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Lilia

A day out {Inkbrand/Cherry}

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Cherry trotted down the small shopping center's main path, wings folded tight to her body to keep from knocking anypony over. Her normally braided red and pink mane was now loose, the waves highlighting the sapphire blue of her eyes. The white mare made her way to a tiny pet shop set beside a quaint bakery and a jewlery shop. She smiled. Orange had invited her to see her niece, Morning Glory. Having never met the filly, Cherry was quite excited to see just what the little one looked like. Would she be an Earth pony like her mother or be a Pegasus like herself? She hesitated only a moment outside the pet shop, reluctant to admit she needed a companion. Perhaps she'd get a kitten for Morning to have while she was inside... All she wanted was a critter that could keep up with her, day or night. It didn't have to fly, but it did have to be at least somewhat cute.

She walked past a few pretty birds, shaking her head slowly. Songbirds weren't going to be up at all hours of the night, or up during the day when she needed them to be. A few more critters met her gaze and she shook her head at all of them. A ferret, while cute, wouldn't be able to keep up on the ground, an alligator would be...well, trouble, and the fuzzy ducklings wouldn't at all be able to fly with her for a while yet. By the time she had reached the kittens, she had eliminated almost all the menagerie that was present in the store. Only the dogs and cats were left, and she felt that a cat might be just what she needed. Cats were up at strange hours, like herself, and they were very swift. A pair of kittens, black and gray, looked up at her and mewed. Her heart melted. Those were the ones she would take with her. Morning could pick first, later, and she would keep whichever one was left.

"Oh, aren't you precious! My niece would love you...and if she doesn't, then you two can stay with me. What do you say...want to be loved by a filly and by me?" She asked the kittens, laughing to herself at the thought of them answering her. The flight of whimsy faded quickly, though, and it wasn't long before she had them scooped up and on her way to the counter. She struggled to hold both of them, feeling them squirm as they tried to play with eachother.

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"Love love love, bu-du-da-dum, that's what they're calling it now. I can't see the reason why, when all I want to do is yell and cry!"

 

Oh sweet bucking princesses on ice, was it great being back in Manehatten!

 

His miniature vacation in Ponyville had been nice, without a doubt - he'd made some new friends, some newer enemies, and learned a thing or two about how to correctly dodge ten quills aimed at his butt by an irate unicorn - and he was even due back in a short while, for that special order. But no matter how long or how little time he spent away from his home, there was always this sense of 'yeeeees' whenever he arrived back, and Inkbrand made it no secret.

 

It was a testament to the very nature of Manehatten, that he wasn't getting dirty looks from his singing. In fact, few ponies could probably hear it over the general hustle and bustle of the crowd.

 

Inkbrand loped along at lazy trot, enjoying the day even as his messenger bag swung about at his side. After being gone for quite a bit, the grey stallion had quite a few errands he had to take care of, things to cross off his list - but that didn't stop Inkbrand from making the most of it. If he needed to be a dutiful adult, then he would bucking make it worth his while. The Earth Pony already had a few stops planned for his own enjoyment along this droll trip to the shopping center to take care of business and boring things, so at least he could look forward to those. Maybe he'd even stop by the park and stretch himself out on the grass, take in that freshly mowed scent.

 

First things first however, and Inkbrand stopped directly in the middle of the sidewalk to pull his hastily scrawled list from his bag, holding it up with one hoof as he peered at it speculatively.

 

Oh, right. Food.

 

Not for him, though, he did need to stop by the groceries. But for now, Inkbrand had to stock up his Manehatten apartment with a plethora of pet-owner items that he hadn't had a need for, before innocently heading out into Ponyville and returning with a new mouth to feed. Though for the bucking cutest thing in Equestria, and really the entire world, Inkbrand couldn't complain too much. With a light smirk at the thought of that white fluff ball waiting for him at home, Inkbrand haphazardly shoved the list back into his bag before continuing on his way to the shopping district, reaching the pet store in short time.

 

The thought to ask for help from a store clerk never crossed Inkbrand's mind as he immediately started perusing the shelves, looking over the different types of pet foods. Dogs, cats, reptiles, birds…he supposed dog food might work. Foxes were a type of dog, weren't they? But the thought of his pet sticking her nose into a kibble-filled bowl somehow didn't sit right in Inkbrand's mind, and with a slight shake of his head, the grey stallion rounded the corner to check out the next aisle.

 

And, miraculously managed to avoid plowing straight into and over a white Pegasus.

 

In the ensuing mix of awkward dancing and shouted "Buck!"'s, Inkbrand ended up with his face scrunched uncomfortably close to the mare's own as his back stuck out comically, in an attempt to avoid squishing the squirming kittens the mare had clutched in her hooves. When Inkbrand could trust himself to balance without falling flat on his face, the grey stallion released his hold on the mare to step back, shaking out his mane with a scowl.

 

"Sorry 'bout that doll, too bucking crowded in here," he started to say - before abruptly realizing the mare he had almost locked lips with was rather cute. In an instant, the scowl was replaced by a grin as Inkbrand straightened his saddle bag and slid over to the Pegasus' side, with the pretense of staring down at the two kittens she was still holding. "Cute buy. Good thing we managed to avoid flattening them," he commented as he leaned his face closer towards them, and was even momentarily distracted as one of them stretched out its neck to give his nose a feeble lick. Buck, that was cute.

 

Still not as cute as his own, though.

 

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Cherry laughed, only to be nearly run over by a stallion. A cute stallion at that. Eyes dancing, she grinned at him before looking at the kittens in her hooves.

"Indeed. Though, I will say...it's not every day that a handsome stallion nearly bowls me over!" She said, quite happy to talk to somepony other than herself. She looked at the two kittens in her hooves, watching them bat at each other before wishing she had brought her saddle bags.

"I'm Cherry. Do you mind if I make it a bit more crowded in here? It's not easy walking with these two in my hooves...I'm thinking placing them on my wings is a bit better than possibly hurting them." She asked, lifting a wing slightly to see if she could secure the kittens under them for a brief time. Possibly not, though....her wings were nice and warm, but stifling if it wasn't cold outside.

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Well hello there.

 

The lazy grin on his face had all but evaporated into something sharper as the white Pegasus, named Cherry - just Cherry, really? - spoke up, seemingly more than amiable about him nearly flattening her and the two kittens. Maybe even agreeable to it? She certainly wasn't kicking up a fuss, quite the opposite, and buck all if that didn't suit Inkbrand just fine.

 

"Inkbrand," the grey stallion introduced with a sharp grin down at the mare, "and I don't mind if you don't," he continued with a light wink, moving a step closer against her side to impress his meaning. Though as her other wing lifted, Inkbrand wondered if she planned to settle a kitten on either wing and let them ride there. Were Pegasus wings even strong enough to carry weight on their own? He'd always considered them delicate at lightweight like bird's wings - but then again, some Pegasi used their wings like he used his tail. They were probably stronger than a first glance would make them seem.

 

But if Cherry spread her wings out, then he'd probably have to walk in front of her, which was No Good. So Inkbrand opted for a second choice, which consisted of him plucking the black kitten out of her grasp and placing it directly on his head, grimacing a bit when he felt pinprick claws clutching at his hair.

 

"There," he proclaimed triumphantly, sure that one kitten would be an easier burden for Cherry, before flicking his tail down one of the aisles. "Give me a minute, I just need to pick up something." With another grin, the tattoo-clad stallion had turned to head down the next row of shelves, finding the chew toys rather easily. Without giving it much thought - what the buck did it matter what a chew toy looked like? - Inkbrand shuffled through the selection to pull out a flower-shaped toy, one that squeaked to boot. Checking to make sure the kitten was still securely settled on his head, Inkbrand turned to make his way back towards the counter.

 

Cherry was still nearby, so the tattoo-clad stallion gestured for her to follow as he deposited and quickly payed for his new chew toy. "Trust he didn't give you too much trouble, eh?" Inkbrand questioned, with a dip of his head towards the white kitten in Cherry's grasp, before carefully removing the black kitten from his head and placing it down on the counter. "They're like little foals - get 'em together and they're a pair of Windigos, but apart? Bucking sweet as daisies."

 

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Cherry flushed lightly when Inkbrand took one of the kittens, relief clear in her eyes as she nestled the other kitten into her right wing.

Oh, no. No trouble at all…though I certainly wouldn’t be able to say if kittens are like foals…Sure, they get along with me pretty well, but that’s every Bloom. Foals and us….I’d swear they think we’re just really tall foals like them. My sister’s daughter, Morning Glory, will be the first foal I’ve been around since…well, it’s been a while.

As for being sweet as daisies, I agree. Although….you certainly do have a knack for surprising me. She looks content up there….like a purring hat. It’s really cute…not that you needed any help in that department.” She grinned, glancing at the kitten in her wing to see he had fallen soundly asleep. She nodded to the chew toy he had bought, the question in her eyes.

What is the name of your pet? And….what kind of creature are they?” She voiced, wondering if it was a dog he had or something else entirely.

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Huh. A foal's mare, huh? Inkbrand wasn't sure why, but he wouldn't have figured it at first glance. Though he, of all ponies, knew that a pony wasn't all they seemed upon first glance.

 

"She's an arctic fox," the grey stallion commented, the cocky smirk from Cherry's insinuation of his own physical attractiveness widening into something more affectionate and genuine, thinking back on the little white fluff ball currently waiting for him in his apartment. She was most likely curled up near one of the windows, or maybe sprawled out on her large cushion like a soft white pillow.

 

Maybe even tearing through his pantry to get to those crackers she really loved?

 

"I found her after Winter Wrap-Up in Ponyville," the grey stallion extrapolated for good measure even as he delicately skipped over her name, carefully shuffling around the black kitten with a hoof so it didn't fall off the counter. "Poor thing was half-starved and weak." Inkbrand affected a somewhat mournful tone, and was almost surprised that he didn't have to fake it too much. The arctic fox really…really hadn't been in such a great condition when he and August had run across her. Easy to laugh it off and remember it now, but…

 

Buck.

 

The tattoo-clad stallion ended up shrugging lightly, the small grin still on his lips, before tipping his head in the direction of the storekeeper, who didn't seem to pleased to be waiting for their conversation to finish up. Cherry was planning on buying the kittens, wasn't she? Or had she simply been stopping by on her way to visit her niece?

 

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Cherry gave a sheepish grin to the storekeeper, placing the bits for the kittens down.

Can I have two big red ribbons, too please? Seeing as one of these cuties is meant as a gift…I don’t want my niece to think I’ve picked for her.” She asked, explaining her reasoning.

She could hear the affection in Inkbrand’s voice for his fox and her heart melted a little. Anypony with a soft-spot for critters was a good pony in her books. She chuckled.

That poor dear! She has somepony who cares for her now. Ah…one sec. Thank you, sir. I’m sorry to keep you waiting.” She exclaimed, pausing a moment to acknowledge the storekeeper who had given her back the kittens, now sporting ribbons that matched the red of her own mane and tail. She suppressed a laugh when one tried to swipe at the other’s ribbon, scooping the white one back up into her wing before planting the black one on her head. She partly wished she was a Unicorn—carrying the tiny creatures wouldn’t make her quite so scared about dropping them.

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Well, now that that was all taken care of. Inkbrand threw a cheeky grin towards the shopkeeper, who seemed insistent on remaining in a bad mood for the rest of the day. Probably because he was stuck indoors on such a gorgeous day, without a gorgeous mare to keep him company. Whatever the case, the grey stallion had no qualms flicking his tail in a vague semblance of goodbye, and even had the foresight to hold open the door for Cherry and let her pass through first, seeing how the two kittens were keeping her balance in precarious check.

 

Though they seemed to be behaving slightly better with her, Inkbrand noted with a sour grimace.

 

Outside, the day was indeed still gorgeous, the sun shining merrily over the top of them. The streets were still busy, but the middle of the shopping center meant less taxi carriages and more ponies walking on their own four hooves, stepping in and out of the many stores available. Pausing just outside the threshold, Inkbrand dug back in his bag for his shopping list, also bringing up a quill to cross off the first stop. There were still quite a few more to go - groceries were a high priority, though he couldn't skip out on the art store. How many bits had he brought with him, anyways?

 

With a mental shrug, Inkbrand spat the quill out from his mouth and into his hooves with the list, shoving both back into his bag as he turned around to face Cherry. The lopsided grin reappeared on his face as he leaned forward to give the black kitten a brief pat on the head. "Well sweetheart," he said, straightening back upwards, "say hello to your niece for me. I'm sure she'll have a field day with those." The last was said with a nod of his head back towards the kittens. Inkbrand could only assume that Cherry would be heading straight to her sister's home and her new niece, seeing how she was having enough trouble carrying them as they were.

 

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No go.

Well, he thought they'd been connecting rather well, but it was clear Cherry wasn't interested in hanging out some more, despite the not-statement he'd left hanging. Or, she wasn't as hot as he thought, and was too shy to ask him to stick around. Either or, Inkbrand was bored and not keen in hanging around anymore, anyways.

Plus, he did have more shopping to do. Ergh.

Well, who knew. Manehatten was a large city, but they obviously frequented the same shopping center. Maybe they'd run into each other again someday. And if they didn't, well. No loss. A semi-interesting diversion to his shopping trip was more than he hoped for on the best of shopping days.

"Tch. Catch 'ya later, sweetheart," he leered as he threw one last wink towards the pretty pony, before turning and heading down the street with a flick of his tail in goodbye. Idle whistling kept him occupied as Inkbrand once again rummaged around his bag for his shopping list, golden eyes flickering down the hastily scribbled words as he planned his next stop.

…Where the buck was he suppose to get a unicycle?

 

 

 

[[ Exit ]]


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