Vinyl snuck the tip of her hoof under the record, flicking it so that the record somersaulted up into the air, before catching it with her teeth. She bowed and thanked her audience, before revealing her iridescent grin to Octavia. Octavia was loathe to admit it, but Vinyl had thrived without the aid of her horn. Though she had to give Vinyl her due, she was glad the show had went without any catastrophic failures that would culminate in the mob storming the stage. Octavia still had to buy the drinks tonight, though.
"So, Octy. Shall we head to the bar for those drinks you owe me?"
Octavia tried her best to save face. Which, for her, meant she took up a huffy posture with her forelegs crossed.
"I suppose, considering I lost my wager. It must be said that you did well tonight. However...I'd prefer somewhere with a bit more..." She glanced at the clientele, noting the general slack-jawed look of them all. "...Liveliness, and some elegance to boot."
"Y'know, Octy. For once, I'm feelin' the same thing. Must be because it's free for me!"
Her grin was on the verge of turning into a supernova. Octavia simply sighed, waving a hoof at the exit.
"Very well. I'll allow you to choose the place, seeing as you are the winner and all that...for now, at least."
The pair exited the bar, Octavia flatly refusing the proffered free bottle of Stella Artrot, which was the crucible of all she despised in the lager industry. The opiate of the cheap, lager-swilling masses that really had no position in civilised society. Obviously, an establishment of this calibre, or lack thereof, simply didn't stock anything worthy of her palette, so she departed with Vinyl to the uptown district, where proceedings were often met with more coherent elegance.
They eventually found themselves sitting in a modern wine-bar that seemed to embrace the colour purple in its entire spectrum. Light-purple carpets were lit by almost pink lighting, the stainless-steel trim reflected all the colour around it, inevitably appearing purple itself. Even the barcolt was purple, and Octavia couldn't help but feel that he was the kind that wouldn't deny a tight hug from another colt. He had a very forward and feminine attitude that made Octavia want to pay her bill as rapidly as possible, and retreat to the furthest possible corner of the room.
So it was that Octavia was sitting comfortably on the plush, cushioned seating, sipping a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Wine was something Octavia enjoyed in lieu of the whiskey she often craved, it irritated her that so few establishments in Canterlot knew a good drink from a terrible one. The fact that they continued to offer their customers the vulgar sewage water they did, while failing to stock anything with at least a little character, astounded Octavia. She feared that she would rapidly deplete any chance of finding a good whiskey bar at all. Thankfully, this bar was a tiny fiefdom of classy sense in the cultural swamp of Canterlot, even if the lighting was pushing Octavia's vision into the ultraviolet.
She swirled the glass, before taking another sip. The light, but noticeable, hint of gooseberry pleased her palette as it washed over her taste buds. She had ensured to ask for Sauvignon Blanc hailing from Neigh Zealand, specifically Mareborough, where the very gooseberry hint she enjoyed in the wine was most evident. Not as enjoyable as the smoky taste of her favourite Jura, with its overtones of oak, and its smooth texture. Still, it was a good stand-in for the refined spirit.
Vinyl, obviously, opted for a glass of Bacolti, for which Octavia chided her, eliciting an airy comment about how the pair acted like an old couple from the barcolt. This only furthered her wish to evade the barcolt with haste. The two were now seated at the table, directing their attention to the other patrons in the bar. Vinyl tapped Octavia's foreleg, then failed to subtly point at a pair of mares sharing a drink at the bar. One was a chocolate-brown mare, her hooves coloured a sickly-sweet yellow, and her hair a menagerie of shades ranging from deep brown to caramel yellow. The pony next to her was as lucidly clean as the other was sickly and chocolaty. Her coat was the purest white, her hooves also ending in strange, natural socks, only hers were pink. Her mane was a spectrum from the lightest to the most vibrant shades of pink, but it was the cutie mark that Vinyl was pointing at.
"What sorta pony has ice-cream for a cutie mark?"
"I wouldn't know, maybe her talent is for...eating ice-cream? Or making them? Why don't you go ask her, and let her know you were staring at her flank?"
Octavia shot Vinyl a challenge through her smile, who nonchalantly waved it away with a foreleg.
"Maybe she sells ice-cream. She could sell ice-cream and ice-cream accessories?"
"What is an ice-cream accessory anyway? What's the other one's cutie mark? Something with a loveheart...what do you think?"
"I dunno, if it is an ice-cream eating cutie mark the other has, she's got a great figure despite it."
Octavia choked as she was sipping her wine, spurting it out over the table, and causing, quite frankly, a most embarrassing scene. One which the barcolt seemed spring-loaded to pounce on.
"Oh, darling, don't fret, and do hold on just a moment! I'll just gather a paper towel or two. Excuse me ladies," he squeezed past the ice-cream pony and her friend, before returning, said paper towels levitating ahead of him. "There we are, sweetheart, all mopped up. Please don't...spill any more, unless you plan to buy a replacement. I shan't complain at that!"
Thankfully the barcolt left as quickly as he appeared, carrying the soppy, wet towel in his horn's thrall. The two mares at the bar shot Octavia and Vinyl a glance, before turning back round and giggling into their drinks. Octavia turned back to Vinyl, who was starting to regain control of her lungs after the laughing fit.
"Well, Octavia. I'd say your classy dignity took a blow there!"
She stifled further falsetto giggles with a hoof, her cheeks flaring red around it.
"Ugh, I'd rather just get back to my drink, rather than you derailing the conversation talking about how attractive fillies are."
She shot a curious look over her wine glass, only her eyes showing, intently monitoring Vinyl.
"Pfft...well, uhh. It's not fillyfooling to compliment a mare, it's just that I've been hanging around with you. There's not much to compliment."
She shot an equally challenging look at Octavia, her pupils flaring, pushing her to respond.
"Is that so? A pony with such a brash manedo can hardly speak. Ponies in glass stables and suchlike."
The ball was in Vinyl's court, who delicately raised her glass, the drink providing a small respite from the battle of wits.
"Maybe, but it's all in your view, right? And in your view...bowties look cool. Nopony thinks bowties are cool."
"I assure you, bow-ties are very much in fashion this season. At least, amongst the upper echelons of society, they are."
Vinyl pondered Octavia's reply, before simply scratching her head in a pretense of confusion.
"I don't get it...where did you find a blind fashion designer?"