• 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 04. The house of Derpy.

Chapter 4

Derpy landed in front of the house Carrot Top rented with her. A relieved sigh escaped her lips. It had been a busy day delivering letters and packages and the mare was tired. She casually glanced towards the garden, half expecting to see the yellow pony tending to it like she usually did in the late afternoon. But no one was there.

Shrugging it off Derpy entered the house. Immediately her ears were assaulted with loud voices coming from the living room. The Pegasus lowered her ears while closing the door and wondered if she really wanted to know what this was about. Dinky and Tootsie could be quite vocal, Tootsie even more so as she could really make her voice sharp and loud when feeling slighted. Right now her tired ears just didn’t want sharp and loud around them.

Knowing this could, if unattended, go on for a while Derpy headed to the living room to investigate. Sparkler was on the couch attempting to read a book; Tootsie and Dinky were playing a board game on the floor. Right now there was a loud disagreement between them what exactly the rules of the game were. Sparkler was covering her ears with the front hooves and was trying to tell the younger girls to be quiet. They didn’t pay any attention to her at all.

“Hello everypony, did I come in on a bad time?” Derpy inquired with a small tired smile. She allowed her ears to go back up when the noise died down immediately at her arrival.

Her oldest foster daughter let out a breath of relief. The younger girls sprung up from the floor and raced over to the mare. It was hard to tell which one was happier to see her, though they quickly started to bicker again.

“Mommy, mommy, Tootsie is cheating,” Dinky accused pointing at the board game.

“It’s not true Aunt Derpy, it says in the book that getting six let’s you move again,” Tootsie countered and stomped one hoof on the floor.

“I’m glad to see you too, my little muffins,” Derpy greeted them with half a chuckle. Thankful that Tootsie kept her voice down at a manageable level. “Is this what all the noise is about?”

“Well, I can’t find it in the book,” the violet unicorn filly stated, scowling at her foster sister.

“It is too.” The opal unicorn girl stuck her tongue out.

“Girls!” Derpy frowned now. “Don’t be rude, we’ll settle this here and now.”

Both fillies hung their head and mumbled a weak sorry. The mare walked past them and towards the board game, the girls trotted after her and Tootsie grabbed the rule book from the box. She pushed it to Derpy who accepted it, sat down and started to skim through it. She had to concentrate so both her eyes focused on what stood there.

“This is odd,” the mare glanced at the board game and then at the book. She flipped back to the cover and looked at the box. “Girls, this is the wrong rule book, it’s for another game. It must have been mixed up.”

“What?” Tootsie gasped in shock. She started to rummage through the the box again and gave another loud ‘what’ when pulling out another book, this time the correct one.

Derpy grabbed and read it over before looking at the girls who sat both in front of her waiting for the verdict. The cringe on the opal Unicorn indicated she knew what it would be.

“Doesn’t say anything about six letting you have another turn, sorry Tootsie but looks like Dinky was right,” the Pegasus told them.

“Aw,” Tootsie hung her head, feeling bad for having checked the wrong rule book without noticing. She looked at Dinky with an apologetic look. “Sorry Dinky.”

“It’s okay; we can still let six give another go.” Dinky herself felt a bit guilty too. “Sorry I said you cheated.”

The two fillies hugged and then did the same with Derpy who returned it. A wide smile was on the mare’s tired face. She always loved how, despite their arguments, the two girls kept being such good friends. The sisters returned to the board game and the Pegasus turned her attention to the Unicorn on the couch.

“Sorry about the noise, they wouldn’t listen to me,” Sparkler said with a grunt, giving her younger sisters a slight glare.

“Yes, I noticed,” Derpy nodded and glanced back at the younger fillies. “Girls, you know if Carrot Top and I aren’t around, it’s Sparkler who is in charge. You are supposed to listen to her.”

Dinky and Tootsie both ducked their heads and smiled sheepishly as they carefully glanced back at the older ponies.

“Sorry Sparkler, we won’t do it again,” they both apologized.

“Yeah, until next time they forget it,” Sparkler joshed with a small smile.

Derpy chuckled and was glad to hear that Sparkler wasn’t upset. She usually did have pretty good control over her younger sisters, but the fillies could sometimes forget themselves as all children would.

“Where is Carrot Top?” the Pegasus asked and had to silently remind herself not to call Sparkler ‘muffin’ like she did with the younger girls. She and Carrot Top were striving to treat the magenta Unicorn like an adult now.

“I don’t know, she hasn’t come home yet,” Sparkler shrugged.

“She must have had an errand to run,” Derpy figured and started to remove her saddlebags.

“Here mom, let me help you.” Sparkler’s horn began to glow and using her magic she both undid the strap and then lifted the bags off her foster mother.

“Thank you, sweetheart,” the Pegasus smiled gratefully.

Derpy waited until the bags had been gently lowered to the floor before picking them up in her mouth and carried them out of the living room. She went to her own bedroom on the second floor of the house. The walls were littered with crayon colored pictures made by her two younger daughters.

The bags were put on the dresser; the big mirror on it was covered in photos of the three resident Unicorns at various stages of their lives. Derpy opened one bag and pulled out few letters.

Since she worked at the post office the mare just collected her mail there but didn’t usually open it until she was home. Like the other mail carriers, she had her own shelf at the post office the shorting ponies would put her letters in. Then when Derpy went home she would just grab the bundle and stash it in her bag to go through it later.

The mare began shorting through the mail, lots of bills as per usual but one caught her attention. She frowned when seeing that one was actually addressed to Dinky. Derpy stared at the letter, she recognized the writing. It was more elegant and fluid than mouth writing could write, so it had clearly been written by a Unicorn using magic to hold the pen. The mare flipped the envelope around and sighed when seeing the return address.

“Hey, just wanted to let you know I’m home,” Carrot Top peeked her head into the room. “I had to go to the bank before it closed.”

The yellow Earth mare arched an eyebrow when seeing Derpy staring at a still unopened letter. Carrot entered fully and approached her friend who still hadn’t noticed her coming. She glanced at the envelope and grunted when seeing the return address.

“You have got to be kidding me, he doesn’t let up does he?” Carrot snorted, now first did Derpy look up at her. Only one eye focused on the other mare.

“What do I do? He keeps breaking his promises then sends letters to ‘apologize’. Dinky keeps forgiving him. I don’t think I can take it seeing her crying over another broken promise.” The voice of the Pegasus was quiet and broken.

“Throw it away. If he asks, it got lost in the mail, that happens,” Carrot suggested without even hesitating.

“I can’t do that.” Derpy winched at the thought. “What if she finds out? Thinks I’m withholding other letters from him. I don’t want her to hate me.”

“She won’t hate you and will probably understand when she’s older and can understand what that stallion she calls father really is,” her friend tried to assure her, but the Pegasus didn’t look so convinced.

Downstairs they heard a knock on the front door, but almost immediately two young fillies shouted their assurance that they would get it. Carrot figured if it was something important the girls would get them, so she looked at Derpy, intending to continue the discussion. But her friend was already walking towards the door to see who had come.

Sparkler had followed her younger sisters to the door and could be heard speaking as the two mares walked out and approached the stairs.

“Didn’t you say this would take two days?” the young Unicorn asked. Derpy almost jumped when hearing who responded.

“Yes… uh well I had extra time and this is a simpler clock than what I usually handle so… uh yeah,” Time Turner explained in a nervous tone.

“My clock, my clock. Thank you Mister Time Turner,” Tootsie shouted and laughed. Then the filly came running up the stairs, in her mouth she held her prized Wonderbolt clock. Dinky was right on her heels looking just as happy as her sister.

“Look, my clock is fixed,” the opal Unicorn announced when seeing Carrot Top and Derpy at the top of the stairs.

The two mares couldn’t but smile at seeing how happy the filly was. The girl was positively beaming as she trotted up the stairs and headed straight to the bedroom she shared with Dinky. The violet unicorn halted her ascend after her sister when spotting the letter Derpy had half tucked under the wing.

“Mommy, is that a letter to me?” she asked, her name was visible on the envelope.

“Oh… uh yes muffin, here you go.” Derpy opened her wing and let Dinky take the letter. The Pegasus had just tucked it under her wing out of habit when heading out of the room to see who had been coming.

Carrot held back a sigh and silently berated herself for not having noticed. She would have made sure to stand in the way so the letter couldn’t be seen. Dinky smiled when realizing this was from her father, the little unicorn quickly hugged her mother before darting for her bedroom with the envelope in the mouth. Meanwhile Sparkler appeared at the bottom of the stairs looking up while addressing Derpy.

“Mom, we need five bits to pay for the clock,” she told them.

“No wait, I was trying to say it was alright, you can pay tomorrow or later,” Turner could be heard from the front door.

The Pegasus made a loud vocal gasp, forgetting all previous tiredness she immediately jumped and glided down to the ground floor. Once there and almost in the front hall she could see where Time Turner stood on the front step, the stallion had taken a step back in mild surprise when seeing the mare come literally flying down.

“Nonono, we’ll pay, why don’t you come in? Please come in.” Derpy didn’t realize how quickly she was speeding this out of her mouth. Before Turner could even really protest he had pretty much been dragged inside and the door closed behind him.

W-what just happened? Time Turner thought. Deep down he had half hoped to be invited in, though that hope was quickly dashed when only the fillies and Sparkler had answered the door. Then Derpy had arrived and done just that.

“Just wait here, I’ll go get the money, no wait, sit in the living room,” Derpy quickly pushed the dumbfounded stallion into the living room before disappearing to go get the money for the clock.

Time Turner blinked and turned around, he saw Sparkler watching him questionably. The Unicorn had returned to her book on the couch. The stallion cleared his throat nervously and wasn’t really sure if he should sit.

“So you deliver clocks now?” Carrot Top entered the living room, she sported a neutral expression but behind it she was laughing.

“Well… no… yes… kind of…” Turner grinned still looking and sounding nervous.

“Special occasion then, eh?” the yellow Earth Mare asked, her brow rising a little.

“I had extra time, so I managed to fix Tootsie’s clock. Figured hey since I was done I might as well deliver it on my way home,” the stallion explained with a weak chuckle. “I’ve some extra help in the shop now.”

“You live on the other side of Ponyville don’t you?” Carrot inquired.

“I don’t mind the walk, need the exercise,” Time Turner shrugged trying to make it look casual but failed. “Besides… uh I saved Amethyst Star and Tootsie Flute a walk?”

“Your shop is five minutes from our house,” Sparkler commented, unlike Carrot Top she didn’t look or sound very impressed. The Unicorn was already guessing why Turner had really showed up with the clock.

“Well that’s five minutes you can now do something else with,” the stallion offered. He glanced at Sparkler and immediately spotted the disapproval in the eyes of the younger pony. Turner cleared his throat and turned back to Carrot Top who on the other hand looked quite amused.

“Here we are, five bits was it?” Derpy flew into the living room. When she landed she gave the money to Turner who accepted it and put it in his saddle bag.

“Well, this wasn’t really necessary, you could just have paid tomorrow or something,” the stallion commented.

“No, no it’s no problem at all. Do you like to sit down, get something to drink?” the Pegasus mare offered. It was difficult to tell who was smiling more nervously, Turner or her.

“Ah, no I really should get going. I need to do the evening check on the clock tower,” Time Turner said and glanced at the living room clock that hung on the wall. Why am I turning down an invitation to sit down and have a small drink?

“All right then, uh thanks for fixing the clock for Tootsie.” Derpy managed to masterfully hide her disappointment. She wasn’t fooling Carrot Top who rolled her eyes and hid a chuckle.

The two adult mares escorted Turner to the front door again and after few more quick nervous words of bye and see you around, the door closed on the stallion who headed to the clock tower. Carrot looked at her friend who was sighing wishfully.

“Who do you think you are kidding?” the yellow pony asked with a smirk.

“What do you mean?” Derpy put on her best innocent face and headed for the stairs.

“Oh come on, you couldn’t keep either eye off him,” Carrot claimed.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” The gray Pegasus shrugged and trotted upstairs to the second floor.

“You’re impossible,” the Earth Pony called after her but didn’t follow. Instead she decided to start preparing dinner in the kitchen.

She is right. Who do I think I’m kidding? Derpy mulled while going to the fillies bedroom. She gently knocked and was invited in by both Tootsie and Dinky. The mare put on a smile before entering.

Tootsie Flute had already put her precious clock proudly on her nightstand. The filly was now sitting beside her sister at Dinky’s desk. On the violet unicorn’s bed was the envelope, ripped open and the contents lay on the pillow, a letter and few coins. Dinky was hard at work composing a letter and Tootsie was helping.

“Mommy, daddy said he was sorry he missed the graduation play, he sent me money too,” Dinky announced cheerfully to her mother.

“We are writing a proper letter in response,” Tootsie nodded.

“That’s nice, girls,” Derpy kept the smile but deep down she was not happy. Leave it to him to not just send a letter with yet another excuse but money as well to butter it up. To think of all the time he sends me excuse letters about why he can’t pay foal support in time.

“So Tootsie, are you happy that Mr. Turner could fix your clock for you so quickly?” the Pegasus asked and walked closer to the desk.

“Yes! He’s the best clock fixer in all of Equestria,” the opal Unicorn stated with a wide grin.

“I’m glad to hear that.” Derpy nodded approvingly. She glanced at the thank-you letter her daughters were composing. Dinky blocked the view of it with one front leg so she couldn’t tell what stood there but the mare could almost guess. “Dinky, I…”

Both fillies stopped working and looked at her. Derpy hesitated; she really wanted to explain to Dinky that her father’s apologies were empty, that if he really cared he would show up when he promised. Not just send letters and money. But the girl looked so happy and delighted.

“Is something wrong, mommy?” Dinky furrowed her brow. She could usually tell quickly if her mother was having trouble with something.

“No, nothing.” Derpy tried her best to keep the smile and a chipper tone in her voice. She just couldn’t do it.

“Just remember to leave the letter downstairs so I can mail it for you tomorrow,” the mare said and turned to leave.

Dinky and Tootsie looked at each other mildly confused for a moment before glancing back at the retreating back of the Pegasus. When Derpy had left the room the two fillies shrugged their shoulders and returned back to the letter.

“Is ‘overstated’ a single word or separate?” Dinky wondered.

“I think the word we want is ‘overstayed’. We are telling him to stop sending you money and phony apologies right?” Tootsie pointed out.

“Not sure ‘Your letters have overstayed their welcome’ sounds right,” the violet Unicorn frowned thoughtfully.

“Maybe we should get Aunt Derpy to help us with this.” Her foster sister considered but Dinky quickly shook her head.

“She’ll just say I should be polite and thank him, you know how mommy is about being nice to other ponies and forgive them and all that,” she told her.

Tootsie just nodded in agreement and the fillies continued with the letter.

End Chapter 4.