"So remind me, why do you want me to come with you, Octy?"
Octavia covered her face with a hoof, sighing into the sole. "Because I can hardly be seen to go to such an event alone."
Vinyl mused over the comment as the pair trotted towards the performance hall. It was just visible in the distance, exactly the sort of thing Victorian-era ponies thought would look cool. To Vinyl, it just looked old. She couldn't help but remember the jumpers her grandmare would knit for her as a filly, and she'd have to wear, begrudgingly. She stopped her daydreaming, turning back to Octavia.
"And you don't have any friends who would...y'know, actually like this kinda music?"
Octavia didn't meet her gaze, but she saw her eyes track everywhere from the floor to awkwardly pointing away to her right. Anywhere but a place where she'd meet Vinyl's own gaze.
"They were...all busy. You know, playing their own orchestral pieces and the like." She followed with a grin that made Vinyl want to push further, however, she felt there was probably a reason for the obvious lie. Instead, she changed the subject to something less awkward.
"And why did I have to leave my shades behind. You know the looks I get 'cause of my eyes."
"What sort of looks? Your eyes are perfectly fine!"
Vinyl snorted, a little puff of steam burst out into the cold, winter air. "Apart from the fact they're crimson-red. It was cool in high-school, but annoying now. Everypony jokes that I'm the Nightmare with eyes like these."
Octavia giggled, bucking her rump slightly to readjust the cello case slung over her back. "Oh Vinyl, you do say such foalish things. I think your eyes are lovely, really."
"Oh, you do, do you?" Vinyl leaned in with her voice, making the full weight of the implications known.
"Well...as far as eyes go, they're quite striking...I mean...oh, look. We're here!"
Vinyl barely stopped herself from trotting straight into the form of a particularly buffed-out bodyguard. He was the kind of bodyguard you knew couldn't actually fight, and was simply a large slab of sapient muscle. However, the hours of body-building and gallons of protein shakes had the desired effect, and Vinyl shrunk back from him.
Octavia simply sauntered by him, pushing an insistent hoof onto Vinyl's withers to get her moving again. She held out her ticket-plus-one in between her teeth, which was carefully grabbed by one of the bodyguard's hooves, and ripped in two. He waved them through, glaring at Vinyl as though daring her to try something. Vinyl didn't know what he expected her to try, but felt that amongst the toffs and posh ponies that frequented these sort of establishments, she must seem like a shoplifter. Something she hadn't been for five years, she'd like to have pointed out. Sadly, Octavia's insistent pushing had moved her far past the bodyguard, which was obviously luckier for him than her.
"Octy, you can stop pushing me. I'd like you to get your hoof off my rump at least."
Tiny trickles of blood seeped into Octavia's cheeks. "I was simply pushing you away before the bodyguard apprehended you for starting a fight or something. They can be quite prejudiced here."
"Aren't I lucky to have a guardian pegasus like you? Right, now where's the refreshments!" Vinyl slammed her forehooves together, rubbing them eagerly against each other.
"Through here, Vinyl. And please, don't show me up tonight. This could be career-making for me. Just...mingle, in as polite a manner as you can muster."
"Will do, Octy. I'll just camp near the nibbles."
Vinyl fled on her food-bound vector, homing in on a plate of something that looked both fancy, and chocolate coated. It had to be made by a high-class chef if it was in here, so in theory, it had to taste good too. Meanwhile, Octavia had ventured into the crowd looking for a seat, until she was sidelined by an infamously familiar green unicorn.
"Well, well, well. If it isn't Octavia the cellist. Found another piece of driftwood to play your low-brow concertos on?"
Octavia whirled around to the source, a smug grin ready and waiting on her visage. "My, my, Lyra! Still playing your tinny, little harp?"
"This lyre, is pure gold, hoofmade by gilders. Another league compared to that lump of dead tree you play on."
"Hah. It's most likely gold-painted tin. Besides, the pony operating the instrument is far more essential, and my cellos is in pristine hooves."
"Pfft, your earth-pony gimmick might be keeping the hoof-draggers happy for now, but you couldn't even tell a tremolo from a piccolo!"
Vinyl had sat with a box of something resembling popcorn, which had instead been coated with caviar, chocolate, and anything fancy the chef could get his hooves on. The entertainment far outclassed the refreshments, she made mental notes on which insults pushed Octavia's buttons the most. A timid earth pony came from behind her, beige-coated with a puffy pink and purple mane. She tapped Vinyl on the shoulder, causing her to spin round mid-insult.
"You're Octavia's friend, right?"
Vinyl swallowed the popcorn, somewhat regretting the chef's choice of adding quail's eggs to the garnish of that hoofful. "I suppose I could be called that. Vinyl Scratch, pleased to make your acquaintance." She offered a hoof, which the earth pony took in a firm shake.
"Bonbon. I see Octavia and Lyra have already started their catchup."
"Yup, it's pretty fun to watch. I'm guessing their not great friends."
"Oh, it's sad that they rile each other up so much. Honestly, they'll be there until their sets come up. If you'd like, we can grab some good seats in the theatre. Best to get somewhere close to the front for the performance before they're all taken."
Vinyl mulled over the idea, her eyes listing over to see Octavia vehemently gesturing at the green unicorn in a way she found very endearing. She couldn't hear what she was saying anymore, as the murmur in the room had masked Octavia's level-volumed rage. She nodded to BonBon, grabbing a tray of tiny cupcakes with edible ball-bearings on them as she exited. A waiter smiled at her as she passed, his coat light brown with an hourglass cutie mark. One last glance revealed Octavia to be making hoof gestures for less cultured than she would like to believe. Ultimately, Vinyl made a mental note to tease her for everything such a transgression was worth.