• Published 15th Nov 2013
  • 5,143 Views, 321 Comments

Stages - Bunnybooze79



It was supposed to be Octavia’s first big moment in her beginning career. To her dismay a unicorn named Vinyl Scratch stole her spotlight and left an impression on the cellist she would so soon not forget.

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Chapter 12

Vinyl sighed quietly as the four mares trotted towards a large clothing store.

She really didn’t like this kind of shopping. Going from one store to the next just to have a look around. Octavia didn’t mind as much and was more interested in talking to her old friends. Vinyl, feeling like a fifth wheel, trudged along with them.

The stores in Manehatten were nothing like the ones in Canterlot. Here every single customer was greeted with a friendly smile and was asked if they needed any assistance. Almost all shops in Canterlot had a certain snobbiness to them, as if it should be a privilege for the patron to even set hoof in the pristine shop.

Vinyl saw a few stores she would have to visit again on her own time. A music store with a deck in the storefront similar to her old one seemed like a good place to visit. For now she just followed the others and tried to learn more about Octavia’s friends.

She didn’t learn all that much. Bon Bon loved to chat, but most of it was just about the things that Octavia and Vinyl just had to see. The only piece of personal information that the beige mare kept talking about were her concerns about her weight. Vinyl thought she was just being overly dramatic. Sure, she wasn’t as thin as Octavia, but she most certainly wasn’t fat or even plump. Just a regular weight befitting an earthpony. Vinyl actually liked the mare for her sunny disposition and sometimes snide remarks about the shops they should avoid.

The mint green unicorn on the other hoof…..

Vinyl was very much aware that Lyra didn’t like shopping all that much either. The mare rolled her eyes and smiled whenever Bon Bon would suggest another shop to go to. She was also rather quiet and only joined in on the conversation when it was about her.

What really bugged Vinyl was that Lyra would very often just watch her and smile. That damned little smirk on the green mare’s muzzle! It was slowly becoming more than just a little irritating and Vinyl glared back at her everytime she noticed. The effect was of course wasted as Vinyl had once again donned her sunglasses.

The quartet entered the clothing store and Vinyl decided to get away from them for a minute.




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Vinyl curiously eyed the wide selection of socks in one of the back rows in the shop. These they most certainly did not have on open display in Canterlot that was certain. Not that Vinyl had ever looked for them. Her mind was wandering into rather interesting fields and she didn’t notice somepony approach her.

“Are you interested in a pair of black socks, maybe?” the voice said.

“I was thinking more about pink ones.” Vinyl voiced what her mind had presently painted as an image in her head. It had been a reflexive answer and she quickly shook her head as to not say anything more. She turned to address the salespony, only to find herself staring at the widely grinning face of Lyra.

“Yeah, of course you were thinking about pink ones.” Lyra’s grin almost spilt her head. “The same shade as a certain cutie mark I reckon. I bet they would look lovely with a grey coat.”

Vinyl tried to hide her blushing face away by sticking it in between a few socks on display. Of course it just had to have been Lyra that had caught her.

“You wouldn’t happen to have been thinking about a certain cellist?” Lyra teased.

“I have no idea what you are talking about.” Vinyl growled back. She wasn’t going to play the grinning mare’s game and that constant smirk on her face was really annoying.

“Oh don’t say that, Scratch.” Lyra trotted a few steps closer and was now right beside the other unicorn. “I saw how you look at her.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Vinyl pulled her head back out of the soft fabrics and turned on the mint green mare.

“Take off your shades and I’ll tell you.” Lyra just kept smirking and waited for Vinyl to do the next move.

“Fine.” At least red eyes were good for giving ponies an angry look. Vinyl glared at the mare, but Lyra didn’t even flinch. “So?”

“Yeah, that angry stare doesn’t work on me that well.” Lyra peeked over the top of the shelf they were standing behind and looked to where Octavia and Bon Bon were. The mare’s were still chatting happily away and trying on various scarves.

“I know that look you have in your eyes when you look at her.” Lyra said and turned back to Vinyl.

“What look? What do you mean?” Vinyl was still on the defensive and most certainly not willing to admit anything to the mare in front of her.

“That’s the same look I had in my eyes back when I first met Octavia.” Lyra admitted. Her smile widening as Vinyl’s furrowed her brows further. So her suspicions were correct.

Vinyl suddenly disliked the green mare even more and there was a new feeling mixed in. She was jealous.

“I just want to know what your intentions are.” Lyra said and despite her smile, her eyes had a hard glint to them. “I want to know if this is just a onetime thing you’re after or something else.”

“Why?” Vinyl’s eyes had the same hard glint to them as she narrowed them. “Is this going to be one of those ex-marefriend-still-keeps-tabs-on-her scenarios?”

Lyra chuckled at Vinyl’s snarled response.

“Oh, I’m not an ex-marefriend.” The eyes of the mint green mare twinkled with amusement as she saw the confusion in Vinyl’s face.

“But you just said…”

“I said I had the look in my eyes. Seriously, can you blame me? Just look at her.” Lyra studied Vinyl’s face for a few moments, before speaking again. “What did Octavia tell you about me?”

“Not much. You were part of that program for new students and you left Canterlot soon after graduating. She said you were special.” Vinyl explained and was now curious at what really had been going on between them. Lyra snorted with amusement at Vinyl’s last sentence.

“Special. Heh…yeah I guess you could call me that in Canterlot terms, if you didn’t want to offend me.” Lyra lowered her voice a bit to make sure that nopony could overhear them. “Perhaps I should tell you a bit about me. It’s pretty obvious that you don’t really like me all that much and I can see why.”

Lyra checked around for any possible ears that might have listened in. Once sure that she was out of earshot from anypony, she sat down on her haunches.

“When I met Octavia, she had just signed up for that student program to find somepony to help her around the campus.” Lyra smirked again at some memory she was reliving. “I saw an opportunity to get close to her like that and quite frankly….get some of that flank. I took her under my wing to eventually get her under me, if you know what I mean.”

“Nothing happened, so don’t jump to any conclusions.” Lyra waved the hard look she was receiving from Vinyl away with a hoof.

“I found out pretty soon that Octavia wasn’t interested….no, that’s the wrong word.” Lyra scrunched up her face trying to find the right words. She sighed and changed her approach. “You know that Octavia is very driven by her goals, right?”

Vinyl nodded. “Yeah. She want’s to get into the Royal Canterlot Orchestra.”

“Well, at the time that was her final goal. First she wanted to pour everything she had in her studies and excel in them. I realized that pretty soon and from previous experiences I would have just left her alone.” Lyra shook her head at the way things had been back in university.

“Why didn’t you?” Vinyl asked with growing curiosity.

“Because I felt sorry for her.” Lyra sighed.

“Sorry for her? But why? She has money, a great place to live, is a musical prodigy…” Vinyl was baffled.

“Yes, she has all that, but…..” Lyra folded her ears down. “She didn’t have any friends. I somehow doubt she ever had any to begin with. So I hung around and befriended her. I don’t think I have to tell you that she is actually really cool and just maybe a bit crazy with her movies.”

Despite Vinyl’s reservations towards Lyra she had to chuckle.

“She really likes her movies.” Vinyl added and smiled at the memories she had with Octavia watching terrible action movies.

“We became friends. Good friends.” Lyra continued. “So I try and look out for her a bit when I can.”

“From Manehatten? Why not from Canterlot?” Vinyl asked and saw the mood of the mare shift away towards angry.

“I had to leave.” The lyrist said with a snap. She grimaced and swallowed a few more words down. With a sigh she let the anger leave her and changed the topic.

“I really really wanted to meet you for a very long time.” Lyra said and had that hard glint in her eyes once again.

“W..why?” Vinyl suddenly felt uncomfortable.

“Octavia and I keep in touch by writing letters to each other.” Lyra explained. “After she first mentioned you, I was already halfway to the station to buy a ticket back to Canterlot.”

“What did she write?”

“She wrote that you threw up over her cello.” Vinyl shrunk back a bit. “I have the tear-stained letter still at home. You can thank Bon Bon for holding me back and not going to Canterlot to find you and teach you some manners.”

“What happened back then…” Vinyl began, but was cut off by Lyra with a wave of her hoof. The mint green Unicorn had that little smirk on her face again.

“Relax. I am not going to start a fight with you, besides I know that you fixed it. Octavia wrote me all about it. I was more than a little surprised to read that she took you in some time later. All she said was that you had fallen on some rough times.”

“Yeah, really rough times….” Vinyl snorted with dry humor and noted the other unicorn still watching her closely. “Guess you could say that if it hadn’t been for her, I wouldn’t be here anymore.”

“So is that it? You are doing all this to repay her for her kindness?”

“What? Doing all of what?” Vinyl asked uneasily.

“Befriending her. Helping her with her music. Wanting to take her for a roll in the hay.” Lyra answered flatly.

“No!” Vinyl rapidly shook her head. “It’s not because of that. I mean I am really thankful that she helped me, but that isn’t why I am helping her or being her friend.”

“And what about the roll in the hay?” Lyra watched the white unicorn cringe with discomfort. She decided to put Vinyl at ease. “Listen, anything said here between us will stay between us.”

Vinyl didn’t relax and just studied the mint green mare in front of her. She seemed to be truthful and Vinyl couldn’t see what she would want with that kind of information.

“Octavia is my friend and I don’t want her to be heartbroken.” Lyra said after it was apparent that Vinyl would not say anything. “Is this just a onetime thing?”

“Why would she be heartbroken?” Vinyl wasn’t sure what to make of that. Could it be that Octavia had feelings similar to those that Vinyl had? Did Lyra know something or was she just guessing?

“My question first, Scratch.” Lyra’s smirk vanished and her expression turned serious.

Vinyl debated if she could trust this mare or if it would come to bite her in the flank at some point. Still, she needed to vent her feelings to somepony and it was obvious that the mint green unicorn would not relent so easily.

“It’s not a onetime thing.” Vinyl finally said with almost a whisper. Saying it out loud for the first time made her realize just how deep her feelings for the cellist actually were. Something invisible weighing on her heart suddenly lifted after admitting her feelings openly to somepony for the first time.

Lyra’s demeanor changed back to a more friendly one. Gone was the serious frown and the hard glare in her eyes, she even smiled a little.

“That’s good to know. Have you told her?” Lyra asked and raised an eyebrow.

“No, I… wait, wait, wait.” Vinyl held a hoof up and collected her own thoughts first. “What about my question? Why would she be heartbroken?”

“’Cause you are good for her.” Lyra answered immediately.

“Huh?”

“I have an entire drawer full of old letters from Octavia.” Lyra began to explain. “Most of them are about her studies during her time at university. After that she wrote about her not being able to find a good position and such. Then you arrived and she started writing about movies, cakes and the joys of jumping into puddles.”

Vinyl couldn’t help but grin along with Lyra at that piece of information.

“You have a positive effect on her and I think she wouldn’t take it very well if you would do something stupid.” Lyra eyed the other unicorn carefully. “Have you told her how you feel about her?”

“No.” Vinyl’s reply was no more than a whisper.

“Why not?”

“I don’t even know if she likes mares.” Vinyl pawed the floor for a moment and thought for a couple of seconds. “Do you know if she does?”

“No idea.” Lyra answered. “You could just ask her.”

“I can’t do that.” Vinyl sighed.

“Why not?” Lyra asked again and tilted her head a bit while waiting for the answer.

“Because that might complicate things.” Seeing Lyra’s raised eyebrow, Vinyl elaborated on her answer. “What if she is freaked out by me asking something like that? I came here with her to help her reach her goals and not for my sake of finding a marefriend.”

“Her goals being?”

“Getting into the Royal Canterlot Orchestra of course.” Vinyl shot Lyra an irritated look as the mint green unicorn snorted at the mentioning of the Orchestra.

“That’s it?”

“Y…yeah? All I really want for her is to be happy.”

“Hmmm….” Lyra put a hoof to her chin in thought. “You think that’s the only thing that would make her happy? She is happy now.”

“I…I know, but it is her dream. Her goal in life and I won’t stand in her way.” Vinyl explained and felt slightly uncomfortable under the gaze of Lyra’s golden eyes. “When….when she has reached her goal, perhaps then I can tell her how I feel.”

“Might be too late then.” Lyra said quietly.

“Huh? Why?” Vinyl was confused. Not only by Lyra’s remark, but also because of her now once again frowning expression.

“Well, the Orchestra is…..” Lyra trailed off and thought for a moment. After a long sigh she checked where the other two mares were. After seeing them still happily chatting away on the far side of the store she turned back to Vinyl. “Ah expletive it! Guess I’ll just have to tell you the entire thing.”

“Did you just say expletive?” Vinyl asked and gave the mint green unicorn an amused look.

“Bon Bon says I swear too much. So she came up with that idea.” Lyra explained and rolled her eyes.

“Does it work?”

“It sounds expletively dumb, but yeah…it usually does the trick.” Lyra shook her head clear before addressing the actual topic on her mind. “I studied classical music as you might have guessed.”

Lyra sat down on her haunches before continuing. Vinyl did the same and carefully listened to the other mare, still not quite sure about her.

“Well I graduated top of the class. Then came that little contest which I won.” Lyra explained it without any tone of pride. “Two weeks later I was invited to audition for the Royal Canterlot Orchestra. They accepted me and I was on the top of the classical music world. I even performed with them twice.”

“What happened?” Vinyl asked after Lyra had fallen silent for a few seconds. Something obviously wasn’t easy for the mint green mare to tell and Vinyl’s interest was piqued.

“Bon Bon.” Lyra answered and smiled a little. “I met her during that contest. She was part of the catering service during the event. Let’s just say the real prize I took away from that contest was her.”

“She made you leave Canterlot?” Vinyl verbally prodded the other unicorn.

“In a way….yes.” Lyra sighed again, trying to think of how to explain everything to Vinyl. “What do you know about the classical arts? I don’t mean the music, I mean the entire thing surrounding it.”

“Uh…like ponies and stuff?”

“Yes. Ponies, tradition, proper etiquette. That kind of stuff.” Lyra snorted angrily, but Vinyl realized the anger wasn’t directed at her.

“Nothing really. Not really my scene, so I never hung out with any of them or was invited to anything like that.” Vinyl explained.

“They are very strict with traditions and proper behavior. Anything deviating ever so slightly from their norm is shunned.” Lyra explained and swatted angrily at a pair of socks on display.

“Like you?” It wasn’t really a question.

“I never hide who I am and will show it. Guess you can figure out how that went.” Lyra didn’t give Vinyl a chance to reply. “When they found out about Bon Bon they demanded that I deny even knowing her and focus on the music. That the entire thing with her was just a remnant of my university days. They turn a blind eye towards anything that happens during that time. I told them with some choice words what I thought about that. A lot of expletives. That went about as well as you can imagine. Long story short, they threw me out of the Orchestra.”

Lyra sighed and toyed with a pair of red socks on display with a hoof.

“And then you moved here with Bon Bon?” Vinyl asked when it became apparent that Lyra needed a prompt to continue.

“Nah. At first I thought I would just find another job somewhere else in Canterlot. Turns out that news about me spread like a wildfire throughout the city. Nopony would even touch me with a ten foot pole. And those were just the friendly ones. I lost everything just because I would not bow to their antique perception of social norms. Hay, even my Mom turned her back on me.” Lyra’s ears folded down at the memory.

Vinyl was at a loss for words. She knew full well that the Canterlot populace was stuff and snobby, Octavia being the notable exception, but she had not reckoned with them being that rigid in their beliefs, especially considering the things that happened in university.

“The only one that didn’t turn her back on me was Octavia.” Lyra continued and briefly smiled. “I think she simply didn’t understand what the big deal was. Since nopony apart from her and Bon Bon would even talk to me, I was left with a choice. Leave it all behind or try and bullhead my way through. Bon Bon finally persuaded me to leave and come with her to her hometown, so we moved here.”

“And now you play in an orchestra here?” Vinyl asked and caused Lyra to snort with dry humor.

“Yeah right. Word about me traveled all over Equestria’s classical world. They all know about me and after a few unpleasant encounters I just gave up. Now I work in a small stand selling newspapers and magazines.”

Vinyl gawked at the mint green mare. For a moment she thought Lyra might be joking. One look at the serious expression of the lyrist told her that it was not the case.

“But what about your music? Don’t you want to play?” Vinyl finally asked.

“Oh I do play, just on a smaller scaled audience.” Lyra smiled a small smile. “I play for Bon Bon and sometimes just for myself. That’s all I need. Sure there are some ponies that need to play their talent for many to see, I couldn’t care less.”

“Unlike Octavia.” Vinyl had murmured her thoughts quietly enough for Lyra not to hear them.

“The bits were nice when I still was playing for the Orchestra in Canterlot.” LYra continued and had not heard Vinyl’s mumblings. “Could sure do with them now.”

“Why? Something big planned?” Vinyl asked out of reflex, her thoughts were going over what Lyra had said again and again.

“Well we… we’ll tell you both at a later time. It’s mainly Bon Bon’s idea and I don’t want to spoil her surprise.” Lyra said with a smirk.

Both unicorns sat in silence for a few moments. Vinyl was digesting the information she had received and all the while Lyra kept watching her. Five minutes passed until Vinyl looked the other mare in the eye again.

“Why did you tell me all of this?” she asked.

“Cause I want you to know what’s at stake. For both of you.” Lyra stood up and walked up to the white unicorn. She pressed a hoof against Vinyl’s chest before continuing. “I think you are a good pony, Vinyl. Octavia will never reach a decision by herself, she is just too fixated on her goals to notice anything else. It’s up to you I’m afraid.”

“Great. No pressure then.” Vinyl sighed and Lyra chuckled.

Both mare’s ears perked up as they heard Bon Bon call Lyra’s name across the store.

“Think about what I told you.” Lyra said again and walked away from the sock display with Vinyl following her closely.

“Yeah….I’ll do that.” The white unicorn said and was still feverishly mulling everything she had learned over in her head.

“If you need advice or help with something…..just ask.” Lyra said and gave Vinyl a genuine smile.

Not only did Vinyl have plenty to think about, but it seemed as if her initial thoughts about Lyra had been wrong. The mint green mare was ok in her book now. Amongst the socks on display she may have just found another friend.




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Sightseeing.

Something that wasn’t on Vinyl’s top ten list of things to do. Yet it was fairly entertaining thanks to Lyra and Bon Bon. The mare’s showed them the best places to eat, shop or watch movies without having to put a huge drain on their finances.

“And this!” Bon Bon exclaimed and waved a hoof around encompassing everything that could be seen. “This is Time Square!”

Both Octavia and Vinyl looked at each other with puzzlement before turning their looks back to the place they were currently standing in. It was a square plaza about the size of two hoofball fields. In the center a large sundial dominated the otherwise empty square. On the buildings surrounding the plaza every single available space had a clock attached to it.

“What’s the time?” Lyra joked.

“Uh…that’s a lot of clocks.” Vinyl said mesmerized by the constant ticking of the countless clocks.

“Strangely, if you want to actually buy a clock, you’ll have to go elsewhere.” Bon Bon explained.

“I thought Time Square was full of bright lights and theatres?” Octavia asked and felt slightly overwhelmed by the plethora of time pieces.

“That’s Times Square. It has an extra s.” Bon Bon explained and pointed a hoof in the direction where the mentioned road was. “We’ll get there later. Let’s make our way to the Statue of Happiness first.”

All four mares were glad to leave to constant ticking clocks behind as they made their way to the next destination led by Bon Bon.




_________________________________________________________________





“Welcome to the Big Apple!” Lyra said and laughed at the expression on the faces of the two newcomers.

Vinyl and Octavia stared at the enormous stone statue of an apple in the center of a small park. Neither one knew what to say for the moment.

“Hehe. Yeah, that was my first reaction as well when I first saw it.” Lyra chuckled and led the way to a large bench in the shade of a tree. “Let’s get off our hooves for a moment.”

Lyra didn’t wait for a reply and flopped onto the bench, glad to have the weight off her hooves for a moment. The others did the same and let out a collective sigh. A rumbling noise broke the momentary silence. Vinyl gave the inquisitive looking mares a sheepish grin.

“I could do with something to bite.” She said and her comment was punctuated once more by a rumbling from her stomach.

“I have just the thing.” Bon Bon said and rummaged around in her saddlebags. After a moment she pulled a small paper bag out and offered it to Vinyl.

Using her magic Vinyl levitated the bag over and peeked inside. It was filled with an assortment of sweets. Toffees, gummy ponies, various drops and other sweets. A dentists nightmare and Vinyl’s secret weakness. Without even waiting a second she grabbed a hoofful of sweets in her magic and passed the bag on to Octavia.

The very first thing she ate, a lime green gummy pony, sent her taste buds into overdrive. She had eaten plenty of sweets in the past, but this one was without any contest. Eagerly she tried a piece of toffee and nearly moaned in delight.

“You like them?” Bon Bon asked with a smile as she watched Vinyl ravenously devour another piece of candy.

“These are awesome!” Vinyl said and happily chewed on a piece of taffy. “Where can you buy them?”

“I made them myself.” Bon Bon answered with pride and was amused at the awestruck expressions on Vinyl’s and Octavia’s faces.

“Don’t you sell them?” Octavia asked and slowly chewed her piece of candy with more revere than she had before.

“Oh, I work in a candy store, but only as a cashier.”

“You should totally sell these. You would make a fortune.” Vinyl said to which Octavia nodded in agreement.

“One day maybe.” Bon Bon answered and shared a smile with Lyra. The meaning of which eluded the other two mares.

“You’re not having any?” Octavia asked after a moment.

“Uhm, no. Not right now at least.” Bon Bon explained and slightly winced.

“Why not?” Vinyl decided to grab a few more pieces of the delicious candy.

“Oh, you’ll see.” Lyra answered instead with a snicker. Bon Bon lightly elbowed her in the side, causing the unicorn to chuckle some more.

Octavia was intrigued by that remark, but chose to ask a different question that was on her mind. She pointed a grey hoof towards the large statue.

“What is the meaning of that giant apple?”

“That’s been around for a long time now.” Bon Bon cleared her throat before continuing. “Back when Manehatten was just beginning to grow as a city, one of the very first items that was traded here were apples. Thanks to them Manehatten eventually became the largest hub for import and export in Equestria.”

Bon Bon grinned wide after her explanation.

“My old school teacher would be beaming right now. Happy that I at least remembered a bit of his lessons.”

The four mares finished off the last pieces of candy and left the monument behind as they trotted towards their next destination.

“What is next?” Octavia asked and sniffed the salty air indicating that they were nearing the shoreline.

“Only the most famous place in Manehatten.” Lyra stopped and pointed a hoof out to sea. “The Statue of Happiness.”

Between the trees they could barely make out a large imposing statue standing on a small island. Almost everypony in Equestria knew about the Statue of Happiness, but seeing it live made Octavia smile in anticipation.




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As usual the ferry towards the statue was full of tourists.

The four mares stayed close together and watched as the large statue grew closer and closer. Amongst the chatter of the other tourists one of the four did not feel like talking one bit. She had in fact become very quiet and stood as far away from the water as possible.

Lyra chuckled and turned to the other mares. “And that’s why Bon Bon didn’t want anything to eat.”

The mentioned mare gave her marefriend an angry look, but didn’t dare say anything. Her normally beige color had a distinctive green tint to it in the area of her face. Neither Vinyl nor Octavia had any problems with the ride across the water, but sympathized with the seasick mare. Octavia gave her an encouraging slight pat on the back, which caused Bon Bon’s green facial color to turn a shade darker. She burped once and Octavia decided to not try and comfort her any further.

“Why does she look so grumpy?” Vinyl asked.

“Who? Bon Bon?” Lyra asked back.

“No, I mean the Statue of Happiness.” Vinyl nodded towards the statue. The facial expression of the mare in robes, holding aloft a large torch, was most certainly not one of happiness or joy.

“Perhaps she doesn’t like the water either.” Lyra chuckled. “There is a certain resemblance if you look closely. Especially the color is a perfect match.”

Bon Bon glared at her laughing marefriend and hoped the journey would be over soon.

After what seemed like an eternity to the sweet maker, the ferry arrived at the small island. The mares waited at the base of the statue until the beige earth pony had returned to her usual color. Together they began the long walk up numerous stairs towards the top of the statue. Once on top, the strenuous journey up was paid in full thanks to the spectacular view.

Together with the numerous other tourists Vinyl and Octavia joined in the chorus of ooooh’s and aaah’s. Seeing the large tall buildings dominate the skyline was unlike anything the two had seen before. Octavia fell silent at the sight and Vinyl also took the time to try and sort out her thoughts.

Ever since the talk she had with Lyra, she had been silent for the most part trying to wrap her head around everything. A pretty much futile task as her senses were continuously bombarded by the sights and sounds of the new city. Up here in relative silence she was able to think more clearly.

Any thoughts about the silent mare standing at her side were blown away as they heard a familiar voice laugh out loud. Both mares turned to see what was going on.

“Come on Lyra! Don’t you wanna see the view?” Bon Bon had both forelegs on the railing and leaned over the edge. Her mint green companion had a magical hold on the earthpony’s tail and watched her from the safety of the center of the platform. Where Bon Bon had previously taken on a shade of green very similar to Lyra, the unicorn now had a color in her face very close to the color of Bon Bon’s coat.

“What’s the matter? The view is awesome!” Bon Bon said and dangled a bit further over the railing. The action made the unicorn blanch even more and emit a strangled sound.

“I’m fine where I am.” Lyra said very quietly and was sweating heavily. The normally brash unicorn was obviously very uncomfortable about heights and Bon Bon’s little actions, born out of revenge for the remarks during the ferry ride, did not help her feel any better.

“Not much a fan of heights are you?” Vinyl asked and decided to leave her musings for a later time with peace and quiet.

“You can tell?” Lyra answered flatly.




__________________________________________________________________





The ride back to shore and Manehatten proper was silent. Lyra was still trying to recover from Bon Bon’s antics and the sweet maker was once again trying her best to keep the contents of her stomach inside.

Halfway towards their next destination both mares were back to their usual self. Lyra grinned at Vinyl as they trotted along past a few shops.

“You are going to like the next part.” Lyra said and nodded towards the end of the street.

Vinyl’s interest was piqued and she hoped it had something to do with sweets or something else to eat. All the walking and climbing stairs made her hungry. As it turned out it was neither, but something even better.

“And THIS is Times Square.” Bon Bon said to Octavia as they rounded the corner.

Octavia wished for a moment to have a pair of sunglasses of her own. The bright neon lights that seemed to be everywhere blinded her for a moment. Advertisements were plastered on every available surface with bright colors or as neon lights, constantly flickering in the sea of light. It wasn’t even fully dark yet and Octavia could only imagine what it would look like in the evening. Canterlot had no such splendor or one might also say overindulgence in lights. For the first time Octavia truly felt alien in this town.

Vinyl Scratch on the other hand felt right at home. The bright lights, countless advertisements for live shows, massive crowds of ponies and a faint thumping of a deep bass somewhere not too far away, made her feel like she was back in her hometown of Las Pegasus. With the memory of her hometown came a few unpleasant memories. Reflexively she winced and Lyra took notice.

“Come on. I know the perfect street for you Vinyl.” The mint green unicorn led the way across Times Square down a street with less bright advertisements and billboards. She had mistaken Vinyl’s expression for one of discomfort and at the same time was right about Octavia’s discomfort.

The bright neon lights lessened as they moved away from Times Square and at the same time the bass that Vinyl had heard grew louder. Her heart was beating in her chest as the beats coming from the numerous clubs in the street grew more intense. Vinyl had secretly hoped that there would be some kind of music scene that was more her style. Now confronted with an entire street full of clubs her own ambitions that had gone nowhere in Canterlot seemed to be attainable.

With a face splitting grin and nodding her head along with the beats she followed Lyra further along the street. Bon Bon and Octavia closely behind them chatting away once more.

They had almost reached the end of the street when Vinyl froze in mid-trot. Octavia stumbled into her and was now resting halfway on top of the white unicorns back. A not too uncomfortable experience in Vinyl’s book, but at the present time she didn’t even notice it.

“Vinyl? What’s wrong?” Octavia asked as she regained a more dignified position by sliding off Vinyl’s back on to her own hooves.

Vinyl didn’t even hear Octavia’s question. Her ears were perked up and straining to hear something amongst the noise of all the clubs. A track being played in the club they were near stopped and the noise level dropped a bit.

There!

Vinyl picked up on something she had heard and set off in the direction she thought the sound was coming from. In doing so she trotted past Lyra who had not noticed the group behind her stop.

“Uh…Vinyl? Where are you going?” Lyra watched the other unicorn trot past her without even acknowledging her. She joined her two friends in following the white unicorn along the street.

Only at the end of the street did Vinyl stop. She stood in front of a club and was straining to hear the same thing from before.

“Vinyl?!” Octavia and the others had caught up to the other mare and were standing beside her. “What’s going on Vinyl?”

“I heard something.” Vinyl answered and for a moment thought she had just imagined it. Then without warning the music inside the club flared back up again. Vinyl’s facial expression was now one of shock and confusion.

“Are you ok?” Octavia asked and studied her friends face with worry.

“The music….” Vinyl simply said and didn’t know what was happening.

“Kinda catchy.” Lyra commented after listening for a moment. “No idea who made it though.”

“I do.” Vinyl answered. “It’s one of mine.”