• Published 3rd Nov 2013
  • 8,776 Views, 91 Comments

Midnight Melody - Caffeine Junkie

Octavia’s life is bound to change when suddenly strange events occur around her. Chosen by Pandora’s box she soon finds herself dealing with something she had never expected…

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-(18)- Predator's Mind

There it was again, the same feeling that haunted me since I was young. It was so cold, yet blazing hot. Imagine frozen flames flickering through your veins, burning you alive and freezing you at the same time. That feeling was called cold anger and my whole body brimmed with it.

Did you ever try and think about what tools were best used to destroy someone? If you think about it long enough you’d probably come to the same conclusion as I; sadness and anger. Sadness is patient; It slowly wears your mind, the same way constant dropping wears the stone. Anger on the other hoof is something that comes in surges; sometimes it hits hard, sometimes it does less so. Contrary to sadness the anger lets you even go but don’t be fooled by false kindness. The only reason why the anger lets you go is so that it can hit you once again with its full unbridled force…

Oh, it did hit me when we entered that club. The last time I remembered such an occurrence was when I still had been employed. There was nothing that hurt me more than the kind of treatment displayed by the ponies in here. As soon as we entered they formed a circle around us and focused all their attention on Vinyl. Well, I already know that they were here for her but it hurt nonetheless and I did not understand why? I certainly was not envious of Vinyl, was I?

No, that was impossible. I knew that feeling. It was the feeling I had when ponies looked through me as if I wasn’t even there. It was the same feeling I had when my mother looked at my sister, when the audience didn’t care about my music and when my old conductor only had eyes for his “star prodigy”. I didn’t understand what happened right now. Yes, I wished for nothing more than approval in my life but...why would I ever want to be approved by Vinyl’s fans?

I couldn’t understand myself, I only knew that my anger was rising. Calm and composed I fell back in the old pattern of focusing all my anger on myself and on how unfair life was. I should have been used to it by now, yet I was not. I had been playing the second fiddle for all my life, so why? Why did it still feel so bad? Why was I feeling that now?

They sneered at me for years and even if the pain was sometimes rather numb and suppressed it never really ceased to hurt. After some time I even started to cope with the situation; I became cold. I took in all the sadness and buried it in my heart, covering myself with a protective shell. No matter how numb the cold made me…it still couldn’t supress my feelings completely.

This time however, it felt especially painful. I felt betrayed. I knew it was irrational and I didn’t want to pin it on Vinyl but I couldn’t help but think about how this situation had to be her fault. I knew she wanted me to come to the club to enjoy myself. I knew she didn’t try to hurt me, even more not on purpose, but at that moment I could only think of her as the selfish DJ who wanted to satisfy her overgrown ego. When that thought crossed my mind I was a little shocked about myself.

For all I knew Vinyl and I were both suffering due to the recent events however unlike me she at least tried to fight the sorrow and lethargy that befell us. Some kind of friend I was; while she was just trying to help me, I already tried to pay her back in ingratitude. Well, if she tried her best to raise my spirits I could at least try to look as if I enjoyed myself…for her.

As soon as I settled on a course for the evening I had to find out that reality wasn’t kind enough to let me decide things on my own. The ponies who surrounded us came closer and started to push us, Vinyl towards the stage and me…to the ground. Well, just great.

While Vinyl bathed in the cheers of her admirers and was even carried the last few yards to the stage I had to crawl around on the floor until I finally got out of the crowd.

“My idea of fun exactly…why thank you for taking me to this place Vinyl.” I muttered under my breath when I finally managed to get back on my legs.

My displeasure even grew when I caught a glimpse of my hyped up DJ friend on the stage. However, what hurt me the most was that she didn’t even glance in my direction. My anger instantly vanished and was replaced with something else…loneliness. Then something inside my head made click. Vinyl probably brought me here because she thought that being around ponies would do me some good. She didn’t want me to dwell in dark thoughts while she was gone. Well, it was a nice try but she failed nonetheless. Ponies might be all around me but in some way I was still alone…

I sighed and slowly turned my back to the stage and graciously walked to the counter where I decided to rest my flank for the remainder of the evening. Ignoring all the cheers and the loud voices in the back I waved at the barman and ordered an Appletiny. I sipped on the drink for a few minutes before a cute voice ripped through my thoughts.

“Oh you’re back princess?” the voice said in a jolly manner.

The voice belonged to a cute barmaid with red pigtails. She was rather pale, had a white coat and heterochromatic eyes, one red and the other blue. She was wearing an ebon dress and makeup in the same tone.

“Sweety, could you handle the tables? She is a friend of mine.” the barmaid said to her colleague. In response the colt slightly blushed and gave her a quick nod. The mare gave him a wink and he wandered with a big smile to the other side of the room looking for thirsty guests.

“So you got that colour out of your mane, sweety?” she went on.

Oh, was that were I knew her from? Was that the bar where I completely smashed myself? Just great. I didn’t even know how to respond without dying of shame. Well, I guess I could just give the truth a try.

“Yes…it was a pain in the flank.” I told her with a smile playing along.

“Trying to get completely smashed again?” she asked while her creepy eyes rested on mine.

“No, I just accompanied a friend here tonight.”

“Ah you mean her” she said and pointed towards Vinyl who just emptied a bottle of rum on the stage.

“Yes…” I said and rolled my eyes.

“Well…at least you make a cute couple.” she said with another gleeful smile.

A little part of my Appletiny found its way through my nostrils when she said that.

“Oh…so you are not an item?” she asked surprised and went on in a chatty manner “I concluded you had to be. I mean last time you left with her and this time you came back together.”

“No we are just friends…”

“Friends with benefits?” she asked, obviously teasing me.

“No just friends…oh and if you’d be so nice” I said with a sigh and played with my empty glass.

“So you don’t like her…romantically? Hmm…that’s a little sad…you look so good together.”

“Well…I am into colts after all…”

“Girl, I watched you that night and I guarantee you, you are not into colts. There had been a lot of colts who tried to hit on you that day and every one left with his tail between his legs .” she said trying to supress her giggles.

“You got to be kidding…and it isn’t funny…” I told her in an icy tone.

“No, I’m not. You even hit on me at some point and to be honest I really regret that I didn’t take you on that offer. Quite the wild thing you are, after you throw your morals over board that is. Another Appletiny?“ she said with a big grin already half on her way to refill my glass.

Well, I was still very sober for my standards and even if that mare was a little demanding I think I’d rather talk to her instead of sitting here all alone for the rest of the night. I guess sometimes every pony is in need of some company even if it is just for some silly talk.

“Make that an Applejack Daniels miss…ahem…what was your name again.” I said now rather embarrassed for obvious reasons.

“Spectra...” she said with a wink.

“So why do you even care about me? Aren’t I just another costumer?” I asked curiously.

“Life is short and I just don’t want you to lose out on all the good stuff.” she said and pointed at the stage once again.

“Not. Into. Mares.” I replied with the intention to make it sound final.

Well, it didn’t come out the way I wanted. Instead of sounding serious my voice had some kind of amused undertone. It was probably due to the fact that the alcohol already started to kick in. However it didn’t really matter because I was pretty sure that she would have already caught on that I’m already done with that topic.

“Sure, sure…whatever…” she told me and rolled her eyes in an attempt to mock me.

“Hey sweety…” Spectra said and her eyes suddenly became wider.

“I think you are in some trouble…” she said and glanced into the direction of three colts who moved in our direction“…because right now you look like somepony who was stood up by her date.”

Oh buck it. The last thing that I needed right now was “that” kind of company. I had a terrible night, and felt still guilty for getting Vinyl in my mess. Top that off with the fact that I had to stay in this stupid club just to make her feel at ease and the mess is complete. Now that I finally found a way to relax just a little bit some thugs had to show up? Just great…

Oh, I probably would have been very intimidated by their appearances if they didn’t look so cliché. All three of them wore leather jackets, had long unkempt hair and some metal junk in their faces. They did their best to look as “cool” as possible. To sum it up, they were just a joke.

Of course they walked up right to the counter and took some seats to my right. One of them, I guess it was the leader took seat closest to mine. Well, I guess it could have been worse. There were no seats to my left, so they wouldn’t be able to annoy me from two sides. Due to the alcohol I even felt sure that I would be able to endure them for a while. The most important thing however was that I realised something. Those thugs, no matter how “evil” they were, they were just a joke. They couldn’t even hold a candle to vampires. With a little smirk I flushed down my drink and waited for what would certainly come. Just get it over with quickly, I thought.

As expected the colt next to me started to hit on me. I gave him the cold shoulder and ordered another drink. He was pretty unimpressed by my refusal and started a boring monologue. He was talking about how he had joined the Wonderbolts when he was younger. The colt told me that he obviously left them because he was bored and all of Equestria was just the playground of “Black Lightning”. At first I was a little bemused, trying to figure out what “Black Lightning” was until I understood it was his name. I tried so hard not to burst out in giggles. That colt truly was pathetic. I wouldn’t even know that he was a Pegasus if he had not told me. Well, that pony did not make any sort of impression on me and to be honest in two days I probably wouldn’t even remember him.

His friends were talking with each other, ignoring the two of us. I came to the conclusion that they probably were just here for the fun and to give their friend some support. As my glance wandered down those two earth ponies I heard a loud sound. “Crap Lightning” or how he was called managed to slap me on the flank.

“Could you stupid excuses for a colt just leave already?
Don’t you see that you are fighting for a lost cause?
Besides, I am way out of your league anyways…” I said to that poor excuse for a pony.

Either everything was happening too fast for him or that colt was just too dense.
I couldn’t care less about it anyways and added something that even he would understand

“To put it in terms that you understand: BUCK OFF”

All three of them looked at me in disbelief. According to their dropping jaws it was probably a first that some mare turned down their boss in such a manner. Oh, it turned out even better. They started threatening me. They told me that some “bad things” would happen to me if I wouldn’t let that little molester have his ways. Oh they were so predictable, it nearly made me laugh. Well it was time to decide what to do with my prey. Should I play with them some more or should I just finish them off?

Wait…what? What was I thinking? No, what was I even doing?

That wasn’t like me at all. I should have ignored them and simply let them leave. Why did I mock them? Even worse, I treated them the same way I always had been treated. I looked down on them for no reason. Sure they were just some thugs whose threats were as hollow as their brains but that didn’t mean I had any right to treat them like ants. They were simply a minor annoyance, nothing I should really be all worked up about, yet I tried to put them in place for no reason. What was wrong with me? Just thinking about my actions somehow made me sick…

Well, that was something positive I guess, so no pheromones involved this time. However, as I finished that thought something else hit me like lightning. I was acting like them. Didn’t all my actions thus far simply scream predator? Maybe I misinterpreted what happened when we entered the club. I probably wasn’t angry when the crowd ignored me; I was merely possessive of Vinyl. Oh, she probably would have loved to hear that. Well what else was there. I “let” the barmaid entertain me even though I normally rather liked to be alone. I took a seat next to the wall so that there were fewer directions to attack me from. The way I played those colts also started to remind me of a cat toying with its food. Yes, I guess this theory was plausible enough. Well, now that I figured out what happened I should also try to understand why?

Okay, what was the strangest thing that happened today? Obviously I’d say that the seed took effect and I gained my special ability. Maybe it also triggered a switch in my head? It was a possibility and the best one I could come up with at the spot. Sadly I needed confirmation on that thesis. Right now I was merely trying to make sense of all the chaotic thoughts in my mind.
My thoughts were unpleasantly interrupted by the three colts who were still very agitated. Well, I guess they weren’t as stupid as I thought. While the two earth ponies blocked the view the pegasus took his chance and slapped me in the face. The predator in me wanted revenge while my mind tried to apply logic to the situation. There was no way I could bring down the colt in any way other than with my ability, even if I wanted to and to be honest I certainly did not. Just thinking about killing someone so casually made me want to cringe. Well, at least my mind still seemed to hold some authority over my newfound instincts.

I let my eyes wander through the colts, looking for an opening I could seize to flee. Sadly there was none. I realised only now that I had positioned myself to be able to fight, not to flee. My back was covered by the wall which provided me with an excellent defence against surprise attacks but it also took away any chance to escape. I was cornered by a wall, the counter and those thugs. Luck wasn’t on my side either. The barmaid left for some tables when the pegasus was still hitting on me. Well, what did I expect? Of course they wouldn’t have started an assault if there were any witnesses. On the bright side they wouldn’t be able to do something major to me at the club anyways. They wouldn’t dare to hurt or excessively molest me in plain sight. Then I realised it; logic doesn’t apply to this situation. Their leader was solely driven by emotion. Maybe he didn’t even care about any possible consequences for hurting me. For a short moment I even considered giving into my instinct. Even if my body wasn’t built to take on three colts I would at least gone down with a fight. Much to my pleasure it didn’t come to this because all of a sudden all the lights went out. Then some spots focused on the two earthpony thugs.

“I present to you the winners for the cutest colt couple.” Vinyl suddenly announced, followed by a lot of applause and whistles.
Both of the colts suddenly turned red while the third thug took some steps backwards. We both sat there with our jaws wide open and our eyes wide open in disbelief. Oh Vinyl, sometimes there is really just one word to describe you; awesome. Then I heard a chuckle from the barmaid who once again took the place at the counter. At the same time the leader of the thugs backed away even more. Well, I guess sometimes things turn out to be better than expected.

When I tried to ask if the barmaid was involved in all of this she simply whispered in my ear that it would get even better. After the applause slowly faded Vinyl proceeded to give one of the colts the microphone telling him that the crowd wants to hear some warm words in response. Oh it was glorious. The colt turned red like a tomato and I already imagined what would happen next but much to my shock something completely different happened.

“Well, my friend and I are very happy that we won the contest for the cutest colt couple. However, it came a little unexpected because I never had the guts to confess to my friend Rocky here. I always thought it was a one-sided thing. Seeing how we ended up as the cutest couple the feeling probably was mutual…cause I haven’t signed us up…” the colt said with a big smile before he gave the crowd a wink.

I was baffled. Was that colt serious? Didn’t he see that this whole situation was set up? Well, I guess that guy was completely blinded by love. Oh the reaction of the other colt would be priceless. It would probably turn into the most embarrassing situation of their entire life. Rocky would let him fall like a hot potato for sure and…

The applause faded and the other colt, still looking as if he had been struck by lightning took the microphone.

“I don’t know what you are talking about, I never signed us up for this contest.” he said “but I love you too Sunny.” the other pony said and gave Rocky a kiss.

The whole audience cheered and for all I could see there were only two ponies who looked dumbfounded, me and Black Lightning. Lightning went up two the two colts and told them that they made him sick and that their friendship was now official over. He muttered something like “bucking colt cuddlers” before he turned to me. He simply told me that it wasn’t over before he vanished in the crowd.

My eyes once again locked at my empty glass I tried to understand what just happened when Sunny suddenly tipped on my shoulder. I watched him suspiciously, waiting for yet another surprise.

“Ahem, miss? We just want to apologise for ruining your night. In fact we even want to apologise on behalf of Lightning. He may have some issues with his ego and his impulsiveness but he can be a very nice guy. Both of us had to keep up with a lot but I guess that is what friendship is all about. Sometimes you put your friends before yourself even if it means to live a lie and sometimes you put yourself before hurting all the ponies that you like. I guess what I want to say is we did a lot of bad things in the name of friendship, things we never should have done. We sincerely apologise, miss and we hope you can forgive us.”

“That was a very unexpected, yet smooth speech. I truly am impressed…” I said still a little bemused.

“Does that mean you’ll forgive us?” Rocky threw in.

“Well, I don’t know a lot about friendship. To be honest I didn’t even have any friends a few weeks ago but I guess I would also go through stupid lengths to help out a friend. So…yes, I guess I’ll forgive you.” I said and put on a smile.

“Does that include our pal, Lightning too?” Rocky asked.

“As long as he doesn’t apologise himself? No.”

“Well, I guess that is more than we could ask for anyways.” Sunny said.

“May I ask you just one thing? I know it is a strange question but was it worth it?”

“Never been in love have you?” Rocky said with a twitched eyebrow.

Sunny shot Rocky a glance and he instantly shut up.

“Love is always worth the fight, miss. It takes a lot of courage to confess to someone but it is even harder if the one you adore has the same gender. Society frowns upon same sex couples. However, society is biased. You know what most ponies clop to? Fillyfooler porn. I was really happy that everything turned out so well in the end. I may have lost a friend but I gained a lover.”

“So you don’t care if Lightning is gone?” I asked surprised.

“Well, I rather he remained my friend of course. Nonetheless what kind of friend is he if he can’t accept us the way we are? He’ll probably come back if he has cooled down enough. As I said he is a very impulsive person. However, if he doesn’t return we can’t blame him either. It is his decisions if he places what he places first, his beliefs or our friendship.” Sunny said.
“You really gave me a lot to ponder on…” I said thinking about his words.

“Well, if you ever want to talk again…try to stop at club on saturday evenings, we’ll be here.” Rocky said with a wink.

While the colts walked to the dance floor, Spectra came closer again.
She gave me a big smile and another glass of Applejacks before she started to speak.

“See…I told you I knew my customers.” Spectra said and rolled her eyes.

“You knew that they were…” I asked in surprise.

“Yes silly but I wasn’t referring to that. Think about the mare who just saved you from those guys …” she said with a smug grin watching me turn as red as those two when the spots were on them.

“Well I feel some gratitude for what she has done for me. Still, I can ensure you that both of us aren’t into each oth…” I said while watching Vinyl announce the winner for the cutest fillyfooler couple.

“Well Octavia…it is your decision how you want to live your life however I want you to embrace one simple truth. Don’t let standards set by society get in the way of your happiness…”

After announcing all the winners another DJ took over the stage and Vinyl joined me at the counter.

“Sorry, Tavi. I hoped you would loosen up on your own but instead you were just sitting here alone at the bar, drinking hard stuff and getting hit on by some idiots…” she said a little disappointed.

“Well, I had my fun talking with Spectra here.” I said and tried to point at the mare.

However she was nowhere to be seen. Seriously that mare was one of a kind. One moment she tries to help you and the other she leaves you alone making you look like a fool. Well, I like her anyways.

“Spectra?” Vinyl asked in wonder.

“The barmaid with the heterochromatic eyes.” I said.

“Sorry Tavi, didn’t see her.” Vinyl answered.

“Oh, don’t worry it doesn’t really matter. More important I wanted to thank you. The way you got those thugs off me was just great.” I said with a big smile.

“No biggie. I just did what I had to. After all we are friends right?” Vinyl said in confusion.

“Yes…you are…” I said and gave her a kiss on the left cheek “and the first one I ever had.”

“I may have been your first friend but it seems that wasn’t you first drink.” she replied with a smile and pointed at my glass.

“Can’t I be thankful for your help without you blowing it out of proportion?” I asked and rolled my eyes the same way she usually did.

“Well, I guess even you can loosen up a little if you want to…”

“Is that supposed to be a compliment?” I asked raising an eyebrow, still trying my best to mimic her.

“Well, obviously…” Vinyl said in a very stiff and serious manner.

“Well Vinyl, I guess in that case we better go before DJ MelodyMix makes her appearance…” I said grinning like an idiot.

Vinyl didn’t immediately get it but after a few moments she burst out into laughter.
Well, that was our cue to go.

On the way out Vinyl softly whispered the following in my ear.
“Oh by the way, that wasn’t even half bad for a stage name, Tavi.”

We both laughed and the door behind us closed. As our lungs slowly filled with cold air, I let out a small moan. Well, this night turned out to be far more enjoyable than I had originally imagined. Even the moon seemed to illuminate our path home. Oh it was indeed a wonderful night…

Vinyl and I were chatting the whole time. I was telling her about that stupid predatory instinct, about the three colts and about the strange barmaid. When I mentioned her I could have sworn that she was standing right behind us, watching us from the shadows. Well, I guess sometimes my imagination was just getting the better of me.

Author's Note:

I think this was the hardest chapter I had to write thus far. I had to change it again and again and to be honest I'm still not happy. In the end I wasn't able to put in more than the introduction of the predatory mind and getting at least Octavia's mind ready for some love in the future.

Well, to be honest the romance aspect of my story bugs me lately. All the sublety seems nice but I guess it is time to step up a notch in that appartment. Well I'll think about something...

Originally this chapter was supposed to have 2.5k words more and end with a bad aftertaste. I decided against it because after reading it a few times I came to the conclusion that it felt far too constructed.