• Published 18th Jan 2019
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Before the Friendship Games: Dean Cadance - CapNTilfy

Dean Cadance is hiding something. Something that very few people know. Book Seven of The Crystal Prep Chronicles: Before the Friendship Games.

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Mall Madness

Cadance and Hope entered the mall, smiling widely. "God, it's been forever since I set foot in here." Hope gaped as she looked around. "It feels like everything's changed..."

The first thing the duo noticed was the large golden fountain in the middle of the main floor. In the fountain's center was a large chalice with a thick glass tube keeping a giant sphere in place as water cascaded down. Two escalators (one going up and another going down) were situated on opposite sides.

"I know what you mean, Hope." Cadance stared at the fountain and pointed at it. "I don't remember that being there before..."

Radiant Hope grinned. "Well, let's not waste any time gawking. Where to?"

Cadance looked around, noting that at least a couple of the stores she remembered from way back when were still around. She should really stop by more often. Who knows what all she missed? "Hmm...what time is it?"

Hope glanced at her phone. "It's getting close to noon. Why do you ask?"

"I didn't have much of a breakfast. How about you?"

"Same," Hope said. "What did you have in mind?"


Hope and Cadance sat down at a table. "Well," the former said. "I certainly don't remember this place."

Near the entrance of the restaurant was a bar where patrons could watch chefs create dishes. Marble counters and tables with stylized chairs lined the hard carpet floor as relaxing music played. The scents of various fish wafted through the air, with fairly dim lights enhancing the atmosphere.

"Welcome to Sushi-Mi," said a relaxed voice. The woman in front of them smiled as her teal eyes twinkled. Her red and gold hair bounced slightly as she reached the table.

"Ooh, love the uniform," Hope said as she stared at the blue kimono and apron with a small green squid.

"Thanks," the woman said with a smile. "I'm Sunset Shimmer, and I'll be your waitress today. What'll you have?"


Hope and Cadance left Sushi-Mi with smiles. They wouldn't forget that experience any time soon.

"We should take Luna there someday," Cadance said. "I bet she'd love watching the chefs at work." When she heard no reply, she looked around until she saw Hope staring into a window and squealing with glee.

"Oh my god, Cadance, look!"

Cadance walked over to the window to see several adorable puppies running circles around a pale yellow girl with pink hair, wearing a white t-shirt with a paw print on it. Her pink skirt flowed as she tried to keep track of all them.

Hope giggled at the scene. "Aww! That's adorable!!" The employee looked up to see the two, then yelped and ran out of sight.

Cadance and Hope exchanged confused glances and shrugged at each other.


"Want to take a break, Hope? We've been walking around for a couple of hours now."

"Actually," Hope said. "I want to take a look inside here." She gestured to a high-end boutique. "I'm just going to look around, I doubt I'll actually buy anything. You want to come along?"

"Eh, why not?"

Cadance and Hope walked in to see the wall lined with boots, dresses and other sorts of fashionable clothing as techno music played through the store's speakers.

"Hello, there," said a voice, gaining the duo's attentions. The employee smiled as she ran a hand through her purple hair, then adjusted her bow, keeping her blue eyes locked on them. Her black shirt was partially covered by three blue gems, which seemed to be held in place by several beads. "Can I help you?"

"Oh, we're just looking around for the time being," Cadance said.

"Understood," the employee said. "But if you need anything, just let me know."

"Will do," Hope said to the employee, then turned to Cadance. "See anything you might want?"

Cadance shook her head. "No, nothing's really grabbing my attention... not that anything here isn't eye-popping." Truth be told, she liked everything in the store. She just wanted to get out before she overspent.

"Agreed. You ready to go, then?"

"Might as well, if we're not going to buy anything."


Cadance began dragging her feet as she let out a groan. "Can we please sit down already? My feet are freaking killing me!" Cadance was never really much of a walker. She only did so to get from point A to point B. Nothing more, nothing less.

"Oh, fine," Hope said playfully as she rolled her eyes with a smile. "We'll stop and take a rest at the food court."

"Thank you..."

As the duo ascended the escalator, the food court came into view. Purple and yellow tables were placed around the center of the floor, along with matching chairs. The restaurants in the food court consisted of Eastern cuisine, a bakery, regular fast food and more.

"Finally!" Cadance sat down at a table with a sigh. "I thought my feet were going to fall off!"

Hope laughed. "Oh, don't be so dramatic, Cadance. We only walked, what... a couple of miles, maybe?"

"Easy for you to say. You're more active than I am."

Hope cupped her chin in thought. "Hmmm. Maybe that needs to change."

"Hope, what are you thinking?" Cadance sounded worried.

"You should get more exercise."

Cadance put her hands on her hips. "Excuse me, I happen to have a decent figure, thank you very much!" She scowled indignantly.

Hope sighed and put her hand to her head. "Okay, poor choice of words." She paused momentarily. "I'm not saying you should lose weight, you look just fine! However, there's nothing wrong with keeping a steady workout schedule either."

"I guess..."

"Tell you what," Hope said. "We can get a smoothie, then we'll stop by an athletics store. If there's nothing there that catches your eye, that's fine. Just promise me you'll be a bit more active, okay?"

"I guess I can live with that," Cadance said as she rose from her chair and walked to the Aunt Orange Smoothie with Hope. Behind the counter was a blonde girl with freckles wearing a lime green shirt under an orange floral print apron. Her green eyes beamed at their arrival.

"Howdy, ya'll! What can I do ya for?"


"Okay," Cadance said as she sat down with her smoothie in hand. "Luna would definitely want to see that. I haven't had that much fun watching someone make a smoothie!"

Hope laughed. "I agree. I just had give her a good tip, too."

As Cadance drank her smoothie and people-watched, her smile gradually changed to a frown. She sighed wistfully as she watched people holding hands together pass her by.

"Still waiting for it," Hope asked.

Cadance took another sip of her smoothie. "Yes and no." She sighed again. "I think you know the why for both."

Hope reached over to Cadance and put a hand on her shoulder. "Cadance. The arrow of love will strike you someday, whether you want it to or not. It happens to just about everybody."

"But I don't want it to strike before..." Cadance paused and looked around, then leaned in to whisper. "You know, before everything's said and done."

"I understand," Hope said with a smile. "But it'll happen when it happens. Nobody has a say in it." She finished her smoothie. "Well, are you ready to move on?"



Cadance and Hope entered the athletics store to see shelves full of soccer balls, footballs, and rollerskates. A neon rainbow lined the upper part of the walls, maneuvering above pictures of sports equipment with a lightning bolt behind them.

"Not exactly what I was expecting," Cadance said. "But there might be something in here that I'd want... 'might' being the key word here."

"Fair enough," Hope said as she looked around.

"Heya!" Cadance and Hope looked to see a cyan teenager with rainbow hair, wearing a uniform and a cap with a cloud and a lightning bolt with the colors red, blue and yellow. "Can I help you find anything?"


"I still can't believe that happened," Cadance said, smirking.

"Hey, you try to resist the urge to play around in a store with a basketball and a nearby hoop." Hope was blushing furiously. "I don't think I'll ever live that down, though."

"What matters is that the kid's mother knew it was an accident." Cadance put a supportive hand on Hope's shoulder.

"Can we please stop talking about it? It's bad enough you couldn't find anything, but I want to drown my sorrows in comfort food now..." Hope then mumbled under breath, ashamed of herself for almost getting banned from a store.


Cadance and Radiant Hope walked into a diner. "Wow," Hope stared in awe.

A Jukebox sat near a booth, playing music from several decades ago as multicolored spotlights moved around. The walls were filled with records and pictures of celebrities from the era the diner was themed. The booths were situated next to the windows, so diners could eat and look outside.

"Let's find a booth, then." The two sat down, enjoying the atmosphere.

"I never thought I'd set foot in one of these restaurants again," Hope said, beaming with excitement.

"Why? Did you try to shoot hoops in one?" Cadance said with a grin. Hope glared at her. "Okay, sorry," she said apologetically as she held her hands up in defense. "Way, way too soon." She should have known better. Hope always got angry whenever someone brought up an instance when she embarrassed herself.

A pink-skinned waitress skated up to Cadance and Hope's booth as her pink hair bounced around once she stopped. "Hiya," she said cheerfully. "I'm Pinkie Pie. What can I get ya?"


"Wow," Cadance said as she and Hope left the diner. "That really hit the spot."

"You said it." Hope smiled. "That was all I needed to feel better."

Cadance grinned widely. "You know what the best way to end a day at the mall is?"

Hope grinned back. She didn't have to answer that question, as it was asked at the end of every mall trip she and Cadance had had as teenagers. Nonetheless, she spoke.

"Movie!" The two shouted in singsong tones, then laughed together.


"Okay, so that wasn't the best movie I've ever seen, but it wasn't the worst, either." Hope ran a hand through her hair, then cracked her neck.

"Yeah," Cadance said. "Maybe we should've watched a rom-com or something."

"Oh well, what's done is done," Hope said as she and Cadance left the closing mall. She stretched and yawned. "Well, I suppose this is where we part ways."

Cadance smiled. "At least until tomorrow."

Hope blushed. "Right, forgot about the ladies' night plans we made."

Cadance hugged Hope. "Thank you," she said.

Hope returned the hug. "Hey, what are friends for?"

The two stood still for a moment, then broke the hug. "See you tomorrow night," Cadance said.

"Yup," Hope said as she waved. "See you tomorrow night."


Cadance walked through the garage as she returned home. "God it feels good to be back," she said breathily, then went upstairs and changed into her pajamas. She fell asleep almost instantly.

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