A Dazzling Mismatch

by Shadowmane PX-41

Chapter 1: The Charity Shop

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"And so when he asked me about how much money I had, I told him I'd work something out," Aria spoke to Adagio and Sonata as the three of them walked down the path through the city of Canterlot. Without their gems, the Dazzlings now had to get everything through hard work, instead of simply singing to get whatever they wanted. "The old man thought he could pull a fast one on me, said that I needed to pay him there and then, but when he saw I didn't have enough money, I tried haggling with him for a better offer. Ended with me getting thrown out of the shop for some reason. Maybe I should have offered something better..."

"Or maybe, you could stop with the grouchy attitude and try being nice for a change, Aria?" Sonata chided.

"Hey! It's not my fault that I'm stone broke and magicless!" Aria shot back. "It's those stupid Rainbooms' fault! So why should we have to be the ones who suffer while they get all the glory?!"

"I dunno. Maybe if you had been a little less of a meanie-pants, then maybe we could've won back then." Sonata shrugged as she put her hands behind her head.

"YOU of all people should be to blame for us losing the Battle of the Bands, Sonata Dusk!" Aria baled her hands into fists and pushed past Adagio just to get to her. "I swear, I'd kick the everloving crap out you right here and now if you weren't a siren like me and Adagio!"

"See, Aria? This is exactly what I mean." Sonata pushed her back. "You're always so grumpy with me!" She stopped in her tracks and planted her feet firmly on the ground. "Oh, Sonata, clean up your room. Sonata, why are your taco wrappers everywhere? Sonata, shut that stupid music up or I'll come in there and shut it up for you!" She did her best impression of Aria, putting her hands on her hips and waving her own hands threateningly.

"That's it!" Aria lunged forward and tackled Sonata, throwing the two of them into a scuffle where they were pulling each others' hairs and slapping each other across the face. "YOU ARE SUCH A BABY, SONATA!"

"YOU'RE ONE TO TALK, YOU BIG BULLY!" Sonata dealt a kick to Aria's chest.

"Girls!" Adagio quickly grabbed both Aria and Sonata by their scruffs, stopping the fight dead in its tracks. "I know we've suffered a major loss at Canterlot High, but bickering like children isn't going to help the situation out at all. As sirens, you should know that we used to feast on anger, not get consumed by it."

"Oh, you're one to talk, Adagio." Aria tried to break free, but all she could do was turn her head towards her. "You were having a massive hissy fit when we got home from the Battle of the Bands over that stupid gem of yours!"

"Hey! So. Were. You." Adagio booped Aria's nose with her middle finger. "I'm still the leader of the Dazzlings, and I can still make all the decisions with or without some little trinket, and as the leader, I order you two to stop fighting and just walk down the street like a normal human would, just for the time being." And she dropped Sonata and Aria back onto the ground. "And no fighting along the way, or I'll have to start restricting what you two do."

"Uggh!" Aria groaned as she marched onward. "I swear, if I was the leader of the Dazzlings, none of this would've ever happened."

"Yeah. If anything, things would've been even worse with you in charge." Adagio huffed.

"Sometimes I wish you could just walk a mile in my shoes, Adagio," Aria's voice had been reduced to nothing more than a low pitched grumble. "If you weren't the leader, you'd see just how much shit I have to go through with you and Sonata on a daily basis..."

"And you think being leader's an easy job, Aria?" Adagio asked. "With all of the tough decisions you have to make, and with two incompetent kids at your side, I think I'd much rather prefer being you instead of me sometimes."

At that remark, Aria fell silent and hunched her arms as she slowly turned back towards Adagio. With her savage smirk on her face, she said, "Is that a challenge, Adagio?"

"Could it be anything else, Aria?" Adagio gave her own wicked smirk as she locked gazes with the purple siren. "It seems like you have a habit of making promises your body can't deliver."

"Oh yeah, Adagio?" Aria stepped forward and crossed her arms. "I think you're just starting to lose confidence in yourself after what happened at Canterlot High. Must be old age or something."

"Excuse me?!" Adagio nearly stumbled backwards at that remark. "I'll have you know that I'm the youngest siren, at just one-thousand, two-hundred and seventy-six years, thank you very much."

"And yet I'm a couple hundred years older than you, so technically, that makes me the eldest, and yet I don't get the position of leader," Aria's tone was very close to hitting deadpan.

"So it's a bet is it?" Adagio got up in Aria's face. "Starting from now, you're the leader of the Dazzlings, and if you can make one good idea before the week's up, you'll get that spot permanently."

"Oh, it is so on, Adagio." Aria glared at her, the two sirens now locking horns with each other. "I bet by the end of this week, you'll be eating out of the palm of my hand with how amazing I am at making decisions."

"Don't I get a say in this?" Sonata raised a finger of her own.

"No, Sonata. This doesn't concern you." Both Adagio and Aria spoke in unison with each other before they stared at each other with wide eyes.

"Alrighty then, Aria. What's your first big and special decision going to be?" Adagio mocked as she took a few steps back and stood next to Sonata.

"We're gonna get back on top, that's how. But we can't do it without some fresh identities, and some clean clothes..." Aria looked down and reviled at the clothes that she had been wearing ever since they came to the human world. They weren't anything special by any means, but they were still hers. "These things? They're nice, but I feel like they've gone out of fashion. So, we've gotta get some new clothes that match us better."

"But Aria, those clothes were the only ones we could find that fit us perfectly," Sonata rubbed down the sides of her skirt. "And besides, the guy who gave us these were kind enough to sew me and Dagi's Cutie Marks onto them too."

"Sonata, you shouldn't call your logo a Cutie Mark. It makes you seem too girly," Aria scoffed.

"But I like being girly..." Sonata hung her head.

"Anyway, we're burning daylight here. We've gotta get moving before the stupid charity shop closes." Aria wasted no time in continuing her root march down the sidewalk, with Adagio and Sonata following closely behind her.

"A charity shop, Aria?" Adagio joked. "I had no idea your first decision was gonna be helping those in need." she stifled a tiny chuckle, putting her hand over her mouth. "Maybe being a leader's not your thing?"

"Hah! In your dreams, Adagio," said Aria. "And besides, where do you expect me to go? The classy shops? Fat chance of that."

"Good point." Adagio stared mainly at Aria's pocket where her wallet just barely hung out of it. She was mainly looking at the little pouch where dollar bills would be kept, and grinned when she saw nothing.

Later, the Dazzlings found themselves in the commercial district of Canterlot City. Shops and restaurants of all different names, shapes, and sizes stretched out into the streets beyond. There wasn't many people, as it was getting later, and a few of the shops were already starting to close after serving their last customers.

"Oh, by the way, girls," Aria started, "buying this stuff isn't gonna be easy, so I'm gonna need you two to help chip in on this."

"Why? Is it because you're the only one who can't afford it?" Adagio had another concealed laugh.

"Shut it, Adagio. You gave me the leader role, and I'll be damned if I'm not gonna use it," Aria didn't even turn her head as she addressed her. "Now, quit with the funny stuff and tell me how much you and Sonata got."

"I have a couple of tens in here," Adagio pulled out her golden wallet and opened it up. "I was gonna use them for something more casual, but since this is such an urgent matter..."

"Are you just gonna keep being sarcastic for the whole week?" Aria raised an eyebrow as she examined Adagio's money.

"Well, what can I say? That's what it feels like to be the second-in-command brat who doesn't want to follow orders."

"Just keep quiet, Adagio. I'm in control now, and I'm not about to waste this opportunity." Aria cracked a smile as Adagio handed her the money. "What about you, Sonata? How much you got?"

"Just a five." She said as she got out her own wallet and revealed her money. She wasted no time in giving it to her new leader. "I spent the rest of it on tacos in case you're wondering."

"Which I wasn't. Seriously, it's always tacos with you, Sonata." Aria grasped the money tight in her hand and slipped it into her own wallet. "But anyway, this is decent. It's not great, but it should get us some new threads before we start our long climb to the top. And who knows? We might just have enough left over to buy a present for the two of you." She then leaned in close to Sonata. "Might."

"So where is this charity shop, Aria?" Adagio asked after passing by a few more closing shops.

"It's been a while since I've seen it, so I can't recognize the name. But I do remember that they always have these cheesy baby toys on display along with some rags." Aria used her fingers to list off each of the different features of the building. "They had green walls, a wooden door, a white interior—"

"And our pendants?" Sonata blurted out.

"And our—wait, what?!" Aria choked on the words and craned her neck towards Sonata, who was simply gazing into a window.

"Look, girls! There they are!" Sonata pointed it out, causing both Adagio and Aria to look in as well.

Every detail was perfect about them. From the smooth curves on each of the five points, to the golden buckle on a leather collar from which they hung, right down to the miniscule circle at the centre of each gem that held it all together. They were perfect replicas of the Dazzlings' old pendants that had been destroyed at Canterlot High.

"No... Freaking... Way..." Aria's mouth dropped when she got a closer look at it. She then pushed herself off the window and charged towards the front door. "Screw the clothes! We're getting those pendants! The Dazzlings are back on top!"

Neither Adagio nor Sonata could contain themselves either. With smiles back on their faces, they followed Aria into the shop and didn't even spend any time looking at any of the other clothes, knick-knacks, or toys that were up for sale inside. They were more focused on the gems, and they quickly took them off of the displays and took them to the counter.

"How much for these?" They all said in perfect sync.

The shopkeeper, a grizzled gray man with black hair, a golden suit, a black top-hat, and a single fang hanging out of his mouth said, "What? These little gems? Well. I'd be happy to part with them. They've been giving me nothing but grief for the past few months." He laid his arms out on the counter and put his hands together. "For such sweet, innocent, and desperate girls like yourselves, I'm only charging twenty five dollars for these little things."

"Sweet! That's totally in our budget!" Aria hastily ripped her wallet out from her pocket again and literally threw Adagio and Sonata's money at the man. "We'll take them!"

"Wonderful!" He quickly took the dollars, ironed out the creases with an actual iron that he had been using to do his own clothes in the room just behind him, and put them into the cash register. "Pleasure doing business with you ladies."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah." Aria already took the first pendant and slipped it around her neck, clipping the collar up at the back.

"Thank you so much for this, sir." Sonata shook the man's hand as she and Adagio took the other pendants and put them on.

"No, no. Thank you for helping me sell those eyesores." He gracefully returned the gesture. "I was gonna have a nervous breakdown if I didn't sell those gems soon, and you girls just helped me out of a real pickle back there."

"Oh, well in that case, you're welcome, sir," said Sonata in her bubbly voice.

"Much oblidged, ladies. Oh, and please, call me Discord." He took his hat off and did a bow as Adagio, Aria, and Sonata fitted themselves and walked out the door. "Have a good evening, ladies!"

The Dazzlings walked out of the shop with springs in their steps. What they had lost back at Canterlot High was now back where it belonged. They had the power to sing to manipulate others once again, and Aria herself was abundant with energy.

"So, what should we do now?" Adagio adjusted her new pendant until she was happy with the way it rested on her neck.

"Let's try to sing again. Break them in before we start using them for real." Aria squeezed her gem inbetween her middle finger and thumb. "I wanna see if these are actually the real deal, so all of that happiness we had wasn't for nothing, y'know?"

"It would be nice to sing after all that's happened to us..." Sonata sighed as she softly rubbed the front of her new crystal.

The Dazzlings all took a deep breath and tried to sing a note. Much to their dismay, however, their voices were still out of time, out of sync, and even out of tone. They stopped themselves after two notes, noticing that they hadn't changed a bit since putting them on.

"Hmm... Maybe they've gotta warm up a bit?" Sonata tried rubbing the pendant in the palms of her hands.

"Or maybe they're just some cheap knock-offs," Adagio facepalmed as the realization struck her. "Way to go, Aria. You spent all of our money on cheap replicas that don't even work. Flawless leadership right there, let me tell you."

"Hey, shut up, Adagio. It's not my fault that these things don't work yet!" Aria grumbled as she held the gem in one of her hands and repeatedly punched it with the other. "Come on, you worthless piece of ruby! Make us great singers again!"

"That's not gonna work," said Adagio, bluntly.

"Do you have any better ideas, Adagio?" Aria kept on punching it, failing to notice a faint glow emanate from her gem at the start. The glow eventually got brighter and brighter, before it was impossible to conceal. "Oh. Never mind..."

The same radiant light poured from both Adagio and Sonata's pendants as well, getting more and more blinding by the second. It escalated until it consumed all three of the Dazzlings, who all had their smirks back as they let themselves get consumed by the bright flash of light.

However, unbeknownst to them, tiny little lightning bolts shot out of the gems, connecting with the others, like a small web. The energy manifested in all three of the crystals before a powerful surge was sent through each bolt to the neighbouring pendants.

Adagio, Aria, and Sonata had trouble trying to keep their focus as the light now became too bright for them to handle. They tried to close their eyes to get away from the red glow, but even that wasn't enough to stop the radiant shine of their pendants. They struggled to stay awake as they could see nothing but red. It got brighter, and brighter, and brighter, until they could only see white.

And then, all of a sudden, they passed out, quickly being blanketed by darkness as their unconscious bodies crumpled up onto the floor.

Next Chapter: New Bodies Estimated time remaining: 2 Hours, 5 Minutes
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