• Published 14th Feb 2020
  • 3,695 Views, 494 Comments

What have I done to deserve this? - Cackling Moron



Every obstacle in the path of a Queen is the fault of some nefarious other party, and no fault of her own.

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---LATER STILL, THE SAME HOUSE---

Author's Note:

I find there to be something oddly therapeutic about writing Chrysalis like this. But I would, wouldn't I? We all have our vices.

Also yeah decided to just add more onto this one because I can do what I want.

Richard was aware of a particular pressure, a particular weight. But seeing as how he had only woken up mere seconds beforehand he could not make head nor tails of what this might signify. His brain, wanting him to keep sleeping, told him not to worry about it.

And so he didn’t.

But his eyes had been late in receiving these instructions and had already started opening. Blurry though the results were, that the weight was Chrysalis was obvious, which immediately put paid to any plans Richard might have had about going back to sleep.

She was lying flat on top of him, chin on his chest, peering at him intently.

“Good morning, your majesty,” Richard said, struggling not to yawn, and for a few seconds she did not reply.

“I learned something while you were asleep, Richard,” she said once those few seconds had elapsed, not moving a muscle.

“That so?”

He hoped it wasn’t that he snored.

“Yes. You are just as gormless looking asleep as you are awake,” she said, rising to sitting but not shifting from atop him, flicking her head to try and get some of her hair (or whatever it was) out of her face. Her hair (or whatever it was) refused so she pretty quickly gave up.

Richard was happy to hear it wasn’t snoring.

“I always suspected as much, hard for me to confirm though. Were you watching me sleep then, your majesty?” He asked.

Chrysalis bristled at the very suggestion. As though she’d lower herself to something so vulgar.

“No, Richard, of course not. I just happened to look at you while you were sleeping,” she said.

Technically true. The detail that this period of looking had lasted some time was irrelevant. Spending more time was just the difference between a perfunctory look and a good, proper look, that was all.

And it wasn’t even her fault anyway. The only other things to look at it in the room were the underwhelming furniture, the tacky curtains and a mirror, none of which appealed to Chrysalis. Richard might have been a bizarre looking, inscrutable alien but that at least made him interesting to look at.

That, and while she was keeping an eye on him the odds of him doing something stupid which might impact her were reduced. So it was just sensible, really.

What with Chrysalis now sitting upright it was a lot easier for Richard to look at her, too, and he was. He still hadn’t fully woken up so still wasn’t fully aware that what he was doing was actually just staring, but even if he had been aware it would have been tricky to stop. He found the sight of her both pleasant and reassuring. Always had.

And yes, the way she looked had changed considerably - completely, in fact, really - thanks to recent events, but the way she looked at him had not. And that was all that ultimately mattered to Richard once all was said and done.

“Why are you staring at me, Richard?” Chrysalis asked, feeling very put on the spot and flustered by his silent, sleepy attention. That finally got him to snap out of it and he blinked, shaking his head.

“Terribly sorry, your majesty. Miles away. Have I ever mentioned that you have a striking and regal bearing? And very lovely eyes.”

This did not help the flustery-ness.

“Go and make me breakfast, Richard,” Chrysalis said, now hiding behind her misbehaving hair and all-but shoving Richard out of the bed.

“As you wish, your majesty,” he said, getting dressed and going off to do just that.

That got him out of the way for a bit and gave Chrysalis the peace and quiet she so richly deserved, tucked up snug in bed once more. She remained in bed once breakfast was finished, it being brought up to her on a tray. As well it should have been!

Richard had just finished taking the top off her egg (she could do it, but he was fractionally better at it - a queen recognised valuable skills and made use of them) when there was a knock at the door downstairs.

Chrysalis retreated further beneath the covers. The only other living creature on the planet she could just-about tolerate was already in the room with her, after all, so it couldn’t be anyone she wanted to see.

“I am not here,” she said, just her eyes and the top of her head appearing over the duvet. He nodded knowingly and went down to see who it might be at this time of day.

As it happened, it was Twilight.

“Good morning, princess. To what do I owe the pleasure?” Richard asked, giving a small bow. Not so small it might be seen as discourteous, but not so big that were Chrysalis watching she might get the wrong idea.

Chrysalis wasn’t watching right that moment, just to say, though on hearing the word ‘princess’ drifting up to her room she did scramble madly out of the bed to go and covertly eavesdrop from the top of the stairs, making sure to keep out of sight around a corner.

“Just Twilight’s fine, really,” Twilight said.

“Okay then Just Twilight, to what do I owe the pleasure?” Richard asked, earning himself a very flat look indeed. Richard however spent his time hanging around with and doing the bidding of Queen Chrysalis, so had developed an immunity to flat looks.

“Thought I’d come around to see how you were settling in, you know,” Twilight said. Which was true. Not the whole story, but largely true. It was certainly her primary motivation for the visit.

“Oh settling in just wonderfully, thank you, we’re both very grateful. Or I am, at least,” Richard said, confident enough to speak for himself but not so much for Chrysalis. Chrysalis, listening in, was glad he’d clarified. She was most certainly not grateful for anything that had happened to her recently.

Twilight nodded, happy with the answer.

“That’s good. Do you need food? The house was unoccupied before and I don’t think it actually has any in it,” Twilight said. Finding somewhere to stick the two of them had been something of a rush job - lucky there’d been somewhere so convenient in the first place! It had only been late the previous night when Twilight had sat bolt upright and remembered that one of the things she hadn’t covered was food.

She hated missing things like that out.

“It didn’t, but I sorted that out.” Richard said.

“...how?” Twilight asked, deathly curious. Richard just smiled, shrugged.

“Methods,” he said.

“...right. Well is there anything else you need, or…?” Twilight ventured, leaving a deliberate gap to be filled with whatever might have been required. As it happens, nothing was.

“No, no, quite alright. There is only one bed but I was going to see about rectifying that. But then I was told not to, so everything is perfectly fine, thank you for asking,” Richard said.

Given the baffling nature of Richard and Chrysalis’s relationship - especially given as Twilight had only found out about it comparatively recently, before being expected to house the two of them for reasons that still largely eluded her but seemed to primarily involved being told she had to by a known villainous type - it had been unclear whether one bed would have been construed as a slight, or two beds seen equally insulting.

In the event the (mysteriously fully-furnished) house they’d been put into had only had the one bed to start with, so Twilight had just taken a roll of the dice and left it as it was. And so it was. Turned out nice again.

“It’s okay. And, um, how is…?” Twilight asked, again leaving a gap, this time glancing upstairs. Chrysalis was still hiding behind a corner though, so all Twilight saw was stairs and stairs told her nothing. Richard got the point anyway.

“Her majesty?”

“Yes, her. Is she okay?”

For a given value of okay, considering who it was Twilight was talking about.

“Her majesty is also perfectly fine, but presently not in,” Richard said.

“She’s...not...in…?” Twilight asked with mounting horror, desperately running through the various safeguards that had been set up around the place to stop that from happening. She then saw Richard tap his nose and ever-so-slightly tilt his head in the direction of upstairs. Then she got it.

“Oh, oh! She’s not in. Right. Okay, that’s alright. Sure she’ll come back, heh. Well that’s good, I’m glad.”

Chrysalis, upstairs, rolled her eyes. She could see - or rather hear - that it was blatantly the case that Twilight had come over to both spy and to pry, hiding her intentions behind seemingly innocent questions and light-hearted banter. Asking if they needed anything indeed, how transparent!

She’d have gone down and given the vile princess a piece of her mind but, frankly, she couldn’t bring herself to face anyone today, and Richard seemed to be doing an adequate job of holding Twilight at bay anyway, and it was his job to do the things Chrysalis didn’t want to, so that was good then.

He’d get to live to see tomorrow. Helped that he knew how to boil an egg.

“Uh, there was something else I kind of wanted to ask you about,” Twilight said, rubbing a hoof against a leg, now a touch nervous, feeling she might now be pushing her luck with this one. Richard raised an eyebrow but remained game.

“Oh? Fire away,” he said.

Twilight took her leg-rubbing hoof and coughed into it.

“Just maybe possibly wondering if it would be okay if you had the time sometime to answer a few of those questions I had? About you and where you came from? And maybe how you got here? And human dietary requirements? And how human emotions are compatible with - well, I have a list.”

She produced the list and hovered it up sheepishly. Curiosity had been burning a hole in her ever since Starlight had prevented her from questioning him the first time. An alien! A whole alien! It begged questions and every question it begged sprouted off into other questions!

For example, where did he get his shoes from? Had he brought those with him?

The mind reeled!

Richard looked at the hovering list and blinked.

“Is that a list of questions about what sort of questions it will be acceptable to ask me?” He asked. Twilight blinked too.

She hadn’t thought about it that way, and how redundant it had been to produce it. At the time - about three in the morning after worrying about the ‘lack of food issue’ - it had made perfect sense to her to make a list of pre-questions to see what questions would be acceptable later.

“Kind of?” She asked, tentatively. Richard chuckled.

“That’s charming. Well fret not, there shall be no question about myself, my kind - for want of a better word - or my point of origin that I will not be willing to answer for you. I shall be the openest of open books. I imagine I’d even be free for you later today, possibly as early as a little after lunch?”

Richard was nothing if not helpful while also continuing to be incredibly vague and imprecise. Still, Twilight hadn’t been expecting such a positive answer. She’d expected to be told he’d have to run it past Chrysalis first or just a flat-out no linking to being told to wait.

“Today?” She asked.

“Is today not good for you?” Richard asked. He imagined the life of a princess was a busy one. And it was, but only sometimes, and now was not one of those times. Twilight scrambled to straighten this out:

“No! I mean yes! I mean, today will work. Anytime! Just come to the castle! It’s the, um, well, it’s the castle. That thing there.”

She pointed over her shoulder and Richard unnecessarily leaned to the side to get a proper look. The thing was hard to miss. It had been hard to miss ever since he’d first stepped foot in town. It had that Eiffel Tower-esque quality of somehow always managing to be in the background and always managing to be visible from every window.

He imagined that was one of the reasons why Chrysalis had had him draw all the curtains almost the moment they’d got inside. That and all the ‘prying eyes’ she was so vocal in her dislike of.

“I think I can remember that,” Richard said, stopping leaning. “And I shall see you later, in which case, to bore you rigid with trivia about my home.’


“Oh, I won’t be bored. I want to know everything. Ev-er-re-thing,” Twilight said, dead seriously.

That was some pronunciation she had there, but Richard did appreciate her obvious passion and enthusiasm. He smiled and gave her a nod.

“Then that is what you’ll get. Thank you for coming to see how we were settling in prin- Just Twilight, and thank you again for putting us up in the first place. Damn decent of you”

Twilight went the mild pink of someone catching a compliment unprepared.

“Didn’t seem like I had a lot of choice at the time. And, you know, better than fighting,” she said, as though none of this was that big of a deal.

“It was,” Richard said.

Difficult but not impossible to build friendship on a foundation of laser-beam based violence, at least in Twilight’s experience. Richard’s, too. Sometimes you didn’t really have any other available options, true, but if you did then it seemed wiser to go for them.

“Well I won’t keep you. You have a great day and, uh, see you later then?” Twilight said.

“Quite so,” Richard said, nodding, smiling, and Twilight smiled too as she turned and trotted off again.

Richard stood in the doorway watching her go, breathing in the pleasant air of a new day. In all his time on this side of things he hadn’t once had a lacklustre morning, he noted, though he supposed that might be more to do with his unrelentingly positive attitude. But who could say?

The floorboards creaked and he glanced to his side.

“Surprisingly down-to-earth for royalty, wouldn’t you say your majesty?” He asked, seeing that Chrysalis was now standing next to him, glaring at him. She didn’t immediately say anything.

“Richard. Shut the door,” she said.

He did, which left the two of them now standing in the cool darkness of the house they’d been put into, curtains still drawn. Chrysalis had her default expression on, which is to say she was glaring at him.

“Why are you conspiring with my enemies?” She asked.

“Enemies, your majesty?” Richard asked, but then he got it. “Oh, the princess. I just felt it best to placate her, you know. Best to keep things calm.”

Richard always liked to keep things calm, starting with himself and just letting the excess bleed into the world around. Like he was some sort of wound into a dimension that hadn’t ever experienced a crease or a ruffle.

Chrysalis would not have survived long in such a hypothetical dimension.

“Placation is one thing! Why did you agree to this questioning?” She asked. Richard blinked, perplexed.

“It was part of the arrangement, I thought? With this house and such? Good to get it out of the way, I felt. And I did say I would, if I could,” he said. It hadn’t been that long ago but there was always the possibility that he was misremembering things. He didn’t think he was though. And he wasn’t.

It wasn’t mandatory, going off and answering a few questions, it was just the polite thing to do. Which as far as Richard was concerned more-or-less made it mandatory. Certainly, the possibility of not going having said he would hadn’t crossed his mind even for a moment.

“It’s not as simple as that! Sit!” Chrysalis snapped, pointing to the sofa. Richard, as was custom, did as she told him.

Richard was now sitting. Chrysalis was now pacing.

“Clearly she’s lying. Questions about humans indeed, who cares about humans? I have one! They’re big and just about adequate at following instructions - what else would anyone need to know? It’s a trap! A ruse! A way of getting at me somehow, I know it is,” Chrysalis said, more to herself than to Richard, though he still tutted and sucked his teeth on hearing her say this.

“Oh I wouldn’t think so, your majesty. These pony types don’t seem the ruse-y sort,” he said.

Admittedly he only knew a few of them and even then only in passing, but still. What he’d seen of them didn’t suggest any particular pre-disposition towards ruses. Unless he was the victim of one that just hadn’t paid off yet, which he was willing to concede was a possibility. If so, fair play to them he said.

Chrysalis stopped pacing and glowered at him.

“You don’t know what you’re talking about, Richard! These ponies are insidious! They’ll try and befriend you! Be nice to you!”

They were sly like that. All ‘Hello!’ and ‘Hi!’ as an opener, only later to selfishly spoil your well-crafted plans and rudely stop you from exerting dominance over the world at large, monsters. Not even the basic decency to lose in the face of a superior plan. Richard took her advice on board with a nod.

“I’ll be on the lookout for that. They won’t catch me with my trousers down, you have my word,” he said.

“The trousers stay on, Richard!” Chrysalis said sternly, warningly, hoof raised and pointing. Richard, in a rare twist, was taken aback.

“It’s just an expression, your majesty, I didn’t-”

“On!” Chrysalis hissed, eyes narrowed, jabbing her hoof his way.

Richard considered this.

“As you wish,” he said.

With that sorted Chrysalis resumed pacing, considering what other risks Richard might encounter if she let him leave the house. When it came to a creature as dense as him the possibilities of harm were daunting.

He’d managed to demonstrate that even standing in a corner could be dangerous for him!

And that Twilight Sparkle wasn’t one to be trusted either. That dopey expression, embarrassingly blunt and nub-like horn, puny wings and general air of incompetence hid a fiendish, scheming mind.

Not as fiendish or scheming as Chrysalis’s mind, obviously, and a mind that only ever enjoyed success on account of pure luck or cheating, but still. It made her more of a threat than she might first appear. Especially if left alone with Richard, a man who, as mentioned, couldn’t even be trusted to stand around doing nothing without getting himself hurt.

Twilight would probably...touch him. On the leg, say. Or look at him for an extended period of time, possibly while also smiling. None of these thoughts made Chrysalis particularly happy. Made her rather unhappy, in fact, so she stopped thinking about them or what this unhappiness might have implied. Likely not worth it.

“She’s a tricky one. Sneaky, underhoofed! And not in the good way, not in a laudable way - in the wrong way! Her sneakiness is clumsy and inelegant, entirely accidental. An insult to those of us who actually put the effort in!”

There was an art to being properly sneaky, a skill to the proper exercise of cunning. To craft elaborate, hidden plans that slid up behind the scenes to snatch what you wanted from those who had it without them ever being aware until the last, vital moments when you could appear just to appreciate the look of horror and crushed hope on their faces. It was a whole thing!

Twilight just trailed ad-hoc destruction in her wake, ruining well-laid plans without even the decency of looking like it was difficult. Her and her damn friends. Like they’d been put on the planet specifically to make Chrysalis’s life difficult. Even their magical doppelgangers had been unbearable. It just wasn’t fair.

They never did what they were actually supposed to! Which was fail miserably!

The whole world was like that, Chrysalis reflected. There was no justice. If there was she’d have been in charge years ago. Since she hadn’t been - and still wasn’t - clearly something was wrong. Not fair at all, not one bit.

“I think she’s being pretty honest about the questions though, your majesty. She just seems curious. Rather charming, in its way,” Richard said, which Chrysalis did not really appreciate.

“I don’t trust her with what’s mine! She could do something nefarious to you,” she said.

“That shouldn’t be too much of a blow if that did happen, I’d expect, your majesty. I am disposable after all,” he said. It was something she’d mentioned to him on more than one occasion and was apparently one of those things that was fine for her to say but not for him as she rounded on him at once.

“You are not disposable! Well, you are, but only when I say you are! Which isn’t now. Right now you’re vaguely important and mine. And you’re helplessly vulnerable on account of being so painfully mundane! Anything with even the tiniest bit of magic could do whatever it liked to you!”

Debatable, though given how easily she had telekinetically moved him around in the past (and likely would again in the future) Richard supposed she might have a point - not a whole lot he could do about it! But there was at least one thing he knew of that could help avoid it being a problem.

“If she tries anything magical I’ll just do the old ‘holding the horn’ trick. Works a treat on unicorns, I’ve discovered,” he said, pantomiming grasping the rigid shaft and thumbing the sensitive tip. So to speak.

Chrysalis was not especially thrilled to have this trick brought up in conversation, seeing as she had been the first victim of it. She was also not thrilled by his borderline-obscene hand gesture.

“...do not ever do that again, Richard.”

He looked at this hand, blushed, and promptly sat on both of them.

“Sorry, your majesty.”

The conversation sputtered to an awkward halt. Chrysalis didn’t know how to fully express what it was she was feeling at Richard, and Richard was waiting for his turn to speak again. So they just stayed quiet, Richard still sitting, Chrysalis not pacing but instead just standing, looking at him dolefully. She wasn’t even glaring anymore. It was rather dour.

Richard eventually broke first.

“I assume you don’t need me today, your majesty?” He asked, gently. That stiffened her, got her back on track. That had been his intention.

“I don’t ever need you, Richard. I just occasionally have things that you are better suited to doing and which it would be unsuitable to do myself. A queen delegates,” she said, hoof to her chest.

“Ah, I see. Well in which case are there any of those things that I am better suited to doing going on today?” He asked.

Her hoof remained on her chest but her face dropped.

“...no…”

That one caught her by surprise. It was true that she didn’t, but just because something was true didn’t mean she had to say it, or let Richard know. It had just slipped out! Now it looked like she didn’t have a good reason to want to keep him nearby. Or rather it left her with only one obvious reason, so it was to this reason that she now went.

Bounding across to Richard, Chrysalis bounded right up onto his lap with such speed he was entirely taken off-guard. That he was still sat on his hands didn’t help. He found himself quite pinned, his head wrapped about in her legs and pressed tight against her chest.

“It’s just that you’re still delicate! I don’t want you getting hurt again,” she said, eyes widening on realising that she couldn’t leave the sentence there and rushing in to clarify: “Because if you do then we’d have to stay here even longer - this has already delayed my plans far too much!”

“Quite so, for which I can only apologise,” he said, face squashed.

“You will make it up to me, Richard. Every single day we spend together you’ll make it up to me! And later I shall also have my revenge on you,” she said, managing somehow to make this sound bizarrely affectionate. Or at least to Richard’s eyes. His smile was the dopey kind he so-favoured in her presence.

“Of course. I deserve as much,” he said.

“You do.”

Here the conversation did not sputter to a halt again but instead came to a natural, comfortable conclusion bereft of any of the awkwardness of before. What followed was the quiet that came from two individuals entirely understanding what it was the other had said and what they had meant in saying it, and who were comfortable together.

Richard even wiggled his hands out from beneath him so he could put his arms around Chrysalis, and Chrysalis let him do it, too. Even if she was temporarily having to stay in this dingy, underwhelming little house she could at least be happy knowing that she’d always have Richard’s arms to retreat to, should she so desire.

Nice to have at least one thing she could rely on. Even if it was an idiot.

“You’ll come back quickly, won’t you? Once you’ve finished?” She asked.

“Of course your majesty. And I’m not going yet anyway, we still have the morning,” he pointed out. Chrysalis tightened her grip on him.

“Good. Don’t let go,” she said.

And so he didn’t.