• Published 1st Sep 2019
  • 1,707 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.

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Aria and Rainbow Dash

Aria Blaze was sitting alone in room 126 of Canterlot High School. The unused classroom had recently been converted into an office for her and her sisters after they’d agreed to jobs as motivational speakers at the school. Or rather, Sonata had agreed for them.

Only a few weeks ago, the three Dazzling sisters were living in a van down by the river because of what happened during the Battle of the Bands. One day, Sonata burst into the van saying that she had found them jobs as motivational speakers at CHS, much to Aria and Adagio’s dismay. However, if it meant getting them out the van and away from the river they couldn’t really refuse.

So there Aria was, sitting and waiting for some poor student to come to her needing motivation.

“Ugh,” she groaned as she bounced a tennis ball against the wall. “How come I always get the Friday shift?”

Principal Celestia couldn’t afford to hire each of the Dazzlings individually, of course, so the three of them worked in shifts. As it stood, Aria took Mondays, Sonata took Tuesdays (for obvious reasons), Adagio took Wednesdays, and Thursdays and Fridays were determined by games of rock, paper, scissors. Aria never had any luck when it came to rock, paper, scissors and thus usually ended up working on Fridays (and sometimes Thursdays too).

“103, 104, 105…” Aria said to herself as she counted the number of times she bounced the tennis ball against the wall, trying to kill time until the end of the day. She got up to 249 when she heard a knock on her door.

“Come in,” Aria unenthusiastically stated as she ceased bouncing the tennis ball and put it in her desk.

The door opened to reveal Rainbow Dash standing in the doorway, a look of disappointment on her face upon seeing Aria in the office.

“Oh, sorry, I thought Sonata was here today.” The rainbow hair teen dejected.

Aria felt a bit offended by Rainbow Dash’s morose response to learning that she was in the office instead of Sonata.

“Yeah, well, she isn’t.” She gratingly remarked. “What do you need?”

“Uh, nothing. Sorry to bother you.” Rainbow replied as she started to close the door.

“HOLD IT!” Aria shouted as she stood up from her desk and slammed her hands down, causing Rainbow Dash to reopen the door all the way.

“I don’t know why you want to see Sonata but I’m perfectly capable of helping you. Now get in here and park it!” she finished as she aggressively pointed to the chair in front of her desk.

Rainbow Dash really didn’t want talk to Aria, mostly because she always felt that she was the most unstable of the Dazzling trio. Sure, none of the Dazzlings were all that emotionally together; Adagio was condescending as hell and Sonata was unbelievably naïve, but Aria constantly looked like she wanted to kill someone. In truth, Rainbow Dash was a bit intimidated by her. So, rather than risk upsetting Aria even more than she’d already inadvertently done, she decided to enter the room and take a seat.

“Good.” Aria said a bit more calmly as she once again took her seat. “Now then, what can I help you with?”

Rainbow Dash gave a small gulp as she carefully considered what she was about to say next.

“Well, as you know we have that big soccer game against Crystal Prep tomorrow.” She began to explain.

Aria, in fact, knew nothing about the upcoming soccer game against Crystal Prep. Despite being an employee of the school, she didn’t really care about any of the school’s various events. Sports, dances, charity drives, she saw all of them as nothing more than wastes of time.

“Right, the big game.” She remarked, trying to sound like she knew what Rainbow Dash was talking about.

“See, the thing is, I’m having trouble getting into the zone for it.” Rainbow continued, feeling a little embarrassed about admitting her anxiety, especially to Aria. “Normally I don’t have a problem with getting into the zone before a game, but the pressure to beat Crystal Prep is really getting to me.”

“Uh-huh,” Aria half-heartedly uttered, “And you want my help to getting into ‘the zone’ then?”

“Well, I was hoping Sonata would help me…” Rainbow started to say but stopped when she noticed the growing scowl on Aria’s face as she mentioned Sonata. “B-but I’m sure you could help me instead, heh-heh.”

Aria ceased her scowling and simply rolled her eyes, trying to remember that she was indeed there to help Rainbow and not get into a pissing contest with Sonata over who was the better motivational speaker.

“Okay, you said the pressure to beat Crystal Prep is what's keeping you from getting into the zone, right?” she asked.

Rainbow Dash nodded her head.

“Than you’re solution is simple; just find something to take the pressure off. You know, relax.” Aria rather dryly stated.

Aria’s answer wasn’t what Rainbow had expected. In fact, it seemed kind of half-assed.

“Yeah, I’m gonna need more than that.” Rainbow commented in a deadpan tone as she leaned back in her seat and folded her arms. “This is the biggest game of the year, what can I do to possibly relax?”

Aria placed her left hand under her chin as she pondered some possible answers.

“Well, sex does wonders for me. Have you tried that?” She suggested.

Rainbow Dash’s jaw and arms dropped as she stared at Aria in disbelief. Was she serious? Had Aria, a school employee, really just suggested that she have sex?

“O…kay.” Rainbow stated in a somewhat dazed manner as she got up from her seat. “Well, thanks for the help, Aria.”

As Rainbow made her way towards the door, it was painfully clear to Aria that her suggestion hadn’t gone over well with the athletic teen. And, believe it or not, she actually cared. Why she cared she didn’t know, but she did.

“Wait, Rainbow Dash!” she called out as she rose from her seat, just as Rainbow Dash had reached the door.

Rainbow turned around and saw something she’d never seen before, something she never thought she would see, something she didn’t even think it was possible to see; She saw genuine regret on Aria’s face.

“Look, I’m sorry, okay?” Aria apologized as she stared down at her desk, not wanting to make eye contact with Rainbow Dash.

As hard as it was to believe, Rainbow could tell Aria was being sincere in her apology.

“I know…I know I’m not good at this.” Aria continued as she rubbed her left arm. “But, I really do want to help you.”

As sincere as Aria sounded, Rainbow still had her reservations about staying and accepting her help.

“If you know you’re not good at this than why did you take this job?” she inquired.

Aria took a deep breath.

“Because…my sisters and I didn’t have any other options.” She clarified as she looked up from her desk and stared Rainbow Dash square in the eyes. “Not sure if you know this or not, but after the Battle of the Bands we were stuck living in a van down by the river. We didn’t have any home, any money, or any hope.”

As Rainbow listened to Aria explain her situation, she could tell this wasn’t something the former siren liked admitting, let alone talking about.

“But then one day Sonata said Sunset Shimmer could get us this job.” Aria continued, getting more and more emotional with each sentence. “And even though I didn’t want to be a motivational speaker, even though I hated the idea of coming back to CHS, it was our only way out.”

Aria sat back down in her chair, her legs feeling like jelly. She was trying her best to keep her emotions in check, but she could feel tears forming in the corners of her eyes. This didn’t go unnoticed by Rainbow Dash.

“Hey, you okay?” She asked out of genuine concern for the Dazzling as she slowly moved closer to Aria’s desk.

Not wanting Rainbow Dash to see her tears, Aria turned her head to the side before answering.

“I…I don’t know.” She professed. “I’m just so confused. I hate this job, but I hated living in that stupid van down by the river even more. Sometimes…it just feels like my life is nothing but one big joke, like no matter what happens I’ll always be miserable.”

The tears in Aria’s eyes started to flow down her cheeks, much to her chagrin. She hated herself for crying in front of Rainbow Dash the way she currently was and wanted nothing more than to curl up into a ball and die.

That is, until she felt a hand touch her shoulder. Aria quickly turned around to see Rainbow Dash standing next to her with tears in her eyes as well.

“I’m sorry.” Rainbow said as she knelt down and pulled Aria into a surprise hug.

“W-what the hell are you doing?” Aria blurted out in her startled state.

“I’m so, so sorry for what my friends and I did to you.” Rainbow continued as she broke the hug, but kept both her hands on Aria’s shoulders. “I’m not sorry that we stopped you from taking over the school, but I’m sorry that we didn’t try to help you afterwards.”

Aria just stared at Rainbow Dash with tear-filled eyes as her former enemy apologized to her, completely befuddled by the whole situation.

“Maybe if we had helped you, you wouldn’t feel so miserable all the time. Can you ever forgive us?” Rainbow pleaded.

“Um, y-yeah, I guess.” Aria replied, still confused at what was happening.

Fresh tears formed on Rainbow Dash’s face as she pulled Aria into another hug.

“Thank you, thank you!” She exclaimed.

Not sure what she should do, Aria just patted Rainbow’s back in a sign of support. Eventually Rainbow Dash broke the hug, stood up, and wiped the tears from her eyes.

“So, um, that got a little crazy, huh?” she said with a hint of embarrassment in her voice and small blush on her face.

“Y-yeah, crazy,” Aria responded, “and awkward.”

Rainbow gave a light chuckle as she rubbed the back of her head in continued embarrassment.

“Well, I guess I’ll be seeing you around, Aria.” She said as she made her way over to the door.

As she watched Rainbow Dash walk over to the exit, Aria’s confusion began to dissipate and felt like she was forgetting something. Then it dawned on her.

“Wait, what about your ‘zone’ problem?” she asked as she got up from her seat and followed after Rainbow.

“Oh, right.” Rainbow replied, remembering why’d she’d been there in the first place. “You know, I’d forgotten all about it, but now that you mentioned it again it’s starting to come back.”

Aria stopped and facepalmed herself, frustrated that she’d inadvertently revived Rainbow Dash’s anxieties about the upcoming soccer game. But then, like a lightbulb turning on, she got an idea.

“Follow me.” She instructed Rainbow as she made her way out the door.

“Um, follow you where, exactly.” Rainbow wanted to know, still a bit skeptical of Aria’s intentions.

“Just shut up and follow me,” Aria retorted, somewhat demandingly, as she walked through the hallway. “I promise it’ll help you.”

Despite still being mildly skeptical of Aria, Rainbow shrugged her shoulders and decided to follow the Dazzling.

The place Aria brought Rainbow Dash to was the roof of the school.

“Um, why are we here?” Rainbow asked, confused as to what could possibly be on the roof that would help fix her anxiety.

“Just come over here and sit down.” Aria said from the edge of the roof facing the front of the school as she took a seat.

Rainbow was a bit afraid of going over to edge of the roof with Aria so close to it. The thought had crossed her mind that the former foe was planning to push her off the roof once she was close enough. However, that thought was quickly dispelled when she remembered to emotional moment the two of them had just shared in Aria’s office. Even if there was a point in time when Aria would’ve pushed her off the roof, that time was gone. So help Rainbow Dash, she was even starting to think of Aria as a friend.

“Okay.” She said skeptically, not because she thought Aria was going to push her off the roof but because she didn’t believe doing so would be of any help.

Sure enough, once both girls were sitting next to each other on the edge of the roof Rainbow didn’t feel any different.

“So, how is sitting here supposed to help me exactly?” Rainbow inquired.

“Just look out there,” Aria said as she pointed towards the horizon, “What do you see?”

Rainbow turned her head in the direction Aria was pointing.

“Um, I see the city.” She answered, confused as to why Aria was asking such an obvious question.

“Be more specific.” The Dazzling clarified.

Rainbow Dash’s confusion only intensified.

“Okay, I see some buildings, houses, and trees.” She replied.

“Good, now what do you think are in those buildings and houses?” Aria asked.

At this point, Rainbow was straight-up bewildered. Why was Aria asking her these questions?

“People, I guess.” She remarked, not sure if that was the answer Aria was looking for or not.

Aria turned to Rainbow Dash with the most serious expression the athletic teen had ever seen.

“That’s right, people.” She proclaimed as she once again turned her attention to the horizon. “People going about the everyday hustle-and-bustle of their lives, believing that if they don’t do well in school or get a promotion then it’s the end of the world. But they’re wrong. I read a book by some philosopher once that said, ‘The values society tries to impose on us cannot define us.’ Well, I believe the same is true regarding the expectations society tries to impose on us.”

Rainbow Dash looked at Aria with a sense of amazement and awe as the pig-tailed girl continued.

“You’re an amazing athlete, Rainbow Dash, and I have no doubt you’ll kick some Crystal Prep ass in that soccer game. But even if everyone expects you to win and you don’t, it won’t change the fact that you’re an amazing athlete. So don’t worry so much about losing, it won’t change who you are.”

As much as Rainbow wanted to say something, she couldn’t. Aria’s surprisingly profound insights had left her speechless.

“Uh, you okay.” Aria asked, concerned by Rainbow Dash’s silence.

“Y-yeah,” Rainbow managed to respond. “Just trying to take all that in.”

“Well, the important thing to remember is that losing isn’t the end of the world.” Aria said.

A small smile crossed Rainbow’s face.

“Geez, Aria, I had no idea you were such an egghead.” She remarked as she playfully jabbed Aria’s arm.

Aria smiled and playfully jabbed Rainbow back.

“I have my moments.” She commented. “Everyone always assumes Adagio’s the smart Dazzling, but between the three of us I’m the only one that’s ever set foot in a library.”

Both girls shared a laugh before Aria realized how late is was getting and got up to leave.

“Well, I gotta get going. I promised my sisters I’d pick up a pizza for dinner on the way home tonight.” The Dazzling girl explained.

“Thanks for everything, Aria.” Rainbow expressed in gratitude. “You’re not as bad at motivational speaking as you think.”

Aria began to blush at Rainbow Dash’s unexpected praise.

“Like I said, I have my moments. Good luck tomorrow, Dash.” She said as she made her towards the roof door.

“I don’t need luck, but thanks.” Rainbow somewhat egotistically replied.

Aria gaily rolled her eyes at hearing Rainbow’s words. She continued walking towards the roof door when she stopped only a few feet from it. Something had crossed her mind, something she need to ask Rainbow Dash about before leaving.

“Hey, Dash,” she called out as she turned around, causing Rainbow to turn around. “Earlier, when you came into my office, why did you think Sonata was here today?”

“Oh, um, no reason, just did, heh-heh.” Rainbow Dash answered.

Aria raised an eyebrow in suspicion but decided to let the matter go, remembering that she needed to get home soon with the pizza. She turned back around and headed through the roof’s door.

As soon as Aria was out of sight, Rainbow breathed a sigh of relief. She pulled out her phone, opened her contacts, and hit the call button under the contact labeled ‘Girlfriend’. She placed the phone up to her ear and waited until the line on the other end picked up.

“Hey, Dashie,” a bubbly voice on the other end said. “What’s up?”

“Sonata,” Rainbow very sternly spoke. “When I said I needed to talk to you about being nervous for the big game tomorrow, why did you tell me you were at school today?”

“Oh, I take it you went to my office and found Aria then, huh?” Sonata replied.

“Yeah, I did.” Rainbow answered, sounding almost wounded. “Why did you lie to me?”

“Dashie, I’m sorry I lied to you like that,” Sonata apologized. “but when you told me about your anxiety I knew Aria would be the better one to help you with it. She did help you, right?”

“Surprisingly, yes.” Rainbow stated. “But it doesn’t change the fact that you lied to me.”

“I know, I know, but please hear me out.” Sonata pleaded. “When I realized Aria would be better at helping you than me I saw a chance for you two to become closer. If we’re ever going to reveal our relationship, Dashie, I want you to get along with my sisters first and I knew you wouldn’t go to Aria willingly, so I had to trick you. It’s not an excuse for lying to you the way I did, but I hope you can understand why I did it.”

Rainbow gave an audible sigh at Sonata’s explanation. She was still upset with her girlfriend for lying to her, but given how things with Aria had worked out she wasn’t too upset.

“I’ll admit, things did work out well with Aria and we did bond a little.” she conceded.

“Oh, I’m so glad!” Sonata exclaimed.

“But you still owe me for lying.” Rainbow added.

“You don’t want me to do that thing, do you?” Sonata worryingly asked.

Rainbow Dash gave a sly smile upon hearing Sonata mention doing that thing as possible retribution for lying to her.

“Hmmm, having you do that thing hadn’t crossed my mind, but since you mentioned it, yes, I want you to do that thing.” Rainbow very smoothly said.

“D ’oh. Alright, next time we’re alone I promise I’ll do that thing.” Sonata reluctantly agreed.

A small chuckle escaped Rainbow’s mouth when she heard Sonata give in to her request to do that thing.

“Uh-oh, Adagio’s coming, I have to go. Bye, Dashie.” Sonata quickly said before hanging up.

Rainbow Dash put her phone back into her pocket and once again stared off into the horizon, thinking more deeply about what Aria had said to her.

Author's Note:

This chapter ended up being longer and more dramatic than I originally intended.

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

The next chapter will feature Sonata and Bulk Biceps.