• Published 26th May 2012
  • 7,076 Views, 209 Comments

Tarnished Feelings - DJLowrider

After a falling out with Diamond Tiara, Silver Spoon re-discovers who she is and finds new friends.

  • ...

Dancing Days

Normally a simple walk around town wouldn’t have been a worrisome or exhausting matter to Silver, but the past hour after leaving Sugarcube Corner had been the most harrowing hour of her life. She practically jumped out of her skin whenever a pony came out of a house or other building that she and Sweetie Belle happened to pass by, thinking it might be Diamond Tiara, Opulence, or Fortuity every time. As fortune had it, the only ponies that stopped them at all during the walk were ones Sweetie knew to some extent but who had no idea who Silver was. For as comforting as it was to not be recognized, however, it drove home exactly the point she had made to Sweetie earlier that day. All the time she and Diamond spent segregating themselves from other ponies over the years had made Silver an all but unknown among normal townsfolk.

“I didn’t realize it was possible to feel relief and depression at the same time,” Silver commented as she plodded along beside Sweetie Belle. “I guess you reap what you sow, though.”

“Oh don’t be so negative, Silver,” Sweetie told her. “Twist seemed to warm up to you pretty well. It’s a start, right?”

“But I never tormented Twist all that much. You and the other Crusaders, though... that you’ve accepted me so readily is still a miracle to me, Sweetie.”

Sweetie sighed and shook her head some. “We’ve been over this, Silver. How much longer are you going to mope about it? It just doesn’t matter anymore.”

“Sure, to you maybe,” Silver commented. “Can you honestly say the same for Apple Bloom or Scootaloo?”

Sweetie Belle bit her lower lip, not wanting to admit that Silver did have a point. While she might have put the past behind her, she had no way of knowing if her fellow former crusaders would feel the same; especially Apple Bloom, who arguably had gotten the worst of the treatment back in their youth. There was only one thing to do about it as she figured: Find out directly from her friends.

“We won’t know unless we ask,” Sweetie told her as she nudged Silver in a different direction. “Come on.”

“Uh... where are we going now?” Silver asked, trepidation creeping into her voice.

Sweetie looked over at her with a serious expression. “You want to turn things around for yourself, right?” she asked, to which Silver nodded in response. “Then that’s what we’re going to try and do, and I’m going to help. As much as I can, at least.”

“Sweetie, I... I’m not sure I’m ready for this...” Silver said nervously.

“You’ll be fine, I promise,” Sweetie assured her. “Besides, Apple Bloom and Scootaloo aren’t that bad. Most of the time. Trust me, though, they can be reasonable. Occasionally.”

“Somehow hearing that isn’t actually helping me feel any better about this.”

Sweetie Belle continued to herd Silver along for a bit until the gray Earth pony mare finally, if reluctantly, began walking of her own accord again. It wasn’t long before they arrived at the destination that Sweetie had pointed them in the direction of: the dance studio of Ponyville’s premiere dance instructor, Catch Step.

“Scoot might still be in the middle of her lesson, but so long as we stay quiet we can just watch until she’s done,” Sweetie said as she led Silver inside.

“How’s she been coming along with her dancing?” Silver asked, still feeling tremendous trepidation as she followed Sweetie.

For her answer, Sweetie merely directed her to look at a trophy case that stood just inside the doorway. One or two of them had the names of other dancer ponies inscribed on them. Several others were won by the school’s dance team. The vast majority, however, had Scootaloo’s name on them. This included what was the single largest and most ornate trophy in the case.

“That’s... a lot of trophies,” Silver noted, adjusting her glasses a bit as she looked over the display.

Sweetie nodded in agreement. “Scoot’s helped win most of the dance team trophies on top of the ones she won herself. She’s really something else to watch in action. C’mon, I think I hear their music which means we might get to see them do a routine.”

At first Silver couldn’t hear anything that sounded like real music to her, just some loud thumping that was pulsating through the entire building. The closer they got to the classroom, however, strains of more melodic music could be made out accompanying the beat that was practically making Silver’s bones shake. They came to a seating area just next to a window that allowed them to watch the practice going on in the classroom without entering. Sweetie took a seat and motioned for Silver to join her, which she did while looking inside.

Scootaloo was positioned in the middle of her dance team, flanked on either side by a total of four other mares who were all roughly the same age as her. Taken as a whole the team was impressive to watch as they progressed through the hip-hop style dance routine, but Scootaloo was clearly the focal point of everything and for good reason. She was positively hypnotic to watch as she spun and stomped, gestured and gyrated, twirled and tapped all through the routine. It was as if she was beholden to the music, its melody and beats dictating to her what she should do next. Most importantly, she looked like she was completely in her element doing it all given the seemingly permanent smirking grin on her face. She thrived on the music and reveled in the freedom she found to express herself through her dancing. It was a feeling Silver herself was very familiar with. She’d felt it whenever she was practicing her own talents, though now she wasn’t sure she would ever feel that way again given that her reputation seemed to be in tatters now.

“She’s really something else, isn’t she?” Sweetie asked as she looked over at Silver.

“Mhm,” Silver replied with a nod as she wrestled with the mixed feelings watching Scootaloo’s performance had given her.

Sweetie frowned and nudged Silver a bit to try and snap her out of it. “Silver, what’s bothering you now?”

“A number of things,” Silver replied, not taking her eyes off of the dancers. “Nothing you haven’t heard from me already, Sweetie, and I don’t want to sound like a broken record.”

“We’ve really got to get some fun infused into you,” Sweetie commented. “As it happens, I don’t know anyone better to do that than Scoot.”

“I’m no dancer, Sweetie. It’s okay to watch, but I seriously have no rhythm at all.”

“There’s more to Scoot than just dancing, y’know,” Sweetie told her with a wink. “You’ll see.”

Not having any reason to doubt Sweetie Belle, and not having anything else to do or anywhere else to go, Silver nodded in consent and settled in to watch the dancers go through their routines, wondering exactly what “fun” Sweetie thought Scootaloo would be able to show her, assuming she was even willing.

After several repetitions of their routines, the dancers finally wrapped up their practice and headed over to their respective saddlebags for water and to put away their dancing gear. One Earth pony mare opened her bag and shrieked, falling all over herself to scramble back away from it. The rest of the group, Scootaloo especially, broke up laughing as Scoot walked over and pulled a rubber snake out of the bag.

“Scoot! You know I can’t stand snakes!” the Earth pony mare whined at her..

“Oh chill out, Bee’s Knees,” Scootaloo told her, smirking. “It was fake. If you’d taken half a second to look at it you would’ve seen that.”

Bee’s Knees pouted a bit, stomping one forehoof. “Even fake ones give me the willies!”

“Bee’s, you should’ve known you were up this week,” a Unicorn mare told her. “You know how Scoot operates by now.”

“Yeah, well, that means you’re next Arabesque,” Bees’ reminded her.

Arabesque swallowed hard at the reminder. “Oh. Uh... Scoot? Any chance you can just let me know what to expect?”

“Uh uh, you know how this works,” Scoot told her, grinning. “We all get turns getting pranked, and you don’t get to know what’s coming or when.”

“Yeah, I know,” Arabesque said with a sigh. “Just remind me when it’s our turn to get you again, okay?”

“Hey, you all got me last week,” Scoot told her. “And pretty good at that. Been a long time since I’ve been covered in tree sap. Kinda brought back some...”

Scootaloo cut herself off as she happened to look out the dance classroom’s window and saw Sweetie Belle waving to her with Silver Spoon, of all ponies, sitting next to her.

“...old memories,” Scoot said, finishing her sentence with a bit less mirthful of an expression on her face.

“Hey, I know her,” Bee’s Knees said as she wandered over and looked out the window as well. “That’s that mare that always used to bother you when you were a filly, right?”

“Yeah, her and that other stuck up twit, Diamond Tiara,” Arabesque added. “What’s she doing here?”

“We should go give her a piece of our mind, girls,” a third dancer, a Pegasus mare, said, ruffling her wings a bit as she motioned to the door.

“Feather Step, don’t,” Scootaloo told her. “I don’t want trouble.”

“Scoot, you’ve told us before how they used to pick on you and your two other friends,” Feather Step said, turning back towards her. “We’re your friends too, and I think I speak for all of us when I say we can’t stand the idea of anyone treating you like a second-class pony just because it took you a little longer to get your cutie mark. She should get an earful for that kinda behavior.”

“I appreciate the sentiment, Feather, but no,” Scoot said. “I’ve moved on. If they haven’t or can’t then that’s their problem.”

“Still, why’s she here with your singer friend, Sweetie Belle?” Arabesque asked.

“That’s what I wanna know,” Scoot told her. “And I intend to find out.”

“Well if you need us, just let us know, ‘kay?” the last of the four other dancers, another Earth pony, chimed in to say. “And don’t take too long. Remember where you’ve got to be in a little while.”

“Y-yeah... I know, Grapevine,” Scoot said, blushing some as the other girls giggled. “I won’t forget, and I won’t be late.”

The four other dancers said their goodbyes to Scootaloo before leaving, each of them taking a turn to glare a bit over at Silver Spoon as they exited the classroom. Scootaloo was the last out, and she turned towards Silver and Sweetie as they stood up and walked over to her.

“Looked like another great practice, Scoot,” Sweetie told her cheerily. “You girls will win another trophy for that case for sure.”

“Thanks Sweets,” Scoot replied. “It’d be nice, but it’s not about the trophies, at least for me. Catch Step is big on competition, though, and her word carries a lotta weight in the dance world. So we kinda don’t wanna go against her. I’m sure you know how that goes.”

“Do I ever,” Sweetie said, rolling her eyes. “Makes me thankful I had Sapphire Shores for my voice coach. She's been nothing but supportive of me.”

“So...” Scoot said, turning her gaze to Silver. “What’re you doing here?”

“Maybe I oughta explain...” Sweetie said, only to have Silver put up a forehoof to stop her.

“It’s alright, Sweetie Belle,” Silver told her. “I should do this myself.”

“Are you sure, Silver?” Sweetie asked worriedly.

Silver just nodded to her and then turned her attention back to Scootaloo. She took a deep breath and proceeded to recount the previous day’s events to the Pegasus mare in their entirety, including her waking up at Carousel Boutique and Sweetie Belle’s promise to help her try and get back on her hooves. All the while, Scootaloo regarded Silver with a fair bit of skepticism, occasionally looking at Sweetie Belle for verification on some aspects of Silver’s story that she had a hard time believing.

“So you came here to see how I feel about what you did to us as fillies?” Scootaloo asked once Silver caught her story up to when they arrived at the dance studio. “That about right?”

“That’s correct,” Silver replied quickly.

“And you didn't come to apologize?”

“I’m not sure an apology would even begin to make up for how much Diamond and I tormented you three, but if you’d like one I’ll certainly offer one.”

Scoot considered Silver for a few moments before looking at Sweetie again. “What’s your take on all of this?”

“She seems sincere to me,” Sweetie said with a shrug. “As far as I’m concerned it’s ancient history. I thought you and Bloom might feel the same, but I figured it was best to check with you rather than assume.”

“See that’s what has me worried,” Scoot told her. “No offense, Sweetie, but you’ve always been a little too trusting. How do we know this isn’t some kinda big setup?”

“Right, because I’d totally wallow in the mud bawling my eyes out for the sake of tricking you guys again,” Silver commented.

“Can you blame me for being suspicious?” Scoot asked, turning back to Silver. “As I remember things, you were willing to do anything as long as it kept you in Diamond Tiara’s good graces. How do I know this isn’t more of the same?”

Sweetie Belle stepped up closer to Scootaloo, looking concerned. “But Scoot, I saw her—”

“I wanna hear it from Silver, not you Sweetie,” Scoot said, cutting her off. Sweetie sighed and backed down, looking to Silver sympathetically.

“You’re right, Scootaloo,” Silver said, stepping up to her some. “Even up to yesterday, if it meant I could preserve my friendship with Diamond I would have done anything. But that very mentality is what got me into this mess in the first place. I realize now that if I’d really wanted to be a good friend to her, I wouldn’t have just tried to placate her all the time. But that’s all I did, and so I’m at least partially to blame for the kind of pony she’s become.

“I’m not asking for forgiveness for what I did. All I want to know is if we can at least move on from it, and if there’s any chance we might be able to be friends someday.”

Scootaloo snorted as she considered Silver’s words. She looked back and forth between Silver and Sweetie, then scratched her mane a bit as she finally convinced herself that this was indeed no trick or setup.

“Like I told Feather Step before I came out here, I moved on from that stuff a long time ago,” Scootaloo told Silver. “I honestly wondered if you or Diamond had as well, or if you ever would. Guess I got my answer now.”

Silver sighed in relief at Scoot's response, suddenly feeling as though another large bit of weight had been removed from her. “I know I’ve certainly moved on, Scootaloo, Though I can’t say the same for Diamond.”

Scoot shrugged at her. “Hey, if she’s intent on living in the past then that’s her problem. As for you and me? I guess I’d be willing to give things a shot, provided you can lighten up some that is.”

“Lighten... up?” Silver repeated, blinking at Scoot a few times..

“Here we go.” Sweetie commented to herself with a giggle.

“For one thing, you could try smiling or laughing some more!” Scoot told Silver. "You've always been wound way too tight, Silver. Life doesn't always have to be so dang serious. Have a laugh from time to time!"

“I've laughed plenty before, you know.” Silver said defensively.

Scoot rolled her eyes at the white-maned mare. “You've laughed at others plenty before, and only when it was 'socially acceptable', or when you and Diamond Tiara were making someone miserable. How many times have you ever shared a laugh with someone over something that was truly fun? There’s a difference, you know.”

“What about the prank I just saw you pull? On one of your dancing friends, no less?”

“We all take turns getting pranked. It’s something I set up a while back to make sure none of us gets too big of a head about stuff. And what we do is all in good fun. It’s never mean-spirited. What you two did to us and others was demeaning, demoralizing, and despicable.”

“And you used to call me a dictionary,” Sweetie commented to herself with a brief chuckle.

“I... I suppose you have a point,” Silver said, heaving a sigh.

"Of course I do," Scoot said with a proud grin.

Sweetie smiled and, after clearing her throat a little, gave voice to a song lyric she'd been working on for a little while that was rather appropriate for the moment.

"You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching, love like you'll never be hurt, sing like there's nobody listening, and live like it's heaven on earth."

At the end of Sweetie's impromptu song, both Silver and Scoot applauded her with smiles on their faces.

"Couldn't have said it any better myself, Sweets," Scoot told her.

"Of course you couldn't have. You are still a dodo, after all," Sweetie said with a smirk.

"And you'll always be a dictionary," Scoot retorted lightly with a chuckle.

Silver couldn't help but feel just a bit of mirth creep into her at the whole scene. She'd never really been around ponies who acted like how Sweetie and Scoot did towards each other. There was something relaxing about how familiar they were with each other. It was something she'd never once felt while being with Diamond Tiara, and the more she thought on it the more she realized it was something she wanted to feel for herself.

“I appreciate the advice, girls, and I'll take it to heart. But still, what would you suggest I do? It’s a bit hard to laugh with anyone when hardly anyone wants anything to do with me in the first place.”

“Hey, I never said I didn’t wanna hang with you,” Scoot told her with a grin. “Just that if we are gonna hang I wanna be sure you’re a mare who knows how to have a good time. Even if you don't know how to do that now, you're a smart pony Silver. I'm sure you can learn. And I think I know how to not only accomplish that, but also help you out with one more pony you need to talk to yet today. Come with me. You too, Sweetie.”

“Where are we going?” Silver asked.

“And what are we doing?” Sweetie added.

Scoot just grinned at both of them as she grabbed her saddlebags and started heading towards the exit. “We’re gonna head to Sweet Apple Acres and have a little fun with Apple Bloom...”