• Published 13th Jun 2014
  • 1,527 Views, 33 Comments

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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Original (and Terrible) Chapter Three

I didn’t want to wake up. I couldn’t bear to wake up. It was… if I woke up, I would have to face my actions. To explain what I had done to Vinyl. Would I have to explain just how wonderful the experience had been? How quickly I fell to the mindless joy? The worst part was that no matter what I said, she would forgive me, say it wasn’t my fault and embrace me. Did I deserve it though? Did I deserve her love after what I had done? The questions filled the black void I inhabited as I tried desperately not to wake up.

Sadly, I could not hold off the inevitable forever, and I slowly became aware of a persistent beeping in my immediate vicinity that I quickly identified as a heart monitor. Masked beneath it was the sound of a pony breathing. Their breath was faint and slow, and I decided that they were probably asleep, meaning I could open my eyes and see just who it was.

A quick glances through the room confirmed my suspicions. My fiancée was sitting on a cushion next to my bed, her side resting against the room’s walls as her electric-blue mane covered both her eyes. She looked so adorable when she slept, I just wanted to- I recoiled away from her as I recalled the twisted affection of the changeling venom, how much I loved each touch and caress. A swarm of other memories came with it, and I became physically ill as my mind forced me to relive the entire incident, seeing how hideous my actions were and being completely unable to stop them.

My recoiling apparently brought Vinyl to wakefulness, and before I could go back to feigning slumber, her eyes met mine. “How long’ve you been up?” she asked, rubbing the sleep out of her eyes with one hoof.

“Too long,” I said, moving my head to avoid her gaze and stare at the relatively innocuous ceiling instead. “How much do you know?”

“I know that Bon-Bon is apparently a spy-”

“Agent of stability,” I automatically corrected. Apparently if you hear the same line enough, it eventually sticks in your head.

“Yeah, that. Anyways, she got you to go on this big dangerous mission, and you got hurt. When she told me, I really wanted to punch her in the face for bringing you on a mission without telling me.” I shuddered, recalling the last punch I threw and the several blows that came after it. I was a murderer now too, how could I have forgotten that? The worst part was I… No, there was still guilt, but when I thought of the incident, there was a grim feeling of satisfaction. Had I enjoyed killing him? If I had the choice, I would definitely do it again. “Are you feeling better?”

Better than what? Mindless ecstasy? A world free of guilt and recrimination where I would serve anypony happily? No, but this was better wasn’t it? I was free. Free to doubt. Free to fear. Free to hate myself. Free to obsess over every terrible thing I had done during the span. Free. I started to sob. “I’m sorry, Vinyl,” I said as I choked back tears. “It’s… He undid me Vinyl, turned me into something I wasn’t, and… and now I don’t think I can ever go back to normal.”

“It’s alright,” she said, wrapping her forehooves around me, “I’ll be with you every step of-”

The touch recalled memories of the night of Turn Coat, the way his fur felt, the way the poison made me want to do anything I could to make him happy, what I so desperately wanted to do, and how wonderful every second of it felt. I reflexively shoved her away, sending her staggering into the wall. “I’m sorry… I can’t… just please don’t touch me right now.”

Vinyl frowned, the worry in her eyes growing. I had hurt her, I didn’t want to hurt her but- I closed my eyes and tried to will the thought away. “I’m sorry,” I said. “How are Lyra and Bon-Bon doing?”

“I don’t know how they are now, but I’m about two seconds from tracking Bon-Bon down and forcing her to tell me just what happened. I could wring her neck right now.” There was a fire in her eyes I had never seen before. It hurt just to look at, and I wasn’t the pony the anger was directed towards.

“Please don’t,” I said, my voice suddenly becoming very small. “Please don’t talk like that Vinyl… I…” The words caught in my throat. “I killed somepony.”

“You what?” she asked, every emotion but shock vanishing from her features. “Tell me what happened, right now.”

I nodded, still sniffling. “Just… please try not to hate me for what happened.”

Vinyl smiled at me and it was genuine. It was the first genuine smile I had seen in what felt like forever.

***

By the time I had finished my story, both of us had cried, run out of tears, and cried some more, something I had previously thought impossible. Perhaps I should not have given every last detail, but I felt that if something were left out, it might come back to haunt us later. Knowing my luck, it almost certainly would. “I don’t know what’s going to happen to me,” I said, using a forehoof to dry my face. “I killed somepony. I don’t think there has been a murder in Equestria in a century.”

Vinyl snorted derisively. “And if you hadn’t, I would have, and I probably wouldn’t have been as clean about it as you were.”

I raised an eyebrow. “That’s… that’s a bit extreme isn’t it?”

“Not after what he did to you.” There was a darkness in her voice I had never heard before, that eliminated any doubt that she was joking. “Look, you know I’m usually pretty laid back and stuff, and no, normally I wouldn’t even think of killing somepony but… after that, I don’t know. He did something so terrible I didn’t even think it was bucking possible, and he did it to the mare I love most in the world. Of course I wish I could’ve to kill him. I want to bring him back from the dead just so I can kill him again.” She paced around my bedside, her eyes burning and threatening to devour the room.

“I feel so useless! There you were in your time of need and I didn’t do anything. I didn’t even know anything was wrong. Instead, I was getting hammered with Lyra. I just…” She plopped down on her flank. “I don’t know how to help you.”

“You can stay with me,” I whispered.

Vinyl laughed and walked to the side of my bed, drawing as close as she could to me while being careful to not make contact. “Did you really think the alternative was an option?”

I couldn’t help but smile at that. “It’s good to hear you say yes. After what happened, I don’t feel sure of anything.” My fiancée lovingly stroked my mane, making sure to ask my permission first, and traced a hoof along the pink stripe in it. I was content to let it happen, focusing on the tenderness and affection in her touch. It wasn’t long, but for a second, I was happy.

“You’re okay?” Vinyl said as she drew her hoof away, not daring to press her luck further. “I was worried that you would freak out, but at the same time, touch is the main way I comfort you.”

“It’s alright,” I said. “Asking for permission helped immensely and… your touch was different than his.” It felt nowhere near as good, a treasonous voice whispered in my mind, and I shuddered.

“Sorry,” I said as I regained my composure. “Just an unpleasant memory.” I tried to smile for her benefit. “Not that I have a shortage of those.”

Somepony knocked on the door and it creaked open, revealing the cream-colored mare who had convinced me that playing spy would work out for the best. The sight of her made my throat constrict, as a small voice in the back of my head told me how wonderful it would be to serve her. The waves of pleasure, the mindless obedience, the simple unending desire to please, all things I never wanted to feel again. Yes you do.

“You have a lot of nerve to walk in here after what you did to her,” Vinyl snarled, taking a step towards the mare. “First you talk her into going on this stupid mission without letting me know! Then you come back to Ponyville, tail tucked between your legs to say that there’s been some sort of terrible accident and that Tavi is in the hospital! And now, I find out that-” She paused, getting choked up on something. “It was horrible, and you were there, and you didn’t let me know! You let me spend two days in the hospital wondering just what the hay happened, coming up with increasingly horrible scenarios, and then when she wakes up it turns out that my worst fears would have been preferable to the truth!”

“I’m sorry, Vinyl,” Bon-Bon said, taking several steps back to match my fiancée’s advance and stay safely out of hoof’s reach. “I didn’t think anything dangerous would happen. I was so sure I had the entire operation planned out, I was so sure nothing would go wrong.”

“So it’s my fault then?” Vinyl yelled. Before either of us could voice our confusion, she gave us the answer. “My hoofband gave her away and led to that psychopath figuring out the truth, if not for it, then everything would’ve gone fine. If we weren’t engaged…” Her yelling turned into sobbing. “If we didn’t know each other, then maybe everything would’ve been fine. It’s my fault.”

“Vinyl, no.” I said, managing to speak up to comfort my fiancée, despite the fact that it drew Bon-Bon’s attention. Seeing her in pain was somehow worse than seeing a living reminder of how terrible I had been. “Don’t… don’t do this to yourself. If you want to blame yourself for that then I have to blame myself for not taking off the hoofband earlier or not seeing through Turn Coat’s plan or not telling you what was happening before I left. You couldn’t have known what was going to happen, and beating yourself up over it won’t do anypony any good.”

She smiled ever so slightly. “Thanks, I… I guess you’re right, but it doesn’t feel right, you know? I keep thinking I should have done something or known better or that this is somehow my fault.”

“Do you know whose fault it is?” I asked her. “It’s Turn Coat’s fault, nopony else’s.” Except mine, I added wordlessly. Mine for going along with the plan. Mine for drinking the wine. Mine for falling to the venom’s influence. Mine for becoming such a monster. Mine for enjoying it. Mine for wishing I could get rid of all my fear and sadness by having another glass. Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine. All mine.

“You know,” she said after a pause, “I think I’m supposed to be the one comforting you now.”

“You are.” I said, giving her a small smile. “But if you fall into that pit of self-loathing, you can’t really help me, can you?”

“No… I suppose not. Tavi, are you okay? You usually aren’t this calm after something unbelievably terrible happens. Or at least not collected enough to give advice.”

I wasn’t, at all. My mind was switching from utter soul-crushing despair at what had happened, to wishing I could drink more changeling venom to make the pain stop, to hating myself for even thinking such a thing, and back again with astounding regularity, but I didn’t want to see Vinyl suffer. “Well, I’ve had plenty of experience,” I said, faking a smile for her.

“Sorry to interrupt,” Bon-Bon said, “but I just wanted to come and apologize for… everything.” She glanced at me nervously with the last word, and I struggled to meet her gaze. “I also want to convey a message: after evaluating all the evidence and at the scene testimony, the crown has decided not to press charges for murder and has ruled this a justifiable case of self-defense.” Good, so while I wasn’t going to have to languish in a prison cell, I could still walk around knowing I was the only murderer living in all of Equestria. What had I ever done to deserve the honor?

My ability to put on a brave face for Vinyl’s sake crumbled. “You said… when you recruited me for this mission, that Celestia would owe me a favor. I know what I want, I want her to tell me how in Equestria I can live the rest of my life knowing that I’m the only murderer in all the land. How I can live with the knowledge that I am demonstrably worse than my neighbors. How I can think that I am in any way a good pony even though I know I am the first murderer in Equestria in over a hundred years. I want to know why I don’t feel a single shred of remorse. I killed somepony and I’m happy about it. I’m happy to be free of him. I’m happy I killed him before he could finish warping me into his pet, and I don’t think that’s the way ponies are supposed to feel after they kill somepony. Can Celestia tell me what is wrong with me? Because that’s the favor I want.” At some point during my rant, I felt the familiar sting of tears in my eyes.

There was a pause as I finished my rant where both Vinyl and Bon-Bon stared at me. Then at once, the spell was broken as Bon-Bon ran out of the room while Vinyl moved to try and reassure me by reminding me of the fact that it was either him or me, as if there was some way that could justify my crime.

***

I awoke to find Vinyl standing next to my hospital bed, a bottle of wine and two glasses in her saddlebags. “Wh-why is that here?” I asked.

She smiled at me, her teeth strangely dagger like. “I saw how sad you were today, and then when you told me about the changeling venom, I thought the solution was so obvious. You just need to drink more. You didn’t hurt then did you? No, you were happy then, free of all your worries and problems. The only thing that pulled you from that perfect bliss was my absence, but now you can have both. You can finally be happy with me.” As she spoke, she poured a glass of wine for me and sat it next to my bedside.

“But- it… Don’t you want me to-”

“I want you to be happy, Tavi, and weren’t you happy after you drank the changeling venom?”

I made a very slight nod.

“Happier than you’ve ever been, right?”

“Ye-yes, but it wasn’t real.”

Vinyl laughed. “It felt real, you responded as if it was real. Don’t you want that feeling again? With me?”

Celestia help me, I did, I thought, reaching a hoof out for the glass. I wanted that feeling of intense pleasure. I wanted to put down my worries. I wanted to love my fiancée with the same intensity I loved a monster. I didn’t want to hurt anymore.

Vinyl gave me a reassuring smile and ran a hoof through my mane. “I promise Tavi, you’ll never hurt again.”

She gave the broken me one last kiss on the cheek as I greedily guzzled the wine, hoping to finally be–.

A knock on the hospital door quickly pulled me from a slumber and I realized with a mix of relief and disappointment that it was just a dream. I wasn’t going back to the mindless pleasure. I was still myself… for now. I wondered what happened to the rest of Turn Coat’s bottle.

“Can I come in?” a serene majestic voice asked that everypony in Canterlot was immediately familiar with. Not waiting for an answer, the bringer of the sun and princess of Equestria walked into the room, her aurora mane flowing behind her. Vinyl was quick to bow before her while I struggled to get out of my bed and do the same.

“You may both be at ease,” Princess Celestia said as she moved to stand at the foot of my bed. “I came because Bon-Bon told me of your request last night and because I worried about your well-being. You went through something nopony should have to go through, and you did it as part of an attempt to help Equestria. I can never make that up to you.”

“Thank you,” I said, looking up at her from my bed as the golden light of the morning sun streamed in through our windows. I quickly glanced at Vinyl, and felt my heart pound in my chest as her dream words echoed through my head. You’ll never hurt again. It would be so nice not to hurt anymore.

“I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you about the dangers of changeling venom or that using it on a pony is strictly forbidden, but I came to tell Miss Scratch about the way changeling venom can warp a ponies mind. Even a single dose can cause ponies to become dependent, and if allowed to indulge, the effects will eventually become permanent. I don’t think anypony in this room wants that.”

Vinyl shook her head, and a few seconds later, I followed suit. Of course I wouldn’t want that, I had lost all control and almost became- I shuddered at the thought. No, I obviously didn’t want that fate. Even though I loved Vinyl, I wouldn’t want to become her thrall. No matter how happy it would make me.

“Good,” she said, smiling serenely. Vinyl, may I call you Vinyl?” My fiancée nodded. “Wonderful. Vinyl, I want you to keep me updated on how you feel Octavia is doing. Octavia, I want you to know that Luna will be looking in on you as much as she can and trying to make sure your dreams are at least somewhat restful. If you ever need any assistance as you work towards recovery, we are both here for you.”

“Thank you your highness, I truly do not deserve your kindness.” I recalled the doubts that had plagued my mind a few minutes ago and wondered why she would care so much about my well being. In the dream, I had willingly consumed the changeling venom with minimal persuasion. Maybe the venom had already broken me irreparably. Maybe I wasn’t worth the effort they were putting in. It was almost comical that way I could switch between hating myself for what I did while under the venom’s influence to desperately wishing I could have some more so quickly.

Celestia narrowed her eyes and her serene countenance was replaced with a stern gaze. “I will not hear any of my little ponies say that, especially not one who has sacrificed so much of herself to do what she thinks is right. I want you to always remember that you are worth the effort your friends put in to help you, and that…” The serene smile returned. “... Is a royal order.”

“Yeah,” Vinyl said, poking a hoof at me while making sure not to actually touch me. “Celestia says so, so you can’t start getting down on yourself anymore.”

It would take more than a royal order to stop that, I thought, although for some reason, the royal order did bolster my spirits a small amount. Not much, but some. “Thank you, your highness. I am sorry for upsetting you.” Sorry for upsetting you, hadn’t I said that to Turn Coat and Bon-Bon when I upset them. Grovelled at their hooves and begged for forgiveness? I felt an impulse to do the same thing to Celestia and shuddered at the fact that one of my actions while under the effect of the venom somehow felt proper. How much longer could I have lasted with it in my veins?

“It’s alright, my little pony. I will not accept any apologies from you today. Just keep in mind that you have friends that truly love you and that the changeling venom is nothing more than a path to self-destruction.” And if that’s what I wanted? To not have to worry about anything anymore?

I shook my head, trying to dispel the thoughts. “If you insist, your highness, it’s just… Thank you for coming here to talk with me.”

“There is another issue I came here to talk about, but it is best spoken about between two ponies. Vinyl, would you mind leaving the room for a few minutes?” Celestia turned to look at my fiancée who quickly got on her hooves.

“No, of course not your highness. I… uhmm, I’m going to get something to drink. Tavi, you want anything?”

“I’m fine right now,” I said, smiling at her. as she walked out the door. As soon as it clicked shut, Celestia turned to look at me.

“What you did was terrible, the taking of a life is a heavy thing that, no matter how justified, weighs heavily on a pony’s conscience. I know you said you didn’t feel guilt, but the very fact that this weighs so heavily on your mind proves otherwise.”

“But,” I said, sniffling (when did I get so emotional? I used to be able to act with a semblance of decorum), “I would do it again if I could. I chose to kill him, and that doesn’t strike me as something a pony with a guilty conscience would do.”

“Octavia Melody, I have ruled a very long time, and lived even longer. I know about regret. I regretted banishing my sister even though it was the only way to save Equestria. In the dark days after Discord, I sentenced hundreds of ponies to death and I regretted every one of those orders, but I would still do it again for the good of the realm. The choice you were faced with was not an easy one. You could have either risked him waking up and committing treason while sending you back to mindless servitude, or you could have killed him. Neither option was good, but you chose the one that protected the most innocent ponies, including yourself.”

She bowed her head. “Your actions might have saved some ponies that are very dear to me, and for that I will always be in your debt. If the crown can ever aid you in any way just let either my sister or myself know. As for your guilt, it won’t ever go away. I’m sorry I can’t help you with that... but if you ever find a trick to get rid of it, please let me know, I’ve been searching for some time. What I can promise you is that the sting will fade in time if you let it, and you will be able to find happiness. Real, genuine happiness; not the type that comes from being enthralled, but the type that you earn and can savor with a free mind.”

I frowned at her. “I still feel it. So much of me wishes I could drink more of the venom, just so I can stop hating myself for wanting to drink the venom. It doesn’t make sense, but I can’t stop it.”

“The changeling venom is not a rational thing, Octavia. It’s a poison that seeks to warp and bend a pony to its own ends. It plays with you, convinces you you are useless and makes you want to drink more just so you can feel happiness again. Whatever you do, you must not listen to it. You will recover from this, and when you do, when you finally enjoy the simple things in life again without feeling as if the world is shrouded in grey, I promise it will be all the sweeter. Do you understand me?”

I nodded.

“Do you believe me?”

“I believe,” I said slowly, trying to make sure I didn’t upset her, “that you are telling the truth.”

“That’s not the same thing, and I think you know that. It’s easy for a pony to believe an appealing lie and reject what they find an unpleasant truth. I want you to believe me, but I can’t force you to. What happens is ultimately up to you; just remember you have a group of ponies who care deeply for you and want to see you happy. Truly happy.”

A knock on the door cut me off before I could respond, and Vinyl poked her head into the room. “Hey, is it safe for me to come in now, or are you two still discussing private stuff?”

“It’s fine,” I said, waving a hoof at her to beckon her inside. “Princess Celestia was just talking about you.”

“Good things, I hope,” she said as she walked in the room, two cups floating beside her. “I know you said you didn’t want anything, but they had that terrible seltzer water you like, and I thought I might as well get you a glass. I mean, I don’t think anypony else would drink it.”

I smiled at her as she levitated the glass over to my bedside. It was such a simple gesture, the kind of thoughtless kindness that comes because you’ve grown to care for a pony and not just because you were magically compelled to. There was a sincerity and honesty to it that could never be matched by the changeling venom, and for a second, as I brought the seltzer water to my lips, I felt that I might be able to return to normal. The feeling rapidly subsided, but it was enough. It was a start.

Author's Note:

Didn't know where to end this story, I could have shown the several months of recovery required for her to get to be normal, but I felt it would be better to show her taking the first step of the journey and leave the rest of the process up to your imaginations. Hope you enjoyed the story, I don't think I will do anything this terrible to Tavi again. At least until the finale I planned for her.

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Comments ( 17 )

By the time I had finished my story, both of us had cried, run out of tears, and cried some more, something I had previously thought impossible.

Those are the worst kinds of crying.

Damn, I would probably kill myself if even half of the things Tavi has been through happened to me.
Anyway I am glad to read the rest of the story! :rainbowkiss:
Also you should totally make references to this in the Princess Lunas Academy somehow! :pinkiehappy:

:yay: I liked it!!
It was dark but for some reason Nightmare Night and Anthro Con seemed darker to me.
Maybe because I wasn't expecting it in RPO or maybe because I've been preparing myself for this fic for a while, I don't know!
What I DO know is I enjoyed this immensely!!! Thank you for writing it, I kinda need more variety in my reading so this was a good break from all the smut and cuddles.

4545087 It is interesting that you found Anthro-Con and NN to be darker than this. I think both of the theories you offered as to why are valid explanations. Anyways, glad you enjoyed it. Hope to see you in the next chapter of my Sweetie Fic (Still being written).

Damn, that was grim. I enjoyed it a lot, though.

4582876 Thanks, glad you did. A story that's more in line with the original tone of the RPO SHOULD be coming out later this week.

Alright I'm sorry for not taking your advice. All in all it wasn't that bad. It wasn't great, but it also was not bad. The writing was fine for the most part, but I just cant say I liked it. Okay... Tavi killing the guy just turned me off entirely, I kept reading under the hopes that Celestia would give her the news that he had actually survived, but... yeah. I don't like it when a character I love has to deal with something like that. I suppose explanations are in order.

I have written stories where Fluttershy has killed, but I did it because in that universe, Fluttershy is a killer. However I wrote a stupidly over the top of cuteness Flutterdash fic where I would never make her kill anyone or anything. Then in the middle ground I have read a story where Fluttershy has been forced into the responsibility of putting down sick or injured pets that have no chance for recovery. I work under the idea that these are three entirely different characters and thus have three entirely different personalities and sets of morals. This particular Octavia... it just didn't feel right to see her kill a pony. I suppose that spoiler would have been enough to keep me from reading this one, but, meh, I regret nothing. I'll see you at the next chapter.

5385969 Like I said. I despise this story. I really do. Consider it basically non-canon. A mistake made on my part that will be fixed one day. It's not true to the Orchestra verse and it's my least favorite story. You know what, this story has been an albatross around my neck long enough. It's time for me to fix it.

5385988 Well that is exciting, not the albatross thing(seriously you shoot one bird and the whole ship goes down) but the editing part. I wish you the best of luck and I think I'll add this to tracking just so I can keep an eye on it for when it does get its mighty re-release.

I actually like the original...

5992210

As do I, but better we not have that possibility that something could be the lingering venom talking. Tavi would become the ultimate liability in that regard.

6676183 I'm not saying the original was bad, and as a standalone story, I wouldn't have changed a thing, but it's tone was so completely odds with the rest of the Orchestra-verse that I became profoundly disappointed with it. I leave it up for fans of the original and to remind myself not to let my interests take the driver seat.

6803087 The Dark tag is a holdover from the original draft, I think.

Hm. That has a supprisingly moral ending, i was expecting Celestia to offer a memory wipe or something that would cause controversy in the comments.
It has a very light ending though, and as for a guy that reads Horus Heresy Novels, this wasnt dark. But i can see why you despise it with what you have further down the line.

6803659 I don't completely despise it, it just felt really out of line with the rest of the Orchestra-verse, especially Octavia's side of it. Okay as a standalone, but it kind of cast a pallor on Goal Fever and Weirdly Wed.

6803825 i didn't say "completely". And yeah, pretty much

GOOOOOOAAAAAAAL!!!!!! (Funny the first typo of your's i point out is in a comment)

10324526
Lmao, I'm worried to read the review because of what a mess this story was

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