• Published 26th Jul 2015
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The Things Tavi Says - shortskirtsandexplosions



Let me tell you a few things about my roommate, Octavia. After all, she saved my life.

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Friendly Things

Author's Note:

I think I'm starting to rethink my stance on the Royal Castle of Friendship.

It's dark in here at midnight. Bleak, even.

And yet...

That dreadful blackness is a wonderful canvas against which to sculpt music... paint melodies.

I stand here late at night in the dark, dim, unlit ballroom.

The only light is the strobing show coming from my DJ booth.

I am one with these shapes and patterns.

Swaying.

Swinging.

Surging.

As the tones shifts, so do I, experimenting with refrains and tempo changes.

I'm not sure what I'm making. Maybe it's a masterpiece... or a massacre... or both.

What matters is that I'm creating.

Anywhere else... I just exist.

And existence is boring.

I'm so entranced with the process of being entranced that I hardly notice her shuffling steps and gray voice until it suddenly sneaks up on me and my instrumental. Funny... it's almost as if she owns the place or something.

"I knew I heard something down here..."

I grimace. With a wave of my hoof, I slap the turntable still, then turn the melody off with a beam of magic.

I swivel to the side, spotting her.

Twilight Sparkle teeters below me, balancing several books on her backside. Stifling a yawn, the princess mutters: "Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining." The faintest hint of a smile. "I did give you and Octavia keys to the castle, after all."

I bite my lip, nevertheless.

"Is it something new you're working on?" she asks, strolling closer. "A brand new album?"

I shrug.

"New material wouldn't hurt, I suppose," she rambles, her gray tone dipping into blue melancholy. I'm suddenly paying very, very close attention. "What—with the Friendship Gala coming up, I wouldn't mind having new tunes to wow the audience." She puts on a dull smile. "We should be attracting a crowd of younger, more contemporary ponies. I suspect many of them will be more familiar with your work. So... no harm in you indulging a bit, DJ-P0N3."

I stare at her. I smile awkwardly.

"What you have is a great gift, you know," she says, then clarifies: "Being able to create. I mean... that's how you think, isn't it, Vinyl?"

I nod slowly. It occurs to me that this is the first time I've seen the Princess in days. She looks somewhat... frazzled, to say the least. Any part of her that isn't limp or tired is simply drooping.

"Whenever I'm feeling thoughtful," she murmurs, "I go into my library and gather books to read. See?" She slumps down besides my booth, balancing the tomes in her hooves. "So many things that I've read already too. Hrmmff. And—if I haven't read them more than once, then I still know how they end even before I begin. It's like... drinking watered-down soup. And yet I feel compelled to do it or else the broth will go bad without me."

I listen to her in silence. I'm always listening.

"There was a time when I loved reading more than anything. It never once occurred to me that there could be something greater than books." Twilight sighs, lips curved. "But then... I discovered friendship. And that... just filled me with so much warmth and purpose." Her violet eyes dart up. "I had found my calling. Something I could explore... and grow into. Until... until friendship was all that ever mattered to me."

I lean my head to the side, waiting for further revelation.

It comes soon enough. "Then one day... not that long ago... I had an epiphany... a silly, fleeting thought." She gulps. "What if there was even more to life than friendship? Something better... warmer... more fulfilling than having friends? I mean... it seems antithetical to who and what I am to contemplate that. As the Princess of Friendship, I should be focused on one major element... just as Princess Cadance is... f-focused on hers. And... and yet..." She clears her throat. "At one time, books was all that mattered to me. And yet I grew beyond that. So... how silly would it be to expect another evolution?"

I feel a hard lump forming in my throat. Quietly, I pretend not to know why...

She sighs heavily. "Yes... well... even Starswirl the Bearded reached his limits, hmmm?" She gazes at me with heavy eyelids. "I wish I was artistic like you, Vinyl. There's so much... freedom in creating things." She gulped heavily. "I created something once. The one time in my life where I was creative. And it got me these." She outstretched her wings, then folded them back up. "It's a blessing. It really is. But... but is it really so silly that I want to think beyond friendship from time to time? Just so I can have something to myself that is both dangerous and daring? A bit selfish... but still special?"

Silence.

"Well... it's my own fault for experimenting too hard... too broadly," she mutters, nostrils flaring. She shuffles the books on her back. "Good thing about reading—it doesn't hurt anypony. Heh..." She wipes her muzzle, then blinks at me. Rapidly. "I am so... so very fortunate to know ponies like you, Vinyl. Please... I-I hope you know that." She swallows. "I h-hope you know how much you bless me... inspire me."

And yet, even as she says this, I'm reaching into my saddlebag that's slumped over a chair. I levitate two pens out into the open and gestured in blank speech.

She "reads" me, then replies: "I took your advice, Vinyl. And it's all for the best." Then, with a sad shuffle, she trots off with her books. "Now... to keep the broth from getting spoiled."

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