• Published 13th Jun 2014
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Bachelorette Bon-ding - Distaff Pope



Everypony has secrets. For instance, Octavia's friend Bon-Bon is a secret agent, and she needs Octavia to keep a few secrets of her own. Oh, and save Equestria. Nothing too big.

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The Afterparty

The beeping of a heart monitor pulled me from my sleep, as soothing as the beating of my own heart. What had brought me to the hospital this time? A comically-timed fall down a flight of stairs, exhaustion, some terrible monster from the depths of the Everfree attacking me, a– I bolted up in my bed as memories clicked into place.

“Vinyl Scratch!” I yelled, looking around the hospital room for any sign of her. Why was I… The last thing I could remember was a hundred pissed-off nobles simultaneously casting spells at Turn Coat. After that… I blinked and looked around the room again. My bed was a testament to decadence that was larger than my entire bedroom and I was surrounded by enough pillows to build a life-sized replica of me. The midnight-blue canopy hanging from the bed and the absurdly-detailed paintings of the night sky on the wall furthered my suspicions that this wasn’t the usual hospital room.

“Take it easy,” a voice said from the side of the bed, the speaker’s identity obscured by the mountain of pillows that separated us. I frowned, it wasn’t Vinyl’s voice.

“What are you doing here?” I asked pushing away some of the pillows to reveal Bon-Bon sitting on the side of my bed. “Also, just where is ‘here’?”

“Watching over you while in Luna’s bedchambers while Luna and the Princess have… words,” Bon-Bon said, her voice even.

“You mean ‘While Princess Luna and Princess Celestia have words,’ I hope,” I said, feeling the need to defend my patron’s royalty.

“Of course,” Bon-Bon said, shaking her head. “Forgive me, it’s… a force of habit. How are you feeling?”

I rubbed my forehead, pulling the IV attached to my leg. “Confused about what exactly happened before I lost consciousness, but beyond that, fine, I suppose. I should be asking how you are, after all, you were the one who had to suffer under the effects of that vile concoction.”

She frowned. “You really shouldn’t. You saved me from that potion, and then, you fought off a mind-control spell that should have wiped your identity away like chalk from a board. How’d you do it?”

The memory of my forehoof cracking against her chin came back to me, and I smiled. “The same way I endured Nightmare Night and… several other travesties, I supposed,” I said, my thoughts turning towards Vinyl. “If Turn Coat knew just how I managed to resist the spell, I’m sure she’d find it all very amusing… and possibly ironic.”

“Please don’t mention her,” Bon-Bon said. “We finally had her and she just went dead. Literally, the second we haul her in for interrogation, her body just switched off. At best, she’s dead, and at worst, she’s gone back to the hivemind. Guess which one I’m leaning towards.”

I groaned and shook my head, leaning back against my pillows. “Any chance she’ll disturb us in Ponyville?”

Bon-Bon shook her head. “Even if she figures out where we live, I don’t think her Queen will permit her to go out for revenge, and neither of us can go on any anti-changeling missions again. On the upside, we crippled a major changeling operation, ensured the loyalty of the nobility for the foreseeable future, and Lord Valiant is proving to be a wonderful source of information. Those papers he had me retrieve contained a massive list of all known changeling conspirators, agents, and their bases of operations. As soon as his son is recovered, Celestia plans to pardon him for his crimes.”

“Some bachelorette party,” I said, staring up at the ceiling. “Well, what happens in Canterlot stays in Canterlot, right?” I lifted my head up and looked myself over. “And I don’t have any injuries that need to be explained to Vinyl. Things just get better and better it seems.”

Bon-Bon nodded and darted out of the room. When she returned, she was a pushing a wheelchair. “And speaking of which, both Princesses wanted to see you when you got up. We probably shouldn’t keep them waiting any longer.”

“Do I really have to go to them?” I asked, sitting up as Bon-Bon hooked my IV stand up to the wheelchair. “Certainly, it would be easier for all involved if they came to my room… or Luna’s room, I suppose.”

She just shook her head as I pushed myself onto the wheelchair. “Both the Princesses are extremely busy. Besides, you should be fine now. A few bad nightmares, maybe, but that’s... “ she trailed off. None of us needed to say anything else as she pushed me through the wings of Canterlot Castle.

I laughed as I saw where she was pushing me to. “And what’s so funny?” she asked as we approached two massive jeweled doors.

“The Grand Ballroom,” I said. “Before I came to Ponyville, the room was a giant that always weighed on my mind, and now… Were those doors always this small?”

“Maybe you’ve just grown since then,” she said, bringing a wheelchair to a halt. “You were, like, twelve the last time you played here, right?”

“I think the number was closer to eighteen, but the point stands,” I said. Even if most ponies reach their maximum height by sixteen. “It’s…” I sighed and looked back at the door. For years I’d been tormented by nightmares of this place, and now that I was back… Well, I had other things to give me nightmares now. And other things to dream of outside my ambition. I shook my head. “I apologize,” I said, looking back at Bon-Bon. “Just feeling a touch sentimental, I suppose.”

“It’s fine,” she said. “I get it, I’m pretty sure Lyra’s going to feel the same way whenever she gets a doctorate from Celestia’s academy.” The conversation entered into a brief lull as the both of us stared at the door. “So,” Bon-Bon said. “Anything you want to talk about before we go in?”

A thought flittered to life in my head, managing to shake off the few remaining cobwebs of medication. “Actually,” I said, “how exactly were the changelings able to capture you so quickly? I thought you were supposed to be some infiltrator extraordinaire.”

“That’s…” She frowned and looked down at me. “Lyra. I’ve gone against changelings before, and apparently the… I guess you’d call it ‘smell’ of Lyra’s love on me gave me away before I could even get onto the estate.”

“You should tell her the truth,” I said as Bon-Bon moved to knock on the door. “If Vinyl were off saving Equestria in secret, I’d certainly want to know the truth.”

“So you’re going to tell her about this weekend then?” Bon-Bon asked, a smile that hinted she knew something I didn’t forming on her lips. I frowned. That was hardly fair. I already had a checkered history when it came to mental health, telling Vinyl I spent my bachelorette party fighting the changeling menace in Canterlot would only make things worse for me.

I tried to eloquently point out how the two situations weren’t remotely comparable, but instead stammered as the door swung open. “I… That’s… Two completely different…” I looked inside the ballroom and all attempts at communication ceased as my jaw hit the marble floor with such force that I fear I cracked it.

Everypony was in the ballroom.

Allow me to rephrase, every mare I knew from my time in Ponyville was in the ballroom: Celestia, Luna, Lyra, Rarity, Twilight, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash – Really? Rainbow Dash? Had the two of us even spoken since I’d moved to town? – and–

“Vinyl Scratch!” I yelled as my fiancée sprinted towards me and threw her forelegs around me in one swoop. “What are you? My bachelorette party…”

“Was a total sham,” she said, rolling her eyes. “I mean, the one you told me you were going towas a total sham. This one… not so much.”

My brain sputtered as I tried to accept two equally alien facts. “You… you knew?” I finally stammered out. “How did–”

“Luna teleported into our bedroom, told me the basics of what happened, and then said we needed Pinkie to throw the biggest baddest bachelorette party in Equestrian history,” Vinyl said, glancing back at my group of friends.

“I don’t believe I used those exact words,” Luna said, glaring at Vinyl, prompting me to wrap a protective foreleg around her. Nopony could get irritated with Vinyl but me. It was my prerogative. “I think it was more along the lines of wishing to reward such a dedicated servant of the crown with a proper bachelorette party.” Her eyes twinkled. “And speaking of dedicated servants of the crown, a large portion of the nobility decided to donate heavily to my academy. Who knows where such generosity sprungfrom?”

“Indeed,” Rarity said. “But all that dreadful business can wait until later, right now, I believe we have a bachelorette party to throw, isn’t that right Pinkie?”

My pink friend nodded her head with such vigor she almost ripped it off. “Uh-huh, and I planned everything to be just perfect. It’s got– It’s got– It’s got–”

“Balloons? Streamers?” I asked, filling in the blanks for her.

She nodded at me. “Of course, but it’s also got–” She clapped her hooves and a quartet of earth-pony stallions trotted out, carrying various instruments and wearing nothing but a bowtie. Whether it was an attempt to pay tribute to my impeccable fashion sense or an attempt to look revealing, I decided not to ask. In fact, I decided not to think about whether or not wearing just a bowtie could be seen as revealing at all.

“Behold! The Stallion Stud String Quartet!” Pinkie yelled, giving a dramatic twirl. “Perfect for those classy bachelorette parties.”

“Uhmm… Pinkie? You know Tavi and I are fillyfoolers, right? Kind of why we’re getting married.”

“Yeah, but you aren’t like… all fillyfooler, right? I mean, you see a nice slab of chiseled equine musculature, and you’ll still get to vroomin, right?” Pinkie asked, looking between Vinyl and I and the quartet.

Vinyl and I just shrugged in unison. “I never really noticed, did you, Vinyl?”

“Nope,” she said, shaking her head. “Never really did much for me. Tried in college a few times, but…”

“I’ve made a huge mistake,” Pinkie said, her eyes going wide. She turned and looked back at the quartet. “You all, just play music, don’t play it sexy like we talked about. I need to get rid of those gummies and find four nubile young mares to play for this party stat!”

“And you,” I said, turning to look back at Vinyl, one hoof still drawing me close to her.

“Look, I mean… I told you about those times in college where I dabbled, right? I didn’t think it was–”

“I don’t care about that,” I said, shaking my head as the quartet started playing. “My question is should you be at my bachelorette party?”

“Do you want me to go? I mean, I figured that since we’re both bachelorettes and you just saved Equestria that maybe–” She was cut off as my lips pressed against hers.

“Of course, I want you here,” I said, nuzzling at her neck. “I want nothing more, I’m just… Are you sure it isn’t bad luck?”

Vinyl rolled her eyes. “Tavi, you’re way too superstitious,” said the mare who hadn’t been struck down by fate more times than she could count. “Still…” she shrugged. “I don’t think there’s a rule against me being at your bachelorette party, it’s just not usual.”

“I can live with that,” I said, smiling up at her before looking at the rest of my friends. “And thank you all for coming, it wouldn’t be a real proper bachelorette party without you.”

“We are delighted to attend,” Rarity said, trotting over to the punch bowl. “Oh, you don’t mind if I have a bit to drink, do you? Travelling by flying carriage is simply exhausting.”

“You know what’s more exhausting?” Rainbow Dash asked, flying to put herself between Rarity and the punch bowl. “Pulling a carriage from Ponyville to Canterlot, so I think maybe I should get the first drink of punch. What do you think, Rares?”

Rarity sighed. “You are, of course, correct.” She looked back at me. “And how are you feeling, Octavia? How rude of me for not asking earlier.”

“I feel fine,” I said, looking from her to the collection of wires and tubes that terminated in my foreleg to Princess Celestia. “Is there any chance I can get these taken off soon?”

Princess Celestia nodded. “I believe so, we’d have to talk with your doctor first, but from our earlier conversation, I don’t think we’ll have a problem.” She glanced back at my friends. “That is, assuming you don’t mind delaying the party’s start for a few more minutes.”

“Yes, please,” Pinkie said, sprinting back into the ballroom from somewhere else. “I need to completely redo the party games… and the gummies… and a few other things.”

“Then it’s settled,” Princess Celestia said, her horn lighting up as my wheelchair moved back to the door. “That is… you’re fine here, right, Luna?”

“As long as you don’t try to recruit her for any more dangerous missions, I am,” Luna said through clenched teeth.

“Of course,” Celestia said as she, Vinyl, and I passed out of the ballroom.

***

“You handled yourself well in the field,” Celestia said as a nurse undid my heart monitor and pulled my IV monitor free. “Better than I had any reason to suspect, actually. If you are interested in joining EIS, I’m sure I can–”

“No!” Vinyl and I said in unison.

“I’m sorry, your highness,” I said, bowing my head deferentially and attempting to smooth over my faux pas. “While I appreciate the sentiment, I’m quite happy with my little life in Ponyville.”

“Yeah,” Vinyl said, nodding her head and fidgeting with the goggles hanging around her neck, “and I really don’t like the idea of her running around all over Equestria without me. In case you haven’t noticed, bad stuff kind of happens to her a lot, and I’d rather be with her when it does. No offense, Tavi.”

“It’s fine,” I said, nodding my head as the last tube was yanked out of me.. “Having you with me for all my myriad breakdowns and tragedies is what makes them bearable. Also… you’re not upset with me for lying about my trip to Canterlot?”

She shrugged. “I was pretty upset with Bon-Bon when she told us the truth, but then when she talked about how big a badass you were and how you saved Equestria… Well, I can’t be upset with you for going all action hero-ey on those changelings’ flanks, can I?”

“Alright, you can try getting up on your hooves now,” the nurse said, before I could come up with a proper response.

“I wouldn’t say I was an action hero,” I said, getting up on my hooves. “I just did what I needed to do to ensure you stayed safe. Nothing particularly heroic about that.”

Vinyl laughed. “Tavi, you foiled a changeling conspiracy single-hoofedly. That’s pretty action hero-ey to me.”

“Well, I’m glad you aren’t upset,” I said, nuzzling my cheek against hers. “I was worried if I told you the truth, you’d–”

“It’s fine, I mean… I don’t like the idea of you lying to me, but I can make an exception this time. Just let me know the next time you go off to save the world, alright?” Like there was going to be a next time.

“I think managing the academy is enough adventure for me, Vinyl,” I said, trotting to the hallway. “I’ll just leave the world saving to Bon-Bon and the Bearers, if that’s alright with you, Princess.”

Princess Celestia just gave me one of her tiny enigmatic smiles. “Of course, besides, I don’t think Luna could ever forgive me if I poached one of her favorite agents.” Was that what I was? Princess Luna’s agent? Certainly, I did her bidding, was grateful for the opportunities she’d given me, would gladly relocate to the most remote corner of Equestria if she asked me to (again), and… I was her agent. Not that that was a bad thing.

“Ready to do this again?” Vinyl asked as we reached the door to the Grand Ballroom again.

I nodded at her and opened the door. A second later, a sea-green blur pinned me to the ground and wrapped me in a grip so tight that each breath became a struggle. “Thank you, thank you, thank you thank you thankyouthankyouthank thank you!” Lyra said.

“For… what?” I gasped, trying to push my friend off me.

“For saving Bonnie,” she said, springing back up to her feet. I swear her and Pinkie have some high-energy relation in common. “She told me everything that happened! Said I deserved to know the complete truth, and I just… I don’t know what I would’ve done if you hadn’t gone with her.”

“It’s nothing, really,” I said, struggling to my hooves as Vinyl assisted me. “I’m just glad the two of you are–”

“Alright, everypony,” Pinkie said, bursting back into the room with several stacks of – Oh, Celestia, who would ever think those games were suitable for any party? – on her back, “let’s party!”

***

My friends gathered and conversed, drifting from the snack bar, to the dance floor, to the… well, only Lyra, Vinyl, and Rainbow Dash were bold enough to play the party games. I was just happy to sit and watch my friends enjoy themselves, occasionally speaking with whoever drifted over to my little slice of the party.

“So, a rather different experience compared to the last time you were here, I imagine,” Princess Luna said, trotting to sit next to me. “Perhaps a bit more festive.”

“Well, I can actually enjoy myself during the party, so that’s… something,” I said, smiling up at her. “Oh! And this party hasn’t been ruined by…” I gestured a hoof at the Bearers’ direction.

Luna laughed. “You should hear the way Tia tells it, she makes it sound like the gala being ruined was the best thing to happen to it in a millenium.”

I just shrugged and took another sip of my alcohol-free cider. “It’s hard to disagree with her sometimes. When I think of all that’s happened to me since then, and how things might’ve been different if the gala was an actual success… Well, I don’t think I’d be having this bachelorette party if the gala had gone like I’d wished it.”

“Oh?” Luna asked, raising up an eyebrow. “So if you were invited back to the gala–”

“I don’t think that will be happening any time soon,” I said, struggling not to laugh at the idea. “After what happened the last few times I played for them… You know how ponies can be.”

“I know they can be incredibly grateful when you save their lives,” Luna said, smiling at me. “Just let me know if you wish to play the gala in the future, and I’m sure the nobility will back your decision 100%.”

“Really?” I asked, feeling a heat blossom in my chest. “You mean that… I’d actually... “ I trailed off as my life in Ponyville came back to me like a cool summer breeze. “I’d love to, I could bring a plus one, right?”

She nodded and glanced at Vinyl. “If you’re sure that’s a wise idea–”

Our conversation was interrupted as Pinkie hopped onto the stage. “Alright, everypony, I have a super special awesome treat for you all. For one night only, we’ve got the incredible Octavia Melody on cello for you, so give her a big hoof, alright!”

The stage light suddenly turned to me, and I looked around at all my friends. “I’d… I’m afraid I don’t have my cello with–”

Before I could finish the objection, Pinkie pulled my cello case from her mane. “It’s right heeeerreeee,” she sing-songed. “So get your flank up here and show us all how to shake that groove thang.”

“Alright,” I said, trotting to the stage. “While I’d be more than happy to play a few songs, I don’t think any of them will lead ponies to quote ‘shake their groove thang.’”

“Mhmm, are you sure? I heard that new song of yours was pretty great,” Pinkie said, bouncing off the stage as I unpacked my cello.

“You heard wrong, then,” I said, bringing my cello upright and balancing on my back hooves. “I’ve never been known for original…” I trailed off as a melody that had spent the last year growing in my head was birthed with perfect clarity. It’s first notes were a great baroque boom, dominating the auditorium and drowning out any other sounds. From there, it progressed into a dirge, reminiscing on lost grandeur. The song spiralled around in rage and sorrow until a few notes began to pull it from the darkness. They were upbeat and eclectic, the sounds of hope.

I frowned as I imagined the notes and sounds in my head. To properly create the weaving effect, I’d need a full orchestra, but… I could (poorly) translate it to the cello. The lighter notes started pulling the melody up before the song suddenly crashed back down to brooding and baroque. It tried to rise again, but this time rose with a frenzied madness, excitedly chasing itself and twisting around too quickly for the listener to properly anticipate the next moves.

The frenzied rush culminated in a great cacophony followed by a silence where the song rebuilt itself, this time sounding soft and sweet. A love song. With every line, it grew louder, but never too loud, never enough to drown the world out. Instead, it became a constant support. A point of reassurance, as the song–

“Hey, Tavi, you alright?” Vinyl yelled from the audience. “You’ve just been kind of staring off at nothing for a while. Kind of thought you were gonna play a song… or something. Unless… Ooh! Do you want me to play with you? I could probably find some DJ equipment or whatever.”

I shook my head. “I’m fine, I just… I was thinking of a song.” I drew the bow across the string. “It’s a little rough, and I think it would work far better with a full orchestra, but… to all my dear friends, I’m pleased to present a composition that’s been brewing in the back of my brain for the last year. I present to you all The Song of Ponyville.

It is almost certainly a cliche to say so, but surrounded by all my friends at my bachelorette party, playing for them my first original composition, it was the best night– No, any of my nights with Vinyl were better than this one, but certainly, it was the best party ever.

Author's Note:

Alright, this is the story. There are technically two chapters afterwards, but they don't count. They're the original versions of Chapters 2 and 3, and they should only be read if you want to see how completely awful the original version of this story was. I still shake my head thinking about what prompted me to publish them.

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