• Published 18th Jan 2019
  • 455 Views, 59 Comments

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.

  • ...

Past Pain

Author's Note:

The Friendship Games are tomorrow...

Cadance woke up from her slumber. She still couldn't believe Twilight Sparkle knew about S.M.I.L.E.! On the other hand, it heartened her to know that someone would go to such great lengths to protect a friend... even if the methods of doing so were morally questionable.

Cadance stopped for a moment. Obviously Twilight would have questions. Cupping her chin in thought, the Dean walked over to her desk. She looked at her book, wondering if she should give Crystal Prep's prize student the benefit of the doubt. She might even want to help her with the cause! ...On the other hand, there was a slight chance she'd tell Cinch. ...No. She wouldn't.

With a sigh, Cadance took the book. She'd just have to take that chance and hope for the best. The Dean finished her morning routine and headed to work.


Upon arriving at Crystal Prep, Cadance hurried to her office. If she kept this large book of hers out in the open, people would start to ask questions. Perhaps she was being paranoid, but the Dean decided it was better to err on the side of caution. Upon arriving at her office, she took a deep breath, then exhaled, opening a secret compartment in her desk. She slid the book in. Having done that, she walked through the halls to find Twilight.

Several minutes had passed, and Cadance began to feel frustrated. No sign of Twilight anywhe- Her thought process stopped as she found herself just behind the very person she had been looking for. The Dean lightly tapped on the student's shoulder, eliciting a yelp from the latter.

Twilight turned around as a nervous expression formed on her face.

"Hello, Twilight," Dean Cadance said with her arms folded. "I'd like to speak to you for a few moments."

Twilight remained silent all the way to the office, even when Cadance opened the door. The Dean stopped just short of her desk and turned to see Twilight pulling on her hair. She gave her a reassuring smile, then walked over to her. "Twilight," she said softly. "Come on in. I promise I won't hurt you."

Twilight slowly inched away from the door, then shut it. "H-How do I know whether or not you're t-telling the t-truth," she stuttered. Cadance drew closer, then slowly embraced her. Twilight tensed up momentarily, then exhaled. "I-I'm so sorry," she said as she reluctantly returned the hug. "I suppose my parents told you everything."

Dean Cadance broke the hug. "Yes. They did." She walked over to her desk, then gestured to a seat. Twilight sat down and looked her straight in the eyes. "I understand why you did what you did, Twilight, but you should have known better than that."

Twilight looked away in shame. "I know," she said quietly, then turned her head back to meet Cadance's gaze. "But you still haven't answered my question," she said, trying to keep her voice level.

"Twilight," Cadance said in surprise. "Why would you ask me that, even after all this time?"

"Oh, I don't know," Twilight said in a sarcastic tone. "Maybe it's the secret organization you never told me about", she said. "Or maybe it's because you had my parents and my brother lie to me!" She took a deep breath, then exhaled. "What did Principal Cinch ever do to you, anyway," she asked, folding her arms.

Cadance remained silent for a moment as her anger began to build. "'What did she do to me?'..." Her normally calm demeanor slowly gave way to a scowl. "What did she do to me," she repeated angrily, then slammed her hands on her desk, causing Twilight to yelp and shrink in her chair. The Dean's eyes widened, then she put her hand to her head and gave a heavy sigh as she closed her eyes. "I...I'm sorry you had to see that, Twilight," she said calmly. Dammit...

Twilight remained frozen in her chair, eyes wide with shock and mouth open. Dean Cadance sighed again, then took her book out. "Twilight," Cadance said, snapping the student back to reality. "To prove that you can trust me, I'm willing to show you the contents of this book."

Twilight quirked an eyebrow.

"Nobody but myself and my closest friends know what's contained in here. Very few S.M.I.L.E. agents even know about this book, let alone what's inside." Cadance got up from her seat, then walked over to Twilight with the book in hand. "I only have one condition."

"And that is?" Twilight shifted uneasily in her chair.

Cadance leaned into Twilight and whispered in her ear. "That what you read in here stays between you and me."

Twilight shivered, then took the book. She looked at Cadance with uncertainty.

"You'll understand when you look."

Hesitantly, Twilight opened the large book and read it.

Mom's obituary... Cadance kept a close eye on Twilight, looking for any sort of reaction.

"I don't get it," Twilight said. "What does this have to do with-"

"Turn the page," Cadance said as she slowly walked back to her desk. Old pictures of me and my real name... She felt a lump in her throat, barely suppressing a sniffle.

Twilight gasped. "Y-You're..."

"Yes, Twilight. I am," Cadance turned around as a tear rolled down her eye.

"Oh my god," Twilight whispered. "It makes a lot of sense, but I still don't understand."

"Keep on looking."

Twilight turned the page again, and read everything. She finished, then stared up in horror at Cadance. "I... how..."

"I don't want to talk about that," Cadance said, looking away. "It enrages me every time I read it." Even just thinking about it...

"A-And she just..."

"Do you understand now, Twilight," Cadance asked.

"I do... but I don't condone how you're going about it."

Cadance barked a mirthless laugh. "You wouldn't be the first to say so."

I'm sorry, Cadenza, but I don't condone revenge. You know that! The words echoed in her head.

"How could you keep something like this from your agents," Twilight said, gesturing to the book. "If they find out about why you're really doing this, they might quit altogether!"

"I plan on telling them after the Friendship Games," Cadance said. "For better or for worse."

"Good," Twilight said, surprising herself.

"So I assume you're not interested in joining S.M.I.L.E.?"

Twilight shook her head. "That's correct."

"That's a shame, really," Cadance said. "We could have used someone with your intellect."

Twilight got up off of her chair and gave the book back to Cadance. "I'm flattered, but I'm just not cut out for the cloak and dagger lifestyle."

Cadance nodded. "Understood."

"But don't worry," Twilight said as she put a hand on the Dean's shoulder. "Your secrets will be safe with me." Cadance got up and hugged her.

"Twilight," Cadance said. "You don't have to hide your pain. I can tell you've been under a lot of stress lately," she whispered. "I can tell when someone's holding back tears... Because I've been there more times than I'd care to admit." She heard Twilight sniffle. "So just let it all out here. It'll just be between the two of us."

Twilight slowly tightened the hug, then broke. Cadance gently stroked the student's hair with a sigh. It broke the Dean's heart to see someone cry like that, but it was likely a needed release. The warning bell for first period rang, but the two stay put, even after the poor student stopped crying.

Cadance smiled as she broke the hug. "You should probably go, Twilight. Wouldn't want you to be late to the first class of the day."

"Yeah. I should," Twilight said, then left.

Cadance sighed heavily as she slumped into her chair. She had to get to work, there was no time for self-pity.


Roughly an hour passed, and Cadance had hardly gotten any work done. Everything she shared with Twilight had brought back some of her worst memories. The night her mother became fatally sick... Neighsay's revelation of poisoning... The Dean decided she should get some fresh air before she suffered a breakdown.

Cadance was so preoccupied that she nearly bumped into a student! It was Sunny Flare. "Good morning, Sunny," she said, forcing a smile onto her face.

"Hi." Sunny said, practically monotone.

Cadance looked at Sunny with concern. "Is everything okay?"

Sunny sighed deeply. "No."

"What's wrong?"

Sunny looked into Cadance's eyes for several moments before taking a deep breath and exhaling. "The funeral is tonight," she said as she averted her gaze.

"I can only imagine what you must be feeling right now," Cadence said as she felt the lump in her throat return.

"Better to imagine than to feel what I'm feeling right now," Sunny said. "I almost want to trade places with you, just so I don't feel pain over this loss any more."

Dammit... Cadence put her arms on Sunny's shoulders. "Sunny Flare," she said. "Loss and death are a part of life. It happens to everyone. Besides... I don't think you'd want to trade places with me." Try as she might, the Dean was unable to keep another tear from falling.

"Dean Cadance..." Sunny said. "Are you okay?"

Cadance wiped the tear from her eye. "I'm sorry you had to see that. Just an old memory passing through my mind. But enough about that," she said, rather eager to change the subject. "Have you made a decision on the medication?"

"I have. I decided that I'm going to take the medication." Sunny smiled sadly. "Besides, I've had more than enough pain to go around lately."

You and me both, Sunny Flare... You and me both. "Wonderful." Cadence said, smiling. "I'll get in touch with the nurse's office during your second period class and you can pick it up afterwards."


"If you so wish. I understand how personal this issue is for you, Sunny Flare, and you have my condolences. Give my regards to your parents, won't you?"

Sunny nodded. "Of course I will. Thank you, Dean Cadance."

"You're quite welcome." Cadance said, giving Sunny a hug. The warning bell for second period rang and the hug broke. "Now off to class with you."

Sunny waved goodbye to the Dean, and headed off to her next class.

Cadance sighed again, then sniffled. It suddenly occurred to her that she was engaged in a battle of attrition against her emotions... and she was slowly and steadily losing. Keeping herself in check, she hurried over to the counselor's offices. Her breathing became unsteady as she reached her destination. The Dean took a deep breath, then exhaled with a shudder. "I-I need to speak with Radiant Hope. It's u-urgent." The receptionist nodded, and Cadance walked over to the counselor's office with as much composure as she could muster. She knocked on the door.

"Come in!"

Cadance entered, then sat down. "Do you h-have your noise canceler?"

Hope gasped as she noticed the look on her dear friend's face. She had seen that expression more than enough times, and knew what was about to follow. With the noise canceler in hand, she dropped it into the hallway and closed the door. Smiling warmly, she sat down next to Cadance. "Okay, hon... let it all out. I'm here for you."

Cadance broke, bursting into tears.

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