• Published 23rd Dec 2012
  • 3,089 Views, 88 Comments

The Time Keeper of Ponyville. - Askre

Time Turner is in love but is hesitant to really act on it. Other things in his life also distract him like the clock tower and a new employee at his shop.

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Chapter 11. Confronting Barricade.

Chapter 11

Time Turner watched the landscape pass by the train window with a worried frown. He couldn’t help but feel a little responsible for how things had escalated. The stallion had hoped his previous trip to Manehattan would yield results that would help Derpy against Barricade. In some ways that did happen, he did discover that there was a serious miscommunication issue going on.

Yet he couldn’t help but wonder if he had just stayed put things would have been solved anyway. Barricade didn’t have a case as far as the clock smith was concerned, both Foxy and Dew had probably seen by now that Derpy was in fact a competent and caring mother and would toss the case into the trash were it belonged.

However, Derpy had now gone off to Manehattan to confront Dinky’s father and there was no telling how that would end. Turner was worried they might just be heading towards a disaster zone. In what state would they find Derpy?

Time Turner turned his head away from the window and glanced towards the bench Dew and Private sat on. The mare was talking and by the sound of it was telling the Unicorn what she’s seen in Ponyville, telling him more about the case, telling him that he has a niece there. Private’s only responses to all of this were the occasional nods and low grunts.

Hard to tell if he’s even really listening or not, Turner thought, Private was back to his more neutral expression.

The mind of the brown stallion went right back to Derpy. He had no doubt that she could handle herself; she certainly seemed capable against those who would try to demean her. Yet now more was at stake, what if Barricade decided to be stubborn? What if he actually pressed this to matter to court?

Wait a minute, Time Turner blinked as a sudden thought occurred to him. He glanced back to Dew and Private.

“Excuse me, Miss Doe, this case Barricade put against Derpy. Could he ever take this to court?” the clock smith asked.

Dew looked at him and even Private had raised an eyebrow as if he was considering this question. The mare had to tap her muzzle in thought for second as she herself worked out everything she knew already.

“Well… no, not really. First of all even if he were to press any charges, which he hasn’t really, it would still go through social service first and we would go and see if there was anything to charge against and Foxy and I have already decided that there is no case, so this case has no hope at all,” she explained to him.

“Wait, he didn’t press charges?” Time Turner frowned; he could have sworn that is what Barricade did.

“That’s what we thought as well at first, but while you had gone to Manehattan we got a response from Swift Mane and he clarified what had happened. Barricade didn’t press charges, but he expressed concern and asked that Derpy be investigated, as the biological father and since he is paying foal support he had that right,” the mare said.

“But he told me that he wouldn’t drop the case unless Derpy stopped ‘writing’ those letters, if what you say is true then there is no case to be dropped since you would just kick it out and tell him that there is nothing to charge against,” Turner told her.

“He said something to the same effect to me,” Private muttered.

“Why would he do that? He had nothing to drop, no legal action is being taken yet, in fact Foxy and I have confirmed that no legal action should be taken.” Dew Doe looked very confused now. Then she put a hoof over her mouth as if something suddenly occurred to her.

“Mister Turner, when you and your friend went there, did something happen that struck you as odd?” she asked.

Now Turner’s brow sunk low as he played back his previous trip to the city with Caramel. Meeting Barbell, seeing all the ponies that seemed almost ready to go at them for bothering Barricade, how Barricade seemed to able to control them with just a look, the talk in the office and then being kicked out by Barbell and that bulky blue pony.

Hold on, those two that threw us out, they came out almost as if on cue yet allowed us enough time to get one of the letters. Time Turner suddenly realized that the timing of those two ponies had been rather uncanny.

“Now that you mention it,” the clock smith said. “Caramel and I were evicted by those two ponies, a mare and a stallion; I think the mare was called Barbell. Their timing was almost perfect if you ask me. I mean, would Barricade really need help to evict two ponies he could probably haul off on his own without even using his magic?”

There was a moment of silence now amongst the three ponies in the train car. Dew and Private were staring at Time Turner and even the Unicorn sported a concerned frown. The clock smith wondered if this had indeed been rather odd because now the mare and the other stallion exchanged worried glances.

“Barricade wouldn’t need anypony’s help to throw somepony out, you’re right there,” Dew whispered and didn’t look too happy. “Oh sweet Celestia, what was I thinking, I allowed both Derpy and Foxy to go there, alone!”

“What do you mean?” Time Turner didn’t like the sound of that one bit.

“It means Barricade’s been playing us all like a fiddle,” Private grunted and hoofed his face.

“Alright, Barricade. You got some explaining to do,” Foxy grunted and stomped forward, forcing the stallion to back into the apartment. Derpy followed but allowed the maroon mare to do the talking for now.

“By all means, come right in,” Barricade chuckled and used his magic to close the door after the mares.

Cara was buzzing around them, showing no indication of leaving but suddenly Barbell arrived in the hall and managed to grab the filly by the tail and pull her away. The girl didn’t like that one bit.

“FOUL! FOUL! FOUL! CHILD ABUSE, I’LL CALL THE POLICE, THE ROYAL GUARDS, THE PRINCESSES! I’LL SUE!!” the filly roared as Barbell took her away and to another room.

“You can talk with my attorney, Barbell!” Barricade called after them with a smile.

“She’s not a certified attorney!” Cara shouted just as Barbell closed the door and leaving the stallion with the Pegasi.

“I see Cara hasn’t changed much.” Foxy blinked, this had momentarily distracted her.

Wow, what a voice. Derpy gingerly rubbed her ear, she was glad Dinky and Tootsie at least never reached ear-splitting levels of loudness though it could sometimes come close.

“Well with that, I believe you were demanding an explanation?” Barricade said and walked through a door that lead to a sitting room. The mares followed and Foxy reassumed her more serious expression.

“Yes, yes we do,” she grunted.

Barricade just nodded and gesture to them to sit. The two Pegasi took a couch but Barricade sat in a chair. Derpy glanced around for a second. The sitting room was sparsely furnished but there were few shelves with books and other things. A table was between them and the stallion.

“Barricade.” The gray pony worked up a nerve to look right at him and speak. “How could you possibly believe that I would write letters like this and pretend to be my daughter?”

Derpy even managed to add an angry frown to follow that question, she also put the letter down on the table too further empathize what she meant. Foxy nodded sharply in agreement with her. Barricade looked at the letter, then at the mares, then he gave a sideway glance to a clock on the wall before chuckling.

“Oh I don’t believe it at all, not in the slightest. Honestly, I know many ponies didn’t give you much credit, Derpy, but hey I did live with you for long enough to know you are smarter than that,” the stallion said with a big sly grin.

A needle would have made an echoing sound if someone had dropped one. Foxy and Derpy were so stumped by the response that all they could do was stare at Barricade who was laughing now.

“Oh come one girls, especially you, Foxy, I thought you knew me better.” Barricade seemed to be having the time of his life.

“Of course you didn’t write those letters, any idiot with half a brain can see those are written by an elementary school foal. Sure it stings a little that Dinky feels his way about me, but hey I’m used to being hated even by some of my kids.” The stallion gave the letter a glance but then shook his head with a snort.

“B-but why then? Why would you do this to me?” Derpy whispered. She was just too stunned to speak any louder. Foxy’s mouth was hanging open.

“Eh, to be perfectly honest.” Barricade shrugged carelessly. “You were the safest bet. You have just enough reputation for a concern to be plausible but still with an airtight enough defense that nothing really would come out of it.”

“I… what?” The gray mare was really confused now and looked at Foxy who didn’t seem to have it any easier.

Barricade glanced at the clock again. He looked awfully smug, like someone whose plan had come together perfectly. The stallion turned his attention to the mares again who were still too thunderstruck to speak.

“I suppose I should elaborate,” he mused and grinned even wider.

“Aren’t you done tormenting them?” Barbell appeared in the doorframe looking unimpressed.

“I’m getting to it; gee can’t I be allowed to enjoy it for a moment that I have three sexy mares in my apartment?” Barricade laughed, that comment snapped Foxy and Derpy out of it and they gave the stallion wary glance. The Earth mare just rolled her eyes, obviously used to these kind of comments. Barbell left the living room, mentioning something about keeping Cara away.

“Now then, you two,” the Unicorn peered his eyes at the Pegasi mares with a smirk.

“Yeah I sent in a concern to the social service knowing full well that nothing would come out of it. Knowing you, Derpy, you told them all about how I treated you back when I lived with you in Ponyville. I know Swift Mane, have had to deal with him few times, he wouldn’t send just anypony to handle a case I was involved in, no he would send his best, Dew and Foxy, especially since they know me and know usually how to handle me,” he began telling them.

“What Swift Mane doesn’t know is that I know how to deal with them as well. I expected that somepony would come from Ponyville on your behalf, that friend of yours Time Turner certainly didn’t disappoint and as I also expected, Dew asked my brother Private to visit me as well to see if I had finally gone off the deep end,” Barricade continued chuckling a bit.

“Now this wasn’t about you at all, Derpy, as much as I would love to twist you around my hooves again. This wasn’t even about Foxy, who I thought was going to slap me when I saw you two standing there outside my apartment…”

“Then what, what is it about to be playing these sick games with us?” Derpy interrupted, feeling mildly disgusted that Barricade wouldn’t mind entering her life again and control her like he had done before. The mare was pretty sure she really wouldn’t have dared coming here in the end if Foxy hadn’t been there as well.

“Oh Derpy, life must feel so simple in that sweet safe little town of yours. Now I say safe with some hesitation considering what I’ve been reading in the newspaper about it. Still, it is a small country town where everypony knows everypony and the last big crime was that foalnapping thing.” Barricade grinned a shark like grin at Derpy’s outburst. He was slowly rubbing his front hooves together.

Derpy cringed at how Barricade looked right now; it brought up some uncomfortable memories. She eyed Foxy whose eyes were narrowing; the gray Pegasus wondered if there were more reasons Barricade hadn’t seen Coal for two years now.

“You are up to something.” Foxy was now glaring hard at Barricade.

“Yes, glad you could join the talk; I think I was just establishing that,” the Unicorn smirked then eyed the clock for the third time. “Tell me Foxy, how often does Private leave Fillydelphia?”

“What? You should know that yourself, he barely ever leaves the house unless it’s for work or if Coal manages to get him to take her somewhere which is usually within the city limits anyway. Or if Dew asks him to do something for her.” Foxy’s angry frown changed into confusion at the question.

That was an odd question, Derpy thought.

“Wait, Private left Fillydelphia today didn’t he? When he went to talk with… uh you,” she said causing Foxy to turn her head sharply towards her, her eyes lit up with realization.

“And after that he went straight to Ponyville to talk with Dew and me, that’s practically a record time for him outside the city,” the maroon mare gasped.

Derpy and Foxy returned their attention to Barricade who was slowly clapping. For the fourth time the stallion looked at the clock. He chuckled and slowly turned back towards them. The Unicorn grinned again.

“I assume the two of you just flew here. However, knowing Dew, she is probably on the train heading for Manehattan and Private most likely is with her. I wouldn’t be surprised either that one or two of Derpy’s friends are with them as well. I would say Private has been away from Fillydelphia most of the afternoon,” he said with a shrug.

What is going on? This is not why we came here. Derpy frowned in thought. This whole conversation was confusing her terribly.

“Why is it so important for you that Private leaves Fillydelphia?” she asked but Barricade didn’t get a chance to answer as this was the point Foxy exploded in anger.

“You son of a Manticore! You are still doing it aren’t you?!” the large Pegasus mare growled and jumped off the couch, her wings rose in irritation and she was glaring all kinds of sharp objects at the stallion.

Had Foxy seemed irritated when meeting Tornado, it was nothing compared to now. The mare was livid; she seemed just about ready to charge at Barricade. Derpy wasn’t sure if she could even hope to hold the bigger pony back. The Unicorn however just watched almost as if he prepared for this.

“I’m not going to sit here to play your stupid games. The damage is done anyway. It’s a mystery to me why your mother thinks you have changed. You haven’t changed one bit, you are still the same conniving manipulative bastard you have always been. Now you have even involved somepony who didn’t even need to be involved at all, just because you needed to distract us and especially Private,” Foxy snapped but managed to keep her voice surprisingly low, but Derpy could practically see the fumes coming out of her ears. “Well we are leaving! We are done here! Furthermore, you can FORGET next weekend!”

With that, Foxy Stripes stormed out of the living room and headed for the apartment door. Derpy started to follow but stopped to look at Barricade who had just sat there on the chair unfazed by everything.

“One last thing before I leave, Barricade,” she said.

The Unicorn did not see the slap coming. Suddenly his head snapped to the side as the gray hoof struck him. Barricade literally saw stars as he gingerly rubbed the sore spot and turned his head. The stallion just missed Derpy’s yellow tail as it left the living room.

“Right, this went better than I actually expected,” he chuckled.

Derpy caught up with Foxy just outside the apartment building. The maroon pony had in her anger gone all the way out before realizing that the other Pegasus hadn’t followed her. She had been just about to go back in when the gray mare came trotting out, feeling strangely good about herself for slapping the stallion.

“So, I’m a little confused,” Derpy said when seeing Foxy.

“Yeah I don’t blame you,” the bigger pony said solemnly. “I’m sorry you really shouldn’t have had to get involved in this.”

“Yeah… so what did I get involved in?” the smaller one wondered as the two mares began walking down the street and away from the building.

“It’s complicated, but you see Barricade sometimes engages in what’s best called problem solving and his clients are usually of the very unsavory nature. He doesn’t directly get involved in anything illegal but he’s done things in the past that has helped certain ponies acquire things they want by any means necessary,” Foxy began explaining.

“The best example is probably what he did right now. He needed Private away, which probably means somepony wanted something Private had but as you heard, he hardly ever leaves Fillydelphia or the house unless it’s work. But Barricade knows us and knows what will get Private away long enough. So the whole thing around you was just an overcomplicated way to get Private out of Fillydelpia for few hours because he knew we would ask him to talk with his brother.” The maroon mare sighed and shook her head.

“You’re right, that sounds overly complicated.” Derpy arched an eyebrow. “What would Private have that required all of this?”

“I don’t know I…” Foxy was interrupted as a blue flash suddenly collided with her and the mare was on the ground being tightly hugged by Dew Doe. Right behind her came Private and Time Turner running.

“Derpy, are you all right?” Time Turner immediately ran over to the gray mare, he had to restrain himself from grabbing her in a hug too, although he would probably be forgiven, the stallion just didn’t quite have the nerve to do it.

“Yes, I’m fine,” Derpy said with a smile. She had no qualms of putting a leg around him. “I’m actually glad to see you; this last hour has been confusing.”

“Confusing? How so?” Turner frowned, ignoring his rising heartbeat over the fact that she was giving him a one-leg hug.

Foxy and Dew rose back up and the maroon mare began explaining with some input from Derpy. The clock smith’s brow rose high as he listened but Dew scowled and even Private didn’t look impressed when hearing Barricade’s motif.

“It’s probably about those coins your dad sent you isn’t it?” Dew looked at Private.

“Most likely, they are probably gone now,” the Unicorn grunted.

“What coins?” Time Turner and Derpy asked at the same time.

“Private and Barricade’s parents are archeologists, Private works in the Fillydelphia History museum and his dad sometimes sends him small artifacts for further evaluation if he’s too busy to do it himself. Few weeks ago, Private’s father sent him few small ancient coins they found in a dig they are working on,” Dew told them.

“And you think Barricade did all of this just to help somepony steal those coins?” Derpy wondered.

“That is the most likely reason, which means the three of us must go back to Fillydelphia immediately,” Dew Doe claimed. “I’m sorry you had to be involved in our usual dispute with Barricade.”

“Usual? Something like this has happened before?” Time Turner raised an eyebrow when the Pegasi sisters and the Unicorn stallion nodded.

“Although we were hoping he had quit it, he hasn’t been doing much for the past two years as far as we are aware,” Dew said.

“But can’t we do something? I mean can’t we ask the police to arrest him or at least investigate him?” Derpy asked.

“For what exactly? He’s not actually done anything illegal personally, he was fully within his rights to ask the social service to investigate you and it was me who asked Private to go and talk with him, not he. When we go back to Fillydelphia and if we find the house ransacked, I don’t think we’ll find anything that links it to him because it was not Barricade or his ponies doing the break in. He was just distracting us for somepony else that he was working for and good luck proving that,” the blue Pegasus explained to her, it was clear from her expression that Dew didn’t like having to say this.

“Although we could theoretically get him in trouble for making a false statement of why he was concerned,” she then added as an afterthought.

“Yeah, I mean he didn’t actually confess to anything back in the apartment except that he always knew Derpy didn’t write those letters. I just got so fed up with him because I knew from experience what he was doing that I ended up storming off,” Foxy grunted.

Time Turner for now just nodded as he listened, he really didn’t have anything to add and his mind was going over this new information. Something still didn’t add up, this sounded like awful lot of trouble just to make sure one pony was out of town long enough. All someone would have to do was to wait until all three of them were off to work, the house would surely be empty then.

The clock smith was brought out of his thoughts when Derpy gently shook him. The stallion realized they were all probably ready to head to the train station. He guessed the Pegasi sisters and Private would take the next one to Fillydelphia, however there were no more trains to Ponyville.

“I know I don’t know the fellow as good as you do, but doesn’t it strike you as odd that he would so readily allow you to unravel what he was up to?” Turner asked. “I mean, he could have continued the façade and even pretended to be turned around when Miss Stripes and Derpy confronted him.”

Dew Doe opened her mouth to respond but then furrowed her brow as she considered. Foxy scratched her head and Private seemed to be thinking this over as well. Derpy looked at Time Turner and realized she still had her leg around him and let go, blushing slightly and was grateful nobody noticed.

“I hope we are not interrupting anything,” a familiar voice suddenly addressed the group.

Turner jumped a bit and so did Derpy. Turning around revealed Barricade come out of an alleyway and with Barbell following him. Across the street was Blue, the big blue Earth Pony Time Turner had seen at the gym. Finally, landing with a thud, Tornado and two other Pegasi stallions arrived. It was first now that the clock smith noticed that the street they were in was strangely empty and that the sun had already disappeared down the horizon.

“What is going on?” Foxy frowned as she warily eyed the ponies surrounding them.

“Oh you’ll find out,” Barricade chuckled with a sadistic smile on his muzzle.

End chapter 11

Author's Note:

I apologize if the ending might seem a little off. I honestly ended up struggling writing this chapter for a bit because this was the chapter where Barricade would be revealed to be still a complete and utter a-hole. (Pardon the language) I actually had to rewrite a good chunk of it and this is the result.

If you're confused why the street is empty and no one else is seeing this, (considering this is happening in Manehattan after all) all I can say is that it will be explained in next chapter, however there are clues to the reason in both this one and previous chapters.

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