• 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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Gigantic Things

Author's Note:

Nighttime.

I am awake.

When I'm not thinking about things that I'd rather not be thinking about, I'm thinking about the other things that I don't want to think about.

I wonder if Octavia has the same problem. But, then again, maybe I don't want to know the real answer to that.

I roll over in bed for the fiftieth time... and that's how I know that I'm truly doomed. I've been counting.

With a breathy groan, I stand up. Lurching through the magenta mists, I reach my hoof out, blindly fumbling around the bedside table. At last, I grasp my shades, slip them over my eyes, and shuffle out of bed.

I pass through the house in a daze, eyes glued to the floor carpet beneath my hooves. The carpet is so plush here. The couch... the cushions... the chairs. Everything is soft. That's the way Octavia likes it... and I like it when she likes things.

This day...

This day is the manifestation of her greatest dreams. Well, almost. If nothing else, it's the next best stepping stool to her dreams come true. I should be glad for her. I am glad for her.

But something is gnawing at me. Something I haven't felt since the first nights Beau and I went on tour. It's like nervousness, but a bit more rancid, painted with the nebulous colors of uncertainty.

Making it to the top only means it's a long way down once you fall. I think that the only reason DJ-P0N3 has remained so consistently famous over these past few years is that I haven't let that popularity get to my head. I've kept my real life hidden, tucked safely away here in Ponyville. I haven't flaunted myself and I haven't indulged in all the riches I could have. Because of that, my life has been a slow burn, instead of a brilliant, raging inferno. And, to be honest, I rather like it that way.

I'm not sure if Octavia does or not. Sure, she's achieved quite a lot in her life, but huge success... true success is something I don't think she's used to. I trust her wisdom and her judgment, but I've only known her as she has been. I wonder if I will have to start over getting used to Octavia—the "royal minstrel"—all over again.

This idea occupies me... drowns me as I shuffle into the front studio of our apartment. I wince at the thought, telling myself deep inside that Octavia has not given me any reason to doubt her. And—if nothing else—the exhilaration of being in a position of acclaim and popularity will only make her life more joyful.

And that's what I want, right?

So long as Octavia is happy, then that's all that matters.

I'll be happy for her too.

And if this royal minstrel thingy wins her the attention of some hoity-toity orchestra far... far away from Ponyville, then I'll... I'll just have to be...

I rub a hoof over my face, clenching my jaw muscles. I shake the fear loose, but it still lingers... if even at a distance.

The best medicine for anything is music. I feel in the mood for something retro. Maybe some Kraftwhinny.

So, I walk to my brilliant wall of records, fumble through the vinyl sleeves, and pick out a cover with four stallions wearing bright red shirts. I'm just about to levitate it over to my player and headphones when—

"Careful, love. I just had to clean up after Scribbler over in that spot."

If my bones could fly out of my skin, they would right about this point. I'm not so much startled by the sound and colors as I am by the sheer fact that I've ignored them so long. By them, I mean indigo and orange. My roommate is lying down on the front room couch with Scribbler snuggled up to her. I only ascertain this after the tenth second spent wrestling for balance. After an awkward ballet, I levitate the record evenly, slide it back onto its shelf and lean against the wall to catch my breath.

"Are you quite alright, Vine?" she murmurs, her voice lower than low.

I nod, gulping a lump down my throat as I nod adamantly.

"You are your worst enemy, you know," she says, her voice reaching the tiniest of purple peaks. "I don't care how bad you've got it, I still think it's a truly foolish thing to wear your shades around at night."

I gaze towards her. For a brief moment, I feel like frowning, and I hate myself for it. I fidget slightly, at a loss for words when I can't even say them.

Thankfully, Tavi speaks for me. She always does. "Oh... I can't rightly chastise you, Vinyl." A slow, lazy yawn. I can already she's lost somewhere deep between troubled and tired. "How can I even pretend to imagine the things that you go through?" She reaches through her bathrobe's sleeve, gently and lovingly stroking Scribbler's scruffy neck. "Or the amazing perspective it gives you?"

Arching an eyebrow, I slowly pad across the plush carpet and stand before her.

"Can't sleep," she lies. Or at least, I think she does. Her eyes are dull, slightly glazed. I can see my reflection six times in her jeweled pupils. "So many things... new, terribly exciting things." A deep gulp. "And please, don't be mad at Scribbler."

I'm not. I show her with a casual smile.

"I think... she just wants attention, is all." Octavia gulps hard. "She's only been here for so long, and she's so used to me being at home... erm... all the time. It must be horribly disconcerting for her to have an empty house while you and I are away at the Palace. I... I hope that doesn't become a regular thing, but... but I just don't know."

I don't know whether to shrug or nod, so I do neither.

"Maybe... Princess Twilight will find it in her heart to... let us bring her along?" Octavia strokes Scribbler's neck and whiskers, and the orange waves rise and fall. "After all, Fluttershy will be there too most of the time, and she can help us look after the dear thing as she sets out on paw. We could train her to be an outdoor and indoor cat. That way, she wouldn't have to feel so lonesome. Nopony... nothing should have to feel that way."

My eyes fall on the cat. Its eyes are closed shut with a look of fuzzy contentment. If it's not actually fallen asleep, the little furball is making a great show faking it.

"That's really what it's all about. Not feeling alone. Music is supposed to connect us... not isolate us. But... but it can do both... so easily..." She gulps, her eyes darting left and right as she looks past me... through me. "That's... that's why I couldn't perform in the way Father wanted me to... or the venues that he chose. I was only making the connections he wanted. Ms. Melody was being magnified while Octavia shrank. I... I could just never explain it to him... no matter how much I tried."

I bite my lip.

"Don't... don't bother with my ramblings, Vine..." She sighs, curling tighter against Scribbler as she sighs into the couch cushions. "...it's not even daytime. You deserve your rest too."

A tiny, bittersweet smile crosses my face.

Her eyes are shut at this point, but I still know she somehow sees it. "Some of the best things in this world are tiny... precious..." A soft hoof hooks around Scribbler. Octavia yawns, then murmurs: "I'm not sure how I can handle being so... so..." Her body softly deflates. "...gigantic..."

Her breath dissipates into an indigo sea. Soon, Scribbler's purrs lessen into a dull hume as well. The air around our house closes in, and I see tan and turquoise hues blending outside the windows.

With a dull shudder, I exit the room. A minute and a half later, I've returned, carrying a pillow and a blanket. The sheet, I lay over Octavia's curled figure. The pillow—I plant on the floor right before the couch, and that's where I choose to rest my head.

Until morning comes.

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