• Published 15th Nov 2013
  • 5,145 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 17

Octavia had been pacing about all morning.

Vinyl had pretty much given up on the fruitless task of trying to calm her down. Instead she focused on tidying the place up a bit more thoroughly than usual. Any questions directed at the cellist about the reason why she was so agitated went without answer. The mare was also tightlipped about her parents.

Vinyl simply drew up her own conclusions and guessed that they were typical Canterlot ponies and Octavia’s nervousness was a result of what they would say to her living conditions. Most likely they would find it unfit for their daughter. They could also be very strict or snobby or or or….

The DJ saw no point in trying to guess what her friends parents were like and seeing that she would not receive any kind of answer from her either, she simply went about getting the place ready. As the dreaded time was drawing nearer she decided to prepare dinner.

What Octavia had mentioned was that her parents really liked pasta, so Vinyl had decided to use one of the recipes from Octavia’s cookbook. That however was another challenge altogether.

“Uhm, Tavi?” Vinyl asked as Octavia did her umpteenth lap through the kitchen area. “What does this say? Bunch of foals?”

Octavia trotted up beside the unicorn and squinted at the written words in the book for a moment.

“Pinch of salt.”

“Yeah, that makes a lot more sense.” Vinyl levitated the salt out of the cupboard and Octavia was about to resume her pacing. “Wait, wait, wait.”

Octavia did as Vinyl requested and froze in mid-trot with one hoof raised.

“There might be a few things here that I can’t decipher. Wanna give me a hoof?” Vinyl asked. In truth she could easily take care of everything herself, but the constant pacing of Octavia was slowly getting on her nerves.

Vinyl gave her the important task of watching the water boil. Any question directed at the cellist was simply answered with a grunt, so Vinyl decided not to question her any further for the moment. Out of the corner of her eye the unicorn watched as Octavia kept glancing at the large clock hanging on the wall.

“One minute and thirty seconds.” Vinyl said after a few minutes of silence.

“Hm? What?” Octavia looked at her friend in confusion.

“That’s the time of your fastest lap around our place.” Vinyl gave her friend a meaningful look. Octavia sighed in response.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” Octavia turned down the heat on the stove. “I’m just on edge right now.”

“No, really?” Vinyl deadpanned. “Aren’t you looking forward to seeing your parents again?”

“Yes, of course I am.” Octavia stepped away from the stove to give Vinyl enough room. “I haven’t seen them in almost a year and I do really want to see them again. It’s just….”

Seeing that Octavia’s last sentence had trailed off into nothing, Vinyl felt she would have to prod her friend to continue explaining herself.

“It’s just?”

“Well, when they were my age they were already successful.” Octavia answered and scrunched up her nose. “Look at me. I haven’t really followed in their hoofsteps have I?”

“Don’t say that, Tavi.” Vinyl ignored her cooking for a moment to turn to her friend. “You have played in a musical already and you are now part of Manehatten’s Orchestra. That’s what I would call successful.”

The unicorn watched the cellist take a few deep breaths. After a few moments of quiet contemplation Octavia sighed once more and gave Vinyl a small smile.

“You are right.”

“Of course I am. I am always right.” Vinyl held a hoof to her chest in pride. Octavia just rolled her eyes and giggled.

“Anything I can help you with?” Octavia asked.

“Yeah, sure. You could lay the table.” Vinyl pointed a hoof towards the cupboard where they stored their plates.

Without another word Octavia set off to prepare the dinner table for their guests. Vinyl continued with the cooking meanwhile and hoped that the evening would turn out to be a pleasant experience for all ponies involved.




______________________________________________________________




Vinyl had just finished preparing the dessert, outrageously expensive ice-cream with fresh fruit on top, and was about to try and give Octavia, who had begun to pace about again, another pep-talk. The ringing of the doorbell put a halt to that before it began. Octavia trotted up to the intercom next to the door and asked who it was. After a second she told them to come up and pressed the button to let them in.

Octavia took a few deep breaths and Vinyl used the last bit of time to straighten the bowtie the cellist was wearing. The DJ’s trademark sunglasses were absent for once, as Octavia had kindly asked her not to wear them this evening.

“Vinyl?” Octavia said and caught the other mare’s attention.

“Yeah?”

“My parents, they are a little….strange.” Octavia said in a hushed voice as if she were afraid somepony else might hear her.

“Strange? What do you mean with strange?” Vinyl stepped a pace back from the cellist.

“Well, they might not be what you might be expecting.”

“Uh, what?” Vinyl gave her friend a puzzled look that turned into an annoyed one. “You couldn’t have warned me in, oh I don’t know….the entire morning sometime? You are telling me this now? When they are on the way up?”

“Sorry.” Octavia answered meekly.

“Yeah, ok. No problem….glasses are going back on.” Vinyl said and levitated said object from the coffee table and on to her head. She was not going to expose her unique eyes to somepony described as strange.

“No, you don’t have….” Octavia objection was cut off as somepony knocked on the door. With one last deep breath the cellist moved to the door and opened it.

“Octavia!” a mare’s voice greeted the cellist. The mare herself was out of Vinyl’s view, who was standing to the side of the front door.

“Mamma!” the cellist greeted back as her mother floated through the door.

That’s at least how Vinyl would describe the rather unique movements of the earthpony mare with the sand colored coat and jet black mane and tail. It was as if she was dancing to music only she could hear. Every other step had a spring in it and she even sometimes appeared to tiphoof for a brief moment. Vinyl wondered if she really was a dancer of sorts as the movements were impressively graceful.

Octavia hugged her mother and then both mares exchanged kisses on both cheeks. A greeting that Vinyl had seen other ponies from Istallia do and the entire display solidified her suspicions that Octavia had istallian roots somewhere, most likely in form of the mare she was hugging with.

Vinyl cast a quick glance to Octavia’s mother’s cutie mark, a stain glass window depicting a hammer and chisel. That wasn’t what the DJ had expected. She looked up in time to see the older mare break the hug and turn towards the unicorn.

With a friendly smile the mare trotted towards Vinyl. The DJ returned the smile and noticed that Octavia had her mother’s eyes. Although maybe her mother’s were a shade lighter, but it was difficult to tell while wearing sunglasses.

“Hello, ma’am. I’m Vinyl Sc…” Vinyl greeted and was interrupted as she received an earthpony strength hug. More surprising were the kisses she then received on her cheeks. Octavia’s mother was at least friendly, that much was certain.

“Please don’t call me ma’am.” The mare said and broke the hug. “I’m Chisella Vetrata. Call me Chisella.”

“Uh, ok.” Vinyl answered back still slightly puzzled at the mare’s greeting. Chisella sauntered off deeper into the living room curiously looking around.

Vinyl took the time to cast a glance at the unicorn stallion that was currently hugging Octavia and kissing her cheeks. Apart from his big deep chest he looked like any other stallion. His coat was a shade darker than Octavia’s and his light brown almost orange mane and tail were cut short. Vinyl could not see his cutie mark as the saddlebags he had on obscured it from Vinyl’s sight. She could not shake the feeling of having seen him before somewhere. She figured she had most likely seen him at some point in Canterlot and shrugged the feeling away.

Vinyl was happy to see the genuine love on both Octavia’s and her parent’s faces. At least their relationship did not seem to be strained and that was one worry that Vinyl gladly dropped from her list.

She stopped her musings as the stallion turned to her and briefly mustered her with his dark green eyes. There wasn’t any hostility in his look, but rather just curiosity. He smiled as he approached the DJ.

Taking a leaf from Chisella’s book of greetings, Vinyl hugged the stallion and kissed his cheeks in turn. Then he began to chuckle.

“A hoofshake would have been enough.” He said with amusement and a deep voice.

“I…uh….” Great Vinyl, way to go to embarrass yourself. “I just didn’t want you to feel left out.”

Her lame excuse for the social faux pas was met with some laughter. At least from him, as Octavia silently closed the front door.

“I most certainly don’t feel left out now anymore.” He was still smiling and extended a hoof. “I’m Reed.”

“I’m Vinyl.” Vinyl shook the offered hoof and was happy her little blunder did not have any repercussions. Reed trotted past her towards the couch to take off his saddlebags.

Chisella halted her inspection of the living room suddenly. She spun around on her hindlegs and almost danced back to Vinyl.

“Please, your eyes, I must see them!” she asked with a beaming smile.

“I…well….uhm.” Vinyl was taken aback by the request.

“If she doesn’t want to take off her glasses, then that’s fine.” Octavia chimed in and stood beside Vinyl.

“Oh come now, Octavia.” Chisella gave her daughter an amused look. “You were the one writing about her eyes in the first place, practically gushing over them in your letters. I just want a quick look to confirm what you wrote.”

“Mamma! You are embarrassing her.” Octavia protested.

“No, Dear. I am embarrassing you right now.” Chisella grinned as Octavia was about to protest.

“It’s ok, it’s ok.” Vinyl interrupted before the cellist could say anything. She now was really curious as what Octavia had written about her eyes. Both her parents didn’t seem all that strange to Vinyl, so she saw no harm in taking off her glasses. She propped them up on top of her head and looked at Chisella, who let out a gasp at the sight.

Vinyl suddenly found herself in a vice grip of Chisella who held the DJ’s head in her front hooves. She turned the unicorns head towards the light a bit more to get a better view.

“They are simply stunning.” Chisella gushed as Vinyl tried to smile, something that wasn’t easy with two hooves in the face. “Well, you weren’t kidding about that what you wrote.”

“Mamma….” Octavia’s voice had a slight warning tone to it.

“What did she write?” Vinyl managed to ask.

“Oh, she went on and on about how magnificent your eyes are. Hypnotizing jewels, beautiful rubies and paragraph after paragraph of praising your eyes. I can see now that she wasn’t joking.” Chisella released the unicorn from her grasp. “You should show them proudly and not hide them.”

“Uhm…thanks.” Vinyl could only say and grinned sheepishly.

So Octavia really likes my eyes….interesting.

Even more interesting was the cellist herself at that moment. She was seemingly intent on trying to transform her head into a tomato. At least the color of her face had very tomato-esque properties at the moment. She also avoided looking at Vinyl and rather gave her mother an angry glare that Chisella simply giggled at.

“How about a tour of your place?” Reed asked and defused the situation the mares were in. Octavia happily agreed to do that, while Vinyl was left contemplating of what to make of the information given to her by Chisella.




________________________________________________________________




The tour was over quickly as there wasn’t really all that much to show. Chisella remarked that the place could do with a few pieces of art and Vinyl realized that the statues in Octavia’s place in Canterlot had been in fact made by her mother. That at least explained part of her cutie mark.

“So you make statues?” Vinyl asked as the group trotted out of the room reserved for music.

“I do indeed.” Chisella nodded. “I also have a talent for stain glass windows, but alas the need for them is not very high in Canterlot.”

“Perhaps the Princess will need some one day.” Vinyl said and led them back to the dining area.

“I am busy enough with statues, but it would be nice to make something like that for the Princess. Who knows? Maybe one day.” Chisella sat down at the table.

Vinyl left them at the table and turned to the kitchen area to prepare the food for serving. She didn’t want to be in the way of the family seeing each other again after so long. With one ear she listened in to the conversation about the locations they had visited during their tour around the world.

She levitated the large pot of spaghetti out of the oven where it had been kept warm. Deciding not to push her magical limit she left the freshly made tomato sauce in the oven for the moment. Vinyl carefully set the pot down on the table and couldn’t help noticing that all three ponies already sitting there stared wide-eyed at the food with a very hungry look in their eyes.

After all food had been put on the table, Octavia gave each pony a portion. Unsure if Octavia’s family had any kind of ritual for their meals, Vinyl waited patiently for anything to happen. But the ponies just dove into their food in front of them and seemed to enjoy it.

They were sitting evenly distributed around the round table, with Chisella to Vinyl’s left and Reed to her right. Octavia sat across from her and was adding a bit of pesto to her food. Vinyl was about to bite into a forkful of food herself when she noticed something strange. For a moment Vinyl thought she had just imagined something, but after a few moments she realized the little spectacle in front of her was real.

Octavia and her mother were in perfect synchronization. Both of them took some of the spaghetti on their forks and brought it to their mouth at the same time. The way they sucked up the last bit of noodle, then licking their lips and finally dabbing at their lips with a napkin had perfect timing. They even chewed and swallowed at the same time. If there had been an event during the Equestrian Games called synchronized eating these two would have easily taken the gold. Vinyl watched them with fascination for a moment.

“I have to say your cooking has definitely improved.” Chisella said after a moment.

“Oh, I didn’t really do anything.” Octavia said and smiled at her friend. “Vinyl did all the cooking.”

“Really?” Reed seemed impressed. “You have quite the talent for it.”

“Thanks!” Vinyl couldn’t help fight the proud grin spreading on her face. “But Tavi helped me.”

“Tavi?” Chisella’s eyes lit up and turned to her daughter. “That’s a nice nickname.”

Octavia chose not to say anything and tried to ignore her mother’s amused look. Vinyl had not caught that little display as something just had occurred to her. The only pony here with a Canterlot accent was Octavia. She decided to ask about that once they were finished with their dinner.




______________________________________________________________




The dessert had been a success, the same as dinner. Vinyl felt a fair amount of pride at her accomplishment and gladly received some praise from Octavia’s parents. Now the discussion had come to a bit of a break and Vinyl decided to ask the question burning on her mind.

“May I ask something?” Vinyl felt it was better to ask before just blurting out her question.

“Of course.” Chisella turned away from her daughter to face Vinyl.

“How come neither of you have a Canterlot accent?” she asked.

Chisella grinned from ear to ear.

“Didn’t Octavia ever tell you?” she asked and looked back to the cellist who simply shook her head. “Tsk, tsk. Well good thing that I am here then isn’t it?”

“She didn’t know or ask, otherwise I would have told her.” Octavia defended herself, which was duly ignored by her mother.

“I am from Diano Mareina in Istallia originally.” Chisella drew herself up in her chair. “It’sa theee finest veelage witha theee besta linguini in theee world.”

Reed laughed at his wife’s exaggerated istallian accent. Vinyl just lightly smiled and was waiting for the mare to continue.

“That was how I talked when we first met.” The older mare ignored her husband’s laughter. “We moved to Canterlot when I found out I would be expecting my leetle bambini here.”

She ruffled Octavia’s mane which made the cellist blush slightly.

“Once in Canterlot I decided to learn that what they there call proper equestrian. With self-teaching records if you believe it. It never really took hold on me, but Octavia was always present when I played those records. Of course growing up in that town also has shaped her, but we still have hope she will one day unlearn her accent.”

“I like it.” Octavia felt the need to chime in. “Besides, it is expected in the classical circles.”

Octavia’s eyes widened as she just realized she herself had opened up the one can of worms she wanted to keep shut. Until this point her career had never been mentioned once and she was perfectly happy to keep it that way. Vinyl sensed what was going through her friend's mind and rushed to her aid with another question.

“So you both are from Istallia?” Vinyl had directed the question to Octavia’s mother, but it was her father who answered.

“I’m from Fillydelphia actually.” He chuckled a bit. “I met my wife in Istallia.”

Vinyl turned to the stallion, but caught Octavia’s thankful smile in the corner of her eye.

“It was during a show where I met her.” Reed looked at his wife while recalling the memories with a smile. Chisella just smiled at him and made no attempt to help him with his retelling, not that he needed any. “A gust of wind blew my hat away and she was the one to catch it. After the show she found me to give it back to me. We talked and talked, until it was morning. Then we talked some more and have never stopped since then.”

He leaned over to Vinyl.

“She was the one that never stopped talking.” He whispered just loud enough for his wife to hear. Her response came in form of a piece of bread hurled at the stallion who snatched it out of the air with his mouth and happily ate it.

Good thing she caught that fedora, otherwise we wouldn’t be sitting here.

Vinyl’s thoughts ground to a halt. How did she know it had been a fedora? Her eyes darted towards his cutie mark that she was able to see now. A saxophone with two notes. Suddenly all the pieces came together and Vinyl let out a gasp of surprise while standing up suddenly and inadvertently knocking over her chair, which in turn made the other ponies look at her with surprise.

“Oh dear Celestia!” Vinyl tentatively pointed a hoof at the stallion. “You are Reed Hoofstrong! The stallion of sax!”

“The saxiest stallion in town!” Reed laughed, while Chisella and Octavia rolled their eyes. Had that been an event during the Equestrian Games they would also have taken the gold.

“You have been a huge inspiration to me.” Vinyl was now fully unleashing her inner fangirl. No wonder she couldn’t quite shake the feeling of having seen him before. She even had a record from him.

Reed Hoofstrong was a pioneer in music. Together with a few friends he had made huge waves with his new style of music called jazz. While the style wasn’t quite Vinyl’s taste, she had admired the stallion for creating a new style of music that also would become famous and successful. Something Vinyl had hoped to emulate herself.

And now he was here right in front of her. Vinyl hopped excitedly from hoof to hoof. “Tavi! Do you know who this is? This is THE Reed Hoofstrong!”

“Yes, I am aware of that. He is my father.” Octavia answered back in a dry tone.

Vinyl suddenly remembered where she was and what Octavia had just said. She ceased her jumping and apologized with a much calmer tone of voice.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t want to make you uncomfortable.”

“Nonsense! It’s always nice to meet fans!” he still was smiling at Vinyl. “I heard you are a very good musician yourself.”

“Well….uh…I try.” Vinyl would one day have to interrogate Octavia on what she had written about her. “Do you want to listen? I have all my stuff here in the music room.”

“Sure, why not?” His answer made her heart skip. She would be able to play her stuff for the pony who inspired her. How many ponies could say they had done something like that?

“Do you two mind?” Reed asked his wife and daughter.

“Of course not.” Chisella smiled at him. “That gives me some time with Octavia alone.”

Octavia suddenly felt a chill running down her back. To shake the feeling she began to clear the table, while the two unicorns disappeared into the music room. After a moment her mother started to help her.

“That’s not necessary, I can manage.” Octavia tried to stop Chisella from having to do anything.

“It’s no big deal.” The older mare ignored her daughter’s protest. “Besides, that gives us some time to have a little chat, just the two of us.”

Octavia felt that chill running down her back again.




________________________________________________________________




Octavia dunked the plates into the soapy water in the kitchen sink. Her mother had been skating around the subject Octavia was trying to avoid on purpose, of that the cellist was sure. Just to keep herself occupied with something, Octavia had decided to give the dishes a quick wash. Chisella just idly leaned against the kitchen counter and watched her daughter with a small smile.

“Vinyl is really nice.” Chisella said after a few moments of silence.

“Uh, yes. Yes she is.” Octavia was slightly surprised at her mother’s statement. A few seconds passed in silence again.

“Have you ever tried to do something about your snoring?” Chisella asked innocently.

“I…what?” Octavia stopped washing one of the plates to look at her mother. How she had jumped from one topic to another had confused the cellist.

“I noticed you were sleeping in two beds, maybe do something about your snoring and you can sleep in one.” Chisella casually explained while Octavia dropped the plate she was holding in her hooves back into the kitchen sink. The resulting small splash caused a bit of water to splash on to the cellist.

“Mamma!” Octavia grabbed a towel and dabbed at the wet patches on her coat. All the while her cheeks felt like they were burning like Celestia’s sun. “It’s not like that! Vinyl is a friend! My best friend!”

“Could have fooled me. The way you went on and on about her in your letters. Rather interesting if you ask me.” Chisella smiled a sly smile.

“She and I are not involved in that way!” Octavia protested once more and glared at her mother who just chuckled.

“Sorry, sorry if I stepped on your hooves.” The older mare apologized, but was still grinning. “It’s just that we sometimes worry about you.”

“Well, this is nice.” Octavia said with a humorless chuckle of her own. “Here I am worrying all evening if you would corner me about my career and why I haven’t yet achieved stardom and then you start asking me about my love life instead.”

“You know how parents are. Always worried about their children.” Chisella briefly nuzzled Octavia’s cheek to calm her daughter down. “You never did have many friends and we were just happy when you started writing about Vinyl.”

“You don’t care about me not being famous?” Octavia asked incredulously.

“Oh, please.” Chisella waved it away with a hoof. “I have told you many times that there is more to life than being famous or having a high profile job. Some things are even more important than art or music.”

Octavia looked at her mother with disbelief. Both her parents had made big names of themselves thanks to their talent for art and music. Hearing her mother just casually dismiss it was always strange for the cellist. Living in Canterlot where names were everything had made her believe that was the most important thing in life.

“Children are more important for example.” Chisella tapped a hoof against Octavia’s chest. “That they are happy and have nothing missing in life.”

Octavia smiled at her mother and just then realized how much she had missed her parents during their absence. She dropped her towel and hugged her mother close.

“We hoped you would have maybe used the time we were away to have some fun.” Chisella explained while hugging her daughter back.

“I guess I did have some fun at least.” Octavia broke the hug and saw that her mother had that sly smile back on her face. “Nooo, mother. Not fun of that kind. Vinyl and I are just friends. Besides, I don’t even know if she likes mares like that.”

“Do you?” Her mother asked, her smile not changing for a millisecond. Octavia blinked a few times, unsure how to answer that.

“I honestly never thought about stuff like that.” Octavia answered truthfully to which her mother sighed. “I always wanted to reach my goal first and then do things like that….I mean think about things like that….I mean…”

“Yes, I know what you are trying to say, Dear.” Chisella held a hoof to Octavia’s mouth to stop her flow of words. “But you are only young once and should enjoy it.”

Octavia let the words sink in for a moment. In a way her mother was right, but the cellist was also very stubborn when it came to her goals in life and she wasn’t ready to abandon them just because somepony told her so.

“I have a position in Manehatten’s Symphony Orchestra.” Octavia finally said.

“That sounds wonderful.” Chisella knew her daughter well enough not to push her any further on the former topic and dropped it for the time being. “Tell me all about it. Oh, and how did your musical performance go?”




_________________________________________________________________




Vinyl was sweating bullets.

She had played Reed three of her best tracks, yet the stallion didn’t erupt in loud cheer as she had hoped. He just sat there with Vinyl’s headphones on and didn’t even bob his head along with the beat. The track came to an end, but before Vinyl could start up the next one, the stallion removed the headphones.

“That was….interesting.” he said after a few moments.

Vinyl had spent enough time in Canterlot to pick up on the hidden meanings of some words. If the high class ponies did not like something they would say it was interesting or quaint. Hearing somepony like Reed say that felt like a slap in her face. The DJ quickly fumbled around with some of the dials on her deck.

“Maybe there was too much bass in that last one. I might have to slow it all down a bit as well. Of course those headphones cannot really…” Vinyl began babbling and only stopped once Reed put a hoof on her shoulder. Somehow she didn’t want to look him in the eye lest he see that hers were moister than usual.

“It’s ok Vinyl.” He said quietly. “Just because your music didn’t strike a chord with me doesn’t mean you should rearrange it. Come with me for a moment.”

The stallion moved away from the deck and sat in front of the window. Vinyl reluctantly followed him and suddenly felt naked without her deck to hide behind. He waited a few seconds for Vinyl to sit down before he spoke up again.

“When I played my style of music the first time, do you know what happened?” he asked.

“Uh…you were given an award?” Vinyl answered with what she had read about Reed a few years ago.

“Ha! That’s the version that was spun by my agents together with Canterlot’s university.” He laughed a bit more and felt he would have to explain himself.

“When I played together with my friends for the very first time in front of an audience they did not give us an award afterwards. In fact the faculty decided to kick us out, because all we did was noise according to them at least.” Reed couldn’t help but grin as he remembered back to those days. “Seven months later they invited us back to inspire a new batch of students. You should have seen the looks on the faculty members faces when we came back on demand by Celestia herself. Best day I ever had.”

Vinyl greedily soaked up the new information.

“We never made them change their minds about our music, to them it was just noise and that’s ok. We found fans in ponies our age and in the younger generations.” He nudged Vinyl in the side. “It isn’t me that you need to impress, Vinyl. It’s your age group and younger. Do they like what you do?”

“Yeah….yeah, they love dancing to it.” Vinyl admitted with a bit of hesitation.

“See? Then you are doing everything right. Believe in yourself and you will succeed with what you love.” Reed smiled as Vinyl’s gloom slowly evaporated.

“Don’t feel down just because some old stallion doesn’t find your music quite to his taste.” He gave Vinyl a friendly pat on her back.

A few moments passed in silence with both of them just staring out of the window. The city never seemed to sleep and even now they could see plenty of ponies walking about down below.

“Why did you stop?” Vinyl suddenly asked. It occurred to her that she a lot about Reed’s beginnings, but knew nothing about his later years in life. That he was married and was the father of her best friend was very unexpected to say the least.

“Blood clots in my lung.” He answered immediately. “Not good for a pony who plays the saxophone. Besides I didn’t really feel the need to travel around anymore after I met Chisella. Things worked out nicely in the end.”

Vinyl most certainly had to agree. She knew that the best jazz clubs in Canterlot belonged to him, which also accounted for the massive wealth that Octavia had access to. Vinyl had planned to do the same things only with her type of music. His luck was the backing of Celestia herself who found jazz much to her liking.

“You really like Octavia don’t you?” he asked and broke Vinyl’s silent trail of thought.

“Yeah, Tavi is awesome.” Vinyl answered truthfully.

“Tell me, how is she doing here?” Before Vinyl could answer Reed elaborated bit further. “She never was comfortable with going to new places. It was a bit of a surprise to us that she would move here to Manehatten of all places.”

“Well….” Vinyl felt the need to continue to tell the truth. “She didn’t really like it here in the first few days, but we got through it and I think she actually likes it here now.”

“That’s good to hear.” He gave Vinyl a pat on her back. “Promise me to look out for my little girl.”

It sounded really strange to Vinyl that she was being asked to look out for the daughter of the one and only Reed Hoofstrong. She couldn’t fight the grin spreading on her face.

“Of course I will. She is my best friend after all.” Vinyl answered immediately.

“Well then, let’s join our girls back in the living room shall we?” he said and led the way back to the mentioned room.

Our girls? Interesting phrasing….




____________________________________________________________




The rest of the evening went by really fast. Both Vinyl and Octavia talked about their jobs in Manehatten and Octavia’s parents told a few stories of places they had visited. But like all good things, a splendid evening would also have to come to an end.

The offer of staying here for the night was declined, as they had made reservations in the glorious Manefair hotel and would leave early in the morning on their way back to Canterlot. After a heartfelt goodbye Octavia and Vinyl were alone in their apartment once again.

“Wow, Tavi. Your parents are really awesome!” Vinyl grinned at her friend.

“I sort of noticed that you liked them after asking my dad for an autograph.” Octavia giggled. “I am happy that you like them.”

Vinyl held aloft the autographed album cover of the record by Reed Hoofstrong she owned and let out a squee of delight. Octavia just shook her head and trotted towards the kitchen.

“I could do with a hot chocolate right about now. Do you want one?” Octavia asked and opened the cupboard to retrieve the necessary ingredients.

“Yeah, that sounds pretty good.” Vinyl carefully put down the record on the coffee table and followed Octavia into the kitchen area.

“Do you want your hot chocolate with some Vinyls, marshmallow?”

For a moment neither mare said anything. Vinyl just stared with amusement at the frozen cellist for a moment or two.

“Did you just call me marshmallow?”

“I…err…yes? You are also sweet and soft…. err….there is a certain resemblance.”

Vinyl chose not to comment on Octavia’s flushed cheeks, but chuckled instead.

“I’ll take that as a compliment.”

A few moments later they were sitting at the dining table quietly sipping their drinks. Octavia broke the silence after a particularly loud slurping sip of hers.

“Tomorrow we’ll be meeting your parents, right?” she asked.

“Yeah, tomorrow afternoon.” Vinyl hid her grimace behind her mug.

“Perhaps we should have met all together. Might have been fun with our parents meeting each other.” Octavia mused and slurped her drink again.

Fun isn’t the word I would choose.

Vinyl didn’t say anything and was secretly dreading tomorrow afternoon.