• Published 23rd Dec 2012
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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 13. The Unicorn brothers.

Chapter 13

Barricade was mildly annoyed. Things had not gone quite as he had hoped, mostly thanks to that Earth Pony who had just appeared out of nowhere, stunned Blue and disabled his Pegasi air support. If that pony lived within his area, that pony was going to regret it.

Manehattan was big and his area of influence was small relative to the city. Go enough streets beyond it and there were ponies who didn’t even know of Barricade and his gang. The Unicorn liked it that way because then the authorities tended to just dismiss it or ignore it. He wasn’t going to fool himself into thinking he was capable of ruling a too big area.

Barricade didn’t mind either that ponies knew he was trouble, there was a world of difference of knowing and proving it and the Unicorn always loved playing on that. Sure some of the members of his gang had gone to jail but it wasn’t a crime to employ them, give them a second chance in society, or so he would say to those who questioned him.

The stallion had spent two years building the system he had and he wasn’t going to let it crumble just like that. But risk was part of the game and he had been wanting to do this for a long time, he just wasn’t sure if the message went through.

“Not here either, boss.” Blue came out of yet another apartment building. The hoof marks on his face were starting to fade.

“Tornado was sure… where is Barbell?” Barricade growled and looked around. He spotted the mare come out of another building. “Well?!”

“Not here either,” she called.

“Say boss, why did you let your brother and the two mares go when Thunder Cloud said he spotted them?” Blue asked as he and Barricade walked over to the next building.

“Because they were alone and I’ve shown them now what I’m capable off. That was the whole point. Get them to stop putting their muzzle in my life and see just what I’m ready to do now if they don’t. They left me well enough alone for two years because I wasn’t really doing anything too obvious except staying here in Manehattan, but what if I did something? So I tested it by sending that concern claim to social service against Derpy and wouldn’t you know it, they were immediately all over it, so now they should finally know that the foal horseshoes are off,” Barricade grunted, he eyed Blue who looked a bit confused. The Unicorn sighed.

“We are looking for the idiot who kicked you in the face, not them, they no longer matter because we are done with them,” he clarified and then Blue nodded as if he understood.

“That guy really kicked you hard, you usually pick up quicker than that,” Barricade grunted and shook his head.

Blue shrugged and once they reached the entrance of the building he went in. Barricade waited outside. The Unicorn looked around making a mental note to update himself on new arrivals in the area. The list had arrived few days ago by one of his contacts but the stallion hadn’t had a chance to look it over properly. Usually he didn’t bother too much about it, as the word of mouth of who he was spread quickly enough. All he really needed was ponies knowing better than to stick around if he was conducting some business.

Something caught his attention and as he turned to look, he spotted a figure trying to sneak inconspicuously across the street. Barricade narrowed his eyes on the lanky little pony who froze when realizing that the Unicorn had in fact spotted him. It was a teenage Earth Colt, thin with dark aquamarine coat, cobalt blue mane and tail that had moderate azure highlights. On his flank was a yellow typewriter.

“Hello Paper Scribbler.” Barricade grinned wide as a shark when recognizing the pony and started to approach.

“Uh… oh hi Barricade, um just passing through, not sticking my muzzle into anything you’re doing, no sir, not at all. Just going home to Aunt Gretel with her almond cookies, you know how she loves her almond cookies.” The teenager smiled innocently and patted his saddlebag, a package of almond cookies was in fact sticking out of it a bit.

“Of course, of course.” The Unicorn nodded and didn’t stop walking until he was right beside Scribbler and put a leg around the colt. “So, how is that old Gryphon doing? I hear she’s been ill.”

“Oh… uh it’s nothing serious….” Scribbler gulped. He did not like being in this much proximity to the larger stallion. “Just her knee joints bothering her, she’s getting medication.”

“Bit of a stroke of luck to see you here, Scribbly. I was just thinking of updating myself on new ponies in the neighborhood and since you do seem to know so many with you always nosing around and all, I wonder if a certain pony I’m looking for right now rings any bells,” Barricade mused and tightened his grip on the colt. “I need to speak with him if you know what I mean.”

“H-How does he l-look like?” Scribbler tried to think happy thoughts, knowing the Unicorn could snap him like a twig.

“Gray coat, only slightly smaller than Blue, thin, olive green mane and hair, some sort of a baton as a cutie mark,” Barricade counted up and immediately spotted recognition in the eyes of the colt. He didn’t wait long for the answer though as Scribbler was immediately speaking, wanting this conversation over.

“Ahh, that’s Tango, yes Tango. He lives not far away, Hoofington Lane, moved there few weeks ago. I think he’s on probation or something and will you please let me goooo!” Scribbler squeaked. Then the colt spotted Barbell approaching them.

“Barbell. Can you please tell him to let me go, I’ve told him what he wants!” he pleaded, his voice panicky as Barricade still had him in a one leg grip.

“Scribbler, you know he’s just messing with you, he’s as straight as a lamppost, I can vouch for that,” the mare snorted dryly.

“Awww, you don’t love me, Scribbly?” Barricade put his head up against the colt, pretending to sound so disappointed. The moment Scribbler began screaming in panic, the stallion let go and watched the teenager run wildly as far away as possible.

“You’re evil.” Barbell shook her head. Barricade put on the most innocent face he could muster.

“Whaat? It’s not my fault he thought I was a colt cuddler when we first met, if he wants to cuddle, who am I do deny him that?” The Unicorn grinned.

“He doesn’t want to and you know it.” The mare pointed out and rolled her eyes.

Barricade shrugged, not really caring that much. He looked at Blue who was arriving from the building he was checking. The large stallion shook his head, indicating that this was not the right one. Now the Unicorn didn’t growl and was smirking.

“Don’t worry about it, Blue, we got the name confirmed as Tango and the street name,” Barricade told him. “Let’s wait for Tornado and the others, then we are going to pay him a little visit.”

“Barricade!!!”

The Unicorn closed his eyes and palmed his face with the right front hoof. Blue and Barbell looked towards the shout and were confused to see Private standing there at the end of the street. Barricade looked up towards his brother and let out a groan.

“I swear, he never learns,” he muttered. “Barbell, Blue, step aside, I better go talk with him. Maybe Tango hit his head too, because he’s never been this brainless before.”

“Coming!” Barricade then called in a sing-a-song voice and trotted towards his twin brother.

Soon the two nearly identical Unicorns stood face to face. One glared, the other seemed to look almost with a pity at the angry one. When they had really just stared at each other for a moment, Barricade arched his eyebrow.

“Um, so is your plan just to stand here and glower? I mean, I assume you sent the ladies away and decided to come and find me, probably thinking you could tell me a thing or two, maybe slap some sense in me or something. But it isn’t terribly effective if all you are doing is standing and staring,” he said with an amused smile.

“I hate you!” Private suddenly snarled. That caught his twin by a mild surprise.

“Careful now Private, you’re showing emotions, you might break something,” Barricade mocked.

“Oh SHUT UP for once!” Private shouted and this time Barricade actually did take a step back in surprise.

“I swear Barricade; I can take a lot from you. I don’t care if you harm me, I don’t care that you’ve set yourself up as some sort of a gang leader in a city. Heck I couldn’t care less if you were planning some stupid heist to break into the Royal Palace in Canterlot,” the normally quiet Unicorn snapped.

“But what you did today. What you did, makes me hate even more that I see your stupid resemblance in the mirror every day!” Private stomped down one hoof. Barricade’s brow rose high; he had never seen his twin brother this angry before.

“You actually made me start hoping that you were changing. Mom was starting to think you were finally changing. Dad actually spoke of you in positive terms just a week ago! You know how happy Coal was to hear that she could finally come and meet you again. She was jumping off the walls! Even Foxy was starting to entertain the idea that you had a decent bone in your body at least when it came towards your foals. Then you disturb the live of the mother of your own daughter who already has a bad enough reputation in the town she lives in without needing you adding to it and then you do this!” Private was straining his voice as he ranted, he so seldom spoke at length and it was audible.

“You know how often I’ve had to console your own daughter every time you break your promises? How often I had to try and explain to the young filly why my brother was being so awful that he couldn’t even come see her? You realize that Foxy is going to have tell her now that no, she can’t visit you, because you tried to attack her mother, her aunt, her uncle and the mother of her half-sister and a stallion friend of hers?” The stallion’s horn actually sparked a little he was so angry, Barricade took another step back, looking mildly concerned.

“Mom and Dad gave Cara over to you because they honestly trusted you. They thought you had stopped being so selfish and stupid and had finally settled down. I swear to Celestia, Barricade, if I see mom cry again because of you and what you did I don’t know what will hold me back from stomping on your stupid face until it no longer resembles me! I HATE THE VERY FACT THAT WE LOOK ALIKE!!” Private finally roared so loud that it echoed around.

Everything fell silent and Private was now just glowering again. Barricade had been quiet the whole time, and watched his brother rant. Even Barbell and Blue just stood there several feet away and stared in surprise.

“I… um I’m sorry?” Barricade finally spoke up but quickly lifted up one hoof when Private growled, sneered and seemed prepared to lunge at him. “Wait, Private! Wait! let me speak.”

“Right, good,” the indigo eyed Unicorn said when his brother backed off and seemed ready to let him talk.

“All right fine, I went over the line. I wanted to scare you guys to leave me alone. I know you don’t trust me right now and you probably never will… after this, I just wanted you guys to get off my back and stop coming galloping over every time you hear I’m doing something. I was never going to have any of you seriously harmed, just frighten you,” Barricade began.

“I know you left me alone these past two years, but then again I was laying low so to speak while building up my little area here. I didn’t trust any of you to leave me alone if my name caught your attention again. That’s why I had the case with Derpy happen. When it was obvious you would be sticking your muzzle into my business even over a case I didn’t have a hope to winning, I decided to scare you off,” he continued and while talking kept having one hoof up, just in case Private was done with being patient.

“Maybe… maybe this is a sign that we should just stay out of each other’s way from now on and just live our lives in our separate cities and so on and so forth,” Barricade suggested, he lowered his hoof when Private remained still.

“Whatever,” Private whispered, turned around and began walking away.

Barricade watched his brother leave around the corner before glancing back at Barbell and Blue who were approaching now that the conversation was over. The mare looked mildly concerned and her brother seemed unsure what to make of all this.

“You okay there, Barricade?” Barbell asked when the Unicorn still hadn’t said anything.

“Blue, find Tornado and the others and tell them to go home. We’ll deal with this Tango later,” Barricade said. “We’re done for tonight.”

Blue nodded and trotted away. His employer sat down and sighed deeply. Barbell sat down beside him and hesitantly put a hoof on his back.

“I really messed up didn’t I?” the Unicorn muttered.

“Yeah, yeah you did,” Barbell bluntly concurred.


When Private walked around the corner he was immediately face to face with Derpy, Turner and Tango. The three stared at the Unicorn a bit stunned, they had heard the rant loud and clear. None of them had guessed he had been holding down so much rage towards his brother.

“Wow… um I know I suggested you try and talk with him instead of attacking him and tell him how you felt, but didn’t quite expect this,” Derpy said smiling uneasily.

“Private? Are you alright?” Turner frowned when seeing that Private was neither sporting the angry frown nor his usual neutral expression. He looked downright miserable.

Tango walked to the corner while his friends tended to the Unicorn and peeked around it. He saw Barricade dismiss Blue and then him and Barbell sit for a little while together before standing up and also walk away.

“I think they have stopped searching, it’s probably safe to head to the train station now,” he told them and looked back.

“Thank you for everything, Tango, I think we can take it from here, I’ll write you when we’re back in Ponyville,” Derpy told the former officer then flew closer to him and hugged him.

After saying goodbye to the clock smith and Private who barely acknowledged him, Tango headed back to his home. Derpy and Turner looked at the Unicorn who had sat down and stared glumly at the ground.

“We can’t leave him like this, besides he’s going to the same train station as us anyway,” Derpy whispered to Time Turner who nodded in agreement.

“Wow, I never thought I would see anypony able to tell Barricade off, but I should have guessed his brother could,” the gray mare addressed the Unicorn trying to sound cheerful.

That made him sadder, how? She thought when Private looked even glummer.

“Derpy,” Turner whispered to her as he remembered something that had been said. “I don’t think he wants it to be like that.”

“Oh right… he was hoping Barricade was changing. He wants him to change, he… you… don’t hate him, you hate that you hate him.” Derpy gasped as she realized. Despite their resemblance, it kept dropping her mind that the Unicorns were brothers, twins even. The mare winched when Private slowly nodded to confirm she was right.

“Have you two always been like this, at odds with one another?” Time Turner asked carefully, he didn’t approach as he had already noticed that the other stallion valued his personal space and so far Dew was the only one allowed to violate it.

“No not always... we were close once... when we were little... but it started to change when we got older,” Private whispered. “Mom and Dad travel a lot and are always on digs so we changed schools often. I took interest in their work and history in general but Barricade was always different, brash, loud, selfish, confrontational. I was just schooled by mom and dad since I was headed towards their line of work or at least a similar one, but Barricade… they just couldn’t control him and sent him to a school in Canterlot, hoping that would put some discipline in him. They’ve regretted that decision ever since because that's when things started to change.”

“He’s never said he felt betrayed by them, we corresponded and visited as often as we could and were together during the holidays. But we just never connected really again… I am reserved as you’ve probably noticed… I don’t like talking too much and I don’t like too large company.” The Unicorn continued but his voice kept getting lower, Derpy and Turner had to strain their ears to listen.

“Barricade became even more of a jerk after he graduated and by the looks of it, he’s even worse now. I’ve seen other twins so close to one another, connected so well, sometimes feeling like they are just the one and the same pony… and I… I can’t even look myself in the mirror without being reminded that I have a jerk for a brother who mistreats ponies and his own family and just…” Private fell silent and tears formed at the corner of his eyes. "I miss it."

Derpy decided to heck with Foxy’s warning earlier. She walked closer to the Unicorn and grabbed him in a hug. Turner balked and feared Private might lash out or throw the mare off or something, but the clock smith’s fears shimmered down when nothing of such happened. Private didn’t seem to mind being hugged, Turner had a feeling they were witnessing rare moment with the dark gray stallion opening up so much.

“Private, I know you probably don’t want to hear it now, but don’t give up hope,” Derpy told him with a reassuring smile as she let go off him. “Maybe one day, you never know. Maybe it is hopeless, maybe he’ll never change, in that case just remember that he’s left some good behind him both with you in Fillydelphia and with me in Ponyville. Coal at least has her uncle and at least knows that not all ponies on her father side are bad and I wouldn’t mind Dinky knowing her paternal grandparents, especially now that I know she has an uncle who can shut her father up if he tries anything.”

“Dad isn’t so bad at it either,” Private shrugged and slowly stood up. “We probably should get going if we want to get home before this weekend is over.”

“Good point, are you feeling better?” Turner asked, the only answer he received was a neutral expression in response, seemed Private had been fully talked out and had resumed his quieter demeanor.

The three ponies headed off, it didn’t take them too long to find streets with more life in them, with Ponies still going about their business even though the hour was getting late. They finally did reach the train station and luckily for the Unicorn, a train to Fillydelphia would be departing in just few minutes.

“Goodbye and thank for everything again, we’ll be in touch. Oh and about next weekend, can you tell Foxy…” Derpy then leaned closer to Private and whispered something in his ear that Turner couldn’t hear.

“Uh… guess I can ask her.” The Unicorn looked uncertain. After saying goodbye he boarded his train leaving them behind on the platform.

“What was that all about?” Turner wondered.

“Oh,” Derpy said and put a leg around the stallion. “Just something between Dinky’s paternal family and her, nothing for you to worry about.”

“Right, let’s get to the platform where the Canterlot train comes,” Turner chuckled. “Then I guess we can uh… discuss you know.”

“Yes, I should warn you though, when dad hears about this, he’s gonna interrogate you. He’s always been a little jumpy when he thinks a stallion is after me after uh… Barricade,” Derpy told him as she let go and they both headed to the correct platform.

“After meeting the fellow two too many times, I can’t say I blame him,” Time Turner laughed. “He just wants to protect his little filly who got hurt by a big mean Unicorn.”

“Oh don’t call me little filly, I hear that often enough from him.” Derpy stuck her tongue out at him.

“Speaking of your parents, have you told them about this whole mess?” Turner asked, realizing that the subject of her parents had never been brought up before. Derpy giggled nervously and then smiled sheepishly.

“No…. I haven’t told them yet, didn’t want to worry them and uh… they would just fly down all the way from Cloudsdale and be all worried over something that was nothing anyway,” she said looking a little embarrassed. “No actually I was going to tell them afterwards because Dew and Foxy were so confident that it was an open and shut case, then I… well… flew off to Manehattan as you know.”

“Oh right, it’s only yesterday since Dew and Foxy came to visit you didn’t they?” Time Turner blinked as he realized it was still the same Saturday and when he had gone with Caramel to see Barricade. “Wow, this felt much longer.”

“Tell me about it,” Derpy grunted and planted herself on a bench on the train platform. “I’m sooo ready to just go home now.”

“You and me both.” Turner nodded in agreement and sat down beside her.

End Chapter 13

Author's Note:

This is it, this is the last long chapter. There is only the two epilogues left that I mentioned here.

I tend not to drag things along too much, so yeah I always planned for the story to be close to conclusion once Turner and Derpy finally revealed their feelings to one another. I admit I'm not too good with romance and I just don't think I can write another proper chapter that would just be them on a date. This story was an experiment to see how I did with a long story with a small romance theme and I think this is the most romantic I can get in my writing. For me, once Derpy and Turner finally had it out, they wouldn't just start sprouting sappy stuff, they would just finally talk more familiarly with one another like they do there at the end.

See you in the epilogues, I'll hopefully post them tomorrow.

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