• Published 18th Mar 2016
  • 5,337 Views, 181 Comments

By Her Side - Lady Froey

After losing her powers at the Battle of the Bands, Adagio separates herself from the Sirens and spent the last several years adjusting to living as a regular individual in the human world. Attending the local college, she runs into Sunset Shimmer.

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Chapter 1 - Outcasts

Several years ago, she’d almost had it: all of the power of this world.

She’d had Aria and Sonata, by her side, under her control. They were what some would call living, breathing myths. They called themselves the Sirens. Since that fool Starswirl had banished them from their homeland, they had used the power of their voices to feed on those who produced negative energy. Usually those who were simple-minded, easy victims, weak.

With the passing of time however, the people of this world were changing and the Sirens main food source was becoming scarce. Then, however, they found something they had not witnessed in this world. A wave of light emitted from the nearby high school: Equestrian Magic, a source of magical power that originated from the land from which they were exiled.

Her plan was to pose as students at the local high school, participating in the school's ‘battle of the bands’ contest as a vocal grouped named ‘The Dazzlings.’ She then proceeded using her combination of skills in planning, manipulation and of course vocal talent to win over the school.

Without much effort, she soon had a majority of the school under her control. One group by the name of ‘The Rainbooms’ were seen as a possible threat to her, but with almost everyone under their control, the Rainbooms were powerless against the Dazzlings.

She remembered when she was standing over everyone, looking down at the weak Rainbooms. She was close to gaining all the power she could ever want. This world would soon be hers as soon as she was completely rid of the Rainbooms.

Then she came. Their friend, Sunset Shimmer joined their side. With their powers combined, they were able to launch a wave of magic like she had never witnessed before.

It was a huge wave of light; it took her by surprise, catching her in the center of the blast. It was something she’d never felt before. In the span of several seconds she felt pain, then, nothing.

Initially she was confused; something felt different, the gem she wore around her neck was broken. All her magic, all her power: shattered in an instant. Then came a rush of emotion she’d never felt before, hitting her right in the chest.

The once-Sirens were now nothing more than average mortals.

That day still haunted Adagio. She could have taken revenge, but what was the point? Her life as a siren was over. The life she’d had before was taken away from her, and now there was nothing else she could do but live in this world like everyone else.

The sun outside had risen and was shining brightly throughout Canterlot. Inside Adagio’s room, however, it was nearly pitch black, with her black curtains covering her room in darkness. She was in her bed, by herself, sleeping throughout the evening to the early morning.

Adagio’s phone rang across her room and began to vibrate on her side table. Opening her eyes, she groggily grabbed the phone and set it to snooze for another five minutes.

She could use another hour or two of rest, but she didn’t want to sleep in too long on her first day of the new semester at Canterlot Community College.

She soon emerged from bed, wearing nothing but her bottoms. She went over to the windows in her room and opened up the blinds, allowing the morning sun to light up her room.

Stretching her arms and legs, she went straight to the bathroom and looked at herself in the mirror; her general appearance hadn’t improved in the past three years. The only time she’d have any physical activity is if she needed to go somewhere for class or errands. With her lack of friends, she spent a majority of her free time in the apartment watching TV or reading.

She didn’t pay much mind to her daily diet either, usually eating takeout, junk food, and excessive sweets. Her arms and thighs, which were razor thin not so long ago, now were thick and flabby. Her taut, sculpturesque stomach jutted out, hanging limply over her waist.

She hesitantly went over to the scale, despite knowing what it would say. Standing on it, she groaned as it read just over two-hundred pounds.

“Yup, still fat.” She sighed.

Stepping off the scale, she went over to the shower and turned it on, allowing the bathroom to steam up for a minute before stepping in.
Inside the shower, she quickly cleaned herself off before grabbing a large bottle of conditioner. She may have let herself go, but there was no way she was going to let her hair go as well.

She covered her hair in several layers of conditioner, letting it sit in for a few minutes. She remained standing in the shower, then began humming. Every morning she would hum a generic tune, then make an attempt to sing.

“AaaaaahhAAHHH—” She stopped when her voice cracked.

She sighed again, and began to rinse the conditioner out of her hair.

After finishing up in the bathroom, she walked back into her bedroom and got dressed. Some tight black pants, a purple long sleeve top, her old worn purple boots, and the choker she’d had for centuries. A fake gem rested in the place of what she’d had before.

She quickly went back into the bathroom and looked at herself in the mirror. She may not be the siren she once was, but she damn well was not going to stop being herself.

Leaving the bathroom and passing by her bedroom, she went into her kitchen area, where she prepared herself a healthy breakfast—at least by Adagio’s definition—which was a bowl of cereal with milk.

She quickly took down her meal and grabbed her bag. Checking inside, she made sure she had the necessary materials for class today. She then placed her bag on her back, grabbed her phone and keys, and went out the front door.

Walking out of her upper level apartment, she made her way down the stairs and across the parking lot to the sidewalk. The college itself didn’t have dorms like a university, but her apartment complex was only a few blocks away from campus.

She passed other students, but didn’t interact with anyone along the way. She placed her attention instead on the environment around her; it was shortly past Hearth's Warming Eve, but the weather was warmer than usual. Walking along the sidewalk, she passed underneath a few trees and past other individuals walking slowly along her route.

Passing the local book and record store, she soon made it onto campus. Walking down the hill past the parking lot, she went across campus and into the arts building where her class was. The halls were crowded, but she entered an empty classroom and slumped into a seat near the back of the room.

It would be nearly half an hour before class started, which gave her plenty of time to skim through her textbook to get an idea of what to expect from the class. She pulled her bag open, rummaging for her book before plopping the bag into the seat next to her to mark her territory.

After a few minutes, students began to arrive and sit in the unoccupied seats; Adagio paid no attention to any of them, keeping to herself.
Soon after, the instructor came in, wearing a long black dress with a dark blue cardigan on top of it. Completing the outfit was a pair of thick glasses over her face. She looked like an instructor from a fancy art school rather than a community college.

The class was nearly full by that time. Adagio quickly looked over the students that had come in; most of them looked like first years out of high school.

The instructor then stood up at the podium at the front of the class.

“Looks like almost everyone is here. Let’s get started.” She adjusted her glasses. “I am Ms. Rose, and I will be your instructor for Introduction to Art.”

She placed a thin folder on her podium and twirled a pen in her left hand. “While you will do individual work throughout the semester, I also ask that you all work together every once in a while. Therefore, I will assign you each a partner to work with throughout the semester as I call roll. The person whose name I call along with yours will be your partner for all team assignments. Is that clear?”

“Clear,” a few students murmured, unsure whether or not they were supposed to answer.

Great, Adagio said to herself, bitterly. I can see this class will be fun already.

Adagio kept her face in her book, not giving her attention to any of the students.

“Let’s see here,” the instructor said opening the folder. “When I call your names, just raise your hand and say here, present, whatever works for you.” She cleared her throat. “Lyra and Bon Bon?”

“Yes!” said two girls in the classroom, they sat next to each other and held their hands high in the air.

Rose raised an eyebrow at the two, but then went back to calling roll and putting students into teams.

“Troy and Canvas?”

“Here,” a burly guy said in a heavy accent, raising his hand timidly. From the sound of his accent, it sounded like he came from the East, most likely raised outside of Equestria.

“Present,” a smaller guy said at the back of the class near Adagio. He only raised his hand about halfway before bringing it down.

“So far so good,” Rose said. “Adagio and—”

“Sorry I’m late!” A girl barged into the classroom, interrupting Rose. She breathed heavily underneath the motorcycle helmet she wore over her head, sounding like she’d sprinted to class.

“First time here?” Rose asked, tilting her head.

“Yes. Sorry, ma’am.”

“It’s fine. Please take your seat. Also I hope you don’t plan to keep that helmet on.”

“Oh.” She laughed. “I didn’t even realize. Sorry.”

A few students giggled.

Rose sighed, and went back to taking roll. “As I was saying… Adagio and Sunset?”

That name.

Adagio looked around the classroom and then focused on the girl in the motorcycle helmet. She wore a black leather jacket that looked familiar. The girl took off her helmet, and her long red and yellow hair fell down, and she saw that familiar face. It was Sunset Shimmer.

“A-Adagio?” Sunset’s jaw dropped, immediately noticing in Adagio in the back.

They both made eye contact. Adagio glowered at her menacingly. The woman who ruined everything was right here in front of her.

“Is something wrong Adagio?” Rose asked, breaking in-between the two.

Adagio shook her head, re-focusing her attention on Rose.

“We can’t work together,” Adagio said to her.

“What, do you have a restraining order against Sunset?” Rose asked with a flash in her eye.

Adagio had always acted like she was too cool for her classes, and the sour look on her face was delicious.

“I wish,” Adagio said.

“Well, wishes aren’t a solid legal foundation and I’m not staying up all night tonight redoing my partner lists, so you two will be working together.” Rose then looked at Sunset. “Take your seat next to her, Sunset.”

“Uhh… Thanks,” Sunset said, walking to the back of the classroom and standing next to the table where Adagio was seated. Adagio glared at her, not saying a word as Sunset sat next to her.

“H-hi Adagio,” Sunset whispered.

“I have nothing to say to you, Sunset Shimmer,” Adagio huffed.

Rose continued calling roll in class. Students were shifting seats throughout the classroom, but soon everyone was settled and they began their first lesson.

“Okay, students, see you all Wednesday,” Rose said. The students in the classroom began packing their bags.

Adagio meanwhile was already packed and was the first to leave. Sunset quickly packed her bags and began chasing after Adagio in the hall.

“Hey, Adagio! Wait up!” Sunset said, catching up with her.

“What do you want now? Didn’t I tell you to leave me alone?” Adagio grumbled.

“I just wanted to know what you are doing today.”

“Dropping this class first off, then going to my next class.” Adagio began walking away from Sunset before she grabbed her arm and pulled her back.

“Do you have a few minutes to talk? I am not asking for forgiveness, but we are going to have to work together throughout this class.”

“That’s not going to be a problem when I drop it.” Adagio withdrew her arm from Sunset.

“Please? I just want to talk, no more than a few minutes” Sunset clasped her hands together, in a begging pose.

“Hmm.” Adagio placed her hand over her chin. “I’ll make a deal with you Sunset.”

“Okay…?” Sunset tilted her head. “What kind of deal?”

“I’ll have that talk with you. If I stick around for more than ten minutes then I will stay in the class with you, and we can work together.”

“What happens if I can’t do that?” Sunset asked.

“If I get sick and tired of you and leave, or am not impressed after ten minutes.” Adagio grinned. “You will be the one dropping the class.”

“That doesn’t seem very fair.” Sunset crossed her arms.

“Neither was taking away my power. Plus, you seemed so confident earlier.” Adagio extended her hand in front of Sunset. “Take it or leave it. I drop the class now, or you can talk to me and take a risk yourself. If you’re honest about wanting to get to know ‘the real me’ or whatever it is you want rather than just trying to get rid of your guilt…”

Adagio let the word hang in the air for a moment before smirking. “What’s a little challenge?”

Sunset looked at Adagio’s hand and gulped; it was a risk, but it was her only chance. She slowly extended her hand and shook Adagio’s.


“Good.” Adagio smiled, and withdrew her hand. “We’re also going to talk at the campus coffee shop. You're buying, by the way.”

“What?” Sunset’s jaw dropped. “N-no fair!”

Adagio grinned.

“C’mon, let’s go.”

Adagio then turned around and walked toward the exit of the hall, with Sunset following behind her. Adagio had no idea why Sunset had such an interest in her, but she decided to have some fun and play her little game.

After walking out of the arts building and across campus, the two entered a small coffee shop that was located in a small separate side building. Sunset ordered (and paid for) two lattes, and Adagio picked her usual spot and sat at one end, with Sunset sitting across from her.
Adagio took out her phone and placed it on the table. On the screen displayed a timer. “Last chance to back out, Sunset Shimmer.”

“I said I accepted the deal,” she replied, taking a sip of her coffee.

“A woman who sticks to her word; I like that.” Adagio tapped the screen and the timer began. “You have ten minutes. Go.”

Sunset closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and began making her case.

“Okay, I know it seems a bit weird that I want to talk to you—”

“That’s for sure,” Adagio said cutting off Sunset.

“Can you let me talk?” Sunset huffed.

“Oh, you can talk. However, I didn’t say I couldn’t talk back during these ten minutes. Go ahead.”

“As I was saying, I just wanted to say I sort of used to be in your position. I was nothing but a power hungry bitch when I was originally thrown into this world. We’ve both been there, being exiles from our home.”

“So, what? Am I supposed to be impressed and feel touched that you used to be like me? You tried to control a high school and failed. Big deal. Whatever you did in the past can’t compare to what I have done. Nor are you fooling anyone with the motorcycle, goody two shoes.” Adagio chuckled.

“N-no, I’m not trying to impress you!” Sunset said, red-faced. “And I have the bike because I like it. It’s just, our circumstances aren’t entirely the same, but I still know what it’s like.”

“I am a little surprised to hear you’re an exile though. How’d a straight-laced girl like you get herself the boot?” Adagio raised her eyebrow.

“Well, not an exile exactly.” Sunset twiddled her fingers. “It’s more like I ran, but I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be welcome back, so I stayed here.”

“Of all the places, you chose to stay here?”

“I’ve had problems with The Princess in the past. If there’s one pony you don’t want to cross, it’s definitely her. I’ve managed to make some small amends with her last Hearth's Warming Eve, though.”

“That’s it?”

“Well, I also have friends here, and a place I can call home.” Sunset took a sip of her coffee. “I felt like an outsider ever since I settled here a few years ago. I’m also not on the best terms with my parents. You can say that’s why I sort of call myself an exile.”

“Surely you had some past friends in Equestria?”

“Well, some, but they are not like my friends here. Let me get back to the point.”

“Okay.” Adagio checked the timer. “You already wasted a quarter of your time.”

Sunset gritted her teeth.

“Back when I was in high school, I wanted power like you, and I did eventually gain it. I became something more powerful than I ever imagined.”

“Felt good, didn’t it?” Adagio smiled.

“It did, but I also had to lose something to gain that power.” She paused. “I felt like I lost a part of myself.”

“Some sacrifices have to be made. You wanted that power in the first place, right?”

“Yes.” Sunset nodded. “It’s what I wanted, but, like you, I had that power taken from me, and I felt something I’ve never felt before.”

“The burning pain of magic ripping away your power?” Adagio said.

“No.” Sunset shook her head. “Being human.”

“Uhh…” Adagio tilted her head while raising an eyebrow. “What?”

“Tell me Adagio: When The Rainbooms and I took away your power, what did you feel?”

“Hmm.” Adagio leaned back on her chair, rubbing her chin. “Confusion at first. The girls and I tried to sing, but then we failed, and then I felt… Loss, and once the crowd booed at us…” She paused. “Rejection.”

“What were those feelings? What do they make?” Sunset asked.

“Emotions. Those were emotions, my emotions.” Adagio muttered.

“And emotions are what make us what we are: human.”

The two went silent for a short time. Adagio crossed her arms and looked down at the timer, she only had a few minutes left. She could just end this and walk away, saying she had no more interest in what Sunset was talking about, but then she would only be lying to herself.

“Okay, that’s nice and all,” Adagio said, breaking the silence. “Get to your point before you have to drop your class.”

“Adagio, this may seem out of nowhere, but I want to be your friend.”

“I thought you didn’t need my forgiveness? Now you are asking to be my friend?” Adagio asked.

“Yes, it’s weird, but even with our differences, you and I are also alike. We are both outsiders in this world. We have both lost something we wanted, but gained so much more afterwards, don’t you agree?”

Adagio got up and stood over Sunset, looking her in the eye.

“Get this into your head, Sunset: You are nothing like me.”

Sunset gulped, looking up at Adagio.

“You haven’t lived for multiple lifetimes, nor are you truly an exile from Equestria, only an outcast. Not to mention you aren’t really a human, you’re really a…”

She paused. She thought she knew what she was about to say, but suddenly her memory went blank. The world she and Sunset were from, what did reside there? It certainly wasn’t humans, but something…

“Adagio?” Sunset waved her hand in front of Adagio’s face. “Were you going to say something?”

Adagio sat down and did her best, trying to think hard. Before she lost her powers, she was able to hold multiple lifetimes of information. Once she lost her powers however, her mind was like any other young adult; it could only hold so many memories before some were forgotten.

“Uhh… You know what I mean.” Adagio crossed her arms and looked to the side.

Sunset looked at Adagio, puzzled. One minute she was confident and looking down at Sunset, and then suddenly she looked like she was lost, almost defensive. It was almost as if…

“You don’t remember, do you?” Sunset asked.

“I didn’t forget anything,” Adagio said, rolling her eyes for effect but tensing up.

“What was I before Adagio? There were plenty of us in Equestria, you should know.”

“I-I don’t need to say it.”

“Uh-huh, so what would you think if I said Equestria was populated by talking magical ponies?”

“What? That’s ridic—” Adagio paused. The instant Sunset mentioned ponies, some of her old memories came back. “T-that’s right, somehow…” She placed her hand over her forehead, beginning to get a headache. “Though it only opens up more questions in my mind.”

“You did lose your memories,” Sunset said.

“When you took my power,” Adagio said, rubbing her temples. “I was not just confused from losing my power and abilities, but I suddenly forgot about a lot of things, my long past included.” She paused, frowning. “While I was seeking power, I honestly don’t remember why I wanted it in the first place, I… I don’t even know where I was from other than a place called Equestria, not here, but somewhere else.”

“I’m sorry Adagio,” Sunset placed her hand on top of Adagio’s. Adagio tensed at first, then stared at it curiously. “At the time we didn’t really c—” Sunset choked down the word ‘care,’ “think about how you might suffer afterwards. And, well, you had to be stopped. We had to protect everyone.”

“Yeah, you’re so noble now that your first plan didn’t work out, aren’t you? Whatever. It is what it is. You had your goals, I had mine, and I lost,” Adagio said.

“I wish we could have done something different, but I guess that's too late now,” Sunset said.

Adagio nodded, then looked at her phone on the table, seeing the timer was over ten minutes, near fifteen. Sunset looked down at it too, then back at Adagio.

Her time was up.

“So, what’s the final verdict?” Sunset asked.

Adagio looked at Sunset. She didn’t exactly know what she’d gotten from the conversation. Sure, she understood that Sunset wanted to be friends with her. Was she really so pathetic that even her enemies pitied her?

On the other hand, Adagio could spot a liar easily and Sunset seemed genuine, if a bit foolish. She would admit however, it was definitely the most interesting discussion she’d had on campus in recent months.

“We’ll call it a draw,” Adagio declared.

“A draw?” Sunset said, puzzled. “What does that mean?”

“Well, I am not sure what to take from our conversation, but you are better than what I expected Sunset. Therefore I will stay in class with you, though I can’t promise if we can work well together or not.”

“Can we still be friends?” she asked.

“I’m not sure about that.” Adagio sighed. “But we can remain acquaintances at least, which is an achievement in itself.”


“I have no friends or anyone I can really depend around here; I keep to myself.”

“Whatever happened to your other friends? Aria and Sonata?”

“That’s a story for another time, but I can just tell you we split the day we were defeated.”

“I see.”

“Anyway, Sunset.” Adagio got up from her seat with her coffee. “I have another class soon, we will talk again Wednesday, after class.”

“Thank you for allowing me to talk to you, Adagio.” Sunset smiled.

“Yeah, sure,” Adagio huffed.

“Well, um… See ya.” Sunset waved.

“Bye,” Adagio said, leaving Sunset alone in the coffee shop.

Walking to her next class, Adagio couldn’t stop thinking about Sunset. While she had that stereotypical good-girl attitude to her, she could tell she was smart, independent, and maybe still had a bit of a bad side to herself?

Maybe having her stick around for now wouldn’t be too bad.

Author's Note:

Special thanks to editors Madeline L-Equine and Gardrek for helping with this chapter.

The original characters Troy and Canvas are from the Brushed Away series, created by TheVClaw.