Octavia pushed the door open, heaving a sigh as she eased her cello onto the floor. Even with the aid of a little of Vinyl's magic bottled up in a gem she wore around her neck, the instrument was quite heavy, and on her relatively long walk to the home they shared, Octavia had many times wished that she played a, instrument more subdued in size, like a violin.
But Crescendo had insisted she play the cello, like his mother, whom he claimed she looked just like... Octavia shook her head to clear it. Crescendo wasn't her father anymore, and she played her cello for herself now, anyways. It didn't matter that her grandmar-- no, Crescendo's mother played if they weren't related.
"I'm home, Vin'," she called tiredly, coming into the sitting room and plunking down on the sofa with a remarkable lack of dignity.
Vinyl looked up from her magazine, a still slightly chocolatey Tambourine sprawled across her abdomen, fast asleep. "Hard day?"
Octavia pulled out a tissue and leaned over Vinyl's flank to dab at their sleeping filly's face. "No. Just a long walk home with a heavy cello. I can't believe you left Tamby to sit around with that Neightella stuff on her face all day long."
"I thought I got most of it off." Vinyl moved slightly to see the filly's sleeping face. "Eh... I guess you're right. But she didn't seem to mind. By the way, I think we're going to need to invest in a lot of that stuff. The kid loves it, which I can completely understand, considering I do, too."
"We can't let her have too much, or she'll get fat, like you." Octavia poked a hoof into the soft flesh at Vinyl's hip, eliciting a small, "hey!" from the other mare. "What? I don't mind, I think it makes you cuter and more marshmallowy. And more harmless looking."
This time Vinyl narrowed her eyes at her teasing marefriend, and feeling it was asked for, pushed her off the couch with her magic.
"Hey!" Octavia glared at her reproachfully from the floor. "What was that for?!"
"Calling me a harmless marshmallow," Vinyl giggled, proud of herself. "I had to show you that isn't true. Besides, I'm still stronger than you."
"Probably, but I doubt it'll stay that way for long if you keep eating that Neigh-whatchamacallit stuff for breakfast." Octavia shrugged and gathered her hooves beneath her again, clambering back to what she felt was her rightful place on the couch.
"You know perfectly well what it's called. You're just being a... a loof."
"Hah!" Octavia burst out laughing at that. "Not quite, Vinny dear. Aloof is one word, not two, but you're getting there. Soon I'll have you talking just like any cultured mare in Canterlot."
"Celestia forbid! I don't want to be some muzzle-in-the-air Canterlot snob-face." Vinyl shook her head, frowning. "Just be quiet and go make dinner, mare o' mine."
"What? It's not sexist when I'm a mare, too. And we both know I can't cook anything more complicated then mac' and cheese. Besides, it's your turn. We had mac' and cheese last night."
"Fine. But you'd better wake Tamby. How long has she been asleep anyways?"
"I dunno, an hour, maybe? It was, like, three-ish, I think." Vinyl shrugged.
"That's two and a half hours ago then," Octavia remarked drily, getting up and going to the kitchen.
Half an hour later, the two ponies plus Tambourine sat at the dinner table, enjoying a meal of homemade hay-fries (for unexplained reasons Octavia believed these were healthy. Vinyl made no comment to prevent that.) and a whole squash, seasoned generously with some Fillitalian spices Octavia had picked up in Ponezia. Tambourine happily gummed a cherry-- she'd had her evening meal long ago, and wouldn't truly be hungry again until about two in the morning, when Vinyl would groggily make herself get up and feed her again.
"This is good, as usual, 'Tav. Where'd you get the squish?" Vinyl spoke through a mouthful of the stuff, eliciting a frown of disapproval from her partner.
"Nearly two years and I still haven't gotten you to break that habit." Octavia reached over to close Vinyl's mouth as she chewed, tut-tutting a light scolding. "I got it at the farmers' market, last Saturday. I wish you'd stop calling it squish-- it's so foalish."
"Never will, I'm afraid. I'm too rude to be fixed." Vinyl stuck out her tongue, regardless of the fact that it still carried traces of her last bite of squash. "This is the best squish I've had all season," she continued, grinning. "Maybe it's the best squish I've ever had. I don't know."
"Wuh," Tambourine felt it was necessary to add to the conversation, spitting her half-eaten cherry onto the floor and reaching her curious hoof towards Vinyl's plate.
"Ah-ah-ah, little Filly-of-the-Wub," Vinyl said, pushing the hoof away. "This is Mommy's. But you can have it if you use your magic."
Tambourine repeated her first word again, leaving Octavia smarting. She waved her hoof at the pantry, squeezing her eyes shut in concentration as a tiny bit of magic fizzed at the end of her horn. "Wuh, wuh, wuh-teya!"
"What the..." Vinyl's brow creased in puzzlement.
"Wuh-teya, wuh-teya! Wuh-teya!" Tambourine clapped, pleased with her new word. She pointed at the pantry and struggled with her uncooperative horn again.
Eventually she managed to keep it alight long enough to pull out a jar in a wobbly grey aura, its label obscured by the pasty baby magic. A few hooves from the pantry door the jar fell to the ground and cracked in half, its brown contents spilling onto the floor.
Tambourine looked pleased. "Wuh-teya, wuh-teya, wuh-teya!"
"Vinyl," Octavia asked carefully. "How long have you been feeding her Neightella?"
"What? Oh, about a month or so, why?"
"Because guess what her first real word was?"
"Do you really want me to believe that she was trying to say Neightella all this time?" Vinyl lowered one eyebrow in a queer half-frown. "Because I don't. Her first word was wub. Her second word was Neightella."
Octavia layed a hoof on top of Vinyl's in a soothing way. "Just admit you're wrong, Vin'. It's still your word, considering I don't eat that stuff."
Needless to say, both mares Octavia went to sleep happy that night. Vinyl slept with her back to Octavia, shrugging off more then one embrace before finally drifting off into a frowning sleep.
But Octavia woke up in the middle of the night, eyes too wide open, suddenly possessed with a maddening desire. She slipped out of bed and crept to the pantry, reveling in her rebellion like a little filly.
The door creaked open and she let out a startled cry.
Vinyl spoke groggily, rubbing her eyes at the bright light. "I always knew you liked Nutella, Marshmallow."