• 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 43: Pillow Talk

With the help of Flash Sentry, Adagio's day actually started on a high note. He smiled and greeted her like absolutely nothing was out of place in first period. She returned the grin and the greeting, feeling cautiously optimistic for the day ahead even as the rest of her classmates offered only confused, scared, and worried stares. She didn't return those, but smiling at them didn't do her any immediate favors either.

Not a problem. We'll just ride it out.

---

It hurt a little that Adagio found herself more or less back where she started in terms of holding the door open in second period, with several seconds of hesitant shuffling and suspicious looks. This was after they'd just walked through with no problem only yesterday. Even so, Adagio kept her small smile and waited patiently for the frightened sheep she called classmates to remember that she'd never done them any harm with this. It was while she was trying to determine whether or not thinking of those she eventually hoped to befriend in such terms was detrimental that Trixie approached her with a very severe expression.

"What's going on with you?"

Adagio kept an innocent smile. "Hm?"

"Don't give me that! The clothes, the door-holding, the smiling at people, all of that was weird even before you went all demon-possessed in the middle of class yesterday! What. Is. Going. On." There was a heavy pause as Trixie's eyes narrowed. "...Question. Mark."

The last part drew an amused snort, which transitioned to giggles as Adagio shot her an apologetic grin. "What, that? I just got a little drowsy and had a bad dream. I posed for Art again just before and being a muse-" she brushed a hand through her hair for effect, "-takes a lot out of me."

Trixie continued to stare at her, as if hoping to drill answers out of her eyes by boring into them with her own, but Adagio just kept smiling. They remained standing there even when the warning bell rang, Trixie with her inquisitive stare, Adagio with her amicable grin, locked in a fierce match of Tardiness Chicken, but Adagio remained unfettered by thoughts of not getting to third period on time.

Who knows, maybe that would be a sign that I was 'back to normal' as far as CHS was concerned.

Eventually, Trixie stomped one foot while making an (adorably) irritated noise and ran off, leaving Adagio free to...

Sigh.

...face Sunset Shimmer for the day.

---

The teacher didn't even remark on her coming in late. She stopped and stared at her for a second, but didn't say a word as Adagio came in and took her seat next to Sunset, carrying on with the lesson like nothing had happened. Sunset proved she wasn't willing to risk getting either of them in trouble by talking in class, but the worried glances didn't go unnoticed. Luckily for Adagio, it wasn't a group-work day, though Sunset's prying stares did make her feel just a little guilty.

---

Whispers and glances. Whispers and glances. There was a weird kind of nostalgia to it, almost, the way Adagio could experience roughly the same thing now as she and the others had when they first arrived, which made it easier to keep wearing a smile. The difference was that now, not everyone was doing it, which made it much easier to hold out hope that things would die down again.

She wondered if Aria and Sonata were getting the same treatment.

---

"Nah," Sonata said through a bite of corndog, "been purdy normal fer me."

"Same," added Aria, "not getting any more weird looks than usual on my end."

Unable to resist the bait, Sonata swallowed her mouthful and smirked. "Ohh, I'm sure your end gets plenty of looks!"

Her eyes widening, Aria blushed, then scowled. "Shut up, Sonata."

She coyly looked away. "Did you ever notice how the table behind us is full of boys? Food for thought."

Aria resisted the urge to turn around. "S-so?"

Grinning viciously, Sonata sing-songed. "Sooo, if you didn't wear such tight pa-aaaants..."

Flushing a deeper crimson, Aria lowered her head, tugging on the back of her vest with one hand in the vain hope of covering up a little more. "I hate you."

Sonata giggled, but the two of them looked across the table to find Adagio restrained to a little grin of amusement. Some part of Aria was grateful not to be hit with another teasing tag-team, but the rest of her was worried.

"So, maybe things are still shaky, but it hasn't even been a full day yet."

Lacking better, more comforting ideas, Sonata offered a warm smile. "It'll be okay, Dagi."

Knowing that at least Aria and Sonata weren't being dragged into this too lessened the effort it took to keep smiling herself. "Yes, I'm sure it will. Just have to be... patient."

---

Adagio had never felt awkward about a teacher wanting to talk to her alone before, but Magnet had proven himself to be a very odd man. He'd waited for her out in the hall before Art started to humbly thank her for committing so much to The Arts that she would literally collapse from exhaustion soon after. It was with a slightly wry smile that she thanked him for promising to make sure she was feeling up to it before he asked her to lend her talents again.

---

It really was a rare day, because Adagio had to stop and take a breath before walking into eighth period. Heads turned, faces were made, and the room was deadly quiet apart from her heels on the floor until she took her seat. Not even Pinkie Pie was saying anything. Adagio chose to ignore it, but even Harshwhinny was just a little off when she came in. Still, she carried on, class started like normal, and soon it was like Adagio wasn't even in the room.

Progress!

...

I think.

---

"Wow," remarked Rainbow, "you actually mowed the grass out here!"

Applejack tried to keep the pride out of her voice as she observed her friends taking in the sight of the area around the picnic table on the outer area of Sweet Apple Acres, primarily the freshly-cut grass. "Ah had a bit'a time and figured if we were meetin' out here more than once, Ah ought'a spruce up a bit."

Rarity seemed particularly pleased as everyone sat down. "And a lovely job of it you've done!"

When discussion of that just-mowed-lawn smell passed, Rainbow looked at Fluttershy. "So, let's have it. You said you'd tell us what was going on with Adagio when we got somewhere private, and even Aria told me we should ask you."

"Miss D-err, S-Sonata told me only that she was having trouble sleeping, which, frankly, was already quite obvious by then." It was to her great relief that none of her friends asked about the slip-up.

Fluttershy cleared her throat and explained what Adagio had explained to her, but left out the list of possible causes that drove Adagio's rant, as well as the notion that the sirens could have taken revenge any time they liked. She said they wouldn't, and Fluttershy believed her, so there was no sense in making anyone worry. She hadn't gotten to the things the sirens had tried to alleviate Adagio's problem before Sunset rested her face in both hands, propped up with her elbows on the table.

Leaning over to get a better look, Pinkie frowned and asked very, very softly. "Sunny? You okay?"

Sunset shook her head. "I knew it," she said in a strained voice, "I knew something was wrong, but she never..." She took a few breaths as those sitting close to her placed comforting hands on her back and shoulders. "Alright, I'm... I'm alright, just..." She looked at Fluttershy through faintly watery eyes. "You said that not even Aria and Sonata knew until yesterday, right?" She got a nod. "Okay, that's... that's a bit better, I guess. It's not that she didn't trust any of us, it's that she didn't trust anyone."

Fluttershy opened her mouth, but Rarity spoke faster.

"She never took you up on your regular offers for help, should she need it? Did any of them?"

"No, but..." Sunset gave Fluttershy a hopeful look. "They're asking now, right?"

"Mmhm. They've already tried a few things, but I told her I would ask you all for advice, so..." Internally, she tensed at the thought of having to tell Adagio she hadn't come up with a single thing if no one had any suggestions. "...W-well, um... any ideas?" She never would have expected that Pinkie Pie would be the first to come up with ways to fall asleep.

"Easy, just tell her to read something really, really boring while lying down, preferably somewhere comfy!"

Rainbow raised an eyebrow. "Isn't that how you said you study for tests?"

"Hey, we're not talking about me here!"

There were giggles as Rainbow shook her head, smiling wryly as she looked back to Fluttershy. "Tips for dozing off, huh? Some good exercise usually wears me out."

"I'm afraid she's already tried that one."

Pinkie grinned. "What about meds?"

"That too."

Rarity made a sour face, as though she'd just seen a Hawaiian shirt. "Honestly, pharmaceuticals tend to be so unreliable anyway, even if there aren't nasty side-effects. What about getting a massage shortly before bed?"

Applejack tilted her head. "What, on a nightly basis? Fer the rest of her life? That'd run up a bill pretty high, don'tcha think?"

Making a somewhat sheepish face, Rarity shrugged. "Well, heavenly as that would surely be, I don't think it'd need to go that long, just until she learned to relax again. It's probably stress doing this to her in the first place."

"She didn't say anything about massages," noted Fluttershy, "so I guess I could at least bring it up." She turned to Applejack, but got two upraised palms.

"Don' look at me, Ah usually get to sleep just hittin' the hay."

When Fluttershy looked at her, Sunset smiled. "Well, you guys probably remember my own little struggle with insomnia. Has she tried warm milk?"

"Yes."

"Heh, didn't work for me either. Having someone tuck her in?"

"It sounded like it, yes."

"Just getting comfortable and staying still?"

"Every night."

"Hypnosis?"

"No effect."

"An extended chat about her feelings with someone she trusts? That was the one that did it for me." It was how I finally got to laugh back at that stupid painting, too, if only for a little while.

Fluttershy's mouth opened, closed, then formed a smile. "We actually talked a little this morning, but I'll propose the idea to her in full. Does anyone have any other ideas?" A slow survey of the table provided no further suggestions, but she smiled anyway. "I see. Well, thank you all very much for the help, I'm sure we'll figure out something."

From there, a pleasant time was had before everyone headed home, Fluttershy doing so with a strong sense of purpose.

---

"So those are all the ideas they came up with?"

"Uh-huh! Which one would you like to try first?"

"Hrmmm..."

The other line was silent for a moment, but looking at the notepad in front of her as she sat on her bed, Fluttershy went down the list of options again in case Adagio asked.

"Well, we talked a little about how I felt earlier today, right? Was that enough, or do we need to go deeper?"

Fluttershy smiled. "Would you like to?"

"Uh... I, I don't..." She let out what sounded like an abashed giggle. "What, do I just, talk about my feelings? Is it really that simple?"

"That was the one that helped Sunset after the Fall Formal. Just say anything that comes to mind, we can talk about anything you want."

"Alright, um... How do you feel about being tied up?"

Eyes growing to the size of saucers, Fluttershy choked on air as she burned red. "Wh-wh-wheeze!-WHAT?!" The scary part was that Adagio had asked without a hint of her usual seductive tones.

"You alright, Sweetie?"

"Y-yes, I'm... I-I'm fine, b-but... t-tied up?"

"Recreationally, I mean. It's odd, I really don't like feeling defenseless in general, but under the right circumstances, having my arms pinned behind my back is kind of-"

"Eep!" Her phone emitted slightly tinny giggles.

"You said I could talk about anything, Sweetie."

"Y-yes," she forced herself to say despite the luminous protest of her cheeks, "I did, and I.... Gulp! I m-meant it!" This was all so she could sleep. They'd already discussed how she felt about the sirens' situation at school, and if this was something Adagio wanted to get off her chest, Fluttershy would hear her out! "Wh-what do you l-like about b-being... t-t-tied up?" To her relief, the reply didn't immediately fluster her further.

"Uhmm... I, I guess that's what I'm wondering. I don't get worked up at the sight of handcuffs, and being helpless by itself still sounds awful, even frightening. Still, I'm not completely turned off by the idea, so... I suppose I'd like to weigh it against someone else's feelings on the subject. Your thoughts?"

Heart thudding in her chest, Fluttershy swallowed. "Well..."

It proved to be a long, embarrassing night, but she learned some interesting things.

---

The panda alarm clock was all but slammed in fury, something Fluttershy might have felt worse about if it weren't made of hard plastic.

"I'm going to start setting you five minutes later," she grumbled at it while getting up, "maybe even just sleep in one of these days..."

Today was Friday, so maybe that was what she'd do tonight. Maybe. But then the animals at the shelter would be waiting for her and-

Oh, darnit!!

---

Fluttershy frowned. "It didn't help at all?"

Shrugging, Adagio averted her eyes. "Well, we stayed up for about half as long as I usually lie awake anyway and I didn't fall asleep until a while after, so... Did we do it wrong? Were we supposed to talk about something else? Because come to think of it, the four of us got everything out in the open in that first talk with Sunset."

Oh, Fluttershy thought to herself, I forgot about that... I guess that won't work, but she doesn't look exhausted.

She was still wearing the dark eyeliner, of course, but with the bags wholly concealed, Fluttershy wouldn't have even guessed she hadn't slept well. "Um... h-how much sleep do you usually get a night?"

"It varies. Why?"

"It's just, you always seem pretty lively, even late in the day. How do you keep your energy up on so little sleep?"

"In addition to the coffee I drink in the mornings and whatever I can get sneaking into the teachers' lounge (someone in there has a talent for coffee, by the way), I..." She grinned coyly, already enjoying the nervous, yet nearly expectant look this drew from Fluttershy. "Well, do you remember what we were talking about last night?"

"Y-yes...?"

Leaning in closer, Adagio gave her a half-lidded look. "Particularly on the topic of... witnesses?"

"Wh-what?! We didn't talk abou-" She was shushed when Adagio touched a finger to her lips, so lightly that Fluttershy almost leaned in a little more for reasons she was barely aware of.

"Mmm," she purred, "don't remember?" Snaking her other hand around to Fluttershy's back, she tenderly drew her fingertips up her spine. Along with the usual flush of warmth, this drew delightful little shivers and a shuddering gasp. "That's fine, I'm sure they-" she nodded to something behind Fluttershy, "-can tell you all about it."

Fluttershy's head whipped around so fast, she worried she'd pulled something in her neck, but looking around, no one was there. Even more surprisingly, Adagio hadn't vanished when she looked back, instead sitting right where she'd been and holding a phone in-

kchck!

Snickering, Adagio turned the phone around so Fluttershy could see the picture of herself. "That pwecious widdle face? Just one of many that kept me going during the day." It made her smile wider when Fluttershy blinked very slowly, her adorably confused expression magnified by a slightly slack jaw.

"...Wuh?"

Adagio cackled, transitioning to merry giggles as she reached out to hug Fluttershy's head close to her chest. This elicited an entirely different, yet equally welcome reaction out of her target, whose glowing face and nervous babbling tickled her all the more. When her laughter died down, she let Fluttershy go, though this only had her flop down on Adagio's lap.

Aww, poor thing. Suppose I may have overdone it again.

Not sure how to rouse her without risk of flustering her further, Adagio contented herself with gently stroking Fluttershy's hair for a few minutes, which may have at least helped to calm her down.

Her head now resting against Adagio's thigh (for the second time!!), Fluttershy felt faint, not sure how to process the realization of one of her long-awaited dreams. Panic crackled through her heart like jellyfish venom as she awaited the panda alarm clock, but this time, she actually remembered how she came to be here. That was how she knew she had to separate herself from those long, smooth curves, even as she dared hope they'd one day be reunited again. She sat up straight again, steadying herself by pushing the last few minutes to the area of her mind labeled 'Diary Storage.'

"S-so, um... I'm afraid I don't understand, what is it that helps you stay awake?"

Chuckling, Adagio shrugged. "I'm not entirely sure myself, but I can tell you this: I may not get as much sleep as I'd like most nights, but when I'm playing with someone really reactive? I don't feel tired." She quickly held up a hand. "And before you say anything, yes, the days might have gotten a little harder to get through since our last deal, but even if I could spend all day riling up whoever I wanted, I'd still be lying awake half the night." She smiled when the guilty consternation visibly drained out of Fluttershy's face just as quickly as it had come. "Besides," she breathed, reaching out to delicately brush her fingertips along Fluttershy's jawline, "I'll sleep a lot better knowing I'm not doing anything to upset you." She capped it off with a wink. "Okay?"

Struck equally by the light touch and the romantic sentiment, Fluttershy let out a long, blissful sigh, melting where she sat with a big, dopey smile on her face.

---

When she came to, Adagio was gone, but her phone's cheerful ringtone informed her that she had a new message.

[What worked for Sunset Shimmer might not have worked for me, but I'll be ready to try any method you can think of. See you soon, Sweetie! <3]

Fluttershy smiled brightly, but before she could think about replying, she got another message.

[Oh, and to show my appreciation, here's something to keep YOU going during the day...]

When she scrolled down, Fluttershy's jaw nearly dropped right off. This was a picture of Adagio from the faint curves of abs in her stomach down to the tops of her taut, muscular thighs, hips cocked, and wearing nothing but a tight, tiny thong.

[Remember our trip to the mall? I found this and thought of you.]

Fluttershy had to use the nearby drinking fountain to cool her head. What she hadn't considered was the effect her wet hair might have on her classmates, namely freaking a lot of people out by looking like a pink-haired onryo. Ms. Inkwell actually used this to center the day's lesson on Japanese ghost stories, saying the school could use more culture anyway. The added attention had Fluttershy hiding in her hair the whole time, but she got extra credit for an accurate portrayal of the evil spirit, somehow. Rarity (who scolded her a little for soaking her head just before school) helped straighten her out again between first and second period, though her mind still wandered.

I wonder what Adagio looks like with wet hair...

Author's Note:

I was tempted to name this chapter "Pink and Wet," but that might have been misleading. Instead, I spent at least forty minutes coming up with something less innuendo-y. Yes, "Pillow Talk" was one of the cleanest things I came up with. It's amazing what sounds tastelessly dirty (or just really dumb) when you're thinking too hard. :applejackunsure:

You know how Magnum (which I think is actually his name), Rarity's tourist father, always wears Haywaiian shirts? Probably didn't help, growing up.

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