Vinyl casually swilled another gulp of her drink, her sense of fulfillment only becoming more complete by the moment. Of course, while alcohol has rarely been considered a functional vector for gaining spiritual peace in general pony society, Vinyl had always found it to be an excellent relaxing agent. It dulled down her fervent miasma of thought into an enjoyable trickle that unveiled itself to her at a much slower and more manageable pace.
It was because of this new state of mind that she failed to notice the barcolt's repeated attack runs on her vicinity, swooping down on nearby tables and claiming their abandoned glasses. Each strafe drew closer than the last, and they were finished with a fervent glance over at the pair. The barcolt had managed several of these passive assaults before Vinyl finally noticed the attention she and Octavia were receiving. She stared down the barcolt as he moved to assail the table adjacent to her and Vinyl, causing him to cough lightly and cloak himself with a polite smile.
"Good evening, ladies. I hope you're enjoying your night?"
Vinyl shrugged, displacing Octavia for a moment. Octavia had fallen asleep on her shoulder, an understandable idea given the trials the day had brought to her. Octavia rarely enjoyed the sensation of being involuntarily awoken. The fact that the method employed this time was a not-so-subtle jerk of the shoulder from Vinyl hardly aided her disposition to being woken up.
"Yeah, apparently Octy here was too."
"Shu...silence, you. Are we still in the bar?"
"Yeah, you're normally meant to walk home before you hit the hay."
Octavia slid off Vinyl's shoulder, propping herself on the table in an attempt to stay alert.
"You could have woken me sooner, or at the very least told me."
Vinyl shrugged once more, mirroring Octavia's pouting expression for good measure.
"What can I say? You looked so peaceful, and I enjoyed the silence."
Octavia's pouting passed beyond Vinyl's ability to mimic, her brow narrowing into an irritated glare. It was the same glare Vinyl had once told Octavia she enjoyed thoroughly. It furrowed her brow into delicate, little lines framing her fiery eyes as she continued to glare. The barcolt had meanwhile been watching with his jaw slightly ajar, hoof raised in the air pointing at the pair.
"You're the two fillies from the story, aren't you? I remember you two little lovebirds from the night Butters visited!"
"Oh, Celestia...we'd prefer not to discuss this matter, good Sir."
"Yeah, Octy didn't like the fact she was on the receiving end of your buddy's tuba joke, mate."
Octavia buried her face in her hoof, groaning as she rubbed her face.
"Oh, I'm very sorry about that, ladies. I just enjoy reading her works. All of them. The one with you two is most likely the premier so far, definitely her most popular!"
Octavia was face down on the table, moaning her words into the bar-stain encrusted wood.
"So which one is this, again. So we know which copies to burn?"
"Oh, it's the Cellist and the Charlatan, from Issue fifteen...released on the fourth of Mare...went gold three days later. Why you'd want to burn it, I'd never understand!"
"You have a worrying memory for something private, yet based on events that have never actually occurred."
The barcolt shrugged, maintaining his now somewhat unsettling grin as he did so. Octavia hadn't seen him blink yet. She was certain ponies physically couldn't withhold blinking for this long.
"Well, you must admit that it was an extremely interesting story, at the least."
"It was the creation of the piece in its entirety that I disliked. Again, I'd really like not to discuss this matter, so if you please, mister barcolt."
"That was an implication that you should leave. Now."
The barcolt took a step back, remaining still very much in range of the pair's speech. Octavia found the resulting silence extremely uncomfortable, prompting her to turn back to the awaiting barcolt with a furious glare in her eyes.
"Can we help you at all, Sir?"
The barcolt idly pawed the ground with a hoof, staring at a point just below Octavia's space on the couch.
"I was just wishing to say, I knew you two would be great for each other the moment I first saw you both. It was so adorable the way you stared into each other's eyes. You're my waifus, you two."
The barcolt ejected a dreamy sigh from his lips, staring wistfully up towards the ceiling.
"Well. As flattered as we are, we'd enjoy some...privacy, if you please."
The barcolt leapt back to attention, his already fairly effeminate voice tinged with soprano levels of pitch.
"Okay, I'll be just over there if you need anything at all. Anything."
Octavia and Vinyl watched as the barcolt scampered away to the bar, still glancing in their direction between serving customers.
"Well, that stallion is quite..."
"Creepy? I'm thinking creepy, Octy."
"What is a 'waifu,' anyway?"
"I think its that stuff ice-cream cones are made of."
Octavia sighed, sipping some of her now-warm wine, before spitting it out into the glass as casually and discreetly as she could manage. Warm wine was as enjoyable as warm ice-cream in her eyes.
"You know what, have you finished your drink yet, Vinyl?"
"Yeah, I finished it before you woke back up. I got kinda bored with nopony awake to talk to."
Octavia turned away from the still-omniscient barcolt back to Vinyl, trying to pierce the shades she had decided to wear again that night. Octavia secretly despised the glasses, they made it extremely difficult to gauge Vinyl's thoughts, as though she were hiding from something. She felt that, perhaps, breaking them would be a considerably fortunate accident. As long as Vinyl didn't feel too attached to them, that was.
"Well, I'm finished. The barcolt is unveiling an aspect of his personality I find disconcerting, and I'm very tired. What say we go home now? I've had enough fun for the night."
"What...we're going home now?"
"Yes, I don't really want to stay here."
"As in both of us?"
"Unless you want to stay?"
Vinyl shook her head, nearly displacing the shade from her snout.
"Just...uhh, are we going home...together?"
"Well, again. If you want to."
The statement hung on the edge of Octavia's lips, causing Vinyl to grin. Though Octavia couldn't see into her eyes, she could see right into Octavia's. She had to admit to herself that she liked what she saw. Invitation admonished by uncertainty, a look that made Octavia's eyes sparkle in a most alluring way.
"If you insist, madam Octavia. I suppose I will have to take you home like a gentlecolt would."
"How chivalrous of you. Let's go then, just, try to avoid eye contact with the barcolt."
Vinyl stepped in behind Octavia, finding her eyes drawn to the cutie mark on her flank as she trotted in her wake. Octavia glanced over her shoulder, a less irritated expression than she expected catching Vinyl's attention.
"When I say 'don't look at the barcolt,' I don't mean stare at my rump instead."