• Published 21st Apr 2017
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Cross Reference - Eyeswirl the Weirded



Following the events of the Friendship Games, various parties adapt to their new lives.

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Chapter 2: First Days (Part 2)

Stepping off the bus, Aria clenched her teeth at the sight of several variations in the Crystal Prep uniform, at least for the girls. Luckily, Sonata's Sonata-ness had kicked in and she apparently didn't even remember arguing about it, but more importantly, this meant that they could at least change up their looks a little. It was as she tried to decide between keeping Sonata close by to scope the place out together and splitting up to have a look around on their own that she was startled by a peppy voice.

"Hi there!"

Turning, she saw that three-flavors-of-girly lady she remembered from the Friendship Games, wearing a welcoming smile as she stepped closer.

"You must be Aria Blaze and Sonata Dusk, right? I'm Dean Cadence, we have about twenty minutes before the first round of classes start, so I can show you around and answer any questions you may have until then."

Briefly looking her over, Sonata smiled. "Wow, I didn't know this place had a maid! Could you bring us some cookies and a soda?"

While Cadence stared blankly back at them, her face frozen in the smile with which she greeted them, Aria slapped a hand over Sonata's mouth. "Uh, don't mind her, she's an idiot. You were gonna show us around?"

"Er, yes," Cadence muttered, brushing off the weird moment, "let's start with the general layout of the building. The first place you'll probably wanna know about is the cafeteria!"

She gestured for them to follow her as she began explaining where they could expect to find the most important rooms with simple directions. Aria and Sonata didn't ask any questions as they went, so her mind was free to wander a little.

A maid, huh? Wonder what Shining would think.

*\0/* *\0/* *\0/*

With the first three classes of the day finished, Aria could almost physically feel the sensation of stepping out into the first break period, and not just because everyone around her seemed so comparatively cheerful now.

Heh, even here, nobody really likes school, do they?

That had certainly been the case for her and Sonata, way back when. The material in Coltlantis had been much more sophisticated than anything neighboring civilizations would teach, but even so, it had been over a century since their school days, and maybe Aria was just a little bit rusty. That was what she was going to say if Adagio pried about how she was handling the classes so far, backed up by being dumped into the middle of the school year, which meant she could at least say she was just getting into the groove of things. The bright side to all of this, of course, was that Sonata was most likely having even more trouble than her, and deciding who was taking the lead first was as simple as seeing who did better in class.

That wouldn't be the sole determining factor, she knew, but it'd be the first sign of who was on top, one she'd claim for herself just as soon as she found Sonata.

"Well, look who it is!"

Not Sonata, Aria thought to herself as she paid no attention to the familiar voice, would she have gone to the cafeteria first? Cadence even said it was important and Sonata's always been sort of impressionable, so she might have acted on that alo-

"H-hey," complained Indigo Zap as she stepped into Aria's path, a faintly hurt look on her face, "you could at least say 'hi' or something! What, did you pick up the snotty, too-good-for-you gig already?!"

"Maybe," Aria sniffed as she stepped past her, "I'm a fast learner." Proud of herself though she was for her smoothness, she kept looking around for Sonata.

"So how long before you learn some manners?"

Aria stopped. That felt like a burn, and one she couldn't ignore if she wanted to retain the feeling of superiority she thought she'd just secured. She turned around. "As long as it takes you to deserve some."

They stood in silence, and from the look on Goggles Girl's face, she didn't think that was very witty either.

"I called out to you and you ignored me. Who doesn't deserve basic politeness here?"

Aria silently cursed herself. Catty, verbal evisceration was more Adagio's thing, but Aria couldn't exactly threaten anyone here and singing them into shutting up (and possibly bashing their own heads against the nearest rock) wasn't an option anymore, so she'd have to think a little harder. New subject! "Where's the idiot that followed you around before?"

Hands on her hips, Indigo raised an eyebrow. "Where's yours?"

Aria nearly flinched. Either they were a lot more vicious over here or she'd picked a particularly sharp nemesis. "Probably stuffing her face in the cafeteria. By the way? Don't equate me and her, we're nothing alike." She was quickly growing to hate the blank way this girl stared at her.

"...'Kay. Wasn't really gonna, but... So," she said while stretching her arms backwards to loosely support a large, invisible object with both hands, which Aria immediately registered to mean she was pantomiming an embrace of what could only be Adagio's fluff, "where's the other chick?"

A bolt of panic shooting through her chest, Aria quickly glanced around before remembering the arrangement. Even while her face burned, she summoned the will to look at her newest enemy anyway, though she was faintly surprised not to see a look of smug satisfaction so much as the same blank, perplexed stare. "She's. At. CHS."

"No foolin'? Why?"

"Because she didn't wanna come here."

"But she was okay with you guys coming here?"

Personal questions. Aria did not like, and she let it show on her face. "She had her reasons." To her slight gratification, Whatsherface took the hint, taking a step back with palms upraised.

"Okay, okay, jeez! Just thought it was weird that you were here without your boss around, so-"

"What makes you think we take orders from her?"

Now Indigo was well and truly surprised. "You don't?! I mean, the vibe I got from you three was that she called the shots, no questions asked. Trust me, at a place like Crystal Prep, you learn how to spot people who are used to ordering others around, and she looked like she'd been doing it all her life."

Trying to sound as uncaring as possible, Aria broke eye-contact as she crossed her arms. "And I don't?"

"Uhh..." Indigo scratched her head. Why does it feel like I'm dealing with one of Sunny's snooty cats? "I guess? Kinda?"

"'Kinda'?"

"I mean, y-yea," she answered with a faintly nervous grin, "I could totally see that, just... she's got it going a lot harder, y'know?"

Aria blinked. She very, very much knew, as it was part of the reason she gave Adagio the time of day way back when. She'd just seemed like she was meant to be on top of everything, a quality that had fascinated and terrified Aria until she learned the reason.

If I knew how to strut around projecting that feeling myself, that alone might wipe out any competition here!

Would Adagio be willing to give her that kind of advantage by teaching her? No, no, part of the reason she was even here was that she didn't want to live in Adagio's shadow forever, so she'd have to do her own thing. She glanced at Goggles.

Competition... maybe that's her? Is that why she came to talk to me? I wasn't really getting a Bow To Me vibe from this girl, but...

She gave her new rival a measured grin. "And I guess you think you've got it too?"

Blink. "Huh?"

"You're the -what'sthatstupidphrasetheyuseinthemovies- queen bee around here, right? Something like the head honcho as far as students go?"

"Uh, no, that's actually-"

"Indigo!"

The two turned to see Sunny Flare dragging Sonata (who stuffed her face with some kind of pastry as she walked) by the wrist, flanked by Sugarcoat and Sour Sweet. Sunny scowled at Indigo while pointing at Sonata, then Aria. "You did this."

Again, Indigo defensively raised her hands. "Innocent!"

She pointed at Indigo. "Llllliar! You had them brought in so you could eye them up during cheerleader routines! Where's the last one? Did you arrange for her to be here too or just hire her as a "maid" so you could-"

A little annoyed, Aria grabbed Yappy-Dog Girl's wrist. "We're here because we want to be, Adagio is back at CHS because she wants to be, Goggles over there had nothing to do with it." Deeply gratifying though the fear in her eyes was, Aria let go when it was clear her point had been made. She was all ready to throw out some one-liner and walk away with a solid impression of herself left in their minds, but then Sonata happened.

"Hey, Aria," she said after gulping down the last of her snack, "they got fancier food here than the other place! Oh, and-" She grabbed Sugarcoat and Sour Sweet's hands, holding them up as though the attached girls were prizes won in a contest. "-I found these guys again!" She snickered, nodding to Sugarcoat. "This one went all pale and sweaty when she saw me, 'cuz she thought Dagi was right around the corner and-"

Flushed, Sugarcoat tore free of Sonata's grip as the others giggled at her. "I was not the only one to experience undue panic; as you practically had a nervous breakdown when I inquired as to her location."

"Oh, y-yea!"

Though visibly embarrassed, Sonata laughed it off so easily that those around her joined in, a move Aria faintly wished she had thought to make herself. Still, she allowed herself a few seconds to sympathize with Sonata before remembering manners. "So, uh... names?"

*\0/* *\0/* *\0/*

By the time everyone was acquainted (Lemon Zest had startled everyone but Indigo by appearing out of nowhere when a chance to introduce herself came, claiming to have been there for a while), Aria couldn't help noticing that everyone there was wearing something slightly different. While Sonata didn't seem to be rubbing in that she was wrong yet, she figured it was better to risk alerting her to the uniform customization than just go on dressed exactly like Sonata for her entire stay here.

"Do they distinguish classes by little tweaks to the uniform here?"

"Oh, no," Sunny answered in a posh tone, "we have plenty of options. Would you like us to show you?"

Arms crossed, Sour Sweet rolled her eyes. "Always with the dress-up with you."

"You hush!"

*\0/* *\0/* *\0/*

While Aria and Sonata were getting changed, Indigo realized that she'd somehow been duped into flattering Aria, like they were on a date and she was offended that Indigo wasn't giving her enough compliments or something.

"How did she do that?!"

*\0/* *\0/* *\0/*

Aria went with a tight vest over a white shirt tucked into a miniskirt, wearing full-length pantyhose beneath it to keep from violating those pesky 'modesty' rules. As if half this school hadn't seen more of her when she was bouncing around during the Games. She glanced to her side to see Sonata in a short-sleeved shirt with rolled cuffs, worn loosely over a regular skirt and ankle-length socks. Internally, Aria opted to rest easy knowing that since Sonata still hadn't said anything about her being wrong by now, she'd look more stupid herself for taking that long to point it out.

When they stepped out of the locker room, a cool, collected voice seized their attention.

"Is everything to your liking so far?"

The two looked up to see a blue woman they recognized as the one who pushed Nerdy Twilight into going Scary Twilight. She wasn't showing any sort of hostility, but the look in her eyes said she fully recognized them, which put Aria on edge. It must have been bad, because Sonata got her thoughts together first.

"Yea," she said quietly and without her usual, vacant smile, "we're fine."

"Good to hear," she nodded. "I don't believe we've been properly introduced. I am Principal Abacus Cinch, pleased to make your acquaintance."

Sonata managed a hesitant little grin. "I'm Sonata. Uh, Dusk! In case there are other ones..."

"I'm Aria." When Cinch looked at her, the rest spilled out of her mouth almost automatically. "Blaze. Ma'am."

Principal Cinch didn't show any reaction in her face. "Charmed. The two of you were until recently enrolled in Canterlot High School, correct?"

Aria tried to be cool and dismissive, but this lady was like a concentrated form of when Adagio was mad at them! "Yes, ma'am."

Well-mannered, Cinch noted, for Canterlot High girls, at least.

She turned away, focusing on the schoolyard through the nearest window. "I understand certain anomalies are not uncommon over there, but I wish to assure you that Crystal Prep Academy has no such blemishes on its facilities, nor its students. There is no magic here, and that is how it will remain."

Behind her, Aria and Sonata traded worried looks as they noted what would probably happen if they did anything magical here (not like they could anyway), schooling their features when Cinch turned to face them again.

"As such, I invite you to embrace what we have to offer here without fear of disturbance." She offered them a small, but sincere smile. "I wish you well, and please, if you have any questions or concerns, know that you are more than welcome to make an appointment to discuss the matter personally."

Again, Sonata was quicker on the draw. "S-sure, thanks!"

Cinch nodded, leaving them without another word.

They didn't lie, about their names or their time in CHS. Not sure why I thought they would, but it would bode ill for my regular student samples to engage in any sort of delinquency so soon.

So far, it seemed they were perfectly normal girls, none of that sorcery nonsense that had tainted Celestia's school. It was far too soon to gauge any level of their performance here, but she heartily looked forward to the results of this experiment. Speaking of which, she wondered how young, asocial Twilight was holding up now that she didn't have her lab/closet to flee to.

*\0/* *\0/* *\0/*

Setting down her tray with a tired breath, Twilight practically fell into her seat (well, not literally 'my' seat, but the one I am currently occupying) in the cafeteria. To her immediate joy, she was greeted with warm smiles from most of the girls at the table, Applejack in particular.

"Still gettin' used to CHS, Sugarcube?"

Sighing, Twilight nodded. "I hadn't realized how having my own little room to spend almost all my time in could leave me unprepared for being surrounded by people every day. It's surprisingly exhausting!" Truth be told, she had still sought refuge in the back area of the library a few times when things got too hectic, but all things considered, she was doing rather well!

Chuckling, Sunset turned to the other relatively new student here. "How about you, Adagio?"

She shrugged. "It's... a school. The most trouble I've had so far is paying attention in some classes, and I think some of the instructors have noticed. Harshwhinny called on me three times in English class just today."

Well, there was that, and that she'd glanced over her shoulder to look for nonexistent followers two more times, but that didn't have anything to do with the school itself.

Fluttershy scratched her head. "I've never known her to call on people in class just to pick on them, she'll usually just tell them to stay focused when she thinks they're drifting off."

Adagio crossed her arms, suspicion clear in her face as she arched a brow. "Then why does she keep asking me?"

Sunset offered a warm little grin. "Maybe she just likes the sound of your voice?"

Eyes briefly widening, Adagio turned her head away to hide a wide smile and a rosy blush. "Hmph," she said while making a show of haughtily brushing her hair aside, "can't fault her taste, then."

The others giggled a little, but knowing she'd just hit a friendship bullseye, Sunset beamed with pride.

"So," Rarity said as she looked Twilight over, "on the topic of regular inquiries, I hate to be a pest, but...?"

Twilight glanced down at herself. "Is my uniform really that ugly?"

"Not ugly," Pinkie answered with a little frown, "just, if you can pick your own look, style yourself however you want, do you really want someone else to do it for you?"

"Rarity might be a pain to deal with in a dressing room," Rainbow ignored the indignant scoff, "but she always makes sure her living mannequins are happy with the results, so you don't have to worry about her just sticking you in whatever's pretty, either."

"Why thank you!"

While the others talked fashion, Sunset considered the task she'd taken up with Twilight and Adagio. Both were hoping to learn a bit more about friendship, but both came from very different backgrounds, had very different views on things, and she'd have to be careful how she handled sharing what she'd learned with the two of them if she didn't want anyone getting all hurt and confused like she was a few times. Luckily, she had her friends to help out, and right now, she spotted a chance to utilize that.

"So, speaking of makeovers," half the table flinched in apprehension, though she understood why, "I'm a little surprised you haven't even tried to style-" she nodded toward Adagio, "-her, Rarity."

This time, Rarity flinched. "Err... I, w-well, oh dear, how do I say this? It's not that I'm not interested, just, I was rather, ehm..." The rest of the table gave her curious looks, though Adagio's came with a hint of offense, as though she were waiting to be insulted, while Sunset's worried little frown said she was regretting putting Rarity on the spot. Rarity cleared her throat. "Well, I confess that the idea has occurred to me one or two or perhaps seven or eight times since the day you, Miss Blaze, and Miss Dusk tried on the cheerleading uniforms, Miss Dazzle, but in your particular case, I thought it might be better to... pace myself? I mean, I am interested in the prospect so long as you're willing, believe you me, but the question of what exactly to do with-"

Applejack pointed at Adagio. "That hair?"

So did Rainbow. "Dat belly?"

And Pinkie. "Dat ass?"

Half the table turned red. "PINKIE!!"

A few others were giggling, including Adagio. When the rest of the table was quiet, she focused on Rarity with a smile. "Fair enough, I suppose." Then she frowned a little. "And, er, if it's about the stomach cheer, is now a good time to say we were just kidding?"

Rosy though she was, Rarity smiled. "Water under the bridge, Darling."

Adagio smiled too, an expression reflected by Twilight in particular. Then Rainbow made a face as though she'd just heard that school lunches were made from small children.

"Wait, Rarity doesn't have a gut fetish?!"

Blushing brighter, Rarity facepalmed as Applejack thwapped Rainbow and the rest of the table giggled.

Author's Note:

When alone, Aria and Sonata have looked around for the other sirens a few more times too during the school day, I just didn't find much room to squeeze it into the story. The three of them will get used to this eventually, promise. :twilightsheepish:

Join us next time as the topic of cheerleading in Crystal Prep comes up, Sunny Flare's weakness is learned, Sci-Twi is teased some more, and the first day is concluded! :pinkiehappy: