• 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 36: Pressure

Being invited over to peoples' houses used to be a really special thing for Fluttershy, but making her first friends slowly pushed that wondrous sensation to just being a thing that still made her a little fuzzy inside. It went back to being extremely rare during the old Sunset's reign, but post-Fall Formal months had brought it back to just being a normal thing when her friends invited her over. All except for Rainbow's house, which, while home to perfectly nice, welcoming people, was kind of...

Big!

It was strange, because Rainbow's family wasn't exactly 'rich,' and they were definitely a far cry from 'poor,' but they just lived in this big, big house! It wasn't a mansion, but it had several rooms that were really, really spacious. Maybe Rainbow used to run around a LOT as a little girl and her parents wanted her to be free, but safely indoors? Either way, Fluttershy approached the slightly intimidating structure with every intent of lightly assaulting its front door with her knuckle, but her arm was seized and she was pulled inside practically the instant she touched it.

"Gladyoucouldmakeitrightthiswayplease!"

Rainbow was never the most patient person, but she seemed to be in an awful hurry today, with Fluttershy unable to utter a word as she was all but picked up and carried to Rainbow's room. Sitting on the bed (the only alternative being bean-bag chairs) there was Rarity, who smiled a little.

"Good morning, Fluttershy."

Fluttershy managed a quick wave in response. "H-hello."

Then Rainbow set her down in a seating position on the bed next to Rarity, looking back and forth between her and Rarity with a smile that was just slightly too wide. "So, you guys comfy? Can I get'cha anything?"

Rarity shook her head. "I think we'll be fine until the others arrive, and perhaps then you can tell us all just what it was that you of all people are so eager to share as to wake up before noon on a Sunday."

Ignoring the possible jab at her sleep habits, Rainbow giggled as she closed the door. "Well, about that." A very audible click signaled that she had no intention of letting anyone else in, or out, of her room at the moment.

Fluttershy felt a slightly larger pang of anxiety than usual, but apparently not as much as Rarity, whose pupils had shrunk to pin-pricks.

"R...R-Rainbow Dash? What are you doing? Why did you lock the door?"

There was a silence as Rainbow faced away from them. Standing with her hand against the locked door (yes, she knew they could just flip the knob the other way to unlock it again, but it was the principle of the thing!), she took a deep breath before turning around, her face solemn, but troubled. "I can't do this anymore."

"D-do what," Rarity quickly asked with a wide, nervous grin, eyes darting back and forth between her two friends, "lock the door like a silly girl? Yes, I agree, you really shouldn't do that anym-"

"I'll go first."

"Rainbow, please, you said you'd-... Wait, what do you mean by...?"

Motioning to the game console by the TV in the corner of her room, Rainbow's expression hadn't changed. "I've been playing games after school with Aria Blaze for weeks now. I didn't tell anyone because I knew things were kinda shifty between us and the sirens and I didn't wanna go blowing anything sky-high." The others looked back at her in mutual shock, but she was long past those feelings herself by now. "It started a little after the time I saw Adagio picking on Fluttershy in the gym, the day we-"

"She wasn't picking on me!!"

Fluttershy immediately slapped both hands to her own mouth, the words having escaped before she even thought about speaking. And at such volume! More startling than that was the look of wide-eyed shock Rarity was giving her... and the complete lack of one from Rainbow.

"Yea," she said while scratching the back of her head, "that's kinda what I thought since yesterday."

Fluttershy's world stopped.

"since yesterday."
"since yesterday."
"since yesterday."
"since yesterday."
"since yesterday."

It was a full minute before she could think things again, but when she came to, Rarity was sitting close to her, gently holding one of her hands as she apparently scolded Rainbow.

"-ust have known just throwing it out like that would be a terrible shock for her, what were you thinking?!"

Still standing by the door, Rainbow looked sheepish. "I'm sorry, really, but like I said, I can't keep this secret stuff up! You've gotta admit, going behind each others' backs like this is pretty messed up."

"Perhaps, but I thought we agreed that it was much too soon to go blowing whistles." She stopped to glance away with a little frown. "Though I wasn't aware they were seeing each other either." That sad, possibly hurt face turned to Fluttershy. "Honestly, Darling, we would have supported you no matter who it was."

Rainbow had crossed her arms, her face thoroughly unamused. "Speaking of which..."

"Err," Rarity said with a luminous blush, "well, y-you must understand my own reason for-"

"Please," the young athlete said as she clutched at her own hair, "please just say it already!"

Fluttershy, still feeling just a little overwhelmed, could only blink in confusion as Rarity grew redder. "Uhm... w-what... what's going on?"

Rarity gulped. "I've been seeing Sonata Dusk!!"

There was a long silence. And then Rainbow.

"Been doing a lot more than seeing her, I think."

The young fashionista reached a new shade of red. "RAINBOW DASH!!"

She grinned somewhat apologetically. "I'm just saying, maybe Fluttershy and I have secret siren friends too, but at least we're not banging ours."

She winced a little as Rarity choked, sputtered, and eventually passed out. The only reason, she guessed, that Fluttershy didn't immediately start fussing over her unconscious friend was because she'd gone white as a sheet. It was possible she'd fainted while sitting up, but she was the first to recover a few minutes later, drawing a smile from Rainbow.

"So, you have any questions? Because I know I do."

Fluttershy remained very still, if only in the hope that it would make her world stop spinning. Rainbow knew (she actually knew this time) she was with Adagio, apparently having seen them at some point yesterday. "When... when d-did you see us...?"

The speed with which she answered said Rainbow had been expecting that question. "Not sure about the exact time, but it was when you were fangirling over Adagio's leafy little outfit in that goofy clothes shop and-no, no don't faint! ...Aw, dangit."

---

Fluttershy awoke to the sight of Rainbow sprawled out upside down on a bean-bag chair.

"Oh good, you're up!"

"Uhm... y-yes..." She glanced to her side to see that Rarity was still down for the count, briefly checking to make sure her pulse was normal. Then memory kicked in and she flushed crimson. "So... y-you saw us?"

Sitting normally now, Rainbow nodded. "Yea. I was waiting for somebody to -aw, heck, might as well just- I was hoping Aria would accept my invite to hang out at the mall together, but while I was walking around looking for her, I spotted Adagio's unmistakable hair through the store window. It was just a little puff between some clothes racks, but I knew it was her. I moved in a little closer to see if she and the others were having some kinda shopping trip when I saw you hopping up and down and her lookin' all Level 26 Nature Priestess, but that's all I saw before I high-tailed it out of there. I mean, my first instinct was to walk right up and ask what the heck was going on, but then I remembered Rarity and it was like..." She scratched her head. "So, how long's that been going on?"

"A month or two, I guess?" Again, the words had come without Fluttershy consciously speaking them, easier than she'd have ever dreamed.

At this, Rainbow finally did look surprised. "Really? Wow. Looks like we've all been keeping secrets for a while." Her face grew guilty. "That's what I wanted to talk to you guys about today; I don't think I can live this way anymore. I mean, everyone knew when we started hanging out with Sunset and it was no big deal, what's the worst that could happen if we just came out with it?"

"Other than the sirens specifically having asked for distance, you mean?" Rarity had arisen from her mortification-induced fainting spell, gingerly rubbing her fingertips against a temple. "Sunset has tried more than once to blend their group with ours, if you'll recall, and they made it clear that that was something they didn't want."

"Why not?! If all three of 'em are okay with being friends with one of us in private, then why can't we all just-"

"Did you ever ask Aria? Whom, by the way, you never told me you were acquainted with even after learning of my secret?"

By the look on Rainbow's face, the words cut deep. "I'm sorry, I just didn't know how to bring it up with Sonata right there, y'know?" She sighed. "But, no, I never asked her about that." A glance at Fluttershy said she was having trouble following the conversation. "Uh, let's start from the beginning, okay?"

Taking a quick look at the confused animal lover herself, Rarity sighed a little. "Yes, let's. You both recall the day Sunset recounted the sirens' attempts to find company in the lunchroom, how they came to sit alone as they do now? I was suspicious of those three because Sonata had visited me in my shop for the first time just days before. She was only interested in clothes at the time, but I couldn't help distrusting her. Nothing came of it, so Sunset's assurance that they were on their best behavior left me a little more open-minded by the time she stopped by again. The two of us got to talking while she tried on shoes at my recommendation and she began to drop in more often, and..." Rarity looked away, a light blush Fluttershy recognized very well coloring her cheeks. "Somewhere along the line, we... grew closer. I, I wouldn't say it's love, but I do care for her."

A sniffle drew their attention to Rainbow, who rapidly rubbed her eyes. "Okay, okay, so stuff got all sappy with you guys after she started coming to see you, but you hid it so well that neither of you even made a face when you saw each other the time we went over to their table at lunch."

Never had pride and shame been so prominent in a smile. "Not making eye-contact was key, Darling."

Thinking back, Fluttershy had been too nervous to think much about her friends' expressions, but Sonata had seemed completely unfazed by their presence.

Rarity urged Rainbow to go on. "And shortly after that...?"

There was a nod. "Right, a couple hours later, I talked to Aria alone for the first time. I was playing soccer with the guys again and the ball went long (Bulk still needs to work on his restraint), so I went after it, finding Aria playing on a hand-held around a corner. I asked her if she wanted to join us, she said sports weren't really her thing (something to do with gym class having put her off), and I asked if she played anything else. I expected her to tell me to get bent now that it was just the two of us, but she looked me in the eye, all calm and relaxed, and said she played online sometimes. We traded screen-names-" she winked, "-I still use the one you thought up for me way back when, Fluttershy- and I started my first co-op game with her later that night." Rainbow chuckled. "She's actually pretty badass most of the time, but she stinks with grenades almost as bad as I do!"

As hoped, the comment brought a little laugh from her friends before she went on.

"I didn't wanna go making a big scene with any of this, but I figured just playing video games together wouldn't hurt anything, and it didn't, but then?"

Fluttershy's eyes widened a little. "That day at lunch, when you said...?"

Crossing her arms, Rarity looked slightly skeptical. "You were the most suspicious out of any of us, Rainbow."

Just slightly defensive, Rainbow nodded. "Yea, because me and Aria were talking just the night before! She got all cryptic when she told me Adagio had some kind of plan going, that even she didn't know all the details, and this being Adagio Almost-Freakin'-Won-The-Battle-Of-The-Bands Dazzle, I panicked!"

Rarity idly scratched her chin while searching her memory. "Miss Dusk did mention something about that bow of hers being related to some kind of plot that night, but she assured me it was nothing sinister."

Fluttershy blinked. "Miss Dusk?"

And then Rarity turned neon-red. "I-I mean Sonata!!"

Rainbow was averting her eyes. "Don't ask, trust me." Then she looked at Fluttershy. "Anyway, you defending the sirens that day makes a lot more sense now."

Feeling just a flicker of guilt for her long-held lie, Fluttershy looked down. "I, y-yes... And, um... Ad-dagio's bow? That came from me too, I gave it to her as a gift."

"Why?"

Fluttershrug. "T-to make her look... cute?"

Rarity clasped her hands. "Awww!" She approved of the sweet gesture, really, but felt the tiniest regret that the motion sent Fluttershy retreating into her own hair.

Rainbow took Fluttershy hiding as the cue that she wasn't exactly ready to share the story yet, so she proceeded with her own. "You guys probably remember that I tried talking to Adagio the next day and that Rarity invited me to swing by her place after school?"

Now it was Rarity that was trying her best to hide, covering her face with both hands. "Rainbow, please!"

"Relax, I'm just gonna sum up. We went to her place to see if we could find something I wouldn't feel so..." It was briefly her turn to blush. "exposed in, Rarity brought me to that big ol' back room, we found Sonata lying bare-ass naked on a big pillow with a rose in her teeth-" Rarity let out an agonized groan, though she was no longer the only one covering her face with both hands as Fluttershy squeaked, "-and that was how I learned they'd been, uh, t-together for a while." It was also how she learned that Sonata was maybe a little more emotionally fragile than she looked, because having her slowly break down in tears from embarrassment (plus the whole looks-like-we've-been-caught thing) when she noticed Rainbow was something else she really hadn't expected to see that day.

Rarity sighed, her face still crimson as she let her hands fall away. "Poor dear was absolutely mortified, but I managed to calm her down before long."

"After that," Rainbow picked up, "I agreed not to say anything because, y'know, who am I to tell people they can't get all mushy in private?"

Her shame finally starting to abate, Rarity smiled gratefully. "And we're both thankful, really. However, if she should ever offer to repay you in baked goods," there was a coy little wink, "it may be best to feign illness."

Rainbow snorted. "She hasn't gotten any better since that big ol' choco-glob, huh? Oh, well. Anyway, since then, I've been trying to think of a way to bring everyone together, what with me and Aria already being pals, I figured -that's platonic pals, by the way, she and I don't get naked and wait for each other in places,-" there was an unamused glare from Rarity, "I figured that getting a buddy for Adagio would be the last step." She looked at Fluttershy, who was at least composed enough to peer through her fingers. "Then I saw you guys together at the mall, ran home, and tried to work something out, but this is all I've got." She grinned at her two friends, clapping both hands together. "And now, I have no idea what to do, your thoughts?"

"Well," offered Rarity as she looked squarely at Fluttersly, "I'd rather like to hear about what's going on between you and Adagio, because Mi-Sonata never mentioned anything of the sort."

Fluttershy had spent the last several weeks thinking she'd have an easier time cutting her own tongue out than telling anyone what she'd been up to with the leader of the Dazzlings in all that time, but right now? She felt surprisingly calm. That is, her cheeks burned and her heart thudded in her chest, but all things considered, that seemed pretty mellow for having her biggest secret dragged out into the open. "W-well..." She breathed deep. Her friends had just told her about their secret friendships, so it was only fair she share her own, right? She was sure Adagio would understand, she of all people seemed to appreciate the Golden Rule.

"It... it s-started with a lollipop..."

---

"And... Th-that was how our first... d-d-date ended."

Following a pause, Rainbow whistled. "Damn. I'm surprised you haven't like, burst blood vessels in your face by now."

Rarity had displayed a vast array of reactions to the story, but right now, she looked a little flustered, lightly fanning herself with one hand. "Good heavens, Fluttershy, I think my heart would have given out weeks ago were I in your shoes!"

Somehow, it felt like praise, drawing a sheepish little smile. Fluttershy wasn't sure she'd stopped blushing at any point in her explanation, but it felt surprisingly good to share what she'd been hiding for so long.

With an appraising look, Rainbow rubbed her chin thoughtfully. "Then, all those times you got all spacey at lunch, you were thinking about her?"

Despite Fluttershy's appreciation that Rainbow had cranked up her air-conditioning about a third of the way through the story, she still felt herself grow warmer. "Uhm... y-yes...?" She jumped with a start as Rarity draped an arm across her shoulders, which may have been an act of solidarity as her fellow siren-lover turned a little rosier herself.

"You can hardly blame her, can you? Those girls are nothing if not sightly."

Adding her own blush to the mix, Rainbow crossed her arms and found sudden interest in a nearby poster. "I dunno, I'm straight!" That the others quietly giggled at her said there were no hard feelings about that.

Fluttershy was happy to have someone that could understand what she had been through these past weeks, but then Rarity betrayed her.

"So, wait," she asked with a raised eyebrow, "you've been seeing Adagio Dazzle in private for all this time, and you two have really never...?"

"EEP!!"

To her own surprise, Fluttershy didn't completely lock up this time, she just burned about as hot as she would if Adagio had been teasing her. The shock of having been discovered mostly passed, maybe she was finally building up resistance to embarrassment? It was a pretty thought, though one cut off by the sound of Rainbow scolding Rarity.

"-nd you seriously just asked Fluttershy of all people about that?!"

Contrite though she was, Rarity seemed just a little defensive. "It was a valid question, she only became incomprehensible about four times when telling us about the kisses."

Their attention was seized when Fluttershy found her voice. Mostly. "Ad-dagio and I-I haven't d-done, uhm... a-anyth-thing like... that!"

The room was silent apart from Fluttershy's heavy breathing. And then Rarity again.

"...But not for lack of interest?"

Rainbow facepalmed as Fluttershy lit up to worrying temperatures. "Seriously?!"

Rarity again looked defensive. "What? I know it's a sensitive subject, but physical urges are perfectly healthy and like it or not, that kind of compatibility is important for a romantic relationship!"

"What the Hell does that mean?!"

"That it's not passionate romance without passion!"

"Yea? Then how have she and Adagio gotten as far as they did without doing it?"

"MEEP!!"

There was a lady-like scoff. "Well, they may not have formally combined yet, but-"

"That's formal? I mean, I know you write some fancy poems, but-"

"Oh, don't be so crass! As I was saying, those two might be relatively chaste for now, but if you were paying attention, there is clearly attraction!"

"Yea, well..." Rainbow didn't quite look sold. "What do you think, Flutter-"

Turning to look at her, they saw their mousiest friend dozily teetering back and forth where she sat, glowing red, steam rising out of her ears, and a big, dreamy smile on her face.

"Ha," Rarity said with a triumphant smirk while outstretching a hand, "pay up!"

Grumbling, Rainbow reached into her pocket, withdrew a few bills, then blinked, scowling. "Hey, wait a minute!"

Rarity laughed uproariously, barely composing herself enough to wipe away a tear. "I'm s-sorry, I do believe Sonata is r-rubbing off on me-hee-hee-hee!"

Even as she rolled her eyes, Rainbow couldn't help a little grin at the near-perfect reversal.

Author's Note:

Alternate titles:
Burning Passion
That Pesky Blood-Pressure
Three Girls Getting Uncomfortably Hot in a Room Together

But those sounded misleading. :applejackunsure:

Cliffhanger-ish chapter. Long Author's Notes. To start, I'm not moving to a three or four week schedule now, I just took a break from this story for a while and got started on this chapter on Thursday. I think it paid off!

Alrighty, so I wasn't nearly as clever as I thought if people guessed that Sonata was with Rarity and 'DoomPrism' was too obviously Rainbow playing with Aria. Just a few more chapters and I might have pulled off a genuinely startling reveal there. Congratulations, attentive readers, this is now every bit as suspenseful for me as it is for you. :twilightsheepish:

That said, I feel like having hints that fit together coherently enough for people to guess the story means I've done something right, at least better than just dumping stuff out of nowhere, no prior evidence of the sudden thing making it smell like a retcon.
*Still a little annoyed about what they did with Shining Armor, more-so about their tendency to keep doing it!*
It is just a little frustrating when I can't respond to certain comments one way or the other without risk of giving spoilers, so for all those (usually quite accurate) guess/theory/speculation comments I flat-out ignored all this time, I'm sorry. :fluttercry:

Anyway, I hadn't really intended Sonata's penchant for occasionally burning things and Rarity pretty much having a Frollo moment to be linked, but darned if it doesn't kinda fit. Actually, I thought the biggest hint would have been Sonata's offhand thoughts about how they could use new outfits (which someone did pick up on later!), if not the instant-strip technique that Fluttershy even commented she thought only Rarity knew how to do. Or, maybe the way she figured out how to put on the lingerie she occasionally makes Aria uncomfortable with?

Speaking of Aria, I'm guessing 'prism' was what gave it away? Many months ago, I just went with something that I thought only faintly suggested rainbows with the initial intent of revealing that Fluttershy (in her fantasy-fanatic phase) had been the one to help Rainbow come up with a sufficiently cool-sounding name early in their friendship, pre-Sunset Shimmer, which Rainbow kept ever since. At the time, I thought it sounded subtle. :derpyderp2:

Speaking of details, if it feels like this 'reveal' chapter is leaving a lot out, well...
Three guesses what one of the possible spin-offs will be. :trollestia:

Finally, It occurred to me that I haven't had Adagio say 'Oh, sea spray!' in forever. It's not that she quit using the phrase, there just hasn't been anything she felt 'Oh, sea spray!' about lately.

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