• 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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Author's Note:

I'm exhausted, and yet I'm not. A full night of jamming away inside the Royal Castle ballroom hasn't produced much, but at least I feel the juices flowing in my mind. With enough of a current, I just might be able to sail a new symphony down these waters.

I'm so distracted with... being distracted, that I scarcely notice the hoofsteps of several ponies until they're clopping across the ballroom floor. I look up from where I'm packing up my records and turntable.

"...that's precisely why I think we should have whoopie cushions at the Gala!" Pinkie Pie insists, pouting. "Every time a patron sits down, they'll hear the raspberry noise and they'll be forced back to their hooves! Don't you get it?! It'll be crowd control!"

"Can't we just... I dunno..." Applejack shrugs. "Ask the ponies nicely to stand around and mingle and not hog the seats?"

"I like my whoopie cushion idea!" Pinkie grins wide, followed by Fluttershy and Rarity. "Come onnnnn! It'll be festive! Heehee!"

Fluttershy flaps her wings just long enough to raise a hoof. "Uhm... I-I vote for doing the nice things."

"Seems like yer bein' outmatched, Pinkie," Applejack says with a grin.

"Oh yeah?" Pinkie bounces ahead, nose tilted up. "We'll just see what final vote gets cast at the big meeting! Harumph!" She blinks. "Heehee! I like the sound of that! HARUMPH! What pony can possibly say that and still be mad?! Harumph! Harumph! Harrrrrrrumph!"

I wave casually.

Applejack only now sees me. "Oh, hey there, Miss Scratch!" She tips her hat. "Fancy meetin' you here so early."

"Were you really practicing music in the ballroom overnight?" Fluttershy asks.

I nod, throwing my turntable over my shoulder and balancing it on my flank.

"Whew! Talk about dedication!" Applejack smiles. "Whelp... another day... another Friendship Gala planning meeting! See ya at the rehearsals, sugarcube!"

I follow loosely behind, watching as Fluttershy drifts into the hallway after Applejack. "Do... do you think that Twilight's gonna be showing up for this meeting?"

"I dunno, Fluttershy. Reckon she's mighty stressed about this whole Friendship Gala thang. No doubt she's busy making a gazillion notecards to help her review the notes we took from last time."

"What if... what if there's something else?" Fluttershy gulps. "And our best friend isn't feeling very well."

"Awww shoot, Fluttershy. I wouldn't be too worried! After all, if somethin' was botherin' Twilight, I'm certain she'd tell us."

"Yes. I suppose that's true—"

All of the sudden, the crystalline double doors to the hallway close in front of me with a solid thud.

I jolt to a stop, blinking.

After adjusting my shades, I notice that a fine white aura of energy has encased the doorframe. It fades—just as an elegant unicorn stops aiming her horn.

"We need to talk," Rarity says, her voice like fine sand—coarse and unmelodic. She twirls around, her diamond-eyes slicing the room. Slicing me. "Right now, before things crumble any further."

I blink, frozen in place. I'm overcome with sudden, frigid uncertainty. It crawls through my muscles with each cold step Rarity takes torwards me, glaring.

"You know, she cried all night and into the next morning, my little sister." Her eyes narrow like dagger tips. "My beloved Sweetie Belle—who, admittedly, I feel like strangling at times. And yet... I always forgive her, because her antics—albeit annoying—are still tolerable. Because I know that she is a child. We were all... once children, Miss Scratch. Although..." She comes to a stop, nostrils flaring. "...some of us have more trouble than others in adjusting to the demands of time."

I bite my lip.

"Miss Scratch, I don't know you, and you don't know me. We are mild... lukewarm accomplices at best. And yet—as an artist and a purveyor of creative perfection—I can detect the torment of an inspired soul from miles away. Granted, I just don't have the good sense to prophesy the texture of such anguish... including when it's most toxic."

She paces around me, her voice forming icicles in my ears.

"But something is gnawing at you. I can tell. There are times when that something has gnawed at me. Why... just a few weeks ago, I had something of an existential career crisis when I first opened the Canterlot Boutique, only to see my delicate profession mutate into an abominably mundane industry. The whole experience carried with it shades of an ordeal I went through over a year ago, when Twilight Sparkle first graced me with her presence. I was tasked with designing the Gala gowns for each of my friends—when the best laid plans inexplicably went sour. I was so incredibly vexxed and frustrated with myself that I wept unendingly to the point that I considered moving away from Ponyville altogether."

She scuffles to a stop with a frown that could melt mountains.

"But never in all of my melodramatic episodes did I ever... ever take my frustrations out on a poor, innocent child... least of all a foal as endearing and naive as Sweetie Belle."

I swallow a lump down my throat. In utter futility, I attempt charading something with my hooves—

"You threw a record at her?!" Rarity snarls. "You resorted to violence as an answer to her precociousness?"

My brow furrows. I shake my head vehemently.

"Even if you had no intention to harm her, Miss Scratch, do you honestly not have it within yourself to hold back such a brazen temper? What you had was an opportunity to calmly correct the mistakes those foals had made, and instead you turned into... into..." Her voice hisses. "I don't even know what to make out of Sweetie Belle's description! Truthfully, a child is prone to exagerration, but her and her two friends detail the same horrid account..."

With a magenta exhale, I slump over, facehoofing.

All is silent for a while.

"You are a trusted... gifted... honored minstrel to Her Royal Majesty, Miss Scratch." Rarity takes a deep breath. "And it is because of my close friendship with Twilight and the others that I shan't do anything to affect that. Nevertheless... I want to make one thing perfectly clear." She leans in to me. "You are to never... ever... be in the company of my little sister ever again. If I even hear that you're so much as writing to Sweetie Belle, I shall inform the Princess of this incident and it will be up to her and her impartial judgment to decide what to do with such blatant disharmony in her own castle. Do you understand me?"

Very limply, I nod. It's not really a matter of understanding.

"I'm sorry that she overstepped her bounds when your roommate gave her access to your apartment. But for Celestia's sake, Miss Scratch..." Rarity's jaw drops. "A modicum of sanity goes a long way! Surely, as an adult, you can grasp this."

I'm frowing at this point. So I answer with a lethargic sigh.

"Well, for your sake, I hope you do. Before somepony close to you suffers the bitter end of your frustrations." She opens the doors and shuffles off, tail swishing. "And on a loosely related note, I have a dress for Octavia to try on for the Friendship Gala. You can tell her that. However... if you plan to accompany her to the Boutique, I would greatly desire to be forwarned... so that I can properly relocate my sibling."

Creeaak.

Thud!

And just like that...

The deep waters of my mind are stagnant again.

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