• Published 1st Oct 2014
  • 2,256 Views, 25 Comments

Temptation Waits - ColdGoldLazarus

Adagio wants power. Twilight and Sunset want to save everyone from her schemes. Sonata and Aria just want to get through another day. And poor Trixie just wants answers...

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And There's So Much At Stake...

It was a frail breeze that tugged at Trixie Lulamoon’s hair as she walked across the broken pavement, but she still shivered as a sense of foreboding crept up on her. The night sky was dark, whatever feeble illumination the moon may have offered concealed behind a thick layer of clouds; instead, they reflected the lights of the city behind her with an understatedly hellish glow. On one side of the road, a line of barren trees reached out to her with desperate branches, while from the other, a line of dead and decaying warehouses watched her with windows like mournful, empty eyes.

Ahead of her, the old road turned left and abruptly ended with a tall chain-link fence and gate, topped with loops of barbed wire. Locked as the gate may have been, however, even that imposing barrier couldn’t stand up to time’s acidic touch, and there were several massive gaps where the metal had rusted away that the magician could fit through with ease. Many a daring teenager had done exactly that before, only to find the abandoned trainyard beyond considerably more empty and boring than they expected.

Despite her showboating nature, though, Trixie wasn’t here tonight for the bragging rights of a safe night spent in such an infamous location. No, she sought something considerably different, wanted her presence kept as secret as possible; and besides, she’d actually already done such a thing before. This time, she truly expected to find something more than old train cars.

One such train car, a half-rusted tanker on a short turnout rail, loomed just behind the fence to the right of the gate, blocking Trixie’s view of most of the actual yard. On the other side, a tall, misshapen building stood, the lower level a disorganized mess of concrete ramps and storage, the upper levels containing offices and a lookout tower. It was the tower that attracted Trixie’s attention – a bright light shone from the upper windows of the building; hardly consistent with the ‘abandoned’ status of the place.

Standing before the gates now, Trixie found herself with only two options – turn and run away, likely never to work up the nerve to come back, or slip through the gate and confront what lay behind it, one way or another. One way, she’d have to face her own shame at losing heart, the other way she could face… well, anything, really. Some of it could be good, but there was just as much chance that eternal shame would be preferable to whatever ill fate awaited her in the trainyard.

Trixie slipped through the gate.

She wasn’t sure what she’d been expecting to happen when her foot set down on the gravel, but nothing did. After several tense moments, she let out a breath, posture slumping as she pulled herself the rest of the way through the fence.

Only then did she hear the humming. A quiet, tuneless vocalization from the other side of the oil tanker, the sound flowed like a mountain stream, cold yet warm, beautiful yet dangerous to get caught up within, and very much at odds with the industrial environment around them. Trixie rubbed her arms to try to warm up, but a moment later realized she wasn’t shivering from cold. Rather, she was trembling, and she could not have said what mix of emotions she trembled from.

She crept onwards, leaning up against the tanker and following its bulbous curve deeper into the yard. Close as she was, she could see that even this looming monolith was in a bad way, its once-impenetrable shell pitted with holes -not all caused by corrosion- and somewhat sticky with the dregs of its former contents. Trixie would have to wash later, but she barely paid that any heed. No matter how quietly she tried to step, the crackling of gravel sounded like a gunshot to her ears, and dust kicked up in absurdly disproportionate clouds to coat her pristine boots in a nasty reddish crust. The half-light left her blind to any potential dangers on the ground, and so the great and powerful magician shuffled along cautiously, time seeming to stretch out as she rounded the tanker’s end.

Another abandoned train car sat diagonal to the tanker, creating a narrow triangular space in front of the management building. It was a passenger car, and likely once a very luxurious one, but now the windows were all smashed or missing from their panes entirely, and the wood siding was covered in a long string of spray-painted obscenities, most likely courtesy of previous marauding teens.

However, Trixie was more focused on the far end of the open space; in the narrow gap between the two cars’ bumpers, someone had set up a folding lawn chair, facing outward and away from Trixie. Down on the ground beside it was an LED lantern that cast out a wide but dim glow, and illuminated the long, electric-blue ponytail of the girl occupying the seat. As Trixie took this in, she noted that the liquid humming had become louder – though it also lost some of its edge, the sound no less beautiful but rather less unearthly. The new student was humming to herself as she looked out into the rest of the trainyard, her back thankfully to the magician. She kicked idly as she hummed, her sneakers occasionally catching on a pebble and sending it skipping out into the darkness.

Trixie let out a silent sigh of relief before her breath suddenly hitched – she’d been right, and she’d found her quarry here at the yard. What did that mean for the rest of her guesses? Possibilities and scenarios ran through her head, ranging from innocent to terrifying to even sensual, and it suddenly sunk in that nobody else knew she was here. She withdrew to the shadows behind the tanker, breath hitching as panic overtook her and she slumped to her knees. She hadn’t thought things through, hadn’t thought to tell at least Lavender Lace or Fuchsia Blush where she was going... and worse, at least one of the trio was actually here as she’d suspected. The same reddish grit that already coated her boots had been unknowingly been tracked all around the cafeteria in trace amounts, something a magician like herself was good at spotting. Though it had taken some thinking, she recognized where she’d seen it before.

But she’d come this far already, and the sight of the blue one only deepened her curiosity. She knew they were here – but the next logical question was why? For all her ego, Trixie knew that if she lost her nerve now, she may as well not have come at all. She had no choice now – she had to keep investigating.

Crawling to her feet once more, Trixie peeked around the tanker to ensure the other girl was still oblivious to her presence, and then dashed as quickly yet quietly as she could over to the management building and ducking into an alcove. Once she was sure she was shielded from view, she considered her surroundings. To her right were two large garage doors, both closed and locked, and if the ponytailed girl out there turned around, very exposed. There was a door right behind her, but a quick jimmying of the handle revealed it to be locked as well – and she hadn’t thought to bring her lockpicking set, either. She could try to sneak around the side of the building to see what other options were there, but once more the presence out on the lawn chair made her hesitate.

Curiosity overcame caution again, sending the magician in a reckless sprint around the corner. Another garage door, a few empty alcoves, a set of stairs leading up to the first floor roof… aha! A lit flashlight had been hung from a hook above a more secluded doorway, and Trixie quickly opened it and barreled through before she could be seen.

The interior was dismal; once-white walls were positively coated in red dust, and at the same time, a nasty green mold had made its way halfway down one wall. The darkened hall she found herself in was otherwise bare, though there was a multitude of doorways leading elsewhere in the complex. At the far end, light shone down from a concrete staircase, and she made a beeline for that.

“Ugh, I hate waiting like this!” A voice drifted down to Trixie as she slowly ascended, and she paused to listen. “Why can’t they just show up already?” This voice seemed somewhat rough around the edges, and on the deeper end of feminine.

“Now, now, Aria. Waiting is always the hardest part, but it never hurts to be prepared. We’ll be defending ourselves soon enough, but there’s no need to rush into a fight.” This second voice was also somewhat deep, but with a very sly edge to it that sent shivers up the magician’s spine. She reached the first landing and began on the next.

“I just hope Sonata’s not going to mess us up. Why’d you put her out on guard duty, anyway? She’s just the worst.” Trixie could just imagine the first speaker churlishly crossing her arms over her chest, and had to stifle a small giggle.

The first speaker simply gave a small chuckle, a strange combination of motherly indulgence and disdainful patronization in her tone. “Would you rather be out there?”

Trixie reached the third floor in the pause that followed. “…No.” The first voice reluctantly settled upon, and the magician once again had to resist the urge to laugh at how long it had taken for her to make up her mind. The voice was definitely stronger this time, and Trixie figured she must be nearing her destination. Sure enough, the staircase ended on the fourth landing, with another storm lantern hanging from a hook on the wall, and a single thin wooden door facing her. This could only be the lookout area, perhaps with consoles to direct the trains – and more importantly, the other two of the school’s newcomers. Trixie pressed herself up against the door to listen for further clues, but the duo seemed to have fallen silent.

Time passed, the moaning of the wind outside frustrating Trixie as it threatened to drown out the infrequent noises from within the room; the occasional twang of an electric guitar’s strings, some shuffling of papers, and the creak of a chair. Despite her simmering disappointment with the way the situation was going, however, Trixie found herself halfway nodding off, which left her at a distinct disadvantage in reacting to the events that would follow.

It began with the sound of a rolling chair on linoleum, followed by an assortment of pops and groans as one of the inhabitants stretched themselves out. “And where are you going?” The second voice cut in sharply, jolting Trixie back to relative awareness.

“I have to relieve myself, Adagio,” the first voice responded, clearly annoyed at having to be asked in the first place. “unless that’s suddenly against the rules?”

“No, go on.” The other voice was lenient, but unapologetic. Trixie was too busy mulling over the silkiness to her tone that the significance of the exchange was lost on her almost until it was too late. The next second, she found herself falling forward, collapsing into a heap in front of a distinctly unfriendly-looking girl with enormous purple twin ponytails.

Twilight Sparkle took a deep breath and let it out with a soft hiss, her stress seeming to be let out with the air. Sunset Shimmer simply gave her a bemused expression, but went ignored. The duo walked along a barren road bordered by a forest to the right and a series of abandoned warehouses to the left. Wearing black sweatshirts and dark denim pants, they blended in with the nighttime darkness, and were insulated against the wind that had picked up in the time it took for them to walk from Sunset’s apartment to their present destination.

“Right, let’s go over the plan again.” The dismal surroundings seemed to scream that this was a terrible idea. There were exactly fifty-seven possible ways this could go wrong that Twilight could name off the top of her head, and those were just the more likely scenarios. Still, they needed information about who they were going up against, and this seemed to be their best shot at getting it.

“Keep it down, will you? We don’t need anyone overhearing us,” Sunset shot back in a furious whisper, “especially them.” There was no real malice in her tone, but Twilight had to admit she had a point. It would not only be disastrous, but downright embarrassing if the Dazzlings were able to counter them just because they’d been talking too loudly.

So it was that they made the rest of the way to the trainyard in silence. They quickly slipped through the gate, then crept down the narrow space between the tanker and the fence. The lights in the building behind them were a strong indication as to their quarry’s location, but they needed to scout the area to make sure there wouldn’t be any unexpected surprises.

“Do you think I should go up and look around?” Sunset whispered, stopping by a ladder that led up to the tank’s broad top. Twilight simply shook her head no, gesturing toward the building; if the Dazzlings decided to look out a window, she’d be far too exposed. They moved on.

At the far end of the passageway, a rock skittered past, colliding with the chain fence and sending the whole grid rocking against its supports with a clatter, and setting Twilight and Sunset’s hearts racing with panic.

“…Oops!” a fairly high-pitched voice giggled, and a moment later, began humming tunelessly. Once they had slowed their breathing to normal levels again, Twilight and Sunset exchanged grins; this might actually go smoother than they expected, if they could skip over phase two -“isolate Sonata Dusk from the other Dazzlings”- entirely.

Twilight had only arrived in this world earlier today, and Sunset had been quick to brief her on the school tour she’d given the enemy trio. They had all been obviously unusual even before brainwashing the student body, but each had their own specific quirks; Adagio, the leader, was incredibly confident, but seemed to be a truly terrible actress in trying to blend in.

Aria was close-lipped but incredibly rude, not just to Sunset, but her two ‘band’-mates as well, and seemed to passive-aggressively challenge Adagio’s leadership skills. Sunset had been quick to point out that they could take advantage of that if need be, but Applejack just as quickly said that it struck her as dishonest, and say, were those old instincts resurfacing? Sunset quickly shut up after that.

Last, of course, was Sonata Dusk, their current target. Sunset thought there was a possibility she could be convinced to join their side, but either way, her bubbly, ditzy attitude and multiple slip-ups during the tour meant she was their best shot at gathering further information about the Dazzlings, so long as they could engage her in a friendly conversation without tipping off the other two. Fluttershy had suggested they wait until tomorrow to speak to her at school, but it had been quickly pointed out that they didn’t have much time as it was, with only three days to go until the musical showcase. Add to that rumors of strange new activity in the old trainyard, and their path had been made clear.

Sunset Shimmer stepped out of the shadows with a kind expression. “Hello, again!” She said to the girl in the lawn chair.

Trixie found herself yanked inward, the door slamming shut behind her. Disorientation and lingering grogginess ruled her scrambled mind, so she just lay there, not really taking in the conversation happening over her head.

“How long has she been here?” Oh, sweet voice, melodic tone…

“How should I know? Anyway, I’ll be back, but I still need to pee.” No, bad. Stupid other voice with your stupid anger and stupid disrespect for the first voice’s beauty. Go away.

“Once you have, go check up on Sonata. If this one was able to get in without raising the alarm, chances are that the guests we were actually expecting have arrived.”

“I told you she was the worst…” The door opened again, and the repeated sound of someone stomping with unnecessary force slowly faded away. Trixie blinked and pushed herself up to a sitting position, jarred back into coherence by the obnoxious sound.

As she’d guessed, there was a series of archaic-looking control consoles beneath the windows, and other old equipment decaying on a central table. However, the room was freshly redecorated; three sleeping bags –one orange, one purple, and one blue- were laid out in an open corner, and the counters, freshly cleaned, were covered in scattered books and papers from Canterlot High as well as a great deal of sheet music. There was an assortment of chairs scattered about, more than seemed strictly necessary for three individuals, and the light by which she saw all this was provided by yet another storm lantern, looking to have been bought -or stolen?- from one of the city’s outdoors supply stores.

Trixie stood up slowly, weaving between the maze of chairs to look out the windows. She could see the whole yard from here, a dimly-lit mess of train tracks and switchovers, littered with other rectangular monuments to a bygone industrial age. The barbed-wire fence stretched all the way around it, and beyond that, the dark form of Everfree Woods at the edge of town. Focusing her attention nearer, Trixie saw the blue-haired girl still in her lawn chair, ponytail waving back and forth as she shook her head at something. Looking straight down, the purple-haired one with the twin tails emerged from the building, marching irritably across the yard toward her comrade.

Hello, again.” Trixie whirled around at the smooth voice, to behold her true quarry. “I don’t believe I got your name, but we met in the cafeteria, did we not?” The ginger goddess laid stretched across two seats with her feet propped up on a third, a thick and well-worn spiral notebook lying open on her lap, though the contents were blocked from view by her knees. She twirled a pencil absently between her neatly-manicured fingers, propping herself up with her other arm. Her grin was smug, but there was another emotion there, too, something Trixie could only think of as ‘motherly suspicion’. She still wore most of her outfit from earlier, having only discarded the jacket with the result that her form-fitting tunic was emphasized even more.

It’d only been twelve hours and Trixie had forgotten how hot she was.

“I-well, you see- or I mean…” the magician began hyperventilating; she’d been caught and she still didn’t have the answers she wanted, and the girl would probably hate her forever, and-

“Breathe easy… Take it slowly…” The other girl crooned musically, and Trixie felt her heart slow to a normal rate again. She took several deep breaths to calm herself down, before trying again.

“My name is Trixie Lulamoon,” she began, her usual habit of speaking in third-person thoroughly forgotten. Awkward, but at least she’d said something… “and I never really caught your name, either.”

She instantly winced, but the singer just waved it off with a chuckle. “Adagio. Adagio Dazzle.” After a moment, she tilted her head to one side. “I have to ask, though, what are you doing here? Why did you take it upon yourself to spy on us?” Her gaze remained kind, but there was a certain tension to her tone that had Trixie shifting her weight nervously.

“Well… I wanted to learn more about you. Your song at the cafeteria was so… enchanting. And it’s not just that; I know I’m good enough, but nobody else has ever told me I’m a star before… and I wanted to say something, but you all just seem so far out of even my league, and…” An earnest explanation quickly became an earnest breakdown, the magician shrinking in on herself as she spoke, unable to meet Adagio’s eyes. “And… well, ‘Princess’ Twilight appeared again, on the same day you did.”

One of the chairs suddenly scraped across the floor as Adagio jumped in shock. Trixie wrapped her arms around herself, but the sharp words she’d expected did not come. Instead, after several long moments, a tanned arm came into view, fingers gently guiding her chin until their eyes met. “Princess Twilight? The same one from the Fall Formal I’ve heard about?” Adagio’s melodic voice was ever-so-slightly shaken, yet her inquiry was calm and benevolent. Trixie nodded mutely, not trusting herself to speak.

Adagio drew away, turning her back to the magician as she stroked her temples. “This is bad. Sunset is powerful enough, but if the princess herself is getting directly involved once more…” She whirled around, grabbing her notebook and snapping it closed. “We need to-”


Trixie shielded her eyes as a bright white light flooded the room. It died down as quickly as it came, and rubbing spots out of her vision, the magician turned to the windows to find an orb of light, like a flare, hovered above the trainyard, bathing everything in an intense chiaroscuro. Deep shadows stretched out from the epicenter as all else burned an intense white, illuminating the scene so brightly that all details were lost for several seconds. As her eyes adjusted, though, Trixie could make out three figures – two purple-haired ones fighting with a furious flurry of blows right beneath the flare, while the blue-haired member of Adagio’s group stood off to one side, tense but frozen by helplessness. As she looked on, a fiery-haired girl emerged atop the oil tanker, running along its length to the near end.

“They’re here.” Adagio had joined Trixie at the window without her noticing, and watched the developing battle with a grave expression. “I thought we were ready, but we weren’t, and they’re here...”

Twilight leapt back to as Aria slashed at her again, the girl’s summoned cat-o-nine-tails snapping in the cold night air to come back for another go. Her weapon was made of controlled soundwaves, and one lash across her arm had been all that was needed for her to avoid further injury.

Ducking under the next lash, Twilight sent a beam of energy from her palm to give herself some space. Twilight was no fighter, just relying on raw power and some shield spells to hold out, something Aria had already taken notice of. The siren was humming serenely even as she kept up a barrage of brutal attacks, and despite herself, Twilight could feel her concentration beginning to slip as every lash forced her back and bit into her energy.

She was thankful that Sonata seemed to be staying out of the fight for now, despite having conjured a vibrating sound-sword; fighting- no, surviving against one opponent was bad enough. And where was Sunset Shimmer? She’d disappeared the moment things began to go pear-shaped, with little more than some muttered words about a distraction. Twilight really hoped that didn’t mean what she feared it might; she’d placed a lot of trust in her former rival already, and being left behind would not-

Her train of thought was interrupted as a hellish orange glow filled the area, just as bright as her flare. Twilight dodged another uncomfortably close swing from Aria and risked a glance backward. Sunset stood atop the oil tanker, sending out a column of fire that she was slowly steering around the fighting duo to aim at Aria. The siren seemed to notice as well, but didn’t give up her relentless attack, and the reason for that was soon made clear as Sonata finally leapt into action, rushing forward and using her sword to cleave the beam in half, disrupting it enough that the spell collapsed in on itself. Sunset growled and leaped down from the tanker, using Sonata’s body as a cushion.

They’d thought they were ready, but they weren’t, and this was not going according to plan at all.

Trixie trembled to herself as she watched the fight grow more intense, but she surprised herself with how even her tone remained. The girls down there were shooting giant death lasers at each other, and here she was watching as though it was nothing more than a mildly interesting Saturday morning cartoon.

“Adagio, what is going on here?” She didn’t just mean the magic that was so different from her tricks and misdirection; why were her friends fighting with the school’s two most popular and hated students, why were the three of them living in some old trainyard, why did Trixie feel so attracted to them? And while she wouldn’t deny she’d been having some romantic fantasies about the orange-haired girl, it went deeper than that, in a way - she felt like she knew the three of them from somewhere, and like she could just implicitly trust them, despite having never met them until earlier today, and it scared her.

Down below, Twilight and Sunset were standing back-to-back, Adagio’s friends flanking them. Despite having been driven into the ground by Sunset not a minute ago, the blue-haired one still looked reluctant to fight, her sword held limply at her side.

“You know where Princess Twilight is from, right?” Adagio began, hands clutching the windowsill as she watched.

“The mirror at the front of the school, and something about another world, I think?” Trixie hadn’t believed all the rumors of a giant demon and brainwashed zombie teenagers, but the destruction to the front of the school had to have been caused by something, and she couldn’t deny what she’d seen with her own eyes; the cheerful girl, after the fall formal dance, walking through the mirror and disappearing – until today.

“I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true.” Adagio didn’t sound crazy; if anything, her tone was morose, her normally confident demeanor shed in this moment of solemnity. “The other world is called Equestria, and Aria, Sonata, and myself all used to be from there.”

Trixie looked sideways at the singer, seeing her in a new light – somewhat literally, as well, as the flare had dwindled away into nothing by now. “Wait, really? And… used to be?”

“It’s hard to explain. Everyone from our world values friendship, but what they really mean is conformity. It’s practically a hive mind in some places, and there was no place for free-thinking individuals like us. So… we were banished.” Her muscles grew taut, her tone low with a combination of rage and misery. “But now, it seems, that isn’t good enough, and Sunset and Twilight have come through to finish the job.”

Adagio’s tone hardened as her reflection took on a determined grimace. “But we won’t go down that easily. I may disagree with Aria and Sonata a lot of the time, but I still care for them, and it’s my duty to keep them safe. And… neither will we let this world fall to Equestrian influence, too; we owe you all that much. If we can make it through to the end of the musical showcase, we’ll be able to cast a spell that will keep the mirror closed for good.”

Trixie took this all in silently, and Adagio turned to watch her with an uncertain frown. It all sounded so very crazy, but at the same time it made a strange amount of sense… More than anything else, Trixie’s prior attraction had cooled into something stronger, and so quietly, she stepped forward and wrapped her arms around the other girl’s slender waist. The spikes on her belt pressed against the magician, and she was in fact slightly shorter than Adagio, but that didn’t matter – she was an exile, and even if what she was doing was for the greater good, Trixie knew it couldn’t be easy to permanently cut off her own home.

“I’m here for you, if you need me.” Was all she said when they parted. “What will you do about them?” She gestured down at the yard, where… something was happening; she was too focused on Adagio’s face to worry about that.

Adagio put on a brave smile, but there was a lingering hurt that tugged at Trixie’s heart. “I’ll do what I always do,” she said, as a long staff hummed into being in her hand. “I’ll sing at them.” Then the orange-haired girl was gone, leaving Trixie alone in the top of the tower. She watched as Adagio emerged onto the yard, courageously rallying her friends to begin driving the Equestrian interlopers away, and compassion, trust, longing… love? Filled her heart.

The great and powerful Trixie had long been one of Canterlot High’s most infamously self-centered students, with only Lavender Lace and Fuchsia Blush to call friends, and even then just barely. She was full of hot air and boasted at every opportunity, but nobody took her seriously anymore – on some level, she couldn’t even take herself seriously.

But now, here, in this refugee from another world, Trixie felt she’d finally found something she could truly believe in, someone she could live for.

Tromping boots echoed down the stairwell as Adagio followed, a broad smirk making its way to her face. This had been an unexpected development, to be sure, but not an unwelcome one. It had been plainly obvious that this Trixie girl had been attracted to her, and not only that, but she was clearly smart enough to have tracked them down somehow. She could very well prove incredibly useful, and Adagio’s lie would cement her opposition to the Dazzlings’ enemies.

And of course, the lie itself was a stroke of genius, in her mind – the best ones always were based in half-truths. Did she truly care for Aria and Sonata despite their frequent ididocy? Yes. Did she consider the Equestrian way of ‘Friendship’ a restricting and conformist lifestyle? Yes. Did she plan to destroy the mirror once she’d ensured enough Equestrian magic could flow through to sustain them for the rest of their natural lifespans? Yes.

But she held no loyalty to this miserable world, and would have been in favor of going home if it weren’t for the abundance of equally-powerful beings just waiting to throw them out again. She knew Twilight’s intentions were, if pathetic and weak-minded, not outright malicious.

Exiting the building, a small part of her felt a sudden twinge of guilt for the lie; Trixie was too innocent to be corrupted by the likes of her. The very next second, though, she dismissed it with no small degree of self-disgust; now was not the time to grow soft.

But perhaps, she mused as she rallied Sonata and Aria to begin driving Twilight and Sunset out of the yard, Trixie could come to mean more to her than a mere tool, and even rank alongside Adagio’s fellow sirens. Perhaps, just perhaps, she’d finally found something she could truly believe in, just one more person she could live for.

Author's Note:

Author's Notes
(Just as a disclaimer, this story, while marked as [Romance], shouldn't be seen as shipping - at least, not wholly. Trixie and Adagio's relationship, as it presently stands, is not a healthy one in any conceivable way.)