• Published 22nd Aug 2015
  • 3,625 Views, 136 Comments

Homesick - SkycatcherEQ



When Adagio struggles with a moment of longing for the oceans of Equestria, Sunset understands all too well. Ever resourceful, she devises a plan for finding them both some comfort.

  • ...
8
 136
 3,625

Of Satchels and Solicitude

Adagio giggled at the narrow sheet of paper she’d picked up from Sunset’s desk. “A checklist… My, my. Aren’t we thorough.”

“Hush, you. Heh.” Sunset rummaged through her closet, tossing some motocross knee pads and a couple of shirts out onto the floor. “Being a little organized up front saves on the headaches later.”

Adagio leaned to the side as a pair of jeans sailed from the closet onto Sunset’s disheveled twin bed. Returning to the desk, she tugged at a bra strap hanging from the pile of unwashed laundry on the chair. Yes, heh… ‘Organized.’ Noting that the rest of the room was in no better a state, she pushed the clothes to the floor with a shrug and took a seat.

“What are you looking for in there, anyway?” Adagio angled to the left and bit her lip at the view of Sunset’s rear-end bobbing up and down as she dug around the closet floor. “Hmm, actually…” She flexed the list between both hands with a grin. “Let me see if I can guess.”

She cleared her throat and began reciting. “Do laundry.” She chuckled. “Hmm. Bits stash. Perhaps… Satchel. Ooh, maybe… Out of town notice to clients… Give journal to Rarity… Explain things to… Aria and Sonata.” Her voice trailed off. “Final safeguards with Twilight… Discuss precautions with Adagio.”

Her smile faded. “Oh…” She lifted her eyes again to see Sunset looking back at her with her cheek resting on the edge of the closet door.

“Yeah. There are a few things we need to talk about still.” Sunset paced over and sat against the desk. “And I was looking for this.” She handed Adagio a tightly-woven dark cloth satchel. “This was the saddlebag I had with me when I first jumped through the mirror in the castle. It came out looking like this. And having made the trip again, I know for sure that whatever’s inside comes through, unlike our clothing. Seems any sort of shoulder bag or satchel from here acts the same way. Twi tested it.”

“So whatever we take with us needs to fit inside a pair of these.”

“Right.”

Adagio handed the bag back to Sunset. “I have… something that should work.” She let out a breath and hunched forward, looking down again at the checklist between both hands. “‘Final safeguards,’ huh?”

“That’s… part of why we want to wait for giving Aria and Sonata their chance.” Sunset knelt down and crossed her forearms on Adagio’s lap. “We need to be ready to help you in case anything goes wrong. And if so, having to tend to only one of you instead of all three…”

“There is some sense in that, yes.”

“Luna and Celestia will be there too, ready to help .”

Adagio turned to the side with a dispassionate laugh. “Or to ‘safeguard the realm’ from the monster that’s landing on their doorstep.”

“Dagi… You know it’s not like that. Twilight’s met you.”

“I know…” She crossed her arms and exhaled. “But still, there’s no way of knowing what’ll happen when I get—or even if I get—my old form back. Whatever that bearded dustbag did to us didn’t involve your portal. Will it even know how to translate us properly?”

Sunset lowered her eyes and bit the side of her lip. “Well, whatever he did gave you the same forms as the portal’s magic. So we don’t expect anything life-threatening. It’s just… we know so little about your gems.” She looked back up at Adagio. “Have you thought about what might happen to you over there without them?”

Adagio closed her eyes. She took a long breath as a chill settled in around her. Her words that followed felt slow, almost distant. “There was a time in our lives before those gems. So I’m certain we’ll be fine again without them.”

She opened her eyes again slowly, and was met by Sunset’s endearing look of academic curiosity. With a small laugh, she felt her smile return. “You know I love it when you make that face. However…” She sighed and ran a gentle hand through Sunset’s hair before the smile faded again. “I’m sorry. I just don’t feel like talking about this right now.”

“It’s alright. I won’t pry.” Sunset offered a soft smile of her own, and a bit of warmth flickered back to life within the room.

“I want so much to tell you everything, but… another time, alright?” Adagio leaned forward and kissed her on the forehead.

She sat up again and ruffled the edge of the checklist with her thumb and finger. “But now, back to this. I expect that, not being anywhere near open water, getting around may be a bit of a problem. Our ability for flight was part of the gems’ magic. So without them…”

“Well, Twilight has an idea for that, if it comes to it. We’ll just have to see what happens first.”

Adagio nodded. “And then you.” She rubbed her hands on Sunset’s shoulders. “You must be a bit nervous about seeing Celestia again.”

Sunset lowered her eyes. “A little, yeah. But to be honest, it’s a lot easier than it would have been without that letter. I’m more excited than worried, actually.” Sunset rested her chin on her folded arms and smiled up at Adagio. “Have I thanked you again for that lately?”

Adagio laughed as she brushed aside a few strands of Sunset’s hair. And I’m sure she’s just as excited to see you too. Her happy expression faded, though, and she found herself looking down at the floor behind Sunset. Of course, there’ll be no one there waiting for me. Not in that way, at least.

“Hey…” Sunset said softly, tracing the back of her fingers along Adagio’s arm. “You’re making that face again. What’s up?”

Adagio let out a breath. “It’s just… other than the two princesses, there’s no one alive who'd even remember me, let alone be happy to see me. It’s been so many years. I’m sure all that’s left of us now are the old myths. And there’s hardly anything positive there… Hmmph. I can just imagine the looks I’d get… Fear? Disgust? ‘What is that thing?’” She lowered her forehead into Sunset’s hair and took another long breath. “Am I really sure I want to do this?”

“Well… Twilight’s idea that I mentioned. She has some experience with polymorphic magic. We could give you the form of a mare, but then…”

Adagio sat back up. “But then, what I’ve been longing for the most is to feel the water again. And I know. Hooves aren’t exactly suited for swimming.”

“I’m sorry.” Sunset took Adagio’s hands in her own and closed her eyes. “I know this seemed so exciting at first.”

“Sunset. Listen to me.” Adagio waited until Sunset met her eyes. “That you even thought to share this with me is… It fulfilled a dream that goes beyond anything we might experience over there. Making this journey with you is what’s important to me now.” She moved her hands around Sunset’s and squeezed gently. “We’ll just take each step as we get to it.”

Sunset nodded. She stood up and gave Adagio’s hands a gentle tug.

Adagio stood as well, and the two of them shared a tender kiss. “Now to tell Aria and Sonata what’s up. I hope they take it well.”

They collected their purses, and Sunset switched off the light as she walked out of the bedroom behind Adagio. “You’ve all come a long way. I think they’ll understand. And I really want to give them a chance at this too when we get back.”

They continued outside onto the terrace. Sunset locked the apartment door and led Adagio down the steps. “And then… with everything we're gonna learn from this trip about how to make things better next time, I’d say they’re actually getting the better end of the deal, heh.”

Adagio laughed as she fished out her car keys. “You and your solid logic.” When Sunset looked back over her shoulder, Adagio added with a mock pout, “Leaves no room for a rousing debate…”

***

“You’re gonna what?” Aria’s sandwich halted midway between her plate and mouth.

“Wait, she can do that?” Sonata turned from Adagio to Sunset with a wide-eyed look before an even wider smile spread to match. “We can do that?” Her rising energy state manifested into a rhythmic seat-bouncing, accompanied by a “Gheeeeeeee,” and it continued until quelled by Aria’s hand resting over hers.

“Yes… We think.” Sunset covered her mouth with a short laugh. Composing herself again, she went on. “We’re still a bit unsure of how some things’ll work. We know at first there will be some… inconveniences, since Adagio says you won’t be able to fly without the gems.”

“Yeah, that’s right.” Aria leaned back in her chair. “Huh…” She shook her head with a small grin. “First time I’ve even thought about this, honestly. Never would have imagined.”

Adagio placed a hand over Aria’s and squeezed gently. Aria rolled her hand over and returned the grip with a smile.

Sunset folded her hands on the table. “And then on the off chance that something does go wrong, Twilight and I thought it best if just one of you goes through the first time. Which is why I was thinking of taking Dagi with me. And then once we’re sure of how everything works, you two can make a trip of your own. Or… even with all four of us, if you want.”

“You’re willing to do that, Adagio?” Aria turned to look at her. “Guinea-pig mode this, I mean.”

“I got you girls into this, so… yes. This is something I need to do.”

Aria took a long breath through her nose and then blew it back out. “Alright. You better come back safe though.” She gave Adagio a stern look, but then tacked on a wink. “We need our turn at this.”

“Ohmygosh, ohmy-gosh.” Sonata hugged Aria’s upper arm. “I mean, my shiny dress was one thing, but to actually have our scales again, and feel the water, and… Ghehehe.”

“Yes. We’ll see,” Adagio noted. “Like Sunset said, it won’t be quite that simple. But I think we’ll learn enough from this first go to make the next trip even better for you guys.”

“So when are you going?” Sonata asked.

“Sunday morning,” Adagio replied. “So we’ve got another day to get ready, and for Sunset to finish working things out with Twilight.”

“As excited as I am about this, it is still a little scary.” Sunset leaned over and put her arm around Adagio, resting her head on her shoulder. “It’s just all this uncertainty with you guys… and then my own reasons too.”

“I know what you mean.” Adagio rubbed Sunset's hand that held her other shoulder. “But now… let’s eat. And then I’ll get you home. We’ve got quite a day tomorrow to get everything ready.”

***

Saturday had come, and yet was already nearly gone.

Adagio had taken Sunset for an early morning coffee date. They had shared some extended journal time with Twilight and then finished off with a round of errands. The afternoon, meanwhile, had been reserved for a final stretch of one-on-one time at Sunset’s apartment.

Had been.

Sunset slumped into a chair at Rarity’s flat above the boutique. She dropped her head back and both hands to her sides. With an exasperated breath, she said, “I didn’t think we’d ever get out of there.”

Adagio snickered as she set her purse down and took a seat on the couch. “So, what was it again? ‘Pinkie’s… Perfect Pre-Pony-Portal Party?’

Sunset groaned. “Don’t get me wrong, I love Pinkie, and that was a lot of fun. It’s just so hard to tell her ‘no.’”

“Or, ‘goodbye,’” Rarity chimed in with a giggle of her own. She sat down next to Adagio and then looked over to Sunset. “So. You have something for me? I will do my utmost to keep it safe.”

“Yeah. Thanks, Rarity.” She drew the enchanted journal from her backpack and placed it on the coffee table. “I figure this is the safest place for it, where it can still be used for communication.”

“Yes. And I shall keep it up here, where Sweetie Belle cannot get anywhere near it if she visits. It makes sense now why you can’t just take it with you to keep in touch with Twilight while you’re on the road.”

“Right. If both of these books wound up on the other side, we’d be sorta stuck there until the next thirty-moon cycle.”

Rarity nodded and folded her hands in her lap. “So. Are you on your way then? Or do you have some time? I myself often require a bit of quiet and some soothing tea after one of Pinkie’s… events. You’re welcome to stay for a while.”

“I’d like that, actually,” Adagio said with a look toward Sunset. “I know we have to be up early, but I think there’s still some time.”

Sunset nodded. “Yeah. I could use some down time after that. And it’s gonna be hard to sleep tonight anyway. So many things going through my mind right now.”

“Same here.” Adagio sighed as Rarity went to put the water on. So many things, indeed. After a moment, she perked up and called toward the kitchenette, “Oh. You’d said something about a new fabric idea, dear?”

“Ooooh, yes.” Adagio heard a squeal from around the corner. “Let me just finish the tea, and then I’ll tell you all about it.”

Sunset laughed. “Shop talk, eh?”

“Oh, hush. You’ll manage,” Adagio said with a grin.

Sunset leaned over, offered a kiss, and a chuckling wink. “Well, you know I’m nothing if not resilient.”

***

Adagio held her arms as she stood in the center of her darkened bedroom. Night had fallen a few hours ago, and she’d just returned from dropping Sunset off following their time at Rarity’s. A light rainstorm had drifted in, bringing with it a renewing breeze through her half-opened window.

She stepped over to her desk and switched on the lamp, providing just enough illumination for her preparations, while still preserving the serenity of the evening. Adagio seated herself slowly in the desk chair. Following a few minutes of silence, she opened the bottom file drawer and pulled out a large cracked-leather satchel. Closing her eyes, she brought the bag to her nose and inhaled deeply as its panorama of memories spread out across her mind.

He had been a mounted messenger, some two hundred years ago. She recalled with a smile the many nights and places they’d spent conversing. At a corner table of the tavern where she’d been performing. Over a campfire up in the hills. Stories of drive and purpose. Lives of dueling ambitions—one striving toward honor and duty, the other commanding adoration and fame. He’d been one of a very few whom she might have called ‘friend.’ She'd known that nothing short of his death would have kept a promised delivery from reaching its destination. And in the end… it had. Adagio had made certain that this bag found its way into her possession after he was recovered from the field.

She could count on one hand the number of these humans who had given her pause, given her reason to question the path the three of them had followed throughout the centuries. These few—some men, some women—had managed to instill in her a degree of fascination and respect which endured the test of time. And while Sunset stood apart and meant more to Adagio than any of the others, she had not been the first. Though it was through Sunset that Adagio now understood just how important each of these others had been to her.

If only I’d realized at the time… She set the bag down on her desk and drew a long, slow breath.

Yes. Sunset was her clarity. This time, the warmth she would make certain to hold close. It would never again be taken for granted.

Her eyes opened and drifted to the far right corner of the desk, and to a small mahogany lock-box. Adagio moved aside a few pieces of unopened mail and took the box between both hands as her mind wrapped around the broken red shards inside.

Had this opportunity presented itself within those first few months of its shattering, it would have been the one and only thing to accompany her through the portal. But now… With a soft sigh, she gently returned the box to its place on the desk, unopened.

“No… No more.”

Taking another deep breath, she closed her eyes and pushed up off the desktop with her palms. Into the satchel went a number of assorted hair bands and some old, rarely worn jewelry. From the desk drawers she added two smaller pouches, a few notebooks, and a case of pencils. She hung the bag over the back of her chair, switched off the light and prepared herself for the long night of anxious sleep.

Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!