• Published 2nd Oct 2014
  • 6,878 Views, 230 Comments

Back to the Good Life - Sammy-Jack

After suffering defeat by the hands of the Rainbooms, Adagio, Sonata, and Aria need to get back on their feet.

  • ...

3. Preliminary Preparations

“What are YOU doing here?!” The girl shouted at Sonata, very surprised to see her, apparently.

“Is there a problem?” Steam Press held out her hands in worry, hoping that the two didn’t have some issue between them.

“Uh oh.” Was all Sonata said. She grabbed her sweatshirt and folded it on itself over her chest. “You’re the girl I took this sweatshirt from, aren’t you?” She remembered what Aria had said about people they had charmed breaking from their spells.

The purple-haired girl paused, confused at what Sonata asked her, and stood silent for a second. “What? No, I don’t even own one like that.”

“Oh good, ‘Cause I thought you were here to take it back.” Sonata smiled, leaning back in her chair in relief.

“Do you really not know...” She shook her head. “Whatever! What are you doing here?”

“Uh, hellooo? Getting my clothes cleaned? That’s what you do at a dry cleaners.” She shrugged, not sure what this girl wasn’t getting.

“Rarity, I’m sorry but she is a customer of mine. If you have a problem with Sonata, could you please leave it outside of my store? Let’s just get these handled first.” Steam Press motioned towards the dresses on the rolling clothes rack.

The girl named Rarity puffed her cheeks in frustration, and rolled her rack over to the counter, giving Sonata the strangest glare. As she finished placing her order, Sonata stopped watching her, seeing as she was just doing the exact same thing she had done (apparently only) ten minutes ago, and decided to go back to her staring.

Suddenly, Sonata saw someone sit next to her. She turned with intrigue to see Rarity sitting down, arms crossed and turned away from Sonata. She gave a humph, and appeared to be ignoring her. Not wanting to take this silent treatment, she mimicked the girl next to her, crossing her arms and giving a humph.

“What are you “humphing” about?” Rarity said, still facing away.

“I just don’t like being humphed at.”

“You have every right to be humphed at, after what happened.” She said in a very righteous fashion.

“Well, sorry for taking your sweatshirt.” Sonata apologized, almost sounding sarcastic. “I didn’t realize it made you that mad.” She was convinced that this was the same girl, and it was the only reason that some random person would be mad at her.

Rarity opened her mouth to retort, but stopped herself, realizing that this argument was starting to sound wrong. This was in fact the same Sonata Dusk, one of the trio of Sirens she and her friends had defeated last night. Yet she believed Rarity to be some other girl who’s sweatshirt she stole, even though Rarity already said otherwise. Her reaction left her feeling rather confused, with this blue-haired girl having no recollection of Rarity, and she wasn’t sure if she should be rightfully mad at her anymore.

“I’m sorry, but do you not remember me from last night?” Rarity looked at Sonata, and politely faced her.

Sonata poked one of her eyes open, and gave a shrug. “I don’t think so.”

“I’m Rarity. Rarity from the Rainbooms? We had a battle last night? You tried to take over the school with your singing? Is none of this ringing a bell?”

Sonata snapped her fingers, finally figuring it out. “Oh! You were the ones who destroyed our Siren magic!” She gave a smile, proud to remember that on her own, then realized that the girl sitting next to her was part of the reason Adagio and Aria were so upset last night, and gave a glare to Rarity. “Oh. You destroyed our Siren magic.”

Rarity suddenly felt like she was put on the defensive, and stuttered before replying. “Only because you planned on using the students as your personal slaves!”

“Well, yeah! That’s how we survive! We Sirens need conflict in order to feed our powers. All we wanted was for everyone to adore us unconditionally.” She shrugged again, knowing that this girl was not going to understand even that simple explanation.

Rarity groaned in anger, and turned away again. She couldn’t believe that this was the same power-hungry villain from last night.

“So, what are you waiting here for?” Sonata asked suddenly. She placed her hands under her bottom, and started kicking her legs into the air.

Taking a second to realize that she had been asked a question, Rarity straightened herself. “Well... I’m just getting our outfits from last night cleaned, and picking up an order I left a while ago.”

“Hey! I’m doing that too! You’d be surprised how many food stains were on Aria’s outfit.” She snickered, remembering that Aria had slept in that last night.

“Uh, I can imagine.” Rarity remembered the sight of them last night, powerless and singing one last time before getting jeered off the stage, food being tossed at them. Could this really have been the same girl?

“Hey!” A thought had just occurred to Sonata. “Adagio said I shouldn’t be talking to strangers, but since you’re my biggest enemy, does that make you a stranger?” She placed a hand on her chin, deeply contemplating this query. “I suppose not, since we know each other. Sweet! I didn’t want to get in trouble again.”

“Do you normally get in trouble for that?” Rarity suddenly felt an interest in Sonata. She told herself she shouldn’t be giving her the time of day, but she didn’t look like she was doing anything wrong.

“Oh yeah. Adagio always punishes me whenever I go and say something stupid to regular people, like how we are magical creatures from Equestria.” She waved her hands in front of her to mimic having claws, before putting them over her mouth, realizing that she just said something she could get in trouble for.

Rarity could feel herself conflicting on her insides. After the show last night, she was rather proud of herself, and her friends, but now a part of her felt terrible. At the time, she didn’t give it any thought, that they were just villains that needed to be defeated, so seeing Sonata walking around like nothing happened was leaving a bad taste in her mouth.

“Rarity! I have your dresses ready!” Steam Press came out with an armful of dresses wrapped in the plastic coverings, each different than the ones she just turned in to get cleaned. “I’ll see you next week then?” She asked politely.

“As always.” Rarity replied, and went to leave before looking back at Sonata, who now looked like she was scolding herself. “Is she going to be alright?” Rarity whispered quietly.

“Oh, I think so.” She whispered back, with a quiet chuckle. “She always waits here like this.”

“Always waits here? As in, she has done this for a while?”

“That’s right. She and her sisters have been regulars for around three years now. I think that’s longer than you.” She raised an eyebrow to Rarity, who turned away sheepishly.

“Sisters?” Rarity muttered quietly, thinking to herself. She nodded to Steam Press. “Well, thank you again!” With that, Rarity turned and hurried out the door, making the bell ring again.

Steam Press looked back at Sonata, who was currently knocking herself on the head with her knuckle, saying some sort of curse under her breath. She laughed to herself, and returned to the room behind the counter.

- - - -
- - - -

“Listen to the sound of my voice.
Soon you’ll find you don’t have a choice!”

Her voice dried out on the last word. It was no use. Adagio pounded a fist against her wall, frustrated how her voice refused to hit any notes. If it was a separate entity, she would be strangling its neck by now. She couldn’t understand why this had happened, they had always been talented at singing, it was their purpose, for crying out loud. Was their magic really the only thing that made them special? After the other two left, Adagio had started practicing singing, something she hadn’t done in countless years. At first, she started horribly off key, and dry of any passion.

“I miss it already.” She said to no one. Adagio missed her voice. Her beautiful, smooth, relaxing singing voice had been replaced with a dry piece of sandpaper that hurt every time she tried to stretch it. Feeling weighed down by this dread, she sat back down on her bed, curling her legs up and wrapping her arms around them.

She started to wonder why she kept going. Her reason for living, as she believed, was gone now, and she was the only one in the world who seemed to care. Sonata was so stupid, of course she didn’t realize how bad this was. Aria seemed just as unfazed, though with her it was just a matter of time before she approached her with her own problems.

Adagio couldn’t be like that. Singing was her passion, she thrived on people listening to her voice. Even if she was just hypnotizing them, they wholeheartedly loved listening to her during those times. Aria could distract herself with the human video games, and Sonata just forgot about her problems, usually leaving Adagio alone with her’s.

One more time, she thought to herself.

- - - -
- - - -

“Ugh, why do I have to get stuck with grocery duty?” Aria grumbled as she shuffled through the aisles of the store. “Adagio knows I hate going out on my own. Ugh, this is the worst.”

Adagio had decided that they were going to spend some time closed in, so they needed to gather some supplies to make it for the next few days without leaving the house. Sonata left to clean their outfits, and Adagio charged Aria to gather food She stuck her nose back into the list of things Adagio made her get. It looked like she got just about everything, except for the last item: pine nuts. She had paced through the nut section multiple times, with no sign of them anywhere.

“Why are these so hard to find?!” She shouted, not realizing that she stood in the middle of a market, causing a few people to stop and stare at her, their looks feeling judgmental. Aria set her basket down and started to pull her hood back up.

“Can I help you find something?” A voice came from behind her.

Aria whirled around quickly, turning to see a young man standing there. He had pale skin, with light brown hair, wearing glasses and had a bit of facial acne that he didn’t seem to notice. He was dressed in a red shirt, black pants, and had a button on his shirt that indicated he worked at the market, seemingly ready to help.

Recollecting herself, Aria just waved him off. “No, I’m fine.”

“I don’t want to be rude, Miss, but if you need help to find what you need, it is my job to assist.”

Aria started turning away, but the fact that she still didn’t even know where that last item was returned to her. She couldn’t just wander around for hours and never find it. Well, she could, but that sounded like the worst plan she could come up with. She groaned, and held up her list up to him.

“I need to find these.” The man took the list from her hand, and Aria removed her hood, allowing her pigtails to fall back down again.

“Ah, I see. Those are a little hard to find. Sometimes, they drive people nutty.” He laughed a little, handing her back the list. She didn’t appear to be amused, so he just pointed to the far end of the store. “They are actually over in the end aisle. I’ll show you there.”

The man waved to her and proceeded to make his way down the store. Aria decided to follow, even though she didn’t want his help. Picking up her basket, she knew she had little choice if she wanted to finish this stupid little field trip quickly.

As they passed the aisles, Aria started to actually look around, take notice of just how many shelves there were, and how many lights suspended above them to light the whole store so bright. Thinking about it, she couldn’t remember the last time she went into a grocery store by herself. Either Adagio would go alone, or the three of them would go together, but Sonata and herself had never done this alone before. It was a little unsettling, being in the cold building surrounded by so many strangers who she no longer had power over.

Before she knew it, the store worker had led her to an aisle that read “Pasta/sauce”. He skimmed over some cabinet shelves for a moment, before pulling one of the jars out, one that was between two different types of pasta sauce.

“Why are they way over here?” She muttered quietly, making a note to bring this up with Adagio when she got home.

“Here you are, Miss.” He handed her the jar, giving her a polite nod. “I know the placement is a bit weird, but this is where we usually keep them.”

“Yeah, whatever.” Aria rolled her eyes and started making her way towards the check out station.

The times they went to the market were the few exceptions to when they literally couldn’t sing their way out the door. It was quite a few years ago when grocery stores started using alarms at their doors to detect if someone hadn’t paid for their items, and that grew old fast for the Sirens. So, Adagio concluded that stores were an exception to when they would not try to sway the employees into letting them walk out. She made her way to a lane to pay for her groceries, and quickly retreated to the warm outside.

Having carefully navigated the roads to get here, the reverse now had to be done, but this time with far more people walking along the sidewalk. Giving another groan, Aria merged into the traffic of bodies, holding her bags in front of her, so that they weren’t bashed by a passerby.

It was hard to imagine that this is what regular humans do, all day every day. She had walked around plenty of times, sure, but it was always better to do your business early in the morning or late in evening. The afternoon of Saturday is one of the busiest times of day in the city.

After making her way down a few blocks, Aria started to feel a bit less lost in the crowd, matching the pace of her group as to not run into anyone. She had a look of worry on her face, unlike her typical scowl or irritable frown, and kept her eyes to the ground if she didn’t need to make a turn or cross a street.

They only lived a short ways away, which was a relief that she only had to walk a few minutes before she reached the staircase leading to their studio complex. She started up the stairs, and hurried her way up to the third floor, almost happy to see the front door. She kicked open the door, banging it against the wall.

“About time.” Aria groaned as she dragged her bags into the kitchen and dropped them on the table. The cans and bags spilled across the table top, making a loud crashing noise.

Aria didn’t mind a crowd if they were admiring her, but how humans move in herds like that on a regular basis, that was just unnerving. She would have preferred to make that expedition with Adagio, but she said she was doing her own preparations for their refuge.

“It sounds like a car crashed through here. I’m going to guess you are home, Aria?!” Adagio’s voice rang out from down the hallway.

“I’m home!” Aria replied snidely, trying to organize their groceries. Adagio always wanted them to greet each other when they got home, and she made them do it every time one of them went out on their own. She could never understand what Adagio got out of it, but it was an annoying habit they had done for years now. Aria heard Adagio come up from behind.

“See, now that wasn’t that bad, was it?”

“If you don’t count running around for ten minutes, trying to find some rare nuts bad, then sure. I had a great time.” She didn’t bother holding back on the sarcasm.

Adagio came over to help her sort and put away their things. “Oh, don’t be such a baby, Aria. We needed to prepare, and it’s better if we split up, than do one thing at a time.”

“it’s not that I hated shopping, Adagio.” She paused, as if thinking of what to say. “It’s just that ... people do that all the time. They aren’t afraid that they lack power over everyone else, and just keep going like cogs in a machine ...” Aria trailed off, staring intently at the can she was holding.

“Well, that’s how civilizations work, you know. The smaller creatures need to work together to build up their lives as a whole.” Adagio gently took the can from Aria’s hand to put it away in the pantry.

“But, after all this time, is that what we have to resort to?” Aria put her hands on the table, leaning forward. “I mean, we were born with a destiny to rule over Equestria, and have every creature adore us forever. You kept saying: “When we get back, we’ll take what’s ours.” as if there was a way to go back to our old lives.” She clenched her hands and began to shake slightly.

Adagio watched her intently, realizing that this was the moment she was waiting for from her. She let out a sigh and walked over to Aria, putting a hand on her shoulder.

“But, every year we spent banished here, I wondered more and more if we even could go back. I felt my dream of being loved be crushed more as time went on, but you kept saying “when” instead of “if”, and I believed there was a way. That’s why this is so hard right now.” She closed her eyes, not wanting to shed any tears. Aria hated crying, least of all in front of Adagio. She did her best to close herself off most of the time, but this was her breaking point.

“I had always believed there was a way, and that’s why I said that. I believed, and wanted you two as well. I couldn’t do it on my own.” Adagio looked at the door briefly. “You might want to get this out now before Sonata gets home.”

The two hugged, Adagio patting her sister’s head. Aria cried a little, quietly, and was angry at herself for doing so, but glad that Adagio would show her the same sympathies she showed Sonata this morning.

“You know. When my time comes, I’m counting on you two to give me the same treatment.” Adagio chuckled a little. “It’s no fair if I don’t have a shoulder to cry on.”

- - - -
A short time later
- - - -

Sonata emerged victorious into the apartment, carrying three dresses. She stood dramatically in the doorway for a few moments, a proud grin on her face.

“Do you wanna shut the door already?” Aria interrupted her moment of pride. Sonata looked around, noticing Aria sitting in her corner chair, leaning against the armrest and playing on her phone, and Adagio holding the television remote, in the middle of switching the channel. The two of them stared at her expectantly.

“I’m home!”

“We got that part, Sonata. Now just shut the door, and put those clothes back in our closet.” Adagio went back to the television.

Sonata shut the door with less energy than she opened it, seeing that her sisters were not as excited to see her, as she was them, and made her way slowly to the hall closet. It was almost as large as another room, but was filled up with three racks to hold clothing. Sonata hooked their newly cleaned outfits on their respective racks: One on Adagio’s, one for Aria, and the last on her rack. She smiled as she finished, happy of their placement, and returned to the living room.

Adagio and Aria were sitting in silence as Sonata skipped in, kicked off her shoes against the side of the couch, and planted herself right next to Adagio.

“So the people at the dry cleaners took forever to finish the clothes. They made me wait-”

“3 hours?” Aria chipped in.

“Uh, yeah! How did you know that, Aria?”

“Because dry cleaners take longer for your orders, Sonata.”

“Why just me?”

“Because you’re the worst.” She looked at Sonata with disappointment.

“Well, you’re purple!” Sonata stuck her tongue out in response.

“That’s not even an insult, stupid.” Aria turned her phone off so she could sit up to argue.

“Quiet down you two!” Adagio cut in finally. “I can barely hear the television anymore. I don’t know how I could handle you two before this, you’re practically children!”

“Well, Aria starts it! It isn’t my fault she hates everything.”

“You cause it, Sonata! If you weren’t the worst, I wouldn’t have a problem with you!”

“Girls!” Adagio stood up, shutting off her show. “I’ve put up with your constant little bickering for years, and it’s seriously driving me insane.” The girls turned away from each other.

“Aria! Sonata got home just two minutes ago, and you already had to pick a fight with her about how long she was waiting. I don’t care what’s going through your mind with her, but could you seriously lay off hassling her for just a few days?After we are done hiding ourselves away, you can go back to your arguments.”

Sonata started to giggle at Aria for being scolded, when Adagio’s finger pointed towards her.

“And you, Sonata! I don’t want you to argue with Aria either. It doesn’t matter what she says, don’t do it.”

“Okay... I’m sorry Adagio.” Sonata turned to the floor, with a pitiful expression on her face. She knew that she was in serious trouble from Adagio’s tone.

“Now, what do you say, Aria?” She turned to face Aria, who was back to laying on the armrest of her chair, crossing her arms.

“Whatever, sorry!” With a humph, she turned in towards the cushion.

Letting out a sigh, Adagio let herself be calmed. Sure, she wanted the three of them to go back to a more normal way of living, but anything but this kind of normal. The bickering of those two made her feel like she was their adopted mother instead of a sister sometimes. Adagio could never figure out what Aria had against Sonata, but it was a conflict almost as old as they were, which said something.

“Good, now that’s settled. We start our little retreat today girls, hoping that keeping our faces off the streets for a few days will help keep the rumors down. If we’re lucky, we won’t have to skip town again.” She walked over to their big window that overlooked the city, pulling down the blinds to close them off from the outside world.

Author's Note:

This one took a little longer to post because I wasn't sure if I should have it extend ch. 2 and wait to post (New) Ch. 3, but decided that I'll just get this out now because Ch. 4 has been re-written twice now.

Also, I felt the interaction between Rarity And Sonata stronger when I first started writing it, but then scrapped a lot of exposition from it, seeing as it was too early to spout that much info.