Iconic Portrait had to admit it to himself. Indigo Zap's game face was both cute and intimidating. Her cocky grin. Her one eyebrow arched up. Her goldenrod eyes staring straight into his. He had to make sure she didn't see him blushing and gulping at the same time.
"Say, before we start..." Indigo began with confident glee. "... why don't we make the game a little more interesting?"
"What did you have in mind?"
"One game each. Highest scorer gets one request granted from the lowest..." She winked. "... which is going to be you, just so you know."
Iconic smiled. A request, eh? "Fine by me."
"You can go first, then," Indigo declared as she fed in a token for him.
The machine chimed and nine yellow balls rolled out into position. Iconic took the first one. He eyeballed the lane, the ball-hop, and then the targets. He needed that highest point hole at the top left. He hauled back and launched. The ball rolled straight and jumped the ball-hop, but only to hit and bounce off the outermost ring. Into the gutter it went.
Indigo burst out laughing. "Were you telling the truth that you were decent at this game, Iconic? You're not truly a 'rook-skee', are you?"
Not the greatest first impression. Iconic grimaced as he grabbed the next ball. Doesn't have to be the highest target, but anything's better than the gutter...
He tossed. Twenty thousand points. Not bad. Of course, that would be about the average he could muster. After the remaining seven balls, he racked up a score of one hundred and ten thousand.
"Nice try," Indigo smugly teased. "Now step back and let a pro show you how it's done!"
In her token went. Once more, nine balls were at the ready. Indigo snatched the first one and immediately rolled as if she didn't even think about it. It jumped the ball-hop and sailed directly into the highest point hole.
"One hundred thousand, baby!" Indigo cheered as she grabbed the next few balls.
Balls two, three, and four were launched in quick succession. Each went into the one hundred thousand point hole. Iconic's eyes widened. He considered for a moment in trying to take back that request agreement...
Indigo then grew even cockier. She seized her remaining balls. One by one she tossed them under her leg. Five, six, seven, eight...
"Not even going to look!" Indigo announced as she rolled the final ball with her eyes closed.
The machine chimed excitedly, flashing a "JACKPOT" message. Nine hundred thousand points! Tickets spewed forth to the victor.
Indigo threw her fists into the air and hopped around. "Boo-yah!"
Iconic chuckled. Her enthusiasm in winning was adorable, but he still dreaded what she intended to ask of him. They both returned to their table to find their pizza and soda ready and waiting to be consumed.
"So..." Iconic hesitated as he sat down. "What's going to be your request of me, oh victorious one?"
Indigo smirked. "I want to visit your next shoot."
"My next shoot?" He was taken off guard a bit. "My next gig is just for an advertising campaign. You might be a little bored."
Indigo laughed and rolled her eyes. "Yeah, maybe. But I would get another opportunity to hang out with you, now wouldn't I?"
Iconic blushed. "Yeah... I guess you would."
The two then dug into their supreme pizza, enjoying small talk despite the kids screaming and the oversized alligator costume hobbling all around them.
Indigo Zap followed Iconic Portrait's directions to the Supreme Snap Studio in uptown Canterlot City. She had been part of several photo shoots in the past because of her sporting activities. However, this was the first time she had visited one of the really fancy studios. Inside was covered with wall-to-wall backdrops, props, and blinding lights. She saw Iconic setting up his digital camera. He spotted her walking in and waved.
"Hey, Indigo," Iconic greeted. "We should be ready to go any second. Feel free to try the craft table."
Indigo looked over to see a fully stocked table. There were finger sandwiches, a veggie platter, assorted snacks collected into bowls, and plenty of bottled water. Indigo grinned. She didn't mind if she did.
She was scarfing down her third sandwich when the entrance of a small crowd caught her attention. She glanced over, only for her eyes to widen. The women were dressed up in stunning designer wear, makeup, high heels, with their hair done up in extravagant styles. Indigo subconsciously peered down to her own relatively plain attire. She felt a small twinge in her heart she couldn't quite explain.
A few of the women peered her way. She decided to place her weird feelings to the side and welcome them.
"Yo," Indigo said, raising her hand. "The grub's great!"
She immediately wanted to slap herself on the forehead. She had forgotten that her mouth was still full. The models all looked at her with judging or even disgusted glares.
"Sorry, dear, but we all have a figure to maintain," one of them responded snootily.
Yep, I look like a total hog, don't I? Indigo sighed internally.
The models crossed her path on their way toward Iconic. Indigo was getting those odd feelings once again. Of course, that was before she beheld the face of someone who she didn't expect. A face she hadn't seen since the Crystal Prep Academy graduation ceremony. She quickly reached out and grabbed the shoulder of the young woman.
"Starlight Glimmer?" Indigo said in disbelief.
"Oh, hi, Indigo Zap," Starlight muttered with some discomfort.
"Since when are you a model? Shouldn't you be seizing the means of reproduction or whatever you commies call it right now?"
With that, Starlight tilted her chin up with mock confidence. "I'll have you know that no revolution is successful without its widespread propaganda. I'm just giving the world a taste of how sexy and attractive the proletariat cause can be." She threw her hands up and laughed maniacally. "Before long, I'll have an army of enamored teenage boys at my command! They shall be known as the Purple Guard! They will crush all that is bougie and opposing of equality!"
Indigo lifted an eyebrow. "There's no shame in admitting that you want to make a living in modelling, you know."
Starlight blushed and angrily stomped off. "Kite supplies aren't as cheap as you'd think, alright?!" She quickly rushed back, only to shove a little red booklet into Indigo's hand. "Here, have a Manifesto." Finally, she joined the others.
Indigo sighed and shook her head. Some classmates should remain memories, she figured as she placed the Communist Manifesto on the craft table. She didn't intend on picking it up again.
She then began to watch as Iconic did his thing. Apparently, the "advertising campaign" he mentioned was for some new, brand-name perfume, which would explain the gorgeous women being trotted out before his camera. Iconic gave them directions of where and how to pose, how much head tilt they needed, how much their lips should pout, etc.
Indigo was beginning to feel sick. However, she didn't quite know whether it was from the finger sandwiches or the words Iconic was using as he shot.
"Beautiful!" *Click* "Angelic!" *Click* Breathtaking! *Click*
Indigo grimaced. She really didn't feel like she belonged there. It wasn't like she could just leave, though. Not only would it make her seem like a major jerk, but this was the one request she had won, fair and square. She had to grin and bear it. And so she did for two and a half hours.
Iconic snapped the last photo of the last model. Indigo's fists clenched as the bluehead kissed him on both cheeks for a job well done. She patiently waited for him to pack up his equipment and make his way to her.
"Sorry that took a while, Indigo," Iconic said sheepishly. "I hope it wasn't too dull for you."
"Dull?" Indigo laughed and waved it off. "No way! It was... something else..."
"Oh, you're looking good today, by the way."
Indigo put on a fake smile. "Just 'good', huh?"
"What do you mean?" Iconic asked, tilting his head.
Indigo felt some of those weird feelings again. Iconic sure seemed to have much more affectionate terms with those models than he did with her. She tried to remind herself that that was most likely just part of his profession. Reason didn't stop the queasiness, though.
"It's nothing," Indigo assured. "Just me being silly..."