• Published 1st Sep 2019
  • 1,708 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 and Spitfire

“And then there was the time Aria nearly killed us by driving the van through the red light of a busy intersection just to freak Sonata out.” Adagio Dazzle dryly said from behind her desk. “I mean honestly, who does that sort of thing, am I right?”

“Y-yeah.” Ginger Owlseye said as she sat and listened to Adagio tell stories about her and her sisters.

It was clear to Adagio that Ginger was becoming uncomfortable so she decided to wrap things up.

“My point is, don’t worry about your cousin coming to visit you for a week.” She explained. “From what you’ve told me she does sound like a bitch, but I’m guessing she’s not going to gamble with your life just to fuck with you, unlike some people.”

Ginger thought about what Adagio was saying and while she was probably right about her cousin not being as bad as the Dazzling’s sisters, she still didn’t feel much better.

“I guess not.” She timidly replied as she got up from her seat and headed for the door. “Thanks, Adagio.”

“Don’t mention it.” Adagio apathetically stated as Ginger walked out into the hallway.

It had been a rough day for Adagio. Normally only about two or three students came in to see her on a given day, but so far she’d already seen five students today and it wasn’t even lunchtime yet. This was especially hard for her because, of the three Dazzling sisters, she was the one having the hardest time adjusting to being her new job.

Adagio didn’t much care for being a motivational speaker. She found it difficult to care about other people’s ‘piddly ass’ problems, as she referred to them. She also found it difficult to really reach out and connect with any of the students, though this was something she always had difficulty with. The only people she ever felt she could get close to were her sisters, and that was mostly because she knew she was stuck with them.

“Why did I ever agree to this job?” Adagio asked herself, causing memories of her and her sisters living in a van down by the river to cross her mind. “Oh, right.”

Just then the bell for lunch rang and Adagio breathed a sigh of relief that the day was at least half over. She got up from her desk, exited her office, and made her way towards the cafeteria.

Unlike Aria, Adagio wasn’t afraid to eat in the cafeteria with the students, mostly because she knew none of them would dare try and talk to her while she was having lunch. Besides, she needed to get out of her office for a while. Days like today made her feel like she was trapped in a jail cell and lunch was the perfect excuse to get out and stretch her legs.

As Adagio entered the cafeteria, she couldn’t help but remember the first time she’d been in there, when her and her sisters turned all the students against each other with their magic. The memory brought a small smile to her face.

“Hey, Adagio.” A voice called out from behind her.

Adagio turned around and saw Rainbow Dash waving to her as she entered the cafeteria.

Not her again. She silently said to herself.

For the past few weeks Rainbow Dash had been making an effort to befriend Adagio by striking up small talk with her, much to the Dazzling leader’s confusion. It was a complete mystery to her why Rainbow Dash, of all the Rainbooms, was the making the such an effort to connect with her. Needless to say, she wasn’t interested in becoming friends with Rainbow Dash.

“How’s your day going?” Rainbow asked one she was close enough to Adagio.

“Peachy,” Adagio flatly replied as she made her way over to the lunch line. “Just peachy.”

“Oh, um, okay.” Rainbow responded, unsure of what else to say as she followed Adagio.

Once Adagio noticed that Rainbow was following her, she stopped in her tracks and turned back around to address the teen.

“Look, Rainbow Dash,” she sternly stated, “I don’t know why you keep trying to make small talk with me, but can you maybe not do it during the one time of day I don’t have to talk to students?”

Rainbow felt slightly wounded by Adagio’s words, but she kept it together as she remembered why she was approaching the Dazzling in this particular instance.

“Um, actually, I was going to ask you for help motivating someone.” She clarified.

“Come again?” Adagio inquired, bewildered by Rainbow’s statement.

“You see that girl over there?” Rainbow said as she pointed to a girl with vivid orange hair with light brilliant amber stripes sitting alone.

“Yeah.” Adagio confirmed.

“Her name is Spitfire and he’s captain of the soccer team.” Rainbow began to explain, “She’s been acting weird lately, almost like she’s depressed, and it’s starting to have an affect on the team. Any chance you might be able to help her?”

Adagio stared at Spitfire for a while. Even though she didn’t know Spitfire personally, she could tell just by the way the girl was slouching and picking at her food that she could indeed use some motivating.

While the last thing Adagio wanted was to go over and help motivate a student during her lunch, Spitfire seemed…different…from the other students. She couldn’t quite put her finger on it, but she decided that the fiery girl might be someone actually worth helping.

“So what exactly is it that has Spitfire so distraught?” She asked Rainbow.

“No idea.” Rainbow declared with a shrug of her shoulders. “All I know is that it all started after she got back from visiting Canterlot University. All of us one the team figure something happened to her on her visit, but anytime one of us asks her about it she gets really defensive and walks away.”

Adagio considered asking if maybe that was because nothing was actually wrong with Spitfire and she was just tired of people asking her that, but thought it best not to. If Rainbow Dash, one of Spitfire’s teammates, thought there was a problem with her, then most likely there was.

“Alright, I’ll see what I can do.” She informed Rainbow. “After I get my lunch.”

“Thanks, Adagio, you rock!” Rainbow gratefully expressed, giving the Dazzling a playful, yet still somewhat forceful, pat on the back as she ran off to join the rest of the Rainbooms at their table.

“What is her deal?” Adagio asked herself as she got in line for her lunch.

Once Adagio had her lunch, she made her way over to the table where Spitfire was sitting. She stopped at the opposite side of the table directly across from Spitfire, placed her tray down, and took a seat.

“Hello, Spitfire.” She casually greeted the girl, causing Spitfire to raise an eyebrow in confusion.

“Hello.” Spitfire just as casually replied back as she sized Adagio up. “You’re one of those Dazzlings, aren’t you?”

“Adagio Dazzle. Pleased to make your acquaintance.” Adagio haughtily introduced herself as she extended her arm for a handshake.

Spitfire didn’t reciprocate the gesture. She instead stared at Adagio’s hand for a few seconds before returning her attention to Adagio herself.

“Is there something I can help you with?” She skeptically asked.

“Actually, I’m here to help you.” Adagio explained as she pulled her hand back, somehow sounding even more haughty than before. “You see, some of your teammates feel that you’ve, how shall I put this, ‘lost you mojo’ as of late and it’s negatively affecting your team. As the school’s motivational speaker, I’m here to help you get your ‘mojo’ back.”

“Is that so?” Spitfire sarcastically asked, sounding slightly peeved. “And which of my teammates told you that I’ve ‘lost my mojo’?”

“Oh that’s not important,” Adagio replied, knowing better than to name names. “What is important is that you get your ‘mojo’ back for your team’s sake.”

At this point, Spitfire looked positively pissed. If Adagio didn’t know any better, she could’ve sworn she was Aria’s long-lost twin.

“Look, my team is fine whether I have my ‘mojo’ or not!” Spitfire angrily declared as she grabbed her lunch tray and stood up. “And even if I did need help, I sure as hell wouldn’t accept it from a Dazzling!”

Spitfire’s reaction wasn’t all that surprising to Adagio. She knew that some of the students were still weary of her and her sisters, with some even holding grudges, but Spitfire was the first to be so blatant about it.

“This one’s going to be tricky,” She commented. “But fun.”


After school, Adagio made her way out to the soccer field to observe the CHS soccer team in action. More specifically, she wanted to see Spitfire in action. Her little conversation with the Spitfire during lunch had confirmed her suspicions that the soccer captain was indeed different from most of the other students. Spitfire was going to be a tough egg to crack, but Adagio welcomed the challenge.

Soccer practice was already underway by the time Adagio arrived at the field. She quietly took a seat on the bleachers and observed Spitfire’s performance. Even though she knew little about soccer, she knew Spitfire wasn’t performing well. Her ball control was mediocre, her shots were wide, and, perhaps most importantly, she wasn’t communicating with her teammates. And, just as Rainbow Dash said, her poor performance was affecting the rest of the team.

“Alright, Spitfire, hit the bench.” The coach eventually yelled out to her.

Spitfire begrudgingly did as instructed and took a seat on the sidelines. At the same time, Adagio made her way down the bleachers and over to the sidelines.

“Still think you’re not having a negative effect on your team?” Adagio conceitedly asked Spitfire as she took a seat on the bench next to the disgruntled teen.

“Thought I told you I don’t need your help.” Spitfire fiercely responded, not even turning to face Adagio.

“I think you do.” Adagio replied, sounding a bit more genuine. “You’re acting angrier than Aria, and that’s saying something.”

“I DON’T NEED YOUR HELP!” Spitfire hollered as she got up from the bench and angrily made her way towards the school.

“Spitfire!” Adagio called out to the girl as she followed her. “You can’t run from whatever this is!”

“Watch me!” Spitfire yelled back as she entered the school and headed for the girls locker room.

“You don’t get it, do you?!” Adagio said as she followed Spitfire into the locker room. “I’m not going to let you run from this!”

“What do you even care, Dazzling?!” Spitfire shouted as she stopped and turned to face Adagio.

“I care because it’s my job.” Adagio heatedly explained. “And I’m not going to stop until I get you to tell me what’s wrong.”

Just then, Spitfire lunged at Adagio, grabbed her by the collar, and pushed her up against some lockers.

“IF YOU DON’T BACK OFF I SWEAR I’M GOING TO PUT YOU IN A FULL-BODY CAST! WHEN I'M THROUGH WITH YOU, YOU'LL BE DRINKING THROUGH A STRAW!” She shouted right in Adagio’s face.

Spitfire’s sudden threat had startled and intimidated Adagio, but she didn’t let it show. She knew better than to let Spitfire know her fear tactics were working. Instead, she took a deep mental breath, gave a stoic expression, looked Spitfire square in the eyes, and steeled herself for what might happen after she spoke her next sentence.

“Do it then.” She coolly stated.

“W-what?” Spitfire stuttered, her expression of anger turning into one of shock.

“Put me in a full-body cast,” Adagio clarified, maintaining her stoic expression. “Because that’s the only way you’re going to get me to stop bothering you without telling me what’s wrong.”

Spitfire released Adagio from her grip and took a few steps backwards in total dismay. She wanted to say something, but was at a complete loss for words.

“Y-you can’t be serious.” She managed to get out.

“I am serious.” Adagio replied as she mentally breathed a sigh of relief. “But just so you know, beating the hell out of me probably won’t fix your problem.”

A thousand and one thoughts ran through Spitfire’s mind. She hadn’t counted on Adagio calling her bluff, but The Dazzling had and now she didn’t know what to do. She sat down on a nearby bench and tried to gather her thoughts.

Is it possible she really does want to help me? Spitfire thought.

“I take it you’ve calmed down a bit and no longer wish me any physical harm?” Adagio said as she sat down on the other end bench, just in case.

Spitfire turned to face Adagio. She couldn’t fathom how the Dazzling seemed so unphased by what had just happened.

“Why do you care about me?” she asked out of legitimate curiosity.

“Like I said, because it’s my job.” Adagio reiterated. “Whether I like it or not.”

Adagio’s statement only compounded Spitfire’s confusion. While it did sound like Adagio was serious about wanting to help her, it also sounded like she was reluctant to do so.

“Look, Spitfire,” Adagio calmly began to say. “I get that you don’t like me and my sisters and I don’t blame you for that, we did some pretty bad things to everyone at this this school and we deserve you’re hatred. But if you won’t talk to me at least talk to someone.”

“I don’t hate you, I just acted like I did to get you to leave me alone.” Spitfire elucidated.

Adagio raised her eyebrows in stupefaction, surprised that someone had just told her that they didn’t hate her. It was definitely something she was unaccustomed to hearing.

“Wow, um, thanks.” She expressed with both mild joy and embarrassment.

“I’m sorry that I said all those things,” Spitfire apologized. “And that I yelled at you, and that I threatened to put you in a full-body cast. Basically, I’m sorry for my whole shitty attitude today.”

Spitfire lowered her head in shame. The more she admitted to her actions aloud, the more she felt like crawling into a hole and never coming out.

“Don’t worry about it, we all have our off days.” Adagio casually commented.

“It’s been more than a day though.” Spitfire confessed. “I’ve been acting like a bitch to pretty much everyone for the last week.”

Spitfire was starting to let her guard down, and Adagio could tell. The Dazzling chose her next words carefully, trying to get Spitfire to open up a little bit more without sounding pushy.

“Did something happen last week?” She considerately asked, hoping Spitfire would bring up the Canterlot University visit Rainbow Dash had mentioned earlier.

There was total silence for a few uncomfortable seconds before Spitfire spoke up.

“I went to Canterlot University last week.” She began to explain as Adagio mentally cheered. “Or at least, that’s what I told everyone.”

Now Adagio was the on caught off guard.

“So, you didn’t visit the school?” She perplexingly asked.

“No, no, I did go to CU, just not for the reasons I told everyone.” Spitfire clarified as she brought her head up and looked at Adagio. “See, I told everyone I was going to Canterlot University to see if it’s where I wanted to go to college. The truth is though, I’ve already decided I’m going there. I’ve been accepted and everything.”

“Then why did you visit last week?” Adagio chimed in.

Spitfire took a deep breath before answering.

“I was trying out for the soccer team.” Spitfire confessed. “And I didn’t make it.”

Adagio could feel the pain in Spitfire’s voice as she admitted her not making the team.

“I’m sorry.” She honestly expressed.

“It’s just, ever since then I feel like I don’t know who I am.” Spitfire continued, becoming more emotional as she went on. “I’ve always been a soccer player, it’s my whole identity. If I’m not going to be a soccer player after this year, than who am I going to be?”

At this point Spitfire was barely keeping it together. It had been hard enough for her to admit all this to herself, but admitting it to someone else only made it feel all the more real. She was on the verge of a breakdown.

Fortunately though, Adagio knew exactly what to do.

“Believe it or not, I know what it is you’re feeling, Spitfire.” She solemnly stated as she put a hand on the distraught teen’s shoulder. “I’ve been where you are myself, and I suppose I still am.”

Spitfire managed to regain enough composure to look at Adagio with puzzlement. She found it hard to believe that someone as collective and confident as Adagio could ever feel the way she was feeling now.

“What are you talking about?” she asked.

“I was a siren back in Equestria, it was who I was and I loved it.” Adagio explained. “Then my sisters and I were banished to this world and we weren’t sirens anymore. For the longest time I told myself I could become a siren again if I got my hands on some Equestrian magic, but I was wrong. Even once I got some it didn’t change anything, at least for long.”

Spitfire listened closely to Adagio’s words, feeling a sense of compassion for the Dazzling.

“After the whole Battle of the Bands thing I just drifted through the world as nothing, like a ghost. But then I got this job as a motivational speaker and, while I don’t exactly love it, it’s given me an identity again.”

She really does understand. Spitfire thought to herself as Adagio continued.

“But it’s hard for me to truly accept being a motivational speaker. I still wish I were siren again and I probably always will, but I want to embrace this new calling in life. I just don’t know how.”

Now Adagio was the one just barely keeping it together. She hadn’t expected to reveal so many personal feelings to Spitfire but couldn’t stop once she got started. She felt like she was about to cry when Spitfire spoke up.

“Maybe you need a friend?” She suggested.

“A-a friend?” Adagio reiterated in surprise.

“Yeah, you know, someone you can trust to help you work through things with.” Spitfire said.

Adagio thought about Spitfire’s suggestion for a moment. Her, have a friend? It was a completely foreign concept to her. Of course Aria and Sonata could be considered her friends even though they were also her sisters, but they were idiots.

Initially, Adagio wasn’t big on the whole ‘friendship’ thing, what with it being the cause of her defeat at the Battle of the Bands and all. But the more she thought about it in that instance, the more the concept of having a friend sounded good. There was just one problem.

“Right, and who at this school would ever want to be my friend?” She dejectedly asked as she stared at the floor. “I’m a Dazzling, remember.”

“I’d be your friend.” Spitfire unexpectedly replied.

Adagio’s head shot up as she stared at Spitfire with a look of astonishment.

“You…you would?” She asked.

“Sure,” Spitfire casually said. “With all the personal stuff you and I just shared with each other it only seems natural for us to become friends. We can help each other figure out who we are and what we want to become.”

As crazy as it sounded to her, Adagio had to admit that Spitfire made a good point.

“What do you say?” Spitfire asked as she stood up and extended her hand to Adagio in friendship.

Adagio stared at Spitfire’s hand for a few seconds before returning her attention to Spitfire herself. She gave a small smile, took Spitfire’s hand, and stood up.

“Spitfire,” She said as she wrapped her arm around the girl's shoulder as the two of them walked towards the locker room door. “I say this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

Author's Note:

Special thanks to howard035 for suggesting this story and redandready45 for inspiring it.

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

The next chapter will feature Sonata and Maud Pie.