• 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.

  • ...

Chapter 6: For Good

"Clover!" Luna cried out, her hooves slamming against her bedroom door. "Please, don't hurt him! It wasn't his fault!"

"Sorry, Your Highness," the guard said to her. His expression was solemn and expressionless, devoid of any sympathy. "Your sister and Starswirl think it would be best for you to stay within your chambers while the proceedings go forth."

"But I have to see him!" Luna wailed. "I have to let him know that I--"

"Luna, please, calm down," a voice said as a figure appeared in the room's adjoining door. The figure looked to the guard and nodded in acknowledgement. "Sir, please, can you leave us for a moment?"

The guard dipped his head in respect. "As you wish, Princess."

Luna glared at the pony who entered the room. "This is your fault. He never would have been tried if you hadn't done what you had done." She turned away from her. "I can't believe how low you've sunken to, Platinum."

Princess Platinum sighed and she approached Luna with care. She was wearing her regalia and crown, a purple cape draped around her to show her wealth. "Lulu, please understand that I didn't mean for this to happen. What Clover did--"

"Was to protect me," Luna finished, still not looking at her. "I know. I know why he did it. But that doesn't excuse what you did." She looked over her shoulder at Platinum. "You were the one who called the guards in to capture him."

"He was helping you with that wretched spell!" Platinum protested. "He was going to help you seal your sister away into the sun! How on earth could I let that happen?"

Luna whipped around to face her. "'Let'? What in the name of Iridia makes you think that you would ever hold a candle to my magic? I'm a goddess that can move celestial bodies. I was a student of Starswirl's and I've had more training with magic than you've ever had. I am powerful." She narrowed her eyes at Platinum. "All you know how to do is wear the new shiny thing that Daddy bought you."

Platinum frowned at her. "Your words aren't going to hurt me. I know what I did was wrong and I've already done my suffering. Clover's down in the court right now being charged for his crime in conspiring against the princess. You're lucky he hasn't given you up."

Luna scoffed lightly. "Of course he wouldn't. He's loyal. That's more than I can ever say of you."

"Luna, you're being foalish!" Platinum snapped. "I don't understand why you're acting this way! What has Celestia done to deserve your hatred and plotting?"

Luna growled at her. "You would never understand. You got everything you've always wanted! You got all the attention of Equestria! Everypony worships you, and yet you aren't satisfied! It's always been your dream to be recognized, hasn't it? And now that you've got it, you still can't get over yourself enough to be happy! What more could you possibly want?"

Platinum's eyes closed. "The one thing I really wanted didn't want me back. He wanted you instead."

Luna glared at her. "What are you babbling on about?"

Platinum looked away from her. "You really are stupid, Luna. I never cared about the attention or the worship." She sighed raggedly. "All I wanted was somepony to love me." She looked back at Luna, a hard, icy look in her eyes. "But, he loves you instead."

Luna blinked in shock. "You mean... Clover?"

"He's always loved you," Platinum told her. "He never told you, but he does. And that's why he hasn't given you up. Because that fool is in love with you."

Luna's eyes pricked with tears once more, but she swiped her eyes quickly as her face contorted in rage. "And that's another thing my sister will have taken from me... It's not enough she has Equestria to love her and worship her, but now she has to take away my love... That selfish mare!"

"So that's what this has been about," Platinum realized. "You've been upset about your sister having all the attention? That's what this has been about?"

"See? I told you that you couldn't understand." Luna turned away from her. "Now, go... Before I call the guards in to make you."

"That won't be necessary," Platinum whispered. "I'll leave on my own." She trotted over to the door, then paused. "I just wish we could go back to the way things used to be."

"But we can't," Luna said rigidly. "Because everything has been changed."

Platinum lingered for a long moment, her eyes glistening in the moonlight. Finally, she exited the room, tears flowing down her face as she left her friend for the last time.

* * *

As the lights came down for the next scene, Sweetie took a moment to gather her breath. She and Diamond hadn't had time to speak to each other in between scenes, since they were both constantly having to change and shift from one place to another, though the glances they sent each other during their makeup touch ups were enough to leave them both awkward.

Sweetie looked over to the stage, where Twist was acting as Pinkie Pie and singing her silly song about laughing away fear. Scootaloo was laughing out, though if it was real or not was a mystery to Sweetie Belle. She'd have to apologize to her when the show was over for being such a diva.

"Ugh, glad that's over," Button commented as he approached Sweetie. After Button's last scene as Starswirl, he had taken off his hat and beard and looked like his normal colt self. "That beard was itchy."

Sweetie snorted. "Try a horn and wings, dork."

"Sweetie, don't talk while I touch up your makeup!" Rarity snapped. "I want you to look perfect for these last few scenes! You're supposed to be the dreaded Nightmare Moon and as far as I'm concerned she doesn't look like a half-done makeup job!"

Sweetie grunted at Rarity tugged at her eyebrow. "Have you been able to watch anything from back here?"

"A bit," Rarity replied, concentrating on powdering Sweetie's cheek. "You've been lovely in all of what I've seen. Diamond's been doing rather well herself."

"What about me?" Button piped up. "How have I been doing?"

"Alright, you're done!" Rarity said to Sweetie, ignoring Button. "Now to work on Scootaloo's Rainbow Dash costume!"

Sweetie put a hoof on Button's shoulder. "It's OK, I think you've been doing pretty great, too!"

Button smiled. "Thanks. But you're the real star of the show!" He paused for a moment. "Hey, what's going on with Diamond and you? I mean, I could swear she was being--"

"Pleasant?" Sweetie finished. "Yeah, it's kinda weird. But, also a nice change of pace?"

"I can hear you two!" Diamond snapped from the makeup chair. "And, yes, I have been being nice! Write a book about it why don't you!"

"And we're back," Button said with a roll of his eyes. "So, are you ready for these last scenes? It's supposed to be super intense, right?"

Sweetie nodded. "Yeah... Next we have a duet between Platinum and Luna, AKA, Diamond and me. It's actually a bit sad."

"If you mean one of the most emotional scenes to be written into a Bridleway production, then yeah, it's sad," Diamond commented as she walked to the curtain in her full royal attire. "So, Squeaky Wheel, are you ready to show your stuff?"

Sweetie frowned. "Knock it off, Diamond. If this scene is going to work, we have to be friendly, remember?"

Diamond rolled her eyes. "Yeah, I know that. But it's gonna take a lot more than friendliness in order for this scene to work. Luna and Platinum are singing about how their friendship has changed both of their lives! This is supposed to be intense!"

Sweetie nodded. "Yeah..."

The lights on the stage faded into a blue hue, their cue for their entrance. Sweetie and Diamond spared each other a glance before Sweetie entered the stage, her head held high and her eyes surveying the area before her. When she hit the center of the stage, the lights grew brighter and focused on her, casting long shadows behind her.

Sweetie's gaze moved to the moon that was above her. It had been painted by Apple Bloom, if the brilliant paint job was any correlation, and it practically glowed beneath the lights. She took a deep breath, then closed her eyes before bowing her head.

"A thousand years..." she said, just loud enough for the audience to hear. "A thousand years I remained imprisoned... Now Celestia is imprisoned." A wicked grin spread across her face and she let out a cackle. "How the tables have turned, dear sister! I wonder how it is up there? I imagine it'd be lonely and remind you of your mistakes, no?"

Sweetie's laughter subsided, her gaze glazing over. "A thousand years... That means that Starswirl's gone... All my bat ponies, too..."

"Luna," Diamond called out, walking onto the stage. The light illuminated her as she walked towards the center of the stage, though she stopped a few feet from where Sweetie stood. "I don't know if you can hear me..."

"Platinum," Sweetie whispered, her eyes widening. "Oh, Platinum..."

"Luna, I know you probably don't want to hear me talk right now... You must be pretty angry with me, for what I did. First Clover, now..."

Sweetie scoffed. "Bah, what do I care? It's not like you ever cared about me. You just wanted Clover and that was that."

"What I did was awful..." Diamond closed her eyes and looked away. "I got Clover exiled for his crimes against the Princess... Then I told her about how you were involved in that plot..."

"You always were a suck up. First my sister, then Starswirl, then me. Serves you right that you should feel bad." Sweetie flicked her mane. "What do I care about how you feel? It's not like we were friends or anything."

"I was a bad friend," Diamond admitted, "I was a bad friend to you, and to many others. I didn't care about hurting you... Not until it was too late to do anything about it."

Sweetie's eyes narrowed. "And I was wrong to believe that we ever were friends to begin with. You and I loathed each other from the beginning, after all. It's not like I... I wanted our friendship to be real. It's not like I actually thought that you cared about me. It's not like... It's not like you made me feel special and important for the first time in forever..."

Both of them remained silent, their heads bowing as their own sorrow began to sink in. A small weaving of music flew through the air, breaking through the silence of the two fillies.

"Special..." Sweetie murmured. "You made me feel special... And I was wrong to think that. You were the special one. You always were."

Diamond's eyes softened. She stepped forward, closer to Sweetie. Then, she sang.

I never thought that when you came into my life
it was meant to be a lesson I had to learn
To treat others like I was their equal
And to be treated as that in return

Diamond bowed her head once more, shame covering her features.

Still I have no clue why I hated you

A smile came onto her face, nostalgic and forlorn.

But I know that here I stand today
Only wanting you to...

Diamond trailed off, unable to finish. She closed her eyes, then peered at the stars above them.

Like a star that's light has faded
from across the cosmos
Like a lion freed from a cage
No longer calm and tame
I can't say that I've been changed for the better

She looked to Sweetie, who was looking down at the ground with a sad expression on her face. Diamond gave her a smile, assuring and affectionate.

But because I knew you...
I know I'm not the same

Diamond's smile faded as Sweetie stood still, and she in turn bowed her head. Sweetie glanced at Diamond, then slowly raised her head.

It's going to be hard to admit that I was wrong
Because in that lifetime, something changed within my heart
So much of the things I once hated about you
Is what began my start
I'll be waiting for a day when we won't be apart
And now that your story has come to an end
I know that I can't rewrite mine
Because you were my friend

Sweetie pointed to the sky, her eyes sparkling with emotion and passion.

Like a pony meeting their other half
Just as they're meant to be
Like a weed pulled out by its roots
To keep the wild tame

Sweetie looked to Diamond once more, smiling at her in reassurance.

I can't say that I've been changed for the better
But because I knew you

Diamond looked up at her, a smile coming onto her face.

Because I knew you.

They both smiled at each other, an unspoken connection sparking between them.

I know I'm not the same.

Sweetie frowned, and she looked away from Diamond. "And just to let you know, I won't beg for forgiveness for what I've done, even if it's what you hate me for."

"But I guess we know that you're not the only one," Diamond told her.

Sweetie and Diamond leaned forward, realization overcoming the both of them as they realized that what they were singing were not Luna and Platinum's words, but rather, their own.

And none of it seems to matter anymore

They both sang out, harmonizing and synchronizing together in perfect time. Tears began to stream down their faces, but their voices never shook and they never broke. They held strong together, putting their all into the performance. Finally, they came close together, smiling through their tears.

I can't say that I've been changed for the better

"But, because I knew you..." Diamond cracked, her voice breaking out of character.

"Because I knew you..." Sweetie responded quietly.

Both fillies leaned in close, their smiles wavering as their emotions began to take over.

I know I'm not...

The music dwindled down, the light around Diamond fading until she fell into the black. Sweetie stood alone in all of the darkness, shrouded in the nightmare she was meant to represent. Finally, with tears streaming down her face, Sweetie bowed her head down for the final time, this time in mourning.

"...The same," she finished, her eyes burning.

Author's Note:

I legit almost started crying while writing this chapter. I couldn't handle the feels.

Feel free to point out errors. I probably made a few and didn't catch them. The finale is coming up soon, you guys.