Beatmatching

Lyra felt illicit, as she walked toward the park, kicking autumn leaves up with her dainty hooves.

No longer was she ‘the green unicorn with that cream-colored earth pony’. It felt like her very identity was stripped away and replaced with another, secret one—an identity that hadn’t been tested on Ponyville, an identity of significance and mystery, revealed only to suitable ponies.

Or, rather, revealed to only that one pony, among all the thoughtless, insignificant ponies that milled around waiting for the Nightmare Night celebrations.

Or, perhaps, to no pony at all?

Lyra slowed to a stop, her eyes tragic, looking out at the crowds of pegasi and unicorns and flatheads. Surely it was ridiculous optimism even to hope?

She wore a trim little saddlebag she’d found, that seemed to suit her perfectly. It had been expensive, but nothing compared to her new affluence, and she stood with even her uncertainty transformed to gracefulness by the elegant lines of the single bag, worn on her left, slate-grey with accents in warm brown and russet red. The coolness of the grey set off the color of her slim body until it seemed to glow, and the accents vibrated excitingly against her vivid spring-green.

It was a small bag, very much high fashion rather than practicality, but it had only one job—a romantic and beautiful job, but one that suddenly froze Lyra with embarrassment until she wished she could hide herself or her too-stylish carrier.

The bag held only a few high-denomination bits—and the one with the highest value of all.

Lyra proposed to carry her magic bit to the future unicorn mare of her dreams, and be swept away unto a world of passion and amazing sex. Unfortunately, she had only carried it into Ponyville, and no dreams presented themselves: just the townsfolk.

For a moment, she was seized with the desire to whirl and flee, hiding herself from their judgement—then she tensed, setting her delicate jaw. They knew nothing, they saw nothing, and anyhow where was the harm in it? If she wished to seek out that magical, fantasy mare to bring love and acceptance to her tottering life, that was her affair.

And Nightmare Night surely was the time to do it. Ponies from all over came to town, for this was where Nightmare Moon would appear—technically, not Nightmare Moon, but Princess Luna. There had been some talk about Luna having committed some crime or other, suffering a punishment that was waived for the night’s festivities—Lyra hadn’t been paying attention. The important thing was, there would be strangers all over town, perhaps including her mysterious mare.

Three unicorns trotted down the street in front of her, chatting merrily—Lyra recognized them at once. Twilight Sparkle, the Great and Powerful Trixie, Rarity the fashionista… Lyra stepped back a pace, biting her lip. It seemed the town was full of important ponies. She felt outclassed, upstaged. Timidly, Lyra hurried after the three celebrities, toward the fairgrounds. If she could blend in with the crowd, perhaps she could strike up a conversation with a suitable pony. Some distance behind her, a kid on a scooter frowned, squinted, and set off in the same direction.

She followed the three celebrities around the corner of a house—and froze.

They hadn’t seen her. It was good that they hadn’t seen her, because she felt her face forming into a rictus of horror and dismay. Twilight’s mouth was open, forming words of greeting as Trixie and Rarity smiled to either side of her—all three facing Mayor Mare and Bon Bon, standing close together and looking well, if rather Nightmare Night-y.

Mayor Mare’s face was made up in a sickly green, like a zombie-pony, with bits of tape pulling her lip and one lower eyelid out of trim to heighten the effect. It didn’t seem to lessen her air of command. The green makeup clashed violently with her mane, which was a very aggressive, violent, youthful pink that Lyra somehow knew was no wig, but her natural mane color. Her tail matched it, and the Mayor flicked it ebulliently. By her side, Bon Bon wore bolts on her neck, her face pale, her mane and tail dyed black with a shocking white streak through it.

Lyra couldn’t wrest her eyes from Bon Bon’s happy, unworried smile—something she’d not seen in years, not like that. They hadn’t seen her. She wished with all her heart she’d not seen them. If she backed quietly away…

Wheels rattled behind her.

“Miss Lyra!”

Five heads turned her direction.

Lyra screamed and ran, almost trampling the little pegasus pony on the scooter, who cursed even as the Mayor said “Let her go!” warningly.

“Hey! Hey, I just wanted to… fine, you want to play speed? You picked the wrong pony this time!” cried Scootaloo.

Lyra ran on, but as her limbs flailed with haste, she heard a sound. With a whir of tiny wings and a rattle of wheels, the tyke pulled up beside her, glaring at her even while rocketing along at an adult gallop.

“Getting tired?”

Lyra’s eyes were wide and panicky, but then she mastered her feelings and clattered to a halt, panting. Scootaloo skidded to an insouciant stop beside her, still staring her right in the eye.

“What… the HELL… do you want?” demanded Lyra, her sides heaving.

“My friend had some questions for you,” said Scootaloo. “Because everybody knows you like mares, and we’re trying to figure out how Applejack got Rainbow Dash pregnant when they’re both mares. Except now I have other questions, too, such as why the heck are you running away from Bon Bon for a change, when that’s the whole reason we know you like mares?”

Lyra’s head sagged. “Fuck you…”

“Yeah, apparently you could! Except when farm animals do it, there’s a dude animal, with a penis and stuff. Apple Bloom showed us. We had to get away on my scooter, ‘cos that pig was really mad.”

“No, I mean leave me alone…” said Lyra, despairingly, beginning to tear up.

“No way! Now, Apple Bloom said Applejack has a penis toy, but then she went back on it and said she never said nothin’. Me and Sweetie Belle think she just hasn’t got the guts to go and search Applejack’s dresser drawer, and she got real mad at us so we don’t bring it up anymore. She’s a real goody-four-hooves sometimes. But Sweetie says she’s heard of penis toys and even saw one in Rarity’s closet once, but the thing is they’re carved out of wood and couldn’t make anypony be pregnant…”

“Horrible things,” hissed Lyra, wavering between rage and grief.

“So you do know about that stuff! Well, I’m faster than you, so you better answer my questions. Why are you running away from Bon Bon, first of all?”

“Because…” stammered Lyra—and then collapsed to the ground, and burst into noisy, wailing tears.

She cried for a while, and then felt the unexpected touch of a little childish hoof, wiping her tears away.

“Hey, uh… I’m sorry, okay? Is something bothering you? You’re crying, like, really hard and stuff. I feel like that sometimes. I’m sorry if I made you feel bad.”

Lyra blinked more tears away. “Are you for real, kid?”

“I’m Scootaloo! I’m totally real. Would it help if I said I’m sorry, again?”

“No, of course not.”

“Then what would?” said Scootaloo. “I just made you cry, lots. I can make little kids cry any day of the week but you’re a grown-up and grown-ups don’t cry, so what the hell?”

Lyra grimaced. “Oh, yes they do. It’s all the stuff you’re asking about, that’s what makes grown-ups cry.”

Scootaloo’s expression became intent. “Really! Tell me more.”

“Love hurts,” sniffled Lyra. “It stabs you and betrays you and then doesn’t even have the decency to pull out cleanly. It’s got hooks on it, and when it stabs into you, it rips your heart up, hurts much worse coming out. And it always comes out, too. They’re doomed! She’s got her wrapped around her hoof and if she thinks she can do better than me even once she came around, she shouldn’t have turned to her for her little schemes…”

Scootaloo glowered worse, confused completely by the rush of pronouns. “What the heck are you talking about, Miss Lyra?”

Lyra heaved a great, forlorn sigh. “I’m talking about love, Scootaloo. Exactly what you wanted me to tell you about. Right? Maybe you’ll let me go off and die somewhere if I tell you the truth.”

“Whoa! What’s the matter with you? What are you even talking about, die?”

Lyra pulled herself together a little. “Maybe that gives you some idea. I won’t, okay? Don’t freak out, I was just running my mouth. But love will do that to you. You’re lucky you still have your innocence.”

“You aren’t answering many of my questions,” said Scootaloo. “You’re making it sound awful.”

“Oh, really! He isn’t as dumb as he looks,” grumbled Lyra, rolling her eyes.

“I’m a girl, dude,” objected Scootaloo. “And you’re dodging. It doesn’t seem like it’s awful all the time. Maybe it’s just you!”

Lyra reared up, ready to curse out the exasperating filly, but then sagged. “You’re right. It isn’t. Maybe it is just me—but it can’t be, because I w… I wanted to go find more. Tonight.”

“So what’s stoppin’ you?” demanded Scootaloo.

“You are,” said Lyra. “But also, I fucking hate myself right now, and I’m horrible.”

Scootaloo’s brow was knitted in furious bafflement as she tried to follow the emotional tailspins. “That’s totally stupid. Nobody had a problem with you before, besides you’re really pretty. Why shouldn’t you go find love, even if you’re awful? I’m totally friggin’ awful sometimes. If you think I shouldn’t have love because of that, my Mom will kick your ass!”

“No, no!” protested Lyra, cowering back a little. “You should have love! Maybe not the same kind. I’m not saying what you think I’m saying. When you grow up, you should have all kinds of love, too!”

“Fine,” said Scootaloo. “So why not you?”

Lyra looked at her out of tear-streaked eyes, and didn’t speak for a moment. Then, she said, “Thank you. You’re right. Thank you.”

“So…” said Scootaloo, “you’re gonna go back out there, and stop crying, and find some love? With mares?”

Lyra nodded, and rose to her hooves—but the kid with the scooter zipped around in front of her with a blur of tiny wings and a kick of the hoof.

“Good! So tell me exactly what you’re gonna do to ‘em. You owe me, now!”

Lyra stared. Scootaloo flapped her little wings, her eyes fiercely determined.

“Seriously, kid? You want to know that?”

“You heard me.”

“What are you gonna do with that kind of information?” said Lyra.

“We’re gonna make babies.”

Lyra laughed. “No, you’re not. You’re telling me you hit puberty? What did you do, bounce? You can’t. Your body won’t do it.”

“Well then,” said Scootaloo, “you have no reason not to tell me. Right?”

They stared at each other for a minute.

“You’re crazy, kid. Fine. If I tell you, will you let me go?”

“Yeah.”

“All right,” said Lyra. “You’re right, wooden penises don’t make babies. They’re called dildos—you’ll probably find that a useful insult soon, if you’re not using it already. Lesbians—that’s mares getting with mares, like you said—use those. What you don’t know about is the new magical toys, and yes, Applejack and Rainbow Dash would have one. Same with me, same with Twilight and Trixie and I guess Rarity, same with Fluttershy probably if Twilight gave one to me… Pinkie wouldn’t be interested, I guess…” She trailed off.

“So, Applejack has this thing you’re talking about, and it gave Rainbow Dash her foal?” challenged Scootaloo.

“Hang on. I forgot something,” said Lyra. “That makes no sense at all, because the bits, you don’t get pregnant from them. As far as I know, you don’t. We never did.”

“What bits?”

“The magic bits,” said Lyra, “I just told you. I’m guessing it must have something to do with it, but then why would it do that for them and not affect us? I don’t think Twilight’s pregnant either. I never thought of it that way, I was thinking magic dildo the whole time… though it does ejaculate…”

“Okay, so which magic bits are we talking about? How does that work?”

Lyra blinked. Her horn glowed, and the bit lifted out of her trim little saddlebag. “Like this. This is one of the magic bits. You bite on it, and that’s where the penis comes from.”

“What, out of your mouth?” squawked Scootaloo, outraged.

“No! The usual place—if you were a guy, I mean.”

“Show me!” demanded Scootaloo.

Lyra’s jaw dropped. She glanced around. “No way! No way, kid!”

“Aw! But…”

Hearing the childish tone, Lyra grew fiercer. “I shouldn’t even have told you that much!” She returned the bit to her bag, and narrowed her eyes at the sulking filly. “Any more questions? Appropriate questions?”

“Uh,” said Scootaloo, “is it true you stick the penis in her pee-hole to do it?”

“Yes,” confirmed Lyra. “That part is true.”

“Is it skinny and twisty like with the pigs?”

Lyra’s jaw dropped again. “Ew! No way, kid! It’s a lot bigger. A lot a lot bigger.”

“So how bad does it hurt, then?”

“What? It feels fucking awesome, kid. You’ll learn—when the time comes.”

Scootaloo tried to keep up. “Uhhh… like… so awesome that it’s worth how horrible love was, for you? You’re confusing me!”

Lyra looked her in the eye. “You know what? I need you to get out of my way. I gotta go do grown-up things. I have you to thank for the pep-talk, but your part in this ends right now. And yeah, so awesome that I’ll just about kick a hole in a wall now to get some of that action. I’m carrying this thing around, and I mean to use it—well, have it used, on me—and it better be a lot thicker than some pig dick, kid! One day you will understand, I swear. And I don’t know quite how Rainbow Dash got pregnant from it—but I’ll tell you something, that mare is maybe even hornier than me, so maybe you should ask her!”

Scootaloo seemed to have been jolted by the suggestion that Rainbow Dash, too, was intimately familiar with this strange grown-up fixation on thick penis up the vag. It was like she’d not put two and two together, like she’d not pictured Rainbow in quite that way, even though Dash was pregnant. Scootaloo’s face showed fastidious horror.

Lyra seized the moment. “One side, kid! Thick throbbing unicorn stallionhood awaits!”

While Scootaloo gagged as she added ‘throbbing’ to the list of adjectives describing baby-makers, Lyra stalked past, nose in the air. Behind her, tiny wings whirred as the filly raced off to share notes with her companions, but Lyra didn’t pay any attention, for she was on a mission. The kid was right. Why shouldn’t she go find love? What was stopping her? Absolutely nothing.

Lyra’s mood swung, as it so often did, and when it was done swinging, it had landed on ‘golden-eyed luminous mare’, for that was what Lyra felt herself to be. She trotted forward, steps high and bouncy, and broke into a canter for she was almost late—Nightmare Moon’s appearance would be at any moment, and she didn’t want to miss anything. She felt like she could bound up high over the other ponies and see everything she wished. The crowds buoyed her, where before they’d intimidated her.

As thunder rolled, Lyra broke into an effortless gallop, hooves flying, racing up behind the largest crowd and bounding into the air behind them, trying to see. The bat-winged Nightmare Night guard flew out of the darkened clouds, and there behind them was Nightmare Moon—or, rather, Princess Luna, as all the adults knew full well. Somewhat behind her flew Princess Celestia, looking solemn. Lyra squealed shrilly as Luna drew nearer, her alicorn wings solemnly beating the air, her stare raking the gathered ponies with glowering, mock hostility.

“HAST THOU BROUGHT THINE OFFERINGS?” declaimed Princess Luna, her head held high.

Lyra bounded and squealed again, drawing cranky looks from nearby ponies. Twilight was nearby, too, and smiled instead, as did Rarity—Trixie seemed to have absented herself.

As Lyra’s head popped up over the edge of the crowd, wearing its mad grin of glee, it drew Princess Luna’s attention, and Luna saw her—and saw who she was standing near—and who was not seen standing with them.

Lyra’s eyes widened, and her heart leapt into her throat, for the dark alicorn Princess had shot a look her direction—seemingly just for her. Just for a moment, Luna’s eyes held a terrible sadness and yearning, an unbearable loneliness that struck Lyra like a physical blow. It was only for an instant, but Lyra’s manic state was so intense that she felt as if she’d gazed into Luna’s eyes for half an hour, and Lyra reeled, barely landing on her hooves, staggering.

“Whoa!” said Twilight Sparkle. “Are you okay there? Did you twist a hoof?”

“I’m okay! I’m okay!” said Lyra hastily, and hopped up again, eyes wide. Luna was speaking more quietly, greeting children as they made offerings of candy to her.

“Oh, careful, darling!” said Rarity, reprovingly. “You are kicking up dirt and clods of muck!”

Lyra didn’t listen, and Rarity trotted off to the side, grumbling. Luna, in the middle of the crowd, was lifting her head, though this time she wouldn’t look their direction…

“IT IS WELL! FAREWELL, GOOD PONIES!”

The Princess took to her wings, her horn glowing as she made some more thunderclaps that drowned out the loud cheers of the assembled ponies. Lyra gawked, astonished. “But, but…”

“Is there a problem?” said Twilight Sparkle.

“Why is she leaving?” said Lyra. Princess Celestia was accompanying her off into the sky. Lyra saw the bright alicorn nuzzle the dark one, comfortingly. The guards took up the rear, and soon they were lost to sight in the rumbling clouds.

“It was explained, Lyra,” said Twilight. “Didn’t you even pay attention to the cover story? I mean, the one for the kids. Princess Luna is obliged to be elsewhere. She can only show up for her ceremonial appearance—it can’t be like last year.”

“Will Princess Celestia come back, at least?”

“Just a moment,” said Twilight, looking distracted. “Oh, there you are!”

Lyra squeaked and hopped aside, for Trixie had suddenly reappeared, walking up quietly without a word of greeting.

Twilight capered, briefly, and Lyra’s heart caught in her throat a second time, seeing the lovely unicorn mare so happy. “Tonight’s going to be so much fun! We’ll make the rounds, and later if we haven’t got other plans we can go over to Pinkie’s for her big extravaganza…”

Rarity wasn’t sharing her delight. She was gazing at Trixie with obvious concern, though Lyra couldn’t work out why. The Great and Powerful mage-mare wasn’t smiling, true, but her expression didn’t seem that worried…

“Honey?” said Rarity gently. “Are you okay?”

Twilight blinked. “That’s not part of the arrangement! You’re supposed to say Mistress! Though maybe since we’re out in public…” She looked back and forth between Rarity and Trixie. “Okay. What am I missing?”

Trixie held Rarity’s gaze, heedless of the curiosity of Twilight and Lyra. Then, she nodded.

“I’ll be all right. Thank you, Rarity.”

“I’m gonna pull a ‘Mistress’ in a moment,” said Twilight. “Something’s wrong? Is it…”

Rarity shushed her, which seemed to come as a shock to Twilight, and explained, gently. “Darling Twilight… some things take precedence. Trixie wished to avoid being seen by our moon Princess, in part to spare her distress. You know—a reminder of what Princess Luna shall not have. Remember?”

“Yeah, I get that,” said Twilight, “but…”

Rarity cut her off. “I shan’t beat this into the ground, for Mistress’s sake, so listen. Princess Luna is being punished for a reason. She has betrayed Trixie’s, and our, trust. She has done things to Trixie we shan’t speak of here. You know what I mean, Twilight. Is it so difficult to understand that Mistress might not wish to see her, or be around her—for other reasons?”

Trixie didn’t change her expression as Twilight, wide-eyed, studied her.

“Is this true? Oh, Trixie!” said Twilight. “Was it wrong to ask you to come here? Do you need to go somewhere that you feel safe? Do you…”

“Trixie,” said Trixie angrily, “wishes you to settle down!”

Twilight sat back on her haunches. Her lip quivered.

Lyra watched the Great and Powerful Trixie see this—and watched her expression crumble, watched Trixie begin to blubber, her shell cracked by the sight of Twilight Sparkle’s innocent dismay.

“Mistress! Trixie is sorry! Trixie didn’t mean to hurt you, Trixie was trying not to ruin the party!”

They’d embraced, Rarity looking on with affectionate concern. Lyra blinked, trying to figure out what the ‘Mistress’ stuff was about, and who counted as Mistress. The only one who hadn’t been addressed as ‘Mistress’ thus far seemed to be Rarity, and in some ways she seemed to deserve it most.

As if sensing Lyra’s thoughts, Rarity looked over at her, with a warning glance. Lyra stepped back a pace. It seemed to be an unexpectedly private moment, in the middle of a crowded street at the height of Nightmare Night—or perhaps just the beginning. Lyra was used to a more subdued lifestyle, but there had been hints that the celebrations continued long after the foals were put to bed—and long after Lyra would have retired with Bon Bon, in better days, to their bed.

Twilight was petting Trixie’s mane, fondling her neck heedlessly. It rather turned Lyra on, seeing that sort of emotional nakedness and intimacy. Her life with Bon Bon had always been more reserved. She felt her awareness ramp up again, watching the two lovely unicorn mares caress each other, her eyes widening, her nerves’ hyped-up state causing her skin to tingle. Rarity glanced at her again, eyes slightly narrowed, uncertain. Lyra had a sudden sense that she wasn’t the only one whose heart pounded, whose nerves jangled.

Twilight lifted her head, and gave a deep sigh. “Oh, Rarity, what would we do without your wisdom?” Then, she blinked. “But… it’s great that you understood how Trixie was really hurt because her trust was betrayed, but how do YOU know about all this?”

“Oh!” said Rarity, but she didn’t speak to Twilight at all. “Forgive us, Lyra, dear! I am sure we did not mean to drag out all manner of personal matters, right here in the middle of the street! You are not offended, I trust?”

Lyra squeaked as all three ponies suddenly looked at her. “Eep! No, no, it’s okay, nothing wrong with that…”

Rarity’s eyes showed great wariness. “One would not think it wrong, surely. But perhaps we had better… retire to some more appropriate spot?”

Trixie sniffled. “Trixie wishes her girl to fix her make-up!”

At that, Rarity stood bolt upright. “Of course, Mistress! At once! If you will excuse us, Miss Lyra…”

The three bustled off, leaving Lyra standing in the middle of the street, staring after them. Another unicorn pony, trotting by with a determined, busy look, stopped to stare as well.

“What happened there?” she said.

Lyra blinked. “I’m not sure.”

“You’re a unicorn. You busy? How’s your levitation, cutie?”

Lyra gaped at her. She was worth gaping at—a pert little unicorn mare, white with striped blue mane, a big musical note on her rump, and shockingly big rose-colored sunglasses, even though it was night.

“Why do you ask?”

“Oh, nothing—just if you could help carry my decks? I’ll get you in to my set for free. I’ll tell ‘em you’re my roadie. How about it? It’s more comfortable with help, juggling all those separate pieces of gear. And if it’s a unicorn, no hoof-prints! I keep ‘em real shiny, ‘cos they’re my decks, you know?”

“You want help carrying… a desk?” said Lyra.

“Decks!” said the unicorn, laughing. “I’m Vinyl Scratch! You know—DJ Pon-3? I have a gig, I’m playing Pinkie’s Midnight Sugar party tonight! It’d be a help if I don’t have to strain myself before I play. C’mon, didn’t I tell you? Free tickets, you can see me play and not have to pay…”

Lyra was trying to keep up. “Is it going to be a good party?”

“That’s my job,” said Vinyl Scratch, smugly.

“Sure, okay,” said Lyra, and trotted to catch up, for the pert little unicorn had promptly resumed her determined progress at the first hint of agreement. “Whoa! You’re in a big hurry, huh?”

“Gotta be prepared! So you can focus! That’s how you seriously lay it down!”

Lyra struggled to keep up. Vinyl was small, but her trot was bouncy and covered a lot of ground, and Lyra wondered if she’d run across somepony who got even more manic than she did. “I don’t get it. I’m glad to help, but aren’t you really just playing records?”

She stopped. Vinyl had frozen, outraged, in the middle of the street.

“Yeah,” she said, “and dancing is just standing on one hoof, right? What the fuck?”

“No offense,” said Lyra, hastily.

“Well, I’m sorry, but I guess I AM offended,” said Vinyl, trembling. “Fuck! What the fuck kind of thing is that to say to somepony about to play a major gig? What do you… what?”

“I’m sorry!” protested Lyra. “I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to upset you!”

“Have you never danced?” said DJ Pon-3 in disbelief. “Have you never partied?”

“I guess… no?”

Vinyl’s jaw dropped.

“Okay. You are coming with me, uh…”

“Lyra!” said Lyra.

“You’re coming with me, Lyra. Even if you don’t want to roadie. I’m gonna get you into Midnight Sugar if I have to pay your way…”

“I have plenty of money!” said Lyra.

Vinyl lowered her glasses and peered at Lyra over them. Her eyes were wonderful, pools of burgundy that Lyra lost herself in immediately. “If you’ve never danced, you’re not spending it on the right things. Again, even if I have to pay your way, you’re coming to Midnight Sugar, and I’m going to show you what you’ll do for the rest of your life.”

Lyra just stared, entranced, at the little mare’s rakish confidence.

“And, while we walk, let me tell you just what it is I do. ‘Cos I want you to understand, Lyra. You have no idea what you’re in for, tonight.”

Lyra gulped, heart pounding.

“Coming?” said DJ Pon-3.

“Nearly!” breathed Lyra.

Vinyl laughed raucously, and set off again, and Lyra scampered along behind her, stumbling over her own hooves in her dizziness.

“Yeah, I’m not even sure how I can explain it to you, babe!” said Scratch, trotting fiercely along. “I’m gonna try, though, because it’s like summoning demons, you know? Nice demons, that is. Tame ones. Uhhh… semi tame? I gotta unleash the beast tonight, it’s a Pinkie joint. She’ll pay top dollar but she knows her shit and I gotta be sharp, know what I’m sayin’?”

“Please, tell me more!” said Lyra, as they arrived at a small, run-down cottage.

Inside, it was odd. Some rooms were bare and pristine, others were full of clutter. Vinyl dove into one of the cluttered rooms, and Lyra followed. ‘Decks’ turned out to be gleaming turntables. “I had my records moved over there this afternoon. That’s also why we gotta tear ass, Lyra, if they fucked that up I have to have time to bring in back-up. You got it?”

Lyra’s horn glowed, and she lifted a turntable. “Yes!”

Vinyl looked over the top of her sunglasses again, and Lyra quivered at those burgundy eyes.

“AND the cables, sweetie. Don’t let them dangle. You don’t want them catching on anything.”

Blushing, Lyra gathered the dangling cables up with more levitation magic, and awaited further instructions. “Now we tear ass?”

Vinyl had another turntable, and a mixer. “No, now we walk calmly over to Sugarcube Corner while I tell you about my greatest gig. We do not run while carrying decks. Got it? We tear ass to get here, and now that we have the decks we don’t hang around or make detours, but go carefully.”

“I’ll go any way you want!” said Lyra, and blushed worse.

Vinyl snickered. “You’ll do. Follow me.”

She set off, flicking her pretty tail in front of Lyra’s nose, and Lyra followed as if hypnotized.

“I had things hoppin’ pretty good. You know you can’t just hit ‘em with 144 BPM, right? You have to read the crowd, their energy level, their mood. You feed off of that. Well, this time, you might say that not only did I feed off them, they fed off me… especially this ONE dude…”

Lyra stumbled. “D… dude?”

Vinyl smirked at her. “Don’t get me wrong. I’ve had all kinds of fun. But I have a crazy dream… I always wanted to fuck that one Wonderbolt. You know? Soarin’. Oh my GAWWWD he gets me so wet…”

Lyra’s eyes were wide. Vinyl wasn’t lying. Even talking about it, DJ Pon-3 was glistening a little, her possibly-forbidden-possibly-not marehood showing signs of interest.

“So you can understand if I got a weakness for sexy pegasus stallions, right? I can imagine… well, I’m pumping the crowd up, and I’m gettin’ into it, right? I’m swayin’ my hips, stompin’ a hoof, my tail’s goin’ like mad and I have my eye on this one dude. He’s fuckin’ hot. His wings are up, and he rears up and I get a look at his sheath and dude! Turgid, know what I’m sayin’? I can’t believe it. It inspires me to throw an even sexier track down, even though it’s a tempo drop and I gotta unwind it, but I pull off the transition and man, the place follows it, they start grindin’ on each other, it’s a thing of beauty…”

Lyra followed, listening closely, but dropping back to sneak peeks at Vinyl’s marehood, behind her twitching tail. The DJ was very into her story, and it showed, and to Lyra that too was a thing of beauty.

“Hey, keep up! Not interesting? Well, get THIS. The next thing you know, he’s flying! He’s jumped up and he’s in the air, coming right at me, and then he’s landed and he’s on me while I play, he’s fondling my body, totally feeling me up. On stage!”

Lyra gasped. “Can they do that?”

“This was Fillydelphia. Say no more, right? So I’m keepin’ the floor going, but this dude is all over me. It’s totally distracting and totally inspiring at the same time, because hey, hot pegasus guy, right? I would’ve begged him to do that—but later! Well, he didn’t want to wait. I’m doing crazy things. I see a patch of ponies getting spazzy, I throw a little breakbeat at them, and it totally works, didn’t even lose the rest of the crowd. Meanwhile, wing-boy’s got his hooves way between my hind legs. I mean, he’s gone beyond feeling up my tits, right? He’s clopping the fuck out of me, right there. And then I feel this big fat pegasus cock, and it just goes, shove…”

Lyra whimpered, in a weird mixture of dismay and arousal, drawn in by the story while distressed by some of the aspects of it. Pegasus dudes did nothing for her—but she could imagine if it was her in his place, especially with the magic bit transforming her, and so rather than shy away, she longed for the story to continue.

“Yeah,” said Vinyl. “You heard me. Well, you can probably see by looking at me, Neighponnese, right? He doesn’t fit. He’s ramming it against me, I’m flipping out. I throw on completely the wrong platter. I hit it, and it’s all miscued, but get this—by total luck, I get a bass drop, and just as I’m about to go over to it and fuck everything up, the dude gets a lucky break…”

Lyra panted. “And?”

DJ Pon-3 grinned at her. “Damndest thing. Huge fat pegasus cock pries into me, and I fumble the crossfade completely, which is to the wrong thing anyway, right? I scream out, and out on the floor, I just threw a bass drop in a totally different key on top of a slamming house beat. The subwoofers churned, dude, they screamed for mercy—and the crowd screamed with them.”

Lyra’s eyes were wide. “What did you do?”

“I slammed the fader back before I lost them, of course! And that’s when I had the biggest decision of my life. Do I buck this guy off me and beg him to find me later—or do I play, and risk it?”

“Something tells me…” said Lyra.

Vinyl Scratch smirked. “Oh yeah. Oh yeah. I grabbed a couple singles I knew I could trust. I’m leanin’ too hard on the platters when I touch ‘em, but my decks have incredible torque, it didn’t faze ‘em thank goodness. I’m throwin’ crazy shit out there, and all the while this guy’s grunting over me and his body’s workin’, that big pegasus cock just plunging into me over and over. Thank goodness he didn’t pop out, we both would have freaked…”

“I can imagine,” marvelled Lyra.

“Well, imagine this!” said Vinyl. “I get dizzy and grab the wrong record again, ‘cos the guy’s really doing me good. I mean, I’m going cross-eyed here, right? And just when I’m going to go to it—he doubles up and just about shoves me over the decks, and he comes!”

She waited, expectantly, and Lyra didn’t disappoint. “And what happened?”

“I came, with my face shoved into the mic, Lyra. I screamed, and my hoof shoved the crossfader all the way over, AND hit the speed control. I couldn’t stop it, and out there on the floor, I hear these shrieks. They can see me, they see I’m being fucked into a puddle. And I’ve just climaxed, screamed into the mic—and threw a doubletime break that hit exactly on the beat, at exactly, and I mean exactly, the right tempo.”

“Oooh…” breathed Lyra.

“I couldn’t control myself for a moment. Flopping over the decks, crying out into the mic. I’ve never worked out how those tracks lined up like that, I couldn’t make it happen again no matter how I tried. I knocked the needle off the first deck, but it wasn’t live. It didn’t hurt the cartridge, somehow. The crowd is screaming and gyrating like I electrocuted them, like they’re coming too, some of them said they actually did from groove alone! I shove back onto this guy’s dick so I can reach my decks properly, and that set me off even more, crazy fucker was still hunching and spurting… it all happened so fast, it was only a couple bars, right?”

Lyra listened in awe. She understood most of the tale, though she wasn’t aware the gig had been in a bar, much less two at once.

“And my glasses have fallen half off, I’m arching my neck up trying to get a grip while this dude is fondling me, I’m coming, he’s coming, the whole crowd is flipping out and watching the whole thing, and I grab the crossfader and kill the crazy sped-up deck—and flip right into the breakdown of the first track.”

Lyra blinked. “The other one broke? You said it didn’t break!”

“No, no!” laughed Vinyl. “It’s a thing… okay, right then, the beat stopped! It just became this huge glorious afterglow, before building up again, right? What happened was, the craziness started to give a few huge thumps from the first track, right in sync, and then just as it hit, bliss! It just happened to hit the breakdown, right when all those ponies couldn’t imagine what would happen next. It just went, daaahhhh! and it was a thick… voluptuous… wash. No beat. Just afterglow, babe.”

“Wow,” breathed Lyra.

Vinyl grinned a tight, fierce little grin. “I sagged over the decks, and let it play. The guy sagged too, and he dismounted of course, and he fuckin’ fell over. I mean, he fell down, I’m lucky he didn’t throw the needle out of the groove. I didn’t fall over. I held onto the table, come dripping out of me, and I looked out upon my people, and they screamed for me until they were hoarse.”

She gulped with emotion. “You have no idea, babe. Craziest thing ever—and I played through it, and I fuckin’ triumphed. That made me. That made my legend. And I never dropped the beat. Once the breakdown was done, I kept right on going. My legs were shaking. Hah! But pegasus dude, he couldn’t walk! It was perfect.”

Lyra bit her lip. “Is it usually like that? Like… guys jumping on you, and… like that?”

“Whoa, whoa, no way!” protested Vinyl. “I just scared you, didn’t I? Nuh-uh! First of all, that was a rave in Fillydelphia. I own that town now, but you could only get away with that in Fillydelphia, and it was at about four in the morning, and the place was frickin’ crusted in salt, right? And, I was eyeing that guy bigtime, licking my lips, I was playing AT him if you know what I mean. I wanted him for later and I let him know it, he didn’t just jump on me at random.”

“Oh…” said Lyra, uncertainly.

“We’re going to a Pinkie party. It’s not going to be like that. This is Ponyville.”

“So… no salt, no crazy sex?”

“I didn’t say that,” smirked Vinyl. “I said it’s a Pinkie party. That means it’s safe. But it’s not called Midnight Sugar for nothing, babe. Lots of sugar, lots of salt, and you might very well see sex. Not just like I described, either. It’s a Pinkie party. You’re gonna see mares getting really lively with mares, colts with colts. That okay with you?”

“What would you say, if I said… that was about my speed?” Lyra licked her lips, nervously.

Vinyl glanced at her and chuckled. “I’d say, I’m bringing you to the right place!”

“Will you be… finding pegasus guys? For later?”

Vinyl made a face, peering over her sunglasses. “It’s a Pinkie joint. Not from up on the bandstand, I won’t. She wouldn’t stand for it. Maybe you can work the crowd for me? After my set, we can cruise. How about it? You think you can find me a little something special?”

Lyra gulped, her heart pounding. “You can count on me!”

The chin came up. The eyes vanished behind matching red shades.

“Awesome,” grinned DJ Pon-3.