Upon closing Adagio’s door, Sonata released a breath that she didn’t realize she had been holding. The hallway was dark and silent, save for the moonlight that filtered in through the window on the far wall. The blueish glow seemed to cast itself ominously upon Aria’s bedroom door at the end of the hall, almost as if it were calling for Sonata to approach.
Gulping down a lump that had settled in her throat, the youngest siren took a few, silent steps until she stood directly in front of Aria’s door. She raised her hand to knock, and froze on the spot. Things were bad right now. What Adagio had done, bringing up Aria’s past in such a cruel and thoughtless way, was something that could prove disastrous. She had seen the look on her sister siren’s face when their leader had jabbed those sharp, poisonous barbs into her. She knew what Aria was like whenever she got into one of her moods, especially as of late. It made the idea of simply knocking on the girl’s door to check on her seem foolhardy. Perhaps it was best if she just kept watch by the door overnight to make sure no worrisome sounds came from within.
Sonata lowered her arm, spun around, and slumped down onto the floor to think. Sitting there with evening shadows cast upon her, telltales of the troubles of her incredibly prolonged life seemed to flit across her face. Her head began to ache.
Her entire life, she had never been one to complain about the notion of hard work, or suffering for a cause on behalf of those who truly cared for her, but at long last, tonight, she found herself wondering if she had not finally reached her limit. It was one thing to roam through two millennia only having to dedicate oneself to the emotional welfare of two other beings. Food, clothing, shelter, health, and any other desire was always taken care of. However, when it came to this powerless existence, now life included deadlines, reminding oneself to eat something in between those deadlines, counting and recounting money, worrying, deadlines, and judgments. What will your superiors think of you if you wear this shirt? Do you have time to pick up that laundry? Your voice sounds horrible when you sing; try not to sing. Deadlines. Aria is banging her head against her bedroom wall again. She’ll yell at you, but go distract her anyway. You have a job now, remember? Go to work. Oh, fennel, you’ve accidentally cut yourself again. Patch it up. It won’t heal with a song like it used to.
This was learning to live a mortal’s life in an immortal’s body. This, Sonata thought, was true torture. Small, seemingly trivial thoughts that would once delight her to muse upon as she relaxed within the comforts of her Sirenhood, now warped and distorted into absurd little fixations that perpetually piled up to dominate her entire life. Her thoughts were no longer hers. Her own body and its actions were no longer hers. Now, it just seemed as if the color, the flavour, the life that once seasoned the world around her had been sucked and drained away into one, giant, lump of grayness that stretched out before her to eternity. By the spirit of the seas, what she wouldn’t do to be able to once again look at the sky, and actually see that indomitable, cerulean blue, or to be able to eat a taco and actually taste the damned thing. Her burden had grown exponentially, and in return she did not receive the love or the adoration she required to replenish herself. There was no more sucking it out of the essences of mortals, gorging herself upon their forced affections; of course, her sisters, being made of the same, chaotic stuff as she, often had little if any affection to spare.
Eyes closed, Sonata didn’t realize that she had slowly begun to drift off to that place between deep thought and sleep. Her body had begun to slump to the side, grazing against the front of Aria’s door. It wasn’t surprising, then, that a few moments later, the knob twisted loudly, and the hinges spun backward as the glum girl yanked the door open. Sonata fell backward into the room, knocking her head against the floor, and jolting her into alertness. As she looked up into her elder sister’s deep-set and darkened eyes, she couldn’t help but sigh in exhaustion. She knew what was coming.
“Why are you sitting outside of my room?” the gloomy former siren asked in a flat monotone. As she leaned down toward Sonata’s face, her long locks of hair threatened to brush against the younger girl’s nose.
Sonata looked up at her with weary eyes, and for once, apprehension was not one of the emotions visible within them.
“Oh, come on, Aria. You know why,” she croaked matter-of-factly, running a hand through her blue-streaked fringe.
There was an indecipherable look that crossed Aria’s face for just a split second before irritation took over once more. Without having to be told, Sonata sat up, and slid herself back past the threshold of the door. She didn’t even bother to look at her sister.
“I don’t want you here, Sonata. Get away from my door, and go to bed,” Aria said with finality before slamming the thing shut, and locking it. Sonata flinched as the sound cut into her consciousness like a knife. She leaned forward, and pressed her fingers against her aching temples. Her eyes, teary with fatigue, opened wide as those ancient memories of her gruelling childhood crept into her skull.
There was a pressure building within her that would soon need release if she weren’t to pop. Some kind of escape, some small glimpse of the colorful, passion-filled life she had once known as a siren was required. She didn’t find it strange, then, that the two images that grew to encapsulate all these worries within her mind were that of her beloved beach by the sea, and Patti Mint’s oh, so enticingly criticizing face. However, since Adagio would notice if she disappeared for an entire day—if not more—in order to visit the sea, then the only outlet that was within reach for the time being was that horrible, blue-eyed girl. Her love would be Sonata’s to bask in, and when she finally did, that burst of color, that blast of fresh air, would be just what the former siren needed to catch her second wind. It would make those terrible ghosts of her past disappear for a little while longer. It would replenish those memories of the sweetness of her former Sirenhood.
Releasing her temples, Sonata stood up, and dusted herself off. With a smirk, she pulled the band off of her ponytail, and headed toward her room. That trip to the movies tomorrow most certainly couldn’t come soon enough.
She was on the brink of sleep by the time she hit the bed, and could barely muster up enough energy to wiggle out of her work clothes. Sliding beneath her covers, she took a deep breath, and exhaled. It was a sad thing to acknowledge that her mind—usually racing with images and interesting questions during quiet moments like these—was now simply exhausted and blank, as silent and empty as the halls of their house. Thus, Sonata was surprised when, from the edges of slumber, she was briefly drawn back to awareness by the soft sound of piano keys coming from somewhere above her.
There were two concerns competing with each other in Adagio’s mind since the fallout of that evening, two thoughts that fought to grab her energy and attention. So much so that she had felt a desperate urge to get away somewhere to think. Her room simply would not do, and usually, when she was feeling so troubled, there was only one place that would. After the rest of the house had gone to sleep, she quietly made her way up to the attic. Upon entering the dusty, old room, she peered through the grit, toward a large, tarp-covered object sitting by the window, awash in moonlight. Closing the hatch door gently, she tip toed toward the object, and tore the tarp off, revealing a large, antique, console piano. Coughing up some of the disturbed dust, she pulled the piano stool out, took a seat, and unfurled her long fingers.
The song that echoed against the walls of the attic had been soft, slow, undulating. A smile crept across her face as she fondly remembered the first time she had discovered this magical tune. It had been about three centuries ago after their stint in Spain. The girls had been enamored by rumors of the decadent and exciting lives of the Parisian elite, and thus, had resolved themselves to move. Paris had been some of the best times obtained out of the horrible circumstance that was their banishment to this world. If there was ever a time that the three sistren had felt almost alive and enriched with energy again, it would have been there.
One morning, she had set off by carriage to visit a handsome, young socialite who, ironically, had been the son of a Count. He was one of the many mortal lovers she had collected for herself out of sheer boredom over the course of the centuries—by magical means or otherwise. Actually, he had truly not been anything special if she were to consider the entire matter again all of these years later; however, at the time, when she had found him that day, rolling around in bed with not only some debutante opportunist, but also his rental suite’s chambermaid, Adagio had to admit that she had become a bit… miffed.
It goes without saying that she had to cut him loose, and of course, she did—him and the two women. Whether or not she had sung all three of them witless before “cutting them loose” in a goat pasture—dawning only their shifts and stockings—would be something she would forever keep to herself.
Not having yet spent up all of her anger, the siren had then decided to take a brisk walk through town, reading the negative energy around every young, fresh-faced couple she could spy, and so graciously letting one of them know whether the other was a liar, a licentious fiend, or simply had no interest in them at all. Then, after having bestowed so many courteous favors upon the world, she had marched straightaway into a fortepiano maker’s shop, sat down at one of the many instruments therein, and decided to just play the rage out until she could feel it no more.
She had not realized what she’d been playing until twenty minutes later when, upon opening her calm and collected eyes, she caught sight of a crowd of intrigued onlookers, as well as a pair of police lieutenants gawking at her through the glass windows. Sure, Aria had to sign her release from that stinking Parisian jailhouse the next day, but at least she had been wholly and completely relaxed.
Adagio laughed to herself, and shook her head as she allowed these trivial memories to fade into the distance. As she took in a deep breath, and her fingers continued their trip up and down the board, she obliged the horizons of her mind to open.
That musical, magical bond, the root of power that her sisters and she all syphoned from, was an ancient and mysterious thing, indeed. A form of Equestrian magic older than Equestria itself, the bond had birthed the three sisters at a time before the separation and inevitable regathering of the three tribes under the guardianship of the Celestial Sisters. The event had happened so long ago, that by the time the three sirens had been banished to this plane, the story had already been resigned to legend and song. There were few in Equestria who had possessed the power to live long enough to remember it all as it actually happened. Her sisters and she made three; the princesses, Celestia and Luna, made two more. They all knew that the strife that had taken place over the course of early Equestrian history, beginning with the turmoil betwixt the tribes, had begun the day that all three siren sisters had finally reconnected with each other and themselves. Having attained realization, they had then disappeared—in an incensed foam—into deep waters. As they writhed there in the dark, seething and germinating in their own newly realized chaotic powers, it had been that fool, Star Swirl the Bearded, who had come down searching for them, accidentally stoking their immense hunger in the process. It was he who had roused them up out of their sorrowful reveries from the depths to fulfill their destiny: spreading their chaotic influence across the land. In a way, just as they were bastions for chaos, Star Swirl had been the bastion for them and their age. Perhaps it was because of his own guilt, then, that the old unicorn wizard had made it his mission to get rid of them once and for all.
A cold-hearted chuckle escaped Adagio. Now, the old fool was dead, nothing but dust, and despite the best efforts of all those Equestrian do-gooders, she and her sisters were still alive, and very likely still possessed magic. She knew in her heart of hearts that this must be true. When her spirit had called to Aria and Sonata, the only way for them to have heard it was through the unbroken, undamaged source. Somewhere, it was still intact, and try as they might, the forces that worked against them could not destroy such an old and superior strength. Now, in this life that was seemingly filled with the humdrum and hopeless, Adagio knew that it was still possible to quicken themselves once more. Of course, she was determined—ecstatic even—to discover how. A little trial and error, and a bit of experimentation wouldn’t hurt. She did have all the time in the world, after all.
As her mind flowed from one thought to the next, it was inevitable that the former siren should come upon thoughts of Aria Blaze, the second thing that had grown to permeate her mind, despite her efforts to avoid it. When she had said those cruel things to the girl, she hadn’t been considering the regret that was sure to come afterward.
Adagio grimaced at the thought of her own callousness. Her sister had been right, after all. Though neither the eldest nor the most acclimated to toil, Aria was someone that both Adagio and Sonata knew was owed a great deal of debt; for, it was she who had been the first siren to exist. It was she who had been the first to reawaken after the abominable circumstances that had been her life. Indeed, they could not have realized themselves without her; however, that still didn’t mean that all of those ancient wounds were magically healed when they had obtained their power. On the contrary, those pains were the traumas that fueled them. Yet, the yellow girl had thought of it as nothing to prod her younger sister whilst she was in a far more dangerous emotional state. Aria had not deserved such treatment. The eldest girl could at least admit that now, but as usual, it wasn’t until after the fact that she had felt anything resembling contrition. Little by little, she began to ponder upon what Sonata had told her after the fight that evening. Was she really that unappreciative and blind toward them? Were the horrible things that her sisters accused her of being true? She didn’t want to believe it. After all, had she not provided for them all of this time? Had she not been the one that held them all together for a thousand years? How selfish could she possibly be? Didn’t they understand what kind of stress such a thing put her under? Couldn’t they see that she, too, had suffered all these years despite all of her tremendous efforts?
She pulled her fingers off of the keys, and sat in the moonlit silence of the attic, thinking. Her eyes wandered down to the bandage upon her chest as she allowed herself to contemplate how much strife the three girls had seen. Indeed, it was their fate to ever be wrapped in turmoil. Chaos was, expectedly, attracted to them like iron to a magnet; however, this life had proved to be long and cruel, and now Adagio wondered exactly how much more they were expected to be able to take before they might have some recompense.
Rising up out of her seat, she turned to head back downstairs, knowing that she would not be getting much sleep in the hours to come.
An alarm clock went off, and was promptly thrown across the room. A small flame flickered to life in the dark. The flame licked the end of a cigarette, and disappeared. Inhalation, exhalation, and then a dancing plume of smoke rose to the ceiling. A cough echoed in the dark as Aria sat up in bed, and shook the sleep off of her.
It always took a moment or five before she could collect her wits about her after a long night of sleep, especially the inebriated kind. Sitting there in the darkness of her room, despite it being past noon, had a rather hypnotizing, time obliterating effect. Still, she found it soothing, and easy to meditate in this type of space. After yet another night of dreaming about warm sands and welcoming blue waves, she found herself thinking deeply about the events of the evening before. No, she wasn’t dwelling on that tremendous hellion, Adagio, who she might have expected would act like a complete jackass upon others holding up a mirror to her own faults. She also decided that it would do her troubled mind some good to also forget the incident with Cookie at Bubbles’ bar, at least for the time being. That could wait until Monday. Instead, she was thinking on the matter of her magical bond, something that, for Aria, Adagio now had little to do with. Hints of the truth had begun to reveal themselves to the sullen siren. The bond was unbroken. That was now a given. With this fact came the notion that, somewhere, the source of their power still lived, intact. Her brow furrowed as she tried to ignore what implications this spelled for Adagio. She was certain that the eldest girl was already planning another doomed scheme to regain their powers, and take over the world. Instead, Aria tried to consider, for the first time since the Battle of the Bands, the possibility that one day she might be able to sing again. Before, she had obliterated the notion in her own mind, finding it too painful to dwell upon. It was easier to tarry on hopelessness, settled in a resolute acceptance that her voice was never coming back. This was around the time she had begun to smoke habitually. Perhaps she had simply been trying her best to drive the final nails into her own proverbial coffin. Maybe she just wanted to get it all over with.
Song had never been a means to an end for Aria like it had been for her sisters. Sure, they adored song just like she did, and perhaps, at one time, long ago, they had known how to sing just for the love of it; however, that was no longer the case. It had been made plain, relatively early on, how Adagio and Sonata used their music in ways to influence how others treated them, but for the rose-colored siren, this simply was not so. Her song, unlike the others', had been a constant source of hope, of self love, and of defiance toward any who should try to destroy her or it. It was her spirit. That was all, and that was enough for her to wield it as a weapon against a world that had treated her so viciously. There was a time in the beginning, before her Sirenhood, when her song had very nearly been taken away from her, permanently. That dark time, the time Adagio had so callously thrown in her face the evening before, had left its deep scars upon her, scars that were invisible, scars that would never fade no matter how long she would live. Still, despite these experiences, her song remained, and was what had kept her going ever since. It had been her raison d’etre.
When she had lost her ability to sing, that will, that drive, all but disappeared. After two thousand years, here she found herself songless, and very nearly hopeless, wondering why she had even bothered to continue on if things were bound to end up this way. Was this to be the epilogue of her story? More importantly, who was the one writing it? Was it Adagio? Fate, maybe? Or perhaps, was there still a chance that she was?
It wasn’t a secret to anyone that self destruction was something that was always lurking in the back of Aria’s mind. Ever since the beginning, the notion had planted itself there, unwilling and unable uproot itself. In a slim list of choices that she had been given in her life, she had forced it to come last; yet it still perpetually remained. It hadn’t been until the destruction of her voice that those dark shadows were again revitalized, beginning to creep about in her thoughts, permeating her mind. After all, if she still had some semblance of a choice, then why shouldn’t she have considered just ending it all as being a credible option?
However, now, she knew the bond remained, and slowly the same shadows went into retreat as the tiniest glimmer of hope began to show itself once more. With much hesitation, Aria pulled the cigarette from her mouth, and sat there in the dark silence. Her eyes had grown wide as she licked, and parted her lips. She took a deep breath.
“W-what we have in store…” she sang quietly before cringing at the sound of her own voice. Stopping abruptly, she grimaced, shook her head, and took another long drag from her cigarette.
After having showered and dressed, she ran downstairs, and was surprised to find that Sonata had not yet risen. What was not remarkable, however, was the sight of Adagio sitting, fully dressed for work, at the kitchen table. She was stirring a cup of clearly cold coffee, and attempting to stave off the sleep that she didn’t get the night prior.
Good. Suffer, you witch.
As Aria walked passed her, and into the kitchen without a word, she ignored the glare that the eldest girl gave her. Upon entering the room, she was struck with the realization that if Sonata had not risen that morning, then most certainly there was no breakfast to be had. Of course, the spoiled, orange-haired, siren queen sitting at the table was useless in the culinary department, and Aria was the only other one of the three that knew how to cook.
Throwing some bread into the toaster, she awaited her meager breakfast whilst loudly tapping her finger against the counter. From her rear, she heard Adagio take a deep, purposeful breath before clearing her throat.
“Aria?” came the eldest girl’s voice, feigning authority that she didn’t have the right to be employing. Aria stopped her tapping. For a moment, it seemed that the silence had become even louder than her fingers. As the stillness ensued, the younger girl never turned around to face her sister.
Don’t. Just don’t.
Like a saving grace, the toaster timer finished, and the toast was instantly snatched up into her hands. Shoving one of the slices into her mouth, Aria spun around, and walked straight away past her elder without ever acknowledging that she had spoken. Reaching down by the entrance to snatch up her sneakers, she then walked barefoot out onto the porch, slamming the door behind her.
Toast in one hand, cigarette in the other, Aria braced herself forward against the porch railing. She was trying her best to clear her mind, and enjoy the cool air against her skin. Between her job and home life, there had been entirely too much wrong going on as of late. Recently, she had decided that if she was planning on staying even the least bit sane, she would have to take the small moments of peace that she was given, and find ways to make them last.
Surprisingly, out of her forced calm, an image of Sonata appeared in her mind’s eye. Usually, the very thought of the blue girl was enough to increase Aria’s heart rate. All that annoying cheer and sunshine—not to mention the constant, irrelevant crap coming out of her mouth—was an absolute aggravation. Still, a small smile now spread across the surly girl’s face as she considered that maybe, just maybe, the youngest of them had also had enough of Adagio’s shit. Perhaps that was why she had not made an appearance downstairs early that day.
She wasn’t aware of how much time had passed as she was standing there, feeling the breeze. However, almost as if being summoned from her thoughts, she soon heard the sound of the front door knob turning, and spun around to catch Sonata stepping out whilst slipping on a light sweater. Both sisters look at each other stoically out of the corners of their eyes, saying nothing. Her curiosity now piqued, Aria let off a plume of smoke, and turned to face her.
“Super busy this morning?” she asked, not really knowing a more polite way to start up a conversation. Sonata said nothing, pulled out her keys, and began to lock the door.
“What was up with breakfast?” Aria prodded. This finally seemed to get the blue girl’s goat. She spun around, fluttering those perfectly doeish eyelashes in her sister’s direction.
“For your information, Aria, I don’t always have to cook breakfast. You can cook sometimes too, you know,” Sonata chided, placing her hand upon her hip.
“I could,” Aria said with a shrug, “buuuut…”
With that, she let off another plume of smoke. She smirked, finding herself rather funny. Sonata coughed as the smoke hit her in the face, then waved the fumes away.
“Why do you smoke those things so much nowadays? They’re bad for you, you know,” the blue girl said as she took a step closer. Aria let loose a loud laugh, and ran a hand through her hair.
“What, you scared I’m gonna die or something? Scared it’s gonna mess up my voice? I assure you, you’ve got nothing to worry about,” she chortled.
“Oh, yea? Well it’s super gross, just like you,” the blue girl retorted, sticking out her tongue. The elder siren rolled her eyes as she inhaled upon her cigarette again.
By Discord, Sonata was annoying, especially when she was trying to sound clever. Even still, Aria couldn’t hold her irritation against her. They both had reason to be in bad moods as far as she was concerned.
“You know, you should try it some time. Maybe then that prissy stick won’t be shoved so damn far up your ass,” Aria said. Sonata crossed her arms, and took a few steps toward the stairs.
“Gross,” the blue girl replied.
“I’m actually being serious. After a bit, it’s pretty relaxing. Come here a second,” Aria urged. Sonata stared at her as if she’d lost her mind.
“Haha. Very funny. You know I’d never—”
“Just come here,” Aria said, reaching out to grab the other girl’s arm, and pulling her close. Taking one last inhale on the cigarette, she eyed her. Too old and jaded to feel anything resembling regret, Aria quickly plucked the stick from her lips, turned it around, and popped it between Sonata’s.
“It’s not gonna hurt you, dummy. Just inhale slowly, hold it a second, and let it go,” she instructed her. Sonata, taking a moment to glance worriedly into her elder’s eyes, did as she was told, then quickly plucked the cigarette from her mouth, coughing loudly. Aria caught the thing before she could drop it, and began to laugh.
“First time’s always a bitch, though,” she cackled as Sonata strained to catch her breath.
“Aria! You’re... such... a jerk!” Sonata gasped between her hacking. Bracing herself against the railing until she could catch her breath, the youngest siren then stood up straight, adjusted her sweater, and turned to leave.
“Been awhile since I’ve seen this side of you. I was starting to wonder if you’d act like a piss-stained, security blanket forever or something. What’s gotten into you today, anyway?” Aria asked, preferring to hear straight from the horse’s mouth what was going on in the younger girl's head—as frightening a notion as that might have been.
“Nothing,” Sonata groaned as she skipped down the steps.
“Wait!” Aria called, a hint of desperation in her tone. Her intonation made Sonata spin around, her eyes wide.
As much as Aria hated to admit it, she had to acknowledge the fact that, at that very moment, if she were forced to stare at Adagio’s face, or the inside of their house for yet another day in a row, she might actually flip. Looking into her younger sister’s eyes, she could see the same need for a release. There needed to be some sort of small escape from this life that they had been living for those past months, and by Discord, she would have it if it presented itself, even if she was forced to tolerate the blue one whilst doing so.
“You’re going to that movie today, right?” Aria asked. Sonata nodded.
“What did you tell Adagio you were doing?” she continued, releasing a fresh plume of smoke.
“Really, really, really long grocery run,” Sonata replied, now very curious as to where this was headed. Aria cocked an eyebrow.
“And she bought that?”
“I don’t think she even heard me,” the blue girl replied with a shrug.
After a beat of silence, she watched as the elder girl reached down, slipped her sneakers onto her feet, and descended the steps to meet her. She flicked the cigarette away, and slipped her hands into her pockets.
“I’m coming with you.”
The bus ride to the theater was as quiet as could be expected. It seemed that despite the amount of time they had spent together, the two former sirens had never found much to relate over, except for the business of controlling and devouring negative energy. With that life now gone, there wasn’t really anything to talk about unless they were planning on bickering over their vast personality differences, as usual.
Still, Sonata’s curiosity always seemed to get the best of her, and as the two girls stepped off of the bus, and into the movie theater parking lot, she decided to ask the obvious question that needed asking.
“No offense, Aria, but why are you even here? You already said that you hate this movie, and you and I don’t get along. I don’t get it,” the blue girl asked.
Aria swept her hair over shoulder to keep it from blowing about in the gusts of wind passing through the open parking lot. Sighing, she tried to think of the least emotionally telling way to answer the question.
“Let’s just say that being here is better than being there. I guess I just needed to get out, too,” she replied. Apparently, this answer was sufficient for Sonata. The blue girl immediately nodded her head.
“So, you agree with me?” the youngest girl asked. “Something feels not finished, but I don’t know what. It’s like I can’t hear the messages right. It just ends up feeling like I need a huge vacation or something.”
This already proved to be too much conversation for the rose-colored girl, and she quickly held a hand up to silence her sister whilst rubbing her temples with the other.
“Sonata? Please. I came here to get away from all that quixotic, ominous crap. I just want it all to go away for a while; so, do me a favor, and shut up about it,” Aria stated plainly.
Sonata pouted, and grumbled under her breath. After walking in silence for a few more minutes, she then decided to take an interest in the sky. She smiled, noticing that today it seemed to be more blue than it had been the day before.
“At least the sky is clear today, right? Isn’t it pretty?”
“It’s as blue and vapid as you are. So… eh,” Aria shrugged half-heartedly as her attention was pulled away by someone standing in the distance. A butter-skinned, green-eyed girl with peach colored hair had seemed to catch sight of them, and begun to wave. Aria tapped her sister’s shoulder curiously.
“Hey, I think that girl is waving at us.”
Sonata, who had still been lost in the blue of the sky, looked ahead to where her sister had been pointing, and smiled brightly. She raised her hand, and waved back.
“Oh! That’s Peachy! I’m treating her to a movie today,” she said excitedly. This immediately garnered Aria’s interest. She peered at the blue girl, cocking an eyebrow.
“Treating her, huh? Why?”
“Because she’s my friend, and I like having her around. Duh. You wouldn’t know anything about having friends though,” Sonata said, sticking out her tongue. Aria simply rolled her eyes. Staring at Peach again, she noticed something interesting about her energy, namely that as Sonata and she got closer, a slightly green haze began to swirl and expand around her body.
“Why is she flaring like that?” Aria asked her sister. Sonata shrugged.
“Ionno. She’s always doing that. She’s kinda quiet and… what’s that word again?” the blue girl asked.
“Wary,” Aria replied.
“Yea, that. That’s the first time she’s flared that much around me, though. I wonder why,” Sonata said, tapping her chin curiously.
“Maybe because she’s not a complete idiot. She can sense that you’re a monster,” Aria chuckled, taunting her.
“You are!” Sonata yelled which only made Aria laugh harder.
When they finally reached the front of the theater, and stood in front of Peach, the green-eyed girl reached out to hug Sonata. She then passed a bashful smile in Aria’s direction.
“Hi, Peachy! This is my… sister or whatever, Aria,” Sonata began, directing a rather limp and unenthusiastic finger toward the elder siren. “Aria, this is Peachy!”
Aria, not one for being cooperatively social, forced a smile, trying her best to hide the fact that, at the moment, she was too busy eyeing the plume of green that had exploded out of Peach’s body when she had embraced Sonata. Reaching out indifferently with one hand, she waited for Peach to shake it.
“Oh! So, this is one of your sisters! Nice to meet you… Aria?” Peach said to the disinterested girl. Sonata quickly jabbed her sister in the ribs, jolting her back to attention. Aria’s unnerving purple gaze quickly trained themselves on Peach’s eyes.
“Yea. Same,” she replied without smiling. Perhaps to pick up the slack, Sonata grinned far too brightly in return.
Rattled by their odd behaviour, Peach forced a laugh, and scratched the back of her head.
“Well, um. I think I’ll just go get us some snacks, since you’re buying the tickets and all. Sonata, I know you like sugarfruit babies. Aria, what will your pleasure be?” the angel-eyed girl asked.
“Just get me some peach— uh, I mean... Whatever, I don’t really care,” Aria replied, her gaze having long trailed off back over the girl’s head.
“Alrighty, then,” Peach croaked before backing away, and escaping to the interior of the building. Aria simply watched her go, wide eyed. When she had disappeared from view, Sonata spun around, a gaze of fury upon her face.
“Aria! Can you please try a little harder not to freak my friends out? You’re staring at her like she’s steak and potatoes!”
“Her energy smells like peaches, Sonata. It actually smells like fucking peaches. That has got to be, like, the first… Okay, well the third time that’s ever happened. Can you believe that? How can you even stand being around her?” the elder girl said, rather bewildered.
“Because I have a little something called self control. Not every mortal has to be a meal,” Sonata chided. “Actually, none of them are anymore. So, just get over it, okay?”
Aria quickly passed her an unamused glare. “Sonata” and “self control” were two things that clearly didn’t belong in the same sentence together.
“Give me a break, you little liar. Don’t tell me you’ve never hung around her specifically to smell her energy. She smells delicious. Admit it,” Aria commanded.
Sonata huffed with irritation, and crossed her arms as she quickly moved to go stand in the ticket line. After a while, she turned around to face Aria who she discovered had been giving her a wide, knowing grin the entire time. The blue girl rolled her eyes in defeat.
“Okay, fine. Maybe, like, twice. Are you happy now? I don’t hang out with her just to smell her, though. So, just give it a rest and stop freaking her out,” the younger siren hissed. Aria smirked.
“We’re not even allowed to do anything, because of the tyrant bitch queen. How is it even possible that you two “hang out” anyway? What do you do? Sit around on her couch staring at the ceiling?”
Sonata thought for a moment.
“Yea, pretty much!” she said, passing an innocent smile Aria’s way. The elder girl gawked.
“You mean to tell me you are locked alone in a room with that four course meal on a regular basis, and you’ve never even… Never even…”
She thought for a moment.
“Well, idunno what one could actually do, but I’d totally figure something out. Regardless, yes. I’m satisfied. I just wanted to hear you say it,” Aria quipped, tidying her long, unbanded hair with a smug smile. She already knew she had planted the seed of infatuation in her sister’s head.
“I’ve smelled way better anyway,” Sonata continued on without prompt.
“I’m sure,” Aria replied curtly, inspecting her nails. A long silence ensued as the two of them watched Peach standing in the refreshments line through the glass windows. Slowly, Aria leaned in toward Sonata who had, interestingly enough, begun to chew upon her bottom lip.
“You know, hypothetically speaking,” Aria began, “I bet there is a way, somewhere out there, to devour energies without Equestrian magic. It’s plausible, right? I mean, looking at little Peachy there, a few pretty good ideas come to mind.”
Sonata shoved Aria away, now grimacing at her.
"Aria, you're so—"
"I don't think boiling the hair would work,” the elder girl interrupted again. “I bet that would taste like hardly anything. She's got alot of it, though; so, I don't know. Maybe. Though I'd be willing to bet that all the really tasty stuff is hiding inside her precious, little—"
"Puh-leeease, Aria!" Sonata interjected sounding desperate for the other girl's silence. "Why do you have to be such a weirdo?"
Aria feigned shock despite the fact that she was enjoying her sister's restlessness, immensely. Whatever made Sonata uncomfortable spelled good times for her.
"I'm the weird one? This is coming from the girl who I caught chugging a bottle of dish soap because she wanted to know what dawn tasted like," Aria muttered, crossing her arms.
"Oh, come on. Don't tell me you've never wondered about that. It's dawn, Aria. Dawn. Like the beginning of that lion movie," Sonata hissed, her cheeks puffing with embarrassment. "Wouldn't you like to taste that scene too?"
Aria laughed, holding her forehead in her palm. When she had calmed down sufficiently, she leaned over again, now bracing herself on Sonata’s shoulder.
“In all seriousness, though, I’d give up like, an entire paycheck for someone to invent a way to be able to try her. What do you think she tastes like?” she murmured into the younger girl’s ear, nudging her shoulder. “Like cobbler? Or maybe it’s all a trick, and she tastes like fruit salad or something. Or maybe she tastes—”
“Only like the best pie, ever,” Sonata finally blurted, pressing her palms against her cheeks in exasperation. “She probably tastes like a field of ripe, Equestrian peaches after a summer rain or something, okay? Idunno. It's not like I think about it every, single, little time I'm around her or anything, right? By Discord, Aria. Now, those sugarfruit babies aren’t gonna do anything for me!”
By this point, Aria had already broken out into a loud, obnoxious cackle, her head thrown back. She was only silenced by the sudden sound of someone hissing from somewhere in front her. When she looked around, she was surprised to find the entire line ahead turned to stare at them in shock. A mother, waiting directly in front of them, had reached down to cover the ears of her young son who she had brought along with her that day.
“Do you girls mind? There are children present!” she hissed.
Unimpressed by the woman’s anger, Aria took a quick glance at the tepid puffs of energy escaping off of her body, and bent down to face her child.
“Your mother didn’t really want to come here with you today, did she?” she asked, cocking an eyebrow. Sonata was forced to quickly take control of the situation, and pulled Aria behind her, placing herself between the rose colored girl and the other woman.
“Sorry, ma’am. We’ll keep it down,” the blue girl blurted with an apologetic smile. Still, Aria managed to stick her tongue out at both the insufferable woman and her snotty, little spawn.
Things eventually quieted down. The two former sirens obediently purchased their tickets, and went to go meet Peach. The pretty girl had been standing just in front of the ticket taker, her arms full of popcorn, drinks, and candy. Sonata took some of the items from her, and handed her a ticket.
“Gee, thanks Peach! You didn’t have to do this, you know!” the youngest siren exclaimed.
“Yea, I did. We both needed a pick-me-up after what happened with… you know who,” Peach replied. Aria, being ever the sharp one, picked up on this statement, and passed Sonata a questioning glance.
“With whom?” the elder siren asked Peach. The girl quickly shook her head, and smiled, realizing her mistake. Wisely, she decided to change the topic.
“Oh, by the way, Aria, I didn’t know what you liked, so I got you the same as Sonata. Hope you’re into sugarfruit babies!” the girl said, handing her a box.
Aria, her urge to meddle again aroused, reached out, and took the box, making sure to brush a finger against Peach’s just to see that delicious plume of smoke escape off of her once again. Popping the box open, she deliberately reached in, and pulled out one of the little gummy humanoid shapes it contained. Perhaps it was just by luck that the gummy also happened to be orange-colored.
“Why, thank you, Peach. As a matter of fact, I just got a hankering for sugarfruit babies just now. Imagine that,” she stated. Purposefully giving the little gummy man a squeeze, she popped it onto her tongue, and slurped it up, trying her best not to laugh at Peach’s clear discomfort.
“Uhhh, you’re welcome?” Peach laughed nervously, not understanding why a burning sensation had begun to creep up into her cheeks. Sonata reached out, snatched the girl’s arm, and began marching her straightaway to the ticket taker. Turning around, she passed Aria another furious glare before relinquishing her ticket, and shoving Peach through the turnstile. Aria, chuckling to herself, followed close behind.
The movie actually wasn’t so bad, at least not the fifteen minutes or so that Aria had stayed awake for. For as much as she could tell, it was about a bunch of sexy immortals who would hypnotize their victims with their sexy glampire powers before draining them. That wasn’t something that she couldn’t altogether relate to. After all, she did consider herself to be the most attractive person she could think of. There was also some other boring stuff about vegetarians and love buried in the flick somewhere, but by that time she had just about nodded off.
Afterwards, standing outside of the theater, Aria had fired up a fresh cigarette as she waited for the two bubbly girls alongside her to stop harping on about the movie. Fifteen minutes later, she was still waiting. Finally, when she could take no more of their overly enthusiastic chattering, she decided to speak her mind.
“Please, for the love of all that is rotten, can you two shut up about this frikkin movie?” she very nearly begged as she stomped out another dead smoke. Sonata and Peach both turned to gaze at her, almost as if they had forgotten she had been standing there.
“Sorry, Aria. It was just really good,” Sonata murmured, the expression on her face so innocent and excited that it made the sullen siren want to vomit.
“Yea, like the part where he picked her up, and ran through the trees,” Peach stated. Sonata gasped with joy.
“Or the part where he jumped in front of that truck to save her,” the blue girl continued.
“Or the part where—”
“For fuck’s sake!” Aria yelled, scaring a few other patrons scattered out front. “Do you two hate me or something? Why are you doing this to me?”
“Alright, alright! Gosh!” Sonata ceded, raising her hands defensively. “We’ll just have to talk about it next time we see each other at work.”
She turned to smile at Peach who had begun to giggle. Aria’s eye twitched as she noticed the haze of green that had haloed the girl all afternoon slowly begin to dissipate. Was Peach enjoying her blatant discomfort?
“Yea, I’ve gotta get going anyway, Sonata,” Peach sighed. “Going out of town tomorrow.”
“Lucky you,” Aria muttered, shoving her hands into her pockets.
Surprisingly, Peach didn’t seem put off by the glum girl’s words this time around. She turned to give Sonata a hug, and then stretched her hand out toward Aria one more time.
“It was nice meeting you, Aria. Maybe we’ll see each other around some time,” she said with that typical, sweet grin.
Aria reluctantly took her hand, and shook, disappointed when no green fumes appeared. When Peach tried to pull away, the former siren locked her grip a little tighter.
“Uhh,” Peach began, unsurely.
“Yea, just… hold on a sec,” Aria said as she stood there staring at the girl.
At that moment, neither the rose colored siren nor Peach had noticed Sonata’s gaze moving beyond them to the opposite side of the street. The blue girl’s raspberry glare turned sharp and hot, trained on whatever it was she had seen like a hound who had just spotted its prey.
“Squeezing my hand kinda tight there, Aria,” Peach laughed, again becoming quite anxious.
“I know,” Aria stated flatly as she watched green fumes begin to emanate from the girl before her. When the pleasant smell of peaches hit her one more time, she finally relinquished Peach’s hand. “Alright, I’m done.”
“Oookay,” Peach murmured, rubbing her wrist. “Well, see you two later, I guess?”
Noticing that she wasn’t getting any replies, she gave one last nervous grin, and turned to quickly walk away. Aria sighed longingly as she watched the girl go, shaking her head.
What a waste.
She was promptly brought back to attention by Sonata gripping her arm.
“Time to go, Aria,” the blue girl stated outright, her eyes still trained on whatever it was she had been watching go down the street.
“Go where?” the elder girl asked, already annoyed.
“Sammy’s. We gotta go to Sammy’s,” Sonata replied.
“Why the hell would you want to go there? It’s the weekend. I thought you wanted to get away or whatever,” Aria continued, wrenching her arm out of the blue girl’s grasp.
“I’m hungry,” Sonata retorted, already beginning to walk away.
“No. Pick something else,” Aria replied.
“I’ll buy you anything you want,” the younger siren posed, anxiousness now entering her tone. The elder girl cocked an eyebrow at her.
“I’m going to hold you to that. Let’s go.”
Aria remained suspicious as she sat across from Sonata in a booth located in the far corner of Sammy’s. From the time they had arrived, she had watched the younger girl act strangely, sneaking around, and speaking quietly as if she weren’t supposed to be there. Following her to the distant booth, Aria observed, unamused, as she snatched up a menu to hide her face, and proceeded to peer out onto the restaurant floor.
“What’s going on, Sonata?” Aria asked her plainly, crossing her arms, and sitting back in her seat.
“What? Huh? Nothing! Don’t be silly, Ari. Why would you think anything’s going on? Does it look like something’s going on? Nothing’s going on. Nothing at all! S’cuse me a minute!”
Having said that, Sonata threw down her menu, bounded up, and rushed across the currently waitress-free restaurant floor. Ducking down beside the windowed door to the kitchen, she paused a moment to reassess the situation.
Back in the theater lot, she hadn’t wanted to believe her eyes when she saw it, but now she was finally in a position to either confirm or disprove her suspicions. As she peeked in through the door’s window, those suspicions were put to rest; for, there she stood, Patti, fanning herself with her serving tray in the kitchen’s heat. Sonata’s target of choice was awaiting her next order. The youngest siren had seen her walking quickly down the street in Sammy’s direction wearing her work clothes. Now that she knew why, her brow furrowed with irritation. What was Patti doing working on the weekend? She didn’t have any shifts today, the little sneak. Was she trying to find an out somewhere? Well, there most certainly wasn’t going to be one. Not if Sonata had anything to say about it.
Gasping in surprise when Patti’s order came up, the blue girl then dove down behind the cash register. Once the sour-faced woman had exited, and walked by, the former siren then crawled along the floor back to where Aria was sitting. She then hid herself behind her menu, once more. By then, Aria had been given enough time to work some things out for herself.
“I think I know what you’re doing,” the older girl stated plainly.
“What are you talking about? I’m not doing anything,” Sonata muttered, her entire head hidden behind the menu.
“Yes, you are. You’ve got your eye on somebody. Who is it? Does he work here? Is it that scrawny, little cook guy?" Aria urged, nudging Sonata’s leg beneath the table.
“Who, Junior? No way! I mean, I don’t have a crush, Aria!” Sonata hissed as Patti happened to come dangerously close to their table at that very instant. She breathed a sigh of relief as she walked away. “Will you just shut up?”
A bored expression spread across Aria’s face.
“Sonata, you’re the worst liar; we all know this. So, why don’t you just come clean, and tell me wh—”
Right at that moment, when Aria had spun around to catch Patti Mint sauntering away, she realized that Sonata’s glare had been trained on the tiny haze of green that followed close behind her. Her eyes went wide with realization.
“You’re hunting! You little hypocrite, you!” Aria gasped, a mischievous grin now spreading across her face. “You want that girl! Who is she? She doesn’t look like anything special to me.”
“Aria!” Sonata pleaded, guilt seeping from her voice. “Don’t be silly! What would I need to do that for?”
“What does she smell like?” the dour siren inquired as she continued to stare at the girl, ignoring her sister’s pleas.
“She doesn’t smell like— I’m not hunting her, alright?” Sonata hissed. At that instant, Aria watched as the blue girl’s eyes went livid as she observed Patti picking up a tip from one of her emptied tables. The elder girl’s eyebrow rose with intrigue.
“This isn’t about her energy, is it?” Aria put forward sternly as she turned to face Sonata. “Not that it could be. Listen, Sonata. You can’t make people feel the way you want them to about you anymore. You know that.”
A frustrated, almost bruised expression passed across Sonata’s face as she watched Patti march back into the kitchen. Turning her eyes upon Aria, she growled, clenching her fists.
“I can make anybody do whatever I want!” the younger girl hissed, losing herself in her anger for a moment. “Patti loves me. She just… doesn’t know it yet.”
Aria, too familiar with their old ways, just couldn’t bring herself to feel shocked or even disturbed. She had seen this side of Sonata reveal itself many times before. Every now and then, the girl, who Aria had to admit was very popular in her social circles, would be rejected by someone. More often than not, it was never anyone special, but Aria knew that for Sonata that didn’t matter. Inevitably, the younger girl’s attention would be drawn in a way that was frightening. An obsession would reveal itself in her, one that would not be satiated until the object of her desire was practically groveling at her feet. Usually, with their powers, getting to this result was rather simple and uncostly; however, considering their new circumstances, Aria knew for a fact that, now, the notion was foolhardy. All this seemed to be an ominous situation that could not only put the youngest girl in peril, but all of her sisters as well. Sonata was sweet and cheerful when she wanted to be, but one would be reckless to assume that this meant that she wasn’t as dangerous and chaotic an entity as her comrades, perhaps even more so. After all, the girl did have a propensity for getting lost in her own delusions without consideration for the world around her.
“Okay, Sonata. I’m going to tell you something, and I need you to hear me,” Aria began, pressing her palms together in a serious manner. “You need to let this go. The control you think you have over others doesn’t exist anymore. If you keep doing whatever it is I know you’re currently doing, then this isn’t going to end well.”
She knew that Sonata had heard her by the way the younger girl’s cheeks puffed, and her breath seemed to quicken with frustration. It appeared that she was having a war within herself. For a moment, Aria thought that perhaps she would see things her way. Her raspberry eyes softened, and she let loose a loud sigh. The blue girl’s mouth fumbled for a few apologetic words until, out of the corner of her eye, she spied Patti exiting the kitchen again. The girl headed toward a freshly emptied table, and picked up yet another tip.
The youngest siren’s rage was rekindled, twofold. Forgetting her previous feelings of remorse, she moved to stand. Aria grabbed her arm, but it was swiftly swatted away.
“You’ll see,” the blue girl hissed, sticking out her tongue. “If you’re scared, then that’s your problem, isn’t it?”
With that, Sonata stood up, and marched out of the restaurant, headed toward the back lot. Aria, equally resentful over having been spoken to in such a way—by 'the blue one', no less—picked up the menu, and began to sift through the listings. At first, she was determined to just let Sonata learn her lesson the hard way; however, as a feeling of dread slowly descended upon her, she found it difficult to concentrate on anything else but the danger the younger girl was putting them all in. Sighing loudly, she slid out of the booth, and headed out the door.
Sonata, knowing that the back door to the locker rooms was always open, marched through the entryway as if she owned the place. The back rooms were usually quiet until it was time for a shift change, or someone needed to use the restroom; thus, she resolved herself to waiting for Patti to venture through the area. Fortunately for her, she only had to wait a few moments before she heard that familiar voice rudely telling one of the other waitresses off. The voice’s owner then neared the back room door.
Edging herself closer to the parking lot door where she would not be seen, Sonata waited until Patti had crossed the hallway to walk into the restroom before she made her move. Unfortunately, Aria, who had been wondering where Sonata had disappeared to, decided to finally meander in through the back door to take a peek, startling Patti in the process. The brunette spun around to glare at her. She caught sight of Sonata at the same time.
“What the hell?” Patti murmured, a bit shaken.
Sonata, now rather cross at her sister, pulled the other siren in through the door, slamming it shut behind her. She then turned, and passed an all too saccharine smile Patti’s way.
“Heya, Patti! I didn’t know you worked weekends,” the younger siren stated, edging closer. It was clear that the blue girl was the last person that Patti had wanted to see by the way her shoulders fell, and her glare seemed to lose its edge.
“Uh, hey. Yea, actually I—” Patti mumbled, trying to fight off the strange impulse to back out of the locker rooms, slowly.
“No, you don’t have a shift today,” Sonata finished for her, shaking her head. The smile was still plastered upon her face. “So, what’s going on? Making a lotta tips today orrr…?”
“Th-things are kinda slow today, actually. What’s it to you?” Patti said, determined to not lose face to such an annoying little twerp as Sonata. She placed a hand on her hip, and defiantly cocked an eyebrow. Aria, trying to quickly assess the situation, backed up into the shadows whilst she studied the girl.
“Oh, Patti. You’re so silly. Things aren’t ever slow on a Saturday,” Sonata giggled, now anxiously tugging at her own fingers.
“Look, Sonata,” Patti began. “I didn’t kick your ass yesterday, and I think that was really rather generous of me. So, I’m going to need you to back off.”
Patti stepped forward to aggressively poke Sonata in the chest. It was clear to both sirens that the girl was feigning courage considering the amount of fearful energy that was now seeping out of her pores. Still, to Aria, a threat was a threat. The dour siren stepped forward, her hands instinctively balling up into fists.
“Listen, Sweetie—” Aria began to threaten her, only to be stopped by Sonata’s outstretched arm.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Patti. I just wanted to say hi, and see what you were up to, that’s all!” the blue girl said before turning to leave. “We weren’t planning on staying long anyway, but I guess I’ll just see you Monday, right?”
Passing one last, ominous grin in Patti’s direction, she marched with Aria out of the back door. Once in the parking lot, the elder siren watched as Sonata’s expression immediately fell blank, a clear indication that she was now lost deep in that spacious head of hers. The blue girl marched away in the direction of home as her sister, still getting a bad vibe from the entire situation, lit up a fresh cigarette, and followed close behind.