• Published 26th Jul 2015
  • 10,697 Views, 4,220 Comments

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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Rewarding Things

Author's Note:

"Train from Baltimare to Ponyville departing in ten minutes!" bellows a train conductor, his voice meandering between gold and amber strings. Errant gusts of steam vent from the engine ahead of him, slicing through his speech with crimson blades. "Ten minutes 'til the departure to Ponyville!"

I stand on the platform, observing closely while a group of unicorn workers levitate my expensive equipment up and into the open doors of the train's supply car. I crane my ear, listening for when they drop the items into storage. When they do, I experience resonating ripples of soft orange instead of red.

I exhale with relief, albeit softly. There's no need for collapse. Not yet.

"Guess this is it," chirps my good friend Beau. I follow the yellow strings to his voice, and his smile awaits me. "Personally, I'm surprised you're making it out of here without being smothered by a crazed mob." He chuckles in little golden salvos. "Remember Mareami?"

I smile and shake my head.

I try not to.

"Hey!" He sticks his hoof out, trembling with mock infirmities. "Guhhh... I've got a fever... and there's only one cure. Put her there, girl!"

I grasp his fetlock with his. We both grip tightly, then release with a roaring red pop!

"Tchhhhhhhhh...!" He exhales, leaning back in a cool gait, then tilts back forward, smiling. "Whew! I'm tellin' ya, Vinyl, that session you gave last night was absolutely sick! I'll bet a million friggin' bits that at least five of the audience members died from pure sonic awesomeness on the trot back home!"

I roll my eyes and adjust my shades.

"Ain't tryin' to say nothin' bad with that! It's just statistics, girl!" Beau trots to my side and wraps a hoof around my shoulder. "Please please please tell me you're gonna make an LP with that new track you made!"

With a grin, I nod calmly in his direction.

"Friggin' sweet!" He hops back, clapping his two front hooves. "That's gonna dominate the Manehattan Underground Scene fo'sho! Or else my name isn't... ehhhhhh..." He blows through wet lips and waves a lazy hoof. "I ain't gotta do that crud here."

I stifle a chuckling breath, teetering slightly.

"Say, did you get my letter about that record deal? You know, the one with Neigh York Golden Horseshoe? There are at least ten agents there vying for your attention. The top biller's offering ten million bits for a new album. Ten million, girl! It's the steal of the century!"

Squirming where I stand, I raise a hoof and twist it from side to side.

"Uhhhh... so did you get the letter or didn't you?"

I nod.

"Great!" Beau leans forward again, smiling. "And?"

I look at him. The green world pales around us, and I feel a jet black cloud billowing its way through. For once, the squirming stops, and I calmly shake my head.

"You... it..." Beau blinks and blinks some more. "No...?" He leans back, his muzzle twisting. "N-no...?"

I sigh and stand in place, waiting.

And I don't have to wait for long. "That's... that's the fourth epic offer you've turned down in a year. I mean... are... are you waiting for them to raise it even further? Cuz if that's it, Vinyl, I hate to break it to ya... but ten million is the mother buckin' ceiling, girl. Not even Sapphire Shores gets that much!"

I know that. I nod, making sure that he knows that I know that.

"Vinyl, I... you're... mmmfff..." He rests on his hind quarters, rubbing his forehead with an aching expression. I can sense it from a mile away: Beau's voice melts, and the golden shine gives way to a bronze rust. It's like leaves turning in autumn, only what comes out is an ugly brown, the sort of thing you wouldn't aim your camera at when capturing the moment. "Vinyl, one of these days, could you maybe explain why... I mean, just—... why, girl?" He looks up, and the muddy exhales are still framed with platinum edges, which is precisely why I never abandon him when this speech inevitably comes about. "You have talent. You're sincere about everything you do. Your visual style has practically reinvented the whole nature of the DJ scene. Everypony that is everypony talks about you, emulates you, wants to be you. But despite all of this, you give true fame and fortune up for... for..." His ears pull back. "...for a begging street performer's life in some backwater farm town!"

My brow furrows viciously. He sees it.

"I m-mean..." He leans back, biting his lip. "N-not that there's anything wrong with... with... Ponyton, was it? I mean, I've been through there once myself on my way to a Las Pegasus gig. It's a nice, relaxing place to be... but... maybe for a bed'n'breakfast stay. But to live there? I... I just don't get it, Vinyl. You're talented. You deserve more... so much more. Just... just what in Celestia's name is in that town that you're willing to give up so many bits? Is it the peace and quiet? The anonymity? I like to see you happy, but the music industry's a fickle mistress, and I hate to see you suddenly drowning with nowhere to float... y'know what I'm saying?"

I swallow a lump down my throat. My face turns toward the train. It hums with an orange pur, inviting me.

Beau's words gently shatter through it: "I can tell when you wanna make an exit. So I'll let you be on your way. Still, Vinyl, there are times when I wish... I dream of being inside that genius head of yours. But that wouldn't be fair. After all, a world as crazy as ours couldn't be lucky enough to have two of you. Still, I feel a rarity such as you deserves a reward. Don't you think?"

I nod.

I agree whole heartedly.

And so, I trot up into the passenger car and return to it.

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