The Other Side (Anon x Scratch)

Jul 5th, 2016
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  1. >You are Anon
  2. >You're just about to enter Manehattan's public library, where you plan to return some books you borrowed and take home a couple new ones
  3. >Fairly standard stuff
  4. >After depositing the books you had with you at the counter, you walk into the maze of shelves that make up the 'Fiction' category
  5. >Non-fiction was never really your thing, here in Equestria or back on Earth
  6. >It just lacked the action and unexpected twists that a work of fiction could have
  7. >Lately, you've taken more of a turn towards science fiction
  8. >The ponies' version of it was a bit different than what you were used to, which made it that much more interesting
  9. >So, you slowly browse through the available titles, scanning the backs of the covers for something that sparks your interest
  11. >For a while, nothing really catches your eye
  12. >A lot of the books appear very similar
  13. >That is, until one stands out to you
  14. >A navy-colored back, with the words "THE OTHER SIDE" in a much lighter blue and rather strong typeface
  15. >You kneel slightly so your head is roughly level with the book, and reach out towards it
  16. >Just as you grab hold of it, the pinkish aura of some unseen unicorn envelops it as well, slightly tickling your hand in the process
  17. >Surprised, you loosen your grip of the novel, and it is rather unceremoniously yanked out of your hand
  18. >Well then
  19. >Now you're curious as to who is your mystery assailant, so you get closer to the shelf in order to peek through
  20. >You see the book float out of the way, making place for a white unicorn wearing large purple shades
  21. >A vaguely familiar sight, and even though she's hardly mundane, you can't quite place her
  22. >She lowers her glasses in a particularly smooth fashion to reveal her violet eyes looking quizically at you
  24. >"Heh. Guess you're just a little too late, buddy" she says
  25. "Too late? I was holding that book before you mercilessly ripped it out of my hands!" you say, in a mockingly dramatic way
  26. >"Perhaps you should've held onto it a bit tighter, then! Life isn't always easy, colt!"
  27. >Now things are getting personal
  28. "THIEF!" you say with a raised voice
  29. >Perhaps a bit louder than would be desirable in a library
  30. "Prepare to be destroyed for your foolish actions! I will seize you!" you continue as you start to rush around to the next aisle
  31. >When you reach the other side, the cold-blooded thief has taken a defensive kung-fu like stance, protecting the book which is now floating behind her
  32. >Not to be outdone, you make some gestures that would fit right in a Jackie Chan movie
  33. >At least, that's the idea
  34. >You lock eyes with your nemesis, trying your best to retain a serious expression on your face
  36. >After a few seconds, the unicorn can't hold it back any longer and bursts out laughing
  37. >This, in turn, sends you over the edge as well, and you nearly fall over from your one-legged balancing act
  38. >The two of you share a rather long moment trying to recover from the absurdity of your impromptu rivalry
  39. >Once your sides have returned to their regular location, you decide to pursue some actual conversation
  40. "Heh... So, anyway, is the book any good? Or did we fight over nothing?"
  41. >"To be honest, I have no idea. I've never heard of it before, it just looked kinda interesting."
  42. "Same," you reply, "it caught my eye too. What kind of books do you normally read?"
  43. >"Dunno, just fiction kind of stuff. Science fiction sometimes, fairy tale type things the next."
  45. >Both you and the electric-blue-maned mare turn to look towards the end of the corridor, where an older beige pony is wildly gesturing at you
  46. >Oops. Yup, that was a bit too loud
  48. >Your former enemy flashes a sheepish grin at her, while you attempt to express remorse without saying any more
  49. >The librarian seems to accept your reaction and moves on
  50. "Well," you say, as you lower your voice to a whisper, "fun is clearly not allowed in here"
  51. >The white unicorn tries to repress a snicker, but doesn't completely succeed in doing so
  52. >There seem to be no direct repercussions, however, so you decide to advance the conversation
  53. "So, anyway... I feel like I know you from somewhere, but I can't figure out why. Uhm, ... I'm Anonymous, by the way. But everyone just calls me Anon."
  54. >The mare in question sticks out her foreleg as a greeting, and you shake it willingly
  55. >No matter who she is, the pony standing in front of you is rather pretty indeed
  56. >That pristine white coat, with the stark contrast of her mane, and those gorgeous eyes
  57. >You don't doubt that a considerable amount of mares would be jealous of her looks
  58. >"Hah, the name's Vinyl. Vinyl Scratch. I've done a few gigs in a club here in town, so maybe that's where you recognize me from."
  59. >Yup, that makes it click. It's that pony from the Black Saddle club, with the energetic EDM set. Somewhere far away, you remember looking at her from a distance while having your Celestia-knows-how-manieth beer of the night
  61. >"... At least, I'd hope so. You don't seem like the crazy stalker type"
  62. >Seems like you got lost in thought for a moment
  63. "... Yeah. Yeah! Right, sorry. That's indeed where I know you from. You're a pretty good DJ, for what it's worth."
  64. >"Aw, shush. Don't go kissing my flank, now, 'Anon'.
  65. >Vinyl avoids eye contact, but you can't help but detect a childish joy in her expression
  66. "Sorry. I guess giving a compliment is a bad thing."
  67. >Now, she looks up at you, ever so slightly annoyed
  68. >"Shut up. You know what I mean."
  70. "So, anyway. Vinyl, you were saying how you mostly read fiction?"
  71. >"Yeah, recently I've been really into the Dark Emerald series, it's really cool with all of the..."
  72. >A long conversation about Equestrian literature ensues, in which Vinyl demonstrates her excessive knowledge on the subject
  73. >Though you don't like to admit it, you were a bit prejudiced about her before you actually got to talk to her
  74. >And even though you were aware that she produces her own music, it was very easy to judge
  75. >She looks, more or less, like a stereotypical pretty rave girl, all looks but no brains
  76. >But no, there's a lot more to this mare than it would seem
  77. >As the two of you walk towards the reception, your discussion draws to a close
  78. >You're armed with some books Vinyl recommended, along with a plethora of reasons why they're worth your time
  79. >The normally quiet receptionist even mumbles something that sounds rather positive at your choices
  80. >Not that you needed any confirmation of Vinyl's know-how, but it's still nice
  81. >The DJ, too, has checked out a couple of novels (including the one she so brutally stole from you), and joins you in your short trip to the exit
  83. >You don't really have any plans for the afternoon, but you're fairly sure that this unexpected encounter with Vinyl is about to come to an end
  84. >The subject matter of books is pretty much depleted in terms of conversation material, and the white unicorn seems like the busy type
  85. >Before you can say anything, though, she breaks the silence
  86. >"Well, Anon, you seem like a pretty chill guy. I, uhm, dunno, maybe you'd wanna grab some lunch?"
  87. >You're not gonna say 'No' to that
  88. "Hmmm... I think I can clear up some time in my oh-so-busy schedule... "
  89. >"I feel truly honored," she says in a flat tone of voice
  90. "Rightfully so. Anyway, I assume you know a place?"
  91. >"Yeah, couple of blocks from here. The weather's good, so we could walk through the park on our way there."
  92. >Not a bad idea
  93. "Cool, that'd be nice."
  94. >So, the two of you set out towards the city's large urban park
  96. >On the way there, you make small talk with Vinyl
  97. >Basic things, such as where both of your apartments are, what you do for a living, the like
  98. >When you've reached the park, the sun peeks out from the clouds it was hiding behind, making everything a couple of shades brighter
  99. >Thinking of shades, you wouldn't mind having a pair of your own at the moment
  100. >Vinyl slid hers back on as soon as she went outside, which was a little odd, but nothing worth mentioning
  101. >Surely she has her reasons
  102. >Now you're squinting your eyes from the glaring reflections of all the buildings in the distance
  103. >All the while, you can only guess what the unicorn is looking at
  104. >Which is a shame, because it makes it significantly more risky to glance at her
  105. >The light really brings out her coat, almost shining with its brightness
  106. >It accentuates her curves quite well, and there's plenty of those to be seen
  107. >Vinyl's not skin over bones like some of those model type ponies you've seen around in the city center, oh no
  108. >She's got all the right curves, in all the right places, namely her backside
  109. >"Hey there buddy, whatcha looking at?"
  111. >Fuck
  112. >Not smart
  113. >The way she said that tells you all you need to know
  114. >She's fully aware of what you were doing, and drowns you in awkwardness for it
  115. >You consider saying you were looking at her cutie mark, but there's no way she'll fall for that
  116. >Gotta say something, though
  117. "Uhm... Your tail is nice..." you stammer
  118. >She stops, and cocks an eyebrow at you in a decisively unimpressed look
  119. >There's no need to say 'That's the best you could come up with?', her expression does it for her
  120. >After a second or so, she continues walking
  121. >"Staring's rude, you know."
  122. >It takes a moment before you decide to just catch up, lest you give her the impression that you're doing some more ogling
  123. >What the fuck were you even thinking, she can probably pick and choose stallions as she wants anyway
  124. >Any minuscule chance you may have had is probably out the window now that you've made yourself look like a creep
  125. >Damn it, she just went out of her way for the sake of being nice and then you do this
  127. >Vinyl seems to have dismissed the whole thing, as she calmly walks along
  128. >You try to read her expression when you're side by side again, but those damned shades of hers make in nigh impossible
  129. >Well, nothing much you can do about it now anyway
  130. >It's probably better to just try and enjoy the lunch, and come out of this whole thing with a new acquaintance, perhaps even a friend
  131. >Never a bad thing to have some more of those
  132. >As casually as you can manage, you continue a conversation from earlier
  133. "So, you were saying before how you were asked to perform at some local festival thing?"
  134. >"Oh, yeah, well it's not a festival, really. Just a public EDM thing a local open stage is hosting."
  135. "Still cool though, right? What kind of set is it gonna be?"
  137. >"True, it's the first thing my own music's gotten me since I started producing, so that's nice. They haven't finalized the line-up yet so I don't know what kind of time slot I'll get, but I'm hoping for something later at night. I'd like to try some harder stuff, since the club usually only lets me play the more tame songs."
  138. >"I've got a whole bunch of work-in-progress stuff for it, no matter what kind of set it ends up being. It's kinda bad, actually. It's like 20-plus songs, none of which are really finished yet. I keep hopping from one project to another."
  140. "Hah, nice and chaotic. That's my style, too."
  141. >That earns a slight chuckle from the DJ, which feels quite relieving
  142. >"Heh... And what about you, then? What kinda stuff are you into?"
  143. "It changes, really. I like the calmer indie dance kind of stuff but at times I can rock out to hardstyle as well. It all has its place. There aren't many EDM subgenres that I straight-out do not like."
  144. >"Mm-hmm, agreed. I have the same thing."
  145. >Vinyl flashes a short, but warm and genuine smile
  146. >"Ah, here it is."
  147. >As you round the corner, a cool-looking lounge bar comes into view
  148. >Relaxing, ambient EDM plays in the background, fitting well with the grey sofas surrounding the tables
  149. >Already, you can see yourself coming back to this place
  150. >And it's just the kind of place you'd imagine Vinyl hanging out, too
  152. >The ivory-colored unicorn picks a spot, sits down and lies back on the soft-looking couch
  153. >You are right behind her, and mean to sit down as well
  154. >The only problem is: where? You could fit next to her but it would be a bit snug, and with your brain fart from earlier fresh in your memory, that may not be the most tactical option
  155. >On the other hand, due to the spacious nature of the place's design, taking a spot across the table seems like an awkwardly big distance
  156. >Why can't even basic things like these ever just be simple
  157. >You make sure to grab the menu from the table, in order to not look too weird staring around the place whilst standing
  158. >It's not much, but it'll buy you a few more seconds
  159. >Alright, gotta stay focused. Just a meaningless glance at the menu and then--
  160. >Hot damn. 5 bits for a large beer? That's certainly not the best deal around
  161. >That significantly reduces the bar's potential for a new hangout
  162. >"I don't wanna judge, but the idea of a lounge café is generally that you, you know, lounge." comes Vinyl's particularly snarky voice
  163. >A look at her reveals a smile that just screams 'Smartass'. At least, as far as you can tell
  164. >Because however nice it is to be seated outside, one major downside of it is that those damn glasses are here to stay
  166. >Time for your best 'every large company, ever' impression
  167. "Thank you for your feedback. We dearly value your opinion and will keep it in mind moving forward."
  168. >"Yuck, don't give me that politically correct stuff. Here, c'mon."
  169. >She scoots ever so slightly to the side, and pats the empty half of the couch
  170. >Well, that minor dilemma played out quite well
  171. >You sit down eagerly
  172. >Gotta admit, this is one very comfortable sofa
  173. >You could sleep on this thing, easily
  174. >A waiter comes over, and she seems to recognize Vinyl
  175. >After a simple 'Hi' from your end, you turn your attention back to the menu while the ladies engage in some small talk
  177. >It doesn't surprise you, but yeah: Vinyl is a regular here
  178. >You look through the menu; even something as simple as a coke is three bits
  179. >No size is listed, so it had better be a full bottle
  180. >Your expectations aren't very high though
  181. >So far, the place hasn't really lived up to their prices yet
  182. >Either the DJ has the money to spend it here, or there's free refills or something
  183. >Another option that pops into your mind is that she only comes here with stallions, so she doesn't pay much, if anything, herself
  184. >For the short while that you've hung out with her, she doesn't quite seem like that kind of mare, but she would almost certainly have the option
  185. >The girls' conversation seems to be over, and indeed, Vinyl orders some exotic cocktail you've never heard of before
  186. >"And for you?" asks the waitress
  187. >Deciding that you don't want to be 'that guy' who orders tap water, you order a coke
  188. >Time will tell whether or not you're getting ripped off
  190. >"So, neat little place, huh? I love coming here, it's very relaxing."
  191. "Yeah, I guess. This sofa is pretty comfortable."
  192. >"I know, right? I love it." she says, her lips curling up into a giddy smile
  193. >To illustrate her point, Vinyl gets extra comfortable on the soft cushion in a rather playful manner
  194. >You really don't want another awkward moment, but good god is it adorable
  195. >Ideally you'd want to just scoop her up and hug her right about now
  196. >Too bad this isn't a dream
  197. >"Hmmm... So, anyway, have you seen the new Daring Do movie yet? I heard it's pretty bad."
  198. "No, what about it?"
  199. >Vinyl goes on to tell about the things she heard about the movie from her friends, and you get into a conversation about movies in general
  200. >She's seen most AAA-level films, and while you haven't really gotten invested in most Equestrian pop culture, it's an interesting subject none the less
  202. >When you're discussing some weird comedy series of films, your drinks arrive
  203. >You get a rather disappointing amount of cola, while the cocktail is absolutely massive and luxurious
  204. >It's like feeling underdressed, only with beverages
  205. >"Cheers!", and 'cling' go your glasses
  206. >"So," Vinyl opens, "what are your plans for the rest of the day?"
  207. "Nothing much, really. Don't have to work until noon tomorrow, and my incredibly busy schedule inexplicably has a bit of a gap in it."
  208. >"Hmm, how odd."
  209. >Nope, you really had nothing to do for the rest of this Wednesday
  210. >If you hadn't run into the lovely mare next to you, you would probably be at home right now, playing some vidya
  211. "What about you? Wednesday isn't a very busy day in terms of nightlife, right?"
  212. >"Nah, besides, I don't usually work on Wednesdays anyway. I'm probably try and get some producing done tonight."
  214. "Cool. Which one of your bazillion works-in-progress are you going to work on?"
  215. >Vinyl cocks an eyebrow at you, as if to imply that the tiniest amount of offense was taken.
  216. >"I'll tell you. I have this great track - no idea what I'll end up calling it yet - that's practically done. It's all I've worked on for the past week. Very melodic and upbeat, it makes me ridiculously happy to just have the tune in my head."
  217. >"All that needs to be done about it is some details; percussion and the like. Maybe change a few drum patterns here and there. I'm hoping I can get it done tonight."
  218. "Sounds neat. I imagine that you can sink a lot of hours into a single track, right?"
  219. "Yeah, it kinda depends. Sometimes you go through ten different versions of the same song, other times it just feels right the first time."
  220. >You simply nod and take a sip of your drink
  222. >The two of you keep up the conversation, ranging from more about music production, to food, to nightlife, and so on
  223. >Meanwhile, your coke seems to be evaporating a little bit more every time you even dare to look at it
  224. >Before long, it's all gone, ice cubes and all
  225. >Vinyl, too, is making quick progress on that monster of a cocktail she ordered
  226. >Right after you make a remark on the way local bouncers pick their crowd, the unicorn falls into silence, apparently lost in thought
  227. "Uhm, Scratch... you alright?"
  228. >You attempt your best cocky smile
  229. >"Wha-- Oh, yeah, I'm good. Just thinking, is all."
  230. "Thinking about what?"
  231. >"Nothing important. Anyway, we were talking about that unfinished song I was working on earlier, right?"
  232. "Yeah, what about it?"
  233. >"... Maybe you'd like to hear it? I mean, it happens a lot that a musician thinks they've made a masterpiece, only to be slammed by everyone else."
  234. >Huh. Didn't see that one coming
  235. >The way she phrased it made it seem like Vinyl was really anxious, nervous even, about the song
  236. >Not quite what you had expected from the DJ
  237. >She seemed to be full of self-confidence, and simply laying eyes on her revealed multiple reasons for it
  239. >But now, she's basically inviting you to her home
  240. >A bunch of lewd thoughts storm your mind, but you clear them out in an attempt to remain realistic
  241. "Sure, I'd love to see what you're up to. In terms of producing, I mean."
  242. "I can probably make a little exception in m--"
  243. >"That wasn't even that funny the first time."
  244. "Sorry, didn't know you'd get angry." you say with a cheeky smile
  245. >"Tsssk. Hush, you."
  246. >Well, this day was turning out a lot more interesting than you had anticipated
  247. >Time to pay for your drinks and get out of here
  248. >Vinyl already asked for the check
  249. >You go to pull out your wallet, an action met with surprising resistance
  250. >"Don't worry, I got it."
  252. "Nah, let me pay. You've been nice enough to take me here in the first place."
  253. >"I can pay for myself, you know."
  254. "Well, so can I, and I'm picking up the rest of it, too."
  255. >"Don't get all 'gentleman' with me."
  256. "Well, too bad, that's exactly what I'm gonna do."
  257. >To illustrate your point, your pull out 15 bits and place them on the table
  258. >Within seconds, they're floating back in front of you
  259. >"Hey. I asked you to come here in the first place, and if I wanna pay then I should damn well be allowed to. Okay?"
  260. >Vinyl is surprisingly firm, almost stern, about this
  261. >She's got a point though
  262. >You mutter something resembling agreement, and collect your money from her magical grip
  263. >Promptly, she has a sufficient amount of bits on the table
  264. >"If you, somehow, feel that you owe me anything, I guess you'll just have to give me extra detailed feedback on the song."
  265. >The faintly humorous tone in Vinyl's voice redeems your sense of confidence in this whole thing
  266. >Yeah, this is just gonna be fun, right? You're spending the day with an incredibly cool, friendly, and not to mention beautiful pony who shares your sassy humor and relaxed attitude
  267. >Really, what more could you ask for?
  269. >Leaving the whole thing about paying behind, you and Vinyl take your leave from the bar
  270. >On the way out, she is once more greeted by the staff, a gesture she returns eagerly
  271. >For a moment, though, you walk in silence, making your way downtown
  272. >It is at this moment that you realize that you didn't even eat anything at the lounge bar
  273. >Because you got caught up in the situation, not because some omniscient voice forgot to include it or anything, that'd be weird
  274. >Yeah, that seems right
  275. >As long as you have something to focus on, it's not too much of a problem anyway
  276. >If your memory serves you correctly, Vinyl's apartment is rather close to some convenience stores, where you'll be able to pick up some dinner on your way back home
  278. >After a short walk, during which you talked about whatever you happened to pass by, the two of you enter the city's downtown area
  279. >Many skyscrapers, adorned with massive advertisement billboards, surround you
  280. >Even though you come here often enough, the sheer dimensions of the place impress you every time
  281. >It's no secret that apartments here are rather pricey; they're quite spacious but their location really drives their value up
  282. >You start to wonder what kind of place Vinyl has, since you didn't really hold her for the rich type
  283. "So, we nearly there yet, Scratch?"
  284. >"Yeah, 'Nonny, it's actually just around the corner."
  285. " 'Nonny' ?" you ask, surprised at the rather odd name she called you
  286. >"I don't know, I guess it's not the best nickname around..."
  287. >Even from behind those shades, you can recognize a devilish expression forming on the unicorn's face
  288. >"... but you seem to hate it. So we'll stick with it."
  289. >sigh
  290. >Perhaps you should've seen that one coming
  292. >"C'mon, it's in this building."
  293. >You walk through a generously-sized hallway, into one of the many elevators
  294. >Said elevator takes you sixteen floor up, some ambient jazz music playing in the background
  295. >This really is the kind of building you'd expect from a five-star hotel
  296. >Either that, or some loaded businesspony
  297. >But no, Vinyl pulls a keycard out of her saddlebag and slides it through a door with a large, golden number 4 on it
  298. >The door swings open, revealing an absolutely beautiful apartment
  299. >Very minimalistic, with a lot of white and very modern-looking furniture
  300. >"Well, 'Nonny, make yourself at home. Want something to drink?"
  301. >She instantly heads to the kitchen area, which is connected directly to the living room
  302. "Yeah... A beer sounds pretty good right about now."
  303. >You try to sound casual, but your mouth is still agape at the sight of Vinyl's home
  305. >After a moment or two, Vinyl returns with some drinks, while you're still busy looking at her living room
  306. >You take your beer from her magical grip and mutter something along the lines of 'thank you'
  307. >She lays down on a bright-red couch, across from you
  308. "Wow... I gotta say, Vinyl, your place is really nice."
  309. >"Heh. Thanks." she says in that slightly cocky tone of voice you'd hard from her before
  310. >It doesn't sound like it's intended to be bragging, and douchey, however
  311. >You consider asking how she could afford this place, but decide against it since it's only been a single afternoon since the two of you met, and money tends to be one of the more personal subjects around
  312. >It's not that you get the impression that the unicorn would have a problem with it, just the social norm, really
  313. >Anyway. It's probably a good idea to make some conversation
  314. >Just before you go ahead to speak, you notice what Vinyl is drinking
  315. >Not quite what you had expected, to be honest
  317. "So, you ready to let me hear those masterpieces-in-progress or are you too busy with that whiskey?
  318. >You expect and equally snarky response to your comment, because frankly, it was warranted
  319. >That's not what you get though
  320. >In an exceptionally smooth movement, the DJ takes off her iconic shades, intensely staring at you with her big, amethyst-colored eyes
  321. >Even though it really shouldn't, since you'd seen them a couple of hours ago, the sight takes you aback
  322. >"I can multitask just fine, 'Nonny."
  323. >The nickname sounds almost condescending, but she playfully follows herself up soon enough
  324. >"Now, if you want to hear some 'masterpieces', come this way."
  325. >Only with the last few words of that sentence did she break eye contact, as she got up and turned towards the back of the living room
  326. >Slowly, casually, and almost seductively, she makes her way to a place which undoubtedly contains her DJing equipment
  327. >It really points out the contrast between how tense and cautious you are, and how carefree Vinyl is
  329. >Still keeping an eye on that lovely spring in her step, you get up and follow Vinyl
  330. >She opens a door in the far corner of the living room, alongside the full-height windows which make up the apartment's outer walls
  331. >You're surprised at the fact that you didn't notice the view from here before, because it's nothing less than spectacular
  332. >Being on such a high floor, the apartment overlooks much of the city, with the other skyscrapers barely getting in the way
  333. >You take a moment to admire the sight, from the busy shopping mall on the far left, to the faint green glow of the park you were walking through earlier
  334. >"Neat, huh?"
  335. >She's come back from the other room, standing beside you
  336. >"Part of the reason I love this place so much. Feels like I own the city whenever I look out the window."
  337. "Yeah, you could definitely say that. It's incredible."
  338. >You look over to Vinyl, who's wearing a genuine smile as she stares out into the city
  339. >"Yup..."
  340. >A slight pause. A moment of silence.
  341. >"Heh... And however pretentious it sounds, it's an invaluable source of inspiration, too."
  342. >The mare turns away, and once again walks through the door next to her
  344. >Inside the room, humbly sized in comparison to the living room, stands a desk with multiple monitors, mixing tables and other peripherals like speakers
  345. >Underneath you see the computer, side to side with a massive subwoofer
  346. >Vinyl's horn starts glowing, the computer starts whirring and a multitude of items float around the desk
  347. "So, clearly this is where the magic happens."
  348. >She looks at you with a deadpan expression, apparently not impressed with your clever joke
  349. >You flash the widest apologetic smile you can manage
  350. >"... You're awful, you know that?" she says, spinning in her desk chair, to her work
  351. "That's not a very nice thing to say." you say, a playful tone of taken offense in your voice
  353. >Vinyl stretches out her hindlegs and crosses them atop the desk, forehooves behind her head with her eyes closed
  354. >She can operate the computer just fine without looking, which is not only impressive, but also inexplicable to you
  355. >Fucking unicorns, how do they work?
  356. >"Maybe I'm not a very nice pony."
  357. >You can't see her face, but there's no doubt in your mind that she's smiling
  358. >You step up to the chair, now standing next to it
  359. >The DJ is still reclining, and doesn't look like she intends to stop anytime soon
  360. >She's loaded up some kind of production or mixing software
  361. >Casually, you flick a lock of her mane which was resting on here closed eye away
  362. "Nah, I can't imagine that. You couldn't hurt anyone if you wanted to."
  363. >"I'm gonna take this moment to tell you that you've been warned."
  364. >She looks up at you, with those beautiful eyes of hers speaking a million unsaid words
  366. "You couldn't hurt a fly. You're just a big ol' softie."
  367. >Now it's your turn to be smug, and it feels great
  368. >It may have been a bit of a gamble, but now you can see that you have the unicorn beat
  369. >While you continue to look at her, with what feels like all the power in the world, she turns her head to the screen
  370. >"Maybe." she mutters weakly
  371. >That's all the confirmation you need. The outspoken, confident mare has a giant golden heart
  372. >"Anyway," she says with a bit of emphasis, "here's that track I was talking about earlier."
  374. >The song starts playing, and you instantly recognize the relaxed nature of it Vinyl described at the lounge bar
  375. >She hums along to the vocal clips with the voice of an angel
  376. >Honestly, even the high-pitched notes sound perfect. You hadn't expected that from her, partially because her regular speaking voice is a bit low for a mare
  378. >Completely lost in her own music, she goes on like this for the full length of the song, a good five minutes or so
  379. >Her head bobs along to the rhythm peacefully
  380. >She's truly in her element, doing what she loves
  381. >You just stand there all the while, appreciating both the song and the gorgeous mare who made it
  382. >When the last few notes fade away, Vinyl swings her desk chair around, a massive grin on her face
  383. >"I can dig it. You?"
  384. "Yeah, I can dig it too."
  385. >"Of course you can." she brags, cocky smile in tow
  386. >"Now for something with a little more energy."
  387. >A few clicks later, a high-tempo piece starts up, with a strong bass kicking in before too long
  388. >She stops the track a few times throughout, asking for your opinion on a particular drum loop or synth lead
  389. >Most of your suggestions are mixed right into the track and listened to a couple of times
  390. >A few even make it past the surprisingly professional discussion the two of you have about it
  391. >You don't actually know all that much about music theory, and all of your comments are purely based on gut feeling
  392. >In any case, you can tell that the sound design is very clean and neat, giving all of the tracks a very crisp sound
  395. >Actually, that makes you curious
  396. "So, Scratch, where did you learn to do all of this? Music academy?"
  397. >"Uhh, difficult question, really. I was messing around with music way before I ever thought about going to music academy. Never produced anything serious until a couple years ago, though. I guess it just kinda happened."
  398. >"I took the DJing job at the club about a year ago, thought it was a nice opportunity to maybe get my name out there a little. It doesn't earn me much... but you've probably noticed that that's not important."
  399. >Vinyl swivels her seat to face the window, and seemingly gazes out into the city
  400. "Well.. yeah."
  401. >...
  402. >"All thanks to my parents, they've put a lot of time and money into me. I just hope that my career takes off at some point, that it hasn't all been for nothing. I want to make them proud."
  403. >With those last few sentences, the conversation took a steep turn into emotional territory
  404. >A grave tone in the young mare's voice, along with the fact that she didn't move her head whatsoever whilst speaking, emphasize her mood
  405. >After another moment of silence, you get up from your own seat and place a hand on Vinyl's shoulder, a gesture she returns by leaning into you arm
  406. >Her shades are in the way, and so she floats them over to the desk
  407. >Her horn lightly pokes your forearm
  409. >"... it's not easy, Anon."
  410. >"O-- of course I have everything I could ever ask for, and I'm really thankful for that, but... but what if I... fail?
  411. >"What if I don't make a name for myself and have to depend on my parents' support forever?"
  412. >Her voice gets shaky as she sniffs, trying to hold the tears back
  413. >"I don't wanna be a failure..."
  414. >Despite her efforts, Vinyl can't stop it any more
  415. >Leaning out of her chair, she grabs you around your waist and cries into your shirt
  416. >Instinctively, you wrap your arms around her head and hold on tight
  418. >She goes quiet after a short while, but the (admittedly somewhat awkward due to her still sitting down) hug lasts a few more moments
  419. >When the embrace finally ends, you look into those beautiful eyes of hers, all puffy and reddish from her crying
  420. "You're forgetting one thing, Vinyl."
  421. "You are an immensely gifted and beautiful pony. Hell, I've heard only about an hour's worth of your own stuff, I don't know a damn thing about music production, but I can tell that you have an incredible talent for what you do."
  422. >A faint smile forms on her lips
  423. "There is not a single fiber in my body that doubts whether or not you'll make it for yourself. And I've only known you for half a day."
  424. >Her eyes are slightly watering again, but clearly it's not out of sorrow this time
  426. >"Thank you, Anon... That's so nice. I--"
  427. >A small tear of joy breaks through
  428. >"... I really needed that." she says, as she once again clutches you, this time with her face pressed against yours
  429. "Hmmm... it's okay"
  430. >It goes to show, even a pony whom you'd have assumed to be so carefree can have their problems and insecurities
  431. >Even when they're gorgeous, well-off and talented like the one who's currently hugging you
  433. >Once Vinyl's emotions have settled, she lets go of you
  434. >"Again, Anon, thank you. Thank you so much. I- I guess I really needed this."
  435. >You can't help but smile at such a gorgeous pony being completely yours, if just for a moment
  436. "No biggie, Scratch. Least I could've done... after you paid my drink for me."
  437. >That earned you a subdued, but not negligible, punch on your shoulder
  438. >"Shut up with the tough guy talk. You know what I mean."
  439. >And you did, of course, but the reaction this slight mix of sass and cockiness induced from Vinyl was kind of priceless
  440. >After all, there was no doubt she realized you were just having a bit of fun with those remarks
  442. >"Seriously though, Anon, I had a great time hanging out with you today."
  443. "Yeah, definitely. Me too, Vinyl."
  444. >"We should do this again sometime." she says, as she turns towards the living room (and with it, her front door)
  445. "Yeah, for sure. Have fun with that book..."
  446. >"I will" comes a very determined reply
  447. >Guess she saw that one coming
  448. "... Thief."
  449. >"Cheapass."
  450. >Damn
  451. "... Well played."
  452. >"Thanks. See you around! We'll text."
  453. >You give her a thumbs-up while backing away
  454. >She winks at you, which leaves you to assume that the meaning of your gesture was what you intended
  455. >Damn ponies and their lack of fingers, they're hard to judge sometimes
  457. >And with that, the door closes and you're left to the luxurious hallways on your own
  458. >Well, today was definitely an experience
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