• 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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Loyal Things

Author's Note:

The elevator doors fling open, and the first thing I see is Bon Bon's pale face. She twirls towards us, voice tapering off in blue-and-gold tatters. "Vinyl!" She gulps. "He's nuts! He thinks he can just take off with Octavia in tow!"

"I assure you, young one, I am nothing of the sort."

I trot straight past Bon Bon, glaring daggers down the ICU. A group of nurses and orderlies squirm awkwardly along the sidelines. Meanwhile, Opulence and his servants wheel a custom-made stretcher towards the very room where heavy indigo breaths resonate.

"Nurse Redheart assures me that Octavia will be back to normal in a matter of hours, thanks to her treatment." The graying stallion adjusts the cuffs of his suit's sleeves and sighs. "I intend for her to be home, in the lap of luxury, and no longer in this... sterile sarcophagus."

"Yeah, well, this stale sarcophagus saved her life, bucko!" Lyra's voice cracks.

"Mmmm... indeed. And for that, Ponyville Central shall forever have my respect," he says. "But that does not necesitate further patronage. With all due respect, my daughter deserves comfort... not to mention a healthy dosage of reality. She will get neither in this town."

"Huh?!" Lyra blinks.

"This... extended vacation of Octavia's here in Ponyville has been a curious experiment at best. All it's gotten her is destitution and ill-fortune." Opulence shakes his head. "Well, no further. She is a Melody, and I will not stand for her further suffering in this... mud farm."

"Do you even hear yourself?!" Lyra blinks hard. "You're talking about taking Octavia away from the location of her career! The home of friends!"

"Most purgatories are indeed painted in fabulous colors," Opulence yawns, motioning for his servants to wheel the stretcher into Octavia's room. "They're what lured Octavia away from her estate in the first place, after all. But I'm a forgiving father. She'll be welcomed back into Trottingham and granted the the Melody Household's full amenities. It shall be as if the last ten years never happened."

"Oh... yeah, that's cool'n'all," Lyra hisses with a frown. "Just take full control of your daughter's decisions like she's some friggin' tin toy that you can wind up and point in any direction you please!"

"Spoken like a true poet," Opulence drones. "And a bitless one at that." He squints at Lyra. "Just what was your name again?"

"Heartstrings. Lyra Heartst—"

"Unless you're a Melody, this conversation is over."

While Lyra grits her teeth, Bon Bon paces about, panting. "Can't... can't we do something about this?!" She looks at me. "The Princess! Vinyl, go get Twili—"

"Her Majesty and I have already spoken at length about this," Opulence says, staring into Octavia's room while his servants file in. I feel the indigo streams wavering, like a watery stream being split in two. "Equestrian Law maintains that a living relative holds sway over a dependant in ill-health."

"Dependant?!" Bon Bon stammers. "Your daughter's a full grown adult mare!"

"And just what do you think she's been living off of all these years?" He raises a bored eyebrow. "Waitress tips?"

"But—"

"And far be it from any of you boorish packhorses to know, but Octavia never exactly left the Melody estate on official terms." He takes a deep breath. "This whole escapade started on a teenage whim, and now—as a loving father—I aim to put the charade to an end."

"I can't believe for one second that Princess Twilight is actually allowing you to do this," Lyra grumbles.

Opulence straightens his suit and tie, muzzle clenching. "Her Royal Highness is... apparently pursuing some futile loophole or another. Far be it from me to comprehend her motives, but I cannot afford to wait for a resolution that may never even present itself. My daughter needs to make a healthy recovery, and that cannot transpire here any longer."

"Oh, I get it!" Lyra smiles bitterly. "So while Twilight's tied up with legal bullcrap, you think you can just march off with our friend!" She scuffs her hoof against the tile floor. "Well think again."

"My dear bard, look around you." Opulence waves a hoof at the stationary hospital staff. "There is nothing to think about. I am in my right to relocate my daughter. The Melody Estate has the resources—both medical and therapeutic—to provide her with everything she could ever need."

"Yeah..." Bon Bon sniffles in spite of her iron frown. "Except respect."

"I'm a reasonable stallion," Opulence says. "Which is why I shall choose to ignore that insult." He snorts. "You all think that you're collectively her 'best friends'... that somehow you enrich my daughter's life each and every day. May I ask with what?" He waves a hoof through the air. "With wealth? From the state of things in this town, that's a preposterous notion at best. Perhaps with mirth, then?" He shakes his head. "All of the whimsy and levity in the world won't afford her proper retirement... or a family. Have any of you stopped to even consider that? Or have you been too busy funneling wine and other vices down my daughter's throat?"

Bon Bon blinks. "Uhhhh... uhhh..."

"Just as I thought." Opulence frowns. "So long as she stays in this town, her very life is frozen... stagnant. A stationary pursuit of nothing." His eyes sweep in my direction. "But how could I expect you to even comprehend that?"

I don't comprehend. I don't think. All I do is shake. I see red—and it's not his voice.

"It's... not... up to you," Lyra growls. "Your daughter has a life here! A career! A future."

"All she has is a dream... and a very dead one at that." He exhales sharply. Purple and brown. "It's the same delusion that dragged her away from Trottingham, riding a bloody wave of spite and bitterness. And all for what? Escape?" He shakes his head. "All I've ever wanted to do was guide her along a healthy path towards success, but that wasn't enough for her. No... she had to flee deep into her silly dreams of music and fame. I've tolerated it for this long, but no further." He turns towards me. "Because Celestia forbid I let her waste away another day here... fraternizing with peasantry... slowly gorging herself until she becomes a self-centered whore, just like her mother—"

Lyra leans forward to retort, but she's interrupted by a brightly glowing chair sailing straight past her... and slamming right into Opulence's face.

Gasps.

Blood.

The chair twirls, spins, and smashes across Opulence's muzzle once again.

The orderlies and nurses flinch. The servants spin, wide-eyed.

"Vinyl!" Bon Bon's miles away, shrieking crimson.

I can't tell the colors apart any longer. With a grunt, I fling my skull once more into the blinding horizon, and my ears tickle with the crashing sound of the chair breaking into splintery bits across Opulence's chest.

"Vinyl, stop!"

It's too late. The deed is done, punctuated by the meaty thwump of Opulence's spine striking the tile floor, twitching all over.

My vision returns, and all I can do is seethe. The hospital is suddenly full of a million scrumptious projectiles. I lunge forward, feeling everywhere with my leylines.

I make it no more than five inches before the nearby orderlies grab me from behind, anchoring me in place. It takes three full-grown stallions to get the job done, and yet I still kick and thrash. Somewhere in my peripheral, Bon Bon covers her muzzle in horror while a mint green unicorn stares with a gaping jaw.

And within milliseconds, the ICU is a crimson concert hall of barking voices.

"Stop it!"

"That's enough!"

"Get ahold of her!"

"Mr. Von Melody... are you okay?"

"We need a nurse over here!"

"Mrmmmfff... no..."

I blink, my struggles ceasing all of the sudden. That last voice...

Even Bon Bon and Lyra are shocked enough to stop gaping at me. Everypony turns to see Opulence slowly standing up with the help of a servant or two. His muzzle is bleeding profusely, and his face is throbbing—so that he has to keep one eye clenched shut under a fresh whelt. Nevertheless, he takes deep, calm breaths, adjusting his cuffs once more. A servant hoofs him a handkerchief, and he uses it to delicately dab his nose clean. All the while, his cold eyes remain on me.

He breathes, and it is a very blue thing. He speaks hoarsely out the side of his muzzle, "Pack my things. We'll be departing shortly."

"But sir. Your daughter—"

"Leave her," he says, his eyes still trained on my restrained figure. "It's all... rather clear now. Taking her would be inciting a most paltry war. My bit bag can certainly handle such barbarism. But my sanity?" He slowly shakes his head. "All these years, she's proven—more than anything—that it's not worth it." He gulps. "Not anymore."

Silence.

I'm still fuming, floating on a magenta cloud in the grip of orderlies.

At last, he turns to glare at his servants. "I said pack my things," his tongue rolls. "We're leaving."

"Sir, yes, sir. Right away, sir."

The servants pull the stretcher back out of the room. One by one, they leave, but Octavia's sleepy indigo gently remains.

I sigh with relief... but not for long.

"It's obvious to me now that my darling daughter has chosen insanity as her one true calling," Opulence says slowly, dragging his words like a knife. He trots icily in my direction, his stare turning into a glare... and then a cold-edged squint. "But never before did I envision such waywardness having legs... and a face." He came to a stop in front of me, his nose still trickling with blood. "I raised my daughter to choose her friends wisely... but she abandoned wisdom long ago. My dear pony, consider for a moment... seven long years spent with a creature far more refined and—let's face it—vastly superior to you. And just what good have you done for her?" His teeth show. "And is it even a fraction of the good that she's done for you?"

I lean back from him, encumbered with shivers. Even if I wasn't mute, there's no reply solid enough to pierce the sudden lump forming in my throat.

He sees this. He knows this. And he nods. "A pity," he mutters. "For a moment there, perhaps, I would have saved you a pain you can't even comprehend, child. Not yet, at least." He glances back at his assembled servants, then accompanies them in a slow march towards the elevator doors. "It's a cold, long life that's spent living in the shadows of your failures. All I'll ever have of my dearest daughter is ashes, and yet I treasure every single ember." He pivots to face me. "Can you look at yourself and say the same? Or is it just the reflection of something else that's died?"

And the doors close on him like a coffin. I hang my head, not knowing who's inside or out.

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