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

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



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

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Finale (Part 1)

“Everyone, listen up!” Adagio Dazzle yelled out to the 30 CHS students gathered in the lobby of the Overlook Hotel. “Principal Celestia isn’t feeling well and Vice-Principal Luna is looking after her in the manager’s office right now, so my sisters and I will be giving you your room assignments!”

“What’s wrong with Principal Celestia?” Twilight Sparkle concernedly spoke up.

“Mild altitude sickness.” Adagio answered. “The manager said it’s not that uncommon for people who aren’t used to being in the mountains. She should be fine after a bit of rest.”

All the students began to talk softly amongst themselves after hearing Adagio’s answer. Meanwhile, Aria and Sonata just stared at their older sister from the side with inconspicuous awe at how composed and in-control of everything she was at the moment. Despite knowing that all three of them were going to lose their motivational speaker job at the end of the month, she was keeping calm and carrying on like everything was fine. Not only for the sake of the ski trip, but for their sake as well. Her grit and chutzpah never ceased to amaze them.

Aria and Sonata themselves though weren’t taking the news of their impending termination quite as well. Both of them were managing to put on a brave enough face so as not to raise any questions from anyone, but on the inside they were undoubtably tristful and exacerbated. Aria couldn’t help but worry about what would happen to her beloved emus back home if she and her sisters lost their job. How long would they be able to continue caring for them without any income? As for Sonata, she was worried about her relationship with Rainbow Dash. She truly did want to follow her lover to Vanhoover so they could remain together, but could she really do so at the cost of leaving her sisters? And especially now, during such an uncertain time for all of them? The more both of them thought about their woes, the harder it became for them to maintain their insouciant expressions.

“Come on.” Adagio softly said as she handed each of them an index card with room assignments on it, snapping them out of their trains of thought. “The sooner we get through this, the sooner we can talk about things.”

“R-Right.” Sonata replied as she quickly looked over her card.

Aria didn’t say anything in response as she did likewise.

Once each of the Dazzlings had all the keys to the rooms listed on their index card, the three of them dispersed throughout the crowd of students and began giving out room assignments.

“Sunset.” Adagio said as she approached her fiery-haired friend. “You and Twilight are in room 217.”

Just as Adagio was about to hand Sunset her room key though, she noticed the Rainboom holding her arms and moving her hands up and down them, shivering ever-so-slightly.

“Are you okay?” She inquired.

“Yeah.” Sunset tepidly answered as she took her room key. “I’m just feeling a little cold is all.”

“You’ve been feeling cold ever since we got here, Sunset. Even after we walked into the hotel.” Twilight concernedly chimed in. “Are you sure you’re all right?”

“I’m fine, Twilight, really.” Sunset assured her friend as she proceeded to once again grab hold of her arms. “I just don’t understand why I’m feeling colder in here than I did outside.”

Sunset’s predicament was very puzzling to Adagio. There was no denying that it was considerably warmer inside the Overlook than it was outside, so why was the Rainboom feeling cold right now? The only logical conclusion she could come to was that Sunset might be suffering from some sort of altitude-related sickness, much like Celestia. And that worried her.

“Well if you keep feeling cold, let me know.” She told Sunset.

“I will.” Sunset affably replied, feeling touched by the Dazzling’s concern for her. “Thanks, Adagio.”

And with that, Adagio simply gave her friend an amiable smile before moving on to give out her next room assignment.

“Rarity.” Aria said as she approached the fashionista. “You and Applejack got room 219.”

“Have you ever seen such rustic architecture before?!” Rarity exclaimed as she stared in awe at the room around her, not really addressing Aria. “I’d say this style is late 19th century, possibly early 20th century at the latest.”

“That’s great, Rarity.” Aria very flatly replied as she held the key to room 219 out in front of her. “But can you take your room key so I can move on?”

“While it’s not my preferred style mind you, I still can’t help but admire its elegance and charm.” Rarity continued, causing Aria’s frustration to grow. “It’s truly amazing how the shade of red on the pillars complements the neutral beige color of the walls.”

“Yeah, it’s really pretty.” The Dazzling irritatingly concurred as she practically shoved the room key right in the Rainboom’s face. “Take your key.”

“Oh my, what a delightfully bucolic key.” Rarity then gaily remarked as she admired said key, without actually taking it from Aria.

Feeling that her patience had run out, Aria gave a small, annoyed grunt before removing the key from Rarity’s face and turning about 150° to her right to face Applejack, who was talking to Pinkie Pie, and giving her a light tap on the shoulder.

“Oh, howdy, Aria.” The country girl urbanely said as she turned around. “Do yah need something?”

“Here.” The pig-tailed girl said as she presented Applejack with her room key. “You and Rarity. Room 219.”

“Oh, thank yah.” Applejack replied as she took the key from Aria.

“No, thank you.” Aria gratefully said back, much to Applejack’s confusion, before walking away.

As the Dazzling weaved her way through the crowd to give out her next key, she silently hoped and prayed that things would go much more quickly with the rest of the students. She wanted to be done with this so that her and her sisters could discuss what they needed to discuss alone in their room. Thankfully, things did go fairly smoothly from that point on. That is, until she got to the last set of names on her card; Trixie and Wallflower.

Aria really didn’t want to interact with Trixie at the moment. Despite what the girl had said to her back at CHS about how they’d always be friends in spite of all the recent drama about whether they’d become girlfriends or not, she knew that things were going to be awkward between them for a while. At least until they were able to fully address things together. Unfortunately though, now wasn’t the time for her to address these things with her friend, so rather than go to Trixie to deliver her last key, she went to Wallflower instead.

At the same time, Sonata was just about finished giving out her keys as well. Having just given Photo Finish and Pixel Pizzaz their room key, she found that she was left with only one more to go. The thing was though, it was the key for Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash’s room. The thought of giving the key to Fluttershy instead of Rainbow briefly crossed her mind, but she quickly dismissed it. She didn’t want to give her girlfriend the impression that she was trying to avoid her after their conversation on the bus. Such wrongful perceptions were the last thing their relationship needed right now, and she knew that the only way to avoid them in this situation was to give Rainbow the key.

“Hey, Dashie.” She blithely, but not too blithely, said as she approached her lover and held out her last key in front of her. “Here you go. You and Fluttershy are in 222.”

“Oh. Thanks, Sonata.” Rainbow simply replied in a very casual manner as she took the key from her girlfriend.

Much to Sonata’s surprise, it seemed that Rainbow Dash wasn’t dwelling much, if at all, on their conversation from earlier. It was a pleasant surprise though, one that actually filled her with relief, as it meant that there was one less piece of drama she needed to deal with right now.

“Don’t mention it.” She said as she turned around to walk away, only to feel Rainbow Dash gently grab her arm and prevent her from leaving.

“Hey, Sonata.” Rainbow said to her, now sounding very solemn. “Before you go, there’s something I forgot to tell you back on the bus.”

And just like that, the relief Sonata had just felt about having one less piece of drama to deal with right now disappeared.

“O-Oh, okay.” She replied, trying not to sound jittery. “What was it?”

Rainbow Dash gave a quick, deep breath as she released her hold on Sonata’s arm and prepared to speak.

“I forgot to tell you that no matter what you choose, I’ll always love you.” She earnestly said.

Sonata was speechless. She thought for sure that what Rainbow had forgotten to tell her would be something devastating. But in fact, it had been just the opposite.

“You mean the world to me, Sonata.” Rainbow continued. “I want you to come with me to Vanhoover, but I don’t want you to feel that you have to. I know how close you and your sisters are, so just know that if you choose to stay with them, I’ll understand. And that it won’t change how I feel about you.”

“D-Dashie.” Sonata uttered as she started to become overwhelmed with emotion.

It was at this point that Rainbow Dash took a hold of Sonata’s right hand with both of her’s and held it up to her chest.

“You’ll always have a place in my heart, Sonata. No matter what.” The Rainboom concluded with as much sincerity as one could possibly muster.

Succumbing to her emotions, Sonata allowed a few tears of joy to run down her face. She wanted to wrap her girlfriend in the biggest hug she could, but given that they were in a public place and surrounded by people she didn’t want to make a scene. So instead, she simply took hold of Rainbow Dash’s hands with her free hand and guided them over to her chest.

“And you’ll always have a place in my heart, Dashie.” She earnestly replied.

The Dazzling and Rainboom simply stared lovingly into each other’s eyes for a few seconds before quickly sharing a small kiss on the lips and then letting go of one another’s hands.

“So, see you at dinner tonight?” Rainbow offhandedly asked.

“Yeah.” Sonata gaily replied as she started to walk away. “See you then.”

As Sonata made her way over to the reception desk where her sisters were standing, she couldn’t help but find herself in a genuinely gaiety mood. Even the unfortunate news she’d received earlier from Adagio regarding their job, which she hadn’t forgotten about, couldn’t seem to bring her down from the emotional high she was now feeling.

Her newfound joie de vivre earned Sonata some curious looks from both Aria and Adagio once she re-joined them, but neither of the older Dazzlings said anything to her about it.

“Okay, does everyone know what room they’re in?!” Adagio yelled out to the students.

The sound of various ‘yeah’s and ‘uh-huh’s could be heard coming from the group of students. And to the best of Adagio’s hearing, no one seemed to be raising any concern or confusion about their room assignment.

“Good! Then everyone find your rooms and get settled in!” She then said. “And don’t forget that we’ll be having dinner in a few hours in the Gold Room!”

“Ooh, the Gold Room.” Pinkie Pie spoke up in her usual lively manner. “Where’s that?”

“Down that way.” Adagio replied as she pointed to her right, towards a sign that read ‘The Gold Room’. “Just go through those doors and it’s at the end of the hall.”

“Oh. Okay.” Pinkie simply said before she and the rest of the students started gathering their belongings and headed over to some nearby elevators.

“What about us?” Aria inquired once most of the students had left the immediate area. “What room are we in?”

“We’re in room 237.” Adagio answered as she picked up a few of their bags and slowly made her way over to the elevators as well. “I’ve got the key, so let’s go.”

Following their sister’s lead, Aria and Sonata picked up their remaining bags and catenated behind her. But by the time they all got to the elevators, practically every single student was already there waiting for them, much to their dismay. And it didn’t look like the elevators were moving especially fast, so they knew the wait time for them was most definitely going to be long.

“We’re finding another way up to our room.” Adagio unanimously decided as she walked past the group of students towards a hallway located straight ahead.

Neither Aria nor Sonata raised any objections as they silently followed her.

As soon as Adagio reached the intersection of the hallway, she quickly looked it up and down to see which was the best way to go. To her left she saw that the hall had a closed door not too far down it, and to her right she saw that there was another intersection. She decided to go right.

“Uh, do you know where you’re going?” Aria asked as she turned the corner soon after her sister.

“Not exactly.” Adagio admitted as she continued walking. “But if I remember the map of the hotel Luna showed me a while back correctly, there should be a lounge located somewhere around here. And I’m betting there’ll be some elevators there.”

“So we’re just going to wander around carrying these heavy bags until we find this lounge?” Aria then asked, now sounding a little peeved.

“You have a better idea?” Adagio inquired as she came to the next intersection.

“Great party, isn’t it?”

“What was that?” Adagio asked in an annoyed manner as she stopped and turned around to face her sisters.

“Huh?” Aria confusedly said as she and Sonata stopped a few feet behind Adagio, having no idea what she was talking about.

“Don’t play dumb with me, Aria.” Adagio said as she dawned a very stern expression. “I just heard you softly say something after I asked you if you had a better idea.”

“I didn’t say anything, Adagio.” Aria strongly retorted as she put her bags down, crossed her arms, and returned Adagio’s serious expression.

Feeling certain that she’d heard one of her sisters say something, Adagio quickly shifted her attention to Sonata and gave her a look that silently said, ‘Was it you?’

“I-I didn’t say anything either, Dagi.” The pony-tailed girl semi-nervously said, having received her sister’s speechless message loud and clear.

Normally Adagio would continue to press her sisters until one of them admitted guilt, but she chose to let this one go. After all, they still had to talk about what she’d learned back at school regarding their job once they eventually got to their room, and it was best to have tensions as low as possible before then.

“Never mind.” She said as she turned back around and started walking again, taking a left at the intersection. “Just come on.”

Aria and Sonata exchanged curious glances with one another before Aria picked her bags back up and they both continued to follow their sister through the hotel.

It wasn’t too much later that they all reached the lounge Adagio had mentioned, and even found a pair of elevators located just outside of it.

“Finally.” Adagio remarked in relief as she approached the elevators, put her bags down, and pressed the button to go up.

“Wow, check out this room, girls!” Sonata randomly spoke up as she walked into the lounge. “It’s so big and beautiful!”

“We’ll check it out later, Sonata.” Adagio told her exuberant sister. “Right now we have to get up to our room and-“

Adagio abruptly stopped speaking when she noticed that the button to go up on the elevator wasn’t lit.

“Oh, come on.” She said in frustration as she hit the button again.

The button still failed to light up, causing Adagio to frantically hit it many more times like a madwoman.

“Uh, Adagio.” Aria chimed in as she picked a piece of paper up from the floor near the elevator that read, ‘Out of Order’.

“Great.” Adagio sarcastically remarked as she ceased hitting the elevator button.

It was at this point that Adagio started to wonder if it would have been better if she’d just waited for the elevators in the lobby instead of venturing off to find less crowded ones near the lounge. So far all the trek had done was wear her and her sisters out. Well, it had worn her and Aria out at least. Sonata still seemed to be in generally high spirits for reasons that were unknown to her, but that was fairly typical. At any rate, it was just one of those times where she felt she’d made the wrong call.

“Alright.” She defeatedly said as she picked her bags back up. “Let’s just head back to the lobby. I’m sure the elevators there are free by now.”

“Whatever.” Aria simply replied, feeling too worn out to argue.

“Hey, girls!” Sonata shouted out to them. “Why don’t we just go up those stairs?!”

Both Adagio and Aria looked over to see Sonata standing just inside the lounge by a long table with an old typewriter on it and pointing behind her. They quickly turned their attention to where it was she was pointing and sure enough saw a grand staircase, which strangely enough could only be accessed from the sides, leading up to the second floor. Needless to say, neither of them really felt like climbing a flight stairs while carrying heavy bags, but at the same time they didn’t want to trek all the way back to the lobby either.

“Fuck it.” Aria simply said as she entered the lounge and headed for the stairs, feeling that since she’d already come all this way she might as well just take whatever method of getting up to the second floor that she could.

Adagio, more or less feeling the same way, soon followed. As she entered the lounge, she understood why Sonata had wanted her to check it out. It was very similar to the lobby in terms of décor, but it’s massive size, various chandeliers, and large windows made it truly impressive by any standard. She just sort of took it all in as she walked through. That is, until she got to the table with the typewriter on it. When she got there she found herself inexplicably fascinated by old-fashioned machine, which was strange to her because it wasn’t like this was the first time she’d ever seen a typewriter before. As she walked closer to it, she noticed that for being so dated it was in surprisingly good shape. She also noticed that there was a piece of paper loaded into it with a few words typed onto it. Curious as to what it said she got right in front of the machine to get a better look, and when she saw the four words that had been typed onto the paper, she instantly felt a chill run through her soul.

Welcome to the show.

“You coming or what?!” Aria shouted over to her from the staircase as she slowly ascended it.

“Y-Yeah. Coming.” She shouted back as she once more began to make her way through the lounge towards the stairs, trying to put the typewriter out of her mind.

Adagio entered from the right and climbed the first few steps up to the plateau with relative ease, but the hardest part was yet to come. There were about 20 steps she still had to take before she reached the second floor at the top, where Aria and Sonata were waiting for her, and she knew that with her heavy bags in hand they weren’t going to be easy. After taking a quick deep breath, she slowly but surely started to climb up, feeling the weight of each step as she took it.

“Will you hurry up, Adagio.” Aria impatiently said to her as she reached the halfway point.

“Hey, I’ve got the heaviest bags here.” Adagio acutely retorted as she continued to climb. “If you want me to move faster maybe you should come hel-”

Adagio precipitously stopped talking as she felt her right foot slip out from under her and she fell onto the stairs. Thankfully though, she was able to brace herself enough so that she didn’t tumble down them. She did lose one bag, however, which fell all the way back down to the plateau.

“Dagi!” Sonata worryingly exclaimed as she rushed to help her sister up.

Aria did likewise, though silently.

“I’m okay, I’m okay.” Adagio profusely insisted as she got back up with the help of her sisters.

“Are you sure?” Sonata inquired as she looked her up and down for any injuries.

“Yeah, I’m sure.” Adagio replied.

“We’ll get your bags for you.” Aria said as she made her way down to the plateau to retrieve the bag that had fallen down there.

Part of Adagio wanted to roll her eyes at the fact that it took her nearly falling down the large flight of stairs for her sisters to offer their assistance. But a much larger part of her dwarfed that part; the part of her that was simply grateful she hadn’t gone tumbling down. She knew she most definitely wouldn’t have been okay if that had happened.

Once Sonata took her remaining bag from her, Adagio started climbing the stairs again. Being extra mindful of where it was she was stepping. Once she reached the top she gave a small sigh of relief just before Aria and Sonata joined her with her bags.

“Thanks, girls.” She gratefully told them.

Sonata and Aria each just gave her a small smile before she turned around and looked for any signs that could point her in the direction of their room. But alas, she found no such signs, much to her continued annoyance.

“Honestly.” She began to say in rather irritated manner. “Could the person who designed this place have made it any more confusing and difficult for someone to find their way around?”

“So, more wandering?” Aria dryly asked.

“Yeah.” Adagio reluctantly answered as she picked up a couple of Aria and Sonata’s bags. “More wandering.”

“Look on the bright side, girls.” Sonata optimistically spoke up. “At least this way we get to see more of this beautiful hotel.”

Neither Adagio nor Aria saw Sonata’s ‘bright side’ in all this as the three of them headed off in a random direction. All they wanted was to get to their room, unpack, and rest for a bit before having what was sure to be a difficult conversation about their future.

Fortunately, it didn’t take the Dazzlings too long to find their room, as they were able to deduce its location after first coming across room 217, Sunset and Twilight’s room, and then following the room numbers as they got bigger. Eventually bringing them to room 237.

Without saying a word, Adagio put down her bags, pulled the key out from her pocket, and inserted it into the doorknob to unlock it. Once the room was unlocked, she put the key back in her pocket, picked up her bags and stepped inside, followed soon after by Aria. Just as Sonata was about to enter the room, she heard a faint sound that made her stop dead in her tracks; a young child laughing. The laughter sounded vaguely familiar to her, so she looked down the hallway where she thought she’d heard it coming from to see who it belonged to. However, upon seeing no one there, she simply shrugged it off as her mind playing tricks on her and once more proceeded to enter the room.

Sonata was caught off guard when she discovered that she’d walked into a small entry way. She’d never been in a hotel room that’d had one of those before, and it made her curious as to what the rest of the room was like. She quickly walked through the doors on her left leading into the main part of the room and was immediately taken aghast by what she saw.

“Holy cow!” She exclaimed as she dropped her bags in astonishment and looked around. “This is nicer than our house!”

The room was indeed impressive. A fairly large living area with plenty of seating and a fireplace, four steps that led up to the bedroom which had two queen-sized beds in it, and a surprisingly spacious bathroom with two sinks and two toilets beyond that. About the only thing that Sonata didn’t find all that impressive was the weird-looking purple and green carpet in the living area and bedroom.

“Eh, it’s okay.” Aria replied as she put her bags down by the steps, not feeling quite as impressed as her younger sister. “The wallpaper kind of clashes with the carpet and these drapes over here are-I sound like Rarity right now, don’t I?”

Sonata couldn’t help but give a small giggle at Aria’s sudden realization of how much she did sound like Rarity at that moment.

“Come on, you two, start unpacking.” Adagio called out to them from the bedroom. “We don’t have much time before dinner to talk about things.”

Having been reminded of the conversation they needed to have regarding their job, Aria and Sonata did as Adagio instructed and began unpacking their bags. Almost everything they’d brought with them went in either the bedroom or the bathroom, but a few things like a couple of cell phone chargers and some extra blankets they decided to put in the living area. The whole of the unpacking didn’t take very long with all three of them doing it, and once they were done they each took a seat in the living area. Adagio sat on the right side of the couch by the window, Aria sat in the chair directly across from her, and Sonata sat in the chair to Aria’s right.

“So what’s the plan, Adagio?” Aria rather agitatedly started things off. “What the hell are we going to do about this?”

“That’s what we’re going to discuss, Aria.” Adagio staidly replied. “We’re all in the same boat here, so we need to come up with a plan together.”

“Just…why is this happening, Dagi?” Sonata somberly spoke up. “I thought we were all doing a good job as motivational speakers.”

“I don’t know, Sonata.” Adagio answered, now sounding a bit somber herself. “Like I said, I didn’t have enough time to read through the entire e-mail from the district superintendent to find that out.”

“I want to know why this is happening too.” Aria chimed in. “I say first and foremost we go to Celestia and demand to know the reason for why we’re getting let go. Maybe it’s something we can fight.”

“We can’t go to Celestia!” Adagio sharply retorted, lightly slamming her right hand down on the arm of the couch for extra measure. “We aren’t supposed to know about this right now! If we confront her about it before she says anything to us it could just make everything worse!”

“So what do we do then, Adagio?! Nothing?!” Aria heatedly asked as she stood up in a very vehement fashion. “We just let them sack us without even putting up a fight?!”

“That’s not what I’m saying!” Adagio fiercely retorted as she too stood up and practically got right in Aria’s face. “What I am saying is that we need to be smart about this and not make stupid decisions because we’re upset!”

“Girls, please, calm down.” Sonata pleaded as she got up and tried to place herself between her sisters, though finding that difficult due to the coffee table in the way. “Yelling at each other isn’t going to help anything.”

“Oh what do you even care, Sonata?!” Aria said as she redirected her aggression towards her younger sister. “You’re going off to Vanhoover with Rainbow Dash, you-”

Aria abruptly stopped talking mid-sentence as she suddenly dawned an expression of great realization.

“It was you.” She softly said to Sonata, like she’d just had an epiphany.

“What?” Sonata confusedly asked.

“IT WAS YOU!” Aria shouted as she grabbed Sonata by the collar of her shirt, her expression of realization now warped into one of fury. “YOU DID THIS!”

Sonata was too afraid to say anything in response. All she could do was look at her enraged sister until Adagio managed to intervene and separate them.

“What the hell, Aria!” The eldest Dazzling testily asked as she held Aria back.

“IT’S HER FAULT!” Aria yelled as she pointed an accusing finger at Sonata, who was now slightly crying. “SHE’S THE REASON WE’RE GETTING FIRED!”

“How is this Sonata’s fault?!” Adagio inquired as she continued to try and keep Aria away from Sonata, a task that seemed to be getting more and more difficult by the second.

“SHE HAD SEX WITH RAINBOW DASH IN OUR OFFICE, REMEMBER!?” Aria explained. “SOMEONE MUST HAVE CAUGHT THEM AND REPORTED IT!”

When Adagio heard this she involuntarily relaxed her hold on Aria, enough that if the pig-tailed girl wanted to she could’ve resumed her assault on Sonata. Thankfully though, she didn’t. All she did was remove herself from Adagio’s hold. While she didn’t go after Sonata again, she did stare her down with white-hot fire and fury in her eyes.

Adagio turned around to look at Sonata, who was now crying even harder, and could tell that she was thinking the same thing she was right now. Was Aria right?

“L-Look.” Adagio began to address both of her sisters, hoping to bring tensions down. “We don’t know for certain what the reason is. So we shouldn’t jump to any conclusions, okay?”

“Are you kidding me?!” Aria furiously retorted. “Of course it’s Sonata’s fault! These types of things are always her fault!”

“N-No…I-” Sonata tried to get out.

“Don’t try and deny it, Sonata!” Aria interrupted her. “You’re the cause of this and you know it!”

At this point Sonata began to feel so weak that her legs started to tremble, which didn’t go unnoticed by Adagio.

“That’s enough, Aria!” She sternly told her angry sister.

“You fucked up just like you always do and now it’s costing us our job! Maybe everything else too!” Aria continued to berate Sonata, ignoring Adagio.

“I said that’s enough!” Adagio once more tried to tell her sister.

“I swear, Sonata, if we lose the emus because of this you’re dead!” Aria still went on. “You hear me?! DEAD!”

And then, all of a sudden, a loud slapping sound rang throughout room 237 as Adagio smacked Aria across the cheek with her open right hand, followed by a few seconds of the most awkward silence any of the Dazzlings had ever experienced. During this silence, Sonata brought her hands up to her mouth to stifle a gasp at what she’d just witnessed, Aria slowly brought a hand up to where she’d been struck as she dawned an expression of disbelief, and Adagio stood absolutely still with her right hand up in the air.

“That’s. Enough.” The eldest Dazzling said for the third time, now sounding straight-up menacing, as she brought her hand down.

As much as Aria wanted to deliver a retaliatory blow of some sort, she found herself too shocked to do so.

“I get that you’re upset, Aria.” Adagio then said, trying to sound compassionate yet still stern. “But you need to calm down right now. I won’t have you hurling insults and making threats like you’re Mom.”

As soon as Aria heard Adagio compare her to their mother, she quickly got over her shock, balled up her right hand into a fist, and promptly slugged Adagio across the face with it, sending the poofy-haired girl tumbling down onto the wooden coffee table. Thankfully, the table didn’t break and Adagio’s hair helped cushion her impact with it, so she didn’t lose consciousness.

“Dagi!” Sonata alarmingly shouted as she instinctively ran over to her fallen sister to make sure she was all right.

As Adagio tried to slowly lift herself up off the coffee table with Sonata’s help, she looked up at Aria to see her sister staring down at the two of them with both fire and tears in her eyes.

“FUCK BOTH OF YOU!” Aria shouted down at them, surprisingly more in sadness than in anger, before she hastily ran out of the room, slamming both the entryway and room doors behind her.

Soon after Aria had run off, Adagio managed to fully get back onto her feet. However, almost immediately she felt a sharp pain run through her right side where she’d landed on the coffee table, causing her to wince and nearly lose her balance. Fortunately for her though, Sonata managed to hold onto her and help her stay upright.

“You okay, Dagi?” The youngest Dazzling asked, though she was already fairly certain she knew the answer.

“Aside from the pain in my face and side, I think so.” Adagio replied as she placed her left hand over her aching side and slowly made her way over to the chair where Aria had been sitting moments ago.

“Do you want me to go get you some ice?” Sonata asked her as she helped gently lower her onto the chair.

“Yeah, that’d be great.” Adagio answered once she was fully seated. “Thanks, Sonata.”

Sonata gave an affirming nod and headed out to go find her sister some ice, but stopped at the entryway door for a few seconds first.

“Hey, Dagi.” She solemnly began to say, gaining Adagio’s attention. “Thanks for sticking up for me.”

Adagio simply gave Sonata a small smile before she walked through the doorway and out into the hallway of the hotel, leaving her alone with her thoughts.

Naturally, Adagio found herself thinking about everything that had just happened. More specifically, about how things had ended the way they had. There had been no doubt in her mind that the conversation with her sisters about losing their job was going to be difficult and filled with high tensions, but for it to have escalated to the level that it had? Simply unbelievable. She thought that her and hers sisters had grown into better people than that, but apparently they hadn’t. In fact, they may have even become worse. Sonata’s ditzy mistakes had evolved into her engaging in sexual intercourse at their workplace, Aria’s occasional annoyance with Sonata had evolved to the point where she was hurling threats at her, and she herself had resorted to the use of physical violence against Aria in her attempt to get her to calm down.

“Fucking hell.” She crestfallenly said to herself.

As much as Adagio wanted to figure out how things had gotten so out of control, she knew she didn’t have the luxury of focusing on that right now. No, right now she needed to focus on how she was going to reconcile everything amongst Aria, Sonata, and herself. There was no denying that all three of them were going to be facing some serious challenges in the near future, and that the only way any of them were going to make it through those challenges was together. The same way they had gotten through being banished to this world and suffering defeat at the Battle of the Bands. The only problem was that she wasn’t sure how to bring them back together after everything that had just happened.

Feeling the pain in both her face and side already starting to subside, Adagio gently threw her head back and closed her eyes as she waited for Sonata to return, trying to think of ways she could reconcile everything in the meantime. Not surprisingly, she soon felt herself drifting off into a light slumber. It didn’t last long though, as a few minutes later it was broken by the sound of frantic knocking on the door.

“ADAGIO?! SONATA?! ARIA?!” Twilight Sparkle’s voice alarmingly shouted from out in the hallway. “PLEASE, I NEED HELP! SOMETHING’S WRONG WITH SUNSET!”

Upon hearing Twilight’s cry for help, Adagio quickly picked herself up from her seat and made her way over to the door, ignoring the remaining pain in her side as best she could. As she moved, she began to fear that she’d been correct earlier regarding Sunset’s mysterious chills, that they were a symptom of some sort of mountain sickness.

“Twilight, what’s wrong?!” She fervidly said as she opened the door.

“Oh my gosh!” Twilight said as soon as she saw the bruise on Adagio’s face. “What happened to you?! Are you okay?!”

“I’m fine!” Adagio hastily assured the Rainboom. “Just tell me what’s wrong with Sunset!”

“I-I’m not really sure.” Twilight distressingly replied. “She just started saying ‘live’ over and over again all of a sudden, and when I asked her if she was okay she didn't respond. Like she wasn’t even aware that I was talking to her.”

“Oh god.” Adagio said in trepidation as she recognized those symptoms. “She might be having a seizure.”

Twilight gave a dreadful gasp as soon as Adagio uttered the word ‘seizure’.

“Let’s go!” Adagio instructed as she stepped out into the hallway and rushed as fast as she could towards room 217, with Twilight closely behind her.

Every time Adagio put pressure on the right side of her body as she ran she felt a spike of pain hit her. A few of the spikes nearly caused her to falter, but fortunately she never did. Her determination to help Sunset gave her the strength she needed to power through the pain.

As soon as the two girls reached room 217 Adagio swiftly flung the door open and stepped inside, only to see Sunset standing eerily still right by the bed and facing the back wall.

“Live…Live…Live…” She heard Sunset saying, like she was in some sort of trance.

Adagio was no medical expert, but she knew enough about seizures to know what she needed to do to help Sunset if she was indeed currently suffering from one.

“Stay here, Twilight.” She instructed the girl as she slowly started to walk forward. “Sunset?”

Sunset gave no acknowledgment of Adagio’s call to her. She just continued to repeat the word ‘live’ while remaining perfectly still.

Once she was close enough to Sunset, Adagio circled around her left side to take a look at her face. The first thing that she noticed was that Sunset’s gaze seemed fixed on something, something on the wall. She looked down and to the left to see something written on the wall, most likely put there by Sunset.

LIVƎ

“Is she going to be okay?” Twilight concernedly asked from over by the door.

“I think so.” Adagio replied as she gently took hold of Sunset by the shoulders. “The best thing we can do for her right now is lay her down on her side and wait for the seizure to stop.”

And with that, Adagio slowly laid Sunset down on the bed and rolled her onto her side. Once that was taken care of, she went about removing Sunset’s geode from around her neck, remembering that one of the things you were supposed to do for someone experiencing a seizure was remove anything that could impede their breathing.

“Live…Li-” Sunset continued to say, until she suddenly stopped once her geode was removed from her person.

As soon as Sunset stopped speaking her eyes shut and her body went noticeably limp, prompting Adagio to quickly put the geode down on the nearby nightstand and check her pulse and breathing.

“What happened?” Twilight inquired. “Is it over? Is Sunset okay?”

“She’s okay, she just lost consciousness.” Adagio said once she’d confirmed Sunset’s pulse and breathing were fine.

With the seizure now over, Twilight made her way over to the bed to have a look at Sunset herself.

“What do we do now?” She asked Adagio.

“You stay here with Sunset while I go tell Celestia and Luna what’s happened.” Adagio answered. “If she starts to wake up be sure not to give her any food or water until she’s fully alert, okay?”

“Okay.” Twilight replied as she sat down on the bed next to Sunset.

As Adagio went to leave the room, her eyes caught a reflection of what Sunset had written on the wall in a mirror on the dresser and, much like when she’d seen what was on the typewriter in the lounge, it sent a chill running through her soul.

EVI⅃

Dread began creeping into Adagio’s mind as she stepped out into the hall and hurried off to Celestia and Luna’s room as quickly as her aching side would let her. Something sinister was at work within the walls of the Overlook Hotel, she was sure of it, and that somehow Sunset had sensed it and been trying to send a warning with her message on the wall. She considered sharing her grim suspicions with the principal and vice-principal once she got to them, but since she didn’t have any definitive proof to back them up she decided against it. After all, it was entirely possible that she was simply being paranoid. Oh how she hoped she was just being paranoid.

But just in case, Adagio silently told herself that as soon as she finished delivering the news of what’d happened to Sunset to Celestia and Luna, she was going to go find her sisters. Because she had a feeling that, if she was right about her suspicions, they were all going to need each other to face whatever was haunting The Overlook.