• 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 57: Interesting Meals

The week following the musical showcase proved very eventful.

CHS was surprised and worried to see the sirens suddenly happier than ever before, with Adagio strolling through the halls looking blissful and content, wearing an earnestly cute smile without even being aware of it. At least until she spotted a tempting teasing target, but even then, managed to restrain herself a little and always backed off when asked. Aria had lost a lot of her grumpy, standoffish demeanor, not quite smiling most of the time, but not scowling and glaring, either. This served to make her much more approachable, and with irregular moments of awkward babbling, even endearing to many, to her mild, pouty-faced chagrin. Sonata had gotten even more cheerful and excitable than ever, but the occasional dope-slap kept her from taking anything too far.

With the reason for all the tension between their groups essentially dissolved, the sirens and Rainbooms had planned on just greeting each other casually and being friendly whether people were watching or not, then explaining to anyone that asked that the Rainbooms had helped with the song. However, in the morning of the first school day after the showcase, the sirens were surprised by a warm welcome from someone none of them had even spoken to before.

Aria and Sonata stood back in quiet puzzlement as Ditzy Doo grabbed one of Adagio's hands, shaking it with both of her own as she excitedly babbled something about how their song was really good and even if she didn't understand all of words (harsh metal vocals and all), it made her want to jump up and down (which she did!). The faces of the other students in the hall betrayed a variety of responses, but to the sirens' surprise, only two or three out of a dozen were visibly worried.

Over the course of that day, it became increasingly clear that, not so differently from the case of Sunset Shimmer, the majority of CHS seemed to stop caring as much about all that these-girls-are-evil stuff once they'd seen the three of them do something 'awesome' in the form of a musical performance complete with eye-catching costumes and colorful pyrotechnics. Even if their rendition included heavy metal and no magical evil to vanquish, the irony was not lost on them. They didn't exactly have tons of new friends, but there were a lot more people that didn't seem to mind talking to them, all of whom proved to be genuine in their offers of congratulation and well-wishing, even when it came out that the sirens had their full singing voices again. If anyone ever noticed that this returned their magical musical accompaniment as well (albeit without mind-altering effects), they never said as much.

Some continued to fear and mistrust the sirens unconditionally, but such people were more than free to carry on with their lives under no actual threat. Two or three of the most cautious students strongly urged the Rainbooms to take action, which (as agreed upon in private) they responded as having done by helping the sirens with their song as an olive branch for having destroyed their voices and to let them enjoy the musical showcase like everyone else, whether they were 'good now' (Rainbow had even questioned exactly what that meant, receiving no answer) or not. This had the joint effect of establishing a reasonable connection between their groups and quieting the fearful rumors of a second Battle of the Bands happening. There was, as suspected, a clear presence of "Well, if the Rainbooms say you're okay..." in CHS once that came to light, but with how many had already embraced and welcomed the sirens of their own free will, it barely mattered most of the time.

To her credit, Trixie never once tried to farm popularity points by saying she was close with the sirens and could introduce anyone. If anything, she seemed careful and protective of them, and in the context of her own history with Adagio, no one really felt the need to ask why. There were occasional jokes about panties, but having gotten used to (or at least learned to weather) Adagio's teasing, Trixie usually shrugged them off.

Within days of the musical showcase, CHS as a whole had regained its peaceful, companionable atmosphere in full, with all suspicion and gossip of another threat against their school eventually dying off entirely as the sirens were finally welcomed on their own terms; given a chance for who they were, not who they knew. Most things, of course, remained much the same, such as Adagio and Fluttershy's meetings on the bench by the soccer field on weekday mornings.

Sitting very close together with Fluttershy's arms wrapped tightly around her, Adagio found herself wearing a slightly wry grin as they cuddled.

"Not that I'm complaining, but do you believe me yet when I say I'm really not upset about the false start just after our song?"

"I don't know," Fluttershy giggled as she nuzzled Adagio's shoulder, "I might need more time to be sure."

Though her smile didn't fade as relished the tender embrace, Adagio spoke softly. "You really have been a little extra affectionate lately, and with the way you've been looking at me, and the others, I don't think it's just out of love." The way Fluttershy's face contorted with quiet shame seemed like a bullseye. Now the smile faded a little, Adagio giving Fluttershy's hand a little squeeze. "We're not mad at you, you know we're not. I know we haven't had a big, formal, soul-bearing session about it so far, but if you think it'd help, I-"

Frowning, Fluttershy lifted her head to look her in the eye. "It may have only been a few minutes, but I know that hurt all of you. That the pain doesn't last for long doesn't make it okay to cause it, it-"

"It is if I forgive you, right?" She grinned a little wider as Fluttershy's eyes widened, saying the rest the second Fluttershy opened her mouth. "Will you let me?"

For several seconds, it was unclear to Adagio whether she'd said something very right or very wrong as Fluttershy's lips wobbled and her eyes watered, but the sudden (and slightly painful) increase in pressure around her ribcage as Fluttershy buried her face in Adagio's curls felt like a positive sign. She could have sworn she heard a muffled 'I'll respect your decision' in there too, which made her giggle. Gently rubbing circles on Fluttershy's back, she leaned back into her own fluff-cushion.

"You know, I spent the first... maybe four or five weeks that we knew each other just worried that I would inevitably scare you off, that either I'd push you too far one day or you'd get sick of me over time. Even when you said you'd let me do whatever I wanted, the fear didn't just vanish, and I worried often that sooner or later, I would go too far." She gently moved Fluttershy far back enough to be able to make eye-contact, offering a warm smile as she did. "Does any of that sound familiar?"

She got a nod, which she responded to by delicately brushing aside the hair partly obscuring Fluttershy's face. "I've treated you as though you were fragile many times, but you've proven more resilient than the girl that ran from spotlights in my memory. I know now that you won't tear off screaming or devolve into a blubbering heap if I cross a line somewhere, and..." Smiling somewhat self-consciously, she shrugged. "You've probably noticed that my own tolerance for pain is nothing to scoff at."

Fluttershy nodded. "I have, but I'd still rather you didn't hide it." She hadn't meant that to sound so accusing, but the guilty look on Adagio's face had her talking before she thought about what she was saying. "B-but I don't blame you! I know what you mean; how it's good that we, that anyone, could care about someone so much, to worry about hurting them and doing what they can to be careful and considerate, but if that goes too far, it can have the opposite effect. Trusting each other not to hurt us is fine, but not if we never trust each other enough to say anything when something is wrong, or when something hurts, whether it's by saying 'squirrel' or not!"

The two blushed a little in the following pause, but Adagio chuckled. "Indeed. I don't know if a safeword is necessary just for regular interactions, unless you're really into that kind of play," she smiled wider as Fluttershy flushed hotter, "but the same principle applies; you tell me when and if you need me to slow down or something and I'll tell you when I could use a break. Is that okay with you?" She nearly squeed as Fluttershy gave her a tiny, bashful, slightly wry smile with that precious, crimson face.

"Y-you're making fun of me now." Fluttershy felt her heart flip as Adagio shot her that adorably coy, playful look with a wink as she briefly stuck her tongue out.

"Maybe, but if I ever go too far...?"

Fluttershy hugged her tightly. "I'll let you know!"

Giggling merrily, the two cuddled on the bench together.



























"So, Sweetie, while we're on the subject, could you maybe restrain your hugs a little? I'm not sure all this pressure on my insides is healthy."

"Haha, s-sorry!"

---

It had become not terribly rare to see the sirens and Rainbooms all sitting at the same lunch table, but today wasn't one of those days. Ordinarily, Adagio would have just offered Trixie to join in too, because the tables were certainly long enough to accommodate a lot of people, but the big, beaming smile on Trixie's face when she asked to talk to them in relative private for a while was just too precious to decline. What Trixie had to share didn't necessarily need to be secret in any way, but it did only concern the three of them.

Sonata's eyes widened. "You talked to the drama club for us?"

"That's the best part," Trixie replied with a proud grin, "they talked to me! You guys remember Sophisticata, pretty much the one in charge? ...No? Well, she's pretty much the one in charge of the drama club, and at our club meeting, she brought up how you guys wanted in before, and even if I wasn't there when you tore into Indigo Wreath's writing abilities, the steady decline of interest and attendance for our original productions over the last year or so has made it pretty clear who was right about who being a hack."

The effort with which Aria restrained herself from making a smug smile had her looking as though she'd french-kissed a lemon, but Adagio gently pat her on the back as Trixie continued.

"We've all talked (and shouted a couple times) about it, and while the grammar issues had mostly been ironed out, our playwright conceded that he could stand to work on consistent characterization and maybe string scenes together in chronological order all the time, ideally while doing something to show the audience what actually connects said scenes. I bring this up because while we were making changes, Sophisticata asked me to talk to you guys about coming back!"

The sirens shared a look, Adagio raising an eyebrow. "Did she happen to say why she wanted us?"

Trixie made a face as though bracing for something painful, a hint of apology in her eyes as she delivered what she was pretty sure would be taken as bad news. "Wellll... Supposedly, it's to make up for how things went for you guys when you first came back to school, both in the club and in CHS in general, but I'm pretty sure it's also because people kinda-sorta like you now after that song and-" she made a proud, though fleeting little smile, "Trixie was lauded for her part, by the way- and they're hoping your newfound popularity will help boost interest in the drama club a little. No point in all that work if nobody comes to see, y'know? That, and it probably goes without saying that casting three of the prettiest girls in school will make at least a few more people wanna watch, so...? How're you guys feeling about this?"

Trixie got to watch a short, silent conversation among the sirens as they traded looks, Sonata the first to say anything out loud as she smiled hesitantly.

"It could be kinda fun."

Aria crossed her arms. "They just wanna use us, just like they're using Trixie to get us on board."

"Perhaps," nodded Adagio, "but in light of our own experiences, perhaps we could stand to give them the benefit of the doubt?"

Aria's mouth opened and closed a few times as she visibly went through her own arguments before settling on a disgruntled pout. "Fine, but..."

Sonata giggled. "I think it'll be okay. Oh, but, if we join, do we have to give back the witch hat we swiped?"

For the first time in a long time, Aria and Adagio facepalmed in unison. "Sonata!"

Trixie's eyes widened. "You stole from the drama club?"

Adagio raised an irritable eyebrow. "Didn't I see you in the cloak from the same outfit, well away from school grounds?"

"Ack! I, that, th-that was...!" Glancing around for a moment, Trixie wore a sheepish, guilty little grin. "...I won't tell if you won't?"

The four girls giggled, quietly agreeing to return the witch costume eventually, whether things worked out with the drama club or not.

---

Idly strumming his guitar while waiting in the music room, Flash Sentry looked up when he heard a quiet clack of heels against the floor. "Adagio. You said you wanted to talk to me?"

Secretly pleased that she had pulled off an audible, non-startling approach, Adagio nodded and smiled. "Yes. I wanted to thank you for what you've done for us, but I don't believe your services will be necessary anymore." As expected, he gave her a confused look.

"'Services'? What are you talking about?"

"There's no need to pretend anymore, I'm well aware of the, 'damage control,' I think you called it?" The nervous shift in his face was all but confirmation, drawing an amused chuckle, "And, while we're grateful for the help, I don't think we'll be needing it anymore."

Flash spent a few seconds working up some kind of denial, but as he could see in Adagio's eyes that it was written all over his face, he sighed, smiling a little in resignation. "It, sorta felt like the right thing to do, I guess. If Sunset probably-the-worst-bully-in-CHS-history Shimmer got another shot, it's only fair that you guys should too. Sorry I couldn't do more for any of you, but, uh..."

"It's alright, we're..." She shrugged. "I know we're not the easiest people to get along with in general, and even if you had befriended one or more of us personally, we'd have probably been accused to using you in the same way Sunset did anyway." She frowned. "And, on the topic of apologies, I never said anything about how I used you to get under Twilight's skin, did I?"

With a slightly rueful smile, Flash waved her off. "Don't worry about it. I've had several months of no contact whatsoever from her to think about it, and I'm pretty sure there's nothing between us at this point. I mean, it'd be kind of stupid to get all bent out of shape about a relationship that wasn't going anywhere anyway, right?"

Adagio shifted where she stood, still visibly contrite. "Perhaps, but knowing what I do now about how it feels to care for someone that much, I'd..." She lowered her eyes to the floor. "I'd like to say I wouldn't have done it anyway, but given the chance to regain our power, as I was, I don't know what would have been more important to me."

There was a short silence as Flash looked at Adagio, getting deja vu for the time Sunset delivered her own apologies. Adagio's were much, much shorter, but at least she wasn't crying, because he'd had no idea what to do when that happened. Absent-mindedly strumming his guitar, he smiled. "Y'know, I think I'm gonna try my hand at a song about not sweating the 'maybe's and 'what-if's in life. I'm sure it's been done before, but tons of songs out there aren't original, and I sorta feel like the reminder wouldn't hurt."

Seeing what he was really saying there, Adagio hesitantly looked up with a little smile. "Indeed. Hoping to sway a girl or two in the process?"

Shrugging, Flash showed her a slightly sheepish grin. "Why does any man pick up a guitar?"

Adagio's lips curled into a playful smirk. "A lack of endearingly oafish, nice-guy charm?"

He blinked twice. "Huh?"

Giggling, Adagio turned on a heel. "Nothing, nothing. Take care, Flash Sentry."

Leaving the music room, Adagio smiled to herself. She'd never dreamed she would find someone like Her Sweetie here at CHS, but she had entertained fantasies of fooling around with Flash, mainly to spite Twilight in some way. Hell, in a world in which she hadn't constantly been watched by most of the school and never connected with Fluttershy, maybe it even could have gone somewhere, but that world was not this one.

---

Gathered around the tables of Sugarcube Corner, the sirens, Rainbooms, Trixie, and quite a few others clinked sodas and milkshake glasses together in a toast to the long-awaited Finally Friends With The Sirens party, for which, Aria suspected, Pinkie had stopped just short of snorting raw sugar in preparation. Really, the only thing she'd have changed was the complete absence of alcoholic drinks. And maybe not have as many streamers. Come to think of it, if they had to have a cake, she'd have preferred one that didn't have so many bright colors and-

Whatever. They'll discover grown-up parties some day.

For now, Aria contented herself with an activity she had only been able to do with Rainbow up until recently; sharing stories of times with friends who weren't there and knew all the details already. "...So when Nata and I get back from making up with Squeaky, Dagi's finished the game (it's kinda short), moved the couch so it's facing the front door when we walk in, and she's leaning back on it with one leg folded over the other, wearing a creepy rooster mask as she says 'Well, look who it is...'"

Being familiar with Direct Phoneline Florida, Rainbow and Applejack both laughed. Still smiling, Applejack shook her head. "Ah guess she couldn't find a donkey mask fer that part?"

"I don't think so, but, there's only one of her and three characters, so she wasn't gonna be able to do that part right anyway."

At another table, Sonata was doing something similar, but on a bit of a sweeter note as she grinned. "And like, Dagi learning to cook makes it a three-way thing!"

Fluttershy, still on cool-down from a particularly intimate (and public!!) moment with Adagio earlier in the party, giggled. "It's so nice that all of you found something the others can enjoy too."

"Yes," Rarity said uncertainly, "though while I think I see the appeal of cutesy doodles hung on the fridge (Sweetie Belle used to do something similar in an effort to make my fabrics prettier, which was adorable at the time), how does Aria playing games help either of you?"

"Uhmm...?" Sonata scratched her head. "Well, it's like, some games are complicated or frustrating or just kinda crap, and Aria likes figuring them out and telling us where the good stuff is so we can just play, forget the day, and pass the time." She smiled. "I don't think any of us did it on purpose, but I'm glad it worked out this way."

Fluttershy smiled brightly. "Me too."

Not far from them, Sunset sat with Adagio and Trixie, grinning brightly as she vocalized a question she'd been wishing she could ask for months. "How's non-outcast life been treating you, Adagio?"

"Quite well," she replied through a chuckle, "almost no sense of anyone wanting me gone all week."

Sunset stopped smiling. "'Almost'?"

"Don't worry," Trixie said while giving Adagio a playful nudge, "this scoundrel's only problem has been people that don't want to play her games."

"Oh," Sunset sighed in relief, "that's, good, I guess. No trouble with the drama club so far?"

Adagio giggled, shooting Sunset a slightly wry smile. "If I didn't know better, I would think you were looking for disaster."

Shrugging, Sunset smiled sheepishly. "Seems like there's always at least one bad thing going on, y'know? With how well things have been going, I'm half-expecting someone get abducted or something."

The smile became a smirk. "Been thinking about abduction lately, hm?"

Blink. "Huh?"

"A lone victim taken without warning, bound and at the mercy of their captors..." She winked. "Don't worry, it's a reasonably common kink." Adagio had earnestly planned to stop there, but then Sunset's eyes widened and Trixie pointed to Sunset and said something silly. Loudly.

"You have a kidnapping fetish?!"

That got the attention of most of the room, which a blushing Sunset did her best to defuse. "N-no!! I was just saying 'what if', y'know?!"

Rarity, eyes wide, looked directly at Sunset. "'What if' what, Darling?"

Realizing that the rest of the room was missing a very important piece of context as Adagio started snickering, Sunset stood up and did her best to explain. "We were talking about bad things happening!" If anything, she only got more judging stares for this, making her glow even brighter. "A-actually bad things, the tragic kind!"

She heard people whisper.

"Tragic?"
"Sounds like something heavy."
"Is she even old enough for that stuff?"
"She's supposed to be older than all of us, right?"
"And she's from Equestria, same as Adagio..."
"They must be into some intense stuff over there..."

Seeing that she was only making it worse, Sunset covered her face with both hands, groaned, and sank into her seat. She didn't feel any better when she heard Trixie giggle, though she peered through her fingers to find an apologetic smile on the magician's face.

"Well... Sorry about that. If it helps, you're not the only one thought to have had extremely unusual sexual proclivities, and I can tell you the worst of it goes away after a week or two."

"Thanks. Thanks so much." Even if she was trying to keep it down, Adagio's giggling drew a scowl as Sunset's eyes narrowed in faux menace. "You started this."

"Guilty," she admitted with a cheeky grin, "but you took it so much further than I would have." She reigned herself in enough to make a completely straight face. "Although, if you'd rather I didn't...?"

Letting out a quiet sigh, Sunset shook her head and smiled. "Nah. I know you don't mean any harm with it, and if anything, I always thought it was a little weird that you used to totally ignore me." The way Adagio flinched, frowned, and turned her head away sent a guilty twinge through Sunset's chest, but luckily, Trixie spoke up and wrapped a friendly arm across Adagio's shoulders.

"Mileage may vary, but Trixie much prefers friendly ribbing to complete shutting-out."

Still avoiding eye-contact with anyone, Adagio guiltily fidgeted in place. "Sorry. In hindsight, I think giving you two the cold shoulder, no matter the reason, was a mistake, but if that was how people treated us when we returned, I thought...?"

Thinking back, Sunset knew exactly what she meant. That had not been a fun stretch of months, and if not for her friends, she'd have probably closed herself off from everyone else too, let them hate her while hating them all right back, so she could hardly begrudge Adagio for thinking along similar lines. In fact, she was pretty sure she felt a group hug coming on, scooching her chair over to hug Adagio too!

Embraced by the two girls, one she used to despise and the other she'd been certain despised her, Adagio melted, the heart-vice offering only a warm, gentle squeeze for once as she hugged the two of them back. Then she felt another, less gentle squeeze by an additional pair of arms wrapping around the three of them.

"Ack, Pinkie," Sunset strained, "we've talked before about the importance of lungs! Loosen up a little, please!"

"Heehee, sorry!"

Before Adagio knew it, some kind of summoning spell had been triggered and half the room (including the rest of the Rainbooms, Sonata, and a slightly begrudging Aria) was joining in on the increasingly dogpile-like hug, even knowing that she was at the center! Not that she was surprised that people might want to be physically close to her, but for different reasons this time! She was just about to ask if this was a regular occurrence at Rainboom parties when she felt something wriggling through her hair and another pair of arms wrapping around her midsection, Fluttershy's smiling face popping out of her hair to rest on her shoulder.

"...Hi!"

"Hehe! Hi, Sweetie."

Seeing those two get all flirty and publicly affectionate, Sonata had an idea. She turned to look at one of her fellow huggers. "Hey Rarity, wanna be a couple?"

Rarity's jaw dropped and her face flushed. "I, I-I, that's very direct for such a-"

"I'm taking that as a yes! I'll get some punch," she said as she quickly freed herself from the group hug, leaning in to kiss Rarity on the cheek, "MMMMWAH!" and bounded off, presumably towards the snack table.

Snacks sounded good to a lot of people right then, so the hug mostly dispersed, with Rarity in particular needing some room to cool down as a new wave of excitable whispers started up.

Lightly elbowing Aria while looking in the direction Sonata had gone, Rainbow chuckled. "Works fast, doesn't she?"

"Pfft," Aria scoffed in accordance with the act, "I give it a week."

Still cuddled into Adagio's hair, Fluttershy whispered into her ear. "S-so, speaking of being direct, um..."

"Yes," Adagio answered with a smirk, "you may rest your hands anywhere you wish."

"Eep! N-not that, I, uh, w-wanted to ask-"

"Permission to strip your own clothes off as long as you're hiding in my hair anyway? Well, I won't stop you if-"

"Not that either!"

"Fine, I'll take my clothes off and-"

"Adagio!!"

She giggled. "Alright," she asked softly, "what did you want to say?"

Fluttershy took a breath, but to her equal pride and relief, didn't need very long. "Are you d-doing anything this Saturday?"

Adagio smiled.

---

"This... is... interesting. Not bad, mind, but how did you find this place?"

Fluttershy giggled. "I spent some time looking into restaurants in the area to find somewhere different, and this one really stuck out."

It was true; the building was even kind of slanted and painted with bright, cheery colors, making The Face-Stuffporium hard to miss. That wasn't the reason she wanted to take Adagio here, however, it was what she'd heard about the menu. Apparently, the place was owned by an eccentric billionaire that wanted to see all different kinds of foods available in one place, from local favorites, to exotic dishes, to completely unorthodox mixtures like chocolate-covered pancakes and cute little sculptures made of fruit and breadsticks, and even things the customers make up themselves!

She wasn't sure how they managed all this in one building, but it meant that as long as she could keep thinking of new things (or at least finding things that sounded appetizing on the Popular Requests menu), she'd never run out of new things to feed Adagio! That was what allowed her to witness the analytical face as Adagio chewed frosting-dipped peanuts and chicken nuggets seasoned with honey.

"So, you remember that scare-prank channel I told you Nata set up? The one with the video chatrooms?"

"Yes?"

"She shut it down this morning. Apparently, she made a video to tell her viewers that she just isn't feeling it anymore, explained to thousands of anonymous strangers that she had been scaring people as a means to vent her frustrations with life in general, and things had changed enough for her that she didn't want to do it anymore." There was a pause as Fluttershy stared back at her. She shrugged. "I thought you might be happy to hear it; someone deciding not to torment other people for giggles anymore?"

"Oh!" She smiled. "Well, y-yes, I guess that's nice."

Nodding, Adagio smiled too. "I could certainly see where she was coming from, because I hardly remember the last time I went around looking for victims like I used to, and the compulsion has practically vanished. I think life has been calmer for all three of us," her eyes went half-lidded, but there was an unmistakable air of genuine warmth and affection rather than just playful malice, "and we owe nearly all of it to you." Using a crazy straw bent to form a square in the middle, she took a long sip of a partially-melted rootbeer float as Fluttershy smiled bashfully.

"I-I guess I helped."

She'd been worried Fluttershy would let her modesty have her insist it was all her friends or that the sirens did it themselves, but it was delightful to see her willing to at least acknowledge her own victories. However, when Adagio tried to say this, she was interrupted by a high-pitched "Hic!"

There was a pause as Fluttershy stared at her. Adagio cleared her throat. "I-hic!"

Fluttershy smiled brightly, stars in her eyes as she touched both hands to her cheeks. "That is the cutest little sound!"

Rolling her eyes, Adagio blushed. "Well, gla-hic! glad you think so, but if it's all-Hic! all the same to you, I'd ra-Hic! rather do without it." She took a long drink of a cold, sugary slurry (something like a blend of ice cream and one of the candies Fluttershy had once shared with her) in the hopes of curing her hiccups. When she set down the cup, they waited.

"...Hic!"

Fluttershy giggled, but gasped when a worrying thought struck her. "Wait, i-it sounds like, from before, when your voices were all high and squeaky sometimes, I thought-"

Adagio cut her off with a few short, perfect notes, at least until she was cut off by another "Hic!" She shrugged. "My singing voi-hic! voice is fine, Sweetie, I-hic! think I've just always had high-pitched hic-hic!-ups."

"Oh..." Fluttershy smiled. "Well, that's a r-"

"Hic!"

"-relief."

"Hic! ...Right. Know any remedies?"

"...Well," Fluttershy asked with a sheepish little grin, "do we have to cure it right away?"

Adagio shot her an amused smirk. "While I'm glad you're-hic! speaking up when you want somethi-hic! something, I'd really rather be able to breathe normally again."

"Hehe! Okay, um... I've heard that-"

"Hic!"

"I've-"

"Hic!"

"..."

"..."

"Holding your breath might work."

Adagio inhaled deeply and held it for a worryingly long time, but when she exhaled, the hiccups were back in seconds.

"Okay, um..." She glanced around the table. "Maybe just eating something?"

Adagio sampled a little of everything on the table at various speeds, including the rest of the rootbeer float that caused her predicament, but try as they might, the two couldn't get rid of her hiccups even when they had eaten nearly everything.

"Umm..." Fluttershy glanced around her side of the table. "I think I dropped my spoon a few minutes ago, one moment please."

"Take your-hic! time."

Fluttershy did just that, disappearing from view as she went rooting around for the missing utensil. Adagio wasn't sure it was necessary, because as with the salt shakers, the owners probably wouldn't even notice the thing was gone, nevermind the high chances that the establishment's cleaning staff would find it, but Her Sweetie was certainly a good girl.

That reminds me, I should-

"Hic!"

-come up with another-

"Hic!"

-task for her. If I could find a private enough spot, would she be willing to dance in-

Adagio jumped in her seat, cut off not by another hiccup, but a loud gasp as a brief, but thought-shattering sensation under the table seized her attention. Eyes wide, heart pounding, and face burning, Adagio glanced around, relieved not to see much of anyone else in their area of the building at this time of night, but the few that were present still turned to look at her for a moment. When Fluttershy finally resurfaced, she was blushing just as brightly, a bashful smile glued to her sweet little face.

"Um... I-I've heard, doing something scary or surprising can get rid of hiccups, s-so, uh... d-did that work?" She tried to focus on hearing the answer, but the sight of Adagio Dazzle flushed and fidgeting was increasingly hard to ignore.

"I, y-you, that..." Her mind a scrambled mess of shock, some kind of pride in Her Sweetie's boldness, and a pervasive heat throughout her body, Adagio was distantly aware that the hiccups had stopped, but struggled to compose herself enough to say so.

Forcing herself to look away, Fluttershy cleared her throat. "W-we should, um, a-ask for the check. I think."

This time, Fluttershy remembered her wallet.

---

On the way home, Fluttershy was having a very, very hard time not looking at Adagio, who kept a fairly even gait despite still being as red as when they left The Face-Stuffporium.

"You should be proud, Sweetie," giggled Adagio, "doing that in public, and all on your own!" Smirking playfully, she nudged Fluttershy's shoulder. "Bad girl."

"Haha, y-yes, um..." While she hadn't gotten any less rosy herself, she was worried she'd trip over something while quietly basking in the glow of her flustered girlfriend. "But, uh, a-are you okay?"

Still smiling, Adagio loosed a quiet sigh. "I'll be fine, Sweetie, just need to, er..." She shrugged. "Well, either take care of myself at home or take a long, cold shower. Or," she said with a cheeky smirk, "maybe I'll just have some interesting dreams?" She cackled as Fluttershy seized up where she stood and blushed even brighter, but even if they were practically on the doorstep to Fluttershy's house, she didn't quite feel right in leaving Fluttershy stuck in her fantasies by herself at night. Not that she minded hanging around to witness the adorable sight of Her Sweetie blushing and quietly babbling to herself! Then she heard something that caught her attention.

"...we c-could, I mean, if you wanted to..."

Adagio smiled sympathetically. "Sweetie, you don't have to-" She jumped a little when Fluttershy, her hair hiding her eyes as she looked down, quickly seized her wrist in both hands.

"...S-said we'd agree, t-to, um... not be afraid of each other, not to be afraid of hurting each other." She gave a small, gentle tug towards her house, like a kitten pulling at a dangling string. "I'm glad you respect my l-limits and try to take care of me, but, uhm, I-I know you have limits too, and I want to take care of you too." She hesitantly looked up, blushing all the way to the ears. "S-so, let me... t-take care of you."

Feeling a fire light in her belly as Fluttershy's increasingly longing eyes traced over her, Adagio found herself wearing a slightly nervous grin. "I-if you're sure you-"

She was pulled across the lawn, through the door, and into Fluttershy's bedroom so quickly that she wasn't even sure how many times her feet touched the floor, hearing something like "EversinceIsawyoushakingyourhipsinthecafeteria,yesI'msure!!" before being thrown on a bed with a heap of stuffed animals.

---

A little later that night, lying next to a sweat-soaked, messy-haired, and utterly spent Fluttershy, Adagio slowy opened one eye, smiling as she looked over her unconscious lover. "Poor little thing," she whispered while gently booping her nose, "all tuckered out."

Fluttershy had worked very hard, though, and, bless her little heart, wouldn't let her many inexperienced, awkward, hilarious attempts at being sexy deter her, even when Adagio couldn't stop herself from laughing out loud. In her defense, Fluttershy had been tickling her at the time. Reaching around in her own hair without disturbing Fluttershy, she had to search for a minute or two to find her phone, turning the ringtone all the way down before doing anything else.

[Nata, tell Ria I'll be home later in the morning. Possibly the afternoon.]

A moment later, her screen lit up with a notification from Sonata.

[BOOYAH!]

Adagio giggled.

---

When she awoke the next morning, aching all over, Fluttershy made herself a promise:

I need to start joining the sirens in their work-outs. At this rate, I'll never be strong enough!

Author's Note:

"Strong enough for what," you may ask? Find out in the epilogue. :trollestia:

More Tell, not Show for the first part, because those scenes wouldn't have been particularly fun and I'd rather move on to the cute/silly/occasionally-heart-warmy bits whenever possible.

You might have guessed it from passing moments of a few CHS students, but there actually were those that were willing to come to talk to the sirens like they were normal human beings, it's just that they were held back from doing so by more cautious friends. As we see in the first ten minutes of Friendship Games, even the Magic of Friendship isn't immune to peer pressure.

Someone once said that the couple's biggest problem was, I think, being too afraid of hurting each other, and I think I agree, enough so to address it with a scene of them trying to work that out.
Disregard likes/dislikes, comments are my candy. :raritystarry:

I kind of like the idea of a teasing Adagio pairing up with an awkward Flash, but I have way too many stories as it is. At best, I might make a Stories I'll (Probably) Never Write post about it. :applejackunsure:

For anyone that ever gets the hiccups and isn't allergic to peanuts, I heartily recommend chewing a big glob of peanut butter. I'm not entirely sure how it works, just that it disrupts your breathing, and peanut butter is pretty tasty anyway. :pinkiehappy:

The original plan for the deflowering was to have it take place in park under the stars, which I later changed to a quiet, grassy grove behind Fluttershy's house or something, but as with the sirens-play-instruments solution, I didn't want to use something I'd never so much as hinted at for such an important event in the story, and wasn't quite sure about the validity of doing that outside, at night, with no preparation whatsoever. :applejackunsure:

The epilogue is up next, at which point I'll mark the story 'Complete,' but there'll still be the bonus chapters added at random, starting with the history lesson between Adagio and Twilight.

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