• 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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Adagio, Aria, and Sonata

“Come on, come on.” Sonata Dusk anxiously said to herself as she paced back and forth across the living room floor with her phone held up to her ear. “Pick up, pick up.”

What up, nerds? It’s Rainbow Dash, having way too much fun being awesome to answer your call.” A pre-recorded message eventually started playing. “So leave a message, if you’re too old to text me.

Having only gotten her girlfriend’s voicemail, the youngest Dazzling gave a dejected sigh as she ended her phone call.

“I have been texting you, Dashie, but you aren’t replying.” She sullenly said aloud to no one in particular. “That’s why I’m trying to call you.”

“Will you just relax, Sonata.” Aria Blaze told her sister from the couch as she tried to watch TV, with only the slightest hint of agitation in her voice. “It’s not like Rainbow Dash ignoring her phone is anything new or unusual.”

“Aria’s right, Sonata.” Adagio Dazzle concurred from the other end of the couch, sounding way more mellow than she usually did, as she tapped the empty seat next to her. "Just relax and come watch some TV with us."

Normally both Sonata and Aria would find Adagio being in such a mood to be…suspicious, but not in this particular instance. This was because they knew exactly why their sister was in such high spirits right now; she was excited for the school ski trip tomorrow.

Yes, the long awaited ski trip was now just a few hours away from happening and all three of the Dazzlings were excited for it, though Adagio was the only one actually showing it right now. Aria was giving off her usual, indifferent attitude, though this was only because she had a lot on her mind regarding her friend, Trixie. Sonata’s excitement about the trip was being tempered by the fact that she couldn’t seem to get ahold of her beloved Dashie. She couldn’t help but feel that something was wrong. Aria had been right about Rainbow Dash not being the most vigilant person when it comes to checking her phone, but even she wasn’t this negligent. However, realizing that there was nothing she could do to get in-touch with her girlfriend, short of driving all the way to her house at 11:45pm, Sonata just gave another dejected sigh as she put her phone in her pocket and made her way over to the couch.

"So what are you watching?” She offhandedly asked as she took a seat in-between her sisters.

"Seinfeld.” Adagio nonchalantly replied.

Having not recalled seeing the episode that was on before, Sonata decided to just kick back and watch it with her sisters, hoping that doing so would help take her mind off of Rainbow Dash for a bit.

Right now the scene appeared to feature George Costanza, who was in some sort of meeting with his boss.

I’m going to get right to the point.” George’s boss said through the TV. “It’s come to my attention that you and the cleaning woman have engaged in sexual intercourse on the desk in your office. Is that correct?

Who said that?” George asked.

She did.” George’s boss bluntly answered.

Was that wrong?” George replied, trying to sound innocent. “Should I not have done that?

The scene elicited small chuckles from each of the Dazzlings, but there was something different about the way Sonata chuckled compared to Aria and Adagio. Her chuckle was a bit more…sensuous than theirs, and it didn’t escape Aria’s notice.

“Why’d you just laugh like that?” The pig-tailed Dazzling curiously asked her sister.

“Huh?” Sonata confusedly replied as she turned to face Aria.

“Why’d you laugh so sultry?” Aria clarified, now gaining Adagio’s attention as well.

“Oh, that? It was because that scene reminded me of when Dashie and I-” Sonata casually began to say, before quickly remembering that she shared her office at school with her sisters. “-Never mind.”

At first, both Aria and Adagio dawned puzzled expressions about what Sonata had been getting at before cutting herself off. But soon enough, they each put two-and-two together and their puzzled expressions quickly transformed into ones of horror.

“Oh my god.” Aria very softly, but also very alarmingly, uttered as the stark realization hit her, causing her to now find herself frozen on the couch in shock.

“Sonata!” Adagio very distressingly said as she grabbed hold of her youngest sister and turned her around to face her. “Please tell us you didn’t have sex with Rainbow Dash on the desk in our office at school!”

Sonata remained silent, but gave a very awkward smile in a desperate attempt to downplay the tension of the current situation. All it did was make her look guilty.

“Oh, Sonata.” Adagio crestfallenly stated as she let go of her sister. “Just…why?”

“We…thought it’d be kinky?” Sonata awkwardly half-answered, half-asked.

“Oh my god.” Aria reiterated, now sounding a tad nauseous as she recalled all the times she’d eaten lunch at her desk.

Adagio too started to feel queasy as rather explicit images of her sister and Rainbow Dash started to enter her mind against her will. As much as she wanted this whole unpleasant situation to end right here, there was still more information that she needed to know.

“When?” She asked with a small tremor in her voice.

“L-Last Friday…” Sonata apprehensively replied. “…and two Tuesdays before that…and the Thursday before-“

“Oh my-hurr!” Aria began to say before she swiftly covered her mouth as she felt some vomit coming up her throat, causing her to quickly get over her initial shock, jump off of the couch, and make a b-line for the bathroom.

The sight of Aria nearly losing her cookies made Adagio’s stomach churn, but not enough to make her feel that she was about to do likewise. Instead, she just continued to stare at Sonata in utter disbelief, now finding herself at a complete loss for words.

Sonata, meanwhile, just continued to sit silently and give her awkward smile, not knowing what else to do in that moment. She couldn’t believe what she’d just done. How the hell had she allowed herself to essentially confess that she’d had sex with Rainbow Dash multiple times on the work desk she shared with her sisters? She knew she could be a bit ditzy sometimes, but this was a whole new level of foolishness for her, especially considering how much she didn’t like it when Rainbow Dash talked about their love life with other people.

Choosing to ignore how she’d arrived at this very uncomfortable situation and instead focus on how to resolve it, Sonata quickly tried to think of something to say that might possibly make Adagio feel better.

“Um…we made sure to clean the desk after each time.” She awkwardly remarked, just before hearing the sound of Aria throwing up coming from the bathroom.

Adagio, in response, just took a long, deep breath as she placed a firm hand on her sister’s shoulder and looked her square in the eyes with a very tenacious gaze.

“Here’s what’s going to happen, Sonata.” She sternly said. “First off, you and Rainbow Dash are never going to have sex in our office again. In fact, you’re never going to have sex on school grounds again, got it?”

“G-Got it.” Sonata immediately agreed, feeling immensely intimidated by Adagio’s commanding demeanor.

“Good.” The eldest Dazzling continued. “And secondly, we are never to speak of this again. Is that clear?”

“Y-Yes, ma’am.” Sonata once again agreed without haste as she started to feel a cold sweat come over her.

Satisfied with Sonata’s responses, Adagio let go of her sister’s shoulder and got up from her seat.

“All right then.” She said as she made her way around the couch and towards the hallway. “I’m going to bed now, and hopefully when I wake up tomorrow I’ll think that everything that happened in the last few minutes was just a bad dream.”

Sonata almost spoke up to tell her sister good night, but decided against it at the last second. She figured the less she said to her right now, the better. After hearing the sound of Adagio’s bedroom door close, the youngest Dazzling turned off the TV, stood up, and made her way over to the bathroom door to make sure her other sister was okay.

“Aria?” She timidly said through the closed door. “You okay in there? You want me to hold your hair for you while you throw up?”

Just as Sonata finished talking, the door suddenly flew open to reveal a very pissed-off looking Aria on the other side.

“So, um, sorry about…all that.” The pony-tailed Dazzling tried to apologize, hoping it would get her sister to stop staring at her with such fire and fury in her eyes. “I-I promised Dagi that it would never happen again, so…i-it won’t happen again, honest.”

Sonata could tell her apology had done little to lighten her sister’s mood. In fact, Aria almost seemed to be even more pissed-off now, leaving her to fear what sort of dreadful retribution she was soon in store for.

“Move.” Aria simply said, though in an incredibly threatening manner.

Feeling her cold sweat returning, Sonata did as instructed and moved out of the way of the door so that Aria could exit the bathroom, feeling a small sense of relief that things hadn’t escalated nearly as much as she’d imagined.

Without another word, or even an acknowledgement of her sister’s presence, Aria stepped out of the bathroom and stormed off towards her room. Once she got there, she opened the door, stepped inside, and swiftly slammed the door shut behind her, leaving Sonata alone in the hallway.

As she stood there in the now empty hallway, Sonata couldn’t help but feel despondent over everything that had just happened between her and her sisters. She knew she’d screwed up big this time, and not just in revealing what she and Rainbow Dash had done in their office, but also in the fact that she’d done the dirty deed there in the first place.

“Way to go, Sonata, you big dummy.” She softly rebuked herself. “You really messed up this time.”

Sonata knew she had to make things right with her sisters, and soon. Not only for the sake of their sisterly relationship, but for the sake of the ski trip tomorrow as well. She really didn’t want to be responsible for ruining the ski trip on top of everything else. The only problem was, she didn’t know how to go about making things right this time. But she at least knew a good place to start.

The next morning, Adagio was abruptly awoken by the alarm on her phone going off as if it were just another school day. The only thing was that it wasn’t a normal school day because of the ski trip starting today. She and her sisters didn’t need to report to CHS until a few hours later than the usual start time, but because of everything that had happened the previous evening she had forgotten to turn off her alarm.

“Ugh!” She frustratingly uttered as she grabbed her phone off the nearby nightstand and promptly turned the alarm off.

Adagio always hated waking up earlier then she needed to. She was one of those people who enjoyed getting their beauty sleep, and having it cut short so unnecessarily was something that she did not enjoy.

“Damn it.” She tiredly uttered as she put her phone back on the nightstand, knowing full-well that she wasn’t going to be able to get back to sleep.

Begrudgingly accepting that she was now awake, Adagio lazily sat up in her bed and gave a big morning yawn as she mentally prepared for the day ahead. Thanks to all the prep work she’d assisted Celestia and Luna with to get the ski trip ready, she knew she was going to need all the strength and energy she could muster in order to help chaperone 30 high school kids. She figured that the best way to do this was to start by having a good breakfast, so she slowly pulled the covers off herself and prepared to get out of bed as she contemplated what it was she wanted to eat. Almost as soon as her feet touched the ground though, she could have sworn that she faintly smelled bacon cooking.

“What the heck?” She perplexingly wondered as she finished getting out of bed and headed for her bedroom door.

Coincidently, at the exact moment that Adagio opened her door and stepped out into the hall, Aria did the same. The two sisters just sort of stared at each other for a moment before Aria decided to speak up.

“You smell bacon too?” She curiously inquired.

“Yeah.” Adagio offhandedly answered before making her way down the hall towards the kitchen, followed closely by Aria.

When the two Dazzlings reached the kitchen, the first thing they each noticed was that the table was covered with plates of pancakes, toast, country sausage, and waffles. There was also a few glasses of orange juice amongst the spread as well.

“O-kay.” Adagio randomly remarked, confused as to where all this had come from.

“Huh.” Was all Aria could say, feeling the same as Adagio.

Once they were done gawking at the impressive spread on the table, both girls shifted their focus to the rest of the kitchen where they saw Sonata standing over by the stove with what appeared to be a couple of plates of bacon in her hands.

“Oh good, your both up!” The youngest Dazzling gaily said once she noticed her sisters. “I was just about to come get you for breakfast!”

“You…made all this, Sonata?” Adagio bewilderingly asked as her sister walked over to the table and placed the plates of bacon down on it.

“Uh-huh.” Sonata less gaily answered, now adopting a more serious demeanor. “I wanted to apologize for, well…everything about last night. I’m super-duper sorry for what I did with Dashie in our office, and I meant it when I agreed to it never happening again. I know this breakfast isn’t enough to truly make up for my mistake, but I hope it’s enough for us to be on good terms during the ski trip. Once the trip is over though, I promise to do whatever it takes to make things right with you, girls.”

Admittedly, Adagio felt a bit touched by Sonata’s apologetic efforts. She admired her sister’s willingness to correct her mistake so tenaciously. Plus, she agreed with what she’d said about them being okay enough during the ski trip. Despite how much the whole thing seemed like a vacation it was still technically work time for them, so they really couldn’t afford to be too upset with each other during said time.

Adagio turned her head to see if Aria felt the same way as her, but one look at her sister’s face and she knew that she didn’t. Aria gave off a scowl that was a tad more intense than she usually did, which indicated to Adagio that she was still pretty upset.

“No way I’m letting her off that easily.” The pig-tailed girl whispered to her sister.

“I know how you feel, Aria, but Sonata does have a point.” Adagio whispered back, trying to sympathize with Aria but still keep a level head. “We have a job to do chaperoning this trip and we can’t be pissed-off at each other while we do it.”

Aria’s scowl-y expression noticeably lightened up as she listened to Adagio, finding it hard to argue with what she was saying.

“So let’s just go along with her idea.” Adagio softly continued. “We’ll accept breakfast as a good enough apology for now, and when we get back from the trip we’ll make her do something like, I dunno…clean the house and emu pens for a month.”

Aria’s scowl disappeared entirely after Adagio finished speaking and was replaced with a small, wicked smile as she imagined Sonata trying to clean all the emu pens in the barn for a whole month, dressed like a Victorian orphan for some reason.

“Yeah, all right.” She impishly agreed.

Relieved that she’d been able to get Aria to calm down, at least for now, Adagio gave a quick mental sigh before turning back around to address Sonata.

“Okay, deal.” She informed her sister as she walked over to the table and took a seat. “But as soon as the ski trip is over we’re addressing this fully.”

“Damn right we are.” Aria devilishly concurred, as though she knew a juicy little secret that Sonata didn’t, as she too walked over to the table and took a seat.

Sonata gave a small sigh of relief before sitting down herself.

“Thanks, girls.” She sincerely said.

“Yeah, yeah.” Aria offhandedly replied as she filled her plate with waffles. “Just pass the bacon, will ya?”

Adagio watched Sonata pass Aria some bacon while she filled her plate with some country sausages and a few pieces of toast, thinking about how despite how much things had changed for them over the past few months, some things were still the same. Sonata still made ditzy mistakes from time-to-time, Aria still got pissed-off by them, and she herself was still the one in the middle of it all, trying to maintain sanity. She figured that no matter how much things changed for them this would always be the case, but that was fine with her. It made her life…interesting

“So, what’s the plan for this morning again?” Sonata abruptly asked, finding herself unable to recall what they were supposed to do before the trip actually got underway.

Aria just rolled her eyes in response before taking a big bite of her waffles, leaving Adagio to answer her sister’s question.

“We go to the school, meet Celestia, Luna, and all the students in the foyer, and wait for the bus to show up.” She tepidly reminded her sister.

“Oh, right.” Sonata replied with a hint of embarrassment in her voice, just before filling up her plate with pancakes and digging in.

The rest of breakfast was spent in relative silence as the Dazzlings chowed down, the only sounds being the clinking and clanking of utensils against plates. Soon enough they all finished eating, cleared the table, and each went about getting ready to head off to school.

As Aria drove her sisters and herself to CHS, she couldn’t help but feel that she was on auto-pilot as she contemplated what it was she was going to say to Trixie when they got there. She knew that her friend was going to ask her today if she’d decided on whether or not she wanted to enter into a relationship with her, she just knew it. Trixie had been very respectful of her need for time to think things over up to this point, having never once pestered her for an answer. But she knew that her friend’s patience was undoubtably wearing thin and that she was going to have to give her an answer…soon.

Aria’s problem wasn’t that she was unsure if she could reciprocate Trixie’s feelings for her, she did like Trixie. No, her problem was whether or not she could accept love into her life. She had gotten some pretty messed up ideas about what love was when she was younger, and those scars ran deep. No matter how much soul-searching or deep-thinking she did, she just couldn’t seem to figure out if she was capable of being in a romantic relationship.

Frankly, the whole thing was starting to drive her crazy.

“Slow down, Aria.” She suddenly heard Adagio say from the passenger’s seat, snapping her out of her train of thought. “You’re going to miss the turn into the parking lot.”

Aria swiftly turned her attention towards Adagio to see her sister pointing abrasively out the window at the school.

“Oh, sorry.” She meekly said as she promptly decelerated and turned into the school’s parking lot.

There was no shortage of available spaces for Aria to choose from, so she just pulled into the space that seemed closest to the entrance and turned the car off. As she and her sisters made the walk up the approach towards the building, a troubling thought occurred to her; what if she turned Trixie down and she didn’t want to be friends anymore? She didn’t want that to happen. That was the last thing she wanted to happen.

Okay, I’ll tell her we can be a couple and just hope things work out for the best. She hastily decided in her head.

However, just as she’d made that decision another troubling thought occurred to her; what if things didn’t work out for the best? What is she ended up emotionally abusing Trixie in the same way her mother had done to her father? She knew that such a circumstance wasn’t outside the realm of possibility, and that she wanted that even less than losing Trixie’s friendship.

Ugh! She mentally groaned as she found herself right back to being without an answer.

About halfway up the approach, Aria began to realize that driving herself crazy with ‘what ifs’ wasn’t going to help her make a decision. She took a few deep, mental breaths to calm herself and just decided to not worry about it so much. If Trixie came up and talked to her, she’d just be honest. She’d say she still hadn’t reached a decision and would simply let the chips fall where they may, no matter how unpleasant they may fall.

Once they reached the main entrance and walked inside, all three Dazzlings saw that a number of students were already waiting around in the foyer. Even Luna was already there, though she was busy talking on her phone. At first glance it appeared that practically everyone had arrived before them, but as they looked around they each noticed a few people missing, the most notable being Trixie, Rainbow Dash, and Celestia.

“I’m going to see if any of the Rainbooms have heard from Dashie.” Sonata anxiously informed her sisters before making her way over to where some of the Rainbooms were standing.

As Aria watched Sonata walk away, she couldn’t help but give a small eye roll before turning her head to address Adagio.

“Is this just something that happens in relationships?” She halfheartedly asked. “You freak out anytime your partner doesn’t answer their phone.”

“If you’re Sonata, than yes.” Adagio nonchalantly answered. “Otherwise, no, I don’t believe so.”

“Yeah, that’s what I thought.” Aria replied just before noticing Luna coming over to them, looking rather frantic.

“Oh good, you girls are here.” The vice-principal said to them with great relief in her voice. “I just got off the phone with Transportation Unlimited and they say they have no record of us chartering a bus with them. Can one of you please go to my sister’s office and inform her that we’ll be getting a later start than expected while I run to my office and get the paperwork to sort this out?”

Both Aria and Adagio turned their attention to each other and dawned expressions that seemed to say, ‘Can you take this one?’. When they realized that they were both trying to silently communicate the same thing to one another, they each changed their expression to one that was more…authoritative in an attempt to get their sister to accept instead of them. Normally Adagio would emerge victorious in these sorts of standoffs, but Aria somehow managed to give her sister a look that made the poofy-haired girl’s spine shiver. So much so that she quickly conceded.

“I’ll go.” Adagio informed Luna before hastily making her way across the foyer in the direction of Celestia’s office.

“Thank you, Adagio.” Luna gratefully shouted to her just before she ran off in the opposite direction towards her office.

Aria couldn’t help but flash a small, victorious smile as she watched her sister walk through the foyer towards the hallway. She wasn’t sure what kind of look she’d given Adagio to make her cave, obviously, but she sure was glad that she’d given it. Besting her older sister never failed to fill her with a great deal of satisfaction. However, this sense of satisfaction quickly dissipated when she felt a hand touch her shoulder and turned around to see Trixie standing right behind her with an atrabilious look on her face.

“Trixie. H-Hey.” She anxiously greeted her friend as she felt all of her worries from earlier resurface.

“Hey, Aria.” Trixie rather dejectedly greeted her back.

This was it, the moment Aria had feared was now nigh, and she was already freaking out in her mind. Trixie’s forlorn expression, the dispirited tone in her voice, neither of these things helped to put her at ease for what she was about to say to her friend. For the briefest of moments she considered backtracking on her decision to be honest and let the chips fall where they may, but she knew that lying to Trixie wouldn’t solve anything in the long run. In fact, lying would probably just make things between them even worse. She had to be honest, right here and right now.

“Listen, Trixie, about us…being a couple.” She began to dolefully say as she struggled to look the girl in the eyes. “I-I haven’t really…made a decision yet…and I-”

“It’s all right, Aria.” Trixie interrupted her. “You don’t have to make a decision.”

“I…don’t?” Aria confusingly retorted.

It was at this point that Trixie gently took ahold of Aria’s hands, much to the Dazzling’s continued confusion and dismay.

“Aria, you’re my friend, and you always will be, but…” Trixie began to explain with dolente compassion. “…the other day…someone asked me out, and I…I intend to tell them yes.”

Aria could literally feel her heart skip a beat from shock when she heard Trixie say this. Of all the things she’d expected to hear from her friend after confessing that she hadn’t come to a decision yet, that had never even once crossed her mind.

“W-What?” She asked in her stunned state as she desperately tried to keep her hands from shaking. “W-Who asked you out?”

“Someone I met shortly after hiring Sugarcoat as my manager. Her name’s Sour Sweet.” Trixie explained. “She’s a little…capricious, but actually really nice once you get to know her.”

Upon learning the mystery person’s name, Aria quickly recalled all the times her and Trixie had hung out since Sugarcoat had become the magician girl’s manager, trying to remember any instances where this ‘Sour Sweet’ had been mentioned.

No such instances came to mind.

“Anyways, we started hanging out together every once and a while after we met, and soon enough we became friends.” Trixie continued. “But the other day, she…she said she wanted to be more than friends and asked me to go out with her. At first I was going to tell her I couldn’t because I already had a crush on someone else, but...but when I thought about how long I’d been waiting for you, I just couldn’t tell her that.”

“Trixie, look, I’m really sorry it’s been taking me so long to figure things out.” Aria hastily apologized. “But I swear, the reason for that is because I’m taking all of this seriously. I want to accept your feelings for me, I truly do, but it’s…it’s just been hard for me to find it within myself to do that.”

“I know it’s been hard for you, Aria.” Trixie empathetically replied as she ever-so-slightly tightened her grip on the Dazzling’s hands. “And I’m sorry, but I…I just can’t wait any longer.”

It was just as Aria had feared; she’d taken too long to make her decision and Trixie’s patience had run out. She was just about to say something to her friend when all of a sudden Trixie let go of her hands and embraced her in an emotional hug.

“I’m sorry I put all this hardship on you.” The magician girl sincerely said as a few tears began to slowly fall down her cheeks. “And I really do hope that someday you can find it within yourself to accept love into your life.”

Almost instinctively, Aria raised her arms up to return the hug. But before she could wrap her arms around Trixie’s back, the girl let go of her and swiftly made her way through the foyer towards the hallway, leaving a small trail of tears behind her.

Now alone, all Aria could do was stare off into space as she tried to process everything that had just happened. Of all the ways she’d expected the chips to fall, this way had certainly been a shocker. She had figured that Trixie might tell her to forget it because of how long she was taking, but she hadn’t expected the reason for that to be because another girl had asked her out. Plus, there was Trixie’s apology at the end. Why had she done that? She hadn’t done anything wrong. It wasn’t her fault that she was so fucked up in the head that she couldn’t decide if she wanted her love or not.

The whole thing made Aria feel like she was going to cry. Heck, she wanted to cry on account of how distraught she was feeling right now, but she couldn’t. She couldn’t shed a single, solitary tear for either Trixie or herself. All she could do was continue to stare off into space until she felt a hand touch her shoulder, causing her to snap out of her funk and turn around to see who it was that was touching her.

“Aria, is everything okay?” Sonata concernedly asked her. “You look a little…out of it.”

“I…I’m fine.” Aria less-than-convincingly replied. “D-Did you find Rainbow Dash?”

Sonata could tell that her sister was trying to steer away from talking about something by asking her about Rainbow Dash, but given how perturbed she seemed right now she figured it was best to just let whatever it was go for now.

“No, she’s not here yet.” She somewhat dourly answered. “And the other Rainbooms all said they haven’t talked to her since yesterday when school ended either.”

At first Aria got her usual urge to make some kind of agitated remark in response to what she viewed as ‘unwarranted worry’, but she quickly suppressed it.

“I’m sure she’s all right.” She assured her sister.

Feeling slightly touched by Aria’s encouraging words, Sonata flashed her a small smile just as Adagio came running up to them, looking just about as frantic as Luna had earlier.

“Girls!” She alarmingly said to them in a hushed tone. “There’s something I need to tell you both.”

“What is it?” Sonata anxiously inquired. “Is it about Dashie?”

“No, it’s not about her.” Adagio hastily replied. “It’s-”

“Attention, everyone!” Principal Celestia’s voice suddenly rang out as she entered the foyer alongside Luna, causing Adagio to stop talking. “I’ve just learned from Vice-Principal Luna that our bus is going to be a little late, so we won’t be departing at our scheduled time.”

Not surprisingly, most of the students gave disappointed moans after Celestia finished her announcement. The Dazzlings, however, gave no such moans.

“Okay, so what’s up?” Aria asked, returning to their conversation.

“Not now.” Adagio said as she took a quick glance over towards Celestia and Luna. “Not until we’re alone.”

Adagio’s sudden unwillingness to share whatever it was she needed to tell them confused Aria and Sonata. But when they noticed the way she’d looked over at the principal and vice-principal, they figured that she didn’t want it said while they were around. Needless to say, this filled the two Dazzlings with a general sense of unease. Especially Sonata.

“Can you at least give us a hint?” The pony-tailed girl softly inquired.

“Not. Now.” Adagio sharply replied, making it perfectly clear to both of her sisters that her news had to wait.

Just then, the Dazzlings heard the sound of the doors opening behind them and they turned around to see who it was. When it was revealed to them to be Rainbow Dash, Sonata immediately rushed over to her girlfriend and threw herself around her in a hug.

“Dashie!” She exclaimed in relief as she held her lover tight. “Why weren’t you answering your phone last night? I was so, so worried about you!”

“I-I’m sorry, Sonata.” Rainbow Dash replied with a hint of melancholy in her voice as she returned the hug. “I didn’t mean to worry you.”

Sensing the wistfulness in her girlfriend’s voice, Sonata quickly broke the hug and looked Rainbow Dash square in the eyes with a concerned expression.

“Something’s wrong, I can tell.” She bluntly said. “Whatever it is, you know you can tell me, right? I’m here for you, Dashie.”

“Listen, Sonata, we…” Rainbow started to say, sounding even more melancholy now and slightly averting her gaze from her girlfriend. “…We need to talk.”

Sonata dawned a very visible expression of shock and anxiety when she heard Rainbow Dash say this. She’d seen enough romantic comedies to know what ‘We need to talk’ led to.

“But not right now.” Rainbow continued. “Later, on the bus. Okay?”

“O-Okay.” Sonata absentmindedly replied due to her stunned state.

“Thanks.” Rainbow Dash said before planting a small kiss on her cheek and then walking away.

“Y-Yeah.” Sonata said to herself as she slowly brought a hand up to the cheek Rainbow had kissed.

After a few seconds of Sonata just standing around by herself, and awkwardly cupping her cheek, Adagio and Aria made their way over to her out of worry for their little sister.

“Hey, you okay?” Aria inquired, actually sounding a tad concerned.

“I…I don’t know.” Sonata flatly replied as she put her hand down and turned to face her sisters. “Dashie said that we…need to talk.”

Much like Sonata, both Adagio and Aria gave visible expressions of shock and anxiety when they heard the words, ‘we need to talk’, though not quite as intense.

“I-I’m sure it’s nothing.” Aria tried to assure her distressed sister, knowing she was fearing the worst.

“Y-Yeah.” Adagio concurred, even going so far as to place a supportive hand on Sonata’s shoulder. “You know how Rainbow Dash is. She’s always making things out to be a bigger deal than they actually are.”

As much as Sonata wanted to believe her sisters’ words, she found it incredibly hard to do so. It was true that Rainbow Dash exaggerated things a little from time-to-time, but the way she’d said, ‘we need to talk’ had been so austere that she couldn’t help but assume a disastrous denouement. Despite this however, she tried her best to put on a brave face because she still had a job to do today, and she knew she couldn’t do it very well while worrying about her personal affairs.

“You’re probably right.” She listlessly said before she removed Adagio’s hand from her shoulder and started walking away.

“Uh, where are you going?” Aria inquired.

“To see if Celestia and Luna need us for anything.” Sonata replied.

Figuring that that wasn’t a bad idea for a few reasons, not the least of which being that helping Celestia and Luna was the reason they were even going on this ski trip in the first place, Adagio and Aria followed their sister through the foyer over to where the principal and vice-principal were standing. But when they got there neither woman said they needed any assistance from them until the bus arrived, basically leaving them to just wait around like everyone else. Leaving them with little to do to keep from focusing on their recent woes, other than making awkward small talk with one another.

“Um, it sure was nice of Big Mac and Apple Bloom to take care of the emus while we’re gone, don’t you think?” Sonata randomly remarked.

“Yeah.” Adagio replied. “We’ll have to get them something to say thanks when we get back.”

“Maybe a gift certificate to that barbeque joint downtown.” Aria suggested. “Applejack said her family loves that place.”

“Maybe.” Adagio simply replied.

This sort of chit-chat continued between the three Dazzlings until the bus pulled up a half hour later. Once it did, Celestia and Luna had them do a quick head count to make sure everyone was present and accounted for while they went out and spoke with the bus driver. After the head count was completed and showed that everyone was there, they moved all the students outside and began letting them board the bus. The boarding went fairly smoothly, and as soon as all the students were aboard they too hopped onboard and found some seats. Sonata sat with Rainbow Dash towards the middle of the bus while Adagio and Aria sat together at the very front. As soon as Celestia, Luna, and the driver got on as well, they were off.

It had been about three hours since the bus had left CHS, and by now Adagio and Aria were starting to feel bored. They hadn’t said much to each other up to this point as neither of them could really think of any interesting subjects they could use to strike up a conversation. Or at least, any subjects that they wanted to share. The thought of talking about what’d happened with Trixie had crossed Aria’s mind a few times, but each time she didn’t say anything because she didn’t want to talk about that with Adagio, at least not right now. She’d also considered trying to find out what Adagio’s big news was again once or twice, but she knew she wouldn’t get anything on account of the fact that Celestia and Luna were sitting right across from them.

Eventually though, the silence became too uncomfortable for Aria and she turned towards Adagio to ask her a question.

“What do you think Sonata and Rainbow Dash are talking about?” She inquired.

“No idea.” Adagio replied as she looked over her shoulder really quick to get a glance of Sonata and Rainbow Dash. “But it looks like they’re done talking now.”

“How do they look?” Aria then asked, hoping to get at least some idea of what it was they’d been talking about from they’re facial expressions.

“Can’t really tell.” Adagio simply answered as she turned back around.

Feeling unsatisfied with her sister’s answer Aria quickly turned around to see for herself, but it was just as Adagio had said. All she could really see was that Rainbow Dash was looking out the window and Sonata was looking down at her lap, neither of them emoting much at the moment.

As Aria turned back around in mild disappointment, she couldn’t help but notice Celestia looking a tad unwell in the seat directly across the aisle from hers.

“Sister, are you all right?” Luna asked as she too noticed Celestia’s nauseous expression.

“I think I may be…experiencing some altitude sickness.” Celestia queasily admitted. “I’m sure I’ll…be fine.”

As a precaution, Aria slid over a scooch towards Adagio in order to put as much distance between herself and Celestia as she could. Just in case the principal turned out to not be fine.

“Are you worried about them?” Adagio suddenly asked her.

“A little.” Aria admitted. “I mean, given how I felt last night I can’t help but sympathize with Celestia a bit here.”

“Not Celestia and Luna, Sonata and Rainbow Dash.” Adagio clarified. “Are you worried about their relationship?”

“Oh.” Aria responded, feeling slightly embarrassed at having misunderstood her sister. “I mean, I’m a little worried about their relationship, sure. B-But only because I’m worried about having to deal with Sonata being all mopey and sad for weeks-on-end if it ends.”

“Uh-huh, sure.” Adagio sardonically replied with a small, sly smile.

“S-Shut up.” Aria said as she turned her head away from her sister to hide the growing blush on her face.

Adagio just softly chuckled at Aria’s embarrassment.

As Aria stared out the windshield of the bus to avoid looking at Adagio, she saw what appeared to be a large building off in the distance, one she instantly recognized due to its distinct architecture. It was their hotel.

“Hey, we’re almost there.” She informed Adagio as she tapped her arm to get her attention and then subtly pointed to the building.

“Finally.” Adagio replied with mild relief when she saw the hotel.

Sure enough, after about five more minutes of winding through the mountainous roads, they had arrived at their hotel. The bus pulled up to the front of the building and as soon as it came to a complete stop and the doors opened, Celestia ran outside with her hands covering her mouth.

“Oh dear.” Luna softly remarked before chasing after her sister to make sure she was okay.

Silently, Aria gave thanks to whatever gods may be that the principal had been able to hold it in until they’d arrived at their destination. After what she’d been through last night she really didn’t want to have to deal with anymore vomit.

“Alright, listen up!” Adagio shouted throughout the bus as she stood up, taking charge of the situation since Celestia and Luna were gone. “Everyone gather your things and meet in the lobby! Room assignments will be given out shortly after everyone’s inside!”

And with that, Aria stood up as well and the two Dazzlings made their way off the bus, followed closely behind by Sonata. As they all exited the bus and headed for the hotel’s entrance, they each caught a glimpse of Celestia bent over by some shrubs making retching noises while Luna held her hair back. It wasn’t what they, or pretty much anyone, would consider a pretty sight. Thankfully though, they soon stepped inside the hotel and saw a much better sight; a large, grandiose lobby that made the Ritz look like a motel. They each took a moment to admire it’s beauty until Aria decided to ask Sonata a question.

“So what did Rainbow Dash want to talk about?” She inquired.

The look of awe on Sonata’s face immediately vanished when she heard Aria ask her question and was replaced by one of trepidation. Adagio likewise dropped her expression of awe, but instead replaced it with an expression of curiosity.

“She…wanted to talk about our future together.” Sonata tepidly replied as she turned and addressed her sisters.

“Meaning what exactly?” Adagio asked.

Sonata took a deep breath before answering.

“Dashie told me she got a letter last night from the University of Vanhoover.” She solemnly said. “They want to offer her a full athletic scholarship to their school and she’s going to accept it. The thing is though, the University of Vanhoover is over 2,000 miles away from Canterlot City, and Dashie said she doesn’t want to do a long distance relationship.”

“Did she…break up with you?” Adagio sympathetically asked.

Sonata shook her head.

“She…She said she wants me to go with her.” She answered.

Needless to say, neither Adagio nor Aria had expected Sonata to say this.

“She…what?” Aria shockingly asked, unsure as to whether or not she’d heard her sister correctly.

“Dashie wants me to go follow her to Vanhoover while she goes to college there.” Sonata clarified. “She said that she hates putting me in a position where I have to choose between her and you two, but…she said she loves me with all her heart and doesn’t want to lose me.”

Aria couldn’t believe what she was hearing right now. Moreover, she couldn’t believe what it was she was feeling right now. How many times in her life had she wished for something like this, for Sonata to just…go away? The answer was ‘more times than she could remember’, but now that there was actually a chance of that happening, she found that she didn’t want her sister to leave.

“So are you going to go with her?” She asked.

“I…I don’t know.” Sonata cheerlessly confessed. “I love Dashie with all my heart too, but…but I don’t know if I can leave you girls. You’re the only family I have and the thought of leaving you is…scary. Plus there’s our job and-”

“You should go, Sonata.” Adagio cheerlessly interjected. “It would be best for you if you did.”

Both Sonata and Aria immediately turned and looked at Adagio with aghast expressions after she’d finished talking.

“I-It would be?” Sonata woundedly asked, feeling like her sister didn’t want her around anymore.

“Seriously, Adagio, what the fu-“ Aria heatedly tried to say before Adagio cut her off.

“It would be best for you because…” She started to say before pausing to look around.

“Because why?” Aria heatedly asked.

Upon seeing that neither Celestia nor Luna were close by, Adagio brought her attention back to her sister and steeled herself for what she was about to tell her sisters. What she had tried to tell them earlier but couldn’t.

“…Because we’re being let go.” She bluntly said.

The shock Aria and Sonata had felt only moments ago suddenly multiplied tenfold.

“W-What?” Sonata barely managed to get out in her stunned state.

Aria found herself unable to say anything.

“When I went to Celestia’s office she wasn’t there, so I decided to sneak a swig of the tequila in her desk.” Adagio began to explain. “But when I went around her desk to get the bottle I saw an e-mail open on her computer with our names on it, so I took a closer look at it. It was from the district superintendent and basically said that she was to let us go at the end of the month.”

“B-But why?” Aria inquired once she was able to speak again. “Why, dammit?!”

“I don’t know.” Adagio promptly replied. “There was a lot of boilerplate stuff in the e-mail and I didn’t have time to read through it all. But I got enough of it to know that we’re losing our job soon.”

Sonata felt like she was going to cry while Aria felt like she was about to explode in a fit of pure, unbridled anger. What was going to happen to them if they lost their job? Would they lose their home, their emus, and everything else too? Would they end up having to go back to living in a van down by the river again? All the uncertainty and anxiety of this news was almost completely unbearable for them.

“So what now?” Aria asked with a quiet fury as she desperately tried to keep her emotions in check.

“Now?” Adagio rather defeatedly replied. “We just keep doing our jobs, and we talk about this later tonight when we’re alone in our room. Okay?”

There was a brief moment of silence as Aria and Sonata contemplated Adagio’s plan.

“Yeah, okay.” Aria begrudgingly agreed.

“Okay.” Sonata meekly agreed as she wiped a lone tear from the corner of her eye.

“Excuse me!” A well-dressed man suddenly called out to them as he approached from the reception desk. “Excuse me, you’re with the Canterlot High School group, are you not?”

“We are.” Adagio affably answered him.

“Might one of you be Miss Celestia or Miss Luna?” He then inquired.

Each of the Dazzlings just sort of gave one another an uneasy look as they recalled when they’d last seen the principal and vice-principal.

“N-No, we aren’t.” Sonata spoke up. “But we are faculty chaperones.”

“Ah, very well then.” The man said as he slightly bowed his head to them. “Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Ullman, I’m the manager of this establishment. Let me be the first to welcome you and your group to the historic Overlook Hotel.”

Author's Note:


Will the Dazzlings be strong enough to face their greatest ordeal since the Battle of the Bands? Or will The Overlook cause them to fall farther than they've ever fallen before?

The Finale begins next chapter!