• 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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Fiddlin' Things

Author's Note:

"Well, reckon I consider myself somethin' of a fiddlin' pony myself," Applejack says, tilting the brim of her hat back. "By tradition, mind you—not by trade. Granny taught me how to play the violin back when I was just a lil' apple seed, and ever since—when the need calls, like every family reunion or wedding—I get to strummin' that thang somethin' fierce. Mmmm... I guess strummin' ain't exactly the way to describe it. But you catch my drift."

"Hmmm... indeed I do." Octavia smiles. Her cello is fully tuned at last. She squats on a chair in the middle of the stage, relaxing as she saws on the strings of her instrument with a graceful bow. "I've always admired the immortal nature of folk music—the way it's hoofed down from generation to generation n'such. A pony such as myself has had to practice for years and years to master the sort of skill I wield today. Although I'm proud of my talent, there are times when I feel as though it is all rather... forced. I envy ponies who inherit musical gifts as they do every other heirloom of the household. I imagine the violin in your posession is rather old."

"Darn tootin'!" Applejack leans back, smirking up at the stage. "Belonged to my great-grandpappy! And he was given them strings by his uncle! Why... I'd say that darn fiddle is older than even Ponyville itself!"

"That is something you must absolutely treasure," Tavi says, smiling warmly from above. "I know it sounds rather fanciful, but I've always seen musical instruments as the means by which we convey our souls. Your 'fiddle,' has—no doubt—inspired generations upon generations of ponies. It's a fine piece of your tradition."

"Well, that's one way of lookin' at it." Applejack shrugs. "I've always thought of it as sort of an ice breaker. Y'know... for when a hoedown is a mite bit sluggish and t'ain't nothin' else that can be done to pull the weeds out?"

"Mmmm... quite."

"But a cello? Whew!" Applejack shakes her head. "Reckon that's no walk in the park! Ain't like a jaw harp, banjo, or harmonica that you can just whip out at the drop of a hat."

"You're quite right, which is why I'm so incredibly blessed to have a venue the likes of which Her Majesty Twilight Sparkle has provided."

"Awwww..." Applejack smiles. "I bet you've performed at all the fancy schmancy places! Manehattan... Seaddle... Canterlot..."

"I have performed at Canterlot quite a few times," Tavi says. She stifles a sigh. "Although, only small venues."

"Ya sure 'bout that?" Applejack's green eyes squint in thought. "Coulda sworn... you've performed at the Grand Galloping Gala, haven't you?"

"Indeed."

"Hah!" Applejack smirks. "I knew there was somethin' familiar about seein' you standin' in such a lofty position! Pluckin' away at cello strings!"

"Although, in truth, I haven't attended another Gala since... erm... the one before last." She clears her throat. "I've stuck to simple garden parties at most over the past year and a half."

"Oh really? How come?"

"Oh..." Octavia sighs. "I've had my reasons. Still." She smiles. "A lot of nice opportunities have been opening up here in Ponyville—even before this remarkable Castle appeared."

"Well, that's just fine and dandy."

"It would seem as if Ponyville is rapidly becoming the new capital of Central Equestrian sophistication." Tavi winces slightly, pausing in her instrumentation. "Erm... no offense."

"Heh. Why should I be offended? I done noticed it too!" Applejack squirms where she sits. "All of these... turkey call contests have been growing less and less exciting with each passing year. At first, I thought it was cuz Big Macintosh was startin' to lose his stride. Then I plum realized: Ponyville ain't what it used to be. Everypony's fancier... wealthier... healthier. And—shucks—now that we've got a Princess with her very own Palace seated all nice'n'pretty in the heart of downtown, it's almost like we're becomin' a second Canterlot!"

"Well, I wouldn't go that far..."

"Trust me, sugarcube. There was a time when the most excitin' thang to happen in Ponyville was a broken wagon wheel. Several parasprites, ursa majors, and battles with evil centaurs later, and... well... I think everypony's jumpin' with joy to be alive. Everyone's got a second chance ever since Tirek rose and fell, so ponies left and right are fixin' to make their lives all that snazzier... to enjoy the moment, ya feel me?"

"It's certainly allowed them to enrich their day-to-day habits."

"Exactly! Why, Granny's even tryin' to talk me into erectin' an above-ground swimming pool between the house and the barn." Applejack rolls her eyes. "Cuz that's just what we need, right? Next year, when the vampire fruit bats show up, they'll have themselves a little swimmin' hole to relax in." The mare shuddered. "Y'know, for as much as Ponyville might change... the critters will stay the same. Especially this close to the Everfree Forest, dag nabbit."

"Well, let's not go inviting them to any of our royal balls, hmmm?" Octavia muses.

"Heh... no kiddin'." Applejack takes her hat and fans herself. "I ain't quite so sure how I should feel about that, yet."

"What, forest pets?"

"No, I mean all of this... royal etiquette nonsense." Applejack's brow furrowed as she slapped her hat back on. "I'm all for supportin' Twilight'n'all, but all of this 'diplomatic relations' stuff sure is sendin' my head for a spin."

"Who knows, Miss Applejack," Tavi remarks with a shrug. "Maybe you'll grow to appreciate a certain degree of high-class civility, no matter how contrived."

"Been there, done that, darlin'," Applejack says. "When I was tinier than tiny itself, I made a lone trek to Manehattan to be with my Aunt and Uncle."

"Oh?"

"I learned that I wasn't cut out for all them 'high manners' nonsense. It's one thang to be civil, but it's another thang to go overboard."

"Surely, for Twilight, you can make an exception."

"Pffft. You kiddin'? I'd put on a tutu and prance around for that mare! Do ya know just how many times she's saved my family from hellfire? This whole town, for that matter? Ponyville means everythang to the Apples, and Twilight's brought it back from the brink of destruction more times than I care to count!"

"Certainly Twilight won't press you to go too far."

"No, I suppose not." Applejack sighed. "Sometimes there's that part of me that's afraid that I might do somethin' to embarrass herself."

"A friend as close to you as Twilight? Hardly!"

"Point well made, darlin'. Golly... you sure do know how to help a fellow pony process her thoughts'n'feelings."

"Yes, well..." Octavia smiles coyly in my direction. "Let us simply say that I've learned from the best."

I'd return the smile, if only I wasn't leaning awkwardly against my DJ booth, my muzzle stuck in an incurable grimace.

"What?" Rarity coos, then leans even further with her measuring tape. "Oh, don't be so fussy, dear! I'm simply... mmm... innocently curious of your measurements." She smiles with bright blue eyes. "No reason!"

I hear Tavi's purple giggle in the background, and I sigh.

Looks like I'm getting no salvation today.

Just then, the wide doors to the ballroom creak open on the far side. The air fills with a gray voice.

Oh great! Twilight is here!

I smile, glancing Tavi's way. Almost immediately, my smile fades.

She's no longer playing her instrument. In fact, my gorgeously gifted roommate is suddenly hiding behind her cello, using it as an inexplicable shield to hide a furiously blushing face.

Huh?

"Oh, how delightful they look together," Rarity mumurs next to me, cooing in a breathy tone. "Royalty surely has brightened Twilight's life."

I gaze over in time to see two shapes trotting into the room—one lavender and the other orange. The guard says something with a rattle of his armor, and Twilight giggles.

A magenta groan escapes my nostrils, and I slump against my turntable while I weather the delirium with a frown.

Oh. Great...

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