King Of The Stingers

by forbloodysummer


Sunset walked across the floor of Sugarcube Corner up to the counter, admiring the displays of cakes in differing hues. The smell of coffee wasn’t overpowering, but nonetheless struck her, having spent several weeks away from it. She grinned at Mrs. Cake, asking for a medium-sized tea and a small slice of chocolate gateaux. Her friends queued up behind her, chatting amongst themselves as she ordered. Mr. Cake readied her tea and cake and brought it over on a tray, while Sunset sorted out money with Mrs. Cake at the till register. After collecting her change, slipping it into her purse, and depositing that back in her pocket, she smiled at her friends in line behind her. Figuring that six trays would crowd the table they chose, she elected to leave it at the counter, picking up her cup and saucer in one hand and her small plate of gateaux in the other. She turned to face into the room, intending to pick a table for them all, and froze.

It was a small miracle she somehow didn’t drop her tea, imagining the white china shattering on the hard floor. No muscles in Sunset’s body moved, even those used for breathing. There, at a table in the far corner from the door, sat someone with their back to her; someone Sunset recognised instantly, though all she could see were tight black jeans and heeled black leather boots, with everything else concealed behind a gargantuan mass of curly orange hair with yellow streaks running through it. Two other familiar forms sat on the sofa on the opposite side of the table, and although that meant that Sunset could see their faces, they didn’t hold her attention as much as the first.

“You!” she exhaled, forcing her lungs into operation once more, the word carrying despite its low volume, thanks to its intensity. This caused her friends to look around; those that turned to her looked puzzled, while those who looked in the same direction she herself did reacted in the same way she had, all motion ceasing.

The orange hair shook and then swung around as its owner turned in her direction, and magenta eyes locked onto her own, revealing a face she thought and hoped she’d never see again. Adagio’s expression was a flat stare, and the world felt as if it had gone silent for a few seconds, not daring to interrupt the tension in that held look.

“Sit down,” Adagio commanded, jerking her head towards the table behind her without breaking eye contact, her voice like steel in its hardness, and holding less warmth than the depths of space. Neither Sunset nor her friends made any motion to respond or move, though thankfully all breathing and cardiac functions had resumed, albeit well above their normal rate.

“We’ve got a lot to talk about,” Adagio announced in the same tone, and then turned away, back to her table, the expectation implicit that the Rainbooms would do as instructed without her supervision or persuasion. Sunset took a deep breath and put one foot in front of the other, starting the reluctant walk over to the sirens’ table, cake and tea still in her hands, and after a few steps she heard her friends moving to follow. Once their leader had turned away, Sunset’s gaze had fallen to the other two sirens. The blue one watched as the Rainbooms approached, although her expression was grim. The purple one didn’t even look up, but sat with her arms crossed and her jaw set.

Sunset lowered her tea and her cake plate to the table in the spot next to Adagio, all thoughts of eating forgotten, and slowly sat down. Adagio continued to look ahead, not having moved since she’d turned back around, her face unchanging, as Sunset’s friends warily approached the other seats.

<The end. Fade to black>.