"So tell me, Vine. What does it feel like to get somethin' done?" Roadie Beau smirks across the park bench at me. "Like.. somethin' really big?"
I rub my aching forehead. In my hoof is a bottle of seltzer water. I take another sip—and instantly regret it. I swear, I'm poisoning myself.
"Bet it feels really dayum great, huh?"
Dang it, I'm being rude.
I look up from where I sit. A magnificent green lawn stretches between our hotel and the neighboring plaza. In the distance—ever looming—are white capped mountains. I'm on the roof of the world with one of my best friends, surrounded by pristine beauty.
So what's a headache?
I smile and nod at him.
"I always knew you'd have what it takes to be royal minstrel material," he says. "But just knowin' that you're sittin' there, lookin' purdy in the Royal Ballroom... heh..." He sips some water and smiles again. "Kinda gives this lil' flutter to my stomach. Know what I'm sayin'?"
I nod. Reaching across the bench, I produce a pad of paper from my saddlebag and scribble across it. I hold the words out to him.
"Oh, you bet!" He nods vehemently. "I've listened to all of 'em! Dang if it isn't just... mesmerizing." He squints at me, his voice a cool amber. "Do you ever have a lemon in ya, girl?"
I snickered, reeling slightly from the magenta output.
"It's... uhm..." He takes another sip of his bottle. "...not the same source of samples, is it?"
I blink, fidgeting slightly.
"Only 'cuz I know a thang or two about vocals," he says, gesturing. "This one sounds a whole lot younger. And—if ya ask me—far more on key."
I arch an eyebrow at him.
"Pffft! Why are you givin' me that look?" He shrugs. "It's just samples!"
I gaze silently across the green park.
"Still, that's a lot of material. Not that I doubted yer abilities or anythang, but I didn't quite expect that much work to come out of your first week of performing at the Castle." He finishes the last of his water and slides it into his bag. "If I were you, I'd capitalize on it."
I tilt my head to the side.
"I mean makin' an album, girl!" He smirks. "Get that buddy of yers—Heartstrings—to help produce it again! You two make a great team in the studio, after all!"
I tap my chin in thought.
"I mean... whew... the dance scene? It's all yers! You practically own the Underground, Vinyl! But it's been—what—two years since you've produced a marketable album? I'd say: branch out! Seize the moment! There are plenty of ponies chompin' at the bit as it is. And now that you've got a place in Princess Twilight Sparkle's Castle, you could make yer name big! Heck... you could even become bigger than Sapphire Shores—!"
My glinting expression knifes across his face.
He blinks. "Or... y'know... you could just leave 'DJ-P0N3' as faceless and nebulous." He shrugs. "Heck, you could always do what Daft Pony does. I bet a helmet would really look good on you."
I sigh, taking another sip of seltzer water... cringing.
"I-I'm sorry, Vinyl. I mean... I ain't yer manager," Beau says. "It's just that... well... we only live once. And not to say I'm jealous of you or nothing, but if I had the sort of talent and goods that you did, I'd put myself to the very top! I wouldn't stop for nothin'! And... and it always feels to me that humility is yer greatest enemy."
I hug the water bottle to my chest.
"I know there are things in the past that you don't want Equestria remembering you for. But... you can't be running from that forever, y'know? And... And Tavi?" He smiles warmly. "Just imagine how proud she would be of you. Heck, if you shot your way to the very top, who knows what your connections could do? You could land Tavi that position she's always wanted! What was it...? First Chair in Equestria or something...?"
I bite my lip.
Octavia needs to earn what she admires the most.
I'm not about to take that from her.
"Eh... sometimes I think I'm just talking to myself."
I gaze over at him.
He stands up with a sighing breath. "You're just plain awesome, Vine. That's all that matters, huh? Bet you know that." He winks my way and smiles. "Well... for the time being... you ready to rock the socks off some of the locals?"
I nod. I glance once more at the bottle, raise to my lips, linger, then sigh. I place the cap on the thing and slide it away for good.
If making music is like making love, then I wonder if anger will help...