• Published 26th Mar 2015
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Six Queens - Princess OtakuGeek



The Mane Six suddenly find themselves changeling queens ruling over Chrysalis's hive.

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Bonus Chapter: Returning Home

"Can you believe we're going back?" An exuberant blonde and blue pegasus mare squealed. She was practically bouncing on her hooftips as she excitedly flapped her gold tipped wings. Her companion on the train to Trottingham, a purple earth pony mare with a black mane and glasses, rolled her eyes. Instantly, the pegasus was in her face, smiling.

"I mean can you seriously believe it Midnight Page?!" She exclaimed. "I bet you just can't wait to get back to your bookshop!"

Midnight Page pushed the pegasus' face out of her own. "Indeed I am Star Spark." She said in a calm tone. "I imagine my friends and regulars are a bit concerned. But let us not forget the promise we made to our queens."

At Gytha's point, Edda deflated a little and settled back into her chair. "Yeah, I know." The worry was evident in her voice. "How do you think they'll react?"

Midnight Page set her book down. "I have no idea. They might accept us or reject us. It's hard to say."

Star Spark pouted. "I don't wanna be rejected!" She wailed almost childishly.

Midnight cocked an eyebrow at her. "Nopony nor changeling wants to be rejected." Though the look on her face remained stoic, Gytha was just as worried as her sniffling friend. When Queen Chrysalis' condition worsened, the collectors had instinctively gathered at the home hive. A few even faked their deaths or revealed themselves one way or another since they didn't expect to come back. And now here they were journeying back to openly mingle with ponies.

Queen Applejack had insisted that they tell their loved ones about themselves. Already Gytha was hearing messages across the link from other collectors who had either been accepted or rejected. It was enough to set her on edge about the whole thing and so she and her traveling companions were riding the train in their hamingja. Midnight Page turned to her other companion, a stallion, sitting on her left.

The unicorn stallion was taller and broader than most unicorns. He had a dark blue coat, white mane and grey eyes pointed downwards. Though Sky Watcher looked for all the world like he was okay, Midnight Page knew better.

"Hey." She said as she put her hoof on his shoulder. "Don't worry about it too much. I'm sure that your family won't kick you out."

Sky Watcher, Raoul's pony hamingja, glanced at Midnight Page. "I'm not so sure I can share your confidence."

"Hey, your family isn't heartless." Midnight said. "At the very least they'll hear you out. And I'm sure the kids will absolutely love you."

Sky Watcher chuckled as he thought of Greenblaze and Roseheart. The twins. Great kids really. Greenblaze was a very bold and adventurous colt that reminded him of when he was his age before the incident. Roseheart was on the opposite end of the spectrum. Where her twin was loud and bold, she was quiet and a little shy. Raoul guessed that when she got her cutiemark it would be in gardening since she was already so good at taking care of plants.

"Yeah you're probably right. But I'm still a little concerned about how they'll react." Sky admitted.

Midnight Page put her hoof across his back and pulled him close. "Don't worry about it too much. One way or another things will settle into place, I promise."

Sky Watcher smiled and hugged her back. After a moment of sitting there a hoof tapped Midnight Page's shoulder. Midnight turned to see Star Spark who was giving her puppy dogs eyes. Midnight Page and Sky Watcher just smiled before pulling her into the hug.

✴✴✴✴✴✴

Sun Bloom gasped in absolute horror at the sight right before her. "STAR SONG!! What the heck are you doing!?"

The violet and pink pegasus mare in question looked up from her task to face her twin sister who was currently failing in not panicking over her sister's health. "I'm making lunch?"

The yellow and blue pegasus moved to her sister's side at speeds that would impress even Rainbow Dash. "You're supposed to be lying down." She said sternly as she pulled the spoon away. "You're due to deliver any day now!!!"

Star Song spared a glance at her round belly. "I'm fine. Just because I'm almost ready to give birth doesn't mean I can't help out around the house. I can hardly leave everything up to you entirely. You're a guest in this house."

Sun Bloom quickly shut off the stove and moved the pot of soup to another burner. "What are you talking about, that's the whole reason why I'm here! With Wind Whistle putting in extra hours at work, you need all the help you can get."

As she led Star Song out into the living room Sun Bloom glanced at the photos hanging on the wall. The more recent picture there was Star Song and a yellow and brown pegasus stallion both dressed for their wedding and smiling happily. The next was of Star Song, Wind Whistle and a pair of kids. One was a green pegasus colt with a brighter green mane. The other was a pink unicorn filly with a red mane.

Further down the line was a picture of the same two kids, only much younger and on either side of a brown unicorn stallion with a pale blonde mane. Gold Hoof. The twins' biological father. Years back when the twins had been about five, Gold had been diagnosed with cancer. The kind of cancer that couldn't be cured. The kind that would kill him within a year or two. When the doctor gave him the news, he decided that he would be the one to tell the kids. That week he took them to the animal shelter and they picked out a sleek, black dog that looked like it would be better suited as a guard dog. But he'd been surprisingly gentle to the little ones and they immediately picked him rather than a puppy.

When they were picking out a name for him, Gold Hoof suggested the name Watcher because he wanted the dog to keep a watch out for his kids when he left. This statement of course led to questions about where he was going which led to Gold Hoof explaining his condition. While the children didn't understand what that meant at the time, Gold Hoof always swore that it seemed as though Watcher had understood. The full weight never hit the twins till the year they turned six. The year that Gold Hoof died. Those were sad times, but to this day Star Song and the twins swore that Watcher had been a big part of pulling them through this hard time.

That was why the family had been more than a little freaked out and devestated when he'd disappeared a few weeks prior. Sure the dog had a habit of disappearing every week, but only ever for a day. The rest of the time he was around Star Song or the kids. So for him to be gone for such an extended amount of time had them upset. Especially the kids, who were the most attached to him. The next picture to catch her eye was of the twins playing with a large black dog who was gently playing with them. Silently she wished Watcher was back.

✴✴✴✴✴✴✴

The train pulled into Trottingham station and ponies disembarked. Amongst them were Star Spark, Midnight Page and Sky Watcher. There were other changelings amongst the crowd, many traveling in pony hamingja, mostly out of instinct, and a few in their natural forms. These three particular 'ponies' traveled together for a time. The first to leave their group was Star Spark as they passed her apartment. A little later they passed by Midnight Page's home/business. Midnight Page and Sky Watcher wished each other luck before parting, leaving Raoul/Watcher to confront his family. He sincerely hoped things didn't get ugly.

✴✴✴✴✴✴

"What I'm wondering is why Wind Whistle is putting on extra hours?" Sun Bloom said from her seat in the living room. "I mean, since it's his first kid, I expected he'd want to take some time off to fuss over you."

Star Song glanced up from her knitting. "Oh believe me, he wanted to. But as it is we need the money. Plus I told him you'd be here to look out for me. That was basically the deal clincher."

"Really? Well then why don't you listen to me?" Sun Bloom asked.

Star Song smiled. "I said 'look after', not coddle." She countered.

Before Sun Bloom could argue however, there was a scratching at the door. A familiar scratching. Star Song started to get up before her sister stopped her then moved towards the door and opened it. Instead of Watcher however, Sun Bloom came face to face with a tall changeling covered in thick black fur with a clawed foreleg slightly raised. They both stood there frozen for a moment before the changeling opened his muzzle to speak.

"Nope!" Sun Bloom declared before the changeling could get a single word out. She then promptly slammed the door and locked it, ignoring the cry of surprise and pain on the other side.

"Sunny?" Star Song asked as she approached her sister. "Is something wrong?"

"Changeling!" Sun Bloom blurted out. "There's a changeling at the door!!"

Star Song shrugged. "So? Don't you remember that announcement that Luna made a few days ago?"

"Of course I remember. But why the heck is a changeling at our door?!"

"Well why don't we ask him?" Star Song gently pushed her sister aside and before Sun Bloom could object, she'd unlocked and opened the door. The changeling had taken a step back and was currently holding his muzzle when she pulled open the door. When the door opened once more, Raoul glanced up from his sore and definitively bleeding muzzle. This time he was looking at Star Song.

"Is there something you need?" Star Song asked in concern.

Raoul pulled his claw from his muzzle and glanced at the red against black before grasping his muzzle again. "Um, an ice pack would be nice, and may I come in? I need to talk with you."

✴✴✴✴✴✴

"So lemme get this straight." Sun Bloom began. "You're a collector from this changeling hive, and this whole time you've been Watcher?" Holding his ice pack to his face, Raoul nodded. "And you really expect us to believe THAT?!"

"I believe him." Star Song offered. Sun Bloom whirled around to face her sister. That honestly didn't surprise her at all. Ever since they were fillies, Star Song had always been the more trusting one. But in this instance, that was stretching it a bit.

"You can't seriously believe this guy? He's a changeling!! Natural born liars!"

"We don't know that." Star Song pointed out. "In fact, nopony really knows much about changelings since they're a recently discovered species. Besides, I think we should hear him out first. After all, you've already slammed the door into his face."

"Speaking of which, exactly how hard did you slam that door?" Raoul spoke up, his deep voice sounding a little odd since he still had his ice pack pressed to his face. "Because it's been five minutes and the bleeding has slowed down a bit, but not stopped."

"Oh my. Should we take you to the doctor?" Star asked worriedly. Raoul waved her off as best he could.

"Let's give it a couple more minutes and if it doesn't stop, we'll go to the doctor." Star Song nodded at his reasoning.

Sun Bloom turned back to him and studied him a moment. "Okay, if you're really Watcher, than prove it. Tell us something only Watcher would know."

Raoul had seen this question coming and had no shortage of answers as there were many MANY secrets the family would confess to him. The trick was picking one that didn't hurt anyone's feelings. After a moment of deliberation, he finally settled on the perfect one.

"When Star Song started dating Wind Whistle, you glared him down and told him that if he hurt her in any way you would, and I quote, 'show him the very horrors of Tartarus itself'."

Star Song put her hoof to her face to stifle a laugh as she remembered the look of absolute terror on Wind Whistle's face when she said that. Sun Bloom still looked a little skeptical.

"That still doesn't prove that you've always been Watcher. You could've replaced him before then." She said defiantly. Raoul quirked an eyebrow, but couldn't deny that she was right.

"On the day after I was brought home you two were in the master bedroom. Star Song was crying and you were holding and comforting her. When I came in, you greeted me and began petting. Star Song even cried into my fur until her tears dried. You both thanked me for being there then continued on with your day. Star Song prepared dinner, Sun Bloom went to pick up the twins from preschool and Gold Hoof was out."

The was silent as they stared at him. Then Star Song threw her hooves around his neck. "Watcher!" Raoul grunted at the sudden jostle and placed a claw to his face. Pulling it back he found that a bit more blood was pouring out.

"Hmm." He hummed as he felt slightly unsteady. "Looks like we will have to go to the doctors after all."

✴✴✴✴✴✴

Dr. Heartrate was known to keep a calm level head in the worst and oddest of situations. However, he still raised a brow when Star Song and Sun Bloom brought in a tall, odd looking changeling, holding an ice-pack on his bleeding nose. Regardless, Heartrate still led the changeling to an examination room and prompted him to sit on the table while Sun Bloom and Star Song sat in the room. After some introductions, Heartrate then began to examine Raoul's nose. As he examined, he found himself thankful that this wasn't a serious matter and that changeling noses didn't seem too different from pony noses, though there were still differences.

"Fascinating." He muttered. "It doesn't look too far from a pony nose, but there are still some things that distinguish it from pony noses."

"Changelings live underground and tend to have extra sensitive senses. We don't completely rely on our eyes." Raoul explained from his position.

"And how did you say this happened again?"

"There was an accident with a door." Raoul said calmly.

Dr. Heartrate raised a brow. "What kind of accident?" He asked as he began treating the injury.

"Sun Bloom slammed the door in his face." Star Song answered. Dr. Heartrate chuckled a little.

"That's our Sun Bloom." He said with a whistle as he stole a glance at the nose once more. "She really got you. A real spitfire if I ever saw one."

"Darn straight!" Sun Bloom said with a proud smirk. "And I don't expect any of you to forget it anytime soon."

"I don't think myself or my nose will forget anytime soon." Raoul said with a smile. They all laughed. A minute later, the doctor was finished.

"Well, there you are. I did the best I could, considering I have no idea how changeling anatomy works." He said. "But since it was just a nose bleed, I think you'll be okay. If something worse comes up, you'll have to track down a changeling doctor."

"Thank you doctor. It feels better already." Raoul thanked the doctor as he jumped down.

"So what were you doing at Star Song's door?" Dr. Heartrate asked curiously.

Raoul considered the question. "How much time do you have?"

Heartrate glanced up at the clock. "My next appointment is in half an hour, why?"

"You may need a little time to yourself for this."

✴✴✴✴✴✴

"So, you're Watcher?" Heartrate asked. Raoul nodded. The stallion gave it some thought before sticking out a hoof. "Well it's nice to meet you."

Raoul took the offered hoof in his claw. "Nice to meet you too. You're taking this rather well."

Heartrate shrugged. "Well, the way I see it there really is no reason to make a mountain out of a molehill. True, this is a rather big molehill, but the point still stands that there really is no reason to make a fuss."

"Well, when I told them, Sun Bloom didn't believe me at first."

"Yeah well, Sun Bloom has always been a bit on the protective side. Especially when it comes to her family."

"That is something I understand." Raoul said with a nod.

"You two do know I'm in the same room?" Sun Bloom demanded, a little disgruntled that the two stallions were acting like she wasn't there. Star Song smiled, looked up at the wall...and let out a gasp that drew everyone's attention.

"Oh shoot, is that the time?!" Everyone glanced at the clock just as Star Song lept off her seat. "I've gotta go. I'm late picking the kids up from school!"

She was already outside of the clinic when Sun Bloom and Raoul caught up. "Hang on a sec sis, you're in no condion to go running across town!"

"Agreed." Raoul said with a nod. "You are far to close to delivery to exert yourself. I'll go fetch the children."

Sun Bloom dropped her grip on her sister and rounded on him. "Oh no you don't. You may have proven that you're Watcher, but you've got another thing coming if you think I'm letting you anywhere near those kids!"

Raoul shrugged. "Very well, then I will escort Star Song home."

Star Song's protests on how she didn't need an escort were drowned out by Sun Bloom. "You will do no such thing!"

"Then what do you want me to do?" Raoul asked with a quirked eyebrow. "I don't believe you can divide yourself between two tasks at once unless ponies have some sort of cloning technique that I'm unaware of."

Sun Bloom started to answer when Star Song thrust herself between them. "Enough!" She shouted then turned to her sister. "Sun Bloom, I love you, and I appreciate you looking out for me. But Raoul isn't going to hurt me or anyone else. If he were, don't you think he would've done it a while ago? And in addition I am a grown mare, I don't need an escort!!"

✴✴✴✴✴✴

In the end it was decided that Raoul and Sun Bloom would both go to the school while Star song would go home ON HER OWN. She brooked no complaints from either though technically Raoul had none to voice. But he did voice concern on her behalf. Star Song quickly assured him, though he was still slightly hesitant. Sun Bloom however, was so sure about him in general. But Star Song insisted and so here they were, walking side by side to the school.

Sun Bloom kept glancing at the tall changeling until she finally asked the question that had been bugging her. "So why do you look like you're part dog? Are you some sort of genetic experiment or something like that?"

Raoul chuckled. "No, nothing like that. See, years ago, back when I was a nymph-"

"Nymph?" Sun Bloom questioned.

"The changeling term for our young. Ponies would say colts or fillies. Anyways, back when I was a nymph, I was very much like Greenblaze: bold and very excitable. Add to that an urge to explore, and you've got a recipe for trouble. And trouble was just what I got into. A lot. Until one day, I did something monumentally foolish on my part. I snuck away from the caretakers and out of the hive. As a nymph, I had been eager to explore outside of the hive, so when I snuck out of the hive I was so excited. But that excitement didn't last."

"What happened?" Sun Bloom asked. Raoul grimaced.

"Our old hive was located in the middle of the Badlands, a very unpleasant place by anyone's standard. The reason why the nymphs aren't allowed outside of hive without an adult until we mature is because there are numerous predators that don't have any qualms with making a meal out of a child."

Sun Bloom's eyes widened and Raoul continued.

"I remember that it hurt so much to say the very VERY least. I was fortunate that a passing scout spotted and rescued me. But the damage was extensive and I was going to die very soon. My mother, the previous queen, saved my life by fusing my body and soul to a doglike creature we know as a Hellir Valdr. I suppose you could say I learned my lesson the hard way that day and I have since been more quiet." There was a slight twinkle in his eye. "Though my adventurous personality never died. Which is why I became a collector."

Sun Bloom thought this over and ultimately decided she didn't need specific details. Then something else computed in her mind. "Wait a second, you said that the previous queen was your mom."

"I did." Raoul said with a nod.

"So does that mean you're a prince or king?"

Raoul shook his head. "It doesn't work like that. Our hives are ruled by queens, not because of tradition or anything like that, but because in the hive the queen is mother to all of the population. She is our matriarch."

Sun Bloom almost skidded to a halt as she went over the math in her head. "But then that would make all of those changelings your siblings."

"Indeed."

Sun Bloom's mind drifted to the pictures of the swarm that she'd seen in the papers and whistled. "Huh. Big family. And I guess that makes the new queens your stepmoms?"

Raoul laughed. "Yeah, I guess so."

✴✴✴✴✴✴

Back in Canterlot, six changeling queens chuckled awkwardly, through they felt an odd warmth in their hearts for some reason.

✴✴✴✴✴✴

At the Trottingham school a green pegasus colt sat at his desk with a bored look as other students filed out to meet with their parents. Sitting beside him and fiddling with her mane was a pink and red unicorn filly. The colt blew at a lock of his light green mane that had fallen in front of his face.

"Mom's late." Greenblaze stated plainly.

"It's not her fault." Roseheart defended. "Momma's real close to delivering, so please don't be upset."

Greenblaze shifted in his seat. "Yeah, I guess you're right. But then where's Auntie Sun Bloom? Either of them should be here by now."

"Maybe something happened and they forgot." Roseheart suggested.

"Like what? What could be so important that they'd forget about us?"

At that moment the teacher came in. "Roseheart, Greenblaze? Your aunt's here to pick you up."

"Finally!" Greenblaze exploded from his seat and grabbed his saddlebags. Though Roseheart went at a more sedate pace than her brother, she was still hot on his heels. Neither noticed the somewhat uneasy look on her face; and when they saw the taller being with their aunt, they ground to a halt to stare in shock.

✴✴✴✴✴✴

"So you're Watcher?" Greenblaze questioned from his place on Raoul's back. Once he'd gotten over his shock, he immediately began going on about how cool Raoul looked. He then began begging Raoul for a ride on his back. Raoul replied by saying that it was entirely up to his aunt. Greenblaze's puppy dog eyes could've downed a full grown stallion via cardiac arrest. Needless to to say Sun Bloom capitulated almost instantly. To her credit though, she managed to hold on for a full minute.

Roseheart had initially been a little scared of the strange changeling and had stuck close to Auntie Sun Bloom. As they walked and talked however, Rose found herself interested in this changeling. "Really?" She asked, looking up an the extremely tall changeling.

Raoul smiled gently. "Really really." Roseheart moved closer to him.

"So all this time our dog was a changeling? That's so awesome!" Greenblaze declared from his back. "So, do you know illusion magic?"

Raoul shook his head and smiled playfully. "Changelings don't use disguise magics, we shape shift."

Greenblaze's eyes couldn't have been wider. "That is so AWESOME! I can't wait to tell my friends that our dog can shape shift!"

"Don't changelings hide?" Roseheart asked.

"They do." Raoul admitted. "But our new queens have decided that in order to properly integrate with pony society, we'll need to mingle without our hamingja."

"Hama-what?" Sun Bloom asked.

"Hamingja. It's our term for our altered forms." Raoul explained. After a few moments of walking, Raoul noticed that Roseheart was staring at him. "Is there something wrong?" He asked. Roseheart scrunched her muzzle.

"Why is there red on your muzzle?" She asked. The group stopped and Raoul touched his muzzle with a claw. His nose hadn't started bleeding again, but he found that in the turmoil of the day he'd neglected to wash the dried blood off his face.

"Oh, well. There was an unfortunate collision with a door." He answered.

"You hit a door?" She asked. "Weren't you watching where you were going?"

"Yes I was, but the door wasn't."

Roseheart giggled and held her hooves up to be lifted onto his back. "It must've been a really silly door."

Raoul shot a quick glace at Sun Bloom. "Oh I wouldn't say that..."

✴✴✴✴✴✴

Star Song wiped her hooves on a towel and went to the back door. "Kids! Time to come in! Dinner's almost ready." There was a small chorus of 'awwws', but the children obeyed and rushed inside to wash up and help set the table. And following behind was Raoul and Sun Bloom. When they came home, the twins dragged Raoul out to the backyard to play. Sun Bloom followed since she still wasn't completely trusting of Raoul. Of course, after washing up, he helped out as well. With the table set, and dinner on the table, the family started to settle in their seats and tuck in.

"Mommy, can Raoul sit next to me?" Greenblaze asked as he sat in his chair.

Star Song shrugged. "I believe that's a question better answered by Raoul himself." She pointed out. "In fact, I'm not sure if he can join us at the table."

"Hey Raoul!" The colt's call drew the changeling's attention to the colt. "Can you please sit beside me?"

Raoul blinked. "If your mother has no arguments, then alright." Star Song only nodded her head and Raoul took a seat beside Greenblaze with Roseheart sitting on the other side. Once she took her own seat, Star Song looked over all the food items.

"So, what do changelings eat?" She asked.

"Anything really." Raoul answered. "Changelings are omnivorous, so we can eat both vegetables and meat."

Star Song suppressed a small shudder at the last part as she began serving him first before moving on to the children, followed by her sister and herself.

"What about love?" Roseheart asked. "The newspaper says that changelings eat love. Is that true?"

Raoul nodded. "While it is true that love is an important part of our diet, it's not the only emotion we feed on. Love just happens to be our primary nourishment. And only when it's been processed into a physical form. Only queens are capable of gaining nutrition from raw emotion, but that doesn't mean they don't need the nutrients in its physical form."

"So how do you get all that emotion?" Greenblaze asked. "Do you need to suck ponies dry like vamponies?"

"Greenblaze!" Star Song scolded. "We do not talk like that at the dinner table! You don't even know if that's true." 'I hope it isn't true.' She added in the privacy of her mind.

"That is not how it works at all." Raoul said calmly, laying a few fears to rest. "Changeling bodies are capable of absorbing emotional energy and they do just that instinctively, much like how you or I breathe. There are no side effects to any of the surrounding ponies, unless we actively draw. But such methods, while providing a temporary energy boost for emergencies, give us little to no emotional or nutritional value. Hence the need for our kind to blend into society."

"Oh, well do you think you can get by without this 'processed love'?" Star Song asked.

Raoul nodded. "I can hold on for a time. I should be able to process some by tomorrow."

"You can process love?" Roseheart asked.

"Indeed. All changelings are physically capable of processing love into a physical farm that is edible to both changelings and ponies. Princess Luna herself proved that much."

"Really?" Sun Bloom spoke, taking some interest in the subject. "She tried it herself?"

Raoul nodded. "I wasn't there, but I heard about it from one of my brothers. At first she briefly froze, but after that she was just fine. The princesses and our queens figure that since it is emotions given form, anypony that eats it for the first time experiences a shock, but afterwards there are no apparent problems. They are still testing its effects on ponies, and so far the tests have been coming back positive."

"Hmmm." Star Song hummed as she took a sip of her water. "Sounds very interesting. I just might try it sometime. Once the princesses and your queens are certain of course."

"Of course."

✴✴✴✴✴✴

Wind Whistle landed in front of his house and shook himself. The sun had set awhile ago and the sky was now illuminated by the silvery moon. He sighed. It'd already been a long day when Star Spark suddenly came forward with the news that she'd always been a changeling. The reactions of the other pegasi on the weather team were varied and not all of them were positive. By the end of the day, some were against her and some were okay with her. Wind Whistle was not sure how he felt about it, and he was to tired and hungry to really think about it.

As he approached his front door, he noticed an odd dent in the wood just slightly above eye level. It wasn't very deep and had a roundish shape. 'That wasn't there this morning.' He thought as he ran a hoof over it. Ultimately he decided that it would be an investigation for later. Pushing open the door, he wasn't surprised to find that he'd missed dinner. What did surprise him was the changeling that sat in a chair in the living room.

He was little more than half a head taller than the average changeling and covered in thick black fur, save for a backplate with wings folded across it. His hind legs were definitely changeling, but his forelegs looked like they came from some creature that Wind Whistle hadn't seen before. And at the end of these legs were broad triangular claws that grasped and spun a white disk like item with edges that curved up. As he entered, the changeling hybrid looked up at him and instead of solid sky blue eyes, his eyes were almost normal and crimson in color with a draconic slit. The changeling used his claw to lift a thick white cord like item that attached to the item in his claws to an unseen spot somewhere between his forelegs and with a snap of his jaws, cut it.

Putting the item down, the changeling stood, walked up to him and thrust his forelegs at him. "Name's Raoul." He introduced himself. "Though you already know me as Watcher."

"Um, nice to meet you." Wind Whistle said as he took the offered claw and shook.

"Star Song left some food for you in the oven then tucked the kids into bed before going to bed herself. Sun Bloom also went home ten minutes ago." Raoul said. Wind Whistle only nodded numbly and trotted into the kitchen. It had been a very long day, and it promised to be a long evening too.

✴✴✴✴✴✴

Raoul had joined him in the kitchen and continued to work with his white disk, which was growing and looked a bit more like a large bowl. Wind Whistle eyed the source of the waxy cordlike substance, a spinneret in between and right in front of his forelegs.

"So, um.... Raoul right?" Wind finally spoke to break the silence that had descended after the changeling explained his connection with Watcher. The changeling looked up and nodded. "What's that you're making? And what's that stuff you're using to make it?"

Raoul pulled the strand up higher so that he could see that the single cordlike strand was actually lots of smaller strands covered and held together with a substance that looked a lot like wax. "This substance is basically silk like strands held together by a somewhat sticky wax." He explained. "It's actually sticky when you pull it out. When it dries it becomes hard and can repel water. If you do it right, it can actually become very airtight. We use this to make a lot of things in the hive, most predominantly what I am making here." Raoul held up his large bowl like item for him to see.

"When I am finished, it will look more like an orb that I will use for processed love." He continued to explain. "While the orb will keep the processed emotion dry and airtight, they do have a tendency to absorb some of it." He then smiled a bit. "Fortunately, it is completely edible, if a little bland on its own."

"Huh. That's actually pretty cool." Wind Whistle said. "What else can you make with it?"

"Some actually use it for edible dishware and when it absorbs emotion, it makes an excellent candy. Our queens are actually running tests to see what else we can make with it and one thinks that if we can find a way to separate the wax from the silk, she could make some excellent dresses."

"Hm. So why are you still up?" Wind asked before taking a sip of his drink.

"I couldn't sleep." Raoul finally said after a time. "You still hadn't come home and figured I may as well tell you when you get home rather than have it be an early morning surprise. Sun Bloom stayed with me for a while before finally getting tired and leaving. And while I was waiting, I figured I may as well do something productive."

As he spoke, Raoul was looking away from him and fidgeting. Wind Whistle didn't need to be a genius to recognize that the larger changeling was nervous. Wind Whistle sighed through his nose.

"Listen, I'm still kinda trying to wrap my head around this changeling thing." He smiled slightly for a moment. "I mean, it was quite the shock when Star Spark suddenly dropped her disguise and claimed that she was always a changeling."

Raoul snorted in laughter a bit. "Yeah, Edda has a bit of a flair for the dramatics."

"Tell me about it." Wind Whistle said and they shared a small chuckle that alleviated Raoul's nerves. Wind Whistle continued. "But if what you're saying is true, then I think you're a good pony. If you wanted to cause any of us harm, you'd have done something long ago. As far as I'm concerned, you're alright in my book."

Raoul completely relaxed and gave him a smile. Wind Whistle smiled back.

"Alright, now with that out of the way, maybe you could explain to me why there's a dent in the door?"

✴✴✴✴✴✴

Wind Whistle threw a blanket over Raoul's exhausted form. After Raoul had explained the door dent, the two spent the rest of the evening talking and exchanging stories. Considoring how his day had gone, it wasn't long before Raoul's eyes began to droop. Noticing his exhaustion, Wind Whistle helped him to the living room and onto the waiting couch where he passed out. After making sure that he was comfortable, Wind Whistle trotted towards the stairs. Before going upstairs to his bedroom and his wife, he turned to glance at Raoul's peaceful form.

"Goodnight Raoul. And welcome home." He spoke in soft voice so as to not wake him. He then reached to the light switch and with a click the lights went out, plunging the room into darkness. As Wind Whistle trotted upstairs, Raoul's ear twitched slightly and he adjusted his position to be more comfortable, a small content smile gracing his muzzle. Home. He was home.

Author's Note:

Hey guys. Sorry for taking so long. I honestly hope that you enjoy this chapter. Sorry if this chapter rehashes things that have already been established. Also, sorry I didn't reveal Raoul's backstory last chapter. I was still figuring that part out, but I did have a rough outline. Anyways, hope you enjoyed the chapter. You guys are all great and I'll see you next chapter.

Proofread by docontra. Thank you for your help and time!