• 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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Saving Things

Author's Note:

She stands with her back to me. The wind billows at her smokey gray mane. Her gown shines in the moonlight. The air around her is a calm purple glow. Upon hearing my hoofsteps, the aura turns briefly violet, then returns to its natural purple coolness.

I scuffle to a stop, staring.

At last, she pivots around. She leans against the balcony's edge with one fetlock. Grasped in the other is a champagne glass, filled completely with red wine. There's not even a mark on the lid of the container—as if she hasn't taken a single sip.

Her eyes are thin violet crescents above an even thinner smile. "Hello, Vine." She breathes. She lives. "Or should I say..." Her voice quivers. A laugh? A sigh? "...DJ-P0N4?"

I gaze at her. I exhale through a limp smile.

"Hmmm... positively brilliant." She swirls the wine in her glass, looking at me... past me. The stars shine in her wandering eyes. "But not nearly as lovely as your mane. I always knew you could make something ravishing out of it the moment you took out all the bloody greases and chemicals." She cocks her beautiful head to the side. "Let me guess. Rarity's doing?"

I gulp and nod.

"Mmmm... of course..." With a sigh, she pivots about and leans her flank up against the railing. "...I trust she wasn't the one who made you grow it out. My my... how many months has it been?" She makes like she's going to take a sip, then lowers the glass again. "All seems like... a silly blur now." Her voice dips into indigo as she glances aside. "So... so very silly."

I simply stare her way.

She lifts her head up. A slight cough, and the cool purple returns. "Of course... Rarity was practically chomping at the bit to have me come up and wait out here." She smirks lazily. "As if I had no intention of seeing you face to face already."

My head leans to the side.

"Oh come now, Vinyl..." She sighs. "If I wanted nothing to do with you, I'd bloody well have not shown up. I may be a drama queen, but I'm not daft. I knew something was up as soon as invitationals were thrown around Fillydelphia about Ponyville and the Canterlot Royal Symphony Orchestra." She laughs so hard she practically snorts. "And then Princess Twilight and her friends had the audacity to throw in 'free bottles of wine'... as though it would be the coup de grâce to reel me in." She clears her throat, gesturing at the glass in her grip. "I simply had this poured for me to make Rarity happy. Then she went and fetched you, I fathom." With a soft golden clink she places the glass on the balcony's edge. "In truth... I haven't had so much as a single drop in the last two months. I figured some sobriety would do me good."

My eyes blink at that. I turn to glance at her with a soft smile.

"Alas... seems like I'm not the only one trying to kick old habits..." She strolls towards me on the softest of hooves. "...or start new ones." She stands close, squinting. "Are... you wearing protective contacts?"

Slowly, I shake my head.

"My word! You just... ditched the shades completely!" She blinks wide, then shakes her head. "Well, more power to you, love. It's good to know that... that certain events haven't turned you off completely from venturing into hospitals."

I stand in silence.

She paces around me. "It's comforting to know that your stubborn streak has a limit." She shuffles to a stop, sighing. "Wish I could say that was the same of everypony." She chews on her bottom lip, avoiding my gaze. "The... the reason I came, Vinyl, is because I'm sorry."

I don't expect that. My heart sinks for a moment.

"I didn't show up just to alleviate the fear of our former colleagues." She slowly shakes her head. "No, it's a far more... selfish reason, I'm afraid." At last, her eyes lift towards me. They are sad things, serenaded by indigo. "I needed to know that you were alright."

A knot forms in my stomach.

She turns to face me. "I... hurt you, Vinyl." She swallows hard. "In a moment when you were very vulnerable... very precious and very honest... I took all that you cared for... every thought that you were pouring out of your being and I tore it to shreds. And for what?" She shakes her head, seething. "J-just to throw all of my petty baggage on you? To... to make you feel horrible for wanting to show... even a single measly ounce of adoration for a pony like me?"

She leans back, brushing a hoof through her smokey bangs.

"For seven long years..." She sniffles, but then cracks a delicate smile. "...you cherished me." With glossy eyes, she looks up again. "You stood by my side. You weathered every struggle that I faced along with me. You were patient... understanding... and you were loyal. And... and just what did you get in return?" She shivers slightly, her eyes falling to the side. "I held you back, Vinyl."

Gnashing my teeth, I vigorously shake my head—

"I held you back." She frowns. Venomously. "I took advantage of your loving-kindness and I trampled all over it. I... I know that you may not believe me. But..." She reaches out, tracing the silky edges of my braided mane with her delicate hoof. "...look at the evidence, Vine. All these things you accomplished in just a few short months... without me."

I stand in place, shuddering. I feel a grimace rising up from the depths of my being.

"I... wish I knew this 'Cyan' before," she murmurs, her eyes briefly sparkling in earnest. "Something tells me that she was a lot like me." A deep breath. "Well... perhaps now she will be a suitable replacement."

My heart stops.

"I came here to confirm with my own naked eyes that you had found your own place in life. And—my my—what an absolutely splendid place it is." She smiles. "I'm happy for you, Vinyl." She smiles harder. "Truly, I am." The smile fades. "But I also came for another reason... and that's to say good bye."

My ears droop.

"I... know it's probably not what you wanted to hear." She clears her throat, her voice dipping into indigo again. "But... somewhere deep inside that mystical lockbox you call a soul... you know as well as I do that it's for the best."

Wincing, I reach a hoof out.

She draws back. "It's for the best, Vinyl. This... this night? This whole Cyan Saves phenomenon and the magical reception it's gotten?" She grins proudly. "Don't you s-see? It's your future!" She exhales. "And it's a far more handsome thing without me there to leech the glory from you."

I shake my head.

"Please don't make this any more difficult than it already is, love," Octavia says. She takes a bold step forward. "Last time we parted ways, I was nothing more than a selfish, inconsiderate sod. Oh, how I wish I could turn back time and put my words together far more eloquently... more appropriately. But life doesn't give all of us second chances." She gulps hard. "But I'm glad that it's given you one. And... and I'd hate myself forever if I ruined that, Vinyl."

My hooves stay locked in place. My body's numb.

"You went to such great efforts to reach out to me. Now... let me reach out to you." She leans in, whispering in my ear. "This rebirth of yours? Run with it. Don't give in to the monsters and demons like I have. A second life is a terrible... terrible thing to waste."

I clench my eyes shut to hold the tears in. I'm trembling by the time she draws away.

Her voice is resolute and purple now, which is precisely what frightens me. "And do not worry about me, Vinyl. My life in Fillydelphia may not exactly be glamorous... but it's a life nonetheless." Her hoofsteps draw away. She's leaving me. For the second time in my life, my best friend is drifting away. "Some of us know what our allotment is. It's taken me several months to discover it, as it's taken you several months alone to discover yours. I wish you the best of fortune with it. And know that I'll be listening to your records with pride and contentment for as long as you make music. Cheers, love."

I sniffle. My eyes open, foggy... glossy. Then, with a resolute frown, I lift my muzzle to the air and produce a sheer whistle between my lips.

"...?" Octavia is taken back by that. She doesn't look where she's going, and she bumps into something. "Huh?" Her head tilts down.

Sweetie Belle stands in front of her. The filly squirms in place, smiling.

Octavia blinks. More bodies approach the balcony from inside the palace. She looks to the right to see Apple Bloom and Scootaloo. Then she looks to the left and sees Rarity standing behind Sweetie Belle. "...what?"

Rarity calmly smiles. She reaches a hoof out and pats Sweetie Belle's shoulder.

Sweetie Belle clears her throat... then holds out a white poster board. She flips the thing around, and on it are the words: "You mustn't give up, Tavi."

Octavia leans back, eyebrow arched. Her gaze bounces between me and Sweetie Belle's tiny poster as she fumbles for words. Then, with a tight exhale, she says, "Vinyl... I'm not 'giving up.'" She turns toward me. "I've found a life of my own in Fillydelphia. Did I not make that clear?"

I shuffle closer. With a calm smile, I nod past her.

Blinking, Octavia turns back around.

Applejack and Rainbow Dash are standing behind Apple Bloom and Scootaloo. Applejack pats the fillies' shoulders, and the two foals flip around the poster boards that they are holding.

"You're the best cellist in Equestria," says Apple Bloom's poster.

"You're destined for first chair in Canterlot," says Scootaloo's.

Octavia sighs. She closes her eyes, smoothes her bangs back, and mutters: "I had multiple opportunities over the years, Vinyl, and I squandered that. It's really not something I appreciate you sharing with other ponies... much less young foals. Now, if you'll excuse me..." She opens her eyes and tries to trot around them—but stops in her tracks.

Lyra and Bon Bon are standing on the balcony, blocking her. With tender smiles, they flip around a sheet of poster board in their dual grip: "You have so many talents."

She blinks. She turns to the side.

Pinkie Pie stands with Beau. Pinkie Pie winks while the smiling zebra flips his poster around: "You're gorgeous as all get-out."

Octavia senses movement to her side. She pivots aside.

Fluttershy and DJ Capricorn stand by the balcony's edge. Fluttershy smiles and turns another sheet around: "The world needs to hear what you have to give."

Octavia seethes... fumes. "The world doesn't care, Vinyl," she growls. She stomps down the last empty space that the balcony affords. "It's wiped its arse on ponies far more talented than you or m—" She freezes in her tracks.

Princess Twilight Sparkle and Flash Sentry are blocking her. They smile at one another, then flip two separate sheets.

"You have a home here," says Flash's card.

"And you have friends," says Twilight's.

Octavia stares. She blinks. With a quivering lip, she spins around.

I'm standing right in front of her. I hold up a poster that's already flipped.

"Let us help you find where you deserve to be," it says.

"Vine..." Octavia grimaces. "Vinyl, I..." She gnashes her teeth, tears welling up in her eyes. "Don't you get it you daft loon?! None of that matters!" She waves a hoof, savagely slicing the indigo breaths between us. "I've been bloody messed up for years! You can't fix what's broken inside!" She pants... heaves. "I can never... ever outlive my mother's mistakes..." A pained squeak escapes her muzzle. "Nor can I shake off the shadow of my damned father! I'm a failure! I was a failure when you met me... and I-I will always be!" Tears roll down her muzzle as she spits: "Some ponies just can't be helped! It's impossible! So will you just leave me alone?!"

Calmly, I drop the poster. I walk to her. I take a deep breath...

...and I speak: "Nothing is impossible, Tavi."

Her breath sucks in. Tears drop to the balcony floor as she reels from me. Violet eyes wide. "Vine..." She pants, her ears drooped back. "Viny, love... h-how...?" A gulp. "Did you just...?"

"I won't... mmm..." I wince, fighting dizziness. My breath comes out in whispery, magenta spurts. At last, everything comes together. "I won't let you leave." I shake my head. Strongly. "Not this time. Your home is here." A warm smile. "And it's... n-never too late to change."

She hyperventilates. She shivers all over, stammering, "I don't... don't d-deserve..."

"Of course you do, Tavi." I reach a hoof out and caress her cheek. I see a cyan singer in her glistening tears. Perhaps that's where she's been hidden all this time. "You saved my life. And now... I want to save yours."

She tries to come up with words. All she dredges are sobs. "Vinyl..." Her eyes clench shut as her muzzle collapses. "Oh Vinyl... I-I don't know what to do..." Her legs give out. "...I'm so scared... every day... so v-very scared of myself..."

I reach out. It's been seven long years, but I finally catch her. We deflate to the balcony floor together, my forelimbs around her, anchoring her in place. "Shhhhh... it's okay to be scared... but you're safe now. I... mmm... I pr-promise."

"Why? Why d-does it have to be this w-way?" Octavia buries her muzzle in my neck. "Goddess, I'm s-so pathetic." She sniffles, sobs. "Mrmmmfff... forgive me. Please... I'm so sorry. So... so very sorry f-for all I've d-done to you..."

I hug her close, stroking her back. "Don't be sorry..." I nuzzle the side of her neck, closing my teary eyes with a soft smile. "Just be here." I squeeze her tight. "You don't have to be alone. You have friends. Let us save you..."

On pitter-pattering hooves, Sweetie Belle lunges in and clings to Octavia's side. She's soon joined by Scootaloo and Apple Bloom... then Lyra and a happily crying Bon Bon. Very soon, Beau and Twilight Sparkle have joined the mix... followed by Applejack and Fluttershy and Rarity and so many ponies that I've lost count. All I know is Octavia's warmth... her scent... and her sobbing breaths.

Violet. A delicious release.

I contain the color with my forelimbs, bathing her, baptizing her.

And soon enough, under the stars, in the warm embrace of Ponyvillean love...

...another mare is reborn.

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