• Published 25th Dec 2014
  • 4,153 Views, 171 Comments

Simple Melodies are for Fillies - bahatumay

Introverted DJ Vinyl Scratch tries to win over a famous cellist while her roommate Lyra tries to figure out where she stands with the candy maker at the mall. It sortof works.

  • ...

Awards and Such

DJ Pon-3 really didn’t care for Sundays, and she especially disliked Sunday nights. Everyone always had to get up early for work the next morning, and that killed a party vibe more than anything else (barring the odd earthquake, power outage, or royal guard intervention, of course).

In stark contrast, Vinyl Scratch enjoyed Sundays immensely. She could spend time writing music, just hanging out with Lyra and doing fun things like brushing each other's hair, organizing Vinyl’s record collection, making cookies that they’d always say they were going to share with their neighbors but just end up eating all of the dough themselves first; that sort of thing. Sundays were great.

This Sunday, though, she would make an exception. She was once more in her cocktail dress with the slit too high and the chest too loose. She adjusted the fit again with a quick tug, and once more wished that puberty had seen fit to give her larger curves.

Still, she would put up with anything as long as Octavia was there.

Though Octavia hadn't specified, Vinyl had known exactly which awards show she had referred to because she, too, had received an invitation. She never went, though. Too many strangers. Pon-3 tried going once. The guy at the door took one look at her in her tights, fishnet shirt with a tight black vest, and glow stick bandolier, and asked her to leave.

Really, though, calling it an awards show was a bit of an overstatement. It was really like a bunch of people showing off their wealth and connections for each other with a few little statues given out randomly for arbitrary genres at the end of the night.

And it totally didn't bother Vinyl that she'd never actually won one.

The thoughts of how great it would look sitting stop her keystation were banished as Octavia, returned, with drinks for the both of them. Vinyl took the offered flute, and Octavia noticed that she had lifted it perfectly steadily, not sloshing it at all.

“I must admit, I’m somewhat impressed,” Octavia said, lifting her own glass. “You fit right in.”

Vinyl grinned and took a polite sip. “Just because I dress like a hobo sometimes doesn’t mean I always act like one,” she said, subconsciously adjusting her dress again. “Thanks again for inviting me to come with you.”

“I'm glad you could make it,” Octavia said.

“They’re prestigious awards,” Vinyl said. “Kinda. I mean... I just know you’ll win one. Maybe you’ll win them all.”

Octavia chuckled politely. “Oh, I doubt that,” she said.

“You're mad skilled. Which one couldn’t you win?” Vinyl challenged.

“How about best contrabass performance?” Octavia returned.

Vinyl nearly choked on her drink as she imagined Octavia, wearing a beautiful sparkly dress that was cut low in the front to her waist below her navel—Vinyl always did have a thing for belly buttons—and cut high up the thigh to accentuate her womanly figure, stepping up to a microphone on a high stage… and then opening her mouth and singing a deep note like a foghorn, low enough to rattle the ceiling and shake the glass right off the chandeliers.

Octavia cracked a smile. Vinyl was cute when she got distracted.

“Excuse me, Miss Melody?”

Octavia turned around and her eyes widened in recognition. “Jet Set, Upper Crust, good evening.”

The unicorn's eyes widened. “Ah, I see our reputation precedes us.”

Octavia shrugged. “One would have to be blind to not know you.”

Vinyl blinked. Apparently, she was due for a vision checkup.

“Quite the turnout tonight.”

“Indeed. It does my heart good to see such resurgence of the arts.”

“I'm sure it does your purse good, too?”

“Hardly, miss Upper Crust; we've all of us taken a two percent pay cut over the past year.”

“Oh? But why?”

“It seems that those who profess their love for music do so with lip service alone.”

“Oh, I doubt that.”

“Ah, Miss Highbrow.”

“Yes. I have donated no less than three thousand bits myself for the cause of music.”

“Such a paltry amount.”

“Oh, and I suppose you've been more generous?”

“Oh, I have indeed.”

“Ah. I suppose that's why your private box is so far off to the side of the theatre. Or perhaps you’re just being modest and donating that, too?”

“Hardly; surely you know that certain boxes are reserved for royalty and other dignitaries?”

“Oh, and now I suppose you're going to discuss the so-called 'phantom' of the orchestra?”

Octavia found her attention wavering. As someone who performed for the love of her art, talks of money had always irked her. Furthermore, she happened to know the 'phantom'; he was the custodian and he happened to have a pure love of music (and the knowledge of the theatre to make it seem 'haunted' at his pleasure). She glanced over to see how Vinyl was doing and…

Wait. Where was Vinyl?

* * *

Vinyl stood in one of the stalls of the bathroom, eyes closed, legs spread for balance a little more than shoulders' width apart, hands pressed firmly against the flimsy stall walls as she took deep, steadying breaths through clenched teeth. So many people… so many people she didn’t know, talking about things that didn't matter… and it was loud and it was cacophonic and it made her ears ring and it was…

The door opened, and Vinyl heard high heels clipping in at a quick march before slowing to a stop. “Vinyl Scratch?” Octavia’s voice came, low and sweet. “Are you in here?”

“Maybe?” Vinyl replied.

She could almost hear Octavia crack a smile before her voice shifted to concern. “Are you quite alright?” she asked.

Vinyl exhaled, undid the lock, and pushed the door open. She looked up and met Octavia’s eyes. “I can’t,” she whispered.


“Too many people,” Vinyl said. “I just… I’m not… I don’t feel comfortable out there. I can’t.” She bit her lower lip and looked up ashamedly at Octavia, trying to hide the disgust she felt with herself. Why? Octavia clearly was friends with all these people! Why couldn’t Vinyl just put up with it for a bit longer? Why was she so weak? Why couldn’t she handle herself around so many strangers? The noise didn’t bother her ears that badly. Why was she so… broken?

Octavia nodded and pulled her in for a hug. “It’s alright,” she said. “I forget you’re not good with crowds.”

“Yeah,” Vinyl said bitterly. “I can stand in front of one, no problem; but put me in one, and I’m… I become this,” she whimpered.

“It’s fine,” Octavia said comfortingly. “We all have our weaknesses. I can stay here with you for a while if you’d like.”

“But what if you miss your award?” Vinyl asked, pulling back slightly.

“I’m sure I won’t,” Octavia said. “It's not scheduled to start for a while; first comes the hobnobbing and the not so subtle asking for donations. Besides, I’m not even sure I’ll win one, remember?”

“No,” Vinyl said firmly, placing a hand on Octavia’s chest and gently pushing her backwards. “You need to go and you need a good seat for when you win. You’ll go up there and…” Her voice trailed off as she realized that she had placed her hand right on Octavia’s left breast. Blushing bright red, she quickly retracted her hand and folded both behind her back. She looked up at Octavia and gave a sheepish smile. She was doing that a lot recently. “You’ll win something,” she finished lamely.

Thankfully, Octavia looked unoffended. She gently ran her fingers through Vinyl’s hair. “Very well,” she said. “If it starts before you can rejoin me, I’ll be in the front.”

Vinyl gave her a shaky smile. She didn’t want to sound needy, but she sure wished she’d kept doing that. “I’ll be out soon,” she promised.

Octavia took one step, looked back as if to say something else, but then smiled comfortingly and waved a simple goodbye as she walked away.

Vinyl waited until the door had shut and her footsteps had faded away, and then she slammed a fist against the stall wall. Why? What was wrong with her? Was she always going to just drag Octavia down like this? Why couldn't she just get over it? She slammed the stall door shut and hit herself on the side of her head with the heel of her palm a few times.

After a few minutes, she had calmed her breathing enough to keep up appearances. Out of habit, she flushed the toilet before stepping out of the stall. Her heart skipped a beat as she realized there was another person currently washing her hands. She looked vaguely familiar.

And a bit concerned. She raised an eyebrow at Vinyl in the mirror. “You alright?”

Vinyl blushed as she realized that she had no idea when she had come in and therefore didn't know how many of the impacts and muttered curses she had heard; but she was fairly certain how they’d been interpreted. “Tower of Tacos' Tuesday Special,” Vinyl said by way of explanation, slowly shaking her head side to side. “Don’t recommend it.”

The other woman nodded hesitantly. Vinyl quickly shook the water off her hands and scampered out as soon as humanly possible back into the ballroom. The one nice thing about crowds was it was easy to lose someone after you'd made an embarrassing mistake. Like how today was actually Sunday and not Tuesday. Hey, if she had really waited five days to eat those cheap tacos, she probably would have deserved worse than just an upset stomach.

Chuckling to herself, she reintegrated herself into the room and wandered through the crowd, and she soon found a very familiar-looking backless seafoam dress. She reached up and tapped her on the shoulder. “Hey-”

Too late, she realized that she had been thinking of Lyra's dress. Octavia's had been black.

The unfamiliar mare looked back at her and raised an eyebrow.

Vinyl stammered and grinned nervously. “I… uh… just wanted to say you… look lovely tonight?”

The stranger cracked a confused half-smile that bordered on pitying and gave her a sympathetic shake of her head before she turned back to her friends. Vinyl grimaced and, covering her face with a hand, she quickly made herself scarce.

After a little wandering (and more than a couple trips to the drinks table), she eventually found Octavia, now standing in a group. Vinyl stopped short and held back. They looked like they were having a good conversation, and she didn't want to interrupt. She played with the hem of her dress.

And then she felt something touch her hand. She jumped in surprise. “Wha-!”


Octavia giggled. “What are you doing all the way back here?” she asked. “Come, meet some of my fellow musicians.”

Vinyl gave a half-smile and stepped forward. Here was something she could do. Just let Octavia do all the talking.

Octavia pointed at her friends. “This is Fredrick. He's our pianist.”

Oh yes, Vinyl remembered as she shook his hand. The Grand Pianomaster. It was somewhat nice to put names to faces.

But then blood drained from Vinyl's face as Octavia moved on. The woman from the bathroom grinned back. Vinyl almost didn’t hear Octavia introduce her as Beauty Brass. She was too busy hoping against hope that she had already forgotten their bathroom interaction.

And, of course, she hadn’t. “Vinyl Scratch taking on the Tower of Tacos, huh?” she asked, wiggling her eyebrows.

Vinyl blushed and averted her eyes. Getting called out for anything was her least favorite thing.

Octavia glanced between them. “Did I miss something?”

“Nothing at all,” Beauty Brass laughed, hiding her smile behind her hand. “But your friend has some… interesting taste.”

“Does she, now?” Octavia asked. It was probably meant to be polite, but Vinyl couldn’t help but feel put on the spot.

Vinyl exhaled. “I think the tacos made me sick,” she whimpered. “Again. I’ll be back.”

And with that, she turned around and, eyes firmly down on the floor, made a beeline back towards the bathroom.

* * *

Vinyl scowled at nothing in particular as she looked at the front of the room. Awards were being given out on stage, this one something about a sousaphone, but Vinyl wasn’t paying much attention to that. While she’d been recovering from her embarrassment (and desperately trying to figure out how she’d ever be able to look anyone in the eyes ever again), the announcement had been made, and everyone had made their way over to the auditorium.

Including, as it so happened, Octavia’s boyfriend. Currently, they were sitting together, a good dozen rows in front of Vinyl, holding hands. Needless to say, Vinyl Scratch was not pleased.

As if feeling the heat from her glare, Beauty Brass fidgeted in her seat and eventually looked back. She spotted Vinyl, and with a little teasing smile waved her over; but Vinyl shook her head. Beauty shook her head back and made the motions a bit bigger.

As Octavia looked over to see what she was doing, Vinyl ducked her head under the seat, hoping she was out of sight.

She found a penny, a paperclip, a little rock, and a piece of lint when she heard ‘electronica’. She looked up. Sure enough, there was an award for electronica music. She cracked a smile. It’s not like she would win.

Wait. Could she win? Vinyl began to hyperventilate. This was not part of the plan. Heck, talking to other people here was not technically part of the plan! Getting up on stage would…

Would be good, actually. She could do in front of crowds. She straightened up, hoping to hear her name. Nothing would make her prouder than strutting up, swaying her hips past Octavia and drawing her stare almost against her will, and walking on stage in front of everyone after hearing the announcer call…

“Neon Lights!”

She scowled, but only because her plan had failed. Neon was a great artist, and if she had to be honest, his latest single had been really good.

Octavia’s boyfriend, however, did not have a similar reaction. He scowled and spat something under his breath. Octavia reached out to comfort him, but he ducked under her hand and stormed out.

Vinyl’s jaw dropped. She didn’t even have the presence of mind to duck down again; she just stared. How dare he? Didn’t he know that the touch of a goddess would be enough to cure all illnesses and soothe all wounds?

She paused, then snorted. No more reading Greek legends for musical inspiration before bed.

This irritation was somewhat mitigated when she had a sudden thought of Octavia posing in that one picture of the birth of Venus, standing on a clam shell, completely naked with only her hair providing any semblance of modesty… and still leaving plenty to be seen.

Vinyl blushed and shifted back in her seat. That would be a picture she would pay good money for.

Wait. Why would she need a picture when she could have the real thing? His seat was open; she could totally take it (and maybe Octavia would hold her hand, instead).

Beauty Brass apparently thought the same thing; she looked back and none-too-subtly waved her forward.

Vinyl shifted her weight. She could go up. She totally could. Just go up there and sit next to Octavia. Wouldn't be too hard.

But another thought suddenly occurred to her. What if they thought she was heading for the stage? She couldn't do that. Everyone would look at her and wonder if she were stupid for going up when clearly that was a guy's name being called.

So she stayed in her seat, ignoring Beauty Brass, and hating herself the whole time.

* * *

But Vinyl could definitely walk Octavia home.

“Two awards,” Vinyl said, still in awe. “You won two awards.”

Octavia shrugged modestly. “I'm sure other people had equally good chances of winning; and besides, the best collaboration of the summer wouldn’t have been possible without you.”

“Oh, don’t do that, Octavia,” Vinyl said. “You owned it! You totally deserved to win!”

Octavia smiled. “I’m glad you hold me in such high regard,” she said.

“Oh, yeah. The highest,” Vinyl said. As she did, she had the awful feeling that she was rambling again and making Octavia feel uncomfortable, and she struggled with something to say that wouldn’t be awkward. She’d already had enough awkward this night to last her the rest of the year, and frankly she was surprised Octavia had even deigned to walk her home. “I’m sorry he didn’t get to see you win,” she offered.

Then Vinyl winced. That had definitely counted as awkward.

Octavia seemed to glide right over it. “Yes, well, his loss, I suppose. Honestly, if he keeps this up, he’ll be in the market for a new lover pretty soon.”

Vinyl’s heart caught in her throat. Did that mean…?

Octavia seemed to think so. She bumped Vinyl’s hand with the back of her own. Vinyl kept walking, but her heart rate jumped and she may have stopped breathing. Had she just imagined that?

She had not; Octavia did it again. Vinyl held her hand out a little further away from her hips, hoping; and Octavia took it. She came from behind, and took Vinyl’s hand, sliding her hand over until she could interlace their fingers. Vinyl’s heart rate spiked again.

Octavia hid a smile as Vinyl’s breathing became ragged, as if stunned that this were happening. That smile only widened as Vinyl squeezed her hand, though out of nervousness or affection Octavia couldn’t tell.

Incidentally, Vinyl wasn’t even sure herself. But she certainly wasn’t complaining when Octavia squeezed back.

Together, hand in hand, they walked back towards Octavia’s apartment.

Vinyl couldn't keep a wide smile off her face. She was still amazed that Octavia wanted to hold her hand. Her!

But hold her hand she did, all the way back up to Octavia’s apartment. Vinyl was nervous on the stairs. She wanted to slow down so it lasted longer; but she didn’t want to drag Octavia down.

At the doorway, Octavia turned around and dropped Vinyl’s hand, only to spread her own in invitation. Vinyl quickly accepted, and gave Octavia a hug.

Too soon, Octavia pulled back. “I have to get up early for rehearsal tomorrow, so I must cut this short; but I believe it’s your turn to suggest our next activity.”

Vinyl squeezed her brain. “Saturday?” she suggested. “We can… do something I’ll think of later.”

Octavia chuckled and nodded. She brought her hand up and ran it through Vinyl’s hair again. “Saturday,” she confirmed. “I’ll see you then, Vinyl.” She leaned in and gave Vinyl a gentle kiss on the cheek, and Vinyl froze.

“J- just as good as the first time,” she stammered. Then she winced, scrunching up her eyes and looking down. That wasn’t what you were supposed to say, was it?

“Was it?” Octavia asked, the mirth evident in her voice. “Then how’s this, I wonder?”

And Vinyl’s heart stopped as Octavia leaned in and kissed her on the lips.

Vinyl’s brain quite nearly shut down along with her heart, and she couldn’t do anything besides stand there and take it. Sensing something was wrong, Octavia retracted ever so slightly, and Vinyl let out a pathetic whimper as she felt the pressure on her lips fade to just Octavia’s breath. Before Octavia could speak, Vinyl slowly slid down to the ground, a wide smile on her face.

Octavia looked down, hiding a smile behind her hand. “Are you alright?”

Vinyl didn’t even care that she was probably flashing the whole street. “Yeah. I’m more than alright. I’m really alright. I could probably die happy right now.”

“Well, I strongly recommend you don’t; for if you die, I shall never kiss you again.”

Vinyl shot up. “I'm fine!”

Unfortunately, Vinyl was used to wearing flats; but tonight she had chosen a low set of heels. As she stood up, her toes landed on the step, but her heels did not. This unbalanced her and sent her toppling over backwards. Octavia quickly reached out for her, but gravity was too strong; Vinyl went tumbling down the stairs.

“I’m ok!” she called, standing up (more carefully this time) to prove it. “Until Saturday!”

Octavia giggled. “Very well. Saturday, then.”

“Yes! Saturday!” And Vinyl waved cheerfully until Octavia went back inside her apartment.

As soon as she shut the door, VInyl bent over and placed a hand against her thigh. “Ow, ow, ow…” she whimpered as she started her long shuffle back home.

Still. Totally worth it.