• Published 16th Nov 2014
  • 18,716 Views, 235 Comments

An Open Door - SkycatcherEQ

A look inside Adagio’s emotional state and her journey forward roughly six months after Rainbow Rocks.

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Sunset’s footsteps came to rest on her way out the door of the sirens’ small rented house. “Adagio…” she said softly. “You sure you won’t change your mind and come with us?”

Adagio grimaced at the half-eaten bowl of cereal on the table in front of her, sitting with her back to the door and still wearing the clothes she’d slept in. A giggling outburst between Sonata and the pink menace shattered the momentary silence, bringing with it an awareness of the tightening grip around the neck of her spoon.

Her expression hardened to a scowl. As if I'd accompany you anywhere…

Her attention was inexplicably drawn, however, to a familiar characteristic in this ‘Shimmer’ girl’s voice. Despite its husky undertone, the voice held a certain musical quality that hung on the air even when speaking naturally.

Adagio's knuckles paled as her strangled spoon, now clenched between both hands, began to bend. Her thoughts darkened at the memory of her own voice; a memory long since drowned by the grief following their loss. Hers had been a voice of unrivaled beauty. A voice that had once manipulated, seduced, enslaved thousands over the course of centuries. A voice that had been broken, shattered in an instant, by the one now standing scarcely across the room—her and the rest of those damned six and their purple-haired princess. Her mind spat the word, refusing to acknowledge the girl by name.

She had underestimated that one. The purple one. Awkward, visibly apprehensive, singing barely above a whisper into the microphone in the early rounds of the competition. She should have recognized it immediately—that spark of a fellow Equestrian. She cursed this world. Cursed the years of doldrums for dulling her senses.

Her trembling grip constricted further, bending the spoon nearly to an ‘L’. And then this one here... She gritted her teeth. How? The verbal torment they’d leveled against her in that hallway should have broken her—would have broken anyone else, Adagio assured herself. What had given her the resilience to withstand their influence when even the magic bearers themselves, those Rainbooms, had fractured under its weight? And then, on the hill with the others pressed to their knees in submission, it was she who—

Adagio was pulled back to the table by the creak of hinges and a click-thud as the front door closed, leaving her alone in silence. The remains of her uninspired breakfast looked even less appetizing now than before. She didn't know how many of them had been at the door—she hadn't turned to look—only that Aria and Sonata had, once again, left with them.

A low growl formed in her throat and then flared into a choked-up roar, as the mangled spoon sailed across the room into a corner and clanged to the ground.


The early autumn wind was brisk against the side of Adagio’s face, blowing her thick tie of hair toward one shoulder while she walked without purpose down the street, hands in pockets. The route had become automatic, its scenery blurred by months of repetition. As each day passed deeper into the season, her fraying hooded sweatshirt provided less shelter against the onset of the cold. It didn’t matter. The chill on her skin fit well with the cold that had settled into her heart.

Gray sidewalk. Gray overcast sky. Everything around her was gray—a reflection, she thought, of the hollow place where her song once swelled. But no matter how empty, how cold, and how deep into despair she sank, she maintained resolve. She had not shed a single tear since that day; she would’t give them the satisfaction. Those six and their princess.

Adagio considered the discolored leaves that tumbled past now and then, powerless against the wind that dictated their fate, and her thoughts turned to Aria and Sonata.

Gloomy, unmotivated Aria. Naive, incompetent Sonata.

“Hmph. And just what are you two looking at?”

She came to a stop and narrowed her eyes at a pair of birds that had been staring blankly back at her.

Chirp. Cheep.

“Indeed,” she growled. “What would those two have done without me—what could they have done? They wouldn't have lasted a decade in this world on their own.”


“Yes, it took our three voices for the magic to work, but it was my plans, my leadership that kept us moving forward and out of trouble.” She looked down and clenched her fists. “The whole time I pulled those two along, enduring their squabbling and their bickering, no matter how unbearable it became.

“And yet, where are they now?” she mocked with a swipe of one hand. “Once again off with Shimmer and her cohorts playing friendship-is-rainbows.”


“Ugh. Idiots.” She stuffed both hands back in her pockets, glaring at the birds. “Them and you.”

She clenched her jaw and set to walking again. Her thoughts drifted back a few months prior, to when the two of them had finally crumbled. Sonata was the first to falter. Unsurprising. She had stubbornly insisted on continuing to attend that school, where she had, naturally, fallen under the sway of their words. Sonata then began to pressure Adagio and Aria to join her on their outings. She, of course, had a knack for being annoyingly persistent. So despite their bickering, Aria eventually relented and accompanied her and the others one evening. Not long afterward, she disappointingly lost her edge and fell in with them as well.

Adagio realized that her hands had freed themselves from her pockets and folded into fists, and she clenched them even tighter. How could they be so weak-willed and so easily humiliated? she thought with gritted teeth. We are creatures of savage beauty and majesty!

No. She lowered her sight to the cracks in the sidewalk, exhaling and raising a hand to her neck. Not anymore.

The flame of her rising anger snuffed out in the wind, and her hands went limp. She returned her attention to the darkening clouds, and then back to the ground, turned around slowly, and began the cold walk home.


Those seven and their light… That blinding, searing light. Adagio had awoken late this morning to its memory pounding in her head. She relived that sharp anguish of everything she was being cleaved in two. All of that ageless power and beauty… burned away, leaving nothing behind but this empty, voiceless husk. She dug a thumb into her temple, took another sip of wine and rested both elbows on the table with a long exhale.

Centuries of power over the weak-minded natives of this world had left the three of them with a considerable reserve of wealth, and she was grateful now for their—for her—foresight to keep it hidden and live simply. Yet even this security provided little in the way of comfort against what they’d lost that day.

And while it was perhaps the afternoon sun pouring in through the front window, and the glass of eight-year-old pinot in her hand, Adagio still appreciated that comforts, however small, were comforts nonetheless. But this small patch of emotional sunlight clouded over quickly. For she knew responsibility would now fall squarely on her shoulders to devise a means of warding off suspicions about their living arrangement. All it would take is one nosy neighbor.

The irony of now working to prevent such a situation rather than incite one was not lost on her. With equal parts bemusement and resentment, she managed a dispassionate “Hmmph,” and turned to look out the window. That was a task for another day.

As the sun began to dip into the horizon, she recalled that during the early months following their loss, the three of them would come and go with hardly a spoken word, aside from Sonata’s and Aria’s arguing—which consisted typically of Aria growling, and then eventually yelling, in response to the former’s attempts at small-talk and invasion of personal space. They ate. They occasionally, individually, walked the streets in thought. And they slept. More than once on her walks, Adagio had brought her voice to song, but the dissonant sound had only sunk her spirit deeper. She wondered whether the others had done the same. She presumed they had. But then, what would it have mattered? If she herself had come up empty, then what hope was there for those two incompetents?

Swirling the last sip of wine in her glass, Adagio stood and made her way to the kitchen. At the same time, Aria turned the corner out of her room and banged on the bathroom door. With her hair brushed to a silken sheen and wearing a new outfit, she called, “Come on, Sona… We're gonna be late again.”

Aria turned and walked into the main room, but froze when she met eyes with Adagio. She took a deep breath and let it out. “Hey…” Clasping her hands together and lowering her eyes, she added, “I don't suppose that—”

With a growl, Adagio swung open the refrigerator door and leaned in. She heard a heavy sigh followed by the sound of departing footsteps. Slamming the door shut with a rattle, she turned and placed both hands on the counter. She’d seen less and less of those two over the recent months as they'd given up their identities—their very selves—and lost their wills to those others. Tonight, she knew, would be another of those nights, when the expected knock sounded at the door. Sonata bounded happily out of the bathroom, greeted the rainbow troupe and then showed them in.

This time, unlike the last, Adagio turned to face them, crossing her arms and glaring as they entered. All six of them were present this time, but they said nothing to her. Sunset, the one who had reached out to her last time, upon meeting Adagio’s gaze, slowly lowered her own to the floor with a look of, what? Regret? Sympathy? Intimidation, perhaps. Adagio smirked.

The encounter was brief. The group filed outside, and it was Aria who turned to close the door behind them, but not before glancing back with a soft frown and what appeared to be a look of genuine, affectionate—pity? Adagio blinked in surprise but immediately composed herself, looked to the side and scowled as the door shut, once again, on an empty room.