• 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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Reborn Things

Author's Note:

As the orchestra clears, Princess Twilight Sparkle steps into the spotlight.

One by one, the rows of audience members get out of their seats and bow.

Twilight weathers a breathy giggle, then raises her hoof. "Please... I do not come on stage to interrupt tonight's entertainment, but rather... to enrich it."

Everypony sits at ease, their eyes glued to the Princess of Friendship.

Her voice echoes in amber and gray streams across the ballroom. "It is now intermission," she says. "And, rightfully so, the Royal Canterlot Symphony Orchestra that has so wonderfully performed for you tonight is taking a quick breather. Now, before we all depart to enjoy a break of our own, I ask that you would kindly stay a little bit longer to bear witness to a once-in-a-lifetime performance. Or... perhaps in her case... a twice in a lifetime performance."

Twilight's tiara shines along with her eyes as she turns her head to gaze at the gathered crowd.

"You see, not long ago, I made a very special friend. Well... two very special friends. And if you're the Princess of Friendship like me, you learn that existence is an illuminating lesson that never ends, for I am constantly discovering souls who captivate me and teach me new... colors to the spectrum of this beautiful symphony called 'life.' I was—for a very brief moment in time—afforded a tiny peak into the minds of two very unique, very delicate, very genius souls who filled this Palace with music and mirth."

Twilight gazes lovingly into the crowd, one eye reflecting Rarity and the other eye reflecting somepony else.

"Both of them are with us tonight. And one of them is taking the stage as we speak. It would be my absolute honor to introduce her... but... introductions aren't my strong suit." A royal eyeroll. "Lectures are."

The crowd enjoys a jubilant laugh.

Twilight grins. "Thankfully..." She strafes to the side of the raised stage. "...I have a zebra here who's quite excellent at introductions. So I shall hoof the spotlight over to him." She clears her throat. "Fillies and gentlecolt, Roadie Beau Fo' Sho."

A light round of applause echoes off the crystalline walls. Roadie Beau steps in from the left. He grips a mic in the crook of his fetlock.

"Thanks, Your Highness." He tips his top hat towards her and grins wide. "Love the wings, by the way. Very chic. You should wear 'em more often."

More laughter.

Beau swivels to the face the crowd. Eyes piercing. "Now, y'all have gotten a very snazzy slice of culture to yer ear canals this evening. But it's a funny thing, that: culture, I mean. That stuff ain't static. It moves and grooves and jives like a jazzy musical piece. And why else do we give birth to infants and ideas if not to reinvent ourselves?" He raises a hoof. "And that... is the key to this here performance y'all are gonna get. Reinvention... it's what separates us cool cats and chicks from the beasts of the field. Y'know what I'm saying?"

He paces across the stage.

"Now now... this ain't exactly gonna be Stallionvinksi or Mareice Ravel. But I think y'all are gonna get somethin' classy out of it nonetheless. Because what you're about to see... is genius unfiltered... the result of a long journey made out of love... longing... and livelihood... and the rediscovery of all those thangs all rolled up into one. Now... we ain't expectin' y'all to go wild or go nuts. This is a Princess Castle, ain't it?" Beau blinks, then looks up him at the heights of the ballroom theatre surrounding him. "Whew! Thought I was in Las Pegasus for a second!"

More chuckles.

"So... the poor ponies in the audience get ready to clap yer hooves." He winks aside. "The rich folk? Just rattle yer jewlery."

Murmurs... eventually erupting into awkward laughter.

"Heheheh..." Beau's laugh clips the mic as he paces. "I stole that one, yo, I stole that one. Ahem. Well, time's up! Cuz y'alls minds are about to get expanded! Y'hear?" His voice reaches a booming tone. "Some of you might know her! Some of you might have heard her! But I assure you... she is what she is... and she ain't what she ain't... but overall, she's something special... something different... something glamorous... and a little bit more!"

He spins and points up at the highest raised stage.

"I present to you—fillies and gentlecolts—the brand new and improved DJ-P0N4!" He whips the mic out and brings it back to a large, glinting grin. "Performing tonight—for the first time ever—track eleven from her new album, Cyan Saves!"

He gallops off stage.

The lights die out.

There's no time for anticipatory applause.

There's no time for anything.

And that's when I appear...

...a blue ghost in a pale spotlight.

I'm clad in a slinky blue dress, bejeweled all over with shimmering studs. My mane is braided up, ornamented by a clip made of two sapphires joined together to look like two bridged eighth notes.

I can see it all in my mind's eye. I have to; my eyes are closed. I tilt my head towards Hamonicide's lights, ears folded back as I stand loftily in front of so many gazes. So many anticipatory breaths.

And into that black gasp, the color blue pours.

The track begins with an isolated vocal. Cyan Sings pours her seven year breaths into the void. I feel the nervous heartbeat... the sweat coming on.

It's just like yesterday.

And yet... it's now.

My breaths come out in fitful spurts... tender bursts of magenta. They mix with the blue, forming a swirl of purple that wraps around me. Then, at last, once the beautiful cocoon has formed, I burst out with a swipe of my hoof across the turntable.

Harmonicide pulls the switch, and light explodes across the stage, revealing a lower platform where Capricorn, Simon, and Beau are all standing. A half-blink into the revelation, and the record I've spun loops back to the start of the track, and I rip us forward once more. This time—however—Simon is adding ambiance with his synthesizer and Beau is providing a strong, persistent beat. We build up like this, with me altering and tuning the vocal track for effect.

Then Capricorn joins in on keyboard. Beau lays off on the beat. The vocal track increases with volume, meandering in and around Capricorn's keys. All the while, Simon Neighs' winds up the spring with a tonal mesh, slowly rising in the background. We hit reach a crescendo, hit a crest—the vocal goes wild—

And we drop. Harmonicide pulls his weight, and the entire stage comes alive in a flurry of flashing blues, indigoes, and purples. The vocals take center stage, with Simon providing backup harmonies and Beau thundering the bass percussion back into full rhythm.

I can feel it pulsing in my years. In crimson claps, the entire ballroom surges to life. And yet, as thunderous and bombastic as the background noise gets, Cyan Sings and her vocals take center stage, keeping everything beautiful... classy... accompanied by Capricorn's perfect chords.

No... not Cyan Sings...

Cyan Saves.

It's just as Beau introduced...

Just as I dreamed... ...

... ... ...just as I live.

This moment. This stage. This dress.

This is me.

And all Octavia wanted was for me to be me.


Here it is...

...the best gift I could ever give her.

... ... the best gift I could ever give myself.

And yet... it's all the same. Beauty and style before success.

And beneath all of that...


Gnashing my teeth, I thrash the record for a loop. And it's with divine timing to. Capricorn has laid off on the chords. Beau's beat has grown sparse enough for me to show off... to "sing." I perform vocals with vocals, scritching and scratching Cyan's immaculate voice with immaculate chaos. The blue bounces off the blackness, fills the ears of every pony in attenance, and comes sailing back to me. I inhale. Magenta and sapphire. Everything explodes violet in my chest... a heartbeat... a wish and a whim and then it wails. A long, extended vocal stretch against the darkness that breaks, shatters apart, and blends in with the backup harmony that Simon Neighs has prepared.

Simon, a grinning and sweating mess, puts his track on a harmonic loop and whips out a violin. By now, Capricorn has swum back on a stream of piano keys. Both of my musical friends perform a miniature duet with one another—all set to the harmonic loop that Simon has set. Meanwhile, Beau's beat persists... extends... guiding us into a tempest of righteous sound and swirls. And just when Capricorn and Simon start their second movement, I return to the fray, and Cyan's vocals hit a magical six note hook and repeats with angelic authority. Together, all three of us perform a sonic dance, until Simon backs out with his strings and now it's just Cyan and Capricorn, isolated together in a piano ballad that's so insanely similar to the original recording that it's practically sinful.

And there's something in the audience. A sudden, crimson shift. That's how I know...

By Celestia...

...they're gasping.

I clench my teeth. There's a knot formed in my throat. I feel the tears forming, and I turn my face towards Harmonicide's lights. Hoping they can evaporate.

But what's left to melt away when you've eliminated the chaff from your life?

When things are this perfect...

This gift...

This gift that I am sharing...

...if you are out there to take it, Tavi.

... ...if you are out there to receive it... to have faith...

... ... ... to live... as I have learned to... because of you...

...because of a gift you once gave me.

And with two breaths and a shudder...

...I realize that the track is coming to an end.

Beau reaches a crescendo with his beat.

Capricorn takes her hooves off the keys.

Then it's just Simon and me. A synthesized platform—and Cyan takes the dive. Then all that's left is her vocals, a long passionate belting to the heavens...

...and then she gracefully deflates. Violet to purple to indigo... then back to blue. For I'm holding my breath until the track ends.

Then all is silent...

...but not for very long.

The crowd breaks into applause. It's not raving. It's subdued, but sincere... and heartfelt.

And... honestly... I couldn't ask for more.

I wasn't performing for them anyway.

I don't realize just how numb and winded I am until I sense movement on the stage beneath me.

"Awww yeah! Awwwww yeah yeah—!" Harmonicide marches in from the sidelines, grinning wide. Veins showing. "How about that for y—"

Beau shoves him into the sidelines. He approaches the front of the stage and shouts into the mic: "How about giving it up for DJ-P0N4! Wooooh!"

There's a secound round of applause. Grinning faces and whipping manes. I see ponies standing up in droves. Their faces become clearer from beyond the lights.

Panting... sweating... I curtsey from the topmost stage beside my turntable. I look up, my naked eyes slicing across the crowd.

Again, I catch Rarity's pale figure first. She's smiling, eyes glossy. My gaze stumbles to the side. Octavia stands behind her, gently applauding with delicate grace. Her grin is as I expect it... a very calm, elegant thing. Her ears twitch, and the breaths coming from her muzzle are violet.


My heart skips a beat, and I curtsey again.

The cheering breaths of Capricorn, Simon, and Harmonicide waft up towards me. Beau comes up and reaches out. I take him gently by the hoof and together...

We make a graceful exit.

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