[EqG] Dazzling House (Bonus) - by Gatorbait
-Spring- The Green Line Bus makes the eleven-twenty stop outside of Canterlot Park. As the bus doors open, Sonata rushes out onto the grass, her arms flung out wide as she giggles like a child. Aira, the pouting princess, steps off next, her arms crossed over her chest as she loosely grips a blanket in her hand. She glances around twice before she's rudely shoved forward and Adagio steps off the public transit. Taking a deep breath, the poofy-haired leader glances about the park behind a pair of over-sized sunglasses. The space is relatively deserted, as it ought to be in the middle of a school day, but the pleasant sound of birds in the trees and the running water of the nearby fountain is enough to set her heart at ease. At least until Aria speaks up. "Do we really have to come out here, Adagio?" the girl sighs, holding up her arm and looking it over. "I feel like I'm going to burn already." "Don't be such a baby, Aria," Sonata chirps, bouncing up to her friends and rocking on the balls of her feet. "Besides, when was the last time we all got to be together?" "We're together all the time," the pig-tailed girl snorts, rolling her eyes. "This isn't any different than usual." Scrunching up her face, Sonata pouts and sticks out her tongue. "Wow, with all the time we spend together I can't believe I forgot that you run on Sour Power." "Girls!" A quick snap of Adagio's fingers defuses the situation before it escalates any further. The blonde gives her friends a smile and nods toward a tree situated away from the road. "There's no need to bicker. Let's just enjoy the day." "Okie dokie!" "Whatever." Making their way over to the shade, Adagio gives Aria a nod. The generally grumpy girl grunts and unfolds the blanket with a flick of her wrists. Sonata hurries to the other side and stretches the cloth out as far as it will go before both girls kneel and set the blanket on the ground. Sonata is the first to flop onto the blanket, rubbing her nose into the ground with a small laugh. Aria follows shortly after, sitting on the edge of the blanket, and Adagio takes up a position towards the middle, in front of Sonata. The quiet rustle of the wicker basket against the blanket draws the attention of the girls. Adagio passes out some fruit first, the three girls sitting and munching away as they stare out in the park. A few parents and young children have arrived, the former watching the latter as they shout and race around on the creaky but well made wooden structure in the playground. As Adagio finishes her banana and reaches into the basket again, Sonata speaks up. “Hey, Addy?” “Hmm?” “Salad’s next, right?” “That’s right,” she assures her. Sonata makes a face, and sticks out her tongue. “Yuck, I hate greens.” A momentary lapse into silence before the pony-tailed girl hops to her feet. “Well, I’m gonna go play with the kids.” “S-Sonata?” Adagio snaps, but the bubble-head has already taken off, waving over her shoulder to her friends as she moves onto the playground. With a dissatisfied sigh, the blonde pulls the tupperware out of the basket and passes one to Aria. “Well, there’s no stopping her at this point.” “She’s spoiled.” Aria grumbles to herself as she opens the lid and fishes a fork out of the basket. “And you’re not helping matters by letting her do as she pleases.” “So you’d rather I be the overbearing mother?” her friend chuckles, eyes following Sonata as she approaches the children. They seem tentative at first, but when the energetic girl throws her hands into the air, the children respond in kind and begin to chase her around the playground. “She’s just dealing with the world in the best way that she can, same as either of us.” “Really?” Adagio nods and feels the space between herself and Aria begin to disappear. The punky girl scoots closer, raising an eyebrow and biting her lower lip as she asks, “So does that mean you’re finally going to let me take lewd pictures?” “Not a chance.” “Oh come on! There are a lot of guys who would pay good money for shots of an eternal teen. Watch,” she adds, cupping her hands over her mouth and calling out to a jogger passing them. “Hey you, check this out!” As the man stops, Aria grins and starts to lift the hem of her shirt, revealing her flat, toned belly, and the jogger’s jaw drops. It likely would have become detached had Adagio not grabbed her flirty friend’s hand and waved the man off. “Nothing to see here, perv; get lost.” Puffing her cheeks out, Aria gives her friend a glare and shakes her head. The man eventually collects himself and continues on, but shoots glances back towards the duo until he’s out of sight. “See? He was totally into me.” “Well, I won’t have you be debasing yourself for these creatures. It’s beneath you and you know it.” With a tired sigh, the pig-tailed girl rolls her eyes and rests her chin on her palm. “Nothing wrong with a little debasement from time to time, Adagio. It can be real thrilling if you do it right.” “I don’t want to hear about your lewd escapades; now don’t mention anything of this to Sonata, understand?” “Yeah, yeah…” “Hey girls!” Sonata laughs through breathless gasps. “Did you know that there are boxes you can talk to on that playground, and they can hear you across on the other side?” Adagio frowns, pushing the remaining container into her friend’s hands. “Fascinating, now eat your salad.” “Aw, but salad’s gross…” “I don’t care,” Adagio grunts, getting to her feet and stretching. “I’m going to take a walk before we get to the sandwiches. Keep an eye on her and make sure she finishes.” Aria waves her off and watches as the blonde struts off towards the fountain. Sighing, the purple-haired girl flops onto her back, staring up at the sun as it peeks through the leaves. The unwilling Sonata crunches away at her salad, scooching closer to her friend. When Aria doesn’t respond, Sonata gives a heavy sigh, but the girl still doesn’t bite. At last, Sonata huffs and flops down next to her friend. “Hey Aria?” “What is it?” the grouchy girl grunts. “Do you think Addy looks a little more tired than usual?” Aria frowns and turns to the ditz. Sonata has her lips pressed into a thin line, uncertainty evident on the crease in her forehead. Seeing that she finally as her friend’s attention, Sonata continues. “I mean, it’s not terrible, but sometimes I walk downstairs when she’s making breakfast and she’s got terrible raccoon eyes.” Propping herself up on her elbow, Sonata glances around to make sure Adagio isn’t approaching. “I think it’s because she’s working too hard to make ends meet. We should try and do something nice for her or help out a little more.” Aria nods, then chuckles and shakes her head, adding, “She’d never go for it. Adagio’s as stubborn as they come; even if we could get her to agree to let us help, she’d just find something else to pour her energy into.” The two girls lapse into a brief silence before Sonata speaks up again. “Could we be sneaky about it and not tell her?” “I think we could,” Aria grins, propping herself up onto her elbows. “If we don’t tell her we’re helping, she can’t get mad at us.” Sonata grins, holding out her hand and the two shake. Just in time too as Adagio comes round the bend and makes her way back to the duo. Frowning, she stops at the edge of the blanket and stares at the girls. “…What are you two planning?” “Nothin!” “What she said.” Adagio rolls her eyes and nudges Aria’s foot out of the way before sitting down and passing out the sandwiches. They’re quickly devoured, and the trio lay out on the blanket, enjoying the late spring breeze. After a little while, Aria dozes off, leaving Sonata and Adagio to their own devices. “She’s a good friend,” Sonata whispers, her hands resting up by her head as she peeks over Adagio’s bushy hair and stares at Aria. “With a really big heart.” “Mm,” the leader grunts, smiling as she adds, “you’re right there. Very cold sometimes, but worth keeping around.” “She’s the best. I mean, you are too, but when we’re all together, we’re all at our best.” “I suppose.” “I don’t, I know,” Sonata says, reaching down and taking Adagio’s hand. “Addy, tell me we won’t break up, okay?” “Hm? Sonata, where’s this coming from?” “Just, bad dreams; I know not every day can be like today, but if I have you girls with me then I feel like everything will be okay. We might even be able to make it home some day.” Adagio smiles and squeezes her friend’s hand. “I promise. You, Aria, and I will make it home; we’ll finally be away from this place.” Sonata bobs her head and closes her eyes. “Good. I think I’m going to take a nap too, but thank you Addy.” “Of course dear,” the blonde whispers, planting a small kiss on her friend’s forehead. “I would do anything for you girls.” “Snrk… the worst,” Aria grunts in her sleep, earning a smile from the still alert Dazzling. Reaching down, Adagio’s hand finds Aria’s, and she stares up at the leaves of the tree, feeling the dull pulse of their heartbeats running through her entire body. Yes, someday they would make it home. No matter what stood in their way, she would tear it down. She had to. She was the only one who could. -Winter- In the chilly winter morning, the light from the low hanging sun creeps through the window. Stretching slow tendrils forwards, it approaches the bed of a sleeping Dazzling, planning to rouse her with the gentlest of touches until she would finally open her eyes an- “It’s happening!” Aria’s eyes snap open as the shout echoes through the halls. It comes again and she groans, grabbing her pillow and shoving it up around her ears as Sonata continues repeating herself throughout the house. Arms flailing, The pony-tailed girl rushes into the room, grinning like an idiot. “Ar~RIA! It’s officially winter!” “No it’s not!” the grump grumbles, hurling her pillow at the door. Sonata sidesteps the oncoming projectile and purses her lips in a cute scowl. “Oh yeah? Well why don’t you take a look outside, you grump pot! HAPPENING!” she declares again, booting the pillow back in her friend’s direction. After a few seconds of debating going back to bed, Aria pulls herself out from the mess of sheets and stumbles over to the window. The yard is covered in a thick pile of white, catching the light of the sun and making it look like so many diamonds scattered across the ground. Aria can’t suppress the shiver that rolls down her spine as she watches a morning jogger try and make their way through the snowy mess. “Ugh, winter.” After taking a few minutes to wash up, she stumbles downstairs to see Adagio already up and helping Sonata get dressed for the day. An overstuffed coat left her arms hanging in an upright position as the bushy haired siren wraps a scarf around the lower half of her face. Sonata makes a small grunting sound, wobbling from side to side. Adagio frowns and pulls back the scarf from her lips. “Something the matter?” “Addy, I can’t put down my ar~ms!” The blonde frowns, trying to force Sonata’s arms down to her sides, only for them to pop right back up again. A plaintive whimper from the overdressed girl earns a laugh from Aria. “You’re such a mother hen, Adagio.” As the grump moves to start on her toast, said hen turns and fixes her friend with a scowl. “What does that mean?” “It means you dote on Sonata too much.” “I do nothing of the sort!” “Mm,” Aria smirks, depressing the switch on the toaster. “That’s why you’ve got her dressed up like a turkey, right?” Adagio glances back at Sonata and falls quiet. With a frustrated huff, she starts to strip Sonata and hurries her back towards the bedroom. “Aria has a point, Sonata. You’re far too old to be wearing an oversized coat.” “But I like my puffy coat! It’s so comfy and warm; I just want to be able to put my arms down!” “Listen, you can have one of mine and we’ll find you a more appropriate one sometime this weekend.” Sonata groans in distress, the sound bringing a smile to Aria’s lips. The toaster clicks and the purple girl swipes up her breakfast. It doesn’t take too much longer for the girls to come back, Sonata having forgone her coat for a much slimmer jacket. The girl’s smaller torso causes it to hang a good deal longer on her than it does on Adagio, but still manages to hit the innocent motif that she always seemed to strive for. That revelation brings a small scowl to Aria’s face. “What are you doing anyway? We don’t have anywhere to be, and it’s too cold to spend time outside.” Propping her hands on her hips, Sonata leans forward and sticks out her tongue. “Well I am going outside to play, so there!” “With who?” Aria snorts, taking a bite of her toast. When Sonata doesn’t reply, she continues. “It’s not like high school students actually play in the snow; that’s for young kids. You know, babies.” She punctuates the last words with a vicious grin. “I am NOT a baby!” “Ba~by.” “S-Stop it Aria!” The grumpy girl is quick to button her lips as Sonata starts to tear up. Adagio shoots a glare over at Aria and is quick to place her hand on the miserable girl’s shoulder. “Sonata, you know that Aria doesn’t mean it like that.” Sonata bobs her head twice, but stays quiet. After a moment, Adagio glances back at Aria and gives a small, telling smirk. “That’s why she’s going to go outside with you and play.” “What?” Sonata asks, her head jerking up and mouth falling open. “WHAT?” Aria screeches, clenching her fists and donning a scowl. The lazy smile on Adagio’s lips never falters. “I mean, unless you want to stay in here with me and clean. I know there are some clothes in the attic which you could help me get down.” With a snort, Aria jams the rest of the toast into her mouth and stomps her way upstairs. Sonata bounces excitedly as she waits for her friend to come back down, Adagio leaving them to their business while she takes care of her own. True to form, ten minutes later Aria tromps back downstairs, the scowl still evident on her lips as though it had never left. Her coat is better fitting than Sonata’s, though a little tight around the chest. Crossing her arms, she gives her friend a frown. “All right, whatever; let’s just get going. The sooner your hands get too cold to go on, the sooner we can come back inside.” With a squeal, Sonata pounces at on her friend, clinging tightly to her side and laughing all the way out the door. The snow is still coming down, albeit slowly, with big, fat flakes landing in the girls’ hair. Even behind the scarf, Aria can see Sonata’s breath, lazy grey wisps of air curling upwards into the cloudy sky above. Much of the white sheet is undisturbed, giving it a pristine glow in the gentle light that breaks through. Sonata’s gloved fingers entwine with Aria’s as she stares out at the expanse, her cheeks flush from the cold and a lingering excitement. It takes a few moments to realize she’s staring, but with a cough Aria manages to avert her eyes from her friend’s face and tugs her down the street. “Come on.” Sonata doesn’t bother to fight against her, instead bouncing along beside as she continues to whip her head from side to side, grinning at the winter wonderland spread out before her. The walk continues on for a few minutes before Aria shivers for the first time. “You getting cold?” The pig-tailed girl blushes at her friends words, pulling her hand away and turning her back to Sonata. “A-As if! I was, just thinking of a scary movie I saw that happened in the snow.” “Oh.” The lapse in conversation sends a sharp pain into the heart of the grumpy girl. Just as she prepares to turn and apologize, another sensation grips her. Dreadful. Awful. Cold. “AGH!” she yelps, jumping and patting at her back in a futile attempt to knock loose the ball of snow currently melting and tickling down her spine. Whirling, she watches in fury as Sonata falls back into the snow, a giggle fit over taking the happy girl. “W-w-what about it Aria? You cold, NOW?” As Sonata rolls about in the snow, Aria continues to try and knock loose the offending object currently chilling her back. Finding her actions futile, the hot-headed siren scowls, scoops up a handful of white, and then proceeds to drop it on top of her friend’s face. Sonata stands, sputtering snow and wiping it from her eyes. The red tint now covers her entire face as the two friends square off. A grin slowly forms on Sonata’s face, which is half-heartedly mirrored by Aria. Without another word, the two girls reach down and quickly pack snowballs before hurling them at one another. Sonata’s giggles run wild as she dances about in the snow, while the cackles of Aria are much less frequent, though strong punctuation marks on a successful hit. Back and forth the exchange goes, culminating in the two girls rushing one another for a final snow smash to the face. Exhausted, they collapse to the ground as their ceaseless panting paints the air above them a murky, cloudy grey color. After a few moments, Sonata glances over and smiles and Aria can’t help but respond in kind. “Thanks Aria,” she mutters, her hand finding her friend’s again. “It’s not nearly as much fun to be outside playing if there’s no one to play with.” “W-whatever,” Aria responds with a shiver, “I just did it because Adagio told me to.” “Well either way, thank you.” Aria goes quiet, her fingers entwining with Sonata as the two linger on the ground a while longer. Eventually though, the chill becomes too much for them and they help pull each other to their feet. “Still cold?” Bobbing her head, Aria goes quiet as Sonata unravels her scarf and then steps close and wraps it around the both of them. It hangs loose, but the close proximity of her friend and the slight covering of her face does wonders for the chilly siren’s warmth. Hand in hand, they make their way back to the house. Outside, they see a young man shoveling snow, his eyes wide and excited as he hurls the white powder off to either side. Adagio stands on the porch, a delicate smirk dancing across her lips as she watches him work. The mug in her hand sends steam skyward, but she doesn’t seem to mind as she takes a sip. “Addy, we’re home!” Sonata cheers, waving her free hand in the direction of their leader who glances up and gives a small smile and nod. Aria does her best to appear disinterested, but as they walk towards the front door, she glances back at the boy in the yard. “How’d you manage to wrangle that one?” “I promised him something special, obviously,” Adagio responds with a chuckle, opening the door and holding it for them. “There’s a fire going if you’d like to warm up, and tea too.” For all her excitement to go out into the wintery world, Sonata is very quick to kick off her boots and strip off her soggy clothes by the door. Aria is treated to the sight of gooseflesh appearing on the excitable girl’s bare skin before she bounds deeper into the house. Rolling her eyes, Aria removes her boots and makes her way up to her room to put on something appropriate. Adagio watches them both go before turning her attention back to the shoveling boy. “You’re doing a wonderful job, dear! Keep it up and that kiss is as good as yours!” With a small laugh, she closes the door behind her and moves to the fireplace to join Sonata. The pony-tailed girl has already made herself at home, wrapped tight in an oversized blanket. Aria joins them soon after, dressed warmly, save for her bare feet plodding against the carpet. In the warmth of the fire, the three girls huddle up close to one another, staring into the blustery blaze and it dances from side to side. Their breathing calm and relaxed, the girl pile refuses to move, even when the doorbell rings. There’s some carrying on outside for several minutes before the boy finally goes home, distraught and dejected. In the silence that follows, the three girls look at one another and laugh.