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[Ponyville] Parental Guidance Suggested (Semi-Open - PM Invitation/Interest)

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[colour=#000000]A strange, cloaked figure trotted toward the large treehouse -- none other than Ponyville Library. Her lavender cloak fluttered about in the cool morning air, her saddlebag heavy with a care package. Upon hearing that Ponyville's mail delivery service was backlogged, she had decided to take the package to Ponyville herself. She raised a hoof and knocked lightly on the oaken door of the library, peeking through a side window with her aquatic gaze. [/colour]

[colour=#9966CC]"Heelllllooooooo? Twilight? Are you home, honey?"[/colour]

No answer. She huffed, rolling her eyes. [colour=#9966CC]"I bet the brat is in bed still." [/colour][colour=#000000]She cleared her throat, calling out in a pretty, sing-song tone: [/colour][colour=#9966CC]"Twili! Open up my dear, I have books for you and more!" [/colour][colour=#000000]She swallowed hard, wondering how ridiculous it sounded to have her offering books at the foot of a library. She knocked on the door again, this time more curtly. [/colour][colour=#9966CC]"Arrgh!" [/colour][colour=#000000]She stamped her hooves, frustrated. [/colour][colour=#9966CC]"What does a mother have to do to see her own daughter around here?!"[/colour][colour=#9966CC] [/colour][colour=#000000]She pulled her lavender cloak off with a flourish, revealing her white-and-lavender striped mane, her dull grey coat contrasting against the brown and green of the large, library treehouse.[/colour] She was wearing a gorgeous purple faux-leather saddle, which was trimmed with bits of rope she had woven herself. Three purple stars dotted both of her flanks, her mane bangs cut straight just like that of her little filly. She huffed again, her breath misting in the chill of the morning.

[colour=#9966CC]"Open sesame! Divide, O Door! Grant thy Velvet entry!"[/colour]

Oh yes, indeed. Twilight Sparkle's mother, Velvet, was visiting!

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Meanwhile, in what might as well have been another plane of existance...

Spike the Dragon had just finished up a bizarre impromptu musical number summoned up by some unforseen influences that had been brought about, it seemed, from somepony resembling Rarity { But not...Spike had noticed the 3-heart cutie mark on her flanks } asking him about his love of gems. The very fact that he hadn't questioned this happened at all was because the rarity before him was just one of about a dozen lookalikes, all of them handling varying gems of different shapes, sizes and, for Spike, scents.

He'd just been presented with the most deliciously succulent fire ruby heart he'd ever seen...his mind reeling with utter desire as he gives it a tentative lick - the taste as fiery and evocative as he could have ever hoped it to be. With a grin as wide as his snout, Spike reaches to take a bite eagerly...anticipating the delightful flavors for his tastebuds.

[colour=#9966CC]"Heelllllooooooo? Twilight? Are you home, honey?"[/colour]

The silence was irreparably disrupted - a brief stirring upstairs before a loud yawn is given, with nopony around indoors to hear it.

Spikes eyes squint awake as he sits up slowly on the messed up pile of blanket he'd been cosily bunched up in, rubbing at them as he gave a loud grumbling sigh before hopping his way downstairs - he'd been here all afternoon whilst Twilight had gone out to do...whatever it is she said she was going to do. Normally he'd have made a more concerted effort to remember what she'd gone out to do, but he hadn't really caught it, since for the most part he was already partway back to sleep before she'd even announced where she was going.

[colour=#9966CC]"Twili! Open up my dear, I have books for you and more!"[/colour]

" [colour=#008080]Like she really needs any more books... [/colour]" Spike utters with a tired, annoyed mutter under his breath before hopping down from the last stair. before making his way towards the door, unseen by the mare outside owing - mostly due to his size and the curtains being drawn firmly shut at this moment in time.

It wasn't that Spike didn't like twilights mum, not at all, but he wasn't a fan of being woken up by an unannounced visit in the middle of a sweet gems an' rarity snoozefest.

Well...those were always his favourite types of afternoon dragonsnoozes!

[colour=#9966CC]"Open sesame! Divide, O Door! Grant thy Velvet entry!"[/colour] came the sing song voice of Twilights mother, and Spike shruggedinwardly as he opened the door to greet the visitor, forcing a small smile as he looked up at her - not entirely sure what had brought her all the way over to Ponyville to visit like this.

" [colour=#008080]Good, uh, morning Velvet[/colour]! " the small dragon speaks with a briefly uncertain hint in his voice. " [colour=#008080]This is kinda unexpected...See, Twilights's out doing something right now, but ya can wait for her if you want[/colour]! " To emphasise the point, He stepped aside and backs up a couple of steps - making room for Velvet to make her way into the library properly. Whatever she was likely here for, he assumed that it was probably regarding something that Twi didn't know about yet - afterall, she'd made no mention of her mother visiting at all. He too had no idea what her reason for coming over could possibly be, of course, but knowing Twilight Sparkles mother...

Well, it was bound to prove to be something interesting, at the very least.

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[colour=#000000]Velvet smiled gracefully as the door creaked open. It was Spike! She had witnessed his hatching and...actually, she decided it wasn't best to dwell on that particular memory. [/colour][colour=#9966CC]"Spikey! My goodness, look how you've grown!" [/colour][colour=#000000]she lied, wrapping her hooves around the baby dragon. She pulled him close and smooched his cheek, all motherly-like. She considered Spike part of the Sparkle family since he was such a cornerstone of her daughter's life and her studies of magic. [/colour][colour=#000000]She curtsied to him as she was offered entry into the dusty library. [/colour][colour=#9966CC]"You're such a gentledragon! I know you didn't learn it from Twilight. Please tell me she's been doing well?" [/colour]

The unicorn glanced around the old, wooden library as she trotted inside, her eyes adjusting to the gentle gloom. It was somewhat tidy -- with a pile of half-read books here and there, and plenty dusty. She wondered if all libraries needed to be dusty, or if Spike was just being lazy. She decided to go with the latter. [colour=#9966CC]"It looks like she's been studying hard...like usual," [/colour][colour=#000000]Velvet mumbled, running her hoof across a table to check it for dirt. She was a mother, it came naturally... except for the fact she made her husband, Crescent, do most of the cleaning with her keen "supervision".[/colour] Velvet shook her saddlebag to the floor and dipped her head inside, her mane swaying back and forth. She pulled out a package with her teeth and set it down in front of Spike. It was wrapped in plain brown paper and tied with green twine. [colour=#9966CC]"A care package! We have one for her brother, but it will take more effort to get it to the Crystal Empire." [/colour][colour=#000000]Velvet sneezed, looking to Spike with her gentle, aqua gaze.[/colour]

[colour=#9966CC]"Waiting around for Twili sounds kind of boring, doesn't it? Have you had breakfast yet? I'm guessing probably not. Does she even feed you?[/colour]" [colour=#000000]Velvet stamped her hoof down. [/colour][colour=#9966CC]"Let's go out, Spike! Maybe we'll find Twilight, maybe not. I've made my delivery, and I haven't seen Ponyville in a while. It'll be a date! What do you say?" [/colour][colour=#000000]She lowered herself to the floor in front of the young dragon, offering herself as a mount with a grin. She was wearing her traveling saddle already, after all![/colour]

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A young unicorn stallion exited the bookstore across the street from the library. He had a dark purple coat and a blue mane and tail, his mane cut short. On his flanks was an image of an open book, a quill, and an inkpot. Lore Weaver looked back, making sure the sign in the door read Closed before journeying across the street. The stallion couldn't help but chuckle that he had put his bookstore so close to the library. Despite this error on his part, business was still doing well. He also found it funny that despite the multitude of books he sold and the sizeable personal collection, here he was visiting the library to return a book and to perhaps inquire about more to take out. Such was the pursuit of knowledge.

[colour=#800080]"Looks like the library is open," [/colour]he said as he journeyed closer to his goal.

The library had an open door policy of lending out books. Yet Lore tried to give the courtesy of taking out and returning books when somepony was around.

[colour=#800080]"Spike," [/colour]the stallion said entering the library, [colour=#800080]"I'm returning the book that I borrowed and..."[/colour]

He stopped as he saw that the familiar baby dragon was with a mare who Lore had not seen in Ponyville to his knowledge.

[colour=#800080]"Oh... um... sorry. I didn't know you had a guest Spike. And sorry for interrupting you too Miss." [/colour]

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Velvet looked up at the young unicorn. She glanced to his cutie mark, then up to his light blue eyes. She smiled, waving a hoof. She wondered if it looked somewhat awkward that she had her knees bent down, offering Spike a spot on her back. Nevertheless, she waved warmly, hoping it would dispel the odd scene inside the library. [colour=#9966CC]"Hello there! You look like you might be one of Twili's friends, especially with a cutie mark sporting off the literate arts. I am Velvet. Velvet Sparkle, from Canterlot. I came here to deliver a package to my rather elusive daughter, but alas, she is not to be found here this morning." [/colour]She perked one of her ears, motioning to the book that Lore was holding. [colour=#9966CC]"Out of curiosity, what book is that? It looks familiar to me!"[/colour]

The unicorn mare unceremoniously bumped Spike into the air with her flank, and caught him on her back. She tugged on her saddle strap with her teeth to tighten it. [colour=#9966CC]"Spike and I were just going on a "date" in Ponyville. Did you care to join us? I'm sure since you're into books, we'll have lots to talk about!"[/colour] Velvet squee-grinned, straightening her mane bangs. She looked strikingly like her daughter, except much older, and she had her similar colouration. Velvet cleared her throat. [colour=#9966CC]"I was thinking of breakfast first -- since I've been traveling all night without a bite to eat. Is there a shop around here that sells gems? I think Spike needs a treat, since he works so ever hard for Twili. After that, maybe we'll visit that Seamstress in town. I'm a clothier as a side trade, and I imagine we would get along famously. Maybe set up a small business arrangement? You both know Ponyville better than I do, so show me. please?" [/colour]Velvet looked over her shoulder at the baby dragon, giving him her most charming smile ever.[colour=#9966CC] [/colour]

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Spike had been just about to answer Twilight Velvets question when a resident Ponyvillian Spike wasn't entirely familiar with him...(what was his name again? Lore Something or other, apparently ran a book store nearby!) burst in through the door looking like he was after something, but the scene presented to the young stallion was probably a little more unseemly at this moment in time than Spike was aware of - for the most part, Spike mostly watched in surprise as Twilight addresses the new entrant before being taken by surprise as the mare somehow manages to get spike effortlessly onto her back with an unexpected flankbump. He honestly wasn't sure how he felt about that, since part of him wanted to object to such treatment of him as a young dragon, or asking her for another one because a part of him kinda enjoyed the ride...and since now didn't really seem like the time to bring up either, he shrugs and lets it slide.

He wasn't initially sure what the elder mare had up her hooves as an idea - although the mention of books left him with an expression that could only be described as 'Seriously?' - as much as he loved being around his friend and mentor, it wasn't exactly a secret that the dragon was as big a reader, and thus the topic left him a little dry...and then the mention of breakfast immediately revived his enthusiasm. Of course, this was even BEFORE the idea of visiting, as Twilight put it, the Seamstress in town - the young dragon knew immediately who the unicorn was talking about, and couldn't exactly hold back his own enthusiastic reply to the idea. " A lunch with Rarity? that works for me...but I don't have any flowers - or chocolates, or a card! "

He paused for a moment and took a look down at himself for a moment - an eyebrow raised as he gives a small consideration to something.

"[colour=#008080] heh, probably should have washed my feet properly too.[/colour]" - As far as preparations for a lunchdate with the pony of his eye went...Spike felt oddly far less than 'perfectly' prepared, which manifested itself into a small nervous smile and a chuckle. " [colour=#008080] there's a few places around town that, uh, supplies gems...shouldn't be TOO far from here[/colour]! "

So far, this was an unexpected visit - and given his luck when it came to his own outdoors ventures, Spike pondered just what other surprises today was have in store!

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For a moment, Lore Weaver stood, not sure how the dragon and the older mare would react to his sudden entry. Spike looked as if he had never seen the unicorn before, not that the stallion really got to know the dragon that close. Lore was, as he guessed in the dragon's mind, just another pony that liked to take out books, another face in the crowd. The mare, oth the other hoof, responded unexpectedly warm and proper to him, guessing that he was "Twili's friend." For a moment he had to think about who the pony was she was referring to, but then hearing the mare's last name it made sense.

[colour=#800080]"Twili? Oh, you mean Twilight Sparkle. Well, I can't really say that I'm her friend. Not that I would have a peoblem being her friend. It's just that I guess the two of us haven't had the time to meet. Usually I'm running in and out of here with books. As for my cutie mark, it has to do really with my love of reading and writing books. Anyway, it's nice to meet you Velvet Sparkle and you Spike. I'm Lore Weaver by the way, owner of Textual Treasures, the bookstore across the street from here. I'm glad to here you are interested in literature so much."[/colour]

Velvet then surprised the stallion by offering him to go to breakfast.

[colour=#800080]"You know, breakfast sounds like a great idea. I was actually planning to get some after dropping off this book. And speaking of the book..."[/colour]

He then pulled the old looking book from his saddlebag and using his telekinesis levitated it in the air.

[colour=#800080]"It's called Memory Allocation, Retrieval, and Storage Magic. I borrowed it to help with my magic."[/colour]

Velvet then mentioned something about gems as she bounced the dragon into the air and on to the saddle she was wearing.

[colour=#800080]"Oh that's right, dragons don't typically eat food ponies eat, do they Spike? Then again you're the first dragon I actually am talking to. Now let's see, I think there's a gem shop a few buildings down." [/colour]

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Crescent's plans were always done in by the sheer fact that he worked with a range of lunatic, maverick professors who at the same time didn't see much point in doing their own work. He had initially planned on accompaning his lovely wife to visit ther daughter, but an emergency call- less an emergency and more a spat between two collegues debating the big dipper- had stolen him not long before they were to leave. As such, instead of enjoying the travel with Velvet, he was looking at the stars with the aid of a dark device while the two stubborn unicorns behind him argued. It made him very happy that he and Velvet didn't share both work and marriage, because those two were always causing some sort of trouble.

But that didn't stop him from making the trip nonetheless, and at a very good clip as well. No distractions and a mission at the forefront of his mind propelled him swiftly and he made remarkable time. Along the way he worked on a variety of excuses, but mostly he had unrestrained excitment at seeing his lovely daughter. She had always been a task oriented filly- mare- and father-daughter time was at a premium. He couldn't even begin to describe how proud he was of her, but he could more easily describe just how much he missed seeing her. A parent is excited to see his children grow and become successful adults, but even more than the sour passage of time it noted, the energy of children that left placed a hole that nothing else could replace. To describe Crescent as excited would be an understatement.

He arrived in the small city of Ponyville which had nothing on Canterlot except the innate qualities of small locations that they always had. Ponies were friendly and travel wasn't as horrendously impaired as it was in bigger cities and you could see your target from just about any angle. Crescent cantered through town with all the haste he could muster and it wasn't long before his wife, the dragon, and another pony came into view. Crescent had been understably worried about her daughter dealing with a dragon, but Spike had shown himself worthy of the near-motherly attitude that he had been raised with and now as her asssitant was a valued part of not just Twilight's life, but from Crescent's point of view, the family as the whole. He didn't know the new pony, but the cutie mark made him think it was the sort of pony that Twilight would feel some kinship with.

He trotted up, eyes bright as considered the immediate future.

[colour=#800000]"I'm here, Velvet. Made excellent time travelling, too. Was a dreadful bore without you,"[/colour] He gave her a quick peck on the cheek and followed with a half-hug before turning to Spike.

[colour=#800000]"Well, look at the big dragon now. It's been a while, Spike. How have you been lately? Burn the midnight oil lately?"[/colour] He laughed, [colour=#800000]"Of course you have. Twilight would see to that,"[/colour] He rubbed his head and chuckled, nodding at the new pony.

[colour=#800000]"Hello there. Name is Crescent Sparkle, Twilight's father. Who would you be? And speaking of, where is Twi?"[/colour]

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Velvet smiled awkwardly as Lore read off the book title to her. [colour=#9966CC]"That uh...sounds very academic," [/colour]she said coyly through gritted teeth, as she adjusted her other saddle strap. Velvet was a unicorn, yes, but she learned early on that "just because you can use magic, doesn't mean you have to." Little details like tugging on a leather strap with her mouth would deny the sensations of biting into the chewy, tough faux-leather, and the dusty taste of the material reminded her of an old barn she visited once in the country.

She perked one of her smooth, grey ears backwards to the dragon on her back. [colour=#9966CC]"Rarity, is it? I will need to meet this Rarity. She's quite popular for her designs over in Canterlot. Many there say it's odd she lives out...here...but I think Ponyville is a wonderful source of inspiration. I'm already feeling the writing itch myself! Actually, I think you're digging a claw into my back, Spike," [/colour]Velvet laughed, adjusting her back. [colour=#9966CC]"Oh yes...one rule for riding on me, especially for a dragon. If you're going to sneeze, please do so the other direction of my head."[/colour] Velvet had just begun to set off into the thick of the township when she caught sight of a familiar -- very, very -- familiar stallion galloping towards them. It was her husband! She recounted how they had both planned to visit their daughter together, but he was whisked away by important last-minute business, so she decided to go ahead. She returned his kiss, flicking her white-and-lavender striped tail, her pale cheeks gaining a fresh rosiness to them.

[colour=#9966CC]"Spike burning the midnight oil? He's likely burning that and lots of other things. I still haven't forgotten about my drapes, you rascal," [/colour]Velvet recalled, bucking her hips up to jar the dragon on her back. Indeed, several years ago, she had finished sewing drapes of heirloom quality silk from a rare breed of butterfly found on the outskirts of Canterlot's mountain ledge (a dangerous venture by itself), and spent several months thereafter diligently weaving the tiny fibers into a swath of phantasmal, rainbowy silk. It was all gone in about two seconds after an ill-fated sneeze by the dragon. She decided to forget description of her reaction thereafter, which included lots of door slamming, weeping, and a promise to take Spike back to Celestia. Crescent quashed her fury with roses and a box of chocolates, as she was a sucker for chocolate. Spike was forgiven...after several, long, long, very long, months.

Velvet pointed a hoof to Lore. [colour=#9966CC]"Honey, this is...oh, um. Lore Heaver? Sorry, I'm terrible with names. It takes me a few tries to get them right," [/colour]she said with a smile. [colour=#9966CC]"Twili is somewhere around here. I was just taking our daughter's dragon out to breakfast, and invited him along with hopes I might bump into her. Our package is all safely delivered inside, so mission accomplished on that front." [/colour]Velvet bumped her flank along Crescent's side as she trotted toward the thick of Ponyville. [colour=#9966CC]"Shall we go? We have lots to do! First, I need gems for Spike here, a nibble for us, and then we'll try to find that seamstress. I do so hope she's interested in looking at some of my cloth samples. Did you bring anything else besides yourself, my love?" [/colour]

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Spike looked at the male stallion with a small grin, recognising the other immediately and giving a small wave of welcome.

" [colour=#008080]Eh, you know how it is with Twi[/colour]' -[colour=#008080] if she's not hitting the books, she's organising them...or dusting them, or getting new ones...or, well, all of that in one afternoon[/colour]! "

He rubbed the back of his head in memory of pretty much anytime such a day as that had occurred - those tended to be Spikes most likely to just comatose out on his bed at night!

Twilight Velvet started to explain about what she knew of the fashionista, and Spike nods - it was kinda true, considering that the white unicorn lived all the ways out in Ponyville despite the fact that (Well, spike felt anyway) she'd quite easily make it in Canterlot with her awesome fashion designs and her keenly talented eye for what looks good on a pony...and whilst she hadn't yet taken him up on his attempted romantic approaches, the young dragon felt that with just the right nudges, someday she'd recognise him for just the kind of prince she needed!

" [colour=#008080]Yeah, Rarity is pretty great[/colour]! " the dragon exclaims, shuffling a little to ensure that the mother of his friend wasn't uncomfortable from accdidental claw pokes again.

"[colour=#008080] I mean, other ponies think she's a little overdramatic and some kinda diva...whatever that is, but they can't see that she's one of the hardest working ponies I know[/colour]! "

Spike resisted the urge to wax lyrical about Rarity - he didn't wanna overdo it here since he hardly wanted Velvet to get entirely the wrong impression of him.

" [colour=#008080]Snacks sounds good to me, I sure could go for a l'il amethyst right about now - haven't even had my breakfast Ruby yet[/colour]! " he says with an enthusiastic tone, looking around to the other ponies briefly before resting against Twilight Velvet with a small dreamy sigh.

"[colour=#008080] I wonder how her morning has been so far...maybe she needs something for me to help with[/colour]! "

Well, as much as he'd have liked to not have his feelings made TOO known...Spike isn't quite the master of the word 'subtle' as he'd like to make himself out to be!

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Before the trio could set out to breakfast, a new pony arrived. Clearly he was Twilight's father by his introduction and knew of course his wife Twilight and Spike. Lore felt a little like the odd pony out as the others had a good history with each other, but there was a chance that he could try.

[colour=#800080]"Hello there. I'm Lore Weaver. Nice to meet you Crescent. Actually I was dropping a book off at the library when your wife Twilight Velvet was nice enough to invite me for breakfast. I'm not sure where your daughter is. She kind of keeps an open door policy on the library, letting ponies borrow books. As a matter of fact, I don't think I've met her yet since moving to Ponyville."[/colour]

Lore noticed when giving the title of the book he was borrowing, Twilight's eyes sort of glazed over as she adjusted her saddle for Spike.

[colour=#800080]"Err... yeah it is academic but I borrowerd it mainly to help with my bookstore. Organizing and reshelving books can be a hassle sometimes, and although my magic allows me to easily study them, I still have to move each book seperately. I'm not the best at magic though, but hopefully learning some things from that book I can use it in the store. Of course I think you Spike would know all about organization as you said you helped out at the library."[/colour]

The conversation shifted to meeting Rarity who was in Ponyville.

[colour=#800080]"Hmm... Rarity. I think I met her once before. My friend actually bought a dress from and says only the nicest things about her. Anyway, I guess we'll go find those gems first if you want. Oh and you said gems taste different, right Spike? I guess I wouldn't know being a pony and all."[/colour]

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(OOC- Apologies. This did not show up in my notifications.)

Well, he hadn't expected Twilight to be there if all things were to be equal. She had an unusual and upsetting sense of timing; never went out of her way to visit family unless specifically requested and always unavailable when a surprise visit was on the schedule. Oh well. They would eventually catch her. Until then, he'd recommit to having a grand time with friends, both new and old. That and his lovely wife, and thank Celestia they were going out to eat instead of having a home=cooked 'meal'. Last time they had treated guests to such an honor and she cooked, they lost friends. Really- they couldn't find them! He wanted to believe they had just moved due to work or familial concerns, but maybe after a night of Velvet's culinary delights they just couldn't handle Canterlot life anymore. Today, things were different, and not just because somepony was being tortured physically and emotionally with butchered creme brulee.

[colour=#800000]"Well, as long as the package is delivered, I suppose we can jaunt off and find a nice meal," [/colour]he said while noting the kicking out with hind-legs of dem hips and not only because of good, wholesome reasons. She and Spike had gotten off to a rocky start, but as with all things, with the proper work she had come to appreciate the honesty of Spike's noble intent. Crescent believed that he still had a better relationship with the little fire breather, but at least Velvet wasn't suffering emotional breakdowns any longer. Well, ones that involved Spike, anyway. She *was* a mare, after all. [colour=#800000]"Where would you like to go, Velvet? Well, I suppose we wouldn't be experts on Ponyville dining," [/colour]he gave a chuckle as he looked at Spike, then at Lore Weaver.

[colour=#800000]"Yes, yes, that sounds like Twilight all right. Always a lover of organization,"[/colour] A sly grin,[colour=#800000] "Used to give her mum fits when she'd 'organize' the arts and crafts supplies she uses for fun. Wasn't tht just so helpful, my love?"[/colour] He asked, chuckling weightily as they continued trotting along. Twilight had been just as much of a rascal as everypony else was as a kid, but in her own unique way. Less foals running around causing anarchy(he had been prepared for that mentally) and more of a helpful-but-vexing-constantly type of organizing and activity that he was not only unprepared for, but turned out to be more indicative of her true self more than any actions normally undertaken by foals. Such a silly filly, his Twi.

[colour=#800000]"Pleasure to meet you, Lore Weaver. Good to see that my daughter has acclimated well to Ponyville," [/colour]He finised quickly, not so sure that it was wise to have such a policy. No doubt Ponyville was a safe town, but coming from a big city, Crescent could only assume that certain norms were ingrained into him that didn't apply. Still, it seemed to put her in good standing with the townsfolk, even if it was yet again a little sad to hear that a patron never even saw her. Sweet Celestia girl, show your face to strangers sometimes!

Speaking of strangers, Crescent knew infatuation when he heard it and Spike was about a moment away from using his tail like the blades of an ornicopter and flying away. It was cute to see him so caught up in another mare and it made him think that this Rarity must have been a beauty- not that he would think so! No! No! Crescent was a completely devoted husband who didn't like sleeping on couches or in the garden and as such he was already willing to not comment on Rarity and, if met, not to say a word. Velvet would probably still kick him out, however. Mare was nuts. She *was* a mare, after all.

[colour=#800000]"Gems for the dragon and food for the rest of us. Sounds like an excellent idea to me! I'm sure our Ponyvillian guides can lead us to our destination. Where might one get some gems at this time of the day? Know any good places around here for ponies, preferably one with good sized portions and not like some sort of fancy schmancy place that makes you pay twenty-five bits for half a sandwich?"[/colour]

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Velvet gave a surreptitious glance to her husband as they trotted toward the thick of Ponyville. She knew what he was thinking by the glaze gelling over his eyes. He was thinking about another mare. Probably. She wasn't insecure, but it was important that her nuptial territory was well-defined and -- more importantly -- enforced with all the love she could muster. Without another moment's warning, she tensed her hind leg, and kicked her husband's shin like a viper striking a mouse. She trotted along as if nothing happened, flicking her straight-cut striped bangs out of her aqua eyes. She shifted her saddle. [colour=#9966CC]"Have you gained weight, Spike?" [/colour]Velvet nodded knowingly to her stallion love. [colour=#9966CC]"I'd expect so, if he's lounging around that dusty old library all day long while Twili studies....oh look, a gem shop!" [/colour]

The mare wife nosed through her husband's saddlebags and nipped out an overstuffed pouch of bits, before trotting inside, Spike in tow, and exiting with a sack of gems, hovering in the air. They clinked deliciously, though Crescent's bit wallet was no longer bulging. She kissed his cheek and set the near-empty bit sack back into his saddlebag. The bag of gems came to rest between Spike's legs. [colour=#9966CC]"Eat up! I know you're just starving, my love." [/colour]Velvet flicked her tail across Crescent's nose in payment for the gems, joining beside him again. She grinned, looking to Lore Weaver. [colour=#9966CC]"So, friend of Twilight who has never met Twilight. Tell us about you! We hear terrifying news out of Ponyville all the time, and it's hard to believe it, with it being such a quaint town. Well, quaint to us Canterlotians. Canterloters? Canterlotees?" [/colour]Velvet shrugged, looking to her husband. [colour=#9966CC]"What DO we call ourselves, anyway? Don't say 'poor,' because I can see it forming on your lips already."[/colour]

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Truth be told, Spike wasn't exactly familiar with the pony known as Lore, so he found himself a little uncertaIN of just how exactly to best go about responding to him - it seemed like a prudent start to address his question about the tastes of jewels....something that he'd found awkward to 'translate' into dragon flavours when he'd tried to explain it to Twilight one time, but it seemed like a while back now and the youngster dragon had a much firmer idea of how to best describe what he had come to appreciate over the last few years.

" [colour=#008080]Well...[/colour] " He began, pausing for thought before continuing. " [colour=#008080]colours play a big role...like, red jewels tend to remind me a lot like cinnamon most of the time - fire ruby is usually strongest, and a little harder to come by too[/colour]! " Spike explains, using as many familiar ideas as he could to describe his answer. " [colour=#008080]Greens can vary from shade to shade - sometimes mint, sometimes fruity....and sometimes, eugh...[/colour] " he makes a small face at the memory. " [colour=#008080]Sometimes they can be Spinach or somethin' - I'm not fond of those[/colour]! "

he would have gotten into the specifics of that, if only for the fact he found himself momentarily taken inside the gem merchants - one very smooth and pricy exchange of goods and services later, the dragon was then once again on the outside world, only with a bag of gems clutched between his claws, swearing to all and sundry that nothing would get between him and this offering. Of course, Spike had noticed the rather expensive cost to crescent - rubbing the back of his head and offering a sincere smile of apology as he then openly chomps on a yellow triangle gem....and immediately making a face that indicated that he wasn't entirely prepared for this ones peppery lemon hint...

Perhaps this was karma's way of paying him back for his little expense towards Twi's folks.

Ah well - it would be worthwhile for everypony once they all got to Rarity's at least...or at least so he hoped!

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Lore Weaver gave a nod to Crescent Sparkle, noting that his face wore a look of surprise at the news that the library had an open door policy. The stallion thought back to his time living in Canterlot, It seemed so long ago and yet he knew it was only a year ago that he moved.

[colour=#800080]"Well, I guess she is well acclimated. I could only imagine that she was like me when first coming her, unsure of where things were or how the ponies would be here. As for the open door policy, I'm not sure how other ponies do things, but when I'm away for lunch I lock up. That may be my old habits from being raised in Canterlot. [/colour]

Lore couldn't help but be amazed at the sack of money that Twilight Velvet produced from her husband's possession. It was interesting to see how the couple interacted with each other, teasing and showing their affection in their own subtle way. The amount of bits in there was more than the purple unicorn would see on a good week of business at the bookstore. Granted that Canterlot had rich ponies, but the surprise of the amount of money nevertheless surprised the stallion.

Twilight then asked Lore about his time in Ponyville, citing that there were rumors of it being dangerous. Granted these rumors were usually trumped up stories from ponies with a gift of gab, but Ponyville did have an uncanny ability of being the center of activity of strange happenings.

[colour=#800080]"Well, Miss Velvet, I was actually born and raised in Canterlot, so I'm actually familiar where you're from. I guess it's no surprise owning a bookstore and going to the library that I love books. That's kind of how it's been for my entire life, loving to read and study. It's no wonder that I got this cutie mark here for being able to read and write and my magical ability. But anyway, I wanted to be a librarian in Canterlot, but there was no opening. So I decided to try the next best thing: opening a bookstore in Ponyville."[/colour]

[colour=#800080]"Like you I heard about the stories of the things happening here, so it didn't help my worries moving to a new town. While some of it is just due to ponies who like to spin tales of this place, there are some strange things happening here. I guess it's due to in part being so close to the Everfree Forest. Strange place. Ponies talk of weird things living there and weather happening there[/colour] [colour=#800080]and plants growing without ponies' help. But I digress. The town actually is really nice and so are the ponies here. I felt really at home here thanks to several living here. So tell me about you two. How were things for you two living as fellow Canterlotians, err... I guess that's what I'd call it."[/colour]

As Spike tried to awkwardly explain how gems tasted, something that he didn't get asked often it seemed nor was it a cut and dry answer, Lore's horn glowed slightly as he tried storing the information in his mind.

[colour=#800080]"Oh, so I guess gems are kind of like jelly beans, right? Jelly beans have many different flavours too, some stranger than others. I'm sure you had some too Spike. Once I accidentally had a Brussels sprout flavoured one. That was kind of nasty tasting." [/colour]

As Spike clutched his prized gems, his face contorting after eating what Lore could only guess was a bad gem, Lore thought back to Crescent's question about breakfast.

[colour=#800080]"Well there is a cafe nearby that has all kinds of things: muffins, coffee cakes, sandwiches and other things. And it's pretty inexpensive. Actually where in Canterlot is half a sandwich sold for twenty five bits Mr. Sparkle?"[/colour]

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Crescent should have felt the kick but a marriage of such attacks had left that particular section of his body almost completely numb for eternity. Her fierce, swift kick was received with almost no direct physical response, but he gave her the benefit of a quick grimace and an odd trot for a few seconds to make up for it. Otherwise, she might do something else to stop him from thinking about mares which he wasn't anyway he was a devoted husband who didn't enjoy the couch at all. Then she took his coin purse and spent far too much on gems, but at least Spike seemed pleased with the results and Crescent was sure Velvet enjoyed spending his money. Well, joke was on her; a stallion never brings with him more than he intended to spend. At least that is how a married stallion operated. A mare meanwhile brought everything with her at all times for all comers for no reason he could discern. Ha, joke was on YOU, Velvet! Besides, the tail swish was always a nice result. Still, he was going to respond with a snide remark about being poor just for giggles, but she knew him too well. He smiled and laughed.

[colour=#800000]"Canterlottites, dear. We call ourselves Canterlottites, I would think somepony with a knack for spinning some tales..."[/colour] Crescent replied, tail flicking hers playfully. Such a silly mare.

Heck, Spike didn't even need to ruffle the stallion's mane as apology. He wouldn't have thought ill of the dragon because of it- he was still just a baby dragon and even a baby dragon had an appetite for gems and rubies and other things of that nature. He smiled at the dradon and winked his approval just before karma struck and gave him a poor gem, it sounded like. Crescent never knew that each type of gem had a different sort of flavour according to colour and type. Did size impact that as well? Spike hadn't said anything and he doubted it, but based on the list of things he had just blurted off, he doubted size mattered all that much. Quality before quantity, though judging by the size of his coin purse, quantity wasn't precluded.

Crescent laughed.

[colour=#800000]"No, I suppose a dragon wouldn't like spinach, though I may be the only member of my family who doesn't," [/colour]He offered in a whisper as Lore Weaver went on. It was nice to see that other Canterlot ponies were making it in small town, Equestria despite all the differences. He seemed a well-adjusted colt and by Celestia he heard the same for his daughter, even if by parental duty he never really believed it. Heck, the town itself sounded plenty fine for his daughter, and with how close it was to Canterlot it could accurately be considered a suburb. To Pegasi at least, the whole world must have seemed like a suburb to Cloudsdale. For ponies, they'd just settle on what could be seen from Canterlot's lofty position on high. But for all of his excellent adjusting, he didn't have the same sense of comedic hyperbole.

[colour=#800000]"No place sells half a sandwich. Just a bit of hyperbole, for comedic effect," [/colour]Crescent said as they continued trotting, rounding the corner to see several nice sit down cafes.

[colour=#800000]"Well, choices aplenty. Velvet?"[/colour]

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Velvet trotted along triumphantly as she noticed her husband's playful stagger. She knew he was faking it, but it was fun to play along anyway. She had also added a "few" more bits to the pouch before their departure, as the quaint shopping of Ponyville offered more interesting things than the wares of Canterlot she was used to. Fun things. She wasn't sure what, exactly, besides the gems she bought for her daughter's draconian companion, but she would know it when she saw it. She grinned at Lore Weaver. He seemed studious, polite, and certainly handsome. [colour=#9966CC]"You are kind of cute, and you like books. Wouldn't he be a good match for Twili, honey?" [/colour]Velvet knew how to kick a hornet's nest -- especially the delicate nest of a stallion's mind. She wryly observed the unicorn to see what his reaction might be. A mother, suggesting a pairing with her daughter?! Facetious indeed.

Twilight glanced over her shoulder. She could see Spike's face was twisted into something strange. [colour=#9966CC]"Are the gems okay, hon? I hope they're good ones! Crescent had to give up several trips to the massage parlour for them. Spinach gems sound healthy, rather than junk food gems, I imagine!"[/colour] She, of course, didn't feel the need to make any sacrifices herself. In fact, she had a hooficure scheduled for next Saturday...

Velvet paused trotting as the group entered the shopping district, looking to her friends -- new and old. Ponies were busily going about shopping, selling, and chattering. Many small cafes were dotted along the quaint dirt roadway, which looked homely and inviting with cloth umbrellas to shield the biting glare of the sun, plain vases with wildflowers dotting each table like a miniature bouquet. She flicked her striped bangs out of her aqueous-hued eyes. [colour=#9966CC]"You know, I'm not particularly nippish. Now." [/colour]She could already see Crescent was probably going to roll his eyes at her. She gave him a warning glance. [colour=#9966CC]"Sorry, I'm a bit weird. Just ask my husband. You know, there's so much going on here. I really would like to meet this other seamstress I keep hearing about, if we can. And my daughter. Somewhere. Maybe she's hiding in a bush?" [/colour]As for procedure, she would probably complain about being hungry later. She was an unapologetic mare. Velvet took off on a trot in no particular direction. She stopped. [colour=#9966CC]"Actually, do you know which way I'm going, Spike? Lore? Anypony?"[/colour]

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Spike was watching the interactions between twilight and crescent, chuckling a little to himself about how the pair would make such l'il pokes at each other - the dragon was still not quite at the age to really get why they did it, however, so his laughter was more out of the direct result of their affectionate teasing of one another...and it seemed that Crescent never really got much of a victory, which confused the dragon even more. It struck him as strange that Crescent would be so willing to simply take each loss and smile with it, rather than say something in return to perhaps even the score...and such was his uncertainty about these things that he just had to open his snout an' ask the question on his mind.

" [colour=#008080]Hey Crescent...[/colour] " Spike asks with a small munch on a dull speckled red gem - strawberry...or at least, something that resembled it. " [colour=#008080]Why is it that you an' Twilight are so often poking fun at each other[/colour]?[colour=#008080] I mean, I've known you ponies for as long as I've known Twilight - an' I guess I just don't really get it yet - what's up with that[/colour]? "

It was true, too - for as long as the dragon could really remember, these two had been affectionately playing at one another - now wouldn't be such a bad time for him to ask, right?

Spike of course had entirely left out the topic about Twilights pairing lore with her daughter - he'd heard it, but the whole thing was a topic he was far too young to truly grasp beyond the idea that the suggestion was a little 'weird' for his tastes...which simply prompted a small shrug of dismissal promptly followed by his swallowing down the gems other half.

[colour=#9966CC]" I really would like to meet this other seamstress I keep hearing about, if we can. And my daughter. Somewhere. Maybe she's hiding in a bush? "[/colour]

Of course, as per her daughters own habit, Twilight was if anything direct about what she was after...Spike gave a small doofy smile at the thought of seeing Rarity, but shook it off when it came to saying anything at all - considering that he didn't think Lore knew where she lived, it was clearly his time to shine!

" [colour=#008080]Well, she lives in Carousel Boutique, which isn't too far from here...just a l'il ways away if I remember right - up towards Mulberry Grove, take a right at Cotton Avenue, and it should be a l'il bit up there...can't miss it[/colour]! " Spike explains with a small nod as he looks around at the other ponies - if there was one thing he was good at, it was remembering the address of the one Pony whom his attentions were always willing to wind their way towards, come rain or shine. " [colour=#008080]She's probably working or looking after Sweetie Belle though, so...she may be busy[/colour]! "

The dragon tapped his snout at the thought of where Twilight would be and scratched his head with a small sigh - he'd been asleep when she left, which didn't help matters much at all.

" [colour=#008080]As for twilight - I dunno where she is...she may have gone to get some quills, or even to see Celestia or something. She can be pretty busy these days, y'know[/colour]? "

Welp, seemed like that was about as much as Spike was gonna be able to help with at this particular moment in time!

He blinks as he nommed contentedly on another gem...sucking on it as his mind wanders to thoughts of a particular white pony...pondering future plans and ideas in particular!

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[colour=#800080]"That's ok," [/colour]Lore whispered back to Crescent as the group walked through town, [colour=#800080]"I'm not much of a spinach fan either."[/colour]

The stallion took a liking to the parents of Twilight Sparkle. They were both very loving and caring towards each other and others. When Lore joined the two and Spike, despite being the odd pony out not knowing them prior he soon felt like he had known them forever.

The unicorn blushed slightly at mistaking the comedic comment.

[colour=#800080]"Err... sorry. I thought you meant that literally Crescent. I guess I take thing seriously too much. Maybe i should brush up on my understanding comedy."[/colour]

Twilight Velvet then out of the blue asked her husband if he thought that Lore would be a good romantic match for Twilight. The stallion suddenly blushed at the thought that the mare was playing matchmaker for her daughter. Immediately he felt a wave of nervousness overtake his normally cool demeanor as he struggled to find the right thing to say.

[colour=#800080]"Well... err... um... I've never met her but she sounds nice... and if she likes books that's great too... but ... um... a match... err... maybe..."[/colour]

He immediately clammed up before he said anything stupid. Granted meeting any new pony would be nice, and meeting a special somepony was even better. But he was not one to jump headlong into things.

Spike then mentioned about the Rarity, giving directions like he had been there before many times.

[colour=#800080]"Yes, Rarity is very nice, isn't she? My friend Ice actually went to her to get a dress for some party, and the seamstress was very nice to help her. I've met her too before and she seemed like a very kind pony. I guess you've met her too, right Spike?"[/colour]

Twilight then paused in on the street as she took in the sights. For a smaller town, Ponyville was always bustling with activity. She then apologized for being weird which shocked Lore.

[colour=#800080]"I don't think you're weird. You're actually really kind."[/colour]

Lore then thought about where to go to eat breakfast. There were a few cafes and restaurants in town and all were on an even footing with each other. Still Lore had to choose where the group would eat. As he looked about, his eyes settled on a particular place that had a three leaf clover on its sign.

[colour=#800080]"Well, there's the Clover Cafe over there. Why don't we go there?"[/colour]

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No, Crescent wasn't going to give Velvet the satisfaction, not this time. Most other times he would give her the satisfaction of a nice hoofrub or back rub or manerub or whatever else she wanted rubbed that day. Or he'd run the bath for her. Or he'd play along with her mane-brained jokes and react the way he knew she'd enjoy the most because in many ways her joy and excitement was the most important thing to him. But sometimes, her satisfaction was secondary to not wanting to fall into one of her own traps. He didn't like being prodded bout Twilight finding somepony, especially if it was in the presence of the very pony who they were trying to slam into their daughter like a love arrow being shot out of a cannon. He wasn't going to respond, wasn't going to respond.

Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Yes.

[colour=#800000]"Well, I don't think that's for us to say, dear,"[/colour] He replied back, flustered and a bit perturbed as he picked up the pace. He looked at Lore and scowled almost imperceptibly as if implying that he knew certain spells that would take care of any ill intent he had for his daughter that night or any other night for that matter. It wasn't the poor colt's fault of course, but fault was for the jury and judge to decide. He'd just be the executioner father. At least Spike was happy with his gems, a decidedly positive outcome considering the silliness he had learned to expect from his wife's shopping expeditions normally. Feeding a baby dragon was a more worthwhile endeavor than feeding that mare's voracious shopping habit. Speaking of Spike, he asked an odd question, and one he couldn't readily answer.

[colour=#800000]"Uhm...because...we do?"[/colour] He shrugged as he followed the group towards the cafe,[colour=#800000] "can't say I've ever given it much thought. We've just always been that way. Plus," [/colour]his voice lowered to a whisper as he leaned into the dragon, snout to ear or close enough, [colour=#800000]"all mares are insane. Remember that,"[/colour] he finished, the three of them discussing this seamstress that he certainly had no interest in discussing after his wife's earlier attack. They made their way into the cafe post-haste, or at least he did.

[colour=#800000]"Well, I suppose I'll be paying for lunch. How good is this place?"[/colour]

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