What Wasn't Hers

by Pastel Pony

Chapter 1: Invidia

Vinyl always knew she loved him.

No, strike that, she didn’t always know…

But she’d known for a damn long time.

It was wrong, of course. That was a fact she had also been aware of basically since the moment she realized she loved him. It was more than wrong, even… It was… It was basically the most fucked-up thing she could think of.

Who in this screwed, sadistic universe had thought it would be amusing to have Vinyl Scratch fall rather pathetically and hopelessly in love with Neon Lights?

He was practically her brother…

They weren’t biologically related, no. In fact, if it weren’t for the fact they had attended the same preschool and their mothers had become life-long friends, perhaps the two could have been something else. But, then Vinyl might never have met him, so she both cursed and thanked fate for what it had done to her.

Some ponies don’t get the concept of friends being like family until they have a friend like Neon. Vinyl had been an only child, and he had always been much more like a sibling than any of her cousins. They had played together, gone to school together, and even shared a bedroom for one weekend when Vinyl’s house was being sprayed for termites.

They were like twins… And it was perfect.

Until the cursed school year when they turned fourteen.

Neon had his cutie mark, and with his new affinity for the rapidly growing genre coined “dubstep”, he quickly developed new friends of a… higher status than Vinyl, who was still a blankflank with frizzy braided hair and braces.

Deep down, Vinyl had always thought it would end like that, with him simply embracing his awesomeness and leaving her behind. Surprisingly, he didn’t at first, but they bickered about it constantly. And, even when Vinyl pretended she didn’t care, it still hurt.

It hurt even more as he finally, properly began pushing her away.

But the anger, the writhing, boiling anger that was directed at nopony and everypony… That didn’t set in until the fillies who were more than happy to offer their… wares… to him started hanging around.

She remembered going to her grandmother, an old, wizened pony of eighty-four at the time and begging her, tears streaming down her face, to tell her what was wrong with her. What was wrong with Vinyl.

The mare had simply peered into her eyes, held a foreleg against her burning forehead, and nodded matter-of-factly.

“Invidia.” she had whispered.

And that was when Vinyl’s world began to fall apart.

It wasn’t until the move came, just a few months after her fifteenth birthday, that Vinyl was forced to admit to herself her feelings ran much deeper than some petty crush. It was as he and his mother waved them goodbye as their taxi sped out of Canterlot towards Ponyville, her and her mother’s new home, did she realized she loved him.

Vinyl wouldn’t leave the house the first few weeks in Ponyville. She sat in her room, listening over and over again the dubstep records she had painstakingly collected in hopes of impressing him. While the strange music had intrigued her when she first heard it, she had only really become a fan because he loved it, and she loved him. Ironically, it was exactly one year after her grandmother’s diagnosis that Vinyl earned her cutie mark.

Neon hadn’t even asked about it when he and his mother came to visit that summer… She locked her door and didn’t come out for two days after they left.

Lovesickness was a bitch, if she did say so herself.

Eventually, of course, he’d followed her to Ponyville, bringing first one marefriend, and then another with him. Vinyl wished he had stayed, she wished he had stayed in Canterlot and not moved down to her home just so he could experience “the tranquil and serene calm” of Ponyville her mother had always told him about.

But she still went to his welcome party, ate three sliced of cake, and then went home and cried.

Somehow, they managed to find their stride again. He said he didn’t want the two of them to be “petty teenagers bent on hell” towards one another again. So… they were friends, not like they once were, but still. It was almost good enough for Vinyl.


And of course, the fact that she had allowed them to be friends was what led Vinyl Scratch, age twenty-three, to be moping in bed at one in the afternoon with tear stains down her muzzle, contemplating her history with the stallion who had stolen her heart at the age of fifteen.

She sat up in bed and rubbed at her face furiously, before turning to study her blurry reflection in the large mirror that rested against the far wall of her bedroom. Staring at the broken mess of a mare in front of her made Vinyl want to crush something.

“You are fucking pathetic, Vinyl Scratch.” she whispered solemnly.

It wasn’t healthy, this… whatever it was. She knew that. The few ponies she’d tried explaining it to labeled it as obsession. It wasn’t like that though. Obsession was when one romanticized the other into something they were not, something that was perfect. Vinyl knew Neon Lights wasn’t perfect… he was brash, and arrogant, and rude, and insensitive, and at times completely insane, but Vinyl loved him anyway… possibly all the more for those things.

She sighed at the empty feeling that resided inside of her whenever she considered her… obsession.

A quiet knock came from the door, and Vinyl heard the soft voice of Octavia, her roommate, confidant, and best friend echo from beneath it. “Vinyl? You up?”

“More or less.”

The door gently swung open at reveal the grey mare behind it. “Are you okay?”

No. No, of course she wasn’t okay. And the stupid thing was, she had known this would happen, like usual, when she called him up and invited him and his marefriend, Sassaflash, to dinner and Octavia’s concert. She still had done it though, because, dammit, he loved classical orchestra music just as much as dubstep, believe it or not, and all she wanted was to see him smile, to just to spend an evening basking in his presence, trying to ignore the ever-present Sassaflash by his side.

Vinyl couldn’t say all that, though, so she merely shook her head as tears welled in her eyes. Octavia was there in a heartbeat, cradling her in her forelegs, and planting a soft kiss on Vinyl’s head as she sobbed into her shoulder.

The physical contact didn’t bother Vinyl. She and Octavia were very close friends, close enough that many mistook the definition of their relationship. It wasn’t really surprising, they were two openly bisexual mares living together, and neither had dated in over a year.

Sometimes Vinyl wondered why she didn’t initiate an… intimate relationship with Octavia. They were friends, she was beautiful, and she would happily give Vinyl all the love in the world. Vinyl knew Octavia liked her.

She couldn’t though, because they were like sisters, and she couldn’t bear the idea of hurting Octavia. She knew her friend wouldn’t care, that she’d still love her no matter what, but Vinyl didn’t want to start a relationship, a real relationship, with somepony she genuinely cared about, because she had no more love to give.

Octavia deserved better than some broken shamble of a pony who had let her entire life, down to her cutie mark, be dictated by the stallion named Neon Lights. She deserved more than a mare that would always uncontrollably cry if Octavia play My Heart Will Go On, simply because it was the one semi-classical song she and Neon had ever agreed on.

Gently, Octavia pushed her back down onto the pillows. “I’ll go get you some tea.” Tea… it was Vinyl’s favorite self-pity drink, even better than rum surprisingly, when it came to matter of the heart.

She had just settled down and closed her eyes as the phone rang. Sitting up, she fought back the snarl that rose, unbidden, in her throat as the name Sassaflash flashed at the caller id. Gently, as if it might explode, she picked up the phone and maneuvered it to her ear. “Hello?”

“Vinyl?!” Screamed a voice, and the mare in question gritted her teeth. It wasn’t that she honestly disliked Sassaflash... they were friends, really. She just wanted to cause her severe bodily harm, friends or not, whenever she stood next to Neon.

“Yea. What’s up, Flash?” She said quietly, carefully maneuvering her “destroy Sassaflash” fantasies out of her thoughts.

“Ok… So you won’t believe this, but Neon took me out to lunch today at this really really nice restaurant, and gave me flowers and everything, and then… he proposed!”

A cold, unforgiving ball of ice hit Vinyl in her gut. “…What?” She whispered faintly.

“I know, right!” Sassaflash babbled, not really listening to the tone of her friend. “I mean, took him long enough, right? We’ve been dating for, like, nearly three years now!”

Vinyl’s head sunk into her hooves as she listened to the other mare babble on about wedding venues, and rings, and how Vinyl just absolutely, totally, completely had to be one of Flash’s bridesmaids… Before she finally found the will to cut her off.

“T-that’s great, Flash… I just… I… I um, g-gotta go.” She hung up without even bothering to listen to the other’s protests and merely slumped as the tears welled in the corner of her eyes.

It was over now, truly and completely. The one thing she had hoped for was now, no question or doubt, a never was and wouldn’t be. Vinyl could never claim the stallion who had stolen her life from her as her own.

Invidia was all she could hear, whispered over and over again in her ear by a thousand different voices. A bout of mind-numbing anger gripped Vinyl, and she grabbed her pillow, bodily flinging it against the wall.

“FUCK!” was all she screamed, and she was up on her hooves before she knew about it, tossing and breaking things, ripping and tearing at everything in sight.

It wasn’t until she caught her reflection in the mirror amongst the wreckage that she stopped, surveying the thoroughly fucked-up mare staring back at her, eyes bloodshot, tears and snot dribbling down her face, normally well-styled mane mussy and sticking out in all directions (and not in the good way).

Vinyl approached this strange beast in the mirror with caution. This… couldn’t be her. This trembling sack of emotions couldn’t be Vinyl Scratch, the mare who she knew was vibrant, alive, and beautiful.

But it was, because Neon Lights had gone and stolen her heart a long time ago, eventually taking everything else in the process.

If Vinyl’s world had started falling apart at age fourteen, then she must be nearing the center of the black hole by now.

In a final, desperate attempt to kill the mess she had become, she threw herself against the mirror, smashing the glass against her skull and smiling in satisfaction as she opened her eyes to find her reflection gone, even as she felt the sting of the cut left by the glass just below her right eye.

It was then that Octavia burst into the room. “Vinyl! Are you ok? I heard a lot of noise- and oh my god, your face!

Vinyl touched her cheek absentmindedly, blinking in surprise at the blood on her hoof. “Oh… right. Yea, that.” She simply threw herself down amongst the shards of glass and buried her head in her forelegs. She heard the gentle pattern of hoofsteps that were maneuvered through the broken glass, but didn’t look up, not even when she felt Octravia’s hoof on her shoulder.

“Sassaflash called. “ Was all she could choke out, she could hear Octavia’s silence pressing down on her, begging to know more, but too afraid to ask.

She hesitated. “…They’re getting married.”

Octavia said nothing, only wrapped her forelegs around Vinyl’s shoulders and tugged her up onto her bed, before settling next to her and holding her like a mother would her foal, rocking and singing to her softly. Vinyl closed her eyes, and let the tears dance down her cheeks.

And as she listened to Octavia’s singing, Vinyl wished.

She wished she could love Octavia the way she knew her roommate loved her, because then she might be happy.

She wished Neon and Sassaflash would have a beautiful wedding filled with love and joy, because they were good for each other, and Neon’s happiness filled Vinyl’s empty void… But that didn’t stop her wishing he loved her the way she loved him.

She wished he was hers, even as she knew that he never would be.

Then she wished for the end… because what was life when you had no more love to give?

Author's Notes:

“Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don't know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.”
― Anaïs Nin

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