• 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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A Trying Tuesday

Author's Note:

Three days until the Friendship Games.

Cadance arrived at Crystal Prep Academy the next day, feeling refreshed. It was a new day, but she didn't want to delude herself into thinking that everything was going to be just fine. It took Principal Cinch mere months to change the atmosphere from friendly and welcoming to hostile and overly competitive, and it would take longer to bring it back to its glory days...

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Several months had passed since Abacus Cinch took over after Amore's death, and Cadance would have gone absolutely mad were it not for the constant support of Luna, Hope, and on occasion, Celestia. Entering the Academy, she closed her eyes and sighed. Where there was once chatter and occasional laughter, there was now unrest and aggression. The enmity in the air had became palpable over time, and one who was unaccustomed to the environment would surely keep to themselves in an effort to avoid trouble.

Cadance looked around the halls as she walked. The normally light-green walls seemed to have darkened over time, giving one a sense of foreboding when nearing a turn in the corridors. She frowned, feeling sympathy for any poor, frightened students.

"Man, has this place lost its luster or what?"

Cadance turned around to see a pale white student with dark and light blue hair. His blue eyes regarded the hallways with sadness as he heaved a sigh. "Shining Armor," he said as he offered Cadance a handshake, which she accepted.

"Cadance."

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Cadance smiled warmly. That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. However, she hadn't seen Shining Armor in a couple of weeks. He'd visit his Alma Mater every now and again, just for nostalgia's sake and to catch up with her from time to time when she wasn't busy doing administrative work or S.M.I.L.E. duties. Speaking of which... She entered her office and sat down, then cracked her knuckles and got to work.

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Several hours had passed, and Cadance got up and stretched. It was time for some lunch, and she hadn't been to the cafeteria since last Thursday. Time to change that. She left her office and made her way to the lunchroom, feeling a twinge of bittersweet memories from when her mother ran Crystal Prep.

Upon reaching the cafeteria, Cadance noticed a purple and light pink haired student looking around almost worriedly. "Sunny Flare?"

Sunny yelped, then clenched her hands into fists. "Son of a bitch! Can't I go at least one fucking period without being startled?!" She panted, her body shaking from fury. She turned around, then blanched. "Hi...Dean...Cadance." she said sheepishly.

"Are you okay, Sunny?" Cadance asked.

Sunny sighed deeply. "I've just been having a rough couple of passing periods, that's all." She began to calm visibly. "First boredom, then stupidity, then boredom again, then stupidity again..." Putting a hand to her head, she sighed again. "Sugarcoat and Indigo Zap were trying to cure me of my boredom, but at the same time doing so at my expense. Well, not every time I spoke to them." She pulled at her eye sockets. "I swear, this day has been ridiculously boring and it's been driving me mad!"

Cadance smiled. "I understand. Have you tried making friends?"

Sunny rolled her eyes and folded her arms. "Like I haven't heard that a million times already."

"I know this isn't the ideal place for friendship, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't at least give it a chance." said Cadance.

Sunny sighed. "Yeah...I guess." Suddenly, she winced and cried out in pain.

Cadance ran over to Sunny. "Sunny! Are you okay?"

"I...I think so..." Sunny gasped, then fainted.

Cadance's eyes widened, then immediately extended her arms outward. "Everybody stay calm," she said in a tone as reassuring as she could muster, then ran over to the nearest phone. Keeping her cool as best she could, she punched in a number and tapped her foot while waiting for a response.

"Hello, this is the nurse's office."

"Dean Cadance here. Someone in the cafeteria needs medical attention!"

"Understood. I'll have someone come right over." The nurse hung up, and so did Cadance. The Dean took stock of the students' reactions. Some simply went back to whatever they doing, some just stared, and a couple of students flat out fled the cafeteria. She didn't expect any student to just come up and perform CPR, but she didn't expect apathy either! Cadance took a deep breath, then exhaled as a nurse arrived with a gurney.

"I'm gonna need your help here," the nurse said as she buried her arms under Sunny's. "Ready?" Cadance gently held onto the student's legs, then nodded. "On three. One... two... three!" The two successfully raised Sunny Flare onto the gurney and raced out of the cafeteria. "What happened to her?"

"She just fell limply onto the floor." Dean Cadance said as the gurney turned a corner. She suddenly felt a pull on one of her arms. "I'm in a hurry, can it-" she turned, then stopped speaking when she saw the fear in Indigo Zap's eyes. Her jaw had dropped, and she stammered for a moment until Cadance held her by the hand. The Dean gave Indigo a sympathetic look. "She's going to be fine." She said calmly. "She just... hasn't been sleeping well lately."

Indigo stood still in shock until the student with her held her other hand. "But... but I just saw her a few minutes ago. She seemed just f-fine then." She said, trembling.

"I assure you, Indigo Zap. Sunny Flare is going to be okay. But promise me that you won't bring this up to her. She's a proud individual," Cadence said.

Indigo stayed sill, staring off for a moment. "Yeah... I promise." She all but mumbled.

"Indigo... are you going to be okay?" Cadence asked softly.

"I... I... I don't know. I'm... in shock... she... was just... fine when I saw her. D-Dean Cadence... I-I'm scared," she said, her voice a near whisper.

"I understand. Seeing someone you know in a condition like that can be frightening." Cadence said as she slowly embraced Indigo.

"If it's that scary seeing someone you know in a gurney, I can only imagine what it must feel like to see someone you love in the same way." Indigo said as she looked up.

For a brief moment, an image of her mother on her deathbed flashed through Cadance's mind, causing her to shed a tear. Dammit, not now!

"Are... are you okay, Dean Cadence?"

Cadence slowly broke the hug. "Yes. I'm fine." She wiped a tear from her face. "Everyone goes through this experience, Indigo Zap. I am no exception. It was just an old memory from a while back."

Indigo gave Dean Cadence a look of uncertainty.

Cadence sighed. "You don't have to worry about me, I'm more than capable of taking care of myself. But I do appreciate the sentiment." She said, putting an arm on Indigo's shoulder.

Indigo smiled warmly. "All right then, if you say so."

"Well, if that's everything you need, you'll have to excuse me," Cadence said as she ran off in the direction the gurney took.

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