A/N: Chapter 1 is up, so I hope you enjoy. Please enjoy the material, and eat some cookies. R&R, as always.
Music Choice - X Rated and X Rated (The Remixes) by Excision.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters associated with My Little Pony: Friendship is magic, nor the original story.
Chapter 1: Time Change
"For the last time, I want that near the front so I can get it out easily. And you! Be careful with that, it costs more than you make in a year!" I shouted angrily at the movers. Tavi hadn't been kidding when she said they were fast, but they certainly weren't the most delicate...and the storage unit was small as is.
The largest stallion, who was single-hoofedly moving an amplifier as large as him, sighed as he set it down...decidedly a little more gently. "Listen dame, you wanted this stuff moved fast, and that's what we're doin'. Ya want it moved all gentle-like, yer gonna pay us for the extra time."
I growled and snorted angrily. "First of all, don't call me 'dame', buddy. Second, you can be fast and gentle at the same time...I know by experience, and if I hear an off-color remark about that, all four of you get to live the rest of your lives without the ability to please a mare." Just to punctuate my point, I lit up my horn and levitated twelve serrated knives out of the cutlery set Tavi gifted me...which I still hadn't used in over a year. Take-out is better than anything I could ever cook.
"W-woah, woah! Chill out!" the stallion replied in fear. He motioned to his buddies and said, "C'mon guys, faster...and don't break nothin'!"
I sighed and put the knives away, and lowered my head. "Sorry about that...I'm just on a really tight schedule right now, and this stuff means a hay of a lot to me. Tell ya what, you guys do a good job, and I'll add on an extra 50% as a tip. Sound good?"
The stallion I had been talking to grinned and nodded. "Now yer speakin' my language. Alright boys, let's get this done double-time! And Celestia help me, if you break something, I will literally take the value out of your hides!"
The three other stallions hopped to it, and it seemed almost as if I was dealing with a different crew altogether. I grinned and said, "Now that's what I'm talkin' about. Thanks, guys."
"So, uh, why ya movin' to Ponyville?" he asked curiously.
The question hit me, and I couldn't help but sweat a bit in nervousness. "Umm...it's kinda personal."
He waved a hoof at me. "No problem...just tryin' to make some friendly conversation is all. I mean, it's not everyday a Canterlot DJ comes to live in Ponyville."
I shrugged. "Well, I got a sister here, and she says its very nice so I thought what the hay, y'know?"
"Hey boss, we're done!" shouted one of the younger colts.
The "boss" nodded with a smile. "Great job, colts. Alright...let's get the rest of this place to..."
I reached into my monogrammed saddlebag and fished out a parchment, reading off, "Uh...Ponyville Southwest, Lot 322."
The crew all nodded before packing up the last bit of belongings I had and following me towards the main town.
"Where the hay is 322?" I shouted in frustration.
The "boss" stallion chuckled and asked, "Ya don't know where your own sister lives?"
I sighed and slumped a bit as we stopped in the middle of town. "I haven't visited my sister before...she always visited me in Canterlot. We haven't lived together since we were foals." I shrugged. "Shouldn't be hard to find though. I mean, how many pegasi can there be in Ponyville?"
"Wait wait wait, your sister's a pegasus? How does that work?" one of the colts asked curiously.
I shrugged. "Mom was a pegasus, dad was a unicorn. We were born fraternal twins...and here we are. I'm not sure how it happened, but it did." I then sighed as I looked up at the sky. "Anyway, I want to get settled in and I'm sure you all want to get home, so I guess I'll just have to ask for directions." As I said this, I spotted a light blue pegasus touch down in the middle of the market across from us, and she had the most amazing mane and tail, which copied a rainbow. I trotted over to her and tapped her gently on the shoulder.
The young mare turned around to see me and grinned. "Hey there! What's up?"
I levitated the parchment over to her so she could read it. "I'm looking for this property. Any idea where it is?"
She looked over the parchment for a few moments before nodding. "Sure, I know where that is. Follow me." She then took to the skies, but flew slow enough so the five of us could keep up.
I shrugged as I looked back to the moving crew. "Well, we have a direction now, guys. C'mon...almost done."
We had been following the helpful pegasus for a little while as she led us to my sister's home, and I couldn't help but notice how late the day was becoming as we continued to trot on the outskirts of the town.
But suddenly, "Alright, here we are!"
I looked up at the cyan mare and grinned. "Cool! Thanks a lot, umm..."
"Rainbow Dash." the mare offered with a smile. She then looked to the home in front of us and frowned, then looked back to me in confusion as she noticed all of the stuff we were hauling. "Wait, why are we at Fluttershy's house? And what's with all the stuff?"
I shrugged. "I'm kinda moving in with her..."
Her eyes widened. "Fluttershy's getting a roommate?" Her expression then darkened a bit as she said, "Or are you her special somepony that she never told me about?"
I couldn't help but snort a laugh as she said this, but shook my head. "No...I'm not some secret marefriend of hers."
This just caused her more confusion as she asked, "Well who are you then?"
"She's my sister, Rainbow Dash." came a sweet, gentle voice from behind the rainbow-maned pegasus.
From behind the flamboyant mare came the shyest, kindest pony I'd ever known...and her soft, gentle coloration only played to her personality. In a lot of ways she was my complete opposite, but those differences were the things I loved the most about her.
She trotted over without even thinking about it, and wrapped her arms around me tightly as she sighed happily. "Oh Venicea, I missed you."
I wrapped my hooves around my sister and hugged her tightly, reveling in the strength she provided me. In many ways, she'd always been my rock in life...the one thing I could always count on, no matter what. As much as her outward personality said otherwise, she was always the stronger of the two of us, physically and emotionally. It was in fact part of the reason I'd chosen to stay with her.
A snort of laughter was heard from behind me, along with, "Your name is Venicea?"
I released Fluttershy and turned around to Rainbow Dash with a sigh. "My birth name is Venicea Ruby Scarborough. I use a different name when I'm DJ'ing...you probably know me as Vinyl Scratch."
Rainbow Dash looked between me and my sister before Fluttershy sighed and lowered her head. "Flutter Barricade Scarborough."
Rainbow Dash stared at the two of us as if we had suddenly grown a horn and wings (respectively). "Wow. I feel like I'm just getting to know you for the first time, Flutters."
A throat cleared behind me, and I turned to see the "boss" moving stallion staring at me impatiently. "Look, I hate ta break up the reunion here, but we got a job to do."
I chuckled and nodded. "Alright then sis, show them where to put my stuff."
"O-oh, okay then." Fluttershy mumbled before trotting back to her house, the moving stallions in tow with my things.
Rainbow Dash stayed outside with me, looking over me curiously.
After a few minutes of this, I got uncomfortable and said, "What? Do I have something on my face?"
She blushed a bit in embarrassment and said, "No, it's just...I didn't know Flutters knew anypony as awesome as you is all, let alone was related to you."
The half put-down on my sister triggered a bit of annoyance in me as I blurted, "Hey, she's a lot cooler than you know."
Rainbow Dash laughed and shook her head. "Fluttershy is awesome in her own way, but I don't think 'cool' would be a good way to describe her. I think I know her well enough to realize that."
I shook my head with a grin. "No you don't. Nopony knows her better than I do, and if you don't think she's cool, you're missing out on a really big part of her." I really looked at her for the first time, and nodded. "You know, she's mentioned you a few times before. If you're as good of friends as she seems to think the two of you are, you should get to know her better. Stop talking about yourself for once, and listen to what she has to say."
In less than a second, she was up in my face, snorting angrily as she growled, "Hey! She's my best friend! You make it sound like I'm some showy pony that talks about herself all day!"
I didn't even flinch as she floated in front of me, but instead levitated my glasses to sit on my horn and stared directly back at her. Once she caught sight of my eyes, she backed off a bit and landed all four hooves on the ground again. I kept my voice level as I said, "If you ever roll up on me like that again, I'll make sure you don't fly for a week."
Rainbow Dash cringed a bit and smiled sheepishly. "S-sorry, you just said all those things and I got kinda..."
"Hot-headed?" I offered dryly. "Like I said, she's told me a little about you. And before you take what I'm saying as all bad, she's also mentioned that you're her best friend too." I sighed and shook my head. "Look, all I'm saying is slow down for once and really talk to her. Ask her what her dreams are, what she wants to do with her life...you know, deep stuff. It's important to her, and if you really want to be the best friend you can be, you should know those things."
She nodded a few times before answering with a simple, "Okay."
I smiled and said, "Cool. Anyway, tell Pinkie Pie that we can have my party tomorrow at around 8 p.m. I'm sure she's already planning one by now, but I got stuff to do tonight, so tomorrow would work better." I trotted over to her and gently laid my hoof on her shoulder. "Look, I'm sorry about earlier...I just care about my sister a lot is all, and I want what's best for her. If you care about her as much as you think you do, just think about what I said. Now, I'll see you tomorrow night at the party, alright?"
Rainbow Dash seemed a bit in a daze for a few moments before she shook her head and grinned. "Cool! Alright then, I'll head and tell Pinks the news. Anyway, welcome to Ponyville!" With that, she sped away towards the town.
I trotted back towards the cottage and pushed the door open, seeing the three stallions talking to a very meek Fluttershy, so I decided to step in and get them out so that she could relax.
I walked over to the four of them and levitated a bag of bits out and dropped it in the lead stallion's saddlebag. "So, great job you guys, I really appreciate it."
The "boss" fished the bit bag out of his saddlebag and stared at it for a moment before turning to me. "Don't you need change?"
I shook my head with a smile. "Like I said, you guys did a good job, and you did it quick. Whatever's in there, keep it. Buy your mare something nice or have a drink on me...whichever applies better."
He nodded with a happy grin. "Well thanks, Miss Scratch. You be sure and let us know if you need anything else."
I nodded as I ushered them out the door. "I will guys, don't worry. You all take care!" As the last one left, I shut the door behind them and slid down the back of it with a loud sigh. "Finally..."
Fluttershy trotted over and gently nuzzled my face as she asked, "O-oh my, are you okay?"
I sighed and shrugged as I stood. "I'll be fine once I get a good meal and a good sleep. Moving's always stressful."
She giggled and nodded. "Well I hope you're hungry, because I'm making us carrot casserole tonight!"
I chuckled and nudged my sister affectionately. "You spoil me, sis."
She giggled again before trotting away. "Well, I thought that you could use a good meal, and it's Angel's favorite too, so it's good for everypony! You just make yourself at home, and I'll call you when it's done."
I nodded as I trotted over to a large sofa she kept, sprawling myself across it. "Sounds good. Speaking of Angel, where is the little furball anyway?"
As if summoned by my question, the white rabbit hopped into the room from one of the back rooms of the house. He froze when he saw me, a very uncommon smile making its way onto his face. Besides Fluttershy, I was probably the only other pony in the world who had ever seen anything besides a scowl on his face.
Angel wasted no time before bounding onto the cushion in front of me with a wide smile, and I chuckled as I patted his head gently. "Hey there, killer. It's been awhile." He chattered happily before jumping off of the sofa, beckoning me to follow him. I chuckled again and stood, trotting after the white rabbit through the house.
This was one of the things that Fluttershy just couldn't figure out about me. For some reason, Angel liked me...and from what I'd been told, that bunny didn't like anypony. I figured it was because I didn't take his crap like Fluttershy did, and he respected me for that. I mean, I love my sister to death, but she was a doormat if there ever was one. She needed ponies like me, and bunnies like Angel, to make sure other ponies didn't take advantage of her. I had always done it when we were younger, and Angel took over when I couldn't visit so much anymore. It was a bit of an unspoken agreement between the two of us.
Angel had disappeared around the corner of the hallway a few seconds ago, motioning for me to stay put as he rummaged through a room that I hadn't been allowed into in a long time. Once upon a time, it had been a guest room for when Fluttershy would have family or friends over...but I had the feeling that such a visit wasn't all that common, so I assumed it was a sort of storage room now.
As I waited, I could smell the amazing scent of the food my sister was cooking. She'd always been a goddess in the kitchen, and even though she'd never admit it, ponies would readily pay for her culinary skills. Still, like my skill for martial arts, it was a skill born of necessity, not passion. We both loved our respective hobbies, but they were just that...hobbies. I was never going to become a world-famous fighter any more than my sister would become a palace chef, but that didn't mean we didn't appreciate each other for our skills.
I turned my eyes to the hallway as I heard the door open, and saw as a mess of some knitted fabric bounced out before stopping in front of me. Angel's head poked out from behind the bundle of cloth, and he smiled as he held it up to me.
I gasped when I saw what it was.
Gently, I levitated it out of his grasp, noting the familiar embroidery done by Fluttershy of both of our cutie marks, along with the face of a little white bunny. It was a scarf, and had been a memento given to me by my sister before we split up so many years ago. I'd told her to keep it until I came back. The bunny on it was not Angel of course, as he hadn't even been born at the time. Instead, it had been my own white rabbit pet. It was the reason Fluttershy was so partial to Angel...he reminded her of our first pet together, and his personality reminded her of me.
I sniffled a bit as I rubbed the soft fabric against my cheek. "You're making me cry, Angel. Not cool, dude." I took a deep breath before wrapping the scarf around my neck and nodding to the bunny. "C'mon...let's go get some of that awesome food."
Angel nodded and used the hanging bit of scarf to pull himself up onto my back, and the two of us made our way to Fluttershy's small dining area, which was little more than a small table and a few sitting cushions. It made sense of course, as it was unlikely she would ever be having a party or something at her house, but even with that being the case, it was small.
"You found it." she voiced gently as I approached.
I looked up to see Fluttershy standing in the small kitchen with a wide smile, and grinned right back. "I didn't...apparently Angel thought it'd be a good idea to show it to me." I chuckled nervously and said, "I feel kinda bad, I actually forgot about this thing."
My sister trotted over and pulled the scarf off of me, floating into the air and hanging it on the coat hook on the wall near the front door. "Don't feel bad...it's not like you had a reminder of it every day. Besides, I'm sure you were very busy."
I shrugged with a grin. "I basically stopped sleeping ever since I moved to Canterlot. I mean, I thought Manehattan was crazy, but wow...I had no idea. Did you know that Princess Luna likes the nightlife?"
"Well she is the princess of the night, Venicia." Fluttershy commented with a giggle as she sat next to me.
I chuckled and nodded. "Yeah, I guess that makes sense. Still, I never thought I'd see her at my shows."
"She holds you in very high esteem, you know." she replied. I looked at her quizzically, and she answered, "The princess, I mean. Twilight keeps an open flow of letters and such to make sure she doesn't get lonely, and Twilight's told me that the princess has mentioned you more than a few times."
I chuckled and said, "Seems like the princess has a thing for DJ P0N-3."
Fluttershy gasped and shook her head. "O-oh dear, I hope not."
I chuckled and nudged her gently. "Nah, that'd be awesome! I mean just picture it: Vinyl Scratch is so awesome, even the princess wants her. At the very least, it'd be great publicity."
"W-well maybe, but would you be able to go through with it?" she asked nervously.
I raised an eyebrow as I asked, "Go through with what?"
Fluttershy's timid nature shone forth as she stammered, "W-well, courting th-the princess. She um...she doesn't t-take rejection well."
My eyes widened a bit as I realized what she was saying. "Oh...you're right, that could be a problem. I hope she just likes my music."
My sister looked at me with worry as she asked, "Wait, you mean you wouldn't court the princess? I mean, I'm not interested in fillies, but even I can admit she's very beautiful. And...well you..."
"I what?" I asked with growing concern.
Fluttershy gulped nervously as she answered, "W-well you and Octavia..."
The mere mention of her name caused me to tense up. I'd had a crush on my gray earth pony friend for as long as I could remember, but all throughout school, I also remembered her turning down advances from other fillies whenever they'd happen...so I just kept my feelings to myself. Then again, I couldn't remember if she'd even been asked by colts either, but I didn't really pay attention to that side of the "equation". It didn't matter...all I could tell was that she didn't like fillies that way, so I had to keep quiet. I thought back to earlier in the week, when Octavia and I had shared that last night together in my condo, and how we'd fallen asleep together. It wasn't an uncommon occurrence, but while for her it was about wanting to be close to her best friend, for me it was a guilty pleasure...one she didn't know about. It made me feel dirty and like a liar when I thought about it, but during the moments it happened, I didn't care. All I wanted was one more touch, one more hug...one more word of affection from her lips.
I looked back to my sister, meeting her turquoise eyes with my own as I shook my head, fighting to keep a playful smirk on my mouth. "Nah, she and I never went out. She's not bent that way." My own sexuality was pretty well-known by my sister though, so I still had to think up a reason why I wouldn't court the princess if given the chance. It took me a few seconds, but I found one reasonable enough to use. "As far as the princess, I wouldn't want to risk it. If things turned out badly, it would probably destroy my career, and then I could have a vengeful princess trying to think of a way to get back at me."
"Oh...well I guess that makes sense." Fluttershy replied.
I nodded, just barely resisting letting out a sigh of relief. "Yeah. I don't know, if things ever come to that, I guess I'll ask your friend Twilight to talk to her."
A small bell sounded, and my sister leapt up with a wide smile. "Oh! Dinner's ready!"
Dinner with my sister was amazing, as it always was, and I was treated to the sight of seeing Angel's entire face covered with mushy carrots and hay noodles. It wasn't very often anypony actually got to see the bunny relax and let his ears down, but when he did, he was a riot.
The three of us laughed most of the time we were at the table, and the time we were actually eating was just as good, with a soft, companionable silence descended on the three of us. It allowed me to forget about Octavia again, because I thought that maybe if I didn't think about her as much, the pain of not seeing her would start to overshadow the pain of knowing she could never be mine. It was a fair trade, but that didn't make it any easier to bear.
The remainder of the day was spent taking inventory of what I'd brought, as well as placing it all in its proper areas. I would be sharing a room with my sister until we cleaned out the guest room the day after tomorrow, but for now, it was nice to be in such close quarters with Fluttershy. I guess that part of me never really grew up. Even as a filly, the two of us would often lay in bed together, talking about anything and everything until we fell asleep. We were as close as two sisters could be, even with how different we were as ponies.
The only thing that put a slight damper on my spirits was the reminder I had left myself in my saddlebag. Hastily scrawled on a parchment and taped to my extra pair of glasses was a message that said, "Send letter to Tavi."
When I had left this morning, I'd made a solemn vow to her that I'd keep in touch, even if it was just a simple letter to let her know that I'd made it to Ponyville okay. So I sat down on the floor in Fluttershy's room, pulled a fresh parchment and pen out from my saddlebag, and set about writing.
Nearly two hours had passed, the sun had set, and Fluttershy was closing up her home for the night, making sure all her animal friends were taken care of. It was a good thing too, because she would have made a big deal of things if she'd seen me now.
I was sitting in front of the parchment, the pen still floating in my magical grip, but only five words had been written in all that time:
" Dear Tavi,
I miss you."
It pissed me off too. This was just supposed to be a simple letter to let her know that I was alright and that things were going good so far...but instead all I could think, all I could write apparently, was that I missed her. I cared about my sister a lot, more than I did anypony else, but just like no pony could ever be a replacement for her, she also couldn't replace Octavia.
I was glad I was with Fluttershy again. It had been too long since we'd seen each other, and it was great we were living together for now, but I still felt lonely. It was strange too, because it wasn't as if Octavia and I saw each other every day or anything. I think more than anything, it was the reality that I couldn't just trot down the street to see her anymore. Even during the times when I'd been away on tour or something, I'd always send her letters to let her know important stuff...but right now, all that was important was her, and how much I missed her already.
I hoped she didn't feel the same way, because that would just make me feel worse. She was part of the reason I left Canterlot after all, so if I found out that she was as lonely as I was, it was just going to make me feel worse. No matter how much I cared about Octavia, it had started to hurt over the years, knowing that no matter how bad I wanted it, she could never be mine...I could never hold her quite the way I wanted to, and could never kiss her goodnight. It was something I could never tell her, because knowing the way she was, she would end up blaming herself or something.
So instead, I'd stay quiet, and use filler material.
The letter did end up getting written, as I forced myself to basically just tell her what happened today. When I was finished, I wrapped it up in a blue ribbon and set it aside to mail tomorrow. I stared at the finished letter for a long time, wondering if this would be enough. I hoped it would...if I ever stopped hearing from her because we drifted apart, my life would fall to ruin. I hated the fact that I cared about her that much, but at the same time, I wouldn't change it.
Fluttershy would find me that night, having cried myself to sleep with a rolled-up parchment in my grasp.