• Published 28th Apr 2017
  • 5,336 Views, 648 Comments

Neighbors - Tethered-Angel



A familiar face moves into the sirens' apartment building.

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Chapter 2- Visitors

Sha-la-la la-la la-la la-la la-la-dee-da…

Sonata sang to herself as she fished around the refrigerator for an armful of ingredients. Her song was broken and off key, nothing like the magical melodies she used to produce, but she could hardly care less. Even without her magic, singing made her happy. Of course, her sisters did not like it very much. To them her broken singing was only a reminder of all they had lost, so she tried not to do it often, but she could never abandon it entirely.

She continued humming as she mixed up several eggs in a bowl, then began chopping vegetables for her recipe. Cooking had become very important for her and the other sirens, since they could no longer sustain themselves with magic alone. Sonata had always enjoyed trying human foods, though, and she was elated to be able to share her experiences with her sisters. They had always looked out for her, even when things were at their worst, and she was glad to finally be able to contribute something besides her voice. With a big grin, she poured the eggs and veggies into a pie crust and slipped the dish into the oven, singing all the while.

“Ahem,” Aria cleared her throat pointedly, drawing her attention. Sonata whirled, smiling sheepishly. She braced herself for the expected scolding, but none came. Instead Aria just frowned. “Bathroom free?”

Sonata nodded, smiling at her sister’s relatively good mood. “Yup! I think Dagi’s still asleep.”

Aria nodded. “Great. She takes forever.” She turned and walked back the way she came, shuffling toward the apartment’s single bathroom. “Food smells good by the way.”

Sonata beamed at the compliment. The first couple of days after Sunset moved in had been tense, and despite Sunset’s assurances all three of the sirens had been on edge. But she had been living across the hall for a full week now, and aside from the occasional awkward meeting in the hallway nothing had happened. Things had mostly returned to normal in the siren household. Aria was as grumpy as ever, though she had lost much of her edge in recent days. Adagio had bigger things to worry about, like rent and her job. It saddened Sonata, sometimes, how tired her eldest sister looked after work. It was part of the reason she had taken on most of the household chores for herself. Besides, she had always loved good food! She smiled as the scent of baking onions began to fill the air.

Knock-knock-knock!

“Eeep!” Sonata jumped, staring at the door nervously. Okay, so maybe she was not totally over the previous weekend. It had to be one of the girls; the sirens had never had anyone else knock on their door after all. But they had made up, right? They wouldn’t hurt her… Right?

Nervously she peeked out the peephole. Sure enough, the shy one, Fluttershy, was on the other side. Well, that was not so bad. Better than one of the mean ones. With a little more confidence, she grabbed the latch and flung open the door.

“Eeep!” A nervous voice squeaked at the sudden motion. Fluttershy slapped a hand over her mouth, blushing at her surprised outburst. “S-sorry, you startled me.”

“It’s okay,” Sonata said reassuringly, “You startled me, too.”

“Oh, um, I did? I’m sorry!” Fluttershy waved her hands apologetically.

Sonata mirrored the shy girl’s motions. “No no! I’m sorry! I didn’t mean it like that.”

“Oh,” Fluttershy said, looking embarrassed. “It’s, um, okay?” Sonata nodded. Fluttershy sighed in relief, then extended a hesitant hand in greeting. “I’m Fluttershy.”

Sonata took the proffered hand. “Oh, yeah, I know. We kind of spied on you guys, you know, back when we first met. Sonata, by the way.”

“Oh, um… I, I knew that too. We, um, might have spied on you too, a little bit.” She grinned sheepishly. They eyed each other for a moment, then both broke out in small giggles. “This is kind of silly, isn’t it?”

“Yeah,” Sonata grinned. “So, you really aren’t mad at us?”

“Oh, no! Of course not! Well, maybe Applejack and Rainbow Dash are a little mad, but most of us aren’t.”

“Oh, good!” Sonata sighed. “My sisters said that Sunset said that you weren’t mad, but it makes me feel so much better to hear it from you!” She rushed forward and pulled the pink-haired girl into a quick hug.

Taken off guard by the sudden embrace, Fluttershy barely managed to squeak out a flushed “Oh my.” She was used to this kind of behavior from Pinkie Pie, but had not expected it from one of the sirens. “Um, could you let me go please?”

“Oh yeah, sure thing!” Sonata dropped the hug. “Sorry!”

“It’s okay,” She said, tucking her hair back behind her ear.

“Oh, good,” Sonata sighed. Then she tilted her head. “So what did you want?”

Fluttershy paused for a moment before answering. “We- that is, the girls and I- we want to get to know you better. So um…” Fluttershy’s gaze flicked down to her feet and back up. “Well I wanted to invite you to Sunset’s tonight.”

Sonata’s grin returned, wider than ever. “For realsies? Oh that sounds like the best!” She raised her arms for another hug, but stopped herself short. “Um, is it okay?”

Blushing, Fluttershy looked back and forth down the hall, as well as back at the door behind her, then nodded, stepping forward to deliver a quick hug of her own. Then she scurried away and out of sight. Sonata shrugged at the odd behavior, then grinned. Maybe the girls were not so bad after all. Humming happily, she closed the door and returned to her quiche.

==O==

Aria yawned as she stepped out of the bathroom, clad in a fuzzy, mint-green robe and purple slippers. Her purple hair was balanced atop her head, bound up in a thick lavender towel. She stretched, feeling her back pop satisfyingly as she did. Relaxing, her face quickly returned to its typical scowl. She was not particularly upset by anything, it was just her face. And anyone who had an issue with that could deal with her fist.

Grunting, she trudged back into the kitchen, where Sonata seemed to have resumed her singing. Aria frowned. She had asked Sonata several times not to do that. The broken, imperfect notes were a painful reminder to what they had lost. The thought of it pissed her off, and she was tempted to smack her sister for bringing it up.

With difficulty, she managed to push aside the temptation to snap at her sibling. Taking a deep breath, her scowl was soon replaced with a small smile. It was… actually kind of nice, seeing her sister so happy. Not that she would ever admit it, of course. But seeing Sonata being so positive and so, well, Sonata, Aria somehow managed to feel a little less bad. Maybe things were not as bleak as they seemed.

Aria scoffed at herself. The idiot was rubbing off on her. Regardless, she was hungry, and her sister had made food. In fact, that was probably the reason she was smiling. Yup, definitely.

“You shower yet?” Aria asked with carefully measured apathy.

“Nope!” Sonata answered with a shake of her head. “Oh, by the way-”

“You’d better go now. It’s almost time for her majesty to awaken.”

“Yeah, you’re right,” Sonata said, “But-”

“Don’t worry,” Aria waved her off, “I’ll babysit your omelet. Now shoo.”

Sonata opened her mouth to reply, then snapped it shut and shook her head. “Okay, Ari, but then I’ve got something really important to tell you.”

“I’m sure,” Aria said, rolling her eyes. She waited until Sonata left, then cocked her head to listen carefully for the click of the bathroom lock. As soon as she was sure not to be interrupted, she snatched a chair from by the counter and climbed on top of it so she could rifle through the cupboard over the refrigerator. There, behind several bags of half stale chips, was her prize. A can of premium, dark roast, double caffeinated coffee. Double-checking that she was alone, she prepped the coffee maker and measured out just enough for her oversized mug. Once it was brewing, she carefully stowed the can away where she had found it. Safe and-

BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!

Aria started, nearly toppling off her stool. She glanced around, grateful that no one had been there to see her, then turned her glare to the door. Furious, she stomped over and slammed it open. “What!?” She snarled, determined to give the offending party a piece of her mind. Her scowl deepened when she saw just who was behind the infernal banging. “Oh, it’s you,” She seethed.

“Oh, hey, Aria…” Rainbow Dash gulped. She scratched the back of her head awkwardly.

“What the fuck do you want?” Aria snapped.

“Oh, um… nothing, I guess,” Rainbow answered awkwardly.

“Great.” Aria slammed the door. Or at least tried to.

“Ow!” Rainbow cried. Looking down, Aria noticed a brightly colored tennis shoe stuck in the door. The shoe, of course, was attached to a significantly less bright teenage girl.

“What do you want!?” Aria demanded impatiently.

“Sorry,” Rainbow practically choked on the word. “I wanted to say sorry.”

Aria opened the door, glaring flatly at the rainbow-haired athlete. “What.”

“For hitting you. I know I apologized at the Social, but… well, I really didn’t mean it. Like, at all. But I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and I think, yeah, I was definitely in the wrong. Like, you were kind of being a bitch, but I shouldn’t have just up and hit you like that.”

Aria crossed her arms. “You done?”

Rainbow sighed. “Yeah, I guess I am.”

Aria smirked. “You suck at this.” She tried to slam the door again, only to once again be stopped by an extended foot. “What!?”

Ow,” Rainbow hissed again. “I mean, um, that wasn’t quite all. Look, apologizing is fine and all, but actions speak louder than words, you know? Sunset has got this little shindig going at her place later tonight, and I thought you could come, and maybe we could start over.”

Aria regarded her for a second, then scoffed. “I’d rather shower with a bear.” That time, there was nothing in her way when she slammed the door. She turned the deadbolt too, for good measure. Loudly. Hearing nothing more from outside, she nodded in satisfaction, then turned to the coffee pot. She needed that caffeine more than ever.

==O==

Bzzt-bzzt-bzzt-bzzt!

“Ggrrrooooo,” Adagio groaned as her alarm went off. Painfully she turned her head, fixing the infernal device with a one-eyed glare. Nine-thirty. Exactly as she had set it. With a moan, she managed to untangle one arm from her covers and slap the snooze button.

It was the weekend. She had every right to sleep in, especially after pulling late shifts all week. With a contented sigh, and her alarm silenced, she drifted back to sleep.

WOOOOO-WOOOOOOOOOO!

CLACKITY-CLACKITY-CLACKITY-CLACKITY-CLACKITY-CLACK!

WOOOOOOO-WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

The timely arrival of the nine-forty-seven train served as a harsh reminder as to why the alarm was set in the first place. Even her windowless interior bedroom offered no protection from the hellish roar. The very apartment shook as the monolithic locomotive passed by right outside, a mere stone’s throw from the building. The noise was a definite reminder as to why the place was so cheap to rent.

Adagio muttered darkly as she shambled out of her room. Her mass of curly hair was totally disheveled and her silky pajama top hung open indecently, the buttons having come undone at some point in the night. She scratched her bare stomach absently, cursing the sun and all who dared bask in its light. In short, Adagio Dazzle was not a morning person.

The scent of coffee arrested her attention, and she perked up slightly. The smell of breakfast wafting in from the kitchen managed to draw out a small smile. The promise of food and caffeine spurred her on, past the slings and arrows of the pre-noon hour.

Finally reaching the kitchen, she found a small plate with a slice of delightful smelling quiche on it next to a steaming mug of coffee. Under the plate was a yellow piece of lined paper with a simple message. “Good morning, Dagi! Enjoy!” There was even a simply-drawn smiley face. Clearly Sonata’s work.

With a grunt Adagio sat at the stool and snatched up her mug, quickly draining its contents in a desperate attempt to drown her tiredness. Her belly rumbled, and she quickly set down the mug and began digging into her breakfast. As she ate, something on the note caught her eye. There was writing on the back. She flipped it over to reveal a much longer message that had been poorly scribbled out.

OMG Aria totally made herself a pot of coffee and didn’t leave any for you! I don’t know why she doesn’t share, but I do know you would be, like, super grumpy if you smelled coffee but there wasn’t any left! I made a fresh pot just for you, and there’s more in the, um, pot.

Adagio snorted and rolled her eyes, then eyed the coffee pot. Sure enough, there was plenty of the dark beverage left. She smiled in relief, standing to refill her mug. With one cup down and more on the way, she was feeling better already.

Knock-knock-knock!

Of course, no morning can be perfect. Adagio rolled her eyes with a moan, quickly running her fingers through her hair in order to appear at least somewhat presentable. Then, with another yawn, she turned the lock and opened the door. “Yeah?”

“Oh, dear me!” Rarity gasped, “I do apologize for calling so early in the morning! I had no idea!”

“S’fine,” Adagio mumbled, waving off the apology.

“But, darling, your coiffure!” Adagio fixed the fashionista with a flat glare. “Ah, um, never mind. It’s fine, I’m sure!” The girl backpedaled. Her eyes briefly drifted down until she noticed the siren’s unbuttoned shirt. She suddenly blushed, snapping her gaze back to Adagio’s eyes. “Oh, I’m afraid I am making rather a mess of this. Please allow me to start over. My name is Rarity. I do not believe we were ever formally introduced.”

Adagio nodded, taking the hand briefly before releasing it. “Yes, nice to meet you or whatever.” She yawned again, barely managing to cover her mouth with her hand. “Mmm, sorry ‘bout that. Late shift, just woke up.”

“Oh, that’s quite understandable, darling!” Rarity said, “I know I am rarely in a jovial mood after pulling an all-nighter,” She laughed. Then she glanced down to her hands, only just remembering what she had brought. Adagio followed her gaze, her attention falling on the bouquet of red roses clasped in the girl’s demure white hands. “Oh, um, these are for you.”

Adagio smirked, raising an eyebrow. “Rarity, are you coming on to me?”

“W-what!? No!” Rarity raised her hands, her blush returning. “Y-you misunderstand! It is, um, customary, yes, to give a gift when greeting new neighbors! It’s a common courtesy!”

“Ah,” Adagio nodded, taking the flowers with a wink, “Shame.” She took a long sniff of the flowers. “Hmm, if I remember correctly, you were the one that helped my sisters out at the social.”

Rarity nodded in mild embarrassment. “Well, yes, I suppose that was me. It only seemed the right thing to do, you know?”

“Well,” Adagio said, a sultry look in her eyes, “I happen to think that was very sweet of you.” Taking a step forward, she traced a finger down the collar of Rarity’s blouse. “Why don’t you come in, so I can thank you properly?”

Rarity’s blush deepened, her cheeks matching the color of the roses Adagio held. Against her will she found her gaze once again drifting downward. “O-oh!” She gasped, “I, um, I just remembered some place I have to be!” With that she slipped free of Adagio’s touch and sprinted down the hall. Adagio chuckled, returning to the apartment and setting the flowers in the sink. She returned to her seat, picking up where she left off with her beloved coffee mug. As she nursed the drink, she eyed the flowers, and smiled. They were rather lovely.

==O==

KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK!

The heavy thuds reverberated through the apartment. “Ugh, again!?” Aria huffed, smashing the pause button on the controller. “Sonata, would you mind?”

“Nu-uh!” Sonata pouted, “You just want me gone so you can cheat!”

Aria rolled her eyes. Sonata’s score was less than half of her own. Cheating would just be like kicking a sick puppy. Although…

“Fine,” Aria said, “We’ll both go, how about that?”

“Okie-dokie!” Sonata chirped, jumping to her feet. Aria glanced after her, then unpaused the game just long enough to set up a devastating combo before pausing it again. Then she jumped up to follow her sister, reaching the kitchen just as Sonata was opening the door. “Oh, um, hi Applejack…” The youngest siren said.

Aria scowled at the name, sidling up and taking a defensive posture next to her sister. “What do you want, cowgirl?” She asked coldly.

“Um, howdy there, girls. It’s Aria and Sonata, right?” The farmgirl asked awkwardly. Her distinct-looking hat was in her hands, and she gripped it in a nervous fashion.

“Yeah, that’s us. What of it?” Aria answered. Sonata bit her lip, looking between the two as if she expected a fight to break out at any moment.

“Look, this ain’t easy for me to say, but…” She took a deep breath, “Ah’m sorry ‘bout how everything went down at the Social. Ah know there was a bit of a misunderstanding, and Ah’m real sorry ya got hurt because of it. Ah, well, Ah feel like Ah really overreacted, banning y’all from the farm like that. So Ah guess what I wanted to say is, Ah’d really like to see ya at the next one. Under yer real names.”

Aria frowned, and opened her mouth to retort, but Sonata beat her to the punch.

“For realsies!?” The youngest siren asked excitedly, pulling the confused farmgirl into a sudden hug. “Isn’t this great, Ari? She wants to be our friend too!”

“Too!?” Aria and Applejack asked at the same time.

“Yeah!” Sonata nodded with a bright grin. “Fluttershy came by earlier and invited us to Sunset’s party!”

“That thing?” Aria scoffed, “Yeah, Rainbow bitch said something about that before I slammed the door in her face.”

“Rainbow was here?” Sonata asked.

“She got here before me?” Applejack questioned further. All three girls stared at each other in confusion.

Aria broke the silence first, counting on her fingers. “You, Rainbitch, and Fluttershy apparently,” She paused her counting to shoot Sonata a glare. The other girl shrugged sheepishly. Aria rolled her eyes and continued, “And I’m pretty sure I heard Adagio talking to someone too.” She held up four fingers. “That’s at least half of your stupid little group. Care to explain?”

Applejack bit her lip, eyes darting around for a moment before she sighed. “Yeah, Ah suppose Ah owe ya an explanation. Sunset told us y’all were neighbors now, and the girls and Ah though that if she was willing to give y’all a chance, well, maybe we ought to as well. Ah thought Ah’d surprise her by convincing ya to come on over to her shindig tonight. Guess Ah wasn’t the only one, huh?” She chuckled.

Sonata’s face lit up with a big grin. “That’s what Fluttershy wanted! It sounds super fun! Come on, Ari, we are totally-”

“No.” Aria snapped, cutting her off. “Not a chance.”

“I am inclined to agree,” Said another voice behind the two sirens. Adagio walked up, now dressed in her more typical house clothes. “I told Sunset when she first moved in, we are neighbors, nothing more. I have no interest in our little truce growing into anything deeper.”

“Oh, Ah, Ah understand.” Applejack nodded, replacing her hat on her head. “Ah, um, Ah suppose Ah’ll be leaving then. Sorry to be a bother.” She slowly made her way down the hall, flinching slightly as the door slammed behind her.

==O==

“What the fuck is up with those girls?” Aria seethed. “I thought we made it pretty damn clear we didn’t want any part of their friendship horseshit.”

“Yes, it is a bit aggravating,” Adagio agreed, leaning back in her chair. “They don’t seem to take ‘no’ for an answer.”

“Well… is there any reason we can’t be friends?” Sonata asked. “I don’t think they want to hurt us anymore.”

Anymore?” Aria snapped, “Don’t you think they’ve done enough already?”

“That’s not what I meant,” Sonata pouted.

“The question is,” Adagio interrupted before things could devolve into a fight, “What should we do now? Yes, they took our magic. Yes, it hurt. And no, I’m not entirely over it. But the fact is, we are neighbors, and there’s not much we can do about that.”

“So what, we just make nice?” Aria growled.

Adagio sighed. “Okay, Aria. I’m not going to make you be friends. Tartarus, I don’t even want to make friends. But if we don’t do something, they are just going to keep coming around. So maybe we should make the effort, just for tonight.”

“For realsies? We can make friends?” Sonata asked hopefully.

“Yes, Sonata,” Adagio said with a sigh. “I won’t encourage it, but I won’t forbid it.”

“Yay!” Sonata cried, pulling Adagio into a hug. Adagio smirked, returning the hug with one arm.

Knock knocknock knock knock!

“Aria, would you mind?” Adagio asked, looking pointedly between her sister and the door.

“Uuugghh,” Aria groaned, standing and making her way to the door. She flung it open to find Pinkie Pie on the other side, wearing a huge grin. “Save it,” Aria said, holding up her hand, “We’re already going to the damn party.”

“Really? That’s amazing!” Pinkie squealed, pulling Aria into a tight hug.

“Godsfuckingdammit!” Aria hissed as her breath was driven from her lungs.

==O==

A few hours later, the sirens stood in front of Sunset’s door. The pink one had informed them that it was supposed to be a slumber party, so the sisters had given in and dressed in their pajamas for the event. Adagio had reclaimed her silk sleeping set from that morning, though she had gone to the effort of buttoning it up for decency’s sake. Aria opted for a pair of green shorts and a black tee shirt with the sleeves ripped off. Sonata was in her fluffy pink onesie. Adagio swore she would see blood if the pink one had been lying. Taking one last look around, she took a deep breath and raised her fist to the door.

Knock knock knock knock knock!

“Hello?” Sunset said, opening the door. “Oh, it’s you,” She said, narrowing her eyes. “What are you doing here?”

“Hello, Shimmer,” Adagio answered. She was relieved to see that the other girl was, in fact, wearing pajamas, so that was some embarrassment saved. She could not help but cringe at what she was about to say. “We were told that you were hosting some kind of party? Your friends invited us.”

“They did, did they?” Sunset asked, shooting a look at someone behind her. Turning back, she eyed the sirens suspiciously. “And you actually came? Why?”

“Your friends can be… persuasive,” Adagio said. Aria scoffed. “If you don’t want us here, we’d be more than happy to leave.”

“No no, it’s… fine.” Sunset said hesitantly. “I’m sorry about this, I did tell the girls to leave you alone. But, I would like to talk, if you do stay.”

“I suppose we can make nice, for a few hours,” Adagio said, “But don’t expect miracles.” The two former villains locked eyes for a moment, each searching the other for any hint of a trap.

“We brought you a cactus!” Sonata cried suddenly, shattering the tension. She held up the gift.

Sunset took the potted plant with some confusion. “Oh, that’s nice. But why?”

Aria smirked. “Someone got it in their head that that’s what you do for new neighbors.”

Adagio, to her surprise, found herself blushing. “I- I was told that it is customary to present a housewarming gift to new neighbors. It’s only good manners.”

Sunset chuckled, her smile returning. Something Rarity had said earlier suddenly made a lot more sense. “It’s perfect, girls, I love it. Please, come on in.”

Author's Note:

I kind of want a picture of Aria showering with a bear now...