A Dazzling Home[CYOA, abandoned] - by V-4

>Another day gone by. >It feels good to be off of work. >Especially with that leftover meatloaf awaiting you at home. >Who knew adding buttermilk would make it better? >As your mind lingers on your impending dinner, you see a strange sight. >It appears there are three extremely emaciated bears raiding the dumpster of that Mexican restaurant. >Wait a minute, those aren't bears. >Those are three teenagers in hoodies. >Really poorly kept ones. >Actually, one of them looks to just be a trash bag stapled to a sweater. >You pull up to the lot and see the three of them stop. >It's like you ran up to a small deer family. >Curiosity seems to have gotten you this far, but you're unsure of what to do next. >[adopt?] >You get out of your car, still leaving the lights on. >As you do, you see these teenagers are slowly backing away from you. >You begin to wonder if they're illegals who hopped the border and briefly consider calling Customs. >That is until you see that these teenagers, in addition to not being Mexicans, are a pack of teenage girls. >Runaways, most likely. >You leave your phone in your pocket, your fantasies of watching some people be catapulted across the wall having been thoroughly crushed. >But now you're kinda worried about them. >You decide to sit on the hood of your car, keeping them in sight. "Hey, what are you three doing raiding a dumpster?" >"We're looking for dinner, asshole." >The one in the trashbag seems rather feisty. >Unlike the other two, she has no qualms about interacting with you. >One of them is hiding behind her, as if she was going to protect her. >Adorable. "Where are your parents?" >Trashbag seems to not want to answer your question. >Yep, definitely runaways. >Not that you couldn't tell from their clothing. >In all honesty, you feel bad for them. >Your cousin Frankie once ran away from home, she got mugged and nearly killed. >Something in your heart says it ain't right to leave them to fend for themselves. >[Offer them real food] >Realizing that they're probably not going to just trust you right off the bat, you decide that maybe you should start off small. >In this case, offering them some food. "You know, that stuff's probably old, cold and likely full of mold. If you want, I'll take you to get some fresh stuff." >They pause for a bit. >The thought must sound quite appealing. >Eating warm food, freshly made. >Maybe even having some juice. >The most bashful one seems to pop out from behind Trashbag. >By the look on her face, you can see she's willing to trust your promises. >But Trashbag and her other friend don't seem so willing. "It's fine if you want to eat garbage. Some people are into that. Just don't get bit by the possums, they draw blood quickly." >"I don't like possums." >Bashful looks about ready to cry. >Finally, the third one comes out into the light fully. >She takes off her hood and holy shit. >How did that much hair fit in there? >"We'll go in with you, but you better not try anything funny." >Getting back in your car, you make a better job of parking in the front. >Waiting for them by the door, you look inside to see there's very few people in the place. >At least service will be faster. >As you start yawning, the girls seem to turn the corner quickly. >Like they're embarrassed about the whole thing. >Except Bashful. >She looks ready to chow down. >In no time at all, you get to the counter. >The cashier doesn't seem too pleased about serving the three of them, but you've got money so he can deal with it. >Now you just need to get them something. >[Buy them tacos] >[Ask what they would like] >You decide it's best to buy some tacos to start with, and afterwards you turn to the girls and ask them a question. "Do you want anything else?" >They look at each other for a moment. >Then all try to talk at once. >Then again. >And once more. >Before it can happen a fourth time, Rapunzel puts hands over both of their mouths. >"Horchata." >That's not even a food. >Bashful breaks out of the hold and quickly blurts out >"More tacos!" >Trashbag looks more annoyed than anything else as she points to the fridge full of bottled sodas. >With a more or less full understanding, you turn back to the cashier and fulfill their requests. >You swear you see Trashbag crack a smile when the man gets out a nice cold cola. >Food in tow, you find a booth away from the other patrons in the back. >They all try to fit in at the same time, like some comedy act. >Eventually, they settle with Bashful at the window, Rapunzel in the middle and Trashbag having the aisle. >You just sit like you normally would. >Before even getting a word in, they start to tear into the food. >Bashful manages to stuff three tacos in her mouth at once. >You're impressed. >Kind of disgusted as well, but mostly impressed. >They must really have been hungry. >Bashful seems to start choking, but Rapunzel shares some of her drink with her. >After that, she seems to turn her attention to you. >"Thank you for the food." >Rapunzel, from what you've gathered so far, seems to be more or less okay with you. >She also seems to be the leader of their little group. >If you were to broach any subject, she'd be the one to talk to. >[Ask what their names really are] >You settle on asking what their names are. >While these little nicknames are fun, you're pretty sure they'll get angry if you say them out loud. "Hey, so, I don't think I ever caught your names." >Rapunzel slowly sips from her glass, while looking at the table. >As if she's considering what exactly to do. >Slowly she takes her glass and hands it off to Bashful who is now choking again. >"My name is Adagio. That's Aria, and that's Sonata." >Pretty fancy names for a few runaways. >They're probably fake. >But hey, it's better than nothing. "Well, it's nice to meet all of you, Adagio. My name's Anon." >That went easy. >And Sonata ran out of food to choke on. >An all around good time. >"So...Anon, what's the deal here? Why did you decide to buy us food?" >Adagio seems to believe there's ulterior motives at work here. "No reason. It's good to be charitable once in a while. You looked like you really needed the help, too." >That last sentence appears to sting a bit. >Adagio's quite the proud person it seems. >"It's better than eating cold garbage." >"Yeah, at least this garbage is warm." >Aria's snide remark gets her an elbow to the ribs. >"Ignore her, she's an idiot." >Sonata starts to laugh at the scene until she too gets ribbed. >"She is also an idiot." >Well, she certainly rules this little group with an iron fist. >Or elbow. >What else is there to talk about? >[Suggest an "arrangement"] >Well, going by how unkempt they are and the general grime on their faces, it's safe to say they haven't had a shower in a long time. >Or food. >Their general life must be pretty hard. >No one to rely on. >No home. >No food. >...Maybe you could fix that. "Adagio, I have a question for you. When was the last time you had a hot meal?" >"..." "Adagio?" >"I don't remember." >Ouch. "That's terrible. You poor girls out on the cold streets with nothing to eat. It's a damn shame." >You slowly lean a bit further in to the table, crossing your arms as you do so. "I think I might be able to help you three out with your current situation." >Adagio's brow rises a bit. >"Help us?" "Yeah. You see, I have a very demanding job and I don't have time to go out and do a lot of things. So I have a proposal." >Adagio seems a bit skeptical, but otherwise intrigued at your offer. >Sonata and Aria seem to be curious as well after recovering from their abuse. "I have a bit of room at my place. I would be willing to let you stay there in exchange for doing some things for me. There'd also be some food involved as well." >At once, you see the conflict in her eyes. >She seems to believe this is too good to be true, but you can tell that the thought of a bed and food is also appealing to her. "What do you say?" >Her two companions back away quickly as she slams her arms on the table and looks you straight in the eye. >"Yes." >A lot more eager than you thought. "Well okay, then. If you're all done, we can head to my car." >After you get up, you walk slowly to the door. >It takes you a little while, but the footsteps come. >By the time you are all inside your car, you can see Adagio is still a bit worried. >Sonata seems to be having a fun time. >Aria is sulking in the corner with her trashbag on her head. >[Talk to someone] >Well, this is an awkward silence. >Perhaps you should fix that. "So, where are you girls from?" >"We're from Equestria." >Sonata wastes no time getting into the swing of conversation, it seems. "That's a state over. You girls are pretty far from home. How'd you end up here?" >"We walked." "Walked?" >"For realzies, we walked all the way here. We were taking a train, but then Aria got into a fight with a vending machine and we got kicked out of the station." >"Hey, that wasn't my fault! That stupid machine ate my money!" >"You mean my money." >"We all gathered those recyclables, Adagio." >"Yes, but unlike you two I actually got the expensive ones while you wasted your time with those big jugs." >"How was I supposed to know they paid less for the big ones? That's a backwards system!" >"Next time read the pamphlets." >Aria mutters something under her breath as she pulls her "hood" over her face. "You girls have been with each other for a while it seems. What's the deal with that?" >"They're my sisters." >Sisters? >They look nothing alike. >"I've been looking after these two for as long as I can remember." >Sonata quickly moves in for a hug on her sister. >"Adagio, you're a great big sister." >Adagio is quick to rebuff Sonata's hug as she pushes her away. >Poor Sonata. >The rest of the ride proceeds smoothly. >It doesn't take long to reach your place. >By the time you park, you realize that the girls are practically asleep. >Scratch that, you're pretty sure Aria actually did fall asleep. "Well, we're here. Hope it wasn't too boring." >Sonata gives a long yawn as she rubs the sleep from her eyes. >Adagio unbuckles her seatbelt. >Aria's still not moving. >[Wake Aria gently] >Well you can't just leave her here all night. >She'll get cold. >Even if she is really snappy and a bit of a bitch. >As Adagio and Sonata get themselves out, you make your way to Aria's seat and give her a nudge. >She barely reacts. >Go for the nose, then. >In the course of your nose-flicking, you certainly manage to get her back to the waking world. >"What are you doing?" "You were asleep." >Aria is quite perturbed at the interruption of her sleep. >She unbuckles herself in a huff and pushes her way out of your car. >Not much you could have done to help her grumpiness. >She seems to have a permanent scowl on her face. >Of course it probably froze that way. >Forgoing that thought for a moment, you close your car up and lock the doors. >Quickly, you make your way to the front door so as to not leave your new guests in the cold. >So you let them in. >Hopefully this wasn't a horrible mistake you just made. >Of course, they are just three teenage girls. >It's not like it'd be hard for you to defend yourself if things go south. >Though given how they seem to be just glad to be out of the cold, you're not so sure you have to worry about that. >[Get them settled in] >It's late. >It's cold. >You may as well just get them all settled in and just get a fresh start in the morning. >While trying to herd in these girls like cats, you manage to get them down to the basement. >It's a lot more nefarious sounding in your head, mind you. >It's got carpet and a couple of couches. >There's also a cot so it's not like they'll have to sleep on the floor. >No pillows, though. >You make do by giving them extra blankets instead. >It works. >The girls start discussing sleeping arrangements while you attempt to set up the cot. >Sonata doesn't even bother to wait for the cot to be rolled out. >She just lays down on the floor and passes out. >Adorable. >Uncomfortable, but adorable. >Adagio and Aria start squabbling over who gets to take the cot. >Aria seems like she's about to just walk over and take it, then she sits on the couch and covers herself with her blanket. >Adagio sets her sights onto the cot, barely waiting for it to be finished. >No sooner are you done do you see her flop onto it. >Well, that's done. >You begin to make your way out of the basement, and hear some wild snoring about halfway. >Curious, you look back and see Adagio is the source. >Is...is that noise healthy to make? >She's probably fine. >You walk up and close the door behind you. >You've got your own sleep to catch up on. >Once you make it in to your room, you slip on your pajamas and get comfy. >[Wake up early] >Ah, the morning sun. >Or that's what you would say if it was out. >It's pitch black outside. >Looking over to your alarm clock, you see it's barely past four. >Shit. >Well, no time like the present to get up. >You pick up your feet and slip into your loafers. >As fun as it would be to skate your way through the house like you normally do, you have guests. >Making your way into the bathroom, you go through your usual routine. >Even the Listerine. >You should probably get the girls one of the bottles, too. >Their breath wasn't the best yesterday. >However, a rumbling in your stomach cuts you off as you rummage through your cabinets. >Food first, Listerine later. >Shuffling out and into the hallway, you realize that the house is a little louder than it normally is. >Sounds like the girls are up. >You never pegged them to get out of bed so early. >But really, you're not a morning person yourself and here you are. >Still, you're a little curious about what's going on. >[Investigate conversation] >[Acquire breakfast] >[Investigate Breakfast] >You know what, you might as well investigate and satisfy your curiosity. >Then you'll investigate yourself some breakfast. >Come to think of it, they might want breakfast themselves. >Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, after all. >Even though it's still practically night. >But that's semantics. >Leaving your internal monologue alone for the time being, you make your way to the door. >You can hear their conversation through the door. >"I can't believe you dragged us into this. I don't want to do stuff for some random guy who just locked us in his basement." >"And tell me what your brilliant plan is?" >"We can go live in one of those empty office buildings like we did last year." >"Oh, right, because fighting with bums over territory was so fun." >"Hey, we won most of the time." >"And the times we lost I got stabbed with a broken beer bottle." >"Only in the butt." >"I was stabbed! It doesn't matter where, I don't want to do that again!" >"Well we could find something else. Like a tent. Live in the woods." >"And why would we live in the woods instead of a nice warm house? With running water?" >"I-" >"Do you know how hard it is to keep this hair clean without regular showers?" >"Do you know you can just cut it?" >"Guys...what's going on?" >"Don't worry about it Sonata, go back to sleep." >"...okay." >[Interrupt their conversation] >Perhaps you've heard enough. >Taking your ear off the door, you gently begin to twist the knob. >Best not to spook them with a loud entrance. >Their conversation dies off as soon as they realize you're actually coming. "Hey, thought I heard you girls were up. I was gonna have myself an early breakfast. Do you girls want to come up now or later? I'm making blueberry pancakes." >"Blueberry pancakes?!" >You hear a thud and an ow coming from Aria as you see a blue blur begin to make her way to the stairs. >Sonata likes blueberries, you guess. >"Do you have blueberry syrup? Or blueberry whipped cream? Do you have those little blueberry sprinkles made with real blueberries?" "I think I have some blueberry syrup." >"For realzies?" "Uh, sure, for realzies." >Sonata jumps for joy like a schoolgirl before running off to go sit in the kitchen. >Next, you see the grump nursing a sore shoulder as she makes her way up the stairs. >She grumbles something under her breath as she passes you by. >Not a morning person, is she? >"Excuse me." >Oh god. >Right, Adagio is there. >Man, she just snuck up on you like nothing. >"While I don't mind having some food, I'm really wanting to get clean. I presume you've got a shower?" >[Let her use the guest bathroom] >[Tell her to get the others to clean themselves as well] >Showers are something pretty important you sort of overlooked. >Well, not like you got close enough to smell them that well. >But showers are probably in order for them. "Well, the guest bathroom's all yours. Second door down the left. I don't think I have a bunch of towels in there, but there's at least one. Mouthwash, too." >"Is it clean?" >That's a good question. >If a towel sits on a rack but sees no use for a month or so, is it really considered clean? "No one has used it." >"Well, that's good enough for now." "Hey, think you could get Sonata and Aria to shower, too?" >"Right, they'll probably stay as is if I let them. I'll fetch them." >Adagio's poofy self goes past you as she heads off to wrangle her sisters. >A lot more literally than you would have liked. >She's surprisingly strong for such a young girl. >Though you suppose she would have to be to tell Aria to wash herself in as colorful a language as she does. >Part of you thinks this can't be a good influence on Sonata. >But you have pancakes to make. >No time to focus on the likely fact that Adagio is going to shove her sisters into the shower and effectively hose them down prison style. >At least they'll be clean for breakfast. >Though you sure won't be. >You know the flour's gonna end up on you somehow. >[Make additional food alongside pancakes] >Well, no time to waste. >You bust out your less than clean apron and pile out your ingredients. >Of which you don't have much in the way of fresh blueberries. >Or blueberry syrup. >But you do have blueberry pancake mix. >That'll have to do for Sonata. >Hopefully she won't be too disappointed. >You don't know why, but she's grown on you in such a short time. >Though pancakes do not alone a breakfast make. >You gotta put in some eggs. >Plenty to spare after all. >Don't know why you thought you'd use up twelve dozen eggs in a short amount of time. >Hey, blessing in disguise, right? >Or something like that. >Speaking of blessings, you found some bacon in the back of the fridge. >Wonder why you haven't oh wait that's turkey bacon. >Eh, it's better than nothing. >You don't think they'll mind after what they did to that food last night. >Those poor girls are still probably hungry after being malnourished for so long. >With that in mind, you fry up some of that bacon, mix up that batter, and wash off your hands before handling your eggs since they're covered in flour. >By the time you're close to done, you hear the sound of someone walking out of the bathroom and turn to see them. >Judging by her cheery smile and blue hair, you surmise it to be Sonata. >"Are the pancakes ready?" >Sadly, they are not. "Little longer, I'm afraid." >"Aw." "Uh, perhaps you should get dressed before you eat at any rate." >"Oh, we don't have anything else to wear. Adagio told me to go get some more towels." >Huh, you forgot they literally showed up in rags and trash. >Fuck. >[Go with Sonata to acquire proper clothes] "You know, I didn't think that one through all that well. Let's get you girls some stuff to wear until your clothes get cleaned." >"We're gonna go clothes shopping?!" "Uh, I was just gonna go dig up some old clothes of mine that I don't wear that much anymore." >"Oh." >Now Sonata is sad. >That's not good. "Well if you girls do well I think I might be able to organize a shopping trip later this month." >The smile returns to Sonata's face in a heartbeat. >So cute. >"Oh, thanks a bunch!" "Don't thank me yet, you girls still have to earn that. But let's get some clothes for your sisters." >You turn off the stove and hang your apron up. >Sonata diligently follows behind you like a duckling. >"Ow! I told you to brush softer!" >"Your hair is like a tangled net, I'm doing the best I can!" >Sounds like those two are having a fun time. >Leaving them to their devices, you slip into your room and open up your closet. >Sonata looks at all your clothes currently hanging there, appraising them personally. >She takes one down and tries it on. >With no seeming regard for your presence. >You get an eyeful, that's for sure. >"I like this one!" >Oh yeah, that's the one you got when you went to that one Mexican place. >It has a taco mascot on there. >You're beginning to sense a theme with Sonata. "Well I'm glad you did. What about your sisters?" >"Uh, let me check." >Sonata gives your closet another once over and pulls out two other shirts. >"Got them." "Alright. We'll grab some towels on our way back." >Your mission accomplished, you and Sonata walk out of your room and go to the hall closet. >Two fresh towels. >Sonata clutches her full bundle tightly as she walks back to the bathroom. >You walk back to the kitchen and resume your pancake duties. >Thankfully, they still haven't gotten cold. >Still won't be as consistent as they could be, but it's the best you can do. >At least the eggs will be nice and warm. >And soak up that good bacon grease goodness. >Although you do realize that you're assuming they're all good with turkey bacon. >Really too late to fix that even if they don't like it now. >Such is life. >At least they'll get their pancakes. >Speaking of which, you're thinking they're done. >Fluffy but firm, nice golden brown, and they don't smell like charcoal. >10/10 would rush these pancakes out again. >"I don't know why you picked these." >"Because they're cute!" >"I don't think alligators are cute." >"At least yours is better than mine." >"You got the otter, what are you complaining about?" >"I don't like otters." >Seems you rushed just in time. >You slide the pancakes onto some waiting plates alongside the bacon. >Then you dot them with eggs. >And a little pat of butter for good measure. >You must admit, these look pretty sloppy. >It's the thought that counts, right? >The trio makes it out of the hall just in time to see you set up their morning breakfast. >Sonata is the first one to sit down. >Boy, she sure loves pancakes. >And syrup. >Hope the other two are fine with Aunt Jemima. >They don't seem to mind the turkey bacon at least. >Man, watching them eat almost made you forget you were supposed to eat as well. >You grab your own plate and sit down to enjoy a nice meal with your new occupants. >[Discuss duties with girls] >Seems like a good time to talk to the girls about their work. >All together in one place, have their attention, and they seem to be relatively satisfied. >Except Aria. >She keeps trying to nab bacon when no one is looking. >In the middle of her third attempt to sneak a bacon strip, you clear your throat and gather their attention. >Adagio slaps away Aria's hand from her plate as you compose your thoughts. "With all of us together right now, I thought I would talk to you three about the stuff I need worked on." >Adagio stops herself from continuing her feast, trying to seriously conduct herself as best she can. >She'd probably be easier to take seriously if she wasn't wearing a shirt four sizes too big and plastered with a giant otter. >"Very well. What is it that you want us to do?" "Honestly, I just need the house tidied mostly." >"Wait, you want us to just clean your house?" "No, I also have a lot of things I need reorganized and I could use the help. Then there's the lawn and the pool." >"Oh great, we get to be servants. Again." >You stifle a laugh as Adagio gives Aria that angry glare again. >"That sounds perfectly fine. But before we go on, I have a few demands." "Demands?" >"Yes. For one, we need a heater down there. It's cold." >"And pillows." >"Yes, pillows as well." >That's pretty reasonable. >"More bacon!" >You all look to Sonata, who is currently trying to shovel down an entire pancake. >"Please excuse her, I'm pretty sure the lack of food has only worsened her mind's condition. Although I wouldn't mind more bacon." >"Me too." >"No, you get nothing, bacon snatcher." "I guess that's easy enough to do. There's a heater somewhere in the storage room still in its box. I'm happy to let this be our standing deal if you are." >Adagio looks to her sisters briefly and quickly back to you. >"It's a deal." --------------- >New Chapter Start >[Be Aria] >You are Aria. >And you don't want to get out of bed. >You're dead tired after your indentured servitude and only wish for five more minutes of sleep. >No matter how much Adagio tries to get you out. >Then she says something about ice. >[Mumble about having Sonata do your work]