Shade glared at himself in the mirror. He didn't look bad, per se, he just didn't look like himself. A fancy suit, a bow tie, and a hat to go with. The suit blended right in to his coat, but he felt it was all wrong. He shook the clothes off.
I'll just go bareback, I guess. He never felt quite right when he was dressed up. Besides, who wanted to get dressed all fancy for what he had planned? Octavia had suggested going out, and he had suggested a picnic on a nearby hill that overlooked Ponyville. She had kindly agreed, to his delight.
There's certainly something different about her... Shade couldn't decide what it was, but Octavia captured him in a way that others had not. He had seen many musical ponies, and had heard so much music in his life. Yet Octavia was the one that captured his attention. He saw something in her that he couldn't quite explain, but neither could he explain his love for music, and he didn't question that. It wasn't good or bad, it just was, and he accepted that. He gave himself one last look in the mirror, and stepped out.
When Shade got outside, he found that the whole town seemed to be buzzing.
Probably because of Octavia, he thought to himself. He listened to several conversations.
"Have you heard? Octavia's in town!"
"One of her vacations, no big deal."
"Yeah, but she brought this new pegasus pianist into town as well!"
"I heard that Celestia's coming to town this week!" Shade's ears perked up, and he slowed down at this.
"Yeah, that's right. Word is that she wants to check on the Elements of Harmony, but somepony from Canterlot told me that she was going to see Octavia and that new pegasus perform!"
"Who said they were even going to perform?"
"Oh, come on! Of course they will; do you think ponies like that can stay away from their talents for that long?"
Shade grinned; the pony had hit the nail on the head. It was certainly true that he couldn't stay away from music for too long. He continued walking, the grassy hill in the distance clear to his vision.
Octavia was relaxing on the hill, looking over the small town below. It wasn't the highest up she'd been, but it offered a spectacular view. She sighed as she listened to the forest; it was too quiet. There was no buzz of sound, no offer of a rhythm. She began tapping her front hooves just to have noise, right before a black pegasus swooped out of the sky, silent as a cat. He flashed a toothy grin. She smiled back, somewhat uncertainly. He dropped a small, brown basked on the blanket that she had brought. He then laid down on his stomach and looked over Ponyville. Octavia stood next to him. She spoke first.
"It's pretty up here... but too quiet."
"You think so? I think it's rather loud." Octavia glared at him. It was rather clearly silent.
"You realize there isn't a single sound up here, right?" Shade chuckled.
"I know. You don't see it?"
"See what?" Shade turned and looked at her. After a few moments, his ears drooped slightly.
"Oh... I guess I am the only one. I thought you, of all people..."
"What do you see?" she demanded, frustrated. He looked at her intently, until her gaze softened. "I apologize," she said. "I didn't mean-"
"It's alright," said Shade. "Maybe you just need help." He stood up next to her. He wasn't the tallest of ponies, but he stood several inches taller than her. She found blood rushing to her face as she inhaled his scent, but quickly drove her emotions back.
"Look out there," he said. She turned her head, looking over the valley. "Look at the scenery. They've told me that ponies built this land through hard work, but that's not what I see. I see a spectacular symphony that came to life." Octavia continued looking, and he spoke, his eyes growing hazy. "The mountains are like mighty crescendos. I see fermatas in every tree, a chord in every animal. It's like the greatest orchestra in the universe came together and played the world into existence." Octavia now saw it, but beyond that, she heard the music. Instruments being tuned, notes bursting with life and power. It was beautiful and terrible, joyous and saddening all at once. She felt overcome with emotion. Shade turned to her.
"My special talent isn't playing music, Octavia. My special talent is understanding it, seeing it and hearing it in everything. It's the best thing in the world." Octavia's eyes glimmered with tears.
That's so... "Amazing." Shade blinked. "I'm sorry, did I say that out loud?" she asked. Shade smiled again, his teeth glinting in the setting sun. She smiled back, and leaned toward him. He leaned in towards her. Their eyes locked as their lips slowly closed the distance between each other. They were mere inches from one another, when...
"No," Octavia said. She leaned away again. The blood that was previously pounding through her body began to slow. "No, I can't." Shade was confused.
"But, why not?"
"I just can't. Soon, maybe, but not right now." Shade watched her for a moment, and nodded his head. They stayed there until Luna's moon shone far overhead, simply sitting in quiet companionship.