A Tale of Two Mares

by CharmingChaos

First published

Octavia and Vinyl Scratch start a life - and a family - together, much to Octavia's mother's disgu

Octavia isn't the type of mare to mix up with suspicious crowds. She stays away from ponies who are different from herself, never giving them second thought, never considering the fact that they might be friendly.
But what happens if Octavia doesn't have a choice? What if she needs one of these uncouth ponies she so despises, and avoids at all costs? And mostly, what will her family say if she goes as far as to fall in love with one?

Rated teen for some minor sexual themes

This beautiful new cover pic is by the great and powerful (in my opinion) RainbowShy1241. A big huge thanks to you, because it's awesome!

Regrettable Encounters

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She isn't the type of pony I usually talk to. Uncouth? Yes. Insane? Probably. The kind of mare I would ever be allowed to be seen with? Never.

She's odd, that Vinyl Scratch. Obnoxiously tangled, way-too-bright blue mane and tail, and those sunglasses. She never takes them off! How rude.

Her music isn't even music. Just noise, clashing together in some muddy, rhythmic muck.

Octavia sighed, pulled back to reality by a sudden wrong note from her beautiful cello. That one note always came groaning out in such a nauseatingly sluggish way. Octavia scanned the music for a
good place to restart, a few measures back. Ah. the repeat. Perfect. As the melody began to flow out of her precious instrument again, Octavia let her mind wander back to that awful mare she'd met earlier.

She isn't right. Not in the head, not in anything. She's all wrong. Octavia thought glumly. I wish I'd never even gone to that bar, in the first place.

It had been a hard day. The pieces Octavia had played had come out all wrong, she hadn't gotten the job.On days like those, sometimes it was good to go to a nice, quiet bar, still sophisticated, but not crowded with high-end ponies laughing, talking, dancing. This place was filled with mares and colts like herself, tired, maybe a little sad, but still classy.

This time, however, when Octavia entered, passing the guard at the entrance without even a glance, an awful, grinding, pounding beat met her ears. Octavia flattened them down against her head and turned back to the passive looking guard.

"What in Equestria is all the racket?" Octavia shouted to him over the noise, ears still flattened disapprovingly.

"Special guest musician, Ma'am," the guard said, flashing her a grin.

"musician? You mean to say you call that MUS--"

"Th'name's Vinyl Scratch, Ma'am," he said, still grinning. "She's a scream, eh?"

"A scream, my hoof," Octavia muttered as she turned away from the guard. "More like a bang, crash, noisy nuisance!"

Inside the second door was even worse. Octavia made a beeline for the bar, and ordered her usual. It was a mix she'd made up herself, and she was quite proud of it.

Then, suddenly, the music stopped with an ear shattering crash, and a husky but feminine voice crackled through the speakers.

"That's it with me, guys, but here's some more awesomeness, from my pal, DJ Dancer! Aight, DJ Pon3 out!" A bright white mare, tiny compared to all the equipment, emerged at the side of the stage and made her way to the bar. To Octavia's horror, the shaggy-maned creature sat down directly next to her.

Addressing the bartender loudly, the mare said, "Whatever, strongest ya got." She slammed a couple of bits on the counter, slurping her potent drink out of a red plastic cup. Ugh Octavia thought to herself. I didn't even know they had those here. Maybe she brought it specially?

"So," the white mare said, poking Octavia in the ribs and startling her out of her thoughts. "Ya come here often?"

Octavia threw her an annoyed look, but answered as politely as possible. "Yes ma'am. But, I don't believe I've seen you around here before?" She scooted a little farther away, and looked in the opposite direction, hoping to end any conversation.

"Nah," The mare's vibrant blue mane tickled Octavia's shoulder as she slid closer again, obviously not taking the hint. "This is the first time I've played here, but, I think I'll be back. You like my bass?"

"Bass?" Octavia asked, now thoroughly miffed. "One of my best friends plays the bass, and I play the cello, and neither of our instruments sound anything like that racket."

"Ah," the mare said knowingly. "A classical. Well, maybe you'll learn to like this kind too. By the way, I'm Vinyl Scratch. And you are...?"

"Octavia," Octavia said stiffly.

"Well, it's been awful nice talkin' to ya, 'Tavi, but I gotta scram. But come back and maybe we can talk again. 'Kay bye!" And with that, Vinyl Scratch spun her stool around, sliding off and trotting off to the exit without so much as a backward glance. Seconds afterwards, a little white card with lightning-like, electric blue stripes in one corner popped out of thin air in front of Octavia, a mere hair's breadth away from landing in her glass.

Vinyl Scratch
Musician, Awesomist
Willing to play at parties, your house, bars,
restauraunts, etc.

On the back was scribbled Call me, seemingly in crayon, along with a common five digit number.

Octavia shook her head, stuffing the card in her coat pocket. Downing the last melted-ice-y sip in her glass, she dropped a few bits on the counter, and walked slowly out the door.

The weather had turned windy and cold, and even with her coat, Octavia shivered. She couldn't wait to get home to a hot cup of tea and her cello.

Playing the cello always calmed Octavia's nerves, ever since she was a filly. This afternoon had certainly been earshattering, as well as nerve-shattering. Octavia sighed as she breathed the crisp autumn air. Yes, playing her cello would definitely help calm her down, she was sure.

All through the evening, thoughts of Vinyl Scratch buzzed through Octavia's mind like a troublesome gnat; Able to be shooed away for a few moments, but always back before too long, never willing to leave altogether.

What sort of mare are you, Brain? Octavia lectured herself over dinner. Can't you just let go of it already? She was just weird, that's all. You'll probably never see her again, so be quiet and forget already.

But Octavia's mind had other plans. Thoughts of Vinyl lurked in her system no matter what she did to distract herself.

Unexpected Nonsense

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Octavia opened her eyes sleepily, reaching out blindly to turn off the gentle classical music which served as her alarm clock. She glared at the fuzzy outlines of her bedroom, then rolled out of bed and reached for her glasses.


"Oh, ponyfeathers!" Octavia swore softly as she felt and heard them crumble under her hoof. She stumbled into the bathroom to put in her contacts.

Being nearly blind had always been a soft spot for Octavia; she hardly ever told anyone about her condition. But in truth, Octavia could hardly see past the tip of her muzzle without her contacts. The glasses didn't matter too much, they only served to get from the bathroom to the bedroom and back in the morning and evening, but still, it was a shame to break them.

Maybe Vinyl Scratch needs those weird purple glasses, Octavia thought as she placed her oatmeal in its usual pot and turned on the stove. Who knows? Maybe she has some unheard-of visual disorder that makes her need extra huge, garishly purple glasses that make it impossible to see her eyes? Octavia shook her head. She was just being sarcastic now. Nopony needed purple sunglasses. That was just crazy. Impossible. Not even worth discussing.

Octavia shook her head as the timer above the stove beeped, signaling her oatmeal's readiness. She poured the perfectly creamy oatmeal into a bowl, added a splash of maple syrup, grabbed a spoon, and moved to the kitchen table, still thinking.
Before long, Octavia left the table, her meal barely touched, heaved the cello onto her back, and left for her orchestra practice.

What would Vinyl think of this? Gah, she'd hate it as much as I hate her-- though I shudder to call it so-- music. I certainl--

"Miss Octavia?" The conductor spoke sternly, tapping her music stand with his baton, and Octavia blushed a deep crimson, bowing her head in embarrassment. "Are you with us, Miss Octavia?"

"Oh! Uh, yes, sir. O-of course, sir. You were saying...?"

"I was saying, let us begin? But not, of course, if you should wish to remain silent, Miss Octavia?" He arched an eyebrow quizzically, causing a rustle of laughter to run through the orchestra.

Oh, for pony's sake. Octavia groaned inwardly. They're all fully grown mares and stallions, and they still laugh?

The practice dragged on, and for once playing the cello wasn't Octavia's idea of perfection. She'd never really liked the conductor, but playing in the Canterlot orchestra was a huge honor, and Octavia intended to treat it as so, no matter how trying the conductor.

Confident that her favourite bar would be quiet now, Octavia pushed open the door, ears fully prepared to flip back at the slightest notice. But silence, save for the clink of glasses, reigned once more.

As she sat sipping her drink, a less-than-pleasant sound made Octavia jump in her seat.

"Hi-ya, 'Tavi," said Vinyl Scratch, amiably. Her silky flank against Octavia's own made her skin tingle. The white mare leaned in close, making Octavia's cheeks flare scarlet. "Miss me?"

Octavia ignored her question, scooting away slightly, still blushing.

"Hey, you're kinda hot when ya blush, 'Tavi," Vinyl Scratch said, grinning. She tapped her hoof against the counter,drawing the attention of the barmare.

"Whatever she's got, but make it, like, twice as strong. Oh! And one of whatever you gave me yesterday. I like that shit."

Octavia rolled her eyes, still leaning away from the crazy mare next to her. The barmare set the two drinks in front of Vinyl, who nodded slightly before turning back to Octavia.

"Here," she said, nudging the strengthened version of Octavia's cocktail. At her arched eyebrow, Vinyl shrugged. "What? Never had anyone buy you a drink before?"


"Hey. I like you, 'Tavi. Just take it, okay?"

Octavia sighed. What the hay? she thought to herself. I may as well just go along with the crazy mare.

The drink turned out to be good despite it's potency, and by the end Octavia began to feel almost tipsy. She was acutely aware of Vinyl Scratch leaning heavily on her shoulder, having downed three more of whatever it was she was drinking, thoroughly drunk. As she slurped the potent beverage noisily, Vinyl sat up suddenly.

"Hey." She slurred, rocking slightly. Octavia looked at her, puzzled. "You shud rilly try thish," she said, thrusting her red plastic cup at Octavia. "S'good shtuff, y'know."

The drink sloshed dangerously close to the edge, encased in a wobbly blue magic aura, leering in Octavia's face.

Shutting her eyes, Octavia took a cautious sip.

"Eeep!" Octavia said, reaching for her own glass. Whatever poisonous brew Vinyl had been drinking burned her throat like liquid fire. Vinyl downed the rest of the cocktail in one gulp.

"Thish is good, too, 'Tavi. Hey! C'we get nother of both?"

Octavia blinked at the red cup was thrust at her again. "But I--" The cup found it's way to her lips, and Octavia was forced to down the rest of its foul contents all at once. She came up coughing at the fiery, bitter taste.

"What is that?" Octavia asked, voice raspy.

"Beatsh me," Vinyl shrugged dramatically. "But ish good."

After her second cup of Vinyl's drink, Octavia felt ready to go home. Her companion had downed two more of Octavia's special cocktails, and was singing something incomprehensible as she lay across Octavia's lap, her muzzle dangerously close to Octavia's posterior.

Octavia shuddered as she felt something warm and wet on her inner thigh. "Vinyl Scratch!" she whispered, apalled. "What in Equestria do you think you're doing?!"

"You tashte gurd." Came Vinyl's muffled voice.

Octavia pushed the fuzzy blue head off her lap. When she looked up, another red cup had appeared before her. She downed it, still half loathing the taste, then fumbled in her pocket for her money. Leaving a hoof full of bits on the counter, she slid to the ground on all fours, pulling Vinyl with her by the ear.

The two drunken ponies stumbled along down the street, making slow but relatively steady progress toward Octavia's house. As they reached Harmonica Drive, Octavia gasped. Fire engines lined the entire block, and the telltale reddish glow midway down told Octavia all that she needed to know.

"Whuh's wrong, 'Tavi?" Vinyl Scratch asked, shaking her head and knocking her glasses sideways.

"See that fire, Vinyl?" Octavia asked, suddenly feeling worse then she had in a long time. "That. Is. My. House."

The Morning After

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Octavia woke with a pounding headache and a strange feeling in her throat, like she had swallowed a hoof-full of sand. Her back and flank were comfortably warm, but her front felt oddly cold and...naked?

Some bleary part of Octavia's brain noted that it must be very early, because no sunlight streamed through her window. Then, the cell phone on the bedside table began to play its usual calm classical wake-up call, and somepony groaned. Octavia jumped as the 'blanket' on her back and rear shifted.

"What the fuck is that shit?" said the blanket grouchily. "I like to sleep at this hour, thank you very much."

Octavia rolled over, and found herself muzzle to muzzle with a white face with large, blinking, red eyes. Vinyl Scratch's electric blue mane tickled Octavia's forehead as she nuzzled her shocked bedmate. Suddenly, everything flooded back to her.

The two mares stood shocked, watching the fire, for a few more instants. Then, Vinyl grabbed Octavia by her mane, saying through the soft slate-colored hair, "Well, I guess you'll have to come to my place then," as she dragged the poor mare along.

After a few more unrecognizable drinks, "from Berry Punch," the two mares had gotten ready for bed.

"I didn't know you had contacts," Vinyl observed as Octavia carefully took them out and groped her way towards the door.

"Here, lemme help ya with that." The white mare led her near-blind friend to the bed, and they both climbed in, using their own combined body heat instead of a blanket.

Octavia jumped suddenly as she felt Vinyl's tongue find its way back between her thighs. She was closer to her goal this time. Too close. Octavia pushed her away with a light kick.

"What?" Vinyl said, pouting. "You let me last night."

"Last night I was dr-- wait, WHAT?! I let you last night? What do you mean, I let you?" Octavia blanched, wondering just how much of last night she really did remember.

"You let me," Vinyl said bluntly. Then she grinned. "We had a sort of... exchange, shall we say."

Octavia sat up in Vinyl's bed, shocked and, frankly rather disgusted with herself. Me, a fillyfooler? She thought to herself. They say ponies do crazy things when they get drunk, but I didn't think it would be that crazy.

"Wait here, 'Tavi," said Vinyl Scratch, nuzzling her again. "I'll get your contacts. If I'm gonna help you remember last night, I think we should see each other this time." She winked mischievously as she slid off the bed.

"No!" Octavia half shouted, a tear tracing down her cheek.

"What? I'm not that ugly, am I?" asked Vinyl, pretending to look hurt.

"No. We aren't repeating whatever we did last night. I'm sorry, Vinyl. I'm not a fillyfooler. I don't do stuff like that. I-it's all been a m-mistake!" Octavia took a deep breath and slid off the bed. "I'm sorry. I-I have to go."

As Octavia stumbled towards the bedroom door, her already poor eyesight blurred with tears, Vinyl Scratch stepped in front of her.

"Listen, 'Tavi. You can go, but where? Your... house burnt down, remember? Vinyl spoke gently, putting a hoof around Octavia's shaking shoulders. The little box containing her contact lenses floated through the doorway from the bathroom.

"Here," Vinyl said, still keeping her hoof around her friend. "I-if you're going to leave, at least don't go blindly."

Octavia sat down on the floor, and heaved a sigh. "I just can't take it anymore," She said sadly as she put in her contacts "First my house burns down, then this. Oh, what will my parents say?"

Vinyl rubbed her hoof soothingly along Octavia's back, nuzzling her ear gently. "I'm sorry, 'Tavi. It's my fault. I shouldn't have been so forward."

"No, Vinyl. It's okay, really. I..." Octavia sighed, looking confused and vulnerable, like a young filly lost at a fair. "I'm just shocked, that's all. I'll be okay soon."

Vinyl enveloped Octavia in a tight hug, letting the grey mare rest her head on her shoulder for a moment before pulling away. "You know, you can, uh, stay here for now, if you still want to," she said after a long pause. "I promise not to get you drunk like that again. That was... really irresponsible of me."

"Thanks, Vinyl," Octavia said softly. "I'd like that."

Getting Used to Things

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Two months have gone by, and I'm still barely getting used to all this nonsense. Octavia thought to herself as she sat at Vinyl's messy foldout table one morning.. At least I have my cello, but I miss my house. I miss living tidily, alone. And I'm definitely still getting used to having a *gulp* marefriend.

A crash from the bedroom signaled the other mare's waking. Moments later, the cupboard door slammed, and Vinyl's box of rainbow-colored cereal and a chipped bowl floated over to the table next Octavia's own breakfast. The contrast between the lightly sweetened instant oatmeal Octavia ate each morning and her partner's varying unhealthy breakfast of poptarts and colorful cereal, sometimes even toaster haysh browns (seriously, who would even make such an awful thing?) stood out starkly.

The first time Vinyl had made breakfast, Octavia had been pleased. But once she saw the spread on the table, she learned to politely decline such generosity. Vinyl's reaction to Octavia's cooking was unsurprisingly similar.

The pair ate in silence, each lost in their own thoughts. It was a Saturday, which meant that Octavia had the day off and would stay home, cleaning the house and practicing her cello, while Vinyl went to work in various clubs and bars, and generally tried to stay out of the house. This was common practice-- once Vinyl had stayed home, and she had simply gotten in the way, leaving them both irritated. So, presumably, Vinyl made an effort to have a reason to be out of the house every week.

"Sho." Vinyl said suddenly, through a large mouthful of cereal.

Octavia carefully finished chewing before replying. "Hmm?"

"War li doon tay?" Vinyl asked, still eating.

"Vinyl, dear, please swallow first, I can't understand you."

"Yes, Mother," Vinyl grinned cheekily, swallowing loudly. "I said what are we doing today?"

"We? Scratchy, it's sat--"

"Last week we agreed that we'd spend today together, because it's our month anniversary, remember?" Vinyl Scratch made her shining red eyes as big as possible.

"Ugh, damn you and your adorable little puppy face!" Octavia said, kissing her horn. "I have things to do, you know."

"But 'Tavi, you promised--"

"Okay, okay. What did you have in mind?" Octavia sighed. Vinyl Scratch was an amazing friend, and an even more amazing partner, but she had a lot of cleaning to do, and Vinyl certainly wasn't going to help her with that. She liked the mess.

"We-e-e-ll" Vinyl Scratch drew out the word for as long as she could. "I have a few things planned."

An hour later, the two mares sat opposite each other at a secluded table in the fanciest restaurant in Canterlot.

"You shouldn't have, Vinyl, I know how expensive this place is..." But Octavia was smiling.

"Shush, 'Tavi. I did it because I love you."

Octavia blinked. Even after a month, "I love you" wasn't a common phrase in their house, in fact, Octavia wasn't even sure either of them had ever said it.

"So, what're you gonna get, 'Tavi?" Vinyl nuzzled her marefriend playfully, making sure that her spiky mane tickled the other mare's face.

"Whah? Oh, I don't know yet. You?" Octavia returned the loving gesture. The two mares stayed nose to nose until a quiet "ah-hem" from the waiter shook them back to reality.

"Your orders, ma'ams?" he spoke stiffly, obviously unused to two mares of such intimacy.

"What? Haven't you ever seen a fillyfooler before?" Vinyl had that guarded Look on her face that put Octavia instantly on edge. She put a hoof on her hotheaded partner's thigh, warning her gently to keep quiet. Vinyl shook her head slightly, locking eyes with the waiter before turning back to Octavia.

"Your orders, ma'ams?" the waiter repeated, still avoiding eye contact with either of them.

"Well, I suppose I'll ha--" Octavia started.

"I'll take whatever she has," Vinyl butted in. "And, like, a cider or something. Got it?"

"I'll just have the Spinach Souffle, please," Octavia said, blushing pink in embarrassment. "And, um, an Arnold Palmer."

The waiter nodded, his curly red-brown mane bouncing slightly, and hurried away.

Vinyl squirmed in her seat. "Why did you choose spinach souffle, for Celestia's sake? Couldn't we just get a good ol' veggie burger and hay fries?"

"It's good, darling. Just trust me. And, in case you didn't notice when you booked the reservation, this is a fancy restaurant. They don't serve hay fries and veggie burgers." Octavia knew she was being short with Vinyl, but at this point she didn't care. Having your marefriend get in a fight with the waiter at the classiest restaurant in Canterlot couldn't be good for business. Octavia loved Vinyl-- much more then she would ever let on, but sometimes she could be a little bit trying.

Vinyl huffed, still not satisfied with the menu, hooves crossed tightly across her chest.

The rest of the once perfect lunch date was spent in silence. Vinyl picked at her souffle, every so often making little noises of distaste, while Octavia purposefully ate every bite, as daintily and politely as possible. The waiter continued giving them odd glances throughout the meal, which in turn spurred Vinyl to be even more forward then she usually was, just to spite him.

When the check finally came, the white mare finally decided she'd had enough.

"Just who do you think you are, you stupid, homophobic toad?!" she shouted angrily at him. "Do you have a problem with two ponies loving each other? Does that bother you so much that you can't help but stare at us all afternoon? Are we some sort freak show to you? Well, here. If that's what you want, then just. Watch. This."

Octavia put her hoof on top of her enraged marefriend's."Vinyl, wai-mmf!"

However, her protest was muted as Vinyl locked her lips with Octavia's own, pulling her into a fiercely passionate kiss. After a moment Octavia pulled away, gasping for air, painfully aware of all the stares Vinyl's little scene had generated.

"Here's the check." Vinyl growled, eyes flashing dangerously behind her shades. "Octavia, we're leaving."

They walked home, with Vinyl still seething from her outbreak. Octavia walked in silence, hoping it would all just blow over given some time. Each retired to opposite ends of the house, with little more then a glare of shared disgust as communication.

Oh my Celestia, what have I done? Octavia thought forlornly. She'd spent the rest of the afternoon locked in their shared bedroom, alone and worried sick. She glanced at the clock hanging on the wall. Four o'clock. Maybe she's come round by now, Octavia thought hopefully. She pushed herself off the still messy bed and cautiously opened the door to the main room.

No Vinyl Scratch, but the telltale sounds of the television in the den buzzed through the apartment. Octavia sighed, and quickly made herself busy in the kitchen, rustling around in the cupboards in a sudden burst of inspiration.

Vinyl Scratch sat slumped on the old brown couch in the den, flipping from channel to channel, the remote clenched firmly in an annoyingly glowing cloud of blue magic.

The otherwise dark room with its slightly musty smell and its saggy but still comfortable old couch was a perfect place to sulk. Octavia hardly ever came down here. Come to think of it, she really only ever entered if they were watching an old movie together, one of their very few common interests, or to tell Vinyl herself to come out. Originally, Vinyl had intended to simply stay there until at least tomorrow, when she was sure to be 100% sulked out, but now she was having some second thoughts.

Maybe I should go out there and apologise? Vinyl wondered. Come to think of it, it was kinda my fault. No, she'll never forgive me this quick anyways, and besides, it's, um, nice down here. *sigh* I guess.

Just then, the door creaked open. Octavia walked in hesitantly, an old baking tray carrying two steaming bowls balanced on one hoof.

"Hey," she said quietly, walking over to the sofa. "I, um, made you some dinner."


"It's canned french onion. That's your favourite, right?"


"I'm really sorry for snapping at you earlier. You didn't deserve it. But, I guess I'll just leave your bowl here, okay? ...I'll be upstairs if you wanna talk later."

Octavia set down the larger bowl and turned toward the door again, feeling dejected.


Octavia turned around again, facing her marefriend, but not looking directly at her.

"Octavia, I..." She trailed off, searching for the right words. "I'm sorry too. I didn't mean to ruin your day like this. I, I just wanted it to be special. But now it's ruined. I'm so sorry..." Vinyl's usually loud voice had diminished to little more then a murmur. Tears began to flow down her cheeks and muzzle, and Octavia crossed the little room quickly, sitting down next to Vinyl and wrapping both hooves around her shaking shoulders.

They stayed in that position for some time, letting their tears mix as they met between their two faces, pressed tightly together.

"I'm sorry, 'Tavi." Vinyl Scratch said eventually. "I just... really, really love you, and when that stupid waiter kept--

"Sshhh, it's okay, Vinyl. I forgive you." Octavia paused, giving the white mare a soft kiss on the cheek. "And I love you, too." Much, much more then I realised.

Snow-white Dreams

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As per usual, Octavia was up much earlier then her lazy marefriend. She sat at the window with her cup of tea, watching the first snow of the season fall on the street outside. Most of the flakes melted on contact with the still-warm earth, but now a few piles were gathering here and there as the storm thickened.

The night before, Vinyl had been persuaded, admittedly with a good deal of grumping along the way, to come with Octavia to the nearby park to watch the pegasi bring in the clouds. It had been a pleasant experience for both of them, Octavia knew from the smile on Vinyl's face, but the stubborn mare was too proud to admit it.

Now, after a night spent curled up together in the den, watching an ancient, soundless Heart's Warming Eve special, Octavia sat huddled under a blanket, trying not to shiver and resisting the urge to turn on the rattly old heater. She knew Vinyl would protest if she was awake. But she wasn't, and that was the sole reason Octavia was refraining from it in the first place.

In truth, Octavia hadn't slept much that night. Though she'd stayed still all night, letting her snoring partner rest her fuzzy head in her lap, Octavia's thoughts tossed and turned as much as her body longed to.

Octavia's parents, ever the family-oriented, had suggested (or rather, ordered) that Octavia come visit them for the holidays, and bring this "friend" she'd been living with since her house burnt down along.

Crescendo and Sonata were honest ponies-- very loving-- but, like most of Manehatten and Canterlot, they were steadfast Celestians, with a lingering grudge against such ideas as fillyfooling and coltcuddling.

Which is just what I've been doing for the past four months, Octavia thought gloomily to herself. Oh, what in Equestria am I going to say if they find out? They'd probably disown me completely. I wish they were more forgiving. After all, I'm still me, aren't I? I still love my cello, and I'm still myself, in every way I can think of. The only difference is that now I have a lazy, irresponsible marefriend, who, admittedly, I'm crazy about, and who no doubt they'll go crazy over, instead of the nice, respectable colt they expect. Come to think of it, I don't think they'd like Vinyl even if she was a colt. She, or he, at least, would still be far from their taste. Oh, what am I going to do?

Tears began to slide down Octavia's cheeks, a combined result of exhaustion and girlish frustration, and she shut her eyes for a moment, letting herself relax in the quiet of the morning.

A yawn from across the room made Octavia start slightly, wiping away her tears with the corner of her blanket. Vinyl Scratch made her way across the living room, still yawning, and sat down next to Octavia, giving her cheek an affectionate lick.

"Hey," Vinyl said drowsily. "You taste salty. 'Tavi, have you been crying?"

Octavia shook her head mutely, but Vinyl moved slightly to see her eyes.

"My Celestia, you have been crying," Vinyl said incredulously. "Why? Did you have a bad dream or something? Because you could have just woken me up, you know."

"No." Octavia sighed. If only it were that simple.

"Well, what's the matter then, 'Tav? Come on, spit it out."

Octavia shook her head.

"Spit it."

"Well," she began softly, still not completely trusting her voice. "Vinyl, do you remember that letter that we got a few days ago? From my parents?"

"Yeah... What about it?"

"Do you remember how they invited us to spend Heart's Warming Eve with them?"

"Oh, no. Did they change their minds? Because if that's what's bothering you, no worries. We'll have it here, Vinyl and 'Tavi style. No problem."

"That's not it either. Vinyl, I was raised as a steady Celestian, and my parent's are very firm believers. Which means, they won't like us, at all."

"But that's crazy. You're their filly, they can't dislike you. If they don't like me, they can kiss my flank. No offense, of course. But really, I know all about taking hate. You should see all the ponies who don't like my music."

No, I mean us, us." Octavia sighed, exasperated. "Vinyl, listen to me. My parents. Do not. Like Fillyfoolers. Got it?"

"Oh, Celestia, I can't believe I didn't get that the first time." Vinyl facehoofed, still looking slightly confused. "I'm sorry, 'Tavi. You know I'm not a morning pony. But seriously, they know we're living together. Isn't that enough of a hint?"

"Apparently not. Here's the thing, Sweetheart. They think you're a colt."

"... And most importantly, don't forget that for now you're just my friend. No more, no less. No benefits, either. Once they're asleep, we can do whatever you like, but please, please, please, don't do anything ridiculous when they're around. No kissing me, no flirting, no teasing, no..."

Vinyl Scratch sighed. Throughout the entire train ride to Manehatten, Octavia had been curled up in her lap, reciting seemingly endless dos and don'ts for the coming visit. Typically, visiting family for the holidays was a nice, old-fashioned thing to do. But in this case, it seemed like a very bad idea.

"Well. That's all I can thing of at the moment. You got it?"

"Whah?" Vinyl said blearily.

"Vinyl, have you even been listening to me?" Octavia drew back, looking frustrated.

"Of course, 'Tavi-babe. When do I not listen to you?"

Octavia shook her head. Vinyl certainly acted like a colt. If only she looked and sounded more like one.

"None of that, either. When my parents are within hearing distance, it's Octavia. Not Octy, not 'Tavi, and certainly not 'Tavi-babe, even though you know I love it. Hot-flank won't do either. Come to think of it, I should probably put emphasis on no spanking me, as well as--"

" 'Tav, are you gonna go into a whole 'nother rant, or can we make out now? Because, judging from all your rules and regulations, we are seriously going to be missing some action on this trip."

"Fine." Octavia rolled her eyes. But she let herself melt into the kiss with the same amount of passion as usual, despite the other passengers' mild surprise.

The trip was a long one; they would be arriving shortly after midnight, so eventually they retired to their shared bunk to catch a few hours of shut-eye. Naturally, they would sleep some more once they arrived, but it still seemed like a good idea, and besides, the bunkroom was private, considering it only had on bed.


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The train whistle blew loudly, startling the Octavia out of slumber.

"Next Stop Ma-a-a-anehatten, Center Station!" The Conductor called. Octavia sat up, kissing the tip of Vinyl's sensitive horn to wake her. She busied herself by throwing on her coat and hurriedly, brushing her mane and tail, which were thoroughly mussed. Trying to brush Vinyl's hair was useless-- the white mare seemed to have a deep, residing fear of combs-- but Octavia never-the-less smoothed the spiky hair down a little with her hoof, disguising it as a gentle caress.

Octavia left the sleeping chamber to get her suitcase, but both her own and Vinyl's met her halfway down the corridor, suspended in a cloud of Vinyl's magic. Octavia walked back to her sleepy marefriend, who was struggling into an oversized grey sweatshirt.

The two mares walked toward the nearest exit to wait for their stop.

"Ma-a-a-anehatten, Center Station!" the conductor called again. The train slid to a stop and the two ponies hopped out.

Octavia woke up in her old bedroom, with its sunny yellow walls painted with dancing musical instruments, and wondered briefly where Vinyl Scratch was. Then she remembered.

They'd taken a cab from the station to Octavia's parents' house, where they were welcomed, albeit sleepily, with cups of hot cocoa and warm hugs all around. How strange this is, Octavia remembered thinking to herself. if they knew more, they would likely shut us out in the snow, or at least, shut Vinyl out in the snow, and I would have to go with her to show them how much we love each other. But here they welcome us with steaming cups and open arms, all because they think we're just friends. What an odd world this is.

Vinyl Scratch was supposed to sleep on an air mattress on the floor next to Octavia's bed, but Octavia knew that wouldn't last. Though Vinyl had stayed there tonight, she would almost certainly refuse to stay there all week, demanding that they at least cuddle in the little private time they had together.

Octavia looked down at the sleeping mare, smiling gently, then quietly rolled down onto the other bed, into Vinyl's arms.

"Wake up, sweetheart," she whispered in Vinyl's ear, shaking her slightly.

"Wha--Where are we?" Vinyl asked, yawning.

"My parents' house, remember? We got here really late last night."

"Oh. Right. The no-fun-allowed place."

"Don't say that."

"Well, it's true."

Come on, Vinyl. Up. They like early risers." Octavia sat up, shaking the air mattress as she tugged on Vinyl's hoof.

"But you already said the wouldn't like me. What's the point?" Vinyl whined, still refusing to open her eyes.

"Vinyl Scratch, I'm serious. Please just get up. I'll kiss you if you do." Octavia pleaded.

"Oh, fine." Vinyl struggled to her hooves, blinking the light streaming in the window. "Now, where's my kiss?"

"Well, well, well, we thought you two kids would never get up." Octavia's father said jovially as they came downstairs and sat down t breakfast.

"Well, I would have gotten up even later if 'Ta-- er, Octavia hadn't driven me out of bed. Ow! What in Equestria was that for?" Vinyl gave Octavia an accusatory glare as she felt Octavia's hoof connect sharply with her leg."

"Uh, what's for breakfast, Mother? It sure smells delicious." Octavia cut in, eager to make them forget Vinyl's awkward conversation.

"We have oatmeal, of course, I know that's your favourite, Octavia. And we have whole grain, fiber filled pancakes. They're delicious, too, you really must try them. And your father squeezed some organic oranges for juice, just this morning. Sound good? And what about you, dear, Vinyl, was it?"

"Er, yes, that's me. I, um, I guess I'll just have whatever Octavia has," Vinyl said nervously, glancing at her marefriend for help.

Octavia shrugged, worried about Vinyl's reaction to the healthy breakfast.

"Alright then, I'll get you girls a bit of everything, yes?"

Vinyl Scratch groaned internally. Oh, Celestia, what have I gotten myself into? She thought, watching Sonata bring in the matching grey oatmeal and pancakes. Even the juice looked slightly grey. She noticed Octavia watching with the same hint of distrust, and wondered briefly if Sonata really was just a terrible cook.

"Thank you ma'am," Vinyl said, remembering Octavia's manners lessons. The grey mare caught her eye, giving her a small smile of praise.

"No need for such formalities, Vinyl. Just call me Sonata. That's what all of Octavia's little friends do."

Octavia blushed. "Mother, I'm twenty-two, you know."

"I know, deary. That's why I thought you would have a colt by now," Sonata said, her voice hardening slightly.

"Yes Mother."

"So, your mother and I were thinking we could all go downtown and see the big tree," Crescendo said, breaking the awkward silence. "It's not so big as the one in Canterlot, but still, I think we should take a family photo there. Octavia, do you mind having your friend in it?"

"Oh! Uh, no, not at all," Octavia said, eyes sliding from one parent to the other.

After all, we are almost like family now," Vinyl added, looping her arm around Octavia.

"Yes, well. Anyways, how would you two like to do that today?" Sonata said, oddly stiff.

Vinyl Scratch was eager to leave the grey breakfast and sneak in some kind of real nourishment. "That sounds excellent. Er, when do we leave?"

The War Between Relations

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Crescendo and Sonata walked hoof in hoof directly ahead of Vinyl Scratch and Octavia on the walk through town. Ponies in gaudy holiday attire and foals making snowponies crowded the streets, filling the air with laughter and the smell of fresh pine and gingerbread.

Vinyl's stomach growled, and she looked desperately at Octavia, who nodded slightly. Vinyl disappeared in a puff of magic, and moments later she returned holding a large basket of hay-fries.

"Mmm," she said chewing. "Mother of Celestia, that's good. Such a glorious, delightful taste never met my tongue in all my life."

Octavia rolled her eyes. "Just make sure my parents don't see. They'd be terribly hurt."

Vinyl nodded, then glanced around briefly, before leaning in to nuzzle Octavia's cheek affectionately. "You're a great marefriend, you know that?"

"...a wonderful holiday this year, don't you think, Octavia dear?" Sonata said, turning her head to see them. "My stars, what are you two doing?"

"Uh, she was telling me a secret. Heheh. Yes, that's it. Something about, er, presents, yes!" Octavia babbled.

"I was, er saying that she will be a great marefriend, if she is one. That's all. See? Nothing to see, just a, er, a nice little compliment." Vinyl added, trying vainly to be helpful.

"I see," said Sonata, not quite buying it.

"Aw, leave them alone, 'Nata. You know how these young people are. Always with their little secrets. Don't bother them." Crescendo tried to smooth things over.

The rest of the day morning was spent in silence, as nopony really felt like talking. They took a very solemn picture in front of the big tree, with only Vinyl grinning, holding a caramel apple, seemingly oblivious to the tension. But Octavia could tell she felt it too.

"Well, so much for that brilliant idea."

Vinyl Scratch was lying flopped across Octavia's bed, her head on the other mare's stomach. They two were ready for bed, but they spent a few minutes talking over the day before actually turning in.

"I guess there's just no way we're gonna make this work out. Look. They hate me already." Vinyl said dismally.

"Don't say that," Octavia replied, stroking her mane. "It'll still work out. Promise."

"Excuse me, girls-- Oh! I hope I'm not interrupting anything?" Sonata appeared at the door, clad in a fluffy white robe and holding a candle. "I just thought I'd put this in here. It, er, adds to the holiday feel, you know?"

Sonata set down the candle backed out, looking vaguely triumphant behind her mask of indifference.

Vinyl had slid off of Octavia as soon as she heard Sonata's voice, but the both got the feeling she had been to slow. Sonata had been spying.

After they were sure Sonata had left, Vinyl bounce up.

"That's it. I'm leaving. You were right, 'Tavi. They do hate us.

"No, Vinyl. Wait. Maybe.... Maybe all of this will have blown over by morning." Octavia sighed, blowing out her cheeks as she exhaled. I certainly hope so.

She slid off the bed and blew out the candle her mother had left, closing the door to the hallway as well. "Good night, Vinyl. I don't know about you, but I'm going to sleep."

When Octavia and Vinyl Scratch came down to breakfast the next morning, Crescendo and Sonata sat next to each other, very straight, with identical looks on their faces. They were the sort of looks one gets from a teacher when she is trying to be kind, but in truth she is completely disgusted by your very existence.

Sonata stood up, obviously considering herself the leader. "Octavia, Vinyl Scratch, we need to talk. Cresh and I feel that you're hiding something from us, and we'd like to know why." She turned toward the door with a professional swish of her tail. "Eat something, then meet us in the sitting room."

Crescendo shrugged as he followed his wife, and Octavia thought she saw him mouth, "I'm sorry."

"So," Sonata said once they'd seated themselves. "Tell me, what in Equestria is going on here?"

"Octavia shrugged, eyes downcast. "Nothing, Mother."

"Nothing. Really now, nothing?" Seeing no response, Sonata changed her tactics. "Octavia, dear, remember that whatever it is, we won't blame you. You're our filly, and we love you, no matter what. Always remember that."

Octavia glanced at Vinyl, who seemed oddly calm. She nodded slightly, then began.

"Sonata, Crescendo, I want you to keep your promise. Octavia is going to tell you what's going on, but you have to swear not to freak."

The two older ponies nodded solemnly, seemingly bracing themselves for the worst.

"Mother, Father, I have to admit I wasn't being completely truthful in my last letter. Vinyl Scratch is the best friend I could ever ask for, and I love her with all my heart. So, four months back, when she asked me to be her special somepony, I said yes. No, not everything I said was true. But most is. Vinyl is the greatest friend a pony could ask for, and I do trust her completely. I hope you don't mind when I say that more then that to me. Vinyl is my marefriend."

"No!" Sonata let out a strangled cry, then collapsed onto her husband's shoulder. Then, suddenly dangerously calm, the pastel blue mare stood, drying her tears. "Octavia, I retract my previous statement. You are no longer my foal, no matter what anyone say. Now, before I lose my temper, get out."

A Holiday to Remember

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Octavia flopped back on the hotel room bed, exhausted and sad. The pair had packed their things hastliy and booked it to the nearest hotel as fast as possible, with Sonata screaming at them that she would call the police until they were completely out of hearing range.

"Don't worry, 'Tavi-babe. Celestia, I'm glad I can call you that again now. Remember that I love you, that's all that matters. We'll still have Heart's Warming Eve, Vinyl and 'Tavi style, remember? Oh, I know I must sound incredibly stupid right now. But 'Tavi, you gotta believe me. You'll be okay, promise."

Octavia sniffed as Vinyl caressed her cheek, wiping away a tear. "I know, Vinyl. But still I knew this would happen. I guess... some stupid part of me just hoped my parents wouldn't be so narrow-minded."

"Octy, sugar, there's something you should know about me. Something I should have told you a long time ago." Vinyl said, her scratchy voice cracking slightly.

"Really?" Octavia looked at her with large eyes, wondering whether or not to believe her.

"Yeah." Vinyl took a deep breath, shifting so that Octavia's head rested in her lap. Okay, here goes nothing. "Octy, when I was seventeen, my parents... passed away--"

"Oh, Vinyl, that's awful. I'm so sorry--"

"Shut up. Let me finish my story before you go all sympathetic goo-goo on me, okay? Anyways, you're right. It was awful. They... died... in a crash. My father was drunk, and he..." She sniffed, concentrating on fiddling with a strand of Octavia's hair to keep herself distracted. "He drove off a pier, right here in Manehatten."

"Naturally, I was devastated. That's the reason I dropped out of highschool. I spent a year on the street, but then I met somepony who helped me get back to a steady place, get a job, the works. She helped me discover my love of dj-ing-- I got my cutie mark from playing the drums in seventh grade; I was a late bloomer.

"This mare meant the world to me. The thing that shocked me most was how unsteady she was, switching from loving me to hating me in the blink of an eye. But eventually she turned on me completely. As it turns out, the reason for her sudden change of heart was my fame, which popped up seemingly overnight. She had had a dream of being famous ever since she was a filly, and I guess it was just too much to see me follow her impossible dream with such ease.

"There is one last thing, and for this I would like to apologize. Octavia, it's my fault your parents turned us out, and it makes me feel awful.

"'Tav, the mare who helped me so much was your mother."

Octavia gasped, and Vinyl realized how tightly she was pulling the scrap of mane she had been playing with. Hastily, she let go, embarrassed.

"I'm sorry, 'Tavi. You have every right to be angry at me. if you choose to never see me again, I-I'll understand. But I'll never forgive myself for ruining a family like this."

Octavia sat up, pulling Vinyl into a tight hug. "I'm not mad, Vinyl. Just sad. But did you really think I would blame you for this? Whatever you say, I know my mother. She hates fillyfoolers with a remarkable amount of passion, who knows why. So, even if all that you said was true, I still wouldn't blame you. I love you, Vinyl. Nothing can change that. Especially when I know the truth."


"I know that's not all true, even if you may think it is. Sonata had a sister, named Forte for her incredible singing voice, who looked nearly identical to Sonata, though she was a few years older. Forte was severely bipolar, often flipping from delighted to howling mad in a matter of seconds. Forte did have a dream of becoming famous, and while she was for a few years, her fame died quickly, leaving the poor mare bitter and with a permanent loathing for all ponies who manage to keep their fame.

"Unfortunately, Forte died a few years ago due to a terrible case of cancer of the lung, for as you surely remember, the mare smoked a pipe day and night."

Now it was Vinyl's turn to be surprised. "Then it isn't my fault? I still feel terrible, but if it has nothing to do with me, I think, no, wait a minute. You're the one who just got disowned. Who cares about me? It's still you that needs comforting."

"It's not your fault in the least, Scratchy. Most likely-- no, I'm sure of it, my mother had never seen hair nor hide of you until I brought you into their home. And don't worry about me. My mother is an old snob; I knew that all along, but my father can sometimes convince her to step down a bit. i suppose, however, this time he was overpowered. Or, perhaps they simply have the same set of values."

"Really, Vinyl, don't worry your sweet, fuzzy blue head about it. I'm fine. Your story, and untangling it back to reality, has distracted me enough to put this nonsense behind us. Now, how about some good, old-fashioned, hay fries and veggie burgers for dinner? I know the best spot in town to get them."

Forgiveness or Rejection.

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Okay, so in this chapter you can either finish the whole story if you're sick of it with my crappily written happy ending, or you can ignore that and go on for a ton of drama and way too many temper tantrums. Needless to say, I recommend the not-ending, since it's way better, but suit yourself, they're both here.

All through Manehattan, ponies were hurrying home to celebrate Heart's warming Eve. Candles were lit and placed in windows, modern electricity momentarily forgotten as everypony got into the holiday spirit.

Everypony, that is, except Octavia and Vinyl Scratch, who sat silently in their gloomy hotel room, eating a rather soggy room-service meal on the faded evergreen loveseat.

"Are you sure we can't at least listen to some holiday music?" Octavia asked for the millionth time as she struggled to pull the blanket over her front hooves.

"Here, Babe. Lemme help ya with that," Vinyl Scratch grasped the edge of the blanket in her magic and tucked it firmly under her marefriend's chin. "And no, we can't, unless you want to listen to my awesomely wub-ified versions."

"No, thank you, Vinyl dear. I try to tolerate your music, but ruining Heart's Warming Eve classics like that is just an abomination. I'm love you, Vinyl, but I just can't bear to listen to them."

Vinyl Scratch harrumphed, then pushed herself off the loveseat to find her headphones. She deftly plugged them into her PonyPod and closed her eyes as vaguely holiday-themed wubs blasted through her skull. Octavia reached a hoof out from under her blanket to turn the PonyPod off.

"Don't you think we should be spending Heart's Warming Eve together, considering there's nopony else willing to spend it with us?"

"Meh." Vinyl let a tendril of magic escape her horn, snaking it toward the PonyPod with utmost stealth.

Or so she thought. Octavia deftly stuck her hoof out again to intercept it.

"Please, Sweetheart, can't we just spend tonight together? I'll do anything..."

Vinyl Scratch raised an eyebrow quizzically. "Anything?"

Octavia stopped, considering what she had just said. Then she grinned. "Yes Vinyl. Absolutely anything."

"Okay then. No protesting now, understand?" A devilish grin spread over the white mare's face, making her crimson eyes sparkle. She levitated the bulky headphones from her ears and carefully placed them over Octavia's, giggling as her hoof hovered over the 'play' button.

Octavia ripped them off her ears, looking annoyed.

"Ugh, Vinyl. No." She sighed, resting her chin on a forehoof. "This is not what I thought you'd suggest when I said anything."

"So you want that kind of anything." Vinyl Scratch looked at her, head cocked slightly to the side. "Well, if that's what you want, I ain't complainin'."

Octavia was about to answer that yes, that was what she had meant, but her phone rang from the other side of the room, startling both mares and completely ruining the mood. Octavia groaned, but trotted over to answer it anyways.

"Hello? Octavia here," She answered politely, watching as Vinyl Scratch lay on their bed, waving her hooves above her in a bored manner. There was an awkward pause on the other end of the line, and then a sort of embarrassed little cough, and a very familiar voice answered. Octavia gasped softly.

"Mother?" Vinyl stopped her absentminded flailing to listen. "What in Eques--"

"Shush," Sonata said stiffly. "My husband and I were, er, talking, and we came to the conclusion that I made a mistake when I, you know, uh, kicked you out last week."

Octavia's eyebrows went up in astonishment at her mother's words, and Vinyl sat up, ears straining forward to listen.

"Anyhow," Sonata continued, still sounding uncomfortable. "Cresh and I came to the conclusion that you will always be our daughter, no matter how despicable your mistakes may seem...

Shitty-ass Ending

"However, we are willing to forgive you, because, as the great Celestia herself says, 'Love is love, and nopony deserves to be punished for it.' So we will try to forgive and forget. We truly...hope you'll come back for Heart's Warming Eve and forgive us, too." Sonata's voice still showed a faint trace of disgust at what she was saying, but the idea of watching her mother squirm made Octavia cordially accept the invitation and forgive for both herself and Vinyl.

She hung up with a smile. "Get your bags, Vinyl. We're going back to my parents' house. But this time, you can be as forward as you like."

Much Better Not-Ending

"Cresh and I have decided that we will do anything to get our old Octavia back. We will stop at nothing until we rid you of the hideous plague which has caused you to believe this is the right path for you, and to act so unlike your true self. Stallions are the only worthy spouses for a good, well-brought up Celestian like yourself, as I'm sure you will agree once you're cured." Sonata's voice was sticky sweet and fake sounding, like a forced smile, and Octavia listened in shock, wondering how a pony could be so stupid and selfish and narrow minded.

"So, Octavia darling, if you leave this Vinyl Scratch and come home to mother, I promise your father and I will make everything all better again, and we'll be one big happy family again, yes?" Sonata finished her speech in a tone that showed that she believed her scheme would work perfectly.

"You know what, Sonata?" Octavia's voice was icy. "No. I thought when you called that maybe you'd changed your mind, maybe Crescendo had made you see to reason. I did not think that you would call to tell me that if I come back and pretend to be somepony I'm not for the rest of my life, then you'll give me the great honor of considering me your family. I've probably always been a fillyfooler-- maybe that's why I never had a perfect little coltfriend like you always wanted. But now, I'm afraid I'll have to decline your offer. I think it's a good thing I'm not part of your stupid, uptight family anymore. I think it's a very good thing."

Octavia took a deep breath, then finished her speech before her not-mother could interrupt. "Goodbye, Sonata. If we ever see one another again, I highly doubt it will be on such friendly terms."

Vinyl clapped her hooves slowly as Octavia shut off the phone and dropped it on the bed.

"Bravo, 'Tavi. Bravo. I heard the whole thing, and--"

"How could you hear from all the way over there?" Octavia asked, incredulous.

Vinyl tapped her horn lightly. "Duh. Anyways, that old prick doesn't even deserve to admit she knew you."

"She probably won't. Having one's daughter turn out to be such a failure isn't some thing to be proud of, you know."

"You did the right thing, I'm sure of it."

Octavia plopped down unceremoniously on the bed next to Vinyl, still looking rather stricken. She stared at the ceiling, avoiding her marefriend's eyes.

"I can't believe she did that," Octavia said with a sort of disgusted awe. "She literally called us, me, to tell me that if I let her force me into being her perfect little daughter, she would give me the privilege of being part of her precious little family again. Hah." She laughed humourlessly. "As if I would ever want that. As if I would ever even want to know her."

Vinyl rolled so she was half on top of Octavia, her eyes soft and almost magenta. "Hi," she said quietly, bringing her face close to her marefriend's.

"Hi," Octavia replied, blushing slightly. She felt Vinyl's breath hot against her muzzle as the white mare leaned down to kiss her. It was surprisingly tender-- usually Vinyl's kisses were long and packed with passion-- this one barely gave Octavia enough time to enjoy it before it was over, leaving her wanting more. But just as she was about to ask for a repeat, Vinyl sat up slightly, eyes half closed seductively.

"Now that you're done disowning your mom, how about that holiday banging session you promised earlier, Hot-flank?"

Octavia pushed Vinyl off of her stomach and rolled her eyes. "Vinyl, do you really think this was the right time to ask that?"

Sorting Everything Out

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Octavia sat on the den's sofa with Vinyl Scratch wedged into her lap, fast asleep. The seemingly petite mare slept like a rock and, apparently weighed as much as one, too.

Usually, it was Octavia who sat in Vinyl's lap, not the other way around, but with Vinyl being sick with some kind of head cold, Octavia had decided to play mother and take care of her.

Octavia stroked the tangled blue mane lovingly, running her hooves through the worst of the rat's nests, even though she knew Vinyl's hair was hopelessly untameable. Octavia smiled as she recalled chasing Vinyl around the house with a comb, shortly after they'd moved in together.

Naturally, it hadn't been funny at the time, but now, thinking of it, Octavia had to stifle a giggle of mirth to keep from waking her sleeping marefriend.

Vinyl shifted slightly, muttering something inaudible about wubs, and Octavia stopped playing with her hair to wrap voth hooves around Vinyl, rocking slightly as she hugged the sleeping mare warmly.

it was that slushy, muddy time of year when you weren't quite sure if it was spring or winter, and Vinyl, being the foalish, stubborn mare she was, had insisted on mucking through the mush on her own hooves instead of taking a taxi to one of her gigs a few nights prior.

Naturally, she had caught a chill, and the sniffle she arrived home with had quickly changed into a full-fledged cold, complete with headaches, a stuffed up nose, and and that sort of awful, dry cough that never seems to go away.

Octavia sighed. If only the silly mare would accept some sort of medication. But Vinyl always shrugged it off, with comments like, "Some of us grew up without the aid of common drug store bullshit," or "I can power through this, 'Tav. I'm not a weakling," which annoyed Octavia greatly.

Vinyl didn't appear to be at all bothered by the fact that she was sick-- actually, she seemed more miffed that Octavia refused to kiss her except on the cheek or horn than that she was racked with ear-shattering, headache inducing sneezing fits several times a day.

Octavia shook her head. That mare really needed to bet her priorities straight.

Vinyl Scratch moved again, stretching out all her legs in different directions. She blinked sleepily.

"Hey, babe. How long have I been out?"

"Only an hour or so, I think. But I couldn't check, because somepony was sitting on me the entire time." Octavia couldn't help adding.

Vinyl Scratch sniffed and squirmed into a better position. "I'm hungry, 'Tavi," she whined, making sure to sound extra weak and sickly. Octavia looked at her with a mixture of disgust and are-you-bucking-kidding-me?

"Vinyl, you just ate."

"I know, but that was an hour ago. And now I want a pb&j."

"A pea, bee, and what-now?" Octavia frowned. She thought she was familiar with all of Vinyl's odd foods, but this one was new.

Vinyl rolled her eyes. "You know. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Like, every filly and colt's favourite meal?"

"Vinyl, you aren't a filly. And my parents raised me on different foods than peanut butter and jelly sandwiches."

"Doesn't mean I can't act like a filly." Vinyl pointed out. "By the way, I don't count whole grain pancakes and grey glue oatmeal as food."

Octavia harrumphed, but said, "Fine. But how can I get the ingredients for your peanut butter and jelly sandwich with you draped over my lap like some kind of furry blanket?"

"Oops." Vinyl tried to look guilty. "Anyways, what you need to get is peanut butter-- I think we have jam, right?-- and white bread. None of that healthy tastes-like-shit stuff you usually get. And with the peanut butter, just look for the jar with the most ingredients, okay? It has to have plenty of sugar and artificial flavouring in it." Vinyl's voice switched back from demanding to weak and pathetic. I just feel like *sniff* it would make me feel a little better. I *sniff* hate this damn cold."

"Okay, okay," Octavia pushed Vinyl off of her lap and stood up. "You do realize though, that I can see right through this whole, weakling act, right? As you would say, darling, if you would ever own up to it, it's complete bullshit."

"I still think this would be better on wonder bread," Vinyl spoke through a mouthful of Octavia's first peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Octavia herself didn't like it too much-- "it's far too sweet,"-- but she did admit it was better without jam. Octavia glanced at the clock.

"It's ten o'clock, Sweetheart. You should really get to bed if you want to get better."

"But I'm not tired." Vinyl protested.

Octavia sighed. "Just finish your sandwich and go to bed, alright?"

"Yes mommy."

Vinyl Scratch woke up early the next morning with a stomach ache to compliment her other symptoms.

"Ooooomph," she moaned as she rolled over to face her partner. Octavia's eyes fluttered open and she yawned, showing off a surprisingly pink tongue.

"Morning, Sweetie. Feel any better?"

"No," Vinyl moaned. "Wors-- hang on, babe, I gotta puke."

With that, Vinyl leaned over the side of their bed and let the contents of her stomach spill onto the (thankfully uncarpeted) floor.

Octavia put a hoof on her forehead for a moment, just below her horn. "You're hot, Vinyl," she observed with a concerned look.

Vinyl wiped her lips and took a sip of water, but she smiled weakly. "I know, right? But thanks anyways."

"No, not that kind of hot." Octavia facehoofed. "Well, of course you are, but that's not what I meant. You have a raging fever, Sweetheart."

"No wonder I feel so awful." She clamped a hoof over her mouth. "If you need me, I'll be in the bathroom for a few years."

Octavia rolled out of bed and grabbed the tiny trashcan by the door, emptying it onto the floor. "Come on, Vinyl. We're going to see a doctor."

Forty five minutes later, the two ponies were seated in the waiting room at the Canterlot General Hospital. Vinyl's stomach, now empty, had calmed down a bit, but Octavia wasn't satisfied.

A deep purple mare with silvery blue hair led them to a room with the words 'Dr. Fetlock, General Physician' written in gold letters on the door.

Once inside, Vinyl lay on the table, and said dramatically, "Give it to me straight, Doc. How much time do I have?"

The nurse laughed. "With any luck, only a few minutes before Dr. Fetlock can come tell you himself. I'm Nurse Surehoof, if you need me before that, I'll be across the hall. Here." She stuck a thermometer in Vinyl's mouth. "If it beeps before he gets back, just give a shout and I'll be right over."

"Phtooey" Vinyl said after Nurse Surehoof left, spitting out the thermometer. Octavia merely shook her head and shoved it back in, frowning slightly.

Just then, Dr. Fetlock pushed open the door and stepped inside. "Well, well, well, what brings you ladies here today?" He asked cheerfully.

"Me," Vinyl moaned again for emphasis.

"She's had a bit of a cold all week, and this morning she woke me up by throwing up all over the bedroom floor." Octavia explained.

"Well, I'll just run a few tests and we'll see if we can't figure out what's wrong, all right?"

The thermometer beeped tinnily, and Dr. Fetlock pulled it out and looked at it. "Light fever, cold symptoms, nausea, correct?"

Vinyl nodded and sat up. Octavia pushed her back down.

"It appears that you have a bad cold, but I can't quite put mt hoof on the stomach ache. I'll have to take a urine sample to find out." Dr. Fetlock handed Vinyl a plastic cup. "The restroom is the third door on the left. Give the this to Nurse Surehoof when you're done, alright? And, by the way, we usually conduct a pregnancy test at the same time, if that's alright?"

Vinyl shrugged. "It's fine by me, but isn't, er, that impossible?"

"Almost," Dr. Fetlock replied, not meeting either of their eyes. Vinyl opened her mouth to object to what he was implying, but a look from Octavia silenced her. Vinyl and the doctor left the room, leaving Octavia alone with her thoughts.

Vinyl would never cheat on me. Octavia thought. Especially not with a colt. She practically is a colt herself. She wouldn't go near one of them for the world. Would she?

Of Tears and the Unbelievable Truth

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Kind of a wtf chapter. It's probably very confusing and unrealistic. One of my friends and I wrote it together at two am, which means I was probably delirious, so it's probably really, really weird. Best of luck understanding it.

Octavia sat slumped on the hotel bed, flipping from channel to channel on the tiny tv. Somehow, all the cheesy shows playing mid-afternoon seemed to remind her of Vinyl Scratch.

Octavia sniffed and wiped another tear from her cheek. If Vinyl were here, she would probably have licked it off to make me feel better. Octavia thought sadly. She'd moved out in a hurry, with nothing but her favourite sweater, and a tiny part of her hoped that she would have to go back to get the rest of her possessions. But she shoved that part down and buried it under a huge pile of hurt and disgust and heartbreak that was disguised as anger.


"I can't believe you would do that!" Octavia threw a couch cushion at Vinyl, tears streaming down her face. "I didn't think you were the type to cheat, and with a stallion, no less, but when Dr. Fetlock told us you were pregnant-- well, there's really no other explanation."

"Tavi, I--" Vinyl Scratch started, but she had to duck to avoid another flying couch cushion. "If you'll just listen to me--"

"No!" Octavia screamed, her voice racked with sobs. "There's nothing to listen to, and I won't take some stupid, lying excuse, either. Now I don't even believe that you even have night gigs, you were just running around, or rather, sleeping around and getting pregnant!" Her voice softened, suddenly oddly calm. "You're a bucking whorse, you know that? A whorse and a bitch and I don't even want to know what else. I wish-- I wish I never even saw you!"

And with that last, foalish insult, Octavia turned and ran out the door, not even bothering to slam it behind her. Vinyl had sighed and shaken her head, watching her ex-marefriend storm down the street with tears on her cheeks. "If only she knew..."

Octavia booked a room at the nearest hotel with as much dignity as possible with her tear-stained cheeks and ragged voice. Ponies in the lobby nodded sympathetically-- it was quite obvious to anypony who saw her just then exactly what had happened.

So now, Octavia sat in her lonely room, half-heartedly eating the complimentary apple and watching those ridiculous soap operas that only played in the middle of the week when only the housemares were around to see them. In her current predicament, Octavia found she could suddenly understand the tragedy the characters were experiencing, so she wailed along with the actors all afternoon, even when they didn't speak english.

"What have I done?" she whispered forlornly to herself. "No-- what has she done. 'Tav--Octavia, get a grip on yourself. She's a dirty, cheating scumbag, and she's nothing to cry over. You don't need her. not at all."

Vinyl's cello symphony ringtone made her jump as her phone flickered to life. Cautiously, she set it to speakerphone, then put it on the bedside table, holding her breath as she answered it.

"Tavi?" Vinyl's voice cracked as she spoke. "Tavi, I know you can hear me. I called to say I'm sorry, but this isn't what you think. I can expla--" click

Octavia turned off the phone and went back to her spanish soap opera to see Fernando punch Rodrigo in the face, while poor little Juanita wailed in the corner, her head in her hooves. The screen turned staticky, and then an image of Vinyl emerged from the static. "Octavia, I'm going to find a way to explain to you what happened no matter what, so just listen to me--"

Octavia slammed her hoof on the power button, now crying in earnest again. "Buck her," she sobbed. "Just, buck her."

"Well, that would be nice, and you have, but something tells me you'd kill me if I asked now." Vinyl's voice floated over from the other side of the room.

"Vinyl Scratch, what in the hay do you think you're doing here?" Octavia said quietly, her eyes shooting daggers of hate.

"Octavia, I want to apologize. For the mistake, I mean. But I don't think it happened the way you think."

"I've got two words for you, Vinyl. Get. Out." When the white mare didn't budge, Octavia took a flying leap at her, tackling her to the ground. Vinyl grunted.

"You do know..." She said as she struggled out from under the furious grey mare. "That I... am much stronger than you." Vinyl deftly flipped them ove so she was sitting atop Octavia's stomach, pinning her down. She sat firmly, and after a moment, Vinyl decided it would be safer for both of them if she stopped Octavia's flailing hooves, which were aimed at Vinyl's tender horn. Vinyl batted them away easily, and then pinned them down with her own.

"Octavia..." Vinyl said, still sitting on her. "This isn't what you think. The foal isn't from some colt-- you of all ponies know how much I hate them-- Twilight and I were testing a spell for--"

"Oh, so it's Twilight Sparkle's? Like that makes me feel any better." Octavia said bitterly.

"No! Just shut up, and I'll finish explaining. The spell was designed so couples like us--not two unicorns, but a unicorn and a pegasus or an earth pony-- could have kids, if they wanted to. Remember that day I borrowed your jacket to go to one of my gigs? That was the day it happened. It was because that day I went to Ponyville to help Twilight with a spell she's been working on. Octavia, the foal is yours as much as mine."

Octavia glared at Vinyl, still stuggling to free herself. "Liar." she growled. "I'm not a unicorn. It's impossible unless both the parents are unicorns. You of all ponies should know that."

Vinyl put her hoof over Octavia's muzzle before she continued. "As I've been trying to tell you for the last ten minutes, the whole point of this spell is to prove that wrong. She thinks that with the rigt spell, two non-unicorn ponies could do the same thing with the aid of a unicorn doctor. So, when I took your jacket, it was to get some of your hair, and therefore some of your DNA. Using that DNA, Twilight and I tried to make me pregnant with your foal and mine, the same way two unicorns would. I didn't think it worked, but..." she trailed off

Octavia had had enough. She clamped her teeth on Vinyl's hoof, then spat it out to speak. "So, what you're trying to say is that's why you're pregnant?"

Vinyl Scratch nodded, a tear dropping from her cheek onto Octavia's. It was an extremely difficult thing to believe, but somehow, Octavia sensed she was being sincere.

"I'm sorry. I should have told you what we were doing. It was really, really stupid of me not to, considering it made my own mare friend hate me."

Octavia reached up one of her now freed hooves to stroke Vinyl's cheek. "I don't hate you. I'm still mad at you for not telling me but... I guess for now I have to believe you're telling the truth. If I didn't, I think we would both regret it for a long time."

"I promise I am, Octy. And i swear I'll never lie to you again, except about surprise birthday parties and what I got you for heart's warming eve and our anniversary, okay?"

Octavia smiled. "That's a funny sort of promise, Vinyl. but I guess I can say the same thing."

At long last, Vinyl Scratch rolled off of Octavia and stood up, helping the grey mare to her hooves.

"Come on, Tavi-Babe," she said, throwing an arm around her marefriend's shoulders. "Let's go home."

Happy Anniversary

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Octavia lay behind Vinyl on their bed, her front hooves resting lightly on Vinyl's swollen abdomen. Now that she was six months into the pregnancy, the bump was quite obvious from any angle-- sometimes Vinyl even swore she felt the foal kicking it's tiny hooves against her skin, though Octavia was unsure about whether this was really true.

Octavia had always expected that, if they ever did decide to have a foal, it would be she who carried it. They both thought that. Vinyl just seemed so... coltish... that Octavia had simply taken it for granted that she would stand as the father, if that was possible.

True, Vinyl had grumbled most of the time when Octavia had dragged her from store to store shopping for foal clothes-- only non-gender specific ones for now-- but she did have her feminine side.

Octavia kissed Vinyl's neck softly, then rolled over to turn off the bedside light.

"Goodnight Sweetheart," whispered. Then,Octavia rolled back over to pat Vinyl's stomach. "Goodnight, other sweetheart."

"Octy?" Vinyl's voice floated back through the darkness in their bedroom.

"What is it, darling?" She answered sleepily, yawning as she opened her eyes again. A worried look was on Vinyl's face, making her eyes shine in the faint moonlight.

"Octy, what if she-- it doesn't make it?" Vinyl's voice trembled slightly. "I keep having these nightmares where she-- There's another thing, it's always a filly-- where it's born dead, or-- or horribly mangled and strange. Once she wasn't even a pony at all."

"Sshhhh," Octavia moved so her hooves encircled Vinyl Scratch, pressing her own chest and stomach against Vinyl's. "She'll be okay, I promise. We both love her too much to let anything happen to her. Don't worry, Vinyl. Now, go back to sleep, it's..." She glanced at the clock. "Really late."

"But I'm nocturnal," Vinyl protested, pushing herself into a sitting position.

"No you're not, you're pregnant." Octavia gently but firmly pushed her back onto the mattress.

"But I'm hungry, too," Vinyl whined, shaking Octavia off and sitting up again. "Doesn't this being pregnant shit give me an excuse for being hungry at weird times?"

Octavia sighed, pushing herself out of the warm bed.

"Fine. Do you want a pb&j like usual?"

"Eugh." Vinyl made a face. "Do we have any pickles? And ice cream. I really want some vanilla ice cream."

"Vinyl, you hate pickles. And vanilla ice cream. I think we only have cherry. Is that okay?"

"It's fine. And what can I say? My, er, houseguest--" She patted her stomach-- "Has weird taste, okay?"

"I'll say," Octavia muttered as she walked to the kitchen.

Octavia opened the fridge and rummaged through it, muttering, "Pickles, pickles. Note to self, Vinyl now thinks she likes pickles, buy more of them."

Balancing a baking tray on her back, Octavia arranged to small bowls, one of pickles and one of cherry ice cream, on the tray and hurried back to the bedroom, being careful not to let anything spill.

"Took you long enough. I'm starving," Vinyl said, pouting. Then her voice softened, and she leaned in to kiss Octavia's cheek. "I'm sorry, 'Tavi-Babe. It's just these mood swings, and I'm so hungry..."

"I know. Here's your pickles and ice cream. I hope they make you sleepier." Octavia yawned and slid under the covers. "Goodnight, again, Vinyl. I'll do the dishes in the morning. I know how pregnancy is affecting your magic."

Vinyl stroked the tired Octavia's mane gently before dipping her first pickle into the ice cream and biting it in half. Mmm, delicious.

Octavia awoke to find Vinyl sitting up next to her, a concerned look on her face and her headphones stretched over her stomach. Two feet away from the end of the bed, the bowls from Vinyls midnight snack lay in a broken heap on the floor.

"Vinyl, um, what are you doing? And why did you try to levitate those bowls when I said I'd get them?" Octavia asked, stretching and sitting up.

"I want the baby to like wubs," Vinyl explained, as if that were obvious. "So I'm training her early."

"How in Equestria is that training her?"

"Dunno. But I read in one of Twilight's books that they can hear stuff as early as one month into it." The concerned look reappeared, and Vinyl took the headphones off of her stomach. "But I think she likes classical better."

"What makes you think that?" Octavia asked, looking slightly pleased.

"Again, I dunno. But it just seems that way. Do you think she's sick?"

"She probably just has better taste then you. And, she could still be a he, you know. Maybe we should start calling her 'it'?"

"Hmmm," Vinyl said, her chin resting on her hoof. "Nah. It's a she, I think."

Octavia rolled her eyes, then bent down to grab some thing from under the bed, which she held behind her back. "Hey, aren't you forgetting something?"

"I don't thi-- wait, I remember, it's our anniversary! I got you something a while ago, but it's in the closet. Can you wait?"

Octavia hugged her, grinning. "Of course I can, Vinyl. Here. Open this." She shoved a medium sized parcel into Vinyl's arms, eyes lit up with excitement.

Vinyl Scratch tried to unwrap it with her magic, but was unable to get more then a spark out of her horn so resorted to using her hooves and teeth to clumsily rip off the paper.

She gasped. Laying in her lap was a boxed set of books on the history of classical music. "Octavia, this is..." She trailed off, unable to find a way to optimistically describe the gift. Does she even know me?

"Just open it, Vinyl. I know you'll love them once you've gotten past the name." Octavia was practically bouncing on her side of the bed. She stifled a giggle. "Open it!"

Vinyl sighed and pulled out the first... Box?

She lifted the painted lid of the not-book and found a pair of sunglasses, not unlike her own, but in greenish blue instead of pink, almost the exact color of her mane.

"Octy, these are amazing. Where did you--" She turned them over in her hooves. "Sapphire Shores? You got sunglasses for me from Sapphire Shores' private brand?"

"I looked all over for them. They don't sell them in very many stores, but I had to get you the best." Octavia looked pleased with herself. "Open the other box."

Vinyl lifted the cover to the other box. Inside was a little scrapbook with a picture of Octavia kissing Vinyl o the cheek at the park. Vinyl flipped through the pages, looking at the pictures and little poems and doodles in Octavia's neat hoof-writing. But the last page was not in Octavia's writing. It was filled with signatures and messages from all Vinyl's old dj-ing buddies.

"Octavia, how did you even find all these guys? Celestia, even I didn't know where Big Disky went. So how in Equestria did you of all ponies get a hold of them?"

"Secret," Octavia grinned. She kissed Vinyl's nose. "I don't think you'd believe me anyways."

"I doubt that. But I still need to give you my present." Vinyl squeezed her eyes shut in concentration as she forced her horn to light, moving the closet door an inch before dropping down in exhaustion. "Damn this stupid side affect. Octy, you have no idea how troublesome it is to be an earth pony when you're supposed to be a unicorn. How do you guys live with it?"

"Because we're tougher." Octavia teased, scooting out of the way as Vinyl playfully tried to whack her. "Shall I just get it?"

Vinyl nodded in defeat. "This foal better be amazing. It's making me look like a weakling. Nopony does that without being punished."

"Is this it?" Octavia's voice came from the closet. She backed out carefully, carrying a medium-sized box on her back

"That's it." Vinyl sat up. "I can't believe that I can't lift that."

Octavia dropped the box in the middle of the room and began to methodically untape the flaps and pull them open. She peered in at the contents.

"A cord? What do I do with that?" Octavia looked confused.

Vinyl slid out of bed. "Follow me and I'll show you."

Octavia followed Vinyl over to her cello, which was standing in the corner of the living room as usual. Vinyl gently turned it on its side.

"Look." She grabbed the cord and plugged it into a tiny hole in the cello, one that Octavia knew she had never seen before. "Now you can plug your cello into my speakers. We can combine our musics and create even more awesomeness then ever before!"

"I don't get it. My cello never had that hole in it," Octavia said, puzzled.

"True. But I took it to this music store in Las Pegasus called Passing Notes a few weeks ago, and they fixed it up so it can be connected to my speakers. But, they kinda kicked me out when I tried to play it," Vinyl admitted sheepishly.

"Thank you, Vinyl." Octavia hugged her tightly. "This is the best present I could possibly hope for."

"Nah, the glasses you got me were way better." Vinyl blushed. "I can't believe you even found these things. Especially in this colour. Do you know how rare these are? I think there were only, like, 50 made in this colour."

Now it was Octavia's turn to blush. "I didn't know that, but I thought they would go with your mane. And Sapphire said they were the best--" She clamped a hoof over her mouth. "I wasn't supposed to say that!"

"S'okay--wait, you MET Sapphire Shores?"


"Oh, my Celestia, that's amazing! That's like, meeting Mozart, or whatever his name is, for you, you know? I can't believe it."

"Calm down, okay? I wasn't supposed to say anything about that. But she said she knows who you are, don't all you modern music ponies know each other?"

"No, of course not. Do you know every single classical musician in Canterlot?"

"Not in Equestria, but in Canterlot, yes."

"Whatever," Vinyl said, smiling. "Anyways, I love you Octy. Thank for making this the best anniversary ever."

"I didn't know the glasses made you that happy." Octavia was glad, but a little surprised. The glasses were cool, but they were nowhere near as sweet a gesture as Vinyl's gift. Being able to make music together, in Octavia's opinion at least, was far more special than any fashion accessory.

"They don't," Vinyl said bluntly. "I love them, but it's you who really makes this anniversary special."

Filly or Colt?

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Vinyl watched as Octavia paced the waiting room anxiously. The grey mare had been jumpy all day, though Vinyl couldn't see why. Though it was a bit exciting, and if she had still been working, Vinyl knew her dj buddies would be placing bets on whether it would be a filly or a colt, Vinyl really wasn't freaking out.

"Octy, calm down. You're not event the one doing this. Geez," Vinyl stood up, blocking Octavia from pacing.

"I know, but I'm excited. I want to know if your dreams were right, if it is a filly, and besides, I can't wait to get some more gender specific clothes. Yellow is such an icky colour." Octavia wrinkled up her nose, thinking of all how awful a foal with Vinyl's mane would look wearing yellow.

"There are other colours out there, you know. And not all blue things say 'it's a colt' across them, you know." Vinyl rolled her eyes.

"Ms. Scratch?" A nurse called from the doorway. Both mares jumped and stood up quickly. "This way, please. The doctor will be with you in a moment," she said sweetly.

Moments later a creamy orange unicorn with a pink and white mane stepped into the room. "Hello, Vinyl Scratch, is it?"

"Yes'm," Vinyl nodded, suddenly as nervous as her partner.

"Why don't you have a seat right here while I prepare the spell," the doctor, whose name was, according to the tag, Surehoof said kindly, noting the couple's nervous glances. "This won't hurt a bit, so don't fret. I've got to give you this shot to help me see clearly."

"No!" Vinyl scooted backwards in the chair, clinging to Octavia's hoof.

"She has an irrational fear of needles," Octavia explained. "Can you do it without?"

"Probably. I've never tried before, but I suppose it's possible," Surehoof said, frowning slightly. "Alright, we'll try it. But it may not work."

Vinyl squeezed her eyes shut but kept a firm hold on Octavia's hoof as the doctor began the spell. Soon enough, Octavia began to see Vinyl's skin becoming slightly translucent. As the spell was finished, they were able to see the foal completely, Vinyl's abdomen was almost invisible.

Octavia squeezed Vinyl's hoof. "You can open your eyes now. Look!"

Dr Surehoof circled Vinyl skeptically. "It's definitely a unicorn filly. And she's healthy, as far as I can tell. But there's just on thing. It has doesn't appear to have a tail."

Octavia peered at the little creature. "My Celestia, you're right," she marveled.

"What? Of course it has a tail! Nopony is born without a tail," Vinyl interrupted, looking concerned. "It's right there, I can see it. It's just... short, that's all. Mine was when I was born."

The doctor followed where Vinyl was pointing. "I certainly hope you're right. A pony without a tail would certainly be odd. But I can't hold the spell much longer, not without the shot, so if you want to look for longer, you'll just have to wait a month, alright?"

"Alright. Thank you, Dr. Surehoof." Vinyl sat up as her stomach regained it's normal colour. "Let's go, Octy. Didn't you want to get some pink stuff for the poor thing?"

"Yes, I did. And we should get some pink sheets for the crib, and such, don't you think?" Octavia was off, excited to have more to do in the coming month. She couldn't wait to foal-proof the house, as well, even though they both knew the filly wouldn't be doing anything more then eating and sleeping for the first few months, but still. Octavia was bound to be an over-protective mother.

"Oh, Celestia, what have I gotten myself into?" Vinyl asked the doctor as she followed her marefriend out of the hospital.

"I really think the crib should go here, and the changing table there, instead of vice versa, don't you?" Octavia said, barely glancing at Vinyl Scratch.

Vinyl sighed. Octavia had been rearranging the furniture ever since they'd come home from the third clothes-shopping outing that month. "Do you really need to do that again?" She asked wearily, biting into her fourth pretzel that afternoon.

"Yes. We should be able to see her at all times, especially when she's asleep. You never know what might happen." Octavia warned her. "I just can't decide whether the left corner of the room or the right is more visible from the bed. Hey! You're sitting on the bed now, what do you think?"

"I think you should settle down, 'Tav. You've turned our bedroom upside down five times already-- isn't that enough?"


Vinyl sighed. It was going to be a long afternoon.

"I've decided. The crib has go to be where our bed is, that's the only place where we can see her from the other rooms, too. So I'm going to switch them. Then we can go to bed, okay?"

"It's already half past midnight. You can move the bed later. We still have a month, you know."

Octavia looked over at Vinyl, who was stretched out on the bed, looking extremely bored.

"I'm sorry, Vinyl. I guess I did go a little over the top there," she said sheepishly, yawning. "Celestia, I'm tired. I guess spending an afternoon shoving furniture around isn't very good for me."

"That sounds kinda like what I said four hours ago, dontcha think?" Vinyl raised one eyebrow at Octavia in an I-told-you-so way that made Octavia smile slightly.

"I'm hungry all the sudden," Octavia observed as her stomach grumbled. "I don't think I've eaten since we got back from the mall. You want anything?"

"Nah. I just ate," Vinyl answered. "I offered you some, but you were too busy being the pony version of a tornado."

Octavia is a Nervous Wreck and we Meet the Foal

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Octavia was dreaming that she and Vinyl Scratch and a little grey filly with a curly turquoise mane were playing in a field. The filly, which Octavia assumed was their own, Was levitating a rubber ball in a wobbly cloud of dark blue magic, and Vinyl Scratch was clapping her hooves and praising her talent.

Then, a large and oddly polka-dotted pegasus flew down and began poking Octavia in the ribs.

"Tavi?" It poked her again. "Tavi, Tavi, Tavi."

"Tavi, wake up," Vinyl Scratch said urgently. "You gotta wake up, I think the foal is coming."

Octavia's eyes snapped open. "Oh, it's you. I was having this dream..."

"Tav-- Ooh!-- I would love to hear about your dream, but we need to go to the hospital. Somepony wants to-- Oh, my Celestia-- get out." Vinyl's eyes were wide, she looked half panicked and half pained.

"Oh, my Celestia, I'm sorry, Sweetheart. Let's go!" Octavia was up in an instant, throwing on her coat and rushing out to hail a taxi before Vinyl could even get out of bed. A moment later she was back, helping Vinyl to into the hired carriage and then jumping in herself. "Canterlot General!" She said urgently. "And go as fast as you can."

The driver, an olive green earth pony with an orange and brown mane, nodded and set off at full gallop. In less then ten minutes, they'd reached the door of the maternity ward, and Octavia had ushered Vinyl in in a cloud of dust, almost forgetting to pay the taxi driver.

Octavia paced the little waiting room nervously, unable to stop worrying. She'd been there for hours now, and each second gave her more time to think up new reasons and ways for her filly to be in danger.

A light pink mare in a white nurse's uniform pushed open the door and Octavia jumped up.

The nurse smiled gently. "You're marefriend's in there right now, isn't she?"

Octavia nodded. "It's Vinyl Scratch. Do you know if everything's alright?"

"Oh, yes. The filly should be born any minute now." The nurse walked over to Octavia and patted her hoof gently. "I'll tell you what I just told Vinyl a second ago. I said, 'Don't you worry, little mama, everything's going to be just fine.' That's what I said, and I know it's true. Good luck, Ma'am."

Octavia was calmed slightly by the nurse's words, but she still paced the room nervously, pupils shrunk to the size of pinheads. "Oh, Celestia, if anything happens to either of them, I don't know what I'll do," Octavia muttered to herself, still pacing. She was well aware that she must look a dreadful mess, she hadn't had time to comb her mane before they left. But at this point leaving to use the restroom's mirror to fix it would probably mean that she would miss the filly's birth, so Octavia left it.

The nurse hurried out again, looking excited. "Dr. Surehoof says you can come in now. The foal should be out any second now!"

Octavia followed the nurse down the hallway, arriving at Vinyl's room just in time to see a tiny, light grey head with a bedraggled blue mane pop out. seconds later the rest of the filly flew out as well, and its weak, piercing shrieks filled the room. Tears sprang into Octavia's eyes as she rushed to the exhausted Vinyl Scratch's side.

Vinyl opened her eyes and focused on Octavia, a tiny smile on her damp face. "I did it," she said quietly. "I really did it."

Octavia kissed her cheek, still crying. "You did it, Sweetheart, and I'm terribly proud of you. She's absolutely beautiful."

Dr, Surehoof stood by, smiling. "You did absolutely marvelously, Vinyl. But I'm afraid you need your rest. Octavia, I'm afraid we have to keep her until tonight, but this evening you can all go home to celebrate. I promise."

Octavia kissed Vinyl one more time. "I'm sorry I have to go, Vinyl. I'll see you tonight, alright? I love you."

Vinyl looked ready to pass out. In fact, she barely managed to mutter, "Love you too," before sleep overtook her, leaving the nurse to gently pick up the little grey filly and smile to Dr. Surehoof.

"I'll never get over how wonderful it is to see all the new parents. They're always so happy, it just makes me smile." She observed quietly.

"Indeed, Silver Heart. This is an excellent job to have," Dr. Surehoof replied. She herself had never had foals, but she'd witnessed many being born, and each one moved her, despite the familiarity.

Octavia felt like jumping for joy. Or climbing onto the roof and shouting to the whole of Canterlot, "I'm a Mother! I have a filly!" Or something along those lines. Or perhaps calling everypony she'd ever met to tell them the good news.

But she didn't do any of those things. Instead, she went straight home to her cello and began to play the most beautiful peace she knew, making the very wood of the house she lived in resonate with her happiness.

True, most ponies had better ways to celebrate. But calling everypony to tell them seemed as though it would dim the glow of the moment, and Octavia wanted to relish it while she could. It seemed the right thing to do.

So she tried her best to put the warm glow she felt inside herself into the music, and she played all morning, stopping only to eat a quick bite of lunch, and well into the afternoon.

Then she decided that she'd had enough. It was time to pick up Vinyl and their filly. Goodness, they hadn't even thought of a name. Octavia vaguely remembered searching through a name book, but nothing seemed to stick and Vinyl seemed content with simply calling her 'filly', at least before she was born.

Octavia commuted to the Canterlot General Hospital by hoof this time. There really wasn't a rush, and this not-quite-winter weather was pleasant for walking.

Vinyl was sitting up this time, looking much more refreshed then the last time Octavia had seen her.

"Hey. Octy," She said casually, looking up from a magazine given her by the nurse. "You here to take me an' junior home?"

"Junior? Isn't that a colt's name?" Octavia asked, confused.

"Is it? I thought it was just sort of something you call foals. Like when you don't have a name for them yet."

"Oh, well. Can you walk, or shall we call a cab again?" Octavia looked concerned.

"Aw, I'm fine," Vinyl slid out of bed onto her hooves to prove it, then winced, looking sheepish. "Ooh! Hehe, maybe the cab is a good idea, after all."

"I thought so."

The two mares waited in silence while the nurse hurried off to fetch their filly. When she came back, Octavia was given the little bundle of fur in a pink blanket, which she took carefully before walking to the front desk with Vinyl to ask for a cab.

Soon enough they were home. Vinyl and Octavia stood looking at the filly, who was fast asleep in her crib, with awed looks on their faces.

"I can't believe we made that," Vinyl said finally, breaking the silence.

"Me either," Octavia answered, never taking her eyes off the sleeping filly. "What do you think we should name her?"

"How about 'The Most Amazing and Adorable Filly in Equestria'?" Vinyl asked thoughtfully.

"It suits her perfectly," Octavia agreed. "But, don't you think it's a bit long?"


"I love you, Vinyl." Octavia leaned her head into the crook of Vinyl's neck, closing her eyes.

"I love you too, Octy. You're gonna be the best mom ever."

"Heh. So're you."

Indescribable Joy

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Octavia was up early, woken by the plaintive, silvery wails of her filly. She had crept to the tiny creature, soothing her before Vinyl woke, and now she sat on her side of the bed, her filly nestled warmly in her lap, fast asleep.

It saddened Octavia that she couldn't nurse the foal herself, but she said nothing to Vinyl, figuring the other mare had enough to worry about already.

So, each morning Octavia pressed a bottle to the little grey filly's lips, mentally apologizing all the time.

The filly stirred, her horn flickering with an unexpected spark of magic, and her eyelids fluttered, soft lashes like moths on her velvety grey cheeks.

Octavia sighed blissfully, smoothing an electric blue curl from her foal's forehead.

It was odd, really, simply calling her 'filly' all the time. But before the birth Vinyl had refused to think of names, or even judge Octavia's suggested ones, and now all their time was taken up caring for her, so they simply hadn't had the time to think of one.

Vinyl Scratch rolled over, yawning. Her scarlet eyes were clouded with sleep, and she bore an almost foalish expression of peace, remarkably like the filly's own.

"Morning', 'Tavi-Babe," she said sleepily, sitting up to give Octavia her customary good-morning lick on the cheek.

Octavia smiled and whispered back, "Morning, Sweetheart."

Vinyl ruffled the foal's mane affectionately. "Good morning to you, too, Filly."

'Filly', upon hearing Vinyl's not-very-quiet voice, decided it would be a good idea to open her wide violet eyes and howl a reply. Her piercing shrieks filled the open air, oddly deafening for coming out of such a tiny mouth.

Vinyl scooped her out of Octavia's lap, wiking at her. "Let the Master do it, 'Tav."

It's peculiar, Octavia thought to herself, how Vinyl seemingly had no clue about how to take care of foals, but she could soothe this one in the blink of an eye.

Vinyl nuzzled the foal gently, and she stopped sobbing almost immediately, her purple eyes shining as she watched Vinyl's spiky mane bounce and twitch with every nonsensical word she said.

Octavia giggled, mimicking the filly's happy coos as she tickled the round, furry belly, delighted by the toothless smile she earned as a response.

Vinyl kissed the filly's hoof as it waved before her, then leaned over to do the same for Octavia.

"What?" she said at her marefriend's questioning glance. "I can't have anypony getting jealous now, can I?"

"how could I be jealous of my own foal?" Octavia asked playfully as she slid out of bed, donning a fluffy pink robe. "You keep yourself busy giving that foal of yours breakfast. I'll make ours. Any requests?"

"No. Just not oatmeal, okay?" When Vinyl made no move to begin nursing the filly, Octavia frowned at her, shaking her hoof in a scolding manner.

"Go on, Vinyl. If you don't feed her, she'll get all grumpy again. So get moving, missy."

"Yes, ma'am." Vinyl gave a mock salute as she settled into position.

When Octavia returned, two steaming plates of waffles on her back, the filly was asleep again, curled up in a ball against Vinyl's stomach.

The two mares ate in silence, Octavia lost in thought and Vinyl too busy eating to care about conversation. Her muzzle was sticky with maple syrup, but she trusted Octavia would take care of it later, so she left it there, and continued eating.

Eventually, Octavia broke the silence, voicing they're thoughts in a simple question. "What was it like, Vinyl? Before I came in, I mean."

"The whole thing went by in a flash, one minute they were wheeling me into the room, and what seemed like ten minutes later they were handing me the filly, and you were there, telling me how proud you were." Vinyl stopped speaking and looked directly at Octavia, her eye so full of raw emotion that it practically burned. "But every second of those ten minute that were actually four hours inched by so slow I could have died.

"But it hurt, 'Tavi. It hurt more than you could ever imagine," she continued, dropping her eyes again, maybe shy about the story, maybe simply watching the filly. "Every single second was filled with a searing pain, like hot metal, or torn flesh. That little filly fought to get out, and she fought hard. She used every possible way she could to show that she wanted out, and she intended to punish whatever was keeping her in for so long. She's feisty, Octavia. Watch out for that."

Octavia nodded, not fully comprehending, but wanting to.

"It was the most amazing thing that's ever happened to me, though. Don't get me wrong on that. You have no idea how relieved I was to see you afterwards. I'm so glad they let you come in." Vinyl closed her eyes as if remembering. "I just hope... I just hope that you get to experience it sometime, 'Tav."

Octavia felt her eyes go wide in surprise. This filly was an... An accident, so to speak. And whereas Octavia herself would be glad to have more foals, she hadnt expected the suggestion to come from Vinyl. She'd really been expecting to have to beg for years before her mate would agree. Vinyl Scratch seemed so definably unparentish, but it seemed the filly had changed her some.

"That means a lot to me. Thanks, Vinyl." She leaned carefully over the filly to hug her marefriend tightly, discreetly rubbing away a tear in the bright blue mane she buried her face in.

But the filly, ever a talent for picking perfect moments, opened her mouth wide and began to shriek, leaving both mares to forget each other momentarily in their haste to pick her up.

"Hey there, mare o' mine," Vinylmsaid as she walked in the door. She gave Octavia a quick kiss before moving to peek at the filly, who was laying on a blanket on the floor, chewing peacefully on a red fabric ball. "Hi-ya, Tamby." Vinyl ruffled the filly's mane playfully.

"Tamby?" Octavia frowned slightly in confusion.

"Yeah, Tambourine. It's the name of one of my great aunts, or something. Kinda suits her, dontcha think?"

"The filly, or your great aunt?" Octavia asked.

" Duh. The filly." Vinyl rolled her eyes. "You were just saying this morning how we should name her soon."

"True, but I didn't mean for you to name her while you were at the grocery store."

"But don't you think Tambourine suits her?" Vinyl pressed, eyes wide.

"Hmmm," Octavia said slowly, rolling the name around in her mind. "Yes, I guess it's better than Pizzicato or Operetta, but how did you come up with it at the grocery store?"

"Oh. I kinda... Saw a tambourine there, and I was already thinking about names other than Wubsy, which I still think is the best, by the way, and then I remembered that my great aunt was called that, and it seemed like a good name." Vinyl spoke fast, as if she were hiding something.

"What's wrong, Vinyl?" Octavia asked, curious.

"It... It's nothing, 'Tav. I just really want to name her soon."

"No, that's not it, I know there's some thing else. Tell me." Octavia spoke sternly, as of she were reprimanding a naughty foal.

Vinyl shrunk back slightly, looking ashamed. "I swear, all I meant is that I want to name her fast, okay? Can't that be all?"

Octavia sighed. "Alright. But if there's any other reason, please tell me. We promised no more secrets, remember?"

"I know," Vinyl said tiredly. "Which is why I am honestly telling you that there's nothing wrong. If we hadn't promised, I might have made up an issue just so you would stop questioning me."

Now Octavia's brain was all muddled up. "Alright, I give up. Do you still want to look at names?"

"No," Vinyl said stubbornly. "I like Tambourine."

Octavia sighed. She was getting nowhere, now. "Well, how about we try it for tonight and tomorrow? If it seems right, she'll stay Tambourine, and we'll go to the pony certificate place on Friday, okay?"

"Okay." Vinyl sounded like a sulky filly, but she held her peace, playing with Tambourine all evening just so she could say the name over and over.

Maybe we should stick with Tambourine just because it makes Vinyl so happy, she thought, watching them play wrestle on the carpet. Currently the fill-- no, Tambourine was climbing onto Vinyl's chest, giggling, but Octavia knew that wouldn't last long. Soon Vinyl would be tickling and kissing her belly until she rolled off, kicking, and the whole thing would repeat.

My Little Tamby

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Octavia pushed open the door with a sigh and was welcomed with the sound of Tambourine crying and Vinyl pleading with her, to no avail.

Though she hesitated to admit it, the name Tambourine was beginning to grow on Octavia, despite her earlier doubts. She hurried into the kitchen, where the crying was coming from, to find Vinyl trying to reason with a three week old foal, despite the fact that she could hardly understand any words at all.

"Great Celestia, Vinyl, do you really expect her to listen to that?" Octavia accompanied her words with a hug from behind, which her marefriend shrugged off, looking hurt.

"Of course I do. She's my filly as much as yours. She's got to learn to like my music, too." Vinyl huffed indignantly, and for the first time, Octavia noticed the oversized headphones sitting on the table next to them.

"You didn't seriously try to make her wear those, did you?" Octavia was incredulous. " They're already bad for your ears, think of what they must do to hers. She's only a month old, you know."

"So? You don't see me getting all mad when you're playing your cello at her, do you?"

"Cello music is soft and gentle on young ears," Octavia retorted, smug.

"Not to mention boring," Vinyl muttered, just loud enough for Octavia to hear her.

"My music is not boring. Yours is just chaotic!" Octavia shouted foalishly.

"It's organized chaos in the form of awesomeness!" Vinyl was improvising randomly now.

Tambourine began to cry harder, and both mares assumed a shocked appearance.

"Well, there you go." Octavia smirked. "This just proves that you don't know a thing about fillies. Just look at her!"

"That doesn't even make sense. You've been home more than long enough to enforce your all-powerful foalcare abilities," Vinyl sneered.

"I am better with foals, and you know it!"

"Can I remind you of all the nights when I got up, and I kept little Tamby from crying and I let you sleep all night so you could play your stupid cello well in Orchestra, or-- or whatever you call it?"

"Only after I asked you to about a million times!" Octavia was shouting now, trying to be heard over poor little Tambourine, who she held protectively against her chest. "And, more importantly, my music is not stupid. I play at formal gatherings, like weddings and Princess Celsetia's own festivals, and you only play at nightclubs, where ponies only go to get drunk and forget their responsibility."

"Ponies go to nightclubs to have fun, unlike your uptight little rich pony parties. All you ever do at those is stand around with your nose in the air and talk about politics and which celebrity ought to do what when. It's no fun, and it's not worth a lick of anything!"

"If you insult my music on more time--"

"Try me." Vinyl glared at her.

"Well, for now at least, Tambourine and I are going out. I'm sorry, but I can't spend time with ponies who don't appreciate good music." Octavia dropped the now only whimpering quietly Tambourine into the pram and stomped out in a huff, slamming the door behind her.

"Your Mommy," Octavia told the wide eyed foal. "Can sometimes be a complete idiot."

Tambourine just stared at her, eyes still shiny with tears, and Octavia felt her anger melt away somewhat. She scooped the filly's out of her pram and hugged her tightly, planting a light kiss of the top of her head.

"I'm sorry, Sweetie. We shouldn't have been acting like that in front of you." She shook her head. "But Vinyl had it coming to her. No pony insults my music without getting insulted right back."

Tamby cooed, her tears forgotten, and waved a hoof through the air, batting at Octavia's muzzle playfully. Octavia smiled. At least she had the filly.

Octavia and Tambourine spent the afternoon at the Park. They played on the grass for a while, then Tamby slept and Octavia read a book that she happened to have in her bag. Lastly, they went to a cafe with a view of the Coltiseum, where the waitress warmed a bottle of milk for the filly and Octavia enjoyed an absolutely delicious dandelion sandwich, which Tamby kept trying to push off the table.

It was such a nice evening that Octavia almost forgot about her fight with Vinyl. But not quite. She sighed, thinking of how much Vinyl would have enjoyed the day. But Vinyl insulted my music, Octavia convinced herself, her face hardening again. She doesn't deserve it.

Eventually Octavia got up, dropped a few bits on the table, and pushed the sleeping Tambourine back to the park. She wouldn't stay there all night, but the sunset over the city skyline was nice, and besides, Octavia wasn't quite ready to forgive Vinyl and go home.

As Octavia sat on the wooden bench, watching the last of the sun drip behind the buildings, she felt somepony else sit down near the other end.

"Hey," a familiar, scratchy voice said nervously.

Octavia refused to look at her, and kept her eyes on the horizon, silent.

"'Tav, I-- I'm really sorry about this afternoon. It... Wasn't called for." Vinyl dropped her eyes, letting a tear trickle down her cheek.

"Oh?" Octavia asked, still not looking at her.

"No. I don't hate your music at all, really. I was just frustrated because Tamby was crying all morning."

"Is that so?" Octavia answered with another vague question, trying her best to sound disinterested.

"Yes." Vinyl frowned. Usually Octavia was more forgiving. "Octy, I love you, for pony's sake! And you know I can't sleep when I'm worried about you. So, will you please just come home and forgive me so we can go to bed?"

For the first time, Octavia turned her head to look at the frustrated mare sitting next to her. "Okay. But you have to listen to me practice my cello tomorrow. Or no cuddling."

Vinyl scooted over to hug Octavia, relieved that she'd finally been able to convince the stubborn mare to forgive her. "Okay, Octy. I promise not to complain."

"Heh. You sound like a filly, Vinyl." Octavia felt the beginning of a smile tugging at her lips.

"I know. I have to act like one to make up for your grown-uppish-ness."

"Isn't that Tamby's job?"

"Yes. But she's too young to know that, so I have to do it for her."

Octavia swatted at her, but Vinyl jumped out of the way, chanting, "Missed me, missed me, now you have to kiss me!"

Octavia laughed outright at that. Vinyl really wasn't the type of pony she could stay mad at for long, even if she tried. "I wasn't going to until morning, because technically I'm still mad at you, but that was a challenge. So, watch out, Vinyl. Here I come!"

They chased each other the rest of the way home, with Tambourine's pram wheeling ahead in Vinyl's blue magic aura, unspeakably glad to be back together.

Tambourine - definition: Holy Terror, Adorable

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Octavia found herself shaken awake in the middle of the night, urgently. Vinyl's breath was hot on her muzzle, and her white fur shone in the pale moonlight. The mare had a look of worry on her face, and her crimson eyes showed a flash of unshed tears.

Octavia groaned. "What are you doing awake right now? Tamby's not crying, you should be asleep."

"'Tav, I, uh, I had a bad dream," Vinyl said sheepishly, looking both embarrassed and frightened at the same time.

Octavia hugged her tightly, planting a comforting kiss on the other mare's cheek. "Don't worry, Sweetie. It was just a dream."

"I know, Octy, but--" she opened her eyes even wider, letting a tear slip down her nose. "What if they take her away from us?"

"Why would they do that? Celestia already passed a law saying that fillyfoolers and coltcuddlers could have foals." Octavia frowned. It wasn't like Vinyl to mention things like that.

"But not bad parents. Celestia hasn't passed a law saying bad parents can keep their foals," Vinyl said bitterly.

"What? Vinyl, that's the most ridiculous thing you've ever said. We're not bad parents."

"I know, but in my dream we were... We were fighting again, only outside, and then these ponies came and sort of surrounded us. They said we couldn't take care of Tamby, that we were an unstable family. Then one of them came and took Tamby's pram, but I couldn't move to get her back. And all the while poor Tamby was crying her little heart out because they were taking her away. But then they took you away too. And I couldn't do anything. It was just awful!"

Octavia stroked Vinyl's mane soothingly, keeping a hoof around her shaking shoulders.

"I-it was awful, 'Tav," Vinyl repeated, keeping her eyes on the filly's crib as is she might disappear. "What if that really happens? What if the take her away, and separate us, and I can't do anything?"

"They won't, Vinyl, darling," Octavia said, letting her distraught marefriend bury her face in Octavia's mane. " They can't without Celestia's consent,mand I'm sure that if she sees us when we aren't angry, she won't Let them."

Octavia felt Vinyl nod her head, her face still hidden. She gently pushed the fuzzy blue head out of her mane, changing position slightly so Vinyl could nestle into the crook of her body, much the way she did with Tambourine. "Go back to sleep, Sweetheart. They won't take her away, I promise."

"Okay." Vinyl kissed Octavia's nose, making her sneeze. "Thanks for taking care of me, 'Tavi."

"Goodnight, Darling. I love you." Octavia reached an arm over Vinyl, keeping her safe.

Vinyl sighed and pressed her face into her marefriend's side. "I love you too."

"You're quiet this morning, Babe," Vinyl observed over a breakfast of impossibly colorful cereal. Octavia, currently half covered in baby food, merely nodded and continued prodding Tambourine's stubbornly closed mouth with a spoon.

"Aw, let me do it." Vinyl pried the spoon out of her marefriend's hoof and turned to her filly. "Open up, Sweetie. Here comes the flying chariot!" Vinyl made a whizzing noise as she moved the spoon slowly toward Tambourine's mouth. The filly opened her mouth wide, giggling, and Vinyl swiftly pushed the spoon in, grinning smugly. "Ya gotta make the noises, 'Tavi."

"That's your way. I have other ways to do it," Octavia said stiffly.

"Well, whatever you were doing wasn't working as well as my carriage, was it now?" Vinyl arched an eyebrow, provoking her.

"My way works fine, and you know it." Octavia took the bait, her cheeks flushing as she engaged in the playful argument. Vinyl was silent, watching her prey. Finally, unable to contain herself, Octavia practically shouted, "What!?"

"Nothin'" Vinyl leaned forward, tongue poking out of her mouth. "Just, uh, you gotta little somethin' on your face."

She leaned forward, licking some of the splattered baby food off of Octavia's cheek. "Ph-tooey!" She exclaimed, spitting it into her hoof. "No wonder Tamby didn't want to eat. This stuff tastes like shit!"

"Don't speak like that in front of Tamby," Octavia spoke sternly. Then she grinned. "However, I'll admit it does taste pretty terrible."

"Well, I gotta go." Vinyl stood up, kissing the only part of Octavia's face that wasn't covered in greenish sludge. "Being Pinkie Pie's go-to mare for music means a lot of day jobs-- but at least she pays well. By the way, enjoy your facial, Babe. It comes free with creation of any colt or filly."

Octavia giggled. "Thank you. I will."

Vinyl slipped her head through her bulky grey sweatshirt, the only thing that kept ponies on the street from recognizing her as the famous DJ Pon3. She shouted her goodbyes as she closed the door behind her."Bye. Love ya, Babe!"

Octavia sighed. She loved taking care of their filly more then anything else in all of Equestria, but Tambourine barely ever ate for anypony but Vinyl, and if she wasn't home, Octavia was going to have one hell of a time trying to convince her to even consume one bite.

"Open up, Tamby," she said timidly, picking up another spoonful of mush.

The filly refused to comply, shutting her mouth with a determined snap.

"Tamby, please," Octavia pleaded, desperate. "You're going to have to eat sooner or later."

Tambourine shook her head stubbornly, an adorable but still determined frown plastering itself on her face. She couldn't talk yet, but it seemed then picky foal had learned basic ways of communicating her own likes and dislikes.

"Okay. I guess I'll have to do this the Scratch way." Timidly, Octavia began mimicking her marefriend's highly illogical buzzing chariot noises, bringing the spoon toward Tamby hopefully.

Tambourine gave her a six-month-old's rendition of her mother's are-you-bucking-kidding-me look, which made Octavia want to laugh as much as it made her want to cry. But the filly still kept her mouth shut tight, refusing the green mush Octavia held in the spoon.

Octavia sighed, putting her head in her hooves. It was going to be a long day.

Me, Jealous?

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Extra, super-duper long bonus chapter for Y'all to to make up for the longish wait. Also, because I couldn't stop.

Octavia yawned and glanced at the clock. 4:50. Celestia, I must have fallen asleep with Tamby.

She pushed herself out of bed, gingerly picking up the filly sleeping next to her and placing her in the pram, hoping against hope that the fidgety foal would stay asleep.

Tamby, for once, did. Octavia hurried to the train station. She had half an hour to get down to Ponyville if she wanted to make Vinyl's concert. Fortunately, the train usually went pretty fast, so she wasn't too worried.

Octavia watched with bated breath as the conductor of the train lifted the pram into the car, letting out a sigh of relief when Tambourine merely shifted slightly at the disturbance of her nap.

For once, the little filly had been more then happy to curl up at Octavia's side and go to sleep at her nap time. They'd spent a long morning at the park, one of the filly's favourite places, and she was tired out by the time they arrived home. So Octavia lay there blissfully next to her, letting Tambourine's tiny horn poke into her stomach, ecstatic that the filly was so adorably cooperative.

Now, on the train, Octavia watched her filly like a hawk, ready to snatch her up as soon as she awoke, to stop her from crying and disrupting the other passengers.

The Ponyville Square was packed with ponies, all pushing and shoving to see the acclaimed Canterlot DJ Pon3. Some of them even waved homemade signs, but most simply swayed to the thick, heavy beats which blasted from the speakers.

The music was somewhat muffled however, and Vinyl, wearing her trademark purple shades as usual, appeared to be telling some kind of story, to the raucous laughter and cheers of the crowd.

"And then I said, 'Its just my bass cannon', and wham, there you have it, I saved the day!"

Gee, I didn't realize she was a comedian, too.

Vinyl caught Octavia's eye, raising her shades for a split second to wink, before standing up and picking up another record from her enormous pile. "Aight, here's a new one for y'all. Made it for that special somepony. You know who you are. You rock, Baby Girl!

The mass of ponies clapped and cheered, stomping their hooves as the new song began. Octavia flushed pink, grinning from ear to ear as she recognized parts of the classical piece she had been working on, remixed into a happy, danceable beat.

Tambourine, wide awake and in a good mood now, clapped her hooves, giggling happily at all the laughing, swaying ponies round her. Octavia scooped her up and reared up on her hind legs, putting the little grey filly on her shoulders and bouncing slightly to the beat of the music.

As the song came to a crashing cello solo finale, Pinkie Pie emerged, or rather, popped up, next to Vinyl, grabbing the mic as she clambered onto the table. "Well, there's some news for you, everypony! Looks like our big 'n tough DJ Pon3 has a special somepony, and wouldn't we all like to be that lucky mare."

Murmurs of agreement swept through the crowd like the tide, roaring into Octavia's head.

"Anywho," the party pony continued. "Drinks and cupcakes are over there, you ponies go get some while I meet the lucky lady who gets to sleep with the DJ." When nopony budged, Pinkie made a shooing gesture. "Go on, scat! DJ Pon3 can't have her whole life in print, you know!"

Grudgingly, the crowd began to move toward the drink table, muttering to each other unhappily. Pinkie hopped down from the stage, pulling Vinyl by her tail and scanning the few remaining mares and stallions with a puzzled look.

"So, which of you gets the DJ's hot flank to cuddle up with tonight?" She glanced at Vinyl, waiting for an answer. When none came, she whipped out a bubble pipe and strode back and forth in front of the stage, trying her best to look serious. "Well, let's see, we know it's a mare, so that means you, you, you, you, you, you, and you are out of the question. So, gentlecolts, unless you're really mares in disguise, scoot. And we know she rocks, so all of you who don't rock-- no, that doesn't help us, 'cause you all rock. Hmmm. Alright, I'm going to pick randomly."

Octavia watched as the hyper pink pony spun around on three hooves, the fourth stuck straight out, until finally stopping with her outstretched hoof pointing directly at Octavia.

"I guess you!" Pinkie jumped up and down for emphasis. "You, miss pretty grey earth pony with the stroller, are you the lucky mare?"

Octavia was silent.

"Well, I guess I'll have to interview them privately. We'll be in Sugar Cube Corner, okay? But don't follow us, Scratchy-- I mean, DJ Pon3 needs to keep this super-duper secret!"

Octavia frowned as she followed Pinkie and Vinyl into the little bakery. Why did Pinkie just call Vinyl 'Scratchy'? Shouldn't it be DJ Pon3 for a business associate?

"So," Pinkie Pie said as she shut the door of the bakery. "I know you're it, missy. but what's you're name? You look sorta familiar, do I know you? Because if I did, I would think I would know you're name, but--"

"My name is Octavia." Octavia said stiffly, feeling very formal and proper. "And yes, I believe we have met. I played at the Grand Galloping Gala last year? The cello."

"Ooohhhh, I remember you! You're the pony who I made play the Pony Pokey with me!" Pinkie's face fell as she remembered it, her ears drooping slightly. "Sorry about that. I kinda lost control, you know?"

"Aw, it's nothing, Pinks. I'm sure 'Tavi doesn't still hold a grudge about that. She's cool like that." Vinyl crossed the little room to tickle the Tambourine under the chin and kiss Octavia on the cheek. "By the way, Hot Flank, how'd you like our song?"

"Our song? Oh, I loved it sweetheart. How did you make it without my knowing 'til now?" Octavia nuzzled Vinyl, momentarily forgetting the party pony also in the room.

"Awww, look at you to lovebirds, getting all cuddly-wuddly like this!" Pinkie's squeaky voice made Octavia jump as she remembered the other mare's presence. "And, who's the little angel in the stroller, Scratchy? Are you two foal sitting or something?"

"Far from it, Pinks." Vinyl looked proudly at Tambourine as she looped an arm around the bubblegum coloured mare's shoulders. "We made that."

"Ooh, how exciting!" Pinkie bounced some more, as if she had springs in her hooves. "But isn't that impossible? Did you go to a donor, or something?"

"Nope. Twilight was helping me learn a new spell she invented so non-100%-unicorn fillyfooler couples like us can have foals. Isn't it great?" Vinyl grinned, looking pleased with herself.

"So you mean me and Dashie could have a foal with Twilight?" Pinkie's brow furrowed in confusion. "Whoops, that came out wrong. But seriously, could we?"

"I guess so, but shouldn't you guys talk that over for a while first?"

Pinkie thought a moment. "Maybe. But I know she'd say yes. Dashie likes to spoil me, you know. I don't think she knows how to say no to this." The pink pony abruptly dropped to the floor, her eyes wider than Octavia thought possible as she made a small, pathetic whimpering noise.

"That's pretty good, Pinks, but 'Tavi can do it better, in my opinion. Then again, she's my marefriend, so I may be a little biased." Vinyl tilted her head so she could lick Octavia's cheek affectionately, but the grey mare pulled away in embarrassment.

"Vinyl!" she admonished shrilly. "Save that for the bedroom, Sweetheart."

"Aw, Pinkie doesn't mind a bit, I swear. Right Pinks?"

Pinkie Pie licked her lips as if the idea made her hungry. "Of course not, Scratchy. I do that to Dashie all the time. Which reminds me, I should really wake her up. She doesn't like to miss the free beer."

As the pink whirlwind known as Pinkie Pie ascended the stairs to her apartment, Octavia moved closer to Vinyl. "She may not care about you licking me like a dog in front of her, and while I like it fine at home, I don't like it in front of other ponies. So lay off it, okay?"

Vinyl backed away slightly, holding her hooves in front of her in self-defense, or defeat. "Okay, okay. What's up with you, babe? Why're you so uptight all the sudden?"

"I don't know," Octavia said sarcastically. "I think it's got something to do with--"

"Hey guys! I'm back!" Pinkie bounce back down the stairs, a cyan pegasus flying erratically behind her, running a hoof through her rainbow mane tiredly.

"Geez, Pinks. Don't yell like that," the pegasus groaned, rubbing her temples. "I still have a hangover, remember?"

"Oh. Right," Pinkie dropped her voice. "Anyways, Dashie, DJ Pon3 had a filly. We should, too!"

"Wow," Rainbow Dash looked mildly impressed. "Congrats, DJ. Who's the lucky stallion?"

"Mare. And it's Octavia." Vinyl grinned at the cyan mare's surprised expression. "Your friend Twilight helped us out a bit."

Dash nodded knowingly, and Octavia blushed. "Not like that! She and Vinyl came up with a spell that can be performed by a unicorn to impregnate a fillyfooler couple without their doing any of the spells. Vinyl happened to be the guinea pig."

"Oh." The pegasus looked disappointed.

"Well, I was thinking that maybe after this party we could go to Twilight's and ask her to do the same thing for us! But I wanna get pregnant, so you're gonna have to be the daddy, Dashie." Pinkie bounced happily, not noticing her marefriend's shocked expression.

"Pinkie-- we can't just-- ugh, why do you have to come up with such weird ideas, Pinks?" Rainbow Dash spluttered, facehoofing.

"Why not? I'm responsible now, so we can do it. Pwease, Dashie?" Pinkie dropped to the floor, preparing one of her puppy aces again.

"Uh, hehe, well look at the time!" Vinyl looked frantically for a clock. "Er, 'Tavi's got an important, uh, thing going on. Sorry, gotta go!" The unicorn grabbed the pram and Octavia's tail and bolted out the door, pulling them both into a taxi. "Train station, please. And fast, we gotta make the next

"Uh, lady, that leaves in about three hours," the cab driver pointed out. But he picked up the pace anyways.

"What's up with you, anyways?" Vinyl asked as they boarded the train. "You've got that stiff look like when you're trying to be civil but really you hate eveypony. What's wrong this time?"

"Nothing. But why were you calling Pinkie Pie 'Pinks'? Isn't that pretty familiar for a business associate?"

"Aw, Pinkie and I are old friends, 'Tav. We went to highschool together."

"But still, 'Pinks' is what her marefriend called her. Not what some random DJ calls her." Octavia frowned, still looking miffed, though VinylmScratch was unsure why.

"I'm not random. I'm the only disk jockey she ever hires. I think I get some priviledges," Vinyl reasoned sensibly.

Tambourine shifted and whimpered quietly as she woke up, but neither mare paid her any heed.

"Hmmm, I wonder why?" Octavia asked coldly, raising one eyebrow."

"Because I'm the best?" Vinyl asked hopefully, feeling cornered.

"No, I don't think that's the reason. I mean, you're great, and all, but DJs are DJs. Think of what else you're good at!" Octavia didn't care that she was shouting now, even though they began to turn heads on the train.

"Er, look at that, it's our stop. We'll talk this over at home, Baby Girl." Vinyl laughed nervously as she dragged an irate Octavia and a just beginning to squall Tambourine out of the train.

"This isn't Canterlot, you idiot." Octavia observed coldly. "It's some tiny, unknown town between there and Ponyville. What were you thinking?"

Vinyl pointed at the sign. "Actually, it's Ponezia. Most ponies have heard of it, but not all. There aren't roads here-- just canals. And, I was thinking that with my marefriend and daughter both throwing a fit, we were probably causing some confusion on the train."

"Since when do you care about that, Vinyl? What matters is now we're stuck here. That was the last train until tomorrow," Octavia snarled, ears flat against her skull.

"What are you all pissed about, 'Tav? Are you seriously gonna sit here yelling at me about the train schedule when we're in one of the most beautiful towns in Equestria?"

"I'm not pissed, as you so crudely described it. Not in the least." Octavia turned her nose to the sky with a small "Hmph!" of disgust.

Vinyl scooped the now wailing Tambourine out of her pram and cradled her, rocking slightly to soothe the irate filly, and also to give Octavia some space.

"I'm not mad, Vinyl! Not about anything, not about the fact that you were hanging off that Pinkie mare's neck all afternoon, not about anything!" Octavia bared her teeth, snorting.

"Yep. You are." Vinyl glanced up from the filly on her hooves. "My Celestia, 'Tavi. Are you jealous?" She spoke incredulously, both eyebrows raised in utter surprise.

"No! Why in Equestria would I be jealous?" Octavia snarled, eyes guarded. "There's no reason, no reason at all."

"You are jealous! I can't believe it!" Vinyl shook her head in confusion. "I never thought I'd see calm, keep-it-together Octavia get all busted up over me hugging one of my old friends, but here she is doing just that."

"I am not!"

"Are too! Face it, 'Tav, you're mad because I was acting too friendly with Pinkie, aren't you?"

"No, I--"

"Ah-hem," the stallion running the trail station said loudly. "Ladies, the station closes in five minutes, alright? Would you like me to take you to the nearest hotel, since there's nopony else around to do it?"

"No, thank you, sir. We'll manage just fine on our own." Vinyl frowned at the stallion, eyes hard, and he walked away, looking dejected.

As soon as he was out of earshot, Octavia asked, "Now, why didn't you take him up on that? We have to get to an inn somehow, and I don't see any other way to do it."

"That guy just wanted to wrench a threesome out of us, 'Tav," Vinyl explained, wondering how Octavia hadn't seen it. "Frankly, I'm rather surprised, considering the filly. But there are plenty of water taxis right there."

The two mares began walking along the waterfront, each of them with one hoof on Tambourine's pram. The filly was gurgling happily now, gumming a rather soggy little teddy bear.

"Okay, fine. But I still insist that I'm not jealous." Octavia wasn't quite ready to forget they're argument just yet. "That is the most ridiculous sentiment you've come up with, ever."

Vinyl put a hoof under Octavia's chin, caressing it, as if she were explaining something to a very small filly. "It's okay of you are, 'Tavi. I understand, and it just means you love me even more than I thought, which makes me very happy, because I promise you I love you more than you could ever imagine. So please, just admit it so I can apologize properly?"

"Vinyl Scratch, wanting to apologize? This is a miracle," Octavia's ears drooped suddenly. "But okay, I admit it. Seeing you flirting around with Pinkie Pie just made me burn up inside. I didnt want you to be anypony's but mine, and that was very selfish of me. I... I should have understood that you're just the kind of mare that's super close to her friends, and I should respect that. So, Vinyl, I'm sorry too."

"Thanks, Babe. I'm really, ultra sorry to have made you so mad, and I promise it won't happen again."

"Silly. You don't need to be sorry."

"Yes I do."

"No you don't."

"I do so have to be sorry. I made my marefriend turn into a screaming monster on a public train. Think of all those poor, helpless passengers!"

Octavia giggled. "I know, right? But you still don't have to apologize. They all deserved it."

"Okay, you win. I won't apologize, no matter what."

"Good." Octavia turned her head skyward. "Thank you very much for giving my rude old marefriend back, aliens."

They walked in silence for a while, both bearing slight smiles on their faces. The moon rose and reflected off the water in the canal, and the stars shone brighter here than in Canterlot, because there weren't any street lights.

"Ya gotta admit though, 'Tav, I picked a pretty awesome place to drag you off that train, dontcha think?"

"Mmm," Octavia sighed, resting her head on Vinyl's shoulder as they sat on a pier to wait for a taxi. " You have perfect dragging-marefriends-off-trains timing, for sure. Come to think of it, do you think we could stay for the weekend?"

"Ya know," Vinyl said thoughtfully. "I might just be able to make up a convincing reason why I can't DJ this weekend. Do you think they'd believe me if I said my Aunt Cassette passed away?"

"Do you think you could do that?"

"I'm gonna say this the romantic way, Babe." Vinyl made a rose pop out of nothing with a puff of magic, and she caught it neatly, speaking with an incredibly fake French accent. "Eef it maks you happy, I will fand ze way."

Octavia giggled, nuzzling into Vinyl's neck. "Can I tell you something, sweetie?"


"You have an absolutely terrible French accent."

Ponezian Dreams

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Octavia woke up to sunlight streaming through the window, warming her face and hooves. She yawned, momentarily wondering if her whole relationship with Vinyl had been a dream, and if she was still in her old house. But then she opened her eyes fully, letting them focus blurrily on the bluish white, hazy image on her marefriend.

"Oh," she yawned again. "Good to see you, Sweetie."

"See me? You're blind as a bat without your contacts 'Tav." Vinyl Scratch giggled sleepily.

Suddenly, Octavia's eyes snapped open. "Why isn't Tamby crying? Doesn't she usually wake up about now?"

"Nope," Vinyl's voice was heavy with sleep. "Tamby and I were up half the night last night sharing a drink while you were-- adorably, I might add-- snoring away in here. She's out cold."

It was kind of funny, really, how Vinyl always called feeding Tambourine 'sharing a drink', as if the two got up for some sort of fancy cocktail, instead of Vinyl just nursing Tambourine. Well, maybe Vinyl did drink when she got up in the middle of the night-- she was rather fond of her AppleJack Daniel's-- but...

"Okay," Octavia let herself drift back into that fuzzy equilibrium between sleeping and waking. "S'nice to have some peace and quiet, don't you think?"

"Mmph," Vinyl rolled over so her face was buried in Octavia's mane for a moment. She came up nose to nose a moment later, crimson eyes half closed. "Why does you mane always smell so good? It's like, hot chocolate, or something."

"Dunno," Octavia shrugged slightly, rubbing her nose against her marefriend's.

"Ow! 'Tav, that was my eye!" Vinyl rubbed the offended eye ruefully. "Seriously, if you're gonna nuzzle me, can you at least try not to blind me?"

"Okay, Sweetheart. I'll jus' put my glasses on and..." Octavia's voice was hardly recognizable with the drowsiness.

"That'll just make it worse, Babykins. Your glasses are sharp, you know." Vinyl wrapped all four of her hooves around Octavia, pulling her marefriend up against her body with surprising strength. "But, if you don't mind my asking, what was that 'and' for?"

"I meant I'd kiss you not in your eye." Octavia opened her mouth slightly, suppressing a yawn, and felt something warm and wet sneak in and press against her tongue.

"Ah keh hel ith at," Vinyl spoke with her lips still glued to Octavia's, her voice muffled and distorted. She hugged Octavia tighter, kissing her again, and the grey mare melted into it, sighing contentedly. There was something special about kissing somepony when you were only half awake, and she liked it. A lot.

"Mmmm," Octavia moaned, keeping her eyes closed, refusing to wake up all the way and ruin the moment. She wrapped her hooves around her marefriend's neck, not willing to let Vinyl pull away until she herself was satisfied.

Eventually, Octavia released Vinyl with a sigh, looking contented. She flopped onto her back. "We should get up soon," she pointed out, the beginnings of actual awareness starting to creep up on her.

Vinyl chose to ignore the last statement; she turned back to Octavia, looking rather surprised. "What's gotten into you, 'Tav? You don't usually demand that I make out with you like that-- that's my job."

"I know," Octavia replied, sitting up. "But a girl's gotta have some fun when she wakes up for the first time in Ponezia, don't you think?"

"Of course. I wholeheartedly agree with that. But you don't usually." Vinyl frowned, sniffing. "Are you sure you aren't a changeling?"

Octavia giggled, planting another kiss on Vinyl's lips. "Promise. But I gotta take a shower now. That is, at least if we're gonna go outside today. You probably should too."

Octavia sighed as the warm water of the shower dripped and splashed steamily over her back and neck. She allowed herself a moment more to enjoy the water before reaching for her shampoo, humming as she massaged the creamy purple liquid into her mane.

She squeaked as she felt another set of hooves begin on her tail, turning abruptly in the tight space to find Vinyl standing behind her, humming as she used both her magic and her hooves to rub the foamy soap into Octavia's thick, charcoal tail.

"Hey!" She exclaimed, looking miffed. "what are you doing here?"

"Well, you said I should take a shower too..." Vinyl grinned cheekily.

"This isn't what I meant, Vin'," Octavia scolded.

"But 'Tav..." Vinyl whined. "We were having such a good time before. And besides, we don't usually wear clothes anyways, it's not like we never see each other naked."

"That doesn't matter. Out!" Octavia made a shooing gesture.


"Out! You have to take care of Tambourine."



"Aw, you're no fun, 'Tav," Vinyl grumbled, making a big show of getting out and leaving the bathroom.

"Thanks, Sweetie Pie!" Octavia called, turning back to her mane. At least her tail was clean now, but still. Showers were her time to think, all by herself. It was hard to think with somepony as noisy as Vinyl Scratch around all the time.

Vinyl Scratch stuck her head out of the boat's skylight, her tongue lolling out like a dog's as she drank in the exhilarating feeling.

She felt a hoof grab hers and yank down hard. Vinyl glared reproachfully at Octavia as she plopped down onto the water taxi's bench.

"Vinyl," Octavia admonished. "What in Equestria do you think you're doing?"

"I was blow-drying my mane," Vinyl explained, as if it were perfectly obvious. "It has to get done somehow, but somepony insisted on wasting time and water by taking separate showers this morning, so I didn't get to before we left."

"Well, you could put it in a slightly less mad-scientisty style," Octavia suggested, lurching suddenly to keep Tambourine's pram from rolling across the boat.

"Bo-o-oring," Vinyl complained, rolling her eyes. "I'm not a classical cellist with old fashioned tastes like you, 'Tav. I'm a DJ. I live on the edge, mare."

"The edge of what? Insanity?" Octavia retorted, scooting out of the way to avoid a playful smack.

Mayyybe," Vinyl teased, grinning.

The pair had eaten breakfast at a little cafe near their hotel, taking turns poking bits of croissant and spoonfuls of yogurt into Tambourine's open, laughing mouth. The little filly seemed to be very interested in their coffee cups, trying to drag them closer to her with her tiny hooves, a fact Vinyl found hilarious, though it made Octavia nervous. Hot coffee was bound to hurt if spilled on a filly barely half a year old.

But, all in all, the meal was delicious,and eating on a bridge over a canal was one of the nicest places to do it, both mares agreed.

Octavia felt a tug on her hoof, and she looked up to see her marefriend had her head out in the wind again, this time holding a squealing, giggling, Tambourine above her in a bluish magic aura as well as her hooves. Octavia stood up on the seat next to the crazy white mare she had become so attached to.

"Vin', take her down this ins--"

"Woohoo!" Vinyl yelled at the top of her lungs, as she stood taller and shut her eyes against the breeze.

"Vinyl!" Octavia shouted again. The mare in question ducked her head back into the cabin, floating their giggling filly into her pram again.

"Aw, come on, 'Tav, loosen up," she pleaded. "It's fun."

No, it's dangerous." Octavia corrected, putting a hoof on top of her marefriend's. "How would you feel if poor Tamby were to fall into the water and drown?"

"well, I guess I would have to jump in and save her," Vinyl reasoned. "You know I would, and I know you would beat me to it, so we really have nothing to worry about. Besides, she's in a magic shield the whole time."

Octavia sighed in defeat, remembering her filly's happy giggle when she was on the roof. "Fine," she conceded. "But for Celestia's sake, be careful!"

Being Tourists

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Dear Princess Celestia,
Today I learned that you should never include two bottles of wine in a story about Vinyl Scratch, because she will invariably become highly intoxicated and ruin your entire chapter.
Sincerely, your faithful student,

Octavia lay awake in her bed next Vinyl, mulling over the day. They'd spent most of the morning at the glass island, Mare-ano, looking at the beautiful glass statuary and such and watching the five glassmaker ponies blow glowing globs of melted sand into tiny pony statues for tourists like themselves.

The afternoon was quieter. Vinyl napped, her earphones blasting painfully loud dubtrot remixes into her sleeping mind, while Octavia lay draped across the sofa, reading a magazine while Tambourine lay sprawled across her stomach, cooing softly every so often as she dreamed.

They'd gone out to dinner at a little, dimly lit outdoor restaurant, sharing an enormous blow of spaghetti and celebrating the fact that Vinyl hadn't gotten them kicked out with a bottle of champagne. Tambourine had slept in her pram through the meal, exhausted from a day of toddling around, holding her two mother's hooves, of course, and exploring a noisy new city.

In short, it had been an uneventful day, Octavia concluded. A perfectly normal, ordinary day for a couple of mares and their filly touring an unfamiliar town. It was almost boring, except that the city of Ponezia was beautiful, and Vinyl had managed to be polite to almost all the servers at almost all the restaurants, and besides, Octavia believed that spending the day with the two ponies she loved more than anypony else couldn't be boring, no matter what.

She rolled over, facing the window, and looked at the bright, silvery moon for a long while.

Oh, Luna, your night is beautiful tonight, she complimented the moon princess, admiring the crystal sky. Thank you for making it so warm out, here in Ponezia.

Octavia pushed herself out of bed, careful not to wake her marefriend, and stepped out onto the balcony, watching how the stars and moon reflected against the blue-green water in the canal. She sighed, wishing she were just the smallest bit more tired, so she could go to sleep.

But she wasn't so Octavia stayed on the balcony, watching the water and listening to the little boats creak in their moorings until the first pink shades of Celestia's sun began to creep over the horizon, and Tambourine's first silvery wails woke Vinyl Scratch.

Octavia watched as the white mare dragged herself out of bed and over to the crib, gently lifting her filly and carrying her to the armchair int he corner, murmuring sweet nothings to sooth Tambourine into silence again.

Vinyl hummed softly, shifting into position to nurse the filly. Tambourine settled down at once, making little contented noises as she drank.

Octavia, still out on the balcony, was rather surprised. Vinyl Scratch was always either gruff or flirtatious when she knew Octavia was watching, except if she thought Octavia was in dire need of cheering up, for one reason or another.

Vinyl could be the sweetest pony in the world, but Octavia had never seen her like this, so... maternal, calm, gentle.

Not wanting to interrupt, Octavia crept to her side of the bed as quietly as possible and slid back in, pretending to just wake up as she settled back down.

She turned to Vinyl with a genuine yawn-- she had been up all night, after all-- and blinked, hoping Vinyl wouldn't notice her glasses, which were sitting on the mattress next to Octavia.

Vinyl looked up from her filly, giving Octavia a slow, lazy smile. "Mornin', Babe. You sleep well?"

"No," Octavia decided to give a half-truth. It was at least a little better than lying outright. "I... kind of stayed up on the balcony until about an hour ago."

"Oh," Vinyl frowned slightly. "Why didn't ya wake me up? We could have, like, had a drink or something. It would have been more fun for you than just sitting there and... doing whatever you were doing."

"True," Octavia agreed, wondering herself. "But you needed your sleep. I know that you'll just sleep all day like when you have night jobs if I wake you up."

"Psh." Vinyl rolled her eyes. "That's a load of bullshit, 'Tav. I don't sleep all day when I have a night job. I never did, even before I had this confounded filly begging me to play with her and feed her and Celestia knows what else all day."

"Not true," Octavia argued. "There have been many days where you sleep the whole time. And I can feed Tamby now-- she eats some normal food. And why in Equestria would you call her 'confounded'?"

"Gee, I don't know." Vinyl ruffled the filly's mane, kissing the top of her head noisily. "Sorry 'bout that, Tambo."

"Tambo?" Octavia raised an eyebrow questioningly.

"Why not? It's part of her name, right?"

"Yeah, but it sounds so... coltish."

"Coltish, shmoltish. It's a good nickname."

Octavia rolled her eyes. "Just be quiet. I'm gonna take a shower. And no following me!"

"Sure, sure, 'Tav. But don't blame me if we run out of water and the whole of Equestria dies of dehydration." Vinyl noticed that Tambourine had fallen back asleep, and she carefully disentangled herself, placing the filly on Octavia's side of the bed and curling back up, reaching a tendril of magic across the hotel room to find her headphones and PonyPod.

"Since when have you been so concerned with the environment, Miss I-can't-tell-compost-from-my-own-horseshoe?"

"Ever since it concerned our shower situation," Vinyl shot back, not missing a beat. "I suspect you would feel the same if you were me."

"Naturally. Anypony as crude and unpolished as you would."

"Just shut up and take your shower, Fancy Flank."

"It's a lot of money, Vinyl. Are you sure you want to do this?" Octavia glanced at the stallion in the gondola, who was tapping his hoof, waiting for them to make up their minds. "I mean, it sounds amazing, but do you really want to spend sixty bits on an hour long ride and another hundred on a dinner and champagne?"

"Trust me, 'Tav, it's worth it." Vinyl leaned in, kissing Octavia with a wink. "Besides, how can you resist that?"

"I can't, usually, but is leaving Tambourine with Twilight the best idea? She's just a baby, you know."

Earlier that day

Octavia and Vinyl Scratch trotted down the sidewalk next to the canal, peeking into all the little tourist shops and laughing as Vinyl put various masks on herself and Tambourine, to the contempt of the shopkeepers. They looked the strangest on Vinyl-- her huge purple glasses made the eyes buggy and changeling-ish.

After a while they each purchased a mask, for the next Event they would have to go to in Canterlot, whatever it might be. Vinyl insisted on wearing hers as they walked, despite the fact that she could hardly see through her glasses and the tiny eye holes.

Which, of course, meant that she walked right into another pony.

A light lavender unicorn with an indigo mane with a pink stripe in it and a tiny dragon hurrying by her side.

"Twilight?" Vinyl lifted of her mask. "What are you doing here in Ponezia?"

"Same thing as you, I would assume. Getting away for the weekend." Twilight smiled, looking at the filly in the pram. "So, I guess the spell worked then?"

"You bet your flank it did, Twi."

"And, I guess this is the beautiful Octavia you were gushing about last time I saw you?" Twilight cocked her head in Octavia's direction.

"Why yes, I am Octavia. Vinyl and I have been terribly happy with the results of your spell." Octavia smiled cordially, extending her hoof politely.

"I'm so glad," Twilight smiled as she shook Octavia's hoof. "It's wonderful to meet you, Vinyl Scratch had a great many nice things to say about you, in her own way."

Octavia facehoofed, wondering just what Vinyl had said. "I'm sure she did. Vinyl certainly isn't afraid to boast when she's scored a 'hot piece of flank', as she herself would say."

"You are," Vinyl said defensively. "I thought that was a very good description."

"Maybe to some, but I would prefer something a bit less... degrading." Octavia retorted playfully.

"Well, enough introductions," Twilight laughed nervously, embarrassed to have witnessed the little argument. "Have you to been on a gondola ride yet?"

"A gondola ride?" Octavia shook her head. "I'm afraid not, we didn't want to, with Tambourine to worry about. We thought we might if we come back when she's older."

"Nonsense!" Twilight exclaimed. "It's your first time here, right? You simply have to go on one. Tell you what. How about I take care of your little Angel, Tambourine, was it? Then you two can have a romantic dinner to yourselves. I bet you haven't done that for a while. New parents never find the time."

"Well, uh, thanks, but--" Octavia started, looking a worried.

"No buts, Octavia. I can't allow you to come to Ponezia and not go on a gondola ride. I'd never forgive myself."

"But we've never--"

"Gone before." Twilight finished, not catching on. "I know. Which is why I will take it upon myself to show you the best place. They have a relatively good price, and for a little extra they'll serve you dinner, too. Sound good?"

"Yes, but--"

"Well, consider it done." Twilight clapped her hooves excitedly. "I'll meet you outside your hotel at eight tonight, alright? You guys are going to have a great evening. Oh, I can't wait to tell the princess about this!"

"Anyways, 'Tav, we're going to have to let her learn to go to sleep without us eventually, and why not now? She's old enough."

"I know but..." Octavia fluttered her forehooves nervously. "What if something happens to her? Oh, I can't do it, Vin'. It's too hard to leave my baby so soon."

"Pony up, 'Tavi. We need a night together, it'll do us both good. I've been dying to do something nice for you for an age now, this will be the perfect opportunity." Vinyl reached into her saddlebag with her magic, rummaging through it until she found her wallet. She levitated the demanded amount of bits out into the gondolier's outstretched hoof, nodding decisively. "Alright, sir. We'll go now."

The two ponies boarded the little boat quickly, first Vinyl, then Octavia, who was helped down on the hoof of her try-hard romantic marefriend.

"Thanks, Sweetheart. But are you sure--"

"Shush. She'll be fine, 'Tav. Chill out. This is our special night, remember?" Vinyl smoothed Octavia's mane affectionately, rubbing her cheek against her marefriend's like a friendly cat.

The gondolier shoved off the dock and into the canal, whistling a quick tune, at which two seaponies emerged from the water, balancing silver trays of food on their muzzles, magically kept dry and hot despite being under water.

They trays floated onto the table between Octavia and Vinyl, setting themselves down in perfect alignment in front of the two mares. The seaponies bowed their heads and shook their flippers before diving back down.

"Ugh," Vinyl scowled at the plates in front of her. "I forgot how discriminated against Seaponies are here. They're just ponies with fish tails-- are they really that different from, say, pegasi, in the way of being 'mutants' from the perfect pony?"

Octavia picked up her fork and patted Vinyl's hoof kindly. "I know, but what can we do? I do have to say, though, I've heard their cooking is delicious."

Vinyl sighed, but turned back to her plates. "Look! They even gave us wine!" She levitated the bottle over their glasses, pouring a generous serving before Octavia pulled the bottle back and set it on the table.

"That's enough, dear. You can always get more later."

"Yes, Mother," Vinyl rolled her eyes, lifting the glass and swirling the contents under her nose, sniffing. "Smooth finish, with a hint of walnut, and-- Pshh, who am I kidding? I can't tell a fine wine from my own hoof unless I've already drank a bottle of it. Of course, then it all tastes good." She laughed easily. "What do you think, 'Tav? You're the fancy one here."

Octavia took a delicate sip, rolling the taste around on her tongue. "You know, Vinyl, I don't know any more about this than you do. But it's good, that much I can tell you."

"Wow. An uppity Canterlot cellist admits she doesn't know anything about something to her longtime marefriend, a lowly nightclub disk jockey. Amazing." Vinyl pretended to look shocked.

"I am not uppity." Octavia said, indignant. "And I don't think of you as a lowly disk jockey, I think of you as the other mother of my foal, and the mare who insisted on taking me on an ultra-expensive gondola ride just because she loves me. Speaking of our foal, do you really think she's still alright?It's been an awfully long time. Maybe we should ask him to take us back?"

"Quit worryin', 'Tavi. We've only been out here ten minutes." Vinyl took a large, unladylike gulp of the wine. "Gosh, you're right. This is some pretty good wine."

Vinyl dug into the still steaming meal with gusto, thoroughly hungry, but Octavia didn't eat much. She was still too nervous about the filly. But she kept her feelings to herself, wanting Vinyl to think she was enjoying the whole evening.

The moon had risen now, and the sights along the canal's edge rose pale and ghostly and beautiful beside them, making both mares stop talking to watch them. A few other ponies walked along the banks, most speaking Fillitalian, but mostly the canals were deserted.

As the seaponies whisked away their plates and provided a new wine with desert, Octavia broke the silence. "I didn't think it would be this quiet out. You'd think there would be more ponies out and about on a nice night like this."

"Yes," The gondolier said suddenly. "I tek you... special route. Everypony else goes different way. This my way."

Vinyl watched him closely for a moment, but he seemed honest. "Thank you. It's beautiful."

Octavia poured them each a glass of the new wine. It was a lighter, pinkish shade this time, milder. But they'd already drank almost the entire the first bottle, so Octavia was determined to limit Vinyl's consumption of this one. She put her hoof over Vinyl's, drawing the white mare's attention as she scooped up a spoonful of the desert. "Open up, Sweetheart."

Vinyl took the morsel surprisingly delicately, chewing thoughtfully. "It's good, 'Tav, but I like the wine more." She downed the half glass Octavia had poured her, then levitated Octavia's glass over to her, with a gentle smile. "Your turn."

As Octavia was forced to drink the entire glass, she was reminded of when she ad first moved in with Vinyl. The memory made her giggle as she thought of how the two of them must have looked by the end, drunk as lords in a classy bar most ponies only went to for a cocktail before dinner.

"Vinyl," she giggled thickly, beginning to feel the first signs of the wine. "Do you remember doing this when we met?"

"Uh-huh. How could I forget?" Vinyl finished her second glass of the desert wine. 'Celestia, you were mad at me for that. I still don't think I know what the barmare gave me to drink."

"I dunno. But it made my throat feel like it was on fire until I'd had about three of them." Octavia took another bite of the desert, which appeared to be some fancy kind of chocolate cake. "Can you imagine if that got out in public? Octavia, world famous cellist, first caught in Pony Pokey scandal, down seen completely drunk at a high class Canterlot bar with renowned DJ Pon3's muzzle in her between her thighs. What a riot! Nopony would have spoken to me ever again!"

Vinyl giggled and poured the rest of the wine into their glasses. She clapped her hooves at the gondolier, still grinning, eyes crossed slightly. "Hey," She slurred up at him. "C'you sing fer ush? Cuz, um, that wud be rilly nishe, y'know?"

"Much sorry, ma'am. Gondoliers not required to sing anymore. If you want music, bring yourself."

Vinyl took that as an invitation. She pulled out her PonyPod and turned on her loudest remix, letting the unharnessed wubs crash and echo through the canal.

"Other ponies inside are prolly tryin' to sleep, Vin'," Octavia crawled around the table to sit on Vinyl's lap and try to turn off the obnoxious sound blasting from Vinyl's PonyPod. "And I don' like that kin'a music, anyways."

"Okay. We have to both like it. But I don' care about the other poniesh. They can just kish my fat flank." Vinyl tapped a button, and another remixed classical song blasted out, making Octavia jump.

At last the gondola bumped back against the dock, and this time the Ponezian stallion had to help both mares out of the little boat. They stood rocking on the pavement for a moment, waving goodbye even though the gondola wasn't moving anymore.

Eventually they turned away and began to make their way back to the hotel. Halfway there, Vinyl stopped and heaved the fancy dinner into the canal, which in turn made Octavia sick from the sight.

Vinyl wiped her mouth on her hoof. "Tha' tashted better the firsht time, dontcha think?"

Octavia nodded remorsefully, wishing they hadn't drank quite so much, but the simple action of moving her head made her feel sick all over again.

"Le's go home, Twi. Vin' is waiting for ush."

They managed, miraculously, to get into the hotel room, despite the puzzling electronic key, which Vinyl Scratch insisted ought to be brought to Celestia because of it's special and unique magic in that it could open one door, theirs, but not the others', and were welcomed by a happy Twilight, who eagerly whispered that Tambourine had been a perfect angel, and gone to sleep immediately.

"Good thing too, she would have been a nu.. noose... ne'er mine, I can' shay it right now. But we had fun, right Vin'?"

"Yesh, was great. Thanks, Twi-hic!-- hey, did you ever notice yer name shounds like toilet? Tha's cool. Toilet Sparkle, souns like soap. Anywaysh, here's the bill, shee you--hic!-- la'er, 'kay?"

Vinyl thrust some bits in the general direction of the purple pony. Twilight, upon realizing how intoxicated they really were, decided that it would be a better idea to take Tambourine with her for the night. So she carefully strapped the filly into her pram and left, dropping a note with her address on the bedside table.

She hurried out, glad she had been able to rescue poor Tambourine for the night. Octavia and Vinyl Scratch wouldn't be able to take care of her at least until morning.

Meanwhile, the two said ponies were collapsed on their bed, engaged in a furious tickling/blowing raspberries on each other's stomachs war, which would no doubt wake everypony in the hotel, because Octavia kept falling off the bed.

She wasn't hurt, but it gave Vinyl the advantage, making Octavia squeal for mercy as the white mare bore down on her, grinning madly as her glasses slipped of her nose, and bouncing slightly on Octavia's stomach before clattering to the floor.

Late, or early, into the morning, they eventually fell asleep in a heap on the slightly damp mattress, neither one having any idea of what was going on.

Panic? Panic!

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Octavia opened her eyes and was immediately blinded by Celestia's warm sunlight streaming through the window of the hotel room. She buried her face in Vinyl's mane, trying to pretend it was still night.

Vinyl groaned quietly as she woke up. She pulled her marefriend into a tight hug, giving her cheek and ear a sloppy lick.

"Eugh, Vin'. Your breath smells terrible." Octavia wrinkled her nose up, but it only made Vinyl breath on her face in retaliation.

Octavia pushed her away weakly, but she didn't care too much.

"Hah." Vinyl pulled Octavia back against her skin, grinning. "Poor wittle 'Tavi, to weak to escape from the EPIC MAKEOUT MONSTER!"

Octavia flinched as Vinyl's loud voice exploded into her skull. "Not so loud, Sweetheart. I have a hangover I think."

"Duh," Vinyl rolled her eyes, moving so that she was half on top of Octavia. "Anypony who drinks almost a whole bottle of wine, or two halves in our case, is bound to. Anyways, as I was saying, the EPIC MAKEOUT MONS--"

Octavia wrapped her hooves around Vinyl's neck, pulling her close. "How many times do I have to tell you not to yell in my ear after I drink two bottles of wine? Just get to the point, okay?"

Vinyl stared at her for a second. "Well, if you insist..."

Octavia took that as her cue to pull Vinyl's muzzle the rest of the way to meet hers.

Vinyl obliged, practically drooling with anticipation.

But as much as Octavia usually enjoyed this, she began to resist after a few moments.


"We should really-- ooh..."

"Check o--" Octavia opened her eyes, pushing Vinyl off of her chest and licking her lips, severing the thread of saliva connecting their two muzzles. "Vin', remember how we try not to do stuff like this in front of Tambourine?"

Vinyl frowned. "I don't remember that. Beside, we should take advantage of the fact that she's sleeping through this. Doesn't she usually wake up as soon as I try to kiss you?"

"Yes. And she also doesn't usually sleep through her Mommy screaming her flank off about epic makeout monsters. Do you think she's okay?"

"Aw, she's fine, 'Tav. Now lay back down so I can get back to being the--"

I know, I know. Don't shout it again, it's getting very irritating." Octavia slid off the bed, swaying slightly as her headache took over again. "I'm sorry to interrupt whatever admittedly quite appetizing plan you had for me, but I have to check on her."

"Really, 'Tav? I was just getting to the good part." Vinyl whined, eying her lips hungrily.

Octavia ignored her, crossing the room quickly to the rented crib.

"Octy, I like being a monster. You're so adorable, I could just ea--"

"Vinyl, she's not here." Octavia sounded shocked and scared, and it snapped Vinyl out of her mood.

"WHAT?! Octy, what do you mean, she's not here?" Vinyl appeared at Octavia's side in a puff of blue smoke. "My Celestia, you're right. Oh, Octy, do ya think she ran away 'cause she thinks we're bad moms?"

"Of course not, Vinyl." Octavia wrapped her hooves around her marefriend, more trying to comfort herself than anything else. "She's too little to think of that, she can't even talk or walk on her own. She might be hiding."

The two mares turned the hotel room upside down before meeting in front of the crib again. Both were shaken, worried looks on their faces and tears shining in their eyes.

"Hey," Vinyl levitated something out of Tambourine's blankets. "What's this?"

"I-I don't know." Octavia's eyes widened fearfully. Do you think somepony foalnapped her?"

"Let's find out," Vinyl said grimly, taking a deep breath as she unfolded the note.

"Dear Octavia and Vinyl Scratch,
As you surely remember, I took care of Tambourine last night while you were having your gondola ride.
Well, as it turns out, the two of you were terribly drunk when you arrived home, and are currently more interested in blowing raspberries on each other's stomachs and drooling all over each other than taking care of your filly.
I hope you do not mind that I took Tambourine to my hotel, which is at 56 Foalencia street-- just a few blocks away from here-- in room 503. Come pick her up in the morning.
I hope this did not cause too much worry on your behalf. It seems the best idea because you are at the moment wrestling (I think) on the floor because Octavia fell off the bed.
Anyways, best of luck with the hangovers. Zecora gave me some kind of cure for them, you can have some when you pick up Tambourine.
Your friend,
Twilight Sparkle"

"Why, that-- I oughta--" Vinyl spluttered before Octavia layed a hoof on her cheek.

"No,Vin', she did the right thing. It sounds like we were in no shape to take care of her, now all we have to do is go pick her up."

Vinyl sighed, deflating. "I guess you're right. Celestia, even I can't remember what happened." She levitated a brush through Octavia's unkempt mane and her own glasses onto her nose. "Come on, Babe. Let's go."

Several wrong turns later, the two mares stepped through the sliding doors of Twilight's hotel, feeling sheepish.

"Hello," Octavia said smoothly to the colt behind the counter. He couldn't have been more then twelve years old, but he looked immensely proud of his job, so Octavia decided to treat him like an adult. "We've come to see Miss Twilight Sparkle? She should be staying in room 503."

The colt saluted. "Yes, ma'ams. I'll tell her immediately."

He ducked through a door behind the big desk and Vinyl prodded Octavia's side, whispering, "D'aawww."

Octavia just smiled. "Don't say that to him. I'm sure he feels very grown up working here. You wouldn't want to ruin that."

"Oft course not." Vinyl nuzzled Octavia's mane as they waited.

The colt emerged again to find them nose to nose. "She says for you to come right up, ma'ams. And she says she's been waiting for you."

He bowed slightly, blushing, and Vinyl giggled, giving Octavia a loud, slobbery kiss on the cheek as they boarded the elevator.

"What were you doing? Trying to make that poor colt as uncomfortable as possible?" Octavia scolded.

"Nope." Vinyl winked. "Just giving him some quality clopping material."

"Eugh! Vinyl, that's disgusting!"

The doors opened and the two mares hurried down the hallway, anxious to see their foal. Octavia knocked on the door, smiling nervously at Vinyl, eyes sparkling.

Twilight opened the door, a smiling Tambourine standing perched on her back. The tiny filly laughed in delight at the sight of her two mothers, leaping off Twilight's back onto Vinyl's head, clambering up and wrapping her hooves around Vinyl's horn.

Vinyl giggled, eyes turned upward as she tried to glimpse her filly. She stepped into Twilight's apartment, followed by a gently smiling Octavia.

Octavia looked at Twilight sheepishly. "Sorry about last night. And I'm really sorry you had to see us like that, of all things. You must think we're terrible mothers."

"No, not at all," Twilight assured her, patting her hoof. "Everypony deserves to have some fun, now and again."

"Yes, but not like that," Octavia blushed, embarrassed. "I assure you, that hasn't happened since when we met a couple of years ago."

"I understand," Twilight smiled. "It's really no big deal, Tambourine was an angel."

"That's a miracle," Vinyl observed from the floor, where she was play-wrestling with a squealing Tambourine.

"And, I hope you don't mind that I took a couple of the bottles i the fridge when I left, here, take them with you." Twilight levitated a paper saddlebag over to Octavia.

"Of course not. I'd be more worried if you didn't take them." Octavia swung the bag over her back, securing it expertly.

"Besides," Vinyl added, sitting up suddenly. "When you have walking milk-making machine me around all the time, the fridge stuff is just for emergencies, like this."

"I suppose I can't argue with that," Twilight said, grinning. "But honestly, it was no trouble having her. She slept almost all night, woke up at a reasonable hour, and Spike was willing to take care of her when she did wake up in the middle of the night. He's sleeping now."

"Well, I guess we should pay you a little extra for whatever miracle made our little fuss-budget behave so nicely for you. Here." Vinyl levitated 30 bits out of her wallet. "We insist."

As they left, Twilight popped a tiny paper packet into Octavia's bag. "That's the hangover stuff Zecora gave me. Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie say it works wonders, but, I'm not one for drinking much, so I've never needed it."

"Thanks, Twilight." Octavia smiled. "Oh! and also, could you please try to keep this from getting too known? I mean... having a filly in a lesbian relationship with a DJ is already considered bad enough to most Canterlotians of my status, but this..."

"Don't worry, I know how Canterlot nobles are. I'll keep my mouth shut." Twilight answered as she shut the door. "Well, goodbye then. See you soon."

Once outside, Octavia sighed as she felt her headache return now that worry ceased to distract her. "I'm so glad she's okay."

Vinyl nodded, glancing at the foal draped across her back. "Yeah. me too. And I'm glad she gave us that hangover stuff. If it works for Pinks and Dash, it'll work for anypony."

"I am as well. If she hadn't, I would have had to hide in a dark hole for a couple of years." Octavia agreed.

"Don't do that," Vinyl nuzzled Octavia's mane affectionately. 'If you did your coat would get as pale as mine and then we would look the same except for our manes. I hate matching couples. Besides, I wouldn't be able to finish my EPIC MAKEOU--"

"Okay, okay. You can finish when we get home, and I mean home, home, as in Canterlot. Just please, stop shouting it!"


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Octavia was dreaming about rabbits.

It was an odd dream, she didn't even like rabbits. These ones were purple and orange and green and pink, which was odd, and they were singing the Pony Pokey.

Octavia was trying to make them be quiet.

Stop singing, Rabbits!

You step your left hoof in...


You kick your back left in, you kick your back left ou-- RAAAARRR!!

Octavia opened her eyes, with a squeak, suddenly aware that she was having trouble breathing.


"RAAAARRRR!!" A pair of blurry red eyes forced themselves into her vision as it slowly downed on Octavia what was happening. Vinyl Scratch, who sat straddling her middle in some sort of pounce stance, let her horn flicker with a little pop and Octavia found herself able to see, her contacts having been magically put in.

"Now," Vinyl said in a gravelly voice. "You said I, the Epic Makeout Monster, could finish eating you when we were back in Canterlot, and since we got here last night, I thought this would be the perfect time."

"Ugh, Vinyl, not now," Octavia groaned. "We both have things to do, its Monday. I have to go to my Symphony practice, you have to, I don't know, create some new wubs or something--"

"Silly Octy, it's 5:30 in the morning. And we don't have to go anywhere today because we just got back from Ponezia. I gave us two hours until I have to stop making you the happiest victim alive," Vinyl growled, doing her best to sound fierce while giving Octavia her puppy face, the only thing the grey mare couldn't say no to.

Octavia groaned again, but it quickly turned into a giggle as Vinyl began lapping at the side of her neck, nipping her skin and using her tongue to tickle Octavia right where she knew it would be most effective.

Octavia clamped her chin down against her neck, but Vinyl's sharp muzzle prodded underneath. "This," Vinyl said, grinning toothily, "Is the best form of torture I could come up with. A lick-down!"

Octavia let out a sharp gasp as Vinyl's tongue prodded her neck again, but the crazy white mare quickly moved on, covering Octavia's entire face in saliva in a matter of seconds. She stopped for a few, well, okay, about ten, minutes to explore Octavia's mouth with her own, then moved quickly to her ears.

Octavia, who had sat through the whole face-licking procedure patiently, lingering on the kisses in the middle, flicked her ears in annoyance, watching in satisfaction as they hit Vinyl's cheeks with a light slapping noise.

For a moment Octavia added her own tongue to the mix, licking and biting Vinyl's throat gently and making her squeal before shoving her off, tired from lack of sleep and too much, well, too much Vinyl Scratch.

They two slightly sticky ponies lay next to each other for a while, silent but awake.

"It's not hot, you know," Octavia said presently, breaking the silence.

"What isn't hot? Your mom?"

"No. Getting woken up in the middle of the night by somepony who's sitting on you and roaring. And then getting your face practically licked off by that same somepony, who just happens to know where all your ticklish spots are." Octavia replied, earning a sharp jab between the ribs, another place she was ticklish. "Stop that!"

"I thought it was," Vinyl looked stubborn. "It's better than if I woke you up by dumping ice water one your head and slapping you. Besides, I got up and brushed my teeth first."

"Eh. Maybe you'd get it if I woke you up the same way,"

"You could try," Vinyl suggested, eyes glinting hopefully.

"Ugh. You don't get it. No, Vin'. I love you, but that doesn't mean I'm going to act like a dog and wake you up roaring and licking you. I dare say you'd like that a lot, but I'm not going to do it. I don't like licking anypony, even you." Octavia crossed her hooves over her chest.

"You licked me a second ago."

"Th-that was to get you off of me!" Octavia protested, flushing.

"Yeah, yeah. Whatever. All I know is that I have a different opinion on the hotness of it, and I only barely got a taste of it. Haha, a taste, get it?"

"No." Octavia refused to rise to the bait. "Go wake Tamby, Puppydog. Lick her instead."

"Ew, no! I'm not licking my own daughter. That's weird!" Vinyl made a face.

"No weirder than licking me," Octavia grinned, triumphant.

"Yes, it is! Licking your marefriend is considered flirtatious, as in a nice, loving thing to do, whereas licking your own foal is considered animalistic and uncouth."

"My, what a big filly you are," Octavia giggled. "Where'd a little thing like you learn words like 'flirtatious' and 'uncouth'?"

"Comes from living with a snobby cellist." Vinyl stuck out her tongue. "Uppity-ness is contagious, I guess."

"Snobby? I'll show you snobby!" Octavia shrieked. "No kisses for a week. None. Of any kind at all. No pecks on the cheek, no quick kisses goodbye and hello, no sloppy, doggy-style makeouts like how you woke me up this morning, nothing! See if you can live with snobby before you call me that!" On impulse, Octavia added a foalish little, "So, ha!" to the end, making Vinyl giggle like a schoolfilly.

"Well, you have to live with the no kiss thing too, then. So it backfires!" Vinyl cackled gleefully, dodging a playful swipe of Octavia's hoof.

Oh, horseapples.

"Well, I, er, I had enough kisses this morning to last me a week! So there!"

"We'll see about that. Unless you agree to my terms, which are just like yours, but it's no kisses except the kind I woke you up with, the wetter the better! That's my agreement and I'm sticking to it!"

Octavia harrumphed, not wanting to admit she'd been outdone. "We can't do that, because I refuse to show to much affection in public. But... I guess I couldretractmypartofthedealIguess," She mumbled, eyes downcast.

"Pardon? I didn't quite catch that last bit, Octy. Mind repeating it?" Vinyl grinned, her crimson eyes sparkling with laughter.

"I said I might consider retracting myendofthedeal."

"Hmmmmm," Vinyl pretended to think, scratching her chin quizzically and gloating. "I guess maybe I could agree to that, as long as I get to lick you one more time."

Octavia sighed. "Alright. One more lick, then we're through with the dog stuff. Promise?"

Vinyl spat on her hoof and stuck it out towards Octavia. "Promise."

They shook, and Vinyl ran her tongue over her lips, tormenting Octavia, eyes glinting with evil laughter, like a filly who knows she's doing something wrong, but doesn't care. Testing the limits.

"Ugh!" Octavia exploded. "Just get it over with so I can was my face!"

Vinyl hesitated a moment longer, then swooped in, giggling as she ran her tongue over Octavia's entire face in one long trail. At last Octavia squirmed free, face scrunched up in disgust.

"Eyach!" She squealed, rubbing her face on the sheet. "Why does your tongue have to be so spitty?"

Two showers and many angry looks later, Octavia sat on the sofa, warily reading Equestria Daily, which Vinyl thought should have a different name because they only got it on Sundays.Octavia explained that that was simply because Vinyl was too cheap to buy the full week subscription.

Vinyl Scratch was laying on the floor, headphones firmly over her ears, letting Tambourine try to lift one of her hooves, without much success.

The little filly pointed a hoof toward the kitchen, brows furrowed into a sort of frown. She took her mother's hoof in her mouth for a moment, gumming it to get the white mare's attention. Vinyl slid off her headphones, watching the filly with a smile.

"Wuh," said Tamby, pointing again, urgently. "Wuh, wuh, wuh, wuh, wuh."

Vinyl gasped. "'Tav, did you hear that?" She said breathlessly. "She said her first word! And it was wub!"

Octavia peered over her newspaper, eying the filly doubtfully.

Vinyl scooped the filly up, kissing the top of her head and spinning her around. "Oh, Mommy's so proud, my little angel! Go on, say it again!"

Tambourine giggled, drooling slightly out of the side of her nearly toothless smile. "Wuh, wuh, wuh!"

"See? She did it again! Tamby's gonna be a DJ just like Mommy!" Vinyl giggled happily, hugging Tambourine.

"Vin', that wasn't her first word, she says wuh all the time. Along with buh, muh, cha, gah, goo, and I don't know how many other sounds. It's baby talk."

"I'm pretty sure she meant wub. She was pointing at me," Vinyl assured Octavia, still grinning.

"She also pointed at me," Octavia pointed out. "And if she says cha and I say she's going for cello, therefore it's her first word, would you believe me?"

"No. Cha isn't as close to cello as wuh is to wub. Besides, I've never heard her say cha."

"She's talking baby talk. It's not her first word, but whatever her first word it, I bet it won't be wub. Wub isn't even a word. You made it up, and all the other DJs copied you."

"That just makes it a better word, because it's my word, not just some random baby word like ball." Vinyl retorted, beginning to get frustrated.

"Wuh, wuh?" Tambourine asked, looking worried.

"Your mama's bein' a poo-head. Just ignore it, Tamby-sweet." Vinyl hugged her close in a comforting manner. "She doeshn't know what she's talking about. You're a big, smart filly who just said her first word, and Mommy's weal pwoud of you."

"Enough of the baby-talk already! It's fine for Tamby, but you can speak almost perfect English, so lay off it! And I am not a poo-head!" Octavia huffed, sick of the whole deal.

"Aww, wook at that, your Mama's getting all mad at us for nothing. That's not vewy nice of her, is it?"

"Wuh, wuh, wuh!" Tambourine giggled, putting her hoof in her mouth.

"Yeah, wub, wub, wub is wight, Tamby-wamby. That's the best song I ever heard, you're a remixing genius!" Vinyl sang out delightedly.

"Fine! If you want to believe her first word is wub, fine, But I don't, and I'm going to the den to read my newspaper without your baby-talk deafening .me!" At the door, Octavia turned an shouted back, "Oh, and by the way, saying wub, wub, wub, does not count as being a remixing genius."

"Aww, somepony's all saddy-waddy because you like my music bettow. Well, she deserves it, right Tamby-wamby, you little genius you. Why, you almost have mommy jealous of your skill."

"You almost have mommy jealous of your skill!" Octavia mimicked downstairs, rolling her eyes. "She doesn't have a clue what she's talking about..."

"Does she?"

Neightella! (Nevermind, It's Important)

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Extra bonus Nutella chapter! I was eating the stuff and writing at the same time, so it had to be shipped specially to Equestria for this chapter.

Octavia woke up to find the space next to her in the bed abnormally empty. She was used to having to prod Vinyl awake amid a chorus of groans and complaints, and then give up because that adorably insufferable mare refused to get up before nine.

But today she must have stayed up after she first woke with Tambourine, because, shortly after pulling on a robe, Octavia found Vinyl sitting at the kitchen table, her face and their filly's covered in something deep chocolate brown and, from the looks of it, very sticky.

An almost too sweet scent wafted through the little room, making Octavia wrinkle her nose slightly.

"What in Equestria are you feeding that poor Tambourine?!" Octavia shrieked, interrupting the happy scene. "It's a wonder she's not already morbidly obese from eating all that garbage you always give her. It's a wonder you aren't morbidly obese as well!"

"Chill out, 'Tavi. It's just Neightella." Vinyl grinned, sticking her hoof into the jar next to her and thrusting it in Octavia's face. "I read the package, it's full of good stuff. Here, try it!"

"If you expect me to lick it off of your hoof, you're crazy. Besides, I don't eat that kind of food. It's terrible for your health, and I know it would just go straight to my flank, anyhow." Octavia backed away from the sticky white hoof in front of her muzzle.

"Aw, come on. Your flank is fine, 'Tav. And besides, it's not your flank me and Tamby like so much, it's you."

"Very nice, and very cheesy, but still, no thanks." Octavia disappeared into the pantry, rummaging past Vinyl's rainbow coloured Dashie-Os (Eat a breakfast fit for one of Equestria's favourite real-life superheroes!) and dandelion poptarts to find her customary oatmeal. "And stop giving it to Tambourine, too. She's too young to have all those unhealthy things you eat."

"It's chocolate..." Vinyl persuaded, watching Octavia struggle with the nob on the stove. "If I magically cook your oatmeal to it's usual slimy 'perfection', as you call it, will you try some of this Celestia-made goodness?"

"If you can even make oatmeal that is edible, and if you manage not to set the house on fire even without the use of the stove, I will try your precious Neightella, and tell you once and for all that it is just junk food, like everything else you eat except when I cook for you." Octavia reared up and crossed her forelegs, glaring challengingly at her chocolate-covered marefriend.

"You're on, Octy. Be ready to be blown away by some of the best mother-buckin' oatmeal you've ever tasted!" Vinyl jumped onto her chair, balancing precariously on two legs on top of it for a moment. Octavia started to snicker slightly into her hoof. Vinyl glared at her. "What?"

"Nothing," Octavia giggled, looking like a guilty foal. "It's just that you kind of remind me of a chocolate dipped marshmallow right now."

Octavia burst into another fit of giggles as Vinyl did her best to lick the chocolate off her face, still glaring. "I can't imagine why that's so terrible. Most would enjoy the sight of the most amazing pony ever covered in chocolate."

"Beethoofen's here? And he's covered in chocolate? Oh-my-Celestia-where?!" Octavia looked around the room in mock confusion.

"Eugh," Vinyl wrinkled up her nose, looking disgusted. "He's the guy you think of when I say the most amazing pony ever?What about me?"

"You're pretty high on the list too, Marshmallow." Octavia watched, mesmerized, as Vinyl's tongue covered her entire face in just one swoop, effectively removing most of the sticky Neightella from her fur. "You have a really long tongue, Vinyl."

"I can show you just how well I know how to wield it this evening, if you like," Vinyl said, eyes glinting hopefully behind half-closed lids.

"Oh, Celestia, no. Not another lick-down! I've had quite enough of that for a long time." Octavia backed away slightly, wincing at the memory of being covered in Vinyl's saliva.

"Well, that's not exactly what I had in mind. I was thinking of something we haven't done in a long time." Vinyl stared at Octavia, hoping she didn't still have Neightella on her face. It would completely ruin the look she was going for. "Here's a little hint; it involves a number?"

"Ooh..." Octavia's eyes widened at what Vinyl was implying. "Wait, nonononono, we can't do that. What if Tambourine wakes up? We can't let her see us, that's just weird!"

"She's less than a year old. She won't care," Vinyl pointed out. "Fine. So we go in the den. She can't get out of her crib, as far as I can tell, so she'll never know."

"Fine." Octavia shrugged, defeated. "But we're taking the baby monitor."


Octavia tapped her hoof on the floor, suddenly looking impatient. "Now, my oatmeal, miss Scratch, if you please?"

"Of course, milady. It's coming right up now." Vinyl shut her eyes, concentrating, and a heavy ceramic bowl filled with steaming oatmeal appeared with a little pop in front of Octavia, making her jump.

"Thanks." Octavia stirred it tentatively.

"Ugh," Vinyl said, lapping up another hoof-ful of Neightella and levitating a spoon of it into Tambourine's open mouth. "That was disgusting. In order to conjure up a dish like that, you have to concentrate on it. I can practically taste the oatmeal in my brain."

Octavia smiled smugly. "Good. Maybe your brain will be a little better off now that it's imagined something other than poptarts and dashie-os for breakfast, yes?"

Vinyl groaned, rubbing the side of her head. "I think it's allergic."

Octavia finished off her oatmeal, which admittedly wasn't nearly as bad as she'd thought, and heaved her cello onto her back, planting a kiss on top of Vinyl's head as she made for the door. "Bye, Sweetie. Thanks for breakfast."

Vinyl teleported to a spot just in front of the door, blocking the way out. "Ah-ah-ah, little Octy. What have we forgotten today?"

Octavia rolled her eyes, giving Vinyl a good smooch on the lips before sidestepping to get past her.

"Good." Vinyl moved to block her path again. "But there's one more thing." A small jar floated from the kitchen, into Vinyl's waiting hoof. "I think somepony just tried to duck out of her end of a bargain, and I don't like that. Every blessing has it's price, Octy. If you want to cross a bridge, my sweet, you've got to pay the to--"

"Oh, come on, Disneigh? Really? That quote doesn't even make sense right now." Octavia rolled her eyes. Vinyl was toying with her, being a ridiculous little gloating filly.

"I thought it was perfect," Vinyl said, looking hurt. Her voice dropped to a husky whisper. "Anyways, here you go. Eat up, my pretty."

Octavia watched as Vinyl dipped her hoof into the Neightella, swirling it around for a moment before inching it toward her muzzle. "Re-really, Vin' couldn't you just give me a spoon?"

""That would ruin half the fun of, it, Octy. It's cute when you squirm under my power." Vinyl's red eyes flashed evilly as she cackled, enjoying her torture. "My, my, this is even better then when you had to sit through that lick-down."

"Ugh!" Octavia had had enough. "You're going to make me late for practice!" She forcefully grabbed her silly marefriend's hoof in two of her own, clamping her mouth around it.

Vinyl watched, giggling like a schoolfilly as Octavia struggled to hide the fact that the Neightella didn't taste as bad as she thought. "Getting a little impatient there, are we?" she asked, tugging her imprisoned hoof lightly.

Octavia spat the hoof out, fighting the urge to smile. Her cheeks flared up to match Vinyl's eyes as she backed carefully away from Vinyl Scratch. "Alright, you've had your fun. Now can I please go to work?"

"I suppose I must let you, but remember, Octy, the Neightella's on the third shelf up in the pantry on the right, if you want it."

"What-- why would I? Vinyl, you're impossible, you know that?" Octavia sputtered as she made her way out the door.

"I'm sorry, that word is too long for me to fully comprehend. I'll just have to take that as a compliment." Vinyl grinned cheekily. "Oh, and Octy?"

"What now?!"

"I love you."

Problem Solved!

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Octavia pushed the door open, heaving a sigh as she eased her cello onto the floor. Even with the aid of a little of Vinyl's magic bottled up in a gem she wore around her neck, the instrument was quite heavy, and on her relatively long walk to the home they shared, Octavia had many times wished that she played a, instrument more subdued in size, like a violin.

But Crescendo had insisted she play the cello, like his mother, whom he claimed she looked just like... Octavia shook her head to clear it. Crescendo wasn't her father anymore, and she played her cello for herself now, anyways. It didn't matter that her grandmar-- no, Crescendo's mother played if they weren't related.

"I'm home, Vin'," she called tiredly, coming into the sitting room and plunking down on the sofa with a remarkable lack of dignity.

Vinyl looked up from her magazine, a still slightly chocolatey Tambourine sprawled across her abdomen, fast asleep. "Hard day?"

Octavia pulled out a tissue and leaned over Vinyl's flank to dab at their sleeping filly's face. "No. Just a long walk home with a heavy cello. I can't believe you left Tamby to sit around with that Neightella stuff on her face all day long."

"I thought I got most of it off." Vinyl moved slightly to see the filly's sleeping face. "Eh... I guess you're right. But she didn't seem to mind. By the way, I think we're going to need to invest in a lot of that stuff. The kid loves it, which I can completely understand, considering I do, too."

"We can't let her have too much, or she'll get fat, like you." Octavia poked a hoof into the soft flesh at Vinyl's hip, eliciting a small, "hey!" from the other mare. "What? I don't mind, I think it makes you cuter and more marshmallowy. And more harmless looking."

This time Vinyl narrowed her eyes at her teasing marefriend, and feeling it was asked for, pushed her off the couch with her magic.

"Hey!" Octavia glared at her reproachfully from the floor. "What was that for?!"

"Calling me a harmless marshmallow," Vinyl giggled, proud of herself. "I had to show you that isn't true. Besides, I'm still stronger than you."

"Probably, but I doubt it'll stay that way for long if you keep eating that Neigh-whatchamacallit stuff for breakfast." Octavia shrugged and gathered her hooves beneath her again, clambering back to what she felt was her rightful place on the couch.

"You know perfectly well what it's called. You're just being a... a loof."

"Hah!" Octavia burst out laughing at that. "Not quite, Vinny dear. Aloof is one word, not two, but you're getting there. Soon I'll have you talking just like any cultured mare in Canterlot."

"Celestia forbid! I don't want to be some muzzle-in-the-air Canterlot snob-face." Vinyl shook her head, frowning. "Just be quiet and go make dinner, mare o' mine."


"What? It's not sexist when I'm a mare, too. And we both know I can't cook anything more complicated then mac' and cheese. Besides, it's your turn. We had mac' and cheese last night."

"Fine. But you'd better wake Tamby. How long has she been asleep anyways?"

"I dunno, an hour, maybe? It was, like, three-ish, I think." Vinyl shrugged.

"That's two and a half hours ago then," Octavia remarked drily, getting up and going to the kitchen.

Half an hour later, the two ponies plus Tambourine sat at the dinner table, enjoying a meal of homemade hay-fries (for unexplained reasons Octavia believed these were healthy. Vinyl made no comment to prevent that.) and a whole squash, seasoned generously with some Fillitalian spices Octavia had picked up in Ponezia. Tambourine happily gummed a cherry-- she'd had her evening meal long ago, and wouldn't truly be hungry again until about two in the morning, when Vinyl would groggily make herself get up and feed her again.

"This is good, as usual, 'Tav. Where'd you get the squish?" Vinyl spoke through a mouthful of the stuff, eliciting a frown of disapproval from her partner.

"Nearly two years and I still haven't gotten you to break that habit." Octavia reached over to close Vinyl's mouth as she chewed, tut-tutting a light scolding. "I got it at the farmers' market, last Saturday. I wish you'd stop calling it squish-- it's so foalish."

"Never will, I'm afraid. I'm too rude to be fixed." Vinyl stuck out her tongue, regardless of the fact that it still carried traces of her last bite of squash. "This is the best squish I've had all season," she continued, grinning. "Maybe it's the best squish I've ever had. I don't know."

"Wuh," Tambourine felt it was necessary to add to the conversation, spitting her half-eaten cherry onto the floor and reaching her curious hoof towards Vinyl's plate.

"Ah-ah-ah, little Filly-of-the-Wub," Vinyl said, pushing the hoof away. "This is Mommy's. But you can have it if you use your magic."

Tambourine repeated her first word again, leaving Octavia smarting. She waved her hoof at the pantry, squeezing her eyes shut in concentration as a tiny bit of magic fizzed at the end of her horn. "Wuh, wuh, wuh-teya!"

"What the..." Vinyl's brow creased in puzzlement.

"Wuh-teya, wuh-teya! Wuh-teya!" Tambourine clapped, pleased with her new word. She pointed at the pantry and struggled with her uncooperative horn again.

Eventually she managed to keep it alight long enough to pull out a jar in a wobbly grey aura, its label obscured by the pasty baby magic. A few hooves from the pantry door the jar fell to the ground and cracked in half, its brown contents spilling onto the floor.

Tambourine looked pleased. "Wuh-teya, wuh-teya, wuh-teya!"

"Vinyl," Octavia asked carefully. "How long have you been feeding her Neightella?"

"What? Oh, about a month or so, why?"

"Because guess what her first real word was?"

"Do you really want me to believe that she was trying to say Neightella all this time?" Vinyl lowered one eyebrow in a queer half-frown. "Because I don't. Her first word was wub. Her second word was Neightella."

Octavia layed a hoof on top of Vinyl's in a soothing way. "Just admit you're wrong, Vin'. It's still your word, considering I don't eat that stuff."

Needless to say, both mares Octavia went to sleep happy that night. Vinyl slept with her back to Octavia, shrugging off more then one embrace before finally drifting off into a frowning sleep.

But Octavia woke up in the middle of the night, eyes too wide open, suddenly possessed with a maddening desire. She slipped out of bed and crept to the pantry, reveling in her rebellion like a little filly.

The door creaked open and she let out a startled cry.

Vinyl spoke groggily, rubbing her eyes at the bright light. "I always knew you liked Nutella, Marshmallow."

Troubled Waters

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Skipping through time a bit here. Sorry, but Tambourine has to be able to talk.

Octavia gently rolled four-year-old Tambourine off of her stomach, grabbing her magazine delicately in her mouth and sliding off the bed.

Tamby played on happily, not in the least disturbed by her mother and former resting place's sudden disappearance. She hummed on, levitating her two little dolls to and fro on the bedcovers, a tiny, angelic smile plastered permanently on her face.

Octavia smiled as well, turning her back on the charming scene as she trotted into the next room to find her marefriend. She wedged herself onto the couch, wriggling into Vinyl's embrace with a little grunt of satisfaction.

Vinyl greeted her with a light pack on the forehead, blinking and yawning as she woke up. She pushed the headphones off her ears with a sleepy, lopsided grin.

"Mornin', Babe. How's Tamby doing?" She stifled another yawn, stretching her hind legs slightly.

Octavia tapped Vinyl on the nose. "It's not morning, silly, it's nearly four in the afternoon." She fake pouted, sticking out her lower lip pathetically. "And, what kind of greeting was that, just waking up and asking about Tamby without even acknowledging me?"

"Hey! I said good-morning," Vinyl protested, poking her marefriend's exposed stomach.

Octavia scowled at her, recoiling at the soft prod. "That's not what I meant, Vin'."

Vinyl sighed exaggeratedly, reaching to put her forelegs around Octavia's neck. She pulled her marefriend's muzzle down abruptly, locking the grey mare in a passionate kiss. "Better?"

Octavia smiled peaceably at her. "Much."

"Vinyl shifted slightly so they were laying side by side instead of Octavia sitting perched on her chest with a soft grunt. "SO, what brings you to this neck of the house? I mean, other than my fantastic oral skill, I mean."

"You are adorably arrogant." Octavia nuzzled her, trying vainly to smooth down a part of Vinyl's preposterously wild mane. "It's a bit of both, actually. I've been thinking we need to look into getting a bigger house."

"What's wrong with this one?"

"Nothing. It is just so... small. And dark. What are we going to do in a few months when Tamby needs her own room? She already barely fits in the crib. We need to get a place with a spare room for our filly."

"We can fix up the den as a Tamby-proof room. I don't mind having the tv in the sitting room, and besides, that couch ought to have gone to the dump months ago." Vinyl gave Octavia her best problem solved look, her trademark smug, lopsided grin reappearing where it had only moments before disappeared.

"But it's so dark and dreary down there," Octavia pointed out, finding fault in her marefriend's logic yet again. "Besides, Tamby's room needs windows. A filly can't live in a room with no natural light."

"So we paint on windows. I can make them glow with magic."

Octavia pushed her marefriend away in frustration, rolling off the sofa and landing on her hooves with a light thud. "She needs air, too, Vin'. It's just not the same-- you don't understand. We need a bigger house!"

"I don't think so, 'Tav. I've lived in this house seven years now, two before we met, and five with you, and I've never complained. I don't know what the problem is."

"But it's musty and... and icky," Octavia could tell she was whining now, but she didn't care. "And it's good for one, stay-out-all-nightish pony like you, and okay for the two of us, but it's just too small for three ponies to live in comfortably."

"It was fine until today, what caused the change?" Vinyl scowled, looking sourly at the grey mare standing next to her.

"You wouldn't understand. You don't ever understand anything!"

"You're acting like a foal now, 'Tavi. And as much as I usually think it's adorable when you're mad, would you please just calm down so we can talk about this like the reasonable ponies we are?"

"Reasonable? You're the one who's being unreasonable!" Octavia shrieked. "All I did was ask a simple question about whether we could look into a simple change of scenery and a simple bigger house so our filly will have a comfortable foalhood, and you say I'm unreasonable? What about you, for being so touchy about leaving a stinky, musty old apartment like this?!"

"I never said you were being unreasonable," Vinyl said, her voice strained but calm. "In fact, I distinctly remember calling us both the opposi--"

"Shut up!" Octavia exploded, eyes practically flaming. "Just shut up, okay? You don't know how to do anything reasonably you know, in fact, I've a good mind to..."

Tambourine slid off the bed and toddled into the living room at the sound of her two mother's shouts. Her tiny brow puckered in concern when she saw them. She tapped Octavia's back left hoof tentatively. "Mama, why do you hate Mommy right now?"

"I don't hate her, Tamby darling. I'm just... very, very angry with her, because she's not being very nice right now." Octavia kept her cool to speak to Tambourine, interrupting her rant against her partner mid-shriek.

Tambourine clambered onto the couch, nosing her way under one of Vinyl's forelegs. "Mommy, have you been being mean to Mama? Why is she so angry right now?"

"I haven't been being mean, Babykins, Mama is just upset because we disagree on something, and she refuses to see to reason!" Vinyl spoke through clenched teeth, pupils shrunk to near invisibility in her anger. Tambourine shrunk away, slinking into a corner to wait out the storm.

A tear slipped down her pale grey cheek, unnoticed by either of the shouting mares, and the tiny filly slumped further into her corner. "Mommy doesn't love Mama anymore..." She whimpered, cuddling one of her dolls to her chest. "They don't love each other at all."

"I don't know why you have to be so insensitive! All I asked was a perfectly sensible question. Which you would understand if you had feelings!"

"Oh, so I'm the one with no feelings?! How do you think you look, screaming your flank off like that!"

"I'm not the only one screaming, you know. And-- Oh my Celestia, why in Equestria do I even love you? You're so arrogant, I don't even know how I live with it."

"Just a minute ago you said it was adorable!"

"Well, I didn't mean it!"

Tambourine shuffled out of her corner again, a determined look on her chubby baby face.

"Mama?" She asked loudly.

No answer.


Vinyl continued to shout at Octavia, ignoring the plaintive voice from by her right foreleg.

Tambourine climbed slowly, unsteadily onto the cello perched in the corner. She reached the top with a huff. Then she stood up, balancing on the scroll, and began to shout over the noise.

"Mommy and Mama, I have a coo-- a que-- I have a queshion. Why don't you love each other anymore?"

Both mares stopped abruptly, shocked out of their anger, staring at the tiny creature perched on the cello, eyes squeezed shut in concentration, her short, filly horn glowing blue with the voice magnification spell.

"Sweetie, we still love each other," they said in unison, watching worriedly as their filly teetered on her precarious perch.

"Then why are you so angry? You aren't acting very loving." Tambourine jumped off the cello, landing with a soft thud on Vinyl's back.

Octavia sighed, looking at the floor. "I don't know, darling. I guess we needed a little reminder."

"Yeah, we're sorry to have scared you, Tamby, sweet. We definitely still love each other." Vinyl turned her head to kiss the filly's curly mane.

"Aren't you going to say sorry to Mama?" Tambourine asked innocently. "Miss SilverLight says you should always say sorry when you make somepony sad or mad."

"Who's Miss SilverLight?" Vinyl asked earnestly.

"She's my teacher at magic kindergarten. She says that is you make somepony sad, it's like giving their heart an owie. And an ap-- an apple-gee is like a bandaid for your heart."

"She seems pretty smart. I think she's right about that, Tamby." Vinyl turned to her partner with a hopeful look. "I'm sorry, Octy. I didn't mean for this to happen at all. But just give it time, okay? I'm not quite ready to move yet, and..."

Octavia nuzzled her mane. "It's okay, Vinyl. We can wait a while for now, I guess. And I'm sorry, too."

"Does that mean you love each other again?" Tambourine asked hopefully.

"We never stopped loving each other, Honey," Vinyl explained, her eyes soft. "We just... forgot for a minute. And you were very brave to come and remind us."

Tambourine looked pleased. She leaned across the gap between her two mothers' backs, wrapping her forehooves around Octavia's neck. "I love you, Mama. I love you, Mommy."

"We love you too, Sweetie." Octavia smiled.

"Don't ever forget that, Tamby," Vinyl said solemnly, enveloping her marefriend and her daughter in a hug.

Tambourine nodded, her face a mask of seriousness. "I won't Mommy. I promise."

Holding Grudges

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PLEASE NOTE: I have nothing against Christians or any other religious groups. The term Celestian has no reflection on any religion, and is merely fictitious, and made for the logic of this story. So please, for the love of Celestia, don't get mad at me for bad-mouthing them. It's not supposed to be insulting to anypony. If you are insulted, stop reading. I didn't mean to insult you, but I also didn't expect you to be so touchy.
Thank you.

Octavia was woken up by a sharp knock at the front door. She and Vinyl Scratch had collapsed on the bed, Tambourine happily sprawled across their stomachs, a happy smile on her face. Exhausted from their afternoon of arguing, the entire family had opted for an early bedtime, hence their rather bedraggled, heaped sleeping position.

The knock sounded again, and Octavia untangled herself from the pile, pulling on a robe and glancing at the clock before staggering out to the front door, muttering. "Who in Equestria comes banging on somepony else's door at six in the morning on a Saturday? Confounded salesponies... maybe there was an emergenc--Ahh!"

"Good morning, darling daughter," Sonata said briskly, pushing past the stunned Octavia into the little sitting room. "Oh, you're still living in this dump? Really, Octavia, I thought you had classier taste than this..."

"What-- darling daughter?-- Who said you were still my mother, Sonata? I thought you disowned me for being a fillyfooler!" Octavia sputtered, following helplessly as her former mother circumnavigated the apartment.

"Oh, that." Sonata waved a hoof dismissively. "I suppose I let my temper get the best of me. When I heard you had a filly of your own, I figured you'd seen the light and mended your ways."

"No, I haven't," Octavia said sulkily, feeling toyed with.

"You aren't still with that nasty little DJ, are you, darling?" Sonata continued. "She was such a nuisance."

Who're you callin' a nuisance, Sunny?" Vinyl said suddenly, emerging from the bedroom with Tambourine draped over her neck, braiding three of the spikes of her hair together.

"Oh, dear, I suppose I was wrong." Sonata looked at Octavia with that not-quite-pitying look one often gets from somepony who knows they're right. "But I had to come anyways. Now that my grandfoal is old enough not to be a bother, I simply couldn't stay away."

Octavia glared at her, eyes flashing. Vinyl mouthed let me handle this and crossed the room so she was nose to nose with the pastel blue unicorn, who in turn glared back at her, lavender eyes gleaming.

"Who do you think you are, Sonata, coming here, where I'm pretty sure it's damn clear you're not welcome, and acting like you own the place?"

"Oh, my. Such language," Sonata pretended to be shocked bringing a hoof to one delicate ear with a dainty little gasp of disgust. "Is this the darling little filly I've heard so little about?"

Vinyl opened her mouth to give some other sharp retort, but Tambourine interrupted her with a gentle tug on her mane. "Mommy, is that the big bad woof that used to be Mama's mommy?"

Vinyl grinned. "Yes, precious, that's the ugly old hag who says she's your grandmama."

"Have some respect!" Sonata said through her teeth.

"What's respeck?"

"It's like kindness, Precious," Vinyl explained.

"Yes, quite. I'm surprised a common pony like yourself would know the meaning of such a complicated word." Sonata sneered.

Tambourine launched herself at her grandmare clamping her baby teeth on the older mare's ear. "Stop being mean to my mommy, you big meanie!"

"Oh, but darling, I'm not being mean, she's just not a good enough mother for a little princess like yourself." Sonata said smoothly, turning her head to nuzzle the fierce-looking Tambourine astride her back, who in turn flinched away slightly. "That's where I came in. You see, Sweetums, your mommy isn't really... good enough to take care of you, or Octavia, come to think of it. So I came to rescue you, because I love you, and I love your mama, and I want to protect you from this terrible pony who says she's your mommy. That's impossible, you know. It's against Celestia and the rules of logic to have to mothers. You have to have a papa somewhere."

"No I don't." Tambourine said stubbornly, stomping a hoof on her grandmother's back. "Mommy and Mama made me with Mommy's unicorn magic. They didn't need a stallion."

"Atta-girl, Tam'." Vinyl whispered, doing a little cheer for her defenseless filly.

"Ah, but that's where you're wrong, my little angel. It is a sin against Celestia to do that, as you would know if you were brought up as a good Celestian. "Your parents are very bad ponies for acting the way they do, and they don't deserve to keep a precious little thing like yourself. It's too dangerous for you to be around them. You might catch their disease. You don't want that, do you, Precious?"

"Mommy and Mama are sick?" Tambourine's eyes widened. "Mommy, are you and Mama okay?"

"No, precious. We're fine," Octavia expained, crossing the room and picking the filly off her not-mother's back. "And, Sonata, Vinyl and I love each other. it's not a disease, it's a blessing. As is Tambourine. So, would you please just leave us alone and take your stupid, prejudiced ways elsewhere?"

"Alright, Octavia," She sighed dramatically. "I'll go. But this isn't the last you've seen of me, no indeed. I won't give up until I have my grandfilly all to myself."

With that, the cruel mare swept dramatically out, leaving the little family in silence, listening to the faint echo of the slamming door.

At last, Octavia laughed nervously. "That was weird. What do you think she wanted?"

Vinyl turned to her, her face deadly serious. "She wants to ruin our lives, 'Tav. We have to make sure she doesn't, alright? Promise me you'll help keep our family together.

Octavia nodded, a tear slippind down her cheek. She wrapped her hooves around Vinyl's neck. "I promise. But there's not much we can do. Mother usually gets what she wants."

"Well, all the more reason to make sure she doesn't this time. We have to stay strong."

"You seem remarkably unfazed by this, Vinyl. When did you get so brave?" Octavia asked, her face half buried in Vinyl's mane.

"When I realized that I love my marefriend and filly very much, and I'll stop at nothing to protect you two." Vinyl replied, looking fierce.

Octavia giggled. "That's very nice, Superhero, but don't you think you should get dressed before you go to save the world from evil mother-in-laws?"

"Maybe. But it doesn't hurt to start early, does it?"

"I suppose not. Now, do you want to have breakfast or go back to sleep? It's only seven in the morning, you know."

"Breakfast." Vinyl yawned. "I'm too worked up from the Villain's visit to go back to sleep."

"Mommy, what's a sin?" Tambourine asked earnestly, interrupting their little conversation.

"Your grandmare. No more questions though, okay Tambourine?"

Tambourine nodded. "Okay Mommy."

"But, Octy?" Vinyl said quietly. "I got something to say to you."

"What is is, Darling-- Ugh, I don't think I can ever you use that word again. It reminds me of Sonata now. Anyways, Sweetie. You were saying?"

"Ah-hem," Vinyl coughed into her hoof.

"I will love you 'til the end of time,
probably a million years.
Promise you'll remember that you're mine.
Baby can you see through the tears?"

Octavia smiled. "That doesn't seem very wubsy."

"What? I like some un-dubstep music. Besides, Lana Del Neigh is badflank."

"Whatever you say, Sweetheart."

In-Between Chapter

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Vinyl pushed open the door, levitating her irregular pile of record into the living room and dumping them on the couch with a sigh.

"I'm home, Babe!" She called, voice slightly hoarse from shouting at yet another one of Pinkie Pie's spontaneous parties. It had been a long day, and Vinyl felt she deserved a good glass of cider and a big kiss. She stepped into the kitchen in search of her missing marefriend, and found Tambourine, Octavia, and a light blue unicorn with a dark blue and white mane sitting at the kitchen table.

Octavia stood up, quickly crossing the room to give Vinyl a quick kiss on the cheek. "Hey, Sweetheart. How was your day?" She asked smoothly.

"Fine. Who's that?" Vinyl pointed at the blue mare, not caring that she was being rude.

"That's Colgate. She's an old college friend of mine and a dentist. She came over to look at Tambourine's teeth. She says you should - "

"Can't she speak for herself?" Vinyl asked roughly, feeling jealousy bubble up inside of her. This was all very suspicious.

Octavia patted her hoof gently. "No, dear. She's mute."

Colgate nodded, moving her hooves in a strange way. Octavia frowned.

"What? No! Vinyl is fine, Col'. She just doesn't like strangers in her house." She leaned in confidentially, speaking in a loud whisper. "And, she can get a bit jealous."

Colgate's mouth opened in a soundless giggle, and Vinyl scowled. "Hey, I'm not the only pony who gets jealous around here. And how the hay did you know that's what she said?"

"Sign language. We used to be really close, so I learned so we could communicate. Anyways, Colgate says we need to stop giving her so many sweets if we want her to have good teeth when she's older. She'll get a cavity if you keep giving her all that sugar all the time."

Vinyl pouted. "But she likes it. And you're so over-protective all the time, I have to be the good cop, you know?"

Colgate smiled gently, hooves moving rapidly. Octavia translated with a grin. "Colgate and I both think you don't get the idea of 'Good Cop, Bad Cop.' Being the 'good cop,' as you call it, doesn't mean you spoil her teeth completely rotten."

"That's a terrible pun, whichever of you made it up. And I like spoil her. She likes it too, don't you, Tamby?"

Tambourine, nodded as she slid out of her chair and trotted to the bedroom, grinning.

Vinyl smiled benevolently after her. "See?"

"Yes, Vinyl. But Tambourine is too young to know what's best for her. It's our job to show her that. That's the entire reason ponykind doesn't abandon their foals at birth. We don't have enough instincts to take care of ourselves until we are at least sixteen. Didn't your parents make sure you ate well and such when you were young?"

"My parents weren't as model-parenty as yours were, 'Tav. They were more interested in their booze then they were in me. I was lucky in my mom was awake in time to say goodbye to me when I left for school."

Octavia stared at the ground. "Oh... I'm sorry, Vinyl."

"It's nothing. It's all in the past now. Anyways, I'll tell you more about how I never had perfect parents as a foal when Colgate leaves. Meanwhile, do we have any cider?"

"In the fridge." Octavia pointed. "And she's not deaf, you know. She can hear, she just can't talk."

"I know, 'Tavi," Vinyl said as she levitated a dark brown bottle from the fridge. "I may not have as varied a vocabulary as you, but I'm not illiterate."

"Wrong word. Illiterate means you can't read. It has nothing to do with how many words you know how to say."

"Whatever. You having any of this, Babe?"

Octavia shook her head. "Maybe with dinner. Which reminds me, I need to start the pasta water. We're having pasta with some kind of cheese sauce tonight. Are you staying, Col', dear?"

Colgate shook her head, signing.

"Oh, yes, I forgot about your date with Berry. Well, in that case, you'd better go. Good luck!" Octavia smiled as she gave her mute friend her coat and showed her to the door. "Have fun, Colgate! Tell Berry Punch hello for me."

As she closed the door, Vinyl pounced. "What was all that about? She's a fake, I'm sure. You're lying to me--"

"Vinyl, if you heard yourself, I think you would be embarrassed. Colgate is honestly a dentist and a mute. I promise."

"Oh, come on. Colgate is a completely fake name. I mean, it's a bucking toothpaste!"

"Language, darling. Tambourine is too little to hear the majority of your vocabulary. But look. Colgate isn't her real name, it's Minuette. But everypony who knows her calls her Colgate because of her mane color. Are you satisfied?"

"No." Vinyl scowled. "How the hay do you know a dentist from college? Didn't you go to like, a music school?"

"Yes, I did. But the dentist's school in about a block away. We often ate lunch at the same restaurant, the Blue Mare. So we started talking. I mean, I started helping her out with stuff because she couldn't talk. Also, her apartment was really close to my house back on Harmonica, where I was still living at the time. We started carpooling in taxi's, because we were both broke. Do I have to explain every single thing we did ever for you to believe she's just my friend?"

Vinyl rolled her eyes. "I don't know. I guess I believe you."

"I find it a bit insulting that you only 'guess you believe me,' Vinyl. Do you really not trust me so much? I mean seriously, we've been together for years now, do you really think I would cheat on you? And with her?"

Vinyl looked sheepish. "I... I guess I'm being silly. I'm sorry, Octy."

"I don't know what you were thinking, Vinyl. She's not my type at all. Obviously, I only fall for the big dumb, irresponsible type, like you," Octavia teased, pulling Vinyl into a hug.

"I'm not a big dumb - well, I guess I am kinda irresponsible," Vinyl grinned suddenly, resting her forehead against Octavia's. "Oh, well. I'm just glad that you were dumb enough to go and fall for me."

Octavia sighed. "It's the best choice I've ever made in my life, so I must be pretty damn stupid."

Vinyl bent down slightly to kiss her the grey mare in her embrace gently. Octavia returned the kiss with pleasure, savouring the moment as the two ponies lost themselves in each other's embrace.

But as their lips met for the second time, a tap at Octavia's hind leg made her break away. She glanced down to find Tambourine staring up at her from the floor with large eyes.

"H-how long have you been there?" She asked shakily, still slightly out of breath from the kiss.

"Not long. But, Mama? I just wanted to say that your pasta is burning up." Tambourine pointed at the pasta pot, which was indeed overflowing and beginning to smoke.

Octavia sighed, leaning down to kiss the top of Tambourine's head. "Thank you, darling. Vinyl, would you call that take out place you like? I'm too tired to cook anything else."

Vinyl and Tambourine high-hoofed with a little cheer as Vinyl levitated the phone to her ear to make the order.

Octavia rolled her eyes. "She's going to be just like you when she grows up. The only difference between you two is that Tambourine appreciates my cello music."


Octavia lay nestled in Vinyl Scratch's embrace on the dingy sofa in the den, eyes closed as she enjoyed the warm, sleepy haze that surrounded her mind. She watched the flicker of the television's light on the wall with that sort of languid fascination that can only be achieved when one is half asleep.

Vinyl placed her muzzle directly above her marefriend's grey ear, whispering breathily, watching the tiny hairs bend and twist under her breath. She trailed a hoof down Octavia's stomach seductively. "You know, we haven't done anything fun, just the two of us, for a long time, don't you think? I don't even know if I can clearly remember the last time we had any alone time, can you?"

Octavia yawned, settling deeper into the crook of Vinyl's body with a contented sigh. "It was last week, Vinyl. Not that long ago. And besides, I'm tired."

"You're no fun, 'Tav," Vinyl grumbled, poking her already messy mane. "Every single time I try to turn you on you just find some excuse to... to, I don't know, not be turned on. It's... annoying."

"Sorry," Octavia grinned sleepily. "Can we just cuddle tonight? I'll kiss you."

"Fine..." Vinyl tried to hide the fact that she didn't mind too much. For some reason she liked Octavia's sleepy kisses better than her awake ones. Maybe it was that they were sloppier, and less conscientious on how it would look to outside eyes.

Octavia wrapped all of her hooves around Vinyl and locked them into a passionate kiss, licking Vinyl's muzzle before flopping back down in her lap, looking pleased with herself. "Are you happy now?"

Vinyl sighed. "That just turned me on more. But yes, I'm satisfied, I guess. Just not as satisfied as I could be," she hinted, looking at Octavia hopefully.

The other mare shook her head, pushing herself out of Vinyl's lap and standing up. "Sorry, Sweetheart. You're not getting any tonight. I'm going to bed. You're welcome to join me if you like."

Vinyl followed her up the stairs with an over-dramatic sigh. "I guess I'll have to do it myself tonight then."

"Eugh, Vinyl, no!" Octavia whipped around to face her, nearly falling back down the to the den. "That's disgusting, and you know it. We sleep in the same room as our filly, in case you didn't notice."

"I know, but you said I wasn't getting any," Vinyl whined plaintively, a triumphant look on her face.

Octavia rolled her eyes. "I did, and I meant it. You aren't."

"Then I'll have to do it myself." Vinyl grinned, still looking pleased with herself. She knew she'd won now.

"Put your I-beat-Octavia-in-an-argument face away, Vinyl. There's no way we're doing anything more than making out tonight, and there's no way I'm letting you do...that,either."

"Well, I don't know what's stopping me from just locking myself in the bathroom like all the colts do, but okay, Octy. You're pretty scary when you're mad at me. Whoops. I meant sexy. Not scary, sorry." Vinyl had a devilish look on her face. It was fun to torment Octavia.

"Well, you can sit here on the stairs and be as obnoxious and disgusting as you want, with all your suggestions, but I'm going to sleep now. Goodnight, Vinyl darling." Octavia made her way up to the bedroom, hips swaying haughtily.

Vinyl turned off the T.V. before following her up the stairs. She brushed her teeth, spending a bit more time in the bathroom than usual just to scare her sometimes rather prude-ish marefriend before joining her in the bed.

"Hey Babe," she said as she curled up behind Octavia with a sigh. "Mare, that felt good. I'm sorry you missed that one."

"You're disgusting, Vinyl. I hope you washed your hooves afterwards," came the muffled reply. Even through what sounded like a mouthful of pillow the sentence positively dripped with disdain.

"Why? It's not like you've never touched it before." Vinyl ran a hoof up Octavia's spine as she spoke, reveling in the shiver she felt under her hoof. "I think we both know you've given me a hoof-job many more times than I've done it to myself."

"I doubt that. Goodnight, Vin'. If you keep talking I'll make you sleep in the den," Octavia said sweetly giving her arrogant marefriend a peck on the cheek.

"Like I said before, you're pretty sexy when you're mad."

"That's it. Out."

"But Octy--"

See you in the morning, Vinyl," Octavia deftly kicked Vinyl just hard enough to push her off the bed. "I'll give you a massage tomorrow for the sore back you're going to get."

Return of the Monster

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Eight in the morning and Octavia and Vinyl Scratch were still sound asleep. Octavia groggily perceived the doorbell through her dreams, and she rolled out of bed, yawning.

Vinyl opened one eye, its crimson iris bleary with sleep. "There's somepony a' the door, Baby," she stated obviously.

Octavia rolled her eyes as she slipped into her robe. "I heard it, Sweetheart. I'm not deaf. I'll go tell them we're asleep."

"There's a better way of getting them to go away, you know. I swear, I have something that's way more effective then a bathrobe."

"Oh, really?" Octavia raised an eyebrow quizzically.

"Yeh. All ya have to do is take that whip I used for Nightmare Night and put on that weird saddle thingie in the closet." Vinyl flashed her trademark crooked grin, only slightly marring its effectiveness with her lack of huge purple shades.

"That's a bad idea, Vinyl. I don't believe in threatening ponies just because they wake us up early."

Vinyl facehoofed. "I meant they'll think we're doing something kinky. Ponies usually leave pretty damn fast when they think they're interrupting somepony's sexy-times. And if they don't, you can get really insulted at them for being so weird and messed up. Colts are usually more likely to ask to stay, but I've had the odd mare or two as well."

"That's even worse, Vinyl. Unlike you, I have a reputation." Octavia did her best to look horrified, but really she was trying not to laugh. The idea of Vinyl standing in the doorway wearing a saddle, with a whip in one hoof, yelling at some poor stallion was just too funny.

"But seriously, Babe. You should really try those things on at some point. I bet you'd look really hot in them. Besides, we've never done it like that before."

"No. I'm not doing that, ever." Octavia made a face. "Last time you tried to convince me to... try something new you ended up sleeping in the den, remember? You didn't like that, did you-- wait a second, why are you up here? You should still be down there from last night."

"I came back a couple hours ago. I got lonely."

"You're pathetic."

You still owe me that sexy massage for kicking me out of bed last night."

"Screw that. You're pathetic and insufferable."

"You can screw me whenever you want. I promise I won't complain."

You're really pushing it, Vinyl."


"Oh, right. The door. I'll be right back, Vinyl."

"I'll be waiting," Vinyl breathed seductively.

"Shut up." Octavia fought to hide a smile as she trotted to the door and opened it, an artificial frown forming on her face. "What in the name of Celestia are you doing here at this hour of the mor--"

"Good morning, Daughter. That's no way to treat your mother. I demand a little more respect than that, young filly." Sonata brushed past Octavia into the house in her customary way.

"You have no right to just burst into my marefriend's house like this, Sonata. You aren't related to either of us." Octavia said coldly, following her ex-mother into the middle of the living room.

There was a crash from the bedroom and Vinyl stumbled out in full saddle-whip-and-rope regalia. Octavia blushed crimson in embarrassment.

"You interrupted some very special business of ours, Sunny." Vinyl circled the two mares in a predatory way. Her voice dropped to a husky whisper. "And I don't like being interrupted, especially during such important business."

"Ugh, you truly chose a revolting mare to be with, Octavia. And you, whatever your name is, I'll thank you to not speak of or do such dreadful, sinful things with my daughter."

"I'm not your daughter anymore," Octavia snarled, her eyes hardening to match her icy tone.

"Oh, but darling, I thought we already went over this," Sonata caressed Octavia's cheek, her voice dripping with false sweetness. "I forgave you enough to still admit you diseased mutant of a mare are still my daughter in exchange for my being able to see my precious, little, grandfoal."

"I never forgave you, though. Remember, the last disowning in this family was me disowning you, not the other way around. Besides, why in Equestria do you think that I would want to still even know you?"

"Why, I'm your mother, dear," Sonata purred soothingly. "Isn't that enough?"

"No. Why are you even here?"

"I came to take what's rightfully half mine." The sugary smooth voice brushed against Octavia's eardrums, making her flinch slightly.

"W-what's that?"

Sonata grinned like the Cheshire Colt, toothy and menacing. "My grandfoal."

Sonata swept into the bedroom, her horn flaring as she levitated the four-year old filly out of her crib. "Come to Grandmama, Darling. I'm going to take you out for a very special surprise, today."

Vinyl shook off her saddle and stashed her rope somewhere Octavia didn't see, but she held onto the whip. "Back of, Sonata. This whip is good for more then just turning on your daughter."

"Oho, how noble of you. Defending your little family. Pity your only weapon is a cheap sex toy." Sonata giggled, still with Tambourine in her grasp.

"Trust me, I'm stronger than I look. I can and will hurt you if you take our foal," Vinyl growled menacingly.

"Oh, pish. You're as harmless as a newborn foal, Marshmallow." Sonata sneered. "I'm not afraid of your games."

"Mother, we're serious. If you touch one hair on Tambourine's hide, we'll kill you." Octavia stood next to Vinyl, a determined look on her face.

"Oh, now I'm your mother again? Your darling mama? Good to hear you've come 'round."

Vinyl glanced at Octavia, who nodded shortly. "Get 'er, Vinny!"

The whip surged forward in a burst of magic at it's hilt, and for a second Octavia thought in would hit its mark. But at the last possible moment Sonata's magic enveloped the flailing tip and stilled it in the air.

"Oh, alright, you win, for now," Sonata said drily, placing Tambourine back down on the bed. "I suppose I'll have to leave her with you until the trial."

"What?! What trial?" Octavia and Vinyl half-shouted in unison.

"Oh, my, I guess it must have slipped my mind to tell you." Sonata shook her head. "Dear me, I can be such a foal sometimes. I'm having you tried for custody of your daughter."

The two mares stood with open mouths, staring at the insane blue unicorn smiling before them.

Sonata trotted past them towards the door, her hat appearing on her head with a faint pop as the air above her head was displaced. "Well, it looks like I've got to go. I have a meeting with my lawyer, Heartstrings. Tata!"

The Trial Begins

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Octavia and Vinyl Scratch stepped into the City Hall silently, with varied degrees of confidence. While Octavia strode forward, her smart, little, black, Carousel Boutique skirt and suit-coat rustling softly with each swaying step, Vinyl followed more cautiously, watching her partner's bobbing hips and tail with a nervous look on her face. She tugged on the little pink bow tie Octavia had made her wear with a worried sigh, and hurried to fall into step next to her grey counterpart.

"Why do I have to wear this silly thing?" She asked quietly. "It feels like I'm being strangled by a weak filly."

Octavia nuzzled her cheek reassuringly. "It's because you have to look at least somewhat presentable. We have to make a good impression to help Twilight protect Tamby."

Said filly was currently playing in the middle of the floor with their go-to Canterlot babysitter, a highschool filly by the name of Rustle. Nopony knew her last name, but Tambourine loved her.

"I still don't get how wearing this silly piece of pink and white string helps Tambourine in any way. By the way, where is Twilight Sparkle?"

"I don't kn--Oh! There, by the restrooms. She must have been in there when we got her." Octavia pointed, and Vinyl followed the delicate grey hoof to see that their pretty purple lawyer was indeed scanning the large... lobby, was it? Vinyl didn't know what to think of the huge room.

Octavia tugged her along, grabbing one hoof in a foalish show of impatience. "Come on, Vin', let's go meet her."

Twilight smiled at them, her violet eyes strikingly like Octavia's, as Vinyl noticed, not for the first time. "Good morning, Ladies. I'm glad I found you. We have about ten minutes before we have to go in."

"Good." Octavia said firmly, suddenly losing some of her calm. "Do you think you could answer a few last-minute questions we have?"

"Of cour--" Twilight started, but Vinyl interrupted.

"Why do we have to wear these silly professionallish things? It seems kind of ridiculous. I mean, we're naked all day long, most of the time, and now we suddenly have to wear these... these suit-thingies?"

"It's etiquette, Vinyl. There are things like this that ponies have been doing for eons, and for some reason, I guess in order to keep it very formal and traditional, nopony wants to change any of it by stopping. The jury is permitted to dress or not dress however they like, but if any of us came in without formal attire, we would be considered ragamuffins, or just below the rest of the court, and nopony would take us seriously, and we'd most likely lose the trial, no matter how good our presentation was."

"Gesundheit." Vinyl turned to Octavia. "Can you explain that to me in plain Equestrian? My vocabulary is limited to profanity and two-syllable words at most."

"You just called yourself an idiot, Vinyl," Octavia pointed out. Vinyl opened her mouth to complain, but a hoof to her muzzle shushed her. "What she means is the judge and the other ponies in the court won't take us seriously unless we're dressed nicely, because that's how it's always been done."

"Okay, so if we show up without suits and bow ties and shit, we'll lose the case? That seems pretty bucked up to me. I mean, what if we can't afford all that stuff? Then we just automatically lose?"

"Not quite, but it's better safe then sorry." Twilight glanced at her watch. "Oh! We only have five minutes left. We'd better get going."


"Do you think they'll ever get to the us part, 'Tavi?" Vinyl whispered loudly, making the charcoal mare jump slightly.

Vinyl had dozed through the better part of the first half-hour, when Celestia's guard recited all the rules and laws and whatnot that could and couldn't be done in the courtroom, and she didn't much understand what was going on, everypony was using long, Octavia-ish words that didn't even belong in the dictionary. That was mostly Twilight, but she was the one speaking at the moment, questioning Sonata on her reasons why she should keep the filly, and Crescendo, on, well, basically so he could repeat his wife's words and back her up.

Octavia replied in a tired whisper-- she'd been answering Vinyl's questions all morning-- and gave her a reassuring pat on the back. "They have to get through all this first. And it's almost noon, we might break for lunch before we go on to the 'us part', as you call it."

"Oh," Vinyl brightened. "I like lunch."

"You're ridiculous, Vinyl," Octavia chided softly. "We're in the middle of a trial fighting for custody of our daughter, and all you care about is when we get to eat?"

"I like to eat. And I like to take my fair Lady Octy to lunch once in a while," Vinyl stated playfully.

"We should be quiet and listen. I think they're getting to Lyra's part."

The two mares sat back to listen as Lyra began speaking. As an old rival of Octavia's, she'd had no problem working against her, especially in such a sensitive matter. Her soft, smooth voice sneered through the courtroom in a tone that showed disgust for everypony present.

"Well, Twilight, that was touching. And I'm sure everypony here can see what sweet, honest, kind, and overall wonderful ponies these two pathetic parents are, am I right?"

As Lyra paused, there was a murmur of agreement through the ponies watching and the jury. Lyra smiled at them benevolently.

"Yes, I thought so. I suppose my client, Ms. Philharmonica, and I ought to just go home, yes? We haven't got a chance, your Twilight Sparkle has done to great a job showing you all these lies in such a brilliantly sweet manner, we ought to just give up.

"But I'm not a quitter, and she's not a quitter, and I'm going to show you that none of what Ms. Sparkle said was the least bit true," Lyra continued, a sympathetic look on her face, as if she were telling the court about the sweetest news ever brought to pony ears. The jury and the other ponies watching nodded, seemingly in a daze.

Octavia leaned in to whisper in Vinyl's ear, looking worried. "She's brainwashing them! She's using her voice and her looks to get them to listen to her, even though she doesn't know a thing about what she's talking about."

Ms, Scratch, was it?" The unicorn lawyer's face contorted slightly as she said the word. "Please take a seat up here where everypony can see you. I'll try to keep my questions within your simple vocabulary."

Lyra gestured at the witness's little barred in stand, and Octavia patted Vinyl's hoof reassuringly. "Try to keep your cool, Sweetheart. We have to show them we're sane, and you exploding at Heartstrings won't help us in the least."

Vinyl nodded. "Got it, Babe."

Vinyl was escorted up into the stand and Lyra approached with a look of pity on her face. "So, Ms. Scratch, you're a DJ, correct?"

Vinyl nodded her head, her blue mane bouncing slightly. "Yes'm."

"And where do you work, Ms. Scratch? Clubs? Bars? Canterlot Events?"

"All three, Ma'am. I work at lots of different places, depending on where they'll pay me to play."

"I see. Now, do you often participate in the partying around you when you play?"

"Of cour-- wait just one second, Heartstrings. What the hay do these questions have to do with Tambourine?! I don't think it's fair to just ask random shit that has nothi--"

Princess Celestia banged her little judge's hammer down hard, several times, to get Vinyl to quiet down. "The witness in question must answer the questions asked, not protest that they are irrelevant. Go on, Miss Heartstrings."

"You do join the partying?" Lyra raised her eyebrows in a scolding manner. "Is that really necessary?"

"Sometimes Octy or the barpony will bring me a drink to keep me refreshed, I'm pretty sure that's normal for a DJ."

"Perhaps that is true. Now, tell me, Ms. Scratch, how late do you get home usually?"

"It depends on where I go. Sometimes I finish as early as ten-thirty, and there are Pinkamina Pie's parties, which are usually in the daytime, but other then that I often end up working until the bar or club in question closes, which is usually close to two AM."

Octavia could see that Vinyl was trying hard not to burst out again, and that her expression held pure hate for the mare in front of her. After all the years together, Octavia considered herself an expert on reading her marefriend's expressions, despite the enormous purple shades she wore whenever she was out of the house, and sometimes inside, too.

"I see." Lyra looked satisfied. "Now, Ms. Scratch, do you drink?"

"Woah, personal question there, Lyra," Vinyl said, holding her hooves up defensively. Seeing the green unicorn flinch at being called by her first name was somewhat satisfying, but she was still fed up.

"Just answer the question, Vinyl Scratch. It's required, but I didn't expect you to know that. Go on."

"Objection!" Twilight stood up suddenly. "That is too personal a question, and it has nothing to do with the case!"

Princess Celestia thought for a moment. "Overruled, continue."

Vinyl and Twilight sighed simultaneously. "Not often. Once in a while, me and Octavia will go out to get a cocktail or something, but mostly, we stay sober, for the sake of our filly and our health. Does that answer your question?" Vinyl snarled. Octavia flinched. This didn't bode well.

"I suppose it does. That will do, Ms. Scratch. Ms. Philharmonica the Second?"

Octavia passed Vinyl on her way to the stand, and the white mare gave her a reassuring grin, but it did nothing for her nerves.

"Hello, again, Ms. Philharmonica. How lovely to see you. Now, I know you're a cellist in the Canterlot Symphony, I've seen you play before. Pity I couldn't join you. But you also play at Canterlot social events and Galas, correct?"

"I do." Octavia stated simply, determined to say as little as possible that might hurt their foal.

"Yes. Now, how often do you have to go to practices?"

"Three times a week, Ma'am."

"I see. Who takes care of your foal, Tambourine, correct?-- while you are at practice? Your... partner, Ms, Scratch, or a foalsitter?"

"Most of the time, my marefriend" (Octavia was careful to put emphasis on the word) "Takes care of her while I play, and I take care of her while she plays, but occasionally we hire a foalsitter, like today."

"And, who is this foalsitter?"

"Rustle, Ma'am. she's at home with tambourine at the moment."

"No last name?"

"We don't know it, Ma'am. She's relatively new, and we haven't had the chance to ask."

"Ah." Lyra crossed the room to look at Vinyl and the jury, then moved back to where she could stare down Octavia. "And how old is this mysterious Rustle?"

"She's fourteen, Ma'am. She goes to the Canterlot Public Highschool, downtown."

"I see. That seems a bit young to take care of a filly all on her own, don't you think?"

"I started foalsitting when I was twelve. And she's done an excellent job so far. Besides, Tambourine is very responsible for a four-year-old."

"From taking care of herself more then necessary? Maybe. Now, Octavia, how about you? Do you drink during, or after, your performances?"

"It's as Vinyl Scratch said, Ma'am. Occasionally the two of us go out for a cocktail, but mostly neither of us drink much alcohol."

"I see. That is all I need to know from you two. You may go."

As Octavia trotted back to her seat, Princess Celestia banged the gavel once again. "Break for one hour. We, I and the jury, will have come up with the guardians by the time you come back. Court adjourned."

Octavia met Vinyl Scratch and Twilight outside the doors, and Octavia gave Vinyl a quick nuzzle before they turned towards the double doors to the street. Vinyl ripped of her bow-tie with a relieved sigh, just before a light blue hoof in front of Octavia's chest stopped them from leaving.

"It's positively revolting how you two display so much of your unnatural affection in public. Any daughter of mine ought to know better than that." Sonata spoke coldly, her voice razor-sharp.

"Any daughter of yours isn't here right now," Octavia retorted. "And you, Lyra. I though you'd given up on ruining my life in college. What gives?"

"I gave up on trying to ruin your career in college, Philharmonica. But when I realized that my lyre performances were going nowhere, I took up law. This way I still have the option of ruining your home-life, even if I can't ruin your career. I suppose that's better, for me anyways." She sneered, her golden eyes digging into Octavia's soul.

"Good luck, Heartstrings. You'll need it, working with a crazy bitch like Sunny here," Vinyl said cheerfully. It was odd how she could manage to make even the rudest things sound happy, despite the fact that she was throwing insults left and right.

"I'm sure we'll do just fine, Pon3. But thank you for your concern." Lyra and Sonata brushed past them out the door, their almost identical charcoal half-suits swishing.

"Well, that was awkward," Twilight stated, breaking the silence. "I suppose we ought to follow them, don't you think? Law is only my side job, but I've heard enough lawyer jokes to know that we have to be as cunning and untruthful as possible in order to win."

Octavia and Vinyl nodded, and the three mares followed their enemies out the double doors in front of the building.

Middle-of-the-story Author's note

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Okay, here goes nothing.

First of all, I'd like to thank everypony who has been putting up with this since the beginning for your support. I love you guys to death.

But, as I'm sure everypony who isn't living under a rock has noticed, and even you poor things who are, come to think of it, Summer is coming to an end, and with the end of summer, comes the beginning of Highschool. (Ya don't say, right?)

Because my parents are determined to keep me out of a job at McDonalds when I grow up, I will have much less time to write due to a large, unhealthy dose of homework, which every student is required to eat each day, which means, unfortunately, less updates. I'll try to keep my chapters coming at least once a week, but sometimes they may be a bit late, because I have to write a paper on the physiology of the long-haired goat or some other ridiculous, non-pony subject instead.

This said, I resign from my avid writing, because I have to go read 127.5 (Yes, I counted) pages of The Scarlet Pimpernel before tomorrow morning.

Again, I'm super-duper ultra (fluttershy) sorry, but I don't want to get grounded, even if I'd rather be writing silly, happy stories about ponies rather then doing homework.

Love and Wubs, (Yes, I'm going to be old-fashioned and sign this like a letter, because why the hay not?)
CharmingChaos, Vinyl Scratch, Octavia, and of course the beloved Tamby (pink because buck you, that's why). Sonata is too awful and hates you guys so she doesn't get her name printed. Sorry, Sonata fans, if you even exist, you should go die, because Sunny sucks.

P.S. writing in Rainbow is 20% cooler.

Shocking Discoveries

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Just so you know, I changed the last chapter (not the author's note thingie), so you should probably reread the ending. But I couldn't leave you guys with a cliffhanger, especially not in the middle of the trial any longer. That's just cruel.

Octavia, Vinyl Scratch, and Twilight sat hunched in a bush in the Canterlot Central Park, eating sandwiches and watching Lyra and Sonata talk over how to best continue the trial as they sat on the park bench, eating some kind of fancy take-out food out of little pink boxes.

Vinyl scooted closer to Octavia in a soft rustle of leaves, and suddenly pulled her marefriend's head around to face her, locking the unsuspecting mare into a slobbery, passionate kiss.

Octavia pushed her away. "Vinyl, you do realize that there are ponies who can see us from the other side of the bush," she whispered harshly in Vinyl Scratch's ear.

"I know," the white mare grinned mischeiviously, nipping Octavia's ear as she whispered her reply. "But some colt was staring at your flank, so I had to show him you were mine."

Octavia shook her head to rid her ear of Vinyl's teeth and tongue, which had twisted it's way into her ear in a most uncomfortable way. "Just stop, okay? He's probably just oggling over us even more now. You know these colts are."

A quick glance over her shoulder confirmed to Vinyl that Octavia was correct. The colt was practically drooling. But at Vinyl's pointed glare he skittered off to join his friends, standing a few yards away. "Fine. But--"

"Girls, listen." Twilight interrupted in an urgent whisper. "This might be important."

"...So, as I said before, I think Octavia is nearly as bad a parent as that nasty little DJ. She's altogether too wrapped up in that cello of hers, always fussing over it and taking it everywhere, so she can stoop to the level of a common entertainment pony to 'follow her dream', as she call it. Do you think you can use that against her?"

Lyra sighed, putting a hoof to her face. "No, Ms. Philharmonica. I need proof, not your opinion."

"But my oinion can be very usefu--"

"Hi, Lyra-bunny," a soft but cheerful voice said.

"Who's that?" Sonata asked sharply, glaring at the intruder.

"Oh! Um, yes, this is my, er, my friend, Bonbon. She isn't always the best at noticing what's going on around her," Lyra added apologetically.

"Oh, my, did I interrupt you? I'm so sorry, I was just surprised to see Lyra here. You see, she's my ma--"

"Can I ask you something, over there?" Lyra gestured to a nearby grove of decorative flowering trees, and the two mares hurried of, talking in low voices.

Sonata, of course, followed them stealthily, hiding a short distance away.

So did the three in the bush, which just happened to move with them to a tree just a few hooves away from the lime green unicorn and her creamy companion.

"I'm sorry, Bonnie, but this is an important client, and she's very homophobic. We can't let her know we're together, that would be suicide. We need the money from this case, but if you come hopping up, calling me Lyra-bunny, and practically trying to sit in my lap, I'll lose the case for sure."

"But Lyree..."

The lime unicorn gave Bonbon gentle kiss, making the curly-haired earth pony's eyes go wide in surprise. "I'm sorry, honey. I love you, but in order for us to live, I need to work, and in order to work, at least in this case, I need to be straight. So just be friendly, okay?"

Bonbon hung her head, looking like a sad foal. "I'm sorry. But didn't you say you started the court this morning?"

"Yeah... But this Sonata character is one crazy mare, and she will do anything to avoid associating with fillyfoolers. We can't be too safe here."

The cream mare sighed. "Okay. I'm gonna go home and play with Kitty now. See you this evening."

Sonata and the three in the bush just had time to get back to the bench (or just behind it, in Octavia, Vinyl, and Twilight's case) before Lyra came back, looking rather drained.

Sonata looked up. "Good Celestia, look at the time. I guess we'd better get back to the court, don't you think?"

There was a dangerous edge to her voice, but either Lyra didn't detect it, or she didn't know Sonata well enough to even perceive its danger. They walked back side by side, Sonata standing rigidly straight, and Lyra somewhat slumped, looking worried.

The three in the bush moved to the bench, and Twilight looked at them, wide-eyed. "That was unexpected, to say the least."

Vinyl gave a grunt of agreement, stretching her front hooves out in front of her, but Octavia merely should her head. "I don't think it's that surprising. Lyra and Bonbon started going out when we were in college, but I didn't know they were still together, and obviously neither did Sonata. I'm surprised she would make that mistake though."

Twilight frowned. "Me, too. Do you think it's all a hoax? Lyra's a renowned lawyer, and a scoundrel at that, so I kind of wonder if they aren't all in on something to fool us."

"I don't think so. My mother wouldn't even associate with fake fillyfoolers, just in case they're not actually pretending."

"True. But Sunny is an awful actress, I remember that she was extremely readable when we went to their house for Heart's Warming. She looked pretty pissed when they were walking," Vinyl pointed out.

Twilight glanced up at the clock tower a block away. "Speaking of which, we should probably head back too. It's getting close to the start again."


All the ponies knelt as their Princess entered the courtroom again, this time with her little sister by her side.

"Greetings," Celestia said, her regal voice ringing through the arched ceiling-ed room.

"Greetings," Luna repeated shyly, her voice uncharacteristically soft. She'd apparently been practicing her 'inside voice', as a very popular schoolteacher, Miss Cheerilee, would have described it.

"Now, Fillies, and Gentlecolts, we have come to decision. I and the jury, agree that there is really only one way to put this. So, without further ado, I appoint official guardianship to--"

"STOP!" A powerfully deep, but definitely feminine, afflicted Canterlotian accented, voice rang out. "I refuse to finish this trial, because of a problem with my lawyer. I'm afraid there has been... a terrible mistake, and I don't intend to stand for it." Sonata stood back, panting from the voice magnifying spell. It was similar to the Princesses' Royal Canterlot Voice, which Twilight could tell you took an immense amount of energy. (She would probably insist on my telling you the exact amount, but I flat out refuse to do math, so you're out of luck)

Celestia looked taken aback. "Pardon?"

"You heard me," Sonata growled at the Princess, amid gasps of horror from the other ponies. "I said I found out something terrible about my lawyer, and I refuse to go on with the trial, or even hear who receives custody of my grandfilly, without a retrial with a more suitable lawyer."

Princess Luna looked up at her sister, who shrugged. She'd never had this complaint before. "Ms. Heartstrings is clean of any crimes, and has been a very honest lawyer her entire career."

"You forgot the worst crime of all, a the one against all you, as our Princess of All that is Good, stand for!" Sonata shrieked, clearly rather shocked.

Celestia blinked. "Beg pardon?"

"Your Highness, this mare has committed the very sin for which I disowned my own daughter, and the sole reason I saw fit to request this trial! Princess, she is a lesbian, a fillyfooler! She is diseased!"

The Princess frowned. "I do not recall, in any way, shape or form, saying I ever had anything against those who have fallen in love with ponies of their own gender. If my subjects love one another, I am happy, regardless of their sexuality."

"But, Your Highness, it's unnatural! We as ponies were made originally in two genders for a reason! It wasn't meant that everypony simply runs off galavanting about with their tongues down the throats of ponies of their own sex!

"Why not? Sonata, it is you who is wrong here. Loving each other is just what ponies do best, and harbouring an unfounded hate for everypony who is different from yourself is a far worse crime then falling in love could ever be. Do you understand?" Celestia's voice was kind but firm, and it was clear she was displeased.

"What?! B-but Princess Celestia, you can't be serious! These ponies are diseased! That is the very reason I wished to take custody of Tambourine, my grandfilly! I wanted to, and still want to protect her from the evil sin in the souls of her two artificial mothers, so that she might grow up to be a normal pony, instead of another on of them."

"I am disappointed, Sonata Philharmonica. I thought you had a better reason then that. But I was wrong. It is you who is diseased, if anypony, not them. I am thoroughly ashamed of your behaviour."

"No! I know I'm right, and I refuse to back down. Give me the child, Princess." Sonata shouted angrily, no longer confused.

"I am sorry, Sonata. All the lies you fed Lyra, and through her, me, about your daughter and her marefriend almost had me giving you the foal. I am very glad you stopped me. It would have been a grave mistake."

Sonata turned to the ponies watching the stand-off her eyes glowing madly. "You'll see, someday, you'll see you're wrong. You'll regret this when they take over the world!"

Celestia levitated a scroll over to Octavia and Vinyl Scratch. "If you'll both sign this, Tambourine is legally yours, as she should be. Go home and see her, I'm sure she misses you." The Princess spoke kindly, looking at the two mares in front of her with some pride. They deserved their filly, much more then Sonata ever could.

Octavia picked up the quill in her teeth, and Vinyl took the other in her magic, and they both signed their names before going outside to meet Twilight when she had finished her friendship report.

Enough of this World

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This is a really short chapter, I know. But i had to get it out of my system, and besides, the next part kind of needs to be in a separate chapter. So read on, my bronies. Enjoy the miracle you've all been waiting for.

Vinyl leaned her head in the crook of Octavia's neck as they walked out of City Hall, shivering reflexively as the grey mare draped her tail over Vinyl's cutie mark in a loving gesture.

"I'm so glad that turned out well. It was close, though I can't understand why, so I guess it's lucky that Sonata saw Lyra and Bonbon's little escapade in the park. I almost feel sorry for Mother, though. Being such an uptight bitch, and then discovering your lawyer is doing just what you hate and fear most behind your back?" Octavia shook her head, a gentle smile playing on her lips. "That would be awful."

Vinyl grinned. "I know, right? I'm just glad that I'm not Lyra though. She's gonna get a pounding."

A shout from the bridge caught the two mare's attention. Octavia turned to see a dangerously familiar, pale blue unicorn standing precariously balanced on the ledge.

They hurried forward, and the blue mare turned toward them, showing her face behind the wind-tousled silver and blue mane. Its long tendrils flew around her face madly, making her look insane as she stood teetering above the river.

"Octavia, this is your fault!" Sonata shouted over the wind, her eyes as wild as her hair. "If you had been a normal child, I might not have been driven to this madness. But no, you had to go and become involved with the lowliest scum in Equestria, and thus become one of them yourself. Bear this on your soul, Daughter, because there is nopony to blame but you!"

Octavia watched, speechless, as her mother shouted. Finally she answered. "Mother, no! Just because you were wrong, doesn't mean you have to die! Come down, it's not safe!"

"No, child. I wasn't wrong, I was right. But even my Goddess has misunderstood that I meant for the good of her country. Someday you'll see, someday you diseased fillyfoolers and coltcuddlers will take over Equestria, and the world will be in shambles! You just wait. But I'm going to jump, and you can't stop me! Nopony can stop me now!" The mare laughed crazily, tears running down her face. "Nopony at all! Finally I am in control of something! I, and I alone hold the key to my life! You can't stop me!"

"But Mother, think of Crescendo! Think of me!"

"You and Crescendo never loved me!"

"She's got a point," Vinyl muttered, but a sharp prod in the ribs shut her up.

"Crescendo only married me because he was afraid of me. And you, well, look at you! You loathe me! I went against everything you wrongly assume is love! It's a disease, I tell you! Someday it will consume you, and then you'll regret not listening to me!"

"Crescendo loves you very much, Mother. And I... I promise I don't hate you, but you're wrong. what Vinyl and I have is as much love as it would be if she were a colt, I know this, deep inside, no matter what you or anypony else says. But please, Mother, for the love of Celestia, come down."

"No! Not even Celestia cares for me anymore. I'm sorry, daughter, you are a murderer, in your own right. I hope what I'm about to do will rest heavy on your heart for the rest of your life. That, my dear Octavia, would be much more satisfying than living on could ever be. Goodbye, daughter. Let your better judgement lead you away from killing anypony else. I came here to die, and die I will. There's no stopping my victory now!"

With that, the blue mare leapt gracefully from the bridge, her mane and tale floating around her in a shimmering curtain, covering her face.

Octavia and Vinyl watched, stricken, as she sank, as the guard pulled her limp body out of the river, as she was rushed to the Canterlot hospital with a white cloth covering her face.

The only words spoken before they turned homewards were Octavia's, tearless, but heavy with sadness. "She was right, Vinyl. I killed her."

Out of Town

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Octavia was laying draped across the den's couch, watching an episode of Dr Whooves, which Vinyl Scratch hated, for reasons Octavia couldn't imagine, when said mare came clomping down the stairs, a sleepy Tambourine sitting on her head.

Octavia paused her show and glanced at the mare in front of her. "What's up, Sweetheart?"

"Would you come upstairs, 'Tav? Tamby won't go to sleep without one of your stories." Tambourine shook her head emphatically to emphasize her mother's point, but the enormous yawn that followed ruined it's effect.

Octavia smiled up at them as she got up and followed Vinyl up the stairs to the bedroom. "I guess I'll come. But you should really try making up a story yourself sometime - I bet you'd be good at it."

Vinyl Scratch groaned. "I doubt it, Octy. I don't know enough of your fancy-shmancy words to tell a good one. And, Octy, do you think you could help me convince this crazy thing that sitting on my head is a bad idea?"

Tambourine giggled and slid down Vinyl's neck, landing so that her hooves rested at her mother's throat instead. "Okay, Mommy."

"You don't need fancy words to tell a good story, Vin'. Look at the Author of this story. She hardly knows enough complicated words to come up with my lines. And, Tamby, don't strangle Mommy. I'd like to have her around for a good while more."

"The Author is different. She has a dictionary."

"Not necessarily. Just give it a try, okay, Vin'?"

Vinyl Scratch nuzzled Octavia's cheek, admiring how her charcoal mane stayed neat even after mingling with the scrappy blue mess atop Vinyl's own head. "Only for you and Tamby, Octy."

Octavia grinned. "Good. If you made up stories for other ponies I might get jealous and make you take me to Ponezia again."

"I hope you don't think that you need to go crazy-jealous in order to get a vacation. But that reminds me, I have a surprise for you once we get the Monster to bed."

"What monster?" Tambourine asked innocently, sounding a bit worried. Octavia poked her nose gently.


Vinyl Scratch shifted slightly, dumping Tambourine onto her back on the bed. The filly giggled and crawled under the covers, a contented sigh escaping from her lips. 'I'm ready for my story, Mommy."

"Well now, let's see. What do you want to hear about, Tamby-dearest?"

Tambourine thought for a moment. "I want to hear something about Tick and Tack, like when Mama tells me."

"Tick and Tack?" Vinyl looked confused.

"They're bunnies, Vinyl. Tick is a brown bunny and Tack is a white bunny, and they live in a hollow tree stump by the edge of the Forest," Octavia explained.


"They're girls, like us." Tambourine said eagerly. "But they don't have a Tamby like you."

"I see. Okay then, here we go." Vinyl coughed into her hoof. "So one day, these two bunnies, Tick and Tack - "

"You're supposed to start with Once upon a time," Tambourine said, pouting.

"Picky, picky." Vinyl Scratch sighed. "See, 'Tav? I botched it already."

Octavia patted her hoof comfortingly. "Don't give up yet, you scootaloo. You barely even started. Go on, I want to know what happens."

"Well - Okay. Here we go again. Once upon a time..."

Tick and Tack, two little bunnies,
Lived in a stump at the edge of the wood,
They liked to eat lots of carrot yummies
Under an Oak Tree that leant as it stood.
So they packed up their baskets
And buckets and pails,
Full of carrot sandwiches and cookies,
And books of pony-tales.
A cloth for their picnic,
And a cup for their drink,
But not a single salt-lick
And ruled out the kitchen sink.
Two white and brown rabbits
Hooping down the winding trail
They kept the best of their habits,
And shook their fluffy tails
As they came to the meadow where the oak tree stood.

They found a new friend in
A ladybug - her name was Sue -
And at the end of a very long day,
They took their new friend home to play.
And the fireflies came out to light their way.
The three good friends were soon sleeping tight -
As soon as Celestia turned out the light.

So, this ends my little tale,
But tell it again - I'll never fail.
Now I'm afraid I'm out of rhymes,
I'll tell you more, some other time.


"So, how'd I do?" Vinyl asked as the two mares crept out of the bedroom. "Do you think she liked it?"

"Well, judging from the fact that she's asleep now, I think you did a very good job. I never knew you were a poet, Vin'." Octavia stood a little taller to kiss Vinyl's cheek softly. "Besides, how could she not like it? It was perfect."

"You're just saying that 'cos you love me."

"No. I do love you, but it was a good story. And I can't believe you made it all rhyme like that. I'm impressed."

"Well, fine, but I'm not. You're still the pro around here."

"I don't know about that. Tambourine might just forget all about me if you keep coming up with whole poems on the spot for her."

"I doubt that. But I have a surprise for you, remember?"

"Oh, yes. Well, what is it?"

"I have to get it. Meet me in the den again. And no Dr Whooves, he doesn't deserve to witness this."

"Wow," Octavia observed sarcastically. "Harsh."

She trotted down into the den and settled into her side of the couch, sighing. Vinyl joined her seconds later, a long, rectangular piece of paper gripped in her mouth, though Octavia couldn't see any reason for Vinyl not to use her horn.

"Found it." Vinyl spat the paper onto the coffee table with a look of disgust. "I don't know how you earthies deal with that. Paper tastes awful."

"Maybe it's because we're tougher then you," Octavia observed in a teasing voice. "You unicorns just can't take it."

"Pshaw, you know I'm the one in charge around here."

Octavia patted her marefriend's spiky head condescendingly. "Keep dreaming, Vin'."

"I almost think you don't actually deserve the surprise, the way you're acting, Octy. Tsk, tsk." Vinyl scolded, levitating the paper she had brought away from Octavia.

"Oops, sorry, Vinyl. I love you." Octavia did her best to look contrite.

"Oh, you're just saying that so I give you your present, you greedy mare."

"Now, that doesn't even make any sense. Of course I love you, you're my marefriend, for pony's sake."

Vinyl narrowed her eyes. "Prove it."

Octavia wriggled closer, squeezing herself into Vinyl Scratch's lap. She wrapped her arms around the other mare's neck, giving her a long, loving kiss before finally rolling off, panting slightly. "Now do you believe me?"

"Hmmm," Vinyl stroked her chin, thinking. "I guess. It would help if you did that again, but that can wait. Here you go."

Octavia caught the paper as Vinyl levitated it over to her. Her brows puckered as she read it. "A flier for a house in San Franciscolt? What the...?"

"Uh-huh." Vinyl nodded, grinning her trademark lopsided grin. "D'you like it? Me gusta o no me gusta?"

"Your spanish is terrible, darling. It's a fine house, but why are you making such a huge deal over a flier? And San Franciscolt is all the way across the country."

"I'm not making a huge deal over the flier, you silly filly, I'm making a huge deal over the house," Vinyl explained, looking pleased with herself.

"I don't think I quite follow."

Vinyl sighed, exasperated. "I mean, it's ours."


"Ugh, why are you so slow? I bought it. That's our house. You said you wanted to move, Sonata and all kinds of uppity first-class jerks live in Canterlot, San Franciscolt is known for its love and tolerance of ponies like us, so I got us a house in Pony Valley. I hear it's a great family neighborhood, and this place has a lot of bedrooms, all with windows, which should make you happy. Oh, and a back yard. You like back yards, right? You seem gardeny to me, and - Octy, are you okay?"

Octavia was staring at Vinyl with wide eyes, a shocked expression on her face. "I-I don't know, Vin'. You just bought a house, completely across the country, without my knowing anything about it. Am I supposed to be all right?"

"Yes. I thought you would be happy. You did just freak out at me because I didn't want to move, remember? I mean, it was kind of a while ago, but after the trial, and after the jury decided that Sonata was deserving of our filly, which makes no sense unless the were all homophobes like her, I decided that I liked the idea, so I went ahead and bought a house. It's... kind of an anniversary-ish present for both of us."

"Okay, I guess. I honestly am not quite sure what to think of this, Vinyl. Can we move before Tambourine starts first grade?"

"Yes. We're moving next week, because the schools have a week off for Thanksgiving. Which means, that after tomorrow, we should start packing. I can't wait to tell Tambourine!"

"When did you even have time to go all the way to San Franciscolt, find and buy a house,and come back for the trial?"

"Uhh, I'd rather not explain that."

"And how did you pay for it? Pony Valley isn't a cheap neighborhood."

"Can I not explain that, either?"

"No. I refuse to move into a house when I have no idea how you got it. If you were... selling yourself, or stealing money, I'd never be able to forgive you. So can you please just tell me?"

"Okay. I promise, I didn't become a whore, and though I might not be the best, purest, most un-criminal pony in Equestria, I haven't stolen anything since I was a teenager. I got the money in my inheritance."

"Your inheritance? I thought your parents were drunk all the time and didn't have anything worth more than ten bits."

"They weren't in the best places with their lives, true. But I never said anything about their monetal values. My dad was the brother of Photo Finish and Hoity Toity, which means that when he died, though neither of them would have anything to do with me, they did leave me a good sum of money. So they wouldn't get in trouble, the scumbags. They gave me half a million bits each not to tell anypony I was related to them. I didn't know what to do with it, so I put it in the bank and forgot about it. And being a famous DJ ain't no cheap job, either. So I finally admitted to myself that I could be a multi-millionare, and bought this house for you."

"That is incredibly stupid, Vinyl, and I don't believe a word of it. Tell me the real reason."

"That is the real reason. I swear to Celestia, it's true. Can you just drop it, 'Tav? We have a lot to do."

"Fine. Maybe someday you'll explain stuff to me. Come on, Sweetheart. Let's go to bed. I'm tired, and I want to cuddle anyways, so I'd appreciate it if you came with me."

"Okay. If we cuddle down here we won't bother Tamourine. And then we can smooch."

Octavia sat back down. Here it is, then. Let's do this."

New Home

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Tambourine bounced eagerly in her highchair at the La Villa Fillitaliano, levitating her favourite doll, Princess, up and down on the table.

Her two mothers were lost in conversation, discussing which of the familiar dishes on the menu to order when the waitress came back. They didn't have much time to think about little Tamby, but the filly didn't mind.

La Villa Fillitaliano was a homey restaurant, not more then a few blocks away from their new house, and, because they hadn't had time to go grocery shopping quite yet, Octavia and Vinyl had agreed it seemed like a good choice for their first dinner in their new neighborhood.

"So, Octy, what do ya think of Pony Valley so far?" Vinyl questioned. "Did I do a good job?"

Octavia nodded, sipping her water. "You did, Vin'. It seems like a perfect place to raise a filly. I just wish we could have waited a bit longer. Our anniversary may be kind of low-key this year, we can't possibly find a foalsitter on such short notice."

"Oh, pish. This is San Franciscolt, 'Tavi. Of course we can."

"How? We don't know anypony, remember?"

"True, but there's an all-pony school right around the corner from our house, silly. I'm absolutely sure we can find some highschool filly or something who's willing to foalsit for us. They may even have a list or something. I'll check it out in the morning, okay?"

"Tomorrow morning won't work, because I have to go try out for the SF Symphony. You have to stay home and take care of Tamby, remember?"

"Oh." Vinyl looked disappointed. "Right then, we can both go in the afternoon. Sound good?"

"Do you think we can take her with us?"

"Aw, Tamby's not so little anymore. Of course we can."

"If you're looking for a foalsitter, I may know one," the waitress interrupted with a shy smile. "Oh, I'm so sorry. My boss says I need to stop butting into ponies' conversations, but sometimes I just can't help it. Are you ready to take you order?"

"Not quite," Octavia said. "And don't worry, you may have saved us a bunch of trouble. Do you really know a foalsitter?"

"Well," the young mare hesitated. "Kind of. Y'see, she's my little sister, name's Whistle Wish? She just turned thirteen, and my parents said she could start foalsitting in the neighborhood about then. She doesn't have much experience, but she's very eager, and she hasn't made any major mistakes yet."

"Hm," Vinyl said thoughtfully. "Well, I suppose it won't hurt. We just moved here, so our daughter may be a little scared. Do you think Whistle could handle it?"

"Oh! You two are both the mothers? How wonderful. I love ponies who aren't afraid to stand out. But I don't know if Wishy can handle a four year old. Tell you what, I'll give you my phone number, and you can call me tomorrow evening. I can ask Wishy before then. Do you live near here?"

"Only a few blocks away," Octavia volunteered, lifting Tambourine out of her highchair to ask her about dinner. "Tamby darling, do you like pasta for dinner?"

Tambourine nodded. "Yes, Mama."

"Alright, in that case, I think we're ready. I'll have the fettucini alfredo, please. And I suppose pasta with butter will do for Tambourine. Have you decided yet, Vin'?"

"Oh! Uh, yeah, I guess. How about that one? I can't pronounce any of this stuff, so I guess pointing will have to do. Is it good?"

"The risotto alla zucca?" the coral-colored waitress asked, pronouncing it perfectly.

"Gesundheit," Vinyl nodded. "But yes, that one. Is it?"

"Yes, in my opinion. It's made with butternut squash, which some ponies dislike, in rice. I think it's delicious."

"Alright then. I'll have that." Vinyl shut her menu decisively, and the two ponies leaned back to wait for their meals.

"The waitress was awfully sweet, don't you think?" Octavia said, watching the girl bustle about. "She can't be more then nineteen, poor thing. I hope she doesn't lose her job for being too friendly."

"I doubt she will. But if she does, she could always move to Ponyville. I'm sure the Cakes would enjoy a new apprentice. I hear Pinkie may leave them soon."

I doubt that. Mr and Mrs Cake are like a second family to Pinkie Pie. Why would she leave them?"

"Well, she and Dash are still going strong, and I think Dash is in the Wonderbolts now, but I'm not sure. She has no need for the money anymore, that's for sure."

"Come to think of it, I seem to remember seeing Rainbow's picture in the paper. Maybe you're right."

"Look at us, gossiping like a pair of old mares. What are we, ninety years old?"

"You're right. We should really mind our own business. Look, here comes the food. This is certainly a speedy restaurant."


Two hours later, Vinyl tiphoofed into the sunny yellow room which had Tambourine's pink, castle-shaped bed in it with a peaceful smile. She crossed the room and knelt next to the bed, shaking the furry grey shoulder closest to the edge.

"Octy, wake up," she whispered, kissing her marefriend's cheek to wake her. "It's eight o'clock, Tamby's been asleep for an hour, and you need to came talk to me. I'm bored."

The charcoal mare groaned, blinking at Vinyl as she woke up. "Oh, it's you. What're you doing here?"

"Waking you up so our filly can sleep in peace. Come on, Octy."

Octavia rolled off the tiny bed, landing softly on her hooves. "Okay, I'm coming. Thanks for waking me up, I guess."

"You guess?" Vinyl snorted as they left the dim room. "Would you rather sleep with your filly then your marefriend?"

"No. But I was asleep, and it was comfortable." Octavia pointed out.

"But our Princess bed is better then hers. Ours is as big as Celestia's according to the salespony."

"Hah. Everypony in this house has a princess bed of some kind."

"You're right. But ours is Princess sized, and hers is only Canterlot-Castle shaped."

"True. But it was comfortable."

They made it to the master ("Do you think this is the Mistress Bedroom in our case?" Vinyl had asked earlier.) bedroom, and Vinyl patted it with a hoof. "Bet this one's more comfortable. Go one, it's extra soft and springy."

Octavia flopped down unceremoniously. "You're right, Vin'. Goodnight."

"What? It's only eight thirty! Wake up, Octy! We have stuff to do, ponies to see!"

"I'm not seeing anypony tonight but you, Vinyl," Octavia's voice came muffled from the pillow.

"That's fine with me, but can we at least watch a movie or something? I want to see how stuff looks on our badflank new tv."

Octavia propped herself up on her pillows. "Okay. But what do we see? You refuse to watch Dr Whooves, which I don't understand, because it seems right up your alley, and i can't think of anything else at the moment - I'm too tired."

"You're turning into an old granny, Octy. Tired at eight thirty, tsk, tsk. And Dr Whooves is stupid. I'm not watching it."

"Have you ever seen Dr Whooves?" Octavia asked scornfully.

"No," Vinyl looked stubborn. "But it's a foal's show. I don't watch anything that's made for ponies less then half my age."

"You watch "Only Human," don't you?"

"That's different."

"Hypocrite." Octavia playfully swatted her marefriend. "It's designed for fillies Tambourine's age. At least Dr Whooves is for foals twelve and up."

"Only Human is different. There's a whole fandom for it."

"Same with the Doctor." Octavia pulled Vinyl by the hoof onto the bed and gave her a sad look. "Just try it, please?"

"Ugh, fine. Only for you, 'Tavi." Vinyl pushed back the covers and curled up close to Octavia, pressing their two bodies as tight together as she could.

"Vinyl, you're squishing me," Octavia complained, wriggling a few inched away.

"Too bad, that's the price you gotta pay for making me watch this crap."


"There. That was Dr Whooves. He saved Equestria, was a badflank, and he lives in a blue box thingie that can travel through time. Do you still hate it?"

Vinyl glared at Octavia. "No. Curse you, Octy. I hate being wrong. Sorry, Dr Whooves is awesome, stop teasing me, please."

Octavia gasped. "Oh, praise Celestia, I think I just witnessed a miracle. The esteemed scoundrel, Vinyl Scratch, has admitted she was wrong about something, and said please, in the same sentence! I never expected even one of those things to happen! I feel blessed."

"Oh, shut up, Octy. I say please. Sometimes."

"Make me!" Octavia giggled. Vinyl sat back for a moment, making her gloat even more. Then she sprang forward, like a cat, and furiously began to tickle her helpless marefriend's exposed stomach. Octavia shrieked and stuffed the blanket in her mouth. "St-stop! Vin-- ahaha! Vinyl, we'll wake Tambouri-hi-hine!"

"Tambourine, Shmambourine. She can stay awake all night, for all I care. You insulted me, and now, you're going to pay for it!" She swooped in once again, hooves and muzzle digging into any of Octavia's exposed flesh with a practiced ease. "Took me nearly five years," Vinyl grunted as she felt Octavia begin to fight back, wiggling a hoof in Vinyl's sensitive armpit. "But I think I've finally found every one of your ticklish spots!"

At last they lay back, exhausted from their mini-war. Octavia patted Vinyl's hoof with her own. "Truce?"

Vinyl nodded, panting. "Yeah. But can we make out to seal the deal? That tickling fight really turned me on."

"You're turned on by the weirdest things, Vin'. And I'm not sure if I trust you. This could just be a way to get me close enough to tickle again." Octavia said warily.

"Do I ever lie about being turned on?" Vinyl asked, sarcastic. "And if you don't trust me, I won't trust you, and then I might be convinced I have to force you into kissing me with more tickling!"

"I doubt that would work. I could probably charge you with rape or something."


Octavia scooted closer again and tilted her face upward. "Well? What are you waiting for?"

When Vinyl had finally had enough, they were both even more out of breath then before. Octavia sighed, a short, outward huff of air that made Vinyl's chest tingle where she could feel it.

"Hey Octy?" She asked softly, yawning.


"We should get married, Octy."

Octavia sat up from where she lay with her head on Vinyl's shoulder, twisting her head around to look at her. "What makes you say that all the sudden?"

"Oh, I don't know. I mean, we've been together for like, forever, and we still get along amazingly, most of the time. And you're supposed to get married if you really love somepony, right?"

"That's very sweet of you, Vin'. I didn't think of you as the marrying type. But I wouldn't mind a bit. I think it's a great idea."

There was a long silence before anypony spoke again.

"That was weird," Vinyl observed finally, breaking the silence.

"...What was?"

"I just proposed to you."

"...yeah?... and I said yes. What was weird about it?"

"And we're both laying here completely chill, like nothing even happened."

"I see what you mean." Octavia looked thoughtful. "Well, maybe it's go something to do with the fact that you just kinda suggested it and I just kinda agreed it was a nice idea, and there wasn't any romantic dinner and a ring and all that bullshit that usually comes with a proposal."

"That was the most me-ish thing I've ever heard come out of your mouth." Vinyl said, grinning as she wrapped her arms around her now-fiance.

"Was it? I guess hanging around with a common scoundrel DJ rubs off on a pony. Serves me right, I guess."

"Serves you right? What's that supposed to mean?"

"It means I deserve it, hanging around with a crazy mare like yourself."

"Who're you calling crazy, Crazy?" Vinyl poked Octavia's shoulder playfully.

"Oh, be glad you're crazy. I wouldn't be marrying you if you weren't."

"In that case, Octy, I must say I've never been happier to be called mentally unstable in all my life."

Octavia pulled Vinyl down so they were both laying flat on the mattress, nestled in one another's embrace. "Goodnight, Fiance. I love you."

Vinyl sighed, closing her eyes as she remembered all the years spent together. "Love you too, Octy."

Preparations and Expectations

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"Are you sure we have to wear this stuff? It's so... frilly. I look ridiculous," Vinyl's voice came through the changing screen in a muffled but worried tone, as it had all morning.

"Yes, we do. Weddings are formal occasions, Vin'. We have to look our best." Octavia tried to sooth Vinyl, hoping the consoling look on her face transferred through her voice.

"But I look silly..."

"Nonsense, darling. I'm sure you look fabulous, all my customers do," Rarity trotted in, a bundle of fabrics and ribbons in her magical grasp. "Now, come out, Vinyl dear, I need to fix your dress. Inspiration has struck!"

"I don't want to. This is stupid and pointless." Vinyl's voice held a particular foalish stubbornness which Octavia knew was hard to defeat.

She tried a different attempt. "Vin', dear, can I come back there and see you first? I'm sure I won't think you look ridiculous."

"No. I look stupid."

"No, you don't." Octavia said firmly. "Rarity is a very talented designer, I'm sure you look fantastic. Come out, Vinyl."

"Okay." The reply was so quiet Octavia could hardly hear it, and she was amazed it was the same loud, energetic pony she had gone out with all those years.

Vinyl stuck her head around the screen, a worried look on her face. Her mane was styled, curling slightly at the ends in an elegant but still rebellious style. It looked sophisticated, but not unlike the mare who wore it, which was already enough to impress Octavia.

"Come on, Vinyl Scratch. We're waiting!" Rarity sang, practically dancing on her hooves in anticipation.

Vinyl stepped hesitantly out, revealing the rest of her body in a form-fitting gown with a flowing train. The dress was pale blue, silver, and white, reflecting the white mare's own colouring flawlessly, the white silk blending with her shining fur.

Octavia gasped, eyes wide. "Y-you look beautiful, Vinyl."

Vinyl gave a nervous giggle, blushing like a schoolfilly. "You're just saying that 'cos you love me. I look ridiculous."

"Nonsense. You look absolutely fabulous! I just need to add a few finishing touches - "

"Do I look fab-you-liss too, Mama?" Tambourine stumbled in, followed by a teenage Sweetie Belle, wearing a sky blue and purple flower filly's dress with a little silver tiara on her head. "Belle says I look like a princess!"

"I'm sorry, Sis. She kinda insisted on the tiara," Sweetie Belle said, looking embarrassed.

"I think it's an excellent addition," Rarity said warmly, smiling at the filly in front of her. "You look smashing, Precious."

Tambourine looked at Octavia with worry. "What's smashing, Mama?"

"It means you look beautiful, Tamby, Darling. Now, run along, and let Mommy and I talk."

"Yes, Mama. Can Sweetie Belle play with me?"

"You'd better ask Sweetie Belle."

"I don't think I have any other plans. So sure, I can play with you. Let's just get you out of this dress and then we can..." The older filly led Tambourine out of the room again, and Rarity smiled after them.

"I'm so proud of my little sister. She's grown up to be an excellent helper."

"Ahem," Vinyl coughed politely. "I still don't like that I have to wear a frilly, girly dress. Can I take it off now?"

"No! I have to add embellishments! This is just a base." Rarity smiled. "I'm so honored that you would fly all the way across Equestria to come to my boutique. Not many ponies have that sort of dedication, you know."

"We needed a holiday." Octavia shrugged, brushing off the compliment. "What with having to take care of Tambourine and all, we won't be having more then a one-night honeymoon."

"Oh, how awful!" Rarity gasped. "Sweetie and I could take care of her for at least a week, it would be our wedding gift to you."

"B-but you're already giving us these dresses. We couldn't accept that, it's too much."

"Nonsense! Tambourine is an absolute gem, Sweetie and I absolutely adore her. It would be no trouble at all. Now, back to the dress. I think it needs some red, to match your eyes. You simply cannot wear those dreadful shades to your wedding, it would be a crime against fashion, and tradition, and everything! And perhaps some darker blue, your mane is an absolutely stunning colour, with the right accents and t style it will be simply breathtaking. And gems! Definitely, what this dress is lacking is sparkle. It's far to flat and dreary. But never fear, I'll have it fixed up in no time at all!"

Within the next five minutes, what felt like millions of accessories and add-ons were put on and taken of, put on again, pinned, sewn, cut, glued, and sprinkled. A cloud of pink dust and Vinyl looked like a walking glitter factory.

"There - Oh, dear me, I've gone and overdone it. No problem, just a second, it'll look much better as soon as I - "

"STOP!!" Vinyl shouted suddenly, her voice ragged. "Listen. I-it's really nice of you to do this. Rares, and I know Octy will appreciate it more then me, but can I make a suggestion?"

"Oh! But of course. What seems to be the trouble, Vinyl?"

"I know this isn't exactly a traditional wedding, because there isn't a stallion, but can I please wear a suit instead? I... I don't like wearing stuff like this, and Octy looks so much more natural in it, I just think it would be better." Vinyl looked meekly at Rarity, as though fearing the answer.

"Oh, uh, heh, I hadn't even thought of that. Well, maybe we could make it work. It won't be nearly as fabulous, but..." Rarity trailed off.

"Oh, praise Celestia, thank you! I can't believe how easy that was! I'm finally free!" Vinyl struggled out of the dress and galloped around the room in jubilee.

Octavia put a hoof out in front of her crazed fiance to slow her down. "Woah, Vinyl, take it easy. You still have to wear a suit, remember?"

"Well, in that case, I guess I'll have to sit through another fitting for a suit, won't I?" Vinyl asked sadly.

"Well - no, actually," Rarity sounded disappointed. "I have a lot of suits already made, for both mares and stallions, mostly for business purchases, but I do have a good many fit for a wedding, as well. All we have to do for you is find one that fits. Now, let's see, I think black is better then grey for you, a blue tie, perhaps? I'll have to find..." She hurried off, in search of the correct suit and tie, leaving the two brides alone.

"Well." Vinyl sighed. "That's a relief. I'm so glad I don't have to wear that dress. It was much to sparkly, don't you think?"

Octavia shrugged. "Don't know, You looked great to me."

"You're prejudiced. But anypony as fabulous as me would have that effect."

"That's not self-centered at all, Vin'." Octavia said sarcastically, nuzzling her.

"No, of course not. It's just the truth," Vinyl replied easily, her trademark grin taking over her forced-shadeless face.

"I'm ba-ack," Rarity sang, two coat-hangers levitated ahead of her. One carried a traditional black suit and a small, plain skirt to match it, and the other carried a basic white dress base, which Octavia could only imagine would be transformed to fit her personality perfectly. "Now then, Vinyl dear, try this on for size, then come back and show us. It's very simple, but I think the red rose boutonnier will really make those beautiful crimson eyes of yours pop. Go on, I don't have all day, we still have Octavia!"

Vinyl was shoved behind the screen again, and Octavia stood in silence as Rarity levitated the white dress over her head and pulled it into position.

"There. Now, don't move, Octavia, we've got to get this just right!" She clucked her tongue contentedly as little frills and trains and fake flowers began floating around the room their crazed erratic dance making Octavia dizzy.

In a short time, the dress was completely redone, with accents of deep purple and pale rose-pink to complement Octavia's eyes and mane. A thin, almost invisible veil covered Octavia's now curled mane, which flowed in an elegant froth about the bottom of her ears.

"There!" Rarity clapped her hooves is satisfaction. "Rarity, you've done it again! Yet another fabulous couple ready for their wedding day. Oh, Vinyl! You can come out now. Octavia looks simply stunning!"

Vinyl stepped out from behind the screen, wearing her suit, but before she could see her mate, a little yellow mask was clapped over her eyes.

"Oh, dear, how silly of me!" Rarity squawked, looking worried. "You didn't see her, did you? The groom, or in this case, the bride-who-is-pretending-to-be-a-groom, must not see the bride in her gown before the wedding day. That would be a disaster! But, I assure you, she looks marvelous. Now, hurry, Octavia, take it off, take it off. We mustn't let her see you, there now, I'll put it away. Shall I bring it with me when I come the day before the wedding?"

Octavia could only nod as another whirlwind of activity swirled around her. The dress was whipped off, placed in a garment bag, and hidden away in one of the many closets.

Rarity dusted of her hooves and let the mask drop from Vinyl's face. She still wore her suit, but her mane was combed down in a relatively normal style to match it, which made Octavia think of that stallion - who was he? Shining Armour, or something? - from the royal wedding. She giggled.

"Well?" Vinyl asked, striking a pose. "How do I look?"

"Very handsome," Octavia nodded in approval. "Much better then the dress, though that looked good to me, too."

"Good," Vinyl looked satisfied. "If my bride thinks I look good, I don't care what anypony else says." She shrugged off the suit and skirt and floated them to Rarity. "There. Bring that, too, would you? I'll just get it all dirty."

"I'll bring them all with me the day before the wedding. You have no idea how happy the girls and I are to be invited."

"Well, you're all my friends, and Octy's too caught up in her music to have any, so I guess you'll have to do," Vinyl answered, earning herself a light jab in the ribs from her marefriend.

"I do too have friends, and you know it," Octavia argued, looking a bit hurt.

"Aw, I was just teasing you, Octy. I know you have friends. You got all those other Canterlot Symphony stiffies to talk to."

"Stiffies sounds like they're dead, Vinyl. Would you mind coming up with something else?"

"Their music makes me wish I was dead, so yes, I would mind, very much. They're stiffies, and I'm not calling them anything else."

"Very well, but the hooligans you mix up with have the same affect on me. How are we going to tell them apart?"

Vinyl wrapped her hooves around Octavia's neck, enveloping her in a tight hug. "Who cares? They both suck, I guess, depending on how you look at it. But come on, let's find Tambourine and go back to the hotel."

They bid their goodbyes to Rarity, and left the white unicorn standing in the door, watching them go. She smiled to herself, a little sadly, wondering if she would ever meet somepony who made her feel the way those two clearly felt.

Just think of it, she said to herself, still watching them go. Five years, and they're still madly in love with eachother. Such lucky things, they are.

Here Come the Brides

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WARNING: Cheesiness ensues. The author is in no way liable for any problems readers with lactose intolerance may suffer. And she refuses to not write in cheese, so you'll just have to deal with it. Hah.


Octavia stood still as a statue, holding her breath as Rarity helped her into the first of what seemed like hundreds of layers of wedding dress. She couldn't believe how fast the six months since Vinyl had proposed had gone.

She sighed, glancing at the indigo-maned unicorn circling her with a worried look. "I'm so nervous, Rarity. What is I mess up? This is huge."

Rarity patted her hoof reassuringly as she slipped the next layer of the gown on. "No worrying, Darling. I know you'll be perfect. Besides, you already know Vinyl loves you, she won't care if you mess up."


In the next room, Tambourine was sitting in the lap of her old foalsitter, Rustle. She got to be the junior bridesmaid, which was mostly for Tambourine's sake, but it still made the older filly very happy. She wore her silvery dress with pride, taking care not to muss it before the ceremony.

But even a pretty dress didn't stop Tambourine from hopping into her lap, regardless, and hugging Rustle about the neck. "Why are Mommy and Mama getting a Mary, Russy?" she asked innocently, looking with wide eyes at her foalsitter.

"They aren't getting Mary, Sweetie, they're getting married, which means, I dunno, I guess it just means they love each other a lot," Rustle shrugged, bouncing Tambourine slightly. Neither of them were old enough to really understand it.

"Okay. But does that mean that we should get married, Russy? I really love you," Tambourine suggested, looking confused.

"I love you too, 'Rine, but there are a few different kinds of love out there. You can love somepony and still not marry them, you know."

"Oh," Tambourine sounded disappointed. "But I love my friend Thistle, too. Should I marry her, instead?"

Rustle shook her head. "Maybe you'll think so when you're older. You'll see."

"Everypony is always telling me stuff that will happen when I'm older." Tambourine pouted. " Why doesn't anything happen now?"

"You wouldn't be happy if you got married now, Sweetie. You're to little."

"I'm always to little. I wish I was big like you, Russy."

"Don't say that, kiddo. You have a lot of fun in Kindergarten, right?"


"Well, when you're a big pony you don't have as much time to play, and it's not as fun."

"Okay," Tambouirine had clearly lost interest in the situation. "Can I use your eye stuff, Russy? I want to make Princess pretty for the Mary."

"That's a bad idea, 'Rine. It'll stain, you don't want Princess's face to be all yucky, do you?"

Tambourine shook her head thoughtfully. "No, I guess not. Can you put it on me instead?"

"I-I don't know, 'Rine. Do you think you mums will mind?"

Tambourine shook her head, her curls bouncing. "Nope. I don't think so. I have to look extra pretty for the Mary."

"It's called a wedding, 'Rine. Ponies get married at weddings, I don't know what the connection is."

"Okay. But can you make me pretty now?"


"I'm so nervous, Fire. This is huge. I'm not the type of pony who gets married. I'm like, a bachelorette, or something. Always moving from one mare to the next. What happened?"

"Aw, don't get sweaty hooves now, Pon3," The lemon yellow pegasus, Firestar, poked Vinyl's side. "You've been dating this gal for what, five years, or something? You'll be fine. Besides, I've heard honeymoons are the surest way to get laid on this side of Griffin Territory."

Vinyl rolled her eyes. "Trust me. Honeymoons with a four-year-old filly aren't nearly as great. I should know. Octy won't even make out with me if she thinks there's a possibility of Tamby walking in on us."

"Oh, be quiet. You're just feeling sorry for yourself now. I know for a fact that Rarity character who made your dresses - ahem, suit - is going to be taking care of her. You two will have a great time."

"If you say so..."

"I do say so. Now, shut up and let me put this suit on you. Rarity will be coming to put the finishing touches on in a second."


"I... don't... know...why... this... ugh, is necessary," Octavia gasped, holding onto the edge of the sofa in the little room as Rarity yanked the strings of her corset. She sighed as the white mare let go of her, and flopped down on the couch. "Seriously, I'm pretty sure Vinyl already knows every shape of my flank, and she doesn't care. Why do I have to wear this?"

"Beauty, Darling," Rarity said sagely. "They things we do for beauty. This is your special day, Octavia, live it up! You've got to look your best, or I'd never forgive myself."

"How can I 'live it up,' as you say, if I can't even breathe?!" Octavia wiggled a hoof into the edge of the corset, trying to loosen it.

"You'll get used to it. I'm sure it'll be fine, as soon as we get the dress on you'll hardly feel it at all!"

As Rarity disappeared into the hallway to retrieve the final layer of the wedding gown, Octavia groaned softly to herself, still with her hoof in her corset. "Is that supposed to be a good thing?"


Vinyl stood nervously next to Firestar as the first notes floated out of the organ. She took a deep breath, and glanced at the pegasus standing beside her, who in turn flashed her a cheerful smile. you'll do great, she mouthed. Vinyl took a deep breath, and calmed her nerves as she watched Tambourine step out, drop a few petals from her basket, and then turn tail and trot back.

"Russy, I want you to come, too!" The filly's voice was audible throughout the entire room.

A whisper of laughter swept over the ponies watching, even Princess Luna at the podium smiled slightly. Vinyl watched as her filly came back, now with an embarrassed-looking Rustle's long orange mane gripped in her teeth, and continued the rest of the way up the aisle.

Melody, a singer friend from Octavia's college days, Colgate, and Cherry Bomb ("Just invite her. She was my best friend in grammar school. Geez!" Vinyl had said earlier in the preparations.) followed shortly behind her, lining the stairs to the altar to make room for Octavia.

Vinyl gasped slightly as her bride entered. Octavia walked alone, because she had no father or brothers to speak of, and her long, flowing gown trailed after her, help up at the end by two tiny, brown birds.

The grey mare smiled at Vinyl as she walked, a bashful pink blush - or was it nerves? - adorning her cheeks. Tambourine waved cheerfully as Octavia passed, whispering loudly, "Hi, Mama!" before being shushed again by Rustle.

She stopped and bowed her head slightly to the Princess before turning to face her fiance.

You look stunning, Vinyl mouthed with a smile, her own cheeks flaring to match Octavia's.

Luna cleared her throat, and began the ceremony. "Greetings, Fillies and Gentlecolts. As you all know, we are gathered here in Canterlot today to celebrate the union of two mares who have loved each other, and known they loved each other, for over five years now. We are all delighted to be part of this ceremony, which finally binds them together in, uh, holy matrimony, I think."

Luna glanced up at where her older sister sat in the balcony, and Celestia nodded her head, a you're-doing-fine look on her royal face.

Princess Luna repeated the ceremony without any more stumbles, though, and Octavia was relieved that her mother wasn't there to protest, but she still caught herself holding her breath when Luna asked if anypony had any reason why they shouldn't continue the ceremony.

At last, the "I do's" were said, and they came to the part both Octavia and Vinyl had been most looking forward to the most.

"And now, you may kiss the - uh, the brides may kiss!" Luna flushed, looking a bit embarrassed at having to improvise.

Octavia felt her mouth overtaken by Vinyl's own and she closed her eyes automatically, letting happy tears flow down her cheeks without any care whatsoever.

Ponies cheered, and the organ began playing, but still Vinyl would not let her go.

"Sweetheart?" Octavia's voice was muffled by Vinyl's lips still pressed against her own. "Um, as much as I would like to stay like this, I think we should stop. We have to walk back out."

"Oh," Vinyl pulled away, looking disappointed. She brushed one of the tears from Octavia's cheek. "Well, what're we waiting for? We got a reception to go to!"

Happily Ever After

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Hurray! More cheesy happiness!
Anyways, this may be the end, maybe I will add one more chapter before taking a short break. Then, of course, comes the sequel. (Squee)
Also, a few of you are bucking idiots. I kinda thought you guys knew I wasn't psychic. If you want me to use your OC next time, you'll have to either
1) Tell me how he/she looks
or 2) send me a picture.
If you don't even give me a name, then how in Equestria can I use him/her in the story?!
Blah, blah, blah, rant, rant, rant. Aside from your utter derpiness, I bucking love you guys. Because you're awesome, and survived like THREE WHOLE MONTHS of this story (most of you, anyways.) Now, on to the story!
Oh, yeah. And, the link to the next one is this. The first chapter is up, by the way. Just thought I'd let you know.

An hour after the ceremony, Octavia and Vinyl stood side by side next to an enormous blue and white cake (They would like to thank Applejack and Pinkie Pie, who baked it in a team effort, and not thank Rainbow Dash, who burnt the first three tries by simply walking into the kitchen.).

Vinyl grasped the knife in her magic, preparing to cut the first slice, but a grey, bracelet-ed hoof severed the telekinetic grip and neatly caught the blade, making Vinyl gasp in concern.

"Octy! That's dangerous!"

Octavia smirked at her. "Better get used to it, Vin'. But, I just wanted to remind you that we're supposed to do this together." She smiled sweetly. "It's tradition, you know."

"Blegh. I keep forgetting you're not a unicorn. All the weddings I've been to, they just both levitate it together."

"Well, we're going to have to do this by hoof, because, in case you hadn't noticed, there are no weird, magical stumps bulging out of my forehead."

"That's not very nice." Vinyl rubbed her horn.

Octavia elbowed her playfully, before leaning over to nuzzle her mane. "I don't have to be nice any more. But I will, anyways, because I love you that much."

"Enough sweet-talk, Lovebirds! Just get on with it and cut the cake!" Somepony in the crowd of wedding attendees shouted out.

"Alright, alright, hold your horseshoes, we're getting there." Vinyl held up her hooves in an attempt to placate them. She glanced at Octavia before grabbing the extra long hilt of the kitchen knife in her mouth and offering her new wife the other end.

Octavia took it with a gentle smile, and they lifted it to make the first cut.

Ponies cheered, and Vinyl slid her eyes to look at Octavia, one eyebrow raised quizzically. "Wha?"

Octavia spat out the hilt before answering. "I told you before, it's called a tradition. It means that it's something everypony does at weddings. I don't know, it's just a part of the celebration."

Vinyl levitated the knife again, and winked at Octavia. "I'll take it from here."

"I think Applejack was going to do tha - " Octavia started, but Vinyl had already diced the huge tower of pastry and distributed it onto a pile of plastic plates, now spread over the table.

A'ight, everypony. Come and get it!" Vinyl shouted enthusiastically. Octavia rolled her eyes, earning a quizzical look. "What? they're supposed to eat it, right? Or is it tradition to let this delicious-looking thing rot?"

"Of course not. But the servers will bring it to the tables. You don't have to yell like that."

"Oh. Well, you could have told me that. Hey, where's the Tamby-Cat?"

"With Rustle and her coltfriend, Cream of Wheat, or something. They're sitting over there. But I think Rustle is gonna take her to bed soon."

"Aw, she's gonna miss the cake. Can we save her some?"

"Of course. Did you think we wouldn't? Seriously, Vinyl, that's just mean."

"My thoughts exactly. But shouldn't we tell Rarity? She's gonna be the one taking care of her."


"Hello-o! Is this thing on yet? Bright Lights, how do I turn on the - Oh, nevermind. It's already on. Nevermind!" Pinkie Pie's voice crackled over the speakers. "Anyways, it's the time you've all been waiting for. Pretty soon you can all shake your flanks along with them, but now it's time for the bride and groo - oops! I'm such a silly filly, bride and bride. Vinyl isn't a colt, at least I don't think so. Now, wouldn't that be funny? I thi - oh, no, I'm getting all muddledy-mixty-upty now. But what I meant to say is that it's time for our favourite musical newlyweds to start of the dance party! Come on, girls, get out here where we can see you!"

Vinyl dragged Octavia to the middle of the floor, clamping her mouth around Octavia's curled mane in her hurry.

"Well, there they are, finally. Here's a song hoofpicked by Octy her very own self. Let's roll it!"

Octavia and Vinyl assumed an upright position as the first notes began playing, leaning on each other for support.

From that moment forward, everypony else disappeared, at least in their eyes. Octavia closed her eyes and rested her head on Vinyl's shoulder, losing herself to swaying to the slow beat of the song.

It felt like an eternity before the other ponies joined.

As the song ended, Octavia swept Vinyl into a passionate kiss before letting her go.

The white mare gave her an odd look. "How the hay do you manage to stand up like that all through your concerts? My legs hurt already."

Octavia grinned at her. "I told you I was tougher."

"You're mean."

"You're my wife. So you have to deal. Ha." Octavia gave her another quick kiss before stepping away slightly.

"I have to catch up with a few old friends. Why don't you mingle. You have way more guests then I do."

"Okay, but Octy?"


"I love you." Octavia was about to reply, but Vinyl wasn't finished. "Can I go up with Pinkie and DJ? I feel weird just standing here with somepony else controlling the music."

"No, you have to let Pinkie do that tonight. There's Byte and Blinding Lights over there, go talk to them. I have to catch up with Harpo and Concerto. Oh, and Cantata. Celestia, I haven't seen her in an age. Anyways, I'm going to go be social. You can come with me, or talk to your un musty-old-classical friends. But if I catch you in the DJ's, whatever-it-is, I'll go up there and whip your flank, okay?"

Vinyl grinned lopsidedly. "That would be hot. But okay, I won't, be home ten o'clock, blah, blah, blah. You're acting like my mom. I'm gonna hit the bar, I think I see Firestar and Cherry Bomb over there."

Octavia left her wife with a final grin, and walked over to her old symphony friends, who stood in a tight circle. They were all together, except Concert A, who was nose to nose with a mare Octavia didn't know, probably his marefriend. Vinyl had said everypony was allowed to bring extra guests, after all.

The group of musicians cheered slightly as Octavia entered the circle, plucking a glass of champagne from a nearby server.

"Well, here's the little bride! Nice to see you, Octopus!" Harpo clapped her on the back in a coltly fashion, as though congratulating the groom.

"Be quiet, Plinky. I'll just get my wife to beat you up, now." Octavia shot back playfully, using an old, teasing nickname. "She's tough, at least in her own pretty little head."

"Hey, hey, hey, I thought I told you not to call me that!"

"Well, we had an agreement. I believe you weren't to call me Octopus in order for that to be valid."

"Valid, shmalid. I have every right now - hey, Canty, what was that for?!" Harpo flinched in mock fear as the pink and orange unicorn mare hit his shoulder.

"Don't tease the bride, Harps. She does have a big, scary, DJ on her side. We classies are supposed to be scared of the modern stuff, aren't we?" Cantata chided her friend, earning a grateful glance from Octavia.

"Aw, you're no fun, Canty. Where's your sense of humour?" Harpo complained.

Intermezzo shoved his was into the group, a thoroughly inebriated Fermata leaning on his shoulder. Hello, Octavia. Congratulations on marrying one of the scum of the music world. She seems fantastic, we were just talking to her."

Octavia nodded. "She's... something else, I guess you could say."

"Hah. Otcavia, good to sssee you agayn. Hehe, I have a old Inglish. 'Nywaysh, conchagrulationsh, of whatever. You're married nows, right?" Fermata hugged Octavia clumsily, bringing a hot blush to her sober coltfriend's cheeks.

Intermezzo apologized profusely, but Octavia just laughed it off, gently setting her old friend on her hooves again. "Don't worry, 'Mezzo. She's allowed to have fun. I just hope you'll be taking her home. I doubt she could get there herself."

"Oh, we've moved in together, so no worries. She'll be fine," Intermezzo assured her, his dark blue mane swishing in front of his face, reminding Octavia of the colt she had met when she was in her first music class. 'Mezzo was a shy little colt, sitting in the back, and Octavia was officially branded as "the snob," because of her parents' money. Naturally, she had - well, actually she was rather scornful of him at first, but that's another story.

"Well, I'm going to go mingle, and then I'll check on my bride. If I know her at all, she's in a similar state to Fermata, and in that DJ's booth-thingie with Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash. I swore I'd kick her flank if I caught her there."


Some time later, after meeting most of the poies she didn't know, and talking to all of her old friends, Octavia shouldered through the ponies around the speakers, onto the stage, where, sure enough, she found three predictably intoxicated ponies in command.

Vinyl Scratch lurched erratically over to her, draping herself around Octavia's neck and nibbling on her ear. Octavia flicked said ear, watching in satisfaction as the white mare shook her head in confusion. "Wha' was that fer, Otky? Iss arr wedding day, for sake's Celestia."

"Whooo, time to Part-ay, ponies!" Pinkie shrieked into the microphone.

Rainbow Dash grabbed it from her in an attempt at dominance, and the two collapsed on the behind the record table with a dull thud.

Vinyl looked over at the tussling couple with a gleeful expression. "Ooh, sex! We should totally do that again, Ovtakia."

'Ovtakia' found herself tackled by an alcohol-scented Vinyl, who tried vainly to push her to the floor. The grey mare hauled her wife up from where she had collapsed on the floor, hooves waving aimlessly above her, and dragged her down from the little stage, searching the crowd for Twilight Sparkle.

She hurried over to where the purple pony was talking to Rarity and a few of Octavia's old friends, as well as a spiky, green-haired creature who Octavia assumed knew Vinyl. "Hey, Twilight, can you do me a favour?"

The unicorn excused herself from the conversation to answer Octavia. "What's wrong? Did you find something wrong with the preparations?"

Octavia shook her head and gestured at her companion. "Everything's perfect. But do you have any suggestions for her?"

"Well, considering it's your wedding night, I don't think anypony will see if you leave. It's already..." She glanced at a watch concealed in her necklace. "Gosh, it's already two AM. Yeah, most newlywed couples are eager to get to the bedroom after their wedding. I don't think anypony would even notice at this point."

"I figured. But she's terribly drunk. Is there anything you can do? I want her to be at least conscious when we get to the hotel."

"Fresh air should help a bit," Twilight suggested. "I brought some more of that hangover stuff, too. No offense, but this was pretty predictable. Rarity has it in her purse, I'll get it."

A little white packet floated over to Octavia, who caught it neatly and shoved it into the waistband of her dress. "Thanks. We'll take our leave now, I guess. Cover us?"

The lavender mare nodded, and Octavia half-carried her mate out into the courtyard, where the white mare sat down heavily, shaking her head. "Di' we miss the recession, Octy?" she asked, souding confused.

Octavia shook her head gently, rubbing Vinyl's back with a hoof. She felt the other mare lean into the hoof on her back, not unlike a cat, and she moved closer to nuzzle her mane. "No, it's kind of over. Do you feel alright?"

Vinyl thought for a moment, then shook her head. "No. I got a tummy ache," she said pathetically.

Octavia shook her head. "How much did you drink, you crazy thing?"

"I dunno. A hundred, maybe? A thousan'. Prolly a million," she said remorsefully, holding her stomach.

"A million what?" Octavia suspected that the severe intake of alcohol was making Vinyl act foalish, as it usually did.

"A million everything," Vinyl said sadly, proving Octavia's suspicions.

"That's impossible. Would you like to go back to the hotel now?"

"Is it gonna have a bed?"

Octavia giggled, making a note to tell Vinyl that she said that the next morning. "Of course it is. It's a big, fancy bed, too, because it's the honeymoon suite."

"Do we get any honey for our honeymoon sweet?" Vinyl looked confused.

"You've never been this ditzy drunk before," Octavia muttered. "I don't think so. Why would we get honey?"

"Because it's a honeymoon, duh."

"Oh. Heh. Of course, makes perfect sense." Octavia giggled. "You know what, Vinyl Scratch?"

"What?" Vinyl looked up at her from where she had lay down on the ground. "Did you get me some honey?"

"No, sorry." Octavia pulled Vinyl up into a hug. "I just really, really, love you. Even if you're as crazy as they get."

"Oh. Oh, well." Vinyl licked Octavia's cheek affectionately, and for once the grey mare got the feeling it wasn't because she was trying to be sexy. It was a foalish, but definitely a sincere show of affection, not for anypony else's impression. "I love you too, Octy. Can we go and get some honey and moons from the hotel now?"

Octavia nodded. "Of course, Vin'. Let's get those moons!"