Octavia would never dare admit it to another pony, but that morning was not the first morning in which she had awoken in the painful vice grip of a hangover. It wasn't the first time her taste for whiskey had gotten the better of her either, nor the first time that her thirst for it had become quite this excessive.
It was, however, the first time it had landed her in bed with another mare.
She blearily opened her eyes, the open curtains allowed Celestia's sun to invade her retinas in full force, making her clamp them shut again. She then clamped a pair of hooves to her head, and took up the foetal position. The irritatingly familiar sensation that made every noise seem like a horrifically out-of-tune violin being played in her skull returned. She summoned the energy from her massively depleted reserves to stretch her limbs, which relieved her aches, slightly.
Octavia stepped once more unto the breach, opening her eyes to find a fortunately placed cloud was blocking the sun, allowing her eyes to roam freely around the room. She rapidly ascertained that she wasn't at home, and slowly turned her head to see the white mare barely an inch from her snout, forelegs outstretched in Octavia's direction. Octavia slowly slid away from the imminent unconscious embrace, taking refuge close to the edge of the bed.
Many dilemmas and altercations occurred in Octavia's head at that moment. The other mare was quite clearly asleep at this point, hopefully irredeemably so. Octavia cast her eyes around her surroundings, attempting to divine an exit from all the clutter and detritus strewn around the room. Octavia glanced one more at Vinyl, who unconsciously pawed at her ear with a stray hoof. Fast asleep. Perfect. Octavia slowly slid herself out the bed, muffling the clopping of her hooves on the carpet. She had found her cello case, and was in the process of searching out an entrance, when she heard a groan from the bed she had recently abandoned.
At that moment, Vinyl woke up. She blearily opened her eyes to acquire the look of complete shock on Octavia's face. She attempted a weak smile, well aware of what the situation looked like. Octavia's eyes simply tracked the other mare as she sat up, rubbed her ruby-red eyes with her forehooves, then planted her trademark shades back over her eyes. A slight shake of the head, and her mane fell into place.
"And who, may I ask, are you?"
Vinyl scratched the back of her head lightly, tousling her mane.
"Vinyl Scratch, though most know me by my stage name, DJ Pon-Three."
She offered a hoof that Octavia gingerly shook. Octavia found it difficult to trust a pony who only introduced themselves after waking up in bed with other ponies. She narrowed her eyes as far as her manners would allow, glancing between Vinyl and the bed with a demanding stare.
"Oh, right. Course. You wanna know why we woke up in bed together?"
"It is a question I would like answered, yes."
Once more, Vinyl scratched the back of her head, if only to take her hoof off the pedal and give her brain a moment's respite.
"Well, you were completely out of it last night. I tried to find somepony to call to pick you up, but you didn't have any numbers in your case. So I figured I'd let you sleep it off here, and I just slept on the end of the bed there. Nothing happened."
"Ah." Octavia chuckled nervously, pawing at the back of her head with a stray hoof.
"I...I must have forgotten to pack it, of course. Silly me, there must be a lot of ponies out there wondering where I am."
"Sure thing, you want breakfast in the mean time?"
Octavia fervently shook her head, a motion in which Vinyl seemed unlearned in its exact meaning.
"Oh, no thank you. I don't want to impose on you any further."
"Hey, it's no problem. You've stayed to chat longer than most of the fillies and colts I wake up with."
Vinyl shot a wink to Octavia, before disappearing into her kitchenette. Octavia's alcohol-addled mind mused over the meaning of the comment for longer than would probably seem necessary, before reaching the intended ultimatum. She coughed lightly, leaning in the doorway to watch Vinyl guiding various items around the room in an aura of pearly-white magic.
"You make a common habit of guiding ponies back to your home? Do you find a lot of drunken fillies and colts at your work?"
"Hehe, some drunk, some aren't. Normally the same result, though."
Vinyl could see by Octavia's expression that her suggestive phrases were lost on her.
"As in, sometimes, we come home for some...fun."
"Fun. Not the kind with spiders on Nightmare Night, if you get my meaning."
Realisation swept over Octavia, as she finally caught onto Vinyl's implications.
"Oh, you're a...explains the bar, I suppose. I'm not having any part of that, no thank you. No offence intended, but-."
"Whoa! Cool down, filly, I would've done it by now anyway, if I wanted to. Anyway, I'm pretty hungry at the moment, you want something? I haven't got work 'til six anyways."
"I...I suppose, thank you. You said I was tipsy last night, am I right?"
Vinyl chuckled as she levitated various utensils to provide a pair of filled cereal bowls, alongside a side plate stacked with toast.
"More than tipsy. I suppose a posh pony like yourself would say 'gazeboed,' or maybe just, 'lampshaded?'"
She floated a bowl over to Octavia, filled to the brim with milk and crunchy, chocolate cereal.
"Foals' cereal? I'll pass, thank you. I like to claim a certain maturity in my breakfast."
"Hey! I read the box, it's fortified with vitamins! Healthy lifestyle and all that!"
"Well, regardless of that. You took me home while drunk, and your first thought was to take me to your bed?"
Vinyl paused between mouthfuls of her Cheerileeos, mulling over Octavia's worried expression.
"Even if I was in that mood, you were kinda...out of it, filly. I'm no expert, but you normally need to be awake."
"I am no drunkard! And would you please stop calling me, 'filly?'"
Vinyl shot Octavia a sly grin, then chomped down another mouthful of cereal, enjoying the indignation on the cellist's face.
"Very witty, now if you'll please, I'd like my cello case so I can leave."
"No problem. It's over there. Besides, it's a bit big for a cello, doncha think? More like a double bass than a cello. A...bassello?"
Octavia put on her most convincing deadpan, laced with exasperation.
"Your knowledge of instruments amazes me. It's a custom-made piece. Anyway, I'm going home, where I plan to gather a more...substantial breakfast. No disrespect intended, thank you."
She cast a furtive glance around the apartment, once more searching out the exit. She noted that she couldn't tell what colour the actual carpet itself was.
"Five-star livin' here. Besides, I doubt you could do much better anyway."
Vinyl was still burrowing through her cereal, not even raising her attention to Octavia as she attempted to exit the apartment.
Octavia halted on her way out the door. More often than not she simply brushed off challenges, acutely aware of her superiority over most competitors. This mare, however, she felt needed to be shown just how superior she was, especially without that confounded horn to multitask with.
"I'll have you know, I am quite the chef...in fact. In fact, if you knew anything about me, you'd know my talents are widespread."
Vinyl didn't even wait for her cereal to be swallowed, simply deciding to let her words work around it.
"Glad to be in your prescence, m'lady Octavia." She gave a fake bow, then went back to her cereal.
"How...eloquent. I assume you know me from the-."
"Musician's weekly." Vinyl floated Octavia's special issue over to her. "Not bad, being front cover and all, I'll give you that. Still, not really the place for a chef, eh?"
Octavia felt her cheeks begin to heat with her temper. Vinyl, however, remained as lucidly calm as always.
"I'm a mare of many talents, Miss Scratch. I can turn my hooves to any task. In fact, I'll be more than happy to show you. Assuming, of course, you can escape your strenuous work."
"I have Thursday off. Whatever time you want."
Octavia smiled. Not an excessively happy smile, more the smile an exasperated stallion dons when his in-laws appear at the door for a surprise visit.
"Okay, Thursday. Seven PM, exactly please. I'll prepare a dinner for us, as a thank you, if you will. I'll leave my card on the side here."
"I am glad to be rewarded for my services, Madam Octavia. Do you always make dinner for mares you wake up in bed with?"
Vinyl smiled as she closed the door behind Octavia. She giggled through her Cheerileeos as she pressed her ear to the door, listening to the irritated mutters and groans echoing down the hallway.