• Published 14th Jul 2013
  • 1,847 Views, 92 Comments

Song of Silver - GrassAndClouds2



Silver Spoon, desperate to avoid losing to Sweetie Belle, resolves to become a musical prodigy. Hijinks ensue.

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The Cutecenara

"Now, be sure to have a good time!" said Sterling Silver. "I want to see a big smile on your face!"

"Yes, father," muttered Silver Spoon. She rubbed one of the sleeves of her dress awkwardly. I hate this stupid dress. Why did I ever ask Daddy to buy it for me? Sure, I couldn't let Diamond Tiara be the only foal in town with a Prench silk dress, but this one's way too hot and it clashes with my mane. This hadn't been her view of the dress even last week, when she had begged her father for permission to wear it at school to show off, but she didn't care. She was upset, and she was wearing the dress, ergo, the dress was terrible. That was all there was to it.

"I've been thinking about getting into the party business," mused Sterling as the two approached Sugar Cube Corner. "The Cakes seem to be doing very well at it. A discrete investment might be just what they need to expand their operation, and if I owned some of their stock..."

Silver Spoon tuned out her father as they reached the bakery. Normally she loved to hear his business musings, but not when her own doom was so close. "How long is this party?" she asked. Maybe I can delay until it's over...

"Oh, knowing Pinkie Pie, I'd be surprised if it didn't last all evening -- but you do have school tomorrow, so you'll probably be leaving by seven, okay?" Sterling grinned.

"Okay." Three hours... no, that's way too long. Nuts...

"Now -- get in there, and have a blast!" Sterling said. "Remember -- Silvers know how to work hard, but they also know how to play hard!"

Silver Spoon nodded to her father and stepped inside. Let's get this over with...

***

Sugar Cube Corner had been converted into a party theatre. Games and party favors had been set up on the tables, and party games such as 'pin the tail on the pony' were affixed to various surfaces. Brightly-colored streamers and ribbons coated every available surface, to the point where it looked like some kind of party pirate with a prediliction for pink had attacked the room. As for the food, there was enough candy and chocolate to put an elephant into diabetic shock. Silver Spoon had to acknowledge that, whatever Pinkie Pie's eccentricities, she could certainly throw a quality party. For a pony like Tootsie Flute, at least.

Most of the foals in town were there. Silver Spoon saw Scootaloo and Archer talking as they sipped chocolate shakes; Scootaloo was miming with her wings and seemed to be describing something scooter-related. Sweet Wheat and Apple Bloom were furiously devouring pies as Dinky waited to declare which of them finished first. Twist was sitting at a table, setting up a chess game. Sweetie Belle was wearing a pink-and-purple dress (one not as pretty as Silver Spoon's own, Silver Spoon was pleased to note) and talking with her sister Rarity by a little stage area. And Diamond Tiara--

Diamond Tiara was running right at her.

"Spoony!" Diamond Tiara skidded to a halt in front of the bewildered gray foal. Diamond's dress was only slightly less fancy than Silver Spoon's, but it was dusty, sweaty, and askew. Father would never let me show such disrespect to my things, Silver Spoon thought. Of course, I wouldn't in the first place, but...

But it wasn't important; Diamond Tiara was her friend, and she seemed distressed. "What's wrong?"

"Come with me!" Diamond Tiara grabbed her by the hoof and began dragging her away. "We need to talk somewhere!"

"Okay, but -- um --"

'Somewhere' proved to be a quiet little corner, well-removed from the hustle and bustle of the party. Diamond Tiara glanced about to make sure nopony was watching, then draped a big tablecloth over them. "Thank goodness!" she said.

"What's wrong?" asked Silver Spoon. "Are you alright?"

"No! I'm not alright! It's horrible!" Diamond Tiara began shaking Silver Spoon. "It's terrible! We've got to do something!"

Silver Spoon forced herself out of her friend's grasp. "What is it?" she asked. "What's wrong, Diamond?"

"It's daddy!" Diamond Tiara scowled. "Right when I got here, Scootaloo wanted to talk to me, and I was all, 'get lost, blank flank,' but Daddy overheard and he got mad! And now he said he's staying and he won't go away, and now all the other brats in town keep bothering me and I can't tell them off!"

Um. Silver Spoon blinked. "That sounds... uh, rough, Diamond Tiara."

"I know!" Diamond Tiara shuddered. "Apple Bloom caught me in conversation, and I couldn't escape for five minutes! And she was just blathering on about pigs and farming and all sorts of other dirty things! I almost stuffed cake in my ears just to get it to stop! It's like she thinks she's as important as ponies like us..."

Silver Spoon wasn't sure what to say. Yes, the blank flank foals were annoying and obnoxious, not to mention inferior, but Silver Spoon would never behave this... disgracefully in public. "Well, I guess we just need to bear it and--"

"No! I can't! I just can't stand these idiots, and neither can you. We need to cancel this stupid thing." Diamond Tiara nodded her head fiercely. "But I've got a plan. You know how vinegar and baking soda explode when you put them together?"

"Yes. That was my science fair project." That had been everypony's science fair project, although most of them hadn't built their volcanoes out of imported authentic volcanic rock like Silver Spoon had. "But what--"

"Pinkie's got a bunch of the baking supplies stacked up in the kitchen. When I give the signal, you cause a distraction, and I'll sneak in and dump the vinegar into the baking soda! Then this stupid event can get canceled, and Tootsie Flute can go back to her stupid life and we can do something useful -- like getting our manes styled." Diamond Tiara nodded. "You in?"

Before Silver Spoon could answer, the tablecloth rustled and Pinkie Pie poked her muzzle under it. "Oh! Are you playing hide and seek?" she asked. "Because if you are, I found you! I win!" She paused for a moment. "Next time, you can try to find me!"

"Sure," said Diamond Tiara, rolling her eyes. She turned back to Silver Spoon. "You're in, right? On my signal--"

"Silver Spoon!" said Pinkie Pie, eyes bright and happy. "Tootsie Flute said she was looking for you! She looked really, really eager to see you!" She grinned. "You two must be great friends!"

"Uh huh." Silver Spoon was mulling over Diamond Tiara's proposal. That sort of disaster would certainly stop Sweetie Belle from upstaging her, but it still felt... wrong, somehow. Mean, even. Granted, the foals in Ponyville were uniformly beneath her, but her father had taught her to be gracious and gentle with those beneath her. "Miss Cheerilee knows more than both of us," he had told her once, "But we want her to be nice to us despite that, right? So we should be nice to ponies who maybe aren't quite at that level." He had poked her in the barrel, and she had giggled. "You're a very smart foal with a lot of potential. You'll surpass a lot of foals... but you should never be mean to them about it."

Of course, she hadn't always obeyed the 'dont' be mean' injunction, but she liked to think she followed the advice more often than not. On the other hoof, though, destroying the cutecenara would certainly get her out of her problem with Sweetie, and...

"Well?" Pinkie said. "Don't you want to say hi to your bestest-best friend?"

"I'm Silver's best friend," growled Diamond Tiara.

"Her second best friend, then?"

Silver Spoon still wasn't sure what she was going to do about Diamond's proposal, but she didn't think it would help matters to hide under a tablecloth all day. "Of course," she said at last.

Pinkie grinned. "Yay!" She whipped the tablecloth off of the foals. "Hey Tootsie Flute! She's over here!"

Silver Spoon got up and began approaching the foal of the hour. Behind her, she heard Filthy Rich trotting over and asking Diamond Tiara what in the wide world of Equestria she thought she was doing by hiding during the party -- but that didn't matter; she had her own issues to deal with. Here we go, she thought.

***

"Silver! You came! Yay!" Tootsie Flute almost tackled her. "Oh wow, is that for me?" She pointed at the big present on Silver Spoon's back. "Is it?"

"Yes," said SIlver Spoon, carefully setting it down. Ugh. She's so uncouth... "Congratulations on getting your cutie mark, Tootsie Flute." She took care to enunciate each word perfectly; no member of the Silver family would ever fail to follow appropriate ceremony, be it at a wedding, a funeral, or a cutecenara. "I am certain--"

"Yeah, my Momma already said the same thing. Come on! We've got games to play!" Tootsie almost dragged Silver Spoon over to a large area in the center of Sugar Cube Corner, where Pinkie Pie was setting up four tables. "We've got pin the tail on the pony over there, and Twist and Snails are playing chess over there--"

"You invited Snails?" asked Silver Spoon, her nose wrinkling involuntarily.

"Sure! He told me that if I gave him a big piece of cake, he'd make sure no ants or bugs bothered me during the party!" Tootsie grinned. "He's a really friendly colt."

"... uh huh." Ew... Silver Spoon hid her disgust, though, and merrily looked at the tables. "What's this?"

"Oh, this is the appraisal game I told you about before!" Tootsie Flute looked around. "Although, I don't see the game..." She shrugged, then gestured at Mrs. Cake, who was setting up a big fruit tart on a nearby buffet table. "Well, I bet Mrs. Cake is going to set up the appraisal game any moment now!"

"Did you tell her you wanted it?"

Tootsie Flute waved a hoof. "Nah. I didn't want to spend all that time describing just what I wanted -- and I'm lucky, remember? I just said I wanted really, really, really fun party games! I'm sure she figured it out."

Daddy says that smart ponies make their own luck, thought Silver Spoon. Aloud, she said, "Well... I hope it works out. Now--"

"Oh!" Tootsie Flute pointed at a little platform set up by the bakery's counter. "That's the stage Pinkie Pie set up. Sweetie Belle's going to do an act later!" She grinned. "Hey, maybe you could do something too!"

Blowing up the baking soda looked better all the time, Silver Spoon thought. "Uh."

"Oh -- but that's later. Come on, let's get the game set up. I'll bet you win!"

That did cheer Silver Spoon up a bit. "Okay. So... how does this game work?"

***

The game was a lot more fun that Silver Spoon would have thought, given her state of mind. But it was something she was very good at, and she was able to beat the other foals -- and even a few adults who tried their hooves at it.

"Well, shoot," said Applejack, blushing slightly. "That there foal knows the prices of Sweet Apple Acres apples better'n Ah do."

"It's okay," said Silver Spoon in a generous tone. "I saw that green apple had a dimple on the bottom. That reduces its value by an average of two jangles. Its stem was short too, and the color was just slightly darker than the pure green one wants in an apple. Besides--"

Applejack laughed. "Alright, alright. Good game, kiddo."

"Wow!" Silver Spoon turned to see Bebop watching her. The foal had two very full saddlebags on her sides. "That was AWESOME!" she yelled. "You're really good at that, Silver Spoon!"

"I'm good at everything," said Silver Spoon in a matter-of-fact voice. "I--"

"Really?" Bebop twisted her head about. "Everything?"

"Yes. All Silvers are."

"Then... then you can help me get the speaker equipment set up!"

"I what?" Silver Spoon blinked.

Bebop nodded. "I wanted to play one of my songs, but Pinkie said it was up to Vinyl, since she's DJ-ing, and Vinyl didn't want me to use her stuff. But I brought my own!" She gestured at her saddlebags. "But I had to take my speakers apart to get them here, and I'm not really sure how to put them back together..."

Silver Spoon opened her mouth to refuse, but then she saw Sweetie Belle approaching their area along with Rarity. "Alright," she said. "I'll help--"

"YAY!" roared Bebop in a deafening cheer. "Let's go!"

***

Fixing the speakers turned out to be a four-foal job. Silver Spoon and Bebop were soon joined by Apple Bloom, who seemed to have a strange aptitude for mechanical devices (for a blank flank, at least), and Snips, who had no aptitude for mechanical devices but seemed to be following Apple Bloom around for some reason. Bebop wasn't much better than Snips, so it quickly turned into Silver Spoon and Apple Bloom doing most of the work. To make up for it, though, Bebop did most of the talking.

"...so I was trying to get somepony to play my music, and everypony keeps saying I'm not ready. But I'm more than ready! I mean, my music is really loud and awesome -- so I've already got the most important parts!"

"Mm-hmm." Silver Spoon looked at the pieces before her and worked on determining how they went back together. Apple Bloom was slightly ahead of her, but the gray-coated foal was not going to allow that to last. If I screw these two things together, and plug this wire in here, I think this whole thing will snap back into place... there!

Silver Spoon nodded as she fit her components together. "That's how to do it," she said. "Just like that."

"Wow!" Bebop grinned. "You really are good at everything!"

"Nuh-uh!" said Apple Bloom. Silver Spoon looked up to see that the farm foal was also done; she seemed to have finished at about the same time as her. "What about farming?" she challenged. "I betcha can't farm."

"I could if I tried," said Silver Spoon.

"I'm sure you're a great farmer, Apple Bloom," said Snips.

"Thanks!" said Apple Bloom. "But Silver Spoon--"

"We should have a contest!" announced Bebop. "I'll put on some music, and... and you two can both plant cupcakes and see which one grows first!"

"You can't grow cupcakes..." Apple Bloom's voice trailed off. "Then again, maybe ma sis just says that cause she doesn't want ma ta eat ta many. Maybe it's worth a try!"

Silver Spoon frowned, but then reasoned that, singing aside, she was a very talented foal. If anypony could grow cupcakes, it was her. "I think the Cakes have some plant pots. And there's dirt outside."

"Great! Let's get the music going, and then we'll be ready to rock!"

***

Later, as Silver Spoon sat with a fully belly of cake and punch, and with a little party hat on her head, she remarked to herself that she was surprisingly happy.

The cupcake-growing contest had been fun, if inconclusive, and so had pin-the-tail-on-the-pony, and so had Pinkie's dancing lessons (which were, as far as Silver Spoon could tell, just instructions on bouncing as high in the air as possible). Even the adventures with Bebop's music (which had lasted twenty-six seconds before adults intervened) had been entertaining. It really was a very nice party. She had even forgotten, for the most part, what she had been dreading.

But, as time passed by, the fateful moment came. Pinkie Pie bounced her way to the microphone. "Everypony!" she chirped. "Attention, please! Attention! I have a super-special-awesome announcement for all of you!"

Tootsie Flute scampered in front of her. "Yeah! I wanted to thank you all for coming! This has been the best cutecenara ever!"

Mine was better, thought Silver Spoon, but without much bite.

"Now -- one more thing! Sweetie Belle wants to sing a little song for us, and she's really good at it, so I thought it'd be a great idea!" Tootsie Flute giggled. "So come on up, Sweetie Belle! Let's hear you sing!"

Sweetie Belle ascended the stage. Her outfit, Silver Spoon noted, really was pretty, and had the haute couture style to it -- like Rarity had just made it for her that day. There was no trace of the foal's stage fright now. She was just a pony who was going to give a good show, and who knew it.

"Um..." Sweetie Belle hopped up and down to try to reach the microphone, until Rarity used her telekinesis to lower it. "Okay, I'm going to sing something!" She took a deep breath and then coughed a few times to clear her throat. "Here I go!"

A flicker of motion caught Silver Spoon's attention. She turned to see Diamond Tiara waving to her from the back of the room, near the kitchen doors. Diamond Tiara tilted her head towards the door, then flailed her hooves about -- foal-language for 'make a big disturbance.'

It wouldn't be hard to do, Silver Spoon noted. Not with all eyes on Sweetie Belle, who was taking a few more deep coughs. There was a gigantic pile of presents just behind the gathered foals; Silver Spoon could easily slip back there and knock them down on the back row. The presents would fall, covering some of the foals, and in the commotion, Diamond Tiara would be able to get into the kitchen. And then it'd be over.

"Good luck!" cheered Tootsie Flute. "You're gonna do great!" She waved her hooves. "You're going to make this the best cutecenara ever!"

"YEAH!" bellowed Bebop.

Silver Spoon frowned. She'd had a lot more fun than she'd thought with Tootsie and Bebop; the two foals were silly and immature, but they were surprisingly entertaining. The games had been fun, as had the cake and punch. I don't want Sweetie to show me up, but I don't want to ruin their good time either...

She was still for a long moment, then sighed and settled back. No, she wouldn't ruin the cutecenara. That was unworthy of a Silver anyway, and it wouldn't be fair to the other foals -- even wastes of cutie marks like Snips and Snails. Sweetie Belle would surpass her, and that would be that. I tried, at least. I hope Daddy isn't too mad at me...

Diamond Tiara waved again, but Silver Spoon quietly shook her head. Then Filthy Rich was hurrying over to retrieve his errant daughter, and Sweetie Belle had stopped clearing her throat. "Here goes," she murmured, and then began to sing:

"Hush little filly, don't say a word.
Momma's gonna buy you a mocking bird..."

The song was even more beautiful than before; she had probably practiced before one of the professional musicians in town. But Sweetie Belle hit every pitch perfectly, while disregarding any needless ornamentation. It was a simple and sweet performance, the kind that Fluttershy gave for her charity events. And it was lovely. Sweetie Belle seemed to have a knack for conveying emotion in her song; when she sang about the lovely gifts the big sister was getting the little one, Silver Spoon was swept away by the compassion and love of it all. Even her own troubles seemed to fade as she visualized the sister getting her younger sibling one more replacement gift.

A thought came to Silver Spoon's mind. A few years ago, when she'd still been a very young foal, one of her toys had broken and she'd been crying about it. The door had opened and Sterling Silver had come in. He had carefully taken the broken toy away, he had dried his daughter's tears, and -- though, as Silver Spoon later learned, he'd been in the middle of some important work -- he had taken the time to go with her to the nearest toy store and get her a replacement. Silver Spoon had always favored that toy above her others. That... that was a good day, all in all...

And so Silver Spoon felt utterly at peace as Sweetie sang. But it did have to end eventually, and when it did, the feeling faded. Silver Spoon felt herself sinking down in her chair, her face even more ashen-colored than usual. Here it comes, she thought.

"That was really great!" cheered Tootsie Flute as the other foals clapped and applauded. "Yay!"

"YAY!" roared Bebop.

Silver Spoon began to try to slip to the other side of the room.

"Now -- oh, I know! Silver Spoon, you said you were doing music stuff too, right?" Tootsie Flute hurried to her side. "Why don't you play something?"

Seriously?! Silver Spoon blushed, feeling everypony's eyes on her. "Um."

"You can sing? Or play an instrument? What is it?" asked Bebop.

Not so loud. "Not right now... I mean... uh..."

She decided to get it over with. "I can't sing as well as her. I'd be a letdown," she said at last.

"Oh," said Tootsie.

For a moment, it was silent.

"Then... Bebop! How about you!"

"ALRIGHT!"

Silver Spoon blinked as all attention turned to Bebop. Nopony was even paying attention to her anymore. Huh? I just admitted I was inferior to her... don't they care? Shouldn't they be all over that?

"Having fun, my little gem?"

Silver Spoon looked up to see that she had drifted over to her father. "Sorry, Daddy."

"About what?"

"That I can't sing as well as her."

Sterling seemed genuinely confused, so Silver Spoon continued. "I know you expect me to be the best and I have great potential and--"

Sterling gathered into a hug. "Dear, you already are the best in my eyes. I wouldn't trade you for any other daughter." He gripped her tight, and Silver Spoon couldn't help hugging him back as the impact of his words struck her. "You're a wonderful little pony, dear, and don't let anypony tell you different -- singing or no."

"Even though I'm not as good as Sweetie Belle?"

Sterling shook his head. "I love you," he said. "That's not contingent on anything Sweetie Belle does or is or ever will be. You are one of the brightest, most diligent, and greatest ponies I know. Whatever you choose to do, you will excel in... and if what you want to do is music, then yes, one day you will surpass all others and be the greatest in the land. Maybe someday soon, because you are an incredibly talented pony" He pat her on the head. "But if that's not what you want to do, if you don't become the best at music, or drama or art or anything else, I will still love you. Because you are my daughter, and you are special -- and that is all that matters to me."

Silver Spoon remained in the hug for a few moments. "I love you, Daddy."

Author's Note:

Aww. That went well.

There's a deleted scene in which Silver Spoon goes to get her dress retailored and Rarity sews her immobile (by sewing the sleeves of the dress tight while Silver isn't paying attention, then sews the dress itself to something heavy like one of her mannequins), then proceeds to explain to her how her teasing of Sweetie Belle is now going to stop. Silver Spoon of course can't get away and has to agree, after which Rarity happily finishes the job. But I felt that would be too creepy for the Cadanceverse.