Frederic Horshoepin is practically the paragon of professionalism. Stoic, polite, skilled, his compatriots rightfully believe he is one of the best pianists in Equestria. But underneath his collected exterior, he holds a burning secret: his love for his bandmate and longtime friend, the beautiful cellist Octavia. Will he be able to finally confess his feelings to her?
Well, actually, no.
See, Octavia's already dating somepony else, the energetic DJ pony Vinyl Scratch. His door to the one he loves is closed, and the question is now whether his professionalism or his passion will triumph.
These stories provide examples of:
- Anguished Declaration of Love: Subverted, then played straight. As Frederic prepares to go on a little soul-searching trip, he professes his love for Octavia, only to realize she left already. In the first chapter of the sequel, this is how he opens his explanation for why he didn't tell Octavia that Vinyl was cheating on her, and instead advised Vinyl to come clean.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Pizzicato, one of Frederic's bandmates, would actually become a respected singer if he showed up for rehearsals on time and actually practiced during them.
- Elegant Classical Musician: Octavia's one of the prettiest cello players in Equestria, and Frederic's about the same for the piano. One of her friends points out that Vinyl Scratch can't resist going after these types, even if she's still dating one.
- Enemy Eats Your Lunch: An interesting variant, and less intentional than other examples. Frederic still harbors lingering resentment towards Vinyl for stealing the mare of his dreams, and her venturing into his favorite restaurant, chatting like they were old pals, and talking about "'Tavi" in front of him certainly gets on his bad side.
- I Have This Friend...: Inverted, with Octavia being the "friend". When Octavia questions Frederic on whether he's been in love before, he replies yes. Octavia manages to guess that it was a mare that slipped from his grasp because he was too afraid to speak up, but she never realizes she's the mare.
- Incompatible Orientation: Octavia is a lesbian in a lesbian relationship, which makes it hard for Frederic to get with her obviously. Then again, in the next story...
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Frederic takes this view towards Octavia and Vinyl's relationship, although he really strains to feel happy for them. This is also why he doesn't directly tell Octavia that Vinyl is cheating on her, because he'd be inflicting anguish on her.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Frederic notes that Vinyl can read the writing behind the lines quite easily. This comes after she instantly notices that his comments on her nightclub being "interesting" mean "I really despise being in this screaming rat-pit, but some of the songs are kinda catchy."
- Odd Couple: Vinyl and Octavia. Frederic in particular views their lifestyles and mindsets as being too incompatible to allow any sort of permanent relationship. He's right, in the end.
- Reality Ensues: When a proper lady and an energetic party mare get together, it ends because the party mare can't tone herself down to stick with one other pony for long. Even after she confesses and resolves to find a way, together they realize there is none.
- Romantic Runner-Up: Frederic, obviously. However, as of the second story, he might actually have a chance.
- The Stoic: Frederic's philosophy is that showing too much emotion will only get to hurt. Considering how much anguish he's in over losing Octavia, it's hard to blame him.
- Your Cheating Heart: Through a slip of tongue by one of Vinyl's friends, Frederic learns Vinyl is seeing a violinist behind Octavia's back. Vinyl confesses to Octavia, and they make an effort to reconnect, but eventually, they decide they can't.