Uncommon Dazzling Ships 233 members · 410 stories
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forbloodysummer
Group Admin

Spotlighted Shipping Special! Because Bronycon delayed this post, and it's already the middle of August, and because the Sunset shipping contest has just started up again and that occupies a lot of time for many Equestria Girls writers, and because this pairing is one of the very best, we're stretching this spotlight over both August and September, so there's lots of time to write stories for it.

As you may have seen on the main page, the next two months' area of focus is Adagio x Aria.

And here we have it, at last: the single most interesting interpersonal relationship in all of MLP.

Shipping pairs fall on a spectrum between two broad archetypes. At one end, we have 'opposites attract.' That's Rarijack, Fluttercord, Embrax and Arisona, amongst many others. And at the other, there's 'two of a kind,' such as Sonpie, Appledash, Raritwi and Dagilis. Crackshipping in particular delights in throwing together characters at either extreme of the spectrum, often choosing those who have never met in canon, but whose personalities are furthest apart or closest together. Aria and Limestone, for example.

But AdAria is an unusual one because there are probably no two characters closer in canon (they literally have zero scenes where the other isn’t present), and no two characters more alike. Their relationship is aggressive and rarely without tension, and the only time (outside of singing) they aren’t sniping at each other is when mutually disappointed in Sonata.

It has to do with who they are. If they were twins, and equally beautiful, equally talented, equally intelligent and visionary and perceptive, then they'd probably be the best friends anyone could imagine. Two equal, identical halves of a whole, like Flim and Flam.

Both want the same thing. Both are willing to do what they must to get it. Both get equally annoyed with Sonata's antics. The way Aria falls in with Adagio's plan taunting Sunset in the darkened corridor - there's no discussion, no strategy meeting for their circling around Sunset needling her with whatever painful truths they can find, but Aria gets Adagio's intent and method instantly, and joins in as if in organised formation with her. These two are perfectly tuned to the same wavelength.

But Adagio's just that little bit more. A little smarter, a little prettier, a little bolder and a little more domineering. And it's just enough that Aria's twisted into someone who's always second-best, never quite measures up, and never gets the leadership she otherwise would because there's always just one person in front of her in the line.

It makes her a bitter wreck of a person, and she loathes Adagio for it. And yet, she does still have all that in common with Adagio. In the rare moments they have a target that isn't each other, they're in total agreement. Even if separated, they'd push in the same direction.

Decide they're immortal, and extend that tension out for centuries, and the depth of the bond between them grows enormous. Two people who can't stand each other, yet remain together as there's no one better than them to guard each others' backs. Their most dependable ally, and most vicious enemy.

These posts usually include a ‘here’s a well-regarded sample of the ship,’ but this time we’ll go as far as to quote that example:

“You know what, Adagio?” she said, sinking into her chair and relaxing for the first time today, “you can think whatever the hell you want, I really don’t care.” She smiled as she said these last words, gazing skyward, as though it were an inside joke between herself and the cosmos. “You can make up anything you need, and I hope it serves you well when you’re alone tonight with all those romance novels and magazines you keep under your bed. Please, treat yourself to a good rubbing; nobody else wants to.”

Aria’s world went fuzzy and swam for a moment as the back of Adagio’s hand struck her face, snapping her head to the side. It stung like hell. Once she was sure no second strike was coming, she spat into her empty coffee cup and wiped her mouth.

“Feel better?” she wondered quietly as she looked up at her sister siren with one eye, the other shut tight above her throbbing cheek. The passive response only incensed Adagio further, and she raised her hand again, but then hesitated. Aria smirked at her with a hollow chuckle.

“Keep going,” she encouraged. “Maybe if you hit me enough, you won’t be alone anymore.”

Adagio’s hand fell, but just to her side; the only part of her that connected with her target was a wide-eyed glower.

Maybe Aria was just dazed from the backhanding. Maybe she was tired, or hung over. Maybe it was all three, but she could’ve sworn she saw that ever-pouty lower lip tremble slightly as the eldest siren turned and left without another word.

“I know,” she said to Sonata in the wake of a door slamming in the distance, “you don’t have to tell me. I know it’s worth nothing, but I tried.”

There was a long moment of nothing.

“Ari?”

“Yeah?” she replied, still staring at the door through which Adagio had left.

“I’m sorry,” Sonata said slowly.

Aria felt those familiar jaws digging into her yet again, but she pried them off just in time to avoid snapping. Instead, she turned very deliberately and faced her friend.

“I don’t really get why,” she rasped, clicking her teeth together, “you didn’t do anything, and it kinda pisses me off that you’re trying to make this about you now.”

“Ari, no,” Sonata sighed. “I mean I’m sorry for being so…dumb.”

“You’ll have to narrow it down for me.”

“I’m so stupid,” the youngest siren continued, shaking her head. “I thought if I tried hard enough, I could make you guys be nice to each other.”

“Sonata…I’m just having a bad morning, alright?”

“That’s not what I mean,” Sonata said, picking at the last of her food. “I can’t believe it took me this long to get it…”

“To get what? That she’s a huge cunt?”

“Ari!”

“Fight me.”

“You know that thing you always say?” Sonata continued after a moment.

“What? The f-word?”

“No,” she corrected, rolling her eyes, “that ‘there’s a difference between giving up and admitting your limitations.’”

“I’ve never said that once in my life,” Aria scoffed, getting up and rummaging through the cupboard above the stove. Her fingers finally closed around a familiar short neck, her thumb resting on that unmistakable embossed seal. She poured herself another cup of coffee, added a generous dose of coffee-flavored medicine, and sat back down. “What are you trying to say anyway?” she demanded after getting comfortable and having a few sips.

“That it’s none of my business,” the blue girl admitted. “There’s something really wrong with you guys, and I can’t fix it. Addy’s like my big sister, and you’re my best friend, but I’ll never know either of you like that.”

However much it made her skin crawl, no matter how sick it made her, and regardless of how close she’d grown to Sonata of late, Aria could not escape this one simple fact: there was no person or creature – in this world or any other – that knew her better than Adagio.

And it held just as true the other way around.

What would it take for Aria to put aside her jealousy and embrace Adagio? Why would Adagio ever treat Aria as an equal enough to love her? Maybe they turn to each other when following the common goal of finding Sonata. Maybe Sonata scorns them both until they can play nice together. Maybe love and hatred, allies and enemies, sisters and bedfellows all just blur together when you've been hanging out together for a thousand years.

The derpibooru tag for this image says 'artist needed,' but it's a rare moment of sweetness for these two. May it inspire you to come up with tales of the queen bee and the B-queen.

I've read that section before. Is that from DWK's old fic, or something more recent? Pretty sure it's WttS. Funny how some things stick, even half a decade later.

forbloodysummer
Group Admin

6957262 It absolutely is Welcome to the Show, which, even in its unfinished state, remains the best siren story on the site by so very far! :pinkiehappy:

Thanks for saying you recognised it :twilightsmile:

6957278
Wish he'd come back and finish it, yeah. But probably dreams at this point.

I had lunch with him and Regidar one year at Babscon. Good time. What you see on the YT vids is pretty much his natural state of being--it's not just an act for the show.

forbloodysummer
Group Admin

6957294 I have some hope that once the show finishes he'll return, but I agree it's a long shot. And, when he makes a living from making those videos instead, it's hard to fault the decision.

That sounds amazing! I remember reading it for the first time and being gobsmacked and then reading the blog where he pointed out that he wrote every word of it when really quite drunk and I've still not recovered from the shock.

FINALLY! THIS COUPLE IS NOTICED!

forbloodysummer
Group Admin

6959903 :pinkiehappy: Finally!

They're an odd one - there aren't many good stories just dwelling on their romantic relationship. But they're more of a low-key feature in several other really, really good siren stories, with their unique blend of enemies/friends/sisters/lovers. Their dynamic forms the heart of and tension within most great three-piece siren ensemble stories, because Sonata isn't really taken seriously enough to have a say, so all the conflict comes from those two.

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