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 The Lights of Harmony II

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Black Tribal
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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   29/12/2012, 8:40 am

Strato grinned wider and grabbed Cloud's hoof with his other, shaking it strongly, but gently. He chuckled once he let go.

"You sure know how to pick 'em Axel. I like this guy already."

Axel laughed.

"Oh Strato, it's been too long since we've truly spoke to each other."

Strato looked over at Axel.

"Yeah, 'cause last time I remember hearin' ya talk, you had that weird efeminite voice that made ya sound like some kind of noble."

Axel sighed.

"I guess I decided to drop it. I grow tired of it. Talking like a noble when I'm not one is stupid."

Strato nodded.

"True that. Just glad to hear ya talking normal again. So...."

He leaned forward slightly.

"When are you gonna come back to work? The place is getting boring, and the boss misses your metal work. Only you know how to make metal for the carriages the right way, and I think some of the assholes are trying to break into your equipment locker."

He grinned and tapped Axel on the chest.

"Good think you make the toughest steel locks. With no unicorns helping them, they've been trying to use lockpicks and other stuff. They're even trying to forge keys, but none of them even know how to forge them metal right. They might start using tools, but once the metal is scratched, the boss will see it, and get them fired."

He grinned wider as he gestured to Cloud.

"But all that aside, you guys wanna hit a bar? Some of the other workers are thinking about throwing ya a 'welcome home' party. Cloud can come along too. They'll love to meet him."

Axel tilted his head in thought before looking over at Cloud.

"How about it Cloud? I'm sure we've recovered from Repo's alcohol over-load. And I'm sure the drinks weren't spiked."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   29/12/2012, 9:10 am

Cloud smiled sheepishly and nodded.

"I hope the drinks aren't spiked this time..." He shuddered to think what would happen in a social setting.

"That might not end as well publicly."

He chuckled and stood, walking over to Axel and nuzzling him.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   29/12/2012, 10:35 am

Axel grinned.

"Well, guess that answers your question, Strato."

The pegasus gestured for them to follow him.

"Well guys, it's going to be one helluva time. Of course, make sure ol' Brace doesn't get her hooks in Cloud. She'll eat him like a freaking carrot."

Axel groaned as he shook his head.

"Is she still like that? I thought she was taking a break from the dating world after that fallout she had with the last one."

Strato shrugged.

"Yeah, but apparently she's still allowed to flirt and have one night stands. I swear, she goes out of her way to do this to herself. She still likes the shy ones too. Make sure you have Cloud next to ya at all times and she'll back off."

Axel nodded as he pulled Cloud next to him.

"Well, lets go."

All three left Axel's home, walking down the mostly empty walkway, a few passing ponies not paying any attention to them. It was a mostly quiet walk, even Strato wasn't saying much.

The soon arrived at a small tavern-like building, which was built near a large tree that had vines growing around the building. It was classical wood and carved stone, a wooden sign hanging near the door that marked it the 'Cache Tavern', with vines and plants carved decoratively into the wood. Strato took the lead and opened the old wooden door with it's four small glass windows on the upper half and stepped inside, Axel walking in with Cloud by his side.

The interior of the tavern could only be described as 'cozy'. It had wooden beams decorating the simple cream and white colored walls with intricate wood covers. There was stone masonry work along the bottoms of the walls and on the floor. There were tan and white booths lining the walls that were sll empty, while simple wooden tables and stools stood in the middle of the tavern. A long wooden bar with stools went along one entire wall, large wooden kegs and wine racks sat along the back wall behind the bar with glasses and mugs either hanging from above the bar itself or sitting on a stand on the left side.

On one side of the tavern was a large fireplace with a roaring fire already lit and burning brightly. A mosaic painting of a natural mountain sat above the fireplace. Along the walls of the entire tavern were painting and pictures as well of different ponies, zebras, and even griffons and buffalo. All of them were shown in different scenery and the such. There were even a few with Princess Celestia in them, like one that showed an aged stallion and mare with Princess Celestia sitting behind them and holding a mug of something in her magic.

A large grey earth pony stallion wearing round, frame-less glasses and smoking an intricately designed corncob pipe was behind the counter, his walnut-colored mane and tail a simple mess and cropped short for easy handling. He was casually cleaning a glass with a rag when he looked up and spotted the trio. He grinned and set the glass the down.

"Aye, Strato! Yew brought 'im 'ere! I was fearin' tha' yew wouldn' show! In fact, yer early!"

His Scoltish accent made Axel smile as he brought Cloud along side him.

"Ah, Stash, how have you and Tarot been doing?"

Stash grinned widely.

"We been doin' well, Axel. Tarot's been wantin' to see yew again. Why don' yew three take a load off until the others arrive."

Axel nodded as he sat at the counter, motioning for Cloud to sit next to him while Strato took a seat on Axel's left. Stash slid three mugs out from under the counter and went over to a wooden keg, filled each one with a golden-brown liquid, and placed all three glass mugs in front of them.

"Ma family's special brew. No other ale like it."

Stash looked at Cloud.

"If ale ain't yer thin', then I got a selection o' my wife's home-brewed wine in a variety o' flavors."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   29/12/2012, 4:01 pm

Cloud sniffed the drink.

"I'll try it." He said, taking the cup to his lips and taking a gulp of it. It was pretty good, though, he would prefer a Long Island Tea.

"It's pretty good." He said, taking another drink, before looking around the tavern. It was quite a nice, cozy place, He could see himself coming here more often, if Axel was ok with it.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   29/12/2012, 5:45 pm

Stash chuckled with his deep voice as he went back to cleaning some mugs. Strato was about to speak up when the door opened. A large earth pony stallion with a silver coat and a white mane, styled in a short mohawk, and a shortened tail stepped in, a welding mask hanging around his neck and wearing a dirty brown vest. His cutie mark was a lit torch cutter. His green eyes scanned the interior of the tavern before resting on the trio sitting at the counter.

He smiled and made his way over, sitting next to Strato, who spoke up.

"Hey Torch, glad you could make it."

The stallion nodded at Strato as he took a sip from the glass of ale Stash put in front of him. Strato nodded back before speaking up.

"And how's the burns doing?"

The stallion lifted up his right foreleg and showed the bandages decorating it. He shrugged before going back to his drink. Strato grinned as Axel chuckled and spoke.

"Always the chatty one, aren't you, Torch?"

The stallion gave a rueful smile at Axel, nodded his head in greetings at Cloud, and went back to his drink. Strato laughed lightly and shook his head as the door opened again, this time two mares entered.

They both looked almost like unicorn twins, except one had a brass colored coat and a copper colored mane and tail, both of them short and styled so that they were wavy and sharp-looking at the ends, with blue eyes, while the other had a copper colored coat and brass colored mane and tail, both of them longer and neatly combed with curls on the ends, with pink eyes. The brass mare had a brace tool as a cutie mark while the copper mare had a some connected wooden gears as a cutie mark.

They both looked at Axel and Cloud and smiled, though the copper mare's smile was gentle like that of a mother, the brass mare's smile was sly like a deviant's. The both made their way over and sat on Cloud's right, the copper mare making sure she was between Cloud and the brass mare. Axel greeted them.

"Copper Cogs, Brass Brace, nice to see you two. Haven't seen you in ages."

Copper Cogs giggled as she accepted the small glass of ale from Stash.

"It's been too long, Axel. And..."

She smiled at Cloud.

"...who's this nice gentlecolt?"

Brass piped up from Copper's side.

"Yeah! Who's the cutie?!"

Axel wrapped a foreleg around Cloud and pulled him closer as he smiled at the pegasus.

"Go on, introduce yourself. They're friends of mine, so you can trust them."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   29/12/2012, 5:56 pm

Cloud blushed a little as he smiled.

"C-cloud." He said, shyly as he was held close to Axel with his leg.

The two mares looked almost Identical, but the personalities differed greatly.

Cloud looked up at Axel, not sure what to say next.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   29/12/2012, 6:38 pm

Axel smiled at the group.

"He gets shy around strangers."

Strato spoke up after taking a large gulp from his mug of ale.

"Good thing you're his coltfriend, Axel. If anyone can get anyone out of their shell, it's you."

Copper gasped and looked up at Axel, her eyes almost glittering.

"'Coltfriend'? Axel, could he be....the 'one'?"

Axel smiled a little bashfully as he held Cloud. Copper grinned wide as she looked at the two.

"Oh congratulations you two! I wish you the happiest times."

Brass spoke up.

"Does this mean the cutie's off the market?"

Copper, without looking, kicked a rear leg out and kicked Brass's leg, making her give a small yelp as she brought it up. As she held her leg protectively, she still smiled sincerely at the two.

"Still, I'm happy to hear that you finally found some love Axel. If anyone's gonna give you two shit, I'll make them think twice."

Axel nodded at Brass.

"I really appreciate the gesture, Brass."

Strato, meanwhile, turned to speak to Torch.

"So Torch, what's gracious comments are you gonna make?"

Torch looked at Strato, then gestured at Stash, getting the bartender's attention. He tapped the counter with one hoof while the other pulled out some bits from his vest pocket. Stash smiled as he nodded, grabbed the bits, and went over to a small crate that was under one of the large wooden kegs. He pulled the crate out, and some of the others balked once he pulled the lid off, but no one said anything. Stash pulled out an unmarked bottle filled with a clear liquid that looked deceptively like water.

Stash opened the bottle, taking a whiff of it before coughing, grinning all the while. He pulled out a small shot glass and poured the liquid into it. The liquid suddenly flashed and turned into a glowing, silver-like color.

The pipe smoking stallion pushed the glass towards Cloud as Torch looked at the pegasus and smiled. Stash spoke up.

"Torch bough' yew a drink. This is my special brew. It's pure moonshine. I 'ad to get special permission from Princess Celestia to brew this."

He gestured at Cloud.

"The only way yew can 'ave a glass is if someone buys you one."

He smiled.

"'ave a sip, if ya think yew can 'andle it...."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   29/12/2012, 6:58 pm

Cloud wasn't used to having anypony hit on him, the act, to him, was quite foreign to him, which only increased his blush, and made him smile bashfully and nuzzle his head into Axel more.

Only shortly after was the shot glass placed in front of him. He jumped in Axel's hold as the liquid flashed silver. He sniffed the concoction, coughing himself, not quite sure if he was supposed to shoot it strait all at once, or sip on it.

Cloud soon decided on just shooting it all at once. He picked the shot glass, up, tilted his head back with it in his hooves, and shot it. He tried his best not to cough, but, he did anyways.

Cloud's mouth started watering inside, and he became nauseous, the stuff was was potent. He pushed the nausea down and smiled.

He made sure to thank Torch for the drink.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   29/12/2012, 7:35 pm

Torch nodded and smiled as he reached into his vest and pulled out a pack of cigarettes. He bit the end of one cigarette, pulled it out, and put the pack away. As he was reaching for his lighter, Stash went up and pulled it out of his mouth. Torch scowled at him as Stash spoke.

"No puny smoking toothpicks."

He reached under the counter and pulled out a carved oak box. He lifted the lid, with the box facing away from them, and pulled out a cigar. After clipping off one end, he shoved it into Torch's mouth, who held it with his teeth while he carried a bewildered look. Torch eyed Stash warily while pulling out his silver and ivory ingrained lighter. Stash snatched it out of his hoof, making Torch scowl at him again.

Stash reached into the box and pulled out a match. He scraped the end on the counter, the friction making the match light.

"Yew don' use fancy-schmancy lighters. Yew use a match."

He held it up and lit the end of the cigar, Torch huffing the end until it was lit and snorted, a puff of smoke coming from his nose.

"See? Preserves the flavor."

Torch still eyed him warily as he smoked the cigar. Axel rubbed his chin as he took another sip of his ale, still holding Cloud against him. Brass, who had been idly tapping the counter, finally sighed.

"I'm bored. Hey Stash, you still got my pipe?"

The stallion nodded as he pulled out another box, this one filled with a bunch of differently designed pipes and a powder horn filled with tobacco. Stash reached and pulled out a falcon pipe, the outside a dark brown clay with brass inlays. He filled the end with tobacco and handed Brass the pipe and the match. She thanked him and slid the match across the counter, lighting it and holding it at the end of the pipe, huffing a little until the smoke lightly floated out of the end. She put the match out and smoked the pipe, only removing it to take a sip of her ale.

Stash looked down at Cloud.

"Yew smoke? I only allow cigars and pipes."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   29/12/2012, 7:43 pm

Cloud eyed the cigar, watching the smoke come off of the end.

"I-I haven't before. I guess I could try." He tilted his head, watching as Torch hit the cigar.

He wondered how he wasn't coughing, but, then again, they'd probably been smoking for years. He also didn't know the proper way to smoke a cigar, for he was thinking that he just inhaled it.

"Does it taste good?" He asked, as he watched them exhale the smoke.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   29/12/2012, 8:17 pm

Brass lightly exhaled, a small puff of smoke coming off of the end of the pipe before pulling it from her mouth with her magic.

"It all really depends on your sense of taste and preference, cutie. Those that think smoking is bad usually find it terrible, and those that are curious find it tasting strange, with some quitting and others continuing. It also depends on past times and what you do it for. I smoke because it helps me unwind after work. Axel even smokes, but usually only on good days and for celebrations. Same with my sis, Copper, and Strato. Torch...."

The unicorn mare gestured at the welding mask around Torch's neck, specifically, at the scorch marks lining it. She smiled uneasily.

"Torch is a welder, so smoke doesn't bother him. In fact, he got sent to the hospital one time because he accidentily inhaled too much smoke and acetylene gas that had been leaking out of a spare tank he had. He had been working so hard that he didn't notice til it was too late. Poor guy."

Torch looked at them and gave an easy smile, waved a hoof, and went back to his drink, tapping the cigar into an ashtray to get the excess ash off of the tip. Brass sighed as she looked at Cloud.

"Even though cigarettes are convenient, I honestly prefer pipes. They're easy to use...."

She put the pipe back in her mouth, took a small huff, and blew the smoke out of the corner of her mouth.

"...And they look cool!"

She giggled while Copper shook her head with a smile. Copper reached into the box and pulled out a light tan corncob pipe with copper swirls on it and stuffed the bowl with tobacco. She then held it in front of Cloud, a match floating right next to it.

"As long as you're curious, and above 18, I'll let you try with my pipe. This type is usually used for beginners, but some like to use it because of the class it carries, and because they're easy to replace."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   31/12/2012, 5:07 am

Cloud looked the pipe over, before taking it, sniffing the unlit tobacco.

"I'll give it a try." He said, putting the end tip in his mouth. Lighting the match seemed futile for him, because he couldn't get it to light.

"Uhhh." He blushed some.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   31/12/2012, 8:38 am

Copper smiled sweetly and grabbed the match with her magic. She slid it across the counter and the friction made it light with a small sizzling noise. She held the flame over the pipe's bowl.

"Now, inhale and exhale until the tobacco lights."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   31/12/2012, 10:25 am

Cloud nodded his head, taking a puff off the pipe, coughing hard right afterwards.

"-Cough cough- H-how do I hit it?" He asks, coughing a few more times.


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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   31/12/2012, 11:03 am

Copper grimaced a little as she held the pipe away so Cloud could cough freely. Once he stopped, she held the pip to him again.

"I suppose I should've warned you about the tobacco. It's more potent, and it's a lot less harmful to the system and less addicting. Tarot enchanted it herself. So you don't smoke it like a cigarette or a cigar, you simply inhale it into your mouth and then exhale. Simple as that."

She smiled.

"And don't smoke it fast, it'll give you 'pipe tongue'. Very uncomfortable."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   31/12/2012, 1:27 pm

Cloud was a little confused now, but did as she said. This time, he didn't cough, and he took a few puffs.

He went back to his drink and took another drink, then looked at Axel.

"So, this is like, a normal hang out spot for you all?" He asked, smiling.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   31/12/2012, 2:02 pm

Axel smiled and nodded.

"Yep. When I'm not hanging out with Gold and the others, I'm usually at work or here. Sometimes I just need to sit back and relax with my worker friends, not just the others. Trust me, the constant talk of magic and the crazy adventures Gold and the others get into sometimes wears down on a stallion. Plus, I was the only stallion."

Strato laughed and spoke up.

"Yeah, can't talk guy stuff when the ones surrounding you are mares!"

That got a laugh from the others and a grin from Torch. Axel continued.

"Plus, we can discuss things from work. Nothing like discussing the latest projects with those you work with."

He gestured to the rest of the tavern.

"And we come here because this is one of those places where if you haven't heard of it, then you don't need to be here."

Axel grinned and wrapped Cloud in a half hug.

"You're part of an elite now. So know this: if I'm gone at work, or somewhere else, feel free to come here. I'm sure that Stash and Tarot will set you up and keep you company."

The form of Stash came up and refilled Cloud's glass, nodding at the comments that Axel was making.

"Aye, and I'm sure the rest of them would keep yew company too."

Torch, Strato, Copper, and Brass nodded.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   2/1/2013, 11:19 am

Cloud smiled, taking another drink from his glass, letting the ale sit in his mouth for a moment, tasting it, then swallowing.


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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   2/1/2013, 11:40 am

Axel smiled and went back to his drink while the others chatted up on random topics.

'This is what I like. Peace......'



Gold was sore, and not even that could sum up what she was feeling at the moment. She sat in a chair that was in the suite they all had been staying at. She groaned as she looked over at Fas, who had been lying on her back for the last hour, not even attempting to move.

"Okay, I love these moments as much as the next pony or griffon, but I think I threw out my back the last time."

Fas flushed and nodded. She spoke up as well.

"Easy for you to say, I can't even move anymore. If she asks for another, I'm going to knock her out with my magic. Or, I would if my magic worked anymore, too sore to even call it up."

Gold nodded this time. She turned her head, her neck popping quietly, and looked over at Lightning, who was lying on the bed with Stone and Mist lying on each side of her. The gold-maned pegasus spoke.

"Lightning, make sure we mark this down on the calender, along with your other seasons, because I'm not doing anything until we stock up on supplies for those days, and we have nothing else planned. We also need to plan and take turns, because I think you broke Stone."

Stone muttered with a whimper.

"It.....buurrnnss....."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   2/1/2013, 3:06 pm

Lightning grumbled something unintelligible before snuggling tighter against Stone. Her entire consciousness was slipping away into the realms of sleep. Not like she had any complaints, of course. She grunted something that sounded like an affirmation to the plan before finally falling asleep.

---

She knew her season was over when she woke with an unpleasant start in the early hours of the morning. Her coat was drenched with sweat and she was shaking ever so slightly. How she didn't wake up screaming for whatever horrible nightmare she'd just had was beyond her. The last thing she could recall was Noble Victory closing in on them, waiting to exact some kind of vengeance on them.

You need to get help. She shoved that thought as deep into the recesses of her mind as she could. There would be no respect for a Hurricane who needs therapy.

She was a little surprised of how upset that made her. Before a month or two ago, she could care less about what image she had to protrude. But now they were honored as heroes and not only that, she was the only Hurricane of direct lineage. Yesterday, all of the pressure to live up to the family's legacy seem to slam into her like a brick wall at high speed. Invitations to several high-class events had made their way to her already and she wasn't sure she could decline them all.

Lightning slipped out of the bed and flew silently to the other side of the room. On the coffee table, along with a few bags of their new belongings, was an invitation from Fleur and Fancy Pants for the spring garden party. In their more personalized letter, they tried very hard to pick ponies that wouldn't simply swarm her with questions she couldn't answer or berate her until she left. Still... she had her doubts.

Lightning sighed and sat down next to the fire. She still needed time to make a decision. It was a fine line she was walking.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   2/1/2013, 3:30 pm

Gold snorted and jumped up, now awake in the comfy chair she fell asleep in. She turned the pillow she had drooled on over so that she was laying her head on a more dry side. She couldn't really remember the dream she just had.

She recalled a fast moving carriage, a road made of chocolate, and herself wearing armor that could only exist in Roam.

Gold stretched herself out, her back popping, and yawned quietly. She looked around the room. Fas was still on the floor, though now she had a spare blanket draped over her, and Mist and Stone were asleep on the bed, Stone pawing lightly where Lightning had been. The gray mare's brow furrowed as she mumbled in her sleep. Her hoof touched Mist's side, then she quickly scooted over and pulled Mist into an embrace, the unicorn's back pressed into Stone's stomach. Stone and Mist sighed in their sleep and smiled.

Gold giggled quietly to herself. She forgot that Stone was a cuddler in her sleep.

The pegasus rested her eyes across the room at Lightning, who was sitting by the fire. She looked troubled.

Gold hopped out of the chair and made her way over to Lightning. She smiled, yawned again, then nuzzled Lightning.

"Good morning love."

She sat beside Lightning.

"Sleep well?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   3/1/2013, 1:30 am

Not really.

"I slept like a foal," she lied. "I'm just up early I guess. Maybe that's my consolation prize for my season ending."

Lightning giggled and flopped onto her side, facing her belly towards the fire. "The house is ready, y'know." She held up the letter she'd received from Luna yesterday morning. "We should go and check it out after breakfast. It'll be an hour commute for your job since it's in Ponyville, but... I want you to come live with me."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   3/1/2013, 1:44 am

Gold grinned as she ran a hoof through her mane,

"Sounds like a plan."

She then laid a hoof on Lightning's side.

"And don't worry about Stone and I getting to the shop. We're actually looking for real-estate in Ponyville right now, since we got plenty of bits in our savings right now. We always carry enough for emergencies."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   3/1/2013, 5:19 am

"For another store?" Lightning asked. She didn't know they were ready to expand their business - especially after being closed for over a month.

In fact, one of her many concerns involved whether or not they had the bits to keep the store after a month of no business. Could they afford the rent?

"Are you two going to be ok with bits? I can help you two out if you need it. I've got more than I know what to do with." She kissed Gold's cheek before resting against her. "Quick Wit can work that into the monthly in and out I have to start doing."

She shuddered. The brand new record book - a tome really - scared the hell out of her. Not to mention all of the places she had to visit for business related meetings.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   3/1/2013, 6:21 am

Gold simply waved a hoof.

"Well, not really expand. More like move."

She smiled at Lightning.

"You see, Stone and I have a very good relationship, business-wise, with Fancy Pants. After helping him, he bought us the building we currently use at the cost of cutting him a slice of the profits. We have our rather successful electronics store and home, and he gets his moneys worth."

She looked up at the ceiling.

"Of course, to make sure he makes profit, he and Fleur advertised us as well. Whenever they got a good piece of electronic equipment, they steered the ponies towards us, and we make profit. My knowledge with maintaining and fixing electronics, along with Stone's bartering and sales skills, we've made enough to afford a move in case of emergencies, like if our store was either robbed or burned down."

Gold tapped her chin.

"Oh yeah, and it helps that Vinyl Scratch is one of our customers. A loyal one too, since I can wire the speakers and amps so that they can withstand the punishment her music puts them through."

She grinned back down at Lightning.

"Stone and I may not show it, but we're very good businessmares. We know what the customers want, since we can meld into the crowd the customers are a part of."

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