• 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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Chosen Things

Author's Note:

"I wouldn't have known anything hadn't Rainbow Dash flown over Ponyville Central and spotted the procession of wealthy stagecoaches," Twilight Sparkle says. We both sit on a bench at the far end of the ICU's hallway. In the distance, Mr. Melody can be seen speaking closely with his finely-suited servants. "She came to the castle and told me that it looked as though 'something was up.' So I came as soon as I could. Along the way, I ran into Rarity, and she instantly recognized the signature of Opulence Von Melody from his vehicles and their priceless mahogany finish. Rarity's done work for clients in Trottingham before, and she's heard nothing but tall tales of Mr. Melody's... well... opulence."

I nod vaguely, staring down at the affluent strangers gathered just outside Tavi's room. I weather a heavy sigh.

"It's... it's n-not particularly surprising to me that Octavia comes from such a wealthy family," Twilight continues. "She gave a brief summary of her closest relations when she applied for the Royal Minstrel position. Also... heh... you've got to admit that she has a certain air of... eloquence about her."

My lips curve ever so slightly, but it doesn't last long. My gaze falls on Opulence's muzzle, his sleepy eyes, the arrogant tilt of his nostrils. I feel a deep knot forming in the middle of my stomach, and my hooves start squirming.

"But I had no idea that Mr. Melody was so... so..." Twilight bites her lip, hesitates, then blurts: "Forward."

I turn towards her with an eyebrow raised.

"Okay, so maybe I'm painting our uncomfortable little run-in with the stallion in a rosy light," Twilight says, smiling nervously. "So help me. I'm the Princess of Friendship."

I nod, sighing a magenta sigh.

"Have... have you ever met Octavia's father before?"

I shake my head gravely.

"Let me guess... she doesn't speak much of him."

After a few seconds, I give her an affirming gesture.

"I guess she can't be blamed." Twilight curls her limbs underneath her as she exhales. "Rarity's always been... a teensy bit reserved about having other ponies meet her parents. I don't believe it's because she's ashamed of her mother and father—but the ponies who brought Rarity into this world are considerably less culturally refined than she is... or at least in her estimation." The Princess brushes a hoof across her straight bangs. "It's funny how we can get hung up on family matters." But then she fidgets. "...at least when we're overreacting."

My brow furrows as I continue to stare at Opulence from afar. He finishes talking to a servant, turning about with a sleepy-eyed look. The graying pony pauses momentarily to gaze through the window that looks in on Tavi's room.

I wonder...

Has she woken up long enough to see that he's here?

And if so, how is she taking it?

I grimace, rubbing my hooves nervously together.

Who am I kidding? She couldn't possibly be taking it well...

"I suppose I've been fortunate," Twilight says. "To have agreeable parents... and to have friends with functional families." She gulps. "That's something I haven't explored all that much. The impact of family on friendship. Perhaps I should hang out with Applejack more." A brief smile, and then she turns towards me. "How long have you and Octavia been living together, Vinyl? Five years? Six?"

I turn towards her, mouthing a two syllable number.

"Seven... goodness..." She smiles. "You know, I'm willing to bet that—in a lot of ways—you've been Octavia's family all this time." A slight sparkle crosses the alicorn's eyes. "I don't think there could ever be a more sincere form of friendship."

I turn and gaze down at the checkerboard floor.

I can think of something more sincere...

"I don't know if anypony has ever told you straight to your face, Vinyl, but you're a real goddess-send."

Blinking, I tilt my head up and look at her again.

"Truly, you are," Twilight says. "So... patient... and kind." She swallows. "Considerate... attentive... swift to adjust. There are many... many ponies who could have made the cut as Royal Minstrel. So many ponies out there with talent and skill. Heck... if Sapphire Shores or Countess Coloratura showed up at the Palace gates, I bet most ponies would have expected the auditions to be over with. Then and there." She shakes her head. "But no. I didn't choose our minstrels just for their ability to make music. We needed entertainers within the crystalline halls of the Castle of Friendship, and I just couldn't think of any two entries that were better and more essential to what we hoped to represent than... well... than you two."

Being unable to talk, I have the unique advantage of never having to bother with "something to say." But occasionally, there's a moment—such as now—when I wish I could... just to measure the awesomeness of what I've been forced to contemplate.

"And... I..." Twilight suddenly grimaces. "I am so... so sorry, Vinyl... that my security didn't..." She winces even harder, her eyes watering. "That I failed to discover the threat within that very same Castle until it was too late." She gulped. "And it hurt Octavia. I... I just can't stand that." She sniffles, looking up at me with folded ears. "I failed Octavia and I failed you. She... she could have almost died and it would be on my crown... on my heart." Her head shakes from side to side. "Neither of you ever signed up for that. Please... if there's ever a way I can make it up to y—"

My hooves slither in, collecting around her shoulders. I hug the princess close, nuzzling her gently in the neck.

I feel her body deflate. The gray gives way to an orange exhale, accompanied with streaks of blue. She sniffles again, then hugs me back with the assistance of her lavender wings.

"You're one in a million, Vinyl," Twilight stammers. A shudder, and she adds, "She's so lucky to have you for a friend." She nuzzles me back. She might think she needs the hug.

She's only partially right.

I clench my moist eyes shut and rest within the shade of her royal feathers.

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