• 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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Mahogany Things

Author's Note:

There are many times when a party "starts."

If you're a DJ like me, then you know to take that vague number and multiply it by one hundred. When the sonic keys to the dance hall have been hoofed to you, then it's your job to make the whole place bouncing for each minute... for each second... for each instant that a new pony strolls into the place. Every partygoer deserves an entrance. The night is theirs as much as yours, if not more so. Best to treat them all like royalty... pamper their ear lobes but burn their eardrums. Everything will work out in between... and explosively so.

I haven't even begun my pre-planned number yet. I'm just filling the ballroom with digital adrenaline. Frenetic beats pick up, wind down, and then repeat the psychotic cyclone. I can see the impact I'm having in the twitch of hundreds of eyes, and I'm tugging them left and right with the sway of the samples.

Stallions... mares... old and young... some dressed casually, others in formal silks. It's my job to keep each of them occupied... to electrify their brain spaces with beautiful bedlam. All the while, I keep an ambient hiss rolling up and down in the background, like a satin sea of skull massaging sorcery. The lights aren't quite so severe at the moment, but Princess Twilight has been faithful enough to lend me some control. I allow aquatic bands of blue and silver to ripple across the ballroom... keeping things lively and exciting—but not cheesy. This may be a less formal affair, but it still has to feel fresh and new. I allow the colors to crash across the crowd, then retreat, like sea foam.

And it works. I see it across dozens upon dozens of faces. Ponies are smiling. Stallions are swaying to the beat while mares coo and giggle with glee. The older dignitaries are looking remarkably relaxed, even if the majority of them are gathered along the sidelines, being perfect wallflowers. I spend a full ten minutes cycling in samples of classical instruments, and somehow that diffuses the clusters, making the elders mill about and disperse across the rest of the crowd until everything is gray and homogenous and glorious.

And then the really famous ponies show up. I know this because they're being ushered in by the best of the best—the Council of Friendship. First, of course, is Rarity. She strolls into the room like a shining diamond, and I lower the hum of the speakers so her gem-rattling voice steals the show for a brief moment. I can't even tell from this distance just what she is wearing—only that it positively shines and every voice in the room with a Canterlot accent is being drawn towards it with gasps and cheers.

It takes me a moment to realize that Fluttershy has strolled in as well. She keeps close to Rarity, happily occupying the penumbra of the elegant fashionista's shadow. Because of this, I can't tell until much later that Fluttershy is wearing a loose flowy number with many shades of emerald and pink. She smiles nervously at several ponies—chatting ponies, laughing ponies, dancing ponies. All the while, Rarity sticks close to the shy mare's side... like a protective sister. I feel a lump in my throat and I continue with my introductory session.

Pinkie Pie enters the room next—and that's when the place really explodes. I pump up the volume, increase the tempo, and scroll through several of my pink and red colored lights. The ballroom burns as if illuminated by a lava lamp. Eyes follow Pinkie as she flounces about, entertaining one guest after another. This is the moment that the Gala truly blossoms. Dozens of celebrities follow in the wake of Pinkie's ice breaking. I spot faces I haven't seen in a while: Sapphire Shores, Hoity Toity, Inspector Harshwhinny. Inspector Friggin' Harshwhinny...

I guess Twilight Sparkle didn't miss a beat.

Speaking of which—this is where things start getting difficult. The Gala is in full swing, which means tons of ponies are marching in, filling up the Dance Floor from wall to wall. It's a moment like now that shows me just how much this is Her Majesty's night and not mine. This event is far from a normal DJ Session. I'm not the center of attention, but rather an accomplice to the night scene. If everypony was simultaneously focused on my music—as well as dancing to it—then it might be easier to control things. Instead, it's almost like I'm preaching to the choir, and I'm having to dig through a kaleidoscopic wave of vomitous voices and sounds to keep track of my beat and maintain a competent instrumental. And it certainly doesn't help when my ears catch wind of familiar voices—causing stray colors to splash across my visors. I see Fluttershy's pink... Rarity's radiance... Applejack's amber and Pinkie Pie's gold. I almost lose my place when Rainbow Dash's black scratches across my eyeballs. The air roars from her flapping wings as she soars in, followed by random members of the Wonderbolts. With a raspy giggle, the mare shows off, then gives the other flight ponies a grand tour of the Castle and its upper ceiling.

All in all, I do feel as though I'm in control of things. I sense the gray streaks of Twilight Sparkle's voice. Curious, I turn and gaze at the far end of the ballroom where a makeshift bunch of thrones have been erected. I spot a flash of gold. Flash Sentry is here tonight, and he's keeping a trained eye on the crowd while issuing commands to his fellow soldiers. His face is straight... bland... serious. It's the perfect canvas against which to paint a bevy of familiar colors. Within seconds, I see Bon Bon and Lyra strolling in. They're both wearing complementary shades of pink, gold, and blue. Well of course they are. The mares take one beaming look at the dance hall, smile at one another, then pierce the sea of blushes to hold each other hoof-in-hoof. In such adorable precision, they stroll out into the Gala...

And they are followed by a goddess.

A record scratches. Grimacing, I cover for it by doing several more scratches—purposeful this time—before transitioning into a smoother, more trance-like track. It rattles a few of the older guests while the younger ones laugh and cheer. Pinkie Pie glances my way and pumps a hoof in the air, cheering. She thinks I meant to do the whole thing. Good enough.

Exhaling, I take the time to recover, and then I stare back across the dance floor. I'm more fit to handle it now... to handle her now. Last time, Octavia was clad in crimson. Right now, she's a mahogany princess, her velvet figure tied in countless silk circles of jet black gloss. I've lost track of the tiny, delicate ribbons rippling from her rear right leg to her front left forelimb... like an inverse milky way of obsidian starlight. The asymmetry is counter-balanced by soft satin studs of ink-black rose buds, including several in her braided mane. A modicum of dark eyeshadow completes the "gothic" look, and she gazes across the floor just as she trots... with confidence and icy grace. There's a diamond-splitting squeal from across the room, and my ears sing with the sound of Rarity's beaming smile.

It's not just the roommate in me who imagines it; there is literally a hush that divides the room in half upon her entrance. I raise the tempo of the music so as not to make things too awkward for her. She hears it... she knows it... and her smoky eyes sweep my way with a merciful smile.

I smile back, holding a hoof out from afar. For the first time since Twilight dragged me through the human world and back, I miss not being able to have a thumb to point "up."

The crowd gawks and gawks. I hear a few ponies with foreign accents adorably mistaking her for a certain alicorn. There are hundreds of strangers between where she trots and her destination on the tiny stage parallel to me. All of the sudden, Flash Sentry strolls in, escorting her kindly. I've never felt so grateful for his presence than I do now. I glance out the side of my shades as Octavia is assisted to her stage. There, with a delicate sway of her skirts, she sits daintily down on a stool and unpacks her cello.

And now... at last...

I can breathe easily.

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