"Vinyl... Are we heading for your apartment?"
"Now, why would you say that, Tavi?"
Well, the fact that we're standing outside your door, and your magic is fumbling with the keys is a slight hint..."
"Surprise! We're going to my apartment!"
Octavia sighed. "Remind me again why I put up with you..."
Vinyl beamed. "Because I'm just so fun to have around!"
"Right... No, that's not it."
The white unicorn chuckled as the lock finally clicked open. "So cruel, Tavi! Come on in!"
"Is it safe?"
"Well... if you watch your step... mostly!"
Octavia entered the apartment cautiously, looking for anything that might have grown feelers and would be more than happy to crawl up an unsuspecting pony's leg. Seeing nothing in the immediate vicinity, she braved a few more steps into the darkness. The DJ, on the other hand, was either ignorant of the danger inherent in her flat or just so used to it that she disregarded it.
The cellist stopped in the entrance hall and looked around, silently laughing at the contrast between hers and Vinyl’s apartments. While hers was tidy and sparse, tastefully furnished and with art on the walls, Vinyl’s was more like the den of a just-starting-out rock band, with old, broken furniture and posters of music idols festooning the walls. ...And some unknown blue stain in a couple places.
Vinyl, already deeper in the apartment she had the tenacity to call a home, called back to her. “Come on, slowpony!”
“In a minute! Let me get my hazmat suit first!”
“Har har. Come on, Miss Witty Pony.”
Octavia began to forge her way carefully through the apartment. As many times as she had been there in the past couple months (not at all recently, though- was that part of what Vinyl wanted to show her?) she had never seen the apartment in its entirety. It had the entrance hall, a small living room that turned into a kitchenette at the far end, a bathroom, and a hall at the back leading further in. The hall led to a bedroom, with a few other doors at the end. Vinyl was familiar with all of the first rooms, but the doors at the end of the hall were a mystery to her. She had always assumed them to be closets of some sort, but thinking on it some more, she realized that with the layout of the apartment and the spacing of the building next to it, there had to be something more substantial than an empty closet. (Or perhaps not empty; the untidy unicorn may have left other… things in there. If they were anything like the rotted mess Octavia had found upon opening her fridge one time, she didn’t want anything to do with them.)
Crossing the living room, which was furnished with an old couch, a radio set, and assorted trash and odds and ends all over the place, the grey earth pony came to the hall. Peering into the darkness after Vinyl, she saw that the bedroom door was open and the room looked the same as ever. Where was Vinyl…?
The DJ’s voice came down the hall out of the shadows.“Now, where’s that light switch… Ah-ha!”
The hall was flooded with light from the door at the end, and Octavia, whose eyes had become adjusted to the darkness, covered her face with a hoof.
“Come on in! I’ve been waiting to show you this.”
Her eyes acclimating, the mare moved forward down the hall into the lighted room. When she uncovered her eyes, she gasped:
Vinyl had turned the room (which, from the look of it had been an unusually large spare bedroom used for storing something in a past life) into a miniature recording studio. The room had been split in two by a divider: one half for the live room and the other half the control room. The DJ pony, with her advanced knowledge of audio and recording, had most likely done a good job on the setup and wiring of the studio, and had even covered the live part of the room in sound-absorbing foam. Octavia was speechless. Such an amount of work, all done in… well, she’d last been to this apartment a couple weeks ago.
“Vinyl! This is…” The cellist paused, still at a loss for words.
The unicorn grinned her customary ‘I’m so pleased with myself’ grin. “I know, right? I’ve got just about everything, I think. Took some time to learn, it’s of course different from what I usually work with, my turntables and stuff, but-”
Octavia just looked on as Vinyl launched into one of her in-depth explanations of the mechanics behind sound and recording. The cellist was customarily on the ‘supply’ sound of music, and was used to just doing what she was told and playing when she was told to play whenever she went to record an album.
“-and that’s it! So, the reason I asked you to grab your cello was… well, you know…”
The grey earth pony smiled. “Because…?”
“Well… you know… I thought we could… trytorecordasongtogether.” Vinyl, slightly embarrassed by now, spit out the rest of her words in one breath.
Octavia had, of course, surmised this, but she enjoyed hearing the other mare say it. “Has that ever been done before?”
The white unicorn recovered from her embarrassment with her trademark ease. “Mixing classical music with my sick beats?”
“Err… something like that.” Octavia let her rolling eyes carry into her voice.
Vinyl, oblivious to the slight sarcasm, continued happily. "Not that I know of, but I think we could figure it out! Why not try new things?"
"Well, maybe! Then again.... I remember what happened last time you said that."
Vinyl winked. "You know you enjoyed that."
“I'm not answering that."
Vinyl moved forward to rub her muzzle against Octavia's neck. "Of course… you know, if we work on this together, you might just have to stay here overnight a little more often..."
The grey earth pony closed her eyes and enjoyed the feeling of the white unicorn’s coat against her own. She began to move her forelegs up and around Vinyl’s neck, and caressed the electric-blue mane she found there, gently tugging and twisting her hoof around in it. She felt the DJ pony begin to do the same to her mane, and the sensation was a bit more than pleasant.
“My, my, my, now that is quite tempting.”
“Isn’t it though? I knew I was irresistible.”
“Oh, is that what you think?”
“Nah, that’s what I know.”
“Well, it’s getting late… How about if we work on this project tomorrow?”
“You mean the song, or us-”
Octavia stopped and pulled back to look at her disapprovingly. “Yes, the song!”
“Ohhhh. In that case, since it is sooo late…?”
Octavia sighed flamboyantly. “Well, because it’s so late, I don’t know if I can make the long trip back to my apartment tonight. Plus, the blizzard seems to be starting again. Might I humbly request shelter and… a bed?”
The unicorn removed her shades and grinned slyly.
“Let it snow, baby. Let it snow.”
Vinyl Scratch opened her eyes. She blinked, closed them, flipped over onto her other side, and opened them again. Something was different.
-Was she okay? …Yes. Not hungover, which was nice. Not that she often woke up hungover, it was just that- oh well, not important.
-Where was she? Her apartment. Her bed. All was well there.
-What about Tavi?
This question, the sleepy unicorn wasn’t sure of. She turned back over on her other side, stretching her legs in the large bed as she did so. She caught a glimpse of a dark grey mane on the pillow next to her, and followed it down to the sleeping body of the mare next to her. Vinyl’s face broke into a wide smile as she remembered the previous night’s… festivities. Octavia was a proper pony most of the time, for sure, but… she snickered at the memories.
Then it hit her. That’s what was wrong! She had woken up on her own, when usually Octavia had to come and drag her out of bed.
Well, the music-savvy pony thought, this is odd. What do I now?
Once she realized she wouldn’t be able to get back to sleep, after kissing her gently on the snout, she slipped out of the bed without disturbing the dozing cellist. Early last night, she had learned that Octavia had nothing pressing to do today, so the blue-maned pony felt no need to wake her. She trotted into the hall and looked both ways. She could go to the kitchen, and try to find something actually edible for breakfast, or she could go to the recording studio and try to finish getting those extra mic jacks wired.
Vinyl gave up the first option as impossible and started toward the open door.
Octavia woke later, in much the same fashion. She stretched luxuriously, and realized her ‘host’ was no longer next to her. She raised her head from where she had sunk down into the bed and looked around. The room was empty.
The grey earth pony rolled out of the bed and stood on her hooves. She was still a little fatigued, as she had been up... late last night, but she felt pretty good this morning. She moved out of the bedroom, and paused in the hall.
It wasn’t hard to find out where her favorite DJ was; one just had to follow the muffled sounds of tinkering (punctuated with a curse here and there). Octavia trotted down the hall and pushed the door open to see Vinyl under the mixing board console, her hind legs splayed out from beneath, presumably working with her magic and forehooves.
“Celestia-flippin’ son of a bucking-”
“Watch your language, now, Vinyl!”
The marshmallow white pony rolled out from under the console and smiled, for once without her trademark shades. “Figures you’d come in the only time all morning I curse.”
“I believe that. And I also assume you have a bridge to sell me?”
Vinyl chuckled. “Sure, suspension or arch?”
The award-winning cellist laughed in spite of herself. “Always ready with a snappy comeback. Can’t you just accept you’ve met your intellectual better?”
The blue-maned unicorn got to her hooves and moved forward, tugging Octavia toward her with a tendril of her magic. “Aw, you know me. Where would I be without a good line?”
The mare being pulled allowed herself to be drawn closer, until the two were close enough for her to lean forward and kiss Vinyl tenderly. The white mare responded with equal intensity, and the two found themselves enjoying a private moment. After a minute, however, Octavia broke away.
“Now now, it’s much too early. Time for breakfast.”
“Aw, but Tavi!”
“No buts. I’m assuming your fridge still isn’t in the ‘digestible’ or even ‘non-poisonous’ category?”
“Well, if you like mold…”
“I guessed as much. How about if I go out and get something?”
“No, like socks.”
“Silly Tavi, you can’t eat socks!”
The grey mare sighed. “I’ll be back in a while.”
Vinyl laid back down and prepared to slide back under the console. Upside-down, she grinned up at Octavia cheerfully. “Bye! Bring me some socks, too!”
“See you in a little bit, Vinyl.”
Octavia trotted through the streets, on her way to her favorite market. The roads and alleys of Manehattan were ensconced in the snow, but it was neither too deep nor too unpleasant for the earth pony to walk on. The sun reflected off the gleaming whiteness, giving a shine to the world that it rarely had, and the cellist found herself wondering if she should have taken Vinyl’s glasses, to cut the sparkle a little.
Ah well, she thought. Nothing to do but enjoy it! And blink often.
Finally, she turned a corner and found the store in front of her. Finally, she thought. Now to find something for her and Vinyl. She knew from experience that the blue-maned unicorn, similar to a good teenage colt, would eat just about anything, and lots of it. What mattered to her was more along the lines of whether or not it was moving when she ate it.
Octavia moved into the market and began to peruse the aisles. Luckily, she had thought to bring a saddlebag she kept with her cello for spare sheet music, so, after emptying it, she had taken it with her, if only to avoid carrying one of the market’s shopping baskets in her mouth. Celestia only knew what other ponies had carried those before her.
Let’s see, Tavi thought… bread, sugar, butter, milk-
A voice came from behind her. “Octavia! It’s been sooo long!”