The Big Cleanup

by elPossenreisser

Chapter 1: Chapter 1 - Thursday afternoon

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The Big Cleanup

by elPossenreisser

Chapter 1 – Thursday afternoon

“Eugh!” Rainbow Dash groaned as she pulled her mop out of the congealed wave of turquoise slime, leaving behind a thick string of the disgusting substance. She shook the mop, and the slime string snapped with a revolting wet sound, droplets of it flying in every direction. Only a quick dash brought her out of the danger zone.

The better part of the gym was covered in the substance. In the center, a massive disco ball was poking out of a huge hill, and everywhere streamers hung out of the blue goo, sticky and wet. The huge banner announcing the theme for this year’s Fall Formal had been torn down by the massive slimy forces and lay face down in a huge formation of slime, soaked in blue sticky wetness as well. Thin strings of slime hung from the gym’s superstructure like sticky streamers, and blue droplets were sprinkled on the walls.

The stage was almost intact, since the avalanche of slime had stopped about three quarters into the gym from its obvious origin, the girls’ restrooms. The restrooms were impassable as of now, and the locker room and the vestibule were not in much better shape, which was why Rainbow had decided to start work in the gym.

“Whoever did this better hope I’m not gonna find them,” Rainbow muttered under her breath, dropping the mop—it was obviously not the right tool for the task.

“Hey, Rainbow Crash, sure you were angry that no one wanted to go to the dance with you, but trashing the place like this is a little over the top even for you, dontcha think?” someone snidely called from the gym’s open side doors. Rainbow spun around and saw Hoops, the basketball team’s center and class-A pain in the rear, and his lackeys Dumb-Bell and Score peeking in through the door, smirking and laughing at her.

“Oh yeah?” she snapped. “Well maybe I just did it to celebrate that I don’t have to waste my time with a loser like you!” The boys just laughed harder.

“You and me?” Hoops replied. “Yeah, sure, gotta aim high, Rainbow Crash.” The others laughed and made to leave the gym, high-fiving Hoops. “And, Rainbow Crash,” Hoops added, turning around one more time, “you better clean this up good. You know, the people with actual friends still like to party!”

“And how’d you know anything about friends!” Rainbow called after him, but he was already out of earshot. “Jerk,” she muttered. She gave the dropped mop a tentative kick and sighed. She needed another tool.

“Erm… Rainbow Dash?” someone asked from the same side door.

“What else, jerk?!” Rainbow yelled. She spun around towards the door again and saw a girl with lavender skin and dark violet hair with a striking pink streak almost hiding behind the door frame. As she noticed that the girl probably wasn’t there to make fun of her like Hoops and his lackeys, her expression softened a bit.

“Sorry,” the girl said sheepishly. “It’s just… I was wondering…”

“No, it wasn’t me, if that’s what you’re wondering,” Rainbow huffed. “I still gotta clean up this mess as per orders of Vice Principal Luna, so mind leaving me the hell alone so I can get started?”

“Maybe I can help you?” the girl asked.

“Help me?” Rainbow asked, perplexed.

“Clean this up,” the girl said, sounding more confident now that Rainbow’s yelling had ceased. She made a step into the gym, carefully avoiding a puddle of slime in front of her, and produced two giant snow shovels. “It’ll go faster if there are two of us.”

Rainbow stared at her suspiciously, cocking her head. Finally, she asked, “Why?”

The girl blushed. “You said it wasn’t you who did this. So it doesn’t seem right that you should be the only one to clean this up.” She raised her snow shovels. “With these, and if we get one of the big bins from outside, we should be able to make good progress.”

Not willing to look a gift snow shovel in the mouth, Rainbow slowly nodded. “Sure, knock yourself out.” She cudgeled her brain for the girl’s name, but couldn’t find it. She didn’t think she had ever seen her in recess or in class.

“You can get the bin,” the girl said. “Or we can go together if it’s too heavy for you.”

“Pfsh,” Rainbow snorted. “Too heavy. Like that’s gonna happen.” She started for the side door and only stopped when she was already past the girl who had kept looking at her. “What’s your name anyway?” She didn’t notice how the girl slumped down slightly at the question.

“I’m Twilight Sparkle.”

“Do we, like, have a class together?”

“No, not exactly,” Twilight replied, her cheeks again flushing a little. “I only have advanced classes this semester, and you are… you… you probably focus more on sports, I guess?”

“Heh, yeah. I’m rather outside doing stuff instead of sitting in a stuffy classroom reading boring old books.” She puffed her chest. “And I’m pretty awesome at it, too.”

Twilight gave her a shy smile. “I’ve seen you play soccer a few times,” she said. “You’re really good.”

“Heh, thanks.” For a few seconds the girls looked at each other awkwardly. Then Rainbow said, “I’ma go get that bin. Be right back!” With that, she darted out of the gym.

Luckily the bins stood along the wall of the gym, not too far from the side door. She decided to take the opportunity for a short sprint and darted over to the bins at max speed, enjoying the draft and the sun which was shining brightly that afternoon.

The bins were massive things with small, notoriously creaky wheels. Rainbow peeked into the first one and, seeing that it was almost empty, started pulling it back towards the door. The smell was pretty bad, but bearable in the fresh afternoon air.

Suddenly she heard a haughty voice. “Well, well, well. Of course it is you who is responsible for this chaos. The Great and Powerful Trixie is not the least bit surprised.” Looking up, Rainbow saw a girl with pale blue and silver hair standing in front of the open side door, looking into the gym.

From inside, she heard Twilight reply, “No, I’m just helping clean this up because—“

Trixie didn’t let her finish. “It is very selfish of you to ruin everybody’s fun only because you look like you’re having a seizure when you dance,” she continued, smirking. “The Great and Powerful Trixie pities you for your unimaginative ways.”

“You got a problem, jerkface?” Trixie spun around and stared at Rainbow snidely. Rainbow let go of the bin and made some steps forward.

“I just needed to remind Sparkle here of how pathetic she is, that’s all,” Trixie explained haughtily. “It is none of your business.”

“If you’re bugging my friend, I make it my business,” Rainbow growled. She made another sudden step towards Trixie who flinched back. “Now beat it. I’m on detention already. Don’t think I give a damn!”

“Well, well. You two are a most irritating pair of delinquents, that’s for sure. The Great and Powerful Trixie shall take her leave,” Trixie added hastily when Rainbow slowly raised her arm. She shoved past Rainbow and hurriedly walked away. Twilight just stood there, leaning on her shovel, gaping with her mouth open.

“Can you believe this one?” Rainbow asked, turning towards Twilight and pulling the bin up to the door. When she saw the flabbergasted Twilight, she started laughing. “What’s up with you? You seen a ghost or something?”

“You… she… that…,” Twilight stammered, blushing again. Finally, she took a deep breath and looked the still grinning Rainbow in the eyes. “Thank you for standing up for me.”

“Aw, don’t mention it,” Rainbow said dismissively. “I know that type. Actin’ all tough, but when you call them out, they just cave in.” She picked up the other shovel and got in position next to Twilight. “Seems like you really wrecked your rep by helping me out, huh,” she added and gave Twilight a playful bump against the arm. “Sorry ‘bout that, I guess.”

“It’s hardly your fault that people are… what was your word?”

“Jerkfaces,” Rainbow grinned helpfully.

“Yes. That.” Twilight grinned back. “They’ll soon forget it. At least I hope.”

“If they give you a hard time, just shoot back,” Rainbow said. “They’re nothing but hot air, and if you show them you’re not gonna take their crap, most of them back off.”

“I wish I knew how,” Twilight grumbled. “I only seem to come up with a good retort hours after someone teased me.”

Rainbow didn’t really know what to reply to this, so instead she started shoveling some of the blue goo. After a short moment, Twilight followed suit.

With the snow shovels the work went ahead quickly. After two hours they had cleaned out two thirds of the gym already—granted, that was the smallest part, since the locker room and restrooms would be a whole different story. But still, Rainbow had to admit that Twilight’s help proved very… well, helpful.

“Do you know who did it?” Twilight suddenly asked, pulling Rainbow out of a daydream about the soccer world cup finals and a match-winning last-minute bicycle kick made of pure awesomeness.

“Huh?” she asked, not knowing what her unexpected helper was talking about.

“You said it wasn’t you who did this,” Twilight explained. “Do you know who?”

“Not a clue,” Rainbow said with a frown. “Probably some stupid freshman trying to be funny by blowing up the toilets or something.” She swung her shovel with new vigor. “But if I ever find out, I’ma make them wish they didn’t.”

Twilight gulped. “Uh-huh. It’s really pretty… mean… to do this to you.” After a short pause, she added, “Why were you being blamed anyway?”

“Heh,” Rainbow made and sheepishly scratched her head, “well. I kinda like takin’ a nap during free periods, and the best place hands down is the mat storage in the gym. You know, it’s dark and comfy enough and no one ever comes in there and bugs you. So yeah, that’s kinda my napping spot.”

“But how do you get in there?”

“Hello? Captain of every sports team ever!” Rainbow said, laughing. Then she hung her head. “Well, not anymore. Vice Principal Luna took my keys.”

Twilight’s eyes shot open. “What? I’m so sorry, Rainbow Dash!”

“Not your fault,” Rainbow replied with a shrug, forcing herself to sound casual. “Anyway, so I was busy napping when suddenly there’s that massive bang. I jumped up and ran outside, and there was that wave of blue gunk coming towards me. I made it out of the gym before I got swept away, but ran directly into Vice Principle Luna. And she of course thought it was me. You see, Rainbow Dash has always been involved in like every prank ever since the Great Mac and Cheese Explosion of ‘12, so duh, case closed.”

Twilight looked at her, her eyes full of compassion. “I’m sorry,” she repeated. “That really sucks.” She hung her head.

“Yeah.” In silence they continued shoveling. Finally, Rainbow continued, “And now everyone’s super pissy because their lame dance is being postponed to next week.”

Twilight perked up at that. “’Lame dance’?” she asked. “You don’t like dances?”

“Nah,” Rainbow replied. “Everyone dressing up all fancy and dancing to crappy music? Thanks but no thanks.”

“Didn’t you get asked to go?”

“Some guy asked, but even if he had been cool enough for the Dash, he was still a boy.” When Twilight stared at her uncomprehendingly, she laughed. “I’m gay, Twi. Thought by now everyone knew that.”

“Oh,” was all Twilight replied.

“You don’t have a problem with that, do you?” Rainbow asked, slightly narrowing her eyes.

“What?! No! Not at all!” Twilight hurried to explain. She fought back a blush and mumbled something unintelligible.

“What was that?”

Twilight took a deep breath and straightened up with a jerk, looking into Rainbow’s eyes. “I am too. Gay.”

“Cool,” Rainbow said. When she noticed that Twilight kept standing and staring, frozen, she asked, “Wait, does that mean you weren’t out yet?”

Twilight took a deep breath. “Not, you know… publicly. My mom knows.”

“Your friends don’t?”

“No. Not that I have that many besides Zecora anyway...”

“The librarian?” Rainbow asked incredulously. “Gee, Twi, you should get out of that library some more, you know, hang out with people,” she said, smiling. “They’re not all massive jerks like the Great and Annoying Trixie.”

“But I—“ Twilight started to protest.

“Y’know what? We’re going to Donut Joe’s when we’re done here. Least I can do is buy you a milkshake for helpin’ me out.”

“I—I’d love to!” was all Twilight could reply.

“Cool!” She leaned in closer to Twilight, close enough to smell the other girl’s hair, a quite girly scent reminiscent of lavender which she found surprisingly pleasant. “Your secret’s safe with me, don’t worry.” Twilight just nodded, smiling gratefully.

Next Chapter: Chapter 2 - Dinner Estimated time remaining: 1 Hour, 5 Minutes
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