• 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 28

31 days until the concert.

There was a distinct bounce to Octavia’s steps as she made her way through the entrance to her place of work. For the last few weeks she had been worrying about the looming performance that was expected of her. Now she could hold her head up high, as she had finally found the key to unlocking her creative side.

She grinned as she sat down at her place on stage. Lyra was already there, but as usual didn’t react in the slightest to anything going on around her. Octavia decided to have a talk with the lyrist after the day was done to tell her the huge piece of information she now held.

Octavia missed just hanging out with Lyra and Bon Bon. They both were her friends and to be forced apart by the bigotry of Ictus and the views of Equestria’s classical elite irked Octavia a lot. In truth it bothered her a lot more than it had before and she had wondered if that was due to seeing it’s effects first hoof or because it was one of her friends being affected by it.

She shrugged it off and didn’t dwell on that thought any longer. Today was going to be a good day, she felt it in her bones and Ictus wouldn't manage to ruin it for her.


“For crying out loud!” Ictus slammed a hoof on the surface of his stand. “Just play the damn notes!”

Octavia frowned at the conductor currently berating Lyra for a mistake that he apparently had heard. It was almost a routine in the meantime. At least once a day he would blame Lyra for something done wrong with the music. A totally uncalled for action as Lyra played her part perfectly every time, as far as Octavia could tell.

The rest of the ensemble had also changed their reaction to the constant berating of the mint green mare. At first a lot of them had found it entertaining, as time went by more and more were becoming either indifferent about it or embarrassed. Nopony dared say anything and Octavia remained quiet out of respect for Lyra’s wishes.

“Perhaps you could play your instrument better if you wouldn’t tire out your hooves from fiddling around with your two-bit hussy.” Ictus barked towards Lyra and turned his attention to the notes on his stand.

It was a good thing he didn’t watch Lyra at that moment. For the very first time Octavia noticed a reaction in the other mare’s face. Lyra clenched her jaws hard, the jawbones clearly visible for a moment. If looks could kill somepony then Ictus would have keeled over immediately after the look she was giving him. After a couple of seconds she had regained her composure and seemed as impassive as ever. Octavia had seen everything and kept glancing over to the lyrist every once in a while if she would show any other reaction.


Lyra had remained apathetic for the rest of the day. Once the practice was over she very quickly packed up her lyre and trotted off stage. Octavia needed a bit longer to pack up her cello and hurried after the other mare.

As she turned into the backstage hallway there was nopony to be seen. Octavia knew that Lyra had a bit of a head start, but she must have run to make it out of the building already.

Perhaps she went into one of the rooms….

With an uneasy feeling she trotted along the hallway. At the very end was Lyra’s room, formerly known as the janitor’s closet. Octavia heard a door open further along and quickened her pace. Only as she reached the end of the hallway did she notice that it made a sharp turn. A door just beyond the turn slammed shut. Octavia quickly rounded the corner and saw an emergency exit.

If her guess was correct it should lead out to the back of the building. The door swung open easily as she pressed a hoof against it. Indeed it was the alleyway behind the building that greeted her. A mint green unicorn however was not present. As Octavia stepped out of the building she briefly considered not following Lyra and rather visit her later at her home.

A loud metallic bang made Octavia jump in surprise. It had originated from further down the alleyway. Octavia had an uneasy feeling about that noise and debated if she should get some help before investigating. A series of smaller bangs followed her thoughts.

Maybe somepony is in trouble. Maybe it’s Lyra.

Octavia trotted towards the sound. If it indeed was Lyra then she would have to help her. In a pinch her cello case would function very well as a makeshift weapon of sorts. Of course she would have to remove her cello first.

A smaller alleyway branched off the large one and it was here that the bangs came from. With caution she carefully peeked around the corner to see what was going on. It was Lyra, heavily panting and her face contorted in anger. Apart from her friend nopony was to be seen.

“Lyra?” Since there was no danger to be seen, Octavia stepped into the smaller alleyway. “What are you doing?”

“Venting.” Lyra growled, spun around and kicked a ventilation shaft with her right back leg. The loud bang rang in Octavia’s ears for a moment.

“So I see.” Octavia glanced over to the ventilation shaft on the wall. It seemed to be relatively new based on how clean it was. But it was bent badly out of shape and had a plethora of dents running along it. Dents that had a distinct hoof-shaped look to them. “May I ask why?”

“Did you hear what he called Bon Bon?!” Lyra turned back to the target of her anger and gave it another solid punch. “I don’t care what he says about me, but when it’s about Bon Bon….”

A series of punches and kicks followed that made Octavia take a step back. She knew about Lyra’s temper and that she had taken classes on how to deal with it, but seeing it firsthoof was a shock to the cellist, the classes obviously forgotten for the moment. Bravely she closed the distance to her friend and grabbed Lyra’s right foreleg as it was about to deliver another punch.

“Stop!” Octavia’s order was ignored by the unicorn. Lyra had a surprising amount of strength in her as she freed herself from Octavia’s hold on her. With no other option Octavia stepped between Lyra and the ventilation shaft. “Stop it, Lyra! You are hurting yourself!”

Octavia pointed a hoof at the other mare’s right foreleg. A small cut was visible that was slightly bleeding. No doubt Lyra had received it during her assault on the hapless building equipment.

“You…” For a brief moment it seemed as if Lyra would continue her assault, ignoring a cellist stuck between sides. Then she sighed and with visible effort tried her best to calm down. “Yeah, you’re right.”

Lyra licked the cut on her foreleg and then began using her magic to cast the little first aid spell she knew. Octavia watched her closely for any signs of her anger resurfacing, but apart from breathing heavily the lyrist seemed to be calm again.

“Just how long have you been….venting?” Octavia asked and cast her eyes over the ventilation shaft.

“Don’t know. Couple of weeks maybe?” Lyra shrugged and finished casting her spell.

“A couple of weeks?” Octavia spun back around to her friend, eyes wide in shock. “You have been coming here and beating the hay out of building equipment for a couple of weeks?”

“Yeah.” Lyra shrugged once more. “It’s no big deal.”

“No big…” Octavia shook her head and rearranged the cello on her back. “No. This has been going on for far too long.”

“Wha…huh?” Lyra was shoved gently aside by the cellist. “Wait! What are you doing?”

“I am going to talk to Ictus.” The cellist’s voice was calm, but there was a fire to be seen in her eyes.

“What?” Lyra quickly hopped in front of Octavia and put a hoof against the grey mare's chest. “Why do you want to do that?”

“I have been sitting idly by for long enough.” Octavia explained and tried moving past the other mare. Lyra blocked her every move with ease thanks to not having a heavy case on her back. “Had I known that it was affecting you in this way, I would have said something a lot sooner!”

“Don’t do that!” Lyra feverishly shook her head. “You know what will happen!”

“Well, it can’t be worse than one of my friends getting so upset that she fights entire buildings!” Octavia felt her temper rising and a dark part of her was looking forward to telling Ictus a few things that badly needed to be said.

“Yes, it can.” Lyra shoved the cellist back a bit with surprising strength. “Listen, I know why he is hurling all those insults at me. There is more to it than just me being into mares.”

“Then what is it?” Octavia gave up her efforts to get past the mint green mare.

“He is trying to get me to quit.” Lyra explained and finally removed her hoof from the cellist’s chest. “I overheard him talking to one of the other musicians. If I quit then he can claim that he doesn’t have a suitable replacement. The Royal Canterlot Orchestra will then give him their lyrist as stated in the rules. That of course will boost the performance, in his mind at least, and he can reap even more glory. I am not going to give him the satisfaction of seeing me quit.” Lyra grinned a vicious grin.

“What about you?” Octavia asked after a few seconds of quietly digesting the information. “Shouldn’t you be having fun? Shouldn’t you be enjoying this?”

“Meh.” Lyra waved the questions away with a hoof. “I honestly couldn’t care less about it all. I like playing once again, but I am mainly doing this only for Bon Bon and the plans we have. Plans that aren’t cheap.”

“The bits?” Octavia knew of their plans. “That’s why you are doing this? For the bits you need?” Octavia just watched Lyra shrug once again in response. “I’ll give you the bits. It isn’t worth you getting so upset by him.”

“I can’t accept that.” Lyra shook her head. “Neither can Bon Bon. Thank you Octavia, really. But we need to do this ourselves. We need to earn it.”

“Do you think Bon Bon would approve if she knew what you are doing here?” Octavia asked immediately.

“No, but she doesn’t know does she?” Lyra put on a pleading smile. “Please don’t tell her, Octavia.”

For a long moment neither mare said anything. Octavia still felt the need to do something about the entire situation, but she knew that Lyra and Bon Bon wouldn’t accept any kind of offer she might give them.

“I won’t tell her.” Octavia finally answered. “You are really sure you want to continue with this?”

“Yeah, I am.” Lyra smiled. “When you love somepony, a little discomfort or doing stupid things is all part of the game.”

Octavia returned the smile, even though she had very little experience in the field Lyra was talking about.

“How is Vinyl?” Lyra asked with a smile that seemed to imply something Octavia didn’t quite catch.

“Oh, she is doing fine.” Octavia suddenly beamed a wide smile at Lyra as she remembered what she wanted to share with her. “She helped me figure out something very important!”

“Yeeeees?” Lyra leaned forward, very eager to hear something she had been waiting for a long time. “Has it finally happened?”

“YES!” Octavia managed a little hop of joy even with the heavy case on her back. “She helped me find out how to create my very own music!”

“That’s…” Lyra’s smile had frozen. “That’s great! Uhm…how did she do that?”

“It’s really simple.” Octavia didn’t notice that Lyra’s smile had turned slightly painful. “All I have to do is think of a scene as a movie and create the soundtrack for it on my cello!”

“That’s it?” Lyra gave her a skeptical look.

“Yes.” Octavia chuckled. “Really simple isn’t it? Can’t see why I never thought of that before.”

“I guess it is one of those cases where you don’t see what’s right in front of you the whole time.” Lyra’s tone of voice seemed to hint at something.

“I can be a little too focused I guess.” Octavia agreed after a moment of thought.

“You think?” Lyra shook her head. “Have you talked to Vinyl yet?”

“About what?” Octavia gave her friend a confused look.

“About Canterlot?” Lyra sighed as it was obvious that Octavia hadn’t even thought that far ahead.

“What about Canterlot?”

“You are the rising star here.” Lyra pointed a hoof back at the building behind them. “You have a first class ticket to the Royal Canterlot Orchestra in Canterlot.”

“You really think so?” Octavia smiled wide at the praise.

“The Royal Canterlot Orchestra, Octavia.” Lyra rolled her eyes as it was clear the cellist didn’t follow. “Canterlot. Vinyl has a job and a career here in Manehatten. After the concert you will stay in Canterlot and perhaps you should talk to Vinyl about that?”

Octavia’s smile died instantly. Up until now the thought hadn’t even crossed her mind that Vinyl might not be going to Canterlot with her. Despite standing in front of her oldest friend, she suddenly felt very alone.

“I don’t want to be a killjoy, but you two really need to talk about things.” Lyra put a hoof on Octavia’s shoulder. “Perhaps Vinyl has got a few ideas of her own on that subject.”

Octavia sighed and slowly nodded.

“And speaking of Vinyl, maybe you should get going and meet her.” Lyra nodded towards the location where Vinyl would now no doubt be worried sick that Octavia had not yet come out of the building. “You still have time to talk to her about anything in the future. For now just make sure she doesn’t file a missing ponies report for you.”

Lyra gave Octavia a little shove towards the exit of the alleyway.

“Are you going to be ok?” Octavia asked while glancing over her shoulder at the mint green unicorn.

“Don’t worry about me.” Lyra made a shooing motion with her hoof. “I’ll be fine. You go and meet Vinyl. Go on!”

Octavia nodded and made her way to the front of the conservatorium with a brisk trot.


Lyra had been right about Vinyl being worried. The white unicorn was pacing back and forth at the bottom of the steps leading up to the building. She didn’t see Octavia approach her from behind.

“Hello, Vinyl.” Octavia greeted her friend in a normal tone of voice, but it still made Vinyl jump and turn one hundred eighty degrees in air.

“Geez! Give a mare a heart-attack why don’t ya?” Vinyl held a hoof to her chest and took a few deep breaths of air. “I was getting worried.”

“Sorry, Vinyl.” Octavia gave Vinyl an apologetic look. “I had to talk to Lyra about something.”

“Something?” Vinyl cocked her head to the side. “Anything going on that I should be aware of?”

“Well…” Octavia wanted to explain the incident with Lyra, but Vinyl cut her off.

“Tell me on the way.” Vinyl trotted past the cellist and briefly paused to make sure she would follow. “I have to be somewhere soon, but I still have time to drop you off at home.”

“Where do you have to be?” Octavia held the pace Vinyl had set for them without any effort despite lugging her cello around.

“Hehe, that’s a surprise.” Vinyl grinned in reply. “Tell me what’s going on with Lyra.”


Octavia had finished her report about the lyrist as they entered their home. As was to be expected Vinyl was less than amused about Ictus behavior.

“That’s one pony that deserves his flank being kicked.” Vinyl snorted and let Octavia pass her in the doorway. “Dinner is already prepared, it’s just a salad so don’t get your hopes up, don’t wait for me with eating. I’ll be back in about an hour or two.”

Without waiting for a reply Vinyl closed the door and left Octavia alone. There still was the topic of Canterlot fresh on the cellist’s mind, but she was unsure how to approach the situation. With a heavy sigh she slid the cello case off her back and rested it against the wall beside the large pile of books.

One quick trip to the bathroom later, Octavia decided to have some of the salad that Vinyl had advertised. A series of frantic knocks on the front door halted her approach towards the kitchen.

It’s only been five minutes. Perhaps Vinyl has forgotten something?

Octavia opened the door only to find herself face to face with a very distraught looking Bon Bon. After the initial shock subsided Octavia made way for the other mare to enter.

“Bon Bon? What’s wrong?” Octavia closed the door and watched Bon Bon nervously pace around the couch.

“It’s Lyra.” The beige mare finally spoke with a slightly quavering voice. “I think something bad is happening.”

“Why do you think so?” Octavia gestured for Bon Bon to sit on the couch. After a moment of hesitation she did so.

“When she came home today she seemed off.” Bon Bon started to explain. “And it’s not just today. It has been like this for weeks. She tries to hide whatever is going on, but I know her well enough to notice the little things. And if I ask her directly she just says everything is fine.”

Octavia just nodded along. She knew very well what the matter was and now was unsure what to do with that information. She had promised Lyra not to tell Bon Bon after all.

“I know something is wrong with her. I think she might be sick.” Bon Bon’s voice cracked as her eyes began tearing up. “Today…I noticed a bit of blood on her leg. What if she needs help?”

Bon Bon started wailing loudly at the prospect that her beloved might be terminally ill. Octavia sat down beside the sobbing mare and gently pulled her into a hug.

“She is not ill.” Octavia said to the upset mare in her forelegs. “The bit of blood was just from a small cut she got at work. You don’t have to worry about her.”

“Yes. I. Do.” Bon Bon stammered between sobs, but slowly calmed down. “There is more going on here. I just know it.”

Octavia released Bon Bon from her hug and tried to act as if she didn’t know anything about Lyra’s situation. Bon Bon saw through the act almost immediately.

“You know something, don’t you?” Bon Bon held on to Octavia’s left foreleg as she tried to get away from the sweetmaker. “You need to tell me!”

“I have no idea what you mean.” Octavia’s tried a disarming smile. The look in Bon Bon’s eyes was one full of worry and sadness. The smile didn’t even last a second and Octavia sighed instead. “I promised her not to tell you.”

“You have to!” Bon Bon latched on to Octavia’s foreleg with both of her hooves. “Please, Octavia! I need to know what is going on with Lyra. I can’t rest not knowing that she is okay.”

“Alright.” Octavia didn’t really have a choice. It was bad enough for Lyra to be miserable and to also have Bon Bon in that state wouldn’t do either pony any good. “It’s the conductor at work.”

“That Ictus pony?” Bon Bon released Octavia’s leg from her grip. “Lyra said that he was very unpleasant.”

“That is possibly an understatement.” Octavia snorted dryly. “He has been harassing and verbally assaulting Lyra since the very first day.”

Bon Bon’s eyes widened in shock and just stared at Octavia in silence.

“Lyra didn’t show any kind of reaction at first, but today she sort of did when Ictus called you names.” Octavia felt Bon Bon’s look becoming uncomfortable and chose to look at the floor instead. “I followed her out of the building and found her letting off some steam by attacking the neighboring building’s ventilation shaft. That’s how she got that cut.”

“How long has she been doing that?” Bon Bon’s question was almost a whisper.

“A couple of weeks now. I only found out today myself.” Octavia answered truthfully. “I wanted to do something, but Lyra forbade it. She said Ictus is trying to make her quit, but she won’t do that because of the plans you have.”

Bon Bon finally broke the gaze she held on Octavia and cast her eyes to the ceiling. The cellist didn’t know what else she could add to everything she had already said. So she chose to not say anything and just watch Bon Bon out of the corner of her eye.

“I’ll wring her neck.” Bon Bon said after a good two minutes of silent thought. “Bucking hay.”

“No, no!” Octavia had only heard the words Bon Bon had said and failed to notice the sad little smile on her lips. “She is doing that for you, because she loves you.”

“Yes, I know that.” Bon Bon let out a little chuckle. “That damn mare had me worrying all this time, thinking she was dying or something.”

“You are not going to really wring her neck are you?” Octavia asked hopefully.

“Of course not.” Bon Bon sighed. “I won’t even let her know that I know what is going on.”

“Why not?” Octavia was glad that Bon Bon wouldn’t let Lyra know that she had spilled the beans.

“I can’t make her change her mind about her plans.” Bon Bon smiled and shook her head. “She can be really stubborn, especially if it involves me somehow. It’s best to just let her go along with it, at least now I know and will not keep asking her about it.”

Bon Bon hugged Octavia for a moment. “Thank you for telling me.” After breaking the hug Bon Bon got up from the couch. “Now I can at least stop worrying so much about her. Or at least worry a bit less, until she does something else stupid.”

“Lyra said that ponies do stupid things and suffer discomfort for the ones they love.” Octavia saw a smile form on Bon Bon’s face.

“There seems to be a lot of that going around at the moment.” Bon Bon smile turned into a smirk. “I guess we should count ourselves very lucky that we have somepony that love us so much.”

“Yes….we?” Octavia raised an eyebrow in question, but Bon Bon merely winked at her.

“Where’s Vinyl?” Bon Bon asked and kept smiling.

“She had to go out again and will be back in an hour or so.” Octavia explained confused at the sudden shift in conversation.

“Tell her I said hello.” Bon Bon stretched her limbs for a moment. “I best be getting back to my silly filly back home. Try and get her to relax a bit.”

Bon Bon left a still confused Octavia sitting on the couch and made her way to the front door.

“Thanks again for telling me.” Bon Bon nodded once more to the cellist and then left the apartment.

Octavia just stared at the front door for a couple of heartbeats. Her gaze slowly wondered away and came to a stop at the large pile of books.

Doing silly things…..

Octavia shook her head at the thought that had crept up in her mind.

That is preposterous. Vinyl can’t be thinking of me like that.

No matter how hard she tried to swat that thought away, it came back like a boomerang every time.

She just does those things because we are very good friends……right?


One and a half hours later the front door unlocked.

Octavia had finally managed to banish any absurd thoughts away and had just finished eating a large portion of the salad that Vinyl had made.

The creator of said deliciousness strode into the apartment bearing not only a large grin, but also a large brown box on her back.

“Hey!” Vinyl closed the door behind her and carefully levitated the box on to the floor. “I have something here for you.”

Octavia had originally planned to ask Vinyl about Canterlot, but decided to wait and see what had been so important for her to go out again.

“I spent the morning thinking about that thing you have to play during the concert. A Tale of Two Princes.” Vinyl opened the box and beckoned Octavia to come closer. “Then I got this really cool idea and after a couple of hours I found everything I needed.”

Octavia’s eyes went wide as she looked inside the box. Any thoughts that may have been coursing through her mind were eradicated instantly as she laid eyes on the object within. An old projector and one reel of film!

Like a foal with sugar-withdrawal presented with a bag full of sweets, Octavia nearly dove into the box. Vinyl laughed and had to nudge Octavia away from the old and battered projector. She saw a hunger in the cellist’s eyes that made her look slightly crazy, a charming sort of crazy.

Anxiously Octavia hopped from one hoof to another while Vinyl levitated the projector out of the box and on to the table in front of the couch. A split second after the magic field had dissipated, Octavia was all over the device inspecting it thoroughly.

“I don’t recognize the model.” Octavia said while carefully checking the projector's functionality. “But the feeding mechanism seems to be in working condition. The bulb seems fairly new and somepony has recently cleaned the lens. The loudspeaker is missing.”

Octavia’s projector back in Canterlot was leagues above the one in front of her right now, but at that moment it was the most beautiful thing she had seen in a long time. It had been months since she last saw a movie and that itch suddenly began flaring up.

“Were there any movies with it?” Octavia hopefully asked.

“Nope.” Vinyl activated her levitation spell once more and applied it to something left in the box. “But I have managed to find something special.”

Vinyl levitated a film reel into the outstretched and eager hooves of the cellist. The earthpony quickly cast a glance at the worn out label on the reel.

“A Tale of Two Princes!” Octavia grinned wide.

“Yep! I thought it might be a good idea to have some kind of visual aid for you to create some music with.” Vinyl began folding up the box with her magic.

“Are you going to hook up one of your loudspeakers?” Octavia asked and immediately began preparing the projector for use. It had been too long since she last saw a movie and nothing would stop her from doing so now.

“Nope.” Vinyl grinned at the almost pleading look the cellist was now giving her. “You are supposed to make your own sound. Would be a lot easier without any other distracting noises, am I right?”

Octavia had to agree that she had a point. If she heard the soundtrack already being used, she would most likely just play that instead.

“What about the rest of the movie?” Octavia had to watch the entire thing right now. There was no alternative for her. “Can’t we at least listen to that?”

“I have a better idea.” Vinyl’s grin got a little wider.


Octavia had tears in her eyes and her stomach was aching by the time the movie had ended.

Vinyl had decided to provide the sound herself and dub the entire two hour movie on the fly. What originally was a tale about two princes that were separated by war, only to be reunited much later to conquer the evil that had befallen the land, was turned into a story about special agent Hugh Jazz and his partner McStiffy that had to retrieve the stolen cheesecake recipe from a maniacal pretzel-obsessed evil baker.

Octavia had not laughed that much in a very long time. With a shaky hoof she wiped the last few tears out of her eyes and let out a cough. Vinyl used the moment to begin the rewinding process.

“That was fantastic!” Octavia managed to say after a moment and held her still aching stomach.

“Perhaps I should get into the dubbing business.” Vinyl joked and flipped off the bulb of the projector.

“You would make a fortune.” Octavia would most certainly be the first to buy any films dubbed by Vinyl if that ever would happen.

Octavia stretched as far as possible and yawned widely. While it was still reasonably early she felt sleep demand that she go to bed soon.

“Bon Bon says hello, by the way.” Octavia said as she remembered some of the events while Vinyl was out and about.

“Oh, did you meet earlier?” Vinyl asked and decided to leave the projector where it was. They would be using it quite a lot, so it wasn’t really worth packing up.

“She dropped by while you were out.” Octavia took off the bowtie she was still wearing. “Wanted to know what was going on with Lyra.”

“Did you tell her?” Vinyl yawned as well and decided to call it a night very soon.

“I had to.” Octavia shrugged. “She was in tears and I couldn’t really let her go in that state. I think it was for the best.”

“I guess I would have done the same.” Vinyl sighed. She hadn’t seen Lyra and Bon Bon in a very long time and she missed them.

“Vinyl…” Octavia remembered something else she wanted to ask her friend. “Will you…uhm…will you come to Canterlot with me for the concert? I really could need your support.”

“Silly question.” Vinyl grinned. “Of course I’ll go with you. Mind you, I haven’t yet had the chance to make a sign to hold up during your bit.”

“I think I will get along without a sign.” Octavia smiled sleepily. “Thank you Vinyl.”

Vinyl just grunted in response and trotted into the kitchen to grab something quick to eat before going to bed. Octavia more or less let herself drop from the couch on to her hooves and trudged towards her bedroom.

“Good night, Vinyl.”

“Sleep well, Tavi.” Vinyl grinned at the cellist. “Hope you don’t dream about a Hugh Jazz.”

Octavia chuckled quietly all the way to her bed. She hadn’t really asked Vinyl if she would stay in Canterlot with her, but having Vinyl there during the concert was a good first step. Her sleepy mind wasn’t much for thinking right now anyway. It could wait for later.