• Published 30th Oct 2011
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Two's Company, Three's a Crowd - Lithe Kamitatsy



One night of fun for a certain musical pair will leave their lives upside down.

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Chapter Sixty

Octavia, Vinyl, Bonbon and Lyra all left the clinic happier than they could last remember, talking amongst themselves and beginning to make plans for the now much-larger group of foals on the way.

"So I was thinking, maybe we should have the Crusaders foal-sit," Vinyl suggested. The response she received from Bonbon and Octavia was a death-glare so potent it would have made any pony lesser than Kester himself turn into a puddle of fear. "...Okay, then... Maybe not..."

"Vinyl, I love you to death, but that has to be one of the most ridiculous ideas I have ever heard leave your mouth," Octavia said. "You saw what those girls are capable of. Do you sincerely believe that leaving our foals with them will end well?"

"Hey, you never know. They'll be a little older by then, and maybe they'll have learned that blowing things up, while really, really fun, isn't exactly the safest playground activity," Vinyl commented.

"Yeah, and Princess Luna will swoop down from the sky and hoof-deliver me roses she picked from the surface of the moon," Lyra joked, causing Bonbon to snicker.

"Alright, alright! I get it," Vinyl said. "I was just trying to be helpful, geeze..."

Bonbon made her way over to Vinyl, giving her a small nudge. "We know you're trying to be helpful, but the girls just aren't mature enough yet to foal-sit. Maybe when they're older, but definitely not now," Bonbon reasoned. Vinyl thought about it, and finally acquiesced.

"Yeah, you're right, Bonnie." An idea suddenly came to mind, Vinyl face-hoofing slightly. "Duh, why didn't I think of this before!?"

"What do you have in mind, Vinyl?" Octavia asked.

"Well, the Crusaders are out of the question, and Pinkie-"

"You cannot be serious," Octavia said, staring right through her.

"I was gonna say that Pinkie was out too," Vinyl said. "Calm down, Octy! I SAID CALM DOWN!"

"But I-"

"CALM DOWN!"

"Vinyl-"

"OCTAVIA, STOP FREAKING OUT!"

Lyra and Bonbon watched in amazement as Vinyl's actions seemingly flipped a switch in Octavia's mind, her emotions flying off the handle whenever Vinyl made even the slightest remark or comment.

"Vinyl, I swear to Celestia if you tell me to calm down one more time..." Octavia said, on the verge of losing her cool.

"What are you talking about? I wasn't doing anything," Vinyl said, feigning mock-innocence. Octavia felt something in her mind shatter like glass, and the next thing she knew she was chasing down Vinyl, the only thought running through her mind being 'STRANGLE.' To Vinyl's amazement, she had gotten Octavia so unbelievably angry that Octavia was actually gaining on her.

"Uh, girls?! Little help please!" Vinyl yelled as she pushed herself as hard as she could to run from the pregnant steam-roller nipping at her hooves.

"Should we help her?" Bonbon asked, watching the spectacle unfolding before them.

Lyra thought about it for a moment, then laughed. "Nah, let's see what happens."

Suddenly, Octavia stopped running. Vinyl looked back, panting heavily, curious as to why she stopped.

"Hey Octy, you alright?"

"Oh, I am fine, Vinyl... Are you?"

Vinyl could feel the chill coming from Octavia, her voice chilling her to the bone.

"Um, Octy...? Are you okay...?"

"Again, I am fine, are you? In fact, why not come over here? I would like to see if you are okay," Octavia asked in a voice more frightening than Vinyl had ever heard escape her mouth.

"N-No, that's okay... I'm fine over here," Vinyl said, visibly trembling. Octavia raised her head, and Vinyl gasped at what she saw. Octavia wore the most chilling smile that Vinyl had ever seen in her life, her eyes dead-locked on Vinyl.

"Just wait until we get home..." Octavia said, the smile only getting wider. Vinyl then began to make her way over to Lyra and Bonbon, making a wide circle around Octavia. To her utter terror, no matter where she went, Octavia's smile followed her. She finally reached Lyra and Bonbon, swallowing hard and hiding between them.

"W-Would it be alright if I stayed w-with y-you two?" Vinyl asked, shaking. "I-I think I broke Octy..."

"Of course, Vinyl... You're more than welcome to stay with us..." Bonbon said, turning her head to face Vinyl.

"Please, stay with us as long as you want..." Lyra added, turning to face Vinyl as well. To her ultimate horror, the two other mares were wearing the same terrifying smile that adorned Octavia's face.

"G-Guys, wh-what's wrong with your faces?!" Vinyl asked.

"Oh, nothing is wrong with us, Vinyl... the better question is, what is the matter with you?" The three mares asked in unison.

"I believe it is time we fixed Vinyl... She isn't smiling," Octavia said.

"I agree," Lyra added.

"Me too," Bonbon finished.

The three mares then began to close in on Vinyl, surrounding her. They all pounced her at once, Vinyl letting out a scream to the high heavens.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Vinyl shot awake, sitting up in bed, the screaming she had been doing in the dream carrying over in reality. Octavia woke up with such a start she reflexively jammed a hoof down Vinyl's throat to shut her up.

"Vinyl! What is the matter with you?!" Octavia yelled over Vinyl.

"GRRGRGRGRHRHGHRGRH!" Vinyl yelled, her voice muffled by Octavia's hoof. She removed her hoof from Vinyl's mouth, shaking her hoof of saliva. Vinyl, still very much scared of whatever she saw in her dream, continued to babble incoherently until Octavia grabbed a hold of her and shook her a good bit.

"Vinyl, calm down!" Octavia said forcefully.

"I- but- what- face- smile- Octy- FIX!" Vinyl babbled, her eyes dilating and contracting rapidly. It got to the point that Octavia was forced to slap her to bring her back to reality. Vinyl blinked a few times, rubbing her cheek.

"Thanks, Octy... I needed that," Vinyl said, shaking her head slightly.

"Vinyl, I thought you said the nightmares had stopped," Octavia said, concerned.

Vinyl sighed heavily. "I thought they'd stopped, too... I'm just, I dunno... scared, I guess."

"Scared? Of what?" Octavia asked, frowning slightly.

"Well, I mean... the wedding's tomorrow, Octy. What if I screw up or do something stupid? Families never forget that kind of thing!" Vinyl said. Octavia sighed with relief. This was not a new topic. As the big day grew closer, Vinyl had expressed concerns about it, showing that she had a fear of ruining what Octavia had previously said was 'a day she had been planning since she was a filly.'

"Vinyl, remember what I told you the last time we talked about this- just be yourself and everything will be fine. I will make sure that you do not do anything out of line, and I am certain you will know how to behave in that kind of a setting," Octavia said with a reassuring smile. "We need to get back to sleep. We have a lot to work to do later today. We need to make sure everything is prepared for tomorrow."

"Okay... Hey, Octy?" Vinyl said.

"Yes, Vinyl?" Octavia responded.

"I love you. Thanks," Vinyl said with a small smile.

"You are more than welcome, and I love you, too." Octavia shared a small kiss with Vinyl, and the two laid back down and slept through what remained of the night-time hours, Celestia's sun slowly coming into view over the horizon.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Octavia and Vinyl left their house, their first destination being the Carousel Boutique to check on the dresses. Rarity had put many weeks worth of pain-staking effort to make the dresses just to their specifications, Octavia's in particular being finicky as her baby-bump grew more and more each passing day. They arrived at the Boutique, both of them frowning slightly when they noticed a sign on the door stating 'CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.'

"Rarity, are you home?" Octavia called out as she knocked on the door.

"Rares? C'mon out! We know you're in there!" Vinyl yelled, banging on the door.

"Vinyl, that is no way of-" Octavia's sentence fell short as the door slowly creaked open, a deep blue eye peering out from the darkness within. "Rarity?" The door opened, and from behind it appeared an exhausted, disheveled and sleep-depraved Rarity, her glasses barely hanging off her nose, her mane a tangled mess. "My word, Rarity! What happened to you?"

"Oh, hello Octavia," Rarity said, stifling a yawn. "Dreadfully sorry for not answering the door sooner, I've been hard at work putting the finishing touches on the dresses... I haven't slept in two days-"

"Are they done?!" Vinyl said, her eyes brimming with glee.

"Vinyl, Rarity has gone through an exorbitant amount of effort to put these dresses together, and the first thing you say to her is 'are they ready?' Really, Vinyl. I know your mother taught you better..." Octavia scolded, turning to face Rarity. "Rarity, I cannot thank you enough for working on the dresses for us... are they ready?" she asked, a small smile on her face.

"Oh, like you're any better- oof!" Vinyl grunted as Octavia stuck a leg in her side, quickly removing it to keep her balance.

Rarity let out a small giggle at this, yawning immediately after. "You'll be very happy to know that yes, they are done. Come in and I'll show you," Rarity said. Octavia and Vinyl followed Rarity into the Boutique, following her up the stairs and into Rarity's personal studio. She made her way over to two mannequins that were covered in a velvet-colored tarp. "Fillies, I present to you, the two newest pieces to the Merry Matrimony collection!" Rarity gently pulled off the tarp, and there stood the dresses, in all their glory. Octavia and Vinyl's jaws dropped, completely and utterly stunned by the sight.

Octavia moved towards her dress, sitting in front of it. The fabric was pure white, almost giving off an otherworldly glow as it stood in the low-light. There were bright violet frills that lined the dress as well as a beautiful violet bow on the back. The veil was what held her attention the most. The veil was short, tailored exactly to Octavia's specifications, save for one thing. Added onto the veil as Rarity's personal touch was an onyx quaver, representative of Vinyl's cutie mark.

Vinyl made her way over to her dress as well, examining it closely. The basic color of the dress was the same as Octavia's, a pristine white, lined with red fabric that matched her eyes. Two beautiful sleeves covered the mannequin's forelegs, a gorgeous white bow sitting on the right side of its head. Again, as Rarity's personal touch, an amethyst treble clef hung on the left side, matching Octavia's onyx quaver.

"Well girls? What do you think?" Rarity asked, already knowing the answer.

"I... There are are no words, Rarity..." Octavia murmured.

"Wow, just... Wow," Vinyl said.

"Well, I'm so glad you love them. I feel terrible for asking this, but would it be alright if you left for now? I need my rest," Rarity said, stifling yet another yawn.

"Oh, yes of course! You have done more than necessary for us, and for that we are endlessly thankful," Octavia said. "Are you certain I cannot compensate you somehow?"

"Don't even think about it. Remember, this is my gift to the two of you on your happy day. Now go, you have other things to do, do you not?" Rarity said.

"Yes, actually. Come along, Vinyl."

"Gotcha. Thanks again, Rares!" Vinyl said cheerily as they left. The door to the Boutique shut behind them, and they made their way to Fluttershy's cottage.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Octavia and Vinyl arrived fairly quickly, Vinyl knocking on the door. "Hey, Flutters! You there?" Vinyl was met with the sound of startled movement and a small yelp of surprise. The door opened, and Fluttershy peeked out of the doorway.

"Hello, Fluttershy. How are you doing this morning?"

The door then opened, Fluttershy smiling softly. "Oh, hello Octavia. I just got done feeding the doves and practicing with the songbirds. Um, you can come in if you'd like..." she offered.

"Thank you, Fluttershy. Would it be alright if we saw the doves?"

"Oh, of course. It is your wedding after all," Fluttershy said. She lead them inside, and all around the cottage sat beautiful snow-white doves, nestling and resting for their big day.

"Oh, how lovely!" Octavia said, unable to contain her happiness. "You have done a wonderful job, Fluttershy."

Fluttershy blushed demurely at the compliment. "Oh dear, Vinyl please be careful! The songbirds are very easily startled!"

"I know, I know. I'll be careful," Vinyl said, waving her off as she examined the songbirds carefully. "Well aren't you a cutie?" she said as she gently stroked the wing of a blue-jay, who was happy to receive the attention.

"Fluttershy, would it be too much to ask for a demonstration?" Octavia asked.

"Oh, not at all!" Fluttershy said. "Come, little ones. Time to practice!" The song-birds all gathered around Fluttershy, who counted them off. Octavia felt her heart swell as the birds all sang a beautiful rendition of a classical piece that she enjoyed very deeply. Even Vinyl was impressed, intently listening as each bird sang its piece smoothly and masterfully. The piece ended, and Octavia could not help but clap her hooves in praise.

"Oh, Fluttershy, that was absolutely magnificent. An excellent choice of music, as well. I would have never guessed you listened to Pachaybell's 'Canon in D Major," Octavia said.

"Oh yes, I love classical music. I find it very soothing to go to sleep to," Fluttershy smiled.

"Yeah, I know the feeling. I mean, when I want to sleep, I just listen to Octy playing her cello and it knocks me out for hours," Vinyl said.

"Oh hush, you know you enjoy my cello-playing," Octavia said.

"Yeah, it's good when I need a nap."

"It does not put you to sleep!" Octavia protested.

Vinyl paused for a moment, then continued. "Yeah, you're right. It knocks me out," she laughed. She would have continued if the angry look that Octavia had on her face had not reminded her of the dream she had had only hours before.

"Vinyl, I-"

"You're right, Octy. Sorry," Vinyl said. Octavia's jaw dropped. Fluttershy was unsure of what to say or do, so she simply shrunk into the next room, tending to the birds.

"Vinyl- you- you just-"

"Let's just go, okay?" Vinyl said, shaking slightly.

"Um, alright...?" Octavia said, somewhat confused. She decided not to pursue it. "Thank you again, Fluttershy!" When she received no response, the two left, heading for Sweet Apple Acres.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

As they arrived at the main house for Sweet Apple Acres, they found Applebloom outside, trying to buck a small apple-tree. "C'mon now, fall off!" she yelled in frustration.

"Let me help you there, kiddo." Vinyl made her way over to the tree, and gave it one solid buck, all the apples falling off in one go.

"Thanks, Miss Vinyl! I know one day I'll be able ta do it like Applejack or Big Macintosh, just... not today, I guess," she said.

"I don't doubt that for a second. Is AJ home?"

"Yeah, but she's working hard getting all the food ready fer tomorrow, so she wanted me to tell ya that she don't wanna be bugged right now," Applebloom said.

"Oh, alright then. I trust Applejack's ability, so I have nothing to worry about. Thank you, Applebloom," Octavia said with a smile.

"It wasn't any trouble, Miss Octavia. I can't wait for tomorrow! I bet yer gonna look so beautiful in yer wedding dress. I hope I get to wear one some day," Applebloom said.

"I am one-hundred percent certain that one day you will meet a lovely young colt-" Octavia stopped when Vinyl cleared her throat audibly. "-or a wonderful young mare that will sweep you off your hooves, and then you will be able to wear a beautiful wedding dress of your own," Octavia said.

"Y' think so!?" Applebloom said, her eyes lighting up with pure delight.

"I know so," Octavia winked. "We will see you later, Applebloom. Say hello to Applejack for me."

"Will do, Miss Octavia!" Applebloom said, heading back inside, skipping as she giggled happily.

"Y'know Octy, you're going to be an amazing mom," Vinyl smiled.

"That does not mean you get to skimp out," Octavia smirked.

"You kidding? I wouldn't miss that for anything," Vinyl said, kissing Octavia on the cheek, eliciting a small blush from her. The two then made their way back into town, trying to find Rainbow Dash.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

After searching for a good few hours for Rainbow Dash and finding no trace of her, they decided it would be best to seek out the remaining two ponies they needed to speak to.

"Chances are Dash is napping somewhere up in Cloudsdale," Vinyl said.

"You are more than likely right, Vinyl. In that case, I will head to Sugarcube Corner to talk to Pinkie Pie. Go to the library and see how the preparations for the magical fireworks are coming along," Octavia instructed.

"Gotcha, see you in a bit!" Vinyl said, heading off towards the library. Vinyl quickly made her way through town and arrived at the library, knocking on the door. A loud bang answered her, knocking Vinyl back on her rump.

"What in Equestria was that?!" Vinyl yelled in surprise. The door creaked open, black smoke coming out in thick clouds. Twilight stumbled out, coughing heavily as Trixie picked herself up off the floor, Spike rubbing his head after being catapulted into a book-case.

"Twilight, are you alright?" Trixie said, hurrying over to her.

"I-I'm fine Trixie," Twilight said, shaking her head. "I managed to put up a small magical wall in front of me when the firework went off," she explained.

"Oh thank goodness! You need to be more careful, especially with..." Trixie said, trailing off.

"I know, I know, it was just a misfire Trixie, I'm alright," Twilight said. "...Thanks for being worried though," she said, nuzzling Trixie affectionately.

"Why wouldn't I be worried?" Trixie said softly. Vinyl couldn't believe what she was seeing. 'The Great and Powerful' Trixie, acting normal? Something was definitely amiss.

"...Maybe that explosion actually did hurt me somehow," Vinyl said, looking herself over.

"Oh, Vinyl! Are you alright!?" Twilight asked, helping her up. "I'm so sorry, we had no idea you were there! Are you hurt?"

"I'm not sure... Trixie's acting nice, is that any indication?" Vinyl asked.

Twilight giggled, leaning against Trixie. "No, Vinyl. She actually is being nicer now. She and I had a big fight a while back, and it got pretty ugly."

"I did a lot of soul-searching after that fight. Twilight meant way too much to me to let how I was acting mess up our relationship, and I decided that night that I was going to fix myself. I'll be honest, I'm a lot happier now. Being smug and uppity's a lot of work, and frankly, I'm tired of it," Trixie said, resting her head on Twilight's.

"Yeah, we need all the energy we can get for what's coming," Twilight smiled.

"We sure do," Trixie said.

"Wait... Don't tell me..." Vinyl said, narrowing her eyes.

"Yup, we're just like you guys!" Trixie said.

"I'm having a baby," Twilight said with a huge smile. Vinyl shot off her hooves and pulled the two of them into a hug.

"Oh sweet Celestia I'm so happy for you two!" Vinyl said. "This is going to be awesome! All our kids are gonna grow up together and go on awesome adventures! I can't wait!"

"Neither can we," Trixie laughed. "How about we stop practicing for now? I think we're close enough that it'll go over really well tomorrow."

"Yeah, you're probably right," Twilight said. "I'm feeling tired anyway. I don't want to strain myself."

"So the fireworks are done?" Vinyl asked.

"As done as they're gonna be. We promise you'll like them, though. Congrats on the big day, by the way!" Trixie smiled.

"Thanks! Either way, I gotta go catch up to Octy. She's over at SugarCube Corner. Later!"

"Bye!" Twilight and Trixie said together, making an attempt at shutting the door to the Library. "Looks like we need to fix this..." Trixie said.

"Yeah... We've got time though," Twilight said with a smile.

"Yup, we sure do," Trixie responded.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Octavia arrived at SugarCube Corner, finding Pinkie sitting at the counter, finishing loading up the last set of confetti and streamers into the Party Cannon. "Octy! So good to see you! Are you super-duper excited for the big day tomorrow? I know I am! This is going to be the first 'Super-Duper Pinkie Pie Wedding Reception Party!' and it's going to be AMAZING!" Pinkie said, practically overflowing with excitement as she usually did.

"Oh yes, I can barely contain myself," Octavia said, recoiling slightly.

"We only have one teensy-weensy, teeny-tiny, itty-bitty problem, though..." Pinkie said with a small frown.

"What would that be?" Octavia asked.

"The DJ sent me a letter saying that he was sick and he can't make it, and I got it today! Poor guy said he had the pony pox and he was feeling super-icky, so he didn't want to get anyone else sick like him," Pinkie explained.

"What?! Oh dear, we need a DJ to play music throughout the reception! Vinyl will be too busy with guests to do it, and seeing as you are the coordinator, I cannot possibly ask you to do both at once! Oh, what are we to do?" Octavia said, beginning to panic.

"...I'll do it," a voice said from behind her.

Octavia wheeled around, her eyes locking onto the source of the voice. Her heart overflowed with a deep, bitter anger as images and voices from a time where it seemed her life was falling apart filled her mind. She wanted nothing more than to completely destroy what sat before her, her hatred coming to a peak.

"...Neon..."

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