In a rather nice restaurant two ponies sat opposite one another. Each had a rather lovely dinner sitting in front of them, awkwardly half eaten. One was a rising star in the orchestral world, a cellist by the name of Octavia Melody Philharmonic. An earth pony, she had fur the same gray as a storm cloud, a black mane and tail, and a delightfully pink bowtie perched at her throat. She was a mare of culture, class, and refined tastes.
Opposite her sat one Vinyl Scratch (Otherwise known as the Turntable Temptress, Damsel Dj, Seductress of Spin, Wub Warrior, along with several other nicknames she came up for herself), a unicorn and one of the hottest Dj’s around, sporting the nom de plume of “Dj Pon3” which very few people can pronounce correctly the first time off, especially considering she keeps changing the way she pronounces it herself. Her white coat contrasted strikingly with the electric blue mane and tail she sported, which went well with her violently violet shades. She was a night owl, a rampant hedonist, and the kind of pony who generally forgets to floss.
It was surprising enough that these ponies, so intensely different from one another, were at a rather nice restaurant on a date. It would have been even more surprising to each that they were thinking very nearly the same thing, except that thing was “'Why did I ever agree to this thing. This is a complete disaster. I am going to kill that idiot.'
Three days earlier, Octavia had been idly wondering exactly when her friend had gone insane. Broughe Strings was a classically trained violinist of the highest order. She could play any piece forwards, backwards, or sideways with nary an issue, and had had her pick of concert and orchestra seats after graduating from the Canterlot Academy of Music.
She was also quite busy trying to contort herself enough to show off her newest tattoo to Octavia without accidentally flashing her. After a moment, she gave up and just flashed her. “See? Hurt like nine kinds of hell it did, but damn if it ain’t lookin good.” She said cheerfully, balancing on her fore-hooves like a circus act and wiggling her nethers at Octavia. The grey mare couldn’t help herself—she reached out and poked her friends cutie mark, sending her crashing down with a panicked squeak. The cellist bit back a little grin of pleasure as the tattooed and pierced mare shot back up and perched in her seat, lifting the napkin dispenser to check and make sure none of the foot long spikes she’d styled her acid green mane into had been smushed.
“Well, now that you’re quite done ensuring I’ve seen as much as you as your coltfriend,” said Octavia a touch dryly. “Do tell why you wanted to have lunch.” She identified the offended look that came over her friends face for the act it was and continued. “Strings, darling, you offered to pay, and you specifically invited me to my favorite little café,” she said, raising an eyebrow with an indulgent smile. “ Which you have already thoroughly embarrassed me in with your acrobatics. You are one of my best friends, but do you honestly expect me not to see through all that?”
Strings visibly deflated before perking back up. “Well…ok, yeah. Ye’see, I might have a bit of an ulterior motive, heh?” she fiddled with her silver-ware for a moment. “Ye’see, Bass Line has this friend…” she began, pulling a groan from Octavia.
“Oh, Strings, really?” She huffed, giving her a look, though she seemed more amused than anything. “I get that it’s been a bit of a dry spell, but you don’t have to go around setting me up…on…” She paused, and considered what she knew about her friend and her friends beau. “Whats in it for you?” she asked abruptly, narrowing her eyes. The way Strings’ left eye twitched while her smile kept brittle-still told Octavia just enough. Poor mare was lousy at poker. “Strings…” She said warningly.
A sigh and a huff. “Ah…fine.” The neon purple mare slumped in her seat. She looked around, displaying the kind of tact that she hadn’t seemed to have less than a minute ago, before leaning in and muttering, “She been…she’s been hangin’ with us, and…gettin’ in the way.”
Octavia once again bit back a grin. She knew exactly what her friend meant, but she wanted to drag it out of her. “In the way? How? Is she underhoof, messy?” She asked politely. She watched Strings squirm a bit, biting her lip, before answering.
“Nah…well, kinda, but…she just…” Octavia gave her a nothing but a kind, gentle face with a vague “go on?” gesture. Strings forehead impacted the table and she groaned, “Bass ain’t been ‘tween m’thighs fer weeks! You know how he don’t like bein walked in on, and she’s jes constantly barging in and junk! If’n she don’t go out some night soon, I’m liable to explode!”
Octavia bit back a laugh at her friends expense, settling for a demure little chuckle. “And you think I can show her a good enough time to keep her out of your hair for a few hours?” She said archly, taking a sip of her water.
“Hours nothin’, jes need fifteen minutes alone with Bass without her poppin her head in.” Growled the ‘frustrated’ mare across from her. Octavia rolled her eyes, smirking and deciding to take pity on the poor dear.
“Fine, fine, if it will help you out, I suppose I can sacrifice myself to the indignity of a blind date. “ She said dismissively. “Set up a time and a place. I haven’t been on a blind date in a long while, but…really, whats the worst that can happen?” She said with a little laugh.
Octavia reflected for a moment on those words. Whats the worst that can happen? She should have known better. She really should have. A mare as well read as herself and with a certain…proclivity towards literature that might not be considered “high art” should know that those words were as cursed as any treasure hunters quarry. Really, lightning should have struck then and there—would’ve been quicker at least. Less painful, certainly.
The cellist mused upon all this while sitting in a silence that could charitably be called 'awkward'. The two of them had sat down, exchanged names, and then devolved into the curiously frantic flavor of silence that meant 'Neither of us knows who should talk first, and so we will both sit in silence until the other one says something to break the ice'. Ok, Octavia. You are a trained cellist who has played with the Grand Galloping Gala, in front of ponies whose whims run the very world without breaking down under the pressure. You can certainly start a conversation with this…mare with an outrageous mane.
The silence stretched for another few long moments.
The white unicorn sighed. “Well, this is awkward as hell. Hey, foods pretty much cold now and there’s an open bar—wanna get a drink?” She asked bluntly.
Octavia stared at her for a beat before relaxing with a sigh. “Celestias teats, yes.” She said, rubbing the bridge of her nose. They stood as one and made their way to the bar, where she promptly ordered a scotch. She took a sip before turning to face Vinyl who was gulping a rather sizable rum and coke. “Much as I don’t want to insult you, this date really was a bad idea, wasn’t it?” She said.
Vinyl shrugged. “Eh. Been on worse.” A slight pause. “Not, like, many or anything, but…yunno?” She took another slug of her liquor and soda. “So you’re friends with Bass Line's gal?” She shook her head, disbelief tingeing her tone. “Hell, never thought a mare as wild as that would be friends with someone so…” She trailed off, considering for a moment.
“Classy?” Octavia suggested dryly, taking a sip of her scotch.
Vinyl shrugged. “Yeah, I guess.”
Octavia snorted. “Might it surprise you that Strings was a perfectly respectable mare before meeting Bass?” A slight pause. “Well, respectable looking, at any rate.” She amended with an eye roll, remembering some of the insane adventures her friend had dragged her into when they were younger.
Vinyl snorted. “Strings? Nah. No way. Mare had dyed her coat neon pink the first time we met. No one who shines like that under a blacklight could look anything like some stuck up priss…” She trailed off as the upward motion of Octavia’s eyebrow made itself known. “Heh. You know. Like…uh.” She fumbled for a way out of insulting her date. Octavia just sat there, letting the silence become deeper and more awkward with each passing second.
“…Sorry.” Said the Dj weakly. “I’m buying the drinks?” She said, hazarding some bits in hopes of salvaging the evening. Octavia rolled her eyes and chuckled.
“If you insist, though its not the first time I’ve been called stuck up.” She said “Anyway, Its not like I haven’t had some unkind thoughts about your own manner of dress since we met.”
Vinyl snorted. “Whats wrong with the way I dress?” Octavia bit back a grin, starting to enjoy herself a bit. Though that might have been the alcohol.
“Well, beyond you’re gaudy hair—seriously darling, you make Strings look positively demure—you’re wearing purple goggles inside a rather nice restaurant, and you haven’t taken them off once.” She drawled. “It’s hardly endearing to not know my dates eye color after, what, an hour and a half in her presence?”
Vinyl’s jaw worked for a moment. Octavia imagined she was coming up with response after response, and swallowing them down. Smarter than she looked, thought Octavia before admonishing herself for the uncharitable thought.
Finally, Vinyl shook her head and gave her a grin. “Eh, point to you. “ She leaned in and nudged one side of her goggles up, revealing a deep, garnet red eye to the cellist. Octavia found herself staring for the brief moment it was revealed before the purple lens slid back into place.
“Not what I expected.” The earth pony said with a chuckle. “Quite striking. Why do you hide them?” She asked, sipping her drink.
Vinyl shrugged. “Eh, side effect of some condition from when I was a kid. Seriously sensitive sometimes, you know? Not always, but it flares up every now and then, and it ain’t fun.” She shook her head. “Ever been stabbed? Feels like that, only, like, worse.”
Octavia shook her head. “I can’t say I have.” She said thoughtfully. “Though I imagine you have a different story.” She gave Vinyl a lopsided smile before lifting her drink carefully. “Well, Vinyl, so far I can’t say the dates been much. You’re crude, have the same awful taste in music as Strings, and frankly, you’re more than a little scary. “ She gave her a grin. “Which is why I have no idea why I’m enjoying myself as much as I am. Cheers.” She tipped her glass back as Vinyl barked out a laugh. Sighing as it burned its way down her throat, she added, “To new friendship. “
Octavia woke slowly, a terrible noise dragging her from the blissful nothing of sleep. It was a dull, almost windy sound, like a breeze through a dead forest carrying the wretched gurgling groans of a dying cat. With every iteration of it came a deep, stabbing pain in her temple, and an odor akin to the aforementioned dying cats rotting carcass assailing her nose. She cracked an eye and regretted it immediate as a beam of sunlight lanced its way into her brain.
Bravely, she forced both of her eyelids open against this onslaught of devilish light, trying to ignore the abrupt hammering against the inside of her skull and the thick churning of her stomach. “Oh sweet Celestia. Why do I drink tequila when it does this to me?” She muttered. She rubbed pitifully at her temples for a moment, groping at the side of the bed for the bottle of aspirin she had to have left there—she was a very responsible drinker. Drunk Octavia always saw to Sober Octavias well being.
To her surprise, she did not feel a bottle of aspirin on the bedside table. To her further surprise, she did not feel a bedside table, barely managing to stay in the bed—the abrupt jouncing did bring her attention to the other side of the bed. Or, namely, its occupant.
Blankly, she stared at the white coat and neon blue mane. Her eyes traced the curving fluted horn, and her nose twitched as she realized the odor assailing her senses had been the mares morning breath. Slowly, slowly, she became aware of a certain…stickiness assailing certain parts of her, shall we say, anatomy.
Very softly the gray mare murmured, “…Oh deer.” With that, she managed to climb out of bed and stagger her way into what she rather hoped was a bathroom before her stomach lost its dual battles with brain and leftover booze, and she proceeded to violently throw up.