• Published 26th Jul 2015
  • 10,650 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.

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Idiotic Things

Author's Note:

This is not pain. This is something else, and I hate it.

I wander like an idiot in the darkness, fumbling, searching, doing everything but sobbing.

I don't want to be here. I don't want to be anywhere.

That vinyl...

That color...

Blue is a damning thing, but only one shade of it screams at me...

I flounder and fumble around for the better part of a minute before I feel a pair of hooves brushing against my fetlocks. My limbs feel the cold plastic chill of my shades, and I snatch them up in an instant, summoning an auburn gasp from a stallion in front of me.

"Whoah! Whoah! Take it easy, DJ-P0N3!" It's Simon Neighs. He's in front of me, and yet leagues and leagues away across a rippling red sea. "Are you okay? Do you need some water or—?"

Once I have the shades securely over my face, I jump to my hooves, turn completely around, and gallop straight for the exit. I practically shove my way past a still-stumbling Harmonicide.

"Hey! Jeez! Heh... who spit in her oatmeal?"

"Dude, put a damned sock in it!" I hear Beau growl. His crimson salvo is devoured in amber bells. "V! Yo, V! Wait up!"

"I... I'm so terribly sorry..." Trailing burgundy, fading. "I... I had no clue—"

"I don't get it though—" Simon starts to stammer, then there's a familiar auburn explosion.

"V!" Beau's hoofsteps pick up, but I'm miles ahead of him.

I scamper out of the bar and into the adjacent hallway. I stumble around the corner, offset by magenta breaths. Nevertheless, I make it to the far end of the corridor and slap my hoof over an elevator's console. I lean against the cold marble wall, panting, shivering. I sense tiny brown voices rippling in the distance. Wandering ponies are staring at this crazed mare beyond the midnight hour, murmuring, gossiping.

I try to shut them out. I clench my eyes shut and pretend I'm treading water in a purple, satin sea. Time and time again, I fail, and that's what nearly makes me sob.

There's the tell-tale golden ding of the elevator doors opening. With a jolt, I shuffle on through.

That's when a strong fetlock gracefully touches my shoulder. "Vinyl... hold up, girl—"

I hiss through my teeth. Magenta daggers glint between us, and I spin around with a slap of the hoof.

Beau takes it like a champ. He stands squarely in place, staring at me. I deserve to be frowned at, but he's a bigger... better pony. His expression is soft, sympathetic, and his orange voice even kinder.

"Vinyl, just chillax. She didn't know. Nopony knows, okay?"

I linger in the elevator's entrance, shivering in place.

"It's alright. Everythang's gonna be alright." The zebra smiles. He inches forward, reaching a hoof out. "Just stop runnin' like a crazy mule for one sec, a'ight? You know that never ever works out well for ya..."

With a shudder, I lower my head. My eyes clench shut, but it's not enough to shut the colors out. It's never enough.

The first whimper is like a gunshot. The magenta cloud nearly toppels me. Thankfully, Beau is there, and his hooves steady me... my shoulders.

"I know a lotta things really stink, girl. But you know as well as I do that they could be a lost worse. You've got friends. You've got me. You've got Tavi back home."

A sore lump forms in my throat.

"See? It ain't all that bad. And what's so cruddy about gainin' new friends, ya feel me?" His smile is a golden thing, even when I'm not looking at it. "DJ Capricorn's a cool cat. I'm sure she'll understand. Ya just gotta stop runnin' all the time. It's okay."

I breathe calmer... easier. My limbs grow more and more still.

"So... we good?" He leans in, nuzzling me gently. "We done bein' all crazy-like?"

I finally swallow the lump down my throat. I lean in, hugging him close. I share a gentle, friendly nuzzle... and then I shove off. Beau stumbles as I backtrot into the elevator and slap a hoof over the upper floor buttons. Ding!

"Awwwwwww, V..." His ears wilt as hard as his voice. "Dun be like th—" The doors shut.

I slump against the opposite wall, hugging myself as the car lifts up, up, up through a tunnel of voices. Golden voices. Brown voices. All of the time, voices. The entire esophagus of the world gurgles around me and there's nothing I can do to stop it.

Just as I think the hotel's about to swallow me whole, the doors open, and I stumble straight out in a shivering gait. I take two lefts, a right, and arrive at my hotel room door. After an extraordinary amount of fumbling, I open my room and throw myself in. It's pitch black dark, but it makes no difference to me. I make a bee-line for my belongings, nearly tripping over an open suitcase in the process.

I practically rip a bag open, shove my hooves in, and rummage around. At last, I find my music player, along with a rattling set of headphones. Tripping over myself, I finally fit the clamshells over my aching ears. I must drown everything away before I go under. I must...

It's a veritable century of struggling before I can get the mana-based contraption to function like I want it to. At last, I cycle through the available tracks, and I switch to an orchestral suite with a specific pony's name on it.

I plop down on the bed... shivering... quivering... needing...

And at last... at last the music plays, and I am serenaded by violet strings, rich and succulent, enriching... like her words... like her voice...

And even as my body calms down, and the haunting tan strings of the past dissolve, I can see through it all... feel through it all... and I know that it's all an artifice, just like everything I've ever made with my own hooves, my own horn...

For what it is all worth...

And that's what produces the first few sobs. I'm already dizzy, so I catch the nearest notes of purple music and hold on as the magenta cyclone spins me around, dragging me to an unconscious place where even my darkest fears are too nervous to follow.

And there I find a unicorn foal, curled up on a hospital bed with headphones, crying herself to sleep. I crawl over and join her, and everything is almost okay.


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