Waking up is hard to do. You didn't get much sleep after all. Leaving the purchased apples on the stone slab, you left alone. As soon as you returned to the castle, you stayed on the balcony for a few hours. Looking out into the Labyrinth, maybe you'd catch a glimpse of her. But she was gone.
Boy, did you feel like the biggest jerk in the world. Sleeping wasn't easy that night, but the morning came faster than you could have hoped. Now's your chance to make it right! Managing to get up, you rush downstairs to grab some breakfast. A huge assortment of fruits is laid on the table. Grabbing a banana, you start peeling it as you rush out the front door.
If only it were that easy.
"Good morning, Anon."
You turn back to see the Princess of the Sun.
"Where are you off to so eagerly?" She's prying.
"Uh...school...?" You half-ask.
The stern look on her face shows she isn't buying it. You begin preparing an intricate lie...until the most unlikely, and unwanted, savior appears.
"Hi Anon~" Cadenza. "Come on Anon, we're gonna be late for school!"
Okay, why the heck is she here? More importantly, why does Celestia look so PLEASED by this?
"Why hello Cadance! This explains why he was rushing off."
No it doesn't.
"Don't worry, I'll walk him to school!" She replies eagerly.
What are you, a pet? "I can walk myself, thanks."
You brush past Cadenza as you make your way out the front door.
"Have a good day, Anon!" Celestia bids you farewell as you makes your way down the colossal steps.
As you go for the left turn towards the gardens, you're stopped by a pink roadblock.
"Not today you don't!" This mare.
"Out of my way."
She doesn't budge. "Nope! You're coming to school today."
"I wasn't gonna skip." Lying through your teeth.
"Right. Now come on!"
Looks like Chrissy will have to wait again. At least she has her apples this time.
School is as boring as it always is. You never get called on to answer questions. The teacher just gives you awkward looks. Some of the fillies and colts still aren't used to who...or what, rather...you are. Who needs 'em?
The day goes by and you learn nothing. Any idiot can do math. These ponies apparently have the I.Q. of squirrels. Once the lunch bell rings, you make your way outside, and sit on a bench, alone. You wished it stayed that way. However, as expected, Cadenza trots over to you near instantly, taking a seat.
She's followed by another pony, a white stallion. Shining Armor, his name was. He didn't talk much. Kinda like you. Made him tolerable.
Cadenza chirps up. "Hiya Anon!"
You don't respond. The split second pained expression is palpable.
Being forced to deal with company, you eat your lunch silently. Cadenza and Shiny talk about little things, with her constantly trying to include you in context.
"Oh, Anon might have an idea..."
"Anon, don't you like that?"
"We should play that some time, Anon?"
None of her advances are met with a response. She's keeping you from doing what you want. And what you WANT is to freakin' leave. After your lunch of an apple, you walk back inside behind Cadenza and Shiny. Taking your seats, your teacher decides to drop a bomb.
Surprise math test.
Well, it's a bomb to everypony else, because you don't give a single care. Math is easy stuff. When the test is passed out, you see ponies all over the room freaking out.
Not you though. The test makes it's way to you, and after glancing it over, you know you could do it in 10 seconds flat.
It's more like 2 minutes, but the idea's the same. Some multiplication, long division, nothing hard. You flip the test over and pull out your notebook. Doodles are a great way to pass time. And you doodle the only thing that's been on your mind all day.
If you had a cutie mark, it sure wouldn't be for art. You made her too tall, for certain. At least you got the holes right. You think. She also looks mischievous.
...that's about right. A hole here, a hole there...you could slap circles anywhere on it and it would still look right. Time passes while you whittle away at your pencil, sketching your changeling friend. A few minutes later, the teacher notices you've finished your test.
"If anyPONY is done with their test, they may bring it up to me and are free to leave."
You felt the acid in her voice when she said any'PONY'. You get it, you aren't like everyone else. She sure loves mentioning it though.
You stash your notebook back in your desk and stand up, test in hand. Being the first one done, as usual, you get a few stares. Specifically from front-row Cadenza, who now rushes to finish her test. You place the paper on your teacher's desk and walk out of the schoolhouse. Goodbye, and good riddance.
You pick up the pace slightly as you head for the castle. The sun is still high in the sky, meaning it's not too late to see Chrissy. You'll still get yelled at, for sure. Especially after yesterday. But it's better than nothing. While you think happily to yourself, the train of thought is interrupted by a far off shout.
You have to be kidding me. Will she ever leave you ALONE?! You don't want to spend another day with tea-party princess, especially when you need to see Chrissy.
Think, Anon, think...got it.
Thinking swiftly, you rip off your jacket and throw it in a nearby bush. Turning around, you notice Cadenza running towards you full speed. She stops right in front of you.
"Anon, I'm NOT letting you run off again!"
She interrupts almost immediately. "CADANCE!"
She smiles happily when you use her favorite moniker.
"...I can't come over your house dressed like this!"
You point to yourself.
"What do you mean?"
Kick up the charm. "We're having another tea party, right?"
She stops and thinks. "Well, we COULD..."
Hook, line, now reel it in.
"I need to look my best then! I need a good shirt, and my ja-" You pat yourself down dramatically. "My jacket? Where did I-"
A theatrical slap to the forehead drives your point home. "I left my jacket back at the school!" You look down to the ground. "I need that jacket or I'll look stupid..."
Come on, take the bait...
"Oh, I can get it for you!"
"Really? That'd be awesome!" You smile wide. Damn good actor, you are. Well, enough to fool her. Celestia, on the other hand...
"I'll grab it and go back to my house, okay?"
"Okay! I'll go change." You reply.
With a smile, she dashes off towards the schoolhouse once more. Grade A Sucker. Once she's out of view, you swipe your jacket and make a break for the gardens.
You get closer to Chrissy with every step, as the Labyrinth appears once more. Left, right, right, left, straight, left...like clockwork. You make the final turn, and the statues come into view. As does the pile of apples you left there last night. She...hasn't even come back yet.
With a sigh, you reunite with the stone bench. She must be really mad to not have come back at all... That or she's busy! But, she's never busy. Ever.
You lay down on the slab, it being as comfortable to you as any bed. Grabbing an apple from the pile, you take a bite. Delicious. Tastes better with company though. After a few bites, the exhaustion from running catches up to you. Your eyelids become heavy as you rest the half-eaten apple on top of the pile. A little nap couldn't hurt.
Cadenza is frantically tearing the schoolhouse apart.
"Jacket, jacket, jacket, jacket..." She mutters to herself.
Returning to the schoolhouse, she finds that every storage space is empty. No bags, no books, but more importantly, no jacket!
"He ALWAYS has it on, how could he have left it here?" She thinks out loud. "He can be such an idiot."
Remembering his mention of another tea party reinvigorates her search. "I NEED TO FIND HIM HIS JACKET!"
She looks around the room, until something strikes her as obvious.
"His desk!" She runs over to it, and flips it open. Nothing.
Except his notebook, with a doodle.
"He must have drew it after he finished that math test early."
She smirks. "He's so smart~"
Glancing at the doodle...she becomes confused. "Is this...a pony made of cheese?"
She places the notebook back in the desk and closes it. "He can be such a weirdo sometimes."
Failing in her search, she gives up. Leaving the schoolhouse, she starts dashing towards her house. There's tea to be had!
A few hours pass...
The sun has started to set, as you creak open your eyes. It's been a while since you've had such a nice nap.
The sound of a freshly eaten apple is heard. Turning your head, you see Chrissy on the ground, eating an apple. She looks up to you. When your eyes meet, she turns away abruptly.
Oh boy, it's like this, is it? You sit upright, stretching slightly.
Maybe the joke will lighten her up. No response. Hm.
"Toss me an apple?"
You hold your hand open to catch a tasty red morsel. However, it goes whizzing by your face and into the bush-wall behind you. Yikes.
"Look, I'm sorry."
"I don't want to hear it." She stands up, brushes off a few blades of grass, and walks away a few steps.
Oh no, she doesn't get to leave that easy! "Hey, I SAID I was sorry."
"And I SAID I don't want to hear it!" She's nearly yelling at you.
"Why are you so mad?"
"Why? I don't know, maybe because you're a huge liar!"
"I didn't lie about anything!" You retort.
"You said you'd be back with apples!" The two of you begin firing back and forth.
"I am here, and there are apples!"
"It took you a whole day?!?"
Eventually, you take a step back. "I don't even have to come here you know."
"Oh, you're going to lie again? What happened to seeing me every day?"
Before you can get a word in edge-wise, she continues. "It's because of that Cadenza girl, isn't it?"
Rolling your eyes, you sit on the side of the bench and bury your head in your arms. "I don't need to hear anymore of her."
"Is that so?" With a flash of green, Chrissy's voice changes in an instant.
"I'm Mi Amore Cadenza, I like playing dumb games and hanging out with Ano~n!"
The mocking tone is perfectly matched to Cadenza's. Lifting your head to tell her off, you notice something. Her voice isn't the only thing perfectly matching Cadenza's. Her neck and up is pink, with the head you normally know replaced with that of Cadenza.
You have to be seeing things.
Did she really just...change? Chrissy notices the weird looks you're giving her.
You point, stammering out a few words. "Your....your head..."
With a questionable look, she runs a hoof through her mane, flipping it in front of her head.
White, pink, and purple. Not her normal colors. She shrieks and falls backwards.
"WHAT HAPPENED?!" She shouts in a voice not her own.
"You...look like Cadenza."
As soon as you say it, her look of shock turns into one of pure joy.
"I...changed?!? I CHANGED?!?!" She bounces up to her feet, and rushes over to you. "I changed, I changed, I changed!"
It's so weird watching her saying this in Cadenza's visage.
"I've been waiting until I could change, and now I can!"
Her joy is infectious. But you can't help but wonder...
"What do you think...well...changed...to make it so you can?"
After pausing a moment to think, she deducts, "Maybe I'm just growing up!"
"I gotta try more!" She crouches down, her horn glowing a bright green, when suddenly the magic rushes over her whole body. The black holed hooves are replaced with pink. Her wings become thicker and feathery. She IS Cadenza.
You're in shock. She kept talking about changing, but you never believed she could. "Wow..."
"This is so GREAT!" She stares at herself, turning to see her changed form. Noticing your looks of amazement, she gets a playful smirk. "Do you LIKE me this way?"
That question breaks your stunned expression. "What? NO! I've had enough of Cadenza."
"You suuuure?" She steps towards the bench, pressing her hooves on your legs. They don't feel like her harder, holed hooves. They feel like a normal pony's.
"But we're supposed to be on a playdate!" She giggles, continuing to imitate Cadenza.
"But Ano~n..." The mimicry of that whine pains your ears. It's just. Like. Cadenza. "You promised we were going to pla~y..."
She pushes you, your back falling flat on the stone bench. Standing on top of you, she leans in close.
Serious deja-vu hits. She sounds just like when Cadenza tackled you yesterday.
You don't say anything, not sure how to respond. The devilish smile on Chrissy...Cadenza...her face only grows as she continues to pin you down. Why are you nervous? Last time Cadenza pushed you down you just threw her off. But this isn't Cadenza. It's Chrissy. Why is this different? Get her off you!
But...you don't move. You just let her pin you. As you just stare at her, the grin on her face wide...
You both freeze. It couldn't be. Simultaneously, you turn your heads to the Labyrinth's exit. You can see somepony staring at you two.
This isn't good...