• Published 23rd Dec 2012
  • 3,521 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 07. The second meeting

Chapter 7

Derpy couldn’t hold it in, the tears began forming and slowly trickled down. The letter dropped from her hooves and landed on the couch. The Pegasus was resisting an urge to run out, go to her room and lock the door. As she stifled a sob, a yellow leg wrapped around her and Carrot Top pulled her into a hug.

“Derpy, what’s wrong?” her friend asked worried while she comforted the crying mare. Carrot Top could now glance at the letter and felt her anger rising to boiling levels. “Why… that… jerk!”

Dew and Foxy were now the ones exchanging confused glances, but they had to wait until Derpy had calmed down before making inquiries. It took a while since this had naturally upset the gray Pegasus very much. Eventually she stopped crying but she still looked down with the tears trickling down. Therefore, Carrot Top had to face their guests and give them the letter.

“Do you know the meaning of this?” she asked, not hiding her anger. She half suspected the two mares of just putting on some sort of a friendly façade.

The social workers read the letter, first with inquisitive frowns but then slowly their eyebrows rose high in surprise and Foxy’s expression became really confused. Dew scratched her head and mouthed ‘what’ at least three times.

“I assure you Miss Top and you Miss Hooves that we knew nothing of this,” the blue Pegasus looked up at the roommates.

“Yeah, Swift Mane just told us to go do the routine check and uh give you this letter when the foals weren’t around. Although he did tell us to get extra information on Miss Hooves,” Foxy claimed looking between the letter and the two upset mares. Then she looked sharply at the letter. “Wait, wait, wait! Barricade?”

“Barricade?” Dew looked down at the letter again and her expression turned into disgust. “Ugh, how in Tartarus did I miss reading that?”

It was Carrot and Derpy’s turn to look confused as they saw the social workers look at the letter almost hatefully. It was clear the two recognized the name and not too fondly either. Finally the gray mare swallowed the lump in her throat and addressed them:

“Y-you know Barricade?”

Dew put the letter on the table and took a deep breathe that she let out in a quiet sigh, before nodding slowly. Foxy nodded a bit more quickly almost as if she wanted to get that confession over quicker. It took a second before either mare then spoke.

“That is, if he is a dark gray Unicorn with dark blonde mane and tail and a brick wall for a cutie mark,” the blue mare said and shook her head when Derpy and Carrot Top nodded to confirm the description.

“How do you know him?” Carrot Top asked, her anger easing a bit and her suspicion vanishing.

“I think I’m starting to see why Swift Mane sent us,” Dew muttered then glanced at the yellow mare. “Oh sorry, well…”

The blue Pegasus hesitated and looked at Foxy who had picked up the letter again to read it once more. The maroon mare stared at it critically and turned it upside down and to the sides while examining it. Dew bit her lips while pondering how to put it in words.

“We know his twin brother, who is the third friend we spoke of, as I mentioned earlier we rent a house together in Fillydelphia. They do not get along at all. However during the first few years we rented together, Barricade would unfortunately sometimes come visit him for some reason, his brother is the literal silent type it’s very hard to get him to speak out…” Dew stopped again and looked at Foxy.

“Barricade and I dated,” the maroon mare grunted. “The first time he visited he… seemed charming enough.”

“Tell me about it,” Derpy grunted and that actually caused all four mares to giggle a bit.

“Then he showed his jerk side and well… it was his brother who told him off and helped me break up with him… and…” Foxy stopped and hung her head.

“Wow, I’m sorry, I know the feeling.” Derpy couldn’t but sympathize, she wasn’t too surprised that Dinky’s father had mishandled other mares. She just hadn’t expected meeting one of them.

Silence fell in the living room for a moment. Derpy used the opportunity to dry up her face, Carrot Top poured more tea which all of them accepted. Then for a minute, they reflected a little on the shocking revelation in their own thoughts. Dew broke the silence in the end.

“Swift Mane knows Foxy and I know Barricade and that we know how to deal with him, so it’s obviously because of that he gave us this case,” she said glancing at the parchment where it now lay on the table. Foxy nodded in agreement.

“We’ll take care of this Miss Hoov…”

“Oh just call me Derpy, I never was much for formalities,” Derpy interrupted with a small smile. Dew chuckled and nodded.

“Alright, as I said we will take care of this, it will probably take a few days, but I’m not about to let Barricade get away with something like this,” the Pegasus finished.

“Thank you,” the gray Pegasus felt a small tinge of relief and Carrot Top’s anger vanished though she was thinking some choice words towards Barricade.

“Well we better get started then, we have to send few telegrams and getting our thoughts together, we’ll talk again tomorrow maybe? We are staying at the Ponyville Inn,” Dew said and rose up.

“We’ll be there,” Carrot assured them as she and Derpy rose up with their guests.

The four mares walked out of the living room and to the front hall. Goodbyes were exchanged and Dew once again assured Derpy that they would do everything in their power to thwart Dinky’s father. The gray mare and her roommate then watched from the doorway as the social workers took to the air to fly back to their hotel. However before they got out of earshot, the two mares could hear Foxy exclaim:

“What are the odds though, she got a unicorn too!”

Derpy and Carrot looked at each other, wondering what that had meant.

“You don’t think…” Derpy whispered though she wasn’t sure why she was. The gray pony now recalled that Foxy hadn’t told too much about her past with Barricade and stopped rather abruptly.

“Not sure, sounded like it,” Carrot shrugged.

The social workers were already gone from sight and this mystery would have to wait for later. Derpy closed the door and the mares returned to the living room to clean up after the meeting.

The next day.

Time Turner always liked the weekends. He kept more lax opening hours then, opening late the first day and kept the store close the second day. Unless he took a weekend expedition to improve his plant collection, then the store closed the entire weekend, but he usually announced that well ahead of time for customers waiting for clocks to be finished.

He gave Caramel the entire weekend off; the clock smith figured the stallion needed it. The amber pony had been so devastated by the fiasco over the pocket watch he sold, that the clock smith figured he needed it. Time Turner had spent a good chunk of the day yesterday explaining to his employee that it was all right, he was not fired, and his pay would not be docked for this.

After thinking about it, Time Turner figured Caramel had done him a favor selling that watch. It had been in the store for way too long; he should have taken it away long time ago. The pony just never did it; his only move was simply stop making them. His only regret was that the customer had been misinformed.

“Nothing much to do about that, unless I luck out and meet her,” he mused as he walked passed Town Hall. He was on his way to the store but it was closing in on lunchtime, the clock smith had decided to open the store later than usual. He had so much to think about.

He was about to turn to the street leading to the store when seeing Caramel enter the town center. The stallion was making a beeline for Ponyville Inn. Time Turner raised an eyebrow. Allowing his curiosity to win he went to intercept his employee. Caramel almost jumped when seeing him.

“Oh hi, Turner, uh you on lunch break?” he asked.

“Actually I haven’t opened the store yet, what are you doing here and where are you going?” Time Turner asked in turn not failing to notice that the other stallion kept eyeing the inn.

“I know where the customer is living; you know the one I sold the watch to… I was going to buy it back from her,” Caramel explained with a sheepish grin.

Time Turner resisted an urge to put a hoof on his face. He couldn’t fault Caramel’s eagerness to fix his mistakes, however this was getting a little ridiculous.

“No, no, no Caramel, forget the watch. It’s alright, don’t waste what little money you have on fixing this,” Turner told him and patted him on the back. “However we can fix your little fib with her. That I can allow and if she requests her money back, I’ll pay it, my store after all.”

Caramel opened his mouth to protest but then thought better of it. Time Turner was probably right plus he didn’t have that much money left right now. The stallions entered the inn and the amber one immediately spotted the blue Pegasus sitting by a table eating lunch. His employer was quicker though to recognize the maroon mare beside her.

The mares looked up from their meal when the stallions approached; Foxy smiled a little when recognizing Turner and Dew raised an eyebrow when seeing Caramel. Both waited to see what they wanted.

“Hi, I’m sorry to interrupt, my name is Time Turner and I’m the owner of the clock shop you bought a pocket watch from,” Time Turner began. Dew nodded remembering that, Foxy leaned to her and remarked.

“That’s the guy I told you about, the one I accidentally crushed,” she grinned sheepishly.

“Ah yes, I remember,” Turner chuckled.

“Nice to meet you Mister Turner, my name is Dew Doe and this is my sister Foxy Stripes,” Dew smiled. “So what about the watch, I assume that’s why you are here?”

“Ah yes, my employee here, Caramel, is new. He wasn’t quite correct about the age of the watch and its historical significance,” the clock smith explained, Dew didn’t say anything and waited for him to finish. Turner cleared his throat.

“I call these watches F.O.B watches and they are designed to look old, sort of give them a vintage feel. However, that watch you bought is no more than few months old instead of years. I’m willing to refund the watch for you and give you a proper older watch free of charge in exchange for your trouble,” he told her. Caramel sunk a little beside him when given an unimpressed glance by Dew. He tried to whisper a meek sorry and kept his eyes to the floor.

“Thank you, I had a feeling it wasn’t as old as said, but couldn’t be sure. I’ve already bought anyway an old history book from the library. The librarian was putting it out since she was getting a newer version instead. You see my friend, he likes history and anything old and with history too it,” Dew began to suddenly ramble and Foxy shook her head and put a hoof on her sister’s mouth.

“You’re rambling again, Dew,” the maroon mare said in a sing-a-song tone.

“I’m not,” the blue one quickly protested.

“Excuse her, she can ramble all day about Private,” Foxy chuckled, earning a glare from Dew that she ignored.

“Private?” Turner wondered.

“Our roommate and Dew is simply gaga over him,” Foxy laughed and ducked when Dew swung a hoof at her.

“I’m not gaga over him!” Dew grunted and returned to her meal.

Time Turner held back a chuckle; he glanced at Caramel who was also mildly amused over this turn of event. The clock smith was relieved that Dew wasn’t too upset over the incident at his store.

“So, do you want to be refunded and get an old watch instead?” he asked.

“Nah, it’s alright, I’ll just give mom the watch next mother’s day,” Dew said with a shrug.

The brown stallion nodded, he was about to say goodbye and apologize again for the gaff when a voice reached his ears that made his heart jump a beat. Caramel noticed him stiffening up, looked back and rolled his eyes.

“Speaking of being gaga over somepony,” he muttered. Derpy Hooves had entered the inn with Carrot Top, the gray mare had spotted them and addressed Turner.

“Oh… uh um… Miss Hooves, hi,” Turner quickly turned around, ignoring Caramel and putting on a smile that was in danger of looking too goofy.

“Oooh, I think somepony is in love,” Foxy whispered to Dew with a chuckle. “Does this look familiar too you?”

“Shut up.” Dew eyed the maroon mare before looking back up at the arriving mares. She did note though that both Turner and Derpy looked at each other with nervous smiles as they exchanged greetings.

“Hello again, don’t mind Derpy, she’ll snap out if soon,” Carrot Top greeted the social workers and sat down by their table.

“I know, I have some experience with this situation myself,” Foxy grinned wide ignoring the withering stare she was receiving from Dew.

Before Carrot Top could inquire what she meant, Derpy Hooves sat down by the table. The social workers greeted her but then noted that the stallions still stood there nearby, though this time looking a little confused.

“Oh I hope you don’t mind, Turner and Caramel are good friends and I feel they should hear this,” Derpy Hooves quickly said with an apologetic smile.

Carrot Top smirked, she had a feeling Derpy had other reasons to have Turner around too. She wondered about Caramel though, sure he was on friendly terms with many of the town ponies, them included, but she wasn’t so sure to include him. Then she remembered that Caramel had worked as a mail shorter at the post office once, Derpy probably did in fact considered him a good enough friend to trust him to be around for this delicate discussion.

“Well if you are sure, but we probably should explain to them then what this is about,” Dew nodded, she wasn’t about to deny Derpy having her friends around. This situation was hard enough as it was for her. Then the she looked around, there weren’t many ponies in the inn but they were rather public.

“Do you want to move somewhere more secluded for this meeting before we start?” she asked.

“No, no it’s alright, it’s a small town, besides…” Derpy looked over the inn restaurant. “I know the ponies in here, they don’t spread things around.”

Carrot and she then looked at the stallions and told them in quiet voices what they had learned yesterday at their first meeting with the social workers. Time Turner’s jaw dropped in shock. He could only vaguely remember Derpy having been in a relationship long ago, couldn’t really put a face to the stallion she had been with. Caramel looked concerned but said nothing.

“That bastard,” the clocksmith found himself mutter, he was getting angry, a rather unusual feeling for him.

“We sent a telegram to Swift Mane yesterday, asking for more information if there is any,” Dew began telling them.

Time Turner didn’t pay much attention to what they said. He stared past them all, trying to remember something about this Barricade, but he just came up blank. Meanwhile his anger at the stallion rose for daring to shake up Derpy like this, questioning her ability to be a mother. He had no right, even if he was Dinky’s father. A father who never showed up.

“We are very optimistic that things are in your favor though, Derpy. Just based on what we’ve already heard, seen and read he has no case against you and it will be dismissed,” Dew said.

“What I don’t understand is why now, after so long, why now? He left because he didn’t want kids,” Derpy whispered, Carrot Top nodded in agreement.

“Yeah, this does sound unusual for him; you’ve been in no contact with him since he left?” Dew wondered.

“Well, I wrote him that I had Dinky and what I named her and I did tell him I expected him to pay foal support. He pays it though sometimes irregularly often with various excuses of why he can’t pay it on time, but other than that, it’s only been Dinky that corresponds with him,” the gray Pegasus explained.

Dew Doe nodded and for a moment took a sip from her glass, the blue Pegasu’s brow sunk a little as she considered this information. Foxy was busy with her desert, having ordered a pie and was stuffing her mouth full of it. Carrot Top and Derpy used the opportunity to order some light lunch, Caramel ordered a hay smoothie but Turner didn’t want anything.

“How does Dinky feel about her father?” the blue Pegasus asked.

“He’s met her a grand total of three times… not with me though; Carrot Top took her those three times to where he lives. I think she is happy about knowing of him, she at least gets excited every time a letter arrives. I just don’t have the heart to tell her how he really is,” Derpy sighed sadly.

Time Turner wanted to put a hoof on her shoulder for support, but no matter what his mind told him to do, his body didn’t obey. Carrot was already patting her reassuringly but the stallion’s hoof refused to leave the floor.

Come on you fool; this is no time for that. She needs emotional support of a friend, not some lovesick idiot who can’t say a straight line around her, his mind kept ranting. Finally, he managed to lift it and hesitantly placed it on Derpy’s shoulder. He really had to hold back the various emotions running through him when she dropped her head to the side so it leaned up against his hoof. Don’t think too much into it, don’t think too much into it, she’s just appreciating the support, nothing more.

“Where does he live?” Time Turner asked, looking at the social workers. A small thought was going through his mind; his anger towards the stallion was fueling it.

“Barricade? Manehattan last I heard, he runs a gym,” Dew answered. “Why?”

“Well you don’t understand why he’s doing this now and that this is unusual for him. So why not just go and ask him, find out why and what he’ll gain from it.” The clock smith’s eyes narrowed.

“That’s logical enough, except I seriously doubt Barricade will give us a straight answer. To be honest, he doesn’t take mares overly seriously,” Dew snorted and shook her head. “Don’t get me wrong, I would love to fly straight over to Manehattan and tell him a thing or two and interrogate him. However I think Derpy here can tell you just as well that he is not a reasonable pony.”

“It’s true Time Turner.” Derpy looked at the brown stallion, dropping the ‘mister Turner’ she usually used when talking with him at any other occasion. “He doesn’t listen if he thinks he’s right.”

Turner could only nod, deferring to the ponies who had more experience with pony. He gave Derpy’s shoulder a reassuring pat before returning his hoof to the ground. He looked at Caramel who had really only listened with a concerned frown, unable to really think of anything to add.

“I know I gave you the day off, but do you think you could help me for about an hour or two? Then you’re free to go?” he asked, Caramel shrugged mouthing ‘sure’.

“Oh I’m sorry, Turner, I didn’t mean to keep you away from the shop,” Derpy cringed and rose up from her seat.

“No, no it’s alright, Derpy.” Time Turner turned to the mare, also skipping saying ‘Miss Hooves’ since she wasn’t calling him Mister Turner. “I’m sorry this is happening, but I’m sure you’ll pull through… Uh don’t hesitate to call if you need any help.”

The stallion blinked when she grabbed him in tight hug. However, this time his brain and body worked in better synch and he hugged her back, though Time Turner did wonder if he would be able to breathe for a while. Once he was let go the two stallions said goodbye to the mares and left the inn.

Derpy stared after them leave and didn’t turn around even after they were gone for few seconds already. Carrot Top was about to rise up to see if she was all right when the gray mare turned around, grinning an ear splitting grin.

“He called me Derpy,” she squeaked in joy.

It took a moment for Carrot Top’s mind to register what her friend meant. Then she realized and chuckled, giving the social workers a knowing wink. Foxy smirked; Dew just smiled but said nothing.

“I happened to notice that you didn’t call him Mister Turner either,” Carrot mentioned casually.

“Yes well um…” Derpy fumbled her face turning red, having realized what she had just done. The mare quickly sat down again and refused to go further into the subject, managing to point out that they were discussing a more serious matter. The other mares did concede to that point and returned to their previous discussion before the stallions left.

“So what is it that you need help with?” Caramel wondered as he walked just behind Time Turner who was walking at a rather fast pace. The amber pony didn’t pay too much attention to his surroundings, balancing his half full smoothie cup on his nose.

“You’ll see,” Turner said quietly.

Caramel managed to shift the cup to his head and opened his mouth to say something when he noticed they were walking past the Golden Oak Library. The stallion blinked, this was in the opposite direction to the clock shop. Then he noticed that they were actually heading towards the train station.

“Uh, Turner?” Caramel looked back. “Where are we going?”

“Manehattan,” Time Turner responded and went to the ticket counter. “The Manehattan express stops in Ponyville and is 45 minutes from here to there.”

“What are we going to do in Manehattan?” the other stallion asked confused.

Time Turner didn’t answer right away as he was ordering two tickets. Just at that moment a train arrived at the station, a conductor announced the arrival of the Manehattan express. Caramel arched his brow. That was eerily coincidental, then again, Time Turner’s experience was with clock and time, he probably knew precisely when various trains arrived and had timed his departure from the inn to be close to this one’s arrival.

The amber pony was still confused about why Time Turner wanted to go to Manehattan. First, he assumed it was something for the shop and that’s why he had asked him to help, but as he boarded the train it suddenly occurred to him. The inn, the meeting, what Turner had asked about.

“You are going to meet this Barricade aren’t you?” he asked, Time Turner just nodded while sitting down in a seat.

“Honestly Turner, I don’t think you need to prove yourself to her,” Caramel stated as he sat down on the seat opposite his employer.

“Yeah, yeah I realize everypony knows of my crush on her,” the clock smith grunted. “I’m not doing this to prove myself. I’m doing this as a friend, somepony needs to confront this Barricade and ask him what the hay he’s thinking.”

“But didn’t she tell you that he was unreasonable? What makes you think you can get him to talk?” Caramel asked. Time Turner looked at him and couldn’t actually answer right away, the other stallion still had his cup of smoothie on his head. Combined with the serious expression on his employee, it looked absurd.

“Caramel…” Time Turner tried to contain a chortle. “You might want to remove that from your head.”

Caramel eyed up, but naturally didn’t really see the cup so he had to feel with his front hooves. He quickly removed it and furtively eyed around, there were few other ponies in this car and some were staring at him with unsure expressions.

“Not. One. Word.” Caramel grumbled and sipped on his drink.

End chapter 7

Author's Note:

Don't worry, we'll not change this story into a double romance story. Dew's hopeless romance with Private was merely alluded to for a little comedy. The focus is still and always will be on Derpy and Time Turner. :pinkiehappy: