The following morning, Fluttershy quickly reviewed her battle plan; just act natural and let the moment come on its own. She'd smile, share the day's treat, talk, and see where things went from there. Simple!
Before long, Adagio (wearing her jeans and hoodie today) arrived and sat beside her on the bench. "Morning, Sweetie."
"Good morning! Have you ever had Joyful Rangers before?"
Adagio blinked twice. "Have I...? Are you asking if I've made troopers very happy before?"
"Because I know that one's a bit of a stretch, but that's the only way I can think of that 'having a joyful ranger' makes any sen-"
Fluttershy was holding the treats where Adagio could see in the blink of an eye. "J-just this!!"
"Oh." She tilted her head to read the label on the long, thin, flat wrappers, under which was presumably the aforementioned candy. 'Joyful Rangers,' it indeed said. With a wacky, bulbous, slightly curved exclamation point. She hesitantly seized one for herself, trying to remember what she did to remove this kind of flappy-plastic-ended wrapper last time. Luckily, Fluttershy demonstrated.
"I should probably warn you, these are meant to melt slowly in your mouth. If you bite into them hard enough, they break like glass, and might even cut the inside of your mouth a little." That had never happened to her, but Pinkie was very clear in her warning.
Nodding a little, Adagio peeled the wrapper off, took one look at the big, red thing, and smirked viciously, even for her. "Sweetie?"
Ohh, no, what's wrong with these? "Y-yes?"
"You're just screwing with me now."
The accusation drew a wide-eyed look of alarm. "WHAT?!"
Adagio gestured to the Ranger, her evil grin no weaker. "A thin, shiny, flat piece of candy is nothing out of the ordinary as far as these things go. However, that it is also a long, hard, smooth thing-"
"EEK!!" Fluttershy quickly turned as red as the treat itself.
"-that you're specifically not supposed to chew on-"
"-you'd be eroding it away by stroking it with your tongue-"
"-which essentially means we'll be sucking on-"
There was only a long, strained scream-groan-squeak, all coming out as one tortured syllable as Fluttershy fell on her side.
Giggling evilly, Adagio thought about leaning over her and delivering a coup de grace, but the memory of this conversation would likely follow Fluttershy every time she raised a vaguely phallic object to her mouth for the rest of her life. And if it didn't, she wanted to be able to be there to reinforce those thoughts. For learning's sake! While waiting for her to recover, Adagio put the thing in her mouth, resisting temptation to make loud slurping noises.
The flavor of the thing was... intense! Not exactly forceful in its cherryness, but it just felt magnified compared to the lollipop from a few weeks ago. Perhaps there was a higher concentration of something in this shiny substance, or maybe Fluttershy had already drained the intensity out of the sucker that time, but this felt like she was tasting more at once. The thing seemed to melt slowly, much slower than chocolate, feeding her an acidic (citrus?) fluid throughout. Meaning to share these observations, she looked over at Fluttershy and was startled to see her sitting up, and a little closer, looking at her with a big, happy smile. "Eh... Hi. Welcome back."
She would never get tired of the analytical face! "Do you like it?"
Adagio nodded. "Quite different from what I've seen so far, but not bad at all. I wonder..." She bit down. Harder. And harder.
Fluttershy noticed, worry clear in her expression. "Oh, uh, p-please be careful, it could really-"
Her mouth full of pointy little fragments, Adagio didn't speak. She was able to feel the little jabs in her gums, but they were harmless as long as she didn't move her jaw or tongue. Sweetie's still giving me a really concerned look, but making it clear I'm not in any pain should help. Feeling the tiny pieces of shattered Freudian theory melting already, at a faster rate now that more surface area was exposed, she smiled amicably, not saying a word until everything in her mouth was liquid. "Ta-daaa!"
Breathing a sigh of relief, Fluttershy frowned a little. "Please don't scare me like that."
Adagio raised an eyebrow. "You were really worried I'd be hurt by candy?"
"It could happen, people choke on food all the time, and when that food is tiny, sharp-" Her hair was ruffled. Adagio was happy-smiling at her.
"I'll be careful. Promise." With Fluttershy smiling back at her, they enjoyed the Rangers in silence, and with only a minimum of suggestive facial expressions from Adagio.
A little after they were finished, the two got into discussing a recent deviation in Adagio's behavior. Specifically, that she was seen standing behind people, holding open doors, and letting people go ahead of her very often.
Adagio rolled her eyes, smirking a little. "Knew you would ask eventually. Yes, I'm giving this a go just for a change of pace, trying it on for size." It isn't a complete lie if you don't disclose the whole reason, right?
Fluttershy nodded, smiling that precious someone-is-being-nice-to-others-and-that-makes-me-happy smile. "And, how do you feel about it so far?"
There was a little shrug. "In it's own way, it's almost pleasant. Gives you a chance to stop and smell the roses a bit, get a good look at things." And then, just as the pride was swelling in Fluttershy's chest, Adagio smirked. "That, and it's fun to see the looks on people's faces when they see me of all people holding a door open for them!"
She finished with loud laughter, but to Fluttershy, it still felt like progress down a road she hadn't known she was travelling. "So, uh... w-we have Art class together."
"Yes, I'll happily pose nude for the class."
Fluttershy burned red, Adagio cackled maniacally, which eventually died down to quiet giggles as she wiped a tear from her eye without smearing her eyeliner. "You must have known that one was coming?"
Though she was having a hard time looking away from the ground, Fluttershy let out a nervous little giggle, which was the most she could do without making the situation more embarrassing.
Composed, Adagio looked out over the soccer field. "Anyway, I won't focus entirely on you, don't worry. If the incident with Rainbow Dash- that's her name, right?" Fluttershy nodded. "Okay, good. If the incident with Rainbow Dash taught me anything, it's that I'm not allowed to interact with you in public." She turned to Fluttershy with a wink. "Of course, we both know how I feel about things I'm 'not allowed' to do..."
That she playfully stuck out her tongue, still faintly red from the Ranger, made Fluttershy's heart skip a beat, drawing a warm, if nervous smile. "Th-then, from now on...?"
Chuckling, Adagio reached over to tickle the underside of Fluttershy's chin with a fingertip, which drew a little shiver. "I understand that you'd be eager for my attention, but I can't focus on just one person all the time without it coming across a little odd, especially knowing the fuss it would raise." As Fluttershy actually deflated a little, Adagio giggled. "Ohh, don't fret, Sweetie, it would be just as strange if I ignored you completely. If we play it right, it might just look like I'm capitalizing on someone I know is easy prey, and it won't look at all out of place if I pick on you more often. Granted that your farmer friend doesn't object to my bullying, of course."
Fluttershy felt cold, her eyes going wide. "B-bullying? You're not a-"
With a grin somewhere between wry and regretful, Adagio held a finger to Fluttershy's lips. "It's alright, I have no illusions about what I've been doing. I push people's buttons for my own amusement, I pester them without a thought spared for their feelings, I rile up the same few victims because I know they'll react to me. What else would you call someone like that?"
For a worrying moment, she didn't have an answer. However, where her brain failed, her heart spoke loud and clear. "I like it when you pick on me!" Clasping both hands over her mouth and turning hot pink as Adagio started at her wide-eyed, Fluttershy politely asked her brain to chip in a little here. "I-I mean, uh, th-that is to say-" Heart and Brain. Together. We can do this. "I-I actually have a lot of fun, because even though it wasn't that way at first, you almost never push me that hard, and the times you kinda do, you always apologize." Feeling a little warmer at the sight of Adagio's almost awe-struck expression, Fluttershy smiled. "You aren't a bully, Adagio, or at least, you're not just a bully. You even said that you teased people because they didn't specifically ask you to stop, right?"
Mentally reeling, Adagio's mouth twitched a few times before it made words again. "I... W-when did I say that?"
Remembering where she got that tid-bit, Fluttershy smiled sheepishly. "Well, you never told me, but Sunset said it in the lunch room the day Rainbow found us in the Gym, that when she asked you about poking people, you said-"
"Ah, yes, right..." Looking away, Adagio absent-mindedly scratched her chin, a rosy little blush on her cheeks. "I did say that, didn't I?" Giggling, she grinned. "Well, no problem if I do as I please, then." She winked again. "Look forward to Art."
To Adagio's slight shock, Fluttershy beamed. "I will!"
I am a baaaad influence, thought the siren. Still, she chuckled and stood up, not noticing Fluttershy's slightly panicked expression. "Well, alright then. I'll see you around, Swee-"
Seeing what felt like a good chance slipping away, Fluttershy's heart ached, spurring her into action. That action was meant to be standing with Adagio, tenderly embracing her, and planting a big, wet kiss on her lips. What actually happened was Fluttershy launching herself face-first like a kissy-faced, ballistic missile (kiss-le? ballisti-kiss-le?), missing her mark, slamming into Adagio hard enough to catch herself in the throat on Adagio's shoulder, and sending both of them to the ground. Fluttershy was lying on top of her like some kind of clumsy, gasping fish as she choked from the throat impact.
Adagio, lying very, very still, waited until her attacker caught her breath before asking the question, in a calm tone of voice. "Sweetie? Everything okay?"
"Um... I-I think so, yes."
"You're sure? I know I've said it before, but I really can be too much for some people, so it's okay if you're overcome with animalistic lust and can't wait to peel the clothes from my-"
Lifting herself up by straightening her arms as Adagio tensed under her, Fluttershy burned red. "Th-that's not it at all!!"
Still pinned to the floor, Adagio raised a disbelieving eyebrow. "Really?"
"Mmhm. Explain your hand."
"Huh? What do you m-"
One hand was on Adagio's chest. Specifically, she had one hand atop a firm lump just under the soft, light fabric of Adagio's purple hoodie. All brain activity came to a screeching halt until her accidental-groping victim (the irony was distantly noted) spoke with a triumphant little smirk despite the flush of heat to her face.
"So, like I was saying, really looking forward to Art class, hm?" As Fluttershy emitted only mortified whimpers in response, there was really no choice here but to grin wickedly and say, "Did you want to do it here and now, or... wait until we have an audience? I'm sure someone will sketch all the details in perfe-"
Fluttershy pushed off of her as though she were on fire, Adagio remaining where she was and bursting into impish gigglefits. She was almost certain she had done it with the perfect timing to cover up a shudder at having such a sensitive spot handled that way. A minute later, she sat up, feeling a tiny pain in her chest when she didn't see Fluttershy right away. Her Sweetie was on her knees nearby, face buried in her hands, prompting Adagio to get up, stride over, kneel down, and wrap her in a calming Friendship Hug™ (she'd looked it up online, there were even diagrams) to make everything better. "Just in case you're thinking it," she whispered, "no, I'm not angry, not offended, not going to go cry to Zecora about being violated."
There was a tiny, two-syllable squeak.
"Yes, really. I did it just yesterday, right?" She giggled, tightening the hug. There was no audible complaint about it so far, so she guessed this was an acceptable method. "I like things to be even, so this works out." The call to add a little more to the sentiment was strong, but she held it in. Something told her she'd be lucky if Fluttershy didn't break off running the second she let her go.
Fluttershy, for her part, felt all kinds of relieved. At not having crossed a line, at the warm tenderness of the hug, at Adagio not thinking she was suddenly some crazy, grope-y pervert and that she couldn't let her guard down around her anymore. Not that she wanted Adagio to let her guard down, specifically, just that she felt it meant that Adagio trusted her and that was a really nice feeling to have. Managing a little smile, she gently hugged Adagio back. "I love you too."
"What was that?"
EEK! "I-I said, I trust you too!"
"Oh." Chuckling, Adagio worked just a hint of suggestion into her voice. "Are you sure about that? I could just be waiting for the right moment to-"
Fluttershy squeezed her a little harder, nuzzling her face against Adagio's shoulder and breathing in the sweet scent of mangoes. "I'm sure."
Though it was unseen on account of being just over Fluttershy's shoulder, Adagio's face flushed a bright, hot crimson. Gah... You win this round, Sweetie.
As the two knelt hugging in the grass, Fluttershy did have one tiny regret: This wasn't really a kissing atmosphere as much as it was a cuddly, hugging one. That wasn't a bad thing, but the situation didn't feel right for a kiss, and feeling right was all she had to go on at this point.
Touching her breast led to a hug. Maybe touching somewhere else would-NO, bad Fluttershy!!
She hopped up, smiling sheepishly as Adagio got to her feet too. "W-well, uherrm, th-thank you for, um, h-hugs."
Adagio blinked twice before giggling. "Yes, thank you for hugs. I'll catch you in Art, take care, Sweetie." And off she walked.
Fluttershy noticed a slight reduction in hip movement now that she wasn't wearing her usual spiked heels. Alone, she quietly examined her hand.
...Definitely a little bigger than they look.
Adagio had a very interesting morning, with today's first meeting with Fluttershy certainly starting things on a high note. The realization that there would now be two a day for the foreseeable future, even if not to the same length or one-on-one intensity, was the source of a single, tiny squee the night before. Anyway, she ignored Flash entirely first period to focus on the morning encounter, which presented new, partly troubling, but no-less-enticing information.
She likes it when I pick on her... Why, Sweetie? Why must you complicate things?
Now figuring out where the limits were would be EVEN HARDER!
There was so much potential now that she knew that, so much she could do, so much she could make her Sweetie do!
So much that could go wrong, so much that could be going too far, so much that might make her never want to talk to you again.
Hey, she jumped me today! It didn't go very far, but she definitely wants a little something more.
Well, that or it was just another one of those clumsy-dope moments Fluttershy sometimes had, like that time with the notebook, and she'd be signing her own restraining order if she took it the wrong way. The way Fluttershy seemed to have a tiny breakdown after said that the... touching... probably wasn't deliberate. Just the same, it was an exciting thought, that she might be pounced on by Fluttershy of all people at any time, more-so if she continued to drop her guard when they were together. The squirrel incident had been embarrassing and there were a lot of little undignified moments in their time together, but she hadn't really gotten hurt so far, right?
Vulnerability worked two ways, after all. If someone got close enough to caress your most tender, most delicate aspects (Ooh, la la~!), then they would invariably be close enough to cause just as much harm to those weak spots. In a bad way. Fluttershy hadn't made her regret it yet, so the scary little possibility, however distant, was just something she opted to learn to live with in exchange for everything else they had together.
The other thing that caught her attention was how people were looking at her again, but in a different way than usual.
They were smiling.
She was getting strange looks in general, but some people looked at her, directly at her, she was sure, and smiled. It was only two or three in first period, and only through fleeting glimpses, but walking down the hall to second period had at least a dozen people giving her little grins, at least until she looked directly back at them. It was just as she was stepping out of third period that Adagio got a text from Aria.
[Hallway outside the Art room. Hurry.]