Adagio Dazzle frowned as she sat at the kitchen table, drumming her fingers on the table. "Where the hell is breakfast?" she grumbled.
Aria Blaze had just stomped into the kitchen a few minutes earlier and was busy making coffee. "There isn't any," she muttered.
Adagio frowned. "Why not?" She shot an annoyed glance toward the hallway that led to their bedrooms. "Go wake Sonata up and tell her to make breakfast."
"She's not here," Aria said. "We kicked her out yesterday, remember?"
Adagio snorted. "We kick her out at least once a month. She's always back in time for breakfast."
"Well, this time she isn't," Aria said with a shrug. "So if you want breakfast, make your own." With that, she rummaged through the cupboard and plucked out a wrapped pop-tart.
Adagio scowled. "When she comes back, I'm pulling out all her pubes with tweezers..."
* * * * *
In the wake of Sunset's departure, Flash had wandered listlessly around the house while Sonata occupied the bathroom. The whirlwind of panic that had seized him earlier had given way to despair, then frustration, then anger at being played, then panic again when he realized he didn't have any real hope of extricating himself from this situation without risking having his reputation completely trashed.
Now, he was left hollow, wondering if his reputation was even worth protecting...wondering if perhaps Sunset Shimmer had truly abandoned him.
And if she had, what then? There was nobody else he could turn to. As much as he hated to admit it, the only real friend he had—his bandmates were more "bros" and wouldn't really understand the situation—was Ditzy Doo, and asking for her help or advice would be...uncomfortable.
"Got my room ready?"
Flash turned to see Sonata, freshly scrubbed, hair shiny and sleek, and still wearing nothing more than one of his T-shirts. He frowned. "If you intend to stay here, you can at least make up your own damn room," he said. "And put some clothes on!"
Sonata shrugged. "Don't have any," she said. "Just what I had on last night and those need to be washed."
"Then wash them."
Sonata dug in one ear with a finger. "Hmm...I could do that I guess," she said. "Or, you could go do a little shopping for me!"
Flash snorted. "Yeah, not gonna happen."
"Okay," Sonata said, beginning to strip off the T-shirt she was wearing. "Then I'll just wander around naked."
"GAH!" Flash cried, face flaming. "J-just...!" He sighed. "Okay. Let me text a friend to ask her for a favor. I...don't like the idea of dragging her into this mess, but I think she'll help. In the meantime, like I said, if you really plan to stay here, you can make up the guest room yourself. But don't think for a minute this is a permanent arrangement! Soon as my folks are back, you're gone, got that?"
"We'll see," Sonata said, humming happily (and tunelessly) to herself as she wandered off into the back of the house.
Sighing again, Flash grabbed his phone and texted Ditzy, then slumped on the sofa. "How do I get myself into these things?" He grabbed the remote and turned on the TV, listlessly channel-surfing without really paying attention. After several minutes, he found a superhero cartoon playing that had been cool when he was younger, one he had fond memories of watching every Saturday morning until it went off the air. He started to settle in, then remembered the mess he'd left in the kitchen. With a sigh, he got up and headed for the kitchen to clean up the breakfast dishes.
His mother had drilled into him, from an early age, that keeping the house clean was important. She'd shown him some pictures and videos of what happened if you left the place a mess. It had scarred him for life. So many roaches...
He'd just finished scraping the grease out of the skillet and had put it in the sink to soak for a few minutes when the doorbell rang. "Huh, that was fast." He headed for the door, eager to greet his friend (and, at the moment, possible only savior)...
The man standing on the front porch was dressed in a mortician's suit at least a century and a half out of date and had unhealthy-looking, wrinkled yellow skin, deep creases around his mouth, a hooked nose, and thick eyebrows. Balding on top, his grey hair was full in the back and on the sides, framing his broad, intimidating face in an iron curtain. His right eye was squinted closed; combined with the creases in his face and the downturned sneer of his wide lips, this gave him a fiercely angry expression. His one good eye glared at Flash, and his teeth were yellow and uneven. In his left hand, he held a cane topped with a gleaming silver ball.
Flash gulped. "G-Grandpa Angus," he said nervously.
A high, whining chuckle sounded from behind the dour, intimidating old man. "Oh, Dad, don't make the poor boy wet himself!" a nasally voice with a distinctive lisp said. A second man peeked out from behind Angus Sentry: he had light brownish-grey skin, an angular jaw with pronounced cheekbones, and hazel eyes magnified by ridiculously large black-framed glasses. His short dark hair was wavy and curled at the ends. He gave Flash a jaunty little wave.
Flash let out a shaky breath and stepped away from the door. "Uncle Rear," he said. "And...and Grandpa Angus. Wh-what brings you by?"
Angus stepped in with a stiff limp, and Rear Sentry strolled in like an ambling breeze. Flash suppressed an urge to roll his eyes at his uncle's attire, which consisted of a purple velvet suit, a white ruffled shirt, saddle shoes, and a bright orange silk scarf. "Oh, we were in the neighborhood," Uncle Rear said airily, waving one hand around absently. "I know Chop finally took your poor mother on that second honeymoon he's been promising for ages, but that doesn't mean I can't stop by just to see my favorite nephew!"
*I'm your only nephew...* "That's, uh...that's great, Uncle Rear," Flash said nervously. "So, uhh...you were just in the neighborhood, huh?"
"Rear and his damn antique chickens," Angus grunted in his gravelly voice as he stumped to the living room and sat down. He scowled at the TV. "You're too old for this shit, booooooy."
"Oh, uhh...just had it on for noise," Flash said. "You know, been cleaning up the house."
Rear chuckled. "Now see, that's why I love River, such a stickler for a clean house, she is." He shook his head. "How she manages to put up with a slob like your father, I'll never know..."
"Dad's not that bad," Flash said absently.
"Oh, but he is!" Rear said. "Why, I could tell you—" His phone rang. "Hold that thought," he said as he pulled it out of his pocket. He looked at the screen and clicked his tongue, then answered the call. "Yes, Stephen, what...no, Stephen...yes, Stephen...ugh, okay Stephen...look, I'm visiting my nephew right now, you know I don't get to see him that often, I'll call you back later, alright? Okay. Yeah. You do that. Goodbye, Stephen." He hung up, then pocketed his phone. "Honestly...so, where were we?"
The doorbell rang. "Umm...just a sec," Flash said, scurrying to the door. He opened it and found Ditzy standing there.
"Hey Flash," Ditzy said with a smile and a wave. "What's up?"
"All hell's breaking loose is what's up," Flash said quietly but urgently. "It's been that kind of day since I woke up and it just keeps getting worse and—"
"Well hello THERE!" they heard Rear say from the living room. "Say, aren't you a little cutie!"
Flash felt his blood turn to ice. "Aaaaaaand now I'm dead."
Ditzy tilted her head. "Okay, so your creepy grandpa and your weird gay uncle are here, but what—"
"Hi, I'm Sonata, nice to meet you! I'm Flash's girlfriend," they heard Sonata say with a cheerful giggle.
Ditzy blinked and gave Flash an inquisitive look tinged with suspicion and accusation. Flash facepalmed, grabbed her by the hand, and dragged her inside.
In the living room, they found Uncle Rear eyeing Sonata up and down while Angus glared murderously at the room in general. Sonata, for her part, was playing up the cuteness and sweetness factor. As soon as Ditzy saw her, she frowned, her eyes almost focusing. "Flash," she said slowly, "what's going on?"
"Oh, teenage drama, I love it!" Uncle Rear said, clapping his hands together. He gave Flash a saucy grin and a wink. "When the cat's away, right Flash? Hmmhmm, meeowwwww..."
"Hey Flash, who's the creepy old mortician and this hairball the 1970s spat up?" Sonata asked brashly.
Flash buried his face in his palms while Ditzy blinked several times.
"Oh, she is a firecracker!" Uncle Rear said, laughing through his nose. "But seriously, hon, bit late in the day to be...well, who am I to judge, right?"
Flash sighed. "Sonata, this is Grandpa Angus and Uncle Rear. Grandpa, Uncle Rear, this is Sonata Dusk. She's...staying the weekend, I guess. Sort of. It's...complicated."
"One night stand that blew up in your face?" Uncle Rear said with a knowing smirk. "Hon, how do you think I ended up with Stephen?" He shook his head. "Nothing new under the sun here, right Dad?"
Angus grunted, glaring at Flash.
"Flash?" Ditzy asked quietly, her eyes never leaving Sonata (and a rhododendron in the corner, but that's not important right now). "Why is one of the Dazzlings here, and why is she, umm...almost-but-just-barely-not-quite-naked?"
"My roomies kicked me out, I ran into Flash in town, we got to talking, one thing led to another, and we did it," Sonata offered. "And now I'm his girlfriend and I'm crashing here for a while. Also, I kinda left home without any, y'know, stuff, so right now the only clothes I've got are in the wash."
"And now I'm really glad I stopped by," Uncle Rear said with a grin. "This is so much better than The Drama Channel!"
"Umm, yeah, so, Ditz, about that favor I called you over for," Flash said quietly. "I, umm...was kind of hoping you'd maybe run to Navy Blue and pick up like maybe two or three days' worth of clothes for Sonata? Something not very expensive?"
Ditzy pursed her lips. "Are you kidding me?"
"Please, Ditz. I'm begging you."
Ditzy sighed, putting a hand on her hip. "Fine," she said, closing her eyes and holding out her other hand in a 'gimme money' gesture. "But I want an explanation later!"
Flash breathed a sigh of relief as he dug out his wallet. "Thanks, Ditz. I owe you one."
"Yeah yeah," Ditzy said dismissively. "I'm surprised you didn't call Sunset for this one, honestly. She's more the 'help you hide a body' type."
Flash scratched the back of his head sheepishly. "Actually...I kinda did," he admitted. "She kicked me in the chest and yelled at me."
"Yeah, that was pretty messed up," Sonata said with a giggle.
"Alright," Ditzy said as she counted the money Flash handed her. "Let's go in the back so I can get your measurements," she said to Sonata. "Then I'll go get you some clothes."
Uncle Rear rubbed his hands together. "Well, I think I'm gonna take Dad home, but I'll be back later." He grinned. "I don't wanna miss a second of this whole catastrophe." As the girls wandered into the guest room, he fixed Flash with a knowing look. "So, bet you're really looking forward to Chop and River coming home and finding this mess, huh?"
Flash groaned, his shoulders slumping. "Yeah, I'm dead," he said.