• 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 8: The Best-Laid Plans (Part 1)

"Whaddya mean 'they're nobodies?!'"

"Just what I said," scoffed Sunny Flare, sitting nearby at the lunch table as she lightly massaged an ear, "they aren't an academic threat and hold no titles, have earned no trophies, and aren't even in the top five students of any class. Nobodies."

Kind of seeing what CHS kids were going on about now, Aria tried to ignore Sunny's snobbishness in favor of focusing on what this meant about her new rivals. Of course, Aria and Sonata themselves didn't have any of those things yet either, but they were still new here, so at least they had an excuse.

"They're total wimps, too," Indigo interjected, "I told the pink one to pick any sport she liked; archery, badminton, baseball, basketball, boxing, climbing-"

Is she going in alphabetical order...?

She was, until gently poked in the head by Sugarcoat, whereupon she stopped and cleared her throat, a hint of contrition on her face. "A-anyway, she and the other one always chickened out, so I just stopped talking to them."

Sonata tilted her head. "Like, total I-can't-see-you-but-you-know-I-can-nyah-nyah-na-na-na ignoring?"

Indigo shrugged. "I don't know how things are at other high schools, but this is Crystal Prep. If they're not gonna bring any game, they're not worth anyone's time."

Having thought that Indigo Zap was one of the most laid-back students here, witnessing the utter disdain in her face and voice clued Aria in that putting your money where your mouth is was a big deal here. That suited her fine, because she wasn't the type to talk big if she couldn't back it up. As long as she could prove that, she'd have a huge head-start over Glitz and Glitter.

"For the sake of your sanity," added Sunny as she examined her expertly-manicured nails, "it'd be best if you ignored them too."

Aria disappointed herself by looking at Sonata with the expectation of any kind of thought or understanding of what they just heard regarding their new rivals, but as usual, the idiot was just stuffing her face. Well, maybe that was okay this time, because it sounded like Glitz and Glitter were small-time. The thought that they had essentially the same plan as Aria bothered her a bit, but if they never 'brought any game,' then what did it matter?

She'd focus on her own rise to power, which would start with a presentation in Social Studies. She and Sonata were in that one together and everyone was told to group up for this thing, probably to keep each individual student from rambling on for twenty minutes apiece. Just as she'd hoped, nobody had any faith in the new girls, especially because they came from CHS as 'dumb, pom-pom-swinging' cheerleaders, which meant she and Sonata would be by themselves.

Suckers!

What the rest of her class didn't know yet was that Aria had spent over a hundred years watching Adagio instruct Sonata, and knew just what gears to turn and which wind-up back-things to spin to get her to do just what she needed to blow everyone else's little show-and-tell out of the water. Since it was basically just History, all they had to do was memorize a story and get a powerpoint presentation put together.

Oh sure, the standards were gonna be high, she knew that before the assignment was even given, but while these hard-working stiffs were gonna have all the boxes checked and do exactly what was expected of them, they'd be missing something a siren had down pat: Presentation!

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

"Isn't there anything you can do?!"

Sitting in the living room recliner with a copy of the Canterlot Police Department regulation handbook (and not the For Dummies edition!) open on his lap, rookie cop Shining Armor frowned. "Even if I were authorized to just go digging through her files, assuming she has any, because I felt like it, if there were anything that'd get her arrested in there, don't you think she'd have already been taken in for it?"

Letting herself fall backward onto the couch, Cadence let out a long, exasperated breath. "There's gotta be something she did, or something she does all the time, that isn't legal, or at least something shady that we can use if she steps out of line!"

Shining raised an eyebrow. "Shady like... literally conspiring to get someone fired?" He flinched when Cadence's head whipped in his direction, pouting.

"Whose side are you on?"

"Yours, but look at what you're asking me to do here!"

Thinking about it, she pouted harder. Okay, so maybe she wasn't going about this in the cleanest possible way, but Chrysalis was a bad person! Cadence could feel it from her! Who knew what kind of twisted, unethical things she would impart on the impressionable youth of Crystal Prep?! Not helping was that the prestigious school already had a bit of a... reputation, in that department.

Come to think of it, was that why Principal Cinch hired her in the first place? I don't think she's anywhere near as bad as Chrysalis, but I have to admit that the woman has had some... ethical lapses herself.

She was brought back to awareness by Shining sitting on the couch beside her, placing a very warm and sympathetic arm across her shoulders.

"It'll be alright, Cady. If she crosses a line, you'll be there to stop her, but if she doesn't? She'll just be a coworker that was involved in what'll be a funny story some day."

Slumping against him, Cadence sighed, as much in defeat as with cuddly bliss as she nuzzled into his shoulder. "I guess."

She definitely wasn't laughing about that incident right now, though. Maybe it was funny from the outside; a lovely and adventurous maiden bringing her charming prince along to a place of... less than wholesome activity, if one didn't believe wholeheartedly in the love between those making use of such a building.

Okay, okay, it was something like a hotel for hook-ups, something a friend from college had told her about when she hinted that she wanted to try something exciting with Shiny. You'd pay a modest fee, look over the options, and pick out a room with whatever tickles your peach. Cadence went there with her adorably naive boyfriend, made sure he understood what he was supposed to do when he found her room, and then headed off to get ready by herself.

What went wrong was some kind of mix-up at the front desk, sending him to completely the wrong room.

Her room.

Apparently, one Q. Chrysalis was there that same night, bound, gagged, and blindfolded while waiting for her own date to arrive.

Cadence wasn't mad at Shiny, because when she came looking for him and heard what went wrong, she was able to confirm that, yes, it was pretty dark in that room when the door was shut. That explained why she found her loving, faithful boyfriend with his hands and tongue all over a strange, nearly naked woman.

That might have been funny! His face when he understood the mistake was pretty memorable, but that wasn't what had Cadence so angry about the whole incident even to this day.

No, no, what bothered her was that, when Chrysalis was untied and Shiny was waiting out in the front room, she insisted on offering her thoughts on their relationship.

"He's barely got foreplay figured out and you take him to a place like this?"

"Got itches he isn't scratching, hm?"

"I can tell he thinks the world of you, but you haven't been completely honest with him, have you?"

"I heard those pet names, by the way. Cute, but the fairytale couple thing never lasts."

"Hahahaha! Ohh, honey, if I were you, I'd open up with him right away, because the longer you keep this little facade going, the harder it'll be on him when he sees the real you."

Only because the smarmy bitch had no qualms sharing her presumption that she knew more about their relationship than someone who was actually in it did Cadence let her know exactly what she thought of her before storming out, expecting to never see that vile woman again.

Maybe running into her at work would be in the 'funny story' category someday too?

We still have the coupons they gave us for that place to make up for the wrong room thing, but I really don't wanna make a hat trick out of this if she still goes there.

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

Heavy rocks. Hot sun. Grainy, grimy dirt. Sweaty clothes. Aching body. Trixie was not having a good time in the rock quarry, but it was definitely helping her build muscle. Besides...

"Thank you for helping me out here," droned Maud in her quiet monotone. Not that she needed help, but it was nice to have company.

Moving rocks into arbitrary formations seemed to make Maud happy (Trixie could tell, okay?), and Trixie loved to be appreciated! That is why she stopped to appreciate herself with a rest, sliding to a sitting position and slumping against the latest in a row of big rocks.

"...Are you okay?"

Looking up at Maud, Trixie didn't want to think about what this girl had to be made of to not even look winded. She was pretty sure Maud had passed her a few times, too. Still, she managed to shakily raise one arm to wave her off.

"Trixie is fine, thank you for asking."

Turning away from the same rock, Maud sat down to lean against it. "...There are easier ways to exercise. If your goal is to join the cheerleading gang, a runner's physique may have been more appropriate."

Trixie scoffed. "What, take up jogging? That thing people say they'll do from now on, do for like two days, then quit?"

One would have to look very closely to see Maud raising an eyebrow. "By 'people,' do you perhaps mean yourself?" She waited through Trixie's indignant noises.

"Th-that is beside the point! I need to get stronger fast because Adagio isn't going to be around forever! The junior year will be over in a couple months, and then there's just one year, minus summer, to learn all her tricks and take over the school!"

"..."

While she was used to slow replies from Maud, this one seemed to take a little longer than usual, Trixie turning her head with a raised eyebrow. "No comment?"

"...It's a pretty short reign, isn't it?" Trixie's face said elaboration would not go amiss, so she complied with that silent wish. "If Adagio is the puppetmaster you believe she is, how long would it take you to learn everything she could teach you? If you do not ask her directly, even if she were to accept without question, how long will it be before the learning even begins? How long after that would it take to achieve conquest of the school as you hope to? How much time after all of that remains to enjoy the fruits of labor?"

It was unlike Trixie to take longer than perhaps ten seconds to respond, at most, but the silence lingered into minutes this time. Maud was not opposed, happy to spend the quiet moment together, but the wide-eyed, open-mouthed shock suggested that Trixie was not as at peace with this situation. Perhaps it was due to perception of a great flaw in her plan, meaning that the effort to train her body was for nothing and her prospects for the future were dashed.

In silent treachery, that had been Maud's hope. However, while she wished to lead Trixie away from her scheme, Maud knew it wasn't her place to decide that for her, and if Trixie realized on her own what Maud already knew, Trixie may be even less pleased. That in mind, she divulged the last detail.

"...Given the remaining time, you could always apply her lessons to college."

For better or worse, Trixie brightened immediately. "Hey, yea! I could totally be on top of the food chain in higher-than high school! I bet things would be a little different there, but it's okay, because thinking fast and adapting are things I know Adagio knows how to do! If I get in on the ground floor of her cheer squad before anyone else joins, I'll have until we both graduate to learn all I can from her, then the rest of my life to use it! Hahahaha, it's perfect!"

Still internally conflicted, Maud was at least happy that Trixie was in a good mood now. She still suspected that Trixie's plans would eventually hurt her, and likely others, but Trixie might ultimately be saved from her short-sightedness by another fault Maud had gotten to know in her.

Trixie was fickle.

Author's Note:

Yes, Aria has seen Megamind, too.

I'd have really liked to end this chapter on a joke, or at least something that felt a little less uncomfortably ominous, but the only gag I could think of here just wasn't working.