Sucker for a Cute Face

by Eyeswirl the Weirded

Chapter 55: Chapter 55: A Chance

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In the late afternoon of the next day, Fluttershy returned to the sirens' house as quietly as she could, which was a little silly when she was planning to ring the doorbell. She was pretty sure she was welcome here, but even if she didn't trust her frazzled mind to respond to them at the time, ignoring Adagio's calls might have sent the wrong message. Worse yet was that now she had to tell her anyway.

She pushed the doorbell button, waited a few minutes, then tried again. No one was answering and she didn't hear any activity from the other side of the door, but it was a Saturday, so the sirens were probably home. She tried the handle to find it unlocked, very cautiously pulling it open. Not seeing a sign of anyone around or hearing a peep from anywhere in the house, she went in anyway, hoping the sirens trusted her enough to not press charges for trespassing if she waited for them to come home if they really weren't here right now.

Approaching the staircase, however, she heard footsteps from just behind her, whirling around to see Aria with a very unamused scowl as she clamped both hands onto Fluttershy's shoulders.

"Squeaky. We gotta talk."

Fluttershy had barely opened her mouth to reply when she felt the familiar sensation of hands reaching into the back of her skirt, seizing the waistband of her underpants, and thrusting upwards, turning her words to an anguished series of noises as the fabric stretched higher. Aria let go of her shoulders to take hold of one side of her underwear, Sonata lifting the other as the two hefted her off her feet, carried her to the nearest wall, and hung her on one of the wall hooks.

While excruciatingly painful to start, Fluttershy quickly found that having the entirety of her weight held up only by her duck-patterned panties grew much worse with the fact that she was a little heavier now than she had been in middle school.

"So," Aria began, arms crossed and a disdainful glare on her face, "maybe you can tell us why Adagio cried herself to sleep last night. A first for her, by the way."

Fluttershy strained to answer, but the growing pain made talking difficult as she desperately tried to press her feet against the wall for some kind of relief.

"She hasn't even said anything since then," Sonata added with a scowl, "all she'd tell us is that you ran from her!"

"Ran from...?"

Oh, Fluttershy thought as her stomach sank, of course. How could I forget?

She did her best to settle into the least uncomfortable position she could find while hanging from the hook. "I-I'm sorry, really, but-ow, I just, well... it's a little hard to exp-ach, explain, but, w-well, I mean, it s-started with, I-I meant to tell you when-"

Groaning impatiently, Sonata barked "Out with it!!" as she harshly yanked Fluttershy downward by an ankle, drawing her answer through an especially pained yelp.

"I was trying to fix the gems!!"

The two stared in wide-eyed silence for a solid minute as Fluttershy squirmed on the hook, Aria being the first to articulate in a mix of indignation and disbelief.


"I took them, what I could f-find, from Adagio's r-ow-ow-ow-ow-room, because I heard from Sunset that-ouch, that all this t-time, the three of you only wanted friends so you could forget the-eek! loss, a-and, it wasn't getting any better by itself, s-so, I wanted to do something, but-I'msorrythisreallyhurtspleasegetmedow-how-hown!"

Sharing a quick, uncertain glance, the two settled on unhooking and gently lowering Fluttershy to the floor, if only to hear a clearer explanation. They got it after Fluttershy had a moment to catch her breath and shakily get to her feet.

"I've been hoping, and waiting, for some time now, that Twilight would visit us or send a message to Sunset and help work something out, to see if your voices could be completely restored with some kind of magic, but..." She shrugged. "Well, it's been several months now and nothing has happened. So, I thought, if nothing was going to happen, then someone had to make it happen, but until I could be sure it would work, I didn't want to risk getting your hopes up for something that meant so much to you." She frowned. "I've visited Twilight twice now, and while there's still a chance, I'm afraid it's only a chance."

Again, Aria and Sonata shared a look, but before Fluttershy could stress that she wasn't sure her findings would help or that they shouldn't look forward to the results too much, Aria glared at her.

"So, which part'a that meant breaking her heart?" Aria wasn't sure how to feel about the look on Fluttershy's face, as though the words cut into her more than her duck undies a minute ago, but she lingered between satisfaction and regret.

"I'm really sorry," she uttered, "I never meant to hurt her, but..." She looked up with tears in her eyes. "Well, would you mind if I told her instead?"

"That depends," Sonata answered with an uncharacteristically serious expression and crossed arms, "...are things gonna be okay between you two?"

Aria turned her head to see Sonata barely keeping up her angry exterior, practically broadcasting that she just wanted everything fixed through abnormally frequent blinking and facial twitches. She chose to assume that Fluttershy was just being polite and pretending not to notice when she responded in total sincerity.

"If she'll forgive me, I hope."

Aria and Sonata shared one more look. Hooking one arm around Sonata to pull her toward the living room, Aria pointed to the stairs. "You go talk to Dagi, we'll wait down here."

Sonata offered an apologetic smile over her shoulder. "Sorry about the stretched undies!"

Fluttershy blushed, but managed to smile back. She could certainly understand what it was like to be enraged on a friend's behalf, she just hadn't ever expected to wind up on the receiving end. That in mind, she turned to look at the stairs with a hint of dread.


"Ow... Ow... Ow... Ooooww..."

She'd made it. Top of the stairs. She could see Adagio's room, and anxiety of what was coming did a lot to take her mind off the lingering discomfort. Thinking back to the day their two groups, sans Adagio, talked for the first time, Fluttershy remembered Aria's mention of having been a little harsh with Sunset during their first talk, feeling an odd stir of warmth as she considered the chances that the sirens cared for one another like this even back then. As opposed to doing it because of what they lost, of course.

Huh... Did they give Sunset a wedgie too, or...?

That didn't matter, it was time to talk to Adagio. Gently grasping the doorknob to her room, Fluttershy found it unlocked, slowly turning the handle to see something that made her chest ache.

Adagio was in right about the same spot that Fluttershy had left her, not even having bothered to disrobe or change into pajamas, her hair an unkempt mess as she lay on the edge of the heart-shaped bed, facing away from the door.

Fluttershy approached as quietly as possible, flashing back to the day Adagio was sick as she again imagined that Adagio was made of glass and would shatter if she weren't painstakingly careful. She knew this was silly and that Adagio was one of the most resilient people she'd ever met, but seeing her like this made it easy to forget. She tip-toed over the bed, deciding against sitting down next to her.


No response.


Not so much as a muscle moved. Taking a breath, Fluttershy opted to just talk.

"I'm sorry I ran from you. I know how much that bothers you, but, well, a-and I know this will sound like an excuse, but-"

"Just tell me what I did wrong, Sweetie."

Startled by the sudden interjection, Fluttershy nearly fell on her rear as she rapidly stepped backward, internally wincing as she realized it looked a lot like she was already running from Adagio again. Then she shook her head. "N-no, it wasn't, y-you didn't do anything wrong, I-"

Adagio sat up, looking over her shoulder to show that while she had been crying, at least the bags under her eyes weren't any worse. "Sweetie," she said with an unamused look, "are you about to tell me that you bolting out of here like you were going to be skinned alive had nothing to do with me?"


There was a pause. Now was not the time to enjoy the perplexed, irritated face Adagio was wearing, so she quickly explained.

"I ran because I shouldn't have-" It wasn't a great time to recall, in steamy, diary-filling detail, what she had done with Adagio the previous night, either, but her brain was thoroughly working against her today. "-uh... done, um, w-what I did, A-AND, I don't mean to apologize for, I-I mean I do, but not because, w-wait, I mean-"

Sighing, Adagio stood up, paced over to a hanging hook-net on her wall, and shuffled through the contents for a moment. "You know," she said dully, "I've been thinking a lot about what the three of us could do to help our look, to appeal to people a little more, and one of the things I came up with was something I've seen used as an unusual choice of accessory in fiction." She turned around to show a thin, white cylinder sticking out of her mouth, which she immediately removed to reveal to be a tiny lollipop, holding up another where Fluttershy could see. "I couldn't really go eating candy in school, I think, but it's something I considered doing around town. Until then, however...?"

She held out the one still in its wrapper, gauging Fluttershy's expression to be a blend of touched by the offer despite what had recently happened between them and guilt for exactly that incident, even if Adagio didn't fully understand why. She opted to take a small risk.

"Take it," she ordered with a stern expression, "calm down, and tell me why you ran out last night."

Fluttershy straightened up as though an electric current ran up her spine. "Y-yes, Ma'am!" She quickly walked over, gently seized the little sucker, popped it into her mouth, popped it out, frantically removed the wrapping (Adagio had to bite the inside of her cheek to keep from snickering), and popped it in again.

They stood there in awkward silence for a moment, though the sweet, sugary sensation on her tongue did help Fluttershy's nerves.

"So," Adagio eventually said with equal hints of apprehension and annoyance, "were you rejecting me or what?" She winced as Fluttershy gasped hard enough to suck in her lollipop, which immediately lodged in the back of her throat to cause another painful-looking coughing fit, which at least dislodged the thing immediately. "Sorry, Sw-" She was startled by a hand being slapped to her mouth in both quick and gentle fashion, fingers carefully angled so as not to disturb Adagio's own sucker.

Fluttershy coughed for another half minute, but managed to shake her head. "Please, please-hack! hack! don't apologize..." She took a deep breath, frowning deeply when she continuted. "You don't like it when I apologize for doing things that show how attracted I am to you, right? I don't like it when you apologize for things that aren't your fault."

At a loss for words, Adagio stared back at her in silence. When Fluttershy showed her a tiny smile, she managed a half-hearted smirk. "Are you threatening to spank me if I do?"

The angle of the lollipop's stick poking upwards out of her mouth made Fluttershy look comical even without the wide-eyed look on her glowing face. Adagio smiled a little wider, but despite the perfect bait dangling in front of her, the maliciously playful energy just wasn't there. She sighed as her lips slipped into a frown.

"If I didn't do anything wrong, why did you run from me?"

The cluster of crazed hornets again buzzing through her mind, Fluttershy forced herself to stop and start over. "I'll, um... I guess I should start at the beginning. I heard from Sunset, after your last talk with her, that the three of you were only attending Canterlot High to make friends, but not just for its own sake. And, I felt like I should have known, like it was obvious when I stopped and thought about it, that the reason you wanted to make friends here was to help cope with the loss, to forget your voices and move on. Is that right?"

Adagio nodding as though confirming that big rocks were heavy didn't make her feel any better.

"Right... So, I thought, it just sounded too sad; forsaking something that means so much to you when we didn't even know if there was a way yet, and, since we'd waited so long already with no results, I mean-" She stopped herself again, collecting her thoughts as she rolled the sucker over her tongue. Watermelon! "...Do you remember that fortune cookie? 'Worry does not beget change?'" Adagio nodded, so she smiled a little. "I thought of that, and how, if we ever wanted something to happen, sitting around hoping for it wasn't going to help, someone had to stand up and make it happen. At the same time, I couldn't bear the thought of telling any of you that I was going to try to restore your gems, or at least your voices, and failing, so..."

Her mouth formed a very pained, sheepish smile. "W-well, I thought, maybe if I could take a page from your book, maybe if I were fast and sneaky enough, maybe I could do it without anyone knowing, then surprise you with the gems or something if it succeeded?"

Adagio stared back at her, almost bored if not for the irritation in her eyes. "You said you'd never-"

"I know," Fluttershy interrupted, tears welling up in her eyes as the guilt of a broken promise (even if she never actually promised, it felt the same to her) welled up in her chest, "I know I said I would never do anything like this, that I said I would just ask you, but I couldn't this time without planting the idea that you only might get your voices back even though I might come back empty-handed, showing you what you wanted more than anything and then ripping it away!" The tears spilled down her face as she latched onto Adagio's shirt with both hands. "Which I technically ha-ha-haave!"

Steadying Fluttershy as she cried into her shoulder, Adagio gently pat and rubbed her back until the sobbing stopped. "...'Technically'?"

Fluttershy sniffled. "Th-there's a chance, but..." Righting herself, she took a step back and shook her head. "I'm sorry, I need to tell this in order. I went to see Twilight Sparkle, through the portal just outside Canterlot High (I can show you if you want, she said all three of you can visit any time you like, though that won't help restore your gems or your voices), and asked her for help. At first, she refused, saying she couldn't take that kind of chance with you three no matter what I said. I understood why; you girls were a threat, and she had experienced a relatively recent betrayal under similar circumstances, but I asked her if she trusted me. I don't think she was willing to say out loud that she, who Sunset tells me was given the title 'Princess of Friendship,'-" she smiled a little as Adagio rolled her eyes, "didn't trust someone she considered a friend, and-"

Suddenly remembering something, Fluttershy again wore a sheepish smile, folding her arms behind her back. "Uh, haha, in lieu of nothing, um, would you at all mind maybe an hour-or-so-long interview of answering questions about your people? Because suggesting to Twilight that you three were a direct source of long-lost knowledge (Sunset told us that Coltlantis perished over a thousand years ago, you remember that we talked about how you three were flung into the future, right? Okay, just double-checking) and might be willing to share what you remember from your first-hand experience of living in the lost, legendary city was kind of how I convinced her to take a thorough look into restoring your gems, or at least working out some kind of limiter on them."

Her face stern, Adagio raised an eyebrow. "You took advantage of a scholar's thirst for knowledge to manipulate her into serving your own ends?"

All the shaky walking in the world wouldn't have made Fluttershy feel any less like an ant. "Yes?"

Adagio lifted her off the ground in a hug, practically squeaking with joy. "So proud!!"

Her feet dangling just above the floor, Fluttershy blinked twice before remembering that she was talking to Adagio Dazzle. She chose to focus on the same logic with which she'd justified her underhanded act in the first place; that it was for the happiness of those she loved and wouldn't hurt anyone if everyone played nice. She continued when Adagio set her down.

"S-so, she agreed to at least try, and we spent almost the whole day doing research, trying things I could only guess at what was going on (real magic experimentation isn't as much fun to watch as the books make it sound, sadly), but even though Twilight had gotten a better understanding of what you three had lost while we were talking, she told me there was nothing she could do without the gems, and those, she told me, were history."

She stopped her story to glance at Adagio's bedside mini-fridge, the recognition in Adagio's eyes telling her she immediately connected the dots.

"You're a burglar now too, Sweetie?" She chuckled at the utterly ashamed look she got for this, patting Fluttershy's head. "Relax, I'd forgotten the fragments were even there, and besides..." Tilting Fluttershy's head to force eye-contact, she smirked. "Stealing from our house like that? I told you you were brave. Can you imagine what any of us might do to you for something like this? Nevermind that it's the remains of our gems, the physical remnants of our shattered lives that you stole?"

She felt a tinge of guilt as Fluttershy went white as a sheet, her mouth hung open, her eyes rolled back in her head, and she drifted out of consciousness. Even so, Adagio grinned a little. It was coming back to her!


Fluttershy awoke to find herself with her head on Adagio's lap, the two of them on the bed, the sticks from the lollipops missing (most likely in the nearby wastebasket), and the sadistic siren looking down at her with a tender smile as she softly said "I'm still waiting for the rest of the story, Sweetie."

Sitting up, Fluttershy flailed about for a moment, spastically sputtering apologies for having stolen from the Dazzlings and that she would give it back as soon as she could, but a tight grip around both of her ankles drew her attention. She paused to find that she had handcuffs locking her legs together, turning to Adagio with an inquisitive look.

Adagio smiled sweetly. "I'm still waiting for the rest of the story, Sweetie."

"Ha, haha," she gulped, "r-right, um... So, y-yes, I... I came back here that same night, and, I'm very, very sorry I lied to you by acting as though I just wanted to join you for a slumber party -though that part was technically real; I've been wanting to for a long time!- and took your things without permission, but, I mean, y-you already know why I did it, but, I know that doesn't exactly make it right because it's still-"

All humor vanished from Adagio's face. "Why did you run from me?" They stared at one another in silence for a moment, Adagio's shoulders drooping as her frown deepened. "You said it wasn't because of me, but I know now that you've deceived me once already." The pained wince in Fluttershy's face as the words visibly tore into her didn't make Adagio feel any better. "...Don't look so guilty, it's not like I'm any better, remember?" Fluttershy seemed to accept this. "Now, what do I have to do to keep that from happening again? What more do you need from me so that I don't have to spend another minute just hoping you'll come back?" Hurt entering her own voice and expression, she couldn't help a mild glare. "You could at least tell me what's wrong before running off, or use the safeword! That's what it's there for!"

She closed her eyes, if only to momentarily shut out the utterly miserable look on Fluttershy's face, and took a deep breath. "But, I have to ask, because, as much as it hurt when you left me, the thought of that being the end for us hurt much, much worse." She opened her eyes again. "So, please, if there's something you need me to do...?"

Sniffling once, Fluttershy shook her head. "I swear it was not because of you. Okay? You haven't done anything wrong, it was my fault for f-forcing myself on you to cover up for taking the gems." Adagio could hear the lump in her throat. "I thought, at first, that once I found the gems, I could head back downstairs, rejoin the slumber party, and go back to Princess Twilight the next day, but when you caught me, I couldn't tell you what I was doing without getting your hopes up, s-so... I lied. I took the first excuse that came, b-because, I thought, 'we're a couple now, there's no reason we can't do this!' But, even while I was throwing myself into it, finally free to do everything I'd ever fantasized about doing with you, I realized that we'd only be doing any of it, our first time, because of a lie."

"I couldn't bear the thought, but by then, I couldn't stop myself either, like my body was moving on its own, aching for every extra second of contact, and I was trapped! I thought of what things would be like between us when you eventually found out the real reason I had come to your room that night, the look in your eyes when I told you that those memories were wasted on a falsehood, and worst of all, how you might look at me from then on if we hadn't stopped, I took the gems to Twilight, and the plan hadn't worked at all."

Not having realized how quickly she was breathing, Fluttershy took a moment to compose herself as Adagio stared at her in silence. "...That was why I screamed, that was why I ran. I wasn't afraid of you or anything you might do to me, I was afraid of me, and what I might do to us."

There was a long pause in which Adagio averted her eyes. She shrugged. "Well, again, it's not like I can blame you. As I've said before, anyone would have given in by now, and maybe if I weren't always all but offering myself, baiting you with those pictures and-" Fluttershy's hand seized one of hers. When she looked up, she again saw that odd blend of sadness and conviction from when Fluttershy swore to help her get over her sleep troubles.

"It wasn't your fault. I like your teasing, I-" there was a flicker of a nervous smile, "-really like the pictures, and I like every second of the way you play with me," it was unfair having to ignore a moment in which Adagio blushed, but darnit, this was important! "but I made the wrong choice in launching into those feelings when you caught me. If I hadn't pushed you onto the bed, hadn't smelled your hair while I kissed your neck, hadn't touched your soft, smooth skin, caressed every inch of your tight, muscular body, inspected the curves of your chest with individual fingers, squeezed your taut thighs in both hands, felt the warmth of your-"

She stopped as her brain caught up with what she was saying. She'd never seen Adagio blush so brightly as she stared back in shock, but couldn't say which of them was glowing more as she timidly touched the tips of her index fingers together. "I, uh, f-forgot where I was going with this..."

Looking away as she considered cranking up the ceiling fan, Adagio coughed. "S-so, like I was saying, I don't blame you for giving in, but... suppose the timing was unfortunate." She looked at Fluttershy out of the corner of her eye. "Can we chalk this whole thing up to a misunderstanding?"

"...I guess so?"

An awkward silence persisted as the two sat on the bed on which that same, heated misunderstanding took place..

"I turned into a pony."

Adagio looked at Fluttershy, perplexed. She smiled.

"I t-turned into a pony, when I went over there. The shock has worn off, but it was weird at first."

"...I see."

"I had wings! And a tail!"

Adagio smiled a little. "And cute little hooves?"


The two giggled together, Adagio casually brushing her poofy hair aside. "So, once you got the remains of the gems, what happened next?"

"Huh? Oh, uh..." She frowned. "I'm afraid that, even with the gems, Twilight couldn't figure out what to do. She even called in what she told me was a chaos expert named Discord! He was a big, serpent-like creature, with a lion's paw, a talon-hand, a bat wing, one goat horn and one gazelle horn, one foot that I wasn't quite sure what-"

"Hasn't changed his look in all this time?" Adagio casually studied her nails. "Some embodiment of 'chaos.'" She answered Fluttershy's inquisitive stare with a shrug. "We've met."

Fluttershy nodded. "I-I kind of figured, because when he learned the gem fragments were yours, he recoiled from them." She smiled a little as Adagio rolled her eyes. "When he understood that they were powerless, he explained that, while he couldn't fix them either (something about the Coltlantians using really complicated micro-glyphs and leyline clusters that went over my head), the gems never should have had an effect on your voices, that, um... I think his words were 'The mind-warpy stuff was their whole shebang,' that 'singing is as much part of a kelpie as flying is part of a pegasus,' which I know isn't a perfect comparison, because I turned into a pegasus for several hours and didn't fly at all, but he said even what he called 'earth ponies' had magic that never left them."

"Then," Adagio asked with trepidation, "this 'chance' that we could sing again...?"

"It's related to this, yes. There was something about kelpies having developed and perfected sonar to an artform, that singing used to be their main means of survival as the species advanced, which translated to singing, I think." Adagio nodded affirmatively. "He compared the gems to a magic pair of binoculars that could see far past normal eyesight, even in x-ray vision -he and Twilight had a disagreement over what she called using comic book terms- and other things, then having those binoculars explode while you were looking through them. Does that sound close to you?"

Adagio pondered the idea with a hand on her chin. "Your eyes certainly wouldn't be the same afterward, no matter how long you'd been using them prior. Yes, I suppose that's an apt comparison in this context."

Fluttershy smiled shakily. "And, h-he said, if you can find that magic in yourselves again, it should heal you, sort of, like unclogging a drain. But, the p-problem is-" her grin quickly slipped into a pained grimace, "I have no idea how to do that."

"...He said we still have our magic?" Fluttershy nodded, and she didn't want to think Her Sweetie would mislead her, but... "Discord is a notoriously unreliable creature, Sweetie. Why would he help you or Princess Twilight?"

"I heard about that, actually, because he was the one that betrayed Twilight, but looking into his eyes, -which are heterochromic, by the way!- I believe him when he says he regrets doing it." She smiled. "He also said I remind him of a friend!"

Adagio snorted with amusement. She was by no means inclined to trust the legendary trickster, especially if he knew he'd be helping anyone in her group, but lying to the precious, innocent face in front of her was something she wasn't sure even he could do if he was in a state in which Princess Twilight could tolerate his presence.

Besides, one could say the exact same thing about me.

"Alright, then... If we can find our own magic, do something to wake it up, we should be able to sing normally again?" Fluttershy nodded, though the worried look on her face didn't exactly speak of confidence. Luckily, Adagio had a theory. "Well, given that kelpies use their magic through singing, maybe we just need a really intense lullaby?"

Fluttershy looked hopeful. "Would that work? Would you be happy singing those?"

"Well, no." It hurt her a little to see her adorable girlfriend deflate. "We used to enjoy playing for a roaring crowd," she said with a hint of a nostalgic smile, "the excitement and energy almost palpable as they cheered for us, every note resonating through the hearts and minds of everyone listening, swept up in our song even without magic to keep them hooked on every word out of our mouths, dancing to every beat of our tune." The grin slipped away. "The problem is, of course... how can we get a reaction like that sounding like we do? I don't think even this world has pop stars screeching and shrieking with every chord."

There was a kind of desperation in Fluttershy's eyes. "D-does it have to be pop? What about, um, country? Or hip-hop? Or even jazz?"

"Do any of those work for people with throat damage?"

"...Maybe metal?" Adagio's perplexed stare had her pulling out her phone to look for examples, pulling up a video that she may or may not have remembered from a time in which she'd been fascinated with dark elves and their rougher, gothic themes. The effect hadn't lasted, but the song still carried a sort of violent energy, the sort that inspired fist-pumping and head-banging, people stomping their feet and shouting along with the music even though the vocalist, in this case, sounded as though they'd been smoking for most of their lives. A hopeful smile grew on Fluttershy's face in direct proportion to the evil smirk on Adagio's.

"I've... I'll admit I've never done something like this, but..." The smirk faded as she considered what it would take to actually produce a metal song of her own. "We don't exactly know how to play this world's instruments, Sweetie, though I'm sure we could afford decent equipment and lessons to-"

Fluttershy shook her head. "We can do it, my friends and I! Sunset and Rainbow are good with guitars, Pinkie is more than happy to go ballistic with drums, and Applejack handles the bass really well! I don't know if Rarity and I can be much help, never heard of metal with tambourines or keytars, but we'll do whatever we can!"

Adagio blinked, a little taken aback. "Should you really be volunteering your friends like thi-"

"There's no doubt in my mind that they would help, and even if they don't, I'll find someone who will. Heck, Trixie might be able to help too! And while I don't think Aria or Sonata will want to sit this out either, I'm sure they'll be happy to give it a try if it works for you. You just need the music to sing along to, right?"

"R-right, but-"

"If you can write a song that works with your voices as they are right now, would you be okay with whoever does the music playing alongside you?"

"If we were singing alongside people we know the crowd already likes? Not so differently from joining your table at lun-"

"Point taken, what about if the song were recorded in advance and then played on a sound system for your performance?"

Blinking twice, Adagio glanced down, wondering if Fluttershy was even aware that she was grabbing Adagio by the upper arms, their faces just inches apart. "Uh," she said with a growing blush and a faint grin, "that, might work, but-"

Fluttershy beamed, stars in her eyes as she leaned in a little closer. "Then we just need an audience! Maybe we could hand out flyers or something, o-or just set up a stage on a roof somewhere and-" A sudden, hot breath on her ear funneled the rest of her sentence into a squeak as her skin tingled and her cheeks burned.

Adagio chuckled. "I think I have an idea. You remember how the Battle of the Bands was supposed to be a musical showcase before we stepped in? What if we talked to Celestia about putting on one of those to make up for the one we ruined? Let everyone play the way they first wanted to, featuring our own song free of competition and magic? While that was being arranged, Ria, Nata, and I could work out exactly what sort of range we're working with, I could compose the song, your friends could perform the instrumental portion, and we'd sing when our turn came up. Any questions?"

The purpose behind the arm-grabbing became clear when Fluttershy startled Adagio by pulling her into a passionate lip-lock, the two falling onto the bed as they sunk into Adagio's mango-scented poof. When she got a second to breathe, Adagio looked up almost timidly. "S-Sweetie...?"

The hint of worry in her eyes immediately stringing a few dots together, Fluttershy quickly pulled back, a sheepish smile on her face as she defensively raised her palms. "Right, too soon, s-sorry, I just-EEP!" She remembered too late that her ankles were still handcuffed together, losing balance and toppling off the bed, landing face-down with her rear up in the air in comical fashion.

Sitting up and getting her breath and heart rates down to normal levels again, Adagio chuckled.

Ohh, Sweetie.

Author's Notes:

I'd have liked to include Aria and Sonata in the talk at the end, but the scene didn't really call for them to come in, I wasn't sure how smooth a transition it'd be if the couple decided to stop and take it downstairs, there wasn't much dialogue left by that point, and having two extra characters might have cluttered the scene a bit. So instead, here's this!

Just after they left Fluttershy to make up with Adagio, Aria looked to Sonata.

"You are such a sap."

"Shut up, you wanted it to have a happy ending too!"

Aria looked away in practiced fashion.

"Well, duh, but... So, what happens if she messes this up and Dagi gets her heart busted forever?"

Sonata smiled as she held up a funnel and a bottle of five-alarm hotsauce.

"Round two."

"if we ever wanted something to happen, sitting around hoping for it wasn't going to help, someone had to stand up and make it happen."

It should be noted that this is to be applied on a case-by-case basis. I don't think there's anything anyone can do to make chapters of a fanfic come faster, for instance, unless they're the writer of that fanfic. :twilightsheepish:

I was tempted to use 'Frownershy' a few times here, but the tone was never quite right for it.

You know that feeling you get when, amid a myriad of speculations and predictions as to how something you're writing will turn out, someone actually guesses what you were planning almost exactly on the dot? That happened regarding Trixie's actions throughout the story and with Flutters seeking out a princess (Twilight, natch) in Equestria to help fix the gems, some time ago. I couldn't spoil it by replying to those comments, but I smiled hard. :pinkiehappy:

Next Chapter: Chapter 56: Long-Overdue Do-Over Estimated time remaining: 1 Hour, 41 Minutes
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