• Published 6th Jul 2014
  • 2,470 Views, 164 Comments

The Tunes Are A-Changin' - ShadeJak

Set in the FiveScoreverse. A couple as opposite as night and day find their relationship may be more then it seems in a mad god's twisted game...

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Let It Play

As I watched Vinyl retreat to the bedroom I made my way back to the den and climbed up on the sofa, rolling over on my back and staring up at the ceiling as I took a bite from my apple. This was all so confusing… finding out we had past lives as these talking sentient ponies and that our relationship predated the one we were in only being a few of the things spinning in my thoughts.

When Vinyl yanked me into the bathtub, my heart skipped a beat, it felt just like when that spark in the club so long ago had gone off between us. What did that mean about me? Was in love with her because I was in love with the same person I’d been in love with for five years? Part of me wanted to think so, but part of me also saw Vinyl Scratch as… attractive. Looks were in no way a basis for a relationship but it was unnerving to me that I found the ones that she sported, those of a slender white mare with an unkempt blue mane and tail as appealing. My feelings hadn’t changed in the least, but this was just… something I wasn’t used to.

There was also the matter of who I’d been with and what it meant… had Vic Spencer been the one I’d fallen in love with because of having once been someone a version of me from a past life had been with as well? I wasn’t sure. If the answer was yes, what did that say about my own identity? How different was Octavia Melody from Olivia Ravensdale? How different could I end up being without realizing it? I could remember much of my last twenty-five years of life within the limits of what the average person could, so surely some part of me would notice when something felt… different, right?

I raised my forehoof up, staring and turning it left and right. I didn’t have hands anymore; and it occurred to me that I’d probably have to resort to dipping my face into bowls and plates if I ever wanted to eat meals again for the most part.

A frown that I suspect could compare to that silly Grumpy Cat meme that Vic had found so bloody hilarious during its more popular days spread across my face when it then occurred to me that as a unicorn, Vinyl could still manipulate silverware with that telekinesis she demonstrated earlier and I couldn’t. Given which one of us had a more proper upbringing it suddenly felt that much more unfair to me the matter of which one of us got the magic horn. Groaning in exasperation I craned my neck and looked down at myself. I was once a lady of refined taste and etiquette, even after I’d abandoned the life of privilege and pre-planned experiences, now I was practically an animal with no choice but to conform to some beastly behavior to survive. These hooves weren’t exactly made for opening doors, typing on keyboards, or eating in a remotely civilized manner.

Or… thoughts drifted to my cello, which lay in its case in the room I practiced in. I’d seen pictures of this pony, she was shown playing the instrument and holding the bow with no apparent difficulty. Did ponies native to the world the show had been set in have some manner of limited grasping with these forehooves? It may not hurt to find out; being able to play would give me a small fraction of comfort, but I felt I needed all I could get before I’d feel ready to talk to Vinyl again. It was just as well, I imagined, as she had her own concerns she wanted to be alone for as well.

As I finished my apple it quickly occurred to me I’d consumed the entire thing, which took me by surprise. Horses did eat entire apples, so perhaps I should get used to it, and it fortunately saved me anything to worry about throwing in the trash. Rolling to my side I climbed down from the sofa and walked to the room where my cello lay, staring at the case as it stood propped against the corner and realizing I’d have to get it open without hands. I paced in front of where it was a few times, staring at the latches and nudging one forehoof under one latch while pressing against the case with my other to push it open, doing the same with the second latch and opening the case with my muzzle. My cello and bow lay in their respective places as I’d left them from two days ago when my hair and eyes had begun changing at orchestra practice. Could I still play them? I intended to find out.

With utmost care as I could manage I removed the cello from its case, the bow immediately after. How did she do it in those pictures? I wondered. Placing my forehoof over it, I tried bending it a little, and to my surprise I was able to get something resembling a grip on it, though it sort of felt like trying to wedge something under my wrist. Still, my hoof seemed to adjust to holding it more comfortably. “Well, one part done.” I mused. I wrapped my foreleg around my cello and attempted to balance on my hind legs, leaning against it for support.

It was odd, but something felt natural about this stance when for all intents and purposes most four-legged creatures would no doubt feel most uncomfortable. Looking down at myself I adjusted my stance a little, spreading my hind legs apart to offer myself more balance as I held my cello and bow, thinking of a song to play.

Closing my eyes, I rested my other hoof over the strings along the neck and began to play Toccata in D Minor. I was a little clumsy at first, but then, it seemed just as easy for me as it had been when I was human as I slipped comfortably into the moment.

My hoof moved and turned along the strings for the proper pitches, the sheets scrolling in my mind as I played the chilling melody that had lost its classic feel to many when it became more known for its use in cliché villain themes. Bach, Beethovan, Mozart, I had admired their music and sought to do them justice whenever a chance to play it came. Vinyl may not have shared my taste for it, but I seemed to have a way of still holding her attention when I played them…

As I kept playing, I tried to imagine what this past life I’d had that Discord had described and shown us in that frightening memory had been like before it’d ended. How renowned was I then? The profiles on the internet had suggested I performed for royalty, which had a flattering feel to it though I could not remember it. If only mum and dad had known…

The thought of them made me lose concentration and hit a bad note, causing my ears to twitch and I stopped playing immediately.

My parents… I remembered when they decided to visit me in my senior year of college to “evaluate” me, or in other words, try to make me return home. Not only did I refuse, but they also found out I was seeing someone. Someone who didn’t have a snowball’s chance in measuring up to their tastes.


“Is this to get back at us, Olivia?” my mother demanded, horror in her eyes when she saw Vic for the first time. They’d come rather unexpectedly after Vic and I had just returned to my campus flat room after a date. “You fraternizing with low-class trash like this slob that are far beneath anyone with your family name has any business knowing!" Of course I knew that for them those terms applied to anyone who didn't have the kind of wealth and privilege they had. Even some of their servants weren't immune to it.

“ExCUSE ME?!” Vic demanded indignantly, but I raised my hand in a silent gesture for him not to go any further. In response he folded his arms in disgust and sat down.

“You’d think that with your blinkered view on everyone not a part of high-class society, wouldn’t you?” I protested, already feeling my face getting red with anger. “You think you’re so proper and refined yet you feel comfortable insulting my boyfriend so passionately?”

“Mind your tongue, young lady,” my father snapped in that tranquilly furious tone that I knew to be the surest sign he was reaching his limit of patience with me. Once again, Vic got ready to stand up and give my parents an earful and once again I had to gesture him to not get involved.

“We’ve humored you long enough, Olivia. It’s time to end this silly game and come back home,” my mother insisted.

“There is no game, mother,” I replied firmly. “It’s my life. I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished, I’m graduating soon, and I’m happy with who I’m with.”

“Of course, a starving artist with dreams of making that atrocious noise that only his type can mistake for music! A capitol choice by comparison to marrying into a proper family whose fortune and privileges would ensure you were taken care of your entire life. You really have proven yourself an educated young woman,” my father answered.

“Okay, that does it,” Vic snapped. I gestured for him to stop but he ignored me, getting off the sofa and going right up to my parents.

“Vic, stop it,” I warned. I didn’t need him getting even more on my parents’ bad side then he already was.

“No, babe. They can insult me, but I’m not gonna tolerate them treating you like this anymore no matter how much you think I should,” he answered, his tone livid as he turned his attention back on my parents. “And you two, seriously! Who the hell do you think you are?! She’s a grown woman now, she’s gonna graduate college with a Master’s and have you listened to her music? Usually classical puts me to sleep but she’s got all my attention when she plays. She’s a smart, talented woman and you oughta appreciate that!”

“Do you really think you have any right to speak to us about such matters?” my father asked sharply. “Our family has enjoyed the comforts and luxuries of success beyond what you could imagine for generations, take a moment to consider how small you really are,”

Vic didn’t budge. “What could you do to me? Bore me to death with your richer-then-thou speeches? I can still call the cops on you for trespassing and harassment. Unlike you, I know what hard work actually is, and so does she.”

For a moment, my father said nothing, running his hand through his hair but then a small smile came to his face. “You’re a very bold boy, talking to me that way. I admit I’m rather impressed,” he said calmly and I grew worried, wondering what he was going to threaten him with.

Instead, however, he reached into his coat pocket and took out his checkbook. “For that, I’m willing to make you this offer, one time…” he took out a pen and began writing on it and tore it off, showing a number with plenty of zeroes on it. “I’m certain this is more money then you’d ever seen in your life. It’s an easily replaceable amount to me so you can trust in my sincerity,” he explained, a firm look on his face. “You break all ties with my daughter, here and now. Renounce this travesty and its yours. Get yourself a nicer place then you could probably afford now, I’ll have my brokers refer you to suitable investments, and not have to worry about money again.

Silently, Vic took the check, staring at it, then back at me. I wouldn’t blame him for accepting. My father was ruthless but he kept his word with his offers, as he’d no doubt want Vic to spend the rest of his life believing he’d made the right choice.

Vic looked back at my father, and tore it into confetti. “You could give me twice this amount, and it’d still be no deal. If you really think you can put a price on Olivia, and think she’s worth one you considered chump change no less, then you have no right to call yourself her father...” He turned his hand and let the confetti fall to the floor at my father’s feet. “The door’s right there.”

My father said nothing, just shaking his head disdainfully as he put his hat back on and walked out the door. My mother stared at Vic, then me, in disappointment and followed after, their dignity being all they had left and choosing to keep it over trying any more to claim ownership over me.

As soon as he’s sure they were gone, Vic let out a big sigh of relief. “Wow, babe… totally didn’t expect tha—”

He never finished his words. I was far too busy kissing him to afford him the chance.


My heart raced as those memories finished playing in my mind. Any doubt I ever had for Vic had been completely erased that day. And now… with what had happened to us…

No. I wouldn’t let my discomfort get in the way. It’d take some time before I was completely at ease with myself and the changes I’d gone through these past few days, but I intended to be. Vic. Vinyl. It was the same person I’d fallen in love with who had turned down... no, flat out rejected a huge sum of money for me, who saw me worth more then any price even my parents could offer. And while Discord had shown us a memory from a time in the past to convince us that the lives we’d known were a lie, it had given me proof that what we had couldn’t just be thrown away or avoided.

Looking at my cello again, I could still feel some anxiety of what the future may hold in store for us. Our lives had been changed, we couldn’t hope to fit in with society now, let alone go out in public without people going mad at the sight of us. I’d rather reproach Vinyl in a more calm state. Closing my eyes once more, I continued to play.

When I finally finished, I carefully placed my bow down and returned my cello to its case; and once more it proved a more difficult task as an equine then it had been as a human. I could only imagine the routine difficulty the Octavia of the past had to endure each time she got ready, even if she no doubt had more practice with it then I did.

“Why couldn’t I have been a unicorn…” I muttered, rolling my eyes as I nearly dropped it while trying to place it back in its case. I suppose I could ask Vinyl… no that’d be too demeaning. I just needed to practice is all. Once it was safely in, I returned the bow to its sheath on the other side of the case and closed it, flipping the latches shut with my hoof. Feeling some accomplishment I couldn’t help but smile a little as I left and headed towards the bedroom where I knew Vinyl would be.


Was she posing?! I wondered to myself when I saw her in front of the mirror, turning her head and taking a stance with her forehoof raised. As rough and wild as her appearance was, she still had her own unique beauty to her that I could appreciate.

“Having fun, Vinyl?” I asked, stifling a laugh when she shuddered and fell over in surprise.

“Whoa, sorry! Totally thinking aloud there,” she replied hastily, getting an eyeroll out of me. “I was just… thinking about stuff and all. Y’know, guy stuff.”

Typical you… I thought, seeing the old Vic in her with the frantic efforts to hide her embarrassment.

“Of course you were,” I said, approaching and putting my hoof on her shoulder and she seemed to calm down.

It was then I noticed she’d not touched her apple. “Oh, you haven’t eaten yet?” I asked.

“Like I said. Thinking about stuff and all,” she replied with a shrug.

“Ever the odd one,” I answered. “Look… I did some thinking as well…”

“And?” she asked, cocking her head at me.

“I’m… still not ready, yet. To be how we were, but…” I explained, looking away a moment as I tried to find the right words and to assure her of my sincerity. “I think in time, if you don’t rush me, I think I will be. We saw it was more then coincidence we met in the first place. We saw that there was a past between us that’s older then we thought. It’s not something anypony, not you, not me, not even that vile chaos god... can just take away.”

I expected Vinyl to say something, whether to agree or disagree with me, I hoped for her patience, I wanted to make things keep working between us, no matter what. I loved her enough to do whatever it’d take to make that happen. What she did say, however, I was far less prepared for.

“…did you just say “anypony”?”

My mouth hung open for a moment. As alarming as it probably should have been that I’d use such a ridiculous word exasperation at such a ridiculous question was enough to prompt me to bop her on the head with my hoof. “I make a speech about us and some bloody Freudian slip is the first thing you notice?” I protested. “Honestly, Vinyl, you’re always—” I paused again, surprised once more. The words I’d said felt so natural, so trained, like I’d said them for much longer then I remember saying them in my life. I really needed to get to the bottom of all this, to know exactly what we were up against and what kind of world and life we had prior to all of this.

“Always what, babe?” Vinyl asked as she rubbed the side of her head and snapping me from my thoughts.

I sighed, and looked away once more to hide my embarrassment. “L-let’s just go get lunch ready; and as silly as it sounds I have a sudden urge to watch that show this all came from, hopefully Netflix still has it...”

“Sure thing!” Vinyl replied, a more chipper tone in her voice as she began trotting alongside me as we headed back into the hall. “So… uh…”she began nervously, causing me to turn and wonder what could have been on her mind. “…think I’d still look good in shades?” she asked with a stupid grin.

Honestly, Vinyl? I asked inwardly with a roll of my eyes and a swat of my forehoof to her head again.

Author's Note:

Two chapters in one weekend :twilightsmile: hope I stay on a good track. Next chapter, our hapless heroines discover the show everyone's been talking about five years ago in all its glory