After giving her a few minutes to quietly sulk in the dressing room, Rarity finally managed to coax Sunset out of hiding with the promise of a new leather jacket, under the condition that she'd come out and stand for a fitting of course.
Rarity had just received a roll of beautiful Italian leather after all, and she was dying to try it out. It had been meant for a series of gloves, but sometimes friendship demanded sacrifice.
Seeing her friend cheer up considerably as she placed the black shell over her shoulders, Rarity was doubly sure this was the right project for the leather, and decided she could relatively safely resume their earlier conversation, as she began making small adjustments to seams and pins.
"Sooooo...if you don't mind dear, please elaborate on why having two beautiful women chasing after you is so dire?" she asked gently, hoping Sunset wouldn't think she was being teased.
Twilight nodded subconsciously as she listened in while browsing a rack of blouses on the far wall, quite curious as well. She had, after all, just pointed out that Sunset was clearly interested in Adagio less than an hour earlier, and Sunset hadn’t put up much of a protest.
Sunset gave a heavy sigh, weighing the promise of a new jacket against mushy vulnerability, which she had decided she was done with after high school. The choice was made considerably easier as the scent of fresh leather wafted over her, causing her to immediately abandon her false bravado and spill her guts. Celestia above she loved that smell...
"You of all poeple should know exactly what the problem is Rarity." She grudgingly admitted, looking downcast. "I may put forward the whole alpha-biker-girl thing, but it doesn't mean I don't want any real romance in my life..." She muttered awkwardly, before a hint of anger slipped into her voice. "So please excuse me if I'm not thrilled with being repeatedly...propositioned!"
Rarity frowned, then offered a small but apologetic smile. "You're right darling, please forgive me, of all of us I'd say you've most earned some fairytale Princess treatment."
Sunset flinched at that. "I thought we all agreed to steer clear of the P-word when referring to me." she muttered, self-consciously rubbing her arm.
"Hold still!" Rarity snapped, giving the errant hand a quick rap with her ruler, causing Sunset to immeditely stiffen back into mannequin mode. "...and don't be ridiculous darling," she continued, her voice softening. "That was years ago, and you have more than made up for your mistakes. Why by now I think we'd all be heartily surprised if you didn't find a shiny new pair of wings if you were to take a visit through the mirror."
"Goddesses, I hope not." Sunset mumbled, a hint of humor returning to her voice. "I'm no good with politics, not to mention I think having Equestrian royalty walk around wrapped in leather would be a bit of a faux-pas.” She joked, waving her jacket wrapped arms a bit for emphasis. “And even a royal title and divinity aren’t worth giving up my little collection of your creations." She added with a grin.
Rarity silently glowed at the praise, redoubling her efforts to make sure her measurements and adjustments were just right. Clearly Sunset needed a bit of a boost at the moment, and she'd be damned if this wouldn't be her best jacket yet as a result.
Noticing the glint of resolve in Rarity's eyes, Sunset couldn't help but smile further, her mood already improving.
"Um..." Twilight interjected as she noticed the pair go silent. "...so which would you choose?"
"T-TWILIGHT!" Rarity sputtered indignantly.
"What, you were thinking the same thing." Twilight said with a shrug.
Rarity immediately glanced away, trying a little too hard to look like the question hadn't been buzzing around in the back of her mind throughout the conversation.
Sunset just shot Twilight a bemused look.
"Just hear me out," Twilight started, putting up a hand to stop any impending protests, "hypothetically, if one, or both, were to try and genuinely woo you, which do you think you'd choose?"
Chewing her lip, Sunset tried to imagine the prospect, finding the warm haze was swiftly returning to fill her head, causing her face to burn in response. "Uhhhhhhhhh..."
Adagio slammed her bedroom door behind herself, then let out a dramatic sigh as she let herself fall face first onto her bed.
"...I may have been a bit harsh back there..." She grumbled into the pillow. Guilt had become a more and more common companion of hers these days.
Maybe, but she started it. sniffed her inner monologue, projected from the bitchiest parts of her personality.
"Fair, but I thought we wanted to move past this sort of thing." She whispered to herself, ignoring the large neon sign in her head that was rapidly flashing the word "CRAZY" as she talked to herself.
Yeah, to try and impress Sunset, who she was trying to steal from us!
"We don't own her," she scoffed "she's just our cute little meal ticket. It's not like I really have a...c-crush...on her, no matter how much Aria and Sonata might insist otherwise!"
You do realize that lying to me is pointless right? I can literally see the part of your imagination where your mental image of her is surrounded by tiny little pink hearts.
"Sh-shut up! I DO NOT HAVE A CRUSH ON SUNSET SHIMMER!" She fumed, before being interupted by a knock on her bedroom wall.
"You know we can hear everything you're saying out here in the hallway right?" Came a muffled, but hauntingly familiar voice. It was one of the last voices she wanted to hear right now.
"Seriously! For such a nice place, the walls sure are thin, huh Aria?"
And there was the other voice.
"What are you two doing here." She growled at the wall.
"We brought you all the rest of your stuff from the apartment! You told us to bring it now that you aren’t scared Sunset’ll kick you to the curb, remember?" Sonata answered in her usual, too-cheery-for-this-world tone.
"Yeah, now come let us in so I can properly laugh at you for that perfectly timed outburst."
Adagio could literally hear the smirk on Aria's face.
Muttering curses under her breath and praying the hot flush on her face would subside during her walk across the apartment, Adagio stomped her way towards the front door, pulling it open and poking her head out just in time to see the two sirens turn the hallway corner carrying several large cardboard boxes.
Giving the pair of walking storage containers a venomous glare they couldn’t possibly see, she moved to hold the door open wide for them. “The last 30 seconds didn’t happen...or else.”
"But they did though?" Sonata pointed out, sounding genuinely confused as she walked in and desposited the boxes she was carrying on the living room floor.
Aria chuckled as she followed suit, while Adagio struggled to take deep calming breaths, one palm massaging a temple.
"All we heard was the fervent declaration that you don't have a crush on your roomie." Aria pointed out mockingly, "Is that what you'd like us to forget about? Because without that one shouted statement, all we have left is evidence that says very much the opposite."
Adagio clenched her teeth into a snarl, ready to hurl more agitated denial, even knowing it would only prove Aria's point, but at the last second, she suddenly relaxed, a calmly superior smile spreading across her face.
It made Aria feel like her blood had been replaced by ice water. "A-Adagio...?"
"It almost seems a shame to finally play this little trump card I've been holding for so long, but we do what we must." Adagio thought to herself, her grin growing even larger. "Aria my dear, you know as well as I do that I don't get silly things like crushs, and I just don't want either of you to accidently say something that might make things uncomfortable for my dear, sweet roommate." she began innocently, her expression turning sinister as she went in for the kill. "For example could you imagine if, innocently and mistakenly, I started spreading the rumor that I had to move out of my old apartment because my two roommates would bang on every flat surface they could find every second I wasn't around."
Aria immediately stumbled backwards, as if she had been slapped, the redness on her face completing the illusion. "I...we...uh..." she stuttered, "I have no idea what you're talking about!"
While already feeble, the validity of the denial crumbled to nothing as Sonata leaned towards Aria and very loudly whispered "She knows!!!"
Aria's shoulders slumped as she realized there was no point in attempting to stuff the cat back into the bag. "How'd you find out? We were so careful..."
Adagio giggled as she rolled her eyes. "The two of you aren't nearly as sneaky as you think you are, besides, I noticed you were secretly in love with her literally centuries ago." she declared smugly.
"Me?" Aria asked dumbly, pointing a finger at her own chest.
"Yes, you, you dolt." Adagio said with a nod, genuine amusement twinkling in her eyes. "It was so obvious the way you two would constantly fight like cats, you're like a child, always pulling her ponytail because you didn't know how to tell her you liked her."
Aria seemed frozen now, except for the sweat beading on her increasingly red face.
"Y'know," Adagio went on, "I'm still convinced you only started tying your hair in those cute little pig tails in the hopes that Sonata would finally get brave enough to pull them back, which I guess she finally did!" she tossed a quick wink and a proud smile at Sonata, who was grinning and rubbing the back of her neck guiltily.
Finally regaining her ability to move, Aria coughed awkwardly into her hand. "Right uh...I guess your secret is safe with us then, long as the same goes for you."
"Of course, fair's fair," Adagio agreed, before her eyes widened in panic "n-not that my secret is real of course! I just don't want any false rumors going around!"
"Whatever you say Dagi." The two again spoke in perfect unison, identical conspiratorial smiles on their faces.
“Y’know it’s even creepier when you two do that knowing what you’ve been up to behind closed doors.” Adagio grimaced.
“It’s mostly just holding hands!” Sonata giggled, taking the opportunity to step towards her secret girlfriend and wrap said hands together.
“Oh trust me, I know, that’s why it’s so gross.” Adagio grumbled before making exaggerated gagging noises.
Aria smiled as she squeezed Sonata’s hand, realizing they didn’t have to pretend anymore around Adagio, but then tilted her head as a thought struck her. “Wait, if you knew all this time why not just tell us, make us tone it down? You didn’t have to move out.”
“Never pounce on an advantage as soon as it appears. Wait until it stands to have maximum effect.” Adagio quoted haughtily, before switching to an amused smile. “And I moved out because while perfect for a couple, a one bedroom apartment is far from ideal for 3 people.”
Aria gave her a bemused look. “...wasn’t that a quote from that weird video game we played last month?”
Adagio just shrugged.
“Alright then...” Aria muttered, letting it go. “Well you’re welcome to come visit anytime...just uh...knock first?”
“You could just leave a sock on the door or something.” Adagio purred with half-lidded eyes.
“We’re trying to prevent any weird rumors, not start them ourselves!” Aria nearly shouted.
Adagio just chuckled, before blinking in confusion. “Ok not to look a gift pony in the mouth, and I get why you’d wanna keep me out of the loop, but it just dawned on me that I have no idea why you two are so desperate to keep this a secret from the rest of the world?”
At that Sonata looked uncomfortable while Aria just looked angry.
“People still...sorta think we’re all sisters...” Sonata finally admitted forlornly.
“NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES I CORRECT THEM” Aria growled, a blood vessel bulging in her forehead.
“Seriously?” Adagio looked amazed. “That makes no sense, we all look nothing alike...and we have different last names!”