Vinyl woke to soft singing. She had fallen asleep waiting for Octavia to come back with her headphones on, which had slipped off a little during her sleep allowing her to hear the faint singing coming from across the room.
"There's song that's inside of my soul
It's the one that I've tried, to write over and over again
I'm awake in the infinite cold
But you sing to me over and over and over again
So I lay my head back down
And I lift my hooves and pray
To be only yours and pray
To be only yours, I know now
You're my only hope...”
Vinyl shifted quietly, removing her headphones completely and sitting up to view the mare across the room.
“Sing to me the song of the stars
of your galaxy dancing and laughing and laughing again
When it feels like my dreams are so far
Sing to me of your plans you have for me over again.
So I lay my head back down
And I lift my hooves and pray
To be only yours I pray
To be only yours, I know now
You're my only hope...”
Octavia sang as she sorted through her music and wrote a letter. Soon though she stopped working and laid her head on the desk, staring at nothing as she continued to sing. It was as though she was in need of hope and prayed the way musicians could best, by song.
“I give you my destiny
I'm giving you all of me
I want your symphony
Singing in all that I am
At the top of my lungs I'm giving it back
So I lay my head back down
And I lift my hands and pray
To be only yours
I pray to be only yours
I pray to be only yours
I know now you're my only hope...”
Vinyl watched mesmerized by the passion in the grey mare's voice. As the last note faded away, Vinyl sat up more on her bed and felt the need to break the silence.
“That was nice. I can see why you're in A Capella.”
Octavia gave a start of surprise at the sound of a voice behind her. She turned around and looked at the unicorn with a mostly neutral expression.
“I apologize. I had assumed you were still asleep.” Vinyl waved off waved off the apology.
“Well, you know what they say. When you assume things, you make an ass out of you and me. No offense.” Both ponies paused as a low voice replied, “none taken.”
As Vinyl nodded sagely and Octavia rolled her eyes, the unicorn continued as if nothing had happened.
“And I was one earlier today. I saw the instruments and thought you were a true-blue classical music pony. But I guess there's more to you than it appears... Sorry. Could we, uhm, start over?” Octavia eyed her wearily as she nodded slowly.
“Great. Ah, hi! I'm Vinyl and I'm studying to be the best DJ ever, though I am already the best.” Vinyl held a hoof to her chest as she bragged.
This earned another eye roll and head shake from the mare across the room.
“I'm Octavia. And while I am majoring classical, I'm also taking many of other genre of musics as well. This is the first time I will be sharing a place with anyone not family. Ever.” The cellist gave a pointed glare to which the DJ rubbed the back of her head.
“Yeeeaahh.... Well, to tell the truth, every roommate that I had before ended badly. And most were NOT my fault. The last pony I shared a place with was classically inclined and that was a disaster. I wanted to nip the problem in the bud this time around.” Vinyl looked away. She had said more than she wanted and went silent.
Octavia was a little surprised at the revelation and raised a brow.
“Well, not all of us classically inclined musicians are bad and I'll prove it myself.” Octavia boasted as she raised her head in a proud manner but with a grin to soften the look.
Vinyl smiled hesitantly back. The two of them remained that way, just smiling at each other when Octavia felt the need to break the silence once more.
“So, have you joined any clubs yet? There's a pretty good DJ club here, 'DJ's of tomorrow' I think it was called. Have you seen them?”
“Yeah, I joined them today. I have to join one more to satisfy my scholarship though. Haven't seen any that would be interesting yet... Are you in anything aside from the Equestrian Girls?” Vinyl sat back with a smirk, still finding the thought of A Capella amusing.
Octavia noticed and shook her head but was pleased to note that the unicorn didn't start on A Capella again.
“Well, I'm in the E.U.C.C. Orchestra, a Jazz band called The Swing Ponies, the Equestrian Girls, and a string quartet.” Octavia mused with a hoof to her chin.
Vinyl was in shock. Sure she liked music, but that was taking it a bit far.
“Do you have a life outside of music? I mean, don't get me wrong, but a mare's gotta have fun at college too you know?” Vinyl stated in disbelief. Octavia raised a brow.
“I do indeed have fun. But my fun comes from doing what I love, not from some party I won't remember the next day.”
“Riiiighhht. Well how about we test that? Do you know this pony named Pinkie Pie?” Grey brows rose in recognition.
“Yes actually. She stopped by the A Capella booth and asked about we do. Claire had to explain what A Capella was. Once she understood she was rather ecstatic about it.” Octavia gave a soft laugh at Claire's weariness of the pink mare.
“Ah. That would explain the over-simplified explanation given to me.” Vinyl gave a chuckle as well.
“Well, anyways, Pinkie Pie is having a party this Saturday. Come and prove me wrong.” Octavia remained silent as she looked at the other mare.
“I may be busy that day...” She trailed off when white brows rose up in disbelief.
“Exactly my point! Been here less than a week and already you have no time to make friends or loosen up.” Vinyl pointed with a hoof at the earth pony, who was looking sheepish.
“Actually, it's my second year here...”
“Huh?” The white hoof dropped down as Vinyl's mouth also dropped open. Octavia sighed, she had expected a response like that.
“I've had tutors most of my life. Due to my advanced work, I graduated a year early. But since I was still young when I joined E.U.C.C., I stayed with family nearby and commuted. Since it would be easier to get a dorm and I was old enough I decided to stay on campus this year.” Vinyl rubbed her forehead with a hoof as she took in the news.
“Hang on. So not only are you the same age as me but a year my senior but you've been on campus for a year and not partied!? This just got weirder. How could we be roommates? How?” Octavia frowned a little at the dismissive tone Vinyl once again had in her voice.
“I don't know, I thought we were doing satisfactory until just now.”
Vinyl paused at the statement, realizing she was being overly rude again.
“.... Sorry. Guess I'm worried about how well we'd get along if all you do is related to music.” Vinyl rubbed the top of her head, messing up her mane more than before.
“Surely your previous roommates weren't all that bad?” Octavia sighed while the white mare shifted on her bed.
“If you are the same age as me then you can't have had that many horrible roommates.” Octavia continued while Vinyl gave a soft sigh. She knew that she would have to explain a little as to why she kept reacting like she was. It helped that Octavia had already confessed about her nerdiness, making it feel more like they were sharing stories than Vinyl just flat out stating why she didn't seem to get along with many others.
“I was raised in an orphanage. I don't want to go into why, but I will say this. My roommates changed every three months if not sooner. This went on for years. The longest one was five months I think and that was the last time I tried to make it work out.”
Octavia really wanted to know more about it but felt that such a discussion would have to wait for when they were better friends. If they managed to get that far. Vinyl was on her bed, laying on her back with fore-hooves behind her head as Octavia pondered.
Vinyl turned to face the grey mare with a raised brow.
“Well, maybe not completely but thank you for telling me that. I won't hold it against you and I shall not ask for further details unless you want to talk about it.” Vinyl gave a grunt while turning to face the ceiling once more.
The room fell silent as the mares thought to themselves. Well one pondered what had been discussed and the other tried not to re-live the memories.
“I'll go to the party.” Octavia said softly.
If Vinyl didn't have extremely sharp hearing, she wouldn't have heard it. Anypony else would have assumed that it was unimportant mumbling. Though the DJ thought that she must have misheard it anyways.
“What was that?”
“I said, I'll go to the party this Saturday. But if there is any hard-core drinking then I'm leaving. Drinking dulls the senses and makes it hard to play instruments.” Octavia said at normal volume, looking over towards the DJ who had a hesitant smile on.
“Yeah, sure. Drinking isn't quite my thing either. But I don't know how Pinkie hosts parties. Guess we'll find out when we get there... hey, if you don't mind me asking, why were you singing that song? Sounded like you meant it and needed all the help you can get.”
Octavia sighed, she hoped that the unicorn had forgotten about that.
“It's about the Equestrian Girls. We made finals last year and due to some issues, we dropped to being the laughing stock of this school's A Capella groups. We had a good group of ponies who all either quit or graduated and now we have to start over... it's a little saddening to say the least.” Octavia sighed as she got up from her desk and sat on her bed facing the other mare who in turn had sat up to focus on what was being said.
“Huh. Issues hmm? Alright. If you say so.” Vinyl glanced at the clock that was in the middle of the room over the door. It came with the room and it gave the students little excuse to miss classes.
Vinyl figured she had the time to chat with her roommate, even with her interview in the morning and sat up farther on the bed. The two mares chatted well into the night, talking of the various aspects of college and classes. To Vinyl's surprise, she didn't mind Octavia as much as she had thought and both ponies hoped that perhaps they could be friends after all.
They ended up chatting well in the night and it was with a little bit of annoyance that Vinyl got up early the next morning for her interview. As she made made her way to the store, she noticed traffic was a lot more sparse away from the dorms at the early hour of 7am. As she found her quarry she couldn't help but pause at the sight.
The building was only one story like it's neighbors but had red brick front with a record with '33 1/3' on it that hung above the door. A good portion of the front was window displaying the evolution of music media from vinyl record discs on the left to DVDs and USB drives on the right.
As the white unicorn walked inside, she noticed music being played in the background and a room where the owner was checking on sound feature. All the shelves were slightly shorter than a typical pony's head when on all fours and it was as Vinyl stood on two legs to look for the pony in charge that she noticed the sound room and how rather big the store was. The stallion stepped out of the booth as Vinyl walked up to it.
“Hi, I'm Neon Lights. Are you Vinyl Scratch?” Vinyl looked at the stallion before her and mused that he was rather good looking, even if he was a bit young (though he was still older than her).
He had blue coat so dark it was almost black and short black mane and tail. He wore glasses much like Vinyl's except that they were black and wore a black collar and tie. While it was a little unusual, Vinyl had to admit that he pulled it off. He had a cutie mark of three yellow stars, which made Vinyl slightly curious as to what his talent was.
She shook the offered hoof and nodded.
“Yeah, I'm Vinyl. Nice to meet you. Is the music local or you putting stuff on yourself?”
As Neon began to give Vinyl the tour of the store, he replied nonchalantly.
“We double as the local radio. Gotta have something to do to fill in the long hours. No freshman in the booth though.” Vinyl was excited, this place was sounding better and better.
“Do you get stuff from others to play or is it all just what's hot on the market?”
“We get stuff from the DJs from time to time, but I don't think a lot of the musical ponies know that we are here or about the radio station. Too busy with their own music, you know?”
“Yeah, real shame.”
“That it is. So for the most part, it's just you, me and two others who work here. Let's go and figure out your schedule...” Vinyl nodded as they walked into a back office and filled out paperwork.
She was really pleased to find a place to work that wasn't annoyed with her glasses. The rest of the morning went to learning her way about the store and putting CDs back on the shelves.
The rest of the day and majority of the next one was spent getting to know the school and her roommate. They fond they knew and liked some of the same artists and styles. Though this was an easy feat since Octavia liked just about everything and Vinyl knew about everything.
Vinyl had two more rude outbursts that resulted from clashing of opinions. In an effort to work on the problem, they came up with a way for Octavia to let Vinyl know when it was going too far. Octavia felt odd calling Vinyl 'Scratchie' but it worked to an extent.
She was glad to see that the unicorn wanted to try and make the whole thing work out. And while most of their talks centered on either the school or music, it was at least friendly-ish.
Soon enough it was time for the party, though it was with slight embarrassment that they realized that neither one knew where they party would be held at. They got as far as to standing outside of their dorm looking around, hoping for a sign pointing the way, when with a soft thud an invitation was thrown into the ground before the two ponies.
Vinyl lifted it up with her magic and opened the envelop, which emitted a small pop and shower of confetti to the amazement of the mares looking at it. They both raise a brow at each other before reading the invite before them.
[To Vinyl Scratch and Octavia Melody
You are both cordially invited to the 'Welcome to College' party
located three blocks due south of where you are facing
in the big open space with lots of ponies parting
No need to worry about bringing gifts or food,
all is taken care of.
You merely have to come to have lots of fun!]
Vinyl blinked a few times before cracking up. Even Octavia couldn't hold back a smile at the very personalize invitation. Vinyl kept chuckling as she levitated the paper away back to their dorm and turned 'south'.
Octavia was a little doubtful that they would find the place with such vague instructions, but Vinyl merely waved a dismissive hoof and continued on her way. As they were almost there, they heard the sound of loud music (it seemed to be a generic type, neither offensive nor 'too sappy') and ponies laughing. Once they were in the last forum of campus before nature took over once more, they saw a party unlike ever seen at college before.
There was a large table in the center that had all the food on it and a few bowls of punch placed symmetrically. Most of the food were of the baked kinds, cakes, cupcakes, pies, and cookies, as well as some fountains of chocolate. The punch was all the same however, and served in large bowls. This got a brow raise from Vinyl, she was uncertain if it was on purpose and already spiked or just asking to be.
It was the things around the table that were the most notable however. Games were placed all around, and ponies stood by and laughed while some actually played the child-aged games. There was pin the tail on the pony (leaning up against a nearby tree), snakes and ladders, sorry, battle clouds, piñatas, and twister (though twister seemed to be the favorite so far).
Octavia wasn't completely sure, but she didn't think that this was how most parties were suppose to be. Vinyl, on the other hoof, knew that this wasn't the usual party scene and thought it was hilarious.
As the two friends came further into the party, the one hosting it all showed up suddenly in front of them.
“Hey guys! I'm glad you made it! What do you think, great huh? The first of many! What games do you like? I tried to get all the usual ones, but I'm not sure if everyone likes the choices. I may have to get more kinds. Oh oh! And the food! There's lots of cake and all kinds of cupcakes and five different kinds of pies and my own special blend of punch!” Pinkie Pie hopped in front of the two ponies, waving a hoof to the various attractions.
“It looks really good Pinkie. Uh, what's in the punch? We're trying to keep away from alcohol tonight.” Vinyl said as she followed the pink mare to the concession table.
“Alcohol? There's no alcohol in it. Why would you ruin a perfectly good punch with stuff that burns and hurts and tastes weird?” Pinkie Pie looked at the white unicorn in confusion.
Vinyl gave the party mare a blank stare, unsure if she was aware of what really happened at parties or not.
“Uh, well, that's what a lot of ponies in college like to do. Drink and stuff. That and spike any unattended punch when they can.” Vinyl waved a hoof to the large bowls of punch, to show how defenseless they were.
“Silly. That's what others do at their parties, this is a Pinkie Pie party! No need for alcohol when you've got sugar! Besides those punches are completely safe, unless you get hit, and even if they weren't safe I'd know.” Pinkie smiled once more before pausing and twitching a little.
“DON'T TOUCH THE PUNCH!” She suddenly shouted at a pony who was going for a refill of the drink.
“Somepony went and messed up the sugar to fruit ratio! I'll be back in a moment! Meanwhile, everypony enjoy the food!” Within moments the pink mare flew towards the dorms before coming back with a new bowl of punch in mere seconds.
Vinyl and Octavia blinked at this rapid speed before laughing at how serious the party pony took the offense of spiking the drinks. All doubts about how bad the party would go were thrown out by Pinkie's watch of the drinks and food (while somehow still making sure that everyone was having fun).
The rest of the evening went quickly, Vinyl and Octavia enjoying games that they hadn't played since they were much younger and enjoying each other's company. While most of the partiers found it odd to be playing foal's games once more, the pair enjoyed this 'simpler' party the most.
And while whoever spiked the punch tried twice more to add alcohol to the drink, Pinkie Pie seemed to sense whenever this occurred and fixed it. After the last attempt she started to set up traps for the unsuspecting pony, while still telling everypony about it (defeating the purpose, but causing a laugh nonetheless).
It was after a dark blue pony flew into the air (having fallen prey to Pinkie's trap under a trap under a trap while trying to spike the drinks) that Vinyl and Octavia decided to call it a night. While there was still one more day before any classes started, they didn't want to get off on the wrong hoof by messing up their sleep schedules.
As they got ready for the night and settling down in their respective beds, Vinyl turned towards Octavia with a small smile.
“Thanks for going to the party. And see, it was totally fine!” Vinyl stated as she laid down and pulled the covers over herself.
“Yes, well, I doubt that that was how most parties go. Though it was fun. See? Not all of us classical ponies are horrible.” Octavia replied as she too laid down and pulled the covers over herself.
Vinyl merely chuckled, having already forgotten that Octavia was a classical mare at heart. She didn't seem like it after speaking about all her musical tastes and watching her concentrate during a game of battle clouds.
Vinyl used her magic to turn off the light as she shifted over in her bed.
“Good night Tavi...”
Octavia paused at this new nickname, though at least it sounded better than 'Octy'.
“Good night, Vinyl.”