• Published 26th Oct 2015
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Symphonic Fusion - Duelist925



Octavia will do almost anything for an old friend. Even go on a blind date with a wildly garish mare.

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Chapter 6: ...

Vinyl could, if she tried, be sneaky. The mare had donned a dark grey jacket to held hide her bright white fur, and a cap helped to squash her hair down enough to not be instantly noticeable. Replace the purple shades with a pair of regular looking glasses from a costume shop, and she might pass as just some random pony to a casual glance.

Still, she was taking few chances, staying well back from Octavia. She made sure to keep the mare in her sight at all times, and did her best to just blend in with the crowd. She had to admit to herself though, this was weirdly fun! She felt like a secret agent. She had to remind herself that secret agents did not hum their own theme songs. Even if they were really catchy.

Vinyl hadn't slept well. After Octavia had left she'd just sat in silence, before heading out, trying to work out her frustrations with a good bit of exercise--namely, headbanging at a club or three. She'd wound up staggering home sometime before dawn, and collapsing into her bed--alone. She'd woken with a plan. Or, at least, as much of a plan as Vinyl ever had.

Vinyl paused midstride when Tavi stepped inside a building, one of the community centers set just off one of Canterlots parks. Huh. Was this where she practiced with her band, or whatever? She stepped in after a few minutes, looking around curiously. Well…she didn’t hear anything…

Vinyl started trotting along, keeping her hoof steps as quiet as she could. A sign next to a stairwell drew her eye, and she read through a little list of what rooms were where, and for what. Rec room, game room, Meeting rooms A-Z, blah, blah, blah. She heard a door slam shut up the stairs and grinned. “Alright, lets see what’s up.” She purred to herself.

She crept upstairs, glancing down the hallway. A few lights had burned out, which let her see the light leaking from under one particular door. She studied it for a moment: a sign read, ‘EDA Meeting’, with smaller script underneath reading ‘No Judgement’. Vinyl felt her eyebrow creeping up, and the first stirrings of unease in her stomach.

Scratch could hear voices within, but couldn't make anything out. . The unicorn glanced to the side, and bit her lip. There was a door right next to this one…maybe there was an air-vent she could crawl through or something? Awesome spy ponies did that!

She stepped into what proved to be a closet, and felt a moments elation when she saw an air vent perhaps halfway up the wall. The elation ended when she realized she’d be lucky to fit her head through without losing an ear…assuming she could undo the grating at all. Still, she could hear better in here…actually make out the words! A mare was speaking.

“…that pretty much wraps up the news. Now, I don’t see any new faces, so before we start the circle, does anyone have anything to share with the group?”

Another mare’s voice piped up. She sounded quite a bit younger than the first. “Hi. I uh…Um. I know it’s just my third meeting, but I just wanted to say thanks. You all have been a big help, and, um, I-I think I can beat it with you all.” Beat it? What? “I’m still afraid of telling my mom, but I haven’t had any episodes since last week, which is the longest it’s been for…uh. For awhile.”

Vinyl felt her stomach twist again as the sound of hooves clapping against the floor was heard.

“I’m glad to hear that Lily,” said the first mares voice. “If you like, you can share some more of the past week in the circle. Speaking of, if no one else has anything? No? Ok, pull your cushions up everypony!”

It wasn’t long before they continued.

“So, Lily, you said the last week has been good for you? Would you care to tell us a bit more about it?” said the first mares voice.

“Yeah. Um. I don’t really know where to start, but…uh. Hi? I’m Lily, if you haven’t met me before.” The mare sounded young and shy. “I’m here for…um.” There was a hesitance to her tone.

“It’s ok. This is a safe space to discuss our issues.” Coaxed the first mare soothingly.

“…Yeah.” Vinyl heard a breath. “I-I started coming here because of bulimia. I would eat a ton, and then p-purge. It’s been going on for almost a year, and a friend caught me. She made me start coming here, and, uh. I uh.” Vinyl imagined she could see her little uncomfortable shuffle. “I didn’t really want to. But the first meeting started to get to me, and it got me thinking. The second one…I broke down. I t-think most of you were here for that. And I haven’t…haven’t had an episode since. T-there’ve been some close calls, but I remembered you all,and—“

Vinyl could hear the emotion in the mares voice. “A-and I managed to avoid binging, or purging for a full week. It’s the longest I’ve gone, a-and I just wanted to t-thank you all.”

Vinyl felt…weirdly numb. She could hear movement, and soothing voices comforting the younger mare. She’d followed Octavia here. There was no way, just no way! She had to have messed up. Tavi was probably upstairs or something. Practicing a recital with her lame band, not in a group for ponies with, with issues!

“Thank you for sharing with us Lily,” said the original voice. “It means a lot, and we’ll all stick with you as you fight.”

Vinyl had turned toward the door, intent on leaving—she had half convinced herself that Tavi simply couldn’t be here—when the mare continued.

“Miss Philharmonic? I believe we’d just gotten around to you in the last session?”

Vinyl froze solid as a voice she was intimately familiar with echoed out of the air-vent.

“Yes, Miss Glitter. Hello, everyone. Octavia, if we haven’t met before. I’ve been attending meetings regularly for quite awhile, and I’m happy to say that it’s been over a year since I last had any real incidents. I did have a somewhat nasty hangover one morning a few weeks back, but I think I’m of sound mind enough to chalk that up to over-indulging during a date, rather than backsliding.”

She sounded so…calm about it. Vinyl felt numb. She took a step, and through distraction or happenstance, her hoof bent just wrong as it came down. She stumbled, crashing against the metal shelves lining one wall—sending a shelfful of cleaning products and buckets crashing to the ground as she sprawled out the door. She scrambled to her hooves, a bucket clattering away as she struggled not to fall again.
Shit. Oh, shit. They must have heard that. Her heart hamered in her chest as she raced down the hall, slamming the door to the stairwell open just as she thought she heard a door behind her.

-|-

She’d spent the entire run home trying to convince herself that she was in the clear. That she’d imagined it or something. That she’d made a mistake, or hit her head, or, or anything really.

The DJ had almost managed to convince herself of it after she’d gotten home. Even managed to calm herself down enough for a bit of rational thinking, enough to start planning out a way to maybe, kind of, sort of, bring this up around Tavi without losing her marefriend. Or her head.

She was so wrapped up in trying to figure this whole situation out that she almost missed her front door opening. The white mare looked up just in time to see her marefriend step inside and gently close the door with a soft ‘click’.

The sound was strangely loud. Vinyl felt tension creeping up her spine as her marefriend simply stood there, staring at the door.

“…H-hey, Tavi, whats up? Did you're snooty thing let out…uh. Early or some…something?” she said, trying desperately to avoid what she knew, in her core, was coming. Octavia said something, too quiet for her to hear. “…What? I didn’t…uh. Didn’t…hear…” She trailed off as Octavia turned around, and looked at her with a strange, bitter expression.

“I said, 'I saw you'.”

Vinyl felt her heart stop for a moment. She fought the urge to start shaking. “I. I uh. You. Oh.” She tried to think of something, anything to say, but nothing was coming. “I—shouldn’t have—“ she stammered.

Octavia held up a hoof for silence, which she was granted. “…One thing,” she said quietly. Her voice was…weirdly calm. Vinyl took an instinctive step back. Oh. This was bad. This was bad.

“Just…one thing. This one thing. One thing without you in it. One thing. And you just…could…not let go.” A hiss of venom entered her voice near the end there.

“…Octy, I’m so—“ Vinyl tried to speak.

Octavia intteruped with a growl. “Shut. Up. For once, shut up. Just shut up. I don’t care. I do not care, Vinyl! I don’t care how sorry you are. You knew. You knew I didn’t want you coming. You knew this was important to me, that it was something private. You knew because I told you.”

She took a step forward and Vinyl almost flinched. Her eyes blazed, jaw set tight when she wasn’t ranting, stalking back and forth now as she spoke. “I told you. I told you. You knew this was important to me you. You little- I told you this wasn’t for you, and you just had to know. Had to stick your ass in you bitch.”

At that, Vinyl did flinch. Octavia rarely, if ever, cursed—and never at her friends. Even during their fights, Vinyl couldn't remember her falling to this level. “O-octavia, I-I didn’t know--” she said, trying helplessly to salvage this train wreck.

Not the right thing to say however. Octavia whirled, eyes blazing, and stabbed a hoof at Vinyl, snarling, “Of course you didn’t know, because I never fucking told you!" She stalked closer, thrusting her hoof against Vinyls chest—the white coated mare cringed back helplessly. “Damnit, If I’d wanted you to fucking know I would have fucking told you, you fucking bitch!” She kept pressing closer, snarling into Vinyl’s face now.

“Well now you know. Now you know I how utterly fucking screwed in the head I am. Are you happy Vinyl?” She shoved the DJ back against the wall, “Now that you know how messed up I am, is your fucking curiosity satisfied!” She turned away, ignoring the apologies Vinyl was trying to stammer out as she paced.

She turned on her again, growling out, “Or do you want more. Here, have some more. I have an eating disorder! I was a fat little pig when I was a child, a disgusting sow and I was so ashamed when mother had to hire a coach to make my fat ass exercise that I just. Stopped. Eating.” She was panting, seething now, waving her hoof in Vinyl’s face with tears of anger streaming from her eyes. “And whenever I did eat, well, couldn’t have that, so I just got rid of it! I starved myself for years, until I was a damned skeleton, but it was never enough, and I finally had to be taken to the hospital because I fell over at band practice and couldn’t even get back up and I woke up in a hospital room, and I nearly died and, and, and--” And she just…collapsed. Like all the rage simply left her, like a deflated balloon. Crumpled to the ground and started to sob.

Hesitantly, Vinyl slid down and awkwardly wrapped her forelegs round her marefriends shoulders. “…Octavia?” she said softly.

“That was three years ago.” She whispered between hiccuping sobs. “It took nearly a year to get to the point where I could eat solid food. And another year of t-therapy on top of that to s-stop p-purging.” She sniffed hard, pressing her face against Vinyls neck. “And I didn’t want you to know you stupid brat. I didn’t want you to know. “ She sniffled again. “Why did you follow me?”

"...I was worried. And...kinda hurt that you wouldn't tell me. It was dumb, and selfish, and I shouldn't have. I'm sorry." Vinyl said softly. She pulled Octavia up and over to the couch, and held the sniffling mare close. "I'm sorry, Tavi. "