• 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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Honest Things

Author's Note:

"Hah!" Bon Bon's golden voice ripples across the house. It brushes past the black fuzz of Scribbler's fur as she tries to rub up against me. As if I don't need another reason to stumble "Wouldn't that be rich!" It's coming from Tavi's room. Everything is coming from her room. I lurch forward, intoxicated, weak-knee'd. "First a war with the griffons, then with Trottingham!"

"I'm telling ya, Tavi." Lyra chuckles. The room is chock-full of bubblish levity. I want to cry. "You're the face that launched a thousand catapults! Why, if Whinny War Three ever takes place, they'll know it was all because a super smexy earth pony took a tumble over a stupid cat bird!"

"Hah..." Purple breaths. Purple sputters. Then everything from beyond is warm, slick, like fine wine. "At least I didn't break my bloody cello with the fall."

For the first time in days, I smile.

"I know, right!" More gold. Lyra trots out of the room, levitating an empty glass and plate on a tray. "You were a clever pony! You left that stuff sitting on stage for everyone to—" She sees me and scuffles to a stop, the tray rattling. "Oh!" At first, a smile—but then it turns awkward. Crooked. "They... they actually let..." Her voice dips, then gulps the brown away, lifting back to a fine amber. "Hey Bon Bon!" She grins warmly. "Looks like Scribbler's second Mommy is home!"

"Wha...?" Bon Bon gasps, her voice turning a brief, vibrant pink. "For real?" Hoofsteps. Bounding. She pokes her head out the door with a flounce of her two-toned mane. "Omigosh! You're here! Oh my goodness, isn't that wonderful?"

"Hmmm...?" Another cough, and then the purple from within shudders slightly. "Is... is that...?"

"Live and in the flesh!" Lyra smirks back from where she stands with the tray, eyes rolling. "...and in the shades and the hair gel and the devilish grin."

"Hahaha—Oh Lyra." Bon Bon giggles.

"Come on over, V!" Lyra grins, then peers into the room. "Hey, Miss Melody! Is T ready to meet V yet or what?"

The resulting pause is alarming—but the indigo dip that follows it rattles me even more. "Best to let her in, Lyra."

"You bet!" Lyra motions at me. She's grinning, although I'm not looking at her teeth. "Come on in, Vine! We've arranged some stools! Finest seats in the house! Well... besides Tavi's, if you know what I mean."

"Oh Lyra..." Bon Bon huffs as I approach the doorframe. I pierce through her golden exhalations. "I swear. If somepony put you on a leash, you'd break your neck trying to flirt with everypony."

"So help me if I love life, girl! And love other ponies lovin' life!"

Bon Bon says something else... and Lyra replies with something else. I can't discern the colors anymore from the blood pounding in my head. All I feel is indigo. I breach the surface, peering in.

She peers back. Her eyelids are heavy... her mahogany tresses even heavier. I can't remember the last time I've seen her mane splayed out in this fashion... like a smokey funeral shroud. Several cushions prop her velvety figure up, so that she's partially sitting in the burgundy center of her room, facing me... gazing halfway towards my chin. She rosses her forelimbs, clad in one of her best robes—as soft a sight as she is... almost.

She's alive... very... very exhausted... but alive.

It's a joyous thing... joyous enough for me to ignore the fact that...

...she's not smiling.

"H-hello, Vinyl," she says my name. Two stiff syllables. I can tell it takes a toll on her—practically smashing though her perfect teeth. She rubs her chin with the grace of melting ice, and her tired violet eyes blink just as slowly. "Mmmm... wish... w-wish I smelled better."

"Pffft. Tavi, please." Bon Bon rolls her eyes and smiles. "You've taken—like—three showers today! One this morning at the hospital, and two since you got here!"

"Mrmmmfff..." Octavia rubs her aching forehead. "And if you think that's meeting my quota, you've got another thing coming."

"Hahahaha!"

"Heeheehee..."

"Vinyl was there almost every night, Tavi," Bon Bon says. "Without fail."

"I know."

"In fact, the only reason she ever left—briefly—was because we had to drag her away for some fresh air! Y'know... for her own good!"

"... ... ...I know."

"And... uhm..." Bon Bon gulps. She leans forward, brow furrowed. "Octavia? Is... is your head hurting you or—?"

"Mmmm... nothing to concern yourself with, I just..." Octavia's eyes barely scrape past the sight of me. There's a twitch to her ears, and she's looking at the floor now.

I blink beneath my shades.

"I... I think Vinyl and I need some... time alone." Deeper and deeper indigo. "If you kind mares wouldn't mind."

"Uhhhh..." Lyra fidgets.

"Of course! Absolutely!" Bon Bon claps her hooves together. The crimson echo is strangely scrumptious in this sudden sepulcher. "You two roomies get reacquainted! Ahem... Lyra?"

"Huh?"

"Let's go... do the dishes. And... uhm... the cat."

"Oh... uh... sure!" Lyra floats the door shut behind them. I see a passing smile, and then a flash of gold. "Bye now!"

The door closes.

We're entombed.

She shifts in her velvety island of luxurious burgundy. A momentary wave of orange. She feels it too. Her lips quiver with a limp attempt at a smile. "Scribbler looks so fine. So healthy." A sniffle. "Almost... as if she's just like we left her on the night of the Gala... mmmff..." She shifts in her bed, wincing.

I get up. Rush up to fetch her another pillow.

She waves me off with a weak hoof, sighing as she leans back. "No thanks. Celestia love those two nuzzle birds, but if I have another pillow thrown on me, I'll become the bed."

I bite my lip. My cheeks bulge with a pent-up smile.

She sees it. There's a twinkle in her eyes, and the voice that comes from within is briefly purple again. "Seriously, though. I'm so bloody glad Scribbler's in one piece. But... of course..." She rubs her head again, gazing at the floor. "Not just her."

"... ... ..." I sit down at a stool by her right side.

"... ... ..." She squints into her forelimb, breathing slowly. Steadily. The words come out like spring rain. "I... heard..." A gulp. "...in quite extensive detail what you did to my father." A breath. "Absolutely brilliant. I only wish I was conscious at the time so I could see his teeth falling down his gullet."

I smile again. I try pulling the violet blanket around me with my dimples.

It doesn't last long.

"Of c-course... it wouldn't have come to that if..." Deeper... darker purple. "...if I hadn't done better to clean up after myself. Wash away all of my rubbish." She gulped. "Such is life... as we m-make it." She shakes her head, staring dull daggers into the carpet. "How long was he here for, again? Two days? Three? Oh, I just know that he made life absolute Tartarus for every pony at the hospital—working or friend. Bollocks."

I clench my teeth. As soon as I hang my head, though—

"This is all my fault. You do realize that."

My lips purse. I tilt my head up, practically grimacing.

"Oh... don't give me that look, Vine." She sighs... a heavy exhalation of indigo. "It always... always starts with a bloody look. And... so begins the whirlpool." She tilts her head up, staring at the dim ceiling of her bedroom. "Swirling in eddies." She whispers through her teeth. "Poetry can't make it prettier, I suppose." A gulp. "And I'm not just talking about my father, Vinyl."

I squint curiously at her.

"This thing... this whole damn thing is my fault." She gulps hard. "I made this happen. From... from the very moment I left that stage..."

My head leans to the side.

"What? You think I had to go use the little filly's room or something? Oh!" A bitter chuckle, and her indigo is the deepest yet. Not just today... but in all the time I've known her. "Oh, how I wish..." She breathes, and in her next exhalations, something is squeaking... pained... infantile. "...h-how I wish it was that boorish. That... th-that I could have had so banal an excuse to... to..." Her eyes water. The bed shivers—starting from her bandaged chest and rivering outward.

I watch steadily. My heart pounding... making it heard to discern the darkening colors of her next words.

"I... I-I had a t-talk... Vinyl..." She gulps. Hard. Sniffling between each gunshot burst. "Roadie Beau's significant other. Merriweather. What a garish frock of colors for such a sp-splendid name. Nevertheless, he came to me, Vinyl. And under an evident cl-cloud of inebriation, he... wanted to congratulate me... on... on b-being coupled with such a successful... wealthy marefriend..."

My heart collapses into a cold slump.

She doesn't stop. "And... and I-I ignored the implications of his well-intended wishes to question him on the facts of it." A hard gulp. "And... and that's when he told me that—according to Beau—DJ P0N3 is the third most valuable pop star in the entire music industry."

I'm trembling. The room is spinning.

"That... th-that your name alone is valued in the tens of millions of b-bits! That... that all of this time, you've rivaled Countess Coloratura and Sapphire Shores in sheer popularity! And... and th-then Merriweather even had the drunken gall to ask why you were living in Ponyville! And... and I-I had no answer for him, Vinyl! I c-couldn't even think straight!"

She hugs herself, adrift in the center of the burgundy maelstrom.

"And... and s-so I panicked! And I ran!" She gulps. "I threw myself off that stage like a bratty foal having a tantrum and... and I just ran off! I-I couldn't be in that crowd any longer! I couldn't be around you any longer." She clenches her eyes shut and the next breath rips out of her like a cannon. "What on Celestia's green earth could possibly keep a successful mare like that from enjoying the fruits of her talent?! From being the best that she could be?! From sweeping up Fillydelphia... Manehattan... and even Canterlot by storm?!" She looks at me, tearful eyes blazing with a violet fire. "Haven't we not valued success more than anything?! Isn't that what we're striving for, Vinyl?! Isn't that what we live together for?! To make it big?! To splash our names across the stars?!"

I lean back. My insides are melting... and horrifically. I'm locked by the fiery brand of her gaze.

She breathes... pants... and shudders. "And then... and then Talonsmith..." Her voice squeaks. She fights a frown, but loses. "Vinyl... what was it you said to me that night?"

I clam up. My hooves grip the stool beneath me until I swear my fetlocks will shatter.

"Did you say what I think you said...?" She shivers, strung up between sobs and snarls. "Did... did you say—"

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