• Published 27th Oct 2013
  • 15,671 Views, 340 Comments

Change of Life - Goldfur

Zevan was a loyal changeling and did his queen's bidding, although he questioned why she had broken the peace. After being badly injured though, he had to reconsider his future, and a unicorn mare with a broken horn was a surprising part of it.

  • ...


Cogs had not been sure what to expect of married life, so he did not have any false expectations to shatter. Instead each day started with the joy of waking up next to the one he loved, and ended it with that same loving pony. Although for very different reasons, neither he nor Lavender had expected to ever be in such a strong relationship, let alone married. If there was anything negative to say about being bonded like they were, it was the tiny little nagging fear that it was all too good to be true, but that only made them more determined to make sure that fear never came to pass. One way that Cogs thought might be good was to get more familiar with Lavender’s business outside of the shop, and simultaneously get to spend more time with her during the day.

“Honey, I've been thinking – how would you like it if I came along with you on one of your flower harvesting trips?” Cogs asked at breakfast one morning.

Lavender paused eating her oatmeal and looked thoughtful. After half a minute, she replied, “You realize that your being here to mind the shop while I’m gone is one of the reasons that business has picked up?”

“Of course. What I had in mind is that instead of your usual Sunday spent in the garden, we take that day instead. Then on Monday, or whatever day suits you best, you can do your gardening while I mind the shop.”

Lavender nodded as she considered the proposal. She had been doing the gardening on Sunday habitually for years, but that did not mean that it could not be postponed a day or two. Spending time with Cogs seemed like a very good reason to compromise, and it might also mean an extra large harvest. It seemed like a win-win situation to her. “Okay, let’s do it this Sunday.”

Cogs smiled happily. “Great! Just let me know what you want me to bring.”

Cogs equipped himself with some brand new tools especially for the trip. While Lavender loaded the cart with some extra boxes and buckets for their harvest, he prepared a picnic lunch for both of them. They departed at dawn and headed out on the south road. Lavender gently declined Cogs’ offer to help pull the cart. She knew that without his flight magic to help lighten the load, her husband would not be able to easily manage the cart and, unlike her, was not used to pulling loads through sheer strength. It was a point of pride with her that she had toughened up her unicorn body to near earth-pony endurance.

“You picked me up on the west road after one of your flower harvests, so why are we headed south?” Cogs asked.

“Different flowers bloom at different times of the years, and in different environments,” Lavender explained. “For example, Pegasus Lilies bloom in spring before the heat of summer, and they prefer semi-shaded conditions. Griffin Claws are hardy, dry-environment plants and won’t flower until it gets hot enough. Lunar Lavender, after which I was named, likes open fields and blooms for many months. Alicorn Breath is a delicate alpine flower that starts growing even before all the snow has melted. Today though, we are after Dawnfire Blooms. They are only available for a couple of weeks each year, and can only be found in the southern areas of the Whitetail Woods. They will fetch a good price for us.”

“I see I have a lot to learn,” Cogs observed.

Lavender smiled. “As long as you can follow instructions on how to best harvest and handle the flowers, I really don’t care if you forget. I’m happy that you’re a good mechanic – I don’t expect you to be a floral expert also.”

“It can’t hurt to try,” Cogs insisted.

Lavender gave him a wicked smile. “You asked for it!”

Cogs realized that he had probably bitten off way more than he could chew after a very short time, but he gamely tried to keep up with the flood of information that Lavender unleashed upon him.

They reached the harvest site after a little more than two hours of measured trotting. Cogs could not remember ever having traveled so far on hoof before, relying normally on his wings to travel great distances. However he was not given a chance to rest because as soon as the cart had been parked in a suitably shady spot, Lavender put him to work preparing the boxes, and fetching water from a nearby stream to fill the buckets. By then, she had started her harvest. The Dawnfire flowers belonged to a type of vine plant that climbed the trees, seeking the sun, and well out of the reach of non-pegasi. Lavender had brought along a specially improvised tool for harvesting the blooms. It consisted basically of a set of pruning snips attached to a pole with a rope to pull the handle of the snips. She would maneuver the pole to bring the snips against the stalk of the flower, pull the rope to cut it, and then catch the large-petaled flower as it spun lazily to the ground. She put the flower stalk into a bucket of water and then went to work on the next bloom.

Cogs got to try the remote snips a few times, but mostly he ferried the harvested blooms to the cart and brought more buckets of water back. While the process was simple enough, it was time-consuming because of the effort needed to work through the underbrush, and the awkwardness of getting at many of the flowers. There were also only a few on each vine, and the distance Cogs had to travel to the cart steadily grew longer. Eventually though, Lavender declared that she had a sufficient quantity, and it was time for lunch.

“So how are we doing?” Cogs asked as he started unpacking their picnic lunch.

“Excellently! Because you’re saving me from having to travel back and forth, I've reached my quota in half the time. We’ll have plenty of time to harvest some of the other things on my list.”

“Well that’s one part of my plan that’s worked perfectly so far,” Cogs said happily. “And now we get to have a lovely picnic lunch together also.”

“What can I say? My husband is clever; it’s one of the things that I like about him.”

“Your husband is also hungry; his wife has worked him hard!”

Lavender laughed. “We’d better do something about that right away. Would you like some chilled apple cider, Love?”

“Yes, please!”

They took their time and enjoyed a leisurely meal. Between the food, the beautiful day, and the company, they were very tempted just to take the rest of the afternoon off and enjoy themselves, but with an effort of will, they eventually got back to work. Lavender showed Cogs what a particular wild herb looked like, where to find it, and how to harvest it. She left him at that task while she went in pursuit of other flowers more easily harvested by a single pony. By the time it came to quit and start packing up, they had an impressive haul. Lavender showed him how to pack the flowers in the special boxes, how to use moistened cloths to keep them cool and fresh, and how to safely stow everything on the cart.

Lavender was glad to have Cogs’ help pushing the cart back up onto the road, but once there, she once again refused his help to pull the cart. It was probably the biggest haul that she had ever brought in, but at least this particular route was not hilly, so it was not excessively difficult.

The couple arrived home minutes after Celestia had set the sun, and there was a bit of a rush to unload the cart in the fading light. Once all the boxes and buckets had been safely stowed in the shop and the cart put away, they considered what they wanted to do for dinner.

“I vote that we go out to a restaurant,” Cogs suggested. “I think we've earned it, and I doubt either of us feels like cooking right now.”

“That sounds lovely,” Lavender agreed. “Give me a few minutes to freshen up, and we can leave. Which restaurant would you prefer?”

“How about The Wild Fig?”

“You like that one for the fish dishes that they serve, don’t you?” Lavender asked with a smile.

Cogs shrugged. “I have a weakness for fish,” he admitted. He did not mention that he needed a certain amount of animal protein in his diet for good health. Ponies normally got their protein requirements from plant sources, but that was not quite good enough for him. Fish just happened to be a very tasty food supplement for him.

Cogs’ day ended with a delicious meal, a romantic moonlight stroll home with his wife, and an evening of making love. Cogs could not imagine a more perfect day.

* * *

Cogs could not imagine a more busy day. On top of the normal trade, once word got around that the Dawnfire Blooms were available, customers started queuing up for them, keeping him busy packing them up. Apparently they were greatly favored as courting gifts, being both beautiful and deliciously edible. Their scarcity made them that much more desirable. Cogs briefly wondered if Lavender knew that this was going to happen, and then dismissed the thought. Of course she knew, and she must be smiling to herself as she leisurely pottered around in her garden. The joke was on him, but he would keep his promise to look after the shop while she had the day off. He had to shake his head in chagrin though at being so thoroughly tricked. Of course, her wits were one of the things that he most liked about her. She was so going to get her comeuppance one day though!

* * *

Cogs and Lavender repeated their dual harvesting trips a couple more times over the following weeks. Cogs learned a lot more about flowers than he ever thought that he would, and he was building up strength in his legs also. Fortunately his injured leg had healed perfectly, so he was able to put maximum effort into tasks. However, his main job called for most of his attention, so he could not take too much time off.

Today was different though. Today was the debut of Golden Words’ new novel – Skyflame. Her herd-mates had scheduled most of the day off so that they could support her at the book-signing at the town’s book store. Despite the village being so small, she always had the first release in her home town as a tribute to the townponies who had supported her in her early years. However, that did not mean that the debuts were quiet affairs. Such was her reputation now that eager fans came from far and wide in order to snap up a first-day, signed copy of the books. They would come for the books, but stay to have a conversation with their favorite author. The book shop owner was happy because she sold more books in one day at one of these signings than she normally did in a month. Various other shop owners were also pleased because the visitors were hungry or thirsty, or seeking to make the most of their trip to do some extra shopping. And of course Golden Words was pleased to be able to spend a whole day with her most ardent supporters. It was the pay-off for months of hard work, and she always made the most of the occasions. She loved every minute of it.


Right this moment, she was staring at her latest fan much like a deer caught in a beam of bright lantern light. This highly excited fan was gushing with praise for Golden Words’ series of novels, elaborating on her analysis of the stories, and extolling their virtues. Goldie’s signing pen threatened to fall from her slack lips as she listened to her ardent admirer almost maniacally declare how much she was looking forward to reading this latest tale. Golden Words had heard similar things from her fans before, although seldom with such intensity, but what could you expect when said fan was no less than an alicorn princess?

Twilight Sparkle had no idea just how much she was disconcerting the poor pegasus mare as she enthused over one of her very favorite fiction authors. Apparently you could turn a unicorn bookworm into an alicorn, but she was still a bookworm, and her intensity showed. Golden Words had no idea how one was supposed to respond to an Equestrian princess who just dropped in completely unannounced and with no forewarning. Thankfully her long rambling praise and comment was all one-sided so far, and it was giving Golden Words a chance to try to get her thoughts together to be able to respond when Twilight finally stopped talking and expected a reply.

Golden Words never had to test that out though, because just then Cogs turned up at the store to pass on the word from Moonlit Haze that lunch was ready and it was time to take a break. At first he did not pay attention to the customer, but when he did look her way, his eyes bugged out and he gasped in shock.

Just then, an amulet that Twilight was wearing around one ankle pulsed, and the alicorn broke off what she was saying to glance at it. She then looked up and noticed Cogs, and she pointed at him and said, “You!”

If Twilight was going to say any more, Cogs never found out because he bolted for the door. His worst fears had been realized – he had been discovered! He panicked, completely unable to think of any course of action except to head for a place of security, even though he knew in his heart that there was no such thing for him. He tore out into the street and raced as fast as he could in the direction of home. He had not gone too far when with a rustle of feathers and a gust of wind, Twilight Sparkle landed in his path.

“Wait!” Twilight said. “I want…” But she was talking to thin air. Cogs had jinked immediately to the right and ducked down an alley, still travelling at top speed. “Wow! He’s fast!” she muttered and took off again. She flew over the shops and houses, and figured out a good place to intercept him again. This time though, without any convenient escape route. Again she landed in front of the fleeing pegasus.

“Stop!” she commanded. “I just want to…” Again she was left talking to herself. Cogs had dived through a hedge and left the alicorn blinking in surprise, frustration, and just a little bit of admiration. ‘But why hasn't he tried to fly?’ she wondered to herself.

Cogs reached the back door to his house and managed to duck inside before Twilight Sparkle suddenly materialized in front of him after teleporting inside to give her an extra moment’s surprise. Abruptly he was frozen in mid leap as he tried to dodge once more. He struggled to escape, but none of his limbs would budge, mired in the glowing sphere of magical energy that surrounded him.

“As I was saying,” Twilight began calmly now that she had secured her quarry, “I just want to talk with you.” She looked around to ensure that there were no witnesses. In a low voice, she added, “I know that you're a changeling, but I'm aware that the majority of your kind had nothing to do with Queen Chrysalis and her attack on Canterlot. With the support of the various hive queens, I've been researching the various hives and the changelings living among ponies, and I really just want to learn more from you. You have nothing to fear from me.”

“Why should I believe that?” Cogs replied. “Your city and its citizens were attacked, Celestia injured, and your brother, friends, and you personally endured much from us. How could you not be angered by all that?”

“I was angered, but when I learned that Chrysalis was a rogue queen and the majority of changelings want nothing else but to live peacefully with ponies as they have done for millennia, I knew that I could not blame all of your kind for the sins of some of them. That's why I have been studying changelings and giving talks about them to dispel rumors and calm fears, for both ponies and changelings.”

“And what happens when you encounter one from Queen Chrysalis’ hive?”

“I've never met one yet. Aside from a few dead drones that were found in the forest days later, no sign of Chrysalis nor her changelings has ever been found.”

“Well now you have,” Cogs said with hopelessness in his voice. Why had he told her that? Why had he confessed to one of the most powerful entities in Equestria that he had been one of her enemies? All he'd had to do was pretend to be from Healing Hooves’ hive and he would have been okay, if he believed what Twilight Sparkle had said. And he did believe, and yet he still felt compelled to tell all.

Twilight was equally shocked, and she stared at Cogs in disbelief. How could someone confess to such a thing? She felt the rage that she had buried long ago starting to resurface. The hurt that had been done to those nearest and dearest to her was brought back to mind, and her eyes began to glow with the magical power that was building up inside of her. “You were one of those who attacked Canterlot?” she demanded.

“Not just Canterlot; I was one of the squad that was specifically ordered to stop the Elements of Harmony.” Cogs seemed unable to stop himself from exacerbating the situation.

“You… you attacked me personally?”

“Well, actually I think it was Applejack who bucked me senseless, but yes, I was in that group.” There, that ought to seal my fate. Thanks, runaway mouth. Goodbye Lavender, my love. Our time was too short, but it was the best part of my life.

Twilight’s fury grew, but at last she had found someone upon whom she could vent it. So many ponies had been hurt – some physically, but many more psychologically as their emotions were ripped from them by the hungry changelings. So many who had never received justice for their suffering. But now she had one of the perpetrators, the evil blight on the face of Equestria and a traitor to the changeling race. Today justice would be done and…

… why was he crying?

Cogs’ face was not filled with fear nor hatred. It was instead one of the saddest faces that she had ever seen, with tears of remorse flooding from the eyes, and they quelled the rage within her. “Why? Why did you tell me all this when you know how I would feel about it? Why didn't you pretend to be from another hive? I almost certainly would have believed you.”

Suddenly Cogs had the answer to both her questions and his. “I want your forgiveness,” he said earnestly.

Twilight abruptly terminated the confining sphere, and Cogs dropped to the floor, still looking at her and tearfully praying for absolution.

“Forgiveness? Why?” Twilight was completely thrown by this request. Her anger was dying down and being replaced by confusion. Nothing about this meeting was going as she had expected.

“I never wanted to attack you, nor any other pony. I asked the queen not to do it, and was demoted to a common soldier. Nevertheless I obeyed the queen and thus I am guilty, but I still regret everything that I did. That guilt has preyed on my subconscious ever since then. I thought that I had managed to put it all behind me, but seeing you brought it all back. Attacking you and the other innocent ponies is the worst thing that I have ever done in my life, and I am truly sorry for it. I can’t ever be completely happy until I have closure.”

Twilight’s horn glowed, and Cogs thought that his time had come, but he felt only a tingle before she spoke again.

“How do I know that you aren't merely lying to me to save your hide?” Twilight asked sternly.

Cogs cast his eyes down and shook his head. “I can only give you my word, but I have been living my life since then away from the hive. I have renounced Queen Chrysalis and the hive, and have sworn to spend the spend the rest of my life as the pegasus that you see before you, loyal to the Princesses.”

Twilight was amazed. “I didn't think it was possible for a changeling to break away from their queen and hive.”

“Nor did I until I forced myself. It made me feel ill and gave me bad dreams for a while, but once it passed, I had an amazing sense of freedom. I could never go back again.”

“Even if Chrysalis herself stood in front of you and commanded your obedience?”

“The queen would kill me because she would know that I would not obey.”

“What about the other soldiers? Are you saying that they were all helpless pawns in Chrysalis’ plans?”

“No. The changelings who lived in the hive obeyed blindly and unhesitatingly. However, of those of us who worked out in the field as emotion harvesters, most knew that it was wrong and tried to persuade the queen to abandon her plans for power. They all suffered my fate – refused the right to return to our jobs and our lives outside of the hive, and forced to be the lowest of soldiers in her plans of attack.”

“Then Chrysalis remains a threat to Equestria?”

“I would agree.”

“Then prove your loyalty to the Princesses and tell us the location of her hive.”

Cogs hesitated, then said regretfully, “I can’t.”

Twilight frowned. “Why not?”

“If it was just Chrysalis, or even the hive workers, I would, but I would be betraying my fellow conscientious objectors if I did. If the Royal Guard attacked the hive, it would be them who would be thrown into the first line of defense, and their lives would most likely be forfeit.”

That had not been in any scenario that Twilight had envisaged, and it gave her pause for thought. She could not fault him for his stance – those changelings did not deserve that fate. It also spoke much for his character that he would risk himself for them. She came to a decision. “I believe you, and I accept your declaration of loyalty. Please get up and calm your fears. As I said at the beginning, I just want to talk with you to learn more about you and your kind. Today it seems I have learned something totally unexpected, which proves that I have much yet to learn.”

Cogs was weak with relief as he shakily got to his feet. “You believe me? You take my word?” he asked, hardly daring to believe his good fortune.

“Well, that and the lie-detecting spell that I cast upon you,” Twilight admitted with a small smirk.

“Oh.” Cogs was a tiny bit disappointed that it wasn't just his words that had persuaded the Princess. “I thank you anyway, your Highness.”

“Just Twilight, please. When I’m not on formal royal duty, I prefer my name, and right now I am just Twilight Sparkle the researcher… and what’s wrong with your right wing?”

Cogs still could not hold his injured wing properly furled most of the time, and in his shaky condition, it was now sagging badly. “When I was blasted out of Canterlot, I crashed into the forest and incurred several serious injuries. The wing has never healed properly. There is some nerve damage and my flight magic won’t work, so I can no longer fly.”

“So that’s why you didn't fly when you tried to escape from me.”

“Exactly. I have been ground-bound ever since except when a friend has carried me up to the clouds.”

“Let me examine it, please.”

Cogs extended it as best as he could and he felt the tingle of magic upon it, probing at the bones and nerves. Abruptly there was a huge shock. “YEE-OUCH! What… what was that?” He tried to shake off the painful jab.

“Oops. Sorry about that. I should have expected that there would be a mana surge when I reconnected the mana network in the wing. Try flying now.”

“You’re kidding me?” Cogs did as she instructed though and launched himself upwards and flapped. To his amazement, he hovered with ease. “I can fly!” he exulted.

“Of course. It was a simple fix. Any specialist unicorn doctor could have done that.”

“Any such doctor would have been able to tell that I was not a true pegasus also,” Cogs pointed out.

“Ah, yes. That would have been a problem if you were trying to hide.”

Cogs landed and furled his wings with no problem. “Why would you do this for me? I attacked you and your friends, and you reward me?”

“You have convinced me that it was against your will, so that means that you are not my enemy, and if you’re not my enemy, then I want to be your friend. Friendship is magic, and I am the Element of Magic. I could do no less for you.”

Tears threatened to flow again in Cogs’ eyes. “Thank you! Thank you so much! I know that I swore to myself that I would be loyal to the rulers of Equestria, but I declare right now with you as my witness that I pledge my life to the Princesses, and to you in particular.”

Twilight was still too new to her role as Equestrian royalty to be totally comfortable with his declaration of loyalty, but accepted it with as much grace as possible. “Thank you – what is your name anyway?”

“My name is Whirring Cogs, but just call me Cogs, please.”

“Like your cutie mark, I see. Mechanically inclined, are you?”

“That’s right. I have a job with a renovations company here.”

“And this is your home?”

“Yes – mine and my wife’s.”

“You’re married? To a pony? How many years?”

“Only weeks. Lavender Dreams found me in my injured state by the roadside out in the woods. She brought me home, arranged for my wounds to be tended, fed me and gave me shelter. We fell in love and were married just a few weeks ago. She is my best and most wonderful reason for living.”

“So you did not live and work here before the invasion of Canterlot?”

“I used to work in Cloudsdale. I had never set hoof in this village before.”

“Wow. You really fell for her fast, didn't you? And she for you. Did you use your changeling abilities to influence that?”

“What? NO! That wasn't how it happened. We just… clicked. It was as if we were destined for each other. I know you might think of us as emotion eaters, but we have feelings too. I love her truly, and she freely gave her love to me.”

“Calm down – I believe you. A very good friend of mine in Ponyville turned out to be a changeling, and she's been in a deeply committed relationship with another mare for years. Does Lavender know that you're a changeling?”

“No, I have never told her that. I can't risk our relationship over something that should not be part of my life anymore.”

“My friend revealed her true self to her partner, and their relationship never faltered.”

“Can you guarantee that the same would be true for Lavender?” Cogs asked pointedly.

Twilight hesitated, then shook her head. “No, I admit that I can’t.”

“Then with all due respect to you, your Highness, I will not be telling her my secret.”

Twilight accepted the subtle rebuke. Meddling in a relationship was rarely a good thing. “May I at least meet your wife?”

“Of course – that's easily done. The front of our house is a shopfront, and Lavender sells flowers and herbs. She's there right now….” He stopped as something occurred to him. “Umm, you’re adept at healing spells, aren't you?”

“I’m not a specialist, but yes,” Twilight admitted, wondering where this was going.

Cogs grew excited. “My wife has a crippling injury that no one can fix. Perhaps you could do something?”

“Perhaps. What’s the problem?”

“Come with me and you'll see,” Cogs urged, leading the way through the house and through the door into the shop.

Lavender was surprised to see her husband. “Aren't you supposed to be at the book store at the moment?” she asked curiously. Then her eyes widened in shock as she saw who followed him through the door. She bowed low and said, “Your Highness! This is such an honor to have you visit our humble shop.”

“Please! There's no need to bow. This is an informal visit.” Then she noticed Lavender’s broken horn. “Oh my dear little pony – what happened to you?”

“An accident as a teenager, your Highness.” She then told her the details of her misadventure.

When Lavender had finished, Cogs spoke up. “Can you heal her horn, Twilight?”

Lavender put a hoof on Cogs’ shoulder and shook her head. “My love, don't you think that I haven't tried the best healers in Equestria? They all tell me the same thing – a unicorn’s horn cannot be repaired with healing spells.”

Twilight nodded. “She's right, you know. A unicorn’s magic is totally focused in her horn, and any attempt to impose a spell on it fails because the intense mana disrupts that spell. Cracked or damaged horns must heal by themselves with their own innate power.”

Cogs lowered his head dejectedly, his hopes for his wife dashed completely.

Twilight continued though. “At least that's usually the case.”

Both ponies looked at the alicorn in surprise. “Usually?” they chorused.

“Lavender’s horn is broken completely, and the mana channels thoroughly disrupted. I dare say that you can scarcely use any magic at all. Can you pick things up with your hooves?”

“Not really, no,” Lavender admitted

“Then the mana generation is very low, and someone with sufficient power, such as an alicorn perhaps...” Twilight said with a wink, “...may be able to work a healing spell after all.”

Lavender gaped at her in awe. “You can do that?” she asked, hardly daring to hope after all those years.

Twilight grinned. “Let's find out, shall we? But be warned – this is going to do more than sting a little.”

Twilight’s horn lit up, and a glow appeared around Lavender’s horn stump. The glow kept increasing as Twilight’s expression intensified and she poured more of her power into the effort. The glow became too intense for Cogs to watch, and he had to avert his eyes. The seconds dragged by, and then minutes, and he wondered if it was taking too long, and the effort was failing. Then abruptly the light ceased, and Cogs could now see that his wife had collapsed onto the floor.

“Lavender! Are you alright?” he cried.

Lavender groaned and lifted her head. “Ooh – who bucked me in the head? And what are you staring at?”

Cogs’ eyes were riveted on Lavender’s horn. It was small – no bigger than a young filly’s, but perfectly formed. “Your horn – it's healed! It’s tiny, but it's whole again.”

Twilight looked somewhat frazzled from her immense effort. “Yeah, I had to pare back the dead horn to repair the mana channels and heal it over. I can’t magically make it adult size again though. Despite what those advertisements for horn enlargement claim, that's not possible. However, it will grow normally from now on, and reach its adult size in the fullness of time. You won't be able to do much magic until it grows a bit more, but you should be able to handle things again right now though.”

Lavender touched her horn with one hoof and exclaimed, “I can feel it! I can feel everything again!” She tried to grab a pair of scissors from the counter in her right hoof, and a bunch of flowers in her left. She held them up in triumph. “I can hold things again!” She then dropped them back on the counter and flung her forelegs around the startled alicorn and hugged her fiercely. “Thank you! Thank you! I can never repay you for this wonderful gift!”

Twilight smiled benignly. “What’s the point of being an alicorn princess if I can't do this kind of thing for my ponies? You're very welcome, Lavender.”

Cogs said, “Why don’t you go show your parents what has happened, Love? I'm sure that they'll want to know about your good fortune. I'll watch the store for you while you’re gone.”

“Oh, yes! I'll do that right away. Thanks, Hon!” She gave him a big kiss on the cheek, and then trotted off with a huge smile on her face.

When she had left the shop, Cogs turned to Twilight and said, “For what you have done for my wife, I will do anything that you ask. I owe you a debt that can never be adequately repaid. I am yours to command, Princess Twilight Sparkle.”

“No one is keeping score, Cogs. I did it because she needed it, and I was the only one who could do it.”

“Nevertheless, if you want something, just ask. A friend can owe you a favor, yes?”

Twilight smiled. “Yes, I will accept a favor, and as a matter of fact I know something that would be right up your alley.”

Author's Note:

In this chapter, Chrysalis is assumed to be biding her time before making another attack on the ponies of Equestria, as will be found out in later stories. Those other changelings that were injured like Cogs either died or managed to make their way back to the hive, perhaps with the assistance of the others.

As for Twilight, once a book fanatic, always a book fanatic. Season 4 episode - Castle-mania - showed that she hasn't changed one little bit in that respect.