• Published 15th Nov 2013
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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 18

Today it was Vinyl’s turn to be nervous.

Unlike Octavia previously, Vinyl did not pace about the apartment. Instead she poured her nervous energy into music, mixing and rearranging the same track over and over again. She scrunched up her face at the noise thumping out of her headphones right into her ears. It really was just noise, without any clear rhythm or style. Just a mix of everything her deck had to offer all at once.

As chaotic as it was, it perfectly matched the state of her mind. She dialed up the volume a bit more as a few scenes of memories past surfaced in her mind. As it was almost afternoon already the deafening screeches did little to actually do anything except giving her a headache. With a sigh she switched off the deck and resigned herself to actually accept the scenes her mind wanted her to see.

Of course the scene jumping to the forefront of her mind had to be the last time she had spoken to her father. It had been a heated argument, neither pony willing to back down. Eventually Vinyl had left her home in Las Pegasus and had thought she had severed any ties to her family. Meeting and staying with Octavia had made her rethink things. Funny how starving and almost freezing to death can make a pony change her mind. What had started with a simple letter saying that she was sorry, had eventually evolved into a regular correspondence.

But now actually meeting him again for the first time in a few years felt strange. Was he still angry with her? Was she still angry with him? There was no answer to be found in her mind and the only way was to bite the bullet and see what would happen.

Octavia had been hovering around and tried to get Vinyl to talk, but as it became apparent that the unicorn did not want to speak she had reluctantly left her alone. Every few minutes she would take a peek inside the room to check on Vinyl, who just kept working on her music.

As if on queue the earthpony once again looked into the room and seeing that Vinyl had the headphones off she trotted inside.

“It’s almost time.” She stated and pointed a hoof towards the clock hanging on the wall opposite Vinyl. The DJ did not need reminding, as she had spent a good portion of the day just glaring at the clock. Unimpressed by her efforts the device had mercilessly continued to show her that she was running out of time.

Vinyl took a deep breath to steel herself for the inevitable.

“Yeah. Let’s go.” Vinyl’s reply was short and Octavia sensed that not all was well with her friend.

“Are you sure you want me to come along?” she asked and watched the DJ carefully roll up the cord of her headphones before placing them on the deck.

“Of course.” Vinyl most certainly did not want to go alone. If things did turn sour she figured she needed some kind of emotional anchor to keep her grounded.

Octavia followed Vinyl out of the music room and towards the front door. On the way the DJ once again donned her sunglasses.

“I just ask, because you never really talked about your parents.” Octavia closed the door behind them. “Perhaps you wanted it to be a private meeting.”

It was true that Vinyl had not talked about her parents. An oversight on her part as it would have most certainly lifted some of her emotional baggage off her back. She also had not mentioned much about Octavia in the letters to her father. Merely stating that she had met Octavia back in Canterlot, moved in with her after losing her apartment and that they had moved to Manehatten together. Vinyl wanted to keep her chapters of her life separate, now however they would collide. Perhaps it was time to share some information with her friend.

“I left home back then in a bit of a foul mood, because of an argument.” Vinyl explained as they walked down the stairs.

She remembered it as if it had been yesterday. Her first break as a student had been spent back at home in Las Pegasus. A freshly graduated Pinkie Pie had joined her for a weekend to see a bit of Equestria before settling down somewhere. Too bad Vinyl had never found out where exactly. Pinkie had left and Vinyl had announced her decision to stay in Canterlot after graduating. They had argued about it for hours on end, until Vinyl had enough and left. The last memory of home was hearing the sound of her father smash something against the wall in anger through the front door.

“So you have a strained relationship with both of them?” Octavia asked rhetorically.

“No, I was really close to my father. I guess that made our argument even worse somehow.” Vinyl answered and added a bit more information after a moment. “I don’t have a mother.”

Octavia stopped briefly in her step at that piece of information. “I’m sorry, Vinyl.”

“Nah, it’s ok. It’s….complicated.” Vinyl would eventually have to tell Octavia more about her youth. She really had put it off for far too long anyway, but on a busy sidewalk was not the place she wanted to do that. “I’ll tell you later.”

The rest of the walk to the café went in silence. Octavia felt that the unicorn at her side was really nervous as it was. The signs were there if you knew where to look. Vinyl swished her tail every once in a while and kept her head a bit lower than usual, every once in a while popping her head back up to look in all directions. Octavia didn’t want to stress her out any further although her curiosity had been awakened.




__________________________________________________________________




It took them fifteen minutes to reach the café. Octavia nearly collided with Vinyl when the DJ suddenly stopped dead in her tracks.

She had spotted her father standing in front of the café. With his nearly white coat and light blue mane the family resemblance was fairly obvious. He was facing away from the two mares and held lookout for his daughter on the other side of the road.

Octavia nudged her friend encouragingly hoping to unfreeze the unicorn. Vinyl took a deep breath and let it escape slowly. It did not relieve her of the tension she was feeling. With stiff legs and hooves that seemed to weigh a ton each she moved towards the unicorn stallion waiting for her.

What seemed like seconds stretched into years as she closed the distance. Her father was still oblivious to her presence and kept his eyes trained on the other side of the road and coughed a few times. Vinyl was now almost right beside him and scraped the last bit of courage she still had in her together. A quick look over to Octavia, who smiled briefly, gave her the last bit of courage needed.

Here we go.

“Hi, dad.” She said with a voice about to crack under the pressure.

Wide eyed her father whipped his head around to look at her. A moment later he smiled and stepped up to Vinyl.

“It’s good to see you again, kid.” He hugged her and held her close. “I missed you.”

Every bit of tension in Vinyl’s body suddenly left her. The familiar touch of her father felt like coming home.

“I missed you too.” Vinyl replied with her voice giving out on the last word. She was on the verge of crying out of relief and happiness. She had indeed missed him, much more than she had even known herself. It was very difficult for her to finally let go of the hug as her body had turned into a pony-shaped blob of jelly.

Vinyl smiled at her father and was happy to be wearing her sunglasses so he could not see her almost crying. She did note that his light purple eyes were slightly misty as well. On closer inspection she noticed a few more things about her father that had changed. A few lines more in his face and a streak of white in his otherwise light blue mane.

“What’s this?” she asked and touched the streak with her hoof.

“That’s called aging with style.” He laughed and ruffled Vinyl’s mane with one of his hooves like he always used to do when she was about nine years old. Vinyl didn’t mind, in fact she felt even more back home. Then he averted his face to the side and coughed a few times.

“Are you ok?” Vinyl asked with concern.

“Yeah, it’s just the air here.” He explained with a smile. “I’m used to the dry air back home. This town is a little too close to the sea for me. Why don’t you introduce me to your friend?”

“Gladly.” Vinyl turned to Octavia who had been silently observing the affectionate display with a small on her lips. “This is Octavia. Tavi, meet my dad, Light Show.”

It was a fitting name for the stallion with three stage lights for a cutie mark. Each one shining in a different light. Red, green and blue.

“A pleasure to meet you.” Octavia said with her best Canterlot accent and offered her hoof for him to shake. He did so with a smile, but had Vinyl been paying closer attention she might have caught his smile not quiet reaching his eyes. She had been too busy to give her eyes a quick wipe to get rid of some of the moisture in them.

“Likewise.” Light Show answered and turned to Vinyl. “Why don’t we go inside and catch up?”




________________________________________________________________________




It was already getting dark in Manehatten.

The three ponies had left the café hours ago and had just finished a meal in a quiet little restaurant. Vinyl and her father had talked about Las Pegasus and Manehatten for the most part. Every time the talk would shift towards topics like her time in university or Canterlot, Vinyl would steer the talk into a different direction. There were things she did not want to talk about as they might have ruined the mood.

The DJ also noticed small things about her father regarding to Octavia. He was polite and friendly, yet still rather short when talking to her and slightly strained. She knew full well why it was and consciously made an effort to keep Octavia out of most of their talk. If the cellist was offended by it, she couldn’t tell and would have to explain to her later why that was.

For now the only thing on Vinyl’s mind had been building up for some time. Some things needed to be addressed and had to be done so quickly otherwise there would be an unfortunate accident. Vinyl had to use the bathroom.

She excused herself when she was sure that the current topic of discussion was about something that wouldn’t cause problems along the way. As Octavia and her father kept talking about musicals, Vinyl saw her chance to seek out relief from her building predicament.

She was directed by a member of the staff towards the restrooms in the back part of the restaurant. Once there she saw that her chances of immediate relief had diminished considerably. A long line of ponies waited more or less patiently to enter the place that Vinyl sought.

Without any other options she stepped into line and waited for the line to start moving. To try and pry her mind away from anything bathroom related and especially from anything that had to do with water she listened in to the two ponies in front of her talk.

“Come on, come on.” A dark red mare with a light purple mane and tail complained. “What’s taking so long in there?”

“It’s because of the party on the upper floors.” The yellow mare with black mane and tail explained that stood behind the red mare and in front of Vinyl.

“Party?” the red one asked.

“A birthday party for a cousin of mine.” The yellow one replied and sighed. “Should have thought about the catering a bit better in my opinion.”

“Why?” The red one looked at the other one with trepidation. “Is there something wrong with the food?”

“Oh no. The food is fresh and tasty.” The yellow one explained. “The problem is that the hired party planner decided to make it a cheese themed party.”

“Cheese themed?”

“Cheese fondue, cheese bits on toothpicks, wheels of cheese, cheese sandwiches, grilled cheese, cheese pieces with a lot of holes that have been filled with other cheese.” She paused to catch her breath. “And he even made the drinks cheese themed. Have you ever tried a cheese milkshake?”

“I’d rather not.” The red one shook her head.

“I mean it all tastes really good and he is good at keeping everypony entertained.”

“Then what is the problem?” the red one asked.

“My family is lactose intolerant.” The yellow one replied and shifted uncomfortably on her hooves while wincing.

“Well, crap.” The red one said back after a moment.

“Exactly! Hence the long line.”

Vinyl took a step back from the yellow mare just to be sure to not be in the danger zone if an accident should happen.



________________________________________________________________________




Vinyl’s odyssey into the depths of the restaurant’s restroom had taken nearly twenty minutes, but she had braved the horrors within and made way for another very anxious mare to enter the empty stall. Relived she made her way back towards the table where she had left Octavia and her father.

The first thing Vinyl noticed was that most of the other patron’s heads were turned towards her table. A quick glance over it only revealed her father who just sat back down. He seemed rather angry and quickly downed the rest of his orange juice in one gulp. Vinyl’s caught a movement in the corner of her eye by the exit. She saw part of a grey flank and a jet black tail vanish out of sight. Vinyl’s stomach suddenly felt like a pit had opened up inside. She ignored the looks of the other ponies around and nearly ran towards her table.

“What happened?” she asked her father. He just gave her a quick look once over and nodded towards the empty chair opposite him.

“Sit down, Vinyl.” His reply was cool.

“Where is Octavia?” Vinyl stood where she was.

“We had a little talk.” He said and coughed again.

“What did you say?” Vinyl had a very bad feeling that she wouldn’t like the answer.

“I told her a few truths.” He said and shrugged. “She did not take it very well.”

“About what?”

“About what she is.” He replied and held Vinyl’s gaze. “And that she should stay away from you.”

“What the…” Vinyl was momentarily dumbfounded. Then from the pit of her stomach anger reared its ugly head. “What the BUCK! Why did you do that?”

“Sit down and I’ll will tell you.” Vinyl’s father did not acknowledge his daughters angry outburst and just calmly pointed a hoof to the empty chair.

Vinyl’s mind was unable to form any kind of coherent sentences at the moment. She was too stunned that her father would do something like that. She quickly slammed enough bits on the table to pay for the meals and made a beeline for the exit. Her father said something to her, but she ignored it.

Outside neither hair nor hide of a grey cellist could be seen. Knowing that Octavia was not the best navigator she feared she might become lost. Only a couple of meters away in the direction that her friend had run off to was a large crossing. The earthpony could have taken any one of the three routes and Vinyl didn’t know which way to go first.

If Octavia had fled at top speed then Vinyl would not have a chance of catching up to her. She randomly began asking a few of the ponies walking by if anyone of them had seen a grey mare running by.

Vinyl paced about in frustration when it became apparent that none of the ponies around had seen Octavia. Thinking the best bet would be to head home she set off in that direction.

“Vinyl! Wait!” Her father came running up to her. Vinyl did not pause and continued on her way, but was forced to stop when he caught and held her tail with his magic.

“What?!” Vinyl turned towards him and pushed her sunglasses on top of her head. “Why did you do that?”

“I am only trying to protect you.” He answered and held the angry gaze his daughter was giving him.

“Protect me? From what?” Vinyl let herself be ushered a bit to the side so they wouldn’t be talking in the middle of the sidewalk. “I don’t need any kind of protection. I am doing just fine.”

“Fine? Just fine?” Light Show shook his head. “Vinyl, living on the streets is not fine.”

“What? How did…”

“Your acquaintance told me so. Seems like she assumed you had told me about that in your letters.” There was an amount of hurt in his voice. “Somehow you seem to have forgotten to mention that. I wonder if there is anything else you forgot to tell me.”

Vinyl’s angry glare wilted like butter on a hot stove. She now avoided looking at her father and let her head hang low. All she had mentioned to him in her letters was the fact that she had lost her home and moved in with Octavia. The little fact of almost freezing to death in the snow had been carefully omitted. She feverishly hoped that Octavia had not let that slip as well.

“Damn it, Vinyl! It was winter, you could have gotten seriously ill.”

Her thought had been answered and she chose not to reply.

“I owe her a lot for taking you in.” her father continued. “And that does not sit well with me.”

“You don’t owe her anything.” Vinyl was the one who owed her.

“Yes, I do. She most certainly didn’t do it without expecting something in return.”

“How dare you say that!” Vinyl’s head shot back up. “You don’t even know her.”

“I know how mare’s like her think. They never do anything without wanting something in return. It’s how their system in Canterlot works.”

“Stop it!” the DJ was angry again. “She is not my mother! She did it because she has a good heart and wanted to help.”

“Oh please, Vinyl.” Light Show shook his head again and ignored his daughters rising temper. “None of those ponies have a good heart. They do things only for personal gain. It is best you left her here and moved back home.”

“I can’t do that.” Vinyl growled.

“Why? What is she to you?” Light Show kept his temper in check for the time being.

“I lo… I like her a lot, dad.” Vinyl cursed at her little slip up. “She is my best friend and I am not leaving her.”

For a brief moment neither pony spoke. Vinyl began to wilt again under her father’s calm look. Then he sighed heavily and sat on his haunches.

“You have fallen in love with her.” He stated and watched his daughter writhe under his look for a moment. “And she doesn’t know.”

Vinyl cursed silently for being so easy to read, but chose to bluff her way through.

“Why do you think so?”

“If the feeling were mutual then she would have shown it some way I reckon.” He explained his reasoning. Vinyl remained silent not knowing how to respond.

“Why didn’t you tell her how you feel?” He asked.

“I didn’t have the courage.” Vinyl answered after a moment of thought. It was a half truth, but one that she hoped he would accept.

“Maybe because you wouldn’t like the answer?” It was a rhetorical question. He knew he had struck a nerve when Vinyl briefly locked eyes with him and he saw the doubt in them. Vinyl sat on her haunches and looked at the pavement, her eyes had already given him all he needed.

“Even if you told her do you really think she would give you the answer you seek?” He scooted a bit closer to her. “They only care about fame and fortune, Vinyl.”

“You’re wrong.” Her protest sounded weak in her own ears. Despite her initial resolve she felt her eyes betray her once more as they became slightly misty.

“I don’t like telling you these things. I just want you to have a happy life.” He spoke the last sentence softly.

“I am happy now.” Vinyl’s reply lacked the conviction she had wanted to put in it.

“Maybe.” He put his hoof on her shoulder, but Vinyl still just stared at the pavement. “But for how long?”

Seeing that no reply would come from his daughter he pressed on.

“What will happen in the future? Will you still be happy when she has become famous? Will you still cook and clean for her like some kind of servant?”

Vinyl wanted to protest. She wanted to tell him that it wasn’t what was really happening. That the relationship with Octavia was one of friendship and that she wasn’t a servant to the mare. That she did those things out of her own accord and not because she was forced to. He didn’t give her the chance to gather her thoughts.

“What happens when she finds a stallion and marries? Maybe has foals of her own. Will you then still be living with her and be happy? Knowing that you cannot ever have what you desire?”

Light Show watched a lone tear slide down Vinyl’s cheek. He knew that he had hit a sore spot and he hated having to upset his daughter so much.

“Come back with me.” He said softly. “Back home to Las Pegasus. There are many opportunities for you to find some place to work with your music. Find a nice stallion…” Light Show held up a hoof to stem Vinyl’s possible protest. “..or mare. Vinyl, I don’t care about that. I just want you to be safe and live a good life.”

The DJ didn’t move or say anything. He lightly shook her with his hoof on her shoulder.

“Vinyl, I love you and lost you once before. I don’t want that to happen again. Please come back home with me.”

For nearly a minute nothing happened. Then Vinyl drew a large breath and let it out with a sigh. When she lifted her head to look at him, he saw that she had reached a decision.

“I love you too, dad.” Vinyl held his gaze and spoke with clarity. “But I can’t go with you.”

“Vinyl…” he began but was almost immediately cut off.

“I’m sorry, dad. I am going to stay here with Octavia.”

He sensed that there was no point of trying to convince her otherwise. She could be just as stubborn as he was sometimes. With a sigh he removed his hoof from her shoulder.

“Then promise me that if anything should happen that you will contact me and allow me to help you.” He finally said.

“I promise.” Vinyl gave him a sad little smile which he returned.

“My train will leave soon and I still have to fetch the equipment I was meant to pick up here from the store.” Light show hugged his daughter close. “Keep safe, Vinyl.”

She returned the hug and said her goodbye to him. With hesitation he turned around and left her sitting on the sidewalk. Vinyl took a deep breath and held it for a few seconds. She felt like crying, wanting to shout and yell at how complicated life sometimes had to be. But she still had a missing cellist on her hooves and there would be time later for lamenting about the ups and downs in life.

With a final sigh she donned her sunglasses once more and set off to her home.




____________________________________________________________________




Vinyl’s plan was simple. See if Octavia had found her way home. If not, she would grab a picture of her and go straight to Manehatten’s guards and file a missing pony report. Then she would get Lyra and Bon Bon and try to find her in the streets of the city.

When she arrived in the apartment a huge weight lifted off her shoulders as she heard a cello being played. As she locked the door she noticed that it was being played badly. The notes were being missed and the bow seemed to wobble, causing the notes to have a strangely eerie sound to them.

Vinyl had enough experience to judge her friend’s mood based on what was being played and how it was played. The pit in her stomach was back as she realized that the sounds were possibly being made by shaky hooves. Until now she had never heard Octavia be so upset.

The unicorn closed the front door with a bit more force than necessary. As expected the music stopped immediately and as Vinyl walked towards the music room she heard hoofsteps step hesitantly closer.

A moment later the tear streaked face of Octavia popped around the corner. She hiccupped once and seemed unsure of what to expect.

“He isn’t here.” Vinyl stated calmly, correctly guessing her friends feelings.

Octavia bolted towards the unicorn and had begun crying again. Before Vinyl had the chance to react, the earthpony wrapped her forelegs around Vinyl’s neck and held on seemingly for dear life.

“Please… don’t… go.” She stammered between sobs.

Vinyl hugged her crying friend close and soothingly began stroking her jet black mane with a hoof. Using her magic she flicked her sunglasses towards the couch.

“I am not going anywhere, why would you think that?” she asked quietly. Vinyl’s feelings were torn between sadness for seeing Octavia so upset and anger that her father had caused it.

“He said…he said he would be taking you back to Las Pegasus.” Octavia buried her head in Vinyl’s neck. “I don’t want you to leave me.”

“It’s ok, it’s ok.” Vinyl swallowed a lump in her throat. “I’m not leaving you, don’t worry.”

“You know…I don’t think of you as…as my servant, don’t you?” Octavia’s voice wavered.

“Of course I do.” Vinyl kept stroking her mane. “I’m sorry about what he said.”

“Why?” Octavia swallowed hard. “Why did he say those things to me? What did I do to him?”

Vinyl sighed. She should have told Octavia everything a long time ago, but she had felt uncomfortable about it and now her delay had caused a huge mess that could have been avoided.

“It’s not you, Tavi. It’s where you are from.”

“I don't understand.”

The way things had gone thus far, Vinyl saw no point in keeping anything from Octavia anymore. She cleared her throat and began to shed some light on her past.

“He has a grudge towards Canterlot, because of my… my mother.” It felt strange to Vinyl to talk to somepony about her past as she had never done so before.

“Was she from Canterlot?” Octavia asked and sniffled.

“No, she was from Las Pegasus.” Vinyl drew a large breath. “My dad works as a stage technician for a lot of the shows and venues in Las Pegasus. Mainly he is in charge of the lighting as a few special effects. One day he was working together with a band that had a few backup dancers. One of them was my mother.”

Vinyl sat on her haunches and felt the cellist hug her a bit closer. She returned the hug and felt Octavia’s chest rest against hers.

“They talked and over time fell in love. They had big plans and wanted to get married, but the bits were a problem. So they saved every bit possible to afford a decent wedding.” Vinyl shifted her hooves and stroked along Octavia’s back with gentle moves.

“Then I happened. When they found out they were happy and my mother decided to postpone the wedding until I was born, a bit older and she was back in shape.”

Vinyl briefly stopped talking and collected her thoughts. Old memories always held old wounds that could still hurt.

“I was about one year old when they had gathered enough bits for the wedding. My dad rushed home to tell her the good news. That’s when he found her together with another stallion. Turned out that she had been seeing him for about two months already.”

“He was from Canterlot?” Octavia quietly asked.

“Yeah, but that wasn’t all.” Vinyl cleared her throat before continuing. “My father was devastated, but still loved her and said they still could get married. Then my mother told him that the other stallion had proposed to her as well. All my father could offer her was love. The other stallion could offer her a high class lifestyle, full of bits and famous ponies. She chose to go to Canterlot.”

“What about you?” Octavia had an uneasy feeling she wouldn’t like the answer.

“Well she…” Vinyl felt a lump rising in her throat. After all these years it was still a tough pill to swallow. “It wouldn’t have been proper for her to have a child out of wedlock and with another stallion. So she chose wealth and fame over her own child and left me behind.”

Octavia hugged her friend a bit closer as Vinyl’s voice became choked.

“My dad didn’t take it well.” Vinyl continued when she was in control over her voice again. “I was a teenager when he told me what had happened and even then he still loved her, I could see that. He blamed the rich so called sophisticated ponies in Canterlot for corrupting and taking away his love. When it comes to that city he can’t think straight.”

“You went to university there.” Octavia stated.

“Heh, you can’t imagine how I had to fight to be able to go.” Vinyl shook her head at the memory. “I told him that the best musical education could only be had in Canterlot and it took weeks for him to finally accept that it was my best chance for a good education in that field.”

“That’s when you had the fight and lost touch with him?”

“No. That only happened when I returned home during my first break.” Vinyl paused for a moment and felt the cellist’s chest press against her as Octavia took a breath. “I told him I would stay in Canterlot to change the city with my music. He flipped out and we had this huge fight. He said that the city had now also claimed his daughter….that was the last I had seen or heard from him, until I wrote him a letter.”

The two mares sat in silence for a few minutes. Vinyl still continuously stroking over Octavia’s back and mane. The cellist had calmed down meanwhile and only sniffled every once in a while.

“Did you ever look for your mother?” Octavia finally asked.

“I thought about it.” Vinyl admitted. “When I found out what had happened I was really angry. I had chosen to study in Canterlot not only because of the quality of the education. I also wanted to find her. I wanted to become rich and famous in her chosen city and then rub her nose in my success.”

“What happened?”

“I grew up.” Vinyl shrugged. “I realized that holding a grudge wasn’t healthy. And since she didn’t feel the need to be there for me when I was small, I decided she simply wasn’t worth thinking about anymore. It still hurts when I think about what my dad went through, but as far as I am concerned I never had a mother.”

“I’m sorry, Vinyl.” Octavia said quietly and squeezed her friend once.

Vinyl didn’t say anything and just kept stroking and finding comfort in the closeness to her friend. Her mind was blank, which seemed strange to her. Shouldn’t she feel relieved after telling her friend about her past? Shouldn’t she have felt something besides a hollow feeling at all?

How much time had passed was a mystery to Vinyl, when Octavia shifted about a bit into a more comfortable position. With her head now resting on Vinyl’s shoulder she sighed sleepily.

“Tell me about Las Pegasus.” She requested, shaking Vinyl back into reality.

“It’s an awesome city.” Despite the events of the day Vinyl grinned. “It was founded by pegasi a long time ago. Officially it is a separate city, but it still has a lot of ties to Cloudsdale. So you will have a lot of cloudhomes all over the place.”

“When I was a foal I always used to wonder why so many ponies took pictures of the houses. Now I know that the houses there are something unique. A blend between wood, stone and clouds. You can go up two fleets of regular wooden stairs and suddenly find yourself standing on clouds. You can buy these special boots that have a permanent cloudwalking spell in them for walking on clouds.”

“Everywhere you go you will always find some kind of show or act to watch. As a kid I would sometimes tag along with my dad to some of the shows he was working for. I saw all kinds of stuff. Magic acts, comedy acts, musical performances and even some exotic animals being used in some of the shows.”

“We had nearly everything there that you would ever want to see or even think of seeing. Well, all except for trees or parks. The entire city is smack in the middle of the desert. I remember dad taking me to Seaddle once during winter. I freaked out because of the snow, scared I might become lost amongst all the white. Never seen the stuff back home.”

“I think it is pretty special also because off all the different ponies. It is one of the few cities that has an equal amount of unicorns, earthponies and pegasi. Although the pegasi are still the ones in charge and have all the top positions, like mayor and judges and so on.”

“We get a huge amount of tourists there everyday. Mostly because of the shows, but a lot also go there to try and win some bits in the casinos and such. I think the entire thing is rigged as very few actually leave the town richer than they had entered it. But thanks to that Las Pegasus is one of the richer cities in Equestira. Downside is that most of the money is in the hooves of the casino owners, most of them of course pegasi. It’s said that they use the money to pay off the officials in Cloudsdale, so that they don’t keep breathing down their necks.”

“What happens in Las Pegasus stays in Las Pegasus. I bet you have heard that before and it’s true. We have our own guards and a few laws about gambling that don’t exist in other cities. I never much cared for gambling, always seemed like a waste of bits to me.”

Vinyl thought of other stand out features about her home town. She could go into detail about some of the clubs or restaurants, but decided against it. Then she remembered one special thing that always had impressed her as a child.

“The entire city is full of bright lights. Advertisements, decorations and street lights. Everything is always blinking or flashing all the time. There are some streets where you can’t tell if it is day or night time because of all the lights. And they are always on for twenty-four hours, seven days a week.”

Vinyl smiled at a distant memory.

“There is just one day where they are turned off. On the evening of Nightmare Night at eight o’clock in the evening the lights are switched off. There is a small range of hills on the outskirts of the city. From there you can see the entire town and when the lights go out you can see the stars clearly. It’s breathtaking seeing the huge endless sky with all those tiny dots in the sky. As a kid I always thought that the lights from the city had rushed up into the sky, because they were afraid of the costumed ponies walking about asking for candy.”

Vinyl chuckled.

“You have to watch where you step during that night on those hills. Plenty of couples go there to spend a romantic evening together.”

Vinyl suddenly had a thought hit her. The way the day had gone thus far, she might as well test the waters so to speak. It couldn’t get any worse.

“You know….” Vinyl suddenly had a lump in her throat again, albeit from a different reason this time. “I would really like to show you Las Pegasus one day. Perhaps during Nightmare Night so you can see the…. the view from those…erm…. hills….”

Vinyl feared any possible negative reaction from her friend and braced herself for anything that might happen. After a few seconds nothing had happened.

“Tavi?” Vinyl quietly asked.

A light snore was the only reply she got.

Oh great! The one time you work up enough courage to ask her something like that and she falls asleep.

Vinyl sighed. Of course she had fallen asleep. The way the day had gone she wouldn’t have expected anything else.

She stopped stroking Octavia’s mane and tried pulling the sleeping mare off her. The instant she lightly pushed her away, the cellist reflexively strengthened her grip around Vinyl’s neck.

You have to be kidding me…..

“Tavi?” Vinyl carefully shook her friend a bit, but only earned a slightly louder snore in return.

The DJ didn’t really want to wake her friend up by more extreme methods. It had been a taxing evening for both of them and Vinyl thought it best just to let her sleep. The only problem was the location. She could have tried to drag the cellist over to the couch, but if she would have to drag her around she might as well drag her to her bed. Vinyl mused for a moment and came up with a better plan than to drag her friend through their home.

It took her a few minutes to turn around in Octavia’s vice like grip. Anytime Vinyl would struggle too much Octavia would grab on tighter. She then had to wait for the grip to slacken again before continuing her repositioning.

Finally she had turned around, with the earthpony now resting against the unicorn’s back. Vinyl briefly prodded her friend’s foreleg with a hoof, as soon as she felt the grip tightening she pushed her hindlegs against the floor and stood up. Now she had the cellist sleeping on her back and had an easier time moving about.

Carefully she carried her cargo into Octavia’s bedroom. All she had to do now was to somehow get the cellist to relax her grip long enough to lay her in her bed. A louder snore indicated that it might not be quite as easy as Vinyl hoped. She pondered the situation for a moment or two and came up with the best plan at her disposal.

Trying to lay down with another pony on her back was definitely a new experience for the DJ. With some effort she clambered on to the bed and tried to lie down as gently as possible. Vinyl reasoned that if Octavia were lying on a nice comfy surface she would release the other trapped mare eventually. Gravity lent Vinyl some unwanted help and the two ponies flopped unceremoniously on their side. Octavia did not wake up, but instead increased her grip to uncomfortable levels, slightly choking her friend.

After a moment the cellist relaxed her grip a bit, but not enough for Vinyl to escape. The unicorn sighed heavily. The day had been taxing for her emotionally and physically now as well. All she wanted to do was sleep in her own bed and forget the day’s events.

Just a couple of minutes and she will let go.

The warmth from Octavia snuggled against her back and the cellist’s breathing on her neck slowly lulled the DJ to sleep.