• Published 20th Apr 2018
  • 2,457 Views, 80 Comments

Curriculum Vitae - Bookish Delight

Twilight Sparkle asks Starlight Glimmer to be the guidance counselor for the School of Friendship. Starlight, understandably, needs time to process this. And maybe a few strong drinks.

  • ...

2: First Interview

Thirty minutes later, Starlight Glimmer sat in a booth at Sugarcube Corner, holding a glass in one hand.

She eyed the liquid in the glass curiously, as a cat would eye potential prey—which, she'd been told beforehand, was pretty much what it was. But she'd cross that bridge when she came to it.

Starlight tilted the glass to one side. The viscous, colorful substance sloshed slowly to the right. She tilted the glass to the left. It moved slowly back to the left, like the Tank of drinks that it was.

She smiled, looking at the liquid, looking through the liquid, as if she could see into yet another alternate dimension through its morass. She moved the glass around and around, giggling at the miniature whirlpool that formed as she did so. She then took the straw which sat in the glass into her fingers, and stirred as hard as she could, making the whirlpool even deeper.

This was, hands down, much better than thinking about the question Twilight had asked her half an hour ago. All that was here, all that was now, was getting lost in the swirl, deeper and deeper, until—

An orange hand grasped her arm, settling the liquid, destroying the whirlpool, and bringing Starlight's fun to a screeching halt. Starlight looked up at Sunset Shimmer with a quiet, disappointed moan.

"Uh, Starlight?" Sunset Shimmer looked at her girlfriend concernedly. "You've... been playing with that for a while now, in between giving me blank stares. At least take a sip of your smoothie. Stirring it that hard will just make it get soupy."

Starlight didn't move.

Sunset sighed and placed the straw in Starlight's mouth. Starlight sipped. The strong, intense sugary flavoring hit her taste buds instantly. It was amazing. She really should have just tried drinking it in the first place. Who knew?

"Whoa, that is good," Starlight said. "Why is this dimension so great with sugary stuff? Seriously, with all this junk food, why isn't everyone in your world rolling around your streets like beach balls?"

Sunset snickered. "I asked Juniper that question once. She came back to me with a long document about the genre aesthetics of children's television shows. I can print it out and give it to you to take back if you want."

Starlight blinked. "What's a 'children's television show'?"

"Oh, yeah. Right." Sunset sighed again, sat back, and rolled her eyes with a sardonic grin. "Maybe you should finally just tell me why you're here."

"And then she said she wanted me to be the guidance counselor," Starlight was saying, after ten minutes of offscreen exposition and three smoothie refills. "I wasn't sure what that was at first, so I went to look it up, and—" She stopped. "Actually, wait! You do the school thing already, don't you?"

"I'm a student." Sunset shrugged, and smirked. "You're actually about to be promoted over me."

"We'll talk about that later. Possibly with roleplay. But for now, just so we're on the same page: in your world, what exactly is a 'guidance counselor'?"

"Oh. Well," Sunset said, putting her fingers to her chin in thought, "it's... someone who members of the student body can come to with their problems. Those problems can be social, personal, or just school-related life stuff. If the guidance counselor can't solve the problem themselves, they can point the way to others better suited, or at least provide emotional support." Sunset folded her hands. "Either way, it requires a great amount of love and empathy for other people, as well as a keen social awareness and intellect. At least, that's the impression I always got from watching Miss Cheerilee in action."

Starlight stared at Sunset again—then her forehead met the table with a muted thud. "Yeah. That's what Twilight's book said, too." She raised her head, looking back up at Sunset. "I can't do that! I can't do any of that."

Sunset looked back at Starlight, blinking in confusion. "Really? Because, I mean, from where I'm sitting, I don't see any problem. You took it upon yourself to learn about friendship, saved a world, and saved a city an entire dimension across from home from you, all without anyone asking you to."

"Yeah, after running a cult to rob ponies of their special callings in life while worshipping me in the process, trying to destroy the return of the Elements of Harmony, breaking all of time and space multiple times, mind-controlling ponies to try and to force them to be 'friends' I thought I could handle being around, wreaking havoc on Ponyville by storing anger mojo in a bottle, and causing untold amount of destruction with my magic in general!" Starlight counted on her fingers, deflating when she was done with her list. "I have the worst résumé for this gig."

Sunset's face scrunched. "So, there are things I could say, but before I do, I need full context. And I think you might as well. Did you ever ask Twilight why she thought you'd be a good fit for this guidance counselor position?"

Starlight sat in her seat, frozen, for a full ten seconds.

Then she bolted out of the diner and back to the portal, tripping over her own feet only twice in the process.

In the back of her mind, as she swirled through the portal, Starlight congratulated herself on her improved coordination.

In a flash of sparkles, Starlight once more reappeared in the main hall of the Castle of Friendship. Twilight stayed silent, simply looking at Starlight as the latter held out her hoof and caught her breath.

"Welcome back," Twilight eventually said with a small smile. "Did you manage to make a decision?"

"Not yet. Have a question," Starlight said, her breathing finally leveling off.

"Sure," Twilight said. "Fire away."

"Okay," Starlight said. "Why... why do you want me to be a guidance counselor?"

As Twilight's former student, Starlight had been privy to Twilight's lectures for months on end, so Starlight instantly recognized when her girlfriend closed her eyes, raised her hoof, and recited from the index cards in her mind.

"Because I think you'd be great for the job." Twilight's voice was confident and calm. "Being a guidance counselor requires a lot of love and empathy for other ponies, as well as a keen social awareness and intellect." She held up the book Starlight had brought into the room, opened to a page which showed a guidance counselor mare sitting at a desk, talking frankly with a younger pony. "Which you have in spades."

Starlight fixed Twilight with a blank, silent stare.