• Published 10th May 2016
  • 542 Views, 6 Comments

How Love Works - HypernovaBolts11

Toothless is (sadly, not a dragon) tasked with running New Hiveland, while trying to sort out his feelings for the newest member of the city.

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Chapter V - Visions

I stepped into the throne room, surprised to find it empty. I looked around, seeing none of the purples, and stepped into the room. My footsteps echoed throughout the castle, reverberating over the obsidian and out the open windows, through which lay the city. It was midday, but the city was quiet. Not a single cart moved, nor did a single gust of wind blow.

I turned around, perhaps to check if they'd gone to lunch, or if it was someone's birthday, and I'd missed the news. It wasn't my birthday, I imagined that someone would have brought such a thing up. I found the doorway missing, a wall having replaced it. I blinked at the wall, and placed my hoof against it to check for any of the blues' illusions.

The wall was pretty solid.

I blinked, and was unable to move. I was standing on an elevated platform, and dressed in —of all things— a tuxedo. To my right sat a group of changelings, all with different eye colors. I saw them all stand, and the doors at the back of the room flew open.

Ladybug Spring stepped through the doors, and my heart skipped a beat. She was dressed in a vail, a long, flowing dress, whiter than pearls, and her wings were spread wide. Behind her, my youngest sister jumped from one side of the isle to the other, scattering rose petals everywhere.

Ladybug stepped onto the raised platform, and turned to face me, a smile visible through her vail.

Glados stepped forward from my left. She said, "We are gathered here today..." She then jumped to, "You may now kiss the bride.

I lifted Ladybug's vail away, and jumped back when two green, doubly irised eyes with vertical slitted pupils stared me down. Chrysalis burst into flame, sending the dress up in a cloud of ash, and stepped forward. "We will meet again, little maggot, and when we do, I'll make sure you know the meaning of pain," she hissed.

She pinned me against the wall with the aid of her magic, and closed most of the distance between us, licking her lips hungrily. "I will kill that little pegasus pet of yours, and don't think for a moment that even one of your sisters will live, especially that little gold one," she said.

Three heartbeats went off, two in asynchronous layers, and the third independent. "Thub-thub. Dub-dub. Thub. Dub," they went. My ears twitched as puffs of air passed over them. Everything felt warm, and very soft, like a pillow fresh out of the dryer, or a smore.

I snuggled more closely to the source of extra body heat, and smiled as it responded in kind. I opened my mouth to yawn, and hoped that it was a weekend, so I could stay in bed. I heard someone murmur something into my ear, and —reluctantly— opened my eyes.

I looked down, and spotted a feathery, yellow wing, draped over me like a blanket. Its leading edge rested on my right shoulder, and its feathers covered everything behind that, save for my hind legs, which I pulled closer to my body so the wing could keep them warm.

Ladybug Spring's deep voice murmured, "You're a very restless sleeper, you know?"

My ears shot up from the sides of my head. I thought for a moment, and relaxed again, deciding that if she was willing to keep me warm, I wasn't gonna say no. "Why do you have two heartbeats?" I asked her.

It was her turn to tense up, and remain that way for few seconds. She sighed, relaxing a bit, and said, "My dad's... sort of an alien. It's a long story, and I don't think you'd want to hear about it."

I nodded slowly, and said, "So... Doctor Whooves?"

She paused, likely deciding if I was trustworthy enough or not to know for sure. "Yeah," she said. She didn't ask how I had figured that out, as I would have done if I were her.

That felt odd, that she was willing to believe I could be trusted with that information, especially since I'd only known her for a few weeks. "Cool," I added.

"I guess so," she sighed.

We lay there for a while, neither speaking nor really thinking. For a little bit, we simply were, existing in our own little world. I imagined that this was what love felt like, but didn't trust that assumption, as it could lead me astray. Eventually, I snuggled closer to her, and asked, "What does love feel like?"

She remained silent for a moment, and pulled me closer against her stomach with her wing. "It feels... pleasant, and warm, sometimes like a soft candle, and others like a bonfire. Some love blazes in and out of existence, and some will always be there, no matter how much it rains," she said.

"Hm," was all I could say. Such a definition didn't really help me, but it felt comforting to have some information about this. In the last two days, I'd lost my parents, my temper, and my mind. I'd felt lost, cold, and abandoned, so any sense of stability was appreciated. Perhaps I did love her, but the sort of mystery around it was kind of fun.

I had to know though, just to be sure. I needed to know if she loved me, perhaps to avoid hurting her when we got married, perhaps to reinforce my own belief in loving her. Perhaps I wanted to know simply because it was more data, upon which I could make informed decisions. "L-Ladybug?"

"Yes, Toothless," she answered.

"Do you... I mean... Do you love me?" I asked her.

She nuzzled her nose against the back of my head, and nodded so I could feel it. "Yes," she said. She lifted her right foreleg over my neck, and pulled me closer to her, so I was able to feel the softness of her fur on my shoulders. "I do love you, Toothless."

Now that she'd said that, all of the tastes, the smells, the warm glows of love filled my senses. I could have consumed it without discretion, and left her there, in any number of states ranging from comatose to mild fatigue. I withheld myself from sating a hunger that had grown in my stomach, or simply gone unnoticed until then. "I hope that your stallionfriend doesn't pound me into dust when he hears about this," I told her.

"Nah, he's a pretty calm guy. Besides, if he'd have wanted to hurt you, then I'd get to ask why you were hitting yourself," she said. She nuzzled the top of my head, and placed a gentle kiss on it. "I was talking about you, when I admitted to having a crush on someone."

I opened my mouth to speak, but closed it again. I smiled, and let my eyes drift closed. "Thanks for saving my life, by the way," I said.

"No problem," she said.

A few moments later, the sounds of light footsteps approaching made me open my eyes. I looked down over the edge of the bed, and smiled at my youngest sister. "You were walking," I told her.

She sat down clumsily, and looked me in the eye. She blinked a few times, and stood back up. She took a few shaky steps forward, and reached for the top of the mattress. Her hoof clung to the frame of the bed, and she tried to pull herself up. She tried this a few times, then fell gently onto the floor.

I used my magic to pick her up, and set her down on the bed in front of me. "You still don't have a name yet, do you?" I asked the hatchling.

She thought for a moment, and opened her mouth, showing me her large fangs. She pointed a hoof at her open mouth, and made a quiet sound, not unlike a changeling's chirp, but not entirely different from a pony's wail. She knew how to get my attention when she needed it.

I groaned, "Alright. I'll get up." I sat up from my spot on the bed, and stepped onto the cold stone floor. I turned to look at the hatchling, only to find her missing. "Where'd tha-"

Ladybug lifted her wing, folding it against her side, and looked down. She lifted the thin blanket off of herself, exposing the young changeling who had hidden under her wing. "Try here," she said. She rolled onto her other side, and tucked the blanket around herself.

I picked up the golden foal, and set her down on my back, letting her cling to my chitinous armor before moving again. I looked at Ladybug, whose chest was rising and falling slowly. "You'll have to get up eventually. We have things to do," I told her.

"I'll do them when they must be done," she groaned.

I frowned and said, "Ladybug, I can't trust that you'll be safe on your own right now."

She rolled over again so she was facing me, and opened her right eye, which she pointed at my nose. "I can take care of myself," she said.

"I..." I said. I took a deep breath, and swallowed hard. "You know how some members of the royal family get visions?" I asked her. I hoped that she'd listen, as my visions had only come while I'd been awake, rarely ever, and always proved horrifyingly accurate.

She opened her left eye, and sat up. "Wh-what happened?" she asked me. Evidently, the royal family's visions were well respected where she came from.

I sighed, "We... We were getting married, and when I lifted your vail... Ladybug, Chrysalis said she'd kill you, and everyone else, and that I'd watch..." I clamped my eyes shut, and shook my head, as though trying to shake the memories off of my nose like a particularly bothersome fly.

Ladybug's eyes grew wider, and her right eye pointed up at the ceiling, and slightly to the left. "H-how do you know it was a vision?" she asked me.

"Because I don't remember falling asleep before I got it. I was running back to the throne room, and then it was empty, and then the door vanished, and I was watching you come down the isle, and then you were Chrysalis, and she tried to kill me," I told her. I bit my lip, and pinned back my ears. "You are not safe with me."

Ladybug said, "But what if that wasn't a vision? It could have been a bad dream. It could have been an... unprompted prank from Princess Luna. It could have been Chrysalis messing with your head. She's not above using dream magic, is she? It could have been left over fear from her attacking you."

"Nightmares don't get this telling, and neither of my grandmothers could have given me a bad dream if they tried. No bad dream is remembered this vividly," I told her. I stepped towards the bed, and nuzzled Ladybug. "I... I think I can stop her, but I can't have anyone in the castle while I do it."

Ladybug stood up, and hopped off the bed.

I grabbed my sword from my nightstand, and darted to the opposite end of the room, to a glass box with a single item inside. I lifted the case up, and sighed as I removed my crown from its hiding place, from which I'd hoped never to remove it.

The crown wasn't unlike a helmet, hammered down by one of my ancestors, and lighter than a feather. It shone white in the dimly lit bedroom, and I turned it over to look at the back of it. Engraved next to the holes through which my frills would go, was a single phrase in Bat. I read it aloud in Equish, "Protector of the night."

I looked over the smooth metal, and sighed as I slid it over my head. Despite its true mass, it felt like I was carrying the weight of all who had donned the helmet before me. My —many, many greats— grandfather had worn it while overseeing the construction of Nocturnia. My grandfather had worn this helmet the day he died, defending Nocturnia. My mother had worn it for years while working as a monster hunter.

I brought Ladybug to the barracks, where the purples were already awake, some wrestling, some donning their armor, still others chitchatting about various things. Everything fell silent, and all stilled when I stepped inside. Everyone turned to face me, including Ladybug and my youngest sister.

"Glados," I called.

The named changeling stepped forward from her wrestling match with Milli, and whistled. All of the other purples assembled in a line facing me. Glados turned to me and asked, "What is it, Toothless? Are you willing to do what's right?"

"I had a vision, Glados," I told her.

Glados's wings quivered, and she told the other purples, "Don't just stand there. Arm yourselves!" They promptly scattered across the barracks, all dressing in their armor, and grabbing their spears and swords. Glados turned to face me again, and asked me, "What happened?"

"Chrysalis attacked me last night, and Ladybug pinned her down, snapped off a bit of her horn, but the witch vanished, as did the chipped horn. I think Chrysalis is making shadow copies of herself, and used them to escape her cell in the dungeon, then sent one or more to kill our parents,"

Glados's horn lit up, and the hilt of her dagger glowed dimly as she prepared to unsheathe it. "Don't turn around," she muttered slowly.

Footsteps could be heard in the hallway, and a vile hissing sound approached me.

I lit up my own horn, grabbing the hilt of my father's sword from my belt. A blade of solid energy emerged from the hilt of my sword. I whipped around to face the old changeling queen, and shouted as the blade hissed through the air. It vaporized the particles of dust in the air, before screaming as it met Chrysalis's neck.

I stood facing the doorway, sword pointed at the ground to my right and behind me. I looked up at the changeling, whose neck had been sliced cleanly down from the left. I watched as the false Chrysalis's neck slid off of the cut, and rolled across the floor. I marched over to it, and placed my hoof on its neck. "What do you want, grandmother?" I asked the severed head.

It only grinned at me as its body evaporated into nothingness, as did the head under my hoof.

I growled when it was gone, and turned to face Glados. "You were saying?" I asked her.

Ladybug and my youngest sibling were both hiding behind Glados, staring at me with wide eyes.

I put the blade away, drawing it back into the hilt, and placed it into my belt. "I have a plan to finish off the real Chrysalis, but I need to issue an evacuation of the castle, and I can't do it after the length of time it'll require to hold a ceremony," I told Glados. "You have the authority to make me general in your place, so all you have to do is make me second in command, which I already am, and leave the city."

Glados said, "And your plan is?"

"If I told you, another Chrysalis might hear it, and flee," I told her. "Just get everyone out of the castle, and kill anyone who leaves it on sight until you see Chrysalis tossed out of the front door, and she doesn't evaporate in five minutes."

"What about you?" Ladybug asked me. She ran to me, and gently nuzzled my cheek.

I wrapped my forelegs around her neck, and held her in a tight hug for a moment. I said, "That doesn't matter anymore. My sadistic, shapeshifting, self replicating, evil grandmother is on the loose. And I'm not going to make the same mistake my parents made in not killing her."

Glados shook her head, and said, "It's better and easier if we all partake i-"

"It's not mutiny anymore. Here," I told her. I teleported a piece of paper in front if her, and let her read it. "I'm married to the reigning monarch. I'm in charge of the entire guard, and that includes you, Glados." I teleported another set of objects into the room, one a band of gold on the base of Ladybug's left wing, and the other an identical one on the base of my front left leg.

Glados said, "While this is a legitimate marriage license, that doesn't mean that you have every power. I'm still the general, and I'm in charge during states of national emergency."

"I'm sure that our parents would have given you such a title, especially if I'd simply told them about your escapades with that apple farmer," I mumbled.

Glados's wings stiffened, and she gulped. "Leave Little Mac out of this!" she shouted.

"And I'm sure they'd be proud of your behavior as general. Whether you like it or not, I'm the prince now, and if I have a better plan than you do, it's up to a vote whose plan goes through," I told her. I turned to the line of purples, and said, "What's a better plan, us all running around through the castle halls, trying to figure out who is and isn't Chrysalis, and risk killing one another, or one of us snuffing her out from the inside while the rest wait to kill her at the front door?"

The guards all muttered amongst themselves, and a few seconds later, nodded to me. "The latter," Arachne said.

"Dammit!" Glados shouted.

"Escort my two heirs out of the building, keep everyone out of the castle, and keep anyone who isn't already out in. You have five minutes," I told Glados.

Glados shouted, "I will not-"

"-follow orders, soldier?" I asked her.

Glados looked down, and said, "V-very well, your highness." She hung her head low, and walked over to her cot. She picked up a saddle from under her bed, and fastened it over her armor. She picked up the youngest changeling, and placed her on the saddle. "I... Come on, you all heard him."

Ladybug ran over to me, and hugged me. "You can't. You're just going to die. She's older, stronger, and less honorable than you," she said.

"Dodging death is the one thing my family has always been good at," I told her, and hugged her back. "Sorry there wasn't any ceremony, but you can always brag to my sisters that you got that ring." I smiled at her, and placed my lips to hers. I took a brief moment to remember her, her soft, warm, lemony fur, her rosy tail and mane, and her camouflage brown eyes.

Two seconds later, I pulled back, and said, "If I don't live, don't stay a widow on my account..." I paused for a moment, listening to her two hearts beating. "I love you, Ladybug Spring."

"Don't say that!" she shouted. She stomped her hoof, and narrowed her eyes at me. Her right eye had drifted off again.

I teleported away, and found myself in the throne room. I walked towards my father's empty chair, and placed my crown down on top of his, which had been set down atop his throne. I clamped my eyes shut, and sniffled. My breath caught, and I threw myself against the obsidian throne. "I... I love you. I'm sorry," I cried. "I'm sorry, Ladybug."

Author's Note:

Ladybug is the daughter of Doctor Whooves and Derpy Hooves, just to be clear. I'm using the Doctor Whooves and Assistant by Ponies With Pockets Productions as the canon story for those two characters. The uncle who died at the beginning of this story is Tick Tock, just to be completely honest.