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 There but for the Grace of You Go I

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PostSubject: There but for the Grace of You Go I   Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:24 am

She idled in the evening dark of the Ponyville Tavern and listened to the drizzle of the rain, her thoughts many miles away. Gripped between her teeth was the butt end of a cigar which had been overcome by drops of gray and would not light. She sat across from nopony's chair, sharing the mahogany table with but a glass of something or other.

Victoria, with head pitched forward, thus followed the dreary occupants of the room with violet eyes and spoke not.

Upon Thunder's entrance however, she discarded whatever she had been thinking about and paid him mind. His sullen eyes, in particular, aroused much interest; and so she set down the tobacco, gestured to him with an arbitrary motion of the hoof, and spoke.

"What is on your mind, dear brother?"
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PostSubject: Re: There but for the Grace of You Go I   Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:44 am

Thunderclap walked into the tavern. After what had transpired in the past day, he needed to take his mind off of things. He also needed a drink. The rain outside perfectly matched his mood. Not many ponies were in the tavern at this time. "That's good." He mumbled, "Less to see me."

Thunder noticed a pony motioning at him. "Oh great," he thought. But not wanting to seem rude, he walked over."A lot of things are on my mind." He sighed, "Nothing a stranger like you has to concern themselves with." He smiled weakly.

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PostSubject: Re: There but for the Grace of You Go I   Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:15 am

Her lip twitched.

"I do not concern by obligation, monsieur," Victoria replied sardonically, grinning nonetheless. Soon enough, her purse was on the table and she was selecting bits on his behalf.

"A drink might do you good," she insisted, leaning towards him. "Won't you accompany a lonely mare? A stranger, after all, may drink to your health nonetheless. Please sit," she pleaded, touching his hoof compassionately. All the while, the mare had been observing his cutie mark and supposed that he was some kind of weather Pegasus - one who had seen work, for sure, having acquired those broad shoulders. His eyes, within which lingered the embers of another moon's fiery intention, were no less profound. She distantly wondered if his mane had ever seen a comb.
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PostSubject: Re: There but for the Grace of You Go I   Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:33 am

Thunderclap shook his head. "No need to pay for me. I can buy my own drinks." He said. He grabbed a chair and sat down. "And I shall accompany a lonely mare. It is far better to have a drink with others." He said, and slammed some bits down on the table.

Thunderclap quickly sized up the other pony. She was a pegasus, not as big as he. The clothes she was wearing seemed odd to Thunder, but then again, so did a lot of things in Ponyville. He shrugged it off. "And why are you so interested in me?" He asked.

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PostSubject: Re: There but for the Grace of You Go I   Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:56 am

Victoria was taken aback by the crass behavior of her counterpart. When the rattling of disturbed bits settled, she caught his dissecting eye, returned her glance, and resumed. "It's a quiet night and I've never seen you here before. Wherefore those eyes of yours are wearied and plagued, I would naturally be curious, yes?"

She agitated the glass immediately in front of her and watched, with mild interest, the liquid cascade along its contours.

"As it is wonderful to drink with company, so perhaps would sharing ones 'zoughts be consoling. I do hate to see a friend distraught," Victoria reflected, undaunted by his skepticism.

"Why don't we introduce ourselves, love? I am Victoria."
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PostSubject: Re: There but for the Grace of You Go I   Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:08 am

Thunderclap smiled. "Well, you seem harmless enough. I guess there is no harm in telling you." He said. Thunder motioned to a waiter to bring him a drink. A glass was put in front of him. He lifted it high, and took a large gulp of the drink. He slammed his glass onto the table.

"Friend? I doubt you can truly call me your friend, seeing as we just met. But if you want to, I see no harm in that." He offered his hoof for a shake. "My name is Thunderclap." He said.

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PostSubject: Re: There but for the Grace of You Go I   Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:02 pm

Twice now, his heavy hoof came down on the table and scattered her immediate thoughts - this, she dismissed with a reversing of her crossed hindlegs. Then, to discourage the boisterous stallion, she clasped his extended hoof and brought it gently down to the wood surface.

"Charming name," Victoria answered automatically before nodding to his half-drained beverage. "You may drink easy, dear. 'Zere is time left in the night."

After due pause, the mare asked again. "So what bothers you, friend? You've got the most pained look in your eye," noted she in a murmur.

Raindrops continued in divergent channels down the window pane, and what light penetrated the clouds cast dark silhouettes of shadow through the rainwater and bled over the two.
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PostSubject: Re: There but for the Grace of You Go I   Sat Jun 02, 2012 2:51 am

Thunderclap pulled his hoof away when Victoria clasped it. He wasn't sure if Spring would approve of that or not, but he was not about to make any chances. "Sorry, it is a habit to drink fast. A bad habit, but a habit nonetheless." He said.

"As for what bothers me, well, how should I put it?" He began. He took a sip from his drink. "Well, I may have just lost my best friend, and I was just kicked out of the place where I was living." He said. Thunder's expression quickly changed back to downcast. He took another sip. "And I don't know what to do."

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PostSubject: Re: There but for the Grace of You Go I   Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:29 pm

The way in which he withdrew his hoof indicated things.

"It concerns a mare, then," she assumed.

She tapped her cigar against the mahogany and, once more, glanced thoughtfully at him. "I do know mares," she stated flatly, expressing an awareness of the obvious. "The fact 'zat you're here with me now explains your living situation, for which I am sorry. You and I both may not have a bed to rest our heads tonight, but things shall be mended." His clouding eyes elicited a change in tone.

"Won't you tell me about your love and your friend?" Victoria suggested, producing a meager smile.
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PostSubject: Re: There but for the Grace of You Go I   Sun Jun 03, 2012 12:15 pm

Thunderclap nodded. "It does concern a mare, but it is not entirely about her." He leaned back in his seat, and sighed. "Her name is Spring Shower. Her beauty is as if the beauty of nature was captured in a single pony. She is kind, sweet, and generous." He said, sipping his drink.

"Now the real problem is with my friend. He hates her, hates my relationship with her, hates everything about her. Since I was living with him at the time, I couldn't go see her without him knowing, and she couldn't come see me. Eventually, worse came to worse and I was kicked out." Thunder leaned back his head and downed the rest of his drink.

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PostSubject: Re: There but for the Grace of You Go I   Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:02 pm

"The problem is with your friend, you say," echoed she.

The cold cigar reentered her mouth. "He appears to be quite the authoritarian. What, 'zen, do you see in each other? You've told me so much about his shortcomings and nothing of his appeal. Love, Dumas did say, is the most selfish of all the passions."

Victoria's eyes settled upon his emptied glass. She secretly wondered how much alcohol her companion could handle before all comprehension was nullified.

"Perhaps a better question would be: What does he not see in this 'Spring Shower'?" She rested her chin in her hoof as though expectant of an engrossing tale to follow.
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PostSubject: Re: There but for the Grace of You Go I   Mon Jun 04, 2012 1:52 am

Thunderclap shook his head. "Love is not selfish, lust is. True love is selfless and unconditional." He said. "And I'm afraid not enough ponies realize that." He fiddled with his empty glass. "And he is a nice guy. He is kind, and giving, and gentle. Just, well, something happened."

Victoria continued to pepper him with questions. "Just what is it that she wants?" He thought. He decided to continue along anyway. "Well, I'll tell you what is wrong, but in absolute confidence. You must swear you won't breath a word." He said, his face a textbook example of seriousness.

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PostSubject: Re: There but for the Grace of You Go I   Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:25 pm

It might have been a gesture of sincerity or the consideration of his words which infected her lip with the broadest smile. The Jackal too did commit his meager existence to love and altruism. And romance did cloud his eyes such that he in his complacence did forfeit his life to the swift machine of death.

Love, asserted she, seduced the naïve heart of the stallion and condemned him. Such was her greatest delight.

"Upon my matron saint, I give you my word. Do tell me, dear, so 'zat miseries may perhaps be rectified."

As she turned to strike a match, Victoria's vital eyes remained on her partner. The brilliant match head ignited her cigar at last, she, drawing from it a long and pleasureful breath.
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PostSubject: Re: There but for the Grace of You Go I   Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:48 pm

"If you swear, I'll hold you to it. You understand?" He said. Thunderclap then nodded and leaned back. "Well, this friend has developed feelings for me. But the feelings are not mutual. His love quickly became anger."

Thunderclap ordered another drink. "And because I was living in his house, he quickly gave me the boot." He took a gulp from his drink. "And that is why I am here."

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PostSubject: Re: There but for the Grace of You Go I   Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:27 pm

The mare evaluated these truths. Her gentle expression portrayed sympathy.

"Ah. So did Bassanio fall for his beloved Belmont mare, and did his stallion admirer Antonio wander to the brink of death," she reminisced in allusion.

The glow of her cigar flickered as she inhaled.

"Still, all was to be mended between this star-crosst' trio. And you, you strike me as quite a capable fellow; one apt to see 'zat loose ends are tied. Space hath fathered the issue and ought not to be the solution, do be mindful." Victoria lingered in silence before adding, "If I may do anything in the behalf of your friend, do tell. Perhaps a friendly voice might ease his passions."
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PostSubject: Re: There but for the Grace of You Go I   Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:46 pm

Thunderclap looked at Victoria. "You like to allude to things, don't you?" He said, and smiled. "Too bad I do not know what you are referring to. Otherwise, it may be helpful to me." He took another sip of his drink.

"Well, I sure hope this whole thing blows over. Made my life pretty miserable." He then downed his drink. His tolerance to alcohol had increased, and his large size allowed him to drink quite a bit. "If you want to help, be my guest. Maybe an impartial view would be helpful." He said, absent mindedly playing with his glass.

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PostSubject: Re: There but for the Grace of You Go I   Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:50 pm

The mare chuckled and reciprocated, bright-eyed.

"Life may lose us shall we not find something to go by," Victoria reflected, exhaling gentle strands of smoke. "And life is not so unlike a tale; you - " She gestured to his glass with the flick of a dainty hoof. " - The eagerly sworn romantic turned somnambulist by evening."

"As for your friend," continued she, "I do suppose a mare's company would bring good to him. A soul shall consult his brethren in his success, and his sisters in his sorrow; this, you've perhaps heard."

Then, in a milder tone, she inquired softly, "What is his name?"
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PostSubject: Re: There but for the Grace of You Go I   Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:27 am

"I have heard that, maybe just not in the words you put it." He chuckled. Thunderclap leaned back in his seat, putting two hooves behind his head. He inhaled deeply, then sighed. "And I'm not a romantic. I don't go searching for love, it just comes to me."

"His name is Arpeggio. A musician by trade. He has a beautiful voice. If you ever get the chance, listen to him sing." The smoke from Victoria's cigarette did not bother Thunder. He was used to smoke, given that his father's old smithy was attached to their house."He is a large brown pegasus. Not as large as me, mind you, but bigger than average, so he will be easy to spot."

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PostSubject: Re: There but for the Grace of You Go I   Sat Jun 09, 2012 11:27 pm

"Ah, but love is harbored in the breast. It is no communicable disease," She jested with due merriment.

This, she believed - that love was no plague which riddled a pony with festering blisters, but rather a cancer which engulfed the heart and rendered it still. The dynamics of Thunder's affections were therefore perhaps irrelevant, as by whatever means he had notwithstanding contracted this ague.

Wisps escaped her idling cigar and dissipated in the atmosphere above.

"He sounds lovely. Musicians may express themselves where words alone do fail." Victoria praised for the sake of conversation.

As they proceeded deeper into the night, the rain intensified. Bursts of light, each accompanied inevitably by a confounding explosion, occasionally rattled the wooden beams of the tavern.
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PostSubject: Re: There but for the Grace of You Go I   Sun Jun 10, 2012 12:13 am

"Yes he is lovely. He is a great guy, a good friend. Pretty easy on the eyes too." He said and laughed. He looked towards Victoria. She seemed nice enough. Could she help Arpeggio with his problem? He pondered this a while, playing with his empty glass absent mindedly. He thought about how he should go see Spring the next day. Surely she could help with his sadness.

Sitting in the storm made Thunder feel a bit uneasy. He just wanted to step outside and break up the storm. The downcast weather certainly did not help his mood. He shifted around in his seat slightly, trying to get comfortable.

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PostSubject: Re: There but for the Grace of You Go I   Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:41 pm

"Easy on the eyes," she echoed. "All the better for our cause."

Ever cognizant of her peripherals, Victoria caught his glance in hers. He, in turn, struck her as one wrought with frivolity. This about him she naturally disliked, and so she looked upon his subdued expression with invisible disgust. She had known many a stallion to which misfortune spoke, and whereupon he was swayed. All too many of these creatures, undeterred, sought to win.

She smiled as warmly as ever.

"And you, good monsieur - I trust you'll find a place to stay in the meantime."

The mare tasted her drink, which had gone largely untouched, and rose just as he moved to settle in. "Otherwise, I shall be staying at an inn immediately north of here, and you or others may always find shelter there." This extension of hospitality, of course, was an automatic gesture.

Making ready to go, she erected a black parasol which she then arrested in her shoulder.

"I do think we shall meet again, Thunderclap. And in more favorable conditions."
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