• Published 3rd Mar 2015
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Sucker for a Cute Face - Eyeswirl the Weirded



Adagio finds Fluttershy alone one morning, and many to follow.

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Chapter 13: The Sincerest Form of Flattery

Following another well-executed confident walk, Fluttershy stopped at the other end of the gym, smiling. Just moving this way made her feel taller! That probably had something to do with keeping her back and legs mostly straight, but the (cheek-only) kisses with Adagio earlier, the ones Fluttershy initiated herself, had her feeling invi-... Well, okay, no, not invincible, but definitely bigger and stronger than she'd ever felt without Twilight's magic in her body! There was enough time for an encore, so she turned around and sashayed all the way back to the first door, keeping her eyes focused on her target! In this case, that was just the other side of the gym, but it was the principle of the thing.

Reaching the door, she stopped, posed like Adagio might have with a hand on a hip, turned around, and saw Adagio standing right there, not three feet behind her, making a similar pose and leering at Fluttershy with her evilest grin.

"My, my, Sweetie, didn't know you practiced this kind of thing!"

Any confidence Fluttershy had held just seconds before abandoned her as she shrunk back, knees shaking, holding her arms to her chest and doing her best to hide behind her hair, emitting only mortified squeaks.

Adagio let out a fiendish chuckle. "You know, I don't think I've ever seen you move that way before." There was a certain twinkle in her eye, and what might have been a strange sort of friendliness in her smirk. "It suits you. Where did you learn to swing your selling points in such a sultry, salacious manner?"

At the time, Fluttershy's brain was far too rattled to decipher whether or not 'selling points' was Adagio's idea of a compliment toward her body, but she definitely heard it.

As she leaned in a little, Adagio's tongue darted out to quickly polish her own lips, which formed a malevolent smirk. "While I very much enjoyed the show, I'd be more than happy to offer pointers, if you-"

Fluttershy shook her head fast enough to get dizzy.

Adagio was making what were unmistakably bedroom eyes. "Really?"

Staring back at her, Fluttershy felt an answer she didn't want to give dancing on the tip of her tongue, those red-violet orbs beckoning to something in her, something concerned parents and health classes might have warned good little boys and girls about!

Hmm, Adagio thought to herself as she enjoyed the familiar spectacle, maybe I was just imagining things... Taking a step back, she shrugged. "Well, suit yourself, but I'll be around if you change your mind." She closed the statement with a wink, demonstrating the walk in slow, extra analyzable manner as she brushed past her trembling imitator, despite there being plenty of space with which she could have walked around. Doing so earned a delightful little squeak, but this didn't settle the question of why she still felt a little warmer than usual.

Fluttershy had to close her eyes to keep from turning to watch her go, though it was hard to tell if Adagio noticed. Unfortunately, standing still in a big, empty room with your eyes closed leaves one open to being-

"Fluttershy!!"

Startled. However, the familiarity of the voice sped her recovery this time as she glanced about to see a friend sprinting toward her. "R-Rainbow?"

She skidded to a stop, her face worried as she put her hands on Fluttershy's shoulders and inspected her for injuries, tears in clothing, make-up stains, anything. "Are you okay?! What happened?! What did she do?!" As Fluttershy just looked confused, Rainbow summarized, talking as quickly as she'd run. "I saw Cleat-Heels come in here, I don't think she's wearing them today, but still, she walked by the doors, stopped and looked through one of the little windows on 'em, made that I'm-about-to-eat-a-baby smile, and went in, so at first I was like, 'She's up to something, but I'd really rather not get mixed up with those three again, and Sunset's been saying they're really trying to be good, so she can't be up to anything that bad,' and walked away, but then I remembered that you use the the gym as a shortcut and almost knocked over a freshman runnin' back! So, you okay?"

Quickly looking herself over, Fluttershy nodded. "Um... Y-yes, I think I'm alright."

Rainbow scanned her again, as though waiting for some sign of abuse to jump out at her. "You sure? You were still shaking when I ran over here."

"Oh, w-well, um..." Trying to find the least compromising way to explain what had just happened, she tinted red again. "She might have said some things, but I'm okay now."

"Just talking? She didn't threaten you, didn't push you at all or give you a wed-"

Blushing intensified. "N-no one's done that since middle school!!"

Rainbow breathed a sigh of relief. "Okay, cool, matches up with what I've heard so far."

The heat in Fluttershy's face withered away in the face of her veins filling with ice-water. "What?"

"I asked gossip-queen Rarity about what those three have been up to." Rainbow smiled a little. "Heh, she gave me that 'oh, very funny' look when I called her that. Anyway, she told me about-" The warning bell sounded, which reminded Rainbow that they were still in school at the moment. "Shoot, we'll talk about this at lunch, okay?" Running for the door, Rainbow didn't seem to notice how much Fluttershy had paled.

They know. Rarity knows, and she told everyone, and now they know!! That terrifying possibility wrestled with the near-certainty that her friends would never talk about her behind her back like that, occupying her thoughts to the point that she didn't even remember jogging to her next class.

---

Fluttershy sat trembling at the end of Rainbow's story of what happened in the gym earlier, dearly hoping the others would assume it was just because the focus was on her again.

"So," summarized Sunset Shimmer, "you had a little run-in with Adagio Dazzle, she teased you for a minute or two, and walked away?" Fluttershy managed a nod, Sunset sighing. "Yea, sounds like her usual M.O."

Pinkie tilted her head. "M.O.? Magic Orangutan? Movie Order? Messy Or-"

Applejack slapped a hand over Pinkie's mouth. "PINKIE!!"

Pinkie leaned back to free her mouth. "What? I was just gonna say 'Messy Orange Hair,' which I know is one more letter than M.O., but it kinda works if you think of it like Emm, Oh, y'know? Besides, brushing that stuff has gotta be a nightmare!"

Gigglefits from Rainbow drowned out the sound of Applejack's embarrassment.

Smiling a little, Rarity rolled her eyes. "Modus Operandi, Darling, the method in which she does things." The table's focus on her, she cleared her throat. "Rumor has it, she goes around engaging in flirtatious behavior, and according to reliable sources? No bites so far." She touched a finger to her chin ponderously. "Actually, I don't think any of the Dazzlings have gotten a date since they-"

Sunset tapped her on the shoulder. "Focus, please? We're not really worried about their love lives right now."

"Right, sorry. Anyway, there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to her choice of victims, no pattern to whom she riles up from one day to the next." She looked over the group with a hint of contrition. "So, despite what you may have been hoping, I have no idea why she'd go after Fluttershy."

Oh, thought one of apparently many victims with relief, they don't actually know anything's been going on between us...?

Yes!!

Before Sunset could muster the will to offer her own experience-based theory, Rainbow spoke up. "Maybe you don't, but I think we know someone who does." She glanced to the Dazzlings' table across the room, seeing only Aria and Sonata for some reason.

No!!

Fluttershy tried to stop what was coming. "Uh, m-maybe we shouldn't, I-I mean, we'd probably just bother them, so-"

"Prolly couldn't hurt to ask," offered Applejack, "this is the first Ah've heard'a any of 'em startin' anything with one of us in the last few months."

Sunset gave the two sirens another look. From what she could tell, neither were saying a word, both occasionally glancing toward the cafeteria's double doors. She stood up. "I'm gonna go see if they'd be okay with talking to us for a minute."

Fluttershy watched in cold horror as Sunset strode over to their table, waved a little and said something to get their attention, Aria and Sonata turning to her with passive faces. A moment later, Sonata looked inquisitively at Aria, who shrugged, said two words, and looked over at the Rainbooms' table. Cold, purple eyes locking onto her own made Fluttershy flinch and turn her head.

"C'mon," whispered Rainbow, "looks like they said yes, Sunset's waving us over."

The cafeteria didn't go silent as more and more eyes noticed the rest of the Rainbooms collectively moving to the Dazzlings' table, but it was noticeably quieter as the five of them joined Sunset, Aria, and Sonata.

"So," said Aria while propping up her head on an arm, looking bored, "Adagio's been being Adagio and you guys wanna know why? I'll give ya three guesses." These weren't her favorite people to talk to, to be sure, but Adagio was supposed to have brought today's lunchroom topic.

Beaming, Pinkie raised her hand. "Because there's a colony of tiny people living in her hair and they give her commands by-"

"Nope," interrupted Sonata, "we checked." There was a group stare. Sonata shrugged. "It was a super slow day."

Applejack glanced around. "Where is she, anyway? Thought you three were always together 'round this time, she sick?"

"Hmm," hmm'd Sonata, eyebrows knit in concern, "she was looking a little red earlier, maybe she's coming down with something?"

"Pfft," Aria looked less worried. "doubt it, she never gets sick. If anything, she was probably just thinking dirty thoughts again."

Sonata shrugged. "Anyway, right now we're waiting for Dagi to be freed from the VeePee's office again."

Sunset didn't look surprised. "What'd she do this time?"

Smiling, began to orate as though retelling a classic fable, eyes sparkling and one hand drawn to her chest, the other extended for no readily apparent reason. "I remember it like it was yesterday..."

---

Adagio stood once again before a very irritated Vice Principal Luna. "What? Photo Finish claims to know a thing or two about fashion. I wasn't trying to seduce anyone, I just wanted to know if she thought my underclothes complimented my-"

"Office. Now."

"Ooh, so forcefu-"

"MOVE."

---

Aria gave Sonata a deadpan stare. "That wasn't yesterday. That was fifteen minutes ago."

"But I remember it like it was yesterday!"

Eyes were rolled.

Sunset looked inquisitive. "Alright, then, she wasn't specifically going after Fluttershy, it was just a matter of wrong place, wrong time?"

Aria casually inspected her nails, her face passive. "Most likely." Nothing followed her statement as she looked around the table, so she shrugged. "Don't really have much to say about it, this is kind of a regular thing."

Sonata grinned. "Like you arguing with teachers?"

She got an annoyed eyebrow raise. "Or you almost blowing up the kitchen in Home-Ec?"

Groaning, Sonata threw her hands up in exasperation. "It was one time and I said I was sorry!!" That they stuck her in a different class for that period said she probably wasn't forgiven yet. Or allowed to go back in there. "The Age of Brownies is still coming, y'know! I'll figure something out, and when I do-" her face grew increasingly manic, "oh-ho, yes, when I do, the revolution will be glorious! THE CHOCO-DOUBTERS WILL BE-"

Clearing her throat, Sunset wasn't quite done investigating. That, and it was probably best to stop that line of thought here and now. "Is there anything in particular Adagio looks for in those she messes with?" She had a few guesses, but it was better to hear it straight from the source. Or, the source's two closest (only?) friends.

Aria and Sonata exchanged a long, uncertain look. "Well," offered Sonata, "basically, I think it goes like-" she whipped her head toward Fluttershy, arms up, wide-eyed and snarling, "-BOO!!"

"EEEEP!!"

"Hey!" said Rainbow with more than a hint of aggression as she put a steadying hand on Fluttershy's back, the others mainly offering disapproving glares, "Whaddya think you're doing?!"

Sonata giggled. "Sorry, but that was the fastest way to answer your question. That reaction, that I-would-look-great-gnashed-between-your-teeth vibe? Dagi's catnip."

The image of Adagio mewing and rolling happily in a Nepeta bush aided Fluttershy's nerves immeasurably, though Applejack looked less affected. "So, basically, she's a bully?"

"Kinda," Aria answered carefully, "but I don't think it's out of bad blood or hard feelings, this is just how she gets her kicks; bug random people until Luna shows up." Purple cheeks tinted red as Aria crossed her arms. "Hell, she even does it to us sometimes."

Sonata smiled smugly. "Mostly you."

This earned an emphatic scowl. "Because you cheat somehow!"

"I just accept her love, that's all you have to do."

"Yea, right." Arms remained crossed as Aria angrily pouted and turned away.

Giggling, Sonata stage-whispered to the others. "That there? Blood in the water."

"If that's what's up," asked Rainbow, "won't she just keep coming after Fluttershy?"

If only you knew, Rainbow. Actually, please continue not knowing, just forget I thought anything! Please?

Cleaning one ear with a pinky finger, Aria snorted. "That what this is really about, huh? Figured." Purple eyes scanned the ceiling as she pondered an answer. "She's gotta have known Squeaky over there was your biggest chicken for a while now, that this didn't happen sooner probably means she just couldn't find anyone else at the time." There were a variety of stares and glares following the chicken comment. She shrugged. "I call 'em as I see 'em."

Rarity opted to change the subject before things grew uncivil. "Witness testimonies to her little games suggest that she simply delights in making others squirm and blush... Is that all there is to it? No goal beyond flustering her current target before moving to the next person? She seems rather practiced in the art."

Applejack was incredulous. "Practiced? Way Ah hear it, Adagio's gotta be more embarrassing than Granny Smith!" She tugged her hat downward to cover her eyes as a half-dozen painful, dignity-destroying memories flashed before them, "An' she's got a photo album!"

Sonata snickered. "I can totally see her keeping a scrapbook of embarrassing pictures of random people!"

Aria smirked a little. "Probably just be a bunch of snapshots of people naked." The smile vanished. "Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if she really had one of those."

Neither would Fluttershy, arguing with herself about whether or not she should be making sure nothing could see through her windows before going to sleep every night. Or during the day. Or maybe she could just board them up. That wouldn't be an odd thing to do, right?

"Indeed," nodded Rarity, "especially after that indecency with the, em... b-bathrobe incident."

Sonata beamed. "Ooh, yea! I remember it like it was yesterday..."

Aria rolled her eyes.

---

The very first day the Dazzlings decided to attend school, they showed up in what were essentially their bedclothes. Nobody was really bothered by Aria's tank top and ratty jeans. Sonata's pink, ankle-length nightgown was pushing it, but passed for a dress. Adagio's white, fluffy bathrobe and bunny slippers were too far outside the dress code to ignore. Principal Celestia, who had caught her in a hallway after second period, did not know that this was all she was wearing. "Take that off right this instant!"

Turning to her, Adagio shrugged. "If you insist..." With a tug on the soft, felt belt and a quick motion of her shoulders, she let the loose-fitting robe fall to the floor.

Some students nearby fainted, many more simply turned red and stared until Celestia shouted, "Everyone that doesn't turn away RIGHT NOW gets a week's detention!!"

A few people got a week's detention. Not all of them were boys.

Adagio just looked around, relaxed, but uncertain. "What is the problem? I don't see any kind of uniform standards in place."

"CLOTHES," answered Celestia in exasperation, "clothes are the standard!!"

Adagio raised an earnestly confused eyebrow. "Then why did you want me to take mine off?"

"A bathrobe does not qualify for-urgh!" She facepalmed. "Just, put it back on, we'll discuss this in my office."

"Hmph." Gathering up her robe as asked, Adagio eyed Celestia from head to toe, a hint of a smirk on her face. "Maybe you'd be more comfortable with this if you took your clothes o-"

Celestia was red as a tomato. "MARCH!!"

Due to her being more resistant to that sort of shameless behavior, dealing with Adagio was delegated to Luna soon afterward.

---

The end of the tale is when it struck Fluttershy that while Adagio seemed to irregularly alternate between her dance outfit and what she guessed were street clothes, as she was wearing today, she could only recall Aria and Sonata wearing their dance outfits to school. She would have thought a little more about asking them why that was, but Sunset spoke first.

"Why didn't you two say anything to her? Did you guys all not know there were decency laws, or did she just not care?"

Looking down shamefully, Sonata twirled the tip of her ponytail around a finger. "I didn't really know much about the naked rules either, back then."

Aria shrugged. "The naughty bits were covered before your principal asked for a free show, so-"

Rarity couldn't help a scandalous giggle. "I-I don't think she intended to see as much as she did that day, really."

Skeptical, Aria raised an eyebrow. "Because people are just fully dressed under bathrobes all the time?"

Blink. "Eh, well, I, no, I suppose not, but... Hm..." Largely unseen, post-bathing fashion. Could there be a market for such a thing? A seamstress dared wonder.

"Anyway, we were all decent when we left the house, so I figured it'd be fine." Aria turned a slightly suspicious look toward Sunset. "Actually, you must have known she's been getting in trouble for a while now, why haven't you done anything?"

"Er, actually, that's..." Sunset scratched the back of her head, "I kinda tried, but..."

"She's supposed to say 'like it was yesterday'!"
"Go back to sleep, Sonata."

---

About two weeks after the bathrobe incident, Sunset decided to try direct intervention. The Dazzlings didn't seem to hate her, so maybe it was worth a shot?

"Adagio? Can I talk to you for a minute?"

Adagio stood in front of a terrified Bulk Biceps, apparently pinning him against the lockers with just her index finger held to his chest. By the terrified look on his face, it probably had more to do with her sadistic expression than physical strength. Hearing Sunset and turning her head in that direction, her predatory smile slipped away. She looked at Bulk Biceps out of the corner of her eye. "Scram."

He did so the second she retracted her finger.

Facing Sunset, Adagio crossed her arms, her tone and expression passive. "You need something?"

Sunset approached in as nonthreatening a manner as she could manage, no aggression in her face or body language. "I know you're just having a little fun here, but I think you're bothering people. A lot. Can you please tone it down a bit?"

Adagio rolled her eyes. "Ohh, spare me. I've been at this for a few weeks now, and do you know how many have actually asked me to stop? Two, and neither of them were students." Giving a quick toss of her hair, she paced closer, a hand on her hip and a smirk on her face. "I'm not 'bothering' anyone, because despite what they may say, the attention of a pretty girl is everything some of them have ever dreamed of in this stage of their lives. Trust me, if I really wanted to get to these people, they'd all know it." The smirk faded. "Oh, and if you're wondering about your turn, Sunset Shimmer?" She stepped close enough to whisper into Sunset's ear.

"Don't worry, I'm already done with you."

Adagio walked away without another word.

---

Aria and Sonata nodded in unison. "Yea," the former assented, "that makes some sense."

The other five girls at the table seemed to think otherwise, Applejack in particular. "Uh, mind fillin' the rest of us in?"

Sonata nodded. "The three of us picked on Sunset in a dark hallway this one time, and we weren't really pulling punches. I think past that, plus everything else she went through before we got here, not even Dagi wants to torture her any more than we already did."

Aria eyed the ceiling, her expression colored with what may have been heart-felt contrition. "We were kinda brutal when she talked to us for the first time a few weeks later, too." She shrugged, managing to look Sunset in the eye. "So, like, sorry about that."

This drew an appreciative little smile from Sunset.

"Yea," added Sonata, "and, the rest of you guys don't really seem like total jerkwads, either."

Aria went on before they could dwell on that last part. "ANYWAY, say what you like about Adagio, she at least knows where the limits are." There was a heavy silence as all present recalled the bathrobe incident. "Usually. Horror stories aside, she really isn't that bad most of the time." Sonata just smiled in agreement.

It touched something in Fluttershy's heart that the Dazzlings, once seen bickering almost all the time, would defend each other like this. If they could grow to cherish their own so much, there must have been room in their hearts for others, even her friends!

Rarity grinned. "I never did thank you for that English class the other week, Miss Blaze." Aria just looked back at her in confusion. "Remember? When you defended my completely chaste poem?"

Aria nodded once. "'Kay." She got a few confused stares for that reaction. "What? You might not have to correct your 'teachers' that often, but for me? That was just Friday."

The lunch bell sounded, Aria and Sonata taking off without much more than a 'Bye,' but Fluttershy could hear them talking as they left.

"I thought she was supposed to come if we spoke of her, Ria!"

"I dunno, that's what I heard. They get their magic all messed up here."

Or, then again, thought Fluttershy, maybe not... Well, nobody said anything particularly unkind through the entire conversation, so there was still hope, wasn't there? She made the mental note to worry about befriending the Dazzlings as a whole after she'd gotten closer to Adagio.

Author's Note:

Another candy-free lunchroom chapter!

Due to length, I should be publishing the next chapter as two next week, with the one from Adagio's perspective coming the week after that. Stay tuned!

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