• 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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Fatherly Things

Author's Note:

It's night.

I'm barely awake.

And yet, I cling to this hospital...

Its sterile cinderblock walls and checkerboard tiles...

Because I must...

I must outlast him.

If there's any respect to be had in my flesh, my spirit, my scent...

I must remain the most steadfast pony for Octavia in this place.

So it doesn't help that—as I stumble out of the mare's room on the furthest end of the floor, tired and limping and yawning—I still hear him, his indigo voice, his nonchalant Trottingham monotone rippling my way.

I turn the corner, gazing down the long hallway of the ICU. The lights have been dimmed, and half of the nurse's complement shuffle up and down the doorways. It's a cold, tan place—a hospital that's barely awake, like me, or the turquoise plastered to the edges of my lashes for just soaking in this would-be tomb.

"We'll get a surgeon to take a look at that coat of yours," Opulence says. "You can bet your bejeweled eyes, love. No monster scars my darling daughter and gets away with such desecration."

I raise an eyebrow.

That's a curious way to speak to a nurse or a servant...

...unless he's not talking to a nurse or a servant.

I glance at the nurse's station. Once I know that nopony's watching closely, I press myself suspiciously close to the nearest corner. I peer around, staring at Opulence...

...who is staring straight through the window to Tavi's room. His nose is so close to the glass that it's practically fogging. The normally stately stallion's body is slumped, limp. There's a drifting twitch to his ears, swaying from one side to the next. His vocal cords—usually tight and tense—roll with liquid purple hues.

"I'll have him skinned for sure. You can bet on that. Bloody puss bird thinks he has feathers in his brain and it excuses such asenine antics." A snort—dangerously close to a sniffle. The old pony tries to frown. What results is something half-brained, but full-hearted. "Well, he attacked you over bits... and it's bits that will run him over, grind him to a pile of rubbish." He shakes his head. "I have the finest solicitors in all the land. He'll never know what hit him. The place they'll throw him in will be dark and dank and dead. I'll even take photos for you."

He raises a hoof. At first, I think it's to knock on the door. But there's a gentle futility to it. It's now that I come to realize that there's no feasible way my roommate can hear him. For all I know, she's still asleep... knocked out by exhaustion, stress, and drugs. The breath from beyond is soft, tranquil, a deep purple.

"I tried warning you, love. But I wish I didn't have to. I wish it wasn't the pain that would have learned you right." His ears have folded back completely now. "You deserve to look forward to a return to something... not over leaving it. So many shadows in your life, and all these mistakes will do is enlarge them. Until you drown, blind and bitter. It's no way to live... and an even poorer way to die, dear."

He dwindles in the shadow of his own voice. It fits his coat... his mane. And I start to wonder if it's always been like this—a desperately lonely stallion and a fallen angel, separated forever by glass and fog, with the remnants of broken promises forming an eternal quagmire between them. I don't know what's more pitiable, the creature before me or the unicorn who's stooped to contemplating him.

"More than anything... I wish... I only wish I could have the luxury of asking." He bites his own tongue. A brief hint of pain, and then he sighs. Dull eyes swing my way.

But all that's left is a magenta shadow. I wait on a bench far away, out of sight. I focus on his breaths—how they're just a few tones different from hers, even with all of the tan shades thrown in the mix. And somewhere in the deep meditation, I lose my grip.

And fall asleep amidst the green.

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