• 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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Learned Things

Author's Note:

"Vinyl, love, are you certain you do not wish to remain in the wheelchair?"

I wave her off gently. Nevertheless, my muzzle winces as I climb out of the apparatus in question. After several days of recuperating, my rear leg now rests in a new cast—one built to weather the outdoors. Or, in this case, indoors.

The crystalline foyer of the Princess of Friendship's castle stretches around us. Most of the pain in my body is gone, save for a slight ache when I flex the muscles in my fetlock. More than anything—as I shuffle into a standing position at the end of a long corridor—I'm concerned with scuffing up the otherwise immaculate polish of the floor.

"Well then..." Octavia stumbles back, blinking with legitimate surprise. She adjusts the weight of the cello case hanging on her flank. "You... appear to have everything together." A slight chuckle escapes her muzzle, encased in sweet violet. "I don't know why I ever doubted."

I smile crookedly at her, hobbling forward.

Yeah, I don't know why either.

"But the first moment you feel even the slightest bit of pain, you inform me, alright?" She maintains a pace slow enough to keep up with my limping trot. "Because if you put too much stress on your leg, you might re-injure it. And if you re-injure it, that might mean you're couch-ridden for even longer. And being couch-ridden for even longer means... erm... ehhhm..."

I glance aside at her, adjusting my shades with a knowing smirk.

"Don't give me that look!" She pouts, nevertheless avoiding my gaze. "I... erm... I-I happen to think that having the extra little hooves around the house to clean up the place and feed Scribbler is absolutely sublime! Why... all because of Sweetie Belle, I've been able to get some much-needed shopping done! It's just that... that..." She clears her throat, glancing aside at the tapestries hanging along the glossy walls. "...I... c-could most certainly do without the inexplicable burn marks... all over th-the kitchen. Ahem."

It's difficult to laugh when you know that the slightest vocal peep could make you faint. I express my hilarity through my smiling dimples. Tavi's gotten used to it. I imagine most ponies must think me a hysterical psychopath.

"But I'm not here to complain," Tavi says. "After all, Sweetie Belle's older sister Rarity will likely be here. Oh, Celestia, she obsesses over me enough as it is already! Now—just to think she's got a complex over you as well!"

I glance curiously at my roommate.

"Well, you did rescue her sibling from certain peril, Vine. I don't know how much you've thought about it, but Sweetie Belle could very well have died if it weren't for your intervention."

I scratch my chin in mid-limp and shrug.

"Oh, don't pretend to be so flippant about it! The fact of the matter is: Rarity is the sort of mare who looks for excuses to lavish praise and gifts on other ponies. And now that you've presented yourself as a veritable savior of her family member—"

I pause to gesture the "sweeping of a broom."

Tavi shakes her head. "Don't you understand? It doesn't matter that Sweetie Belle has already been a veritable house servant for us this week. Rarity is bound to dote on you all the same. I'm rather used to it, seeing as I'm one of her... erm... favorite customers. Ahem." She fluffs her mane and turns to me with a serious gaze. "If you want my advice, Vine, just take whatever she has to offer with humility and grace. I know that's rather hard for you, seeing as you're not the kind of mare who likes receiving gifts."

I blink.

I'm not?

Okay. Cool, I guess...

"And... erm... if you so happen to find her gifts a bit too flattering, you could always do something to humor her. Say... for instance..." She clears her throat and adjusts her collar, glancing down the opposite end of the hallway. "...specifically request a new purple bow-tie with silk stitches."

I smirk at her, eyebrow raised.

"Just... just a random suggestion."

I nod.

"Completely random."

I nod harder.

"Vine, st-stop it!" She playfully swats my shoulder, filling the air with delightfully violet giggles. "I'm a complete basket case right now! Can't you see where we are?! Everything we've worked so long for is actually happening! So what if I might feel a tad bit... mmmm... entitled?"

"Huh? What's this about 'titles?'" A familiar lavender shape trots around the corner, her voice glossy and gray. "Is somepony writing a book?"

"Your Majesty!" Tavi's voice cracks—like chiseled mahogany. She bows low... very low. "By your grace, it is an immense pleasure to be here."

I fidget. I bite my lip, wincing.

Awww crap...

I grimace and struggle, trying to slide my cast down so that my body can bend far enough to bow.

"No no no no! Please... none of that!" I'm encumbered in lavender streams. To my surprise, Twilight Sparkle lifts me back up to my hooves. The ease with which she lifts my entire body—and the gentle grace with which she settles me back down—is rather mind-blowing. I can only hope to master magic that powerful someday. "Especially not from you!" A nervous titter, and I spot a flushed expression to the alicorn's cheeks. "Please, you came to the aid of my best friend's sister. I wouldn't want you to hurt your leg just because you felt the need to bow."

"We m-mean no direspect, Your Majesty!" Tavi blurts, a trembling indigo.

"And please... please..." Twilight smiles, raising a hoof. "Just call me 'Twilight.' You used to call me that before, remember?"

"Erm... when was that, Your Hig—er... Your Majesty?"

She stares at Tavi. Blinking. "Uhm... in the streets of Ponyville?" She shrugs. "Sugarcube Corner?"

"Oh... oh yes, but of course..." Octavia chuckles in a thin voice. She looks at me, and I can practically see the bulbs of sweat being squeezed back into her pours.

I smile gently back at her.

It's okay, Tavi.

I don't remember Twilight Sparkle being a background pony either...

"So... uhm... you're here for the first rehearsals, huh?" Twilight remarked.

"Oh! Yes! Most definitely!" Octavia nods vehemently. "The date never removed itself from our calendars! Not once!"

"Wow! Uh..." Twilight blinks, smiling bashfully. "Nice to know you're so... uh... devoted." She gulps. "Unfortunately... some of my f-friends are just a teensy bit late. But don't worry. I have all of your equipment set up just like last time, and it shouldn't be that long of a wait for Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie to show up. I... uh... I'm sure they're just caught up with some pressing matters at the moment."

"Oh, we understand completely, Twilight." Octavia glances aside. "Isn't that right, Vinyl?"

Before I can even nod my head—

"Miss Scratch!" Twilight steps up to me. "Erm... Vinyl..." She smiled. "I stopped by the hospital the other day."

I bite my lip.

Oh boy, here we go...

"I had a talk with Nurse Redheart and Dr. Clark. Mostly to check up on how you were recovering from your fall." She waves a hoof, smiling dismissively. "Don't worry. The information shared between you and them is strictly confidential—save for anything that the Royal Physician deemed necessary knowledge for your safety here at the Palace."

"Is... is there something the matter?" Octavia asks.

"Not at all!" Twilight turns towards me again. "I just wanted to say that I've taken the liberty of having Spike order three dozen extra writing pads and twice as many pens." She winks. "That way, if you're ever having to convey something important to the rest of us, or if there's an emergency you need to alert us about, you can have access to written words in a jiffy! And... heehee... of course, if you just wish to talk..."

I nod with a calm smile.

"That's... quite thoughtful of you, Twilight," Octavia says. "But, you must understand... erm..." She glances again at me. "About Vinyl... she has always made it a habit to not obligate another pony into speaking."

"Well, I didn't wish to impose. I simply felt that I could facilitate communication should the need arise." Twilight suddenly beams—like a filly who has just captured a lizard and wants to show it off. "Speaking of which! I did a bit of research over the last two nights!" She levitates a pair of tiny sticks in the air beside her, their tips painted white.

"Wait..." Octavia squints, pointing. "Are... are those...?"

Ah jeez.

Here we go.

"Yes! I studied the art of Blank Speech! And—I must say—I find the entire process absolutely fascinating! Did you know that Blank Speech is over one thousand years old? It was invented by a unicorn turned Lunar Imperialist who later betrayed two provinces of the Solar Republic into the clutches of Nightmare Moon! She holed herself up behind the walls of Whinniepeg and didn't surrender until after two full months of siege!" Twilight giggled childishly. "Heeheehee! They interrogated her with molten silver! Isn't history cool?"

"Yes... erm... quite..." Octavia smiled crookedly.

"Still, it's nice to know that her one good invention has had a lasting effect on modern day." She turns towards me. "How about it, Miss Scratch?" She leans back, concentrates, and twirls the sticks in precise movements, pronouncing: "Ever die snorkling this after camel!"

"... ... ..." I blink at her.

She smiles and twirls the sticks some more: "Ocean bliss killed sugar votes carriage!" Her eyes glisten expectantly.

I lean back on my cast, wincing. I look aside at Tavi.

Tavi smiles nervously at me, eyebrow twitching.

Gulping, I turn back towards the princess and nod.

She cocks her head to the side, lips pursed. The sticks twirl: "Uterus left shoebox salt keep?"

"... ... ..." I nod again, smiling.

"Squee!" She hugs the sticks to herself, grinning ear to ear. "I knew it! Isn't communication so... so... communicative?" She twirls about and skips off. "Anyways, I bet you're dying to get to your instruments! Follow me!" She hums in an eggshell white tone.

Octavia exhales, slumping along after the Princess. "I seriously cannot wait to bend some strings..."

I follow her, limping.

Something's getting bent alright...

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