Vinyl Scratch wriggled and stretched, in the sunbeam.
He drew her closer without waking, and the sensation flipped her heart… or, perhaps, jounced it? Penetrated it? He’d been doing that, though not with her heart.
But all the same, something had happened. Perhaps it was all the stress? Something about his steadfast, nurturing presence, the earnest way he enjoyed her… no, that wasn’t even the word. Michian had enjoyed her. He’d enjoyed her a little too much, too deeply, and he’d been shamed by his needs. Rebelliously, Vinyl thought to herself: he should go to Ponyville, or Canterlot. Have unicorn foals. Life was too damn short. It burst out like an overwound clock, sproinging in every direction, alarming and unmanageable until it led, unaccountably…
Here, in Hasu’s dreaming embrace. Here, where she need have never left: a skein of reality where she’d thought it but a thread. Only a strand had led back to the life she’d known, as her world tangled and snarled… and then, in one touch, the thread from her past turned to a fluffy skein of warmth, and she drew it around her and found it good.
Birds chirped obliviously, in the trees outside. It was rainy, just a drizzle illuminated by mid-morning. Vinyl Scratch smiled at it. Everything was a little softer, a little quieter in Shido: Shido, in the Nairiku-bu province, where she came from.
Vinyl wriggled again, gently. Hasu held her in his dreams, and snored a bit, and this too amused her. But in addition to that, there was something else: soft, quiet, but it probably wouldn’t stay that way for too long. His stifle, or possibly his gaskin, or at least somewhere on the front of his leg… pressed cozily between her own butt-cheeks. Without knowing it, he was giving her pussy a morning massage with every lazy shift of position.
Without forcing it, Vinyl was winking wetly against his tenderly nuzzling thigh, and the scent was having its inevitable effect: Hasu’s horsecock was sneaking out to join her.
She frowned a cute little frown. It was tempting to see how hard he could get him in his dream, but she’d have to scooch forward and deprive herself of the pleasure of his cozy thigh. But if she didn’t, the increasing squishing of his equine hose would lead him to…
He did. Hasu woke, with a snort and a whinny and a shove against her treasure, and Vinyl moaned happily at the firm contact and winked against his stifle again.
“Ermf… hrrf… buh?”
Vinyl answered him with a kiss, and his dazed eyes flew wide in amazement.
“Errrrrr mmmmm Gmmmmmmd…”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” teased Vinyl, “did you need to use that mouth for something that wasn’t kissing me?”
He blinked, licking his lips, looking stunned. “Oh my GAAWWWWD, it wasn’t a dream.”
“It’s called life, sweetie,” cooed Vinyl. “Love it.”
He kept blinking and looking astonished, until Vinyl pouted and said, “Well, if you don’t love it, I promise you I totally do!”
“No! No no, I mean, what I’m saying is yes I do certainly love it, um I would think that was self-evident, if this isn’t convenient for you this early in the morning I can go run a few laps around the house, I don’t mind if it’s raining, it’s not much more than a drizzle…”
Vinyl’s eyes flew wide. “Oh no!”
“Maybe you don’t like the rain as much as you used to? We used to hang out indoors reading sometimes when it was drizzly like this. You know Shido’s half grass and half drizzle…”
“That’s not what I meant, silly!” she squeaked, her ruby eyes wide and startled. “I still miss the Shido drizzle! It’s so peaceful, this is a wonderful morning!”
“Then what did you mean?”
Vinyl’s lovely, shades-less eyes went from startled to sultry in two seconds flat. “Please don’t leave. And definitely don’t run a few laps, ‘k? I have a better idea.”
“So you do,” observed Hasu, dryly. Vinyl wriggled against his gaskin, wetly. Hasu curled his lip in delight, savoring the presence and scents of her.
“So don’t go anywhere,” added Vinyl.
“Anywhere?” teased Hasu, kneading her vulva with his knee and the front of his thigh.
“Nnngh!” panted Vinyl. “Okay, you got me. One place. You might be able to find it. It’s not far.”
“Best place,” rumbled Hasu, fondly. “On best pony.”
From then on, they spoke with touches, so comfortable with each other that no words were needed. Hasu fondled Vinyl until she squirmed and panted for breath, arching her neck against his, fevered with marely eagerness. He clopped himself until he was stiff, scooched back, aimed, and poked his delighted flare into her… with a gasp of his own, for playful Vinyl tensed herself and confronted him with a taut, slippery nook that reminded him of their shared youth.
And then she relaxed, because the fucking they’d done the previous night had let him explain: he didn’t want her to give him a performance, he wanted to make love like she’d never left. Vinyl had a profoundly practiced pussy and a technique groomed in Fillydelphia, but it didn’t matter at all. The love he had for her extended back to earlier days, when she was not much more than an eager filly befriending the neighborhood bookworm, and trading discovery for discovery.
Hasu snuggled her in perfect happiness, tenderly thrusting his decent horsecock within her eager, quivering folds.
Vinyl gasped and let out a moan… it was a curious thing, a very pleasing curious thing he was trading her now. After years of giddy debauchery, she’d come home, and after years of sexual showoffery, somehow good old Hasu brought a special thing. It wasn’t the size or specialties of his horsecock, though that was perfectly adequate: somehow, the extent to which she’d opened herself to him, the way she’d returned to her hometown and his embrace, had liberated her. She didn’t feel brazen, or cheap, or too jaded. She’d forgotten where she left her glasses, her stupid glasses. He didn’t need them. He totally, totally didn’t need them. She was Vinyl from up the street, the filly with a head full of dreams, and she’d been taking him so for granted way back then.
She shuddered, and her vision blurred for a moment as his cock continued to explore her body, freely and with the same kind of eagerness he’d had long ago. Hasu somehow knew how to stretch it, because he was loving having his dick in a vagina far too much to hurry… but, on top of that, he also loved her. It was a heady, intoxicating blend. He cuddled her to him lovingly, but with an excitement that showed he wasn’t intimidated, and thrust went the horsecock right up to rattle her gates, and then it was thrusting more shallowly, and it was just so damn thrilling to be with your best friend and still be playing these new games, both of you letting the excitement take over, both of you building it just to see how high up into the faintly drizzly Shido skies you could soar…
“Ngg! Hhhh! Errnnnhh! Uhh!”
Just like old times, lusty Vinyl came first, and Hasu redoubled his fondling, his eyes shining with exaltation. Just like old times, he bit his lip tenderly, and his gaze unfocussed: trying on the one hoof to remember every sweet detail, and on the other hoof, to keep it going because he loved his mare dearly and loved seeing her like this.
“Ahhh!” moaned Vinyl, her face reddening as she arched her neck to gaze back at him in delighted awe. It always seemed astonishing that Hasu’s cock felt so incomparable at such moments, still did years later after she’d had all manner of horse dick, sometimes three at a time. Vinyl’s chest reddened as well, and her ears went flaming red, and her jaw dangled as her body gave in to serious, protracted orgasm like it wasn’t going to be done for quite a while.
Hasu drank her in, worshipping her with steady, firm, deep thrusts, sinking into the look in her eyes and letting his energies build. He grinned a slightly feral grin, and his eyes crinkled up. He always did. It pleased him to bring Vinyl to this state: in a long and comfortable life, there hadn’t been any moments to compare with these treasured memories of Vinyl Scratch, her mind melting with delicious orgasm, pressed lovingly against him as he worked an increasingly hard and throbbing cock inside her, undaunted by her joyous shrieks and fierce clenches.
This time, his ears laid back a little, because prodigal Vinyl returning home boasted a horsepussy that could dent a cock of stone. It only made him grin harder. She was so wet and slippery that he didn’t even slow his stroke.
Until… as he felt his own climax approach, he bowed his head reverently, and he did slow his stroke. Not completely, but he arched his own neck, and as Vinyl’s eyes widened, Hasu dragged out his own last moments as long… as… he… possibly… could…
Vinyl’s eyes went wide and shocked. And, as Hasu gazed lovingly into them, Vinyl Scratch shook like a little pony leaf… and a tiny squirt of magic arced thinly out of her horn, to dissipate across the floor. Then another, that didn’t even reach the ground… and then she was hyperventilating, eyes so wide, totally vulnerable.
Hasu’s gaze adored her, and then without hesitation he thrust deep and clung to his dear lost Vinyl Scratch and held her so tight, and she clung to him with desperate force, her heart pounding… and Hasu came, in a series of spurts and foolish grunts and whinnies, buried inside his overwhelmed mare, pressed against her as she hung onto him.
“Oh! Hasu! Ohh! Oh! Holdme! Oh! Hasu, hold me don’t let go holdme!”
“I’m here!” he panted, not unhugging for a moment. “I’m nnh! here!”
“Oh! Uh! Unnh! Uhh! Oh!”
“I’m here! Oh, Vinyl!”
Gradually, they shuddered and spasmed to a halt, both panting for air, Vinyl’s face and ears and chest scarlet. She seemed unable to get the shocked look out of her eyes, trapped staring wildly into Hasu’s until she blinked and glanced in alarm at the floor where her horngasm had gone.
There was no damage, nothing at all. Vinyl blushed even redder.
“I don’t usually…”
“I know,” soothed Hasu.
Vinyl gulped, feeling wrung out, panting. “I mean… maybe I shoulda done even more when you came, but I…”
“I know,” soothed Hasu, earnestly.
“Oh my gosh Hasu,” managed Vinyl. “I… I…”
Hasu swallowed as well, his mane lank with sweat. “Vinyl.”
“Uh-huh?” she squeaked, fillyishly.
“I’m getting soft but I’m still in there. Do you need me to stay for a moment?”
Vinyl Scratch’s expression was utter astonishment, and then her eyes filled with tears and she just nodded, overcome, unable to speak.
Hasu set his jaw, scooched his hips forward, and pushed his wobbly weiner as deeply into Vinyl as he could and held her tight, wrapping her in his forelegs and nearly his hindlegs as well, shielding her in an embrace that was both strong stallion limbs and squishy stallion wilting-boner. All he had, he gave to Vinyl, and she shivered and gave a quiet sob and wept, clinging to what was left of his erection with all her force, nuzzling back against his solicitous nuzzles and licks.
He was repressing a grin. She sniffled, and said, “What?”
“Salty,” replied her saucy lover. “Delicious, in fact.”
“Whose fault is that?” grumped Vinyl, smiling tearfully at him.
“Guilty,” he said, and beamed lovingly at her.
She made a face. “Sorry. I… you know.”
“Yeah, I remember,” said Hasu. “Listen. Vinyl. You’re okay.”
Her lip quivered, and she pouted. “Yeah, for an earth pony mayb…”
“No, Vinyl, listen.”
She teared up again. “I’m sorry! That’s not nice to say. I’m so embarrassed I did that but, but, I totally couldn’t help it…”
“Vinyl! You’re okay. This is what I never got to tell you. All those years ago, and I never got to say it, and oh my GAWWWD will ya shut up and listen you silly filly? I’m sorry, I mean… Seriously, Vinyl!”
He had her full attention. The wide, tearful eyes were drinking him in. Hasu continued.
“You’re okay, just the way you are. It doesn’t matter, it never did. You’re Vinyl! You’re the kid down the street, and my best friend growing up, and then so much more… and I rejoiced with you the day the… you know. But I worried, because I knew, or I thought I did. I thought maybe I was just awful, you know? And then it was the bad time, and you were so upset and it wasn’t even a week before you had run away to foreign lands…”
Vinyl couldn’t speak. She just clung to him, weeping cleansing tears, listening to his gentle words.
“And I never could tell you,” said Hasu, “and I told myself it didn’t matter that much. I can’t be angry with, you know, him. He tried, I’m sure. He moved away, you know, though he still visits sometimes. Listen, Vinyl. I love you, and you’re all the Vinyl I ever needed, then and now. Maybe you can take it from me if that helps any. You’re Vinyl, and you’re enough, and you’re okay.”
She trembled in his embrace, and then twisted her neck and kissed him fervently and he kissed back and that was everything in the world, for a little time: time for worlds to begin and end, time for eternity, time for grace.
They parted, and Vinyl’s eyes were glowing, and she quipped, “If I can’t take it from you, why am I so fuckin’ wobbly?”
“Guilty,” smiled Hasu. Then, Vinyl’s cocky little grin eroded.
“I’m here, Vinyl. In fact… rrrrff! I’m in there, too.”
The moderate tensing of a flaccid penis didn’t seem to distract her. Instead, Vinyl gazed at him in great seriousness, her lip quivering.
“I… I was gonna be all bold an’ naughty, Hasu, and I was gonna say… I think I’ll keep you.”
Hasu nodded, solemnly.
“Do ya love me?” asked Vinyl Scratch. “Cos I love you somethin’ hardcore.”
“I’ll always love you,” said Hasu.
“W… will ya keep me?” asked Vinyl Scratch.
Hasu’s eyes sank into hers, and she gave herself up to them. She didn’t rush him. Even back in the old days, Hasu had been the sensible one, and she’d been the hothead, impulsive and mercurial. Now, she yielded herself to the wisdom she knew he had, and she let him ponder it.
“As long as you want me to,” said Hasu. “It looks like that means ‘yes’.”
Vinyl’s eyes flooded with tears, and she relaxed back into his embrace.
“No, seriously, let me,” said Vinyl. “No fair! I’m like your wife or something, you gotta let me make you breakfast!”
“Did you ever cook breakfast before, Vinyl?” asked Hasu.
“Nooooo… not exactly COOK… but I can learn…”
“What do you eat in the morning, Vinyl?”
“Sugared alfalfa bars,” said Vinyl. “Ya know, for energy! Unless… yeah, unless anypony else cooks for me.” She pouted.
“Can you even stand up, Vinyl?” teased Hasu.
“Yeah, like you’re real steady on your hooves!” retorted Scratch. “Come kiss me again.”
He did, solemnly, his eyes dancing with pleasure.
“Not until I’ve cooked breakfast!” protested Hasu, her happily hapless horsebando. “Vinylll! Oh my GAWWWD!”
“Oh all right,” said Vinyl. “Whatcha making?”
“Don’t you even recognize it? Haycakes.”
Vinyl made a face. “Hmph. Just like… yeah, that’s okay actually. You are forgiven. Eeeee, Hasu! I’m gonna get up, watch.”
She heaved herself out of bed and splatted bonelessly onto the floor like a liquified mare.
“Technically, I think that’s more the definition of ‘down’…” observed Hasu.
Vinyl cackled. “Yeah but watch this. In Fillydelphia the unicorns dance in this way, and there’s a move they use. I taught it to some little kids once and they won a dance-off with it… the white one, really, the orange one was a pegasus and she was all popping and locking.”
“Sounds messy! And I hope someone unlocked you all and let you back out,” said Hasu.
Vinyl snickered. “Watch.”
She heaved herself up, and got one hoof after another under her center of gravity. Then, she shimmied her hooves in place and stabilized herself, and lifted her head to beam at him. “Tadah!”
“I’ll blow on you,” suggested Hasu. “You’ll fall right over.”
“Nuh-uh,” insisted Vinyl. “Watch.”
She frowned in concentration, and began to rhythmically flick her tail. Then, tap a rear hoof. Then, she bobbed her head, and began to sing ‘oontz, oontz, oontz’ to herself… and as she did, she strutted feebly forward and plunked herself into a chair at the table. “Told ya!”
“Wow,” said Hasu, smiling. “What’s the trick?”
“I got the music,” said Vinyl Scratch. “Even if I don’t have my phones, if I think it, I can do anything.”
“Including eat haycakes?”
“Especially eat haycakes!” proclaimed Vinyl, and the two fell upon breakfast like they’d not eaten for days.
“I haven’t seen your bookstore for… well, seriously, Hasu, it wasn’t even your bookstore back when I lived here!” cried Vinyl.
Hasu trotted wearily along. The drizzle had stopped, and they’d bathed in a stream. Vinyl had gone back to the house to grab her shades. She wasn’t wearing them in the usual way, but she explained, “If it does start to rain again, it’s great, I can gallop right into the rain and not have to blink or anything!”
Their progress was interspersed by nuzzling, and a certain amount of staggering.
“It is your bookstore now? Ya bought it? From… what was her name?”
“Hokori,” said Hasu. “You remember.”
“Nah,” said Vinyl. “She was so old, and you know, books. But now I love them! I can totally pick up a book with my horn even if it’s kinda heavy, maybe not super duper heavy, but I can still do it. I can be helpful. And I won’t even worry about it. Like, maybe for me that’s what my magic is for. Picking up little things… and for you.” She nuzzled his neck, with her horn.
“Oh, Vinyl,” said Hasu, indulgently. “You can just decorate my bookstore, my beautiful Vinyl.”
“Yeah, yeahyeah!” said Vinyl. She pranced for a moment, then staggered and caught herself. “Woahh! I could keep you amused. You know, when it gets boring.”
“It’s not boring,” said Hasu. “New books come, from all over Neighpon. Farther, even. It’s a beautiful life, everything I wanted.”
“Everything?” teased Vinyl.
“Almost everything,” chuckled Hasu.
“I could decorate it with streamers and stuff! There’s this pony back h… back in Ponyville. Pinkie Pie, her name is. She’s a beast for streamers, oh my GAWWWWD you never saw the like. I could use my horn to attach streamers and decorations to stuff! I’m not sure I’m that good at tying knots and things like that, but I can learn. It’s gonna be great. Eeee, is that it?”
“My second home,” said Hasu proudly.
“Eeeee! It’s as stuffy and old as ever! Is it still like all dust and boring inside, and sooooo quiet?”
“I’m sure I can make some allowances,” smiled Hasu. “You can bring your… oh, pony hell, I can’t believe I’m fumbling this. Uh… dock? Your dock? You know.”
He stopped. Vinyl Scratch had frozen in the street, with a look of horror on her face.
“Oh, no!” said Hasu. “I remember what it meant to you. You must have been using it at the concert! Of course, how could you do what you do without it? It sounded wonderful. Vinyl, talk to me! What’s wrong? We’ll go, we’ll go right now and get your dock.”
“Deck,” said Vinyl Scratch, staring at nothing as if nothing had fangs and a very bad attitude.
“Deck! I’m so sorry,” said Hasu. “I knew that. I’ll remember. We’ll go and get your deck, right now…”
“Decks,” said Vinyl, beginning to tremble. “There’s two now. Still on stage, even. I didn’t even put them away.”
Hasu’s jaw dropped. “Vinyl, talk to me. I know you very well, and that just made it worse. Did you replace the first one? It seems impossible.”
Hasu was seizing her, shaking her. “Vinyl, tell me! What happened? Whatever it is, we’ll fix it, but how could you possibly… did you go find a matching one? Vinyl, you look like you’re seeing a ghost! Please tell me what’s wrong! That was the most important thing you had in all Neighpon!”
Vinyl gulped, looking haunted. “I needed two, to perform. That’s two decks, I’m on two decks, because of the beat matching. I didn’t have them in Shido. And I needed two…”
“Let it out,” urged Hasu. “Let it out, then we’ll go and fix everything, I promise.”
“There was this, this, traveling magician,” said Vinyl unsteadily. “And he had this w-wand. And I needed two. And h… he never told me it would be DIVIDED…”
Hasu’s jaw dropped, and then he was hugging her. “Oh, VINYL! Poor Vinyl!”
“No it’s okay, it’s okay,” insisted Vinyl, “don’t be like that or I’ll start crying again. I gotta go get them, I gotta, I didn’t even say goodbye, they’ll be so scared…”
“They were broken? You take care of them?” pressed Hasu.
“No, they’re stars along with me. The guy, he built them back up again, they’re great… I’ll never let artifact magic touch them again, ever EVER… look, I gotta get them, you understand. They need to join me. We’ll go right away, okay?”
Hasu gazed at her for a moment.
“…or maybe you need to join them,” he said.
Even as she said it, the sound of galloping hooves in the distance began to grow louder. Vinyl just stared helplessly at Hasu, as the sound built and resolved itself into two ponies. One was gray, with a disheveled black mane and tail. One was a huge red stallion, covered in sweat, his eyes terrified.
Even before they approached Vinyl and Hasu, Octavia and Big Macintosh were bawling and apologising at the top of their lungs.
“We’re SORRY! We’re sorry we’re so sorry please don’t be angry we love you we’re sorry we’re sorry…”
Vinyl stared, her shades perched on the top of her head. She did have a glance for Big Macintosh, but mostly she could not stop looking at weeping, grovelling Octavia. She couldn’t even blink.
“WE’RE SORRY AW HORSEAPPLES WE’RE SO CONSARNED SORRY RIGHT NOW…”
“Please!” said Hasu, gently, while Big Macintosh tried to draw a breath. The gentle bookseller reached up and booped Big Macintosh’s nose with a delicate hoof. “Please, calm yourself, everything will be fine!”
As their eyes met, Octavia fell silent, and just fixed Vinyl with a desperately vulnerable gaze, her lip quivering. She glanced at Hasu, her eyes wide. She looked back at Vinyl…
She was seized in a fierce embrace by her best friend in all Equestria, and burst into wailing tears on Vinyl Scratch’s shoulder.
“Oh, Tavi,” managed Vinyl. “Ohhhh, Tavi…”
Beside them, Hasu nodded. “My good stallion! If I’m not mistaken, you helped move things for my Vinyl. You didn’t bring her docks, ah, decks, by chance?”
Big Macintosh shook his head, wide-eyed.
“No matter,” said Hasu. “May I soothe your feelings with a hug?”
Big Macintosh nodded, and without hesitation the calm bookseller reared and wrapped him in a kindly pony hug. “Don’t worry,” said Hasu. “Everything will be all right.”
“How did you even find us?” asked Vinyl. “Tavi! Big Macintosh! How did you come all the way out here? Did someone recognize Hasu?”
Octavia shook her head, opened her mouth, and then gave up trying to speak and returned to frantically hugging Vinyl again. Big Macintosh cleared his throat.
“We followed th’ signs…”
Hasu wrinkled his brow. “But there aren’t good signs in Nairiku-bu province. We know where we live, it’s not exactly the capital city, is it? Did you just get lucky?”
Vinyl was shaking. “I think I got lucky, not them… oh, Tavi! Poor Tavi…”
Big Macintosh shook his head. “Eenope. We followed them pink signs. You know?”
Blank looks greeted him.
“Th’ ones that say, ‘this way to the running-away DJ and her boyfriend’?”
Blank looks grew more disbelieving.
“Also, sometimes, ‘hurry up you idiot, this way, you can’t go over the stupid mountains’?”
“There’s no such signs,” said Hasu. “I’ve never even heard of such signs. Pink? Could it be pink demons leading you to your doom?”
Vinyl hugged weeping Octavia tighter.
“Definitely not that,” she said. “Maybe away from it?” She realized what she was saying, and glanced at Hasu, wide-eyed. “I didn’t mean that! I just… I…”
Hasu released Big Macintosh. He was smiling, and slightly tearful. “Shhh. It’s all right, my Vinyl.”
Vinyl’s lip was quivering. “B-but I… I CAN’T be your Vinyl…”
“You will always be my Vinyl,” said Hasu, firmly. “And I’ll always love you. Go on. Keep on being Vinyl. You’re the world’s Vinyl, too. That’s not wrong.”
Vinyl’s lip quivered worse, and then she’d flung herself into his embrace, and they hugged fiercely, as Octavia and Big Macintosh said not a word.
Then, Vinyl parted from the embrace, and walked deliberately over to Octavia, and kissed her on the muzzle.
“We’ll talk. And thank you. Mare needs a reminder, sometimes.”
Octavia gulped. “I’m so sorry, Scratchie…”
“Shhh,” said Vinyl Scratch. “It’s okay, baby. I know.”
“He’s really nice,” said Octavia. “Your stallion.”
“Yeah he is,” said Vinyl Scratch.
She turned, and faced Hasu. He wasn’t crying, and he faced her bravely. Vinyl Scratch went up to him, and just looked into his eyes.
“Of course,” said the bookseller stallion.
“I love you. I’ll… give your love to my decks? You remembered, all these years later.”
“Of course,” said Hasu. “Of course. Give them a kiss from me. Uh, if they’re down for that sort of thing?”
Scratch was undeterred. “Hasu?”
“I may never see you again.”
Hasu stepped closer.
“I know,” he said, simply. His tears were perfectly balanced by his brave smile.
Vinyl reared, and gave him a fierce hug, and kissed him like the end of the world…
Then she’d whirled, and was trotting off, still somewhat unsteady, but determined. But not before lifting a hoof… and dropping her shades down in perfect DJ Pon-3 style. They shielded her eyes from the rain… from without, or within.
Big Macintosh and Octavia fell in beside her, as they began the long journey back to where they’d left the decks, Octavia’s cello, and their entire lives as touring musicians. They kept up a steady trot, because there was a crucial command performance to give, and they had to get around the mountains somehow with far too little time to cover that ground.
“Since when are you, me? I’m supposed to be the big romantic.”
“Shut up,” said Vinyl Scratch, and gave Octavia a kiss.