• 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 30: Touchable Ears and Insidious Mind-Fuzzies

Thursday morning didn't get off to a flying start either. It wasn't due to Adagio this time, or even Fluttershy reacting to her, because the low point came before Fluttershy had even gotten to the bench! She'd needed to go to the bathroom during the drive to school, but absolutely did not dare to ask for a rest stop. The last time she had done that, her mother called out while she was walking back to the car.

"DID YOU GET DONE TINKLING, FLUTTERSHY? I KNOW YOU HAVE TROUBLE IN PUBLIC SOMETIMES!"

Mortifying.

Her mother was a very nice woman, really, she just had some... short-sighted ideas on how to offer help sometimes. That horrible incident in mind, she'd opted to just hold it in until she got to school this time. Running to the bench by the soccer field, she left her backpack so Adagio would know she was here today in case she showed up before Fluttershy returned, then sprinted off to the nearest bathroom accessible through the gym door. Which itself was on the other side of the school. Why the soccer field was on the opposite end from the gym, she would never know.

---

Turning the corner on her way back from the restroom, Fluttershy saw the mass of mango-scented fluff hanging over the back of the bench.

She waited on me!

...

Is it weird that that makes me so happy?

Well, she didn't want to keep Adagio waiting any longer, so she jogged over to take her seat. The second she got close enough that she was confident she'd be heard, however, she caught sight of none other than Angel Bunny, sitting on the bench by Adagio! Fluttershy's eyes widened. "Angel? Did you tag along in my bookbag again?"

Chuckling, Adagio turned her head in Fluttershy's direction as the latter sat down. "So it is yours. Was worried you'd picked up a stray."

Fluttershy smiled. "Well, I do pick up strays sometimes, they usually..." She trailed off as she examined her stowaway pet. Angel was staring fixedly at Adagio (who was wearing her hoodie and jeans again today, as she'd been doing slightly more often of late), but not like the squirrel had that day. By the way he was tilting his little head and twitching his whiskers, she could have sworn he was confused about something.

"Usually what, Sweetie?"

Blink. "Huh? Oh! Um, sorry, I... they usually stay with me for a few days, at least, or however long it takes until they're ready for a place in the animal shelter. Or better yet, a good home!" Despite being presented with perhaps her first opportunity to inquire about whether or not the Dazzlings had any interest in a fuzzy pet (or maybe a goldfish?), Fluttershy again couldn't help but notice Angel Bunny's movements. He was lightly tugging a little paw on the leg of Adagio's pants for attention, which Adagio didn't seem to notice at all. He hopped up onto her thigh, chittered and squeaked while looking directly at her, but it was like he wasn't even there as the siren looked solely at Fluttershy.

"And how exactly do you maintain so many creatures, day to day? Government funding? Anonymous donations? ...Piracy?"

The last one was said with a hint of smile, gaining one in kind. They'd talked about the likelihood of meeting actual pirates in Equestria before, with jokes made about Fluttershy's prospects as a swashbuckler. Angel was still tugging in vain on Adagio's jeans, which prompted Fluttershy to ask. "Angel? What's wrong?"

He turned to her, his little nose twitching.

"Something about Adagio? What did she...? Oh! Really?

What had been perplexed silence quickly became cold fear as Adagio's eyes widened in horror. "W-wait, that rabbit can talk?!"

Fluttershy smiled. "Oh, I wouldn't say that, it's more like-..." Looking up, Adagio's expression made her trail off again. "Um... Is everything oka-" Angel squeaked once to regain her attention. "Huh? I'm sorry, what did she do?"

Glancing back and forth between Fluttershy and the rabbit that was about to rat her out, Adagio couldn't think of any way to stop what was about to happen without virtually guaranteeing that Fluttershy would be very upset with her. Burying her face in both hands, she slumped over on the bench and waited for the inevitable.

---

It was a knight's duty to protect. To protect their home, to protect their queen, to protect their food bowl! The stalwart defender, Angelius McMillan Bunniceus, known to the rest of the kingdom as Angel Bunny, was one such protector! He had done well in his duties up to this point, but a curious qualm had gripped his tiny, but valiant heart of late: The Queen had not taken him along to defend her in many a day, many a week! This worried him, and so he elected to join The Queen in her daily departure to fend off brigands should the need arise!

And perhaps sample scraps from the Great Feast known to take place in the institution when the sun was high in the sky.

Thus did Angelius make his descent into the dark, but warm depths of His Lady's Sack of Transportation whilst she proved preoccupied with her morning tasks. Not terribly long after it began, motion came to a halt, indicating that the destination had been reached. It was while awaiting His Lady's delicate hands to draw the Sack of Transportation open that he heard an unfamiliar, but heavenly voice.

"Hmm... Looks like her bag, but where's...?"

There came a pause before the latch slid open, whereupon Angel deftly dove behind the Baggie of Delicacies! Sometimes The Queen would bestow upon him tiny nibbles from her Royal Stash of Tasty Things. Looking at the baggie, it appeared that today's choice was the accursed orange, white-tipped triangles. Blech.

He had long ago been informed that his presence in this place was considered an act of rebellion, and a knight did not bring war upon His Lady's doorstep, so he elected to hide until the voice of The Queen beckoned him. No such luck, for there was only more silence following a brief rustling of things in the Sack of Transportation. After a time, Angelius determined that the danger had passed and boldly hopped out, finding himself upon familiar ground where The Queen was known to recline in anticipation of the day ahead.

Upon this morn, however, he could see that circumstances were very different, for instead of The Queen, he saw only...

Her!

For but a moment, there were no words, only quiet reverence as he, Angelius McMillan Bunniceus, beheld the sight of The Great Fluff, surely the most powerful hopper to ever frolic in a meadow! Or in this case, sit upon a bench! She was reclining in leisurely manner upon the bench as though well aware that all who beheld her were in great fortune to do so, the sheer mass, the sheer enormity of her tail, undoubtedly a thing of legend!

She was really quite fluffy, too.

Transfixed in her presence though he was, he froze entirely when she turned her gaze upon him! An orange eyebrow rose in amusement.

"Oh, hello," came her holy voice, "might you be a friend of Fluttershy's? Or are you just looking for crumbs?"

She knew of The Queen! Heart gripped with awe, his response was a shameful stutter, ear-flicks and nose-twitches coming in erratic fashion. Strangely, The Great Fluff seemed to take no notice as she loosed a stream of graceful giggles and smiled down upon him.

"Cute, as far as rodents go, not like one of those bushy-tailed rats. I wonder..."

She reached out a heavenly hand, Angelius standing still as stone as her fingertip softly caressed the edge of one ear, as gently as the hand of The Queen herself! Her touch was pleasing, only more-so as The Great Fluff then scratched behind that ear! Angelius surrendered immediately, leaning into her scratchy embrace with almost greedy fervor, which drew yet more giggles from The Great Fluff as she took to addressing her fingertips to his chin! This escalated to The Great Fluff lifting Angelius into the air and nuzzling his fuzzy body with her face while her laughter grew in intensity!

Another blissful moment passed as she alternated between attending to his chin and belly with those golden fingertips, but after, the haze began to fade, Angelius finding that he'd been set back upon the bench without ceremony. There'd not been time to discern whether he'd offended his cuddly goddess somehow before The Queen arrived. Disgraceful behavior though it was for a knight, he could not focus upon His Lady, instead exploring the mystery of The Great Fluff that now refrained from even resting her sight upon him. This was most befuddling, but try as he may, he could not regain her attention, nor her divine favor.

---

The tale concluded, Fluttershy looked at Adagio with quiet curiosity, but she was still burying her face in both hands, what little Fluttershy could see a bright shade of red.

Smiling, Fluttershy leaned over a little, trying to angle her head to get a better look at Adagio's face. "You were playing with Angel Bunny?"

The response came in the form of low muttering. "I, it wasn't, I just, he was-..." She trailed off, loosing a quiet groan as her head sunk lower.

"What? What's wrong?" Maybe this was another cultural thing. Did aquatic civilizations have some kind of taboo about nuzzling bunnies? It felt unlikely, but so did the sawdust.

There was a little sigh. "You're going to make me say it? Thought I was the sadist here."

Thinking back to the week before, Fluttershy made a guess based on the last time Adagio got this sheepish. "You're... worried that cuddling Angel was too childish? Too girly?"

"Partly," Adagio answered without looking up, "part of it is the complete lack of self-control required to give in to such an urge."

"A lady always maintains her composure," said the Rarity in Fluttershy's head. Maybe that elegant sense of dignity was something her stylish friend and Adagio had in common? It was food for thought that Fluttershy would digest later, instead offering her secret girlfriend (squee!) a smile. "It's not so bad, I mean," she flushed pink, but didn't let herself stop, "You used to go around encouraging people to give in to urges, right?"

Adagio let out a surprised little laugh as she sat up a little straighter and let her hands fall away from her face. She was still flushed, but at least she was smiling a little now. "You're right, Sweetie; I'd rather have been caught pleasuring myself." To her slight regret, Fluttershy choked on air again as she went a bright, burning crimson (Angel administered fuzzy little pats to her neck), but at least the playing field was level now. She used the time Fluttershy spent recuperating from the shock to get her own thoughts together, managing to at least banish most of her own blush. "I figured I could do... w-what I did, before you got back with no one being the wiser, that my hair would shield me from behind until I heard you coming, but it hadn't occurred to me that you could actually speak to these creatures."

Her breath steadied again, Fluttershy regained her smile. "Well, I understand Angel, but I've known him for a while now. Did you want to do that with the squirrel, too?"

Adagio shook her head. "Not particularly," she said with a little smile while reaching out to tickle Angel's chin, to his delight, "this one is just a lot more... touchable, I suppose, like I-" Her eyes went wide as she realized what she was doing, immediately drawing her hand back, to Angel's slight disappointment. She was blushing again. "I-it's the ears, dammit!"

Giggling once more, Fluttershy kept a warm expression. "I guess you know how the other kids felt now?" Adagio's blank expression said she was lost. "Y-you know," Fluttershy offered with a slightly sheepish grin, "right after they saw my sketch?"

And then Adagio's mouth slowly fell open, her eyes going wide. "Just... like...? Of... Of course." She stood up, raising both fists as her eyes seemed to gaze in no particular direction. "Of course!!" For reasons relating to old habits, she began to pace back and forth in front of the bench as she spoke. "I see it! I see it now! Those looks they were giving me, that wasn't condescension, they weren't looking down on me for being weak or vulnerable, it was instinct! That's what makes sapient lifeforms express benevolence toward younglings of entirely different species; the reason infants are 'cute' to begin with, it's a defense mechanism!"

Fluttershy wasn't entirely sure she followed Adagio's increasingly manic rambling, but she tried to focus on the words, not the siren showing multiple angles of herself as she walked in front of the bench.

"The other students weren't laughing at me, not most of them, at any rate. The bow, your drawing, they sent signals straight into the brain that made the recipients think 'Oh, how precious!' before they'd even realized what had happened, even though they know that consciously, they're afraid of me, of all three of us! All this time, I've likened being 'cute' to being prey, to being a squirming victim to play with- Sorry, by the way."

Fluttershy smiled. "It's okay."

"Right, thank you. -for my own amusement, but there's more than that!" Looking up at the sky as she stood still, Adagio pressed a hand to her forehead. "I can't believe I've missed it up to now; all I had ever wanted to do with something smaller and weaker than me was to make it squirm between my claws, so to speak, but it's not just an absence of threat to mark easy targets, it's a call of sorts, a siren's song that says 'Please, protect me,' 'comfort me,' 'Keep me warm and safe,' 'Adore me!'"

It was difficult keeping a frown entirely off her face as Fluttershy pondered what the sirens' upbringing must have been like, but now didn't feel like the right time.

Turning to face Fluttershy again, Adagio pointed almost dramatically at Angel. "That's what I felt just minutes ago; a little compulsion to show a flicker of affection toward a harmless entity, not because I knew it couldn't hurt me and therefore it was mine to play with, but just..." She shook her head somewhat incredulously, voice lowering to gentle tones as she stepped closer. "Instinct. Maternal, almost, a quiet, easily-indulged little will to be... nurturing, I suppose?" This time, it was a consciously-embraced decision to tickle Angel's ear with a fingertip, drawing a little smile from each of them as Adagio looked at Fluttershy. "Is that how it feels for you?"

Smiling warmly, Fluttershy nodded. "Sometimes, yes. It isn't always furry little animals that make me feel that way," she joined Adagio in lightly brushing Angel with a fingertip, the rabbit happily soaking up their mutual attentions, "but they're usually the first."

Nodding, Adagio pet Angel for another minute and turned to walk away. "I need to jog home for something, but I'll be back before classes start, so-"

"Wait!"

Whipping around, Adagio saw Fluttershy standing up, clutching a content-looking Angel in both hands, but with a worried expression on her face. This drew a concerned frown. "Sweetie?"

"Uhm-" Knowing Adagio was in a hurry didn't make forming the question tactfully any easier. "-I, I-I heard, yesterday, um, that you talked to Rainbow, a-and I'm not t-trying to accuse you of anything, but, um-"

Knowing where this was going, Adagio grinned wryly. "She told you I got her all riled up, did she?"

"Well, the way she told it, it kind of sounded like an accident, but...?"

Adagio's eyes widened. "'The way she told it'? That is to say, something other than 'That bitch was messing with me'?" Fluttershy nodded twice. "...Huh." The siren smiled a little. "Maybe we are making progress... Well," she said with a shrug, "I didn't mean to embarrass her like that, it was a serious question." Crossing her arms as she recalled the last time her curiosity had gotten her in trouble, Adagio made a slightly sour face. "I'd kind of hoped that not smiling at all would make it sound natural, but I'm sure I'll pin down the details sooner or later." She shook her head, smiling again. "In hindsight, I suppose I should have known better than to bring up anything of a remotely... private manner when talking to a high school girl. I remembered our deal, but I'm sorry if that worried you."

Rather than looking reassured, Fluttershy wore a contrite expression. "No, no, I... I don't think you did anything wrong." I thought you said you'd give her the benefit of the doubt, she chided herself. "I'm sorry, I guess I still get-" She was cut off by a friendly giggle.

"It's fine, Sweetie. After all," she said while pacing back to the bench with half-lidded eyes, "you and I both know how I can be about giving in to urges without thinking, right?" Fluttershy lit up again as Adagio leaned in to cup her chin in one hand. "What do you think," she asked breathily, "do I need to work on my... self-control?"

Despite her knees shaking, Fluttershy answered the question by covering Angel's eyes and leaning forward for a kiss. A wonderful moment later, they broke apart, Adagio smiled, said "Gotta run," and ran off in the direction of the sirens' house, leaving Fluttershy to gently fall backward on the bench.

Looking down at her pet rabbit, Fluttershy smiled and patted his head. "I might need to bring you along more often, if that's okay."

Angelius McMillan Bunniceus, stalwart protector of The Queen, offered a crisp salute. And The Queen smiled upon him!

---

Adagio rushed straight up the stairs and into her room, going to the dresser right away. Taking out her spiked headband, she gave it one last, lingering look before setting it on the dresser and tying her hair up with Fluttershy's ribbon again. Double-checking the bow in her vanity mirror, she was pretty sure she'd gotten it just right.

Suppose I should be glad that turned out the way it did, she thought with a little grin, picked up a new trick and the rabbit didn't see as much as I'd thought.

Picturing Fluttershy's possible reaction in the near future, Adagio chuckled fiendishly. When she'd started back down the stairs, she heard a call from the kitchen.

"Hey Dagi, that you? What're you doin' back here already?"

She moved to join them. "Just forgot something on the way out, Ria."

"Heh, damn. Had hoped school was closed today or something."

She arrived in the kitchen to see her oldest friends wrapping up breakfast. Sonata, sitting at the table in a short, pink nightie, was in the middle of that morning's sticky-note sketch to hang on the refrigerator while Aria, standing at the sink in just a light tank top and tight, skull-patterned panties, cleaned dishes. Adagio resisted the urge to comment on the either's state of undress, made easier when Sonata instead drew attention to Adagio's own fashion choice.

"Hey, you're wearing the bow again!"

This drew an over-the-shoulder glance from Aria. "All part of the plan? How's that comin' along?"

Adagio gave each of them a confident smirk, hands placed on her hips. The subtle, psychological effect made cuteness an insidious force, and that, she knew, made it a viable weapon. "I'll be gathering more data in the coming days, but with recent revelations? We may find ourselves working a whole new kind of magic."

Sonata stopped her doodling to look at Adagio in wide-eyed confusion. "Huh?"

Their leader chuckled. "What would you say if I told you there was a form of seduction that didn't strictly depend on sex appeal?" Speaking of seduction, part of her distantly wondered if Fluttershy would appreciate the present Adagio had left her...

---

"EEEK!!"

Half the class jumped as Fluttershy slammed her book shut, eyes wide, face flushed, and beads of sweat appearing on her brow. Ms. Inkwell was the first to ask.

"You okay there, Fluttershy? I know Antietam was a right bloody scene, but what we get in these books is the PG version."

Shaking with all eyes on her, Fluttershy ducked down, managing a tiny, abashed smile. "Y-yes, I, j-j-just, uh... saw a... spider?"

Inkwell chuckled, in that crazy-crone kind of way she did. "And squashed 'im good, didja? That there's how wars are fought!"

"I-I guess so."

Class went on with Fluttershy unable to hide behind her book like she usually would in this situation, but Miss Inkwell didn't seem to mind her following along in her head as opposed to trying to read through spider-squash. It was lucky for her that no one in the room questioned how she of all people could bring herself to hurt a small, helpless arachnid, as there was nothing of the sort in her history book. On that note, Fluttershy silently marveled at Adagio's dedication, both at how she must have figured out what pages the lesson would cover, and that she'd been able to deposit the photo there without Fluttershy noticing. Maybe it was when she was alone with Angel, but she wasn't sure. Could it have been earlier? An embarrassing time-bomb? Were there others?!

As she couldn't hide behind her book, Fluttershy desperately tried to focus on the lesson today.

After class, Fluttershy jogged to the nearest restroom, knelt down in a corner stall, and retrieved the picture from her history book. It wasn't really as bad as she'd thought in class, she'd only looked at it long enough to see a lot of bare, yellow skin, but it still felt pretty damning to be caught with to her. It was an up-close side view of Adagio's naked rear, apparently bent over her bed in a way that exposed most of one cheek and her upper leg, which was technically still tamer than what Fluttershy had seen on the covers of some of Rarity's fashion magazines. That, of course, didn't stop Fluttershy from feeling about a hundred degrees warmer when looking at it, or the caption on the back.

You were right, it does stick out a little...

"Angel," she whispered to the bunny in her bookbag, "I need you to guard this for me. Please keep it hidden until we get home."

She knew that it was a completely serious sign of his undying loyalty and his will to make her happy, but Angel's tiny salute made Fluttershy smile every time.

Author's Note:

I was torn on whether to have Angel perceive Adagio to be a graceful goddess or a wicked arch-demon, but with most of the school treating the Dazzlings the way they do, I figured a change of pace was in order.

Also: You know that big, fat, super-chapter thing I've done a few times now? The ones where things went much longer than I'd intended, but I wasn't quite willing to cut content altogether? That's actually what the last few chapters have kinda been, only without the rushing to get it all done at once, and there's still another part that isn't finished yet. Hope to have that up within the next week or so, but after that should be the particularly interesting chapter followed by the slightly more interesting chapter I alluded to months ago.

...Of course, noting the pattern, those chapters are probably going to be a chapter or two each, what I anticipate to be Chapter 32 almost guaranteed to be BIG. Luckily, I should have the better part of the next month to get some writing done. :pinkiesmile:

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