• Published 26th Nov 2014
  • 1,086 Views, 22 Comments

By the Daysong - MetaSkipper



Even after the darkest of nights, the day always comes. And for the Sirens, it has been a dark night indeed.

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Bravura

Aria considered herself a measured person. She was the kind of person to weigh options before deciding.

“Come on, Aria! Sit with us!”

Unfortunately, it was a lot harder to weigh her options when someone was bothering her. And if there was one thing Aria could say Sonata did well, it was bother her.

“We have a perfectly functional employee lounge here. I see no reason not to use it.”

In hindsight, perhaps she should have seen this coming when she decided to work at Taco Belle. Somewhere along the line of the sirens’ history, Sonata had acquired a taste for faux-Mexican food (and proper Mexican cuisine).

“But, but – please, Aria?”

Of course, Sonata and her newfound companions had to decide to eat here at the same time as her lunch break. She was professional enough to have been able to serve them and see them on their way during work hours. But alas, fate had decided to saddle her with the bothersome one.

“No.”


“And then I was like ‘Bam!’ and the ball went ‘Woosh!’ and into the goal!”

Aria was not quite sure how this happened. One moment, she clearly said no; the next, she had grabbed her free combo and was eating with Sonata and… them.

“We know, darling. We were there. And you really need to work on chewing with your mouth closed.”

With a grumble, the rainbow-haired one complied. Aria couldn’t believe Sonata had chosen these girls, of all people, to associate with. No, wait; knowing Sonata, she could very well believe it.

“And what is she doing here, anyway?”

Aria didn’t need to look up from her free taco to know who “she” was.

The pink-not-poofy-haired one spoke for the first time. “Now, Rainbow Dash. You said the same thing about Sonata.”

“I know… but at least Sonata was a bit more upbeat about it.”

“She’s right there, sugarcube.” Rainbow-hair let out a huff in defeat. Clearly not one to be deterred, Aria noted, she launched into another tale.

“So I entered this guitar competition last week, right?”

Purple-hair sighed with a hint of a smile. “We know, darling. We were there to root for you, remember?”

A slight blush crept onto… Rainbow Dash, that was it. “Yeah, well, I was still awesome. I won, after all.”

“Speaks more about how bad everyone else was than how good you were.” Aria didn’t bother to look up at the gasps.

“Oh yeah? I bet I can play guitar better than you can.”

“Whether or not I can play guitar has no bearing on how bad you are.” Really, was it so hard to not use logical fallacies? “That said, though I was always more into singing than instruments… I can still play the guitar better than you can.” They didn’t need to know she could sing again.

“Well, I have my quitar right here.” Rainbow hefted a guitar case into sight. “We’ll just have to see who’s better now.”

“Fine. Play your best.”

Rainbow didn’t even pause to think. Guitar plugged into a porta-amp (what was she doing casually carrying around her guitar and amp, anyway?), and she started playing.

First you see me riding on a sonic boom….

Where had she heard this before? Oh, right, during the semifinals of that. She rolled her eyes. Credit where credit was due, Rainbow Dash was quite the show woman. Guitar behind the head, duckwalking, the hula hoop. With the singing, she had potential in music… not that Aria would have said that. Besides, it reeked of… being showy. Aria was a purist at heart when it came to music, and she would never understand Adagio’s love for dancing and motions while singing.

A final strum and applause shook Aria out of her thoughts.

“Let’s see you top that.” If Aria was the type to stoop to her level, she’d want to wipe that smug grin off her face.

“Naturally. You can’t play well, so you hide it with your gimmicks and singing.”

“Oh yeah? Let’s see you try that.”

“I don’t need to, because I can actually play.”

She wouldn’t have let it show, but Aria was starting to regret her little bet. While she knew she could sing again, that didn’t necessarily mean she could play an instrument again. Come to think of it, she hadn’t tried playing an instrument since the incident. Had the ability ever left her? Had it come back if it had? Well, it was a too late now.

Aria took the guitar, and slung the strap over. She sat down, and let the guitar rest between her legs. Eyes closed. Inhale. Exhale. Yes… that song should do nicely.

Go.

It started slow. Four chords, nothing fancy. No words, no lyrics. Her left hand vibrated with the string. A simple set of harmonious notes in a row. Chords. More notes, a little faster now. She didn’t need her eyes open to see the eyeroll on Rainbow’s face.

“Seriously? That’s it?” A shush from the crowd… if you could call six people a crowd.

Aria ran her thumb across the string, a satisfying squeak behind it. Back to chords and notes. Now softly, she tapped the strings, faintly touched them with her fingers. She picked the strings softly. Now louder, she pat the strings, strummed across the very bottom of them. She tapped the guitar, let the solid thunk loose.

Now she hastened, her tempo increasing. Strum, strum, drum the guitar. Faster, faster, blind to the world. She could still play. So she would. She allowed her movements to become more complex, her fingers more precise. She was ready to face a true audience, to impress a true crowd, but in her mind’s eye saw nothing.

What?

This was her driving motivation, her passion behind her music. Even after her magic was gone, Aria still loved the wave of adoration. It brought her voice back. So where was her dream now?

She didn’t need to think about the music anymore. It was now muscle memory that could carry her, yet she still felt hollow. She knew she could play this song, she was hearing herself play this song, and she was nailing it, and it should have brought her satisfaction. So why didn’t it?

It took her a while to realize her fingers had stopped moving. It took her a while longer to realize the assembled girls were clapping for her. She opened her eyes. If she couldn’t see a crowd in her imagination, as least she could get something out of seeing rainbow-hair dejected over losing.

Except that sight did not greet her. Instead, she got a Rainbow Dash all excited, hands pressed to her cheeks, lips out. It looked like something that belonged on an internet meme.

“That… was… awesome! You have to teach me how to play like that!” That… wasn’t what Aria expected.

“You realize you lost, right?”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, that’s not important. You have to teach me!”

Thankfully, salvation came in the form of the end of her lunch break. Before she stepped through the door, she turned back. “You… have something. You might be able to learn.” Something about the smile on Rainbow’s face moved her.

“Oh, and don’t forget girls, we have that party tonight!” She caught Applejack saying as she stepped through.

“Oh, Aria! You should totally join us.” Curses. If only she had closed the door faster. Of course Sonata would say that.

“No.”


A pillow struck her face broadside. Aria stood, surrounded by the laughter and cries of teenage girls engaged in perhaps the most immature pillow fight ever.

How had she let this happen?

Author's Note:

It lives!

If you're curious about the song Aria plays, I decided to have her play Sonata for guitar, Op. 47, by Alberto Ginastera.