It took Ditzy a few minutes to find a measuring tape; once she did, she headed for the guest room, where Sonata was standing around, casually naked. Ditzy shook her head and sighed. "Okay...what's going on here?" she asked as she began measuring Sonata. "Really."
"What's it to you, Derpy?" Sonata asked with a smirk.
"Well," Ditzy said, refusing to rise to the taunt, "Flash is my oldest childhood friend, so when he calls me over here in a panic and I show up in the middle of this mess, it kinda bothers me." She began measuring Sonata, taking notes on her phone as she did so. "Now, wanna try telling me what's going on?"
"Well, it's like I said earlier," Sonata said with a shrug. "I ran into Flash in town last night, he was being pitiful about that stupid pony princess, I drove him home in his car, then we ended up having sex." She giggled. "After I put up with his super lame attempts at foreplay. I mean, how lame do you have to be to think a cock puppet is sexy? I had to suffer through being serenaded by Vinnie Tong the Singing Dong, how dumb is that!"
Ditzy blinked several times. "Umm..." Her cheeks heated up. "Th-that aside...so you, umm...had sex with Flash, and now you're...what?"
"Now I'm living here," Sonata said cheerfully. "I don't have anywhere else to go and Flash gave me the perfect set-up."
Ditzy frowned. "Yeah...not gonna happen," she said. "Look, Flash is a nice guy, maybe too nice sometimes, and he can be a bit of a dork, but he doesn't let bullshit girls walk all over him. He kicked Sunset Shimmer to the curb back when she was still a mean nasty bitch, he'll do the same to you."
"But I'm not a mean nasty bitch!" Sonata whined. "I'm a vaguely manipulative cute goofy girl people take pity on!"
Ditzy crossed her arms and gave her a flat, half-lidded stare.
Sonata scratched her nose. "You know, that'd be more intimidating if one of your eyes wasn't looking at the window."
Ditzy scowled. "I don't like you," she whispered harshly.
Sonata gave her a sly grin. "I knooooooooooooooooooooooooow," she said.
"UGH!" Ditzy threw up her arms, then went back to measuring Sonata, making sure to poke, prod, and jab her as roughly as possible while doing so. "Fine," she spat. "Since Flash asked, I'll go buy you some clothes. But if you think you're actually going to stay here—"
"Oh, I'm not going anywhere," Sonata said lazily, pulling her borrowed T-shirt back on and flopping down onto the guest bed in a shameless pose that failed to cover things that should perhaps have been covered. "I like it here, and Flash is pretty cute. And so much fun to tease!" She laid back on the bed and made blanket angels with her arms. "I'm gonna do whatever it takes to make sure I get to stay here a loooooong time."
Ditzy groaned, then left the room, stomping out to the front. Once she was out of earshot, Sonata giggled into the back of her hand. "Somebody's jealous..."
* * * * *
Flash frowned as Ditzy emerged from the guest room, her expression one of frustration and annoyance. "Everything okay?" he asked.
"Flash, how the hell did you let yourself get tangled up with that obnoxious twit?"
Flash sighed. "I know," he said. "Not one of my finer moments."
"You've gotta get her outta here as soon as you can," Ditzy said. "You know that, right?"
"I know, I know," Flash groaned. "I'll...I'll figure something out, alright?"
"You'd better," Ditzy said. "And you owe me big time for this one." She paused, then, her cheeks flushed, added in a quiet tone, "Vinnie Tong the Singing Dong?"
Flash's face turned scarlet. "Wh-what?!"
"She said..." Ditzy shook her head. "N-nevermind. I...I'll be back in a bit." She scurried to the front door, leaving a bewildered and embarrassed Flash alone with his thoughts in the living room.
Shaking his head, he stomped back to the guest room, barging in without knocking. "What the hell did you say to..." He trailed off as his eyes landed on Sonata, who was lying on her back on the bed, legs scissoring in the air as she made bed angels. He made a stuck sound in his throat, then hastily retreated, closing the door. On the other side, he heard Sonata giggling. He leaned against the door to his own bedroom and slid slowly to the ground, drawing his knees up to his chest. "Why is this my life?" he whined to nobody in particular.
* * * * *
"Ugh, why isn't she answering her phone?" Adagio growled, running a hand through her massive orange curls. She stared at her phone in frustration, as though willing a text from Sonata to materialize.
And then, just like that, Sonata fired off a series of replies.
Wow ur in a bad mood
newayz pack up my stuff
ill txt u where to bring it
What the hell are you talking about? Where are you? Come home immediately!
Not puttin up with ne more of ur shit
Got a new place 2 crash & a cute boytoy
Just pack up my stuff & bring it when I say
Adagio blinked repeatedly.
Don't you dare presume to take that tone with me! Enough of your games, Sonata! Come. Home. NOW.
A longer pause.
A placeholder loading circle for an MMS.
Adagio recoiled in disgust from the GIF of a dog eating shit that loaded on her phone screen. With a snarl of frustration and irritation, she tossed her phone to the side. "Why you little...!"
Aria wandered in, her toothbrush sticking out of her mouth. "Whaff wrn, Dji?"
Adagio glared at her. "We're going to go find Sonata," she snapped. "She is going to pay for her insolence."
Aria rolled her eyes. "Wdeffer." As she returned to the bathroom to finish up, Adagio picked up her phone again, frowning as she went back over the unpleasant exchange. She seethed as she slipped her phone into her mass of hair, clenching her fists so tightly her knuckles turned white and her nails bit into her palms.
*What's gotten into that ditz...?*
* * * * *
Not half an hour after Ditzy left, Rear Sentry returned. Flash tilted his head in confusion at the abrupt reappearance of his uncle. "I thought you were taking Grandpa home?"
Uncle Rear chuckled. "Dad asked me to let him off at the bus station and come back here. Said he didn't want 'the stupid boooooooooy' left alone any longer than necessary." He smirked. "Like my being here is so much better, am I right?"
Flash groaned. "Alright, just...please, please don't make this any worse than it already is."
"My dear boy, you won't even know I'm here!" Uncle Rear promised.
Flash gave him a look. "Uncle Rear, the last time you walked past a deaf and blind woman, she complained about it getting really gay all of a sudden."
Uncle Rear laughed. "You've got your mother's sense of humor, I'll give you that." He shook his head. "But seriously. I'm just gonna sit back and—" His phone rang; he gave a disgusted groan and pulled it out. "Hello, Stephen. No, Stephen. Look, Stephen. I'm in the middle of something, Stephen. No. Wait. No. Listen. Listen, Stephen. Look, I'm gonna be over at my brother's place for a few days. Things just got interesting over here and I need to be on top of this situation for a bit. I KNOW, STEPHEN! I—look. Look, Stephen. Listen to me, Stephen. I know, Stephen, and I'm sorry, Stephen. Yeah. Yeah. No, trust me, this is worth it, Stephen. I'll tell you all about it later, Stephen." He listened for a moment, then rolled his eyes and sighed. "Fine, Stephen."
And then, to Flash's horror, Uncle Rear began singing in a horribly bad fake Trottish accent over the phone. Flash facepalmed as it went on and on for far longer than he was comfortable with; at some point, Sonata walked into the room and was clearly struggling not to laugh out loud.
When Uncle Rear finally stopped singing, he said, "Happy, Stephen? Good. I'll see you in a few days. You'll be fine, Stephen. Yeah. Love you too. Goodbye, Stephen." He hung up and shook his head, sighing theatrically.
Sonata finally burst out laughing. "That," she giggled, "was the worst fake Trottish accent ever!"
"Thank you," Uncle Rear said, taking a bow.
"So who was that?" Sonata asked, rocking back and forth on her heels.
"Oh, that was Stephen," Uncle Rear said with an airy wave of his hand.
Sonata rolled her eyes. "I got that," she said. "But who is Stephen?"
"Oh, he's my boyfriend, you know," Uncle Rear said as he wandered toward the kitchen. "We've been living together for about, oh...ten years, I think? He really gets on my nerves sometimes, he's so needy!"
Sonata giggled. "You should bring him over! He sounds like fun!"
"Oh HELL no," Flash said sharply. "Putting up with Uncle Rear is one thing, but Uncle Rear and Stephen together? Is more gay than I can take."
"That's not very nice," Sonata said, pouting.
"Oh no, he's right," Uncle Rear said, chortling. "We're too fabulous for most people." He smirked. "Anyway, that's a no-go on bringing Stephen over, he's stuck home recovering from surgery and the doctor says he can't get out of the house for two weeks."
Flash blinked. "Then shouldn't you be looking after him?"
"I probably should, but to be honest? He's driving me up the wall." Uncle Rear shrugged. "I needed an excuse to get out of that house for a few days, that man is such a bitch when he's sick, let me tell you! Say, is there any ice cream?" He wandered toward the kitchen.
"I think I saw some earlier," Sonata said, trotting after him. Flash shook his head and went back to the living room, drowning out the sound of his gay uncle and his evil "girlfriend" bonding.
* * * * *
As band practice wound down, Sunset grew more agitated and less able to focus. When they finally decided to call it a break, she quickly packed up her guitar. "I'm gonna go check on Flash," she announced. "I...I left things in a bad place. I shouldn't have..." She sighed. "I should've been more supportive."
Rarity patted her on the shoulder. "I'm sure he'll understand, darling," she said. "He's fortunate to still be able to rely on you as a friend."
Sunset smiled. "I hope he still thinks of me as a friend after the way I acted this morning," she said.
"If you need us, be sure to call," Rainbow said. "We'll be there in a jiffy!"
"Would you like one of us to go with you?" Fluttershy asked kindly.
Sunset paused to consider that. "That...might be a good idea, actually," she said. She smiled hopefully at Fluttershy. "Are you offering?"
"Well...yes," Fluttershy said, nodding resolutely. "I may not know Flash Sentry as well as you do, but...he is your friend, so he's my friend too. And maybe...maybe I can talk to Sonata reasonably, approach her calmly..." She looked around at her friends. "N-no offense, but...the rest of you might, umm...get into a fight...with her..."
"None taken," the other Rainbooms chorused before breaking out into giggles.
Sunset chuckled. "Okay, let's get going." She frowned. "Applejack, can you drive my bike over to my place? I think Fluttershy would rather drive her van than ride with me."
"Oh yes please," Fluttershy said, shuddering.
"Sure," Applejack said. Sunset tossed her the keys, then left with Fluttershy.
Twenty minutes later, they pulled up outside Flash's house. Sunset's brow furrowed as she saw a turd-brown sedan parked on the curb. "Whose..." Her irises narrowed into pinpricks. "Oh no. No no no no no."
"What's wrong?" Fluttershy asked as she turned off the engine.
"This is bad," Sunset muttered as she stripped off her seat belt and threw open the door, slamming it behind her as she hit the pavement running. Fluttershy followed behind her at a more sedate pace.
"Wait!" Fluttershy called quietly. "What's wrong?"
Before they got halfway to the door, an electric scooter puttered up the drive, parking behind Flash's muscle car, which was parked in the open garage. Ditzy Doo got off, stowed her helmet, and began wrangling several large shopping bags. She noticed them and called out. "Sunset Shimmer! Fluttershy! A little help here?"
Sunset skidded to a halt five seconds before her finger could hit the doorbell. "Ditzy? What—" She blinked at the shopping bags. Her brow furrowed. She closed her eyes and sighed. "Flash asked you to go shopping for her, didn't he."
"Yeah," Ditzy said. "Did you...did you really kick him in the chest?"
Sunset sighed. "I was mad," she said. She shook her head. "Nevermind that now! We've got a serious problem!" She waved at the car out front. "That's—"
"Yeah, I know," Ditzy said. "Funny, I didn't think he'd already be back. I wasn't gone that long." She shook her head.
Sunset blinked. "Wait. Back?! You mean he was here before?"
"Yeah, he was already here with the creepy old grandpa when I got here the first time," Ditzy said.
Sunset's jaw dropped. "Angus was here too?! Then...they BOTH saw...!?"
"Oh shit," Sunset moaned. "We're too late...he's dead..."
"Excuse me," Fluttershy interrupted, holding up a hand. "What are you two talking about?"
Ditzy blinked. "Oh, right, you don't know Flash's family, do you?"
"No, I...I don't," Fluttershy said.
Sunset sighed. "Flash has this weird gay uncle and this crazy scary old grandpa," she said. "Either one of them walking in on this freakshow would've been bad enough, but both of them?" She shook her head. "It's game over."
"Well, Uncle Rear seemed to be taking it pretty well," Ditzy said. "Actually, he seemed to think the whole thing is pretty funny. He said he was taking his dad home then coming back to enjoy the show."
Sunset blinked at that, then groaned. "Great," she said. "So you mean we're gonna have the gayest gay uncle that ever gayed hanging around laughing at us while we're trying to save Flash from himself?"
"That's about the size of it," Ditzy said with a shrug.
Fluttershy frowned in confusion. "Wait. What about Flash's parents?"
"Second honeymoon," Ditzy said.
"So...so they don't know anything about this?" Fluttershy asked. At Ditzy's head shake, she paled. "Oh...oh my."
"And Ass Entry walking in on this mess is not gonna help matters at all," Sunset muttered.
Ditzy shot her a stern look. "Really?"
Sunset blinked...then bit off a curse. "Crap. Sorry. Old habits."
Fluttershy blinked, shooting Sunset a mild frown. "Ass...Entry?"
"It's a mean nickname Uncle Rear's picked up," Ditzy said. "You'll...you'll see why when you meet him."
"Well...I guess we'd better get in there." Sunset led the way to the front door and rang the bell. After thirty seconds, the door opened. Flash saw Sunset and yelped, jumping backwards.
"S-Sunset!" Flash stammered. "Y-you—"
"I'm not gonna kick you again," Sunset said. "And, umm...sorry about earlier." She pushed past Flash into the house; the other girls followed.
"Where's the Pop Tart?" Ditzy asked. "We've got her clothes."
"She's in the kitchen with Uncle Rear," Flash said miserably.
"Flash?" Uncle Rear called from the kitchen. "We're out of ice cream, can you make a run?"
Flash slumped his shoulders, sighing. "Aaaaand it starts," he muttered. "In a bit, Uncle Rear," he called toward the kitchen. "Ditzy just brought some clothes for Sonata, and..." He hesitated. "And she brought some friends with her."
"Oooh! It's been a while since I met any of Ditzy's friends," Uncle Rear called. They heard a chair scraping. "Hon, why don't you and Ditzy head on back and get you all sorted out while I entertain."
"Okay!" Sonata chirped. She bounced out of the kitchen, all smiles...then skidded to a halt as she saw Sunset. "Oh, you're back?"
"Yeah, I'm back," Sunset said, crossing her arms. "I'm Flash's friend. You'll just have to deal with it if you wanna keep this up."
Sonata shrugged. "Eh." She grabbed the bag Sunset was holding, then motioned for Ditzy to follow her to the guest room.
"Oh my," Fluttershy said, covering her mouth and blushing. "She...she's been walking around the house like that all day?"
"Yep," Flash muttered.
Uncle Rear walked into the living room, drying his hands on a dish towel. "So, Flash, who's..." His eyes landed on Sunset, and his smile turned into a frown. "Oh, it's you," he said sourly.
"Uhh...hey," Sunset said awkwardly.
"Flash?" Uncle Rear said. "Why is she—"
Flash held up a hand. "Sunset's changed, Uncle Rear," he said. "I know what she used to be like, and I know you're the one who convinced me to break up with her in the first place—"
Sunset blinked. "Wait. What?"
"—but she's in a better place now. She's turned her life around. We patched things up and we're...we're friends."
"She really has changed, Mr. Sentry," Fluttershy spoke up. "Oh, and, um, I'm Fluttershy. I'm...I'm one of Sunset's friends," she added more quietly.
Uncle Rear pursed his lips, stroking his chin as he considered this. "Well," he said slowly.
"How about I go buy us all some ice cream?" Sunset suggested. "The good stuff. It's on me."
Uncle Rear planted one hand on a cocked hip and raised an eyebrow. "Are you trying to butter me up?"
"No, I'm trying to make amends for all those times I called you 'Ass Entry'," Sunset said.
Uncle Rear made a 'tch' sound. "Oh, honey, that sass of yours is the one thing about you I ever liked," he said dismissively.
"Oh. Well." Sunset blinked, nonplussed. "Then yes, I'm trying to butter you up."
Uncle Rear smirked. "Well, alright. Just don't get anything with pistachios! They make my face swell up like a puffer fish."
"Got it," Sunset said. "Fluttershy, mind if I borrow your van for a sec?"
"Huh? Oh, umm...sure," Fluttershy said. "Umm...should I go with...?"
"Nah, you stay here and...and keep an eye on things." Sunset looked toward the bedroom area with worry. "Ditzy could probably use some backup." She patted Flash on the shoulder, smiled encouragingly, then headed out.
Uncle Rear clapped his hands together and smiled at Fluttershy. "Well!" he said. "I have to say, you're the prettiest little thing that's ever been in this house. Where's Flash been hiding you, hmm?"
"Eep," Fluttershy eeped.
"It's not like that!" Flash cried. "Uncle Rear, this isn't...it's not...!"
Uncle Rear laughed. "I'm teasing," he said. He smirked. "But Sonata did mention a girl you've been pining over..." His smirk turned malicious. "Why don't you tell your Uncle Rear all about that..."
* * * * *
It being a weekend, the Canterlot High courtyard was deserted.
Thus, nobody was around to see one of the smooth marble faces of its iconic horse statue begin to ripple and shimmer with ethereal light.
Nor did anybody notice a lavender-skinned girl with long, straight violet hair step right out of the statue...