• Published 9th Oct 2013
  • 10,817 Views, 60 Comments

Twixinkilda - Gabriel LaVedier

Sweet, sometimes turbulent, vigniettes about two couples: Twilight and Pinkie; and Trixie and Gilda.

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Trixda- ...You don't look Roani

The ever-timely train, The Friendship Express, ran along its usual course. The brightly colored conveyance chugged away along the flat landscape outside of Ponyville, having just left the whistle-stop station of Heliotrope, a Diamond Dog colonial outlet with attached small surface town, recently renamed in honor of the famous former resident of the region that became nearby Ponyville.

The proud little train steamed along aimed towards the rise of Canterlot mountain, laden with the usual crop of slow-travel commuters, tourists and vacationers returning home. Those passengers were arrayed within in different levels of opulence. The first class passengers of low nobles and wealthy ponies enjoyed live music and fancy, free meals near the locomotive. Slightly below that was the second class, generally kindly listed as business class, for the more moderate budgets, who were provided with more common fare, for a fee, coffee and slightly smaller seats. At the back, the third class, which was generally know as coach for the sake of appearances and to keep folks happy. Padded benches were the norm there. It was not unpleasant, nothing in Equestria was, but it was a bit bare.

“I can't believe this!” Gilda seethed, stalking up and down the central aisle of the coach car in agitation, her tail lashing about wildly. “Third class! Third class. And just to make it worse it looks like a bloody griffin creation!”

She was attracting a lot of notice, most of the passengers having moved off to the front or rear of the car, save for one. Gilda's marefriend Trixie sat, unperturbed, on the bench they had selected when they first arrived. Much as Gilda had learned to deal with Trixie's histrionics, Trixie had learned to managed Gilda's attacks of pique. She was slowly letting a tea strainer steep, contemplatively inhaling the heady scent of black tea, cardamom and pine. After a short time she took a sip and smiled. Then she turned a stern look on Gilda and called, “Hold! You are making a poor showing of yourself. Have you no pride?”

“Oh I've got pride and lots of it! Deserved pride! I deserve better than this third-class bench-riding!” Gilda squawked at Trixie.

Trixie took another slow, contemplative sip of her tea. “How much did this passage cost us?”

Gilda ground her beak and grumbled a bit, but finally said, “It was free. But they wanted us to perform! They could have sprung for better passage!”

“Are they paying us as well as giving us this free trip?” Trixie inquired.

“Yes,” Gilda huffed, blowing her bang feathers up in annoyance. “But still...”

“You wish to be one of my kind, do you not? You say that you study faithfully, you say that you have learned, but you have forgotten the most vital lesson of all,” Trixie said, in a modestly chastising tone.

“Maybe I did, maybe I didn't,” Gilda said, suddenly defensive.

“Free is free. For your clan everything is good as free, with all your wealth and power. But we must remember the kindness we receive and savor each thing we are given when we have so little. Baxt may be good or ill; we must praise and savor each bit of the good,” Trixie stated, taking another sip of her tea and offering the cup to Gilda.

Gilda stared at the steaming cup for a moment before taking it out of Trixie's magical grip and sipping at it, from the same spot Trixie had been sipping. After a second, soothing sip she sighed and took a seat beside Trixie, snuggling up against her. “Squawk me flying, a thaisce... I've become a miserable deileadóir, like the jabbering little claitseach hens that pressed around me and complained about the free things they got.”

“But you require respect. I know your moods. You feel slighted when you are not given your proper treatment. It is a good quality when you need to protect me,” Trixie said with a grin, taking back her tea and giving it a sip. “But I... we are sometimes shown the lowest point of the Equestrian citizen. Learn to bite back your comments. Others will love and respect us. Our Phuri Daj sits on her throne again, and our land is clean again.”

“Anyone talks scat about you my comments won't be what's getting bitten,” Gilda said, taking the tea and sipping from it. “It's not fair.”

“It is what life is, for now,” Trixie said, playfully licking the tea from Gilda's beak. “Now calm yourself, hot-blooded hen. Let me soothe myself with meditation and rest. When our lot is travel, relaxation is good.” She laid her head against Gilda's solid form and relaxed herself.

“Fine, mo chroí, I'll let you get your head on right. I just wish I could stretch my wings, get ready for my...” Gilda halted in her speech at the sound of a light snort. She turned her head to see that Trixie's 'meditation and rest' meant 'falling asleep with her mouth open and a little drool running down her cheek.' Right onto Gilda's fur. A little smile pulled at her beak and she leaned down to kiss Trixie. “That's my treasure...” She sipped at the tea again, savoring the comforting taste and scent.

The train chugged along to Canterlot mountain, and the stations at the base and partway up, ending at the main feeder station and turnaround point at the lowest occupied terrace. It was there that Trixie and Gilda disembarked, claiming several large cases filled with their performance equipment. The collection of cases and boxes were piled into a hired hansom and carted off to a fifth terrace theater space called The Velvet Lounge.

The interior space was of modest size, with rows of cushions arranged around low tables and facing towards the sort of general-purpose stage that could be used for a comedian, a dance troupe, a band or anything else that might come along. The floor was covered in a dark blue carpet while the walls were, in keeping with the name, covered in crushed blue velvet. Light came from both muted electric sconces on the walls and a few dimmed electric chandeliers.

Trixie immediately set about checking the stage, ensuring the trap door worked, setting up the muted pyrotechnics and getting all of her usual props prepared. Gilda did her usual security check, fiddled with some of the set-up and glowered at the ceiling and walls.

“I know this is a step up and all that scat, but... I can't get good clearance here! I'm never gonna do my tricks. Sorry to say, babe, but we need to get booked into outdoor places, like a stadium,” Gilda said, spreading her wings out and giving them an experimental flap.

“I am meant to be the one with stars in her eyes and a swollen ego,” Trixie said with a small laugh. “But you are correct, we cannot thrive in these small spaces. We need to increase the palaver and set off as many fireworks as we legally can. These Dog-made ones have more spark and less heat thanks to the infused gems. That should keep the gadje stomping and hollering.”

“Works for me, dude. I'm always up for keepin' the rubes and yokels gawkin' and grinning like idiots. Keeps me fed. Keeps us fed. And keeps you lookin' hot in fancy capes and ribbons,” Gilda said with a saucy wink.

“And never you forget it... my love,” Trixie cooed, using her magic to levitate over her wizard hat, her starry cape and a silken ribbon in dark blue with lavender streaks. She tied on the ribbon to set it hanging under her tail, swinging her flank around to make sure it swayed and flowed properly, and was always visible from some angle.

“Is it to your liking, Miss Lulamoon?” Asked the stage director, a silver-colored unicorn mare wearing a microphone headset, which matched her Cutie Mark.

“It needs vertical clearance and some extra space to the sides, and maybe some more fireproofing. But... it's free and in Canterlot, so it works,” Gilda answered, nodding her head and giving a thumbs-up.

“Forgive my fiancee, she thinks only of herself when on the stage,” Trixie said, grinning at Gilda's incredulous look. “I would make mention of problems but I agree. More room and fireproofing would be best, but free is free, and this city is where we may make a name.”

“Right, I'll make a note. I hope you enjoy performing here at The Velvet Lounge,” the stage director said with a certain tired quality in her voice. She looked back at the pair as she walked away and rolled her eyes. “Performers...”

Trixie, Gilda, and a small group of stage workers set things up, with some difficulty. Between Gilda's screaming and Trixie's severe micromanaging the workers often had to bite their tongues and wait for the teapot tempest to end. Despite all the troubles everything managed to come together well before showtime, allowing Trixie and Gilda time to preen in the provided dressing room.

“Do you have any complaints regarding this free dressing room?” Trixie asked, as she adjusted her attire in a full-length mirror.

“No. It's fine. Air shows usually stuff you in a tent with a broken mirror and no lights,” Gilda said, making certain her bang feathers looked just right.

“You're learning,” Trixie said with a grin. She settled her wizard hat on her head and adjusted it carefully. She tied on her cape with as much care and considered her look from several angles. “Perfect.”

“Yes I am,” Gilda said proudly, chest feathers puffed up proudly, one talon lightly brushing her neck in a casual gesture. “Thanks for noticing, dude.”

Trixie let out a shouting laugh, quite caught off guard by the statement. Her magic flared, a pillow lightly hitting Gilda on the side of the head. “Impudent griffin.”

“You love it. You adore it. You want it,” Gilda said with a saucy pop of her brows, laughing as the pillow hit her again. “Nah, it's true. You're perfect.”

Trixie leaned up to brush her lips against Gilda's beak, softly sighing. “Let us go... before we are occupied with things other than our promised performance.”

Gilda cleared her crop and stepped back a short way. “Right! Right... but I so totally would- you're right, let's get to the stage and get to it. The crowd wants entertainment.”

“And we shall deliver! Then we could get more jobs, in larger places. Ever upwards!” Trixie cried, leading Gilda out of the dressing room and to the stage.

The main room had been filled up with an audience, primarily unicorns. A few royal guards, in armor or civvies, sat near the back, while more notable ponies were seated in an area up front closed off with a velvet rope. Among the VIPs was Photo Finish, absent her usual entourage. The famed photographer watched the closed curtains intently, inscrutable eyes as ever hidden by her huge sunglasses.

The curtains parted, magically controlled trumpets blaring as spotlights popped on to illuminate Trixie and Gilda. “Grrreetings, Canterlotians! Welcome to the amazing, astounding, awe-inspiring performance of I, the Grrrrrrreat and Powerful Trrrrrrixie!” Trixie shouted, rolling her 'R's with all the exaggerated force she could muster. Small explosions popped off behind her, pebbles overloaded with magic, the force contained in small plastic globes.

“Ahem! Mo chroi...” Gilda said, looking with a quirked brow across at Trixie.

“And!” Trixie shouted, not missing a beat, “Prrrresenting Gilda sen Electra O'Bald! Aerialist, acrobat and fiancee!” More pebbles were overloaded with magic, popping grandly at the announcement. The audience applauded and Trixie bowed. She then gave a spin, cape billowing and tail ribbon fluttering. Down in the audience Photo's brow quirked just a bit.

Gilda's previous complaint about the limited clearance of the stage was put aside as she flew out over the audience, 'pursued' by colorful magical streaks that faded slowly, creating beautiful patterns over the heads of the appreciative and entranced audience. She made sure to show off with barrel rolls and tight loops, just barely able to pull those off. She was willing to take the chance, to make herself, and Trixie, look good.

Trixie was doing her usual suite of tricks and illusions, with Gilda's help and enhancement, along with distractions and charging of the crowd through the use of the fireworks she had set up. The audience looked to be responding well, save for Photo Finish. She was looking, she was intent, but she wasn't reacting with cheers and excited stomping. All she gave was her attention.

Midway through the performance Gilda happened to hear a near-front-row member of the audience speaking loudly to his table mate, making it audible to many of those near him, Photo included. “Look at that under her tail! I knew it, she's one of those dirty ribbontails. They don't belong here in Canterlot...”

Gilda swooped in suddenly and landed heavily before him, raising a fist over her head, security running in immediately. “Say it again! Say it! Say what you did loud enough for everyone! I'll break every bone in your face, then break 'em again just for fun! And I'll get away with it. All I need to say is 'Prince Blueblood' and the shades will pretend they never heard you and tell everyone you tripped and fell on your face a dozen times.”

“Sir, we'll need to ask you to leave,” one of the security ponies said, coming up to the stallion's side and urging him to his hooves. “Don't make us call the constables.”

“There's guards back there. You don't need to call anything,” Gilda said, pointing to the guards who looked ready to leap up.

The stallion began to protest but gave up in the end, meekly rising and following the security ponies out, while Photo watched. Though the interruption had halted the flow of the show, Trixie managed to pull it back in line.

The performance finally ended with a fog-filled teleportation illusion, some place-switching with Gilda that took split-second timing and the distracting power of the last of her fireworks. The lovers took a bow for the stomping, cheering crowd, as the curtains pulled closed. Gilda winked at Trixie and clicked her tongue. “We're a hit, dude. Next stop, the palace.”

“I have stars in my eyes as well, but I know that there are many trots on a road that long,” Trixie said, snuggling against Gilda's side. “Come, then, let us go back to the dressing room.”

A few minutes after getting to the dressing room, while they were lounging around, a knock came on the door. “Who is it? We were told we had until tomorrow to clear our accessories,” Trixie said with some annoyance.

“Please excuse me, but I vanted to shpeak vith you. I vas curious about certain things,” said Photo from the other side of the door.

Trixie used her magic to open the door and reveal Photo. “Well, this is an unusual pleasure! It's not often that we have a VIP in our dressing room. N-not that it never happens! We know many famous ponies and other creatures,” she said, a little sweat appearing on her forehead as she desperately self-promoted.

Photo stepped into the room with a quiet energy, looking at both Gilda, who had an arm around Trixie, and Trixie, who was showing her tail ribbon as she had on stage. “I must ask you a qvestion, und I vould like to know zee honest answer,” she said.

Trixie looked to Gilda, unsure of what to think. “Yes, Miss Finish? What is it?”

Photo indicated Trixie's ribbon. “Is it a shtyle, or is it for real?”

Trixie looked at her ribbon and flicked her tail to make it flow. “Real. As real as it gets. I saw you watching, but you didn't applaud. Is there something wrong with the performance?”

“Nein. It vas vonderful. It vas very exciting, very entertaining. But I vas more interested in wondering if you were true in vearing that. It is bold to be so open,” Photo said.

“Something wrong with her wearing it? You saw how I dealt with that dweeb in the audience. I'm not intimidated by a celebrity,” Gilda said, shaking a fist at Photo.

“Things haf changed, in so short a time,” Photo said softly, looking down and away. She looked back up, still inscrutable behind her dark glasses. “I haf a beautiful tochter. She is about your age now. Schmart, talented, vell-liked. She has a beautiful vife, und she makes me und meine hushband happy. But... sometimes I vish she had done it proud and open about who she is. Vhat she is...” she reached into a pocket of her attire and pulled out a colorful ribbon, which she tied beneath her tail, over the dress.

Trixie and Gilda were both struck dumb by the action. They could only stare for a time, Gilda finally able to point to Photo's head and say, “Uh, you... you don't look Roani...”

Photo felt her forehead and gave a soft laugh. “I undershtand your confusion. Ve are not all unicorns, just most. Meine hushband is an earth pony too. Meine tochter is a unicorn, thank our Phuri Daj, und zee unicorn traces in our blut.”

“Is your husband also..?” Trixie started to ask.

“Ja. Hoity, too, is not inclined to advertise but he is. Not born but he vas glad to convert. He vas never bothered by it, un zee Roa Baro of meine clan gladly brought him to zee family,” Photo said, a smile finally crossing her lips.

“This is a familiar story. Sounds like the future, doesn't it?” Trixie asked across to Gilda.

“I can only hope,” Gilda said with a laugh.

“You vish to be vith her, blut of her blut, herz of her herz? Body, soul und culture?” Photo asked, staring at Gilda with her mysterious gaze, speaking in a serious tone.

“Yeah! I want it. Maybe you don't know how Griffin culture is but it's nothing like Equestria. The Roani want me, they want me to marry her and they'll throw me a party when I do it,” Gilda said, pumping her fist.

Photo continued to regard Gilda from behind her dark, expressionless glasses. “It vill be a sharp learning curve for you, Katzevogel, to go from ruler to... vell... you vould almost be Booted in our lands. Ve are kinder here but... you vill still be zee outcast. It gets better, ja, year by year. Und mit die Prinzessen im Canterlot it is near complete. But you vill still need shtrength. Shtrength und your vife.”

Gilda pulled Trixie up against her and looked more determined than ever. “I've been an outcast already. A hen Primus, an egg-grabber, and a raging jerk among ponies. After all that if all I have to deal with is about one in a hundred or a thousand ponies calling me names behind my back then it's a screeching vacation. And I'll have her with me. That's way more than worth it.”

Trixie laughed and patted Gilda's cheek with a hoof. “She means it. She's already put up with more than most might. She's strong and smart. She will make an excellent Roa.”

Photo nodded and smiled again. “Sehr gut. I can see that you vill be vonderful together. Und perhaps I can help you to find your place in zee vorld of entertainment. A few photographs, some friends in zee smaller newspapers talking about my experience mit zee show, und you may play higher on zee mountain. Perhaps not so far, but higher.”

Trixie grinned aside at Gilda. “Will you complain? It's not so much, but it is-”

“Free,” Gilda Gilda finished, grinning back at Trixie. “I get it. And I love it.”

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