• Published 16th Mar 2016
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Vinyl and Octavia: Girl Friends - Girls of Canterlot High



Octavia is approached by a very strange girl, and together, they begin their long journey of love and discovery.

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The Haircut

The classroom for music studies was much bigger and taller than the traditional classrooms that made up the rest of Canterlot High. Instead of rows of desks and chalkboards, the music room had nearly thirty foldout chairs pointing and situated every which way where students felt like sitting. Everyone was gathered into their little groups, chatting and talking amongst each other now that the quiz was over, and some students were already in the process of packing their various instruments for the journey home.

There was one girl in the corner of the room who sat by herself, completely isolated from everyone else. This was due to a couple of reasons. Firstly, her big cello made it difficult to interact with others without getting in someone’s way, but most prominently, she had absolutely no idea how to talk to anybody. Out of all the young freshmen in her class, she stood out as by far the most awkward looking. Her long straight black hair fell down her neck and face past her shoulders which only parted in the middle of her forehead, Her clothes were as equally as (un)stylish. A modestly long black skirt and white button up shirt with a grey bowtie around her neck only added to her plain appearance.

To this girl’s utter surprise, she felt a gentle tug on the sleeve of her shirt during her exit towards the door after the bell rang. At first, she felt her heartbeat quicken in a fear-like response. Someone was probably going to pick on her. It didn’t happen often, but getting picked on was the only form of social interaction she had taken part in since the first day of school at age five. Now, in high school, nothing else had changed other than physical growth.

“Yo, Tavi!”

Her fear being replaced by confusion, Octavia quickly turned her head towards the speaker. Did…she call me ‘Tavi’? With rigid feet and a wide eyes filled with nervous anticipation, Octavia cleared her throat. “Y-Yes?” She asked, her voice accented by years of schooling abroad and parents from across the Atlantic.

“You take bus twenty, right?” The girl speaking to her was the very epitome of contrast appearance. Her short, electric blue hair was swept across her whole head to the side with a giant pair of purple tinted sunglasses positioned on her forehead. Her bright red eyes were incredibly vibrant with energy, as was her boyishly happy smile. She wore a white tank top that hugged her slender waist and a pair of shredded blue skinny jeans that had definitely seen better days. In the places where holes hadn’t taken refuge, there were multiple colors of marker drawings. She also wore a very oversized belt that slouched to one side that was probably more of a fashion statement than a necessity. “Hello?” The girl waved her hand in front of Octavia’s face.

“O-Oh, y-yes.” Octavia nodded before blinking back her surprise. “I do take bus twenty, yes.” Her arm was beginning to ache from holding her cello by her side.

“Sweet! Me too.” That boyish smile grew bigger. “Wanna ride home together?”

“With…me?” Octavia asked while pointing a finger at her chest.

“Yeah, dude.” The strange girl stood and slung her small messenger bag over her shoulder. The brown khaki bag was covered in patches and buttons which Octavia presumed were bands that she had never heard of. “You get off at the second stop, right? Across the street from that fancy organic store?”

"I-I do indeed.” Octavia couldn’t help but smile a little, and her heartbeat began to quicken once more. Even though this was the second term of the school year, this was the first time someone was talking to her like a normal person.

“Cool! I get off at the third stop. You wanna head out? Oh, I’m Vinyl, by the way.” She held out a hand with confidence, and Octavia gingerly held out her own to receive a firm shake. “Vinyl Scratch.”

“O-Octavia Melody.” Octavia drew her hand back after a red tint spread across her face from the physical contact.

“Melody? Cool name.” Vinyl gave her a bright smile. “Nice to meet you, Tavi.”

‘Tavi’…She calls me ‘Tavi’… When Octavia stared into Vinyl’s wildly happy smile, her own smile grew a bit bigger and she held her head bit higher.

-o0o-

“Dude, I’m so glad that quiz is over.” Vinyl leaned back in her seat and rolled her eyes. She had taken the aisle seat and Octavia had taken the window seat. “How do you think you did?”

“I…believe I did fairly well, although I’m quite sure I missed a couple questions.” Octavia spoke with such grace that was unmatched by any of her peers, and it was for this reason that Octavia wondered why Vinyl had suddenly sat up straight and given her a look of perplexed wonder. “Is…something the matter?” Octavia asked nervously, very away of how close their faces were.

Vinyl dramatically sighed and ran her fingers through her wild blue hair. “Oh, mannn… You made such a big sigh after the quiz that I thought you totally bombed. I know I did.”

I-I…see.” Octavia relaxed back into her seat and looked forward. Is that why she approached me?

“My mom is gonna flip. I failed the first quiz, and I really needed a passing grade on this one.” Vinyl laughed and shrugged her shoulders. “Whatever.” She paused for a moment. “Hey, were you here for the first quiz? I don’t remember seeing you in class until a couple weeks ago.”

“Oh, t-that is correct. I transferred my P.E. credit to music theory. My parents believed it would be the best fit for my education.” Octavia brushed her hair away from her face with a finger, her eyes still looking forward.

“You don’t really seem like the athletic type, no offense.” Vinyl remarked. “You got kind of a ‘Urkel meets a butler’ thing going on minus the glasses.”

Octavia knew what a butler was. She had a couple permanent resident butlers at home in her parent’s mansion. However, she had no idea who or what ‘Urkel’ was. “I don’t quite follow.” She turned to face Vinyl with a puzzled expression.

Vinyl opened her mouth to explain her reasoning, but all she offered was a sigh and another shrug. “It’s not important.” She giggled and nudged Octavia’s side. “You don’t watch a whole lot a TV, do you?” It was more of a statement than a question. The show she was quoting was much older than either girl, but popular culture didn’t seem to be a main course for her new friend.

“You are correct. I hardly watch Television. Mother says it is the bane of a growing mind, and I need not concern myself with the vices of a rebellious youth.” Octavia quoted her mother solemnly but truthfully.

“Huh…” Vinyl raised her eyebrows for a second. “I didn’t understand a word of that, but okay.” She drummed her fingers together on the seat in front of her as the bus began to make a sharp right turn. “So I’m guessing you’re not allowed to watch TV then.”

'I…I am allowed.” Octavia clarified as her eyes met the polished tips of her shoes. “It’s just…not a behavior that is fully encouraged in my household.”

"Weird.” Vinyl laughed halfheartedly in an effort to keep the mood lively. She looked past Octavia out the window as the bus began to slow to a stop. This was the first stop on their bus’ route which happened to be on the closer side of the shopping center opposite the weird organic food store where Octavia would usually get off at. “Hey, wanna get a burger with me?”

“Pardon?” Octavia looked up from her feet, grateful that the conversation had been pulled away from her awkward ranting. “Oh, I couldn’t. Mother says one should never spoil a perfectly good appetite with wasteful calories.”

“Your mom sounds great.” Vinyl didn’t bother masking the sarcasm in her voice. “First TV, now food.” She stopped herself from making anymore rash comments when she saw her new friend’s face become somber. Vinyl was beginning to suspect that Octavia wasn’t too happy with her overbearing mom, or at least she herself wouldn’t be if they switched faces for a day. “Well, how about a small ice cream cone then.”

Octavia heard those words, and her eyes grew wide with desire. It had been years since she had ice cream, and right now, the devil on her shoulder was hard pressed to indulge in the sinful pleasures of sugar. “Sure…”

“Sweet. Alright, let’s get off here.” Vinyl swung herself up from her seat and grabbed her messenger bag from beneath the bench they shared.

Octavia stood and navigated her cello case from underneath the bench towards the front of the bus. She was beginning to have second thoughts about this whole plan. If she got off here, she would have to carry her cello over half a mile home, and if her mother found out about this, dinner would not be a pleasant event. “Actually Vinyl, I…I’m not so sure I can-”

“I’ll carry that for you.” Vinyl reached down and grabbed the handle of the cello case, walking out of the bus and onto the sidewalk with ease. A few other students followed after her before Octavia poked her head out the door. “You coming?”

“Y-Yes. I am.” Octavia stepped out onto the sidewalk before casting a glance up and down the street. It was hard to tell exactly what she was feeling. This was the first time she had ever ‘hung out’ with anyone outside of school, and a lot of anxiety surrounded this new experience. “Are you sure this is alright? Do your parents need you home anytime soon?”

“My parents keep telling me to get out more and make new friends.” She rolled her eyes while beginning a brisk pace towards the colorful red building. “I spend ONE weekend on my computer, and now they think I’m a weirdo.” She giggled and motioned for Octavia to follow. “I’m buying.”

“Buying?” Octavia asked. “Oh, you’re buying, I see.” She quickened her pace to walk next to Vinyl up the street to the little Burgerphile. She had seen quite a few of these establishments around the city. They seemed to be everywhere, but she had never been inside of one before. And what a place it was! All the furniture and brightly colored decorations were so eye catching that Octavia nearly pinched herself.

Vinyl put the cello case down and rushed to the counter to order. She came back less than a minute later with a tray full of delicious looking and delicious smelling food. “Wanna sit there?” She asked, motioning to a corner booth with her free hand.

“That would be acceptable.” Octavia said, taking a deep whiff of all the sweet scents floating around the establishment.

The two girls sat facing each other, and Vinyl pushed a fudge dipped cone towards her. “Eat up.” She giggled. “It’s already starting to melt.”

“T-Thank you for this, Vinyl.” Octavia gratefully took the cone in both hands.

“Sure, no prob.” Vinyl shrugged before taking a big chomp out of her burger. Octavia licked some of the fudge running down the cone. It had been a very long time since she had tasted chocolate of any kind since her birthday nearly five months before, the summer before starting high school. “Good, right?”

“Very…” Octavia nodded, unable to completely hide her pleased face.

With their taste buds now introducing themselves to their treats, both girls spent the next couple of minutes indulging themselves. Octavia was a bit more zealous than intended while licking frantically at her cone. Vinyl hardly noticed, but for some reason, she leaned forward. “Is your hair naturally straight like that?” She asked, reaching out with two fingers to grasp at Octavia’s locks, gently pulling down to play with the long strands.

“I-It is, yes!” Octavia jerked back in her seat, her face lit up like a spotlight. “W-Why do you ask???” She gulped as her legs tensed up beneath the table. Is...she petting me?

Vinyl gave her a big smile and let go of the lock of hair before sitting back down. “I just thought you have cool hair. I really like the color. You ever thought about getting it cut?”

'I…” Octavia blushed fiercely and gently twirled a finger through the same lock. “No, I can’t say that I have.” She cleared her throat and put her half eaten cone down. “Did…you presume that I straighten my hair?” As much as she didn’t want to ask, she had to. Any comments about her appearance, although few and far between, couldn’t be ignored without having a negative effect on her already diminutive self-esteem.

“No, I was just wondering.” Vinyl shook her head with that same smile. “Between you and me, I’ll let you in on a little secret.”

This can’t possibly be good. Octavia sighed very softly. “And that is?”

Vinyl leaned forward again. “I always thought you’d look good with a hair cut.”

Vinyl Scratch is incredibly strange… “Um…thank you?”

Vinyl leaned back in her chair and ran both hands through her short blue hair, tossing her head back and forth until her head had the appearance of a porcupine in a wind tunnel. “My hair is getting kinda long. I think it’s time for a haircut.”

Octavia wasn’t sure if she was serious or if this was a joke. Her hair was much shorter than any other girl she had met before, but Vinyl had a strange style that she didn’t fully understand. “I see.” Octavia looked down at the table. “To be honest with you…” She ran a finger across the top of her head down her shoulder. “I seldom do anything with my hair. Does…it perhaps…look strange?”

“Well, you do kinda let it grow wild.” Vinyl giggled hard and nodded her head to the side to let her hair fall back into place.

“I-I see…” Octavia sighed.

Vinyl noticed the slight despondency in Octavia’s voice and features. She finished the last of her small fries and gently tapped her new friend on the shoulder. “Hey Tavi, you wanna get a haircut with me tomorrow?” She asked, smiling again.

-o0o-

With a towel around her head, Octavia stepped out of her shower. Her bathroom was big enough to park a car comfortably, and her bedroom was home to a large princess style bed. She sat on her bed wearing her bathrobe, her face contorted into a very anxious expression. The conversation she just had with her mother at dinner was almost painful, and even after an hour had passed, she was still feeling stressed from the discourse.

“Mother, I…have a request.” She had said while sitting in front of her untouched liver and spinach.

“Yes?” Her mother’s voice had always been strong and forceful. “Use your words, Octavia. You’re a young lady now.”

It had been a horrible fight to witness between her mother and father the previous summer. They had been arguing about where to send their introverted teen daughter for high school. Her father insisted on sending her to a large public school so she could socialize and branch out. Her mother insisted on sending her to a music preparatory school to hone her cello skills. In the end, her father had won, but Octavia couldn’t help but remember the angry voices every time she had to speak with her parents.

“I…would…” Octavia could hear her own voice become more and more quiet, to which her mother was quick to point out.

“Speak up, child. I shan’t tolerate any request lest you speak clearly.”

Octavia cleared her throat and raised her head, her nerves and torso shaking with anxiety. “…I would…like to have my hair cut.”

The request seemed unimportant to her mother, so unimportant that she returned to her own dinner. “If that’s what you wish. Shall I send for your maid?”

“U-Um…” Octavia shook her head. Since birth, her hair was cut by one of the maids who resided in the mansion. “No, mother.”

This time, her mother raised her head while reaching for her glass of wine. “Do you wish to go to a salon?”

“I…” Octavia wasn’t sure what she wanted to do. All she needed right now was a bit of money for the next day. Vinyl was the one who actually had the plan, so beyond that, Octavia had no idea what to expect. “…I believe so.”

“Shall I call and set up an appointment?”

“N-No…I…I made plans to…go with a-” Her last word fell short for a moment. “-friend.”

Her mother’s eyes grew wide with surprise. “A friend? I see.” She took a sip of her wine and smiled.

With a heavy sigh, Octavia laid back in her bed and tried her best to push the awkward conversation out her mind once again. Being in the comfort of solitude in her own room always made her feel better, especially with her cello propped up in the other side of her room next to her sheet music stand. This was her place, and this room had always been her home since before she could remember. The only recent addition to her room was her new cell phone on the nightstand by her bed.

The day before, Octavia had received Vinyl’s number. Octavia had hesitantly put the number in her phone as Vinyl stood by her side. It was impossible to notice how Vinyl’s smile grew a bit wider and brighter with each beep the phone made as Octavia imputed the digits. By now, Vinyl probably expected a text message from her to confirm each other’s numbers, but as she held her phone in both hands, Octavia couldn’t yet bring herself to do so.

There were a million and one thoughts running through her head. Are we supposed to be friends now? Should…I wait until tomorrow to message her? Why…did she talk to me today? Octavia pressed the message button on her phone and began to type her name. She was about to press the send button before sitting up to sigh heavily. This was a moment of truth for her. Don’t be a coward, Octavia. Press the button…

Almost seconds after sending the message, Octavia heard her phone chime. It was a very alien noise to her that nearly made her gasp. “Yo Tavi!” The message read. “Wuts good girl?”

Octavia couldn’t help but smile a tiny bit. Four out of those five words she understood which was plenty enough to piece together the meaning of the message, but the wording was so grammatically incorrect that Octavia just had to giggle. The compulsive and perfectionist side of herself made Octavia rewrite Vinyl’s message. “Yo, Tavi!” She typed. “What’s good, girl?” …Whoops… Her finger brushed against the send button by accident.

“wtf?”

Octavia had absolutely no idea what ‘wtf’ meant, but it probably wasn’t a greeting. “I am very sorry. I didn’t mean to send that.” Octavia typed out her new message rather slowly. Texting was a skill she didn’t have yet.

“Kool, no bigs. U good?”

“Am I good?”

“Yah you ok? Im askng if yur ok.”

“I am well, thank you. How are you?”

“Mad. I died like 4 times.”

“Pardon?” Octavia reread all of her messages in haste to see if she had missed something or read something out of context. What in the world is she talking about?

“Im playin a game. I died 4 times.”

Octavia sighed with relief, grateful that her new friend was not in any physical danger. ‘Games’ probably meant that she was playing a video game of some kind. She seemed like the type of person who enjoys such a hobby. “I see. Forgive me. I misunderstood you.”

“No bigs. U still down for 2morrow?”

Octavia giggled once again at the irony of what she was reading. Although Vinyl’s words looked like a foreign language, she still understood (for the most part) what was being said. “Yes.” She typed back.

“Sweet! ^_^”

Octavia squinted her eyes at the screen. It appeared that Vinyl was using different punctuation to form a face of some kind. She looked up from her phone to gaze at her wall. I…really do not understand this girl…

-o0o-

After her honors English class, Octavia walked out into the hall. She only had her music theory class every other day, so today she didn’t bother to bring her cello to school. It was nice not to carry the big case around, but her cello had always been her closest friend. She felt emotionally naked without it.

“Tavi!”

Octavia gasped loudly and spun around to face the direction of the voice. She wasn’t too surprised to see Vinyl, that dopey grin on her face as usual, but the sudden rise in heart attacks during the past two days was starting to give Octavia a headache. “V-Vinyl.” Octavia bowed politely. “Good afternoon.”

Vinyl began to giggle and rolled her eyes behind her sunglasses. “Seriously? A bow? That’s too funny.” She held out a hand. Octavia looked up at her face, then back down at her hand. If she had to guess, Vinyl probably wasn’t the hand shaking type, so why was she extending her hand like that. “Really?” Vinyl pushed her glasses atop her head and raised an eyebrow at her. “Just stick your hand out for a sec.”

Octavia did as she was told. A second later, she received a slap on the palm. “Ow…” She whispered to herself.

“So, you ready to go?” Vinyl asked while beginning to walk down the hall.

“I-I believe so.” Octavia followed the cue and began walking alongside her. “Um, may I ask you a question?”

“Go ahead.” Vinyl tipped her glasses back down. “Walk with me to my locker. I gotta grab my jacket.”

'Very well.” Octavia nodded and continued to follow her down the hall. “I was wondering…where do you plan on taking me?”

“Oh yeah, I totally forgot to tell you. It’s just a place I like downtown.” Vinyl put a finger to her chin. “It’s probably not your type of place. I hope that’s cool with you.”

Octavia didn’t have a particular preference considering she didn’t get out much. “I’m sure…I’ll be fine with it.”

“Cool.” Vinyl took a turn down the hall. “I’m just right over here.” They continued a few more feet to the corner of the hallway, and Vinyl began imputing her combination. She opened the locker door and pulled out her jacket.

Octavia eyed the garment with great interest. It was unlike anything she had seen before. The jacket was the kind with those funny hoods stitched to the neck, the material was white as snow, and the stitching and ornamentation was electric green and blue. This jacket definitely complimented Vinyl’s appearance. “That’s a very…interesting jacket.”

“You think so? Thanks.” Vinyl slipped into her hoodie and zipped it up. “I’m surprised you like it.” ‘Like’ was a strong word, but Octavia didn’t dislike it. In reply, she simply nodded. Vinyl closed her locker after stuffing her big headphones into her messenger bag. “Hey, you sure you’re cool hanging out with me?”

Octavia gave her a puzzled look. Why would she ask me that now? She gave a nod and looked away. “I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t be.”

“Okay, cool.” Vinyl shrugged. “I just thought you only hung out with other smart girls.”

I don’t ‘hang out’ with anyone at all. Octavia shook her head slowly. “It’s…perfectly fine.”

Vinyl let out a loud sigh. “I’m glad you don’t hate me or anything. I was kinda worried you didn’t like me.”

“N-No, please don’t presume that I dislike you, Vinyl. I’m sorry you somehow came under that impression.” Octavia put her hands up in protest.

“Good! That’s a relief.” Vinyl gave her a big smile and slid her arm around Octavia’s elbow. “Let’s get going before we miss the bus.”

“B-Bus?” Octavia tried to ask before being pulled towards the school’s front doors. Vinyl bounded outside, dragging Octavia behind her towards the street. Together, they barely caught the bus in time into town.

Bus rides were nothing new to Octavia since coming to Canterlot High, but taking the city bus was completely different. The sounds and the people scared her a little bit, but Vinyl took her towards the back for a mostly secluded ride. “That was close.” Vinyl laughed. “Missing the bus sucks. This route takes almost a full hour to come back around.”

“I see…” Octavia looked around awkwardly at all the little advertisements in strange places. With so many colors and words next to each other, none of it seemed to make any sense. I didn’t know there are emergency rooms for pets.

Vinyl seemed to be very comfortable with herself while the bus began moving. Octavia surmised that she had taken her fair share of bus rides in her time, and she almost envied her. The way she sat with her body slouched back and her feet propped up on the back of the seat in front of her all spoke volumes to Vinyl’s knowledge of what could be considered the social norms of ‘normal people’. She began to talk to Octavia without a care in the world, bouncing around topics that she had no familiarity with. All Octavia could do was nod her head to assure the speaker that she was listening while wondering to herself Why is she so open with me?

Finally, Vinyl said something that actually clicked with her. “So you play the cello? That’s cool. I tried the violin in third grade. Totally didn’t get it.”

“I do indeed.” Octavia’s head perked up at the opportunity to include herself in the seemingly one sided conversation. Her thoughts drifted to the sparse memories of Vinyl in music class, and she realized that her new acquaintance didn’t bring any instruments to class. “May I ask you something?”

“Yeah.” Vinyl nodded, her expression of amusement partially masked by her glasses. “You don’t have to ask.”

Octavia looked away with a slight nod. “What instrument do you play?”

“I don’t really play any, unless you count my computer as one.”

With a bit of puzzlement, Octavia looked back at her. “Computer?”

“Yeah, I’m a mixer.” Vinyl patted her messenger bag. “Well, I’m more of a DJ.”

Mixer? DJ? Octavia hadn’t heard of such terms. “I…don’t fully understand.” In reality, she didn’t even remotely understand.

Vinyl reached into her bag to produce a very small laptop computer that looked as expensive as her scuffed up combat boots looked nearly worthless. She opened the lid and pointed the screen of the computer towards Octavia, giving her a good view of a MIDI program for mixing and composing music. “I make music with this, you know, like mix a range of sounds and tones using sequencing? It’s kinda like writing sheet music, but I got this bad boy here.”

Most of what she saw and heard went right over her head, but Octavia understood enough to conclude that Vinyl was, in essence, a composer. Just to be sure, she had to ask. “Am I right to assume that you are a composer?”

“Huh…” Vinyl closed her laptop and stashed it safely back in her bag. “Never thought about it like that before, but yeah, I guess you could say that.” She giggled. “That does sound kinda pro, you know?”

‘Pro’ as in professional? Octavia was intrigued; very, very intrigued. Never once had it crossed her mind that the composition of music could be done on a personal computer. Her own music background was so old fashioned that it didn’t dawn on her that the times really have changed. She wanted to ask how it all worked, what Vinyl’s process was, how she found inspiration. “I am impressed.” Was all she could choke out through her racing thoughts.

“Really?” Vinyl’s new smile was full of pride. “Wow, thanks! Coming from a smart chick like you, that’s really saying something.”

Smart?...Chick? Octavia still wasn’t sure why Vinyl assumed she was smart. Her grades had always been ahead of most everyone else in her classes, but that didn’t mean much considering the amount of time she put into her studying efforts. “Um…thank you.” She awkwardly brushed her hair starting at the part in the middle of her forehead down to her shoulder.

“Girl, we really gotta do something about this.” Vinyl placed a hand on top of her head and slid her fingers down the back of her neck. This made Octavia tense up and grow wide eyed with a fierce blush, but Vinyl didn’t notice. “I mean, you’re pretty cute and whatever, but I think this haircut will help out.”

Cute??? This had been the very first time she had been called cute since that frightful day in the back office of Pine’s Pianos when she was nine. She had gotten separated from her father and ended up crying in a corner until a salesman brought her back to the service department for a cookie while waiting for her dad to show up. The salesman had made a passing remark about her appearance just like how Vinyl was doing now. “I-I…”

“Yeah, maybe trim the edges too.” Vinyl grasped at the split end by her shoulder. “Oh yeah, add some red highlights or something. That would look sweet.”

Octavia instantly shook her head. “I-I don’t think that’s possible.” She brushed her hair back in place, and Vinyl took the hint by lowering her hand. Her mother would be outraged to see her come home with such a radical change to her appearance. It was hard enough to convince her to get a haircut by herself.

“I’m kidding about the highlights.” She wasn’t kidding, but she saw how distressed Octavia looked because of the suggestion. “It’s chill, Tavi. I’m not serious.” With a small sigh of relief, Octavia nodded. Vinyl gave her a soft nudge on the shoulder and cast her gaze out the window. Almost immediately, she gasped and shot out of her seat. “Oh, hey, driver!!!” She shouted, much to Octavia’s dismay. “Stop here!!!” Apparently, such crass and demanding words were socially acceptable because the bus driver did exactly as asked without any trouble. Vinyl leapt out of her seat, pulling Octavia by the hand. As they raced out the door, Vinyl shouted, “Thanks!!!” right before exiting with her guest in tow.

-o0o-

What Octavia had in mind was…well, it wasn’t this. She was picturing a salon with lavish décor and magazines of fine taste, perhaps even a strange name that many spas and beauty parlors fancied. Instead, she was smack dab in the middle of, to the best of her knowledge, what resembled the backroom of an underground rock concert. Although there were chairs positioned in front of mirrors as per custom of a haircutting establishment, the entire interior was covered in band posters and spray paint. In the far back of the shop was two reclining chairs where guests would sit to have their ‘ink’ done, as Vinyl put it. The pair of shopkeepers, one a man and the other presumably his wife, were covered in tattoos that contrasted sharply with their absurd hairstyles. Is this really where Vinyl comes to get her hair cut?

“Yo, DJ!” The brawny man gave Vinyl a slap on the palm when both girls entered. “That was quick. Change your mind about that tat you wanted?”

“Nah, I’ll have to pass for now.” Vinyl shook her head. “Unless you wanna give it to me for free.”

The shopkeeper cursed and chuckled. “Funny.” He gave Octavia an upwards nod with his head. “Who’s the doll?”

Vinyl patted Octavia on the back. “I got my pal Tavi today. She needs a cut.”

With a very sheepish smile, Octavia looked up at the man. Between his boisterous voice and Vinyl’s hand on her back, she had absolutely no idea how to act or what to say. In the past hour and a half, she had received a culture shock that wasn’t backing down anytime soon, and standing where she was didn’t help. If it wasn’t for Vinyl’s strangely comforting and friendly presence, she probably would have ran to the nearest police station for a ride back to her upscale neighborhood. “Good Afternoon.”

The man smirked and bowed his head in mock etiquette. “Good afternoon to you as well, mademoiselle.”

Vinyl began cracking up and laughed. “Yeah, Tavi’s kinda weird like that.”

The woman came back from behind the counter and quickly took Octavia by the hand to one of the chairs. “Quit teasing the babe.” She balled a fist up at the other two in the shop. “Sorry about that. My husband’s an ass. You want a soda or something?”

Feeling very grateful to not be the subject of further conversation, Octavia shook her head. “I-I, believe I can suffice without refreshment. Thank you for the offer.”

The woman smiled very warmly, a feat nearly impossible to do under her piercings and angry looking red mohawk. Vinyl approached her and peered into the mirror to inspect herself. She flipped her head to the side, making her electric blue hair dance, an action that Octavia often thought to be painful. The man strolled towards the back of the shop and began messing with the stereo in the back. “Want some tunes, DJ?”

“Nah.” Vinyl shook her head and face the back of the store to speak. “It’s cool.” Normally, Vinyl would have picked the music herself, but she had a feeling Octavia wouldn’t be too comfortable with punk rock or some other style of ‘tunes’ blaring in the background with eardrum shattering volume. The man shrugged and sat down in one of the tattooing chairs with a magazine in hand.

“So, what are we doing today?” The nice yet strange looking lady asked while lifting Octavia’s hair up and sweeping it to the side wildly. “Want some lift and some color?”

If her new stylist’s appearance was any indication, Octavia surmised that any suggestion would probably lead to her looking like a peacock trying to attract a mate. “I…am not so sure.”

The woman smoothed Octavia’s hair out and giggled. “I’m guessing you want something less wacko.”

“Yes.” Octavia nodded slowly, very aware of her appearance in the mirror. She looked completely out of place like the first time she saw a jet plane in the sky as a child, and she wondered if Vinyl’s choice in taking her here was a big mistake. Perhaps I should have gotten my hair trimmed by the maid after all… But there was no turning back now that she had stepped inside and taken a seat. “Perhaps…” She glanced at Vinyl through a mirror for a moment. “V-Vinyl?”

Vinyl stuck her hands into her pockets. “Yeah?”

“Do…you…perhaps have something in mind?” Octavia turned to Vinyl to look up at her with a polite eagerness.

“Me?” Vinyl dumbly pointed to herself. “Uh…” She took her glasses off to get a better look at Octavia’s features. “You sure? It’s your hair, girl.”

“Um…” Octavia stuttered. “W-Well, I think…you might be the best person to make this decision. I don’t believe I can make this decision on my own.”

“Wow…cool!” Vinyl smiled and gave Octavia a nod of enthusiasm. “Are you totally sure?” She received a nod back.

“Then let’s get started.” The woman reached towards the mirror for a spray bottle filled with water and a bigger comb. She began her work with Vinyl standing next to her, and they began to talk amongst each other.

Octavia cast her eyes toward the ground. Her heart was beating out of her chest from an intense apprehension. What else could she say? It would be horribly impolite to sit there undecided for the next half hour, so she had resorted to her last and most logical option. Vinyl had been the one to comment about her hair, Vinyl had been the one to suggest getting her hair cut, and Vinyl seemed to be the only one of her peers to seek out her attention of any sort or even bother to talk to her. Perhaps Vinyl had a plan for her appearance all along. Who was she to deny her new acquaintance of any such policy? Besides…she seems rather informed of the latest fashion trends… I suppose whatever she has planned couldn’t hurt.

A terrible thought crossed Octavia’s mind, a possibility she had not considered until now of all times. Could…this be a trick? Octavia could feel an intense heat of panic run up her spine. Is it possible that she’s playing a trick on me? Maybe she wants me to look ridiculous so she can laugh at me at school. Octavia knew this was highly unlikely. Although it had only been a couple days since they had met, Vinyl had never given her any reason to doubt her sincerity. She had never laughed at her or poked fun at her, never once doing anything cruel. Still…I hardly know her… Octavia shifted her feet uncomfortably when she both saw and felt a good portion of her bangs get cut off and fall to the floor. …She could be planning to make a mockery of me at school. Oh sweet heavens! What would my mother say if I came back home with half of my head shaved!?

Octavia brought her head up in preparation to protest, but Vinyl quickly squeezed her shoulder with a grin. “That should do it!” She said through an accomplished laugh.

The woman brought lowered her head down by Octavia’s shoulders. “Like what you see, dollface?”

With very hesitant eyes, Octavia looked towards the mirror. What she saw both surprised her with simplicity and astonished her in delight. Instead of a weird mess of a bird’s nest, her eyes were greeted with something truly beautiful. Her hair kept most of its length, but her bangs had been cut and swept gently to the side in a way that framed her face and now visible eyes. She had always hated her eye color, but the way her hair now contrasted their dark tint made all her lovely features stand out for the rest of the world to see. The locks of her hair from her temples to her ears had been blended to enhance the look, and Octavia couldn’t help but softly gasp. “Dear…me…” She nearly whispered.

“Crap…” Vinyl palmed her face. “You hate it, don’t you…” She quickly grabbed Octavia’s hands and looked down at her with an apologetic expression so unlike her. “Tavi, I’m so sorry, I’m so-”

“B-Beautiful…” Octavia muttered.

Vinyl raised an eyebrow. “Who? Me?”

The tattooed woman laughed hard and flicked Vinyl in the back of the head. “Not you, dunderhead. Her!” She placed her hand atop Octavia’s head and pecked her ear in a friendly way that made the cellist smile. “You look amazing, dollface.”

“Y-Yeah?” Vinyl held her breath before sighing heavily in relief. “Oh man, I was SUPER scared for a second. I thought I screwed up! Seriously girl, don’t do that! You’re gonna give me a brain tumor or something.”

“Vinyl…” Octavia squeezed her hands back. She looked up at her with a big smile that was also very unlike her. She slowly stood and wrapped her arms around Vinyl’s shoulders, leaning forward to give her a warm hug. “…thank you for this.”

-o0o-

There was a different feeling surrounding her when Octavia stepped towards the door to her music class. She always loved this class, but now there was something special about today. For the very first time in her life, she was walking into a room to greet a friend. Two days ago… Octavia thought as she stepped through the door and brushed her bangs to the side. …It was only two days ago… She took a deep breath as she scanned the room with her cello by her side. …that I met her.

“Yo, Tavi!” Octavia turned her head towards the voice and smiled when she saw Vinyl sitting on the floor in the middle of the room, her glasses propped up atop her head. “Over here!” She was waving an arm to flag her down.

When Octavia approached her, she noticed two other girls sitting beside her. One was dressed very well in a frilly skirt, purple, pink, and white accenting her entire appearance. With her curly hair, she looked like a model from a sixties magazine. The other girl was dressed almost as shabby as Vinyl was yet with the same style. There was a small case by her side that appeared to house a harp, if Octavia’s guess was correct. She wore a blank tank top and black ripped jeans that did a surprisingly good job highlighting her pale green face and short mint hair. Both girls had warm and welcoming smiles just like Vinyl despite never once meeting the newcomer. “Good Afternoon, Vinyl.” Octavia bowed her head. “And to you both, of whom I have not met.”

“Sup, Tavi? Had a good lunch?” Vinyl asked as she patted the floor beside her. Octavia understood enough about social cues, so she sat down politely with her ankles beneath her hips.

“Way cool.” The mint haired girl looked Octavia over before nodding her head towards Vinyl. “You’re right, V. Toooootal babe.”

The curly haired girl shook her head and palmed her face. She reached out with one hand and patted Octavia on the thigh. “Sorry about Lyra. She’s a HUGE dummy. Just says whatever comes to mind.”

“Oh, you are NEVER getting my pudding again.” Lyra gave the yet unnamed girl a soft punch to the shoulder.

“H-Hey! Be nice.” The candy striped girl flicked Lyra in the ear.

Vinyl took a big breath and sighed very loudly and very dramatically. “These are my sort of friends. Lyra and Bon-Bon.” She pointed to each girl respectively.

“Sort of friends?” Lyra crossed her arms and snarled. “Looks like no one is getting any pudding from me.”

Bon-Bon giggled a bit and scooted closer to Octavia. “You must be Octavia, right? Vinyl told me all about you.”

“Us.” Lyra interjected. “She told us.”

“Yeah, but you never listen.” Bon-Bon wiggled a finger at her before turning back to Octavia. “Just before you got here, Lyra kept trying to guess your name.”

“No, no, no, nuh-uh!” Lyra shook her head again. “Seriously, Bon-Bon? Just gonna throw me under the bus like that?”

Vinyl scooted closer to Octavia and put an arm around her, causing the cellist to blush hard. “Since you’re my pal, you have some new friends. Bonny’s a dork and Ly-Ly’s a wacko, but we’ve been friends since middle school.”

Bon-Bon shrugged. “Being dorky isn’t the worst thing in the world.” She squeezed Octavia’s hand and smiled at her happily. “It’s really nice to meet you. Having a fresh cute face in our little circle is a nice change of pace.”

“Wow, you’re just mean today.” Lyra sighed. “Don’t feel freaked out, kay? Bonny rips on me and Vinyl all the time.”

“Well, mostly you.” Vinyl giggled and dropped her arm to point to Lyra.

“Fine. Mostly me.” Lyra ran a hand through her short mint hair and rolled her eyes. “At least I get the best grades.” Both Vinyl and Bon-Bon began giggling loudly at that completely false statement.

Octavia’s face broke out into a soft smile, and for the first time in her life, she began to giggle wholeheartedly, joining in on her new friend’s humor. She had no idea how much fun it was to have friends like this and be a part of a simple and pointless conversation. Just watching them go back and forth was an experience she was relishing. As she calmed her giggles, Octavia began to wonder if she was dreaming. This seemed just too unreal for her, almost impossible. Never once did she think she would be accepted like this by strangers she didn’t know. At least Vinyl was here, but Octavia didn’t in the least feel uncomfortable. Vinyl’s close proximity and physical contact made her feel very safe somehow, something even her own parents couldn’t do.

“So, in case somebody wasn’t paying attention earlier,” Vinyl gave a wink to Lyra who replied with a cute snarl. “This is Octavia Melody.”

“It’s a pleasure to meet you all.” Octavia bowed her head towards both girls.

Lyra leaned back on her hands with a smile. “So you go by Tavi? Cool.”

Do…I go by ‘Tavi’ now? Octavia took a moment to nod her head. I suppose I have a new nickname now. This thought made Octavia smile. “Yes, it would appear so.”

“Isn’t she a doll?” Vinyl laughed and began rubbing her on the back, much to Octavia’s immense surprise and shocking delight.

“You do look sort of familiar.” Lyra crossed her ankles, and Octavia noticed that her Converse sneakers had gum stuck to the sole.

“No duh, genius.” Bon Bon giggled. “We’ve been in the same music class since school started.”

“Really?” Lyra raised an eyebrow.

“See?” Bon Bon giggled again and laid her head on Octavia’s shoulder for a moment. “Ly-Ly is in another world half the time.”

Vinyl let out a loud yawn before laying her head abruptly on Octavia’s lap. “Man, I could go for a big a Redboar right now.” She adjusted herself into a comfortable position on her back, and Octavia peered down at her with an intense blush on her face which was easily visible thanks to her new haircut. W-What is s-she doing??? “Hey, you guys wanna hit up Starbits or something after school?” Vinyl asked while flipping her glasses down over her eyes.

”Sure.” Lyra nodded and reached into the pocket of her ripped pants for her phone. “Where’s our teacher? Wasn’t class supposed to start ten minutes ago?”

“Since when do you care about class?” Bon-Bon asked. “You’re only in here because I signed up for this class.”

“You don’t even play any instruments!” Lyra protested. “I play the harp, what do you play?”

Vinyl reached up with one hand and put her palm against Octavia’s cheek. This accomplished two things. One, Octavia had no choice but look down at her. Two, Octavia felt a blush cross her face that made her ears tingle. “You gotta learn to tune them out sometimes.” She giggled in a whisper. “Between you and me, I think they should just screw and get it over with.”

Octavia’s jaw dropped a bit in surprise by everything, especially the words coming out of Vinyl’s mouth. “Oh…dear.” She whispered. Did…she just say what I thought she said? H-How old is Vinyl? She can’t possibly be any older than I. At a young age of fourteen, Octavia was feeling that familiar culture shock just like yesterday.

“I do too play an instrument!” Bon Bon exclaimed. “Ever heard of a piano? I know, it’s a big word.”

“A piano?” Lyra scoffed. “What, are you like five or something?”

“Just imagine you’re like, on a big boat or something.” Vinyl whispered again before yawning very softly. Beneath her glasses, she closed her eyes and tilted her head back to nap.

“I…see…” Octavia slowly turned her gaze upwards to the other two girls. The more they argued, the closer they got to each other until their faces were less than a foot away. So…these are my new friends now… Octavia smiled with amusement, unaware that she had placed her hand atop Vinyl’s head.

Author's Note:

Hello to all, everypony. Thank you so very very much for reading the first chapter to my new OctiScratch epic tale. To those of you who have been with me since the very beginning, I thank you dearly for your continued readership. To those of you of whom I have never met, welcome. You are now a part of my treasured readership.
I promise to all of you that this story will be my longest and most intense story yet. I am in the process of finishing the rest of my other stories, but my focus will primarily be here to give you the best OctiScratch experience. I know this is a big promise to make, but I request you all to give me the opportunity to prove myself. Thank you.