• Published 12th Aug 2015
  • 8,271 Views, 1,159 Comments

A Change In Fashion - Kevinltk



A changeling finds love in the world of fashion modeling.

  • ...
16
 1,159
 8,271

Chapter 6: First Day

The next morning, Glamour walked into the studio where the photo shoot was taking place and found that the room was already filled with busy ponies. She was happy to see that Coco had already arrived and was following behind a busy Photo Finish as they moved around the room.

Photo Finish was proving herself as a very capable multitasker, yelling out instructions and directions to all the working ponies she passed, all the while keeping a conversation with Coco. And judging by Coco’s growing smile, it seemed that Photo Finish was approving her work.

Seeing Coco getting along with Photo Finish brought a smile on Glamour’s face, and she hoped that this photo shoot would help out her friend.

Coco looked around the room when Photo Finish stopped to order some ponies setting up the lights, and when her gaze fell upon Glamour, her smiled widened. “Oh, good morning Glamour!” Coco greeted and waved from across the room.

All activity in the room ceased immediately, and Glamour’s smile faded when all eyes focused right on her.

“Ah good, you have arrived,” Photo Finish cheerfully said in a loud voice. “We must get you prepared… immediately!”

Glamour did not stand a chance. As soon as Photo Finish gave the word, she was beset by Photo Finish’s entourage and dragged into a huge dressing booth in the corner. Buried under a sea of hooves, the ponies swiftly took off her saddlebag and pulled a dress over her head. As soon as Glamour’s head emerged from the other side, gasping for air, her face was assaulted by an assortment of brushes. Unlike Coco’s gentle application back at the show, she winced as the brushes roughly poked and slathered makeup all over her face, and her mane felt like it was being pulled and tugged in every direction.

Eventually, the booth curtains were withdrawn, and a wide-eyed Glamour found herself pushed in front of Photo Finish.

“Uh, what just happened?” Glamour asked herself. After the first few moments of colors and many violations of her personal space, her memory had decided it was probably best to shut down until it was over.

“Ah, wunderbar, you’re ready!” Photo Finish said. “I was getting impatient.” She frowned at the ponies still in the booth. “Next time, do it faster! Now, finish setting up the shoot! ”

When Photo Finish left to continue directing her ponies, Glamour shook off her daze and trotted over to a nearby mirror to take a look at what the damage was. To her surprise, she found that despite the seemingly elaborate work, she could not notice that big of a difference in her appearance. She had expected an overwhelming amount of makeup would be on her, but with just a bit of eyeshadow here, some mascara there, a bit more shine to her mane, and other minor details all working together, she looked fabulous. She had to admit that she never looked better, and that was saying something since that included all the previous appearances she had before.

Glamour had her doubts when she was being fabulously tortured, but Photo Finish’s ponies really did know what they were doing. She just wished they could have spared the rough treatment. An overzealous makeup session was not the way she wanted to be done in by, no matter how fabulous she may look.

Glamour then inspected the dress that she wore, no doubt made by Coco. It was a white one-piece dress with a simple lace pattern at the base of it. While not as intricate as the one she wore at the show, Glamour liked its simple and graceful style. She liked it even more when she moved around, finding that it was just as comfortable as the last one, if not moreso.

She was glad that she picked Coco as her clothes designer, and it was not just because she was her friend. Glamour shuddered when she remembered some of the more unique outfits she saw at the fashion show.

“How’s the dress?” Coco asked, appearing alongside Glamour in the mirror.

“Beautiful,” Glamour replied, still slowly turning around and admiring her look. She could definitely get used to being pretty. “I saw you were talking quite a bit with Photo Finish with her. How’s working with her?”

“She’s… interesting. A bit challenging as well. I had to show her ten different dresses before she settled on this one.”

“After talking to her yesterday, I kind of expected her to pick something more flashy, to be honest.”

“Well, she said this was the first shoot, so she wanted to start off small.”

“Small?” Glamour looked around the room that was about twice the size of Coco’s apartment. Beside the dressing booth in the corner and various tables ladened with equipment, the biggest thing was that the entire wall on the other side was covered by an enormous white backdrop. Photo Finish’s ponies were setting up several platforms of varying heights along the backdrop, and there were at least twenty huge studio lights set up all around the room.

“Right… Small…” Glamour rolled her eyes.

Coco giggled. “Be nice, Glamour. Like I said, she’s interesting, but she is the most famous photographer for a reason.”

Coco looked down to the floor and used one foreleg to rub the other. “I, uh, also want to thank you again for this, Glamour. Just working with Photo Finish is going to help a lot with my career.”

“It’s the least I could do. After all, Photo Finish only saw me because I modeled for you. And besides, that’s what friends do. They help each other, right?”

Coco smiled and gave Glamour a quick hug. “Yes, they do. You’re a good friend, Glamour. Please, let me know if there’s anything I can do for you.”

“Glamour! It is time to make ze magicks!” Photo Finish bellowed, beckoning Glamour and Coco over.

Eager to start her new career, Glamour quickly trotted over to Photo Finish, only to be stopped by a raised hoof when she got close.

“Wait, something is missing. Hmm…” Photo Finish brought a hoof to her chin and moved closer to Glamour.

“Um, what’s wrong, Photo Finish?” Glamour asked. Even with Photo Finish’s glasses on, she could almost feel the scrutinizing gaze, and she had to step back a bit as Photo Finish leaned forward, almost touching their muzzles together.

“Needs more blush,” Photo Finish suddenly proclaimed and instantly backed away.

Glamour blinked, and a pony with a brush in her mouth suddenly appeared in front of her, and then shoved the brush into her face, causing a pink dust cloud to envelop her.

“Needs more blush,” Photo Finish repeated.

Again, the brush created another pink cloud, and Glamour’s face scrunched up when her nose started itching. She quivered as she tried to hold in her sneeze, but it was no use.

A camera flash went off right as Glamour made a loud sneeze that echoed through the room.

“Ah wunderbar!”

When the dust cloud parted, Glamour sniffed and saw that Photo Finish had somehow set up a large camera within the span of a few seconds. Before she could wonder how or where the camera got here, she heard the dreaded words, “Needs more blush,” yet again, before everything went pink.

“Um, don’t you think that’s enough blush, Photo Finish?” Coco asked.

“Nonsense, it’s not like it can harm her,” Photo Finish replied.

Coughing and hacking, Glamour tried to find her way out of the cloud of pink while using one forehoof to try and wave it away, only to trip into a tall metal object. Letting out a yelp, she clutched onto the object as they both tipped over and fell to the floor with a loud crash.

“Probably…” Photo Finish mumbled before another camera flash went off.

“G-Glamour, are you alright?” Coco asked worriedly.

“I’m fine,” Glamour replied with a groan. No longer blinded by blush, she looked to see that she was lying next to a fallen studio light. “Um, sorry about the light…”

“It is of no importance when we get to witness your brilliance,” Photo Finish said with an eager grin. “We haven’t even started, and you’re already giving us ze magicks. We just need—”

“Please, no more blush!” Glamour begged, raising her hooves up over her face. “I don’t think I can take—” Her vision was temporarily blinded by a point blank camera flash.

“Oh, such a natural. But no, I was about to say we need you to get into place, so that we can actually start and make more of ze magicks!”

Glamour was guided to the backdrop, and Photo Finish placed her camera in front of her.

“Now, are you ready?” Photo Finish asked Glamour.

“Actually, I’m not sure what to—”

“And go!”

Glamour yelped as she scrambled into the first good pose she could think of, raising one hoof slightly off the ground while raising her chin.

“No!”

Glamour blinked before turning around. Recalling a pose from the library magazines, she turned her head to look back at the camera and winked.

“No!”

Resisting the urge to facehoof, Glamour let out a small sigh, and she closed her eyes while extending a forehoof in front of her, and a hind leg behind her, putting herself in a delicate, elegant pose.

“No! No! No!” Photo Finish cried out and trotted up to Glamour. “Where is the pony I saw two nights ago? Where is the pony who was just here a few moments ago?! Now she… she was magnificent!”

“I’m sorry, Photo Finish, but I’m just not really sure if I can just recreate all that anytime I want. It’s just something that just um, happens.”

“Hmm, interesting…” Photo Finish rubbed her chin in thought for a few moments. “I should have known this was not going to be as easy as I thought. Do not worry. I, Photo Finish, love a good challenge.”

“Um, if I could suggest something,” Coco spoke up. “Maybe instead of forcing Glamour to act like how she was at the show, we could try doing something that would let things happen naturally.”

A smirk grew on Photo Finish’s face. “I, Photo Finish, am a genius! We’re going to recreate the moments when you shined!”

“Didn’t Coco just say something—”

“Don’t question my genius! Glamour, here’s what I want you to do. You are to forget everything you know about being a model.

“Done,” Glamour replied immediately, since her knowledge of the profession consisted mainly of a night of cramming random tidbits from fashion magazines.

“Good! Now, when we start shooting again, I want you to remember how you were feeling on the night of the fashion show.”

“I’ll try,” Glamour said with a small frown, “but like I said before, it’s going to be kind of hard to remember all of that.”

“Oh, don’t worry. I, Photo Finish, have already got something to planned. Now, get in position. Everypony else, to me!”

There was a brief thundering of hooves as literally everypony in the room, including one confused Coco, raced to Photo Finish’s side.

Before Glamour could ask what was going on, Photo Finish pointed at a random pony in the group and cried out, “You! Get the lights! All of them!”

The pony nodded and zipped right for the nearest light and turned it on.

Glamour’s face was immediately blasted with a light that felt bright enough to make even Princess Celestia jealous. She raised her hoof to shield herself, only to quickly lower it, and instead tried to withstand the light and maintain her posture.

“No, no, no, Glamour! Remember, act naturally! More lights!”

Glamour yelped as even more lights were projected onto her face, and she was forced to shut her eyes and look away.

“Yes, yes, it’s working! Now, get on that platform to your right!”

Following Photo Finish’s instructions, Glamour slowly made her way to the right with one forehoof raised to her face, but with her vision obscured, she soon misjudged a step and awkwardly hopped a few steps forward when she almost tripped.

Blinking several times, Glamour’s eyes finally adjusted to the flood of light, and she glanced back to Photo Finish.

Her eyes widened for a second, and she unconsciously took a step back when she saw around thirty sets of eyes were all staring intently right at her. While not as intimidating as what she had experienced back at the show, it was still a kind of unnerving to know that the whole room was watching and judging her every move.

Glamour gulped and slowly raised a hoof to wave back.

“Yes, yes! We had done it! The pony from the show is coming back! It is time to make ze magicks!”

Glamour chuckled nervously. What have I gotten myself into?

“Enough!”

Glamour let out a huge sigh upon hearing Photo Finish’s voice, wondering what new thing she was going to have to do now. They had been at it all day, only stopping for a quick lunch. As the photo shoot had progressed, she was thrown into all sorts of situations that she had to fumble through.

She wondered if all the awkward pictures were really going to sell, but Photo Finish seemed confident, and she had been happily shooting pictures the entire time.

So it was to Glamour’s surprise to see Photo Finish had her camera fold up into a briefcase, which was promptly picked up by one of her ponies.

“Wait, we’re done?” Glamour asked.

“Just for today. We shoot more tomorrow,” Photo Finish replied. “Glamour, you were wunderbar! I, Photo Finish, have so much material to work with, and I, Photo Finish, cannot wait until tomorrow. Now, there’s so much to do before the next shoot, and so… I go!”

Photo Finish and her entourage quickly made their exit, leaving Glamour behind with Coco.

Glamour let out a sigh of relief and used her magic to start taking off her dress. “Wow, I didn’t realize getting my picture taken was this tiring.”

“It did seem intense,” Coco agreed, taking her dress back from Glamour’s magic and neatly folding it up. “Photo Finish was really working you hard.”

Despite several dress changes, a couple of falls, both intentional and unintentional, awkward poses, more deadly blush, and the blinding lights, Glamour actually did not find the shoot that unbearable. It was weird, and a bit annoying at certain points, but it was only her first day, and it was already a step up from her old, angry mob-filled life.

“I’m alright with it,” Glamour replied, putting her saddlebag back on after finding it. “Besides, from what everypony is telling me, Photo Finish will be able to do a lot for me once things get rolling, so a little bit of hard work and weirdness is worth it, in my opinion.”

“I know,” Coco said as she put on her own saddlebag after packing away her dresses in it. “I just don’t want you getting too tired or hurt with all the stuff she’s having you do.”

“Hey, don’t worry about me. I’m used to roughing it.”

“Well, if you say so,” Coco said with an unsure frown. “Just please don’t push yourself too hard.”

With their things all packed up, Glamour and Coco made their way through the building and out into the lobby to find Grace putting away things into her own saddlebag.

“Hello, Grace. You’re packing up early. Is Prim already letting you go home?” Coco asked as the two of them went over to the reception desk.

“She’s letting everypony go early today,” Grace answered. “Gives us more time to get home before the storm hits.”

“Wait, there’s a storm coming?” Glamour asked.

Coco and Grace both stared at Glamour.

“What?”

“You don’t know? They’ve been sending out a bunch of notices in the mail. Even then you should’ve at least heard it from somepony else,” Grace informed.

Glamour laughed nervously. Since she did not talk to anypony else besides Coco and her employers, and cardboard boxes usually did not receive mail, it was little wonder that she was not up to date with the local news. “Must’ve missed them all. Is it going to be bad?”

“Biggest one we had for a long time, from what I heard. Something to do with a backlog of clouds. I’m pretty sure part of the reason was because Prim was able to keep on delaying the rain until the show was over.”

Glamour grimaced. She could handle a little rain, but if there really was a big storm coming, she was going to have a really rough night. She immediately started brainstorming a way to find better shelter.

With no bits on hoof and her first paycheck still a ways off, there was no way she could afford renting a room anywhere.

She could try finding a safe place outside the city, but with Manehattan so big, it would take some time to reach the outskirts. She also recalled that the area outside the city was mostly hills and plains, making it even harder to find suitable shelter before the storm hit.

Temporarily turning into a pegasus was an option, since the fashion show did give her an ample amount of energy, but all the clouds were probably already being converted into thunderclouds, and sleeping on a thundercloud was not something she wanted to do again. Her butt still tingled every now and then.

As idea after idea was discarded, it looked like she was just going to have to hope the cardboard box she had been using for the past few nights would be able to withstand the elements.

“Glamour, are you alright? You went quiet all of the sudden,” Coco asked.

“Oh, y-yeah. I’m fine. Just fine. Um, just curious, how long would the storm last?” Glamour asked.

“It’s supposed to start pretty soon, but that’s only the light stuff. The worst part of it will be later, and that will take up the whole night,” Grace answered.

“Oh… Um, also just curious, but will this place be open during the storm?”

Grace gave her a flat stare, while Coco’s face was etched with worry.

“No,” Grace answered. “With everypony going home, Prim is going to have the building locked up. And before you ask, I’m sure it’s going to be the same story for anywhere else.”

“Glamour, do you even have a place to stay?” Coco asked.

“Of course I do. I just don’t like being cooped up at my place, so I was wondering if there was anywhere else I can go to pass the time. I’ll be fine,” Glamour replied with a nervous smile. Maybe

Between Grace’s raised eyebrow and Coco’s worried frown, Glamour could see that they were not completely buying her story. Not wanting them to get suspicious of her and risk blowing her cover, she decided it was time to leave. “Well, I think I will be heading off now. Don’t want to get caught in the rain on the way home. I’ll see you both tomorrow.”

Glamour hurried to the door but stopped when she heard Coco cry out an “Oh no!”.

“What? What’s wrong, Coco?” Glamour asked, quickly turning back around to find Coco digging through her bag.

“I, uh, I think I left one of my dresses back at the studio. I need to take care of something with Grace before the storm starts, so would you do me a favor and check for me, Glamour?”

“Uh, sure thing, Coco. I’ll get right on that.” Glamour briskly trotted back to the studio, leaving Coco and Grace behind.

Arriving at the studio, Glamour found the room just as they had left it. Even though Photo Finish’s ponies left almost everything they had set up, to save time for tomorrow’s shoot, she was glad that they had done so in a tidy, organized manner.

Glamour checked inside the dressing booth, behind and under all the equipment, and any other nook or cranny she could think of, but she could not find Coco’s dress. After double checking a few more spots, she guessed that Coco must have misplaced the missing dress somewhere else.

When she got back to the lobby, she saw that Coco and Grace were talking quietly about something. For some reason, Grace was frowning while Coco looked even more worried.

“Hey, Coco, I don’t think your dress is in the studio,” Glamour called out, causing the two mares to look up at her. “I looked all over and could not find it.”

“My dress? Oh right, my dress. I actually found it while you were away,” Coco replied.

Glamour paused. “Uh, really? Where was it?”

“Oh, it was um…”

“Coco’s feeling a bit silly since she accidentally folded it into one of her other dresses,” Grace answered instead.

“R-right. Sorry, Glamour, for wasting your time.”

“It’s alright, but if there is nothing else, I’ll be heading off now.” Glamour made it to the door and looked back to see the two mares staring at her. “Aren’t you two going to leave as well?”

“In a few more minutes,” Coco replied. “I still have something I need to do. Don’t worry, we’ll be fine.”

Glamour shrugged and nodded before saying goodbye to the two mares and made her exit.

The first thing Glamour noticed once she stepped outside was the gloomy sky. She could catch glimpses of pegasi pushing huge, dark clouds into position, effectively blocking out all sunlight. The usually busy streets of Manehattan were also empty, devoid of ponies except for a few stragglers who were rushing to get home.

Knowing that she should do the same, Glamour hurried down the streets, hoping to get to her makeshift home before the rain started. She made it through a few blocks before a loud boom of thunder made her do a startled jump. Looking up at the sky again, she saw that the clouds were now an ominous black.

Glamour winced when a drop of water hit her nose. The single drop was promptly joined by its wet brethren, making Glamour resume her travels through the streets, but at a much faster pace. She really needed to get back to her box now, before the rain got any worse.

By the time she made it back to the alleyway where her shabby home was, her fur had gotten all wet and was making her body shiver slightly from the cold. She quickly took shelter in the cardboard box, relieved to at least have a roof over her head.

Her relief was washed away when she felt another drop of water land on her head. Glamour looked up and groaned loudly.

There was a dark, wet spot in the siding above her that was visibly sagging and dripping water. More than likely, when the weather became really bad, that spot was going to give out and expose her to the rain.

Glamour sighed and lit up her horn, producing a translucent green barrier around her. Watching the dripping water slide down her shield, she wondered what she was going to do. The shield could not be maintained the whole night, and there was little chance of her finding a better place before the rain picked up.

With a heavy sigh, Glamour curled up away from the dripping water, leaving her back facing the outside. She closed her eyes, hoping to get some rest in before things got really rough.

“Glamour?”

Glamour’s eyes shot wide open, and her whole body stiffened up at the sound of the familiar voice. Praying that the voice did not belong to who she thought it was, she turned her head slowly, but sure enough, she saw that Coco was standing right outside her box with an umbrella over her head.

Neither of them spoke a word, the silence only broken by the pattering of raindrops around them. Coco’s mouth moved, as though she was about to speak, but no words came out, while Glamour was still shocked.

Glamour could not believe it. Coco actually found her here. She had hoped to keep this part of her a secret, worried that it would lead to her exposure as a changeling, but to her surprise, she was not really feeling much fear. Instead, she felt as if though a heavy pit had grown in her stomach now that her friend was seeing her in this state.

With a sigh, Glamour turned her eyes back towards the back of the box and rested her head on her hooves.

“Hi, Coco…”

“Glamour… I… Please… Please, tell me this isn’t where you live…”

Glamour shook her head. “Sorry, Coco.”

“Oh…” Coco’s gaze faltered and dropped to the ground. “How… How did this happen to you?”

Glamour went silent for a few moments before answering, “I just… I just haven’t had a real job for a long time.” She forced a small smile. “But hey, at least I got one now. It’s not like I’ll be like this forever.”

“B-but the storm…”

“I’ll be fine, Coco. I’m used to roughing it. You should go home before the rain gets any worse.” Glamour laid her head back down on her hooves. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Closing her eyes, Glamour hoped that if she pretended to go to sleep, Coco would give up and leave her be. However, after a few minutes of not hearing Coco walk away, she let out another sigh.

“Coco, really, I’ll be—”

“Get up.”

Glamour opened her eyes and looked up to see Coco’s eyebrows were slanted down and sternly staring at her. It was the first time she saw Coco like this.

“Coco?”

“I’m not going to leave you out here. You’re coming home with me.”

“You want to… I, uh, well… N-no, I couldn’t.” Glamour was not sure why she turned down Coco. She usually had little qualms when she disguised herself and took advantage of other ponies, but now that Coco was offering, it did not feel right doing the same to her. Despite her instincts telling her to accept the offer and get out of the rain, another part of her was telling her to do the exact opposite.

“Glamour, please. You already stayed over once, and it was no trouble to me.”

“But… It just doesn’t feel right. You’ve already done so much for me.”

“Glamour, you cannot stay here. You could get sick, or hurt, or even worse.”

When Glamour remained silent, Coco took a deep breath. “Glamour, think about it this way. If anything happens to you, do you think you will be able to make it to the shoot tomorrow?”

“Um, well…”

“I’m getting to work with Photo Finish because she wants you. If you’re unable to work with Photo Finish, do you think she’ll still need me?”

Glamour bit her lip. While she did not want to trouble Coco at her home, jeopardizing Coco’s chance with Photo Finish was worse. It seemed that no matter which way she chose, Coco was going to be affected as well.

“Fine, you win, Coco.”

Coco sighed with relief, her stern face relaxing. “Thank you, Glamour.”

“But just for tonight.”

Coco stared at her blankly for a few seconds before beckoning Glamour to get up and held out her umbrella.

Glamour grabbed her bag and huddled under the umbrella with Coco as they trotted in the direction of Coco’s apartment.

“So, how did you find me?” Glamour asked.

“Well… I followed you. Remember when I asked you to go back to the studio for my dress?”

“Yes,” Glamour replied slowly.

“Well, um, that was a lie. You were acting funny when Grace and I told you about the storm, and I started wondering if it was because of where you lived. I convinced Grace to look up your address while you were gone. When we found out that you did not register where you were staying, I got worried.

“I know it was wrong of me, and I’m sorry for sneaking around behind your back, but I had to make sure you were safe.”

Glamour kept silent. If only Coco knew what she was doing behind her back.

“Um, if you don’t mind, how long have you been uh…”

“Homeless?”

Coco winced. “Y-yeah.”

“I’ve been traveling around Equestria for quite a while, and I just felt like I had enough of it. I arrived in Manehattan some time before the show, and since I did not have any bits saved up or a job, I’ve been making do for the past few days.”

Coco turned her head to Glamour. “I… I had no idea. You made it seem like you were doing fine. Why didn’t you say anything?”

Glamour sighed. “It’s not exactly something you would like to share with others.”

“I guess… But still…”

Fortunately, Coco did not ask anymore questions and spent the rest of the walk in silence. Eventually, the two of them made it to the complex where Coco lived, and they headed straight for her apartment.

“I hope you don’t mind sleeping on the couch again,” Coco said as they entered her home.

“It’s no problem. After all, I can’t really complain when I had been sleeping in a box.”

“I certainly hope that you’ll be more comfortable tonight. I’ll just be a moment to put my things away and grab a spare pillow and blanket for you.”

Glamour nodded and went to the couch as Coco went into one of the side rooms. Sitting down upright on the couch, allowing her hind legs to hang off the side and idly kick, she looked around the room.

It had been only one day since she had been in here, but there seemed to be a lot more scraps of fabric and other tools scattered around the place. Coco must have been busy since she found out about the photo shoot.

As Glamour’s gaze went to a nearby table, she noticed a paper that looked distinctively familiar.

Could it be? Glamour wondered. She went up to the table, and after checking to see if Coco was not coming back yet, she levitated the paper to her. She immediately recognized the writing before she even began reading.

It was Nutmeg’s goodbye letter.

Glancing over her work, a frown appeared on her face when she noticed that the ink in the last parts of the letter was smudged by what looked like a few drops of water.

“That’s from Nutmeg, the friend I was talking to you about,” came Coco’s voice from behind.

“Coco!” Glamour quickly spun around. cutting off her magic and letting the letter fall to the floor. “I’m sorry for reading it without your permission! I-I just got curious, but I shouldn’t have invaded your privacy!”

“It’s alright,” Coco replied as she bent down to pick the letter back up. She let out a sigh as her eyes read over the letter. “I was actually thinking of telling you about this since I keep on bringing her up with you. Did you read the whole thing?”

“Um, yeah. She said you were a really good friend to her, and she was really sorry for not making it to your show. She was even more sorry that she had to leave Manehattan for an emergency.”

Coco sighed and nodded. “That’s pretty much it. I found it in my mailbox last night. I guess she slipped it in sometime yesterday before she left. I’m glad that she seems okay and that she took the time to write a goodbye letter, but I wish we could’ve said goodbye face to face.”

“Are you alright?”

“Yeah… Mostly… I guess…” Coco placed the letter back on the table with another sigh. “I mean, we barely knew each other, but we still became friends. It doesn’t feel good when a friend has to go away.”

The heavy pit feeling in Glamour’s stomach returned with even more force. “Coco… I… I’m sorry…”

“It’s alright. It’s not your fault.” Coco smiled a little. “Sometimes friends have to go their separate ways, but I’ll be fine. I still have you and Grace as friends, after all.”

A flash of light, followed by the rumbling of thunder, drew their attention to the window.

Moving over to the window, Glamour could see that the storm was well underway now. The dimly-lit streets down below were being pounded by a torrent of water, forming small rivers in certain places, and the heavy wind was blowing debris all over the place.

“Wow, I didn’t realize it was going to be this bad…” Glamour muttered, her mind wondering what kind of state she would have been in if Coco did not come.

“I’m glad that you’re not out there, Glamour.”

“I am too.” Glamour turned back to Coco. “But it feels like I’m taking advantage of you since I can’t really repay you for letting me stay here… again.”

“You’re not, Glamour. Don’t forget what you have done for me. You helped me out of a tight spot at the fashion show, and now you’ve got me working with the most famous fashion photographer in Equestria.

"Besides that, you’re also a really nice pony that I like spending time with. We’re friends, Glamour. Friends do this kind of stuff for each other. And that’s why I’ve decided that you’re staying here until you get back on your hooves.”

Glamour’s eyes were almost bulging out. “What?! Coco, that’s too much! I can’t just—”

“I was not asking you to stay.” Coco stepped forward, her stern glare from outside returning. “I’m telling you to stay.”

Glamour reeled back a bit. When they first met, she had pinned Coco to be a bit on the shy and meek side, but after what happened outside and just now, it seemed like the normally-timid mare had an assertive side that could be brought out under the right conditions.

Coco sighed, her body relaxing. “Look, Glamour, I can understand that you don’t want to rely on others, but it costs a lot to rent a place in Manehattan. It would probably take you a few months before you can save up enough bits to even think about getting a place, and that’s not even including food or other household items.”

Glamour bit her lip. She had figured her housing situation would be a temporary issue, but if what Coco said was true, it was going to take a lot longer than she thought. She had hoped that tonight was just a one-time thing, but if there was another night like this before she could save up enough bits, she knew that she needed a better place than a cardboard box.

“Glamour, please, let me help you. I just lost one friend. Don’t let me lose another.”

Glamour wanted to whimper. First logic and now playing on her emotions, Coco really was not playing fair, even if she did not know using Nutmeg was a lot more effective than she intended.

“I guess… I guess I can try staying for a little,” Glamour said, finally caving in.

Coco was immediately upon Glamour and wrapped her up in a hug. “Oh, Glamour, thank you!”

“H-hey, I’m supposed to be the one saying that! You’re opening up your home to me, after all..”

“I know, I know.” Coco giggled a bit and backed off. “It’s just that I think it’s going to be a lot of fun having you around, and I already feel a lot better knowing that you have a safe place to sleep. Speaking of, we probably should start getting ready for bed.”

“Yeah, you’re right,” Glamour agreed and settled back down on the couch. “Today was a lot of work, and with how excited Photo Finish was, it’s probably going to be a lot more like that tomorrow.”

“Sorry again that you have to sleep on the couch. Don’t worry, after a few days, I can clean out the work room, and you can stay there.”

“Coco…” Glamour whined. “Really, you’re going too far. I’m fine with just the couch. It’s a lot more comfy than what I have been using for… a long time. There’s no need to go through so much trouble for me.”

“You deserve a little place of your own, Glamour, and there’s not too much stuff in there. I’ve actually been meaning to do some cleaning around the place, and now, I got a good reason to do that. Besides, it’s my place.”

“You’re not going to let me say no, are you?”

“It’s not looking good for you.”

Glamour gave a sigh before slowly shaking her head with a chuckle. “You’re one of a kind, Coco. I know I’ve said this before, but I really am glad to have a friend like you, and I’m not saying that because of all the stuff you do for me. Thank you for being you.”

Coco smiled back. “I’m happy to do it. Now, we really should get to sleep. I’ll see you in the morning, Glamour. Good night.”

“Good night, Coco.”

Glamour watched as Coco walked toward her door. Right before she went through the door, Coco looked back at Glamour and shot her another smile, before disappearing into her room.

Glamour laid back in the couch, thinking about the situation she had just been thrust into. She had never imagined that she would be living, albeit temporarily, with Coco. But now here she was, and she wondered how this was going to affect her disguise.

If she had to constantly leave the apartment in search of love, it would no doubt make Coco suspicious. But if Photo Finish was able to make her popular and bring in the adoring fans, she would not have to worry about looking for food. It would come to her.

Still, she would have to get a place of her own as soon as possible. There might come a day where she would need to use her changeling form, and having her own place would help keep her secret. She had put too much work into this new lifestyle, so she had to be careful, even with Coco.

There was no way a changeling could live with a pony forever.

But for the time being, living with Coco would be a great deal more comfortable than her previous living arrangements, or rather, lack thereof. And like Coco said, perhaps it would be fun to spend some more time together.

When sleep eventually found Glamour, she had a smile on her face.