• Published 25th Aug 2018
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Sunset Shimmer Hunts the Undead - Rune Soldier Dan

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Bonus Chapter: The Wrong Side of Heaven (and the Righteous Side of Hell)

Author's Note:

I originally started writing the "betrayal" chapters from Adagio's perspective, but ended up not liking that they clued the audience in to her doubts. I liked that the heel-turn ended up a surprise (for those of you who didn't already foresee it :derpyderp2: ), and that the chapters (hopefully) conveyed heavy tension.

Still, I feel good about what I wrote for Adagio, so have a little bonus chapter that takes place between the concerts.

Adagio touched her gem beneath the maroon fabric at her neck. Good thing turtlenecks were “in” this year. Else one of the others might remember the blue glow from the concert, or notice her choker held a perfect, color-shifted copy of the sirens’ old gems.

Or worse, they’d think it was another impulse buy. “You really can’t afford that.” “I worry about you, Daj.” “We’re just saying this because we…

...Care.”

Adagio paused mid-stride. She stared at the doors of the Dali Hall, mouth caught somewhere between a smile and a frown.

The former triumphed, and the expression grew as she entered the lobby. Stained brown walls and vomit-pink floors, but not for long. The usual odor of cigarettes and cat pee failed to breach her perfume. The rest of the bottle sat in her purse: an expensive Hoity brand that cost most people hundreds of dollars. But for Adagio? A sexy stance, and purring words passed through her gem-clad throat. The blushing saleswoman had been happy to oblige her a free sample. Same for the staff at the jeweler, the coffee shop, the Hemline Outlet…

Just like how she used to be. How she always should have been. Except for the strange, cold sensation when she used the gem, and the uncomfortable feeling of being watched. Small prices to pay for a return to opulence.

She kept the shopping light, for now. No sense courting another lecture. Just a modest bag in one hand, and coffee in the other. She shuffled awkwardly to get out her key, then grumbled as the doorknob jammed. She knocked and was rewarded – the door swung open from the other side, revealing… nobody?

Whatever. Adagio entered swiftly and collided with Wallflower. She ignored the now-visible girl’s meek apologies, sauntering to the common room to deposit her goods.

Her phone buzzed. A text from Aria.

She could wait. Adagio pulled her new dress from the bag, grinning greedily until Sunset slaughtered the mood.

“Another shopping trip? Adagio...”

“It was on sale,” Adagio replied, irritated that after bothering with subterfuge she faced a lecture all the same.

Twilight was here as well. The girl wore boxier plastic frames than her norm, and tilted her head to peer over them at Adagio. “Nice new watch. Was that on sale, too?”

“Girls.” Applejack’s twang broke through with authority. She emerged from her room with dorm-mom glare in place, and arms folded across her chest. “What she buys ain’t none of your business.”

“Sorry, but it kind of is.” Sunset gave a weak shrug, smiling apologetically. “Adagio, I’m worried about you.”

Applejack grimaced, but completed her steps to arrive firmly at Adagio’s side. “Me too, but she’ll ask for help if she wants it. There ain’t no reason to get pushy. Or snippy, Twi.”

Twilight quailed under her steady gaze and mumbled an apology. No magic required. Adagio’s victorious smirk fell to something more troubled when Applejack patted her shoulder – as platonic a gesture as could be imagined. Applejack smiled to her with contained worry, and Adagio responded with her best attempt at a friendly grin.

“Friendly.” Two months since the rejection, and it still hurt.

Yet her smiled quirked upwards, half from a joyous realization and half from the mess of feelings it unlocked.

Things didn’t have to be “friendly.” Not anymore. An evening alone with Applejack. Easy enough to arrange. Then hypnotic words, and a retirement to the bedroom. Cold gem at the throat, warm body beneath the hands. Hell, she could bring in Wallflower, Sunset, Celestia… whatever she wanted. Everything she wanted. As she once had. All she always should have had.

Adagio busied herself, unpacking the loot and mentally disassembling the fantasy. Evoking emotion was easy. Using it for a one-minute seductive shoplift was child’s play. But siren songs did not control, only influence. And even that could be resisted if the victim knew what was happening.

The dress was tossed listlessly to the bed. Honestly, Adagio didn’t like it. She just grabbed it because it was the most expensive thing in the store.

The new silver watch hung heavy and awkward on her wrist. Nothing here that Adagio really wanted. Not what she wanted most, anyway. That girl was still outside.

She stared to the door, pondering as she again touched the new gem. Far more powerful than the old. Strong enough to breach the Rainbooms’ defenses, and control the crowd for hours.

The fantasy returned, all but tactile within her reach. The old limits were gone. Surely it would be child’s play to control just one person…

Even the consideration brought a pleasured leer to Adagio’s face. Yet this time she did not argue with the thoughts. She shut them away, physically slapping the air as she released an embattled sigh.

...No. The answer was no. She wouldn’t. Couldn’t. Because…

…Because…

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