Dinner had been pleasant, much better than Aria had expected. Unfortunately Flash didn't take well to the raw fish and it ended up coming back with a vengeance. About halfway back home he had to stick his head inside some bushes to perform the bile rite, the whole time she stayed with him, rubbing his back and letting him know everything would be alright.
It was strange, but Aria felt a twinge of an unfamiliar emotion, almost like a bit of herself was going out to the boy. "I'm sorry Flash, I guess I kinda ruined your night didn't I?"
Through the gag reflexes and sour saliva in his mouth he replied, "Its *UrG* nothing. You never learn *ULP* if you'll like something if you don't try it first." Flash gave her a reassuring smile before turning green in the cheeks once more.
Aria was thinking about further pursuing her goal of seducing him but decided to refrain, partially due to the ungodly smell he was producing but mostly Aria didn't want to disturb him anymore than she already had. In the end she just went on massaging his back until he had expelled all the unwanted food. "You okay?"
"*Guh* Yeah, I'll be fine." He would be but for the moment he felt like death warmed over.
"If you want you could come inside for a bit, I'm sure there's some saltines you could nibble on." Aria had seen them first hand, only problem was Pinkie's psycho sister was using them to feed her pet rock. "And there's probably some soda in the fridge, that might ease your stomach."
"Thanks." Flash mumbled before his muscles went limp, "Can you help me walk?"
"Jeez Flash, if this is how you handle fish remind me never to give you alcohol." Aria placed an arm under his armpits and propped him upright, helping him walk along. "Come on you lug, let's get you sitting down."
Inside the house was unlit, everyone was still out on the town. Surprising, Sonata was a given, that girl would do anything if her favorite food was promised. But Aria would have bet real money she didn't have that Adagio would have ditched that Sunset girl ASAP, she'd have to ask about what was going on later. For the moment she had a patient to care for.
After rummaging around the fridge the only thing she could find were cans of whipped cream and nothing else. The rest of the kitchen was a bust, nothing but baking supplies. The bathroom medicine cabinet yielded better results, a half empty box of pink bismuth tablets, that was something at least.
That left the crackers and that would mean getting them from Maud. Quietly Aria approached the door and knocked, "Hey Maud, this is Aria, we met earlier." There was no answer, "I know it's late but I need a small favor, my date got sick on the way back here and he needs something to quell his stomach." Again not so much as a whisper, "Would it be alright if I borrowed those crackers you had before?" Once more not an answer to be found.
With empty hands she turned away, Flash would just have to sustain himself off of Pepto. About halfway down the hall she heard a door swing open and shut rapidly, when Aria returned she found the half eaten box of saltines sitting on the floor. A little sticky note written in beautiful cursive said, 'Boulder says you can have the rest.'
Aria took the crackers and the medicine over to the couch he was laying on and sat down on the floor beside his head. He still looked ghastly, a sickening emerald tinge covered his cheeks. "I got you some stuff for your tummy, here eat some crackers and you can have the Pepto-Bismo." She took the box and set it where he could reach.
"Thanks Aria, I'm pretty pathetic aren't I? Can't handle a bit of sashimi." The ill teen wallowed in self pity.
Aria continued to run her fingers through his wild blue hair, "You're not pathetic, you've just never tried anything like that before. I'll even let you in a secret if you promise not to tell." Weakly Flash made a little cross motion over his heart, "When my sisters and I were first exiled here we didn't have anything to eat. Every day we had to scavenge for food, being picky was not an option. So when we first found wild mushrooms that's what we had to eat, unfortunately they were the variety that turn your liver to goo."
A fresh wave of queasiness came over Flash, "You ate what?"
"It's true, even now I can't eat a mushroom without losing it." Aria paused to reflect, those had been dark times indeed. Left to wander uninhabited forests without an inkling of how to survive, cursed never to die, stuck with the drive to bring strife to all they met.
"But shouldn't you have died?"
"I suppose a normal person would Flashy, good thing I'm anything but. Keep eating your crackers." Aria demanded by booping his nose. "Anyway, it's just one of the few perks immortality gives. After a few weeks without a functioning liver my body regenerated it, not saying it didn't hurt though."
"At least starving won't ever be a problem here in Canterlot, right?" Flash asked naively.
"You've never been homeless have you?" Flash shook his head no, while by no means wealthy his family was well set financially. "You'd be surprised how fast 'good people' will turn their backs on someone. A day or two without bathing, no access to clean clothes and you’re labeled as a drifter, or worse."
He was silent, she couldn't see what he was thinking from down on the floor so she let it drop. "So Flash?"
"Yeah Aria?" Flash stifled a yawn.
"What do we have going on tomorrow?"
"I dunno, more classes, principle Celestia's probably going to address the school about you girls. And ... oh crap!" Flash reached into his pocket and pulled out his cell phone, "Is it, dam it. I totally forgot I have practice with my band after class tomorrow. I'll just have to text them that I'm canceling."
"Why do you have to cancel?" Aria tried to recall the group he had performed with, she hadn't really been paying attention.
"Well we'd be jamming for hours and I already have that time dedicated to you whether I want to or not." The bitter note was still there but far less notable considering Aria was the girl tending to him.
"There's no need to mess up your schedule on my account, I'll just work on my homework while you play." She wasn't sure why she was being so nice to him, in the end she rationalized it by saying she could more easily coerce him when he was at ease.
"Really? You'd do that for me?! You’re the best Aria!" He rolled over on the couch so that he was facing her, the look of genuine appreciation was clearly evident. "I bet Ringo and Brawly are gonna like you."
A joke occurred to Aria that she couldn't resist telling, "What's your band named, the All Starr Band? Eh, get it?"
"Um no, am I supposed to get it?"
"You- bu- wha- Ugh, kids." Aria hung her head in shame, the lack of musical education in this generation saddened her greatly. "Go back to sleep Flash, you're making my head hurt."
"But I don't live here."
"Do you want to walk home right now?"
"Go back to sleep Flash."
Aria handed him two of the Pepto's and found a loose blanket for him, she draped it over his huddled body and went upstairs. She was feeling physically drained, once again she reminded herself of the weekend, come Saturday she would stay in bed for the whole day. Until then she would have to sustain herself on the few hours of shut eye before sunrise. That was the plan, unfortunately the plan didn't account for four rowdy teenage girls barging into the house being loud as all hell.
With all the strength she could muster Aria buried her head under the pillows. Tomorrow would be rough.