• Published 26th Jul 2015
  • 10,697 Views, 4,220 Comments

The Things Tavi Says - shortskirtsandexplosions

Let me tell you a few things about my roommate, Octavia. After all, she saved my life.

  • ...

Melodious Things

Author's Note:

The train rolls into station, hissing loud and crimson.

I grab my saddlebag and step out.

The cold mountain air greets me with a delightful sting. Ponies trot left and right, dressed in high class formal wear.

I glance at my reflection in a passenger car window. With my braided mane and blue silk scarf, I do believe I fit in. With a smile, I adjust the weight of my saddlebag and trot forward with a slight spring to my step.

The streets of Canterlot are covered with a thin layer of snow. White frost clings to the polished blue rooftops. Curved pale buildingsides glint with sunlight, bringing a dazzling lustre to the heart of Equestria. It's cold out—cold enough to see my magenta breaths take literal form. The streets are mostly vacant, making it easy to search... to scour the nippy air for color.

At last... I sense it. A vague burst of violet. She's in a happy mood. I'm glad.

I turn the corner and find her. She's the only mare insane enough to sit outside on the cafe's verandah. She tilts her nose up from sipping a hot mug of cocoa and nearly chokes. Fumbling, she sits up from her favorite travel cushion.

"There you are!" Octavia exhales with relief. "Goddess alive! I was afraid the train had fallen into a ravine or something!"

"I'm so sorry for being late," I say, grimacing slightly. "Prince Flash has set up extra security checks all along the route."

"Well, can you blame the Captain?" Octavia smirks. "After all, Twilight's getting close to eleven months."

"You really didn't have to sit out here in the cold, waiting for me."

"Are you kidding?" She sits down on her cushion and readjusts her coat. It looks good on her. Even snowflakes look good on her. "Being out here in this chill?" She hugs herself and smiles past a slight shiver. "Makes me know that I'm alive." A wink. "And you know how much I love being alive."

I chuckle.

She arches an eyebrow. "What?"

"Nothing." I wink past her violet breaths. "I just adore how dry you can be when telling the truth."

"Back to being a living lie detector, huh?" Tavi smirks as she lifts the mug to her lips again. "Bet that annoys the piss out of Beau."

"Mmmmm..." I sit down across from her. "He's too distracted."

"What, does he have a new coltfriend already?"

"Nah." I shake my head. "It's the new solo album that he's working on. I'm happy for him and all, but I wish he'd get more sleep instead of spending so much time in the studio."

"As if Capricorn could have forced you to go on a date with the Sandmare while putting together Cyan Saves."

"Hmmm." I smile. "Touche."

"Would you like to go inside, love?" Tavi gestures to the frosted windows. "No need to suffer just because I'm feeling courageous."

"No. This..." I smile, rubbing my forelimbs and gazing at the bright buildings. "This is great. When I'm on tour here, I never have time to drink it all in."

"Well, we'll have all the time we want this weekend." She smiles. "I adore your mane, by the way."

"Heehee..." I brush the braid over my neck. "Thanks..."

"Who do I have to thank this time? Capricorn? Rarity?"

"Mmmmm..." I smile at her, rosy-cheek'd. "Sweetie Belle."

"Oh?" Octavia blinks. "Switched talents, has she?"

"No, she's just..." A silly sigh. "She's just Sweetie Belle." I clear my throat, weathering the magenta burst. "Lyra's putting the finishing touches on her debut album."

"She decided to be her sound editor after all?"

"Yeah. Better to have a firm foundation in Ponyville before being thrown to the sharks of the music industry."

"Luna's bollocks, you're telling me!"

"Shhhhh..." I grimace, gazing around. "Tavi! Must you?"

"Oh, come off it, love." She waves a hoof, chuckling. "Not like the Royal Sisters can hear us from their ivory bastion. Besides... if you've performed at as many Galas as I have... you could tell that they encourage such levity."

I nevertheless shudder. "I'll take your word for it."

"Say, speaking of Miss Hearstrings." Octavia leans forward, eyes bright. "Did you bring the pictures?"

I look at her. I grin. With gentle telekinesis, I lift a cluster of photographs from my saddlebag and hold them before her.

Octavia takes them in her hooves. She gasps. "Oh! Oh my!" She reaches out for an invisible glass of wine, then chews on her fetlock. "Why... these are absolutely stunning!"

"I-I figured you would be the better judge," I say. "I would have shown you sooner, but... what with the tour and your rehearsals..."

"Oh, Rarity's totally outdone herself this time!" Octavia looks up. "And these are just for the bridesmaids?"

"Uh huh..."

"I shudder to think how jaw-dropping Bon Bon's wedding gown must be!" Octavia brushes her bangs aside. "Isn't it enough that the ceremony's scheduled for right around the time the Princess is supposed to give birth?"

"Yes, well, Lyra has a contingency plan for that."

Octavia looks up. "And that is?"

"Three words. Militant. Mule. Uprising."

"Hahahahaha!" Octavia practically tosses the photos back at me—then gasps at the gesture. "Oh! Bollocks! Snkkkt—I'm s-sorry! Heeheehee!"

I laugh, easily sweeping the photos back up in my telekinesis. "It's going to be awesome. Just you see."

"Anything to see Beau show up wearing a pink suit." Octavia's grinning teeth glint. "You know... he did promise."

"He was drunk at the time," I drone. "Not all creatures can hold their wine like you."

"Yes, well... something something carbonated beverages, love."

I clear my throat. "You know I finally gave that up over a year ago." I bite my lip. "After... after that one trip to the hospital my kidneys put me through."

Octavia winces. "How soon I forget. Goddess... feels like ages since we last sat together like this. No pressure... no constrained schedule or anything."

"Yes. Uhm... s-sorry." I clear my throat. "The latest tour is coming to an end. I promise."

"I didn't mean to pull a guilt trip on you, darling," Octavia says. "Besides..." She arches an eyebrow as she leans in for another sip of cocoa. "...we've run that conversation into the ground more than once, now haven't we?"

"Yeah. We have." I look at her. I fight a slight wave of dizziness and speak: "How're the rehearsals going?"

She finishes her sip, swallows, and looks up at me. "Swimmingly."

I cock my head to the side. "How swimmingly?"

"Let me put it this way." Octavia leans back, arms folded. "According to Harshwhinny, I should be in first chair by this summer."

I lean forward. "For real this time?"

"Of course." Octavia rolls her eyes. "If Harshwhinny had her way, I would have had first chair over a year ago. But... you must understand... there's a great deal more politics involved than I ever... ever would have anticipated."

"Well, sure. Naturally, I guess."

"It's not a question of talent." Octavia's eyes dart between the blue rooftops. "It's simply a matter of... the old crotchety fart of a seat warmer ahead of me croaking in this lifetime."


She chuckles. She leans forward, waving a hoof. "In all seriousness, it's..." She sighs. She looks up at me with a warm smile. "It's positively magical, Vine." She exhales, her voice serious and purple. "Every day... the elegance... the sophistication." Her lips curve softly. "I am surrounded on all sides by beauty. It's like... taking a warm, fragrant shower though my eyes and ears ever second that I'm sitting with that orchestra."

I smirk. "And we all know how you love fragrant, warm showers."

"Well, more to the point..." She clears her throat. "...we all know how much I love being in the one place I absolutely adore more than anything else..." Her muzzle hangs open. "...except one place."

I feel a lump forming in my throat.

"You know..." She sighs, her eyes full of me. "...feels like only yesterday we were wow-ing an entire crowd at another wedding." She grins, her voice shaky. "Bet Matilda and Cranky never knew what hit them."

I tug at my scarf while giving her a coy smirk. "Do you think Ponyville's ready for an encore?"

"They bloody well better be," Octavia blurts.

I laugh.

"Or else Lyra won't be the only mare itching for a militant uprising."

"Doesn't Flash have enough on his hooves?"

"Apparently not."

Chuckles. Magenta and violet.

"Ohhhhhhh goodness..." Octavia takes another sip of her mug. "This is nice. I can't wait to show you the apartment."

"You mean the loft that you upgraded to?" I gaze at her. "You keep writing about how the view from the east window is absolutely killer."

"That's putting it poetically." She clears her throat. "Although, you may wish to watch your hooves on the way in."

"Huh? Why's that?"

"Scribbler. That's why."

"What?" I blink. Then I feel my ears droop. "Oh jeez... she's at it again?"

"It's vindictive, I tell you," Octavia groans. "Every single time I move, she does this. And I've moved a lot since I joined the orchestra. As well you know, Vine."

I scoot my chair closer and prop my smiling chin atop a pair of hooves. "Tell me all about it."

"Well..." Octavia leans back, gesturing with her hooves as her purple voice fills the snowy air. "It wasn't a big deal at first, but then it became an everyday occurrence. Especially at this new place. At first, I thought that maybe she had a feline fear of heights. Sounds daft, I know. But then it occurred to me that maybe she's lonely—what with me being gone half of the day and then coming home to immediately throw myself into the shower like some filthy tart. Personally, I don't see why any puss would be kitty-phobic of such a residence. Shouldn't they adore high places? I mean, would it truly suffer her to leave a note next time? Eheheh... After all, she's certainly keen on leaving presents in the most inconvenient places, so I don't see why n—" She pauses, then blinks towards me. "Uhm... please do stop me, love, if I've prattled on about this before..."

I dedicate this fic to Pilate, Props, Ponky, Mir, and Lord Belgarion

Real heroes in my life... who have saved me more times than they will ever know

Thank you


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Comments ( 133 )

*phone starts buzzing and making loud noises non-stop*

huhwhathefuckisgoingon it's fucking 3 am



Six chapters!
Six FINAL chapters!
Six fonal AWESOME chapters!

Skirts. Why must you make me cry?

I've spent the last 10 minutes looking for a clapping gif thats suitably conveying how awesomely smexy this story was.

I'll just have to settle for this one instead

Yay, now we just have to wait for the sequel with everyone's favorite MLP OC trope: magical lesbian spawn!

I'm gonna miss nightly Skirts Music Radio with pone accompaniment, but I'm happy with this ending. I'm going to be crazy sentimental when Appledashery and Austraeoh end, if this is any indication.

Wow. It is 3:48 am, and I am satisfied with the conclusion of this story.



Wow... okay Skirts. I owe you. You seriously pulled me out of my depression with this BEAUTIFUL story. I had been refreshing ALL night tonight, waiting for the next chapter... and gasped when I seen it was the final ones!!! This story... I cannot begin to put it into words.. just flawless. Beautiful.. a huge emotional rollercoaster. And I rode this sonofabitch through and through. I can't tell you how many people I sent this story to.. I even sent it to my mom! And she loved it! (the couple of chapters I sent).. You seriously have a huge talent for writing. You potray even the smallest of characters in astonishing ways. Every chapter was short but insanely descriptive! Don't stop writing, you are going to go somewhere with this work. Best wishes for you and your future. Thank you for this hellacious ride.

Oh man, I am so fucking happy I decided to check Fimfiction one more time before bed, this was amazing to the end Skirts!

The only issue is, now I'm even more anxious about your other stories...
Looks like it's time to reread :D


That was perfect. The ending. The fic. Even the format -- strange at first, yet vital and vitalising in practise.

Seriously I need to go hug something after that. :twilightsheepish: I held no illusion of predicting the ending, yet it managed to surprise me anyway. Not with the events, per-se, but with the message. The willingness to just... be happy.

I don't believe I've ever seen a commentary on depression quite like this one, or a journey of emotion that was quite so captivating. In 200,000 words it feels like so little happened and yet so much was accomplished. Quite the mirror to such struggles in reality.

Thankyou, as always. And whatever you may feel about this story, know that it -- like all your work -- has helped people. Both in small ways... and in... not-so-small ways.

Looking forward to more ponicuddles. :yay: Peace, dude!

"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened"-some famous guy. Oscar Wilde maybe?

Anyways, beautiful story, and even the most avid of Flashlight haters could feel the satisfaction on Twilight's behalf. You closed out all the character arcs you left open earlier, and in your perfectly choreographed 200 chapters you wove a magnificent tale of rediscovery. Prose, music, and character were all in harmony throughout, and with at least an update a week most times too! I'm going to add this to the stories I reread whenever I need a pick-me-up. Never stop writing, not for longer than it takes to eat a quick meal.

It's over? Noooooo! *Sobs*.....So sequel maybe?

I can't like this fic enough. One hell of a journey is at an end. Thank you for being at the wheel, SS&E.

Goodbye, ladies- It's been a trip.

Thanks for having us along.

Wow. That was... Wow.

The last 6 chapters uploaded at the same time.
What a wild ride it has been. I loved every single part of it - as always, incredible job.
And this epilogue was just the perfect dot for this story :twilightsmile:

You have written yet another wonderful piece of art. No need to say more.

"I adore your mane, by the way."

"Heehee..." I brush the braid over my neck. "Thanks..."

"Who do I have to thank this time? Capricorn? Rarity?"

"Mmmmm..." I smile at her, rosy-cheek'd. "Sweetie Belle."

"Oh?" Octavia blinks. "Switched talents, has she?"

"No, she's just..." A silly sigh. "She's just Sweetie Belle."

Sweetie Belle braids her senpai's hair?

HEADCANON ACCEPTED. I demand art of this. Now.

Not much to say about this epilogue except to note how healthy Vinyl and Octy sound. They've escaped a lot of their demons and are looking to the future. That's always a good thing.

This was a great job, SSE! I enjoyed this story from beginning to end. I confess that there was a bit towards the later-middle that started getting dark and depressing and, as a consequence, I almost gave up on the story. However, I'm glad that I saw it through to the end. Well done on reaching a satisfying conclusion and thank you for sharing this tale with us.

P.S.: Octavia is right - Cats don't like change and they will find some way to let you know that.

I don't know what I was expecting with that ending but it's also every I could have asked for. How do you do it?

"Prince Flash" ... "Twilight's getting close to eleven months."

What have you done!? What is this? Why would you do this!
Oh god, it's ruined! Everything is ruined! Irredeemable.
0/10. Worst fic NA, unfaved.
JK skirts i love you this was fantastic ty for writing it oh god I think I might cry

it is official this fic is going into my epic tier story folder, absolutely amazing

Y'know, as much as I was hoping that they'd get together in the end, this ending kinda reminds me of some lyrics...

You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes
Then you just might find
You get what you need.

I could go on and on about how much I enjoyed this story. But words could never explain how much this story meant to me. So I'll simply say thank you.

But... But... Wha? It's... Over?

... I can't thank you enough, Skirts. This - This has been such a beautiful story, and has made me think and feel so much during my time with it. So thanks. I don't think I'll ever really be able to forget this one.

Nor would I ever want to.

A breath caught in my throat when I saw that "Complete" tab and I don't think it could've ended any other way.

Now I need to try to get out of my habit of checking fimfiction around midnight EST every night. x.x

Such a wonderful story… So many feels to be had. And now it's over… EVEN MOAR FEELS!
By the way, does this mean you'll be getting back to "Ponies Are the Size of Cats and Love To Cuddle?" I kinda miss that one…

Not digging the Flashlight ship, but the story is good... even for a heartless bastard like me. You have my upvote.

When I first started reading this story, I thought the synaesthesia was just a bit of a gimmick, something to make it different from the many other Vinyltavia fics out there. Instead, it was more of a lens the story was focused through. It wasn't about dealing with senses crossing over, it was about Vinyl saving herself so she could save Tavi, come what may. I really, REALLY don't want to say this, but whether or not the two actually romantically hooked up is utterly beside the point, and doesn't matter at all to the end result of the story. Bravo, bravo.

*jumps up and applauds*

You are one incredible person.
This story has been a rollercoaster ride all the way through, and I loved every moment.
I started it around chapter 30, and most every day the first thing I did was to check this to see if it'd updated.
Thank you oh so much. This story is a masterpiece beyond words. Congratulations.
I will admit that I had a moment of 'OH NO IT'S OVER?' when I saw the Complete tag but...
The ending was amazing. I couldn't ask for more.
(And you're a brave man indeed for all that Flashlight shipping! :twilightsheepish:)
Once again, thank you for the ride, it's been worth every second.
- Shrike

That... was utterly beautiful. Thank you, Skirts, even more than usual.

My one and only problem with the story is everything having to do with EG, that entire arc just felt unnecessary.

Every other part of this has been in keeping with you being the most talented author on this website, and I am once again extremely happy to have stuck around this fandom long enough to have seen your work. You are one of the best things I've ever had the luck to see come out of this horse show and this story is a testament to that.

Fuck DAMN, Skirts... I don't think any of us could have asked for a better ending. This fic is Tavi and Vinyl's relationship in a nutshell: beautiful.

Bravo! Bravo!

So... you gonna give yourself a break for once, or are you striking up the band for an encore?

What a ride - not a lot of literature gets my heart beating fast while reading it.

Great job. You have my thanks for providing it.

The only word I can use to describe this gift you've given us is Gorgeous. I love every bit of it, and it will hold a special place in my library. It makes me want to go back and finish my own work about everyones favorite DJ. It has no hope of comparing to what you've done, but thats nothing to be ashamed of in my opinion. Theres hardly a comparison between our characters. There can only be one DJ-pon4, and i can't imagine anyone doing this fic proper justice.

This whole story has been so lovely. anything else I could say has already be said. There are no more words except to say, thanks, Shortskirts.

Dang, I really, really liked this fic and its concept and it's been awesome to read it as it went along and this ending is so... so fitting. There's really no other way it could have properly ended. Thank you so much.

*stands and applauds*

Dude... you're awesome. :rainbowkiss:

I adored this fic and its roller coaster of emotions from start to finish. You have quite the talent when it comes to crafting worlds and characters. Heck, it was such a fantastic story to where I'll happily admit that it inspired me in regards to writing. It was that awesome of a story.

Obviously, Vinyl and Octavia were the stars of the story and my favorite characters. Their reunion warmed my heart. They kept me glued to the story and eagerly awaiting for updates.

Keep up the excellent work, Skirts. Whether you decide to write for Vinyl and Octavia again or write something else, I'll definitely make sure to check it out. :twilightsmile:

And thank you for sharing such a wonderful story with us! :pinkiesmile:

And in that moment, Fimfiction user 'shortskirtsandexplosions' caused a seldom-occuring internet phenomenon: The mass standing ovation. All around the world, people stood up and clapped, applauding one man and his amazing stories.
I've been lurking; never really commenting, just reading this thing. I'm not well-known like Swan Song, or Lightning Bearer... But take my applause anyway, because you deserve it.
Bravo, skirts. Bravo! Bravo for an amazing story, with the best iteration of the background ponies since... Well, I can't remember when. Bravo, for the music links that somehow fit every moment of this wild and crazy ride, from Deadmau5 to Caravan Palace to the Silent Hill OST. Bravo for the most beautiful depiction of synesthesia I've ever read in anything ever.


O what mixed emotions have you wrought that tug woefully on my heartstrings? My throat constricts as I ponder and peruse the comments, to see the lives you have touched, what passion you have instilled. I am not quite sure what I am feeling at the moment. Terribly devastated, for one, as this emptiness consumes upon the realization that this story has reach its conclusion. Nothing more to read, and the ending seemed bittersweet. Yes, they remain friends, but apart, in more ways than one. On the other hand, I suppose...a stillness, resembling peace? Transcendence? Some bizarre twist of hunger and satiation? So at ease do they seem that it warms the heart, no matter their relationship. It is imperfectly perfect.

But what am I prattling on about? There is really nothing to say but thank you. Thank you for this experience that seems to speak to the soul, to impart upon it, to transform it, and, perhaps above all, to save it. Forevermore do you have my respect, and I look forward to being awestruck by your future works.

A`little mute unicorn went on a little trip
After her best friend gave her the slip.
Through hard times
And a notorious lack of sleep

She found friends she never knew she had
Found help that she never asked for before
And found her voice
She thought buried under a hidden gift.

And her little best friend almost threw that all away,
But the formerly mute unicorn caught her friend
With her voice.
And showed her their true friends.

Omg, I love how you write sweet scenes like this final chapter! It makes me feel like I'm Vinyl drinking in the rich violet hues of Octavia's delicious voice! And, after making me cry when they both left Ponyville, this brings me right back to my initial love for the story at the very beginning, where I was relishing your description of Vinyl's condition. This is definitely one of my favorites. :heart:

My brain just died of awesome overload.

So. Much. Awesome.

...Well, in the words of Rainbow Dash: "It was a'ight."

Needed more TaviScratch kisses and hugs to satisfy this shipper, though. :twilightsmile:

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