Rainbow Dash's hand hovered uncertainly. Adagio Dazzle, centuries old Equestrian monster in human form, leader of some of the most deadly villains ever to have walked the halls of Canterlot High School, (and, let's face it, all-around evil bitch,) was curled up like a baby, wailing and howling with despair, right in front of her. It didn't help that they were in a very public place, and that everyone in the shop had turned to stare at them.
“Uh, hey, um, cut that out. Please? Seriously, what's going on here? You're freaking me out. Do you need a, uh…” Rainbow's eyes darted around wildly as she tried to think what she could offer to placate the siren. Adagio's howling only redoubled. Rainbow tried to think what would work if she were in Adagio's position, but it was just too hard to imagine. The girl did seem to have a high opinion of herself; Maybe reminding her how awesome she thought she was would help?
The shop assistant had returned, but unfortunately seemed no less clueless than Rainbow.
“Whoa, c'mon, stop that. You're disturbing the other customers!” She turned to Rainbow Dash. “Tell your friend to stop that!”
“What do you think I'm trying to do? She's not my friend, I don't even know what's wrong with her!”
“Oh, honestly you two!” It was Fluttershy who spoke up. The normally timid girl had stood up, circled the table, and pulled up a chair right next to Adagio, before resting a hand on her shoulder.
“There, there. It's okay. Just let it all out.”
“But we don't want it all out!” wailed the panicked shop assistant.
“Yeah, we're trying to make her stop!” agreed Rainbow.
Fluttershy gave the pair of them an exasperated look. “Now stop that, both of you. Can't you see she's in pain?”
Duly admonished, both girls started to look a little less panicky, a little more embarrassed, and then a lot more concerned. Adagio's wails had quietened considerably, she was now just gasping loud, whining breaths. When Fluttershy rested a hand on Adagio's, the distraught girl responded by gripping Fluttershy's hand tightly in her own.
After a moment, the assistant piped up again. “Sh-should we call an ambulance?”
“No,” Fluttershy smiled, “I don't think she's injured, just upset.”
“Well, maybe her family?” The assistant flinched as this suggestion elicited another mewling wail from Adagio. Fluttershy just shook her head.
“No, it's okay, just give her time,” Fluttershy said, then turning back to Adagio: “There, there. Deep breaths. Just take it slowly.”
Eventually, the siren quietened, slowly uncurled, and sat herself back upright. Her eyes were red, and she was still sniffling, but she seemed to have regained some composure. By this time, most of the other patrons had lost interest.
“Um,” began the assistant, “are you okay?”
Adagio gave the girl a half-hearted glare, then drew herself up, squared her shoulders, and shifted her attention back to her milkshake. Lifting it from the table, she flicked the straw out and onto the floor, then lifted the glass to her lips. The other three girls watched in shock as Adagio gulped down roughly a whole pint of milk, sugar, cream, and chocolate syrup without pause. Afterwards, she brought the glass down with a firm “thud” on the tabletop, wiped the cream from her upper lip, and stood up, pushing off the tabletop with both hands.
“We're leaving,” she announced.
She was about halfway to the door, with Fluttershy following in tow, before Rainbow Dash came to her senses and reacted.
“Whoa, whoa, hold on a minute. Who says we have to go anywhere with you? Last time I checked, we were enemies!”
“I don't care what you do,” sneered Adagio, “stay if you want, but I am bored of this place.”
Rainbow Dash shot Fluttershy a pained look.
“Um, sorry Rainbow,“ said Fluttershy, ”I just don't want to leave her alone right now. I really think we should make sure she's okay first.”
“Uurgh, whatever!” growled Adagio, before making a line straight for the front door.
When Fluttershy followed in Adagio's wake, Rainbow jumped to her feet, pausing only to offer the shop assistant an apologetic look and an embarrassed “sorry!”, before sprinting after the two girls. She caught up just as Fluttershy passed the front door, and almost collided with Adagio when the redhead stopped abruptly.
“Hey, uh…” Adagio began, “… Flutterfly. You have a shower at your place, right?”
“Wait, what?” interrupted Rainbow Dash.
“Um, it's Fluttershy,” Fluttershy began, “and yes, we do have a shower, and a bath.”
“Great,” Adagio,“I really could use a shower right now, and I can't go back to my place.” She paused a moment, then added: “The shower's broken.”
“Oh, of course,” answered Fluttershy. “You can use the shower at my house.”
“Wait, WHAT!?” yelled Rainbow Dash. “Fluttershy, you can't be serious! She's…” Rainbow flailed her arms wildly in Adagio's direction, “… using you!” she eventually finished.
“Rainbow Dash!” Fluttershy exclaimed, using her “stern” voice. “Adagio Dazzle has turned to us for help and kindness, is that any way for you to be treating her?”
“I just wanted to use your shower,” Adagio muttered and crossed her arms, none too happy at being described like some sort of… charity case by the weakest and most useless of the Rainbooms.
“Oh, don't worry, Adagio,” Fluttershy smiled, taking one of Adagio's hands in her own. “It's right this way.”
Rainbow Dash watched, appalled, as a slightly bewildered Adagio Dazzle found herself being led, by the hand, down the street. She gritted her teeth, raised her hands either side of her head, and let out a frustrated whine. Then she threw her arms wide, let them fall back to her sides, and stomped after them.
A couple of blocks later, they found themselves at Fluttershy's front door. Rainbow Dash was at least relieved to see that Adagio had gone back to looking uncomfortable, frowning and shifting from one foot to the other as Fluttershy opened the door.
The girls stepped inside, and as Rainbow closed the door behind her, a sing-song voice echoed down the hallway.
“Fluttershy, dear, is that you?” A moment later, Fluttershy's mother appeared from a doorway at the end of the hall. She was wearing an apron, and holding up a wooden spoon with what appeared to be batter on the end. “Oh, hello, dear,” she sang, nodding towards Rainbow Dash “… and I see you've brought another friend home,” she commented, looking at Adagio.
Probably only Rainbow Dash heard Adagio's muttered “No!”
Fluttershy beamed. “Mom, Adagio would like to use the shower, if that's okay with you.”
“Of course, dear. I was just making some cookies,” continued the older woman, gesturing back into the kitchen, “would your friends like some?”
Fluttershy turned to the other two girls. “Would you? Mom makes really yummy cookies!”
“Sure” said Rainbow, “sounds good, Mrs. F”
Then Fluttershy turned to Adagio. The slow sound of a clock ticking filled the hallway as Adagio stared back. She seemed to be working through some extreme internal conflict. Her jaw worked furiously, one expression after another flickering over her face. For a moment, Rainbow was certain the girl was about to explode in a violent rage, and stepped around ready to intervene.
Then Adagio's face dropped. Staring at her feet, she gently kicked one of her boots and brushed her hair back to one side.
“Yeah, whatever,” she mumbled.
Still beaming, Fluttershy turned back to her mother. “Yes please, mommy!”
After… Mrs Fluttershy?… had left, Fluttershy began guiding Adagio towards the bathroom.
“Just up the stairs here, turn right at the top, and straight on to the end,” she explained, apparently intending to accompany Adagio all the way up anyway.
“Hey,” Adagio turned to Fluttershy, placing one hand on the other girl's shoulder and bringing her round face-to-face, “you do realise I'm still evil, right?”
“Of course!” grinned back Fluttershy, before starting her way up the stairs. “Feel free to use any of the soap, shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. Clean towels are in the cupboard. We'll be just down the hall, here.” Fluttershy gestured a door with a trio of large pink butterflies painted on it.
Scowling, Adagio Dazzle marched into Fluttershy's bathroom, and closed the door behind her.