• 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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Recuperating Things

Author's Note:

"Okay... okay... okay okay okay..."

Tavi shuffles. Tavi fumbles. Tavi licks her lips and carefully... very carefully slides the vinyl in question out of its sleeve. I watch from the couch as she stands before my turntable, holding the large disc before player.

"I've seen this done hundreds of times. It shan't be too hard." She nevertheless gnaws on her bottom lip. "There's no conceivable way I might inexplicably drop this and shatter your prized record into a million pieces."

For the first time since I've opened a can of Dr. Pony, I feel a bead of sweat along my brow. Remaining calm, I adjust my shades and watch Octavia as she nervously places the record down over the spindle.

"Alright... alright... uhm..." Her purple eyes trail almost as much as her voice does. At last, she sees a particular part of the instrument panel and grins wide. "Ah! The red switch!" She flashes a nervous look my way. "This red switch right here?"

I nod.

"Right, then." She flips it. The disc spins. "Hmmm... the disc is spinning, but the speakers aren't playing anything." She produces the most thunderous blink in her life, then rolls her eyes. "Oh, bollocks. How could I be such an amateur?" She places the needle down. Visciously.

The record scratches so hard that I swear the speakers will rip this apartment in two.

The air shakes with a high-pitched squeal as Octavia hops back, flinching from the machine as if it's going to explode her and everything. The world disappears beneath a magenta breath, and I struggle not to laugh myself into uconsciousness. Thankfully, I recover—just as Octavia does—in time for us to share a humored glance amidst the delightful crackle of expertly mixed synthopop.

"Don't! Seriously, Vine, do not laugh at me, love!"

I grin. Then I grin some more.

She sighs, picking up the needle and placing it down on the edge of the record. At last, the track begins like normal, and we're both serenaded by some of Equestria's finest musicsmithery. "It all looks so much easier on the other side of the recording booth. Are... are you certain I didn't damage it just now... erm... in some way?"

I shake my head and take another swig of Dr. Pony.

"Well, good." She hops down from the tiny platform and shuffles daintily my way. "I shudder to think you actually produce those ungodly scratching noises on purpose. But, then again, you are paid to do so." She sighs, hopping up on the couch across from me. "And it would be a shame to not live up to your popular monicker, yes?"

I shrug.

"Hmmmm..." Octavia turns around three times and then curls up atop her favorite cushion. She rests her chin on her forelimbs and cranes a fuzzy ear to the music. "It's... actually not too terribly grating to listen to." Her muzzle twists, and she gives me a suspicious squint. "Is that truly your favorite track, Vine? Don't tell me you chose it just to appease my ears."

I take another sip of my can.

"Ohhhhhhhhh Celestia," Octavia sighs. "Sometimes I think parts of you will forever remain a mystery to me, darling." Upon the last word uttered, she blinks at herself, then stifles an airy laugh. "Well, I must say, we got one good thing out of Rarity's unseemly visit!" She gestured towards the far end of the room. "Have you ever... ever seen our kitchen look so sparkly clean?"

I glance in the direction of her pointing. Indeed, the kitchen sink is blissfully empty. The countertops are spotless. Even the area around Scribbler's food dish is clean of all crumbs and cat hair.

"Of course, she did take it upon herself to haphazardly rearrange my spices collection from alphabetical order to sequence of darker to lighter colors... but still." Octavia shrugs. "It's free housecleaning, as far as I'm concerned. Seriously, Vine, with this on top of our new minstrel jobs, could we possibly be any luckier as of la—?" She freezes in mid-sentence, her eyes locked on my rear leg—propped up in its cast. "Oh. Right. Bother."

I simply smirk.

"Well, it's nice to know that we'll get some more help around here, at least," Octavia says. "True... Rarity's sister may indeed be... erm... the harbinger of your vanglorious injury, but I take Rarity's words quite seriously. If the little trouble-maker can be helpful around the house, then I'm certain we can benefit from it while helping her learn her lesson. We have been in sore need of a bit of dusting around here. Well... on somepony's half of the room, at least."

I look at my shelves and shelves full of vinyls, then back at my roommate. I have my eyebrow raised.

"Yes. That truly was a bold declaration on my part. But—face it, Vinyl—I rarely ever trespass upon that half of the foyer! Besides... I-I never trust myself around your equipment. Give me a good cello or violin anyday, but all of this... mana-powered gadgetry is far too complicated for my tastes! I mean, considering the source of all of the infernal contraption's power, I'm rather surprised that you... that you..." She bites her lip. "Oh dear, I wasn't... terribly thinking about what I was saying, was I?" The mare gulps. "My deepest apologies, love."

I shake my head. Smiling, I reach out to pat her shoulder.

And then—her hoof clasps with mine. Everything stops, and my heart is the first thing to freeze. The sheer contact with her feather-soft limb fills my vision with pure, undiluted purple, and her violet gaze pierces through, peering into me as she gives my fetlock a squeeze, emphasizing the words dripping out of her immaculate muzzle:

"What you did was a very brave thing, Vinyl. And... and while I'm glad that Sweetie Belle's life was spared the other day, would you... be ever so kind as to not travail upon doing something so risky and daredevilish again? I... I-I know it's terribly selfish of me to ask, and I can't very well set your life's path for you, but... it would mean a lot to me if you were more... careful in the future. After all, as undeniably daft as it sounds, I do care an awful lot about this selfless roommate who's supported me over the past seven years, and I would be terribly remiss if I were to let her... c-come so close to leaving this world again."

I stare and stare at her, muzzle agape.

She flinches. Sniffling once, she clears her throat, then puts on the saintliest of smiles. "Bah... listen to me carry on so melodramatically. Just what do I have to be concerned about? You are the talented one of this household, after all." She leans back, fighting a yawn. "Record scratching is your forte, so why shouldn't foal-saving fall into the same groove?" She stretches, stretches some more, and shudders. "Luna's belfry... I still smell all of those unsavory chemicals from the hospital in my mane. Do excuse me, love."

She hops down, shuddering slightly, then shuffles off towards the opposite end of the apartment.

"I do believe I am in sore need of a rinsing. Hmmm! Such is life..." She smiles over her shoulder. "A terribly trite, sneeze of an existence, but never too short that you can't fill it with delightfully warm, fragrant showers. Rest comfortably, Vine. I shall be back to prepare dessert shortly."

She trots off, and I'm left sitting alone on this couch. Somewhere, beyond the edges of the world, one of my favorite tracks is playing, but I barely notice it anymore. I stare at my fetlock, my mind still reeling from the softest, most friendly of embraces. A sigh rolls through my body...

And just as soon as the fuzziness clears, I feel a gnawing sensation rising up through my insides, turning into a persistent, knifing alarm.

Oh, for the love of oats... and she's taking a shower right now too...

Grimacing, I nevertheless fidget where I sit, struggling to cross my other leg over my cast.

Damn Dr. Pony...

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