• 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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Brown Things

Author's Note:

And with one last note of velvety violet richness, the bass ballad ends.

By the time Octavia is done exhaling, the ballroom has already filled with thunderous applause.

"Woohooo!" Pinkie pumps a hoof. "Way to work them strings, Tavi!"

"Well, that..." Rarity smiles, fluffing her mane from where she sits. "...is certainly a poetic response to classical Marezart."

"Actually, it's a bit of an alteration," Twilight Sparkle says, looking past Rainbow and Applejack from where they sit before the stage. "I've listened to Marezart's suites multiple times, and I detected some variation in the middle of Octavia's performance." She looks up at the stage. "Isn't that right, Miss Melody?"

"Indeed. You caught me." Octavia says with a smile. She places the bowstring down on a table and flexes her hoof with a slight wincing expression. "Mmmf... ever since you described the potential visit of diplomats from Griffonstone, I got to thinking about the landscape they come from. Due to the curvature of the mountains, the windy gusts causes a loud, deep roar to echo through the chasms adjacent to the griffon home. So, I figured that—if I'm to perform for them—then I should treat them to a familiar sound. So I played the middle parts of those suites noticeably lower, in an effort to accomplish just that."

"Well, it certainly worked!" Pinkie grins. "That's about as low as I've ever gone! And you're talking to a pony who's limbo'd with Discord! Hehehe—snkkt!"

"I found it particularly relaxing," Fluttershy says. "Like hibernating in a deep, comfy snow patch with a blizzard happening overhead."

"That's quite an imaginative description, dear," Rarity remarks.

"Well, it was a very provocative performance."

"And a very smart one," Twilight says. She smiles up at the stage. "Very well done, Octavia. For a moment there, I thought I was going to have to make a few suggestions about the peformance, but it seems like you've done some research and thought ahead."

"Oh, I do hope it wasn't too terribly forward of me," my roommate utters with a touch of indigo.

"Far from it!" Twilight smiles. "I'm glad you took the initiative! It cuts rehearsal time in half. And I'm quite proud to see that our very own minstrels are thinking about the future arriving diplomats so far ahead of time!"

"Well, we only wish to make the evening party as delightful for them as it should be for everypony else."

"Pfftchyeah..." Rainbow Dash rolls her eyes. "By making them crap on the floor."

"Buh?" Twilight jolts in place.

"Rainbow!" Rarity hisses. "Honestly!"

"What the hay do ya mean, sugarcube?" Applejack interjects.

"I mean—we're fine! Sure!" Rainbow Dash shrugs. "But that cello playing got really... really low. How do we know Octavia hasn't hit the brown noise!"

"Don't you mean Brown Note?" Twilight droned.

"Oh Dashie..." Pinkie giggles. "I think if Tavi-Tavi hit the Brown Note, we would know. Right, girls?"

Rarity blushes furiously. "How do our conversations always get so uncouth...?"

"What am I, stupid?" Rainbow Dash cackles. "I'm not talking about the pony Brown Noise... er... Note. I'm talking about the griffon Brown Note!"

"Wait..." Applejack's freckled muzzle scrunches. "There's a difference?"

"Not that I'm aware of," Fluttershy says. She looks at Rainbow. "Rainbow, how do you figure?"

"Well, Gilda and I used to hang out all the time, right?"

"We know, Rainbow, we know," Rarity sighs.

"Well, back in the day—and she's gonna totally kill me for saying this—we'd be practicing or playing right outside of flight school. And then this... like... really deep roar would come rumbling over the ivory beds of Cloudsdale. Super loud'n'stuff. Bwarrrrrrrrrrrr... y'know? And I'd be just fine, but every time—I swear to Celestia—Gilda would cross her legs, get all wide-eyed, and be like 'Excuse me for a sec!' before flying off to the nearest bathroom."

"What in Celestia's blue skies made that kind of a dreadful noise up in Cloudsdale?!" Rarity exclaims.

"Probably the thunder from the weather factories," Fluttershy remarks. "The domed enclosure allows for deep bass reverberations. Baby pegasi like Rainbow and I learned to sleep through it."

"Must have been really frightening for a little catbird like Gilda!" Pinkie chirps.

"Rainbow..." Fluttershy cocks her head to the side. "...do I remember right about you once telling me that Gilda had a terrible run-in with a brood of dragons during her zeppelin flight to Cloudsdale?"

"Yeah, so?" Rainbow shrugs. "She's a tough cookie."

"Well, she certainly is now. But do you remember how skittish she was before I met her. I mean, you've told me stories."

"Er... yeah... so?"

"Well, at high altitudes, dragon roars are known to sound super deep and..." Fluttershy pauses to gulp. "T-terrifying."

"The weather factories must have made a sound that frightened Gilda!" Twilight remarks. "That would explain why she used to turn tail and run!"

"Wait..." Rainbow blinks. "Are you telling me that Gilda kept crapping in the clouds cuz she thought a dragon was nearby?" She blinks harder. "Gilda's afraid of dragons?"

"Might explain why she didn't talk much to Spike during that one party Pinkie threw," Applejack adds.

"Then, like..." Rainbow Dash shrugs. "What's the griffon Brown Note? Now I'm curious!"

The group reverberates with mixed groans and giggles.

Twilight rolls her eyes and looks up at me. "Vinyl, would you terribly mind salvaging this situation with the track you've been working on?"

"Oh, yes!" Octavia smiles over from her stage. "She's been working on this all night!"

I nod, grinning.

"I dun get it," Applejack says. "How's techno music gonna make the griffons feel welcome?"

"Ohhhhhh believe me," Rainbow Dash says with a smirk. "Given the right circumstances, those catbirds love to party."

"Heehee! Yeah! When they're not being grumpy or dumpy!" Pinkie adds.

"Euugh..." Rarity rolls her eyes while Fluttershy giggles. "I think I've had about all I can take."

I'm about to solve that. I spin two discs for alternative backbeats while flipping a switch to start broadcasting the track I've worked on last night.

And—within seconds—the whole ballroom is silenced, serenaded by golden colors acting as the framework for various notes—all traversing the color blue. The polished sound is very relaxed, yet playful. It tickles my ear canals even after hours and hours of manipulating it into a final project. I can only hope that it's mesmerizing them.

"I... rather like that, actually," Rarity coos.

"Very peaceful," Fluttershy adds. "Perhaps... a bit t-too peaceful for griffons?"

"I dunno," Rainbow Dash says. "You guys may not believe it, but Gilda used to be pretty chillax. It sounds like a cloud after a storm feels, very cool and... wispy."

"I, for one, think it's the perfect background noise to have a conversation to," Twilight concludes. "Calm, non-threatening... which is just what I may need when having a pacifying conversation with the delegates from Griffonstone."

"I concur," Octavia says. "Though... uhm..." She hugs the cello with a blush. "I know it's not my place to judge."

"Heehee... but your input as a musician is greatly appreciated, Octavia."

"Funny..." Rarity tongues the inside of her muzzle. "There's something... strangely familiar about it."

I bite my lip.

"Really?" Fluttershy looks over. "Like what?"

Rarity squints up at me. "Did the elevators of Ponyville Central Hospital play something similar to this?"

I shrug.

"Right. Far be it from me to suggest you would plagiarize." She leans back with a warm sigh and an even warmer smile. "I approve whole-heartedly."

"Eeyup. Seems just fine." Applejack looks at a watch that isn't there. "We done here?"

"Oooh! Oooh!" Pinkie Pie hops up. "Who's for Sugarcube Corner?"

"Why, that sounds fantastic!" Twilight smiles. "I don't know about you, I'm famished!"

"Well, the doughnuts are on me!" Pinkie waves. "Come on! All eight of us!"

Octavia blinks. "All... eight...?"

"Why, of course!" Pinkie giggles. "You serenaded our ears! Let Auntie Pinkie serenade your stomachs!"

"Oh, what a wonderful idea." Fluttershy smiles with a nod. "You really should join us."

"We would love to... but..." Octavia glances at me, fidgeting. "Wouldn't... wouldn't it be out of place?"

"How?" Applejack blinks. "We're hangin' out just fine here, aren't we?"

"But... b-but... we're just the minstrels..."

"You're contributors to the Castle of Friendship," Twilight says. "That doesn't make you servants. It makes you friends."

Octavia exhales, her cheeks slightly rosy. "I... I-I don't know what to say..."

"Well, say it quickly, darlin'." Applejack scoots up out of her chair. "My stomach's tied itself into a knot! Whew!"

"Yeah! Let's eat!" FWOOSH! Rainbow soars towards the nearest exit. "Last one there doesn't get any sprinkles!"

"Thank you..." Octavia bows, smiling. "We're grateful for your hospitality... and friendship." She glances aside. "Isn't that right, Vinyl?"

I nod.

Doughnuts, shmouhnuts.

They'd better have Dr. Pony, or I will find the Brown Note.

And I flip the switch, shutting the track off.

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