• Published 13th Nov 2013
  • 12,513 Views, 463 Comments

First Meeting - Terrasora



Vinyl and Octavia's first meeting, years ago, in the middle of Canterlot Station

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Together in Manehattan

Harmonia glanced around the living room, tapping her hooves against the sofa and generally looking as awkward as one feels upon being left alone in someone else’s home. It certainly didn’t help that she could hear the shower going, broken only by the occasional squeal or giggle from Vinyl and Octavia.

Showering, Harmonia decided, was a strange thing. It wasn’t a particularly large departure from being out in the rain. Actually, it was almost exactly like being out in the rain. Except that the water was warm and very few ponies carried umbrellas into the shower.

No, Long Play was standing in the shower in much the same way that he had stood out in the snow a few hours prior. Yet, the thought that Long Play was currently in the shower, a few meters away from where Harmonia sat, made the mare’s cheeks burn pink.

“You ask her.”

She had no idea why. It was definitely one of those minor differences, though. Maybe because the water was warm. The shower would be filled up with steam, fogging the mirrors, rolling off of Long Play’s body in droves of mist.

“No, you ask her.”

Harmonia’s cheeks burned a bit brighter.

“She’s your sister!”

Or maybe it was just how intimate the act of showering was. The way that Long Play would be running his hooves through his mane, over his fur, scrubbing at it carefully but roughly, making sure not to leave a single part unto--

“Harmonia?” asked Octavia.

The mare jumped straight up, launching into a fit of coughs as a bit of drool found its way into her windpipe. Harmonia reeled back, placing a hoof to her chest and trying desperately to keep her lungs from jumping out of her body.

“Harmonia?!” squeaked Octavia in worry.

“She’s dying, Tavi!” Vinyl jumped onto the couch, putting her front hooves on Harmonia’s side. “You need to breathe! Like this!” Vinyl took a deep breath, then exaggerated blowing it out. She repeated this a few times, feeling rather light-headed by the fifth or so repetition. Octavia bounced around all the while, tears welling up in her eyes and threatening to spill over as Harmonia coughed.

Harmonia waved the fillies away, breathing deeply through her mouth until she stopped coughing. “What?” she gasped. “What do you want?”

“A-are you still dying?” asked Octavia with a sniffle.

“No dear, I’m fine.” Harmonia cleared her throat. “Now, what did you want to ask?”

Octavia glanced nervously at Vinyl. Vinyl twirled one of her hooves forward, urging the other filly forward.

“Harmonia?” asked Octavia.

“Yes, dear?”

Octavia took a deep breath, then let the words tumble out. “I really like Vinyl and she wants to get married and I said ‘Okay’ but only older ponies can get married and we’re not older ponies so we have to wait until we’re older ponies but Vinyl said that you and Long Play were getting married and that we can’t get married if you and Long Play are getting married, so when are you getting married?” The filly cut off the stream of words, breathing heavily and glancing nervously up at her sister, her expression mirrored on Vinyl’s face.

Harmonia blinked. Then blinked again. “We’re… what?”

The fillies glanced at each other in confusion. Harmonia stared down at them and blinked one more time. A wave of heat sprouted around the mare’s neck, growing swiftly upwards, coloring everything it came into contact with.

“WE’RE NOT GETTING MARRIED!” shouted Harmonia, her face the exact shade of the lighter part of Long Play’s mane. The fillies jumped into the air, cringing at the sound.

A pause.

“You’re not?” asked Vinyl hopefully.

“No!”

A smile spread along Vinyl’s face, shining brighter and brighter as her smile turned into a grin. “Then can I marry Octavia?”

“Yes!” Harmonia paused. “Wait, no!”

Vinyl and Octavia glanced sharply at Harmonia, shock sprawled over their faces.

“I mean,” began Harmonia. “Maybe! I don’t know! Why, for Celestia’s sake, are you already thinking about marriage!”

Octavia knit her brow. “So are you gonna marry my Long Play?”

Harmonia threw up her hooves in frustration. A two-toned red color caught her eye. A way out. She reached down, snatching the scarf off of the couch. “I should return this to Long Play’s room. Where is it?”

Vinyl narrowed her eyes suspiciously, but pointed a tiny hoof down the hallway. “It’s that one. On the left. It says ‘LP’s room’.”

Harmonia leapt to her hooves, setting off towards Long Play’s room at a trot and throwing open the door.

“But you didn’t answer our question!” protested Octavia. The door slammed shut, leaving Harmonia in a slightly bare, slightly messy room. Long Play’s bags still stood in the corner, largely unpacked. A bright red lava lamp sat on the nightstand, the goop now serenely drifting up and down.

“Free,” said Harmonia with a sigh. “For the moment.” Her hoof twitched upward, about to toss the scarf onto Long Play’s bed, but thought better of it.

I should put this away properly.

She turned away from the bed, carefully opening the closet. It was largely empty, but rather clean. Exceptionally clean, actually, considering that nopony was actually living in that room. Harmonia hesitated, then shut the closet door.

I doubt that he’s even opened it since getting here, she thought. It may be best to leave the scarf on his bed.

Harmonia turned again, heading back towards the bed and carefully laying the scarf on the edge of the crumpled sheets. She sat down next to it, bouncing slightly on the bed.

“Well, it’s certainly rather comfortable. If a bit messy.” Harmonia hesitated, glancing back and forth nervously before laying down.

The mare sighed happily. It really was a comfortable bed. And that was the only reason she had for laying on it. Simply for its comfort and certainly not for the thought that Long Play had been laying there just a few minutes before Harmonia had. Certainly not for the fact that Harmonia could still feel the slightest bit of his warmth coming from the sheets.

It really was a very comfortable bed.

“Well… this isn’t awkward.”

Harmonia snapped upwards, almost falling off of the bed, barely aware of the fact that Long Play’s scarf had slid off of the bed. She was rather distracted by the colt standing in the doorway, a cheeky half-smile on his face as he magically scrubbed at his mane with a towel.

“Get out!” shouted Harmonia.

Long Play knit his brow in confusion. “It’s my room.”

“Get out!”

“It’s my room!”

“Pervert!”

“I’m not the one sniffing at my bed!”

Harmonia reddened again, a sensation that was becoming far more familiar with each passing day. She reached back, taking up one of Long Play’s pillows and launching it at its owner. Long Play ducked, the missile scraping the top of his newly washed mane.

“Get out!” Another pillow followed the first.

Long Play caught this pillow in his magic, then let it drop to the floor. “Alright! Alright, I’m leaving!” He turned, toweling at his mane and walking out of the door, mumbling something about stupid, crazy, sexy mares.

Harmonia sat on Long Play’s bed, a pillow still held between her hooves. She panted a few times, burying her face in the pillow to hide the remnants of her embarrassment.

“I feel stupid,” she muttered. Harmonia threw the pillow back onto the head of the bed, then got to her hooves. The other pillow, the one Long Play had caught, quickly followed. Harmonia wasn’t quite ready to go out and get the other pillow.

Harmonia reached down to pick up the scarf. A brown corner, definitely from some kind of cardboard box, poked out from under of the bed. Harmonia stared at it, her hoof still hovering over the scarf.

No, thought Harmonia with a shake of her head. No snooping. I feel ashamed of myself for even thinking it. The scarf went back onto the bed. Harmonia remained standing, her eyes wandering back to the box, then away, then back.

No! That is a betrayal of trust and I won’t allow it!

Maybe just a peek.

Harmonia reached down again, pulling the box out into the open, giving one last furtive glance around the room before lifting the lid. The purple shades came out first.

Harmonia held them in her hoof, holding them up to the light, her brow furrowing slightly at the smudged lenses. Why would he hide this? she wondered. Unless… Harmonia’s heart dropped by the slightest bit.

A marefriend?

A pause. Harmonia laid the glasses aside, shaking her head slightly. Dear Celestia, she thought. What do I care whether he has a marefriend or not? Good for Long Play if he does. Or if he doesn’t, that would be good too… For Long Play! That would be good for Long Play! She ran a hoof over her face. Luna banish my idiocy to the moon.

Harmonia dove back into the box, lifting up the framed picture, her nose slightly bothered by the sheer amount of dust. It was strange, really, that everything could be so clean when the box was so dirty.

The door creaked open. “Hey, I’m coming in, so cover yourself if you’re doing anything embarra--” Long Play stopped just inside the doorway, his eyes locked on the box. He blinked.

Harmonia blinked.

“That’s,” began Long Play, “that’s… Why do you have that?!” His voice grew louder, not quite shouting, but far closer than Harmonia had heard him. His magic flared, the box slamming shut and floating over towards Long Play.

Harmonia sat on the bed, the beginnings of guilt on her face.

Long Play trotted towards the closet, quickly stowing the box away in its place. He turned sharply towards Harmonia, the ever-present cheeky smile gone, replaced by a serious look. “Don’t--” Long Play broke off, his head shaking slightly as he tried to compose himself. “Don’t. Just… Don’t go through my stuff. Ever. Please.”

Harmonia looked down at her hooves.

Long Play paced in front of the closet, his breathing growing steadily calmer. “Okay… Okay, that’s fine. Did you… What did you see?”

“The glasses,” said Harmonia, gesturing to where the shades still sat. A red aura quickly sprouted over them and the floated over to Long Play. “And I know that there’s a picture, but I don’t know what it’s of.”

Long Play stayed silent, opening the closet again and floating the box back down. The lid came off. The glasses went back in. “It’s a family portrait,” mumbled Long Play. “That’s it.”

Harmonia furrowed her brow. The words came out before she could stop them. “Then why’s it hidden?”

Long Play turned again, his eyes glinting. “Don’t worry about it. C’mon, the fillies are still outside. And there’s a train leaving for Canterlot in a few hours that I really wanna catch.”

“You’re going back already?” asked Harmonia in surprise.

Long Play nodded. He turned away from the closet, marching towards the door only to pause at the doorway. “C’mon,” he said. “Let’s go.”

But Harmonia still sat on the bed, her eyes fixed on the close closet door. “Long Play, what are you hiding in that box?”

“Glasses and a picture. Let’s go, I really don’t wanna leave the fillies alone.”

“Why is it so dirty?”

“Because the closet gets really dusty, can we go now?!”

Harmonia turned back towards Long Play with a strange look. He’s planning on leaving today, she thought. It’s best if I ask now. “Whose glasses were they?”

Long Play stiffened.

“And for that matter, why that picture? Why isn’t it hanging out in the open when it’s framed and entirely ready for display?”

“Dad,” said Long Play curtly. “And Dad.”

“Your father?” asked Harmonia in surprise. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen your father.”

“Yes. Now please, let’s get the hell out of this room and not talk about this!”

Harmonia locked eyes with the colt. Long Play was pleading, his eyes wide as he held open his room’s door.

“Please,” he said.

“Fine.” Harmonia climbed to her hooves. “But I need you to answer one thing.”

Long Play scowled.

“Your dad. Is he… dead?”

The colt’s jaw went tight. “Yes. There. We done?”

Harmonia paused slightly, taken aback by Long Play’s response. “When did he--”

One thing. That’s it.”

The mare took a few steps forward. “Long Play,” she said softly, “I’m really worried. We can talk about this.”

Long Play worked his jaw. Then he shook his head. Softly at first, then roughly. “No. I’ve known you for like two days. So no.”

Harmonia scowled, anger building up in her chest. “Well, we don’t have anymore time if you’re leaving today!”

“Then we won’t talk about it.”

“Long Play! For Celestia’s sake, close the door and let’s talk for a while!”

“No! Why do you care?! Just let it go!”

“Just explain the Sister-damned box!”

“Why does it matter!”

“BECAUSE I CARE!” Harmonia’s shout shook through the room. “I can hardly stand you and you’re cocky and idiotic and I’m mostly certain that Gramma and your mother somehow orchestrated our meeting, but I care about you!”

Long Play’s eyes widened. There were a few beats of silence. “Did… did you just confess to me?”

Harmonia hesitated just the slightest bit. “No. No! No of course not! But we can be friends, right? And you’re supposed to tell your friend what’s bothering you.”

Long Play stared at her. “Friends?” he asked.

“Yes.”

“Just that?”

“Yes!”

A touch of cheekiness drifted back into the colt’s words. “You’re totally in love with me, aren’t you?”

Harmonia reddened for the umpteenth time that day. “No! Not with you!”

Long Play held up his hooves defensively. “Alright, alright. Careful, though, I might get you one day.”

Harmonia snorted.

The closet doors shone red and swung outwards, allowing a glowing cardboard box to float into Long Play’s waiting hooves. The colt lifted the lid, drawing out the glasses first.

“These,” he said, “are my Dad’s glasses. Or were, I guess. He never took them off.” Long Play cleared his throat. “Right, well, his name is--was--Bright Lights. He was part of the Manehattan Weather Team, in charge of making sure that Manehattan got all of its sunlight. Keep the plants in the parks alive and keep ponies reasonable warm and all that. ‘Course, he didn’t really have to work much during Winter, so he’d take another job as a technician for clubs and restaurants and, really, anyplace with lights.” Long Play nodded. “Yeah, Dad had more contacts than anypony. He was a really cool guy.”

He laid the glasses aside carefully, then reached back into the box, pulling out the picture frame. Long Play wiped at the dust with a hoof. “And this is a picture. Don’t think that I really have to explain.” He reached out, offering the picture to Harmonia. She took it, staring down at the happy family.

“How did he…” She let the question hang.

“Blinded. Flying too high on a sunny day. He tried to turn around a building, the sunlight caught off of a window. He couldn’t see and he… he crashed into the building. Knocked him out. Then he fell and--” A pause “--and yeah. That’s it.”

Harmonia turned back towards the picture. A happy family. Laughing colt, smiling mom, oblivious foal, proud father. Picture perfect.

“Mom,” continued Long Play, “doesn’t like having pictures of him around. That’s why I had to hide this one. They had been married for almost 30 years when it happened.”

Harmonia nodded. “It still hurts.”

“Yeah. Yeah, it does.”

They sat there for a few moments more both of them staring down at the picture.

Long Play spoke first. “You know, he thought that I liked colts.”

Harmonia started, glancing sharply at Long Play.

The colt smiled. “Yeah, tried to pull me aside and have ‘the talk’ and everything. It was around the time that I pierced my ear, actually. He said that he didn’t care what I did, so long as I loved the one I was with.” Long Play grinned. “He just didn’t wanna hear about anything specific.”

Harmonia giggled, then slammed a hoof over her mouth. “I’m sorry,” she said. “I shouldn’t laugh.”

“Nah, go ahead. Dad loved making ponies laugh. Especially when he could make them blush at the same time.”

“I wish that I could have met him.”

“Yeah. He would have liked you. But that feeling you’re getting? About how Gramma Phone and Mom are trying to set us up? A million times worse if Dad were here.”

“Really?”

“Oh yeah. So much worse.”

Another pause.

Long Play watched as a few drops of water fell onto the picture frame. His vision swam, pressure forming right between his eyes

“I really miss him.”

And Harmonia was there to hold him as he cried.

Author's Note:

God, this chapter was a bit of a pain to write. Glad that I got it out, though.