• Published 12th Aug 2015
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A Change In Fashion - Kevinltk



A changeling finds love in the world of fashion modeling.

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Chapter 4: Put to the Test

Glamour moaned as a light shone directly onto her covered eyes. She tried to shift her body around to avoid the offending light and return to sleep, but it soon became apparent that the damage was done.

She let out a yawn and slowly got up on her hooves. A quick look around revealed that the sun was at just the right angle to get a tiny ray of light into the alley she was in, through the grated floor of a fire escape, bounced off a shard of glass on the floor, into the cardboard box she holed in for the night, and hit right where her eye was a few moments ago.

As Glamour wondered if Princess Celestia would really use the sun to prank ponies, she rubbed her eyes before taking another glance at the sun, noting its position in the sky.

“AHHH!”

Clamping her forehooves onto sides of her horrified, but now fully awoken face, Glamour yelled out, “I’m late!” before grabbing her belongings and sprinted out of the alley.

Taking on her new form had apparently worn her out more than she thought because she had overslept until well into the afternoon. She had wanted to see Prim Hemline before she got too busy with the show preparations, but at this hour, the chances of that happening were slim. At this rate, she was not going to get her interview today and make it hard for her to enjoy the show later on with Coco.

Glamour slowed down to a trot when she realized that she had, once again, neglected to account for everything until it was too late.

Coco was expecting Nutmeg to come to the show. The problem was that Glamour had underestimated how much energy it would take to create her new form. She had severely depleted her magic supply, and any other transformations would be too risky until tonight’s show. At best, she could absorb energy during the first part of the show, and then find Coco later after it was safe to transform again.

And that was just tonight’s problem.

Even if Glamour did get to spend the rest of the night with Coco, their friendship would only get more complicated if she got the modeling job. With Prim Hemline supervising both the designers and models, it would only be a matter of time before she would get paired up with Coco. There was no way she could juggle being friends with her as one pony and then her coworker as another pony. It would eventually end in disaster for the both of them.

Glamour stopped moving as she started to wonder why she was being so concerned about Coco. After all, she was just a pony, and they had only spent a few hours together.

She had other friends before Coco, but they probably did not really count since they were actually friends of the ponies she posed as. Even when she was still living in the changeling kingdom, she, like many others, were too busy surviving and doing Queen Chrysalis’s bidding to make friends.

When Coco said they were friends, it felt nice. Weird, but nice. Part of the reason was because Coco had shown her more kindness and generosity than any pony or changeling had ever given her before. The other part was that she made friends with Coco on her own, even though she was technically still using another pony’s body.

Glamour groaned. She had wanted to see what being friends with Coco would be like, but now she had to choose between the chance of a better life or being a good friend. Relying on her instincts, she knew she had to end Coco’s friendship with Nutmeg to survive. It would probably upset Coco a bit, but it was better to do it early before the situation became even more entangled. It was the most logical thing to do, but it still left a bad taste in her mouth.

“Sorry, Coco,” Glamour muttered. She let out a sigh before resuming her run towards her interview. When things settled down, maybe she could try to start a new friendship with Coco. Maybe then, she would be able to try and be a better friend.

When Glamour finally arrived at the building, she saw that a line had already started to form outside the entrance, and to her dismay, a guard was already posted at the door. To her further dismay, she recognized that it was the same stallion that tried to apprehend her during the rehearsal.

“Uh, excuse me?” Glamour asked when she approached the guard. “Would it be alright to see Prim Hemline?”

“Sorry, lady. No can do.”

“Even if I have a ticket?” Glamour pulled out the pass from her bag.

“Nope, get in line like everypony—Uh, wait a second…” The guard took Glamour’s ticket and inspected it before giving it back. “This is actually a backstage pass.”

“It is? Er, I mean, of course it is. I got it from my friend who works here.”

“Wait, don’t tell me that Prim Hemline is the one gave this to you.”

A grin sprouted on Glamour’s face at the sight of the guard looking at her with wide eyes. “Well, I did speak with her yesterday, and I do have more business with her right now.” Her grin grew even more smug as she waved the ticket in the guard’s face and said in a singsong voice, “It would be a big shame if she found out that I was late due to a little trouble at the front door.”

The guard was visibly sweating and cleared his throat. “O-oh, I see. M-my apologies for keeping you, miss. Go right on in. Please don’t get me fired..”

Glamour merely smiled, gave a pat on the guard’s head, and proceeded through the doors with her chin held up high. As soon as the door closed behind her, she could not help but giggle.

Inside the lobby, she saw that nopony was behind the receptionist desk. Already knowing the way, she went on ahead to the hallway, but instead of heading up the stairs, she proceeded into the nearby bathroom.

As she checked herself over in front of a mirror, Glamour recounted what just happened at the door. It was not the guard getting nervous at the mention of Prim Hemline’s name that was odd. Glamour already knew Prim was terrifying, and she had fun getting a little revenge.

The thing that did bother her was that she did not even realize Coco’s ticket was actually a backstage pass. Once again, Coco had helped Glamour out with her generosity, even if it was unintentional. While it made it easy to get past the guard, it did not make it any easier on the guilt she had over what she had to do to Coco later. As she finished cleaning herself and exited the bathroom, she hoped that she would be able to do something to repay Coco.

When Glamour arrived at Prim’s office, she made sure to knock on the door. After a gruff, “Enter,” came from the other side, she took in a deep breath and went in to what was hopefully the start of her new job and not on the other end of Prim Hemline’s glares of doom.

“Yes, what is it?” Prim asked, barely glancing up from reading the papers on her desk.

“Hi there, Miss Hemline. I’m here to apply for a position as a fashion model.”

Prim Hemline looked up. “Another one?”

“Um, another what?”

“Never mind. Well, Miss…”

A few seconds passed before Glamour said, “Oh, my name is…” Her eyes widened as her mouth remained open.

“You don’t know your own name?” Prim asked with a raised eyebrow.

“No, no, sorry.” Glamour let out a laugh. “I am just a bit starstruck to be in front of such an important pony.”

Prim rolled her eyes. “Enough with the pointless flattery and get on with it.”

“R-right, well, my name. It’s um, uh, Glamour.”

“Well, Miss Glamour, if you are hoping for an interview, then you’ll have to come back another day.”

“It would really mean a lot if I can do it right now.”

Prim gave Glamour a frown, rather, an even bigger frown than the one she normally had. “In case you haven’t noticed, there is a fashion show that’s starting soon, and I am far too busy to deal with you. Go make an appointment for some other day and let me work.”

“I know you are busy, but it’s just that—” A knock on the door cut Glamour off.

Prim sighed and motioned Glamour to step to the side. “Enter.”

Glamour let out a small gasp when the pony who came in was none other than Coco.

“Ah, Miss Pommel, what brings you here? Shouldn’t you be preparing for the show?”

“I’m sorry to disturb you, Miss Hemline,” Coco replied with a small bow. “But that’s exactly why I had to see you. You see, um, the model you assigned me… She um, she can’t go on stage tonight.”

“What? Why not?”

“There was a bit of an accident with the stage equipment. Don’t worry, she’s fine… mostly. She did injure a leg, and it doesn’t look like it will heal in time for the show. I was wondering if there are any other models that would be able to fill in for her.”

Prim sighed and shook her head. “I’m sorry, Miss Pommel, but all the available models have already been assigned. I’m afraid that your part will have to be…” She trailed off as her gaze went to Glamour.

Following Prim’s line of sight, Coco turned her head and stared at Glamour as well.

Glamour slowly raised a forehoof and waved. “Um, hi.”

“Actually, Miss Pommel,” Prim continued, “could you please wait outside for a few minutes? I have business to finish with this mare first.”

“Oh, um, alright.” Coco left the office, leaving an uncomfortable Glamour under the stern gaze of the pony behind the desk.

“Congratulations, Miss Glamour. You are getting your interview.” The sarcasm in Prim’s voice was thicker than what the rumors suggested about Princess Celestia’s flanks. “Not only that, but you get the special interview.”

“Um, what do you mean by—”

“Now, I have to admit you have the looks to be a model. You have nice colors, the right body, and no visible blemishes. You also have a rather interesting mane. Whether that is a good or bad thing remains to be seen.”

“Oh, um, thanks, but—”

“Do you have any experience in modeling?”

“I uh, well, technically speaking, no, but I have been acting in front of ponies for almost my entire life. Not only that, but I’m also very used to wearing some sort of costume or outfit every time I perform. So while I have not actually modeled, I do have experience performing in front of ponies.”

“Hmm…” Prim leaned back in her chair and tapped her forehooves together. “I suppose that is acceptable…”

Glamour resisted the urge to do a hoof pump.

“Do you at least know what it means to be a model?”

Glamour took a deep breath. “A model is there to show off their clothes. They walk with pride in whatever they are wearing because if they can’t be confident in what they are wearing, how can other ponies do the same? The model is not what makes the show. It’s the clothes that are put on them.”

Prim nodded. “It seems you have a good understanding. If I didn’t know any better, I would say you were actually just reciting something from a book.”

“Yeah, that would be funny.” Glamour let out something that was a mix between a cough and a chuckle.

“Well, that’s enough questions for now. Congratulations, you have passed your interview questions.”

Glamour gasped as a big smile grew on her face. “So does that mean—”

“No.”

“Oh.”

“Could you ask Miss Pommel to come back in?”

Glamour blinked before slowly nodding. “Uh, okay?” She opened the door, called Coco in like she was asked, and moved to the side as Coco came in.

“Um, you wanted to see me now, Miss Hemline? Did you happen to figure out something for me?” Coco asked quietly.

Prim nodded. “Coco, this is Glamour. She came in to apply for a job today. You two will be working together.”

“What?” Glamour and Coco asked at the same time.

“Like I said before, we have no other models on hoof. Coco, you either use Glamour as your replacement model or don’t be in the show. Glamour, this is the second half of your interview. Do a good job on stage, then I will consider hiring you. Is that clear to the both of you?”

Glamour and Coco turned their heads towards each other before turning back to Prim and nodded.

“Good, then off with you two. The show is starting soon.”

Glamour followed Coco out of the office and when they got to the end of the hallway, Coco turned around and extended a hoof.

“It’s nice to meet you, Glamour,” Coco said with a smile. “Thank you so much for helping me out.”

Glamour smiled and bumped Coco’s hoof with her own. “The pleasure is all mine, Coco. I actually should be thanking you. Prim probably would not have given me a chance if you had not come in. Still, are you okay with being stuck with me? I’m not even a real model yet.”

“Like Prim said, there’s nopony else. Um, not that I’m saying I would prefer somepony else. I’m sure you’ll do a good job.”

“Thanks, Coco, that actually means a lot hearing that from you.”

Coco cocked her head a bit before shrugging. “Well, now that we introduced ourselves, is it alright if we continue to the dressing room? I don’t mean to rush you, but we really need to go prepare you for the show.”

“Of course. Lead the way.”

As Glamour followed Coco, she could hardly believe the sudden turn of events. She was not only one step away from realizing her dream, but she was already getting the opportunity to work with Coco. While Coco was not friends with her new form, helping her out would make a good start to a new friendship.

When they arrived in the backstage area, Glamour found a familiar scene and recognized many of the models and clothing from the rehearsal. The big difference was that there were a lot more ponies tonight. More backstage workers were running around all over the place, and it seemed like every single model had a designer checking on whatever they had on.

Coco led them past all the ponies and down another busy hall until they arrived at another door. Going inside the room, Glamour recognized that it was the same dressing room that she had dropped in during the rehearsal. She could have sworn she saw a faint imprint of her Nutmeg face in one of the tiles.

Glamour was taken to a corner where Coco had hung her dress on a clothes rack.

Coco carefully took down her dress, a small smile appearing on her face as she slowly ran a hoof over the white and purple cloth.

“Here you go,” Coco said as she gave the dress to Glamour. “This is what you’ll be wearing tonight. It’s a good thing that you seem to be about the same size as my other model. Do you need any help putting it on?”

Glamour lit up her horn with a green glow, and to her relief, she felt that she still had enough magic to perform basic levitation. Her body gave a tiny shiver when she remembered the last time she tried putting on clothes without her magic.

“I think I can manage,” Glamour said as she floated the dress towards her in a green aura. Going off past experience, she expected that the dress would be uncomfortable and that even putting it on would be an ordeal, but as she started putting on the dress, she found the exact opposite to be true. Between her magic and the soft fabric easily sliding over her body, it took less than a minute to get herself into the surprisingly comfortable outfit.

“Glamour, you look… glamorous,” Coco said with a giggle.

Glamour let out a groan despite a grin forming on her face.

“I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist, but it really does look good on you. Take a look for yourself.”

Glamour was nudged in front of a mirror, and her jaw nearly dropped at her reflection. It was one thing to look at Coco’s dress. It was a whole new thing to actually be able to wear it. Slowly turning around and inspecting every angle of the dress on her body, Glamour marveled at her newest transformation.

“Glamour, I know you’re looking over the dress, but we really need to get your makeup on now.”

Glamour turned back to Coco with a sheepish smile. “Oh, right, sorry.”

Coco waved her hoof over a nearby desk ladened with makeup. “You’re free to use anything you see here. Do you also want to do that by yourself?”

Seeing that she could not even pronounce the names on over half the containers, Glamour shook her head. “Actually, I haven’t used much makeup before. Could you…”

Coco smiled. “No problem. Just give me a few minutes, and you’ll be all ready. You um, might want to close your eyes while I put it on.”

Glamour did as she was told. A moment later, she could feel Coco gently dragging a brush over her cheeks. It was soon replaced by a different kind of brush, and then yet another brush a moment later. As Coco continued to apply makeup on different parts of her face, Glamour’s mind went back to what she saw in the mirror.

Never before had she worn something that made her feel this way. It made her proud and happy to see herself. For the first time in her life, Glamour actually felt pretty. Even if it was not the real her, having a taste of it was pretty exciting. It was like finding something that she never even knew she wanted until she actually found it. And it was all thanks to Coco’s dress.

“I like the dress you made.”

Glamour heard Coco gasp right before she felt a brush drag quickly across her cheek.

“Oh my goodness, I-I’m so sorry, Glamour!”

Glamour opened her eyes and saw through the mirror that a long red streak had marred her left cheek.

“Ohh, please don’t be mad,” Coco pleaded as she used a tissue to start wiping away her mistake. “It was an accident, and I really am sorry. I lost my grip, but—”

“Coco, it’s alright,” Glamour said with a comforting smile.

“But I, uh, oh… You’re not mad?” Coco stopped wiping to look directly at Glamour with wide eyes.

“It was just a small accident, and it’s not like it’s permanent.” Glamour paused. “Uh, it’s not permanent, right?”

“No, no, I can get it off if you just give me a moment,” Coco replied as she resumed wiping away the mark.

Glamour let out a small sigh of relief. “Good. Uh, as I was saying, it was just an accident. I can’t be mad at somepony who has been so kind and generous to me.”

“W-what?” Coco’s cheeks were flooded with red. “Uh, th-thanks for the compliments, but do you really mean that? I mean, we just met.”

Glamour’s eyes widened. “Er, uh, yeah, of course I mean it. Even if we did just meet, you have been nothing but nice and polite to me. It’s not that hard to see what kind of pony you are. I’m glad I got assigned to you.”

Coco relaxed and smiled. “I am too. You’re a nice pony as well, Glamour.” A few seconds later, Coco finished wiping away the red streak. “There we go. Now, just let me touch up that spot, and you’ll be ready for the stage.”

As Coco started applying makeup again, Glamour spoke up again. “If you don’t mind me asking, why did you slip up earlier?”

Coco froze. “W-what do you mean?”

“Well, I heard you gasp right before I felt you making that mark. It was right after I said I liked… your… dress…” Glamour trailed off as she recounted their first meeting and silently cursed her brain for not doing its job.

Coco sighed as her gaze dropped down to the floor. “Sorry, it’s just that when you said that, it reminded me of a friend. She actually said the exact same thing as you when we met. I’m worried about her. It’s funny, she tried to be a fashion model like you, but… she didn’t get it. She took the rejection pretty hard. I should have stayed with her to make sure she’s alright, but instead, I just let her walk off all by herself. I’m hoping that she’s feeling better and will come see the show tonight. Maybe I can even introduce the two of you to each other.”

Glamour silently nodded, not knowing what to say. She did not realize how quickly Coco grew to like Nutmeg, and it was making her plan to make Nutmeg fade away all the much harder. What made it even worse was that since she was now part of the show, there was no way for Nutmeg to show up and spare Coco the disappointment.

Coco was quiet for a few moments before she shook her head and resumed working on Glamour’s makeup. “Sorry, I should not be distracted right now. It’s a big night for the both of us.” A few more strokes with the brush later, Coco backed away. “All done.”

Coco glanced at a clock hanging on the wall. “Looks like we still have a bit of time. Could you walk around a bit in the dress? We have to make sure there’s nothing wrong with it and that you have no trouble moving around in it.”

Glamour nodded and paced back and forth along the room. The dress hardly restricted her movements. It was light and no parts of her body were rubbing uncomfortably against the fabric. In no time at all, she already made several trips around the room. For somepony who just started putting her work on display, Coco seemed to have covered everything it takes to make a good dress.

“Well, well, well, what do we have here?”

Glamour and Coco looked to the other side of the room where the voice came from. A pink mare with a violet mane, a blue scarf around her neck, and a cutie mark of three colored buttons was leaning against the door frame.

“S-Suri, what are you doing here?” Coco asked.

Suri walked over to Coco with a smug grin on her face. “Oh, I just heard about what happened to your model and had to see how you were doing. Simply awful that it happened, but imagine my surprise when I see you here with a new model.”

Glamour did not like this mare.

“I went to see Prim Hemline, and she assigned me a new one.”

“Mhmm… Well, how fortunate for you. I didn’t not realize Prim had any others on standby, but I guess that means we’ll get to see how you fare standing on your own hooves after all.” Suri glanced at Glamour before shrugging and trotting back to the door. “I’ll get out of your mane. From what I see, it looks like you still have a lot of work you need to do.”

Just before Suri exited the room, she looked back at Coco, her grin somehow even more haughty than before. “Oh, and since this is your first show, do be careful. You know very well how some designers can be very competitive.” She made her exit by slamming the door shut.

Even with Suri gone, Glamour was glaring at where the mare just left. “Who was she?” she asked. When no response came from Coco, she turned her gaze to find Coco was sitting on her haunches with her head bowed.

“Coco, are you alright?”

“Y-yeah, I’m fine. Just a bit shaken up, I guess.” Coco sighed and got back up on her hooves.

“Who was she?” Glamour asked again.

“That was Suri Polomare. She’s another fashion designer.”

“Is that why she’s so aggressive with you? Because you’re competition?”

“Sort of, she’s already known to be really competitive.” Coco let out another sigh. “The thing is, I actually worked as her assistant for a while, but I resigned not too long ago.”

“So she thinks she can push you around just because she was your old boss? You don’t work for her anymore, Coco. You can fight back and make her stop.”

Coco shook her head. “It’s… It’s a bit more complicated than that, Glamour.”

“What do you mean?”

“It’s just that… Coco paused for a moment before shaking her head again. “I’m sorry, Glamour, but I can’t talk about it right now.”

Before Glamour could ask another question, there was a knock on the door followed shortly by a pony shouting, “Showtime, ponies! We need all models on the stage now!”

“Oh no! We need to get moving now!” Coco urged as she nudged Glamour along.

Glamour let out a quiet sigh as she allowed herself to be led back to the backstage area. If Glamour thought everypony was busy before, the scene she saw once she arrived backstage was absolute chaos. Ponies were frantically putting on the last touches of whatever they were working on, whether it was the makeup on the models lining up in front of the curtain, the dresses that were on the models, or a worker setting something up for the show.

Coco left Glamour in a space in between two other models wearing gaudy dresses as she relayed some last minute instructions. “I’m sorry that you didn’t get to practice, but I’m sure you’ll do fine. Just remember to line up with all the models when the curtains rise, and then wait until you hear them announce my name before you walk the runway. I’ll be watching from the side in case you need any help. Good luck, Glamour, and thanks again for helping me out!”

Glamour watched Coco run off before taking another look around her. Just about all of the other ponies had also cleared the stage, leaving her and the other models waiting for showtime.

Glancing over at the models near her, Glamour saw that all of them were just standing there stone-faced, and it made her wonder if some models went through the same training as the royal guard ponies.

The voice of the announcer started coming in through the curtains, and Glamour snapped to attention and took several deep breaths. Here she was, just moments away from realizing her dream that she had since she was two days younger. There was no way she was going to let anything go wrong.

“And now, introducing our lovely fashion line!”

Glamour put on a blank face like the other models and puffed out her chest a bit as the curtains started to slowly rise. She raised one hoof off the ground, ready to strut onto stage, only to freeze when she saw what was on the other side of the curtains.

Barely able to see through the blinding lights shining into her eyes, Glamour saw that the room was filled with ponies. A lot of ponies. As a changeling, she was used to interacting with other ponies. It was a shame that all that experience meant little when dealing with several hundred ponies that were going to be watching her every move.

The pupils in Glamour’s eyes shrunk into the size she wished she could be right now as she felt herself start to hyperventilate.

“Glamour… Glamour!”

Barely hearing her name over the noise, Glamour glanced over to the side and saw Coco with a worried look on her face. She was waving her hoof in the direction of the audience.

Following the hoof’s direction, Glamour looked forward and let out a squeak when she saw that she was the only model that has not walked up. Without actually running, she quickly filled the gap in the line.

Shortly afterwards, the announcer called out the name of the first designer, and the model on the far left side of the stage started making her way down the runway.

Seeing that she was on the far right side of the stage, Glamour figured that she had plenty of time to prepare herself for her walk. Or panic. She decided to do both.

Glamour tried to calm herself with deep breaths, but the lump in her throat refused to go away, and it was also getting difficult to maintain her posture with her shaking legs.

She had thought she was able to be on stage, but by the way she could barely move her own body, she was dead wrong. The sight of so many ponies all looking in her direction was frightening enough, but the scariest thing was that she did not have a persona to hide behind this time. Even though she was disguised as a pony, it was a pony of her own creation, and one that she wanted to remain as for, hopefully, a very long time.

As the show went on and her turn to do the dreaded walk drew nearer and nearer, Glamour was still having trouble keeping her composure.

“And now we have a lovely piece made by Coco Pommel!”

Glamour’s body pretty much fully shut down as she was literally put in the spotlight.

“Uh, well Coco Pommel is one of our newest designers,” the announcer continued after a few moments. “And uh, we’re very excited to see what she has to show for us tonight.”

Glamour could hear the crowd murmur about her frozen body. Not being able to do much except move her eyes, she glanced back at Coco in hopes of any form of help. Instead, she saw that Coco had a hoof over her mouth and was looking at her with both fear and sadness.

Glamour never felt so disappointed in herself. Coco had done so much for her, and here she was repaying her generosity by ruining her debut appearance. Not only was she jeopardizing her friend’s career, but her own dream was also going down in shambles.

Her chance to change her life for the better was slipping further and further away by the second, and she refused to let this moment go when she had already gambled so much already. She had to do this.

Concentrating on her senses, she could feel the adoration permeating the air. Her horn flashed green for just a second as she absorbed a great deal of adoration all at once.

“We seem to experiencing a bit of an issue with our model, and we’re sorry—for uh keeping you waiting, because there she goes right now.”

Glamour was finally able to will her legs to move, but at a slow and stiff pace. Her nerves were still plaguing her, but the sudden spike of energy she took in almost literally shocked her body back to life.

When she made it to the end of the runway, she was almost blinded by the barrage of camera flashes in her eyes. Rapidly blinking away the spots in her vision, she almost tripped over her own hooves when she turned to walk back up to the main stage.

Getting back in her place in the line of models, Glamour let out a deep breath she did not even know she was even holding and immediately began to feel a bit dizzy. The gorging of adoration she had done was similar to how a pony would eat an entire meal in one bite, and she was starting to feel the side effects.

Glamour barely heard the announcer start giving out the closing speech as she struggled to stay on her hooves and making sure her wildly-thumping heart was not going to suddenly escape and go on strike for overworking it.

Even when the curtains finally hid her from the audience and the rest of the models trotted off, her dazed self was rooted to the floor. It was not until she felt hooves wrap around her neck did she regain a bit of her basic motor skills.

“You did it, Glamour!” Coco cheered as she hugged Glamour. “I was so worried when you froze up on stage.”

“So many ponies…”

Coco sighed and released her embrace. “It’s alright, Glamour. It’s over. You can rest now.”

“So many lights…”

Coco frowned. “Um, Glamour are you going to be alright?”

“Y-yeah, I think I’m going to rest now.”

“Oh good, I thought for a second that—Ahh! Glamour!”

Glamour was out cold before she even hit the floor.