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Hidden Voices
205716


Writer(s) Harmony Charmer
Type/genre Romance
Featuring Sweetie Belle,Button Mash,Diamond Tiara
Story link(s)
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After Sweetie Belle and Button Mash became a couple, Diamond Tiara has been giving them a harder time than usual. Finally, when Sweetie finally confronts her on the matter, Diamond takes it as a challenge and makes a dare with her: if Sweetie Belle manages to win the upcoming talent show, Diamond will leave them alone. But, if Diamond wins, she gets Button to herself!

Style

Summary

Will Button and the Crusaders get Sweetie to perform?

Characters

  • Sweetie Belle
  • Button Mash
  • Diamond Tiara

Story

"Oh, Squeaky Wheel!"

Sweetie Belle cringed as she heard the all-too-familiar voice and she tried not visibly show fear as she turned to face who was staring her down. Her green eyes met the icy blue ones of her tormentor, who was grinning maliciously at her with two sickeningly perfect rows of white teeth.

"What's the matter, Squeaks?" Diamond Tiara taunted, "Got nothing to say?"

Sweetie Belle narrowed her eyes at her. "Don't you have something better to do than bother me?"

Diamond feigned taking offense. "Why, I'm just saying hello! Isn't that what friends do?"

Sweetie rolled her eyes. "My friends don't call me 'Squeaky Wheel'."

"That?" Diamond waved a hoof. "Just friendly teasing!"

"Yeah." Sweetie turned away from her. "Sure."

"Leave 'er alone, Diamond!" shouted Apple Bloom, who rushed to Sweetie's side.

"Yeah!" concurred Scootaloo, who followed after Apple Bloom.

Diamond put her hooves to her face in fake shock. "Oh, no, it's the Crusaders!" She swayed dramatically. "What am I going to do?" She put her hooves down and gave them a peeved look. "Seriously, what do you think you can do or say that will make me stop?"

Scootaloo narrowed her eyes at her. "Don't you have Silver Spoon to talk to? I'm sure she wouldlove to hear you whine."

Diamond glowered at her. "She's late." She added to herself quietly, "useless..."

Sweetie sighed. "Whatever, Diamond. I'm gonna go before you whine our ears off."

"Wow, that's so clever!" Diamond exclaimed as Sweetie trotted off, "I love how original you are, Squeaky Wheel!"

Sweetie didn't reply and she only remained silent as she made her way over to the eating tables, Scootaloo and Apple Bloom following immediately after.

"Dude, why didn't you say something back to her?" Scootaloo asked as she took a seat next to Sweetie, "She was being totally mean!"

"She's always like that," Sweetie said in a flat tone, "I'm used to it."

"Just 'cause yer used to it, it doesn't mean it's alright!" Apple Bloom argued, "Ya gotta stand up for yerself!"

Sweetie sighed. "What's the point? Every time we do, all she does is get nastier and nastier."

"Come on, Sweets," Scootaloo said in a chiding tone, "you can't think like that! Besides, think about all the times we showed up Diamond! That's gotta mean somethin'!"

Sweetie lightened up a bit. "I guess you're right about that." She smiled a little. "Besides, I got you guys to help me out when she's too much for me."

"That, and yer coltfriend," Apple Bloom added.

"Oh, shut up," Sweetie said with a roll of her eyes, "you're just mad because you're lonely."

Before Apple Bloom could respond, Scootaloo said, "Speak of the Devil."

Immediately, Sweetie Belle turned to the entrance of the schoolyard and she couldn't help but smile. Standing there in his usual dorkish manner, was Button Mash, her special somepony. He was looking especially adorkable with his propellor cap and saddlebags, no doubt full of different games instead of assigned homework.

"Hey, Button!" Sweetie called out.

He turned towards her and almost immediately smiled as he caught sight of her. Sweetie felt a flutter in her stomach as she looked at his smile and refrained from blushing furiously.

"Hiya, Sweets!" Button greeted as he trotted over to the three Crusaders.

Scootaloo spared Button's saddlebags a glance. "Lemme guess: you brought your Joyboy instead of your homework again?"

"What?" Button blurted out, "No way!" He dug around in his bag and pulled out not one, but two Joyboys. "I brought two!"

"Mind explainin' why?" Apple Bloom asked, a brow arched in questioning.

"Duh," Button said with an eyeroll, "So Sweets can play with me!"

"Aw, you're so sweet!" Sweetie told him as she leaned over and kissed him on the cheek.

"Miss Cheerilee!" called out a scathing voice, "Button and Sweetie are kissing again!"

Sweetie Belle narrowed her eyes. "Diamond..."

Button rolled his eyes. "Yeesh, jealous, much?"

"Sweetie Belle, Button Mash, separate now!" called out Miss Cheerilee, who spared the two of them a harsh glare.

Sweetie sighed. "I can't even spend the morning with my coltfriend without Diamond ruining it..."

"They're still sitting together!" Diamond shouted, loud enough to where everyone could hear.

"I'm moving, I'm moving!" Button exclaimed as he walked away from the picnic table, "I'll talk to ya later, Sweets."

"OK." Sweetie Belle sighed. "Good thing Diamond doesn't know about the Joyboys..."

"Huh?" Scootaloo questioned, "What're you talking about?"

Sweetie Belle didn't reply immediately. Oddly enough, she quickly looked around the three of them, as if she were checking to see if anyone was listening. When she saw that no one was, she quickly flipped open the Joyboy and clicked a couple buttons before showing the screen to Scootaloo and Apple Bloom.

"There's this chatroom thing on the Joyboys," Sweetie explained quietly, "as long as you're not too far from each other, you can send little messages to each other without talking out loud."

"Whoa, cool!" Scootaloo commented, "Is that why he brought it?"

"Kinda," Sweets told her, "that, and I wanted to play some Legend of Zelda."

Apple Bloom gave her a deadpan look. "Yeesh, y'all are nerds."

Sweets shrugged. "I'm confident in that fact." She looked back down at her screen and giggled. "Heh, Button just told me that Diamond's mane looks like Ganondorf's!"

"Who?" Scootaloo and Apple Bloom asked simultaneously.

Sweetie waved a hoof. "Legend of Zelda character, you wouldn't know him."

"Oh, it's a guy?" Apple Bloom said, "Shots fired, then."

Sweetie Belle didn't comment as she clicked on the buttons for a moment and put it down with a satisfied smile. "It's a good thing Diamond doesn't know about these things. Celestia knows what she'd do."

Suddenly, the loud ring of the school bell resonated through the air, signifying it was time for class to begin. Sweetie put the Joyboy in her saddlebags. "Come on, we gotta go in."

And with that, the three Crusaders went into the schoolhouse, completely unaware of the silver-maned filly that had heard their conversation.

"They did what?" Diamond blurted out.

It was lunch hour, and it was the first time that Silver Spoon had managed to get to talk to Diamond, what with her being late. Thankfully, Silver's chewing out for arriving late didn't last long when she told Diamond what she had heard Sweetie tell her friends.

"Yeah, right?" Silver said, "Because of those stupid games they keep talking to each other even when they're separated." She turned to Diamond. "Maybe it's 'cause it isn't the first time you've done it."

Diamond growled silently. "Even when I get them away from each other, they're still conspiring together!" She huffed. "Why does she get to have him?"

"What?" Silver questioned.

"Nothing," Diamond dismissed, "I just hate that those two get to spend time together."

"Um, why?" Silver asked, "Why does it bother you so much?"

Diamond narrowed her eyes at her. "None of your business, that's why!" She turned her attention to the schoolyard, where she saw Button and Sweetie "playing" on their Joyboys. "Ugh, those two think they're so clever with their stupid, weird chat thing on their stupid, weird games!" Diamond felt a heat rise in her as she saw Sweetie giggle, no doubt at something Button had sent her. "That little, connivingwitch!"

"So if it bothers you so much, just get rid of the Joyboy," Silver said nonchalantly, "that way they can't use it anymore."

Diamond cooled almost immediately after she said that. "Oh. Yeah, that could work."

Silver was somewhat surprised by the sudden change in emotion. "Uh, OK. But, how are you going to--" She stopped talking as Diamond walked off. "Or just ignore what I'm saying, yeah, that's something to do."

Meanwhile, Sweetie Belle was unaware of the incoming threat coming her way as she continued to play her game. She was nearing the end of a dungeon, something that she had had trouble with for the past while. But, finally, she was going to get past that difficult level and tell Button all about--

Suddenly, the game was gone from her sights and out of her hooves, which immediately made her snap out of her gaming mode. "Hey!" she exclaimed, looking up from where her game was, only to see Diamond Tiara. "Give me that back! I was using that!"

Diamond didn't say anything, but instead dropped the game on the ground. But, Sweetie didn't even get a word out before Diamond stomped a hoof onto the device, which left an unmistakable crack and made a sickening crunch.

Sweetie gaped, her eyes wide with shock and horror as she looked down at the broken Joyboy. Diamond only grinned at her. "That'll teach you to try to foil me, Squeaky Wheel."

"You..." Sweetie tried to say, her eyes beginning to water, "You broke it! You broke the Joyboy!"

Everyone turned to look at the two fillies, one of whom was trying really hard not to cry. Finally, after a moment of silence, Sweetie jumped up, tears in her eyes.

"Why do you keep messing with me?" Sweetie exclaimed, "You didn't have to break the Joyboy, you jerk!"

Diamond didn't seem fazed. "Whatever. Just get your parents to buy you a new one."

Sweetie narrowed her eyes. "That Joyboy wasn't even mine! It was--"

"My Joyboy!" Button cried out as he galloped to where his broken game was.

"Wait, what?" Diamond blurted out as she watched Button look at his destroyed game, "I thought it was Squeaky Wheel's!"

Button didn't seem to hear her as he cradled his game in his hooves. "It's OK... You're OK... We'll... We'll just get some tape or something."

"Is he talking to his game?" Diamond asked herself, completely confused by what she was seeing.

Sweetie stamped her hoof. "Diamond, you've gone way too far! Apologize, right now!"

Diamond rolled her eyes. "As if. He's still got another Joyboy, right?"

"It's not just the Joyboy!" Button cried, "Zelda! Zelda's gone!"

"What?" Sweetie exclaimed as she looked at the wreckage, "The game got crushed, too?" She turned back to Diamond. "That makes it even worse!"

Diamond scoffed. "Whatever. Like I said, get your parents to buy you a new one."

"Seriously? Is that all you have to say?" Sweetie shook her head. "You're such a-- You're such a--" She took a deep breath. "You're such a Moblin!"

Diamond blinked. "What?"

"Sweetie Belle!" Button breathed.

"She broke your game, Button!" Sweetie argued.

"I know, but still! Uncalled for!"

Diamond rolled her eyes. "Are we done here? I'd actually like to eat."

Sweetie narrowed her eyes. "That's it! I am sick and tired of you being such jerks to us!" She leaned towards Diamond aggressively. "What do I have to do to make you think you're not better than me? I just want to come to school without having to worry about--" She gestured a foreleg to Button, who was still cradling his game. "--this happening!" She put her foreleg down. "Just tell me why you keep bothering me! What did I ever do to you?"

Diamond narrowed her eyes at Sweetie Belle. "What did you ever do to me?"

Sweetie immediately felt her anger subside when she heard the iciness in Diamond's tone and she backed away slightly as she saw the growing anger in her blue eyes.

"I'll tell you what you did," Diamond growled. She pointed a hoof at Sweetie Belle. "Because you took him from me!"

It took Sweetie Belle a moment to realize that Diamond wasn't point at her, but rather behind her, where Button was, still cradling his game in his hooves. However, as soon as Diamond's meaning reached her, Sweetie couldn't help but blurt out, "Huh?" in the most ridiculous manner.

Diamond let out an annoyed huff. "You heard what I said!" She looked at Button, who had dropped his game in shock of hearing Diamond's confession. "Why should you get to have somepony like him?"

"Now hold up just a second!" shouted Apple Bloom, who had been sitting on the sidelines with everypony else, "Ya mean to say that ya like Button?"

"Wow, and just when I thought I would never feel bad for her," Scootaloo said.

"Hey!" Sweetie, Diamond and Button shouted at the same time, though the two fillies immediately glared at each other as soon as they heard the other.

"You were jealous, so you decided to be a total jerk about it?" Sweetie questioned, "That's stupid! Why on earth would Button like you if you were mean to him?"

"Uh, I'd make my daddy buy him every big game out there?" Diamond said in a flat tone.

Sweetie blinked. "Wow, that might actually work."

"Hey, give me some credit here!" Button exclaimed as he stepped up to Sweetie's side. He paused. "Wait, would consoles be included?"

"Yes," Diamond told him.

Button spared Sweetie a glance. "She's got a point."

Sweetie rolled her eyes before returning her attention to Diamond. "So, what? You're just going to make us miserable until you get your way?"

"It's worked before, hasn't it?" Diamond asked with an arched brow and a grin.

Sweetie shook her head. "Not this time. You're not gonna get Button on my watch."

Button rose his eyebrows as he grinned. "Looks like I got a bodyguard."

"Shut up."

Diamond narrowed her eyes. "Would you care to make a wager, then?"

"What's a wager?" Scootaloo asked Apple Bloom quietly.

"Why should I make a bet with you?" Sweetie questioned.

"Ooooh," Apple Bloom and Scootaloo said at the same time.

"'Cause if you want to keep Button, you're gonna have to do more than make empty promises," Diamond answered, "so how about we end this once and for all?"

Sweetie narrowed her eyes. "I'll do whatever it takes to make sure you don't get your dirty--" Sweetie spared Diamond's hooves a glance. "Well, actually, really clean, really manicured hooves, but I'm still not letting them on Button!"

"Anything, huh?" Diamond questioned, a brow arched, "So you realize that I'm the one that makes the conditions on this?"

Sweetie faltered for a moment, but she nodded all the same. "OK, fine."

Diamond grinned. "So then I challenge you, Sweetie Belle, to compete against me in the upcoming school talent show!"

Everyone in the entire area gasped collectively, then immediately began to whisper amongst themselves. Except for Sweetie Belle, who seemed to have frozen on the spot.

"If you win, you get to keep Button for yourself," Diamond said in a dramatic manner, "but, if Iwin, I get to have him." She smirked. "Is that a deal?"

"I--" Sweetie Belle stammered, "I-I..."

"She accepts!" Button exclaimed as he leaped in front of Sweetie.

"What?!" Sweetie blurted out, completely shocked.

"Great!" Diamond proclaimed, "I'll see you at the show!"

"Wait, but I didn't--" Sweetie tried to say, but she went silent when she saw that Diamond wasn't listening. Almost immediately, she turned to face Button. "Why'd you do that?"

"I am not going to be a lapdog for her!" Button exclaimed, "I absolutely refuse to lower myself to wearing cute outfits of her choosing and sitting silently next to her!"

Sweetie narrowed her eyes. "Do you even know what you just did? Do you even know why this is such a big deal?"

"What, do you have stage fright or something?" Button questioned with a roll of his eyes.

"Yes!" Sweetie exclaimed.

Button blinked. "Oh. Yeah, this is going to be a problem."

"Button, you sir, are an idiot," Apple Bloom said. It was after school, and the three Crusaders, along with Button, were residing in the treehouse.

"How was I supposed to know that Sweetie Belle has stage fright?" Button exclaimed defensively, "She never told me!"

"What I don't get is why," Scootaloo commented, "I mean, you carried a flag with us at the Equestria Games!"

"Because I wasn't singing," Sweetie Belle told her.

"What about that play you wrote and starred in?" Button asked.

"Wasn't singing," Sweetie said in a flat tone.

"Well, what about the talent show--" Apple Bloom tried to say.

"Scoots was singing, not me," Sweetie interrupted, her eyes narrowing, "and I thought we agreed never to speak of that again."

"Right, sorry," Apple Bloom said, "but I don't get why it's such a big deal! You sing with us all the time!"

"Yeah, with you guys!" Sweetie argued, "I never sing by myself in front of ponies I don't know!"

"Actually, I've never heard you sing," Button commented.

"And you might never get to because I doubt I'll ever want to show my face in Ponyville again when this is all over!" Sweetie exclaimed, "Everypony will laugh at me! I'll be nothing but a laughingstock! And then I'll be left nothing but exile!"

"Sweet Celestia, she's turnin' into Rarity," Apple Bloom commented.

"And then all I'll have to do is wallow in..." Sweetie paused her dramatic performance. "...whatever it is ponies are supposed to wallow in!"

"You realize I can never unsee that comparison?" Button asked Apple Bloom with a deadpan expression.

"Alright, enough of the drama!" Scootaloo exclaimed as she threw her hooves in the air, "We just gotta figure out a way to get Sweetie Belle to perform!"

Sweetie ceased her theatrics almost immediately. "You can't be seriously thinking about making me sing in front of everypony!"

"Who says it has to be singin'?" Apple Bloom asked, "Ya could do somethin' else, ya know."

Sweetie paused. "Oh. Yeah, I can work with that."

"So, what can you do other than singing?" Scootaloo asked. She gasped. "Can you juggle?"

"No," Sweetie Belle answered.

"Can ya dance?" Apple Bloom asked.

"Like you can."

"So, no?"

"Yeah, no."

"What about plate spinning?" Button asked.

"No," Apple Bloom said sternly, "Ah still have flashbacks about them plates..."

"What?" Button questioned.

"Don't ask," Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle said at the same time.

For the next couple of hours, the group of kids all spent their time spitballing different ideas and whether or not Sweetie Belle would be capable of doing said ideas. Of course, half of them were trumped by their personal experience, leaving them with nothing but sticky manes and hides. The other half was trumped by Sweetie's own misgivings on certain ideas, such as jumping through flaming hoops or even being a seal's ball.

"What about making cupcakes?" Apple Bloom asked.

"No," Sweetie Belle answered.

"What about painting?" Button asked.

"Rarity tried to kill last time I tried to paint anything."

"Well, what about lion taming?" Scootaloo asked.

"Stop talkin' about stuff Ah did back when Ah had the Cutie Pox!" Apple Bloom exclaimed, "Seriously, ya guys!"

"First off, sorry," Sweetie Belle commented, "and second, where the hay would I even get a lion?"

"Fluttershy?" Button said with uncertainty.

Sweetie Belle sighed as she collapsed against her chair. "It's no use! We've gone through every single idea we have!"

"Well, maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea to--"

"Button, I am not singing for the talent show!" Sweetie exclaimed, "We've been over this!"

Button furrowed his brows. "What would be so bad about it? It's not like it's a big deal or anything."

"Ya know, Button's kinda right," Scootaloo said, "I mean, you're just singing."

"It's not like that!" Sweetie tried to say.

"But what's the big deal?" Apple Bloom asked, "Ah mean, Scoots didn't have a problem with singin' on stage at the talent show last time and she was terrible!"

"Yeah-- Hey, wait!" Scootaloo shouted.

As her friends continued to talk about how "easy" and "simple" it would be to get on stage and sing, Sweetie Belle silently fumed within herself. Why couldn't they see what an ordeal this was? Couldn't they see what an obstacle this was for her? Couldn't they see the stupid wall that was stopping her?

"It's not easy!" Sweetie exclaimed, "I can't perform in front of ponies, alright? I can't do it!"

Before anypony could protest, it all took them a moment to see that Sweetie was on the verge of tears. Her hooves were shaking violently, and she looked as though she were ready to break down.

"Sweetie Belle--" Apple Bloom tried to say.

"You guys don't get it..." Sweetie said in a broken whisper, "Nopony gets it." Without another word, Sweetie dashed out of the clubhouse, leaving behind three very confused friends.

"Sweetie, wait!" Button exclaimed as he rushed after her.

The sun was setting on the horizon, setting a golden glow across the farmland of Sweet Apple Acres. It didn't seem fitting for Sweetie Belle to rush off into while in such an emotional state, much less with Button chasing after her. Of course, when Button finally managed to catch up to her, Sweetie wasn't running anymore. In fact, she was sitting down in the grass, her back facing him so that he couldn't see her face.

"Sweets?" Button asked quietly as he tried to catch his breath. He wasn't used to running.

Sweetie sighed quietly. "Just leave, Button... You're going to have to get used to it since I've already lost the stupid talent show... There's no way I can perform..."

"But why?" Button asked as he took a seat beside her.

Sweetie turned so he couldn't see her face. "You wouldn't understand... You think it's so easy, but it really isn't..."

"Then make me understand!" Button told her, "I don't like it when you're upset, especially when it's over something I did!"

Sweetie turned towards him with wide eyes. "How is this your fault?"

Button sighed. "I should never have told Diamond that you would do the talent show! You're miserable because of it!"

Sweetie's eyes softened. "It's not your fault, Button. It's just... It's hard to explain, OK?"

"I got time," Button told her simply, "Mom doesn't mind how long I'm out as long as somepony knows where I am."

Sweetie was silent for a moment before replying. "Button, you know how it's easy for you to do stuff without worrying at all?"

"Yeah?"

"Well, I don't have that," Sweetie told him, "for you guys, all you see is whatever it is you want to do." She sighed. "But, what I see is a wall."

"A wall?" Button repeated.

Sweetie nodded. "It's like everypony but me can't see it or feel it. So, whenever ponies tell me to just 'get through it', I can't because--"

"To you there's just a wall," Button finished, "Ooooh, you mean like when you get to a really hard boss battle in a game and no matter how many times you reset the game you can't get through?"

Sweetie rolled her eyes. "Yeah, Button, like that." She looked back at him. "So that's why it's so hard for me to get on stage and perform. That, and everypony is judging me and I have no idea what they're thinking and it freaks me out a little bit..."

"So just imagine everypony naked!" Button told her.

Sweetie gave him a deadpan look. "Almost everypony is naked almost all the time, Button."

"Oh, yeah..." Button murmured to himself. He gasped. "I got an idea! I know just how to make sure you don't get nervous on stage!"

"Really?" Sweetie piped up, "What is it?"

"I can't tell you or it won't work!" Button told her, "You'll find out at the talent show!"

Sweetie furrowed her brows. "I feel like I should worry."

"Fear not, my fair Princess!" Button proclaimed as he stood up and pointed a foreleg to the sky, "I shall not fail thee!"

"And that only sealed it," Sweetie said as her ears flattened against her head, "hopefully this won't end as badly as I think it will..."

"Just you wait, Sweets!" Button told her, "for as long as my name is Button Avery Mash, I will not fail you in my mission to aid you!"

"...Your middle name is what?"

"It's my grandmother's maiden name, OK?!"



Talent Show Night

Sweetie Belle antsily paced backstage as she tried to take soothing breaths. "Where is Button at?"

"Dunno," Apple Bloom told her, "Ah haven't seen him since school let out."

"You said he had a plan to help you, right?" Scootaloo questioned, "Are you sure he's a reliable source when it comes to stuff like this?"

"Hey, now," Apple Bloom said, "he's helped plenty this entire week. He helped Sweetie pick her song, he helped her with her costume, surprisingly enough, and now he's helpin' her to make sure she doesn't get nervous on stage."

"Oh, Squeaky Wheel!" called out Diamond Tiara as she exited the stage, "Good luck beating my performance!"

Sweetie spared Diamond's ridiculously frou frou, sparkly dress a glance. "Was it showing off a dress your daddy bought you?"

Diamond rolled her eyes. "How you underestimate me, Squeaks. If you had been paying attention, you'd notice how I successfully beat you before you even had a shot with my amazing dancing."

"It was pretty nice," Scootaloo commented.

"Scoots!" Apple Bloom hissed before elbowing her.

"What? I'm just being honest."

Diamond scoffed lightly. "Whatever. I'm just gonna go in the audience and wait to collect my prize." She smirked. "I wonder how cute Button will look wearing matching sweaters with me..."

Sweetie tried not to visibly shudder at the thought. "Hideous, I'm sure..."

Diamond didn't seem to hear her and continued on her way off the stage, leaving the three Crusaders to themselves.

"Button, you stupid, adorable idiot, where are you?" Sweetie asked herself.

"Sweets, he's in the audience!" Apple Bloom told her, "What the hay has he got on his face?"

"Sweetie Belle, you're on!" Cheerilee said in her usual blissful manner as she walked by.

Sweetie Belle suddenly felt her hooves turn into lead. "Uh-oh."

"Oh, for the love of-- Here!" Scootaloo unceremoniously shoved Sweetie towards the stage, causing her to stumble rather ungracefully. Sweetie spared Scootaloo a glare before she turned her eyes to the audience, which she almost immediately regretted doing.

Almost every single pony she had ever met was in the crowd. Her big sister Rarity, Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, her parents even, and pretty much every single member of Ponyville. And all of their eyes were on her. Not her and her friends, but just her, by herself on stage.

'It's even worse than I imagined...' Sweetie Belle thought, her eyes wide like a doe.

Suddenly, as her eyes scanned over the crowd, she caught sight of the familiar propellor cap that she had seen everyday for what seemed like a long time. She felt an inkling of ease as she spotted Button at the front of the crowd.

And then almost immediately froze as she looked at his face.

Is that... Is that his dad's fake mustache? Sweetie thought, her nervousness and unease forgotten as she looked at him.

Of course, as soon as Sweetie began to process what she was seeing, she couldn't help but smile at how ridiculous Button looked. And almost immediately, she saw what he had done for her.

Button, you are probably the biggest dork I know,' she thought to herself, 'but thank Celestia I have you.

"Sweets, that was awesome!" Scootaloo exclaimed as she zoomed over to her friend.

"No kiddin'!" Apple Bloom concurred, "You totally kicked flank up there!"

"It was nothing," Sweetie told them with pink-tinged cheeks, "I wouldn't have been able to do it by myself, you know."

"You are so very welcome, by the way!" Button said as he trotted over to Sweetie backstage, still wearing the fake mustache, "I knew you wouldn't be able to get nervous with this bad boy!"

"Does your mom know that you took your dad's mustache?" Sweetie asked with a quirked brow.

"No, and I don't plan on telling her," Button replied, "but you gotta admit that I look cool as 'The Stache'!"

Sweetie giggled. "You're such a dork!"

"Ha ha, laugh it up," said the icy tone of Diamond Tiara, who drug her hooves past them, "but it won't be long 'til they choose the rightful winner."

Sweetie spared Diamond a glance. "Ya know Diamond, I learned something today." She smiled. "It doesn't matter who gets the trophy tonight, because in the end, I won."

"What?" Diamond blurted out icily.

"Because, no matter how many games you buy Button, he's always gonna have my back," Sweetie told her, "and I am so very thankful for that, unlike you."

Diamond flinched. "Remember our deal, Squeaks. When I win, it won't matter anymore."

"Hurry along, girls!" Cheerilee said as she ushered the girls on stage, "Time to announce the winners!"

"I think you mean winner," Diamond corrected as she spared Sweetie a glare.

Sweetie rolled her eyes. "Whatever you say to get you through the night, Diamond."

Both fillies, along with the other contestants, quickly shuffled onstage and nervously twitched under the bright stage lights. Except for Diamond and Sweetie, who were both staring one another down from their side of the stage with the utmost aggression. Anypony watching could deduce that the main battle would be between those two.

"Fillies and gentlecolts," Cheerilee announced, "tonight we had many great acts perform tonight, but as you know, we can only have a select amount of winners."

Sweetie and Diamond intensified their glares, but remained silent nonetheless.

"For Best Magic Act, we have Snips and Snails with their magic act!" Cheerilee announced, holding out two medals with stars on them.

Snips and Snails practically tripped over each other trying to get their medals, which got a couple laughs out of the audience and the fillies and colts on stage, save for Diamond and Sweetie, who remained stoic.

"For Best Dramatic Performance, we have..." Cheerilee paused as she tried to open the envelope. "Hang on a sec folks, technical difficulties."

"Oh, for the love of..." Diamond muttered under her breath.

"Ah, here we are!" Cheerilee proclaimed as she waved the paper, "and for Best Dramatic Performance, we have Sweetie Belle with her melody!"

A chorus of cheers erupted from the audience, which Sweetie soon saw to be her sister and her friends, coupled with the sounds from backstage where the Crusaders and Button were no doubt cheering their heads off.

"You've got to be kidding me!" Diamond hissed angrily.

"And for Best Comedic Performance, we have Diamond Tiara with her hilarious dancing!"

"Oh my, Celestia!" Diamond exclaimed, though everypony thought it was more out of pleasant surprise than out of angry shock.

"Looks like we tied, Diamond," Sweetie said as she walked over to Diamond with her theatre masks medal, "I guess we'll have to compete again, huh?"

Diamond growled. "This isn't over, Squeaky Wheel. I will get Button for myself."

Sweetie grinned victoriously, filled with a confidence she never knew she was capable of having. "Whatever you say, Diamond."

And with that, Sweetie trotted offstage, where her friends had rushed to so that they could meet her there.

"Dude, that's so awesome!" Scootaloo exclaimed, "We can put your medal in the clubhouse!"

"And did you see the look on Diamond's face when they announced your name?" Apple Bloom asked, "It was too perfect!"

Button pulled Sweetie into a hug. "I'm so happy for you!"

Sweetie giggled. "I bet you're just happy that you don't have to wear matching sweaters with Diamond."

Button look horrified. "Don't say such things! That's almost as bad as--"

"Button Avery Mash, are you wearing your father's mustache?!"

"As bad as your mom finding out you took your dad's stuff?" Sweetie finished.

"Yep," Button said with a nod as he nodded his head to the side, "Make a run for the clubhouse?"

Sweetie grinned. "Bet I can beat ya there. I'm feeling pretty lucky today."

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