"So long, ladies!" Lyra waves from a distance, teetering off into the cool blue evening with Bon Bon by her side. The unicorn teeters slightly, having to lean against her earthen marefriend. "Whoah—jeez! For crying out loud, Octavia, why can't you be as much—HIC—into Dr. Pony as your roommate?"
"Oh no..." Bon Bon rolls her eyes, giggling golden streams into the air. "This had better not be another all-nighter in front of the toilet."
"Don't be silly, B-Squared—HIC!—it's Octavia and Vinyl's time to celebrate! Not ours!"
"Hey!" Octavia reels in mid-trot, following me as we shuffle away from the restaurant. She turns and waves at the two mares. "It's not my fault that we're—ULP!—next in line for the most extravagant and enviable musical positions in all of—ULP!—Equestria!" She hiccups again, looking goofily my way. "Actually, we just auditioned and put all of our talents on the line, so maybe it—ULP!—is our faults."
Her voice is a tapering band between violet and indigo, laced with golden mirth. I roll my shaded eyes, then look across the road to share a knowing smirk with Bon Bon. We finally part ways, escorting our friends home.
"So long, Vinyl!" Bon Bon waves. "Best of luck with your latest gig!"
"Gig?" I hear Lyra slur from a distance, an amber beacon. "Silly Bon Bon. HIC! It's all about how terra bites these days! Hahaha... oh wait, earth ponies hate that joke."
Bon Bon sighs.
I wave, then help Octavia walk onto the sidewalk before she can ram into a lamppost.
"Vine, be honest with me," she murmurs, eyelids heavy. "Do I drink too much?"
I chew on my lip, glancing aside at the darklit road.
For how much Tavi loves red wine, this is what half a bottle of the stuff does to her. She's no Berry Punch.
Yes, I went there.
"Because... ULP!... that wouldn't be very ladylike of me," she murmurs, shambles, soaking in purple. "Even if, admittedly, most gifted artists are hounded by vices both addictive and eccentric." She smiles my way. "I heard that the infamous Ed Whinny loved to—ULP!—cross dress. Could you believe that?"
I sigh, smiling tiredly. I see our apartment up ahead.
"Not that I can blame a stallion, really. Who doesn't want to look or feel—ULP!—pretty? I certainly do... when I'm not looking or being pretty, that is. Otherwise why would somepony—ULP!—long for it?"
We reach the door. I fumble for my keys, unlock us, and practically drag Tavi inside. We're greeted by a fuzzy orange cloud, and I have to lift Octavia up with gentle telekinesis so that her hooves don't squash Scribbler on the way in.
"Heehee... weeeee..." Octavia giggles in mid-air. The sensation nearly makes me trip on the way to the sofa. "Oh, Vine... you know... I-I think you would—ULP!—look darling in blue satin! Just the shade to match your hair... and glossy enough to bring out the highlights!" She smiles crookedly as I drape her over her favorite couch cushions. "I mean it. All of the stallions would be scrambling all over themselves to so much as hold your hoof. You'd be the life of the Castle."
I arch an eyebrow.
"Assuming... we... we g-get into the Castle, of c-course..." She curls up on the couch, suddenly sniffling. "So close to First Chair, I swear." She bites her lip. "After all these years. I wonder, Vine..."
I cock my head aside, blinking curiously.
Octavia curls her legs towards her fuzzy chest. Her hair is oddly disheveled, and I see mist covering her purple eyes. It's far too vulnerable a look to my liking, and the indigo voice that sputters forth nearly kills me.
"...do you think Father would actually respect me enough to attend one of my performances, finally?" She sniffles. "He can be so damnably stubborn. I know I should be over him. But..." She gulps. "It would be a wonderful thing... a truly wonderful thing if he c-could show up... just one time..." Her voice wavers. Shadows hang off her muzzle.
I grimace, looking all around. I feel Scribbler rubbing up against me, and I lift the thing with magic. She protests with a brief hiss, but soon has nowhere to go...
...for the Octavia Kitten Trap has her engulfed in her cuddling hooves.
"Mmmmmmm..." Tavi nuzzles the kitten close, her drunken grimace replaced by a happy smile. The air fills with violet again. "How I wouldn't mind being a cat like you, Scribbler, darling. Life is best spent on cushions..." She yawns, then drifts off into delirious slumber. "...in the company of fuzz..."
Scribbler fusses... fusses... then surrenders. With sleepy eyes, she rests in Tavi's embrace, filling the air with a soft orange purr.
I exhale with relief, take a few steps back, and slump into a chair across from my two roommates. I should be taking a shower... brushing my teeth... going to bed.
Instead, for the time being, I think I'm just going to exist.