Every orphan that went to the Hudson Orphanage hated holidays. The only thing special about the holidays was that they saw more of their drunken caretaker than usual as she reminded them all that they had no family and no one would ever care for them. Now that Regionals were over, Vinyl could only stew about what Harvest's Feast could possibly mean for an orphan without anyone who cares about her.
While the holiday did start out as an earth pony farmer tradition, being the day when all the harvesting was finished, the other tribes later adopted it as a day to sit with family and friends for a nice large meal before winter came. This made it very odd and disheartening for orphans to celebrate, especially ones that had a hard time making/keeping friends.
Claire Belle, during her little 'pep talk' after Regionals, had given everyone the holiday off since most would want to visit family. To Vinyl, this meant that most of her friends would be gone during the holidays; the unicorn assumed that Octavia would also be gone; there was most likely some high noble event for family and friends that she would be attending that weekend.
The holiday weekend lasted until Wednesday and it was only the start, Saturday, meaning that Vinyl had five days on her own or so she thought until the DJ noticed that the earth pony made no move to pack or leave.
“So, ah, Tavi, when are you leaving for Manehatten?” Vinyl tried to appear nonchalant as she continued her research of body language which helped her confirm what Octavia had previously stated about her family; they didn't get along at this time because of the light gray mare's personal choices.
“Sigh, I told you Vinyl, my family and I don't see things the same way and the only way to convince them is to go at it alone. Besides I can only just imagine what it would be like for you on this particular holiday, there's no way I'll 'leave you hanging'.” Vinyl noticed that the last part was said with a blush, though she couldn't be sure if it was because of what was said or the meaning it may have behind it.
That was the problem with learning body language but lacking emotional experience, she didn't know what to make of the blush, shifting in spot and avoiding direct eye contact.
“Vinyl, there's something I want to, to ask you...” Vinyl turned to face her roommate to show that she had her complete attention even though she already did and most likely always will.
“Uhm, would you want -” Octavia was about to rush out her question when there came a knock at their door. The gray mare felt her face fall as she lost another chance to pose her question.
Vinyl saw this and was extremely curious to what she wanted to ask and decided that she'd be short with whoever was at the door in order to get back to more important topics and questions.
The white unicorn opened the door, about to make a snappy retort, when she noticed who was there; the sight of Windy Day with a small smile caused most of her thoughts to leave as she tried to imagine what the pegasus could possible want.
"I figured out the best way to keep you in balance so that you do not fall prey to the spirit of chaos.” White ears flipped back as the unicorn heard more non-sense about spirits of chaos.
“Hello Windy Day.” Vinyl greeted as Windy Day let herself in and greeted Octavia with a nod of her head. She then sat facing the two roommates who both looked at the pegasus in confusion as to why she was there.
“This is a charm that when shared with your other half will help you stay in harmony.” Windy Day lifted a circular charm that had a black swirl with a white dot in its center and a white swirl with black dot in its center.
“That's nice but I don't have an 'other half'.” Vinyl said while glancing towards Octavia who had suddenly found the floor to be interesting scene of embarrassment. Windy Day raised a brow at the unicorn's statement and spoke loud enough that Octavia was able to barely hear it.
“I believe that Octavia is your better half and that is why I am giving half to her as well.” With a firm tug Windy Day pulled the charm apart along the swirl's seam and attached another chain to the charm, which she then gave the black swirl to Octavia and Vinyl the white one.
Octavia was surprised that she could hear Windy Day, though barely; so surprised that she didn't even think about what was said until after she took the offered charm. As Windy Day's words sunk in, Octavia found that she couldn't look or get up from her bed and Vinyl tried to avoid the social bomb hidden in the friendly words as she looked only at the sky-blue mare in front of them.
“The white clashes with my fur.” Vinyl grumbled to Windy Day as a way to dispute what was being said without causing social trouble with her friend.
Once again the sky-blue pegasus spoke just loud enough to be heard by the earth pony.
“You should wear what the other represents. You are yin and Octavia, you are yang. To be in balance with each other, you must wear the representation of the other.” With a small smile to the two of them, Windy Day left the two to ponder what it all meant.
After spending a few minutes in embarrassment, Vinyl remembered that Octavia was asking her something before the visit.
“So, ah, what were you asking before?” Vinyl turned to face the gray mare and saw how flustered she became at the question.
“Oh, oh, uhm, nothing. Don't, don't worry about it.” Octavia blushed even harder and began to fiddle with the half charm, causing Vinyl to blush as well though she wasn't sure why.
The unicorn cast her mind about for any reason or topic that would make the whole thing less awkward and remembered the fight the day before.
“Tavi, why was Lime Light and that other stallion with Sir Snooty Moody?” Vinyl settled onto her bed as she looked over at her roommate who perked up at the question.
Octavia leapt at this topic change, even if it was about something almost as bad.
“Lime Light and Niteshade have been Pony Moore's 'informants' for a long time now. They help 'keep him in the know' when it comes to, well, me. I applied to this college as a way to break free of my parents up-bringing as well as him and he didn't take it so well. I know that's what they are doing and I wouldn't be surprised if Pony Moore had more going on in the background as well as keeping taps on me.” Octavia sat up and sighed as she thought of how much she seemed to be watched and controlled even after leaving her family's household. She allowed her gaze to wonder before settling to face the far wall in absent thought.
Vinyl also faced the wall and thought out-loud.
“So they are his lackeys... I knew we won that Riff Off, maybe Sir Snooty doesn't want the Equestrian Girls to make it and is trying to sabotage us. You let me know if he bothers you ever again, alright? I'll take care of him.” Vinyl said as she peeked over to the gray mare who sat up even more as she looked worriedly to the unicorn.
“I will but please, don't get into trouble! If it becomes too much E.U.C.C. may have to expel you!” Vinyl could practically feel the worry the light gray mare had for the DJ, all the practice with looking for and at body language was paying off.
After reassuring the young noble that she would try and stay out of trouble, the two fell into what was habit; listening to the radio while working on homework and 'chatting' through their journal.
The two roommates spent the holiday hanging out. While it was true that the majority of the school had gone to visit their hometowns, there were still some places open with ponies shopping (admittedly after the day of Harvest's Feast which was a national holiday and almost nothing was open that day). The two friends went window shopping and watched movies for the most part of the holiday weekend as a means to relax.
Octavia didn't try and ask her question during that whole time and Vinyl almost forgot about the whole thing, except for the fact that the two roommates did wear the charms they had been given. They found less obvious ways to avoid to wear them however, so that nopony would come to the wrong conclusion; Vinyl wore hers on her left hoof along with a few other bracelets and charms to draw attention away from it while Octavia simply wore hers on her neck but due to the charm's coloring most didn't notice that the gray mare wore anything.
All that relaxing was put to the test the first day of practice; they all gathered in the center of the room and waited for Claire's presentation. The cream-colored mare flipped the white board over and it had topics almost solely concerning sticking to the prepared set. Claire then went over doing their set exactly as planned, no changing it or anything else; most of the explanation was spent with a glare at Pinkie Pie who sheepishly smiled back.
Vinyl grinded a hoof into the ground through the whole speech and waged war with herself between fighting with Claire or keeping a promise. At the end of the 'pep talk', the white unicorn had come to a decision.
Just as everyone stood with a soft sigh to begin practice, Vinyl stood faster than the others and stomped out the door. Octavia was surprised at the mostly silent exit and spoke with Claire defending the unicorn. The light gray mare wasn't sure if it was a good or bad thing when she knew how far Vinyl could take some things before storming off but the shock was at how silently it had come, the earth pony expected a lot more yelling; at least the unicorn had removed herself from the situation before it got worse, she was learning slowly.
Vinyl quickly stomped her way back to her dorm, anger coming from her in waves. As soon as the door closed behind her she threw off her glasses and landed face first into her pillow which she then proceeded to scream into. While the DJ knew that the rooms were sound-proof, she didn't want to chance anything with all the shouting.
Slowly her anger flew outward and was replaced with fear and trepidation; the white unicorn didn't care about what Claire said or thought but Octavia was another matter all on her own. In an attempt to not explode during the practice, Vinyl had looked only at the ground while she argued with herself; which she now regretted since she didn't see how Octavia had looked when she stormed out.
(I bet that walking out like that counts as not getting along with Claire and Tavi must be mad at me by now... She must realize how messed up I am, how I can't ever seem to get along with others... She'll probably want to end our friendship since I can't keep promises or stay out of trouble... I knew no 'friendship' would last past three months.. Though we did make it to four, but I guess that's the limit... Why can't I get along with others, why must I always screw up? I hate me... I hate Claire and the stupid Equestrian Girls... I hate life and life hates me... Sigh, I'm pathetic.)
By this point the pillow served a second purpose; something to cry into. Vinyl could tell that she didn't really hate the Equestrian Girls or even Claire, but it felt nice to blame somepony else for once, even if it didn't last long.
After what felt like eternity, Octavia came back from practice. Vinyl hadn't been paying attention to the time and when the light-gray mare had opened the door the DJ panicked and shoved her head under her pillow without looking to see who had come in (though she had a shrewd idea since only Octavia and herself had keys to the room and Vinyl knew she locked the door).
“Vinyl?” Octavia could almost see the unicorn's nervousness as she flinched at the call.
“Oh Vinyl...” Octavia softly walked over to the white mare and sat on the edge of the bed while reaching out a hoof to pat the unicorn's back.
At the tensing of the white pony, the gray mare sighed once more before rubbing the DJ's back.
“Shhhh, it's ok Vinyl. I'm not mad or upset or anything.” Octavia quietly reassured the unicorn as she felt the mare slowly untensed at her words and actions.
“That was a mature thing you did and I'm happy you didn't get into another fight. I spoke to Claire on your behalf and she doesn't mind that you left early.” At this statement Vinyl couldn't hold back her snort of disbelief at what Claire really thought.
“Ok so maybe not at first but I convinced her... It's about the non-changes isn't it?” Octavia sighed at the continued silence form the mare she was trying to console, though she could feel the tension thicken at her accurate guess.
“I'm sure that she has a valid reason to want to stick with what she knows best. She may have a lot of pressure on her since last year's leader graduated; we don't know and won't know unless she tells us which she doesn't want to.” Octavia never stopped rubbing Vinyl's back as she looked at nothing in particular while thinking of the cream-colored mare.
Vinyl noticed the far away tones of the earth pony and thought about what was just said.
(I guess I don't know what drives Claire. And I may never know, but if what Tavi said is true and I haven't been kicked off the team yet then I have even more to be grateful for... At least she seems to want to still be friends...)
“Thank you Octavia.” Vinyl's voice came out gravely form all the screaming, yelling and crying she did and at the sound of it Octavia flinched in worry.
“It's no problem at all.” Octavia softly replied as she leaned over and gave Vinyl's back a hug to which made the white mare stiffen as she feared discovery of her eyes.
“Sigh, don't worry Vinyl, I'm not looking and only giving you a hug. Your glasses, as I saw when I first came in, are near my desk on the floor. Do you want me to get them?” Octavia asked as she rested her head on the DJ's back, while Vinyl was in slight shock at how well Octavia seemed to understand her now.
“Nah, I'll get them.” The unicorn replied softly as she focused on her glasses, levitating them to go under the pillow and onto her face with perfect precision.
Once the glasses were on, Octavia could feel the difference in the mare under her hooves; the unicorn was much more nervous without her glasses to cover her eyes. As one the two roommates sat up together on the bed and remained side by side; Octavia rested her head onto a white shoulder as Vinyl allowed her hind legs to be loose over the edge.
“Will you be ok?” Vinyl shrugged slightly as she answered almost without thinking first.
“So long as you stay my friend, I will be.” As soon as the words left her mouth Vinyl wanted them back to bury them, never to be spoken.
The white unicorn remained still as her ears flipped back in worry, though she did see a blush make its way across the gray muzzle. Octavia couldn't speak as she felt how nervous the unicorn was once again showing just how sincere those words were, so the earth pony just gave her roommate a hug in the meantime.
After a minute of hug time, Octavia finally thought of what to say.
“I don't plan on not being friends with you, ever.” Vinyl found the rest of her worries melt away and was in a good mood when Octavia called her attention once more.
“... Oh, uh, never mind. It's not important.” Octavia shook her head, making Vinyl curious as this was the third time she started to ask something only to stop or be stopped but gave a mental shrug; if it was important she was sure that Octavia would tell her about it.
This soon became a common occurrence over the next few months; Octavia starting to ask a question to either lose confidence in herself or someone else would interrupt them.
The months passed by in a blur and for the first time in her life Vinyl actually exchanged gifts with others on Hearth's Warming Day. Octavia loved her pink bowtie, which allowed her to be 'formal' yet not overly dressed while Vinyl loved her scarf which was light blue in color much like her hair with music notes all over it (though her favorite part would be the treble clef on the one end). There was even a small gift exchange between the Equestrian Girls; though it was more generic gifts since they still didn't know each other all that well.
Vinyl was even able to give out gifts in return, though for the most part it was compilations of music that she remixed and made discs with each pony's favorite style on them.
While Vinyl was having the best time of her life (aside from Equestrian Girls work), Octavia's eternally unfinished question started to bother her.
Vinyl tried to approach the gray mare about this elusive question one afternoon with disastrous results.
The two were at their desks, working on their final projects whose deadline seemed a lot closer from the other side for Heart's Warming Day, when Octavia broke the silence with a cough and soft call.
“Vinyl?” After months of hearing this tone and nervousness the white unicorn knew she had to stop everything else to give full attention to the blushing mare; this was after she found the hard way that if she didn't make it clear she was listening Octavia would wait for her full attention and even then she never finished the question.
“Would you.. I mean, do you, ah...” After trailing off and rubbing her hooves together, Octavia still couldn't find the courage to ask her question.
Vinyl's patience, even when dealing with her roommate, had snapped and she rubbed a temple as she closed her eyes in frustration.
“Out with it filly! What have you been trying to ask me for so long?!” Vinyl opened her eyes in time to see the flash of hurt and sadness in the gray mare's eyes before she looked away with ears flat on her head.
“Tavi, I didn't mean – I mean, I just want to know what's bothering you. Please, I'm sorry.” Vinyl reached out with her hoof as Octavia continued to avoid her look and lay down on her bed.
Vinyl could only watch in sadness as the light gray mare wrapped herself up in blankets so that no part of her was visible. Vinyl slowly walked over feeling like the worse pony to ever live and put a hoof on the top center of the pile.
“Please, I'm sorry Tavi. I'm just really curious as to what you want to ask. Please come out.” A soft reply come from the pile of pony and fabric for which Vinyl leaned in closer to make sure she heard properly.
“Please don't mind me. I'm just going to stay here and ah, think. Continue your work Vinyl.” The statement was soft enough to almost rival Windy Day and didn't reassure the unicorn one bit but she couldn't do anything about it unless she used force; and she would never stoop to Sir Pony Moore's level to find out what was going on.
The rest of the day was spent in uncomfortable silence and Vinyl made sure to never speak of it again to Octavia, who also acted like it never happened. This was a sharp lessen to the unicorn; whatever the question is, a wrong word or movement could ruin a pony's chance to ask it.
All this left Vinyl feeling like she was trotting on egg shells and much more nervous at the semi-finals that were hosted in Ponyville. It was a few days before the start of Spring Break, February 21st. Once again the competition would start in the evening time with the different groups brought to there by train. The Equestrian Girls arrived a few hours early much like with the first competition and took a tour of the town led by Cloud Kicker and Blossomforth, since it is their hometown.
They gave a decent tour considering they only had two and a half hours to do it; they visited the library, Town Hall, the two pegasi's homes, and the new bakery from which they had to pry the pink baker away from once more (though they only managed it after Pinkie went through an interview for a position there of all things).
Vinyl kept a close eye on the noble pony who, at the last competition, tried to pose her question as well as an eye out for trouble. She didn't want anything to happen this time around and stayed vigilant for any pale-blue stallions that would want to try and be an annoyance.
When it was time for them to perform, Claire didn't even bother to try her 'hooves in' routine and they all marched on to the stage;every single one of them nervous wrecks for one reason or another.
Within moments of singing, half of the audiences' attention wavered while the judges simply looked bored. The team tried to look as natural as possible with the moves they've learned from day two of practice with plastic smiles.
Vinyl couldn't take it a moment longer and changed their set. As Claire started to sing her solo, the white unicorn started to sing 'Bulletproof'; she had no accompaniment and no emphasis but sang clearly in between the solo. She knew Claire was mad, and Arpeggio and Beautiful Composition faltered because of the improvisation but Vinyl felt it was necessary as she looked at the crowd and judges who noticed and were appreciative of the change.
Once Claire was done and passed off the microphone she glared at the DJ who only smugly looked back as she thought of what to use to liven up Octavia's solo.
The white unicorn didn't want anything to make the light gray mare worried or upset about the team not making it so she was willing to annoy their leader to do so. If she didn't, Vinyl knew they weren't going to make it to the finals. While it may seem like unconventional reasoning considering what the unicorn was doing, it all made perfect sense to the DJ who figured out the next song to do.
As the light gray earth pony started to sing 'eternal flame' Vinyl did the same as before and sang in between the solo with 'Try'. Octavia half expected something like this after the first song and it almost turned into a duet between the two ponies. Claire was fuming and was almost staring daggers at the unicorn by this point.
Then it was Pinkie Pie's turn and Vinyl could see in her eyes that the fire of improvisation had almost died in the pink mare until the unicorn broke free once more. Vinyl felt a moment of curiosity about what Claire told the pink pony at that first practice after Harvest's Feast holiday but gave a mental shrug and continued to change the performance.
As the rest of the team continued the set as usual, Pinkie Pie followed then led as she realized the song Vinyl was using was 'Dog Days are over' and the two mares sang it together while the others were thrown for another loop when Pinkie Pie invited Vinyl to move about freely on stage with the soloist; something the white mare did only slightly, she didn't want to throw everyone else off by changing movements as well as songs.
By the end of the performance Claire was livid and not even ten paces away from the stage, she turned to the white unicorn with a glare.
“What were you thinking!?! We may as well withdraw from the competition after that stunt you pulled!” Claire snarled to Vinyl who looked back in shock before tossing everything out the mental window; promise or no promise, Claire would be the ruin of the team and Vinyl wasn't going to stand for it any more.
“Withdraw?! I just saved our flanks! The audience dozed off during our set; I was helping us possibly stay in this competition!” Vinyl glared right back as the rest of the team watched as though it was a tennis match and Octavia looked on in horror.
“It's not your place to make changes to the set!”
“Well, we need to make changes! Those songs are old and tired! We'll never get far if we stayed 'same old same old'!”
“It's not the DJ Pon-3 show, did you ever think about the others on the team and how they would take your little improv?” At this Claire waved a hoof to the others, causing most to flinch at the sudden attention.
Vinyl looked to the team as well, noticing how they all seemed a little shameful but unwilling to voice their opinion.
“Fillies? Was it that bad?” Vinyl posed her question in a lighter tone than she had been using when arguing with Claire.
The cream earth pony motioned for both Arpeggio and Beautiful Composition to speak up and after a shared glance of guilt they decided to be truthful.
“Well, it did surprise us a little...” Arpeggio started to say as Beautiful Composition nodded along when Claire turned back triumphantly only to be cut off from saying anything by Pinkie Pie.
“But then it was a good kind of surprise, like a surprise party!” Pinkie was smiling and trying to lighten the atmosphere when she saw the glare directed towards her causing her to crouch lower while stepping back.
“They're right Claire, we have to-” Octavia started to try and defend the white unicorn and pink mare when Vinyl saw the last straw moment for Claire and interrupted the gray mare. She didn't want anypony to be mad at Octavia, especially in her defense.
“You know what Tavi? It's alright; you don't have to pretend that this is a team or that we have any say in any matter. After all, it's the Claire Belle show right?” Vinyl pointed a hoof at the 'leader' who turned her furious gaze back to the DJ.
“And you know what? That show went out of date years ago and I'd rather not be on a crash course for failure. I'm out of here.” Vinyl turned tail and stormed out of the building. Octavia and Pinkie Pie looked between Claire and the retreating pony for a moment before running after the white mare.
“Vinyl, please wait!” Vinyl felt a tug in her chest at the fact that Octavia still followed her.
“Yeah! Slow down so we can cheer you up!” Vinyl shook her head lightly at the unusual command but slowed down all the same.
They paused in the streets right outside of Town Hall, where the competition was taking place. The white mare turned to face the other two ponies who both wore small frowns.
“Vinyl, please, I know-” Octavia reached out a hoof as she began only to be cut off and stop suddenly by a male's voice.
“My lady, are still concerning yourself with this lower class... DJ...?” All three mares stiffened at the voice of a pony who was most certainly unwelcomed at this time.
“Leave us alone Pony Moore; I don't want to waste my time with you tonight, or ever really.” Octavia flatly said as they noticed that Sir Pony Moore had his usual two lackeys with him once more before they all turned to leave the area.
“Oh but my dear, surely you would want to know when the wedding would take place?” Three sets of surprised eyes looked at the pale-blue noble, unsure if they heard properly.
“What wedding?” Octavia asked wearily, keeping a hoof on Vinyl's shoulder to both comfort and hold her back; this could go very badly very quickly after all and she didn't want the white mare in more trouble than she already was.
“Why, ours of course. Come my dear, let us talk privately.” Pony Moore went to grab Octavia once more who had stepped back in surprise at whose 'wedding' was soon but found himself blocked by an enraged white unicorn.
“Look bub, Octavia has said time and again, she's not marrying you and never will so BACK OFF!” The temper that the two mares had worked towards soothing returned full force as Pony Moore glared back at the white unicorn.
“Why I never! It is tradition that nobles marry other nobles; my family house has gone back hundreds of hundreds of years, there is nopony more suited to be married than the two of us. Lady Octavia, please, I must insist that we go and speak about the details of our upcoming betrothal.” Pony Moore stepped forward as he laid a hoof on Octavia's shoulder to try and steer her away from the two mares.
At his touch the light-gray earth pony shied away and glared.
“No Pony Moore. I will not go with you and I will not marry you. Come on fillies, let's leave these three.” Octavia was about to turn when she saw how angry Pony Moore was getting and became even more nervous.
“You WILL stay and speak with me about it, it has been decided and you cannot change that! Come with me at once!” Pony Moore stomped a hoof on the ground as his two 'friends' edged away and took more solid stances.
Vinyl frowned at these words and Octavia noticed the change at once in the white mare, from following along to leave to stiffening her back and getting more worked up.
“Look, you are only making it more obvious why you have to resort to tricks and cheats to get mares; you're a first class jerk and not worth the air you are currently farting. We don't want to have anything to do with such a -” At this point in the rant Octavia put a hoof to Vinyl's shoulder and whispered into her ear.
“Please, don't. He has a horrible temper and can turn violent, I don't want you to get hurt. Please, can we just go?” Vinyl looked at the mare pleading with her and felt the frown wipe off her face as she nuzzled under Octavia's chin to reassure the mare.
“Alright, let's go.” Vinyl gave in and with a soft smirk turned to go.
What happened next came as a shock to the three mares as with a resounding 'SMACK' Pony Moore back hoofed Vinyl across the face, knocking her glasses off at the same time. The white unicorn had her eyes shut tight against the pain of the hit while the two lackeys stepped forward.
“Learn respect for your betters! How dare talk back to me in such a way as well as continue to be a bother to Lady Octavia and defile her in public!” At the last line Vinyl whipped her head around to face the noble and glared with all her might, making her eyes seem even more demon red than they actually were.
All three stallions gasped and backed up a step as Octavia and Pinkie Pie walked forward to check on the unicorn only to gasp lightly themselves at the sight of anger in their friend's eyes, though Vinyl didn't know it was because of that and not about the coloring of her eyes.
As Vinyl's mind started to spiral downwards rapidly (Tavi saw them, everything is ruined... She saw, it's all ruined...) Pony Moore muttered a phrase loud enough that everypony nearby could barely make out what was said.
“It's a demon!”
(“Demon foal! It's your fault! Your fault that they always leave! You should never have been born!”)
Vinyl's mind snapped back into place as a rage that neither friend had ever seen before filled her eyes. Without pausing a moment Vinyl threw herself at the earth pony noble and began to give him a sound thrashing.
Before the two other stallions could get involved, Pinkie Pie pulled out a rubber chicken and joined the fray with a frown on her face at the noble's treatment of others. Octavia, being a less physical pony, tried to get to Vinyl before the fight escalated too far.
While both mares were able to hold their own in the fighting, they couldn't find an edge over the stallions and their constant shuffling made it hard for Octavia to reach the white unicorn to stop the whole thing.
Since they hadn't made it very far from the Town Hall, they soon had a large audience circling around them as they crushed the DJ's glasses in the commotion. Vinyl noticed the damage and it enraged her all the more, making her both more and less of a threat to her target; her moves became wilder but had more force behind them when they did connect.
The competition ended soon after the Equestrian Girls' set, which meant that most of the audience and A Cappella groups exited the Hall to find an even larger audience blocking the town square. The Equestrian Girls had found the source of trouble and within moments could guess what caused it. While some (led by Claire) felt that they shouldn't get involved this time, Cloud Kicker, Blossomforth and Windy Day all ran forward to help break up the fighting.
With the extra ponies on their side, they were able to separate both of the fighting sides and to barely hold the white unicorn back (though it helped that even in her red rage she knew not to attack her friends). As the two sides glared at each other, everypony in the crowd got to see the eyes of the DJ and all drew back slightly in surprise.
Everyone except for Vinyl's friends, but this fact went unnoticed as the white unicorn only saw the shocked and scared faces of the crowd around her.
Slow realization came to Vinyl of what she just did and she couldn't face anyone due to the shame of it all. Because she gone still and silent the others had loosened their grips subconsciously and with a quick jerk Vinyl pulled free and ran out of the circle of onlookers.
The white unicorn wasn't sure what to do at this point so she just ran in the direction of the train station and tried to ignore the sounds of the others calling to her; especially Octavia's voice which was filled with pain and sadness.
The DJ managed to stay hidden during the train ride back and was the first one off when it arrived back at E.U.C.C.. She raced around others to get back to her dorm before the earth pony, though she was only alone for only a few minutes before Octavia busted the door open in her haste to find the unicorn.
The gray mare resolutely marched up to the unicorn's half to the room only to be repelled by a semi-transparent barrier that prevented travel and sound to the area it encased. She tried to gain Vinyl's attention by banging on the barrier and shouting, but the pony in question was hidden beneath her blankets and pillow.
Vinyl had put the barrier up so that she wouldn't have to hear about how the classical pony thought they should change rooms and never speak to one another ever again. To make sure she wouldn't see anything to that effect by way of hoof signs or actual signs spelling it all out, as soon as the barrier went up she had taken refuge under the covers.
That was the first night since leaving the orphanage that Vinyl cried herself to sleep, heartbroken that she would never have any long lasting friendships. The barrier, made in haste and desperation, worked both ways and not one side heard the other for the rest of the long, lonely night.