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Vinyl stared at the door she knew was all that separated her from the home of Octavia’s...well, nemesis. That was how they acted, at least. Like soap opera arch-rivals or enemies or something. Frankly, she thought it was ridiculous and overly dramatic. She stared at the door, unsure if this was the right thing to do. It wasn’t like she was worried about Octavia catching her visiting her apparently hypocritical enemy. The prissy pony had left the store in such a state that Vinyl was nearly completely certain Octavia was home, padded up and punching a pillow. Or maybe punching the whole bed. Hopefully nothing was damaged by the time Vinyl got home. I better do it now, she thought, sighing. Strike while the iron is hot and all that jazz.

What exactly she was here to do, she was still unsure. Vinyl mostly just wanted to get Lyra’s side of it. There was a possibility here that everything had gone wrong from something that wasn’t nearly as bad as Octavia believed. As much as she wanted to believe her friend, Vinyl knew that Octavia could be unintentionally exaggerating or not remembering clearly thanks to the hefty amount of anger simmering away inside her.

Knocking loudly, Vinyl jerked back in surprise when the door swung open an inch. Checking to make sure she hadn’t just arrived while Lyra was being robbed, Vinyl decided the other unicorn had just left her door unlocked. It wasn’t like Canterlot was all that dangerous, but it wasn’t a town like Ponyville where everypony felt safe leaving their homes open and unlocked. Peeking in, Vinyl looked around. She revised her decision that this wasn’t a robbery when she saw the broken vase in the just inside the door. The stand it had probably been on was next to it, fallen as well.

If it was a robbery, and she really hoped it wasn’t, Vinyl Scratch couldn’t just stand there and do nothing, even if this was Lyra. Pushing the door open and stepping in, she walked around the vase, stepping over the puddle it had left. The apartment was pretty small, reminding her exactly why she had gotten a roommate in the first place.

“And now I’m changing her diapers,” she muttered to herself with a giggle. Quieting herself, Vinyl kept up her search. Nothing else was damaged, the small living room with its kitchenette looking pretty peaceful. Nothing out of the ordinary, just stuff about classical music, books, sheet music, that sort of thing. There was even what Vinyl was pretty sure was a lyre….or a harp. It was a stringy thing that made fancy music. Shaking her head, Vinyl continued her search. The whole time, the apartment was quiet. Too quiet.

“Okay...creepy,” she muttered. There was only one more door, so she crept towards it. She knocked quietly. “Lyra? Yo, its Vinyl Scratch, you here?”

Silence answered her. She tapped the door again.

“Just wanna talk, you know, about...stuff and...things.”

Okay, that was lame. Come on Scratch, just open it up and check. If she’s here, we can talk. If she’s not, well, I better get out before I get accused of trying to break in.

She grasped the handle and slowly opened it, peeking in. It was dark inside, the only light streaming in from behind Vinyl. It wasn’t completely silent though, and the sound reminded Vinyl of Octy and her favourite pacifier.

Thuckle, thuckle, thuckle.

“Huh?” She squinted and pushed up her sunglasses, making out the form curled up on the bed. Pushing the door open enough to step in, Vinyl’s hoof hit something heavy and plastic. It was, it turned out, a large pack of diapers identical to the one Vinyl had picked up. Fluffy Foal adult diapers, the thickest on the market. Lighting her horn, Vinyl saw the packet was open, the plastic torn messily open, like some animal had ripped it open.

Her magic light revealed the mare on the bed. Lyra didn’t react to the light. She was just curled up, a hastily-taped diaper on her bottom, legs clutching something tightly her chest. The source of the suckling sound, so much like Octy, was the pacifier the musician was suckling on.

Thuckle, thuckle, thuckle.

‘Well, I guess that puts any doubt to rest...why isn’t she doing anything?’ Vinyl wondered. The light should have gotten some reaction out of Lyra.

“Lyra?” She waited, but got no response. “Lyra, stop ignoring me, I just came here to talk. I’m not gonna make fun of you or anything, come on.”

Still Lyra did nothing. She just lay there, hugging what looked like a soft toy and suckling on her pacifier like it was the last one in the world. Vinyl frowned. She cautiously approached the bed, until she was right in front of the other unicorn, who just stared straight through her.

“...okay, this is definitely weird.”

She finally went for her patented perfect pony prodding technique; she poked Lyra. When this didn’t work, she poked her again. Vinyl frowned, reaching over to poke her again.

“Lyra, stop ignoring me. We need to talk. Come on,” she urged, poking her again. Poke. Poke. “Damn it, stop playing games!”

To her frustration, Lyra didn’t do anything but suckle. She was staring at the wall, her eyes red and damp, lines painted on her cheeks where she had been crying at some point. Clearly just poking her and shouting weren’t going to do anything. By now, Vinyl was starting to worry. This was weird, really weird. Not the diapers, but the way Lyra just seemed to be completely gone.

‘Okay, gotta think of something. She’s totally out of it,’ Vinyl thought, rubbing her forehead. She scowled, trying to work out what to do. ‘At least I know she really is into this stuff. I mean wow, look at those diapers, they’re huge! She must really like them.’ She laughed quietly. ‘She’s just like Octy, despite how much they hate each other.’

She stopped, blinking a few times. Just like Octy. Vinyl grinned suddenly, an idea coming to her. Lyra really was just like Octy, and if Vinyl wanted to make her come back from wherever she had gone in her head, all the DJ had to do was do what she did for Octavia. A quick search under Lyra’s bed found a foal bottle, left far out of sight and out of reach for anyone but a unicorn.

Taking it to the kitchen, the unicorn thought more about her idea. Lyra had checked out. Since she wasn’t a doctor or a psychologist or anything, Vinyl couldn’t be sure. But if Lyra had checked out, maybe that meant there was another way to get something out of her.

“Ly-Ly,” Vinyl cooed when she got back, sidling up to the side of the bed. She pressed a hoof against the diaper, feeling it squish slightly. “Looks like somepony wet her diapee. Do you need a changey-wangey?”

Vinyl saw a tiny movement. Lyra twitched, her forelegs shifting slightly. The DJ grinned.

“Or maybe you’re not wet enough, huh? It can wait.” Her magic carried the bottle of warm milk, bouncing it in front of the zoned out unicorn. “Come on sweetie, open up.”

Lyra stirred as her pacifier was pulled out, lifting her head instinctively trying to get it back. But Vinyl’s magic kept it out of reach, replacing it with the bottle. A little squeal left Lyra’s lips as the soft plastic nipple pressed into her lips, but with something to suck on she let her head sink back onto her pillow. By the time she had done that, Vinyl had already hopped onto the bed.

The green unicorn lay there, head in Vinyl’s lap, bottle in her mouth. Her soft, gentle suckling brought warm milk into her mouth as she stared up dully. Vinyl ran a hoof through the overgrown foal’s mane, smiling reassuringly at her.

“See, not so bad. Just relax and let Auntie Vinyl help. The~eeere we go,” she cooed. She let it stop there for the moment, giving Lyra a moment to drink from the bottle.

Slowly, the foalish unicorn began to relax, still staring off without seeing Vinyl. Some part of Lyra still heard her, still knew what was going on. Her forelegs remained tightly clutching what Vinyl could now see was a stuffed toy. Reaching down, she tried to gently loosen Lyra’s grip so she could see what it was. She got a whine from the filly, a wordless, foalish sound of complaint.

“Okay, okay, I’ll stop, calm down.” Vinyl patted her on the head and the suckling started again. She smiled.

Lyra wasn’t so bad, not right now. For all Octavia’s frequent rants about some frustrating encounter with her, at the moment Lyra was pretty adorable. Her messy mane, foalish suckling and toy, not to mention the thick diaper spreading her legs, added up to one cute foal.

“Gah, you’re adorable. Has anypony ever told you that? You’ve gotta be one of the cutest little foals I’ve ever seen,” Vinyl chuckled. A blush spread under Lyra’s furred cheeks, making the DJ grin. Lyra was coming back, even if it was slowly.

Gently rocking the mare, Vinyl didn’t say anything else. She just relaxed, and Lyra relaxed in turn. She wasn’t sure how long they stayed like this before a quiet, timid voice spoke up. ‘Spoke up’ was really not quite accurate; it was a barely audible mumble.. She looked down at Lyra, cocking an eyebrow down at her. The unicorn flinched and looked away, but didn’t try to move.

“Gonna have to speak up, can’t hear ya. All the loud music, heh,” Vinyl chuckled. She lowered her head to make easier to hear, ears flicking towards Lyra.

“P-please…” she heard Lyra whisper. The mare hugged her toy harder, refusing to look up. “P-pleasedon’ttellanypony.”

“Eh? What’d you say?” Gently shifting the big foal’s head, Vinyl tried to get her to look her in the eye. “Tell anypony? How lame do you think I am?”

Lyra didn’t say anything in reply, she just suckled on her pacifier, staring off at the wall with a blush showing through her fur. The mare fidgeted, eyes flicking up for a moment before going back to staring away. With patience she only displayed for Octy, Vinyl stayed silent, letting Lyra take her time until she was ready.

“Why…?”

“Why am I cool with this? Why did I follow you?” Vinyl asked. She didn’t wait for an answer. “I followed you because I wanted to talk to you. Octavia might have been too angry to care, but it’s kinda hard to just go ‘Oh, Lyra ran crying because we ran into her in the adult foal store, oh well’.”

Cringing, Lyra began to squirm. She stilled when a hoof was put on her shoulder. Vinyl didn’t push her down, just rested her hoof there and Lyra stopped moving. She gave her toy a squeeze.

Keeping her voice soothing and calm, Vinyl attempted to coax more from her; “Octavia told me a story. It was about the two of you, and you parted ways angry and hurt. Except I don’t think Octavia knew the whole situation.” She waited until Lyra peeked at her again and held her gaze. “Octavia found you with a pack of diapers, didn’t she?”

Blushing, Lyra nodded weakly. Her eyes shiny with unshed tears and she whimpered, “P-please don’t...I-I don’t want to…” She sniffled.

“Do you know why Octavia was so angry with you?” Vinyl went on. She hated to see anypony like this, and with the caustic, razor-tongued Lyra it was even worse because it was just so different from how she normally was.

Tears finally burst from Lyra’s tears. “Because I’m a freak! She found me and my diapers, and she knew I was a freak!” She wailed, covering her face. “S-she’s right, I-I am a freak!”

“Whoa! Freak? Calm down, you’re not a-”

“I AM!” Lyra pulled away, curling up on the other side of the bed. She threw her toy across the room, spat her pacifier out and reached down, tugging at her diaper. “Look at me, wearing a freaking wet diaper, what the hay is wrong with me? Wrong wrong wrong-”

She was cut off by her pacifier. It had stopped halfway to the floor, held in Vinyl’s magic, and rocketed back up to plant itself in her mouth. She turned to glare at Vinyl, wiping futilely at her wet eyes, and the DJ caught her in a hug.

“Shhhh,” she soothed, patting her on the back. Lyra pushed at her for a few seconds before going limp. The diapered unicorn sobbed against Vinyl, going from angry to tearful in seconds. “You’re not a freak.”

“I-I am!” Lyra cried, whimpering around her pacifier. “Octavia f-found out and she hates me!”

Vinyl cringed. “No, Lyra...she thought you had found her diapers. She felt just as embarrassed and ashamed as you do! She thinks you found hers!”

Pulling her head back, Lyra stared at Vinyl in shock. “Y-you’re….you’re lying...she wouldn’t, I mean, Octavia’s not…” She shook her head.

“What do you think we were doing at that store?” Vinyl asked her. She smiled warmly and reached up to wipe away Lyra’s tears. “The same thing you were. Me and Octy were getting her some more stuff.”

Lyra sat there, staring at her in numb shock. Her mouth twitched but she didn’t say anything. It looked like it was too much for her to handle. Years of verbal dueling and sniping were suddenly given a whole new subtext. Octavia hadn’t been trying to belittle and bully her; she had been doing the exact same thing as Lyra, trying to show the other she wasn’t an easy target. They had both been afraid their secret would be revealed.

“Celestia…” she whispered. “She...she’s really…” Her lip trembled. “She...she didn’t think I was a freak?”

Vinyl’s smile became a grin. “Nope! She thought you thought she was! You’re not a freak, Lyra. I promise you, and you know I’m the coolest pony in this city. If I say you’re not a freak, you’re not a freak, got it?”

Dazed by the revelation, Lyra just gave a weak nod. “I- she-....oh Celestia, she must hate me! She must think I’m such a terrible pony!” She trembled, suckling on her pacifier urgently.

“Eh, a bit...okay, okay, calm down,” Vinyl hurriedly tried to take back her words. “We just have to explain this to her. She was pretty steamed after she saw you.”

Sitting back on her thick diaper, Lyra stared at the other unicorn. She shook her head in confusion, uncertain and afraid that a terrible, terrible mistake could never be fixed. She was a freak. She knew that. She told herself every day she was wrong and freakish and...and Octavia liked diapers as well. Prim, proper, always-in-control Octavia!

“I...I always felt so jealous of her…” she hung her head, sobbing quietly. “S-she wasn’t a freak. She wasn’t wrong like me. She was normal and p-proper and she hated me because I’m a freak…”

Vinyl felt like slapping Lyra for being so damned dense. She settled for hugging Lyra even tighter. “Stop it. You are not a freak. You might not be normal, and Octy ain’t either, but there’s nothing wrong with either of you, except you’re both as thick as cement.”

The mint green unicorn tried to nod, but she just couldn’t bring herself to. She pressed her face against Vinyl’s shoulders. Vinyl stroked the back of the mare’s mane, thinking about how she in no way expected this situation before a week ago. Hell, she hadn’t been expecting it this morning.

“You both need to realise just because you like something a little odd, a bit outta the ordinary, you aren’t freaks. In fact, I bet once the anger wears off Octavia is going to be as afraid as you.” Vinyl sighed, rubbing her forehead. “So, you know what I want to do?”

Lyra gave a little head-shake.

“I want you to come with me to see Octy. Shh, shh, calm down,” Vinyl cooed, trying to soothe Lyra’s fearful whimper. “I won’t let her shout at you, and you won’t shout at her. You’re both going to sit down and talk.”

She was close enough to easily hear Lyra gulp loudly and her low, quiet question; “W-what if she...hates me? E-even after she knows. I’ve been…”

“Yeah, you’ve been a bitch, but hey, so has she! It kinda cancels it out for both of you, since you were both acting mean to each other.” The grin Vinyl gave her assured Lyra that this made complete sense.

Lyra looked at her nervously, biting her lip. “That...doesn’t really help…” Vinyl dipped her head and sighed, but Lyra put a hoof on her shoulder. “But I’m glad you’re trying.”

Vinyl nuzzled Lyra a bit. “Hey, you may be thick as a brick, but that doesn’t mean I can’t try and knock some sense into you.”

“Gee, uh...thanks? I think?” Lyra’s brow furrowed in confusion. She wasn’t sure if Vinyl was being mean or nice.

“So that’s why I’m gonna make you come with me if I have to,” Vinyl went on, the same confident grin on her face.

Lyra looked at her in horror. “Wait, what? No! I can’t… I mean… “

Vinyl wasn’t taking no for an answer. She grabbed Lyra by the hoof and stood her up, making sure she was pointed right at the door. “That’s it, put one hoof in front of the other.”

Mint green hooves dug into the carpet, forcing Vinyl to pull even harder. “No! I-I can’t! What if she still hates me? She’s gonna…”

“If she does or says anything, I promise I’ll get on her case about it.”

“But what about…” Lyra didn’t finish her sentence. She just looked behind her at the poofy padding still adorning her flanks.

Vinyl saw it as well, and sheepishly chuckled. “Um, I guess I should take that off you.” Lyra started to thank her, but found herself lifted up into the air and then laid on her back. Her face screwed up in confusion, but then Vinyl used her magic to undo the tapes and then gently peel back the soggy diaper. Then she looked around and spied a small package of foal wipes. She pulled some out to clean the big foal off.

“I-I can do it myself,” said Lyra.

“I know, but I figured you’d probably like this part anyway. Octy does.” Vinyl’s grin didn’t falter and she was happily candid about Octavia’s foalish fun.

Lyra didn’t say anything, but she admitted to herself that being cleaned by somepony else was a nice feeling. The gentle caress of the wipe on her bottom was soothing, and she found herself smiling at the bliss the small moment was creating.

When Vinyl finished cleaning Lyra’s rump, she looked over at the mare and saw a big, happy grin on her face. “That’s the happy little foal I wanna see,” she said, nudging Lyra’s chin.

Her grin grew even wider. “Thanks, Vinyl. For… for all this.”

“Don’t mention it,” said Vinyl, then she tugged on Lyra’s foreleg again. “C’mon, let’s go.”

Lyra hesitated, her eyes betraying a deep-seated fear that Vinyl attributed to years of thinking she was some sort of monster or something for liking diapers. Vinyl was about to tug a second time, but then Lyra gulped and started to slowly walk forward.

Vinyl’s magic scooped up her saddlebags, dropped when she’d arrived. The package of diapers she had brought to return to Lyra was still in there, and she grinned as she opened the door for Lyra.

Octavia rolled her head over so the tears staining the pillow would stop soaking into her cheek fur. She sniffled a bit and wiped her nose, her forehead feeling sore from the amount of angry frowning she’d been doing. She stared up at the ceiling, her mind still racing and thinking about that… that bitch who had given her so much crap.

An angry, feral cry of pain burst from her. Octavia covered her face, her muffled snarl continuing on as she let out her emotions.

She was furious. Octavia had never been so angry. Pure outrage filled her. Her life since those years long ago had been fraught with bouts of guilt and self-loathing for her strange obsession. Lyra’s reaction had been how any normal pony would react, she had been so certain, and it had justified so much anguish Octavia had inflicted on herself.

Except Lyra was a hypocrite. A lying, filthy hypocrite. That unicorn had insulted her, had argued and bickered and been her enemy all over something Lyra did as well! Octavia’s hoof slammed down down into her mattress, rising and falling again as she tried to let out her feelings.

“I hate her!” she snarled weakly. “H-hate her. D-damn it!”

What right did Lyra have, to treat her like she had? To reject her friendship over something she herself was just as guilty of? How dare Lyra indulge in diapers as well?! How dare she sully something Octavia loved like this?!

Any other mare would have drowned themselves in a tub of ice cream. Vinyl’s consolation of choice was liquor, or as Vinyl would say, a lot of booze. Neither ice cream nor alcohol were much source of comfort for Octavia, however. With how angry she felt the ice cream would melt and the alcohol ignite if they approached her burning internal fury.

She turned her head back to look at the closet. Within it were the objects of shame that she’d only recently in her life begun to accept as a part of who she was. And, she realized, if Lyra hadn’t made her life hell because of her own hypocrisy, she probably wouldn’t have nearly the same amount of scarring that she now carried within her. As she gazed through the slightly cracked door at the wrinkled package on the floor within, she vowed that if she ever saw Lyra again, she would do her best to make her feel exactly what she felt inside.

As she was gazing into the closet, on the other end of the house, Vinyl was opening the front door quietly. She glanced back, giving Lyra a warm smile to reassure the nervous unicorn waiting outside. Lyra returned the smile, although hers was weak and uncertain.

“You just stick around in the living room and kick your hooves up or whatever. I’m gonna go talk to Octy and then we’ll get you in some nice, soft padding, okay? Would you like that?”

Lyra nodded timidly as she was herded inside, with Vinyl making sure to keep quiet. She didn’t want to disturb Octavia, and she figured if Octy laid eyes on Lyra she would probably vaporize her with her gaze alone. And after Vinyl had just gotten the poor mare to open up to her.

“A-are you sure this will be okay?” asked Lyra, her nervousness trickling into her voice. She scanned the apartment, searching for any sign of Octavia about to appear and tear her apart.

“You’re not backing out on me now, are you?” asked Vinyl with a reassuring lopsided grin.

Lyra sighed. “No, I’m not. I’ll...I’ll wait here…”

Nodding, Vinyl left her there, approaching the door behind which she was sure Octavia was fuming. She eased up to the big, wooden obstacle and gently knocked. Octavia whipped her head in the direction of the door. “Vinyl?” she said, her voice still a touch shaky.

“Yeah, it’s me, Octy. Can I come in?”

Octavia made it to “Not” before Vinyl opened the door and stepped inside. She sighed, glaring from her reclining position on her bed. “Yes, what can I do for you, Vinyl?” she said, sarcasm dripping from every word.

“I wanted to talk about Lyra.” Vinyl braced for the explosion. Octavia didn’t disappoint.

“What about her?! That hypocritical, lying whorse!” Octavia’s voice cracked like a whip. Her glare intensified. “Is that where you were, going after her? I hope you gave her a few hits for me.”

Viny’s eyes widened in shock. “Whoa, uh, Octy, I didn’t go after her to hurt her. She’s-”

“She’s horrible! She hurt me, Vinyl! She found out my secret, and ever since she’s been the most horrible pony in Equestria! Nightmare Moon? Discord? The changelings?” Octavia spat, the disgusting gesture a testament to her anger. “They deserve more mercy than her! She’s tormented me, all because of something she does as well!”

Vinyl was starting to seeth inside at Octavia’s disparaging remarks. “Octy, you’re being bucking retarded,” she said through clenched teeth, her eyes a pair of slitted magenta daggers. “This thing is way more complicated than you know.”

“What else is there to know?”Octavia shot back scornfully. She could feel tears of anger, or so she told herself, in the corners of her eyes. “Who cares if she’s hurt? She deserves every bit of pain she gets for what she did!” If Octavia’s eyes had been flamethrowers, Vinyl would be a pile of cinders. “You’re the one who went after that bitch. Why in Tartarus would you waste time doing that if you weren’t going to do something useful and show her how much it can hurt! Just what gives you the right to─”

"You, know what? Just shut the hell up!”

Vinyl said it with such force that Octavia was taken aback. She stopped talking, her shock at Vinyl’s outburst silencing the proper mare. “You’re hurt, I get that, but you’re not thinking! She hurt you, but have you even stopped to think? To think that maybe, just maybe, you don’t know the whole situation? Dammit!” Vinyl stamped her hoof with enough force to rattle the pictures on the walls. “You don’t give a damn about that other mare and how much pain she already has inside her! You know what I saw when I went to her house? A poor, defenseless little foal! She was all huddled up like a little filly, suckling a pacifier, wearing a big diaper, and cuddling her teddy bear, all because she felt like she was about to be betrayed to the world and be laughed at and humiliated! You really think you’re the only victim here?! You may have had it rough, Octy, but Lyra has had just as much pain and stuff as you have, and I’ll be damned if you’re going to sit here and lecture me about how much she hurt you! You both hurt each other, and it’s time for both of you to get the hell over it!”

When the rant was over, Octavia’s jaw was slack. In all the years she’d know Vinyl, she’d never, ever heard her go off like that. Every time somepony insulted her or did something to her, she’d shrug it off and claim it was nothing, even if it did cut her. Her laid back attitude on life usually meant that she was unflappable. But this… this was a side Octavia had never seen before, and it was a bit frightening.

Across the room Vinyl was breathing heavily, each breath she took ragged. Her eyes were red-rimmed, her cheeks stained with tears that had dripped down and hit the carpet, and her legs were trembling. In her head, things were reeling. She just couldn’t believe Octavia was being this way about Lyra. All those years of pain were real, yeah, but she had just come from Lyra’s house and seen the poor mare at her worst. Seeing her like that reminded Vinyl of Octavia somehow. Maybe it was the diaper, or the pacifier. Maybe it was how Lyra just needed somepony to baby her and make her feel loved. But whatever it was, seeing Octavia talk about Lyra like that had triggered something primal, and it had made her snap. She wanted to defend Lyra, just like she wanted to defend Octavia, though she didn’t quite know why she wanted to do that, either. Mothering instincts, perhaps? She didn’t know. All she knew was that she was looking across the room at a now frightened Octavia, and she wanted her so badly to be friends with Lyra and heal their hearts.

She sniffled as she said, “I know you’re hurt, Octy… but you gotta make up with Lyra. Please. She’s been through too much pain already for you to add more hurt to the pile. And I don’t want to see you being so...so hateful. You’re an awesome pony, Octy, and you’re way better than hating somepony like this.”

Octavia blinked, staring at her friend, the pony she had called ‘Mama’ only this morning. “I...I…” She sniffled, suddenly overcome by her emotions. She didn’t know what to do.

Trotting up, Vinyl gently wiped Octavia’s eyes. “Shhh,” she cooed. “I’m not mad at you, Octy, I promise. Don’t cry.” She rubbed Octavia’s back, easing her big foal down onto the bed. “Why don’t we get you all padded up, huh? Nice and safe for mama.” Octavia sniffled, then nodded. With a quick little peck on the cheek, Vinyl walked over to the closet and pulled out one of Octavia’s diapers, then she began to pad up her big filly.

Out in the living room, Lyra was shaking. She was still trepidatious after the incident at the adult foal store, and hearing the shouting match down the hall had sent her mind into a frenzy. She wasn’t in any state of mind to hear that kind of fighting, and she’d almost bolted out the door, never to see either Vinyl or Octavia ever again. It was only the promise she’d made to Vinyl that kept her sitting on the couch. Frankly, it was only by the barest shreds of willpower that she kept the couch unstained.

Vinyl emerged from the room, closing the door with a quiet click. The apartment was silent, save for the gentle hoofsteps Lyra heard coming down the hall. She turned and looked at Vinyl nervously.

Vinyl didn’t say anything as she approached. She just patted the big couch, reaching over to guide Lyra until the nervous mare was laid down. She wore a look of concern on her face, mixed with fear that Octavia would randomly walk in and see her laying on the sofa. But the calm, almost motherly look on Vinyl’s face reassured her. As she laid there, Vinyl unfolded one of the diapers that she brought back from Lyra’s house, then she levitated Lyra’s back legs so she could slip it under her. Lowering her gingerly into the fresh padding, she got out a tube of rash cream and started to spread it on Lyra’s flanks and nethers. Then she shook foal powder on her diaper area, its sweet aroma helping to calm Lyra’s frazzled nerves, and finally Vinyl lifted up the front and held it to Lyra’s stomach while she gently taped it in place.

Pulling Lyra up, Vinyl took her by the hoof and lead her towards Octavia’s room. The diapered mare whimpered, biting her lip. She wished she had her binky to make her feel better. Each waddling step was a step closer to...she didn’t know. Something big, probably disastrous. The only consolation she had was the thick, poofy diaper she wore. Each crinkle it made was both reassuring and worrying.

“Now, don’t overreact,” Vinyl said, her voice slightly too loud to be talking to Lyra. She held the trembling unicorn up as she reached out to gently push the door open.

The door swung open. Lyra and Octavia both went completely still, staring at each other. Sitting on her bed, her padded plot beneath her, Octavia felt curiously breathless. Her eyes slowly drifted across the mint unicorn as they both struggled to comprehend what they were seeing. The very first thing about Lyra that Octavia noticed was how big it was. The diaper was thicker than any she owned.

Lyra was as stunned as Octavia. It was one thing to hear about it, and to see Octavia at the adult foal store. Seeing the prissy pony diapered, sitting there with eyes as wide and scared as her own must look, Lyra found so much from the last few years just...drop away. It was an oddly liberating feeling. Vinyl had explained how it was a misunderstanding, but somewhere inside Lyra hadn’t believed her. After seeing the slate gray mare, with her carefully brushed ─ though now half-disheveled ─ mane and posh pink bow tie, sitting on the bed wearing a big, foalish diaper, Lyra started to consider that what Vinyl had said about Octavia was true.

Nopony said anything for a long while.

“Will one of you say something?” said Vinyl.

Gulping, Lyra tried to speak. It was hard, but she managed to stutter out, “T-they...they were m-my...diapers…” she shuffled her hooves, staring at the ground.

Octavia said nothing, staring at the pony she had hated and resented for years. Her first instinct was to deny it. They had to have been her diapers Lyra had found…except…she thought back, trying to remember. Had her own package been opened when she wore them in an attempt to find solace, later that night? She couldn’t remember.

“I-I’m s-sorry, I w-was so afraid you hated m-me, a-and when we met again, I...I was afraid…” Lyra sniffled as her voice cracked, her eyes wet. She trembled, refusing to look up, shame in her voice.

“Look, Lyra…” Octavia tried to work out what to say. “All those years, I was wrong about you. I thought you acted that way because you found my diapers and were making fun of me. It really hurt me, and I wanted you to feel nothing but pain. I… had no idea you were going through all that.”

Lyra was finding it difficult to respond to the confession. Like Vinyl’s assertion that Octavia wore diapers, the idea that she was hurt unintentionally made her feel awful inside. “I-I’m so sorry, Octavia. I didn’t have any idea you felt that bad, and if I had I would have tried hard to make it up to you. I… I thought for sure you hated my guts, and I-I was so af-fraid that you’d make fun of m-me and then tell everypony.”

Octavia’s eyes started to well up, matching Lyra’s. She swallowed to force the lump in her throat to go away. “I should be the one apologizing to you, Lyra. For hating you so much and wishing so much pain on you. I had no right to do that, not after what you’ve been through, and I’ll do anything to make it up to you.”

Lyra’s lips curled up slightly. “Y-you… you really mean that?”

Octavia nodded with a grin.

“Oh, Octavia…” Lyra’s voice broke down as she galloped up to Octavia and embraced her. For a moment, Octavia didn’t respond, but then she smiled and wrapped her forelegs around Lyra, happiness dripping down her cheek and into Lyra’s hair.

Vinyl sat back, watching the pair of foals hug, and grinned wide.

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