• Published 7th Nov 2014
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The Swan Song of Adagio Dazzle - Pony Professor

After losing their magic, the Dazzlings are hit hard by shame and sadness. None are more hopeless than Adagio Dazzle, who loses all light in her life and begins to sing a swan song. For sirens, this is suicide.

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Symphony in Pink

“So… we’re too late?” Pinkie Pie slumped.

“The last chorus takes up the final three hours of the swan song. That may seem like a lot of time, but if Aria’s failed after five entire days, it may as well be three seconds.” Sonata Dusk lost herself in tears again. She didn’t cry long, though, because the confusion of being picked up and carried by Rainbow Dash paused her sobbing.

“I told you, Sonata,” Rainbow grunted under the siren’s weight, “I’m not gonna let you lose her! Three hours is more than enough time. When she sees all of us here she’ll know just how many people care about her in this world! We can do it!”

“Save the sap talk for later, darlings, let’s go!” Rarity led the charge into the building and up the stairs to the Dazzlings’ apartment. The girls were met with a terrible and beautiful sight.

Aria Blaze sat in the corner of the main room, knees pulled up to her chest and head tucked down. It seemed she had given up long ago. In the center of the room, suspended in a translucent orb of yellow magical energy was Adagio Dazzle. The magic of her song had torn her normal attire to shreds and replaced it with an elegant, flowing white robe that extended well past her floating feet and piled onto the bottom of the orb. It looked as if Adagio was a plant growing from the gown itself. Her arms were spread outward, a pose that spelled that she was ready for death.

Adagio’s song had only grown more beautiful since the other girls were first able to hear it, but their hearts sank as they knew it meant she was that much closer to never singing again. Regardless, they had finally arrived at their destination, and were ready to put all their energy into saving the person who had tried to maliciously rule over them not long ago.

Despite already knowing it was useless to try, Rainbow Dash charged at the orb, kicking and punching and outright slamming her entire body into it.

“Dammit, Adagio! Argh! Snap out of it! Hi-yah! Do you know how hard we worked just to get here! Yah!” Adagio did not stop singing, but took notice of her new company. A look of surprise crossed her face, shortly replaced by one of pain as if she had just been stabbed in the heart.

“Dagi, please listen! It’s not just me and Aria anymore! These girls, they forgive you! We’ll stand by your side! I promise, we all will!” Sonata screamed at her friend.

“Listen to Sonata, I beg of you!” Rarity called, “There are hundreds of happy years ahead of you! You have so much to live for!”

“I’m sorry we took so long, but please understand! We’re here now! We don’t want to leave you!” Fluttershy cried.

“If you’re thinkin’ your death is gonna bring anyone happiness, you’re dead wrong! Ain’t no one gonna be happy if you quit on us—not even you!” Applejack yelled, throwing her hat to the ground.

“Don’t you see how it can get better? Don’t you see how lucky you are to even have just one person that cares about you? Just look at me! I know it can get better! It always can!” Sunset Shimmer joined in, too.

“You know, Adagio… it’s not fun to die.” Pinkie Pie stepped forward and gently put her hand on the magic orb. “In fact, of all the things in the universe that aren’t fun, dying is pretty much at the top of that list.” Adagio continued to sing. She didn’t even turn in Pinkie’s direction. Pinkie’s open palm turned into a fist. She banged on the orb, the impact of her strike sending ripples around it.

“LISTEN TO ME!” she screamed. Tears welled up in her eyes. “I know what it’s like to die. I know what it’s like to feel hopeless and worthless and useless and stupid…”

“Pinkie, you aren’t gonna…” Applejack trailed off.

“You’ve never told anyone that story but us.” Rarity said.

“Are you sure it’s still not too painful?” Fluttershy asked.

“She needs to know,” Pinkie looked at her friends, an uncharacteristic sadness in her eyes, “It’s all I’ve got. If this doesn’t save her, nothing will.”

It was Pinkie Pie’s freshman year at Canterlot High School. Since the first semester started, she had been eager to make her first high school friends. She made sure she was super helpful to everyone, gave spirited introductions in all of her classes, and tried to strike up a conversation with just about everyone she met. By October, she had memorized the names of all the teachers and staff and at least a hundred students across all four grade levels.

Unfortunately, she didn’t feel she was close enough to call any of them “friend,” yet. Pinkie planned to change that at her first ever high school party, hosted by herself.

The party began smoothly enough. Guests began arriving fashionably late, about ten minutes after the scheduled start time. Just an hour and a half in it was in full swing—Pinkie’s house was swelled to capacity and there wasn’t a soul who wasn’t having fun. Even Pinkie’s parents, who were always welcome at her shindigs, were having a great time. Pinkie was eager to start bonding, and when she spotted a small group of kids leave the party, she chased them down to see what was up.

“Leaving already?” Pinkie asked cheerfully, “We’re just getting started, you know!”

“Sorry, freshie. You’ve got a lot of people here, but we thought this party was gonna be a bit more… hardcore,” one of the kids said.

“Yeah, we’re off to have some real fun,” another added. Pinkie tilted her head,

“Is it the music? I can play whatever you want! Or maybe I can run down to the store and get your favorite snacks!” The kids chuckled and then looked at each other, having a silent conversation.

“You really want to party, don’t you, freshie?” the first kid asked.

“Ya-huh! Partying is like, my life!” Pinkie boasted, puffing her chest out.

“All right, then. You can come with us. Your folks will take care of the bash here, right?” Pinkie felt the tiniest hint of hesitation before accepting, but the prospect of making her first high school friends was too much to pass up. She didn’t know what sort of “real fun” these kids had in mind, but it wasn’t anything Pinkie Pie couldn’t handle.

At least, it wasn’t at first.

Pinkie never did learn the name of those kids. Either that or any one of her stupors over the next few months made her forget. That first night, the students that Pinkie met told her she could increase her fun tenfold if she took a drag from a strange looking cigarette. She was skeptical for all of five seconds—after all, her new friends wouldn’t lie to her, would they? Pinkie coughed as she inhaled the smoke and wondered what was so fun about making her lungs burn.

“It takes a minute to kick in. Don’t worry, we’re gonna get wild real soon,” one of the kids said, taking a deep puff of her own. Pinkie’s view became hazy as they approached the defunct industrial district of the city with many abandoned warehouses. At the same time, though, she felt oddly elated. She felt a smile creep across her face with no joke or quip to warrant it.

“I feel, like, really weird guys, haha…” she chuckled. The kids smiled, pleased that their new recruit had joined the team,

“It’s a good weird, though, right? Nothing better than flyin’ high, Pinkie Pie!”

“Yeah, weird but good. This is awesome!” And for a while it was awesome. For some weeks, actually. Most weekends, and even some schoolnights, Pinkie would bid her parents goodnight (they trusted their daughter) and meet up with the kids. She’d smoke a funny cigarette, and have a supercharged night.

Eventually, the kids stopped inviting Pinkie to go with them. When she asked why, they told her the worst possible thing a party person like her could hear: she had become boring. She was great for a while but high Pinkie had become stale for them. She begged for a way to get in their good graces again.

“Well, none of us are really into it…” one of the kids began, “But we know where we can get something even better than what you’ve been doing before. Show us how fun you are with that, and we’ll party with you again.” Pinkie wholeheartedly obliged. This small group of delinquents were the only ones who would give her the time of day at Canterlot High at this point. This was an enigma that escaped the hyperactive fifteen year old, but she didn’t let it bother her much. As long as her friends liked her, that was okay. And to get her friends to like her, she needed to get harder.

“Ouch! Do I really have to take it this way?” Pinkie winced as one of the kids removed the needle from her elbow vein. A few hours ago, they had gone to a shady district downtown to pick up a dose of what Pinkie had just taken. They holed up at one of the kids’ apartment before heading out on the town for the night.

“Trust me, the pain will be worth it in a second,” she smirked. Just as the girl said, it wasn’t even a minute before Pinkie’s eyes dilated and she sunk into the chair she was sitting in, temporarily limp.

“Ho-o-o-o-o-ly crap!” Pinkie gasped, “Is this what it’s like to know everything?” She suddenly got up and ran to the door.

“Guys. Guys! This door is here! This door is here!” She pawed at it like a cat begging to be let outside. The kids around her snickered, enjoying the show.

“Why is the door here? It’s in my way! Help me move it!” As it turned out, Pinkie did not need help moving the door. Not because she remembered she could open it normally, but because she somehow found the strength to rend the door from its hinges and toss it out of her way.

“Whoa,” one of the kids sat up, wide-eyed, “How did she do that?”

“Pinkie, where are you going?” Another one called after her, as she had bolted out the apartment to goodness-knows-where.

Pinkie Pie’s high lasted for an incredible six hours. In that time, she transitioned from periods of manic unpredictability that saw smashed car windows, raided mailboxes, and arguments with stray dogs, to periods of calm, intense introspection in which Pinkie would simply sit down, rock back and forth, and question the universe.

This was raw entertainment for the delinquents that drugged her. When they weren’t laughing hysterically at the mayhem Pinkie caused, they were filming her, wasting no time putting their videos online for the world to see, without her knowledge.

After winter break, Pinkie would show up to school out of her mind all on her own. The kids who had dragged her into this hell had since abandoned her, but by then getting her next fix was all Pinkie cared about. She had lost herself to the drugs and was more often than not penniless due to her habit. It wasn’t until February that Pinkie got a literally sobering look at what she had become.

Pinkie Pie’s midterms were abysmal. Despite some of the highest grades in her class in the beginning of the year, failing or near-failing scores on all of her mid-year tests officially called her into question with her school counselor and parents.

“Do you know why you’re here?” Miss Cheerilee asked. Pinkie twitched.

“N-no,” the freshman stuttered. She knew she was in the wrong. She knew the drugs she had been taking were bad. She knew her grades were slipping. She couldn’t stop, though. The cravings were just too much.

“Pinkie Pie, almost all of your teachers and several students have expressed concern over your rapidly changing demeanor over the school year so far. When you first started you were bright and bubbly and fun for everyone to be around. Then something changed. You’re here so we can find out what that is so we can help you get back to the Pinkie that’s been a joy for this entire school to have,” Cheerilee said. Pinkie looked down and remained silent.

Igneous Rock, Pinkie’s father, put a hand on his daughter’s shoulder. Pinkie jerked slightly at the touch,

“Baby, we can’t help you if you don’t tell us exactly what’s going on. We’re suspecting that you’re getting into some stuff, but we have to know why so we can get you out of it.” Pinkie would not speak. Cheerilee sighed,

“It looks like I’ll have to show you what I mean. In all of this, you’re lucky you weren’t even arrested. Although, to be honest, I almost wish you had been,” she tapped at her desk’s computer and turned the monitor toward Pinkie and her parents. On the screen was Pinkie, but not as she recognized herself. Clip after clip showed the young high school girl disheveled, gaunt, and disoriented. She remembered almost none of it. Apparently she had trashed stores, yelled at people for no reason, and attempted to mutilate herself on several occasions. Those around her saved her from accidentally killing herself, but only because it meant there was more fun to be had with her later. Their cruel laughter echoed in Pinkie’s mind, and as she saw the her-but-not-her do horrid, horrid things, she began hyperventilating.

This was all over the internet. It was no wonder no one else besides those delinquents wanted to even talk to her. She was just a plaything. She didn’t have any friends. She just had her drugs. And the drugs had her. They would not let go.

There was only one thing that could free her.

As Pinkie Pie ran out of the counselor’s office, past some students changing classes, out the school, and down the street, it all became so clear. From the beginning she had been used. Those kids had no intention of actually becoming friends with her. She was just an experiment—a lab rat. When she was a kid she, too, would often toy with ants “just to see what happened.” She never expected she’d become the target, though. She felt tears streaming down her face as she continued to run, her legs knowing where she was headed but her mind too clouded to stop them. Pinkie tried to remember when she had lost it all. When the funny cigarettes and needles had arrested her brain and made her cease to be the true Pinkamena Diane Pie. But the more she traced her steps, the murkier her memories became. As she surmised that she would never get out of the inescapable nothingness that had become her life, she stopped running and surveyed where her legs had taken her.

And she was just in time for the one o’clock express that would be barreling through this crossing at any moment.

She heard the train’s horn and walked to the tracks like it had called her. The next horn was louder and she smiled. It said “I’m coming, Pinkie.” The next horn was deafening and she spread her arms to embrace death. Then it all went black.

Pinkie Pie wondered when trains began to sound so quiet. There was no blaring horn anymore—no chugging of the wheels on the steel beams. Just regular, soft beeps. And crying.

Hold on, crying?

Pinkie’s eyes shot open. She was alive. A quick survey of her surroundings revealed she was in a hospital room, hooked up to all manner of machines. In one corner of the room sat her mother, Cloudy Quartz, who appeared to have been crying for some time now. She was being consoled by a blonde girl with a cowboy hat in her lap. To Pinkie’s right was another girl sitting in a chair facing towards her. Only her rainbow hair was visible, though, because her head was resting in her hands. Until she looked up, that is.

“You know, you run really fast. I could barely keep up,” were the first words out of her mouth.

“Rainbow Dash, you darn just tackled the girl and broke her arm. Couldn’t you say somethin’ nicer as the first thing she hears after wakin’ up?” The blonde girl turned toward them when she heard Rainbow Dash speak.

“Hey, I told her she’s fast. It’s a compliment, AJ,” Rainbow said. The blonde girl shook her head and sighed,

“Well, a broken arm’s better than a broken… everything, I s’pose. I’m just glad to see you’re up, uh, Pinkie Pie, right?” Pinkie didn’t have a chance to answer because her mother embraced her in a tight hug.

“Oh, my darling Pinkamena! I was so worried! Please don’t leave me! Mommy loves you so much!” No matter how much she had been crying before, the sight of her waking daughter was enough to fuel an entire deluge of new tears of happiness.

It was only now that Pinkie felt odd. It was a good odd, though, and not like the one she had when she first smoked. Aside from a broken arm, Pinkie Pie felt normal for the first time in what seemed like forever. She thought out loud,

“What happened? I remember running from Miss Cheerilee’s office and then…” The girls and her mother became silent looking between themselves and Pinkie. Finally, the girl with the cowboy hat spoke up,

“Sugarcube, you were about two apple pickin’ seconds from bein’ hit by a train. Rainbow Dash here risked her life tacklin’ you out of the way.”

“I know you might have wanted to die,” Rainbow’s mention of that three letter word made Cloudy Quartz wince, “but that wasn’t the real you in control. Trust me, I’ve seen how the stuff you’ve been taking can mess a person up, and I wasn’t gonna let that happen right in front of me.”

“You should have talked to someone, Pinkie. The teachers, your friends… don’t you have any friends?” Cloudy Quartz asked her daughter. In fact, that was the first time she had ever needed to ask that. Normally, she had no shortage of friends. The Pie household always had some new face show up just about every week.

“I thought I did,” Pinkie admitted, “But they were just using me for entertainment. By the time I figured it out, well… here I am.”

“Well, you’ve got friends now. We’ll stick by you, Pinkie Pie. Right, Applejack?” Rainbow Dash put a hand on one of Pinkie’s shoulders. Applejack manned the other one,

“Darn tootin’ we will. The truth is, we were meanin’ to hang out with you more a lot earlier, but with RD on all the sports teams and me workin’ on my family’s farm so much, we didn’t have much time to seek you out. I really wish we didn’t have to come together this way.” Pinkie took hold of the hands on her shoulder and held them close to her chest. She was sobbing.

“Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!” She repeated that over and over for at least a minute, clutching her new friends’ hands tighter and tighter. It started to hurt them, but they didn’t pull away.

“Tell you what,” Rainbow Dash said, “How about we throw you a party to celebrate, uh…” she paused. To celebrate Pinkie not dying? To celebrate Pinkie’s arm getting broken? No matter how she thought about it, Rainbow couldn’t come up with a tasteful way to say “good thing your suicide attempt failed.” Luckily, Applejack had the answer,

“To celebrate new friends. I know a girl who’d love to plan it. She’s a bit uptight, but I’m sure you’ll get along just fine.”

“And I’ll invite Fluttershy. I met her earlier this year, and she could use some more school pals besides me,” Rainbow Dash added. For Pinkie’s sake, they kept it just those five girls and Pinkie’s parents, but it was the most fun Pinkie had ever had in her life.

“Do you see, Adagio? I came back from the brink—from absolute zero because people cared. They didn’t even know me back then! If you still want power… imagine the power you can have with friends by your side.” Pinkie looked to Sonata Dusk, prompting Adagio Dazzle to do the same.

“Look at Sonata. Right now she and Aria Blaze are the strongest girls in the world because of the love they feel for you. You three can really be something great if you just come down and hug them again. Maybe you won’t run the world or a country or even a school, but when Sonata came to us, all of that was the last thing on her mind. She wasn’t worried about her magic or her singing. She was just worried about you. That’s got to be worth something.” Such a monologue was uncharacteristic of Pinkie, but having heard her story they understood where it was coming from.

And then, save for the droning hum of the magic orb around Adagio, all was silent. Adagio had stopped singing. Aria Blaze noticed this, looked up, and ran to the side of the orb Adagio was facing and the other girls were on.

“She… she stopped,” Aria gasped, “We did it! Thank goodness, we did it!” The others relaxed and breathed huge, audible sighs of relief. Sonata and Aria broke down bawling.

Unfortunately, they had assumed too soon. Adagio stared fondly at her fellow sirens,

“I’ll go knowing you two are in good hands. Goodbye.”

Author's Note:

And we're in the home stretch. Pinkie Pie recounts her deeply personal harrowing bout with drugs that nearly killed her in hopes that her tragic story will be the kick Adagio Dazzle needs to cancel her swan song.

But perhaps it wasn't enough.

The story concludes in Chapter 7: The Swan Song of Adagio Dazzle.