• Published 9th Mar 2014
  • 35,082 Views, 7,352 Comments

The Changeling of the Guard - vdrake77

Not all changelings are fit for life in a hive. But that doesn't mean they're capable of life outside it, either. Join one such changeling as he tries to find his place in Equestria, and what the difference is between survival and living.

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Everything Crumbles

I awoke to the soft rumble of thunder and the gentle patter of the beginnings of a drizzle upon my face. That seemed… unusual. I tried to shift, my sleep-addled mind still trying to bridge the disconnect between a cocoon being unsealed and the rain. Were we doing field exercises? The pegasi were typically tasked with ensuring a campsite wasn’t to be interrupted with weather, but- No, I seemed to be indoors. I peered up at the cloud with consternation as awareness slowly reasserted itself. I was not in my barracks room. Nor, for that matter, was I in my own room, but this place was familiar… I pondered. I had never imbibed so much as to pass out, nor was I aware of any bars that would be so welcoming of a former customer that they would wrap him up so snugly. Ah! I knew that knot of wood. It looked like a particularly fat beetle trying to carry a butterfly. Surely no two ceilings could have that same natural design.

What was I doing in Topaz’s room?

That caught me up short. I was awakening. I was in Topaz’s room. I was, apparently, in her bed. Had I fallen sick? My recollections were so hazy… I tried to sit up, and was rewarded with a sleepy mumble of protest and a tightening of the covers.

I stared, my disoriented mind still trying to fill in the gaps of my befuddled recollection. This was Topaz’s bed, and I suppose it would have been exceptionally rude to put her out… There was something-

Soft sounds. A gasp. Heat. The downy feel of feathers. A mouth against my own.

“Order preserve!”

Again?” An eye opened languidly. “Harmony, Idol, I don’t think I can handle another session like that.” She nestled into my side. “Gimme a day or two of recovery before I can even think about it.” One of her hooves fumbled for a lamp, seemingly in quite the state herself. She was more than warm against me, she felt soft and almost hot and- “Celestia! Is it morning?! I have a class, there was supposed to be a lecture on lovebugs, I’m late-” In a stunning show of agility, the pegasus somehow managed to completely disentangle herself from the knot of bedsheets… and then somehow managed to flop to the floor before she could engage her wings. “...Huh. We actually did crack the frame.”

Well, none of that made sense. “But… the wedding?”

“Wedding? Idol, you made me miss that. I mean, yes, you said weren’t going, but I didn’t think you’d keep me too busy to attend…” She flushed, but grinned. “I’d say I really like this side of you, but I think you’re already well aware of that.” She held her wing to her nose, giving it a little sniff, blanched. “Can’t skip a bath, everyone in Canterlot will know what I’ve been up to...”

Passionate moans. Hooves and wings combined to clutch at me. The world goes pink and all I can feel is her. The solid crunch as the headboard snapped under the force of it all, and finally darkness.

I fell out of bed, a great deal less agile. I had never particularly liked sheets, but these seemed exceptionally determined to impede me. “W-wait, we need to talk-” I followed her, receiving a little electric zing from one of the clouds in her room as I gave chase. Blasted storm clouds. I ran into her hoof as she fled into her personal bathroom, but her face was flush with something very different from embarrassment.

“Oh no, no, no no. Last time you came in when I was trying to get ready for the wedding and we both know how that ended up, we’re lucky my tub didn’t fall apart and I’m not willing to risk that again. You… you stay out.” The door closed with regretful finality, but I sensed that she lingered by the door, and if I pressed the issue even slightly-

Splashing. A cry of ecstasy. A very soapy wet floor, bubbles everywhere. Towels used more as an excuse for contact than their intended purpose.

I was too stunned to argue, or even make my case, and the door remained closed. I noted, with only the most muted concern, that the rug in front of the door was still damp. That could easily damage the wood, I realized, but my mind was too distracted by the deluge of information my landlady was dumping on me… and my addled brain seemed to be cheerfully throwing out reminders of carnal activities that I was distinctly sure I could not perform and- and…

And I very much wanted to. Wanted to what? I had no idea, only that I wanted.

Oh dear. Oh dear, oh Order, what was I doing? What had I done? You besmirched a bathtub, for one thing. I silenced the traitorous portion of my mind. If it wasn’t going to be helpful, it could be ignored, even if it was offering strangely tantalizing tidbits at every rapid splash and flashes of my friend in… in positions I will not describe. What was happening to me?!

I tried to flee, back into the bedroom. A knife was delicately set on the table, a clay figure of Topaz in stunning definition beside it. I could count individual feathers, could almost count the individual barbs on each, and I could suddenly distinctly recall that I had intended to make it as accurate to life as possible… even the undersides of the wings were as detailed as my memories of close examination. The damp air had kept the figure supple, but I was now aware that its inspiration could be equally as supple, if not more so- I slammed the door on the thought. After a moment’s consideration, I further locked and bolted said door, then pushed as much mental baggage as I could in front of it. By the time I was done, the mental effort had left me panting. Just like when we were- I then burned down the house.

I was beginning to fear that I was not in control of this situation. Cleaning did not help. I was… recollecting fragments of events I could not explain. Things I could not do, should not, and yet… I had. I burned with confusion, incapable of reconciling the gaps between what I had done, how, and why. Had… had I simply become inundated with so much lust that I could not contain it all? If that was the case, I had presumed much upon my landlady and friend. This was not proper, was not right-

The door flew open and Topaz rushed in, gathering a few of her things. Her mane was still free, but I could not help but note that she had not bothered to dry it properly; I was beyond distracted, with every rivulet of water trickling down her coat becoming a fresh source of focus. I was missing her words and ogling her like a colt who had never seen a mare before!

“-and I’m going to have to come up with some excuse to Cadance why I missed the reception and the wedding, but at least I have until after the honeymoon, I can’t exactly tell her…” The pegasus trailed off, looking far away for a moment, before she gave me a wicked grin that brought a flush to my own face. “Actually, I’m sure I could tell her, buuuuut we’ll talk about that… tonight~?”

“Perhaps we should talk about it now-!” I flustered, desperately trying to maintain some semblance of conformity to my normal life.

Topaz gave me a serious look. Then something overtook her, and I had the briefest flash of lust before she was upon me, her mouth hot against mine…

And her emotions burned through me like magma. There was so much of it, built, refined over years, and… and… and I could not. I responded, as I apparently had been for… days, out of memorization and some primal part of me that apparently did know what I was doing. When she withdrew, I could do little but stare.

“Later~” she promised, and with that she was out the door with a bounce in her step, as if she did not know how this sudden influx blasted through me. I heard her humming happily as she trotted, proud of herself enough to burst.

I could not process. Could not comprehend the sheer depth of all of this. I had… stolen love from Topaz, but… how? It boiled within me, and I could not ignore this. Where had it come from, what had I done?! Worse, I was running late myself! My transgressions were mounting by the moment, and I could not worsen the situation with Topaz by going about my other duties. Or at least I hoped I could not.

I was only beginning to see the sheer breadth of my failure as both a friend and a guard.

Canterlot was a city in recovery, the wedding had apparently been far more raucous than even I expected. Ponies everywhere were still in the process of cleaning up the aftermath. Well, revelry was a pony tradition they clung to with almost disturbing tenacity at times; I had heard that the Guard was needed once a year or so to deal with the overzealous victors or losers of some exceptionally contested buckball game, though the practice was largely absent in Canterlot. One could, however, assume that the marriage of a princess was a… well, I didn’t know of any other princess marriages since the Royal Sisters came into power, so perhaps this had been the celebration of a thousand years in the making. It was a wonder the castle stood, in that case, and I decided that it was a testament to the restraint of the citizenry of Canterlot.

Not too much restraint, however; there was a team of pegasi pushing a raincloud towards what seemed to be a bit of smoke wafting up… not enough to warrant a building on fire, but likely a cart, as I understood to be the tradition of celebration and or wrath. Still, they responded to my wave with one of their own that clearly meant they had the situation in hoof, and I continued on my way. I was in dire need of advice, and I knew just the ponies to query. And, perhaps of equal importance, I needed to explain my tardiness.

I just wished I knew how. Where to even begin?

Lieutenant, no, Captain Shining Armor was busy with reports, though he looked up at me with relief when I entered. His presence was strange, I was under the impression a honeymoon should last several days at least, and I had expected someone to be filling in for him in this regard. Whilst I appreciated the Captain’s work ethic, he had husbandly duties now. Duties which I had presumed he would carry out with gusto, given the apparent number of near misses in their history. Then again, he looked about as haggard as I felt, so perhaps they were having a ‘working holiday’. Or this was a vacation from his honeymoon. Which only brought the other matter back to the forefront of my mind, but was this a matter for stallionly camaraderie or should I get an expert opinion on the matter from the princess? I was not sure what was proper, but I felt Cadance was more the one to talk about in the matter of this… accidental seduction, but was it appropriate to talk to a commanding officer about such a thing, or even his new wife, princess of love she may be? "Hey Idol, with you in a moment, Faust but we've got a mess on our hooves, a bunch of foals-"

His wife… something about that-

His wife is not his love. Princess Cadance, the fight, it came back to me in sudden clarity, and I knew with sudden horror that the Princess was in grave danger. My order to stand down, that had not been Cadance-

I staggered to a halt, eyes widening with the implications. “Shining, you must listen to me. The princess is not herself!”

Shining blinked, confused, carefully lowering the papers he'd been reviewing. “Idol, buddy, I know you missed a lot, but just calm down-”

“There is no time, sir! She’s in danger, you have to… you have to do something!”

Understanding began to dawn on Shining’s face. “Oh, Harmony, Idol, they did get you, didn’t they?” He looked me in the eyes, gave a sniff and drew back. “Tartarus, you smell like you ran a marathon. Calm down, everything is fine.” He stood, pushing his chair over to me, but I ignored it.

“It is not fine! Everything is amiss! The princess is captured!”

“Celestia, bud, we should have sent a search party looking for you as soon as we saw you were late, I should have thought-”

“Sir! I am right here, it is your fiancee who needs rescue-”

“She’s in the palace, Idol- look, just sit down-”

“The mare you married is not your lover! Shining, this is important-

Soothingly, he motioned me down, but I was in the depth of this memory. She had been assaulted, she had been hurt, and I did not know how long I had been gone, but I had to… I could not explicitly reveal my Queen, I knew that, but I had seen her in Cadance’s guise, she was impersonating his lover, his wife even- “-probably a concussion during the whole invasion thing, should have known you wouldn’t just leave in the lurch-”

“Damn it all, Captain, You must save the princess from us!" I roared, and for the first time in a decade, I cast aside my disguise in front of a pony. Wait, invasion?

And then his hoof caught me square in the temple.

At least I had his attention. Hopefully, it would be enough to get him in motion to rescue the Princess.

I tried to get to my hooves, but was caught short by my own limb. Or… what should have been my limb. But for all I had seen and done, I could not recall having ever fought a maulwurf, to have been so blatantly scarred by one. It was one more thing I could not reconcile, and Shining’s second blow granted me freedom from my current worries.

I awoke in a cell, which was honestly about as good as I could have expected, I suppose.

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