• Published 23rd Dec 2012
  • 3,520 Views, 89 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 02. Lunch time.

Chapter 2

“Hey Doctor Hooves. Having lunch too?”

Time Turner stopped and eyed the pony who had greeted him front of the Café. It was an Earth pony like him, with amber colored coat and brown tail and mane. Three blue horse shoes adorned his flank. With a frustrated groan he turned to face him.

“Turner, my name is Time Turner,” he corrected.

“Oops sorry, guess it is just habit,” the other stallion apologized, his ears lowering a bit in embarrassment.

“A habit I would very much like to see ponies break, Caramel,” Turner grunted and got seated by a table.

This was one of the big mysteries for the brown stallion. Various ponies around Ponyville often seemed to think his name was Hooves or Whooves and some even added Doctor in front of it. Time Turner did have full training and education as a clock-smith but it was a bit farfetched to call him doctor over it.

“So um… how are things?” Caramel asked now that Turner was seated on the table next to his.

“Can’t complain, enough work to do, life just goes on and on,” Time Turner said, he accepted a menu from the waiter that had just arrived.

The café was a good place to go to lunch. It was not far away from his shop so he never left it for too long. Turner could also see if anyone was coming, a good thing if it was someone who was scheduled to come pick up a clock. Then it was easy to just run over and give it to the customer.

“And you?” He looked at the amber stallion who chuckled nervously.

“Oh… I lost my job… again,” Caramel admitted with a sigh and sunk down until his head rested on his table. “Sassaflash is going to kill me.”

“Where were you working again?” Turner asked, he couldn’t really recall. As Caramel had noted, this wasn’t the first time he lost a job.

“At the toyshop, they got a whole new shipment of those Wonderbolt stuff and well… I managed to drop a crate and it damaged hundred bits worth of merchandise. I was already on the last leg there after the incident where I managed to misplaced those new Smarty dolls,” the amber Earth Pony sighed.

Time Turner was about to ask how he had managed to misplace those dolls but thought better off it. He knew Caramel was a hard worker and always meant well, but sometimes he could get a little forgetful and had a habit of accidentally losing things without really meaning too.

The waiter returned and Turner decided to treat himself to some salad. Caramel on the other hand was just sipping on a hay smoothie looking very gloomy. He was no doubt trying to think up various ways on how to break the news to his girlfriend about his latest job loss.

“I’m really sorry about your job, Caramel, you have any plans?” the brown stallion asked.

“Well… no, not really at the moment,” Caramel shook his head. Then suddenly his ears perked up as an idea hit him. The pony rose up to sit more properly before quickly scooting closer to Turner’s table. He placed his front hooves on it and crouched down in a begging position.

“You wouldn’t happen to be looking for some extra help in your shop do you?” the amber Earth Pony asked pleadingly. Time Turner had almost jumped away from the table after Caramel’s sudden appearance.

“What? No, I’m sorry but no,” the brown pony claimed.

“Please, I’ll work for minimum wage if necessary. I can’t go to Sassaflash and tell her I lost another job and don’t have anything else lined up. She’ll complain and then complain to her mother who will nag at me,” Caramel begged, lowering his ears again and tried on his best sad puppy impression.

“Will you stand up; you’re a grown stallion for Celestia’s sake,” Time Turner cried and managed to push the other stallion off the table and have him stand up. He didn’t add that he had found this display rather disturbing.

“Look Caramel, I’m really sorry. I’m already stretching my own budget thin, I need to order clock tower parts and pay them through my shop, not to mention all the clocks I’m repairing that also need parts ordered. I just can’t afford an employee,” he tried to explain to his friend.

“Please Doc…Time Turner, see I even told your name right. I beg you; everypony in town knows what an imbecile I am. I doubt even Applejack will let me clean out the pig stables at Sweet Apple Acres.” Caramel dropped back down to begging position.

“All right, first of all you are not an imbecile and second…” Time Turner glanced around with a grimace. “Will you please stand up, everypony is staring at us.”

Indeed both ponies at the café and walking the streets were watching the spectacle. Some chuckled while others stared in utter confusion. Few shook their heads and continued on their way. Caramel chuckled nervously and stood up again.

“Please Turner, please can you give me a job? You don’t have to pay right away; I still have some back pay coming from my old job even if they fired me.” The amber stallion really did sound desperate.

Turner was about to say no for the third time but he found himself a bit stuck. Caramel really looked right now like a sad puppy that had just been kicked. He had never really considered having someone assist him in the shop before, never needed it really. But deep down the idea was appealing, being someone’s boss and maybe even able to let the assistant handle the shop for a day or two while he focused on other projects.

“Alright, alright,” he finally relented. “I can’t pay you much, at least not for a while.”

“Oh thank you, thank you, thank you. You are a lifesaver Turner,” Caramel reached with his front legs and grabbed the brown stallion in a tight hug.

“Erk… no problem… you can start tomorrow, eight o’clock sharp.” Turner gasped for air and managed to free himself from the air chocking hug.

“Sir yes sir, eight tomorrow I’ll be there,” Caramel nodded furiously and then hurried off laughing with joy.

Time Turner wiped sweat from his brow and returned his attention to the table. His salad had arrived during the commotion with Caramel. His stomach growled so the stallion wasted no time diving in, munching on his lunch with great delight. He was so busy gobbling up the salad that he didn’t notice a shadow passing over him. Shortly later a Pegasus landed by his table.

“Hi Mister Turner.” Hearing the voice greet him almost caused the stallion to spit out his mouthful. He looked up and for a split second his eyes soaked up the sight that for him was as divine as it was beautiful.

“Ah… Miss Hooves,” he stammered and finished swallowing his mouthful before it leaked out. “Um excuse me…”

Derpy Hooves giggled when the stallion began to desperately drying his mouth with a napkin and trying not to look like a slob. He sat straight up and did his best to smile normally.

“I was on my way to your shop with your mail,” the gray Pegasus explained and opened her mailbag. “But I saw you sitting there by the café, so I thought I would just drop it here.”

“That’s very kind of you,” Time Turner said and accepted the mail and one package she produced from her bag.

“Well since I have you here, I do need these sent,” he said and produced the two order forms from his own saddlebag. By now both placed in an envelope each, addressed and stamped.

“Okie Dokie,” Derpy took the two envelopes and put it in her bag, making sure it was placed with other mail bound for the post office.

Oh come on you fool, say something, complement her on her looks, anything. You’re actually talking with her, a small voice kept shouting at him deep in his mind, but nothing came out. He half expected that with the mail delivered she would be on her way.

“Oh by the way, did Sparkler and Tootsie come to your shop? Tootsie’s alarm clock was not working right and Carrot Top told them to take it to your shop to see if you can fix it. Since you fix clocks and all,” the gray Pegasus inquired. She smiled friendly like but for Turner it was the most beautiful smile he had ever seen.

“Why yes… yes they did come just before I went to lunch. The clock will probably be finished in two or three days. Tootsie seemed to think very highly of it,” he told her. Derpy giggled again.

“Yes Tootsie really loves that clock. I bought it for her when I went to Cloudsdale few months ago. She was in tears when it started to go all noisy for no reasons at all and I had to tell her it was broken,” she told him.

“Well we can’t have that now, can we? I’ll fix the clock as quickly as I can,” Turner assured her with a smile of his own.

“Oh you are so sweet, thank you. It means a lot to me to see my little girls happy, they are my whole life.” Derpy let out a happy sigh. “Well I better go and deliver the rest of the mail. Thank you again Mister Turner, nice talking to you.”

“Yes, no problem,” Turner watched while she spread her wings and flew off. Once she was out of sight he almost felt like melting in the chair. She said it was nice talking to me.

Oh come now, anypony would say that. But it was she who said it… Time Turner didn’t even realize how goofily he was smiling right now as he made his inner debate. She addresses me by my actual name; her friend suggested my shop to fix the clock. But you are the only clock-maker in the town of course they would send the clock to me.

The stallion dropped his smile when he remembered the dratted clock. Time Turner wasn’t sure how to really fix it. For him it looked like the factory just crammed some gears and wheels together into a round metal box and hoped it would do tick tock noises. He hadn’t been too surprised when hearing that these clocks had very short life spans and where really only just shiny clock shaped paperweights when it came down to it.

Hey wait a minute. What if I just build a proper clock mechanic into it and just use the old casing? That way Tootsie will get her clock back, just a more improved clock, he thought. His eyes grew wider and the stallion hammered one hoof on the table, causing the salad bowl to dance around on it. “That’s brilliant.”

Not really noticing the stares he received from other patrons Time Turner rose up. He left payment for his meal on the table and hurried back to his shop, he had work to do.

Golden Harvest, or Carrot Top as she was usually known by her friends and family, observed Ponyville marketplace from her vegetable stand. The day had been a bit slow, only few ponies had come to buy her wares. There were many ponies around; just no one seemed to need vegetables at the moment.

“Slow day here too huh?”

Carrot Top glanced to the side and saw Applejack approaching. The orange farm mare had her own stand not that far away. The yellow pony had noticed that things had been slow there as well, only the occasional pony had come to buy apples.

“Yes, I think I’ve only sold few carrots and a box of lettuce,” Carrot confirmed with a nod.

“Tell me about it, but hey maybe things will pick up in the afternoon when ponies need something to snack on between lunch and dinner,” Applejack suggested with a chuckle.

“Oh I’m sure they do, how are things on the farm?” Carrot Top inquired.

“Busy as you wouldn’t believe it, we finally managed to git rid of most of the fruitbats infestin’ the west orchard, but we also needed to get rid of a whole warren of bunnies trying to eat up our vegetable patches. Fortunately Fluttershy was a big help in that regard, she’s always good with critters, found a new home for them far away from mah farm,” the farm mare began telling her.

Carrot Top listened with some interest. She had sometimes dreamed of having her own farm, much like Applejack. Unfortunately the best the yellow mare could settle for at the moment was her large vegetable garden in her backyard. Half of the crops she sold in the market, but the other half was eaten by her and those living with her in the house. A farm would be too expensive to start from scratch.

“Big Mac has been plowin’ up a new field to grow more corn; we need to expand in that area though nuthin’ will come out of it until next year. Oh and the first apple harvest is finally here,” Apple jack continued and finished by gesturing to her own stand. “So how are you and yours?”

“Well I’m doing alright, I can’t complain. Derpy as usual is all dedicated to the girls, working her hooves off to give them a good life. I wish could help more than just being supportive roommate but my own work barely gets in enough for my share of the rent and food,” Top told her.

“I know it’s a sacrilege but if you ever need anythin’ just let me know and Ah’ll sneak a basket of apples your way,” Applejack winked and grinned. Carrot Top pretended to be horrified at the prospect.

“Accepting apples, from my rival, the very thought,” the yellow mare snorted in pretense offensive tone. Then she quickly leaned closer to Applejack and whispered. “Make sure it’s golden delicious ones, Dinky and Tootsie love those.”

“Ah’ll see what I can do,” the orange farm mare chuckled. “Just a second.”

Applejack headed over to her stand and Carrot Top couldn’t help but laugh a little at the pretense rivalry. Considering the size of Sweet Apple Acres she would be lucky to even be considered a minor competitor. The yellow Earth Pony started to observe the market place again; there had been some increase in ponies around so maybe Applejack was right about things picking up.

“Make way, make way, the Unicorn parade is here,” a bright voice shouted from the crowd, soon enough Sparkler came walking through it and behind her giggling and jumping were Tootsie Flute and Dinky the violet colored unicorn filly.

Oh those girls, Carrot Top shook in laughter, the three young Unicorns made their way right to her stand as she expected.

“And you wonder why your mother calls you three silly fillies,” the yellow mare addressed them still laughing.

“What? We’re not sillies,” Sparkler faked an innocent look.

“No, we are,” Tootsie giggled.

“Fillies,” Dinky finished and the three Unicorns were now all laughing.

“Oh don’t you rhyme on me,” Carrot Top stuck her tongue out at them and got the same respond back from all three. “Well I’m glad to see you three are enjoying yourself. You took the clock to the clock shop?”

“Yes we did, the clock maker said it would take few days and maybe cost five bits,” Sparkler told her nodding.

“He’s going to fix my clock,” Tootsie declared pumping one front hoof in the air with a big smile.

Five bits? That’s cheap, the yellow mare thought but didn’t say anything out loud. She had a theory but didn’t want to divulge into it without more proof.

“Then we met Dinky at the playground again as we planned and now we are headed to Sugarcube Corner,” the magenta pony told them.

Carrot Top nodded. Tootsie had insisted on coming along to deliver the clock but Sparkler hadn’t planned to go there until just before lunch. So Derpy had dropped the younger fillies at the playground on her way to work until Sparkler was ready to go.

Sparkler was about to say something more but a stallion arrived at the cart to buy vegetables. She stepped aside and while Carrot Top took care of the customer, the Unicorn watched the younger fillies who had engaged in a short game of tag around her. Sparkler held back a giggle when Dinky almost stumbled but recovered quickly though for a second she walked a bit silly. Tootsie on the other hand chuckled and tried to use this opportunity to tackle her sister.

More ponies arrived at the vegetable stand. Seemed things were really picking up, Sparkler and the two filles were forced to go behind it where Carrot Top stood so they had a little bit of space.

“Need help?” Sparkler asked though her foster mother’s roommate seemed to be handling things well.

“No it’s alright. Just take the girls to Sugarcube Corner as you planned,” Carrot Top assured her.

“Okay,” Sparkler was hesitant to leave, really wanting to assist at the stand. But Dinky and Tootsie were now jumping up and down around her shouting the name of the local bakery in excitement. There was no way she could delay going there by now.

The influx of ponies buying vegetables did end almost as quickly as it had begun. Carrot Top didn’t complain though, she had already sold a lot more carrots and various other vegetables just now than this morning. She glanced back and just missed Sparkler and the girls disappearing into the crowd.

“Frankly Ah don’t care what you have to say about that, if ya can’t say anythin’ nice just don’t say it at all,” the sharp voice of Applejack reached her ears.

The yellow mare looked over to the Apple stand and saw the farm pony pointing an Earth Pony away while sporting an angry scowl. The unknown pony strutting away with the muzzle high up in the air was pink with a blue mane and tail with lighter blue highlights. She wore a darker pink west and orange tinted sunglasses. In her main and tail were golden bands and on her ears hung earrings shaped like lightning bolts.

I’ve seen her before, Carrot Top thought, she considered heading over to Applejack to see what had happened, but didn’t have to. The orange mare was trotting over with a basket full of golden delicious apples.

“Hey, ooh those do look lovely,” she addressed Applejack when the other pony arrived.

“Well hope the youngins like them,” the orange mare said but it was audible she was upset. Applejack put the basket down behind the vegetable stand.

“Dare I ask what was going on over there?” Carrot asked concerned, Applejack always seemed to be on such good terms with most ponies, it was rare to see her cross with anyone. Her face fell when Applejack hesitated and looked uneasy to spill, the yellow mare could almost guess now what this had been about.

“Out with it, what did she say?” she asked tiredly though she dreaded to hear it and was now thankful Sparkler and the girls were gone.

“Do you get this a lot Carrot Top? Or Derpy that is?” the orange farm pony asked quietly. “Ah swear Ah was almost ready to buck that missy straight into the nearest mud pool.”

“What? Surprised she is allowed to take in foals in foster care? Don’t get it that she is actually responsible enough to care for them? Yes, yes we get it a lot,” the yellow pony snorted.

“The nerve, she’s qualified right? She’s approved by the government and all isn’t she? Who are they to say she can’t be a good mother,” Applejack grunted.

“Yes she is, sure we a get the occasional visit from the authorities but it’s routine to make sure the foals Derpy is caring for are alright and everything is in order. Honestly, most of the time the visits are just one big muffin tea party. The government ponies that come are nice and supportive and they don’t even question her anymore,” Carrot Top explained glancing around, feeling her anger rising a little.

“Ah’m sorry, didn’t mean to be ruinin’ your day. But if you must know she was makin’ snide comments about the girls, saw them playin’ there by your stand. When her turn came she made a rude comment about them and Derpy as if she expected me to agree with her,” Applejack snorted in disgust.

“Thank you… I mean for telling her off, not sure if I would have been as polite about it as you were.” the yellow pony smiled a little but it was very weak.

“Think nuthin’ of it. Ah meant what Ah said earlier, if ya need anything, just let me know,” the farm mare smiled warmer and added a small wink.

“Thank you Applejack, we will.” Carrot Top nodded. She was then forced to return back to business, more ponies had arrived to buy from her. Applejack hurried back to her own stand as ponies were filing up there as well.

It had clearly been too soon call this day slow. This time the surge of ponies coming to buy lasted for almost two hour and before Carrot Top knew it she had sold everything. She was almost tempted to consider that Applejack had somehow known of this beforehand. Things were just as busy at the apple stand, a huge crowd of ponies were buying apples.

Well might as well pack up seeing that I’ve sold everything, the mare thought and started to put everything away and folded up the stand.

“Whoa,” someone shouted out from above and when Carrot Top looked up she saw Derpy descending to land. She had miscalculated and ended up landing on her own butt right in front of the vegetable stand.

“Owie,” the Pegasus cringed and looked rather embarrassed, blushing under her fur.

“Derpy, are you alright?” Carrot Top asked and helped her friend back to her leg. She ignored some ponies around who were laughing.

“I’m fine, confound those eyes sometimes.” Derpy frowned a little and dusted off herself. One eye was looking at the yellow pony but the other wandered off into another direction.

She always seems to fly fine when taking the girls for a spin, the Earth Pony thought to herself. Then again she never takes them that high.

“Wow, have you sold everything already?” the Pegasus looked at the now closed stand, it was now a cart that could be pulled.

“Yes I have, after a very slow day the afternoon came and it was like everypony needed some veggies,” Carrot Top told her. “Sparkler came here just after lunch with Dinky and Tootsie and went to Sugarcube Corner. But they are probably home by now.”

Derpy nodded and helped her roommate to put on the cart harness so she could pull it. The Pegasus then spied the apple basket and picked it up. She stared at it for a moment then eyed Carrot skeptically.

“What is this, apples with you?” she asked and giggled.

“Well I eat fruit sometimes,” Carrot Top pointed out. “Besides these are mostly for the girls. You know how they love the golden delicious apples.”

“Nothing compared to your carrots,” Derpy grinned and balanced the basket on her head as they began walking.

“Hah! Fruit and veggies won’t even compare to their love for your muffins,” the yellow pony smirked.

“Nothing compares to muffins,” the gray mare stated as a matter of fact, nodding sagely nearly spilling the apples. The two ponies burst into giggles.

“Ah well, Tootsie should get her clock back soon,” Carrot top commented.

“Yes, I met Mister Turner when I delivered his mail to him, he mentioned it,” Derpy said and a wider smile crept over her lips. “Tootsie will be so happy to get her clock back.”

“Yes, tell me Derpy why do you always fly past the clock tower these days, I’ve been hearing it’s becoming as common occurrence as Time Turner entering and leaving it,” her friend asked casually. It didn’t escape her attention that Derpy clamped her mouth shut and shifted her good eye back and forth as well as possible.

“Um… no reason,” the Pegasus stated innocently.

“Riiight,” Carrot peered at her roommate. “So you spoke with Mr. Turner when you brought his mail?”

“Oh yes, a lot more than usual even, he was so sweet, insisting he would fix the clock as soon as he could,” Derpy said nodding furiously thinking she had evaded the subject.

“Sweet?” The yellow pony raised her eyebrow and smirked wider.

“Yes, sweet, he was being kind and considerate for the plight of a young filly whose precious clock was broken,” Derpy responded flustered when she realized what kind of a trap she was headed into.

Again she clamped her mouth shut and the Pegasus didn’t seem likely to comment more on this. Carrot Top was tempted to dig more into this discovery with more questions but decided against it, she felt she needed to confirm this differently than trying to grill her friend.

This is going to be interesting, she thought and smiled to herself.

End chapter 2.

Author's Note:

Time Turner being mistaken for a doctor and called Whooves and Hooves was a short running gag I used in In the Broad Daylight. I will not be playing as much with this joke in this fic but it might pop up from time to time. Ponies who know Turner well enough refer to him by his proper name.