• Published 21st Apr 2017
  • 2,296 Views, 100 Comments

Cross Reference - Eyeswirl the Weirded



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

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Chapter 5: Rivals (Part 1)

The cafeteria of Canterlot High wasn't exactly a secret clubhouse, or even an everyone-knows-but-kinda-just-lets-it-be clubhouse, but with all the noise everybody else was making, it wasn't a bad place to talk plans for the Canterlot Misfits Club. And not just because school food tasted like it had been sitting uncovered in the fridge all night and it was more fun to eat at their actual clubhouse anyway.

"Okay, fine," huffed Sweetie Belle, "I guess a rocket-powered scooter could be fun, but where would we get the rockets?"

"Uh..." Scootaloo, with the confidence she'd held in her idea just seconds earlier now slipping away from her (as if on a rocket-powered scooter), scratched her head. "Maybe somebody in the science clubs has one?"

"Ah don' think they'd just give 'em to us after The Frog Incident, Scoot."

Sweetie's eyes narrowed. "Justice for Kermit."

Ignoring that and the flashbacks it might incur, Scootaloo shrugged. "Maybe we could buy 'em off?"

"They prob'ly ain't gonna trust us about money either, since The CMC Bank Incident."

"Justice for Miss Piggy."

Apple Bloom shook her head. "Even if we got the gizmos, remember how bad our ramp turned out when we tried to build one?"

Resting her head on the table, Scootaloo sighed. "So much tree sap."

"Sap is right," came the haughty voice of Diamond Tiara, here by herself for as long as it took Silver to get both of them a lunch tray, "because that's all three of you!"

There was a moment in which the CMC exchanged deadpan looks, but none so much as turned their heads before Apple Bloom spoke up. "So, did we ever get around to tryin' that giant rubber band ball idea? 'Cuz if we just got the bands and some ladders, Ah'm sure we could-ow!" She winced and rubbed the back of her head, finally turning to look at the girl who'd thwapped her with a sigh. "Whaddya want, Diamond?"

"From you?" She scoffed. "Like, nothing! I-"

Tiredly propping her head up with an arm on the table, Scootaloo cut her off, the look on her face one normally reserved for school assemblies and sitting in a waiting room full of old people. "Then why are you bugging us?"

Diamond sputtered indignantly before remembering her reason for heckling them today. "I'm just letting you know that I'm gonna be in charge of the whole school soon! It's like, advanced notice." For some reason, Sweetie Belle was the only one who didn't look annoyed at her. Probably from Fancy Big Sister genes or something.

"How will you do that?"

"I'm gonna get that siren girl to help me," she answered with a cocky grin, "and when she teaches me everything she knows, there'll be nobody who can get in my way!"

There was another pause as the CMC traded glances, Scootaloo being the first to ask this time. "Like, what, with cheerleading?"

"Wha-?! No, stupid, I-"

"Ooh," squeaked Sweetie, a hopeful smile on her face, "maybe this is our chance! Maybe we can be cheerleaders now!"

"Luna shot us down buhfore," added an uncertain Apple Bloom before donning an optimistic smile, "but that was buhfore we had any big girls doin' it!"

Scootaloo smiled too. "The outfits we put together should still be in the costume trunk, let's go!"

Diamond stood there in shock as the trio got up, clenching her teeth when Apple Bloom waved at her with a "Thanks again, Diamond!" before running off without her.

The 'again' was probably because they owed her their stupid group name, but that was supposed to be a burn!

"Hah, all by yourself again, Apple Bloom? Hey, here's a club for you; The Canterlot Misfits Club!"

"Stupid Apple Bloom and her stupid friends," she grumbled as she stormed away from the now-empty table, "they're all gonna be sorry when I'm running this school!"

She was startled by something sharply yanking her jacket, pulling her face-to-face with that weirdo magician girl, sitting at one of the tables she was passing.

"Sorry," she said with a face like Spoiled Rich when she caught Diamond trying on her jewelry, "what was that? Trixie swears she heard a little baby say she was going to be running the show around here."

"I am," Diamond immediately shot back with narrowed eyes, "I'm gonna get the Fluffy Lady to tell me how to make people do whatever I want, and there's nothing you can do about it!"

Barely resisting the urge to point out the gaping hole in this kid's plan, Trixie repressed a smirk. "You wanna ask Adagio Dazzle, possibly the most sadistic and ruthless mind this school has ever seen, for a favor like how to make everyone worship the ground you walk on?" Chewing the thought, she smiled. "Glad I thought of it!"

"WHAT?!"

Letting Diamond go, Trixie chuckled and stood up. "If Trixie knew as much about manipulating people as she does, getting her long-overdue recognition as The Great, and Powerful Trixie would be a cakewalk!"

Her face reddening with rage, Diamond harshly pulled on the sleeve of Trixie's jacket. "You can't just-"

Unfazed, Trixie pushed her back with a light shove, then pointed at her while wearing a condescending smile. "I can, because one? Conquest of Canterlot High was already Trixie's idea, and two? One of the rules Adagio set for joining the cheer squad was completing Health class, which means she doesn't wanna waste time with little girls." She took a moment to savor the seething look of hatred from her already-beaten, hopelessly ill-matched opponent and chuckled. "Well," she said with a haughty toss of her hair before walking off, "Trixie is off to make arrangements for her spot in the cheer squad, where she'll have plenty of time to learn everything she needs to know. Seeya in the funny pages, short-stuff!"

It was as Diamond was trying to decide which would hurt more; running after Trixie to pull her skirt down in front of everyone or throwing someone's food at the back of her stupid head, that she heard Silver's voice.

"Wow," she said while standing next to her with two lunch trays, "I wasn't exactly expecting your plan to work, but I didn't expect it to fall apart that fast, either."

Still glaring at Trixie's departing figure, Diamond swiped a little carton of chocolate milk off one of the trays, popped it open, and chugged the contents for all she was worth before uttering a solemn oath: "I'll get her for this, I swear I'll get her back."

Ignoring the little tingle from the hairs on the back of her neck, Trixie walked out of the cafeteria, turned a corner, and stopped to lean her back against a wall.

All I have to do is join the cheer squad, use it as an excuse to get near her, and learn all her tricks, right? But, how would I get her to even talk about that sorta stuff? Just hang around her in the hope of free Mastermind tips? Stupid kid, this plan stinks!

She sighed.

Maybe it just needs work. Not like I know another way to get close to her without arousing suspicion. I'll probably have to build up some athleticism first, if I don't want her to laugh me out of the room for not being able to do enough splitty-leg jumps or whatever. Maybe Maud can help me out?

Pushing off the wall, she smiled. It was time for a trip to the Rock Pit!

...Or, it would be after school, because she didn't want to get busted for skipping again.

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

Back in the cafeteria, Rarity turned her head back to face the others after watching Trixie leave, eyebrow raised. "I can't be the only one worried that Sweetie and her friends just left not even halfway through lunch and Trixie Lulamoon followed them?"

"I'm sure the kids will be okay," assured Sunset before her gentle smile contorted into a mild grimace, "Trixie, though..."

Rainbow rolled her eyes. "She probably just wanted to make a dramatic exit for some reason. It's what, Tuesday?"

She and the others waited for the exact date, but looking at Twilight, they found her engrossed in composing an email on her phone, which led Rainbow to nod.

"Yep, Tuesday."

Dear Principal Cinch,

Nothing much has changed since Friday's message, but I am feeling more comfortable here than I thought I would. I confess that I feel silly now, re: Roving Bands of Bullies, but the students and staff alike are more welcoming than what I'd have expected from a regular high school. I'm still eagerly awaiting my first graded test at CHS, but until then, I'm afraid I have nothing interesting to share.

That concludes the first segment of the bi-weekly report!

I look forward to hearing from you,
Twilight Sparkle

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

"'More welcoming,'" Cinch uttered to herself as she scanned the email for a second time in the solitude of her office, "I should ask exactly what she means by that."

Dear Ms. Sparkle,

I seek clarification of the term: More Welcoming. Does this refer to a tendency to extend greetings on a regular basis, a general sense that your presence and that of those around you is 'welcome,' or another sense of the words? Feel free to ruminate on this until your next message to

Stopping, Cinch read over what she'd just typed, loosed a quiet sigh, highlighted the whole paragraph, and erased it with a single stroke of the Backspace key. She knew full well what 'more welcoming' meant; it was what a normal facility did with its human residents.

Back when she first attended Crystal Prep, she thought the brisk system of regarding students as students, not as children, was a refreshing change of pace, that the 'Hi, how can I help you's and 'It's okay, just do your best's could just as well stay in the common service industries where they belonged. That was where the failures went, wasn't it? Stuck waiting tables and scrubbing floors, moving boxes and packing shelves, none of the things an accomplished, successful mind that graduated from one of the finest schools in the world would be doing in their professional environments.

That was why it made so much sense to her; common schools and their more 'friendly' atmospheres were for common people who would be working 'friendly' jobs for those lacking in talent, where elite facilities like Crystal Prep Academy enforced exactly the kind of uncompromising demands and expectations on their students as would be seen in an expert-level occupation. Medical research and technological development didn't have time for 'How do you do?', did they?

Perhaps, perhaps not, but for her purposes, the question was "Does it help students learn at all?"

Aria Blaze and Sonata Dusk had yet to make use of Cadenza's aid thus far. As far as she knew, they hadn't so much as asked a question in class. They couldn't go to the guidance counselor until just today, because Cinch had only just found a replacement for the staff member that retired some weeks ago, but was it because the help was not needed, or that they just didn't feel welcome?

If Twilight felt it noteworthy enough to relay to her, perhaps it was worth consideration.

Dear Ms. Sparkle,

There has been little noticeable change on this end of things as well. The two girls from Canterlot High seem to be doing well enough, though I have no new findings to share in their adjustment myself. Should you ever decide to visit, I would ask that you not disturb them.

Regards,
Abacus Cinch

Author's Note:

I've got three short chapters for you, because roughly 6000 words didn't cut up neatly into two with the scenes I've got and I gather that 5000+ words is a lot to swallow at once for most people. Expect the next two tomorrow and the day after!

The best human world abbreviation I've heard for the CMC is "Canterlot Mercenary Club," but as I don't really see them operating as a paid task force in this story (because they have a knack for screwing things up and it wouldn't be long before no one trusted them to do things for them), I went with 'Misfits.'

I saw the "Canterlot Movie Club" short, but I feel like limiting the trio to movies is a little stifling in terms of shenanigans, unless their thing is to watch a movie and then immediately prove conservative soccer moms across the nation right by imitating everything they see. That, and this is an AU, so I can say they decided to own their weirdness instead of just copying other stuff they see. :moustache:

Twilight sends Cinch emails on Tuesday during lunch (not a fan of tacos, or Mexican food in general) and Friday after school, usually getting a reply within an hour or so.

Join us tomorrow as Aria and Sonata have a fateful encounter and... that's pretty much all that happens because it's one big, long scene!