Following a filling lunch, the Dazzlings found themselves standing idly in Rarity's workshop, Sunset and the seamstress in question going over the details.
"So," asked Sunset, "you said you had something special in mind?"
Nodding as they looked over some of her older works, Rarity herself wore a bright smile. "Yes indeed! I have nothing against the standard Wondercolt tails and headbands, but for our purposes, they're a little, how to say, 'kiddie,' no?"
That was part of the reason Sunset hadn't taken Twilight and the others seriously when they started singing and dancing while wearing the goofy things. To her quiet appreciation, she'd never been forced to wear either accessory herself. "Yea, but don't let Rainbow hear you saying that."
Rarity tittered. "Yes, yes, go team and all that, but if we're going to take on Crystal Prep, I felt we could do with something a little more striking, something that said "I'll thank you to take a step backward, ladies!" So, taking some standard cheerleader outfits and just the right shade of dark-blue dye, I modified existing designs with long-sleeved, but fingerless gloves and some thigh-high socks for symmetry." She turned to the trio. "They're waiting for you in the changing areas, let me know what you think!"
Nodding to each other, the sirens stepped into the booths to change. Aria was the first to slide the curtain open, her pink cheeks and irritable scowl doing plenty to communicate how she felt about the outfit even without her saying anything.
Rarity frowned a little. "I do apologize if they're not as you'd prefer, but, well..." Waving a hand about her wrist in a short circle while looking away, Rarity wasn't sure how to say it without blushing. "Y-you know how these things are to go, young ladies will, er, parade about a bit to-"
"Yea, yea," interrupted Aria while her fellow cheerleaders stepped out of their booths, "we're supposed to let people eye us up, trust me when I say that's nothing new, but belly-shirts?" She didn't get a reply, the fashionista and possible stomach-fetishist unable to stop sputtering about inappropriateness or something before Adagio, who had swapped out her usual spiked hairband for a matching dark-blue scrunchie, offered her thoughts.
"It doesn't matter what we wear, a deal is a deal. On that note," she focused on Sunset, "would you like to sample our performance now, or let come what may when the games begin?"
"Uh, sure, go for it."
Picking up pom-poms from a nearby prop bin, the trio got into formation, collectively took a breath, and launched into a short, peppy dance routine complete with arm-waving, hip-shaking, and the occasional kick.
One, two, three, four,
leave your worries at the door!
Four, three, two, one,
our cheers are second to none!
They dropped the poses and big, surprisingly convincing grins as quickly as they'd been made. Aria crossed her arms, Adagio gave an unreadably passive look, and Sonata wore an expectant face that all but said 'So? How was that?'
Sharing a quick look with Rarity, it seemed she and Sunset were in agreement regarding a lack of complaints. "That was good! Think we could hear another one?"
Aria raised an eyebrow. "Got a topic in mind?"
The two Rainbooms again shared a quick look before Sunset came up with something. "How about, uh... how was lunch?"
Once again, the sirens either had a routine ready, or came up with one on the spot as they regained their peppy 'Cheerleader Faces.'
Corn, milk, fruit, peas,
mashed potatoes and some cheese!
Bis-cuits and wheat,
they could use a bit more meat!
The trio again dropped their stances and enthusiastic expressions, as though they'd been standing there waiting for a bus, but they did smile a little at the sight of their two-person audience clapping for them. Sunset seemed particularly pleased.
"Do you think we could hear one more?"
"Just a moment," answered Adagio as tapped the others' shoulders, initiating a group huddle. "Sonata, you take the lead for the cheering." Two loud, simultaneous 'WHAT?!'s rather undermined the point of a huddle, she felt. "I had a feeling during the first cheer we did, I'll explain later, but just give it a try for now."
The new head cheerleader beamed. "I won't let you down!
Aria wore a particularly sour expression at the thought of following Sonata's lead, but then she smirked. "Fine, but they didn't give us a topic, so let's do this for a cheer..."
The sight of three giggling, huddled sirens was a slightly worrying one for Sunset and Rarity, but the trio quickly started up another routine with Sonata standing front and center.
belly-shirts will curl her toes!
So pull, up, your, top,
it makes Rarity so hot!
The three of them closed with snickers this time at the sight of Rarity flushing a bright, bright red, her jaw hanging slack as Sunset stood uncomfortably at her side. Aria in particular looked proud.
"Okay, um," Sunset managed, noting that the sirens could still use their power for evil, "that was... good, but, do you think you could keep it a little more PG?"
"No promises," Adagio answered with a cheeky grin and a flirty wink before Aria bopped her on the head with a pom-pom.
"Sorry," the purple siren said with an unapologetic smile, "we'll behave."
Sonata momentarily flailed her pom-poms. "Heeeey, that's my line now!" She cleared her throat to speak in her best, most authoritative leader-voice. "Sorry, we'll behave."
A long, awkward pause later, Sunset clapped her hands together. "So! I think that'll pretty much do it, you guys have any questions?"
It took an impatient elbow for Sonata to realize her fellow cheerleaders were waiting for her to answer. "Oh, uhh, n-no, we're good, thanks!"
"Right," Sunset replied with a nod, "the games are in a couple days, you should be able to do whatever you like until then, and let me know if you need anything, okay?"
There were a few affirmative nods before she and
the Dazzlings the Dusklings? the sirens exited the room, with the former setting off to resume her research of the magic that might affect the games. This left the trio to talk amongst themselves.
"Okay," Aria addressed Adagio in slightly irritable tones, "what the Hell have you been smoking to put Sonata in charge of anything?"
The new cheer-captain's face scrunched up in an angry pout. "I'm standing right here!"
"My reasoning," Adagio said loudly enough to cut the quarrel short, "was that between the three of us, what they're asking us to do most resembles Sonata's style, so we'll do a better job if we're following her lead." She sometimes wondered; if Aria were born human, would she have come out of the womb with her arms crossed? Such a thing wouldn't surprise her with how often that pose was taken.
"And what do we care about that? We've got our voices back, but I doubt they'll even care if we half-ass it."
"Perhaps, but considering our less-than-graceful exit the first time the school saw us, we have some rebuilding to do. Or would you rather continue a trend of mediocrity?"
Aria looked as though she'd tasted one of Sonata's culinary experiments again. "Er, point taken."
"Good." She turned to Sonata, who tensed just slightly. "You were the face of our group in the gym, so they're most likely inclined to trust you already. If we ride that wave, we may retain our voices and earnestly win the school's trust through this affair."
"O-okay," replied Sonata, now starting to feel a bit of pressure, "and what do we do once they trust us?"
Adagio shrugged. "No idea, but if we have the opportunity to benefit from this, I say we take it. At the very least, no longer being despised can only help us in the long run." There were two nods. "Alright. Sonata, remember to keep walking in front of us while we're dressed like this to reinforce the message."
Sonata saluted, though she wondered if a leader was supposed to do that. Either way, she took her place where Adagio usually walked as the trio headed home to await the big... thing.
Behind her, Aria whispered to Adagio. "So, what's the real reason?"
"Your mistrust for me is noted..." There was a hint of a smirk. "...but not entirely ill-placed."
"Heh, yea, kinda like to think I know you by now. So?"
"The reasons I gave were all valid, but in short, think about exactly what we're going to be doing. Do you want to be remembered as the head cheerleader?"
Picturing her life if she were known primarily as a peppy pom-pom swinger in a belly-shirt, Aria blushed. That was a legacy she was happy to let Sonata keep to herself. "Uhh... P-point taken."
*\0/* *\0/* *\0/*
Alone in her workshop, Rarity eventually pulled herself together. Her eyes narrowed.
"I do not have a stomach fetish."