends even faster when you promised not to say anything.

Even that fez wearing pony came in and the two of you got to know each other since both he and Featherweight worked on the school newspaper. It was a while before you finally found out his name was Truffle Shuffle and he showed his kitchen wear cutie mark clear as day. Granted it was from you finally asking and both he and Featherweight realizing he never said anything to you till that point. You agreed to look into helping out with the paper when you get back to school.

But today was now the first day of your life with Pinkie which you were keeping an open mind about. Pinkie had not visited you much after last time. That was a bit confusing. Why would she get so emotional over you leaving and yet still not come see you at the hospital expect to just say hello for a few minutes and leave? Heck even the Cakes came to see you and Pound for once wasn’t trying to hit anything because he was curious about your injury. You had a longer conversation with a pony who couldn’t even say words yet. You couldn’t exactly not let that get to you either since that Nurse friend had complained about Pinkie not even showing up to pick you up and walked you to Sugar Cube Corner on her way home.

Outside the shop was a line of angry ponies. This was likely the reason for Pinkie not showing up. If the store was this busy she likely forgot what time it was and couldn’t pick you up. Still that didn’t explain why she had cut her visits short. You made a note to get to the bottom of it yourself before asking, it was more your style. In fact you made a small bet that you could likely figure it out before you even walked into your room.

You open the door, which involved squeezing past some an obvious married coupled arguing over something trivial, you find an odd sight indeed. The two Cakes were working frantically. Carrot Cake was doing his best to frost twelve cakes at once. You notice that twice as many were nearly done in the oven. This was quite the sight for an earth pony since even you would find it easier just using your magic less horn to do this task for frosting two cakes. Cupcake on the other hoof was running the orders and giving what little was done out for reduced prices while bouncing the twins in her lap, again quite the feat for an earth pony.

You don’t even have to consider what to do next, you rushed to the register and before Cupcake can argue, Pound makes a loud noise from his diaper that causes his sister to follow in unison and she decided to leave things to you for the time being. The register set up is simple enough, any idiot can operate one and even special buttons must have some use you would not need to practice here anyway. At seeing you taking the register and Cupcake’s plight the crowd died down a little and gets in a single file as you ask them to.

The customers are irritable, which makes sense since they have to wait, but they don’t lose their tempter in front of you. You silently thank Celestia that you were still young enough to pull off cute to the mares in line. Carrot was too busy to notice what was happening with you and by the time he did Cup had come to assist her husband and the three of you were able to get orders done with relative speed.

The three of you all worked for a good hour and a half before it finally died down enough for the Cakes to relieve you and insist you go to your room to get some rest. “Pinkie was very specific,” said Carrot Cake. “You have to stay in your room for a week when you’re not in school.”

“Something tells me she didn’t think of that on her own,” you comment. Carrot Cake gives a guilty looking smile and when he notices your face gulps and leaves to go back into the kitchen.

“Well,” commented Cupcake, “with how well you did on the register I may be able to convince Pinkie to make working part of your punishment. It’s the least I can do since I forgot to pick you up in her stead.”

You blink suddenly remembering. “Wait then where is she?”

“Oh you didn’t know?” Cupcake seems surprised that you were really had no idea. “I told her she should discuss things with you before taking that job.”

“Wait,” now you were confused, “I’m really lost here. Isn’t working here her job?”

“Again you’d be right,” said Cupcake, “but Carrot and I have so much to spend on the twins we haven’t been able to pay Pinkie as much as we used to lately. She used to compensate by teaming up with a friend of hers to charge for weddings and baby showers. But both are kinda scarce in this town so she needed more money when you got hurt. I don’t know what the job is but it must pay a lot for her to basically only do the morning prep baking to pay for room and board only with us. I didn’t get a chance to find someone who’d work for as little as Pinkie used to work so Carrot and I were really swamped today. I even forgot to pick you up and I apologize for that.”

“It’s no problem really,” you assure her. “But then when is she supposed to be home?”

“By this evening she should be back. She’s been getting here as soon as the shop closes up. Still I should thank you for helping us out today during rush hour. How about you get to pick dessert for dinner tonight?”

Not wanting to show too much concern about what Cupcake had just said you told her your favorite dessert and moved on to your room. It doesn’t look any different than the last time you had been in it. The only difference is that there was a neat stack of books on the self next to your Timber Wolf figure. They must be the school books you needed, Pinkie must have ordered them. Meaning she had to pay for them too.

Something about that struck you as not right. This mare didn’t even really know you, and you had no problem before because you had assumed you would be leaving soon. But now with some hope of having a normal life you couldn’t feel good about her paying for these things. And while you had not known her long you had deduced much from the little time you got to spend with her. Whatever this job she got was, it couldn’t have been as fun to her as working at this bakery. Meaning your very presents was doing more than just eating at her party time.

Still, nothing you could do about that right now. Your best bet was to make sure you did all your studies and wait for Pinkie to return from whatever it was she was doing. It would also keep your mind from racing as to the different jobs she might have that meant she wasn’t back till dusk. Getting paranoid was not going to help you here in the slightest.

Strangely you didn’t have all of your books. In fact the ones Pinkie had gotten you were all the ones you were not very good at yet, Cheerilee must have told her to do that. You grumble a bit with the mixed feelings of this as you open your Grammar book. The lingering words in your mind of your mother reinforcing your resolve, “Never simply refuse a gift when given with thought.”

Words and words of useless text, this stuff was so boring. At least with math you could have a solution so you could figure things out fast and be done with it. Heck even if your work meant reading a book you could at least get into figuring out the characters and enjoying them working. But sentence and grammar structure was something was you just didn’t get. What use could this possibly have for anypony who wasn’t a writer? You do your best to speed through it and move on.

That must have taken longer than you thought because by the time your studies is all complete you hear Carrot Cake calling you down to help fix the table for dinner while he closed up shop. Even you were surprised how long you could concentrate on something without break at that.

Dinner is all ready soon enough, but Pinkie it seems is still not home. This is upsetting to the part of your brain that caused you to normally do things even against your will. You were doing your best to not voice your concerns as you eat with the family, but it’s obvious they are watching and waiting for you to do so. It took a few hard swallows to get everything down, and your eyes kept darting to the door, but nothing moved from over there.

Excusing yourself back to your room you trot slowly enough to try and eavesdrop on the Cakes. They obviously knew Pinkie wasn’t coming home for dinner and wouldn’t tell you why. Going slow didn’t help, but it did allow you to keep quiet as you waited for them to talk.

“I think we should stay over in our old room tonight,” said Carrot. “Celestia knows when Pinkie will come home and we shouldn’t leave him alone after last time Cupcake. Ponies in town are already worried enough as it is.”

“She’ll be home soon enough,” assured his wife. “I already had a good talk with her before. Besides she is a hostess after all. We’ll check on her on the way home.”

A hostess? So wait, all this just to hide the fact she was still throwing parties all over town? You don’t get it. There has to be something more to this. Then again it is Pinkie Pie we are talking about. Left with more questions than answers, the Cakes gather the children and call out to say good night to you. On the plus side you didn’t have school, tomorrow was the day you got your party which you just reminded yourself about. If anything that would get your answers tomorrow since Pinkie would be home to prepare that.

Still something nagged at you to stay awake until she got home. The two of you were talking less than you and Dilly Dally did. In fact you never even had that talk you expected in the hospital yet. Pinkie was avoiding you for some reason and you had to know why.

The slight chime of the doorbell rings and you do your best to stay quiet during your gallop to meet Pinkie. She looks slightly tired, which to the normal Pinkie meant she was about to fall over, her hair was still strait as could be and she was holding some kind of package. What caught your eye most however were the several small red marks on her neck.

Anger burned from your loins. Not anger at Pinkie, anger at the ones you knew gave her those welts. Anger at yourself for being the reason she’s putting up with it. You had caused Pinkie to become a hostess. And part of you crushed to a near point you couldn’t forgive yourself.

Still the two of you had to talk, so you approached with caution before staring at the package and asking innocently. “What’s in there? Is it something for the party tomorrow?”

It was a simple question. One you felt would be best to ask so that you didn’t have to go into the marks on her neck or what she was doing out so late. You however didn’t see the reaction you got out of it.

As if somehow missing for days she slowly smiled big and wide. Her hair even made a little cute confetti sound as it suddenly puffed back up to how it was when you met her, and overall she seemed to gain a brighter shade of pink than before. This made the red marks brighter too, but the sheer joy she was showing seemed to take your mind off it for a moment. “That’s a secret,” she said with a giggle and pulls you into a suffocating hug. “What are you doing up so late anyway?”

Remembering the marks you just stare at them. Pinkie looks confused until she sees herself in the glass display for cakes. She covers them up frantically, or at least attempts to before you voice her to stop.

You do your best to stay calm for this. “So, what’s this new job you have? Mrs. Cake said that was the reason you couldn’t pick me up today.”

Pinkie Pie doesn’t flinch, but you notice a slight deviation in her eyes. “Oh well I just found something that makes a little more money is all. Who knew you could stretch a talent for partying so far? Anywho, I better get to setting up for the morning baking.”

“And you’re sure you wouldn’t rather just work here full time again?”

“Oh I never worked here full time before silly. The Cakes don’t need my help that much. Besides, Cupcake passed me on the way home. Sounds like you can help them till they replace me as part of your punishment, which I guess is over next week. Oh but whatabouttheparty? Ah I got it, wecanjustmaketomorrowanexception.”

You only barely understand that as she starts speaking fast again and grabs her package in her teeth again. You watch as Pinkie trots into the kitchen and tells you to go to bed. Something was up and you were pretty sure what this new “job” of Pinkies was. Swallow the raising anger at everypony for this you head off to bed as told, determined to have this talk with her when she’s fully rested at the party tomorrow.

Author's Note:

Very minimal changes here, thus no final mixing.