Stumbling away from the very sturdy wall in her bedroom, Fluttershy dizzily found and flopped down onto her bed, massaging her forehead.
I wonder if Rarity ever gets hurt in her... moments.
Well, in her own case, a little headache felt entirely deserved. This morning, that was it, that was her chance, she should have...!
Fluttershy let out a low, pitiful groan.
It made her heart sing that Adagio cared enough about her to ask, to completely drop her facade and directly pose the question of whether or not her teasing was too much, and it felt like they were having an important moment there on the bench, but, then, Fluttershy chickened out!
Not now, please.
If you hadn't panicked again, you could have been enacting the ending to any of your favorite fantasy stories by now!
Give or take sailing over the horizon on flying mounts, fulfilled prophecies, and ethereal swords?
Don't be a smart-mouth in your own head!
It's okay. Anyway, yes, you're a wimp! She cares about you, so much that she's even afraid of scaring you away! That means it's up to YOU to show her she doesn't have to worry!
But I worry! I'll never be as bold as she is, I can't just-
And she doesn't want you to.
Yes, she likes you just the way you are, remember? But that doesn't change that if you're ever going to win your fairytale ending, if you're ever going to kiss your fantasy-world girl, then-
Still lying on her bed, she sighed. "I have to take the first step."
And she would! Somehow. Some day. She'd skipped practicing the confident walk since the day Rainbow caught her in the gym, post-teasing, but maybe that had been a mistake? She was terrified of the thought that Rainbow might check in on her without warning after that, but it hadn't happened these last few days. She needed to keep practicing, if only for the feelings of strength and fortitude the walk gave her. She'd need them if she was ever going to work up her courage... And today had been the last school day of the week.
Was there anywhere else she could practice? Just a long stretch of flat ground away from prying eyes? There had to be somewhere, somewhere she could go alone and walk with swinging hips as much as she wanted, and she'd find it this weekend!
Starting tomorrow morning, it was already getting dark out. Until then, she reflected on today's talk with Adagio. Nothing really interesting happened after the peanut butter cups were offered, but at least Adagio liked them! Smiling, Fluttershy remembered the way those pearly teeth had chewed slowly, commenting on how the chocolate and peanut butter blended together, how one gave bulk to the other, the puzzled little face she made as she tried to determine the dominant flavor, and the uncertain expressions she showed when making her guess, as though hoping Fluttershy could confirm it for her. When she couldn't, they giggled together through another cup each. They left off with a kiss on the cheek each, Adagio having shakily kissed her first, looking just a little anxious until Fluttershy slapped herself awake to kiss back.
Was she afraid of overstepping her bounds even then, or does kissing just make her really nervous? Speaking of bounds...
That 'pressing charges' thing had been bugging Fluttershy since hearing it in the principal's office, more-so because it was Adagio that would have been pressing charges against the school. Not that she wanted it in reverse, but it wouldn't have been as surprising. Still, whatever had happened, Adagio didn't want to talk about it, so Fluttershy didn't press her, even after sharing her own reason for being in the office that day. The two of them agreed that Pinkie Pie and Sonata might find some common ground, at least in terms of affinity for making a mess of Home-Ec.
Anyway, she had two goals this weekend; finding a place to practice the walk in total privacy and working up the courage to kiss Adagio full on the mouth! That her hands shook and her face burned just at the thought of it wasn't a good sign...
Coming home Saturday evening, Fluttershy felt pretty good about herself. She'd determined that the best place she could get some practice for the walk was the roof of the animal shelter, because as long as she stayed away from the edges, nobody was likely to see her from below and there was more than enough space to strut like a siren. On top of that, she had developed a plan to kiss Adagio! It hit her while she was being nuzzled by a kitten whose bowl she'd just filled that if Adagio were about as intimidating as a fuzzy critter, as opposed to the tall, proud, confident wall of dominance she usually was, working up the courage to kiss her would be that much easier!
In short, all she had to do was make Adagio look cuter, and she already had a plan! Kind of. She would still need to be brave enough to try it, but it would be easier than just leaning in and stealing her lips. As ever, it was a good thing Fluttershy waited until she was alone to entertain these kinds of thoughts...
Monday morning. It was time. With at least an hour's worth of practice on Sunday alone, Fluttershy found herself doing the walk more for the feeling it gave her than to actually memorize how to do it. She was sure she could walk that way any time she wanted now, provided nobody was around! That might have actually been a bad thing, if she started doing it unconsciously, but she couldn't think about that right now. When Adagio arrived in her usual dance outfit, Fluttershy smiled at her, patting the seat on the bench next to her.
"Morning, Sweetie." Adagio sat down, smiling a little herself.
That her happy little smile, not her relaxed smirk, was getting more common filled Fluttershy with warm tingles, but she had to stay focused! "Good morning! I have two things to share with you today, if you don't mind."
Raising an eyebrow, Adagio chuckled. "Oh? What's the occasion?"
Fluttershy responded with a shrug and a sheepish little smile. "N-none, really."
"Well, alright then. What's item one?" Drawing a small, rectangular cardboard box from her book-bag, Fluttershy presented it in that Sacred Offering sort of way, the one that made Adagio increasingly uncertain as to whether or not she really needed to say something about it. Cute, though! Lifting the lid, Adagio found little, brown cubes resting on tiny napkins within the box. She made a guess. "You seem to have a thing for chocolate lately."
Grinning, Fluttershy picked up one of the cubes. "These are fudge, they're like, well, it's a little bit different from what you've seen so far. Try them!" She demonstrated that these fudge cubes could be popped straight into one's mouth without having to pick anything out of one's teeth, so Adagio did the same, chewing slowly.
And then came the analytical face! "It's... Good."
Fluttershy beamed. "I knew you'd think so!"
"Very good. Sweet, rich."
"Smooth," she continued breathily, "creamy..."
Fluttershy started to blush. "Y-yea..."
"It's so thick, melting in my mouth, dripping and-..." Adagio smirked. "Something wrong, Sweetie?"
Fluttershy was looking away, but there was no hiding the heat in her face. "N-nothing, just, uh-"
"Waiting for your plan to come to fruition?"
She whipped her head back toward Adagio, eyes practically bulging out of their sockets. "W-WHAT?!"
Adagio giggled at her. "My, my, quite the reaction there. Does that mean you are trying to bed me with chocolate?"
And then Fluttershy's brain stopped working. She stared blankly back. "...What?"
The amusement in Adagio's eyes faded to a sort of subdued curiosity. "Chocolate. You've brought it three days in a row, I think? After my comments on its qualities as a love-aid? So I thought... No?" Adagio couldn't help noticing just how pretty Fluttershy's hair was any time she shook her cute little head. The smooth curvature made her look so... graceful! "Alright, what is your plan?" In her usual, timid fashion, Fluttershy folded her hands in her lap, fidgeting as she looked at the floor. Ooh, it must be something juicy!
"W-well, I, uh, I-I was th-thinking, uhm... Y-you don't have to if you don't want to, I just, uh..." she gulped, very, very hesitantly met Adagio's eyes, and let out a low series of squeaks.
Lost, Adagio tilted her head. "I didn't quite catch that," she said without a hint of her usual playful grin, her voice as gentle as possible, "once more, please?" It may not have been enough, because Fluttershy was actually starting to sweat.
"C-could you... t-try something on f-for me?"
Now Adagio was blushing too. "If... i-if it's something I need to take my pants off for-"
"Because I'm not saying 'no,' but-"
"Oh. Had to make sure. What is it?" That poor Fluttershy needed the better part of a minute to calm down only made Adagio want to know more. Good thing she knew how to be patient!
Reaching into her bag, Fluttershy tried to picture doing the walk in her mind. This wasn't going quite how she hoped, but progress was progress. She pulled out a long, shiny, purple ribbon, and held it where Adagio could see. "I was thinking you could use it to tie your hair up, instead of," the smile wavered with her confidence, but she pushed through, "the, uh, s-spiky, um..."
Absentmindedly touching the points of her spiked hairband, Adagio scrutinized the ribbon. "Just... use that instead?"
There was the smallest hint of desperation in Fluttershy's eyes. "Only for a minute, just to see how it looks? I mean, if you don't mind?"
Aww, that face~!
Tempting as it might have been to see if she could get Fluttershy to formally beg, it looked like this might have actually been kind of important to her, for whatever reason. Smiling, Adagio nodded, reaching back to hold her hair where her spiked band did with one hand and remove the accessory with the other. "Would you like to do the honors?"
All but beaming, Fluttershy nodded. She stood on her knees to reach the back of Adagio's head.
Now's the time! I just have to tie it right and... Oh, my.
Fluttershy had spent a good few hours thinking about this hair, but she'd never gotten her hands on it like this. It was soft, light, fluffy and huggable! The scent of mangoes drifted up as she stretched the ribbon around the area Adagio was holding for her, giving her a clue as to the exact hairstyle her favorite Dazzling wore. It was a little hard to be sure just looking at her normally, but up close, it was clear that Adagio's hair was done up in a massive, mega-ponytail, kind of like Sonata's if it were thicker and fluffier.
"How's it coming along, Sweetie?"
"No rush..." With Fluttershy getting so close to her, Adagio definitely wasn't complaining about the view. There was an arsenal of comments to be fired about the proximity of her chest to Adagio's face, but that Fluttershy wasn't shaking at all or making that oh-please-don't-look-at-me pose said she hadn't noticed. Tragic waste, but again, this was apparently important to her. At the very least, Adagio would make sure she found out why.
"It's done!" Leaning back to sit on her legs, Fluttershy smiled. The ribbon now sat nestled in orange fluff, tied in a bow at a forty-five degree angle on the side of Adagio's head. The effect was every bit as adorable as Fluttershy had hoped it would be, more-so as the wearer made that inquisitive little face while glancing upward, as though trying to see the changes on her own head.
Adagio fished through her vest pockets for a compact mirror, using it to see the pretty little ribbon tied in her hair as she set the spiked band on the bench. "A bow?"
Fluttershy blinked once, lowering her head and showing a sheepish little smile. "I, just, wanted to see how it would look on you, if that's okay."
"I see. And," smirking, Adagio batted her eyes, "what do you think?"
Warmth intensified. "It's, v-very..." Still grinning like a dope, Fluttershy gulped. "...cute?"
The word added pink to Adagio's face, but her expression didn't change. "Cute?" She chuckled. "Well, thank you. Not really my style, but good to know it isn't a bad look for me." She closed the statement by poking the tip of her tongue out of her mouth and winking.
Glowing, it was all Fluttershy could do to resist wrapping her arms around Adagio and squeezing her until not a shred of dignity remained in either of them! However, that would not be conductive to a kiss... Which, now that she was thinking about it, wouldn't that be a little weird to just do? An affectionate peck on the cheek was one thing, but a full lip-lock undeniably held romantic connotatio-well, unless you were a siren. But, if neither of them were eating anything at the time, would there be any doubt? How would Adagio respond to that? What if it felt weird to her? What if she didn't feel the same way? But, the kisses on the cheek, didn't that mean-?
"Sweetie?" Adagio was smiling at her patiently. "Everything alright?"
No, nonononono, it's not alright, I'm not ready!!
Forcing a smile, Fluttershy fumbled for a sentence, spitting it out a little faster than necessary. "So, how was your weekend?"
And then Adagio tensed. It was faint, but as Fluttershy was focused entirely on her, she was sure of it. "Fine," she answered tersely, "one week into the next."
Her own expression slowly shifting into one of concern, Fluttershy felt a little sense of dread where the butterflies usually danced. "Adagio?"
She shrugged a hair too quickly for it to be natural. "What about you? Go frolicking in the woods or something?"
Fluttershy frowned. "You don't have to tell me, but if something is wrong, please don't keep it all to yourse-"
Starting to sweat, Adagio raised her hands placatingly. "No, no, nothing is wrong, really, I was just, uh..." Tell her, or she's going to spend the next week worrying about you for no reason. She sighed, cheeks tinting red. "I'll say right now that I'm not proud of what happened, but nobody is hurt, nobody is dying, and you don't have to worry, okay?"
Managing a tiny smile, Fluttershy gave her the benefit of the doubt. "Okay. So what happened?"
"Well... The three of us, Aria, Sonata, and I, got the idea to try online chat rooms..."
The Dazzlings had spent more time on the global human network since their voices were lost, and in that time, they'd heard about chat rooms. Some were about particular topics, some were connected to video streaming sites, some made Aria start clearing their browser history for sheer Euugh factor. One brand of virtual communication box they learned about included video, which made the three of them nostalgic for the days of Contact Pearls back home. Procuring a webcam and hooking it up accordingly, they found a video chat site and began their foray into digital-real-person-friend-making.
"Testing, testing, one-two-three, is this thing on?"
"Ugh, you would start this with a cliche."
"Focus girls, I think our first vict-err, friend is-"
"Why did you say victim, dammit?! We don't even do that stuff anymore!"
"It says we're connecting again."
"Uh, hey there!"
"What're you three doing tonight?"
"Talking to you!"
There was a silence.
"Okay. Uh. What's up?"
"In what sense of the word?"
"Seriously? I know you know what that question means."
"Yes, but this makes for less insipid conversation."
"Conversation is up!"
"I guess if you consider how often the word 'what' can come up in the average verbal exchange, then yea, 'what' is, itself, up."
"I'm so proud of you!!"
"GAH, stop hugging me!!"
"And that's what's up!"
The next person they were connected to was a small boy that smiled, yelled something into a microphone that wasn't hooked up, and motorboated the screen. Not sure what to do with that, the Dazzlings shrugged and skipped to the next person. They were met with a woman in heavy make-up that made her vaguely resemble a cat, along with the fuzzy, felt cat ears and paw-gloves she wore.
"Who dat? Who dat on da scween? Hewwo der! Hewwo der on da scween!"
"I don't even."
"Nice make-up, but I think you'll have to go a bit further if you want to get on those websites."
"Which ones are you tal-"
Next was a normal-looking person, apparently asleep at the keyboard.
"Wake up! You're on the internet, you jerk!"
"Ooh, I have an idea!"
"Make passionate noises to give him a wet dream?"
"I know how the three of us can make it convincing..."
"Actually, I was just gonna-SKREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!"
Their chat partner immediately jumped up, spasming and flailing and knocking over the laptop.
"Hahaha, nice one!"
"Full points for projection, too!"
"Nuts to that guy, that was funny."
"Yes, that'll teach him to try making friends in his sleep!"
"Yea, that arrogant jerk!"
"I dunno. Next person!"
Another connection, another teenage boy with little restraint. "SHOW ME YOUR TITS!!"
Slowly, Adagio slipped her vest off, Sonata munching popcorn as she unzipped the back of her jumpsuit. She made sure she had the other user's full attention as she lightly tugged it downward, slower than she had with the vest, the thin layer of cloth just barely-
-You Have Disconnected-
"Oops. And he was juuust about to see them."
"Yes! Come to the Tease Side!"
"We have cookies!"
"Maybe, but you'll never actually get them!"
The next user was dressed like a clown and waving a butcher knife in the air. Adagio stared at his thick make-up and puffy, blue hair for a long minute.
"Girls? I want to be a clown."
-You Have Disconnected-
"I swear you've got a make-up fetish, Dagi."
The next user confused them, because there was nothing but a dark, silent screen before a hideous, shrieking demon face charged the camera.
"Woah, surprise buttface!"
"We can hear you, no need to scream."
"It doesn't say it disconnected. You still there, freako?"
"Where'd ya go, Buttface?"
"That looked like a butt to you?"
"I don't like that you're implying that someone's butt can't be beautiful."
"Oh, geez, here we go."
"I immediately regret this decision."
"No, really, not only am I living proof of the contrary, but you two aren't poorly-built either~!"
"I'll never get what it is with you and staring at asses."
"They're a big part of seduction!"
"Thank you, Nata!"
"Some bigger than others!"
"Yes, it's-... Thank you, Nata."
"She ain't wrong."
"Wai-no, I mean-"
So wrapped up were they in their discussion, the Dazzlings didn't notice when they were connected with an ordinary person.
"You've really never admired yourself in a mirror from every angle?"
"You must know what I'm talking about."
"No, as usual, I've got no idea what's wrong with your head."
"Other than dat fluff!"
"First of all, my fluff is something very right with my head. Second, I know you know what I mean, Ria. If you aren't showing off your finer points, why do you always wear such tight pants?"
"Guh, buh, I-I-"
"You're wearing them now."
"She's kinda got a point, Ria."
Aria clapped her hands over her ears and turned red. "I am not talking about this with you two again."
"Oh, c'mon, we were just kidding about the belt stuff."
"Yea, but I was hoping Ria didn't know that."
"Oh, hi there!"
"Good evening! How do you feel about skin-tight pants?"
The next chat partner was a guy presenting his naked crotch to the camera. The Dazzlings tried to make conversation by offering observant commentary, but he quickly turned the camera away in shame, disconnecting a minute later.
It was something of a surprise when the trio connected with none other than Principal Celestia.
"Oh, hello there girls. How are you this evening?"
"Oh, we're just-Mmph?"
"...Why did you slap a hand over her mouth?"
"Hehe, she's probably worried Dagi'll say som-MMPH!"
"That one looked like it hurt."
"Just a little game we play, try it with your friends, gottagonowseeya!"
-You have Disconnected-
"...Sigh. Right. My friends."
Following a fat guy attempting to serenade them with a guitar and terrible audio quality on his microphone, the Dazzlings found themselves talking to that insane cat lady again.
"Ooh, you got fwuff! You got wuffly fwuff! You got wuffly fwuff on da hed! Who dat who got da fwuffy hed?"
"...I think it's talking to you, Dagi."
"I gathered. Ahem. Good evening once more, unconvincing anthromorph. My name is Adagio Dazzle, what is it you mean to ask of me?"
"Fwuffy-fwuffy-wuff-wuff! Pway wif kitty? Pway wif kitty fwuff?"
Adagio chuckled darkly. "I'm sorry, you want to play, kitty-cat?"
"Pway wif fwuffy!"
"Good. Turn around and lift your tail."
"Sick puppy puts down sick cat."
"...That was weirdly poetic, Nata."
Fluttershy was confused. "That doesn't sound so bad."
"It got worse when we took turns on our own. I'll skip to our most... memorable interactions..."
Aria volunteered to go first. Her most outstanding encounter was with a small band of young boys, none older than perhaps thirteen, that made a series of rude, vulgar gestures at the camera. Despite the general effect of what they were saying to her, it was clear within seconds that they did not earnestly intend to pick her up, because they were using entirely the wrong words and phrases. Smiling a little, Aria decided to enlighten them.
"Boys," she said gently, but with just enough volume to be heard over their juvenile come-ons, "I have something I'd like to tell you." To her slight surprise, they actually stopped to listen, though one had to be slapped upside the head before all were focused on Aria. She spoke with just a hint of a coo to her words, using the sort of inflection Adagio had taught her to employ when she wanted something, but lacked the force to immediately seize it. "I can see why looking at me would make you act that way, and I'm truly flattered. However, I don't think your feelings will come across to any girl this way. Do you know why?"
They shook their stupid, barely-pubescent heads.
Aria kept her tone and her face sweet. "Because the kind of people who like young men like yourselves hip-thrusting at the camera aren't pretty girls like me." She threw in a giggle. "Actually, I think most of them are older men. Older men with ugly coats that drive dirty vans. They'd love to have you! They'd take you places, in their vans. Like back home with them. To their shack. Or their basement. None of them will be fun places, y'know?" Keeping the warm smile was easy, because she relished every second of their mirth slipping away, shock and cold fear taking its place. "They'd do things to you, with chains, and hooks, and broken glass. If you're lucky they'll only put them in your mouths. That wouldn't be the real reason, though, because the thing they're really after, is what you were doing when you first saw me. Ohh, but they'd give you a reason to do those things, boys, just as sure as you gave a reason for them to do it. To you. On you. Through you."
Silence. Dead, beautiful silence.
Aria giggled again. "Now, if you want attention from a lady, you have to do something else; you have to show her respect. Treat people like people and they'll do the same for you. Treat people like pleasure toys and, well...?" She winked. "I hope you lock your doors. Got it?"
They nodded as one, the lesson learned. Or not. She couldn't have cared less as she moved to the next user.
"...Did you hug her after that, or...?"
Adagio ran into someone that reminded her of the 'Buttface' encounter, a man in a poorly-lit room apparently wearing something to the effect of a devil mask.
"I kNow WheRe yOu liVe," he bellowed in a distorted voice.
Smirking, Adagio took up a reclining pose. "Do you now?" In response to the name of the state she lived in appearing in the text chat, she let out a low chuckle. "That's still a lot of ground to cover to find little old me."
She smiled a little wider. "Oooooh, done some homework, have we? Narrow it down a little more."
"CaN I coMe ovER?"
"Going to come looking for me?" She chuckled. "That's fine, I'm pretty recognizable."
"Can I ComE oVer?"
"That depends," she whispered while twirling a lock of hair around a finger, "are you bringing me a present?" There was no immediate reply, but Adagio kept her coquettish smile. "I'm not asking much, just something to make it worth the trip for you. You wouldn't want to come all the way to Canterlot just to feel like you've wasted your time, right?" She grinned wickedly. "Oh, and, keep the horned mask. I have plans. I'll be waiting in the park, bring a first-aid kit if you want to make it home in the mor-"
Crossing her arms, Adagio huffed. "Damn tease."
Somewhere, a kettle stared indignantly at a pot.
"G-goodness! Were you really going to meet some complete stranger in the park to, t-to..."
"No, but are you seeing the pattern here?"
"This next one should spell it out."
When it was Sonata's turn, she sat perfectly still when the other user connected. She stared at them, wide-eyed, unblinking, then giggled melodiously as they stared back her in perturbed silence. Sonata started laughing harder, then louder and crazier, twitching erratically as her voice got lower and lower, her entire body going into spasms as she gurgled, all but foaming at the mouth until she fell out of her chair.
After a long silence, her chat partner leaned in a little closer to the screen. "Uh... hello? You still ther-"
Sonata leapt up, quickly stuck her face in the camera to reveal her eyes were now pitch-black with tiny red circles for irises, and let out a blood-curdling shriek.
Sonata stood with her hands proudly on her hips as her fellow failures in online friend-making stared at her in perplexed, slightly judgmental silence. She beamed at them. "I'm not even sorry."
"From there," sighed Adagio, "it pretty much devolved into screwing with random people over the internet for all three of us. Only the next day did we remember that we were doing that at all because we were trying to make friends." She didn't dare look directly at Fluttershy for fear of the crushing, I'm-disappointed-in-you gaze she knew she'd get. Fluttershy was just that type. "A-at the time, I mean, it felt justified. If about a third of the people we met were just going to try to screw with us, or turn out to be complete lunatics, why shouldn't we have some fun too? So, the three of us spent the better part of the weekend just messing with some heads through a webcam." The trick where they made it look like Sonata's head had fallen off was a good example, but she wasn't about to say as much.
There was only silence. Once again, Adagio felt that little compulsion to turn and look Fluttershy in the eye, even knowing full well what would come with doing so. She tried to resist, tried to think of an excuse for her blatantly fiendish actions, but she knew those eyes would see right through her. With the suspicion that things would only be worse if she got up and left now, she gave in, bit her lower lip, and turned just enough to see Fluttershy giving her a kind of wry, but patient grin, like a parent looking at a toddler that just smeared their meal all over their own face.
"It's okay, Adagio."
Folding her arms, Adagio gave her a somewhat skeptical look. "It doesn't bother you at all that we spent the better part of that night having fun entirely at the expense of people who probably did nothing to deserve it? At least not to us, personally?"
Fluttershy smiled almost apologetically. "Well, I won't say I'm glad you scared or confused those people, but none of you meant any lasting harm, right?"
"Some of Sonata's methods made me wonder... But, well, no, not really."
"Would you say it was all in good fun?"
"Not for our victims." Fluttershy was giving her a weird smile. "What?"
She giggled. "Pinkie and Rainbow do things like that too, sometimes, play pranks on people? Most of the time, the recipients laugh too, even if not right away."
"...So painting regular eyes over our eyelids to make it look like we're not blinking, then opening them to reveal bright-red, monstrous contacts, all fun and games?"
"W-well, I'm sure there's a line somewhere, but..." Fluttershy shrugged. "As long as nobody is hurt, I think you don't have to worry." She frowned a little. "Though, it's still not very nice."
"Right, well..." Adagio stood up, stretching a little, her face and tone betraying more than a hint of what may have been regret. "I'll, try not to... do that, as often. At least not when people don't clearly deserve it. See you around, Sweetie." She turned and walked away.
Watching her go, Fluttershy wasn't sure what to make of her reaction to her own behavior. Was she ashamed to have scared people for her own amusement, or only because, in hindsight, those people hadn't shown that they were afraid of her first? Did that validate it in her mind? Was that why she teased people all along?
Rarity said there was no pattern to those she played with, but maybe it's not random after all. She didn't tease me when we first met until-
Her thoughts were halted when Adagio came charging back, her face crimson. She stopped just in front of the bench, quickly taking off the ribbon. "S-sorry, forgot, I didn't mean to walk off with it!"
Blinking twice, Fluttershy looked to her side to find the spiked hairband still on the bench, where Adagio had left it. "Oh, that's okay," she said while giving Adagio a little smile, "I was thinking you could keep it!"
Unfortunately, Adagio had already taken the bow out of her hair, allowing it to collectively hang down a few inches lower in long, curly tendrils. "Oh." She looked down at the ribbon in her hand, making an uncertain expression. "I, well... Thank you, Sweetie."
Handing Adagio her usual accessory, Fluttershy smiled warmly, a little tingle working its way through her heart. "You're welcome."
Still a little flushed, Adagio quickly pocketed the ribbon, re-set her hair in its usual style, and turned away. "Alright, see you, again, see you again, bye!"
Nearly stomping by the time she was out of sight, Adagio cursed herself.
Urrgh! Cute, she calls you cute ONCE and you start bumbling like that cross-eyed girl!
She took a quick breath.
You are Adagio Dazzle, leader of the sirens, lead singer of the Dazzli-... Ouch. Well, leader of the sirens! Cute is for smaller, weaker creatures than yourself, cute is not your style, and it never will be!
Smiling a little at her own reassurance, Adagio regained her normal, confident exterior... but it was unfortunate having a gift she'd never use. Still, it was the thought that counted, right?
Back on the bench, Fluttershy smiled a little, glad that Adagio liked the bow enough to not take it off right away.
Now, where was I? Thinking Adagio doesn't fluster people until they make themselves look like targets? She didn't tease me until seeing how I reacted to the lollipop, because I thought it was kind of like a ki-
Fluttershy slapped both hands to her head, pulling at her hair.