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 More Than One Kind of Bribe

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PLOTYNSTYNE

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PostSubject: More Than One Kind of Bribe   Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:02 am

Ah, Canterlot. Shining capitol of Equestria and probably Unicorn capitol of the world. High class, high value, high on a mountain. Many ponies dream of living here, or attending one of the lavish parties hosted.

Even so, it's not that bad, Clarity thinks as she peruses one of the grocers. Much of her childhood was spoiled in this city, in part due to her orphaning, in part due to her different race. How much differently would I have turned out if I'd been born a Unicorn? She shakes her head. It's a question that has popped up in her mind before, but it's not even worth considering. What she did have, she wouldn't trade for half the wealth of the opulent city she's in now.

And opulent it is. Back in Ponyville, she'd feel a little over-dolled up in her current getup. A long frilly skirt, heels that it feels are taller than the mountain the city is perched on, a frilly blouse that gives a generous (and multipurpose) window to her cleavage, her best purse with a clasp that matches her cutie mark, even the beads on her hair tie have been polished. But here? It feels like the bare minimum.

Yeah, well...still, at least she can hold her head high. She made it, despite what this city did to her. It threw its worst at her, and she won. Yeah. She reminds herself of that as she browses, her purse over one arm, a basket on the other holding a small selection of food already.
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PostSubject: Re: More Than One Kind of Bribe   Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:59 am

Same old, same old.  North thought to himself, his usual stock, emotionless expression adorning his chiseled and slightly scared face.  His golden armour was polished to a mirror shine, though he certainly didn't have a choice in the matter.  Guards needed to look presentable, regal, and just a tad threatening even if they're not guarding the Princesses.  Which, at least for today, North certainly was not.  

"Patrol and keep watch in the markets," the board had said this morning as he awoke in the barracks.  Fairly straight forward, no more boring than usual, and occasionally there would be a crime or two to handle.  Canterlot was clearly the most lavish and, most importantly, expensive place in Equestria.  This usually meant that the only ponies walking around were those with more bits than they could ever want, but occasionally you'd get a tourist or down-on-their-luck stallion or mare who tries to make off with some fancy necklace.  It very rarely ever turns violent, and it's thankfully never gotten to the point where North needed to actually use his spear.

He stood in the open, in front of a small building that was quite different from the shops and restaurants.  A small Guard station, intended for one to two Royal Guards and equipped with a few cells for any rabble rousers.  His armour covered most of his grey colored body, excluding his, noticeably bulky, arms, tail, face, and wings.  A golden chestplate, leggings, shin boots, gauntlets, and helmet, with a blue and purple plume atop it, concealed the rest of his body.  Strapped to his left-forearm, via a faux-leather strap, was a Gold and White scutum with a large replica of Celestia's cutie mark on the front.  His right hand held tightly to a long spear, mostly for show, though very effective when actually needed.  He mostly just held it to uphold that intimidation factor Guards needed.  Lastly, though certainly not least, his very large wings remained neatly folded at his back, preened and proper.

Though his face remained blank and his posture remained at peak attention, his eyes still trailed along the streets, snapping from pony to pony, keeping an eye out for trouble or any pony requiring assistance.  99% of the time it was just some pony asking for directions or maybe even the latest rumor; not the most riveting of conversations, but it keeps him awake... mostly.

His eyes glanced over to one of the many grocers in the city, locking onto each individual pony for a few seconds before moving to the next.  When his eyes saw the yellow Earth pony they paused.  He snuck a peak at her, rather lovely, cleavage for a few seconds, thinking Those are damn fine, before glancing to the next pony. He may have been a disciplined guard, but there's nothing in the rules about a quick peak at mares when the opportunity arises...  Okay, there was, but he got good at hiding it.  

Suddenly, his eyes went wide.  He glanced back to that same pony and began a short mental analysis, specifically trying to get a good view of, what he assumed, was her cutie mark on her bag.  He squinted his eyes at it, his mind racing as he tried to figure out something: I swear I know that mark...  Who is that pony?  Gah, this is going to bug the clouds out of me...  Think! Think! Think!  His face remained blank even as his mind was beating himself up over this mare.  Who was she and why did she seem so familiar?
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PostSubject: Re: More Than One Kind of Bribe   Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:07 am

Well, giving credit where credit is due, Canterlot ponies do at least one portion of food well: presentation. Apples polished to a shine, pastries arranged just so, pears...well, pears never look especially appetizing to her under any circumstances, even though they're delicious. She buys a couple with an exchange of bits and flattering words, scoring herself a little discount. If she'd learned one thing from growing up here, it's how things work, and appearance is key. And hers is quite so.

She steps away from the stall and catches somepony looking at her. A guard stallion, not standing too far off. She returns his gaze with a wink almost reflexively before she can appraise him properly (why would she need to? Guard stallions are hot). As she does so, though, she thinks, No...that seems like more than a passing glance...And thinking about it, something about him is tugging at her memory. Do I know him? She certainly doesn't remember anypony with that scar, and she's sure she'd remember a stallion with that kind of physique...

Well. Maybe a talk would jog her memory. And, if not...Well, who knows? She might just spend a little time talking to somepony instead of shopping. No biggie. She puts on her most winning smile and waltzes leisurely on over to him. "Excuse me, sir," she greets, voice dripping with chocolate. "I don't suppose you could help me find somepony." She bats her eyelashes. Yeah, just go overboard, lean a little bit forward, exaggerate the cleavage.
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PostSubject: Re: More Than One Kind of Bribe   Thu Dec 21, 2017 4:26 am

North remained perfectly calm and collected as the mare approached him, even though inside his head he was screaming.  Damit, she must have caught me staring!  The one time I stare at a mare for something other than an ogle and this is what I get.  Great.  His expression stayed stock as she drew closer, his eyes watching her closely.  He was quite surprised by her question.  He had expected to be accused of being a pervert.  Instead, she asked a question he gets every so often.  Easy enough.  As he opened his mouth to answer, his eyes instantly gravitated towards her now more-exposed chest as she leaned forward; his trail of thought completely derailed.

There was not hiding it now, his eyes were glued to her chest for a few long seconds before he snapped back to reality and stared forward, looking past her as he spoke.  "A-ah, of course, citizen.  Who are you looking for?  Can you describe them?"  A small tinge of red appeared on his face, though amazingly, he still managed to maintain his stance and composure quite well.  Perhaps this wasn't the first time he ended up in an embarrassing situation like this...
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PostSubject: Re: More Than One Kind of Bribe   Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:38 am

Clarity doesn't bother trying to hide her amusement at the guard's failure to keep himself professional. Not that she can blame him, many have tried and failed. When he does manage it by looking past her, she lets out an airy giggle. Well, he's clearly more self-conscious about his eyes being drawn to her than she is. She decides to leave him to it, taking her gaze off of him and turning to the side, making a show of putting her hand to her chin like she's thinking, and starts pacing.

"Well, sir, it's been a while since I've seen him." Perhaps describing him, putting him into words she'd think of, would jog her memory, bring something back to mind. "He's a stallion, probably in his early twenties. He's a shade of grey, and..." She sneaks a peak out of the corner of her eyes. "...with a charming blue and purple mane..." That does hit something in her, and she drops some of her flirty act, turning back toward him with a more serious expression on her face. What did he look like without that scar?
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PostSubject: Re: More Than One Kind of Bribe   Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:43 am

North tilted his head a bit as she began describing the pony she's looking for. He glanced back at her before he spoke. "A-Are you looking for me, miss?" For a moment, he seemed to lose his guardly persona, his stance becoming a bit loose as he mutters to himself. "Maybe we do know eachother..."

He gave her body another quick scan, once again lingering a bit too much at her chest. Once done he coughed awkwardly and spoke once more. "I... was staring at you because you looked rather familiar to me, miss, but I can't quite put my finger on it. May I ask, what is your name?"
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PostSubject: Re: More Than One Kind of Bribe   Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:06 am

"Well, to be honest, sir, I wasn't really looking for anyone. I saw you looking at me," she gestures to herself, just above the cut of her blouse (of course calling attention to the same things that had been distracting him), "and thought you looked familiar too. I was kind of hoping that talking to you would help me remember, but...anyway. Let's start over." Clarity gives a little twirl, ending in a one-handed curtsey that doesn't seem calculated to show off her chest for once, but might perform that function anyway. "My name is Clarity. Clarity Mirrors." She straightens up. "And who might you be?"
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PostSubject: Re: More Than One Kind of Bribe   Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:02 pm

Although North managed to not stare at her chest again during her gesture, being called out for staring definitely made his face turn a bit more red.  His gaze returned to looking past her, rather than at her, at least until she finally said her name.  Then it hit him, and his face lit up; a small smile breaking through his usually stock expression.  Sweet Celestia, it's Clarity!  Damn she's sure... grown.

"Clarity?!  It's me, Northern Wind!  I knew I recognized that mark on your bag!  How have you been?  It's been years!"  He manages to resist the urge to outright hug Clarity during his rapid bombardment of questions, though he does inch forward slightly.  

He paused though once he realized he should probably apologize for staring does break through his excitement for a moment as he coughs.  "Ahem, sorry for staring.  It's just you've... changed a lot since I last saw you.  Granted we were kids, but... dang.  I-I mean..."  He shuts his mouth and simply goes quiet for a moment.  Just shut up, North...  You're going to make it worse.
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PostSubject: Re: More Than One Kind of Bribe   Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:07 pm

"Northern Wind...? Oh, North...! North, oh, North!" Clarity shows no such restraint when she learns his name and remembers, immediately closing in on him for a hug. She gets just far enough to where her considerable chest is pressed against him, arms very nearly closed around him, before stopping herself and stepping back. "Right, right, you're on duty! Right. Sorry, it's just...wow, I haven't seen you in years!"

She lets out a genuine laugh at his clumsy attempt to apologize. "Oh, North, if I minded if ponies stared, do you think I would dress like this?" She brushes one of her heart tails off of her front. "Do you think I would move like this?" She gives another exaggerated lean forward, this time with her hand covering part of her cleavage, in consideration for his on-duty status. "It's not like we're kids anymore. And it's not like you're bad to look at yourself." She steps around behind him and gently runs a hand up North's arm. "I hope you don't mind me staring a little bit~"
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PostSubject: Re: More Than One Kind of Bribe   Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:41 am

North's fur stood up on edge as he felt her hand run up along his exposed arm, his muscles tightening. His head quickly scanned around, worried about being seen by other ponies, though he didn't really try to stop Clarity. "Uhh... You can stare all you want, just uh, don't touch too much. At least not here."

He awkwardly coughed, his blush worsening a bit as he desperately tried to think of a change of topic. "S-so, what have you been up to, Clarity? And where is your brother?" He paused, his mind blanking on his name. "W-What was his name again?"

Despite North's best laid plans to keep himself calm and collected, he shuffled uncomfortably in his position, shifting his legs slightly. It was painfully clear that Clarity's chest and words had been effecting him quite a lot. Thank Celestia this armour hides erections...
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PostSubject: Re: More Than One Kind of Bribe   Sat Dec 23, 2017 1:32 am

"Okay, so no touching. Much." She taps his arm once more with that last word to tease him, because of course she does, but overall starts taking on more normal mannerisms, swinging her hips less, maybe pulling up the neckline on her blouse. Just a smidge. "Oh, I haven't been up to much. I live in Ponyville now. Don't look into it, but I'm a highly successful performance magician there." She shakes her hand and is holding a mirror that definitely wasn't in it a second ago. "A beautiful one, of course~" She tosses the mirror into the air, where it turns into a dove and flaps away.

She ho-hums and looks back towards the grocer. "Say, could we walk and talk? I've got some more shopping to do. If anypony asks why you're away from your post, you can say I asked you to settle a dispute, say between me and..." She points at some random shop owner. "That mare. Serve her right, too, her prices on celery are so out of touch."
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PostSubject: Re: More Than One Kind of Bribe   Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:09 am

North shook his head playfully at the 'much' addition to her statement. He listened intently to her as she talked about her new home-town and new profession. He gave a quick nod of agreement at her 'beautiful' compliment before his attention was glued to the mirror.

North's eyes followed the mirror as she threw it into the air, giving an impressed nod at the magical shift into a dove. He'd probably given a more animate reaction if he weren't still on-duty. He thought for a few seconds about Clairity's question before ultimately agreeing.

"I suppose I can tag along and chat for a bit longer, just please try to not get my flank into any trouble, okay? I'm still on watch over the last few times I got pulled away." He motioned with his head towards the grocer. "Lead the way, Clarity."
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PostSubject: Re: More Than One Kind of Bribe   Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:53 am

"No trouble for your flank. Got it," Clarity teases with a wink, then turns and starts walking. She tones down the swing of her hips, stops exaggerating her shoulder swaying, steps more smoothly to jiggle less. "And Clair doesn't come with me to Canterlot. He's okay to travel and all that, but Canterlot...it wasn't exactly kind to him. Of course, it wasn't that great to me either, but at least I've got a thing or two I can rub ponies' noses in." She catches another mare staring her way, either with jealousy or interest, sometimes it's hard to tell which. She gives a wave and wink, and the other mare turns away, red-faced and scowling. Definitely jealous.

She approaches a line of apples stalls with different varieties available. "Naw, he wanted to get out of this city since we were kids. I can't say I blame him." She eyes some red and some yellow ones. All shiny and polished, but probably not as good as the ones she could get back in Ponyville. What apples were, though? She picks up a couple by the stems and twirls them, examining them for defects. "He's been much happier since we moved. If I had to guess, at this moment he's either napping or painting."
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PostSubject: Re: More Than One Kind of Bribe   Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:07 am

North mentally sighed as he followed behind Clarity.  This is going to be fun...  He remained quiet and simply listened as she talked though, showing genuine interest despite his slight annoyance at being pulled away from duty.  After she had finished her story and had begun inspecting the apples, North finally broke his silence.

"I'm glad to hear he, and yourself, are doing well.  It definitely seemed like you two weren't enjoying yourselves in Canterlot, though with your..."  He paused and mulled over the best word to use. "...situation I could certainly understand."  

Even as he stood next to Clarity he still remained on guard.  His head rotated around as he kept his eyes on the other ponies within the market, though he glanced back at Clarity after a short moment each time.  He continued to chat, shifting the topic towards himself, "Well, I'm still in Canterlot, if that wasn't obvious.  Work and all that means I can't really move, though I have made some regular trips out to Ponyville.  I stay at the barracks at the castle; crowded, but it's a home."
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PostSubject: Re: More Than One Kind of Bribe   Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:03 am

This much for these? Well they seem kind of overpriced...well, fortunately, there are ways around that. Five finger discount, and all that~

"Oh, and it's been doing good for you, I can tell. You've certainly...grown~" Clarity says, reaching out, running her hand a hair's breadth away from his arm, baaaarely not touching him. "The look suits you." Well, she'd still be paying the owner, just not for everything. She pays for a trio of red apples and goes to put them in her basket. "It's a home, but how do you enjoy it? Is it- Oop!"

One of the apples falls out of her hand and into the pile of yellow ones. She quickly puts the other two apples away and reaches to catch it, but it starts a cascade of the fruit down towards her. She catches some before they can fall all the way out and puts them back up, hands running quickly to keep pace with them. The last falling fruit is the red one she'd dropped, and she catches it as it goes over the edge, putting it into her basket.

"Hoo, that was close," she breathes, brushing her mane back with a hand, face flushed. "That could have been embarrassing, huh?" Not a single apple missing from the pile...except for two that had found their way deep into her cleavage, where nopony should be able to see them...Five finger discount~
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