• Published 1st Sep 2019
  • 1,732 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 Limestone Pie

“Which one of these do think goes better with my new outfit?” Trixie Lulamoon asked as she held two capes out in front of her. “The black or the navy blue?”

“I don’t know.” Aria Blaze exhaustingly replied from a nearby chair, trying her best not to sound like she was slowly dying of boredom. “The navy blue?”

“Hmm.” Trixie muttered as she took a closer look at the navy blue cape. “Agreed! Good eye, Aria.”

“Thanks.” The Dazzling unenthusiastically replied.

Currently, Aria was at a costume shop located in Canterlot Mall with Trixie helping the girl find a new ensemble for her magic act. Why she was there helping Trixie find a new ensemble though, she had no idea, as she had ‘zero fashion sense’ as her grandiloquent friend had once offhandedly put it.

In fact, Trixie’s exact words then had been, ‘Honestly, Aria, I love you but the outfits you wear most of the time give the impression that you have zero fashion sense. Fortunately for you, you have a great and powerful friend like me to help keep you from looking like Nancy Spungen.’ Aria hadn’t been too offended by Trixie’s remark though on account of the fact that she knew the vainglorious girl was just trying to be a supportive friend. That, and she didn’t know who Nancy Spungen was.

In any case, the Dazzling was confused as to exactly why Trixie had asked for her help in finding a new stage outfit. The whole thing was even more confusing to her as Trixie’s manager, Sugarcoat, was already accompanying the girl to make sure she didn’t go over her budget. While Aria didn’t really know Sugarcoat very well, she figured that the Shadowbolt was more than capable of helping her find a new stage outfit by herself.

“Now, onto hats!” Trixie tawdrily proclaimed as she put the black cape back on the rack and handed the navy blue one off to Sugarcoat, who was already holding a dress and a pair of shoes.

As Trixie marched off towards the assortment of various hats, located at the other end of the store, Aria begrudgingly got up from her seat and began to lethargically follow her.

“Starting to regret tagging along?” Sugarcoat passively asked as she walked alongside her, noticing her rather lackluster mannerisms.

Even though Aria and Sugarcoat weren’t exactly friends, the few times they’d spent together gave the Dazzling the impression that they were ‘sisters of indifference’, so to speak. That is to say, she felt that they were similar in that neither of them really give a damn most of the time, and as such shared at least some small connection.

“A little.” She listlessly replied. “Trixie’s my friend and I’m happy to help her and all, but I just wish she wasn’t so indecisive when it comes to clothes shopping. I get enough of that with Sonata.”

“I know what you mean.” Sugarcoat empathetically remarked, remembering the time she’d tried to help the younger Dazzling find a new dress.

“Frankly, I don’t even know why Trixie asked me for help with this.” Aria continued. “She knows I’m not into fashion, she’s even criticized by sense of fashion before, so why would she want me here?”

“It’s because she has a crush on you.” Sugarcoat nonchalantly answered.

As if those words had cast some sort of magical freezing spell, Aria stopped dead in her tracks.

“What?!” She asked in a hushed voice so as not to draw Trixie’s attention, feeling shocked not only by Sugarcoats words but also by her bluntness.

“You didn’t know?” Sugarcoat said as she turned around to face Aria, sounding almost surprised. “I figured it was pretty obvious, given how she often displays subtle hints of affection towards you.”

At first, Aria thought Sugarcoat was talking crazy talk. ‘Subtle hints of affection’? When had Trixie ever shown subtle hints of affection towards her? She was just about to tell Sugarcoat she was mistaken when all of a sudden, she began to realize just how many times Trixie had in fact been…extra friendly with her.

As the memories of her past interactions with Trixie started to flood her mind, Aria found that there was one memory that came to the forefront like a wrecking ball, a memory that she couldn’t believe had been lost within her subconscious; the memory of how the two of them had become friends in the first place.

See, at first Aria and Trixie didn’t really care for each other. Aria found Trixie to be a manipulative, loudmouthed braggart and Trixie found Aria to be an irritatingly stubborn bitch, but fate ended up bringing them together once when Trixie needed an emergency assistant for one of her shows. The magician had essentially blackmailed the Dazzling into helping her, and needless to say the two girls bickered practically the entire time. It wasn’t until Aria had called Trixie a megalomaniac and caused the girl to breakdown crying that the two of them started to understand each other and become friends.

To make a long story short, soon after becoming friends Trixie had given Aria a small kiss on her cheek and told her that if she ever want to be more than friends to let me know. In hindsight, that really should have been a big red flag for the Dazzling, as it wasn’t very subtle.

How the hell did I forget about that? She silently asked herself as the memory played back in her head.

“Are you okay, Aria?” Sugarcoat spoke up, feeling concerned by the expression of stunned revelation on the girl’s face.

Aria didn’t respond right away because she wasn’t okay, at least not mentally. She grabbed the sides of her head and closed her eyes as the memories of Trixie’s affection towards her caused her head to start aching and screaming.

Way to go, idiot. A little voice in the back of her mind started to say to her. How could you let someone get a crush on you? After everything you’ve done to prevent such a thing from happening.

“Shut up.” The Dazzling softly said aloud in a desperate attempt to get the voice to stop.

“Aria?” Sugarcoat reiterated, her concern growing by the second.

You spent years building up all those defenses, all those walls so that no one could get that close to you, but I guess it wasn’t enough, huh? The voice continued. And now someone has a crush on you, and you know how that’ll end for you and for her, don’t you?

“Shut up!” Aria inadvertently shouted as loud enough to gain the attention of most of the store, including Trixie.

Realizing the commotion she’d just caused, Aria quickly opened her eyes and scanned her surroundings. Practically everyone in the store was staring at her, Sugarcoat had backed up about a foot from her, probably because she’d been startled, and Trixie was making her way over towards her with a worried expression on her face.

The thought of talking to Trixie right now was nothing short of terrifying to Aria. She knew she needed to distance herself from the girl who was crushing on her before all of her inner turmoil grew even worse.

“I gotta go.” She hastily told Sugarcoat just before she bolted for the exit, hoping with all her might that neither she nor Trixie would follow her.

As Aria ran out of the store, she was so distracted by what was going on inside her head that she failed to notice someone entering the store as she was leaving it, causing the two of them to slightly collide at the shoulders.

“Watch it!” The girl she ran into heatedly yelled at her as she struggled to maintain her balance.

After successfully maintaining her own balance, Aria quickly turned around to see a bluish gray girl with opal gray hair and light apple green eyes staring angrily at her. She was about say she was sorry to her when she saw Trixie approaching out of the corner of her eye and she hastily turned back around to continue running, leaving her apology unspoken.

Aria didn’t know exactly where it was she running to, but she didn’t care about that. All she cared about was getting somewhere she would be alone so she could calm herself down. Eventually, she ceased running for a moment to catch her breath and found herself standing in front of a restroom. Figuring that was as private a place as any in the mall, she hastily opened the door and stepped inside. After a quick scan of the room, she found that she was completely alone and headed for the stall at the very back.

All the while, the little voice inside her head continued to speak to her.

Don’t think for a second that running away is going to change anything. It said to her. There’s no escaping from this. The wheels are already turning, and one way or another, they’re going to bring this little love story to a ruinous end.

“You’re wrong.” Aria vehemently replied as she entered the stall.

Am I? The voice responded. No matter what you do, you’re just going to end up getting hurt. Or maybe, you’ll end up being the one who does the hurting.

“Shut! Up!” The Dazzling fiercely retorted as she locked the door with her right hand while her left hand curled up into a fist.

It’ll probably be the latter. The voice went on. After all, you are your mother’s daughter.

And then, Aria completely lost it.

“I’M NOT LIKE MY MOTHER!” She hollered as she violently slammed her fist into the wall, with enough force to create a small dent in it. “I’M NOTHING LIKE HER, YOU HEAR ME?!”

The voice didn’t say anything in response.

“I’m not like my mother.” She repeated, though much more softly this time, as she removed her fist from the wall. “I’m not.”

Feeling overcome with raw and powerful emotions, the Dazzling soon lost the energy to remain standing and gently fell to her knees. She could feel tears forming in the corners of her eyes as she sat alone in the restroom, wishing that her sisters were with her right now. Adagio and Sonata would understand what it was she was feeling, as they too had felt the same way at times in the past. It was a feeling that only siblings could truly understand.

Just as Aria reached into her pocket and pulled out her cell phone to call either Adagio or Sonata, she received a text message from Trixie.

r u ok?

Aria knew she couldn’t just ignore the message, she had to send a response.

Yeah, just didn’t feel well all of a sudden. I’m gonna head home. Sorry.

The Dazzling felt bad about how her shopping trip with Trixie had turned out as she sent her text, but she knew that it was ruined beyond repair at this point. It was better to just call it a day and deal with the fallout at a later time.

Somehow finding the energy to stand back up, Aria got off the floor and unlocked the stall door to leave. Just as she left the stall, however, someone else entered the restroom.

“Hey!” The girl she’d bumped into earlier heatedly shouted at her with a look of bitterness on her face.

“Aw damn.” She faintly said to herself, having a pretty good idea why the girl had followed her into the restroom.

Normally, Aria had no reservations about getting into a verbal or physical confrontation with anyone who was looking for one with her, but right now the last thing she wanted was a fight. As the girl slowly approached her, she considered quickly running back into the stall and locking the door, but she decided against that course of action. That would be cowardly, and even though she didn’t want to get into a fight right now, she was no coward.

“What’s your problem?” The girl asked once she was only about five feet away from her.

“Look, I’m sorry I ran into you.” She replied, trying to sound as sincere as possible without sounding intimidated. “It was an accident.”

“An accident, huh?” The girl acerbically replied as she stopped right in front of her. “Well so was this!”

As soon as the girl said that, she shoved Aria against the wall. As the Dazzling made contact with the wall, her mind instinctively went into battle mood and she prepared to deliver a retaliating fist-blow to the girl’s face. However, before she could regain composure enough to do so, she found herself pinned to the wall by her shoulders.

“Cross me again, and I’ll…” The girl started to threaten her before the sound of the restroom door opening and a bubbly voice interrupted her, gaining both hers and Aria’s attention.

“Limestone, are you in…” Pinkie Pie started to say before she quickly saw what was happening and gave a stunned gasp.

“Aw damn.” The girl faintly, and anxiously, said, knowing full-well what was coming next.

“LIMESTONE MILDRED PIE!” Pinkie erupted in a furiously loud voice. “LET MY FRIEND GO THIS INSTANT!”

Wasting no time, the girl, apparently named Limestone, did as instructed and let go of the Dazzling posthaste, even backing up a foot or so for good measure.

Now free from the wall, Aria briefly considered still delivering that retaliatory fist-blow, but decided against it almost immediately. Whoever this Limestone girl was, she clearly was somehow related to Pinkie, and striking her would most likely only make the party girl even angrier.

“I’m so, so sorry, Aria.” Pinkie profusely apologized as she swiftly made her way over to the Dazzling to make sure she was alright. “My sister can be a little too grumpy sometimes. Are you okay?”

“Um, yeah, I’m okay.” Aria replied, feeling slightly confused about how it had been Pinkie of all people who’d managed to defuse the agitated Limestone. “Thanks, Pinkie.”

“Good.” Pinkie said in relief before turning to face Limestone, dawning a piercing glare in the process.

Upon seeing the look on her sister’s face, Limestone couldn’t help but give a very audible gulp.

“Limestone.” Pinkie very sternly addressed her. “Take Aria down to the food court and buy her some lunch to apologize.”

“What?!” Limestone retorted. “But she started…”

“Now.” Pinkie acutely interrupted as she intensified her glare.

The now even more intense glare from Pinkie made Limestone wince. As much as she didn’t want to treat Aria to lunch, she really didn’t want to make her sister any more upset than she already was. She knew what Pinkie was capable of when she got too upset.

“Fine.” She defeatedly agreed as she begrudgingly made her towards the restroom door, motioning for Aria to follow her. “Come on.”

Still feeling slightly confused over the events of the last minute or so, Aria didn’t follow Limestone right away. Instead, she just looked at Pinkie with a bewildered expression that seemed to say, ‘Huh?’.

“Don’t worry, Limestone won’t get too grumpy again, I promise.” Pinkie assured her, picking up on her confusion. “You two just go have a nice lunch together.”

While Pinkie’s promise was successful in convincing Aria that Limestone wouldn’t go off again, the last thing the Rainboom had said only confused her anew.

“Wait, aren’t you coming too, Pinkie?” She quizzically asked.

“Nope, I’m done for this chapter.” Pinkie nonchalantly answered as if such a statement were completely normal, while she essentially shooed the Dazzling away. “Now go on, have your heart-to-heart moment with Limestone.”

Still feeling confused, though for entirely different reasons now, Aria simply decided to just go with the flow and hastily followed Limestone out of the restroom.

True to Pinkie’s instructions, Limestone took Aria to the food court to buy her some lunch. When asked what she wanted, the Dazzling chose to go with a simple slice of pizza and a drink, figuring it was probably the least expensive meal one could get at the mall. Even though buying her lunch was Limestone’s punishment and apology for her earlier behavior, Aria took some pity on the girl for being coerced into it and didn’t want to make her spend too much money.

Much to Aria’s surprise, though, Limestone actually got a slice of pizza and drink for herself as well and joined her as she ate. She hadn’t expected this as Pinkie had only instructed the girl to buy her lunch, she never said anything about eating with her. But regardless, that was what had happened and what was still happening at this very moment; Aria and Limestone, eating pizza together at the mall.

So far neither girl had said a word since getting their food, but that soon changed when Limestone’s curiosity eventually got the better of her.

“Why were you running earlier?” The Pie girl randomly asked after she finished taking a sip of her soda.

“Huh?” Aria responded just before taking a bite of her pizza.

“When you bumped into me.” Limestone clarified. “Why were you running out of the store like that?”

The Dazzling was glad that she had some pizza in her mouth at that moment, as it gave her a few seconds to think of an answer while she finished chewing. A million possible answers, most lies or half-truths, raced through her mind in those few seconds. Everything from simple ones like ‘I just didn’t feel well all of a sudden’ to stand-offish ones like ‘None of your business’. In the end though, she decided that the truth was probably the best answer, even if it would almost certainly lead to a series of follow-up questions.

“I was trying to get away from my friend because I learned she has a crush on me.” She candidly confessed once she’d swallowed her pizza.

“Oh.” Limestone simply replied, sounding surprisingly placid.

Oh? Aria thought to herself as she involuntarily dawned an expression of disbelief. That’s her only response to that?

It didn’t take long for Limestone to notice the Dazzling’s puzzled expression.

“What?” She asked as she dawned her own expression of confusion.

“N-Nothing.” Aria said as she snapped out of her state of disbelief. “I guess I was just expecting more of a reaction than just, ‘Oh’.”

“Hey, my sister is Pinkie Pie, remember?” Limestone coolly reminded her. “I’ve heard stranger answers to stranger questions.”

Aria had no difficulty believing the veracity of that statement.

“So why’d you freak out over your friend having a crush on you?” The grumpy girl then asked. “You not into girls or is it just her?”

Even though Aria had anticipated follow-up questions before she’d made her confession, for some reason when Limestone actually asked them they still managed to catch her off-guard.

“N-Neither, actually.” She answered as she ceased looking at Limestone and looked down at the table instead. “The problem isn’t that Trixie is a girl, I go both ways, and it’s not that it’s her either.”

It was at this point that Limestone raised a single eyebrow in curiosity.

“The problem is…me.” The Dazzling sorrowfully admitted. “I just can’t accept those kinds of feelings from others, no matter who they are.”

“Because you don’t feel that way about yourself, right?” Limestone quickly and sympathetically chimed in.

“W-What?” Aria inquired in incredulity as she looked up at the now sullen Limestone.

“Believe me, I get it. I’m the same way.” Limestone morosely admitted. “I don’t have a lot of love for myself. In fact, there are times I just plain hate myself. I don’t know why I feel this way, but I know it’s why I’m so testy most of time. I take all the hate I feel for myself and I lash out at everyone else, even the people who care about me. Hell, especially the people who care about me, because I just can’t understand how anyone could love me when I don’t love me.”

As Limestone finished her confession, she could feel tears starting to form in the corners of her eyes, which of course she tried to hold back. She wasn’t used to opening up like this, let alone to someone she’d only just met that day. But even though she and Aria had only known each other for a few hours, she felt as though she could confide in the Dazzling on account of how similar she seemed to herself.

Aria, meanwhile, was left speechless by Limestone’s confession. After all, what do you say to someone who just told you that she doesn’t love herself? Without thinking, the Dazzling reached out her hand and placed it over Limestone’s in a supportive gesture. Limestone slightly winced at the touch of her hand on hers, but she didn’t pull it back.

“I know how you feel.” She empathetically told her. “I know it isn’t always easy to love yourself. I don’t know the exact reason for why you don’t love yourself, and I’m not going to ask you to tell me what it is, but whatever it is just know this; You deserve love, Limestone. Even if you don’t think you do, you do.”

After hearing Aria’s compassionate words, Limestone felt a light blush start to cross her face, which caused her to turn her head and look away from the Dazzling in embarrassment.

“Ah geez, you’re making me feel all mushy.” She said in a very tsundere manner.

“Sorry.” Aria facetiously apologized as she removed her hand from Limestone’s.

The sound of Aria’s amusement at her abashed state only made Limestone feel even more embarrassed. She quickly turned her head back and looked the Dazzling straight in the eyes as she prepared to deliver some advice that she hoped would end this awkward little heart-to-heart moment.

“You deserve love too, you know.” She blurted out. “So if your friend has feelings for you, don’t let you’re lack of self-love get in the way of accepting them. I mean, if you have feeling for her too that is.”

As Limestone stared at Aria after giving her her two cents, she started to see a change in the Dazzling’s expression. At first, Aria seemed a bit shocked, probably on account of the fact that she’d blurted her words out. However, after the shock came an unexpected expression. It was an expression of melancholy.

“That’s not the reason.” The Dazzling somberly confessed as she lowered her head.

“Huh?” Limestone confusedly uttered.

“The reason I can’t accept Trixie’s feelings isn’t because I don’t love myself.” Aria clarified.

There was an awkward silence between the two girls for a few seconds after Aria said that, though to Limestone those few seconds felt more like a few minutes. Numerous emotions flooded her mind as she processed the Dazzling’s words, not the least of which being anger for spilling her guts to the girl for nothing. But surprisingly enough, the one emotion she felt even stronger then anger was sadness. Sadness, because she couldn’t help but believe that if lack of self-love wasn’t Aria’s problem, whatever it was was even worse.

“Okay, what is the problem then?” She delicately inquired, taking great care to make sure she didn’t sound either angry or patronizing.

Another awkward silence followed Limestone’s question, this one broken when Aria gave a small, unsettling chuckle.

“The problem is that I’ve seen the fucked up stuff love leads to.” She professed.

For some reason, Limestone felt a chill go up her spine immediately after Aria had said that. Maybe it was because of the eerie way the Dazzling had said it, or maybe it was because something was telling her that the explanation behind it was going to be very daunting.

“W-What do you mean?” She asked, a twinge of fear evident in her voice.

Once again, Aria gave a small, unsettling chuckle before speaking.

“Tell me something, Limestone.” She said as she lifted her head back up and stared at the Pie girl with a somewhat ominous look on her face. “What’s your family like?”

“M-My family?” Limestone replied, the twinge of fear in her voice now more than just a twinge. “W-Well, you already know what Pinkie’s like. My sister Marble is quiet and shy. My other sister Maud is, um…stoic. I guess that’s the best way to describe her. And both of my parents are pretty demanding but fair.”

“Tell me about you mom.” Aria then said. “Does she love you? Does she value you as a person?”

The more questions Aria asked, the more unnerved Limestone felt.

“Um, y-yeah, of course she does. S-She’s my mom.” She tensely answered. “D-Don’t all moms love and value their children?”

For the third time, Aria gave an unsettling chuckle before speaking. However, this one was a bit more intense than the last two.

“Oh, my mom didn’t love or value me, or my sisters.” She manically said. “To her, our very existence served no other purpose than to help her become more powerful. We were just a means to an end. And she certainly didn’t love us, not really. The only times she ever showed us any affection were when we proved ourselves to still be useful to her.”

Limestone could feel her stomach start to sink into her abdomen as she listened to Aria describe her mother.

“But you want to know the real kicker?” The Dazzling continued. “She was the same way with our dad too. She used his love for her to manipulate him to furthering her own agenda. Can you believe that? She didn’t actually care about him at all, she just wanted someone who was going to do whatever she wanted him to do, and she used love as the means to get it.”

The tears Limestone had been holding back earlier now flowed down her cheeks like two mighty rivers.

“I never understood it. Any of it.” Aria went on, sounding a bit calmer now, as she lowered her head again. “I never understood how my mom could use someone’s love like that, or how my dad could allow himself to be used like that because of love. But there was one thing I did understand; If that was what love led to, then I hated love. I decided at a young age that I would never fall in love and be used like my dad, or let someone fall in love with me and end up using them like my mom. I just…shut love out of my life.”

As Aria finished her rantings, she just continued to stare down at the table with a tenebrific look in her eyes. It was the sort of look that said, ‘I want to cry, but I can’t’, and it was one the Dazzling was unaccustomed to showing. While she wasn’t an overly emotional girl, Aria had always been able to cry when she felt she needed to. But this situation was unique, and even though she felt like crying right now, she couldn’t find it within herself to shed so much as a single tear.

Limestone, meanwhile, had never in her life felt as much sympathy for someone as she was feeling right now for the girl sitting across from her. The things Aria had just told her, it all so much to take in at once. But she had to take it all in, because she knew that it was the only way she was going to be able to understand where the Dazzling was coming from. After wiping the tears from her face, she took a deep breath and prepared to speak.

“That’s pretty fucked up.” She solemnly remarked.

“Yeah.” Aria dejectedly agreed. “My mom was a real piece of work, even for a siren.”

“Not that.” Limestone clarified. “I mean, yeah, your mom sure sounds like a real termagant, but I was referring to you thinking you’re like her.”

Without saying a word, Aria quickly lifted her head back up and stared at Limestone in bewilderment.

“Look, I know we haven’t known each other long, Aria.” The Pie girl started to say as she stared the Dazzling straight in the eyes. “But based on everything I’ve seen from you so far, you’re nothing like your mom.”

As soon as Aria heard the words, ‘you’re nothing like your mom’, she felt her heart skip a beat out of both shock and happiness.

“There are people who turn out like their parents, sure.” Limestone continued. “But there are also people who don’t. Just look at Pinkie. She’s not like our parents.”

Even though Aria didn’t know much, if anything, about Limestone and Pinkie’s parents, she had no difficulty believing what Limestone had just said about Pinkie being different from them.

“My point is, you don’t have to be like your parents if you don’t want to.” Limestone went on. “So don’t let your fears of being like them keep you from accepting love into your life.”

Despite coming from a girl she’d just met, Aria could feel Limestone’s words reach her heart. She didn’t have to be like her parents, and she had the power to change the way she viewed love. It would take some time and some work, sure, but she knew that she could turn love into something beautiful in her life if she wanted to.

For the fourth time that day, Aria gave a small chuckle. Only this one was more cheerful than unsettling.

“Wow. When we first met I never expected you to be the profound type, Limestone.” She playfully complimented.

“S-Shut up.” Limestone apprehensively replied as she looked away in embarrassment, though dawning a small smile in the process.

“Thanks.” Aria then wholeheartedly said, returning the small smile.

“ARIA!” A boisterous voice suddenly yelled out from the other end of the food court, gaining both Aria’s and Limestone’s attention.

Sure enough, the voice belonged to Trixie, who was currently running through the food court to reach the Dazzling and Pie girl. Sugarcoat followed behind her, but she was more walking than running on account of the numerous heavy shopping bags she was holding.

“Aria!” She concernedly repeated once she only about six feet away from the table. “Are you okay? I thought you were going home?”

“I’m fine, Trixie.” Aria assured her friend as she stood up from her seat. “I was gonna head home, but then I ran into Limestone and she helped me feel better.”

Trixie took a quick look over at Limestone before returning her attention to Aria.

“Well, as long as you’re okay.” She relieving said. “You really worried me running off like that, you know.”

“Yeah, sorry about that.” Aria apologized before placing a hand on Trixie’s shoulder. “Hey, do you think maybe we can go somewhere a little more private for a minute to talk?”

“Um, sure.” Trixie replied as she raised a single eyebrow in confusion.

Aria then removed her hand from Trixie’s shoulder and the two girls made their way towards a more secluded part of the food court, leaving Limestone all alone. She wasn’t alone for long though as soon Sugarcoat reached the table, huffing and puffing from carrying so many heavy bags.

“Hey.” She casually said to the Shadowbolt.

“Hey.” Sugarcoat replied through her hyperventilating as she put the shopping bags down and took seat, thankful for a moments rest.

Once Aria and Trixie were in relatively secluded area, they both sat down at a table to have their talk.

“What’s going on, Aria?” Trixie spoke up first. “I can tell something’s wrong.”

Aria took a long, deep breath as she mentally prepared herself for what she was about to say, because she knew that once she said it things would change between her and Trixie. For better or for worse though, she didn’t know, but she knew that either way this couldn’t be ignored.

“Trixie.” She solemnly started to say as she looked her friend straight in the eyes. “Do you have a crush on me?”

“What?!” Trixie startlingly replied as she practically jumped out of her seat while a deep red blush quickly crossed her face. “Well, um, crush is such a strong word. I mean I like you, of course, but, um, you see the thing is, um…”

“Trixie.” Aria interjected. “It’s okay if you do, I just want you to be honest with me.”

As Trixie stared back into Aria’s eyes, she calmed down a bit and took a moment of preparation to deliver a confession she hadn’t planned on giving today.

“Yes, I have a crush on you, Aria.” She confessed. “You’ve been such a good friend to me for a while now, and I just couldn’t help but start to have feelings for you. I wanted to tell you as soon as I realized it, but I didn’t want to risk losing you as a friend if you didn’t feel that same way about me. But I guess you figured it out anyways, huh?”

The thought of telling Trixie that it had actually been Sugarcoat bluntness that revealed her feelings briefly crossed Aria’s mind, but she decided not to say anything about that. It wasn’t relevant at the moment, and she didn’t want to throw her ‘sister of indifference’ under the bus like that.

“And now you don’t want to be friends anymore, right?” Trixie dejectedly continued. “It’s fine, I get.”

“I don’t want to stop being friends with you, Trixie.” Aria assured her friend as she took the girl’s left hand in her right.

“You…you don’t?” Trixie replied with a bit more hope in her voice and eyes.

“No, I don’t.” Aria reiterated. “But…I’m not sure if I have the same feelings for you that you have for me.”

And just like that, the hope in Trixie’s eyes vanished.

“I have issues when it comes to love. A lot of issues.” Aria continued. “And I need to work through them before I can say for certain if I want to start dating you or not. So my answer right now isn’t ‘yes’, but it isn’t ‘no’ either.”

“Okay, you lost me.” Trixie confusedly admitted.

“I’m saying I need time.” Aria clarified. “I need to figure out how I feel, not just about you but about love in general as well. I know I’m probably not making much sense right now, but just know this: If it turns out that I can accept love into my life, I can definitely accept yours.”

Trixie still felt confused about what Aria was trying to say, but the fact that the Dazzling hadn’t straight-up rejected her made her feel that maybe there was still hope for her affections to be reciprocated.

“I can wait then.” She optimistically said with a meek smile as she squeezed Aria’s hand.

“I promise I won’t make you wait too long.” Aria assured the magician as she squeezed back.

Just then, the sound of a cell phone ringing could be heard from within Aria’s pocket, essentially ruining the semi-sweet moment between the two girls.

“That’s Adagio’s ringtone.” The Dazzling said aloud as she released Trixie’s hand and reached for her phone.

“I’ll just get out of your hair for minute then.” Trixie considerately said as she got up and made her way back over to Sugarcoat and Limestone.

As Aria pulled her cell phone out of her pocket, she momentarily lost her grip on it. Fortunately though, it stayed in in her pocket just enough that she was able to grab a hold of it again before it fell out entirely and hit the floor.

“That was close.” She relieving remarked, happy that her coverless phone hadn’t fallen onto the hard mall floor.

With maybe a second left before the call dropped, Aria hit the ‘Accept’ button and put the phone up to her ear.

“Hey, sis.” She nonchalantly greeted her sister. “What’s up.”

Hey, Aria.” Adagio greeted back. “I just figured I should give you a heads-up about something before you got home.

“What did Sonata do now?” Aria onerously asked.

She volunteered us to chaperone a school skiing trip.” Adagio answered.

There was a brief moment of silence as Aria processed what she’d just heard.

“Huh?” Aria eventually inquired in a bewildering manner.

Let me explain.” Adagio said. “Luna called a few minutes ago and Sonata was the one who answered the phone. Apparently she and Celestia are putting together a skiing trip for some of the students. I guess they’ve done something like this before with a summer camp, but now they want to try it with a ski resort too. Anyways, she was looking for faculty volunteers to help them chaperone the trip and Sonata volunteered all three of us on the spot.

Aria couldn’t help but feel a twinge of anger towards Sonata for speaking on her behalf the way she had, even if it was to go to a ski resort.

“Well, it’s not the worst thing she’s ever volunteered us for.” She indifferently remarked.

True.” Adagio concurred. “I just figured you should know so you can get any resentment towards Sonata out now before you get home.”

“My, aren’t you considerate.” Aria sarcastically commented, knowing that all Adagio was doing was trying to get her to let loose on someone else so that she wouldn’t have to deal with any drama at home.

I know you’re being sarcastic, but thank you.” Adagio replied. “So how are things going with Trixie?

Sensing an opportunity to have some fun with her sister, Aria gave a small smile as she prepared to recap her day.

“Well, first I found out that Trixie has a crush on me, then I nearly got into a fight with one of Pinkie’s sisters but ended up having a heart-to-heart with her about my issues with mom, dad, and love, and finally I told Trixie that there was a possibility we could start dating sometime in the near future.” She offhandedly answered.

There was another brief moment of silence, only this time it was Adagio who needed to process what she’d just heard.

Huh?” She eventually inquired in a bewildering manner.

“I’ll tell you the whole story when I get home.” Aria blithely said as she looked over towards where Trixie, Limestone, and Sugarcoat were sitting. “Right now I gotta get back to my friends. Later, sis.”

And with that, Aria ended the call and put her phone back into her pocket. She then got up from her seat, gave a little stretch, and made her way through the food court to rejoin her friends.

Author's Note:

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

The next chapter will feature Adagio and Sweetie Belle.