*Resuming observation of case 55: Octavia and Vinyl Scratch*
“Hey Scratch, are you up?” Orlando asked knocking on Vinyl’s door. He kept knocking until the door opened slightly to show a blue goggle lens framed by Vinyl’s blue mane.
“What do you want?” he asked flatly. Orlando laughed nervously.
“I didn’t know you were working,” he said.
“What do you want?” Vinyl asked again. Orlando cleared his throat.
“Do you have any cheese I can use?” he said and smiled. Vinyl stared at him (or at least Orlando thought he did, it was hard to tell with the goggles) before he opened the door.
“Get what you need and get out, I’m busy,” Vinyl said pointing to his kitchen before walking back to his couch, which was covered in various notes and various scribblings that were indecipherable to anyone but Vinyl.
“How long have you been working anyway?” Orlando asked as he searched through the fridge.
“That depends, what day is it?” Orlando looked back at Vinyl, afraid to answer.
“It’s Monday,” he finally answered.
“In that case, two days.”
"Two days?! Did you sleep at all in that time?”
“Nope, I’ve been downing Red Pony like its water.” Vinyl let out a chuckle, “I know I’m going to regret this later.”
“Yeah, you’re probably gonna come down hard,” Orlando said, closing the fridge door and walking over to Vinyl.
“Oh shut it. Did you get your cheese?”
“Yeah I got it,” Orlando said and looked back at the block of cheese on his back.
“Good,” Vinyl said and held up a sheet of paper to his face, “now unless you need something else, can you please leave? I’m kinda busy.”
“Actually, there is one thing,” Orlando said and pulled out a slip of paper he had stashed behind his ear and held it out for Vinyl, who grabbed it magically and floated it over to him.
“What is it?”
“Well, this filly I’m seeing is really into the orchestra that plays here, so I tried to get some tickets for tomorrow. Unfortunately I can only afford one and she can’t go anyway, so now it’s yours.” Vinyl stared at the ticket for a moment before turning to Orlando.
“You gave me a ticket to a high society event? Why not kick me in the face and give me the headache now?”
“I thought you would say that, so allow me to present this fact. Your little crush Octavia is going to be playing there,” Orlando said with a huge grin. Vinyl lifted the goggles over his eyes before answering.
“I don’t have a crush on her.”
“But you’re still gonna go right?”
“That depends, how much did this cost?”
“About half my pay check.” That little fact caused Vinyl to grimace, and then a thought struck him.
“Wait, why are you giving me this instead of going yourself,” Vinyl asked.
“Pfft, like I’d ever be caught going to a classical concert alone,” Orlando said and burst out laughing. Vinyl stared at him until his laughter died down. “That was a good one Scratch, I needed that. Well, see ya later and thanks for the cheese.” Orlando waved at Vinyl and left the apartment, with Vinyl staring at the door in confusion. He shook his head and set the ticket on his table.
“I’ll never get my friends.” Vinyl concentrated his magic and gathered up his notes. Once they were all gathered he sorted through them to make sure they were in order. Once he was satisfied he set them down in a pile in front of him and he rubbed his eyes, now starting to feel those long sleepless hours catching up to him.
Vinyl got up from the couch and stretched before looking at the ticket. He levitated it up to eye level and checked it over before sighing and setting it back down.
‘Tomorrow, huh? I’ll worry about it later, I’m way too tired right now,’ Vinyl thought as he walked to his bedroom. He barely registering how he floated the goggles he had on over to his wall of similar goggles, all with different colored lenses. Vinyl lay on his bed and stared at the ceiling waiting for the last of the energy drinks to wear off. Eventually his eyes closed and he drifted off to sleep.
The alarm clock started its daily ringing and soon a grey hoof extended out to silence it. The hoof then withdrew back into the covers and dragged its owner out from under them. Octavia rubbed the sleep from her eyes as she made her way to the kitchen. There she started her morning routine by setting a kettle of water to boil. With that started Octavia then went to the bathroom and looked at herself in the mirror.
‘Ugh, bedmane,’ Octavia thought lamenting one of the few downsides to having a long mane. She slipped a hoof into a brush and started brushing her mane as she thought about the day ahead. ‘Oh yeah, tonight’s the concert, which means last minute preparations.' With a couple more brush strokes Octavia got her mane straightened out and she shook it out a little.
‘I wonder what I would look like with a shorter mane? That DJ seemed to wear it well.’ It took Octavia a second to realize what she thought and when she did she rubbed a hoof on her head. Ever since she had met Vinyl she had tried her hardest not to think of him, yet somehow he found a way to worm into her thoughts.
Thankfully she was spared any further thoughts on the subject when her kettle let off a whistle. Octavia returned to the kitchen, took the kettle off the flame and set about making her breakfast.
The alarm clock started ringing, which caused a white hoof to slam down on it. Its owner peeked out from under the covers and stared at the clock, which showed the time to be 7:30.
“Ugh, it’s way too early for me to be up,” Vinyl murmured to himself but all the same forced himself out of bed, where he unceremoniously tumbled to the floor. He struggled a little on the floor until he somehow managed to get on his hooves and stumble toward the bathroom. Vinyl fumbled with the sink faucet and let the sink fill up before plunging his head under the water and holding it there for a minute.
Once Vinyl was certain he would stay awake, he pulled his head from the water and shook the water from it before draining the sink. After that Vinyl made his way to his kitchen to get some form of breakfast started. His first stop was the fridge.
‘What happened to all my cheese?’ was his first thought on seeing his fridge. ‘…Oh right, Orlando took some of it.’ Vinyl sighed and closed the fridge and grabbed a couple slices of bread. ‘Guess its toast for me today.’ After setting the bread in his toaster to cook, he thought over what to do for the day as he stared at the toaster.
‘I’m sure there was something I wanted to do today. What was it again?’ Vinyl rubbed a hoof on his forehead which actually helped jog his memory. ‘Oh yeah, that concert that Orlando forced me into. When does that start again?’ Vinyl walked over to the table with the ticket and inspected the times on it. ‘It starts at 7 and lasts till 8, with a dinner afterwards that lasts until 9. Alright, guess I’ll show up a few minutes early.’
Here an idea struck Vinyl; that maybe his usual goggles would stand out too much at this concert, especially if he wanted to see how Octavia played without her noticing him and wow that sounded a lot less creepy in his head. Shaking away the awkward feeling, Vinyl stood up straight with one goal for the day.
“I’m going to have to go in deep for this,” he said with conviction. He then smelled something burning and turned to his toaster with smoke coming out of it. “MY TOAST!”
Octavia took one last sip of her tea and set the empty cup down on the table with the rest of the breakfast dishes. She picked up the plate with the cup on it and placed it in the sink to clean later. With breakfast out of the way Octavia set upon the rest of her morning routine, which was mostly making sure her cello was in perfect shape and in tune before completing her appearance with one of the bowties she was known for. Once all the above was finished, Octavia strapped her cello case to her back and started for the door.
Octavia stopped when she saw the lone envelope on her table, which contained the letter she had written. She had thought about sending it yesterday, but had opted not to unless those surges came back. With a sigh, Octavia turned away from the letter and left her apartment.
Vinyl finished the last bit of burnt toast as he made his way down the street. It took him a while of digging through his goggle collection, but he had found one piece of his outfit for tonight. Unfortunately he lacked the other part of his outfit, which forced him to have to go out and buy it. Not that he minded that, he needed the fresh air.
Vinyl managed to catch a tram, a few of the other passengers glancing over to him. A few of the lingered on his blue goggles, but they didn’t last long. His stop soon came and Vinyl hopped off and continued on his way. He soon reached his destination, a high end clothing store .He had heard about this department store once and hopefully it had what Vinyl needed.
As Vinyl entered the store, the high class atmosphere nearly caused Vinyl to leave immediately. He persevered however, and after a while of wandering the store he found what he was looking for. Vinyl then found himself completely baffled by just how many of this one item that this store had. He must have stood there staring for five minutes before a store attendant walked up to him.
“Can I help you with anything sir?” The question snapped Vinyl out of his trance and looked over at the attendant, back to the clothing, then back to the attendant before answering.
“Uh yeah, which one of these do you think would go best with my eyes?” he asked either ignoring or forgetting the fact he was wearing tinted goggles. The attendant was a little worried about this question, but his professionalism hid it and he pointed to one.
“How about this one?” Vinyl inspected what the attendant pointed at for a minute or two. The longer Vinyl stared at the article, the more worried the attendant grew. After two minutes Vinyl grinned widely and picked up the item with his magic.
“Perfect, I’ll take it,” he said and trotted toward the register with his prize floating behind him. The attendant let out a breath once Vinyl was out of sight.
Octavia was more used to walking to her practices and shows, but right now she was running late, so she instead opted to take the tram. At the moment she was going through the set her ensemble was supposed to do that night, so she was more or less ignoring the other passengers.
So when she heard a set of hooves get on the tram, it was only chance that she looked up to see who it was. When she saw that the new passenger was none other than Vinyl Scratch, Octavia felt a twinge of horror pass through her as well as that tingling sensation from the last time they met. He didn’t attempt to make conversation with her, instead focusing on bobbing his head to whatever music was playing from his headphones. Octavia focused on her sheet music as her thoughts ran wild.
‘What is he doing here? Is he following me or does he not even know I’m here?’ She glanced back at Vinyl, but she couldn’t tell if he was aware of her presence due to his goggles and his seemingly automatic head movements. ‘Why would he even be in this part of town anyway? I could ask him, but I fear whatever would stem from that and oh no I’m panicking. Take deep breaths Octavia, don’t let him get to you just because he’s standing next to you.’
Octavia took several deep breaths and tried to focus on the sheet in front of her. A couple minutes passed before Octavia glanced back over to the unicorn next to her, who had stopped bobbing his head in favor of looking out the window. It was here that Vinyl chose to speak.
“Looks like this is my stop, I’ll see ya later ‘Tavi.” Vinyl then left the tram and started down the street before Octavia could recover. She stared at him until the tram turned a corner and he disappeared from view. Octavia stashed the sheets of paper into her cello case and spent the rest of the tram ride and most of the subsequent walk in deep thought.
‘He knew I was there the whole time and he said nothing until the last second? Why, does it bring him joy to torment me in such a way? Well that’s it, I will think of him no longer! I will not torment myself with thoughts of his cocky attitude or his uncivilized manner of speech or his sleek white coat and blue mane that only serve to bring attention to his gorgeous red eyes and what am I thinking?!’
‘Well if that wasn’t a good sign of how good this day is gonna be, I don’t know what is.’ Vinyl chuckled a little, his music blocking out the world leaving him alone with his thoughts. ‘I mean, what are the odds of running into ‘Tavi on a tram in Manehattan of all places?’ Here the song he was listening to started to end and he heard someone shouting behind him.
“Vinyl, will you take your headphones off, I’m trying to talk to you! Do you hear me you-“ The rest of that sentence was lost when the next song started. Vinyl turned back just as the pegasus was about to yell at him again.
“Yeeeeees, Tobias?” The sudden movement caused the pegasus to stumble backwards.
“Ah Vinyl, you heard all that?” Vinyl lowered his headphones around his neck.
“Except for that last part, yeah. So what am I?” A look of horror crossed Tobias’ face and he bit his lower lip in thought.
“You…are a… really charming, charismatic, and handsome stallion…?” he eventually offered with a smile.
“Oh really?” Vinyl asked and moved in closer to Tobias, who backed up panicked, “You know if you were interested all you had to do was ask.” Vinyl smiled widely and this made Tobias panic even more.
“What, no! I don’t swing that way, I mean not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just that I don’t think of colts that way. Do you get what I mean?” Tobias stared into Vinyl’s goggles, hoping he would say something. After a few moments, Vinyl started laughing and threw a hoof around Tobias’ shoulder.
“Relax, I’m just messing with you.”
“That’s not funny dude, you really freaked me out,” Tobias said hurtfully.
“Oh you can get your payback later,” Vinyl said and removed his foreleg from Tobias, “What did you want to say?”
“…You know, I forgot entirely what I wanted to say,” Tobias said and sighed. Vinyl dropped the smile he had and removed his goggles and let them hang from his neck.
“Hey, I’m really sorry if that really got to you. I forget sometimes how much of an ass I can be.” Vinyl placed a hoof on Tobias’ shoulder, who shook his head.
“I guess I still need to get used to your sense of humor. I’ll be alright.”
“Maybe, but I still feel kinda bad. Tell ya what, let’s get some lunch. It’ll be my treat,” Vinyl said with a small smile. Vinyl motioned for Tobias to follow and the two continued down the street. They walked down a few blocks before Tobias spoke up.
“I just remembered what I wanted from you,” he said.
“Yeah, do you mind if I borrow some bread later?” Vinyl looked over at Tobias and his huge grin and sighed.
“Yeah, you can.”
Octavia finally reached the hall where her ensemble would be playing, and it was obvious to everyone who saw her that she was in a sour mood. Not just any sour mood either, it was that really bad mood where you can feel the darkness emanating from the body, y’know? Because of this, the only pony brave (or dumb) enough to talk to Octavia like this was Frederick.
“Hi Octavia, what’s wrong?” he asked. Once he said that, Octavia spun around and advanced on Frederick.
“Why is he following me?!” Octavia asked angrily, causing Frederick to stumble back.
“You’ve lost me already. Who’s following you?” Frederick asked.
“It’s that DJ from the other day. I ran into him on the tram ride over here, and do you know what he did?”
“Look Octavia, why don’t you tell me while we get set up?” Frederick asked while motioning to Octavia’s cello case. Octavia cleared her throat and opened her cello case.
“Ahem, of course, I apologize for my selfishness. Well, here’s what happened…”
“Sho, wait a minufe,” Tobias said through a mouthful of food and swallowed before continuing, “This Octavia that you have a crush on actually lives here?”
“Why does everypony assume I have a crush on her, we’ve only talked once,” Vinyl said and took a sip of his coffee.
“Still, I don’t understand how you can be so lucky and unlucky in love at the same time. Mind telling me what you’re doing right?”
“Can we please not talk about that?” Vinyl asked and rubbed his eyes with a hoof.
“Right, sorry.” Tobias chewed on his lunch for a bit before speaking up again, “So, is she cute?”
“Your mom, who do you think I’m talking about?” Vinyl allowed the comment since he did kind of deserve it. He thought for a minute before answering.
“Yeah I guess she is cute, in a kinda weird, stuck up, high class kind of way. Honestly, I think she needs to relax a little. When I ran into her a few minutes ago, she looked like she was about to have a heart attack.”
“Really, was this before or after you talked to her?” Tobias asked between bites of food.
“Today or at all?”
“I didn’t even say anything to her, I just stood next to her and she started freaking out. If I had actually talked to her, her head might have blown up.” Vinyl laughed a little and finished his coffee.
“I feel like I should say something to that,” Tobias said and rubbed his chin. Vinyl looked at him confused, but shook his head and looked up at the sun to check the time.
“Two o’clock already? Man where does the time go?” Vinyl asked no one in particular.
“Time flies when you’re having fun, you know,” Tobias said and took one last bite of his meal.
“Heh, yeah I guess. Let’s get going, I got some stuff to do and you still need your bread,” Vinyl said and hopped off the chair he was sitting on, a grinning Tobias following behind him.
Octavia finished telling her story as everyone finished her set up.
“So you’re all jumpy because you ran into that DJ again?” Frederick asked.
“I am not jumpy, and I resent the accusation,” Octavia said as she set her cello against a stand. Frederick stepped away from his piano and moved to Octavia.
“Well then, why are you so angry? All he did was stand next to you right?”
“Yes, which is what infuriates me! No matter what I do, he always manages to work his way into my thoughts!” Octavia sighed and rubbed her face before inspecting her cello. “Hopefully practice and the concert will help calm my mind.” Frederick nodded even though Octavia couldn’t see it. Right then, the conductor called everyone’s attention over.
“Alright everypony, I know you all must be nervous,” he started, “but we still have a couple hours until the show, so let’s use that time to get ready. Now I want everypony to split into their sections so we can run through tonight’s set again.” Everypony nodded and moved off to their instruments. Octavia had got her cello and was moving to her section when a familiar voice spoke up behind her.
“Well Octavia, you actually showed up.” Octavia turned to find a mint green unicorn stallion grinning at her.
“I should say the same to you, Harpsy. I would have expected you to stay with your wife in Ponyville,” Octavia replied.
“Funny you should mention her, she’s actually gonna be at the show later,” Harpsy said with a chuckle and started walking away with his instrument floating behind him, “So try not to mess this up, ok?”
“Same to you.” The conductor cleared his throat, drawing the attention of all assembled, and after a few moments to make sure they were ready he raised his baton and started the first set.
Once Tobias got his bread and left, Vinyl spent the next four hours scribbling out more notes and putting together some kind of rough draft of a track. Once Vinyl managed to tear himself away from his work long enough to check the time, the sun had already set.
‘It’s that late already?’ Vinyl thought to himself and set a sheet of paper aside. He then stood up from his couch to stretch a little before taking off his goggles and walking over to his attire for the night. He inspected both items for a moment before he put them both on (after a brief struggle with the second item) and looked at himself in the mirror.
‘Wow, I look like a tool,’ was his first thought on seeing himself. Then again, this was the first time he wore a bowtie since middle school. And he didn’t even know where he found the pair of glasses he had on. Vinyl stared at his reflection a bit longer and then shrugged. It was the best outfit he could throw together that wasn’t what he would usually wear anyway. And if some high class pony found issue with that, they’ll have to deal with it. Giving his glasses one final adjustment, Vinyl started for his apartment door. He took a deep breath and opened the door.
“Let’s do this,” he whispered to himself and left the apartment, the door closing behind him. A few seconds later the door opened again and Vinyl walked in, grabbed the ticket he forgot, and then left the apartment.
“Well, I wonder if this is the right place,” Vinyl said sarcastically as he stood in front of what may have been the most overly elaborate building he had ever seen. The concert hall definitely looked like what Vinyl imagined a concert hall to look like, with columns lining the front along with intricate carvings on the walls behind them and the ponies mingling in front for the show to start.
Vinyl marveled at how out of his element he was, but he still pressed on with a sigh. He moved slowly to where the crowd seemed to funnel into the building, and when Vinyl got to the doors a unicorn stopped him.
“Ticket?” he asked. Vinyl blinked a couple times in confusion before realizing what he meant and levitated his ticket in front of him. The unicorn looked the ticket over a few times, and then a couple more times, before punching a hole in it and waving Vinyl in. “Enjoy the show sir,” he said before moving on to the next in line.
‘Poor guy must have said that a hundred times tonight,’ Vinyl thought as he stuck the ticket behind his ear. Vinyl looked around the entrance area, which had the high set ceiling and chandeliers that he expected, as well as several groups of ponies just milling about and making small talk. After not finding a bar he could get a drink at, Vinyl opted to go into the auditorium and find his seat.
It took a few minutes and several looks at his ticket before he finally found his seat. Vinyl sat down, readjusted his glasses and settled in for the wait. Soon enough, Vinyl lost himself in thought over song and show ideas and was only brought out of it when an earth pony mare and her filly walked in front of him to get to their seats. Once the two of them took their seats, Vinyl noticed the filly was staring at him.
“Um…hi?” Vinyl asked. The filly stared for a few more moments.
“Why is your mane so blue?” she asked.
“Tootsie!” The filly flinched at the mare’s scolding and turned towards her with her head down. “What did I say about asking rude questions?”
“Don’t do it because a rude question can hurt somepony’s feelings?” the filly replied uncertainly and the mare nodded.
“That’s right Tootsie,” she said and looked up to Vinyl, “I’m sorry about my daughter, she doesn’t think some things through.” Vinyl waved a hoof and smiled.
“It’s alright and honestly that’s not the worst thing I’ve been asked about my hair,” Vinyl said but didn’t voice the thought he had afterwards. ‘I do not dye my mane!”
“Still, I’m sorry all the same. My little Tootsie is a bit of a hoof full, but she’s still a gem of my life,” the mare said and nuzzled the filly, who gave an embarrassed cry of ‘Moooom!’ It was these little things that brought Vinyl to a horrifying revelation.
‘Oh no, I never thought I would encounter this kind of pony this early in my life: a proud parent. Alright, I think as long as I don’t insult her kid or parenting methods I should be fine.’ Vinyl took a deep breath and readjusted his glasses, ‘Stay calm Vinyl, you knew this day would come and you’ve made preparations.’ Vinyl was pulled out of his thoughts again when the mare started talking again.
“Oh I’m sorry, I haven’t introduced myself have I?” Vinyl shook his head cautiously and the mare smiled sweetly. “Well, my name is Bon-Bon and this is my daughter Tootsie Flute.”
“I like your glasses,” Tootsie said. Vinyl laughed nervously and readjusted his glasses.
“Uh, thanks, and I’m Vinyl Scratch,” he said and extended a hoof, which Bon-Bon shook and Tootsie tried to do the same, but just succeeded in tapping his hoof. Vinyl chuckled a little at the filly’s actions. “So, what brings you two here?”
“My husband is going to be playing on stage tonight,” Bon-Bon said.
“Daddy plays the lyre!” Tootsie said excitedly and turned to Bon-Bon, “When is Daddy gonna be playing, Mommy?”
“In a few minutes honey, just be patient,” Bon-Bon said. There wasn’t much more conversation for a while. Soon, more ponies started to take their seats and the lights started to dim. The stage curtains started opening and the musicians walked on stage with their instruments. Vinyl sat back in his chair, determined to at least try and pretend to enjoy the show.
Octavia walked onto the stage, focusing only on the music coming up. She reached her place and performed her standard routine of setting her cello up. When she was ready she allowed herself the chance to see what the others were doing.
Frederick was by his piano going over the music sheet again, Beauty was with the rest of the brass section doing the same and making sure their instruments were in tune, and Harpo and Harpsy were checking their respective instruments. While Harpsy was tuning his lyre he turned to the crowd, smiled widely, and started waving. Octavia assumed he was waving at his wife in the crowd and, out of curiosity, she started scanning the crowd for the two toned mare.
After a moment, Octavia spotted the earth pony in the crowd holding up who Octavia assumed was their daughter, who was also waving at Harpsy. She also vaguely recognized the blue maned unicorn sitting next to her, but she didn’t realize who it was until a few moments later. When she did, it took every fiber of her being to reduce a full body cringe to a simple surprised eye twitch.
‘Did I just… no, don’t think about it. Just ignore it until after the show, and then chew him out,’ Octavia thought and took a deep breath to calm her nerves. When she opened them she saw the conductor walking onto the stage and bowed toward the audience. Octavia took one last breath and, along with all assembled, waited for the conductor’s signal.
“So, who did you come to see?” Vinyl was so focused on the preparations onstage he almost missed the question.
“It’s just that most of the ponies here are here to see an artist they like. I just assumed that was the same for you.” Vinyl scratched his head in thought before answering.
“Eh, it’s more like my friend bought a ticket and pawned it off on me, but I guess if I had to choose one I guess I’d say Octavia.” This answer seemed to catch Bon-Bon off guard.
“Octavia?” she asked and Vinyl nodded, “huh, you don’t look like you’d be a fan of hers.”
“It’s more like a professional business curiosity.”
“Mom, daddy’s gonna start playing,” Tootsie complained and stretched up in an attempt to see the stage.
“Oh, I’m sorry sweetie,” Bon-Bon said and held up Tootsie a little higher, “is that better?” Tootsie nodded and looked on at the orchestra. Vinyl settled into his seat and watched the orchestra make their final preparations. Tootsie started waving at the stage and a green unicorn started waving back.
“I take it that’s your husband?” Vinyl asked. Bon-Bon sighed before answering.
“Mhmm, that’s the love of my life.” For a second Vinyl thought that Octavia had looked at him, but he shook it off. “Oh, I think it’s going to start now,” Bon-Bon said as the conductor walked out and bowed.
‘Ugh, finally. These shows take way too long to get set up,’ Vinyl thought. Vinyl took a deep breath, let it out and closed his eyes at the same time the conductor raised his baton. It took a few more seconds before the music actually started. Then he was in for the long haul.
The moment the conductor gave the starting signal, Octavia easily slipped into playing mode. That familiar sensation of the world around her fading away started to surround Octavia. She closed her eyes and let the music guide her movements and thoughts. The only time she opened her eyes was to check the sheet music; other than that Octavia was running fully on auto pilot.
She loved these fleeting moments.
Vinyl, for his part, did what he would normally do when analyzing a piece of music, which was just letting the music carry him and seeing how they all fit together. He followed each instrument as best as he could through the ups and downs of the music, every little piece performing its duty to the whole work. Yet his focus always ended up drifting back to the strings section and the cello specifically.
‘Heh, she knows what she’s doing,’ Vinyl thought as the piece came to a close. Vinyl took a deep breath and waited for the next one, ready to repeat the process again.
Octavia was lost in her own little world, riding the music as it played all around her. She didn’t know how long it went like that until she found that the concert was nearing its end. The final notes resounded through the auditorium which was followed by the sound of applause from the audience.
The orchestra bowed as best as they could with their respective instruments. The curtains closed and Octavia felt that unwelcome tingle run across her skin. She picked up her cello, walked over to her case, and started packing it away when Harpsy trotted over in his usual excited manner.
“Well I’m glad to see that the show didn’t go horribly wrong, don’t you agree Octavia?” he asked.
“I am in no mood to be talking right now Harpsy,” Octavia said as she shut her case and walked out of the room. Harpsy watched her walk away slightly confused by her attitude and followed her after a moment.
“What’s eating at you?” he asked when he caught up to her. Octavia didn’t answer him or acknowledge he was even there, so the two of them walked in silence until they join the crowd that heading toward the hall where dinner would be served. Octavia looked through the gathered ponies inside, most of who were chatting in groups, but saw no sign of Vinyl. However, any hope that Octavia had that Vinyl had gone was shattered when Harpsy spoke up again.
“Hey I can see Bon-Bon from here. I wonder who she’s talking to?” Harpsy walked to one of the food tables, Octavia looking over to where he was going. There she saw Bon-Bon talking with the pony she had hoped wouldn’t be there. Octavia focused on this one pony and moved in.
Vinyl, after wandering toward the food hall with Bon-Bon and Tootsie, found himself doing nothing more interesting than loitering and chatting with Bon-Bon.
“So what did you think of the show?” Bon-Bon asked while she helped Tootsie get some food.
“It’s not my kind of show, but it was alright,” Vinyl replied and looked up and down the spread, “Do you know if they have chocolate oranges?”
“They still make those?”
“Of course they do, it’s the most awesome thing that’s ever been made with chocolate!”
“I don’t know, that seems like a very lowbrow food to have at a place like this.” Tootsie started poking at Bon-Bon and looked at her pleadingly. “Oh, alright sweetie,” Bon-bon said and lowered herself so Tootsie could climb on her back.
“What does that even mean?” Vinyl asked.
“It’s just that I don’t think an event like this will have-“
“No, I meant what does lowbrow mean?”
“Oh, it means not high class. I think,” Bon-Bon said scratching her head before she looked to her right. What she saw made her eyes widen in horror. “Oh no,” she whispered and placed a hoof over her eyes. Curious about her behavior, Vinyl turned to see Harpsy walking to him.
“Hey Bonny, how’d you like the show?” he asked with a grin. Bon-Bon’s reply was to groan without moving her hoof. “Speechless huh, I knew we were awesome!” Harpsy chuckled little while still grinning. It was here that Octavia arrived, still staring at Vinyl. “Anyway, it’s nice to meet you,” Harpsy said and extended a hoof to Vinyl, who took it, “I hope Bon-Bon hasn’t been bugging you too much.”
“Nah, we were just having an intellectual discussion,” Vinyl replied and smiled at Bon-Bon, who still hadn’t looked up.
“I’m sure you were,” Octavia said and Vinyl turned to her.
“Oh hey ‘Tavi, I didn’t notice you there,” Vinyl said and chuckled, “I gotta remember to be careful around you.”
“Ha…ha…ha…” Octavia said with her eye twitching.
“Are you ok Bon?” Harpy asked, “You’ve been quiet since I got here.” Bon-Bon didn’t answer, since she was still holding a hoof to her face; so Tootsie popped up from behind her mother’s head and swallowed her mouthful of food.
“Daddy, you’re doing that thing that embarrasses Mommy,” she said pointing at Harpsy. It was just then that Harpsy noticed that he had been standing on his hind legs the entire time he was there. He yelped in surprise and lowered back down on all fours.
“I’m sorry Bon, I didn’t notice until now,” he said trying to look into his wife’s eyes. Bon-Bon took a deep breath, lowered her hoof, and sighed.
“Its ok honey, I expected you to do something like this. Don’t worry about it.”
“That’s just a mild quirk,” Vinyl said drawing the couple’s attention, “if you want to see some real embarrassing stuff you should see some of the parties I’ve gone too- you should not see some of those parties, I take that back.” Harpsy and Bon-Bon stared confusedly at Vinyl while Tootsie just sort of stared off into space. “I’ve seen some bad things,” Vinyl said and shivered slightly. Octavia cleared her throat.
“Ahem, Mr. Scratch can I talk to you in private?” she asked, her tone of voice leaving no room for negotiation.
“Sure, I need to see if this place has chocolate oranges anyway. I’ll see you two later.” With a wave at Harpsy and Bon-Bon, Vinyl walked down the table with Octavia following. Once they were sufficient distance away, Octavia spoke up again.
“What are you doing here and why are you dressed like that?” Vinyl cracked up a little at the question.
“Well you cut straight to the heart of the matter, don’t ya ‘Tavi?” Vinyl asked and inspected a tray of food. When he was done he shook his head and turned to Octavia, “I came for the show.”
“Uh huh,” Octavia deadpanned.
“Yeah that’s not entirely true. A friend pawned a ticket off on me and I really couldn’t let it go. It was still an alright show.” Vinyl turned and tapped a server on the shoulder, “Do you have any chocolate oranges?” The server stared at him for a few seconds before pointing further down the table. “No way, thanks,” Vinyl said and proceeded down the table.
“You didn’t answer my question as to your attire,” Octavia said.
“It’s to look high class,” Vinyl replied, adjusting his glasses.
“It takes more than a pair of glasses and a bowtie to be high class.”
“I said ‘look’ high class, and I don’t think you’re one to talk about high fashion.”
“DON’T YOU TALK ABOUT MY BOWTIES!” Octavia shouted, causing Vinyl and most of the ponies around them to flinch and stare. Octavia looked around the room before coughing into a hoof and looking away.
“…Ok, now I know what button not to push,” Vinyl said and cautiously started to walk down the table again with Octavia. Neither of them said anything until they came across a (arguably) very out of place tray of chocolate oranges.
“So, did you at least enjoy yourself?” Octavia asked. Vinyl took a second to swallow his food before answering.
“Yeah I guess. It’s not my thing, but at least I didn’t fall asleep from boredom.” Octavia narrowed her eyes at him.
“Oh really, and what would your thing be?” Vinyl stopped midway from eating another slice and looked at Octavia with a serious expression.
“Is that a serious question? My kind of thing is completely insane if you’re not prepared for it.” He leaned in closer to Octavia, “Are you sure you want to explore that kind of thing?” he asked and took a bite from his chocolate slice. Octavia couldn’t help but roll her eyes at his antics.
“You make it sound like it’s the worst thing I could experience. I’m a grown mare Mr. Scratch, I’m sure I can handle it.” The two of them stared at each other for a moment until Vinyl swallowed.
“If you’re really that curious ‘Tavi, just come to one of my shows. You’ll get your fill.”
“Stop calling me that, and why should I do that?” Octavia asked.
“It was just a suggestion, but if you are interested my next show is tomorrow.” Vinyl plopped the rest of the chocolate treat and chewed happily while Octavia raised an eyebrow. A few seconds later Vinyl realized what he said and almost choked.
“Oh crap, it is tomorrow! I totally forgot and I haven’t finished my set yet! You,” he pointed at a nearby server, “do you have a pen I can borrow?”
“What?” she asked before Vinyl grabbed the pen placed behind her ear with his magic, took a napkin, and hastily jotted an address and time on it. He gave the pen back to the server and handed the napkin to Octavia.
“This place, this time, just ask around and you’ll find it, I gotta go!” he said rapidly before darting through the crowd toward the exit. Octavia stared at the retreating unicorn for a moment, looked at the napkin in her hoof, and then sighed.
‘I guess I’ll have to send that letter after all,’ she thought, grateful that the tingling was starting to go away. She folded the napkin twice and stuck it in her collar before walking off to try and enjoy the rest of the dinner.
And there you go, the chapter where I prove how badly I suck at describing some scenes. Still I hope you enjoyed it.
On another note, are these chapters getting too long? Each chapter so far has been longer than the last, so should I try and cut back on that? Let me know.
Next time, we have shenanigans.