Break Free

by Nightroad

First published

We all feel as though we're just part of a larger group. One mare wants to break free from the norm

Vinyl Scratch; everypony knows her as DJ Pon-3. What they don't know is that she's not like all the other disc jockeys who spin the records and drop the beats. Vinyl wants to be her own mare, free of stereotypes. What will it take for her to Break Free?

Super awesome cover done by FoxInShadow on Deviant Art (Look at his's super awesomazing o.o)

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Break Free

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You never realize how cold stone really is when you're up and moving; living your life. It isn't until your whole body is thrust down upon it as ponies call you a brute or some out of control disk jockey. Of course they'll all blame it on your lifestyle. “She must be drunk all the time.” They'd say. “She's probably so far gone into those drugs she can't even understand us.” They'd sneer. But Vinyl Scratch was never one to touch those things. Sure, she was all for having a good time but those were just never appealing to her. If other ponies did it, that was their business. No, Vinyl was just a mare trying to make a living. She went from day to day, avoiding the glares and stares, the harsh words and hateful speeches, anything that would try to derail her.

She had had hundreds if not thousands of opportunities to embrace the stereotype that all DJ's were drug hazed idiots. She wanted to make beautiful music (maybe not like Octavia's, but beautiful in it's own way) and share it with ponies but was smart enough to know that if she took up the stereotype, her music would never be beautiful. So, as if to spite her they took her beautiful music and instead, twisted it into something sinister and evil; something that only fools and druggies would listen to while they mounted each other with reckless abandon or shot themselves up with whatever drugs were available.

There had only been one mare other than herself to see the beauty in the beats she played and Vinyl had scared her away. With a heavy sigh, the unicorn picked herself up and brushed the broken shards of glass off of her face and onto the floor. She felt blood weep from the lacerations, but she didn't care. Her one of a kind shades had been destroyed when she landed, she scared away the only pony that she could love, her career had been crushed, and her dream annihilated in one fell swoop. Vinyl walked over to the wall and looked out the barred window down at the faint lights of Canterlot.

After a few minutes, she lowered herself back down, wincing as her front hooves made contact with the ground once more. They were sore and throbbing but she knew there wasn't much she could do for it. So, the former disk jockey spun around and sat right under the window and stared at the pale moonlight that illuminated the ground in front of her. With nothing else to do except await her trial or punishment, Vinyl Scratch sat there...and thought.


The building was shaking with the force of the music Vinyl was pumping out. She rocked her head to the rhythm of her music, keeping time with each nod. She couldn't even hear the crowd anymore; it was just Vinyl Scratch and her music now. The unicorn was in her own world as she played her music for the ponies on the dance floor. It was just another night for them, but for Vinyl, it was a chance to share the wondrous and unique beauty of her music. She knew that nopony appreciated it like she did, but she played anyway if not just for her own satisfaction. As the song neared it's end, Vinyl rose her head and opened her eyes and what she saw nearly shocked her.

There, sitting near the back of the room was a pegasus more beautiful than any she had ever seen. Her coat was a divine yellow that clashed with her alluring pink mane, but she managed to pull it off amazingly well. She kept her angelic teal eyes glued to the floor; a surefire sign of shyness. The yellow pegasus's wings would stretch out ever so slightly, then snap back to their owner's side. To Vinyl, it was as if the celestial body that lay in Princess Luna's responsibility had fallen from the heavens and hit the DJ, knocking an epiphany into her.

'She's...she's...' Vinyl couldn't even begin to describe how the pegasus looked to her, but it was definitely a word that was used to describe something of priceless value and of sheer beauty. When the music stopped, the ponies all cheered and hollered in approval, making the DJ snap back to reality as her tunnel vision cleared and allowed her to notice the rest of the room. “Er...Thanks everypony. I'll be here until Thursday so be sure to come back and catch me, DJ Pon-3 every night until then. Got it?” Again, mass cheering filled the air as she bowed and rushed off-stage to talk to the pegasus.

She pushed past drunken and sober ponies alike, not stopping to talk or accept compliments. Her mind was focused on one pony and she was determined to at least talk to her. Finally, a flash of pink caught her eye and she ran to it. However, she was surprised to see Ponyville's premier party pony dancing in front of her. “Pinkie Pie?” The pony in question stopped and stared at Vinyl. “Oh, hiya Scratchy! Great set tonight!” Pinkie shouted as her ears continued to ring, blocking out most other noise. “Listen, I need your help!” Vinyl knew that Pinkie could barely hear so easily adapted to shouting. “What'cha need?”

“I need you to help me find somepony! She's a yellow pegasus with pink hair and-” Pinkie stopped and smiled. “You must mean my friend Fluttershy! I think she stepped out for a breath of air.” Vinyl Scratch grinned and thanked the party pony and ran towards the door. The unicorn burst through the door and immediately started looking around. Finally, she spotted the pegasus near one of the overlooks that allowed a pony to see all of Canterlot since the club was a little higher up in the mountains (Vinyl had to relocate it after the guards had gotten one too many noise complaints). She started to walk over but stopped as thoughts of doubt began to rush through her head. 'How's my mane? Does my breath smell bad? Do I smell bad? What if she doesn't want to talk? What if she's just like all the other ponies here and wasted?'

The alabaster DJ shook her head and lowered her shades as she neared the gorgeous pegasus. “Um...hello.” The yellow mare squeaked and cringed away in fear. “Oh! I'm so sorry! I'll just go.” Vinyl replaced her shades on her head and spun around. 'Smooth one Vinyl. You're supposed to be fearless of stuff like this and yet you can't even-' Her thoughts were interrupted by a voice that could only be rivaled by the voices of Luna and Celestia when they sang. “I'm sorry about that, you just kind of scared me.”

Vinyl turned back around and took off her shades once again. “Yea, I tend to do that a lot sadly.” The pegasus giggled softly and Vinyl felt her heart melt. “You have a lovely voice.” The DJ said absently. Seeing the pony in front of her blush made Vinyl want to keel over from the sheer cuteness this pony was showing. “ you.'s your name?”

“Right, sorry. I'm Vinyl Scratch or as my fans call me, DJ Pon-3. What's your name?” The yellow mare looked at the ground for a moment as if to call up some reserve of strength and said in a near whisper, “My name's Fluttershy.” Vinyl couldn't believe it. 'Even her name is' Then, something clicked in the DJ's head. “You're one of the ponies who saved Equestria, aren't you?” It was easy to tell that the pegasus wasn't used to this much praise. Fluttershy just nodded her head, trying to beat back the massive blush on her face. Vinyl smiled and got just a bit closer. “So, I hate to be rude, but you really don't look like the kind of pony who'd be into the music I play.” Fluttershy was silent for a good 6 or so minutes and the unicorn was afraid she had overstepped her boundaries.

“I know, but Pinkie insisted that I take a little vacation and try new things. Besides...I kind of like the music you play.” The yellow mare bashfully hid her face behind her mane, causing a small blush to dance across Vinyl's white face. “There's a sort of...sadness behind it, like you're reaching out for somepony who you want to understand your music.” Vinyl's jaw dropped. 'I...I don't believe it...Either she's a mind reader or she's just that good with ponies.'

“I'm sorry, I didn't mean to assume or offend you. I was just-”

“No, it's alright. And I'm glad you said that.” Vinyl looked into the sky and at the various twinkling stars that graced the night sky. “You're the only pony who has understood that about my music. Sure it's just noise to a lot of ponies and even to most of the one who PLAY it...” The pale pony sighed and said, “Sadly, it's because of them that most people believe that us DJ's are just party animals with no sense of anything.” Fluttershy nodded and said, “I heard a lot of ponies complaining about the club and the music and about DJ's themselves.”

She looked up and saw a tear forming in Vinyl's eye. So, being the kind pony she was, moved her hoof and tenderly wiped it away. Vinyl looked at the pegasus for a moment before smiling softly and taking the yellowed hoof into her own. “I don't think any of what they said is true. Everypony deserves a chance to prove themselves.”

“It's a shame there aren't more ponies like you in Equestria Fluttershy, it truly is.” The DJ said with a sad tone. Fluttershy moved closer and offered her wing for comfort. Vinyl looked at Fluttershy for a moment, as if she were afraid that the pegasus was just joking and was about to play a cruel joke on her heart. However, the warm smile and soft eyes that the pegasus held were just too inviting so, with a light chuckle, Vinyl accepted the warmth and the two stayed like that for the rest of the night. When the sun finally broke over the horizon, Fluttershy couldn't stop the yawn that escaped her lips. “C'mon. You can crash at my place tonight.”

“No, I don't want to be a burden.”

“If you're a burden, then I'm an Ursa Major. Come on.” The yellow pegasus chuckled softly and admitted defeat, knowing she was too tired to continue fighting. So, while leaning on Vinyl as she took the lead, Fluttershy walked with the DJ, trying to memorize the route they were taking but ended up falling asleep before they even made it a block away. The unicorn didn't mind as she lifted up Fluttershy with her magic and carried her the rest of the way home. Many ponies would be surprised if they ever saw Vinyl's house; it was actually very neat and tidy, further removing herself from the stereotype that haunted her. She locked the door behind her and quietly climbed the stairs and after making sure Fluttershy was comfortable, removed her shades completely and passed out beside the pegasus and getting the best sleep of her life.

It wasn't until late afternoon that the mares had woken up. Fluttershy was a bit shocked to find herself in the arms of the sleeping DJ, but didn't protest at all. Vinyl on the other hand nearly flipped out to wake up and find herself cuddling Fluttershy. “I'm r-really sorry about that...” Vinyl said, failing at staving off the huge blush on her face. The pegasus smiled and waved away the apology. “It's alright Vinyl, really, it is.” The DJ smiled and allowed Fluttershy use of the bathroom first. When they had finished their business and had eaten something, (Fluttershy had taken command of the kitchen as Vinyl was in the bathroom and had made an amazing dinner consisting of tomato soup and garlic bread) had headed back towards the club.

“I thought it didn't open until later tonight?”

“It doesn't, but I like to practice for a bit while the building is empty.” Vinyl explained. Fluttershy nodded and followed the DJ silently. When they arrived, Vinyl unlocked the door, allowed Fluttershy, then locked it back up again. “ did you lock it last night? We never left the overhang until we went to your house?”

“I don't own the club silly. I just play here.” Vinyl said with a laugh. Fluttershy laughed with her, but stopped suddenly when they walked into the main room. “It's so...different when it's empty.”

“Exactly so cutie.” Vinyl covered her mouth quickly after the word had been said, but sighed in relief when she saw Fluttershy looking in awe at the empty room. “Go ahead, have a seat while I run some tests.” Vinyl headed up to her pedestal and proceeded to run through her usual tests and checks to make sure none of the equipment was damaged or wasn't working right. When she was satisfied, she brought the machine to life and began to play a simple beat which quickly evolved into a complex masterpiece of her own design. She had become lost in the music as usual when she heard heavy breathing.

She looked up and saw Fluttershy dancing in the middle of the empty floor. The DJ gawked in amazement as she continued to play and watch the pegasus dance. The way her hair twirled as she spun, the subtle way she would use her wings to keep herself balanced when she did more complex moves, the almost haunting way her eyes fluttered whenever her face met the light. Everything about Fluttershy in the one moment was absolutely captivating to the DJ as she watched. Finally, enough was enough and the DJ launched herself over her machine and towards Fluttershy. The pegasus noticed the sudden stop of music and opened her eyes. “Vinyl? What's wro-”

Her words were halted by the sudden crashing of lips against her own. Vinyl had abandoned her shades half way to Fluttershy, who was stunned to do anything but close her eyes and let the rapturous feeling envelop her. She wrapped her hooves around Vinyl and pulled her closer and after feeling a sharp flick of the unicorn's tongue against her lips, opened her mouth readily to the white pony. It wasn't until they needed to breath that they broke apart and Vinyl's first words were, “Fluttershy! I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to just attack you like that! It's just that-” This time, it was Vinyl Scratch who's speech was halted by a kiss.

It wasn't as powerful and commanding as the kiss Vinyl gave to Fluttershy; it was a gentle and tender kiss. “It's okay's okay.” Vinyl couldn't help the overwhelming emotions she felt and hugged Fluttershy tightly as tears squeezed through her closed eyes as she mumbled “Thank you.” over and over again. The DJ finally managed to calm down 30 minutes before the club opened. Fluttershy took her behind stage and helped the pale unicorn fix herself up to be presentable once again and after ponies started to stream in, Fluttershy left after giving Vinyl another tender kiss on her lips.

The night, Vinyl Scratch played like she had never played before and any veteran of her music would tell you the same. “It's like she's got a new fire under her turntables.” Some would say. “Yea! Whatever's giving her the inspiration for this new stuff, I like it!” Others would yell. All throughout the night, Vinyl kept looking up to make sure Fluttershy hadn't left or was just some figment of her imagination and every time she looked up, she saw the yellow pegasus smiling at her and rekindling the musician's fire.

When the night was ending and ponies were all heading home, Fluttershy and Vinyl locked up the club and headed for Vinyl's home. However, as they walked, a stallion bumped into them. “Hey, sorry man.” Vinyl said quickly. The stallion bore his angry gaze down into her and said, “You! You're that little pony that plays that awful music at that horrid club!”

“Hey now, that's-” Vinyl started to say, but the stallion cut her off. “Ugh, you smell like sex and drugs. You're just like all those other DJ's; obnoxious brats who think random noise is music and have no value on life whatsoever. Why, I bet-” His rant was stopped when a hoof shot out and clocked him right in the jaw. He staggered back a step and looked in awe at the white hoof that had a small spatter of blood on it. Vinyl was breathing heavily and trembling, causing her shades to fall around her neck. Her eyes were watering and held a rage in them that caused the stallion to wonder if he should've taken a left earlier.

“You...You're just like all the others...You think that just because I play strange music that I'm a lowlife like the other DJ's out there?!” She took a step towards him while staring him straight in the eyes. “I'm not a stereotype! So don't you dare lump me in with those idiots!” As Vinyl drew in large breaths, Fluttershy put a hoof on her shoulder to begin comforting her.

However, the stallion burst out laughing as he stood back up. “Oh please! Save me your little story you tramp! It's ponies like you that are ruining our fair Canterlot with your dubtrot or whatever it's called! You're all the same; you have absolutely no idea what you're doing and you have no clue as to how to behave. Just like all the others. Why, I bet that you can't even see straight because of the drugs you do. And I bet that pegasus is just your little whore who tends to your sick needs just so she can-”

He never finished his sentence. With a scream, Vinyl leapt at the stallion and began to smash her hooves into his face and anywhere else on his body as the anger flowed through her body like her music would while shouting, “I'm not a stereotype! I'm Vinyl Scratch!” It took 4 guards to pry Vinyl off the now whimpering and crying stallion. He had been taken to the hospital while the guards took Vinyl to Canterlot Dungeon despite the blood flowing from the one hit he got on her; right in the middle of her head, causing blood to trickle freely without resistance and he had also managed to somehow crack her shades, making it so that half her vision was covered in spiderweb pattern.

As they passed Fluttershy, Vinyl caught her eyes and saw fear in them. Vinyl lowered her head in defeat and waited until they made it to the dungeon. “We'll deal with you later.” One of the guards had said before roughly shoving her into the cell where she lost her balance, fell, and blacked out when her head hit the concrete.

“Hey, wake up!” Vinyl's eyes shot open as she was drenched in cold water. “What the hay?” Vinyl turned and saw Celestia's sun slowly rising over the horizon. “It's time for your trial.” The guard with a bucket said gruffly. She scowled and narrowed her eyes, but said nothing. As he lead her towards the door at the far end of the row of cells, a loud scream followed by the sound of a door being kicked open behind them made both Vinyl and the guard stop. “Vinyl!”

“Fluttershy?” Vinyl darted past the guard and ran to meet Fluttershy halfway through the hallway. “Fluttershy, what're you doing here?”

“I'm going to get you out! I promise Vinyl Scratch!” It was at this point both guards had wrapped hooves around each pony and were pulling them away from each other as they desperately fought back to keep a hold of each other. “I'll talk to the Princesses and I'll make them see that it wasn't your fault! I swear it! And when you're out, I'll take you out and ask you to be my marefriend!” Tears were flowing down Fluttershy face as the guard dragged her down the hall and out the door. The last thing Vinyl heard from the distraught pegasus was, “I'll show them that you aren't a stereotype!”

The guard holding Vinyl let her go and shoved her towards the door at the opposite end. As they walked, Vinyl couldn't help the tears that formed and fell at her hooves. The DJ was never one to cry openly like she was now, but she couldn't help herself. In one short day, she had found a mare who had understood her pain and had wanted to help free her from being seen as a stereotype. “I love you...” Vinyl whispered as she was lead through the door to face the judgment of the Princess of the Sun.

(Author's Note; This came to me after I saw a picture of Vinyl with a bloody nose and with a dazed look and the picture was titled "Overdose" Honestly, I hate those kind of pictures and stories where they portray Vinyl Scratch as your typical DJ. So, I put headphones in, played Element of Harmonics by Chain Algorithm and spent the next 3 hours writing this. Um...oh, sorry Incognito for not giving this to you to edit before-hand but I just HAD to get this up...It was kind of emotional for me to write despite it just being in a flash of anger and inspiration so...yea sorry. That's it I think...oh! The little squiggly things (you know, this thing ~~) Those are to signify a flashback kinda thing but I'm sure you figured that out...okay, long author's note so I'm gonna go now...)

The Trial

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The room was nearly silent as Vinyl took her seat. The Princess had yet to arrive and ponies were whispering while they waited. Vinyl looked down at her hooves and sighed. There weren't many ponies on the jury that she recognized and even less in the room she knew.

'I should've just took the insults and moved on like I usually do. Why was this time so different? It must've been because he insulted Fluttershy.' When her name came up in thought, the DJ looked around, searching for the beautiful pegasus. Sadly, Fluttershy was nowhere to be found. 'She said she'd be here...why isn't she here?'

Panic rose in Vinyl's mind and she could feel herself begin to lightly shake in fear. "Fillies and gentlecolts, please rise for Princess Celestia." The guard who had brought Vinyl into the room. The room was filled with sound as ponies got to their hooves as the royal Sun Princess walked into the room, talking in a hushed whisper to a lavender unicorn.

'Is that who I think it is?' The unicorn in question looked out and saw Vinyl and offered a light wave. 'Well...that's a little reassuring.' The pale unicorn thought.

"Please, be seated." Celestia said in her usual soft tone. "Today we are gathered for this trial of Upper Crust versus Vinyl Scratch."

"Please Your Highness, while I mean no offense, but there really is no need for this. She attacked me without-" Celestia rose her hoof, silencing the stallion.

"All ponies must be given a chance to defend themselves Upper Crust."

"Of course my Princess." Celestia looked down to the lavender pony and after a second, nodded.

"Now then, Upper Crust will state his case first."

"Thank you Your Highness." The unicorn stallion said, stepping out from behind his table. "Now, please take a look at this pony; unruly, ragged, and just all around awful."

"Sorry if I didn't have time to freshen up in the dungeon. The guards didn't really give me much of a chance."

"Quiet you whore." Vinyl took a step towards the stallion, a scowl rising on her face.

"Please my little ponies, calm down." Celestia said calmly.

"Yes, calm yourself you-"

"And watch your tone Upper Crust, this is a respectable place." Celestia's tone was a bit more firm, making Upper Crust nod.

"Of course. My apologies Princess." The stallion used his magic to adjust his bow before continuing. "Now then, I believe now would be the appropriate time to explain my side of the story." Upper Crust cleared his throat and said, "Now, I was going out for my usual morning stroll that day. I saw May Ball wearing the most amazing dress that day and-"

"Please state only what is relevant to the case." The lavender pony said politely.

"Right. Anyways, I was walking down the street to have a few cups of coffee with a few friends of mine when this little harlot bumped into me and ruined my good day. Then, when I simply expressed my valuable opinion, she attacked me! I've never done anything to this...pony in my life and when I used my Celestia given right to free speech and offer my opinion and give her a little advice and she strikes me and sent me to the hospital!"

To end his sentence, he grabbed a paper off his table with his magic and opened it. The ponies that made up the jury gasped. The paper was Upper Crust's medical bill.

However, there were two ponies that just rolled their eyes and one of them, a grey mare said, "It's only 50 bits worth of damage...for a few bandages on his face." Vinyl chuckled.

'I definitely owe ya one Octy.'

"I'm sure there are many ponies in Canterlot get hurt worse than you do and don't even go to the hospital and heal up just as quickly with medical supplies they have at home." The cellist said. Upper Crust stammered and glared at Octavia, who simply regarded him with an air of disinterest. The more observant ponies (or the ones who were actually paying attention) could tell he wanted to go off on the typical rich pony verbal assault, but restrained himself.

"Alright, now we shall hear Vinyl Scratch's side." As the two unicorns passed by each other, Vinyl narrowed her eyes while Upper Crust sneered. "You may begin when you are ready." Vinyl nodded and took a few breaths before she started.

"Well...I had just got off of work-"

"If you could call making obnoxious noise "work" then I'd agree." Upper Crust said casually. Vinyl rolled her eyes and continued.

"I was leading my friend Fluttershy back to my place since she was tired and I didn't want to just let her wander back to the train station alone and half asleep."

"Sure, that's all you were doing." Vinyl turned, glaring at Upper Crust who simply smiled "innocently".

"Anyways, as we were walking, I was talking to her and trying to keep her awake until we got to my house and while I was talking, I looked over at Fluttershy to see if her eyes were still open so she wouldn't bump into anypony and I end up accidentally bumping into him." She motioned behind her at the uppity stallion behind her.

He just stuck his nose up into the air and mumbled, "Accident my hoof."

Vinyl turned around again and said, "Seriously? You thought I bumped into on purpose? I don't even KNOW you! So why would I go out of my way to bump into you? All I was concerned about was getting my friend to bed since she obviously isn't used to staying up all night like I am."

"Bumped into ME on purpose? No, but bump into anypony who has more money than you because you're jealous? Yes." Vinyl was speechless. "That's right. I've seen you walking home from "work" many times and you bump into rich ponies all the time. I guess I was the only one smart enough to actually do something about it." Several ponies nodded while many others frowned at the insult.

"I'm sorry, am I not allowed to be tired after working all night? Surely you ponies can relate; you work for about nine or ten hours and the walk home is going to be a little slow because you're going to be tired and just want to sleep." Ponies in the room murmured and agreed with the young DJ. Upper Crust was not taking it well.

"Oh come on. Anypony can claim that their tired after work, but it takes a respectable pony to hide it until they get home." More ponies simply mumbled in agreement.

"Alright, please take your seat Ms. Scratch." Vinyl bowed her head in respect for the royal pony and did as she was told. When she had returned to her area, she saw

Upper Crust grinning maliciously at her as he mouthed, "You don't stand a chance."

Vinyl rolled her eyes and mouthed back, "Bite me."

"We will now take a small intermission. Please feel free to get up and stretch. We will resume this trial in ten minutes." All the ponies got up and many of them got up and left the room, their interest drained as they lost interest in the trial.

Vinyl sighed and thought, 'Well...that could be a good thing or a bad thing.' Upper Crust had left the room to no doubt figure out how to get Vinyl convicted of some assault crime or something like that.

"How're you feeling?" Vinyl turned and saw three ponies; Octavia, a stallion who looked familiar, and her cousin Twilight Sparkle.

"Not too bad." She said, hugging her cousin, then Octavia. "I'm sorry...but I don't remember your name." She said, looking at the grey unicorn stallion.

He shrugged and said with a smile, "It happens."

Vinyl laughed and said, "In any case, thanks for stickin' up for me Octy."

The cellist rolled her eyes at the nickname and said, "You're welcome, and I told you to stop calling me that."

"Never gonna happen." The pale DJ said with a chuckle. She then turned her attention to her cousin and said, "So...give it to me straight; how am I doing?"

Twilight looked a little reluctant to talk about information that was usually reserved for the jury and Princess herself, but after a moment said, "As far as the Princess goes, she seems sympathetic with you, but as far as the jury goes..." She looked at Octavia, then the stallion and said, "Other than these two, there's only two other ponies who stand with you. The other six stand against you and so far...the odds are stacked against you." Vinyl could barely keep her jaw from falling off.

"W-what!? But you said the Princess was on my side."

"That's true...but she has to go with the majority vote or else it'll seem bias, and with me being your cousin AND the Princess's adviser..." Vinyl nodded and was silent.

"Hey, it isn't over yet." The stallion said, patting the DJ on the back.

"Okay, seriously, what's your name? I feel kinda bad that you're here being a good friend and I can't even remember your name."

The stallion laughed and said, "If it's really that important to you, my name is Nightroad." As soon as his name was said, recognition sparked in Vinyl's eyes.

"You're the pony who floats around everywhere!"

"Guilty as charged." Before anything else could be said, Celestia came back into the room, signaling that the intermission was almost over.

"We better get back to our spots. Don't worry, Nightroad and myself will see what we can do about the jury." Octavia said, giving the DJ one last hug before heading for the jury stand. Nightroad smiled and hugged the pale unicorn, placing something in her hooves before headed to the stand.

Twilight smiled and gave her a hug as well and whispered, "Don't worry, when the time comes, you'll win this trial." Vinyl smiled and hugged her cousin back. As Vinyl waited, she looked down at what had been placed in her hooves. The gift that Nightroad had left her nearly made the DJ cry: in her hooves was a new pair of shades, perfectly crafted to look like her old pair. She levitated them onto her face and found they were a perfect fit.

'Definitely gotta get him something in return.' Vinyl thought. Moments later, all the ponies that wanted to stay for the trial had returned (which was about half of the starting amount).

"Alright my little ponies, the trial will now continue. Upper Crust, you may start when you are ready."

"A thousand thanks my Princess. Please, allow me to call on my witness..." A blue unicorn with pale yellow eyes came into the room and took a seat in front of the court, just under Princess Celestia.

"Good day Bastion." The solar princess said with a nod to the instructor.

"And a good day to you as well Princess." The unicorn said with a monotone voice.

"Now then, my dear friend Bastion, please tell the room what you witnessed that faithful day."

"It was yesterday." Vinyl said with a roll of her eyes. However, with her shades on, her emotion was unreadable. 'This'll definitely give me an edge now.'

"Your Highness, is this ruffian even allowed to be wearing...whatever those are? I mean-"

"Hey, they're part of my usual attire, so I don't see why I can't."

"That doesn't matter. It-"

The Princess interrupted and said, "It's alright. Please continue." Upper Crust mumbled, but nodded to Bastion, letting him know to start talking.

"I was sitting outside my home, watching the sun rise as I like to do every morning." He turned and smiled at the Sun Princess, who in turned smiled back at the flattery and allowed him to continue.

"It was a usual morning for me and as I took a sip of my coffee, I saw Upper Crust walk by. I waved to him and figured that was that. However, this young lady brushed past him rather rudely and didn't even try to apologize. Probably too worried about getting her...lady of the evening home to-"

"That's not true! And Fluttershy is not like that you dirty-"

"Please calm yourself Ms. Scratch." Celestia said softly. The DJ looked at the Princess, then over to the jury where she saw the ponies mumbling to themselves and regarding her as a violent pony.


"Yes, calm yourself little miss noise maker. I don't want you frightening my witness." Both Vinyl AND Bastion looked at the stallion with a look of irritation.

"As I was saying...Upper Crust politely offered her some advice and she just attacked him, unprovoked." Vinyl wanted to shout out in her defense, but she knew that if she did, she may lose the whole jury if she already didn't (Octavia and Nightroad excluded). Instead, the pale DJ just sighed and remained silent.

"Thank you Bastion. You may take a seat now."

"Thank you Your Highness." The blue unicorn took a seat next to Upper Crust and Celestia was talking with Twilight.

"Alright Vinyl Scratch, you may call your witness."

'I have a witness?' Vinyl coughed into her hoof and said, "Er...I now call my witness..." Vinyl looked back at the door and saw it slowly open to reveal a pony she couldn't be happier to see. "Fluttershy?" The pegasus smiled, despite the fear of having a good number of ponies staring at her. She made her way to the front and sat where Bastion was moments ago.

"H-hello Princess, hello Twilight." Both address ponies nodded and waited for the shy pony to talk. However, it was clear that the timid pony wasn't used to being the centre of attention. Vinyl looked around, trying to think of some way to help the shy pony. However, as her eyes passed over the jury, she saw Nightroad talking quietly, his horn barely giving off an aura.

'What's he up to?'

As soon as he quit talking, Fluttershy nodded to herself and said, "W-well...Vinyl was walking me to her home since I really didn't want to walk to the train station all by myself. I was really tired and was afraid that something might happen and was glad that Vinyl was going to be a good friend and let me stay with her."

"Oh please! Save the sob story why don't you?" Upper Crust yawned. Twilight, Nightroad, and Vinyl all glared at the snooty stallion, making him shut his mouth in fear.

"It's alright, please continue." Celestia said warmly.

"Well, I was k-kind of dozing off while we were walking and Vinyl was trying to wake me up and she bumped into him. She tried to apologize, but he cut her off." Upper Crust was about to protest, but was cut off by a stern look from the Princess, effectively shutting him up.

"He cut her off by insulting what she did for a living, which is to make music and entertain, as well insult her personally. He assumed that Vinyl was like many of the other DJ's in Canterlot, who are apparently rude and...not very nice. I can't really say much since Vinyl is the only DJ I've met but to many, it seems like being a DJ means to be a delinquent." Fluttershy took a moment to take a few breaths before she continued.

"Because of this assumption, Vinyl has been haunted by the stereotype that all DJ's are just bad ponies who can't do anything. But I assure you that she is nothing like how you think she is! Her home is neat and tidy, she doesn't touch any kind of drug or drink alcohol...she takes care of herself and her friends...She only attacked him because he provoked her by insulting me...I didn't care that he did, but Vinyl took it upon herself to defend me because she's a good pony.

Sure she could have done it another way, but her heart was in the right place...Please don't lock her away..." By now, tears were streaming down Fluttershy's face and dripping onto the floor. Many of the jury ponies were moved to tears as well, dabbing at their eyes with handkerchiefs and other cloths.

"You can't be serious!" Upper Crust shouted, leaping out of his seat. "You honestly can't tell me you're all moved by the words of some...whore! She's just a pony who makes money by entertaining others at night with her body!" Light engulfed the room and when it dissipated, Celestia herself was in front of the pony, anger in her eyes.

"She is no lady of the evening. She is in fact, a bearer of one of the Elements of Harmony. You should show respect to a pony who has saved Equestria three times over now, and you should also remember where you are. There will be no shouting or slandering of heroes to Equestria and her ponies." Upper Crust's jaw dropped.

"W-what?! No! She's no Element of Harmony!"

"She is. She represents Kindness. Something you clearly lack Upper Crust." Celestia said, her voice stern and her eyes cold. The stallion tried to say something, but just swallowed a lump in his throat. The ponies in the jury were mumbling in disgust at his disregard for a hero to Equestria.

"I-I had no idea! I couldn't see her very clearly and-"

"Enough. The jury will now meet and discuss." With that, the ponies of the jury got up and left the room. Vinyl could practically see the sweat pouring off of Upper Crust as he tried to think of some way to salvage his reputation. About twenty minutes later, the jury returned and Twilight took the official vote from them and gave it to Celestia.

"The case of Upper Crust versus Vinyl Scratch has been decided by the ponies of the jury. Vinyl cleared of any charges laid against her by Upper Crust." Vinyl grinned as ponies cheered. Fluttershy rushed forward and pulled the DJ into a hug.

"Thank you Fluttershy." The pale unicorn whispered to the pony in her hooves.

"As for you Upper Crust...for insulting and slandering the name of one of the heroes of Equestria, you will spend twenty days in the Canterlot Dungeons. Guards, please escort Mr. Crust to his new accommodations."

"N-no! I will not be treated this way! I will see you imprisoned you accursed noise maker! My family will not see this stand unopposed!" The stallion struggled against the burly unicorn guards that lifted him out of his seat and out of the room, screaming obscenities against everypony in the court, including the Princess.

"Not really helping his case much, is he?" Vinyl said with a chuckle. Twilight, Octavia, Nightroad, and even Princess Celestia came over and congratulated the DJ.

"Told ya you'd be fine. See, why does nopony listen to me?" Nightroad mumbled with a grin.

"Who knows? Anyways, glad to see everything worked out for you." Twilight said, pulling her cousin into a hug.

"Me too. Sorry for causing you trouble Princess. I'm sure you had better things to do than come to a trial."

"It's quite alright. Besides, I had to see the pony who makes the music my sister loves so much."

"Beg pardon?"

"Tis true. I enjoy your music most thoroughly Vinyl Scratch, or should I call you DJ Pon-3?" The group was surprised when the Princess of the Night herself stepped into the room.

"P-Princess Luna? You listened to my music? I mean, no offense but I'm pretty sure I'd have been able to recognize you at the club." Instead of answering, Luna was enveloped in a blue aura as she transformed into a dark blue unicorn mare with a half moon cutie mark and eyes of night sky blue.

"Night Sky? Wait, so you mean to tell me that the Lunar Princess has been to every one of my gigs? Fluttershy, catch me. I think I'm about to faint." Vinyl fell back into the waiting hooves of the yellow pegasus while Luna changed back into her regal self. "I can't believe you actually like my music."

"In my opinion, you are the best DJ in Canterlot. I went to every other club and I must say...yours was the only one I liked and I can say with all honesty that it was the music that made me stay." Luna said with a smile. "Perhaps you can play for us here at the castle? I've been wanting to get my sister to hear your wonderful music for quite some time now."

"I-I'd be honoured! Though...I'm not sure the rich ponies would appreciate it."

Luna scoffed and said, "They could use the change of pace. No offense madame Octavia."

The cellist waved the apology away and said, "It's alright Princess. Vinyl definitely deserves this. If she can wow the rich, then perhaps she won't be haunted by her stereotype any longer."

Vinyl smiled and said, "We'll see. Now, I hate to be rude, but I'll be right back. I need to talk with private." Before anypony could say anything, she grabbed the hoof of the pegasus and headed out the door. Neither pony said anything as Vinyl Scratch turned through the many twists and turns of Canterlot Castle. Finally, the DJ found a door that led outside.

The pair burst through the doors and the first thing that Vinyl did was turn and press her lips against Fluttershy's. The pegasus acted in kind, kissing the unicorn back tenderly. When Vinyl pulled away, she sighed happily and collapsed onto the grass.

"Never again do I want to go through a trial. Too much stress." Fluttershy laughed and laid down next to the exhausted DJ.

"Me either. Too many ponies."

Vinyl laughed and said, "Yea...and I didn't have my turntables so it was weird to be looked at by so many ponies without playing music." This time, it was Fluttershy who laughed, but was otherwise quiet as she curled up next to the entertainer. The sun was high in the sky before Vinyl spoke again.

"So...I believe that you owe me a date as well as a confession of love." The blush on Fluttershy's face made Vinyl want to kiss the pegasus all over.

"You're right. However, the date may have to wait. Vinyl..." Fluttershy sat up, followed Vinyl Scratch. The timid flier took the shades off of the DJ's face and looked her straight in the eyes. "Would you mind becoming my marefriend?" The pale pony smiled warmly as a tear escaped her eye.

"I'd like nothing more Fluttershy." The two closed in and shared a gentle kiss and lowered themselves back onto the grass where they both fell into a peaceful sleep and napped the day away.