• 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 7: Inside-Out Jelly Chunks

She wanted to walk with as much confidence as Adagio some day, but who was to say she couldn't at least give it a try?

Every day, Fluttershy took a route from her History to English classes with little to no people, cutting through the gym, which was always empty at that time. Even though the path she chose was longer, moving through less-crowded hallways granted her more time to get to classes than walking near so many other students did, or even brushing past them when things got desperate. Keeping a brisk pace just the same, Fluttershy had time to think, debating with herself whether or not to do what she was thinking, fear that she would get caught weighed against the specifications of the large, empty, windowless room she'd be walking through in roughly thirty seconds.

Two years and three months she'd been using the gym as a shortcut to get around the bulk of the student body, and in all that time there were maybe two instances of anyone else being in there when she walked through. That meant she was still taking a chance, if just a little, teeny, pygmy-marmoset-sized one.

Ooh, pygmy marmosets are so cute! The way they cling to things with their little-

Focus, Fluttershy!

She was in the doorway of the gym. No one was around, but she timidly glanced around to make sure, slowly started making her way to the opposite door. She was alone, she could be doing anything at all and nobody would be the wiser. Heart pounding, she dared recall every detail of the way she'd seen Adagio moving. Head high, back straight, hips swinging, every step as much a declaration that she was free to do whatever she wanted as it was a challenge for anyone to stop her, to even try to get in her way.

Shakily, Fluttershy transitioned her gait to be as much like that as she could manage, her footsteps feeling unnaturally loud against the hard, wooden floor as she tried to keep her head up like Adagio would. She couldn't completely avoid hunching over as bigger and bigger waves of self-consciousness spilled over her, but for the last fifteen steps, she even swayed her hips!

That the hallway beyond the gym was generally near-vacant as well at this time could only be a blessing, she was sure someone would have noticed how hard she was blushing.


Even sitting in class, hiding behind her book again, the heat in her face hadn't faded. By now it was less because of what she'd done, more for what Adagio would say if she ever learned about it. She'd shaken her rear while walking. In public!! Empty, nobody-around-to-see-right-now public, but still! Memory of her voice sounded in Fluttershy's head.

"I never would have guessed you of all people were a masochistic exhibiti-"

"I-I'M NOT!!"

And yet, here she was, practically shaking in her seat, head down and completely obscured from everyone by her book at the thought of being seen doing what she did, a blur of heated feelings whirling around in her head at the very idea of the consequences! That sounded a lot like-...

Why was the classroom quiet now?

Slooowly lifting her head to peer over her book, most of her eyes and forehead still hidden by her hair, Fluttershy saw exactly what she'd most feared; the entire class staring at her. Squeaking with fright, she nearly slammed her head on the desk to escape their gazes.

"You see?" asked Ms. Harshwhinny from the front of the class, "That is how I know your poem was not appropriate for school, Miss Rarity."

Fluttershy didn't even realize Rarity had been reading aloud. She cast a cursory glance to her fashion-forward friend to see that she was just a little distraught.

"I'm sure it was fine! The description of one embracing a lover, in a hug, after a long parting may sound lascivious, but I assure you my writing is completely chaste!"

Ms. Harshwhinny gave her a deadpan stare. "Look at Fluttershy-" she ignored the shy girl's second terrified squeak that class as some turned to look at her, still flushed, "-and tell me it was G-rated." Some of the class snickered.

Glancing at her, Rarity was less sure. "W-well... I suppose it might have been-"

"Oh, this is a load!" The voice of Aria Blaze was accompanied by the sound of her slapping both hands on her desk and standing up. This particularly drew attention because she was normally very quiet in class.

"Miss Blaze," responded Harshwhinny, "please take your seat."

"No," she retorted sharply, "listen up, I dunno what Squeaky's problem is, but I heard the whole poem, analyzed the implications of every stanza, considered possible meanings and contexts for every word, and I'm telling you, it was clean." The grumpiest siren looked less angry, more exasperated as she started making emphatic gestures and arm motions. "What is it with you people anyway? Why do you hate your own language so much that you bar pieces of it off? Where I come from, every syllable is as precious as any other, regardless of use or context, because each and every one is a tool through which to express our thoughts and feelings. We don't even have a concept of swearing! You can't take a word and label it unconditionally bad, you shouldn't be calling words bad to begin with, they're not!"

She snapped her fingers. "If I said I wanted to rip the eyes out of a whole class of freshmen and show a picture of it to their grandparents before throwing them, and the grandparents, through a wood-chipper, that'd be bad, but I'd be allowed to say it, to anyone. If I use the first word that comes to mind for what wasn't happening in Charity's poem-"

"It's Rarity."

"-Shuddup, if I said that one word, no matter how or in what light, it's bad, always is and always will be. Does that make any sense to you? If I wrote a poem, a song, anything that really was dirty, something detailing the raw, unbridled feeling between two, or more, mature adults as they tore into each other like the world was ending, nothing but primal passion at work, the most appropriate possible use for that word, would it still be inappropriate?"

Silence. Fluttershy was sure that if Rarity dropped one of her sewing needles, everyone would have heard perfectly.

Ms. Harshwhinny just stared at Aria, wide-eyed, not immediately sure how to counter her question. She looked around at the class, nobody having a word to offer as Aria stared back at her, face annoyed, but expectant. "W-well," the instructor quietly managed, "all of that may be true, but I'm afraid school rules forbid literature of that nature, at least in the classroom."

Aria slumped back into her seat, arms folded. "Tch, whatever."

Class went on, but the matter of whether or not Rarity's poem had been too lewd was dropped.


"So," Rainbow started with a hint of a smirk when everyone was seated at lunch, "what's this we're all hearing about you being a living smut-detector, Fluttershy?"


Predictably, Rainbow was immediately whapped over the back of the head by Applejack, though that didn't stop her from laughing herself silly. Nor Pinkie, who had the fortitude to meet Rarity's very disapproving glare and explain the situation. "We heard about one of the Dazzlings ranting in you guys' English class, and that Ms. Harshwhinny pointed to Fluttershy right after your poem and-"

"-and Aria defended it," continued Sunset with a smile, "something one of us did. Do you guys know what that means?"

Rarity smiled a little too. "That she has an appreciation for romantic literature?"

"Not impossible, but what else?"

Rainbow raised her hand, which she almost never remembered to do in class. "That she wants to be able to curse people out without getting an earful from Luna?"

"Maybe a little more likely, but beside the point." Sunset went on the moment Pinkie opened her mouth. "It means that they can't all hate us so much that it gets in their way! If she was really still mad at us, or at least Rarity, she'd have probably tried to make her situation worse out of spite."

"And not that I'm ungrateful," said Rarity with a skeptical eyebrow, "but why couldn't she remember my name, even right after hearing it?"

"Huh? Oh, uh..." Lowering her head a little, Sunset blushed, hesitantly meeting the group's collective, curious stare. "That, um, that might be, I guess, maybe, s-spite?"

There was a pause.

"So," Applejack asked with a tilt of her head and an amused smile tugging at the corners of her mouth, "iffin' somebody happened to keep gettin' a few peoples' names wrong even after a week of knownin' 'em...?"

Sunset offered her most sheepish, most apologetic grin. "Haha, m-maybe. And, if someone were to fail to let go of their resentment before then, maybe they would later say 'sorry'?"

Having quite meant it when they said they'd forgiven a certain formerly-spiteful person for everything she'd ever done to them, the rest of the table just giggled, moving on to jokes about Rarity's racy poems.


Over that weekend, Fluttershy pondered the implications of Friday's English class. Aria was, as far as anyone could tell, the surliest member of her group. If she could put aside her hard feelings for the right reason, was there something Adagio would protect over the chance to make someone squirm? It was a thin hope, but she remembered that Adagio had backed off that morning in the library, even if she wasn't sure why. It could have been in the hope of getting a taste of each morning's treat, but she could have easily taken it if she wanted, and if they weren't offered, she never stuck around for them anyway.

She couldn't come up with any concrete answers, but at least it gave her something to think about when trying to get to sleep. Something other than the possibility that Adagio knew where she lived.

Why, oh why did I have to remember that the moment the lights went out?


Monday morning, Fluttershy finally wasn't startled by Adagio, who offered a little wave before stopping to lean on the bench.

"Morning, Sweetie."

"Good morning!" Thinking she had just about worked out a system, Fluttershy held up the bag, carefully watching Adagio's expression. "Would you like some orange slices?"

She didn't look suspicious of these, but picking one of the orange, curled, slightly bulbous candies up between two fingers, she smirked a little. "If this is a dig at my hair, Sweetie..."

Fluttershy's smile vanished. "I-I swear it's not!!"

Luckily, Adagio didn't look mad. "Mmhm..." Taking a bite, her eyes widened. "Oh! These are actually like jelly inside! Not quite liquid, but more..."

The smile returned, both because she wasn't in trouble and because she got to see one of her favorite expressions again. "Jellyish?"

"Yes! They're almost the opposite of jelly beans, or the same thing, turned inside out. Not hard anywhere, grainy and sweet on the outside, still sweet on the inside! They should have called these jelly, uh... wedge, things."

Giggling, Fluttershy ate one herself. While she delighted in the pleased face Adagio made while eating orange slices, (Maybe she really likes soft and sweet things?) her attention was drawn to dark rings around Adagio's eyes, which was quickly noticed.

Smirking again, Adagio haughtily brushed her hair aside. "Eyeliner. Like it? I was thinking of going for a-" shadowed eyes went half-lidded as she leaned in closer, "-darker, more lady-like look. What do you think," she asked with a little pout, "does it work for me?" She concluded by batting her eyelashes, to an almost mesmerizing effect.

Feeling a tingle run up her spine, Fluttershy lowered her eyes to Adagio's mouth, willing them to stop there. Adagio was breathing softly, yellow lips just slightly parted... waiting... Wait, yellow lips!

A cluster of thoughts made her pull back, though not in time to avoid turning roughly the color of her own hair again. "Y-you're not wearing lipstick?"

Knowing where Fluttershy's eyes were, yellow lips formed a teasing half-grin, her tongue poking out just long enough to moisten them. "You'd rather I did? I can if you like, but-"

Shrinking back in her seat, Fluttershy turned pinker. Also without help from make-up. "N-no, that's, I-I didn't," she raised both hands defensively, "I-I'm not thinking about, I mean, your lips are fine!"

She smiled a little more like a jungle cat with a trapped rodent, raising an eyebrow.

Heart hammering in her chest, very little of the blood in Fluttershy's head was being used to power her brain. "F-fine as they are! Your lips are f-no, I meant, all of you is fine-wait, I, I-I just-"

Licking her lips a little more pointedly, Adagio leaned in closer, her voice low. "You're right, actually, lipstick isn't the only way for me to leave marks..."

They locked eyes, Adagio's gaze all but holding her. The effect of her deep, red-violet eyes encircled with dark rings looked like a pair of lights at the end of a tunnel, slowly drawing her in with promises of things she knew she'd never be able to ask for, things she'd remember for the rest of her life, and maybe even longer!

That didn't really make sense, but a pygmy-marmoset-sized part of her wondered if Rarity ever wrote a poem about something like that.

She was shaken out of her daze by Adagio quickly darting her head forward and snapping her teeth just in front of Fluttershy's face, causing her to emit a silent shriek of terror and fall backward off the bench, landing with her feet sticking straight up in the air. Her head was still spinning by the time Adagio stopped cackling madly, stepping over to look down at her with an almost apologetic expression.

"You alright, Sweetie?"

Still trying to steady her breathing, Fluttershy nodded as best she could at that angle. "I'm... f-fine."

Playfully-raised eyebrow. "Fine?"

"I-I mean good!"

Adagio chuckled. "Good." Amusing as this was, Adagio didn't quite have it in her to inform her victim that her current pose presented a memorable eyeful, but settled for storing that ammo for later use.

Getting to her feet, brushing herself off, and sitting on the bench again, Fluttershy quietly sighed.

One of these days, I'll talk to her without making a fool of myself.

Following Adagio with her eyes as she returned to her usual, leaning-over-the-back-of-the-bench position, Fluttershy tilted her head a little. "Uhm... Y-you can sit on the bench if you want. There's more than enough room for two people."

Adagio made no greater movement than a shrug. "I'm fine here." That Fluttershy looked away from her for a second before quietly muttering 'okay then' told her she just made some kind of mistake. "So," she started conversationally, "I heard you got an idea of Aria's biggest problem here, late last week?"

Blinking twice, Fluttershy turned to face her, not sure where she was going with that. "Uh, y-yes...?" Fluttershy's eyes widened, realization hitting her like a cheetah pouncing a hapless gazelle. I'm thinking about jungle cats a lot lately... "Y-you were talking to Aria about me?!"

Oddly, Adagio looked just as surprised. "What? No, she just told me you were there when she went off on the teacher, something about you being an indicator for whether or not a poem was too saucy or something." She frowned, reaching out to gently place a hand on Fluttershy's trembling shoulder. "We don't keep a lot of secrets from each other, but I haven't even mentioned our meetings to Aria and Sonata. Okay?"

Eyes moistening and a steady rhythm building in her chest, Fluttershy hesitantly began to smile. "You keep a secret from your two closest friends for my sake?"

For just a second, Adagio looked completely lost. "Huh? Eh, well, it-" she turned away and crossed her arms, but now Fluttershy was sure of it, Adagio Dazzle was blushing, "-don't think I, I mean, you, it's not like it costs me anything to just not mention it. Besides, you'd explode if I did, right?"

Giggling, Fluttershy gave her a bright, earnest grin. "Right! Thank you, Adagio."

"Right, well..." The happy little face Fluttershy was making was by no means a bad one, but it was making Adagio start to struggle to fight off the building warmth in her cheeks. "You asked about Aria's difficulties around here, so, thought I'd mention it." The bad feeling was gone, so she was probably in the clear now, turning to leave. "See you around, Sweetie."

Still feeling weirdly happy, Fluttershy waved goodbye and called after her. Out loud. "See you again soon!"

Even when Adagio was gone, the internal fuzzies didn't disappear, making her just feel good all over! So much so that she reached into the bag, pulled out an orange slice, and giggled to herself as she put it in her mouth in just such a way that it looked like a sugary little orange smile.

Author's Note:

Yes, Adagio bringing up Aria's 'language barrier' issue and having it almost immediately spelled out in the next chapter isn't great pacing, but it's not exactly a major plot-point, so I'm not too worried.

While I'm more or less with Aria on this one, I do think it's handy having swears if you use them sparingly, like to signify considerable anger, pain, or distress. Otherwise, they utterly lose whatever purpose they had as swears, right?

Again, sincerely sorry for that Publish button slip-up earlier. Adagio might be a tease, but I try not to be.

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