Celestia blew on her hot tea, cooling it. The Solar Goddess, making sure the liquid wasn’t going turn her mouth into a hot sauna, took a deep sip of the herbal drink. Bringing the teacup away from her mouth sighing happily, the mare looked to her right to her sister Luna, enjoying some soda.
“Really Luna? Soda? That stuff rots your teeth.”
Luna took a big sip of soda in defiance and looked at her sister. “Says you. Besides, I am quite certain everything can rot your mouth, given time. I’m a big mare Tia, I know how to moderate.”
“Could have fooled me.” Celestia replied drolly, swirling her tea around in her cup.
“I do too!” Luna shouted.
“Yes… just like that time in the Anderfels.”
“Hey! That’s not fair!” Luna crossed her fore legs, pouting slightly. “Griffon ale is designed to get you drunk! I only had like three…”
“Luna,” Celestia interjected. “You had over a hundred, if you were mortal, you’d be dead.”
Luna turned her head away from her sister, instead taking in the quaintly royal decorum of the relaxation room the two were, big shock, relaxing in. “You make it sound like I committed some crime…” The mare grouched.
Celestia’s eyes rolled. “No, I wouldn’t call it a crime… still, it took over two hundred years to get back on the Griffon nation’s good side.”
“Those feather heads take everything so personally.” Luna huffed some mane from her face.
“I think it’s safe to say their anger was quite warranted, considering.”
Luna turned quick to her sister and opened her mouth to speak but was interrupted by the room’s door loud opening, revealing Cadence and Chrysalis, clad in tennis shirts, skirts, and headbands.
“And that’s how Shining and I met.” Cadence said happily, recalling the day she was introduced to the stallion that would become her husband.
“That’s quite the story.” Giggled Chrysalis. “Has he ever lived it down?”
Cadence flashed a mischievous smiled. “I haven’t let him.” The two mares burst out into laughter.
Celestia smiled, her heart warmed by the newly formed friendship of her niece and lover. “It looks like you two had a good time at the tennis courts.” The Goddess observed.
“Oh, yeah.” Cadence replied. “Chrysalis is better at tennis than I thought she was. I believed I had an easy win…” Cadence suddenly gulped hard. “I was… wrong, apparently.” Her voice was tinted with some strained anger; the other mares ignored it.
“It was still pretty close though.” Chrysalis said. “I had a really great time Cadence.”
Cadence turned and smiled at Chrysalis. “Me too. Well, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go get a shower.”
“Of course, goodbye Cadence.” Celestia said, nodding as the pink Alicorn left, shutting the door behind herself.
As soon as the door shut, Chrysalis ran over to Celestia and nuzzled her happily. “Oh Celli! I’m so glad Cadence has stopped holding a grudge against me! We had the best time together!”
“I'm glad about it as well.” Celestia replied. “Now we just have to do the same with the rest of Equestria’s populace. Luckily, Fancy Pants’ party will help with that a great deal. Till then there isn’t much more we can do but…”
Luna suddenly popped between the two snuggling mares, causing both to jolt back in shock. The lunar mare had a determined look in her eye. “Untrue my dear sister! There is much more we can do!”
“What?” Celestia blinked. “What else can we do?”
Luna’s horn sparked as a pair of sunglasses appeared. The mare twirled the glasses in her hoof before suavely throwing them over her eyes. The mare’s confident grin was enough to make the hopeless feel unshakable faith. “Hit the town of course! Have a mare’s day out! A field trip! Whatever the hell you wanna call it! All I know is that it means going out and partying and I’m all for that!”
“SAY WHA-?!” Celestia shouted as her mouth dropped to the floor.
Luna grinned at her solar counterpart. “It’s the only way to endear her to the common pony! They’re all afraid of her rough buggy exterior? Well then let’s disguise her, have her party with the populous, and then we can drop the guise and all the ponies will see how kickass she is! And as I already said, I want to go out too!” Luna nodded at her brilliant plan, sure of it’s foolproof awesomeness.
Celestia’s eye twitched at her younger sister. It angered her to admit it… but the plan was sound. Celestia bit her lower lip, jealously tainting her mood. Luna was a fast learner, and once she learned the basics of society she had adjusted so well that her prowess in such matters surpassed her older sister. Celestia would never admit it though. “Luna, I don’t think…”
“I think it’s an excellent idea.”
Celestia looked to Chrysalis, the Changeling smiling widely. “Chrissie, don’t you think that such things are rushing it?”
Chrysalis shook her head. “I don’t plan to do all of Luna’s idea in one day but I can at least learn about Equestrian society.”
Chrysalis looked at the white Alicorn sternly. “Celli…”
Celestia bit her lower lip again. She decided to concede. “Oh… very well, if that’s what you want. You and Luna can go out today and enjoy Canterlot.”
Luna pumped her fore leg in victory. “Yes! Alright Chrysalis, let’s go!” Luna grabbed her Changeling acquaintance and pulled her close. The Nighttime Princess looked at Celestia one more time and gave her a half closed eyes of disappointment stare. “You stay here and continue being a stick in the mud.”
Celestia snorted. “You mean actually lead the kingdom?”
“Yeah that.” With that, Luna dashed out of the room, Chrysalis in arm. Celestia watched the two leave and rolled her eyes, returning to her tea.
Outside in the hallway, Shape Shift stood by the open door staring at the floor. The Changeling got out his little board and scribbled on it. He showed his finished work to the floor: I TOLD YOU THAT YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE STOOD THAT CLOSE TO THE DOOR.
The floor responded by wrapping the board in blue magic and hitting Shape Shift over the head with it. “Shut up.” Cadence grumbled as she got up, rubbing her nose after being bashed with the door. Deciding her snout was unharmed; the mare suddenly took on a dark look, smiling evilly. “But this is good. Shape Shift, you follow Luna and Chrysalis and make their day out a disaster. We’ll rub Chrysalis the wrong way so hard…”
BOW CHICKA BOW WOW.
Cadence slapped the Changeling with his board again. “We’ll rub her the wrong way so hard she’ll freak out right in the middle of Canterlot. The ponies will flee in panic and make it that much harder for Equestria to accept her. Now, Shape Shift, Go!”
ARE YOU COMING WITH?
WHY DO I HAVE TO GO ALONE?
“Because shut up.” Cadence replied.
Shape Shift’s eyed rolled but the Changeling nonetheless buzzed away after Luna and his Queen.
“I have to say Luna, that is quite the disguise.”
“Thanks, I pride myself on being able to deceive ponies.”
Chrysalis cocked an eyebrow at her white furred companion. Luna had, before leaving the castle, used a disguising spell that had hidden her wings, turned her coat white, made her mane pink and material, and made her eyes a magenta color. Chrysalis had taken on the guise of a light grey unicorn mare, changing her hair to match that of ponies but changing nothing else (though she did remove her fangs out of cautionary advice from Luna).
“You… look a lot like Celestia.” Chrysalis replied.
“That’s what I was going for.” Luna said happily. “Minus the wings, this is how she looked a thousand years ago, only younger and not as big.” Luna cocked her head in thought. “She has yet to tell me how her mane went from pink to the multicolor it is now. Every time I ask she tells me not to worry about it.” Luna shrugged.
“Maybe I can get an answer from her.” Chrysalis giggled. “So, what should we do first?”
“SHOPPING!” Luna sing-sang, rushing over to the main market plaza and diving towards the nearest store that struck her fancy.
Chrysalis followed behind, taking time to enjoy the majesty of Canterlot’s largest economic center. Trailing Luna, Chrysalis finally discovered the shop her companion had bolted to: a small greyish building with a dirt brown roof. Trotting inside, Chrysalis looked around at the many selves, packed with an odd assortment of objects. Chrysalis spotted Luna halfway in the store, her head stuffed (yes, stuffed) in a pile of old looking items. “I was unaware you were into shopping Luna.” The Changeling admitted, walking up to the Princess while shifting her head about.
“I’m not.” Luna replied happily. “I do however love finding old items from the past, mostly from after I went psycho crazy to now. I love it! I’m always surprised at what Celestia’s little ponies can build.” Luna smiled wide as she picked up a music box, flipping it open and giggling at the mechanical tune that came out and the dancing ponies inside.
Chrysalis cocked an eyebrow. “Celestia’s little ponies? Can’t they be yours as…?” The Changeling stopped herself as she thought about it. That issue was for an entirely different, probably more depressing, fan fiction altogether.
“You say something?” Luna asked as she snapped the box shut and gently placed it back in the pile.
“Nope.” Chrysalis replied, pulling her mouth in on itself.
Luna cocked an eyebrow, but returned quickly to her happy mood. “Ok then. Well come on! I only wanted to check this place out, now we shop for you! If you’re going to be Equestrian royalty you have got to have fine clothing.” Luna crossed her fore legs and grumbled. “That’s what Tia tells me anyway. Sometimes I really don’t get ponies in this day and age. In my time we wore ceremonial armor that was stylish and practical. Nowadays an assassin can just run right up and jab you in the chest and you’re pushing up daisies. It befuddles me.”
Chrysalis giggled. “I bet. Luckily for Changelings, our outward exoskeletons protect us from such things.”
“Lucky.” Luna grouched. “Still, if there’s anyway to make ponies feel comfortable around you it’s respecting cultural standards. Let’s get you a dress! Also some bedroom clothes.”
Chrysalis cocked an eyebrow. “Bedroom clothes? But most species sleep naked… heck, most usually are naked all the time.”
Luna took on a sultry look. “Bedroom clothes.” She said again in quite the seductive way.
“Oh…” Chrysalis replied.
The mares made their way out of the little shop and headed down the main road of the market district, looking for a fancy clothing store. Unbeknownst to the innocent two, a pale yellow pony trotted several meters behind them, watching their every move. Shape Shift had reservations about being out in Canterlot without his charge but he tried to stay strong. FOR MISTRESS CADENCE! He wrote out in his head (yes, wrote). The Changeling stealthily followed his royal prey.
“How about here?”
Luna looked at the store, eyeing it critically despite not knowing a thing about fashion (she was simply naturally fabulous). “Yeah, this’ll work. And if not, I’ll sell them out as traitors and destroy their lives.” Luna rubbed her hooves together in an evil genius like manner.
Chrysalis rolled her eyes. “Ha ha ha, very funny Luna.”
“Who’s joking?” Luna asked innocently.
Chrysalis’s eyes widened and she brought her head back in shock. Luna continued to smile at the Changeling. Deciding that talking about it would be a fundamentally bad idea; Chrysalis motioned to the store with her hoof and smiled nervously. Luna nodded in understanding and the two went inside.
Shape Shift grinned deviously in an adorable way. It would be child’s play to expose Chrysalis in the store and with most of the patrons being the wealthy, pee their pants at the first sign of danger kind of ponies, they would be easily frightened by a Changeling’s sudden appearance. Shape Shift started towards the door and opening it wide, readied for the chaos he was to bring.
Shape Shift rushed inside the store, formulating his plans for forcing Chrysalis to drop her guise and scaring the ponies in the store, and there were many. Alright, it was time for the Changeling to make his…
The Changeling did as he was told, so obedient. Turning, the disguised Changeling’s face was meet with a light powdery blue face, covered mostly by huge dark purple glasses with large frames. The Changeling cocked an eyebrow at the strange looking mare in front of him.
“Ugh! Look at zis!” Photo Finish stuck out her tongue in disgust, while motioning to Shape Shift. “Zis poor pony! Going around naked and lost from ze greatness of fashion! Take note!” Several ponies, some mares and some flamboyant looking males, look notes on some notepads. “Now you shall learn a good trait you must have for zis job: generosity!” The fashionista clapped her hooves together and two mares appeared behind Shape Shift and started pulling the Changeling towards the back of the store. “Now we shall take this poor pony and work ZE MAGIKS! All free of charge! It iz only ze right thing to do! True beauty, true fashion! It has no price!”
Shape Shift tried to argue against this turn of events (you can guess how well that went). The Changeling looked back once and saw his targets mulling over a very decorative skirt, before the fashionista and her assistants dragged him to Photo’s personal studio.
One Amazingly Fabulous Makeover Later...
Shape Shift huffed heavily, walking out of the fancy apparel store. To his credit, the Changeling looked extremely dapper. Now bearing a fashionable black suit that complimented his form’s now neatly trimmed and cared for black mane nicely. The makeover had taken over two hours but the results were quite nice. In that time, however, Shape Shift’s targets had left the store and continued shopping. The Changeling ran into an alleyway, sprouted pegasus wings, and took flight. Flying for all of five minutes, Shape Shift spotted Luna and Chrysalis (it wasn’t hard; they were about two heads taller than all the other ponies. Landing in another alleyway, Shape Shift grunted as he morphed his wings back into his body. The Changeling walked back into the street and trailed his targets yet again.
The two mares, for their part, seemed unalerted to the Changeling’s presence. They were standing outside of an ice cream parlor. Luna smiled at Chrysalis. “Cadence has told me that this ice cream store was one of the best in Canterlot.”
“I’ve never had ice cream.” Chrysalis replied.
“Never has there been a better time!” Luna remarked happily, walking inside. Chrysalis nodded to herself and Luna’s logic and went inside as well.
The parlor was like most, sterile white walls and ceilings with a black and white checkered floor and old timey red booths. The mares went up the counter and waited until a yellow stallion came to take their orders.
“Strawberry please.” Luna said.
“Umm… Vanilla?” Chrysalis said, her lack of knowledge about ice cream causing her sentence to come out like a question.
The counter attendant nodded happily, taking the required bits and leaving to get the mare’s frozen treats. The stallion smiled evilly as he got a tub of vanilla ice cream and poured a pink liquid into it. Shape Shift chuckled at his good plan: the liquid was a laxative, Chrysalis would need a bathroom quick or things would get messy. In doing so, she’d probably drop her disguise by accident, scaring all the ponies in the parlor. Shape Shift would then take a picture and send it to a tabloid, the likes of which would certainly bloat the story and give all the wrong information. Adding the last of the liquid into the tub, the Changeling turned to get the strawberry ice cream. He didn’t notice when another parlor worker grabbed the tub, sealed it, and took it outside, handing it off to the awaiting royal delivery mare. Coming back inside, the stallion made sure to replace the tub for Shape Shift.
Luna and Chrysalis smiled as their ice cream was finally brought for them. The mares sat in a booth and enjoyed their frozen treats. Shape Shift watched eagerly, waiting for the moment Chrysalis would go wide-eyed and Shape Shift’s plan would come together. As you can imagine, the Changeling’s jaw dropped as the mares ate their food and then got up and left without incident. Undeterred, Shape Shift left the store as well and continued his stalking (the fact he could just leave his ‘workplace’ like that answered a lot of questions about Equestrian economics… and yet only brought about more).
Shape Shift saw the mares turn into another store. This time the Changeling would complete his task. This time he would…
Shape Shift spun around to see a gruff looking stallion giving him a dark glare. The Changeling shifted his eyes about; trying to locate another pony the stallion could be referring to. When he was unable to spot one, Shape Shift brought his hoof to his chest and mouthed ‘me’, cocking an eyebrow as he did so.
“Yeah you.” The brown furred, black maned mass of muscle before the Changeling growled. “I’ve been watching you and I’ve seen you eyeing those mares ever since they came to the market district. I don’t like that.” The stallion took his hooves to his mouth and used them to whistle. Another six other gruff, scary looking stallions appeared from out of nowhere. They all looked like they could break Shape Shift into a million pieces or more. The Changeling wilted and turned his ears back in fear.
The seven stallions formed a semi-circle around Shape Shift. The original stepped forward and punched his hooves together. “Yeah, this is a good city, full of good ponies and whatnot. We ain’t gonna allow some random ne’er-do-well disturb the great peace of Canterlot.” All the stallions took a step towards Shape Shift. “We don’t appreciate criminals like you chasing mares and trying to have your way with ‘em. Prepare for a pounding of the non-sexual kind.” Shape Shift cocked an eyebrow at the odd specification. “If you’re wondering why I would add that, well, my wife believes I should be clearer with my explanations of how we plan on dealing with ponies like you ever since that one time. She right of course, she’s got a PhD in being smart.”
Shape Shift didn’t want to anger the stallion more by telling there is no such PhD or that the fact the stallion was stalking him because he was stalking two mares was a bit oxymoronic… he thought, Shape Shift didn’t know what oxymoron meant but it sounded cool. Shape Shift smiled nervously at the seven stallions and bolted, forgetting about his orders and running for his little life.
“Stop criminal scum!” The stallions rushed after Shape Shift, chasing after the Changeling down the main street of the market district.
After One Seriously Fabulous Shopping Trip...
“Looks like you too had a good time.” Celestia commented, looking at the two mares in front of her with bags of objects both large and small swung behind their backs.
“Oh yes, it was quite fun.” Chrysalis replied, back to her normal Changeling image.
“Yeah.” Said the once again Alicorn Luna, smiling. “We got Chrysalis clothes, we saw the sights, and got lunch and we were almost mugged by some griffons.”
“They hadn’t expected Luna to be the one they were jumping.” Chrysalis added. “Needless to say it was… not pretty.”
“Blood, death, and griffon chunks everywhere!” Luna cheered, throwing her hooves in the air.
“Sounds… messy.” Celestia remarked.
“It was…” Luna replied, smiling in a happily evil manner.
“Sister… your psycho is showing.”
Luna stopped her grinning and blinked. “Oh… sorry.” Luna turned to Chrysalis. “It was fun Chrysalis. We should do it again sometime. This time without our little stalker.”
Chrysalis laughed. “Indeed. Poor Shape Shift, Cadence must have given him the day off and he had no clue what to do with himself. Still, was asking those stallions to chase him off really necessary?”
“He’ll never learn otherwise.” Luna replied. “Well, I have to go and get some things done for Night Court. Sister, Chrysalis.” The two mentioned mares nodded and turned to talk to each other. Luna went for the throne room door. Opening it with magic she saw Shape Shift standing behind it. “Hello Shape Shift.” Luna said as she patted him on the head as she passed.
The Changeling stood there for a few minutes, unsure of how to respond to what had transpired. That’s when Cadence appeared, covered in bruises, cuts, and a nice black eye. The beaten pink Alicorn plopped right next to her servant. “I suppose that your little mission didn’t go well.” She grumbled, tilting her head towards him.
WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU? Shape Shift asked via his little marker board.
“I don’t want to talk about it.” Cadence replied.
“I will ground pound you.”
LIKE YOU DO WITH SHINING WHEN YOU TWO ROLEPLAY?
Cadence shot a glare at the Changeling, who responded by starting to scribble something on his board.
BOW CHICKA… WHACK!!! Shape Shift fell to the ground as Cadence took the board and hit his head with it.