• Published 3rd Jun 2014
  • 1,467 Views, 44 Comments

Glass Castle, Iron Facade - Hidden Brony

Everyone has a facade hiding who they really are underneath, and every facade has a weak point. The time has come for the true Vinyl Scratch to be revealed to the world, whether she likes it or not.

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Chapter 3

“Next time I meet that mare, it isn’t going to be me who ends up lying on the ground,” grumbled Octavia, holding an ice pack over her left eye with a grimace.

Third Shift thumped his daughter on the shoulder. “Hey, that’s my—” Suddenly catching the glare from his wife, he continued, “I mean, you shouldn’t be so quick to fight.”

Ruby sighed and turned back to Octavia as Steady Beat and his parents went upstairs to see Vinyl. "Octavia, what did you say to Steady while you were up there? He seems afraid to even touch me. And he kept looking back at you over my shoulder when we were talking just now." Ruby waited for a second before her eyes shone with recognition. "You threatened him, didn't you?"

Octavia's silence was enough of an answer. "Octavia Melody, you will not harm a single hair on my fiance's head, do you understand me?"

"Or you'll what?" the mare snapped, stepping forward. "Yell at me? Hit me? Ignore my presence until I beg you to have mercy and just talk to me? Empty threats mean nothing, nothing to me."

Their mother gasped. "Octavia! You don't talk like that to—"

"And you!" Octavia rounded on her mother. "Stop sucking up to this family because they're nobles! You aren't acting like yourself, and it's obvious! I had to apologize to a mare who punched me in the face, and if she wasn't the daughter of a noble, that wouldn't have happened!" Feather opened her mouth to speak, but her daughter cut her off. "No, don't deny it. I put a colt in the hospital and you didn't say a word, some harsh words aren't going to tip you over the edge."

"Tavi, I think that's enough," Third Shift said, opening himself a the next target of his daughter's rant.

"No, that's not enough. I'm not like you, father. I don't wither at the slightest glare from—"

"I said that's enough," he said more forcefully. Octavia was shocked into silence by the assertiveness her normally-timid father expressed. "Listen to yourself, Tavi. I get that you're upset, but do you honestly think that this is helping?" He gestured at his wife and other daughter. "Look at them. Your sister is doing what she thinks is right, but you chastise her for her non-violent and forgiving nature. Your mother spends all day working with nobles. She cleans their houses, cooks their food, and has even—before marrying me—tended to their beds. Being polite and subservient is so crucial to her job that it's become second nature to her. Everything she does she does to keep her job and help support this family, and acting like you just did spits on everything she's done for you." A few seconds of shocked silence fell over the room. "Now if you don't mind, I've had a long day and need to get some sleep before work starts in—" he glanced at the clock on a nearby wall "—two hours."

His piece said, Third Shift leaned back in his chair and instantly started snoring.

No-one in the room said a word for minutes, Third Shift's words sinking in as his snores seemed to echo around the room. Suddenly, without a word, Octavia turned and walked out of the house. Just as silently, her family watched her leave.

Octavia was greeted by the brisk early-spring air as soon as her legs carried her out of the house of the damned noble family. She let her mind wander as she did the same, planting one hoof in front of the other without thought. Canterlot was a different animal at night than it was during the day, and during that time—the first hours of true night—the transformation was finally, truly complete. You could hear the faint sound of thumping bass and trilling leads floating through the air alongside the smells of late-night food vendors, and the flashing magical signs that every club seemed contractually obligated to have lit up much of the "commoner" district. Nobles high and low moved about the "commoner" district in cloaks and disguises, joined by some of the more shy or famous commoners. It was a time of revelry, a time of boisterous laughter, and a time of lowered inhibitions.

It was a time that she well and truly hated.

Octavia felt her lip curl up as she passed an alley where two ponies were locked in an epic struggle to slay each others' tonsils while fighting a land battle against every inch of each others' skin. Not two alleys later, the same scene repeated itself. Then again, and again, more frequently as she walked. It was after the group of six couples sharing the same space—and for some, partners—she began to wonder why, exactly, she kept walking in the direction she was walking in.

Her musings were short-lived, however. A cloaked pony exiting a building as good as bowled her over, and the two landed on the ground in a tangle of legs and exclamations. The other pony quickly extracted themselves from the impromptu-pile and hurriedly ducked into an alley.

"Hey!" Octavia snapped, jumping to her feet and following the pony. She was not five steps behind as she entered the somehow-empty alley. "Excuse you!"

The pony turned around in shock and, in a voice that Octavia just couldn't place but was obviously female, said, "Octavia? What are you doing in this part of town?"

"Not even a 'sorry for running you over' then?" Octavia scoffed. "Why should I expect that from this town?"

"Octavia, it's me," the other mare said, bringing a hoof up to her hood and pulling it down, revealing a long blonde mane and a clean white coat. The mare's mane was streaked throughout with a brilliant blue and fell in just the right way to cover one light blue eye from view, but fell short of diminishing the mare's smile. "It's been what, two years since school? You haven't changed a bit."

A small smile crawled onto Octavia's face in response to the other mare's. "Bluebell. How's the brother?"

Bluebell's face fell. "You're only asking to be nice, but thanks for trying." She took a deep breath. "Hey, about that symphony thing. You did so much better than I did. Heck, if my parents wouldn't kill me for it, I would quit and let you have my place."

"That wouldn't change anything. It's much less frustrating knowing that it went to a friend instead of a nameless noble," Octavia said.

"I still feel bad, you know? It seems that most the talent is in the lower class—no insult to your family, of course—but the upper class has the money and connections to keep you all shut out."

"Bluebell, I take no offense to you calling my family 'lower class' because that's what we are. It's not a dirty word down here," Octavia said, shaking her head. She looked at the building Bluebell had just come out of and squinted at it for a second as if hoping to glean some information from the brick facade. "So what ere you doing down here? Mingling with the plebeians?"

Her gaze returned to her friend to see her biting her lip and shuffling in place, blush fully in bloom on her face. "Bell?"

The mention of her name snapped the noble out of her trance. "Uh, nothing. Yeah. Nothing. Just going for a walk."

"Through a building?"

Octavia's words just increased the blush on her friend's face. "Just browsing the shops, as it were." She let out a forced chuckle. "Walked into the wrong building. Honest mistake."

The other mare's eyebrow creeped up her face as Bell talked, but she decided to just let it go. "Well I'm just wandering too. You up to wander together?"

Belle's smile returned earnestly as she flipped her hood up. "A chance to hang out with my friend after not seeing her for two years? Heck yeah, I'm up for it."

The duo walked back out into the street and turned to keep going the direction Octavia was walking before they literally ran into each other. Out of curiosity, Octavia looked up at the sign of the building Bluebell ha been in. " 'Replicant Bar'," she read aloud. She sent a glance her companion's way. "Isn't that the club where they use illusion magic and disguises to impersonate famous ponies?"

Sighing, Bell responded, "Yes."

"I also heard they let you 'test run' the mares and stallions," Octavia said, smirking. "Is that true?"

"As far as I know," the noble groaned, already knowing where this was going.

"So wait, do you—" Octavia started.

"No, I don't dance," Bluebell responded.

"But do you—"

"No, I don't do—" she was cut off as she had to step around a pony in the crowded streets "—that either. Even if my parents wouldn't kill me, I'd die of embarrassment."

"So why were you really in there?"

Bluebell stopped to look at dresses through a storefront. In the window's reflection she could see Octavia's silhouette and the bright signs on the opposite buildings, and Octavia could see the blush that had returned to her friend's face. "I wanted to see how often I was requested in the front as a dancer and how often I was requested in the back as a dancer."

"And what did you find?" Octavia asked as she walked up next to her cloaked friend.

"I was first put on the rotation because of my relation to my brother, and it seems I have steadily gained popularity," the noble said quietly. "I'm the most requested in both, it seems."

"You're allowed to request to not be displayed, you know that right?"

"But Octavia, I get to see me as others do. I don't see the stumbling, nervous wreck of a filly, I see a calm, confidant, sexy mare. Why would I not want that?"

The musician put her hoof on her friend's shoulder. "Because it's a lie. What you're seeing is the false bravado that whores get from knowing that nobody will ever know who they truly are. Is that really what you want stallions to think about?"

"There are," Bell paused, "other reasons as well."

"Such as?"

The noble was silent for a minute. "I'm not feeling like wandering anymore. Let's get you home, I'll tell you there."

Octavia shrugged and began walking. The two struck up some idle chatter as they walked. The buildings gradually began to look worse and worse. Of course, in Canterlot, no building truly looked bad, just relatively so. After not too long, the duo reached the front door of an apartment building.

The door itself was in need of a new coat of paint, and the rest of the building was swiftly following in its footsteps. Most of the blinds in the windows were closed, letting only thin, horizontal lines of light escape here and there to tell of an occupant still awake at the late hour. A window or two was open and lit, shining into the darkness like hope on a bad day.

"Okay, let's hear your reasoning, shall we?" Octavia said as the duo pulled up to the door.

Bell stepped close to her friend's side and whispered in her ear, "The manager let me use their security cameras to watch. How often do you get to see yourself rammed from both sides, Octavia? How many times have you listened as you begged for someone to be harder, faster, rougher? I saw those 'whores' do things with my body that I've only seen before in my wildest dreams, and I get so excited just thinking of what else could be in store that I am seriously thinking of having the mares start to teach me to dance next week, then just seeing what happens."

Octavia's mind raced as she tried to comprehend what she was hearing. "So wait, you get so turned on from the thought of being a whore that you are actually thinking of becoming a whore?"

"Just see it from my point of view. How many other chances do you get to be surrounded by six stallions without sullying your reputation? How else would you get to rut with Shining Armor while having an audience, or at all?"

"You just said you'd die of embarrassment if you ever—"

"I know, I know. Most likely, I'd try dancing once, not like it, and never do anything of the sort ever again. But if I do like it? The possibilities are endless, Octavia." Bluebell put her hooves on the shoulders of the mare in question. "I don't think I can do this alone, and I know I don't have the right to ask you this, but I don't know who else to turn to."

"Bluebell, what are you going to ask?" Octavia said, shying away a bit until she saw a sparkle of desperation in her friend's eye. "I won't help you practice dancing, if that's what you're going to ask. Otherwise, I think I could maybe be able to help."

Bluebell let out a sigh of relief, dropping back to the ground and taking a step back. "Could you learn to dance with me?" After a second, she quickly added, "You don't have to go out and actually dance for the customers, but I need the support."

Silence ruled the street for the first time since the duo intruded. Octavia stared at her school-day friend as she, a scion of the largest noble house in the kingdom, seriously talked about becoming an undercover whore. "I," the mare started, but stopped herself to think some more. "I'll think about it."

Bluebell frowned. "Okay, I guess. It'll be next Tuesday just after six at the Bar. If you don't show up, I'll assume you're a 'no'."

"It was good seeing you again," Octavia said, reaching out a hoof at her friend.

Bluebell bumped the end of her hoof against her friend's. "Hey, my parents would kill me if they knew I was friends with you, so if I'm ever—" she searched for the right word "—unfriendly in public, don't take it personally."

"I'll try not to," Octavia replied, the corners of her mouth falling slightly. "See you later Bell."

The noble nodded, turning to head home as her friend pushed open the door to her apartment complex. "Home sweet home," she mumbled as she glanced at the retreating noble. "I know I said I would think about it, but I won't become a whore because you're going to be one. That's just not my thing."