• Published 1st Sep 2019
  • 1,707 Views, 231 Comments

No Longer Living In A Van Down By The River - Peni Parker

Since The Dazzlings agreed to be motivational speakers at CHS they're no longer living in a van down by the river, but the job may make them wish they still were.

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Aria and Trixie

It was lunch time at CHS and Aria Blaze was enjoying a Reuben sandwich alone in her office. Aria often at lunch alone in her office, not wanting to have to deal with students anymore than she already had to as part of her motivational speaker job. Even on days when she forgot to bring a lunch with her, she didn’t dare go into the cafeteria. She made the mistake of trying to quickly grab slice of pizza from the cafeteria once and ended up spending her whole lunch break consoling Zephyr Breeze after he’d just been rejected by ten girls in ten minutes. Since then, she vowed to never set foot in the cafeteria during lunch again.

“Wow, this is really good.” Aria commented as she took another bit of her sandwich. “When did Sonata get so good at making anything other than tacos?”

Just then, the door to Aria’s office unexpectedly flung open, causing the poor Dazzling to nearly choke on her food.

“THE GREAT AND POWERFUL TRIXIE REQUIRES YOUR ASSISTANCE!” Trixie Lulamoon loudly declared from the doorway as she entered the room.

“Oh fuck my life.” Aria quietly remarked as she swallowed her food and put her sandwich down.

“Yes, I know it’s difficult to believe,” Trixie said in her usual grandiose manner as she took a seat in front of Aria’s desk. “But the Great and Powerful Trixie is in dire need of help.”

“Oh, you’re in dire need of help alright, Trixie,” Aria brazenly stated, angry that her lunch had been interrupted. “Far more than I can give you.”

“Hmph,” Trixie huffed, narrowing her eyes to glare at Aria. “Trixie had hoped that Sonata would be here today, but since she’s is in a bind you’ll have to do.”

Aria involuntarily stood up from her seat and slammed her hands down on her desk after hearing Trixie’s words.

“Why is it that every time I’m the one who’s here someone wants Sonata?!” she hollered, “I’m just as good, no, better at this job than she is!”

Trixie was a tad startled by Aria’s sudden outburst, but she managed to keep her composure enough to respond.

“Well, for starters, Sonata doesn’t yell at people.” She sharply replied, so much so that it would've made Adagio jealous. “And she has a far more pleasant attitude.”

In the old days, Aria would’ve grabbed Trixie by the collar and let her have it for talking to her like that. But she was a school employee now, and wailing on a student was something she was fairly sure Principal Celestia would frown upon. Not wanting to lose her job, Aria took a deep breath and sat back down.

“What is it that you need help with, Trixie?” She reluctantly, and begrudgingly, asked.

Trixie gave a pretentious smile before answering, feeling like she’d achieved some small victory against the former siren.

“Well, Trixie has a show tonight and her regular assistant is…indisposed, so she needs a replacement; you.” She said as she pointed to Aria.

“Huh?” Aria asked in pure and utter bewilderment.

“Don’t worry, dear Aria,” Trixie said as she took hold of Aria’s hand with her left hand, patting it with her right. “Trixie knows your stage experience is, shall we say, ‘limited’, but she has every confidence in you.”

Aria pulled her hand free of Trixie and used it to facepalm herself.

“Trixie,” she said with her hand still on her face. “What do you think my job here is?”

Trixie raised a single eyebrow, wondering why Aria was asking her such an obvious question.

“You’re some kind of helper or something, right?” She pretentiously stated.

“No, Trixie, I’m a motivational speaker.” Aria corrected, taking her hand off her face.

“Eh. Helper, motivational speaker, same difference.” Trixie commented.

“They’re not the same!” Aria replied a bit more emotionally than intended, causing her to take another deep breath before continuing. “Look, my job is to motivate students, not be at their beck and call whenever they need help with a magic show.”

“So, you won’t help Trixie?” Trixie inquisitively asked.

“No, I won’t.” Aria clarified.

A look of frustration crossed Trixie’s face as she stood up from her seat.

“Fine then,” she sulked. “I guess I’ll just have to go talk to Principal Celestia about how her ‘motivational speaker’ isn’t willing to help a poor and distraught student.”

Aria couldn’t help but feel a bit perplexed as she watched Trixie head for the door. Was she really just threatened, by Trixie?

“Go ahead,” she called out to the frustrated teen. “I’m sure she’ll agree that being your assistant isn’t in my job description.”

Trixie stopped dead in her tracks and turned back around. She hadn't expected Aria to call her bluff, but she had.

“Oh yeah, well, maybe she’d like to hear about how you threatened a student.” She countered.

“What?!” Aria hollered as she vehemently stood up. “I never threatened you, Trixie!”

“Who’s Celestia going to believe?” Trixie acrimoniously asked. “One of her students, or a girl who once tried to take over the school?”

Aria could feel the anger bubbling up inside her, as was evidenced by her enraged expression. She wanted nothing more in that moment than to jump over her desk and take all that anger out on Trixie’s smug face. But she managed to keep that anger in check, and actually consider Trixie’s threat.

Would Celestia really believe I threatened a student? She silently questioned.

It was true that her and her sisters did try to take over the school, but they had changed and Celestia knew that. However, they hadn’t been employed at the school for very long and Celestia did have her reservations about hiring them at the start. It was possible she still did have those reservations, and a student claiming they were threatened by one of them might be all she needed to dismiss them.

As much as Aria hated to admit it, Trixie had her cornered. She couldn’t risk the aspiring magician going to Celestia and possibly getting her and her sisters fired.

“Ugh, fine.” She conceded as she defeatedly sat back down. “I’ll be your assistant, Trixie.”

“Excellent.” Trixie smugly replied. “Meet me in the gym after school for set up and a run through.”

Having successfully gotten the help she came in for, Trixie promptly left Aria’s office, leaving the Dazzling once again alone.

Aria smacked her head against her desk, both in frustration and embarrassment that Trixie had been able to manipulate her the way she had.

“Why couldn’t we have just stayed in that van down by the river?” She said into the desk.

After the school days was finished, Aria, much to her dismay, headed to the gym per Trixie’s instructions. She couldn’t stop thinking how the boastful girl had managed to get the better of her and forced her into being an assistant in a magic show. Moreover, she couldn’t believe Trixie actually resorted to threatening her job to get what she wanted. Sure, Trixie was pretty self-centered most of the time but Aria found it surprising that she’d stoop so low.

As she walked through the doors into the gym, Aria saw that Trixie already there and on the stage, surrounded by a number of props.

“Oh good, you’re here.” Trixie said when she noticed Aria had arrived. “Help me finish setting these up and then we’ll do a quick run through of the show.”

“Whatever.” Aria stated as she made her way onto the stage.

Much to Aria’s surprise, the set up didn’t take that long. But she knew that the worst was still to come.

“Okay, we’re just about ready for the run through.” Trixie said as she rolled over a clothing rack and took off one of the many outfits on it. “Here, put this on.”

Aria looked at the outfit in Trixie’s hand. It consisted of a black and white fitted top with a detachable black cape, black lapels, black satin mini skirt, and a mini top hat.

“I don’t think so.” Aria flintily stated.

“You have to wear it.” Trixie adamantly informed her. “This is what Trixie’s assistant always wears.”

“No.” Aria replied as sternly as possible, standing her ground.

The same frustrated look from earlier crossed Trixie’s face as she slowing moved closer to Aria with the outfit still in hand.

“If you don’t put this on, then I’ll have no choice but to go and have a little chat with Principal Celestia.” The magician threatened, shoving the outfit right in Aria’s face.

At this point, Aria was about at her limit. It took every ounce of self-control she had to not give Trixie a much needed lesson, the hard way. Without saying a word, she snatched the outfit from Trixie’s hand and went off to find somewhere private to change.

A few minutes later Aria came back to the stage, fully dressed in the outfit. In the time she’d been gone, Trixie had also changed into her trademark cape and wizard hat.

“Hmmm,” Trixie said upon seeing Aria in the outfit. “You don’t quite pull the look off as well as my usual assistant, but I don’t think I have anything else that would suit you.”

Aria facepalmed for the second time today, wondering when this perpetually increasing nightmare was going to end.

“Now then, let’s start the run through.” Trixie instructed as she pointed to an X she’d taped onto the floor. “Come stand over here.”

Aria walked over to the X, which was located just a touch left of centerstage.

“This is where you’ll stand at the beginning of the show.” Trixie explained. “Once the houselights go down a spotlight will shine on you and you’ll introduce the GREAT AND POWERFUL TRIXIE!”

Aria simply rolled her eyes at Trixie’s overexaggerated vocalization of her own name.

“Go on, try introducing me.” Trixie ardently said.

After turning a bit and looking out over the stage, Aria stood completely still and simply pointed her thumb at Trixie.

“Here’s Trixie.” She dryly stated.

This time, it was Trixie’s turn to facepalm.

“What was that?!” she shouted as she threw her hand into the air. “You didn’t show any enthusiasm or say I was great and powerful!”

Aria couldn’t help but snicker at Trixie’s fit.

“I’m sorry, is this funny to you?!” Trixie heatedly asked.

“Actually, yeah, it kind of is.” Aria admitted as she turned back around to face Trixie with a smile on her face.

Trixie’s face quickly changed into one of consternation before just as quickly changing back to one of anger.

“If you don’t start taking this seriously I will go talk to Principal Celestia.” She once again threatened.

And that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Aria had had enough of Trixie’s threats.

“You know what? Go talk to Celestia, I don’t care anymore!” she yelled as she took her mini top hat off and threw it to the ground. “I’d rather be fired than put up with you any longer, Trixie!”

Trixie took a small step back, having been startled by Aria’s sudden outburst.

“You’re such a blowhard!” Aria continued. “You think you’re so ‘great and powerful’ that you can do whatever you want so long as your massive ego gets fed! You know what that makes you, Trixie?! It makes you a megalomaniac, and I know megalomaniacs because I used to be one!”

Aria could see tears beginning to form in Trixie’s eyes as she continued to berate her, but she didn’t care.

“You’re the single most self-absorbed, narcissistic, and conceited person not related to me that I’ve ever met and I am done taking your bullshit!” She concluded as she got off the stage and headed for the doors.

Just as Aria opened the door and was about to cross the threshold, she heard sobbing coming from stage. She turned around and saw Trixie crying on her knees with her hands covering her face.

The scene left Aria conflicted. On the one hand, she felt bad for causing Trixie so much distress, but on the other she felt that Trixie was getting what she deserved. She could either leave Trixie to her misery or stay and try to comfort her. Leave or stay; those were her options.

Aria stood at the threshold in contemplation for a few seconds until she came to a decision.

“Damn it all.” She said to herself as she closed the gym door and made her way back on stage.

Trixie, so consumed by her sorrow, didn’t even notice that Aria had gotten back on stage and knelt down next to her.

“Look, Trixie, I’m sorry I said those things.” Aria wholeheartedly apologized as she placed a hand on Trixie’s shoulder. “You’re not a megalomaniac, a blowhard, or any of that other stuff I said you were.”

“Y-yes I am.” Trixie dolefully replied as she removed her hands from her face and let them fall to the floor, revealing her tear-soaked face. “Y-you were r-right about me, Aria. I-I’m not a g-good person.”

Trixie’s response caught Aria off guard. She’d never heard the boastful girl talk about herself so negatively before.

“I didn’t say you weren’t a good person.” She clarified as she pulled both herself and Trixie off the floor. “Come on, let’s get some snacks from the cafeteria and talk, okay?”

Trixie looked at Aria through her teary eyes. She didn’t really feel like going anywhere or talking, but she could tell that the pig-tailed girl really did want to help her.

“C-can I have some p-peanut butter crackers?” she asked.

“Sure, Trixie,” Aria said as she helped the poor girl over to the gym doors. “You can have some peanut butter crackers.”

Aria and Trixie sat in silence as they ate their snacks in the cafeteria, neither girl looking at the other as they did so. Aria had bought a candy bar for herself and some peanut butter crackers for Trixie, just as she’d promised.

“Thanks for the crackers.” Trixie gloomily said.

“Don’t mention it.” Aria replied as she finished her candy bar.

About another minute passed before Trixie also finished her snack. After which, she looked up at Aria with soulful eyes.

“Aria, I’m…I’m sorry I’ve been such a jerk to you today.” She earnestly expressed.

At first, Aria wanted to make some smart-ass comment about how Trixie had gone far beyond being a simple jerk. However, upon looking up and seeing Trixie’s fervid gaze, she decided to hold her tongue.

“I never meant to threaten you or your job.” Trixie added.

“Then why did you?” Aria inquired.

“Because…I was desperate.” Trixie answered as she turned her head to the side. “When I found out at lunch that my usual assistance couldn’t make it tonight I asked every student, literally every student in the cafeteria if they’d help me and not a single one said they would.”

It wasn’t hard for Aria to pick up on the small hints of embarrassment and sadness in Trixie’s voice as she confessed her woes.

“And then I remembered that you and your sisters were hired to help students.” Trixie continued as she turned her focus back to Aria. “I figured if anyone would help me it’d be you, but when you refused I said and did some things I’m not proud of. And then when you did agree to help me I still wasn’t very nice to you. I really am sorry.”

Once again, Aria was tempted to make some smart-ass comment in response to Trixie’s words. This time along the lines of how she hadn’t exactly agreed to help her, at least by choice. But, just like before, she held her tongue.

“If you were having such a hard time finding an assistant why didn’t you just cancel the show?” she curiously asked.

“Cancel?!” Trixie shouted as she slammed her fists on the table. “The Great and Powerful Trixie doesn’t cancel, not ever!”

“Okay, okay,” Aria said, placing both her hands on Trixie’s right hand. “Just calm down, Trixie.”

Trixie immediately calmed down upon feeling Aria’s touch.

“Sorry about that.” She apologized as she pulled her right hand free. “It’s just, I’ve never had to cancel a show before and I really didn’t want to have to cancel this one.”

Aria could tell this ran deeper than simply not wanting to cancel. She knew she had to get to the root of the problem.

“Why do these magic shows mean so much to you, Trixie?” she asked. “Why are you so adamant about never canceling one?”

Trixie didn’t say a word as she lowered her head. This wasn’t because she didn’t know the answer to Aria’s question though. No, it was because she did know the answer but didn’t want to admit it, either to Aria or herself.

“Trixie, you can talk to me.” Aria delicately assured the distraught magician. “I won’t make any smart-ass comments or judgements, I promise.”

There was a few seconds of silence before Trixie spoke up.

“These shows are all I am.” she quietly said, keeping her head down.

“What was that?” Aria asked.

“These shows are all I am!” Trixie hollered as she lifted her head, revealing fresh tears in her eyes. “Without my magic shows, how can I be the Great and Powerful Trixie?! If I don’t have them then I’m…I’m just a nobody.”

Just like before, Trixie covered her face with her hands to conceal her tears as they started to flow down her cheeks. Also, she’d once again failed to notice that Aria had moved right next to her.

“You’re not a nobody, Trixie.” Aria consoled her as she placed a hand on her shoulder. “And you don’t need magic shows to validate who you are.”

“B-but how will people k-know I’m great and p-powerful without them?” Trixie inquired as she removed her hands from her face and looked at Aria.

“It doesn’t matter if other people know, so long as you know.” Aria informed Trixie.

“Y-you really think so?” Trixie asked.

A small smile formed on Aria’s face.

“I know so.” She stated. “You don’t need to prove you’re great and powerful to anyone, Trixie. You know who you are and that’s all that matters.”

Without warning, Trixie pulled Aria into a hug, much to Aria’s surprise.

“Um, okay, we’re hugging now, I guess.” Aria confusingly commented as she awkwardly returned the hug.

“You know, I’m glad you were here today instead of Sonata.” Trixie remarked, causing Aria to dawn a somewhat smug smile.

“Told you I was better at this than her.” Aria proudly declared.

The two girls broke the hug and shared a laugh before Trixie spoke up again.

“So, I know that I don’t have to do tonight’s magic show to feel good about myself, but I still want to do it anyways. Think maybe you can still be my assistant?” She sheepishly asked.

Aria brought her hand to her chin in contemplation for about three seconds before answering.

“Okay, but on one condition.” She stated.

“Anything.” Trixie cheerfully replied.

“I wear something other than this.” Aria asserted as she pointed to the black and white fitted top she was still wearing.

Trixie considered Aria’s demand for a second. She still didn’t think she had any better outfits for the Dazzling to wear, but she figured Aria’s regular clothes would be fine.

“Fair enough.” She agreed as the two girls got up and made their way back to the gym.

Much to both Aria and Trixie’s surprise, the magic show went pretty well. The audience seemed to love it and neither girl made any big mistakes.

All-in-all, Aria ended up being a pretty good assistant. She managed to remember all her cues and, even through she wasn’t what anyone would call ‘cheery’, she did show a fair amount of enthusiasm throughout the performance.

Currently, Aria and Trixie were just finishing up taking down all the various props and equipment.

“Thanks again for everything today, Aria.” Trixie gratefully expressed as she closed the last of her trunks. “You’re a good friend.”

Aria looked at Trixie with mild bewilderment. She didn’t expect Trixie to call her a friend.

“You consider me a friend?” she asked.

“Of course I do, silly.” Trixie clarified as she walked over to Aria and planted a small kiss on her cheek.

Aria felt her whole body freeze and her face heat up upon receiving Trixie’s kiss.

“And if you ever want to be more than friends, just let me know.” Trixie softly whispered into her ear.

“I, uh, I don’t, I mean I…” Aria rambled, trying to collect her thoughts.

Trixie just giggled as she returned to her trunk, grabbed it, and headed out the door.

“See you later, Aria.” She called out just as she left the gym.

As soon as she was able to move again, Aria brought a hand up to the cheek Trixie had kissed and tried to piece together the thousands of thoughts running through her head.

“What just happened?” she managed to say aloud.

Author's Note:

Why is it that when I start writing Aria stories they turn out longer and more dramatic than I originally intended?

Special thanks to sonicfan05 for suggesting this chapter. If you have a suggestion for a future chapter let me know in the comments.

The next chapter will feature Adagio and Spitfire.