by Bunnybooze79

Chapter 8

Octavia trotted out of the bathroom, a towel wrapped around her mane and tail.

She had taken her time soaking in the warm water, if asked she would reply that she was a glutton for relaxing in a hot bath full of bubbles. It had been a bit of a problem when she was younger and shared the home with her parents. More often than not they would knock on the door demanding she cut her time relaxing short.

Now that she was alone she took her time until her hooves started to prune up. But she wasn’t alone anymore she remembered. She would have to tell Vinyl, that if she needed to use the bathroom, to just knock.

Octavia peeked inside the living room and the kitchen to see where the other mare currently was. Vinyl was nowhere to be seen in either room. Before she could call her name, Vinyl came trotting out of her room and smiled at Octavia’s current state.

“Prepared all the snacks?” Octavia asked and made way for Vinyl to enter the bathroom.

“Yep. All taken care of. I’ll just have a quick shower and be right back out.”

Octavia went into her bedroom and gave the towels a thorough squeeze in order to soak up as much water as possible from her mane and tail. She unwrapped them and just dropped them on the floor for the time being. Using a brush she began to tame her now more cooperative hair into the style she always wore. By the time she was finished, Vinyl had also ended her shower.

She met the unicorn a few minutes later in the living room as she was just looking over her selection of movies.

“Is there anything you would like to see?” she asked Vinyl who noticed that she had forgotten to put some drinks on the table.

“I don’t know, just anything you would like to watch is fine.”

Octavia watched Vinyl reenter the room with a tray of juice boxes on her back.

“You know, if you would like something more alcoholic, I would have a bottle of whiskey somewhere.” Octavia offered and watched as Vinyl winced.

“Nah, I don’t really drink.” She saw the look on Octavia’s face and felt the need to elaborate. “Yeah, I know. You first met me when I was drunk off my flank.”

“I remember.” Octavia replied dryly.

“Would you believe me if I said that was my first time drinking?”

“I thought partying involved a lot of drinking? I mean, I wouldn’t know. I don’t attend many social gatherings of that kind.” Octavia shrugged away the fact that she was a bit of a social recluse.

“Nah. Well, yes. I mean plenty of ponies drink during parties, but I’m the DJ. Can’t drink on the job, besides I really don’t like the taste of the stuff. I rather watch ponies dance around to some good music, than to feel good with alcohol.” Vinyl arranged the juice boxes in a nice little pyramid shape.

“So why did you drink that evening?”

“That was the fault of Neon Lights. You know? The pony who placed fourth?”

Octavia remembered the stallion and the fact that he seemed to be a sore winner.

“Yes, I remember. Was he your coltfriend?”

Vinyl laughed a humorless laugh at that question. She saw the confused look in Octavia’s face and had to explain a bit.

“Hay no! That lying little….” Vinyl stopped herself from using some colorful commentary. “Long story short. He tried to get me drunk and into bed. He succeeded in the first part, but failed at the second. Then he robbed me of some of the prize money and left town before I could get my hooves on him.”

“Sounds like a despicable individual.”

“That’s putting it mildly.” Vinyl shrugged her shoulders and signaled that this topic had expired.

“Is there anything you would like to watch? I am a bit at a loss here as what to pick.” Octavia brought the discussion back to the movies.

“I really don’t mind. I’ll watch just about anything.” Vinyl watched Octavia pace around in front of her movie collection. “Perhaps something Hearth’s Warming Eve-y. Just nothing sad, please.”

Octavia’s face lit up as she had just the thing to fit Vinyl’s wish. She plucked a case between her front hooves and showed the title to Vinyl.

“Blackadder’s Hearth’s Warming Eve Carol? Is that something about snakes?” Vinyl had never heard of the film.

“Oooohoho... it has nothing to do with snakes, don’t worry. It’s funny and I bet you will like it.” Octavia opened the case carefully and took out the reel. With great care she set up the reel on the projector and with a flip of a switch the projector came to life.

Octavia jumped over the back of the couch with ease. Something about the movement told Vinyl that the cellist had done that move a thousand times before. She joined her on the couch and sat a few paces away from her. With excitement she watched the film about to start.


Vinyl was utterly confused.

It wasn’t due to the movies they had spent the day watching, far from it in fact.

The very first movie had been very entertaining. The sarcastic snide attitude of the titular characters had appealed greatly to Vinyl. Turning the known stories of Hearth’s Warming Eve around and injecting a fair deal of dry wit and hilarious verbal comedy was right up her alley.

The movies that followed were equally entertaining in their own way. A musical about ponies from the west side telling their story wasn’t anything new for Vinyl, but it was good to see that classic one more time. A couple of action films and a thriller rounded off the evening thus far.

Currently they were watching the last few scenes of an action movie with the preposterous story about carriages transforming into talking mechanical ponies. It was bad, but strangely entertaining.

They had ordered outrageously expensive food from a nearby restaurant that would deliver on this day. Everything on the menu was nearly dripping in fat and most likely unhealthy on a regular basis. Vinyl suspected that it was Octavia’s subtle way of trying to fatten her up. She didn’t mind and dove right in.

What confused Vinyl was the mare sitting a few paces beside her and eating the last of the deep fried hay-nuggets.

Octavia’s choice of movies was surprising.

The dark sarcastic comedy? Not all that surprising, as it could be enjoyed by all ponies on some level.

A musical? Not surprising at all. Vinyl even caught the other mare stop herself from singing along. She also noticed that one of the songs was the one Octavia had been singing in the bath earlier.

Action movies with explosions, laughable stories and bad acting? Very surprising.

The icing on the cake of confusion was how Octavia watched the movies. Vinyl had reckoned with her sitting silently and not making a sound or movement during the screening. Far from it in fact.

Octavia was perhaps the most animated watcher of movies that Vinyl ever had seen. The cellist laughed heartily at the jokes. She tried to sing along with the songs. She groaned at particular bad acting and joked about some of the over the top points in the story or laughed at the bad effects.

And she never sat still.

Which was especially noticeable during the action movies. Octavia would shift around in her seat and stare up at the screen with wide-eyed wonder like a foal seeing the movie for the first time. She had no doubt watched them countless times, but still regarded them with fascination. When the heinous villain of the film appeared she would boo and sometimes shake a hoof at the screen. Particularly during the action scenes Octavia would hoofpump after the action reached its climax.

At first Vinyl just stared at the grey mare, contemplating if the food had been laced with something. Then she realized that was just the way she was and Vinyl found that not only was it unexpected, but also endearing at the same time. After the first few moments, Vinyl simply joined in on the fun that the cellist was having.

Octavia Philharmonica had turned her view of the Canterlot’s elite on its head. Were they all like this in the privacy of their homes? Was the snobby attitude just a front that was to be expected when one lived here in this city?

Vinyl doubted that deep down. Perhaps she had lucked out for once and found the diamond in the rough. Or to be more fitting, the strawberry amongst rubies, fun, sweet and good for one’s health.

Octavia gave one last hoofpump as the movie’s credit began to roll. She turned to Vinyl with a wide grin.

“Well? What did you think of that one?”

“It was….interesting. I mean the story was bad, the effects were bad and the actors must have come from the school of cardboard. I liked it!” Vinyl grinned back at the mare.

“So bad, it’s good!” Octavia hopped over the back of the couch again and fast forwarded through the credits. Vinyl let out a yawn and stretched a bit in her seat.

“You really like movies don’t you?” Vinyl stated the obvious.

“Who doesn’t? I always liked them ever since I was a foal. Didn’t you watch movies when you were younger?” Octavia rewound the reel and turned to Vinyl.

“A few. I grew up in Las Pegasus and the entire town is more about live shows than movies.” Vinyl explained. Octavia took note of hearing where Vinyl was actually from.

“Do you want to watch another one?” Vinyl asked and glanced over her shoulder.

“Hmmm….it is getting rather late and I wanted to show you something.” Octavia carefully put the reel back into its case and then in the shelf next to its sequels.

“Show me something? What is it?” The unicorn was genuinely curious.

The grey mare just smiled and beckoned Vinyl to follow her into the dining room. Vinyl did as asked and glanced around the room trying to see something unusual.

“Watch!” Octavia said, pointed a hoof towards the window and flicked off the light.

Vinyl let out a gasp at the sight. Octavia had not been kidding about the view over Canterlot at night. Tiny dots of light spread over the city, as it was snowing again they flickered between the snowflakes. And it was quiet, the very essence of peacefulness and tranquility.

“It’s beautiful.” Vinyl felt the need to whisper as she looked over the town in awe.

Octavia sat down beside her and watched the city as well. Neither spoke and just let the sight sink in. Vinyl wished she could take off her sunglasses to get a better view, but she wasn’t willing to share the reason why she wore them.

“Did you enjoy this Hearth’s Warming Eve, Vinyl?” Octavia asked quietly and cast her eyes over the city.

“Best one I have ever had.” Vinyl answered truthfully. “Thanks, Octavia. For everything.”

Vinyl saw Octavia’s reflection smile.

“Sorry, you couldn’t spend it with your parents.” Vinyl added after a moment.

“Oh, that’s ok. I was able to spend it with a friend and that was important.”

“Friend?” Vinyl took her eyes off the city and looked at Octavia.

“That’s what Hearth’s Warming Eve is all about, Vinyl. Making friends.” Octavia turned to look at the unicorn beside her and smiled.

“Y…yeah. It is.” Vinyl agreed. To her surprise Octavia moved a bit closer and hugged her.

“Happy Hearth’s Warming Eve, Vinyl.”

Vinyl returned the hug and felt something she hadn’t felt in a long time. Her eyes watered as she realized what that feeling was. She felt at home.

“Happy Hearth’s Warming Eve, Octavia.”

My friend.