Kyrene Undercover
written by Tabby

The door of the filing cabinet rolled slowly forward, and a slight ruffling of papers could be detected. If anyone had been there in the darkened back room of the police station in the dead of night, they would have certainly detected a supernatural aura to this, seeing as there was no one in the room to have opened the drawer.

At least, that is what it looked like. But not everyone knew about the clever young reporter and her unicorn magic. Turning invisible was an invaluable asset to Kyrene Cicero, to whom snooping was a way of life. It was no surprise that she had chosen the newspaper field for her profession when she was so ably-equipped for the job.

On this evening, Kyrene was not looking for anything in particular– she only wanted to uncover a hidden story from the police station that would make a very juicy article for her newspaper. She was positive there had to be something very interesting and secret in the files, and she had but to find it.

“Cheating ring,” she murmured to herself, extracting one of the folders with her invisible hoof. “What’s this about? There hasn’t been anything published about a cheating ring...”

A smile slowly spread across her face– not that anyone could see it– as she read further. Laughing softly under her breath, she agilely slipped back out into the hallway where she knew there was a copy machine. What if someone heard her? There was certainly nothing they could see.

Her work being accomplished, Kyrene discreetly put the folder back into place and carefully held her copies. Giggling ever-so-softly, she had soon made her exit back onto the city streets. The police would never know she had been there. And even after the story had been published, how could they ever trace it back to her?

Her trilling laughter came back as she stopped in a lonely park, and threw off her mask of invisibleness. The deep purple-blue mane flowed gracefully down her back, complementing her light aqua body perfectly.

Kyrene perused the papers once more, the moonlight illuminating her path. Her face glowed with excitement. “There’s no way Deadline will deny me this one,” she whispered to the night.

* * *

It was early the next morning when Kyrene approached the office of her editor Derrick Darius– well, that was his real name, but everyone at the newspaper just called him Deadline. Kyrene had never grown tired of surprising people with her power; her horn glowed for a moment, and then she simply disappeared from sight.

She prepared to open the door, but paused momentarily when she heard voices coming from within. Oh well, that didn’t matter to Kyrene. She turned the knob slowly and entered, and stood quietly on one side of the room. She noted smugly that she hadn’t in the least been detected by the others in the room.

Kyrene was getting impatient by the time the office finally emptied. She could hardly wait a moment longer to reveal the riveting story she had uncovered the previous night– but, finally, she had her chance.

Just as she was going to turn off her power and make a dramatic appearance, Deadline’s voice nearly startled her out of her wits. “And now, was there something you wanted to say, Kyrene?”

This caught Kyrene off-guard, and she abruptly turned off her power anyway due to the surprise. “I... you... how...” she stuttered.

“You’re the only one I know who can open doors without being seen, Kyrene,” Deadline said calmly. “You have something to show me?”

“Um... yes,” Kyrene said rather meekly, mentally kicking herself for having started off the meeting such as she had. Nevertheless, she set her precious papers down in front of Deadline and tried to regain her composure quickly. “I thought you might be interested in reading a little about this cheating ring I found out about last night.” She had run over that opening line a million times in her head, and hoped that it had sounded cool and collected.

“Oh? A cheating ring, you say?” Deadline was curious now, and began skimming the papers. Kyrene stood back and held her breath, anxious over what he would say.

“Very interesting,” Deadline murmured. “The exchange teacher from Italy is actually the head of this ring, after starting up similar operations across the country... and there’s an intricate plan going on right now to catch him?”

“Uh-huh,” Kyrene breathed and nodded her head quickly. “Do you think it would make a good story?” That was the big question; she was really holding her breath now.

“That depends on one thing.” Deadline looked her in the eye. “Where did you find this information, Kyrene?”

“The police station,” Kyrene swallowed.

“And they gave it to you?”

“N...not exactly.”

“You snuck in, didn’t you?” Deadline didn’t look at all phased by this realization. “And made copies of some of their files. Isn’t that right?”

“Well,” Kyrene sighed. “I guess you could say that.”

Deadline was silent for a spell before he spoke again. “Kyrene, Kyrene. You are irrepressible, aren’t you?”

“You don’t like it, then?” Kyrene stated more than asked. “I should have known you’d just rebuke me.”

“Your cunning nature is an asset to our publication, Kyrene, but you do realize that what you did was basically theft?”

“Mm... yeah.”

“I’m not going to say anything to anyone this time, but try to think things through more in the future. You’re liable to get yourself into more trouble than you’re prepared for.”

Kyrene’s face dropped noticeably. “Yeah...” She turned slowly for the door.

“Wait, Kyrene!” Deadline’s voice stopped her. “I didn’t say I was done yet.”

“Oh? You’re not?” She swung her head back towards him.

“We’ll leave off on any articles concerning this until the police come out into public with it.” Deadline gestured to the papers. “But in the meantime, how would you like to do some undercover work on it?”

“Under... cover?” Kyrene’s face lit up instantly and her eyes sparkled. “Really? You mean it?”

“Make up an alias for yourself, and get to know some of those involved.” Deadline handed the sheaf of papers back to her. “I believe there are a number of names mentioned in here. Find things out about them, personal details we can publish when the time comes. It will give the story a better, fuller perspective.”

“I’d love that!” Stars danced in Kyrene’s eyes. “Oh! It’ll be so much fun!”

“You’re up to it, then?” Deadline would have been vastly surprised if she hadn’t been.

“Oh, I know just who I’ll be,” Kyrene said, slipping off into fantasy-land. “It’s going to be so perfect. I’ll be Chickpea, a flirty southern belle. They’ll never suspect a thing... oh, wow...”

“Just be careful, alright, Kyrene?” Deadline said, fully aware of his young reporter’s tenancies. “Don’t do anything rash.

Kyrene smiled broadly and giggled. “But mah dear Deadline!” she said, slipping into an easy southern drawl. “Have yah ever known me to do anythin’ rash? Chickpea here knows what she’s doin’!”

“Perfect, Kyrene,” Deadline said, a smile spreading slowly across his own face. “Keep it up, and you’ll have a killer of an article to submit.”

“And kind sir, how soon can ah start?” Kyrene looked at him anxiously.

“Since you’re not going to accomplish anything else with this new assignment on your mind, why not right now?”

Kyrene squealed. “Oh, Deadline! I’m so happy!! You don’t know how eternally grateful I am!! Oh thank you-thank you-thank you! There’s so much to be done!!! Where do they all live, and where do they hang out, and where do they work, and how I can reach them– oh wow!!! Too cool!!!” And before Deadline had recovered from the high-pitched shriek, she had pranced off down the hallway to prepare a plan of attack.

* * *

Kyrene wasted no time in her research. A particular Sable that was mentioned in the police report as one of the main answer key sellers sounded like someone she would definitely want to get in touch with; and after making some inquiries, she was able to find out his favorite hang-out, the Crossroad Diner. Nothing could keep Kyrene from her prey, and swiftly she had applied for a job at the restaurant and had weaseled her way into being accepted for the position.

While waiting for her first day of employment, she worked on plans to meet the other key characters involved. Giorgio was high on the list as well; it would be an easy enough affair to get ahold of him. She would only have to pose as a potential student applying for the second semester. Chickpea hadn’t faired well in math during highschool, Kyrene decided. She would want to consult with Giorgio on what math class would be best for one in her standing.

And then there was this Wigwam, who was secretly a private investigator working for Chief Tawny to gather information about Giorgio as well as to keep a protective eye on a mare named Sugarberry while all this was going on! Kyrene wondered about the mare briefly mentioned in the report; who was she, and why had she needed to be watched over by Wigwam because of the cheating ring? That was something the reporter would have to find out.

Wigwam was co-owner of the casino in town as well, Kyrene knew. She could go over there one evening, sit down with a soda, wait for the stallion to pass by, and conveniently topple her chair over and fall to the ground. Wigwam would of course come to her rescue; and Chickpea would surely take the opportunity to sit down for a chat with him while she recovered from her “accident”. It would be the perfect time to dig up some juicy details about his life.

Going back to Sugarberry, Kyrene did some checking, and found that the mare was employed as a receptionist at the vet clinic. The Russian hamster Kyrene kept as a pet would come in handy here; she had but to run into the clinic one day wailing about how her beloved pet was at death’s door. And she would somehow find a way to get some chatting done with Sugarberry while she was there.

Kyrene yawned and looked up at the clock on her wall. It was getting late; the rest of her investigation would wait until tomorrow. Her job started the next day in the afternoon; she would catch up on all her work at the newspaper office and then prepare for that. It was a good plan; Sable, Kyrene decided, would not be able to keep anything from the inquisitive Chickpea.

* * *

Kyrene adjusted the hat she wore as part of her new uniform and smiled to herself in the mirror. “Chickpea is ready for action,” she said under her breath.

The Crossroad Diner wasn’t a very ritzy place, but it did offer its customers sit-down meals served by attractive waitresses. Kyrene was glad of this; it would make it a lot easier to get some words in with Sable if she was actually able to stop by his table.

She kept her eyes glued to the door, waiting for the moment when a dark, young stallion would enter. She ignored all the instructions the cook was giving her, but it didn’t matter if she got fired the first day; if Chickpea worked as well as Kyrene thought she would, she wouldn’t need to use the restaurant anymore.

Kyrene began to worry that Sable wouldn’t appear at the restaurant that day; but just as she was seating several ponies, she saw him and a companion appear at the door. Leaving her previous customers rather abruptly and promising to come back soon to fill their orders, she ran up to the dark stallion known as Sable and offered her service. “Are you two togethah?” she asked brightly in her southern drawl.

“Yeah,” Sable shrugged.

“Well, let’s just see if ah can find a nice little table for y’all!” Kyrene cheerfully intoned. “Want a window one?”

The beet red stallion glanced over at Sable, who just shrugged again. “Sure, whatever,” Sable’s companion told her after a pause.

“It’s my first day of work here so accept my deepest apologies if I do anything wrong,” Kyrene prattled. “It’s just so difficult at first, y’know? Oh, but if I can’t make it here, I just don’t know what ah’ll do! Here’s your table,” she finally ended for a short time.

“Thanks,” Wishbone acknowledged. “And what’s your name?”

“They all call me Chickpea,” Kyrene said with a trilling laugh. “And how about you handsome guys?”

“Wishbone,” the golden-maned one offered.

“Chickpea, huh?” Sable eyed her. “I’m Sable.”

“Well, Sable and Wishbone, I hope to serve you well today,” Kyrene said. “And now, what may I get you?”

After making their selections, Kyrene dashed off to prepare their plates. She noticed the annoyed glances of her previous customers, and giggled as they finally got up and left. No, she certainly wouldn’t last long here.

As she came back out of the kitchen, Kyrene noticed something passed between the two stallions. Wishbone handed what appeared to be some jangles over to Sable, and Sable in turn handed his buddy a few sheets of paper. Math answer keys? Kyrene wondered.

As she delivered their plates, she didn’t let on that she had seen anything of the sort, though. She basically invited herself to join them, perching herself on the edge of the table and chatting amiably.

“I’m so counting on this job to work out,” she chattered. “Otherwise I’m not gonna be able to pay for college tuition next semester. Ain’t it just dastardly? If I don’t get accepted into college I don’t know what I’m gonna do with my life. Y’know what I mean?”

“We both go to college,” Wishbone said. “Here, at Pony Pride.”

“Oh, how wonderful!” Kyrene exclaimed. “You both payin’ your own way like me?”

“Yeah,” Sable suddenly spoke-up. “But I’ve got a good source of income. And the hours are real good, too.”

Kyrene thought she detected a slight flash of fright on Wishbone’s face– did he know about his friend’s shady business, and was he afraid that he’d give himself away? She smiled secretly. If only they knew!

“So, have you been in town long, Chickpea?” Wishbone asked, possibly in a hurry to get off the topic at hand.

“Oh, a few months,” Kyrene sighed. “Sometimes I regret leavin’ my li’l ol’ town, but then I think of all the opportunities I’d be missin’ if I weren’t here.”

“Like meeting us?” Sable joked.

“Exactly what I meant,” Kyrene smiled flirtatiously and batted her eyelashes.

The dark gray stallion grinned at the congenial waitress. “I can tell you and I are gonna get along real fine, Chickpea.”

“Yah think so?” Kyrene smiled brightly. “Do you two like it here at Pony Pride?”

“Beats working at the restaurant back home,” Wishbone recalled. “I mean... uh... sorry, Chickpea,” he apologized, realizing what he had implied.

“Ah, that’s ah’ll right!” Kyrene giggled. “I know waitressin’ ain’t the pick o’ the crop, but yah gotta do what yah gotta do!”

“I plan on aiming high and being the one who gives the orders,” was all Sable said.

Kyrene looked impressed. “Ah like your ideals, Sable-honey! What field yah goin’ into?”

“Something with a mathematical base,” Sable said, winking at Wishbone.

“Oh, math!” Kyrene cried. “What a dreadful, dreadful time I had with that in high school. Ah don’t know how ah’m gonna fair in any college math course!”

“Don’t worry about a thing, Chickpea. I’ll make sure you get straight A’s,” offered Sable.

“Really?” Kyrene’s eyes lit-up. “You must be a genius!” Wishbone choked on the bite of food he was chewing.

“Yeah, well, I guess you could say that,” Sable admitted modestly.

“I think it’s just a grand stroke ah luck I ran into you guys today!” Kyrene went on energetically. “Ah can just tell mah life is gonna be a whole lot better from here on in!”

Wishbone rolled his eyes in response to the exuberance of the young southern mare, while Sable simply looked pleased with the attention. “So, Chickpea, you gonna be busy tomorrow evening?”

“Ah don’t believe ah have anything scheduled,” Chickpea responded animatedly. “Yah got somethin’ in mind?”

“I’m thinking the bowling alley... get to know each other better,” Sable invited. “How about it?”

“Ah would simply love it!” Chickpea declared. “What time would that be bin’ for?”

“Seven o’ clock be okay for you? Meet you there,” Sable suggested.

“It’s a date!” Chickpea grinned. “Ah won’t let yah down, Sable-honey! But now that ol’ cook is givin’ me some nasty glances back there, so I gotta be runnin’. I’ll see y’all later!” And flashing them a last dazzling smile, she was off.

* * *

Regrettably, Chickpea had to buckle-down and catch up on her work at the newspaper office the next day. She was eager to discover what other interesting tidbits Chickpea could unearth; but if she didn’t keep up-to-date on her regular reporting and typing, both she and Chickpea would be out of a job.

Her mind kept thinking ahead to her date with Sable that evening. What questions could Chickpea ask of him that might reveal more about his personal life? It had been incredibly easy to get on Sable’s good side; she wondered if it would be that easy with the others. Since Sable was cooperating so well, though, she would concentrate on him for a bit before moving on.

The work day inched along, but finally Kyrene was free, and she flew along home to her small apartment to prepare for her date. To make herself look more authentically Chickpea, she added some ribbons to her mane and a slight bit of make-up to her face.

She ran down to the bowling alley, and broke into a wide grin when she saw the dark stallion waiting for her. “Oh Sable-honey!” she cried. “Ah didn’t keep ya waitin’, did ah?”

“Nah,” Sable shrugged. “I wasn’t waiting long.”

“Ah must say ah always did enjoy bowlin’ back home,” Kyrene went on amiably as she entered the bowling alley hanging on Sable’s foreleg. “That’s what me and mah friends would do every Fraday night, y’see.”

“Yeah, it’s not too bad,” Sable agreed. “Are you good at it?”

Kyrene giggled. “Ah guess we’ll just have tah see how ah fair tonight, huh?”

“One time I did three strikes in a row,” Sable bragged. “I’m one of the best players here.”

“Ah don’t see how yah could be any less,” Kyrene smiled flirtatiously.

After they had actually started their game, “Chickpea” lived up to her nature and concentrated more on asking questions of her companion rather than trying to hit any of the pins. “Oh, just look at that dastardly ball,” she laughed as it rolled into the gutter the fifth time. “So, Sable, where were yah from before yah ended up here?”

“Bridgetown, if you’ve heard of that,” Sable replied, letting his ball go. “It’s way out past the Flatlands.”

“Oh!” Kyrene acknowledged. “I bet it was a lot like mah nice li’l town. Ah come from Magnolia, y’see. Ah’ll the rest o’ my family’s still there. Been there for generations. Say, you got any siblin’s?”

“Yeah, two,” Sable said, keeping his eye on the lane. “I’m the youngest. Onyx is thirty and Ebony’s twenty-five.”

“Ah got my li’l sister, Pincushion,” Kyrene sighed, “an’ my ol’ big brothuh, Corn Tassle. We had such grand times when we were young’uns!”

“I never did much with mine,” Sable acknowledged. “I always hung with my own friends.”

“What’d y’all do?”

“We started our own rock group once. That was really great,” his eyes sparkled at the recollection. “Yeah, everybody wanted to hear us.”

“A musician, too!” Kyrene exclaimed. “Sable-honey, how grand!”

“Really,” Sable agreed readily, enjoying the complements. “And then one time my buddies and I rode a raft down a canyon of white water.”

“Ooh! How daring!” Kyrene breathed.

Pleased with the response, Sable went on to relate all sorts of fantastic adventures he had taken part in to his date. Kyrene looked at him intently, constantly relating phrases such as “Oh, you’re sooo brave!”, “How exciting!”, and “Sable-honey, ah don’t know how yah did it!” Kyrene tried to tuck enough of the information as she could away in her mind for later reference, and meanwhile Sable was not unhappy with all the compliments.

After their game was over, Sable offered to take her over to the student center for a soda. Kyrene eagerly accepted, and kept up a steady stream of conversation along the way. “So what field did yah brothuh and sistuh get into? You takin’ after eithuh of ‘em?”

“They were both so smart and did so well in school that they could get any job they wanted,” Sable shrugged. “They were so successful that Mom and Dad expected the same out of me; but I couldn’t keep up to their standards.”

“Oh, mah poor Sable-honey,” Kyrene sympathized. “How cold n’ cruel of ‘em, to not see the genius in yah!”

“But I did get into college,” Sable went on quickly. “With the help of one of the instructors, I was able to succeed.”

“Was that here at Pony Pride?” Kyrene queried.

“No, it was at Binks. I was there a year before transferring here.”

“Have yah been doin’ as well here?”

Sable took a little while in formulating a reply, but luckily for him at that point Wishbone and Snowdrift met up with them. Their conversation went onto lighter matters as the foursome continued on to the student center together.

Though they weren’t vital to her undercover research, Kyrene was always eager to find out more information on ponies; and since she couldn’t get any more private conversation in with Sable at the moment, she chatted amiably with Wishbone and Snowdrift over some games of pool. She was intrigued to discover that Wishbone was boarding with a certain Sugarberry– was there any connection? It seemed ironic that a buddy of the main ring leader was boarding with a mare for which a private detective had been hired to keep an eye on. Kyrene would definitely have to find out more about this mare.

At one point, another student walked through the doors and went straight to Sable. Sable exchanged a few words with him, then turned to Chickpea and his other companions. “So, uh, guys, I’ve gotta run now. I need to talk to Lily here about something. And Chickpea, maybe we can get together again soon,” he directed at the aqua unicorn. And quickly dismissing himself, he left the building with the other student.

Chickpea associated a bit longer with Snowdrift and Wishbone, but finally announced her intentions of leaving them. “All the excitement has left along with Sable, y’know what I’m sayin’?” she sighed dramatically. “So I guess ah’ll catch y’all later. If yah see Sable again, will y’tell him for me ah’ll be lookin’ forward to seein’ him again? Knew I could count on yah guys! Buh-bye!”

* * *

Letting herself into her small apartment shortly thereafter, Kyrene collapsed onto the sofa. It was exhausting being a southern belle; she wondered if her ability to speak without an accent would fade away by the time she was finished with her task. Would she be stuck being Chickpea for the rest of her life? Some panic rose up in her mind, but she quickly pushed it away.

Chickpea had been very successful, however; Kyrene grinned to herself. Sable had succumbed to her charm, and now there was nothing holding her back from prying every little secret of his life out of him. She’d already gotten some interesting details; but she was sure there would be more.

Next on her list was the teacher, Giorgio; Kyrene had scheduled an appointment with him the next morning. After her date with Sable, she’d begin to worry about the others.

It was all going simply grand!

* * *

“Mr. Giorgio? Yah able to speak to mah now?” Kyrene said, slowly opening the office door and assuming her role of Chickpea once again.

“You’re Chickpea?” The dark green stallion glanced up from his desk. “Yes, I believe you wanted to discuss something about your math course in the upcoming semester. How can I help you?”

“Oh, yes! I was hopin’ yah could do somethin’ for me. Yah see, I’m simply dreadful in math. I didn’t take much in highschool, y’see. And ah’m from outta town, y’know.”

“Go on,” the teacher invited.

“And now that ah’m gettin’ into college here– in January, y’see– ah don’t know what ah oughtta do in math. Ah was hopin’ you could suggest a course that would best work for me.” Kyrene looked at him expectantly. “But y’know I did do very well in grammar and literature. What’d’ya think I oughtta head for?”

Giorgio nodded understandably. “At this point, I would suggest taking a math placement test,” he explained patiently. “With those results, I should be able to suggest an appropriate class for you to take.”

“A math placement test! What a clevuh li’l idea!” Kyrene squealed. “That sounds like just tha thing, Mr. Giorgio! Yah don’t know what ah help yah’ve been tah me!”

“You can apply to take the test at the administration building,” Giorgio smiled kindly.

“Ah’m gonna rush ovuh there right away!” Kyrene declared. “Oh Mr. Giorgio, ah’ve never encountered such help in mah life!”

Giorgio looked like he expected her to leave at that point, but he could not do away with Kyrene Cicero so quickly. “Yah been teachin’ here long?” she prodded.

“No; actually I’m here as a temporary exchange teacher,” Giorgio admitted.

“Oh, that sounds just plain excitin’!” Kyrene said excitedly. “An exchange teacher, just like an exchange student– how very clevuh! Where is it yah teach normally?”

“Vulcanopolis, in Italy,” Giorgio said, a slight bit exasperated, not having expected this interrogating attitude from the young mare.

“That’s Italy, is it? Ah’ve heard o’ that place! Is this you’re first time in Ponyland?”

“Actually, I did a similar exchange at a different university.”

“Oh, where’s that?”

“It was the Binks University,” Giorgio said shortly.

“And what’s the name o’ tha place you teach over yonder in Italy?”

“Leonardo University.”

“Oh, that sounds just so prestigious!” Kyrene squealed. “What an excitin’ time yah must have, Mr. Giorgio!”

Just then the door to the office opened, much to Giorgio’s relief. Kyrene was surprised to see that it was Sable, and Sable was surprised to see “Chickpea”. “Hey, Chickpea,” he said in a startled tone. “What’re you doing here?”

“Why, Sable-honey!” Kyrene exclaimed. “Ah told yah I was comin’ to school here next semestah. I was just comin’ to get some advice from Mr. Giorgio here.”

“And now, Chickpea, if you will excuse us,” Giorgio said, going to the door and indicating that his appointment with her was over.

“Why certainly, Mr. Giorgio,” Kyrene said brightly. “Thank yee kindly for yah time. And Sable, nice seein’ yah around again, too.”

“Hey, wait for me out there, okay?” Sable invited. “I’ll be out soon.”

“Anything yah wish, Sable-honey! Ah’ll just run down to the power room and be back soon,” Kyrene said cheerfully, stepping out the door and trotting down the hall. But she had no intention of finding the powder room. Once she had heard the door close, she turned on her magic power of invisibility, and walked quietly back up to the door and tried to catch strains of their conversation.

“...know that girl, Sable?” she caught Giorgio saying.

“Oh, yeah. Her name’s Chickpea. She’s pretty cool,” Sable offered.

“Nevertheless, be careful with her around. I didn’t trust her... she had too many questions.”

“Aw, she’s nobody to worry about,” Sable scoffed. “You’re too suspicious all the time. Anyway, if she does get into college here, I bet I can make some bucks off her, too.”

“And you’re too trusting of pretty girls that come along,” Giorgio said accusingly. “Don’t let anything slip, Sable.”

“She’s not gonna find out about anything, boss!”

“Good. But remember Sable, if you fail me now, I can always take evidence to the police about your activities in high school.”

Activities in high school? Kyrene hoped they would go on.

Sable scowled. “Not everyone is smart enough to hack into their school’s system and update their grades. You think I’m gonna do anything less for this cheating ring of yours?”

Kyrene smiled. She was getting some good facts just from this one conversation! So Sable had even engaged in shady activities back in high school, changing his grades on the system. However, sensing that their meeting was ending, she quietly slipped down the hallway and turned off her power. She rounded the corner just as Sable was exiting Giorgio’s office.

“Sable-honey! Is everything okay?” she cried, feigning concern at the sight of him.

“No, it’s nothing,” Sable brushed it off.

“Ah was afraid maybe Giorgio thought yah work was lackin’ or somethin’,” she prattled. “Everything’s okay for yah, ain’t it?”

“Yeah, it’s fine... actually he just wanted to give my last test back to me, and say what an excellent job I was doing in his class,” Sable explained.

“Oh, ah know you’re doin’ just splendidly,” Kyrene cooed. “Now, what was that yah wanted tah see me about?”

“I’m free again tonight... how about a movie?”

“Oh, ah’d love that!” Kyrene exclaimed, clapping her front hooves together. “Meet yah there again?”

“Sure. Eight o’ clock?”

“That’ll be just grand, Sable-honey! See yah then!” Trotting down the hall, Kyrene turned and blew him a kiss before disappearing around the corner.

And Sable watched her go. There was... something about her that he couldn’t quite put a hoof on. Was his teacher right? Was she with the police, having caught onto the cheating ring? But... no, it wasn’t possible. Not Chickpea. So what was it? He stared after her with a bemused expression on his face.

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