• Published 2nd Dec 2012
  • 13,239 Views, 434 Comments

Just Like You - TechyConversant



A lonely young human finds a friend in another outcast, a black bug-filly named Chrysalis.

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Chapter 4 - Never Again

That moment in time seems to last an eternity. Chrissy pinning you down against the stone slab. The dark night sky bearing down on you two. And a pair of prying eyes catches the whole sight. In an instant, Chrissy, still in the guise of Cadenza, hops off of you and runs. Taking another exit, she rushes into the Labyrinth. This leaves you with the invader. It walks closer, coming into view.

Purple mane. Pink coat. Wings. It's...Cadenza?

But you just saw Chrissy run away.

Oh...this is bad...

"A-anon! What was, I..." She stammers at what she just saw. How could she process it? She saw HERSELF.

"Cadenza, wait-"

"SHUT UP!" She interrupts, still hysterical.

You have no idea how you're getting out of this one. "Cadenza, listen to me."

The panic in her voice rises. "WHAT WAS THAT THING?!? IT...It looked like...." Her eyes become wide with realization.

Think fast...you do the only thing you know you could do.

Lie.

"What thing?"

She seems apalled you would say that. "WHAT DO YOU MEAN WHAT THING?!? It was on top of you!"

"I was lying on the bench, Cadenza..." You say, showing concern.

"NO, it was holding you down! It looked like...me! I mean she...I...." Her eyes go wide, debating her own sanity. You grab her shoulders, shaking her lightly.

"Cadenza, listen to yourself!" Come on, come on...

"But...but I saw..."

"I don't know WHAT you saw, but it wasn't there." You say reassuringly.

In what can be only described as hysterical, her mannerisms continue to degrade. "YES I WAS! I mean, she...I..."

"Listen to yourself!" It's working. To be honest, if everything she was saying weren't 100% true, she would sound crazy.

"I..."

"Look, Cadenza-"

"Cadance." The first 'sane' thing she's said.

"...there wasn't anyone here." You finish, giving a solemn smile.

"..." Her silence confirms that your words have stuck with her.

A few moments later, you're leading her out of the labyrinth. The pink mare simply looks to the floor, following your footsteps out. Right, straight, right, left, left, right...you didn't bother to change up the route.As you walk into the gardens, you look behind you. Cadenza's steps are lagging, and as she leaves the Labyrinth, she grinds to a halt.

"...Anon." She says quietly.

"Hm?"

"Promise me." She demands.

"...what?"

Her downwards look changes to a piercing glare, tear filled eyes staring at you.

"Promise me that I didn't see anything."

You stop for a moment, but catch up to your thoughts. "Cadenza, you know-"

Her ear piercing scream interrupts you. "PROMISE ME."

"You didn't see anything!"

She continues to gaze at you with an angered expression.

You look her in the eyes, "Cadance, I promise."

With that, the gaze fades, replaced with a happy grin. "Okay!"

She wipes the tears away. Finally, it seems like she believes you.

"I'm going home now, I'll see you tomorrow~" She trots off, heading back towards town.

But before she's completely out of view, she yells, "YOU STILL OWE ME A TEA PARTY!"

-

The next morning...

*ring ring ring*

That school bell never ceases to be an annoyance. You trudge inside, jacket and backpack in tow. Last night was...odd. To say the very least.

You barely slept, worried about Chrissy. Her number one worry, her only fear. Being seen...it happened. What kind of friend were you? You let this happen by being careless! What if she never comes back to the Labyrinth? You messed up big time. And to top it all off, it was Cadenza who saw you two. Luckily, you managed to convince her that she was crazy and didn't see anything. She is just a filly after all. You may be just as young, but you were clever.

Walking into school, you leave your bag with the others, and take a seat in the back. Everyone seems to be staring at you today...a few of the girls make glances and giggle.

Except Cadenza. Weird.

Today's lesson? Writing. Another easy one. You get your work done in half the time, considering you don't have to write with your teeth. Passing in the assignment, you sit back down to your desk. More doodles, you suppose. Lifting the desktop open, you grab your notebook. Flipping past your past drawings, you find a fresh piece of paper.

A few minutes pass, and the bell rings once more. You didn't get much drawn It was more like staring at your pencil tip, hoping it would move on it's own. You leave your notebook on the desk, heading outside for recess. As you take a seat on a bench outside, Shining follows suit.

"Hey Anon."

"Hey Shiny."

He pulls out his lunch, speaking through his teeth. "So, uh, is what everypony saying true?"

This gets your attention. "What do you mean? What IS everypony saying?"

"Well, that you and Cadenza were in the Labyrinth last night."

You freeze. How the heck could anyone know.

"Ano~n!"

Speak of the devil.

Shining waves. "Hey, Cadance."

Instead of a greeting returned, Shining recieves a glorious declaration. "Why yes, Shining, it IS true."

She can't be...

"I can't believe everypony found out about it~"

She grins, looking at you. To everypony else, this was a cute smirk at her special somepony. To you, it was a look of victory.

"No, we weren't! I swear!"

You try to convince the crowd, which wasn't working.

"Anon, there's no need to be bashful!" She sits next to you on the bench, uncomfortably close.

A flash of memory hits your mind. She's reminding you of Chrissy from last night.

You stare at her close. "C...Chrissy?"

She stops for a second, then gives you an angry look. "Cadance!"

Swiftly, she smacks you in the back of the head.

Definitely Cadenza, and she's playing you like a fiddle.

"Look, we weren't at the gardens!" You plead to the crowd.

Another smirk. "I never said anything about the gardens~"

Oh man, she's playing hardball, and everypony's buying it. Ponies stare at you two, giggling.

"Cadance, stop, tell them-"

She smiles, and taps your shoulder. "Anon, listen to yourself!"

That tone of voice. Those words. She's... mimicking you. From last night. Stupid girls.

You stand up and walk back inside, not willing to deal with their jostling anymore. Swiping your backpack and jacket, you head for the front door.

"ANON! School isn't over yet!" The teacher scolds.

"I'm already done." You toss the assignment on her desk and leave.

Stupid girls, stupid school ponies. Rushing away from the schoolhouse, you head into the castle. Up the steps, through the halls, and upstairs to your room. You slam the door shut, and fall onto the bed.

The Labyrinth is no longer a safe haven. Chrissy could be in trouble right now as it is...

Never again.

-

Meanwhile...

*ring ring ring*

The schoolbell rings once more, to signal the end of the day. Cadenza looks over her writing. It wasn't the best...but soon her magic will work.

'Then Mi Amore Cadenza will never have to write with her teeth again!' She thinks. 'Haha!'

Writing is the last thing on her mind, however. That Anon has been pretty sneaky lately...and last night took the cake! She KNEW she saw something. It looked like...her!

'But...I'M me!' She ponders, 'Besides, nopony else is that pretty!'

All the other ponies are gone. She walks over to Anon's desk.

'Anon left his notebook of silly doodles on his desk...'

She can't help but sneak a peek.

'...There's the drawing from the other day! That swiss cheese pony...Hmm...'

She takes the drawing, placing the book back in his desk. Leaving the school, she beelines straight for her home.

'I need to ask the smartest person in all of Equestria about this!'

Rushing inside, she runs up to this very person. "Mommy! Mommy!" She starts waving the drawing around. "Look what I drew!"

Her mom looks down at her beloved daughter. "Hello, Mi Amore! What have you got there?"

She levitates the drawing out of Cadenza's mouth and inspects it. "Oho! I never knew you liked ancient myths, my sweetie!"

'Ancient myths?'

"Uh, yeah! I liked drawing the...uh..."

"Changeling?"

"YEAH, changeling!" She feigns stupidity. And it's working.

"But what's a changeling, exactly?"

"Interesting creatures indeed, said to be able to take another pony's form!"

Cadenza stands there speechless.

"I personally liked the Windigo, from the old stories..."

Not bothering to hear the rest, she jumps up, snatching the picture in her teeth, and dashes away.

"THANKS MOOOOOM!" She screams, running out the door.

'Somepony's got explaining to do.'

-

Returning to Anon...

Your face has been buried in your pillow for the last few hours. Comfortable? Absolutely. Helpful? Not in the least.

Chrissy still wracked your mind. Is she safe? You sure hope so. As you go to reach for an apple, you overhear something.

"Is Anon here?"

"Why yes, he's right upstairs!"

Oh no. Who could possibly want to see you? Your door swings open.

"Why hello there, Anon." The pink menace returns.

"Cadenza. Look, you need to-"

She slams the door behind her.

"CADANCE. And 'I' don't NEED to do ANYTHING." What... "You PROMISED me I saw nothing."

She starts walking towards you.

"Cadance, I don't-"

Cadenza pulls something out of her bag. Your drawing. How...

"I knew I wasn't crazy...this CHANGELING of yours was impersonating me!" Ah crap, she knows, she knows!!!

"I can explain!"

She puts a hoof on your chest, giving you a shove. "You don't NEED to explain. All you need to do is listen." What could she... "If you don't want your friend getting found out, you're going to do what I say, got it?"

Wha...she can't be serious.

"Cadenza-"

She stomps her hoof, shaking the room lightly. "CADANCE!"

Best not say it wrong again. "Okay, Cadance...I..." You look at her pleadingly. In her eyes, you see no remorse. She's not kidding.

But...Chrissy. You promised yourself...never again.

"Okay."

With a smile, she steps back. "Okay, my special somepony..."

Whatever it takes.

-

Last night...

A young changeling runs out of the labyrinth. Tears fill her eyes, as a light green flame overtakes her body. The pink coat of the mare she was mimicking disappeared. The wings she grew for the facade attempted to carry her away, but to no avail. Flight was out of her reach as the wings faded, leaving her green wings exposed. Her pink horn and purple mane, in a flash of green, returned to their original hues.

Chrissy was Chrissy once more. And for now, she ran.

She had been seen, by no other than the mare she was impersonating. She broke the first rule set upon her. The first thing taught to young changelings.

Never. Be. Seen.

She had been found, and it's all over now. Rushing back to her clutch, she passes by the sleeping changelings right to her parents. They sit on the throne. Awake, surprisingly.

The mother notices her daughter's presence immediately. "My dear daughter!"

She sits up from her throne to meet her daughter. Chrissy hugs her legs, and instead of being returned the favor, she only feels the familiar pull of her mother's magic. The light green glow extracted from her horn, flowing into her mother's.

Her father was much more sympathetic. "Chrysalis, my daughter, you look sad. Is something wrong?"

With a sniffle, Chrissy runs to her father, receiving a hug as she gives one. "I...made a mistake..."

Her father looks down to her. "Hm?"

She shuffles a hoof, and looks up at him. "I've been hiding in plain sight...but...I got seen..."

The changeling king gasps at this prospect. "You've been sneaking out to see ponies?!? And you were seen?!?"

Her mother, after indulging in the glow she extracted, returns to her throne. "As long as she's alive, it's quite alright."

Chrissy begins to weep once more. "I'm sorry mommy, I'm sorry daddy..."

Her father bends down to hug her once more. "It's okay, my dear. But NO MORE visiting the ponies, okay?"

It's at this point her mother interjects. "My king, don't you think that's a little harsh? We shouldn't limit her like this!"

Looking up from the hug, he glares at the queen. "We are not going to allow our daughter to risk her own safety, and the safety of the hive!"

The queen is clearly disgusted with him. "You are a weak fool, our daughter is plenty capable. Come here, Chrysalis."

Chrissy walks to her mother.

"Little one, where have you been going?"

She looks down at the floor, ashamed.

"Don't be ashamed, my dear. Tell me where you've been..."

"C..Canterlot..." Her mother recoils.

"My, that's where all this love has been coming from?"

The king intervenes. "NO! We cannot allow her to-"

"Quiet you old fool!"

He sits down in his throne, letting the queen have her way.

"My dear Chrysalis...whoever you have been getting this love from..."

Chrissy seemed confused. She still did not understand this 'love'.

"I need you to keep following them. Watch them from afar...but do not be seen..."

The mother allows her horn to glow once more, the energy she had absorbed continuing to sustain her.

"You need to do this for as long as you can, do you understand?" Chrissy thinks about it...and nods. "Yes Mommy."

Chrissy would listen to her mother's orders. Watch from afar...do not be seen...

For as long as she could.

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