• Published 1st Sep 2019
  • 1,731 Views, 231 Comments

No Longer Living In A Van Down By The River - Peni Parker

Since The Dazzlings agreed to be motivational speakers at CHS they're no longer living in a van down by the river, but the job may make them wish they still were.

  • ...

Aria and Scootaloo

“I consider myself a pretty levelheaded person.” Aria Blaze placidly monologued as she stood in the kitchen one particularly vexatious morning, waiting for her toast to pop up from the toaster. “Do I have a temper? Yes. Do I sometimes let that temper get the better of me? Yes. But on the whole, I feel that I’m very prudent and sagacious.”

“No, I love you more…No, I love you more…” Sonata Dusk said into her phone as she walked into the room, grabbed a bottle of fizzy apple cider out of the fridge, and walked out of the room, repeating the same five words over and over the entire time.

“That being said,” Aria continued monologuing, her tone much sharper now. “If I have to keep being subjected to Sonata’s lovey-dovey relationship I swear to Celestia I am going to do something that will make me the subject of a true crime documentary.”

It had been about a week and a half since Sonata and Rainbow Dash had come forward with their relationship to everyone. The response to the news had been pretty uniform, at least among the Rainbooms and Dazzlings; some initial surprise but overall general acceptance filled with well-wishes. Aria, in particular, was fairly indifferent to the whole thing. It had caught her by surprise and she had wished the couple well in her relationship, but didn’t really give a damn. Afterall, what affect could it possibly have on her?

As it turned out, quite a large affect. Sonata began spending virtually every free moment that she had with Rainbow Dash. Rainbow started coming over to Sunset’s apartment practically every day so that she and Sonata could snuggle together on the couch, and when she wasn’t at the apartment Sonata was on the phone making sickeningly sweet conversation with her. Basically, it became impossible to be around Sonata at all without being sucked into her now love struck world, and given that Aria shared an apartment with the girl it was driving her crazy.

“Is Sonata still talking to Rainbow Dash?” Adagio Dazzle strikingly asked as she entered the kitchen dressed in only a bathrobe with a towel wrapped around her head, having just gotten done with her morning shower.

“Still? No idea.” Aria casually replied as her toast popped up. “All I know is that she was on the phone when I went to bed last night and that she was on the phone when I got up this morning. Whether she was on the thing all night or not I couldn’t say.”

Adagio took a seat at the table as Aria retrieved her toast, poured herself a glass of milk, and did the same.

“We need to stage an intervention or something.” Adagio randomly commented as she quickly swiped a piece of toast off of Aria’s plate and took a bite. “This level of romance can’t be healthy for either Sonata, Rainbow Dash, or anyone around them. Namely, us.”

Aria shot her sister a brief glare for swiping her toast before responding.

“No kidding.” She concurred as she took a bite of the piece of toast Adagio hadn’t swiped. “What really surprises me though is that Rainbow Dash is acting as romantic as Sonata. She never really struck me as the overly amorous type.”

“I’m guessing this is her first relationship.” Adagio postulated, finishing off her toast. “Everyone always over does it on the romance the first time they fall in love.”

“Yeah, you’re probably right.” Aria flatly agreed, though she couldn’t attest to Adagio’s claim personally since she’d never been in a relationship herself.

“It’s your day to go to CHS, right?” Adagio asked her sister, causing Aria to nod her head as she took another bite of toast. “Any chance I can go instead? I really don’t want to spend all day here with Sonata hearing about how ‘great and wonderful a girlfriend Dashie is’.”

“Not a snowball’s chance in Hell.” Aria amusingly stated once she swallowed her toast. “I never thought I’d say this, but I’m actually glad to be going to school today.”

“Fine.” Adagio acrimoniously, and grandiosely, commented. “As long as you’re comfortable knowing that you’re condemning your poor sister to a fate worse than death.”

Aria simply rolled her eyes as she finished her toast and took her plate over to the sink.

“Don’t be so dramatic, you’ll be fine.” She unequivocally remarked.

“I wasn’t referring to myself.” Adagio acutely corrected.

“Whatever.” Aria uncaringly responded as she threw her plate in the sink and looked up at the clock. “I gotta get going.”

“Can I at least come with you?” Adagio pitifully asked.

The dismal tone of Adagio’s voice was one that Aria had never heard come from her sister before. She turned around and saw Adagio staring at her with the most abject face she’d ever seen, causing her to once again roll her eyes.

“You know you’re not under house arrest, right?” She plainly stated, not falling for her sister’s ‘poor, pitiful me’ manipulation tactic. “If you’re that desperate to get away from Sonata you can just go to the park or something.”

“Oh don’t be silly, Dashie, I think you’d look sexy in a pair of edible panties.” Sonata seductively said into her phone as she entered the room, gaining both Aria and Adagio’s attention.

“Good thinking, thanks.” Adagio queasily said as she swiftly got up from the table and ran into the bedroom, presumably to get changed so she could leave.

“Yeah, I’m outta here.” Aria just as queasily said as she ran out the front door, trying to keep her mind from forming lewd images of Rainbow Dash as she left the apartment.

“So don’t worry about the whole season, just take things one game at a time.” Aria said to Soarin, who had come to her seeking motivation after having lost the last two soccer games Canterlot High had played.

“Huh, I never thought about it that way.” Soarin replied as he got up to leave. “Thanks for the help, Aria!”

“It’s what I’m here for.” Aria apathetically stated just after Soarin had exited the room, lowering her head in exhaustion. “Ugh, fourth one today and it’s not even noon. Still, it could be worse.”

Despite the rather unusually large number of students coming to see her, Aria was glad to be at CHS as opposed to being at home with Sonata. Even during the times when Sonata couldn’t talk to Rainbow Dash, like during school hours, she could still drive one crazy by endlessly talking about her girlfriend, which she usually did.

“Hope Adagio made it out.” She randomly said to herself as she recalled her sister’s earlier desperation to get way from Sonata.

“Um, are you available?” A small voice suddenly said.

Aria snapped out of her train of thought and lifted her head to see a young girl with cerise hair and grayish purple eyes standing diffidently in the doorway. She’d seen the girl around school before, but didn’t really know who she was.

“Yeah, I’m available.” She reluctantly admitted as she sat up in her seat. “Whatcha need, kid?”

“My name’s Scootaloo.” The girl said as she entered the room, sounding a bit irritated at being called ‘kid’. “And I was hoping to talk to you about my sister, Rainbow Dash.”

I swear, the universe must hate me or something. Aria thought to herself, unhappy that someone else wanted to talk to her about Rainbow Dash now.

“Wait, Rainbow Dash has a sister?” She asked aloud, curious as to why she was just learning this given everything she’d recently, and involuntarily, learned about Rainbow Dash from Sonata.

“Well, not in the traditional sense.” The girl began to explain as she took a seat in front of Aria’s desk. “We’re not related by blood, but since I’m an only child Rainbow Dash took me under her wing a while back and we’ve had a strong sister-like bond ever since.”

She’s an only child and she wanted a sister? Aria silently asked as she listened to Scootaloo, wondering why anyone would willingly want to have a sister.

“At least, we used to have a strong sister-like bond.” Scootaloo sulked as she lowered her head in a dejecting manner. “Ever since Rainbow Dash got a girlfriend she doesn’t have time for me anymore.”

“Yeah, she and Sonata have been spending virtually every waking second either together or on the phone with each other recently, huh?” Aria sympathetically commented, knowing all too well what Scootaloo was talking about.

“Exactly!” Scootaloo declared as she lifted her head, picking up on Aria’s sympathy. “And even when we do spend time together she’s always going on about Sonata. Last weekend we went to the mall to get some new athletic attire and all she could talk about was how good Sonata would look in a soccer jersey or a cheerleader outfit.”

“That’s nothing.” Aria impishly remarked as she leaned toward on her desk. “You don’t even want to know what I heard Sonata tell Rainbow Dash say she’d look good in earlier today.”

“What?” Scootaloo curiously asked.

There was a brief moment of silence as Aria considered whether or not she really should answer Scootaloo’s question.

“Edible…panties.” She casually said.

“Oh, gross!” Scootaloo queasily replied as she winced in her chair, instantly regretting letting her curiosity get the better of her.

“Yeah, Adagio and I had the same reaction.” Aria informed Scootaloo with a friendly guffaw, amused by how similar the young girls reaction was to her own. “I told you you didn’t want to know.”

Once Scootaloo was over her queasiness, she couldn’t help but join in the laughter, feeling amused at just how right Aria had been about her not wanting to know. The two girls shared a nice moment of mirth before Scootaloo spoke up again.

“So, are you and your sister not spending much time together these days too?” She nonchalantly asked Aria.

The smile that had been on Aria’s face from laughing quickly disappeared, replaced by an almost emotionless expression.

“We’ve never really been all that close.” She indifferently admitted.

Scootaloo’s smile quickly disappeared as well as she stared at the surprisingly lackadaisical Dazzling.

“What do you mean?” She confusingly asked.

“I mean we’ve never had a ‘strong sister-like bond’ like you and Rainbow Dash seem to have.” Aria clarified, still showing little to no emotion.

“But, you’re sisters. Actual sisters.” Scootaloo responded, still confused.

At this point, Aria was getting utterly annoyed by Scootaloo’s inability to understand what she was saying.

“Look, just because two people are related by blood doesn’t mean they get along, okay?!” She belligerently stated as she stood up and slammed her hands down on her desk, staring at Scootaloo with an ornery expression. “Sonata is a klutz, and a ditz, and just…the worst!”

Scootaloo winced in her chair at Aria’s outburst. Part of her wanted to get up and leave right there and then, but a larger part of her wanted to understand how someone could feel such negative feelings about their own sister.

“So you…hate Sonata?” She timidly asked.

“Yes! I mean, no! I mean…I don’t know!” Aria yelled as she sat back down in her chair, taking a deep breath in an attempt to calm down. “It’s complicated.”

Not sure what else to do, Scootaloo simply sat silently as Aria took a few more deep breaths.

“I’m sorry I went off like that.” Aria apologized once she’d regained her composure. “It’s just, my relationship with Sonata isn’t my favorite subject at the best of times, and with things the way they are now it’s the absolute last thing I want to dive into.”

“It’s fine.” Scootaloo assured the attritional Dazzling. “And I’m sorry too. I guess I just can’t understand how two sisters can have such a strenuous relationship.”

“Like I said, it’s complicated.” Aria replied, in an unexpectedly somber manner, as she tilted her head downwards and to the side.

There was a brief moment of silence before Scootaloo spoke up.

“Hey, um, Aria?” She timorously began to say. “I have two tickets to this movie tonight and Rainbow Dash said she’s too busy with soccer stuff to go with me. You think maybe…you’d like to go with me?”

Aria brought her head back up in both astonishment and bewilderment at Scootaloo’s question. No one had ever asked her if she wanted to go to the movies with them, not even her sisters.

“Um, sure, I guess.” She confusingly answered.

“Great!” Scootaloo exclaimed and she got up from her seat and headed for the door. “The movie’s at 5:00, you can just meet me in front of the theater before then. See you later!”

Aria waved goodbye to Scootaloo as she left her office, trying to figure out what had just happened.

“First I yell in her face, then she invites me to the movies.” She very plainly stated. “I swear, I am never going to understand this world.”

Even hours later, Aria was still confused by Scootaloo’s invitation to join her at the movies as she walked through Canterlot Mall.

“It just doesn’t make any sense.” She said to herself as she made her way towards the theater. “I yell at Scootaloo and then she wants me to hang out with her. Is she a masochist or something?”

“Hey, Aria!” Scootaloo shouted as she noticed the pig-tailed Dazzling approaching the theater.

“Eh, whatever.” Aria softly commented as she waved at Scootaloo, deciding to let the issue go. “A free movie’s a free movie.”

“Thanks for coming.” Scootaloo cheerfully greeted her once she was close enough. “I really didn’t want to see this movie alone.”

“What movie are we seeing?” Aria inquired, having just realized she hadn’t asked that question earlier.

“This one.” Scootaloo happily replied as she pulled a pair of tickets out of her pocket and handed them to Aria.

Aria looked at the tickets and recognized the name of the movie; Clown. It was one that she didn’t know too much about, but had heard online that is was supposed to be really good. There was, however, one piece of information on the tickets that perplexed her.

“How did you come by these tickets?” She inquisitively asked Scootaloo.

“What do you mean? I bought them.” Scootaloo explained, confused why Aria was asking her such an obvious question.

“These tickets say this movie is rated R.” Aria pointed out. “How were you able to buy them?”

Scootaloo’s eyes went as wide a dinner plates as she realized the predicament she was in. She hadn’t thought about Aria questioning how she, a minor, had successfully purchased tickets to an R-rated movie.

“Um, well, the thing is…” She stammered, clearly not wanting to answer the question. “I may have used a…fake ID.”

“I see.” Aria very authoritatively responded with a stern expression. “You know, Scootaloo, as an employee of the school I feel that I should say something.”

“Y-yeah?” Scootaloo nervously stated, fearing what Aria was about to say next.

“Not bad, kid.” Aria mischievously remarked as she handed the tickets back to Scootaloo, a sly smile on her face.

“Heh heh.” Scootaloo chuckled as she took the tickets back, relieved that she wasn’t in trouble.

“Come on, let’s get some popcorn, my treat.” Aria jovially said as she opened the door into the theater and held it for Scootaloo.

All Scootaloo could do in response was give a wide smile as she ran into the theater and headed for the concession stand, with Aria not far behind her.

True to her word, Aria bought the two of them some popcorn (and even some drinks) before they ventured to the auditorium where their movie was playing. Once there, they found some good seats and waited for the movie to start.

“So what’s this movie about anyways?” Aria curiously asked.

“Seriously?!” Scootaloo asked in bewildered astonishment. “You haven’t heard of this movie?!”

“I’ve heard of it,” Aria clarified. “I just haven’t heard about it.”

Scootaloo playfully rolled her eyes as she pulled her phone out of her pocket.

“Here, let me read you the synopsis.” She said as she scrolled through her phone. “Got it: ‘Forever alone in a crowd, failed comedian Trouble Shoes seeks connection as he walks the streets of Maretropolis. Trouble Shoes wears two masks -- the one he paints for his day job as a rodeo clown, and the guise he projects in a futile attempt to feel like he's part of the world around him. Isolated, bullied and disregarded by society, he begins a slow descent into madness as he transforms into the criminal mastermind known as the Clown.’”

“Huh, sounds like my kind of movie.” Aria commented as started to munch on her popcorn.

“Yeah, I figured.” Scootaloo rather proudly stated, putting her phone back into her pocket just as the lights started to dim. “Oh, here we go!”

“OH MY GOSH, THAT WAS SO AMAZING!” Scootaloo exclaimed as she exited the theater about two hours later, turning around to face Aria, who was walking behind her. “DIDN’T YOU JUST LOVE THE PART WHERE…”

“Hey!” Aria interjected as she swiftly covered Scootaloo’s mouth with her right hand and pointed at a line of people waiting outside the theater with her left hand. “Spoilers.”

Scootaloo quickly realized what Aria was getting at and nodded her head in understanding.

“Okay.” Aria fervently said as she removed her hand from Scootaloo’s mouth. “Never spoil a movie. People who spoil movies are the lowest form of life.”

“S-sorry.” Scootaloo apologized as she lowered her head in embarrassment.

“It’s fine.” Aria assured the dejected younger girl. “Just be more careful in the future.”

“I will.” Scootaloo cheerfully responded as she brought her head back up. “So, you want to hang out some more?”

In all honesty, Aria didn’t want to want to hang out with Scootaloo some more. She’d had a good time with her at the movies, but all she really wanted to do now was go home and relax with a good book. That is, until she remembered that Sonata would most likely be at home.

“Yeah, let’s hang out some more.” She hastily replied.

“Great!” Scootaloo happily declared as she grabbed a hold of Aria’s hand and started running through the mall. “Come on, I know this store that has a lot of cool tech we can check out.”

“Okay, okay, just slow down!” Aria pleaded, struggling to keep her balance as she was pulled along by her hand.

For the next hour, Scootaloo dragged Aria all over the mall, the two of them visiting a variety of different stores. Tech stores, clothing stores, jewelry stores, Disney stores, they went to them all without discretion. Eventually they ended up getting some smoothies at food court, which Aria was grateful for it provided her a much-needed opportunity to sit down and rest.

“So…is this what you and…Rainbow Dash do when…you two hang out?” The exhausted Dazzling asked between staggered breaths.

“Are you kidding? Rainbow Dash and I don’t have nearly as much fun as we are now!” Scootaloo energetically exclaimed after taking a sip of her smoothie. “I’m so glad I found a new big sister!”

“WHAT?!” Aria shouted in surprise, tapping into reserve energy she didn’t even know she had. “Scootaloo, I’m not your new big sister.”

“B-but why not?!” Scootaloo painfully asked, feeling wounded by Aria’s words. “I need a new big sister and we’re having a good time together, aren’t we?”

Aria couldn’t help but facepalm.

“Is this the whole reason you asked me to the movies?” She crossly asked as she put her hand down. “You just wanted me to take Rainbow Dash’s place as your big sister?”

Scootaloo sunk down into her seat before answering.

“W-well, kind of.” She timidly admitted. “But I thought maybe you wanted a new sister too, since you and Sonata don’t seem to get along.”

This time, Aria just let her head fall down onto the table.

“I’m not looking for a new sister, Scootaloo.” She very candidly said into the table. “Sonata may be a pain in the ass most of the time, but I’m not looking to replace her. Besides, you don’t want to be a Dazzling, trust me.”

“Oh, okay.” Scootaloo very despairingly stated, practically on the verge of tears. “I-I’ll just be going then.”

Just as Scootaloo got up to leave, she felt Aria’s hand grab hold her arm.

“Not so fast.” The pig-tailed girl told her, her head now off the table. “We’re talking about this.”

As much as Scootaloo didn’t want to talk about things further, she silently sat back down in her seat and waited for Aria to start.

“I understand that you and Rainbow Dash aren’t on the best of terms right now, but you can’t just up and try to replace her as your sister.” The Dazzling solemnly informed her.

“Hey, Rainbow Dash is the one who replaced me first!” Scootaloo emotionally vociferated, a bit more than she intended.

“Rainbow hasn’t replaced you, she just got a girlfriend.” Aria gently replied, trying to get Scootaloo to calm down. “I know that means she doesn’t have as much time for you as she used to, but it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t still care about you.”

Scootaloo looked off to the side as she listened to Aria’s words, not feeling all that convinced that she was right.

“Look, I know Rainbow Dash, and if there’s one thing I can say about her it’s that she’d fiercely loyal.” Aria continued. “And I know that just because she has someone new in her life it doesn’t mean that she’s going to forget about her sister.”

“I guess.” Scootaloo admitted, though a hint of doubt could be heard in her voice.

Feeling she had no other choice, Aria reached across the table and took a hold of Scootaloo’s hand.

“Scootaloo, if you’re that worried about your relationship with Rainbow Dash then talk to her about it.” She soothingly said. “I’m sure that she’ll tell you that even though she has a girlfriend now she’ll always have time for you.”

Without warning, Scootaloo pulled her hand free and ran over to Aria, embracing her in an unexpected hug.

“You’re right, Aria!” She said as tears flowed down her cheeks. “I just need to talk to her. I’ve been afraid to do that, but I think I can now. Thank you, thank you!”

“No problem, kid.” Aria replied as she returned the hug.

At this point of a few of the other mall patrons were staring at Aria and Scootaloo as they cried and hugged, but neither of them cared. Let ‘em stare.

“It’s getting late.” Aria pointed out as she broke the hug. “We should probably get going.”

“Yeah.” Scootaloo agreed, wiping the tears from her eyes as she and Aria made their way towards the exit.

Since it was so late, Aria and Scootaloo decided to take the bus rather than walking. Fortunately for both of them, the bus made stops pretty close to their homes. They’d sat in relative silence for most of the ride, since neither of them really knew what to say to the other after their emotional moment at the mall.

“Hey, Aria?” Scootaloo eventually spoke up.

“Yeah?” Aria replied.

“Do you think maybe you could still be my big sister? Just sort of like my…other big sister?” She nervously asked.

Aria gave a small smile and chuckled before answering Scootaloo.

“Yeah, I think I can be your other big sister.” She blithely said as she wrapped her arm around Scootaloo’s shoulder.

Scootaloo, in response, pulled Aria into another hug, which the Dazzling warmly returned.

Soon enough, the bus came to a stop and Scootaloo broke the hug as she got off, thanking her new sister again for all her help. Aria waved goodbye to Scootaloo and told her she’d see her at school the next day as the bus started moving again.

“Phew, what a day.” She said to herself once she was alone, happy to have a moment to herself.

The rest of the bus ride was only about ten minutes as Aria got off at the next stop and walked about a block and a half east towards Sunset’s apartment. Once she was home, she looked around to find that Sonata was the only other person there, sitting alone on the couch watching TV.

“Where’re Adagio and Sunset?” She asked.

“Oh, hey, Aria.” Sonata cheerfully said as she turned her attention to her sister. “Sunset’s at a slumber party with the rest of the Rainbooms and I have no idea where Adagio is. She left shortly after you did this morning and I haven’t seen her since.”

Hope she comes back. Aria thought to herself, fearful that Adagio might actually have left for good.

“Oh my gosh, I have to tell you what Dashie said to me today.” Sonata perkily stated as she got up from the couch. “I was with her on the phone after school and she told me about this…”

Sonata abruptly stopped talking as Aria wrapped her in surprising hug.

“Um, what’s happening?” She very confusingly asked.

“Love you, sis.” Aria coolly said as she broke the hug and headed towards the bedroom in a manner that suggested what she’d just done was a fairly common thing, which it wasn’t.

“Okay, um, love you too?” Sonata confusingly replied, not sure what else to say as her sister entered the bedroom.

Once again alone, Sonata sat back down on the couch and tried to make sense of what had just happened.

“Did Aria have a near-death experience or something?” She wondered.

Author's Note:

Special thanks to sonicfan05 for suggesting this chapter.

If you have a suggestion for a future chapter let me know in the comments.

The next chapter will feature Adagio and Moondancer.