• Published 15th Aug 2019
  • 1,109 Views, 115 Comments

Duelist Team of Canterlot High - Brony-wan-kenobi

Six students will represent Canterlot High in a childrens card game tournament. And none of them are the main seven!

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Heated Intermission

Duel Scores:

Canterlot High: 3

Appleloosa High: 4

Light applause was scattered as the duel came to an end. Pharynx stood there, watching his opponent shrug before turning around to head back to his team while the holograms began to fade. For a moment or two Pharynx just stood there, wondering if there could have been anything he could have done differently. Maybe if he had managed to get Hercules out there or had more cards in his deck that would have allowed him to deal with traps. Perhaps even a few cards to help him recover his resources from the graveyard.

After a moment longer, Pharynx turned to leave the field. As he did he noticed that Breaburn was the only one who was smiling at Troubleshoes, punching his fist into the other teens shoulder in a playful fashion. The others seemed for the most part bored, too busy on their phones to realize that the match was over. And those were the ones who were still there! It seemed at least two had left during that match leaving a very angry Silver Star to pace back and forth.

Sighing, Pharynx looked ahead to where his team should have been. However his view was impeded by Vice-Principal Luna who gently placed a hand on his shoulder. “You did good out there,” she said.

“Maybe, but I still lost,” muttered Pharynx as his cheeks darkened. Due to the closeness and his rather, er, unflattering height he found himself getting an eyeful of Luna’s bosom without meaning to. It was pretty obvious to the boy that the stern head of discipline at the school wouldn’t take too kindly to having him ogle her chest.

Quickly he turned to look away only to find himself looking at another girl. “Sure you lost,” said Lightning. “But you nearly had him there at the end! And at least you went down swinging instead of giving up like some sort of wuss. Be proud of that.”

“She’s right,” said Hunter as he as well as the rest of the team approach, Luna releasing her hold on him as they did. “It was simply a bad match up. Probably the worst type of deck for someone like you to go up against. But despite that you gave it your all. And that’s all anyone here could ask of you.”

“I have no idea what those creepy bug things were, but they were amazing!” cried Autumn as she pumped a fist into the air. “They were like Monarchs only super scary looking!” She then blinked before edging a little closer to Pharynx, moving her mouth close to his ear before whispering. “But the whole life point taking thing looked super painful. Do you, like, have some sort of weird fetish we should know about?”

“What?!?” shouted Pharynx as he took several steps backwards, staring at Autumn who grinned at him. “No! I don’t… I mean how could you think…”

“Relax,” said Autumn with a laugh as she waved off his stuttering jumble. “I’m just messing with you.”

Frowning, Pharynx opened his mouth to say that it wasn’t funny. However before he could utter a sound the announcer’s voice boomed across the field. “Well everyone, that was a nice match for APPLELOOSA! Seeing as how everybody out there is scattered about, we’ll take a ten minute break so ya’ll can finish up whatever you’re doing and head back to your seats. Better hurry because the next match up has been decided: our own Quick Strike vs Lightning Dust of Canterlot High!”

“Yes!” cried Lightning Dust as she jumped up, shooting a fist into the air as she did. “‘Bout time I got a chance to duel. Now everyone here can see what real awesomeness looks like!” Grinning, she moved next to Pharynx and swung an arm around his neck. The next thing Pharynx knew was he was so close to Lightning that he could smell the body wash she used as well as feeling something else. “And don’t worry buddy. I’ll make sure to give them some payback just for you.”

“Ah t-thanks,” stammered Pharynx. “But just don’t get too cocky.” As he spoke, he looked over at the rest of his team for help. However all he saw were several amused looks, VP Luna even crossing her arms with a wide smile on her face.

“Ahhh, thanks there buddy,” replied Lightning as she somehow managed to bring him even closer. “Nice to see you worrying about me again. But don’t worry, I’ve got this one. Me and my deck are going to make…them…” Lightning’s words trailed off while her grip on him loosened. At first, all Pharynx could see were his teammates who were all looking at Lightning with surprise and possibly alarm. Turning to look at her, Pharynx saw that her expression as anything but happy or cocky. Instead she looked utterly pissed! Her eyes were narrow and pupils so small that they were the size of pin needles. As her arms fell to her sides Lightning’s fists became clenched along with her teeth.

Naturally worried at what could have caused her to behave like this, Pharynx turned his attention to the bleachers alongside Lightning. From what he could tell everything seemed normal. The steps leading up and down the bleachers were jam packed. Some seemed to be struggling to get out and back to the parking lot so they could grab a quick snack or drink before the next duel. Others were fighting to get back to their seats, moving against the downward current. One or two people were just standing as they stretched. But nothing about any of this seemed like something that would set Lightning off. So what could have…

Then, Pharynx saw it. It was only for a moment, but he saw it. Rainbow colored hair following a flame colored one, moving down towards the exit.

“They showed up?” he whispered in surprise. That surprise was tripled as Lightning ran off without another word, kicking chunks of dirt and grass in her wake as she did.

Rainbow followed Spitfire with a half lidded expression on her face, shoulders slightly slumped as she walked. In one hand she held her drink precariously by the lid so that the slightest pull from gravity would cause it to come flying down, slashing their legs with its cola goodness. The high she had felt since the first duel had long passed mostly due to the boring nature of the second duel. But that didn’t compare to what she was feeling now.

“Hey, Spitfire,” she grumbled the two made their way onto the parking lot. Spitfire didn’t answer, instead she weaved through the crowd. Like the needle on a compass, Spitfire’s eyes seemed to be fixated in the direction of the duel team from their school. She weaved this way and that, doing her best not to step on any toes.

“Spitfire,” repeated Rainbow as the two approached a line of port-a-johns. Here the crowd was at its thinnest, with the only people who would come close would be those who had to. Or Spitfire who was getting pretty close to the smelly plastic stalls. Just past them and they would be behind the Canterlot team.

As Spitfire began looking through the spaces between them…for some reason that Rainbow didn’t really want to know, Rainbow’s patience had come to an end. “Spitfire! Stop!” While she didn’t yell it, her voice carried with it enough force to finally grab the other girl’s attention. Not to mention that Rainbow had also thrown her cup against one of the stall doors. Liquid went flying in all directions causing Spitfire to jump in surprise before she rounded on Rainbow.

“What are you doing?!” demanded Spitfire as she approached Rainbow.

“What am I doing?” echoed Rainbow, pacing her hands on her chest in an exaggerated motion before stretching them out to Spitfire. “What are you doing Spitfire? You drag me all the way out here letting me think that we were just going to chill and watch some good duels. But that wasn’t the real reason, was it? No, you just want to keep stalking Lightning like some creep! For the love of God and everything awesome in the world, move on Spits!”

“Y-You,” stammered Spitfire as she retreated back a step so that her back was against the portable toilets. Her eyes were wide looking like she had just been struck by Rainbow’s back hand. As if something Rainbow had said had sunken in. However that didn’t last long as her eyes narrowed with determination while stepping forward. “You have to understand that-”

“No, I don’t,” interrupted Rainbow as she waved her arm in a silencing fashion. “Do you know why? Because this has become an obsession of yours!”

“I’m looking after my classmates!” growled Spitfire as she took a step forward, stomping her foot loudly as she did. “I’m trying to make sure no one else gets hurt or in trouble because of her! Is that so wrong?”

“Not when you take it to this level!” shouted Rainbow, causing several people’s heads to turn in their direction. “We’re giving up our Friday night, driving like a hundred hours to get here, all so you can do this! It’s insane. What are you going to do when we graduate? Watch Lightning from the shadows and every time she tries to join anything you ruin it for her!”

“Well…I never really…”

“Spitfire, I’m telling you this as a friend: let this go,” continued Rainbow. “Because, sooner or later, somebody is going to get-”

“You Bitch!” came a loud, snarling voice. Time seemed to slow down, with scenes appearing like photographs every time Rainbow blinked. The first shot was of Spitfire turning her head and looking startled. After blinking, Spitfire’s eyes were as wide as saucers looking up as Lightning was seen lunging at her. Lightning’s lower body was a blur, with her arms outstretched like claws ready to rip Spitfire apart. Another blink and the two had collided, Spitfire falling backwards while Lightning snarled at her. Then, when they hit the ground, time seemed to resume.

“…Hurt,” finished Rainbow, barley heard over Lightning’s noises of rage. Sighing, Rainbow moved quick enough to push Lightning off. As the angered girl scrambled to her feet, Rainbow helped a shocked, panting Spitfire to hers. “Alright, let’s just calm down. We don’t want any trouble here.”

“I doubt that!” yelled Lightning as she pointed Spitfire. “She came here looking to cause trouble!” With that, Lightning lunged forward towards Spitfire. Thankfully Rainbow saw that in time to get between the two, keeping them apart at arms length.

“See what I mean,” said Spitfire as she pointed at Lightning. “She’s a danger to everyone around her!”

“Not…helping,” grunted Rainbow as Lightning somehow got a new burst of strength. Perhaps it was rage fueled for she let out another howl as she tried to take several swipes at Spitfire, clawing at the air like a caged animal who saw that its prey was close. And in that scenario Rainbow was the bars which had already begun to bend.

“Shut up!” screamed Lightning before she pulled back. Finally free of the pressure, Rainbow lowered her arms before turning to look at her former friend. She stood there looking…hurt. “You made a deal with Pharynx, remember! If he bet you in a duel then you would leave us alone. But you couldn’t do that, could you? Could you?! Just have to keep twisting that knife in my back over and over again along with Rainbow!”

“Whoa, now hold on,” said Rainbow as she held up her hands in an effort to calm everything down. “Look, I really have no idea what’s going on. So please don’t go dragging me into this.”

“Well it’s a little too late because you helped start all this!” yelled Lightning before placing a hand over her heart. “I thought you were cool. That you were my friend! We could have been great together, but it looks like you only wanted the spotlight for yourself!”

Rainbow stood there, mouth hanging for what seemed like forever, until the shock ended. “I would never do that!” she shouted. “How could you even think that?”

“Lets see,” said Lightning, her voice filled with anger as she spoke. “We had a fight before you went running off. Then I get called into the locker room and you have a bag full of your stuff with Spitjerk standing next to you. I’m then told I’m off the team and her begging you to stay.” At that moment, Lightning’s face turned back into an angry snarl. “Let me guess, you told her that it was either me or you? Of course she would pick you since you’re just slightly better than me.”

“That’s not what happened!” shouted both Spitfire and Rainbow together.

“I went to talk to her after you did that stunt during practice,” said Rainbow. “Remember? The soccer ball went flying, hit that guy on the riding mower in the head which knocked him out and his rider nearly ran over Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie.”

“They just stood there!” yelled Lightning in response, pressing a finger against Rainbow’s chest. “You had enough time to run over to it, hop on, and then turn it off. More than enough time for them to side step it. But no, they just stood there like a couple of idiots. Besides, it was an accident! All we were doing was practicing some sick moves with our power kicks. It was an accident!”

“But that was part of the problem!” yelled Rainbow. “There were a lot of accidents around you. Like when you were so focused on scoring that goal you kicked me in the leg. I had to run the rest of the day with a limp. Or the time you stole that call from Cloud Kicker and broke her leg in the process. You were so focused scoring the goal that you didn’t notice that she was down until you rounded back, laughing!”

“Accidents happen in sports,” shot back Lightning. “We all get bruised up from time to time. How we deal with it and how hard we push ourselves separates those who see it as just a game from those who are really into it. I was out there giving it a hundred and ten percent everyday because it was everything to me. I wanted to do this for the rest of my life! Maybe get into the Air Force College or something like that on a scholarship so I could choose to either stay in the service or go pro. Heck, Spitjerk never said a thing about those accidents.”

“Because I thought they were just that, accidents,” said Spitfire as she stepped into the conversation again. “All I saw was a girl pushing herself. But that changed after I talked to Rainbow!”

“I see,” said Lightning as she crossed her arms. “So let me get this straight, after a week of never having a problem with how I was practicing you just suddenly had a problem with it? And that Rainbow never said she was leaving the team?”

That took Spitfire clearly by surprise. Slowly she looked at Rainbow with something like embarrassment on her face. “Ah…well…” began Spitfire, her tone sheepish.

Rainbow, however, shook her head. “I never said she had to pick one of us Lightning! All I wanted was for this recklessness to end! Because, well, we should be able to give it our all and still be safe. And when it looked like that wasn’t going to happen I thought it wasn’t worth staying on the team. Believe me, I was just as surprised when she kicked you off the team.”

Rainbow watched as Lightning was visibly taken aback by this. Her eyes went wide for a moment before looking away, scratching the back of her neck. “You never said anything about it,” she mumbled.

“Because you were trying to bite my head off before I managed to even say hello,” said Rainbow. Slowly she placed a hand on her heart as she took a step forward. “There are times that I really miss you, you know? You were the only one who could play nearly as well as me. I mean the rest of the team is ok, but none of them have ever pushed me like you did. Made me want to get better. We could have been Captain and Vice-Captain right now. Maybe the best Canterlot High had ever seen.”

Rainbow watched as Lightning closed her eyes tightly. “I think about it a lot as well,” she said, hurt dripping in her voice. Her teeth then began to clench as she rounded on Spitfire. “But that’ll never happen, will it?! Because someone decided to kick me off the team without so much as a warning! Just everything cool, ‘Great job out there Lightning’ one minute and then I’m off the team the next. Then it gets better because I can’t play on ANY team. I’m off after one accident and sometimes not even that! Just keep following me around.”

“Even when others tell her not to,” came the voice of Vice-Principal Luna. All three turn to see her standing there, hands on her hips, with Mr. Silver Star standing next to her. Neither of them looked all too happy at the moment and Rainbow got the sinking feeling that they were now in serious trouble. Briefly she glanced over at Spitfire to see something she never thought possible. Tough as nails, eat you up and spit you back out again Spitfire looked utterly terrified!

“W-Why are you,” began Spitfire as beads of sweat rolled down her face. But whatever she was going to say was stopped by a very harsh look from Vice-Principal Luna.

“Word reached both myself and Mr. Silver Star that a fight had broken out,” said Luna in a tone so cold that it gave Rainbow the shivers. “Given that Lightning had sped off in a rage and Pharynx confirmed that he had spotted you in the stands, it didn’t take me very long to figure out what might have happened. I had hoped that it was someone else though.” She then looked at Rainbow with a piercing look. “I was surprised to hear that you were here, though.”

“It’s not her fault,” said Spitfire quickly, her fear forgotten in the moment. “I brought her here without telling her what I was doing.”

“That may be so, but she did get involved in this regardless,” said Luna. She then looked at Mr. Silver Star. “How would you like to handle this? We are on your grounds after all.”

Silver Star sighed, scratching his head as he did so. For a moment, Rainbow feared the worst. If she remembered correctly, fighting on school grounds was at least a suspension back at Canterlot. Perhaps here as well. If he suggested that, then Rainbow might also position as Captain all because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time! Not only that, but the duel team would lose a member and might be forced to forfeit the rest of the game! This just didn’t seem fair! But…maybe that wouldn’t happen? Mr. Silver Star seemed like a chill dude. Maybe he would let them off with a warning or something?

“These may be Appleloosa grounds, but they are your students,” he said, causing Rainbow’s face to fall. “Think it may be best for you to handle this.”

Luna nodded while Rainbow felt her heart sink with despair. “Ms. Spitfire, when we last spoke, I made it clear that no un-sportsman like behavior would be tolerated from Ms. Lightning Dust. That she would be dealt with should that happen. Given that she ran off while as a guest of another school and got into a fight with a member of the audience, I believe that it qualifies as un-sportsmen.” Out of the corner of her eye, Rainbow saw Lightning’s legs quiver as if they were suddenly straining to keep her standing. A look of utter torment appeared on her face while tears began to form in her eyes. It wasn’t fair! They were the ones who really caused all this.

“However,” continued Luna after taking a breath. “Before I left to see what the fight was about, Mr. Pharynx told me about the duel he had with you Ms. Spitfire. About why you two had it and what the deal was. So considering that Ms. Spitfire had been both harassing and stalking Ms. Lightning Dust, I am willing to show her some ligancy this time.” At that, Lightning’s legs gave out. She fell to her knees in front of everybody, but with a smile on her face.

“Thank you,” she said, cleaning her eyes with her arm as she did so.

“Don’t thank me just yet,” said Luna as she shook her head. “The three of you still got into a fight and caused trouble so I cannot just pretend this didn’t happen. All three of you will report to detention on Monday. Ms. Spitfire, I am going to schedule a meeting with your parents to talk about your behavior. As for you Ms. Lightning, you are going to be seeing the school counselor at least twice a week to deal with this anger issue.” Luna then turned to look at Mr. Silver Star. “Does that seem sufficient to you?”

“Well, had any of my students been involved I would have demanded something a tad tougher,” admitted Mr. Silver Star. “But seeing as that’s not the case, as long as they get some punishment then I’m ok with it. Just glad our school’s first real duel wasn’t canceled. Would have been a real nightmare.”

Shortly after that, everyone parted ways. Mr. Silver Star walked off towards his team while VP Luna escorted Lightning Dust back to their own team without another word. This left Rainbow and Spitfire alone. Neither had been told to leave, so that was something. However, there was some tension in the air between them.

“Rainbow,” said Spitfire softly. “I’m sorry I-” She stopped however as Rainbow held up a hand.

“Spits, I still respect you,” said Rainbow as she gave her friend a tired look. “But right now, I really don’t want to talk to you.” And with that, Rainbow headed back to her seat. Alone.

Lightning walked next to Vice Principal Luna, not knowing what to say. While she didn’t like being in trouble, she knew it could have been so much worse. Her parents would have killed her if they heard that she had gotten suspended. And she didn’t want to think about what they would have done had she gotten expelled. Most likely her body would never be found. Plus it was sort of…nice having a teacher standing up for her like that.

“Just so we’re clear,” said Luna, breaking the silence between them. Lightning looked up to see that the older woman had a stern expression on her face. “That will be the only time I cover for you like that.”

“Because of the game?” asked Lightning. Yeah, that had to be it. This match was meant to see if the Duel Team would become a permanent thing at Canterlot. Having to forfeit would be a clear cause to dismiss it. Plus, wouldn’t Vice Principal Luna get in trouble as well? So yeah, guess it would make sense she would go easy on her like this.

“No,” was the shocking answer Luna gave, almost causing Lightning to stumble in her steps. “It’s because both me and Principal Celestia failed you so many times before. We had trusted Coach Iron Will had been following the rules, meeting with your parents and talking with you about any issues you were having before removing you from the team. It seems our trust was misplaced. Had we known about this sooner, we could have intervened.”

“Wait, you mean Iron Jac-, er, Iron Will and Spitfire couldn’t just kick me off the team like that?” asked a shocked Lightning Dust.

“Unless the situation was extreme, no, he couldn’t. Even if it was, he still should have informed us or made a record of the incident,” replied Luna simply before looking down at Lightning. “Once Principal Celestia returns from her trip, the two of us will be having a sit down with you and Coach Iron Will. Hopefully he’ll see the error in what he’s done and failed to do. But he won’t be able to bar you from trying out for any of the teams again, provided you make a small effort on your part.” Luna then sighed as she shook her head. “You are a driven student, that much is clear. But if you want to succeed in life, really succeed where it matters, you need to stop being so reckless. At the very least, show some remorse for the damage you cause.”

Lightning opened her mouth, ready to defend herself. It wasn’t her fault other people got in her way. They weren’t motivated like she was to do what it took to be the best! Why should she slow down just for them? Yet before a word could be uttered, she remembered all the things Rainbow had told her. How they had lost time because Lightning had been biting her head off every time they saw each other. That all she had wanted was for her to be a little more careful on the field.

Now that she thought about it a bit, perhaps she was a bit at fault. Sure, Pinkie and Fluttershy shouldn’t have stood there like a couple of idiots…but she was the one trying to do that super cool kick that started it all. And maybe she should have asked to see if they were ok instead of being impressed that Rainbow had been able to save them like that. Would a simple sorry have been too much?

Plus there was the fact that she was getting a second chance. Perhaps it wasn’t a smart move to mouth off to the adult who was cool enough to do that for her.

“Right, thanks Coach,” said Lightning. It was the only thing she could think of to say and perhaps it was the wrong thing as Luna seemed to stumble in her steps. The older woman looked down at her with an odd expression.

“Coach?” she echoed as they approached the team.

“Well, that’s what you are right now,” said Lightning with a sheepish smile. “Just sort of seemed right to call you that, you know?”

Coach Luna smiled at that. “Perhaps,” she said as the two of them made their way towards the rest of the team.