• Published 8th Feb 2015
  • 3,188 Views, 82 Comments

I Prefer Show Tunes - Harmony Charmer



Sequel to "Hidden Voices". After Sweetie Belle wins the Talent Competition against Diamond Tiara, the two fillies face off once more to gain a part in the school play.

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Chapter 5: Showtime

"Places, everypony!" Cheerilee called out. "Places!"

Sweetie Belle fidgeted, though she wasn't sure if it was because of the fake, entended horn on her head, the itchy, sparkly wig, or the wings that were tied onto her costume. Or perhaps it was because it was opening night for the play. It was probably that last one, even though her head felt like it was covered in lice.

"Now, remember everypony! Make sure to keep your vowels tall and your voices beautiful! Never sing louder than what's pretty!" Cheerilee trotted past Sweetie and over to Diamond. "Now, Diamond, remember what I told you?"

"Don't sing too high," Diamond responded with a roll of her eyes. "Yes, Miss Cheerilee, I know."

Cheerilee nodded in affirmation. "Good!" She turned to Sweetie. "Now, get ready for the scene after this! You won't be coming in until after--"

"'No One Mourns the Eclipsed'," Sweetie said. "Yeah, I know." 'I'm just terrified, is all... Oh, and my friends aren't here and they haven't talked to me during this whole time because I bet they're mad at me for ditching them to practice alone for the past couple of weeks. There's that, too.'

As Cheerilee walked away, Diamond walked over to Sweetie. "Break a leg out there, Squeaky Wheel."

Sweetie rolled her eyes. "Go shatter your femur, Diamond."

Diamond smirked. "Gladly." She turned towards the stage, then glanced back. "Hey, Sweetie?"

"Yeah?"

"Even if your friends don't show tonight, I want you to know..." She swallowed. "I want you to know that I got your back. Even if you're annoying and uncultured like a swine. Because you're my annoying and uncultured swine."

Sweetie arched a brow in confusion. "Uh, thanks... I, uh, really appreciate that?"

Diamond sighed. "Sorry, I'm not good at being nice. Besides, you're a nice swine." The lights blinked on and off on the stage. "Well, there's my cue. I'll see you in the next scene..." She smiled a bit. "Princess Luna."

Sweetie smiled. "Right back at you... Princess Platinum."

Diamond flipped her mane, which was really a platinum blonde wig that she had to wear for "historical accuracy". While Sweetie was glad that Cheerilee was taking her advice to heart, she wasn't happy with the fact that her head and body was itching from all the synthetic items she was wearing. "See you when come on!"

Sweetie's smile faded from sight as Diamond walked onstage, where she was greeted with applause from the audience. 'Probably from her costume... Rarity did a really good job with it.' She looked down at her "wings", which was tied onto a midnight blue strap that fit nicely with her matching blue body suit. While it left her face exposed, you couldn't really tell because of the blue foundation that was on caked onto her face.

"Dear, do make sure that you don't sweat too much," Rarity had told her as she brushed on the powder. "It'll make your makeup run."

Sweetie let out a long, heavy sigh as she looked at the stage lights. "Those are gonna be hot as Tartarus..." She winced at the thought of her make up running, making her look like a zombie version of Princess Luna. She shook her head to rid herself of the thought. 'I can't afford to chicken out.. I've come too far... Besides, Diamond just now started to respect me to a certain degree.'

"Hey, you OK?" Rumble asked as he stepped up to her side. "You look kinda sick..."

Sweetie nodded sagely. "Y-Yeah... I'm f-fine..."

Rumble frowned. "You sure? 'Cause you look like you're about to throw up."

"I just might," Sweetie croaked, looking through the curtains. "I'm just... I'm really scared."

"Why?" Rumble questioned, confused. "You sing pretty great and you know every line by heart. Why are you scared?"

"Because what if I mess up?" Sweetie looked at the stage with wide eyes as Diamond's voice pierced the air. "I can't hit the notes all the time... I've tried so hard to practice it, but sometimes, my voice just gives out..." Her eyes filled with tears. "And Button and Scootaloo and Apple Bloom don't even wanna be near me because of how I've been acting about this whole thing, so my own coltfriend probably doesn't even care that I'm freaking out right now and that I'm about to cry because I don't know what to do and I feel like I'm gonna ruin the show and I- I-"

"Whoa, Sweets, are you OK?" asked Button, who came trotting up in his full Starswirl costume. "You look pretty freaked out."

Sweetie wiped her eyes, careful not to smudge her makeup. Rarity would kill her if she did. "I thought you didn't want to see me..."

Button frowned. "Of course I wanna see you!" He glanced at Rumble sheepishly. "I guess I just got a bit upset about Rumble playing Clover and me being cast as an old guy..." He looked at Sweetie apologetically. "Sorry if I've been avoiding you for the past week during practice."

"And I'm sorry for ditching you for solo practice," Sweetie admitted. "It wasn't OK, and I didn't even sound good, anyway..."

"Hey, that's not true!" Button exclaimed. "I bet you sounded great!"

Sweetie sniffled. "You think so?"

"Totally! And... I'm really sorry for getting upset with you a couple weeks ago. That wasn't cool."

Sweetie smiled. "It's OK, I wasn't in the right, either..." She frowned. "Where are Scoots and AB at? I wanna apologize to them, too."

"Uh, I think that's gonna have to wait..." Rumble said, pointing to the stage.

Sweetie's eyes widened and she turned to see that the stage was clearing out for her entrance. "Oh, no..." She backed away. "Uh-uh, I can't do it. I'll mess up... I'll mess up, and everypony will laugh at me!"

Button pulled her in for a sideways hug. "It's OK! You'll do OK!" He smiled at her. "I promise it!"

Sweetie shook her head. "No I won't... I'm gonna mess up!" Tears pricked her eyes once more and she backed away. "I won't be able to handle it... I can't--"

"Sweetie, are you OK?" Diamond asked as she walked backstage. Her brows were furrowed a bit, and she looked a bit... worried, actually.

Button frowned at her and prepared for a mean reply, but Sweetie beat him to the punch. "No, I'm not... I'm gonna mess up."

Diamond frowned at her disapprovingly. "Are you really crying on opening night, of all nights? Dress rehearsal, sure, I get that, but opening night? C'mon, Squeaky Wheel, you should know better than this!"

"But--" Sweetie tried to say.

"And seriously, you're worrying about messing up?" Diamond rolled her eyes. "Please, those notes are high enough to make trouble for Wicked Talent herself, and she's the original actress and singer for Celestia's sakes!"

"Well, yeah, but--"

"And you happen to have an amazing vocal range, but because you're too busy worrying about your stupid cutie mark being in something else, you keep missing opportunities to be better!" Diamond let out a groan. "Yeesh, tie the shoe you have on and quit trying one other pairs!"

Sweetie blinked. "Are you... saying my special talent is singing?"

Diamond stared at her for the longest time, then she smacked a hoof to her forehead. "You're an idiot, and your friends are idiots, too. Yes, your special talent is singing!" She pointed at the stage. "The fact that it's taken you this long to figure it out just goes to show why you and those Crusaders are such lame-os! Now get out there, and sing!"

"Why do you care so much?" Button asked, a bit apprehensive about Diamond's "encouragement". "I thought you hated Sweetie!"

"Oh, believe me, I do," Diamond told him. "But if she goes down, then I go down with her!" She pointed at Sweetie. "Now tighten those wings, hold your head up, and get out there before I push you out there!"

Sweetie gulped. "OK... I'll go."

Button gave her a reassuring smile. "You'll do great out there! I swear it!"

"And just what do you think you're doing?" Diamond snapped at him. "I can't believe you're wearing blue without any silver! You'll bring this whole production down by your jinxing!"

Sweetie's eyes widened. "Oh, the silver rule! I forgot all about that!"

"Silver rule?" Button asked, confused.

"It's bad luck to wear blue without silver onstage," Sweetie explained. "I can't afford to jinx the performance! That's like saying the M word!"

"What's the M word...?" Button asked.

Diamond glared at him. "Oh, uh-uh, I am not risking that!" She turned to Sweetie Belle. "Here, use this." Diamond slipped on a silver bracelet to Sweetie's ankle. "It's not a lot, but I don't want you bringing this down because of that blue you have on."

Sweetie gawked at the bracelet. "How much did this thing cost?! This is real silver!"

"And this is a real production, so I suggest you get out there and get ready for your part!" Diamond pushed her to the edge of the curtains. "Now get out there and sing!"

Sweetie looked out to the stage, her eyes quivering from the sight of it. Then, she glanced back at Diamond and Button, who were both watching her expectantly. Sweetie took a deep breath and looked to the stage once more. "Here goes nothing."

Then, with that, she trotted onstage, praying that somewhere out there that Wicked Talent was wishing her the best of luck.