• 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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---NEXT---

The mood in the room was mildly tense.

Chrysalis, still a pony, had curled up behind Richard, using his body to block her from the other two, content to sulk and be the elephant (or Changeling Queen) in the room. This left Richard to do the talking, something he didn’t especially mind.

“Must say you got here quickly. Did the doctor tell you?” Richard asked. Starlight cocked her head, confused, eyebrow raised.

“What? That you were here? The doctor we passed on the way in? How would she move that fast? We just heard that the freakish alien who sometimes comes into town to buy eggs had shown up covered in blood and heading for the hospital. So we came here. Not that hard.”

When she put it like that Richard could admit his own line of reasoning - something involving lots of breathless running about - did seem like more effort than was strictly required.

“That does make more sense, “he said.

“I was concerned, thought something bad might have happened. Twilight came because, well, why did you come, Twilight?” Starlight asked the purple bewinged one who had been hopping from hoof to hoof like she needed to use the loo.

“Alien! I mean, hail traveller! I mean, ahem, hello. Welcome. I am Twilight Sparkle, Princess of Friendship, and I bid thee, uh...welcome…to...this land!”

Repeating ‘welcome’ had kind of tripped her up there, alongside her evident and overflowing excitement. But she meant well, and now Richard remembered why she seemed so familiar. He’d heard of her, too. Chrysalis had been less than complimentary.

It was also kind of odd, given her obvious delight, that Twilight hadn’t acted to try and meet him before this moment, what with Richard’s comings and goings about town not exactly being a secret.

In all honesty, she’d just never been placed to see him and no-one had ever thought to mention it to her. This was the first she’d ever heard about it. Once again, Richard’s unerring ability to slip about just beneath notice, despite how ridiculously unlikely it should have been.

“And what a welcome, how lovely. I take it you might have some questions?” He asked.

“Oh, maybe just a few…” Twilight said with a grin, taking in a breath that looked like it might precede a hefty list only to be immediately deflated by Starlight poking her in the side and giving her a stern shake of the head.

“Not even one?” Twilight asked, clearly Jonesing.

“Just one,” Starlight said. Twilight grumbled and magically hovered something small from somewhere that likely didn’t warrant much close examination.

“Who is this?” She asked, holding forth the ten pence that Richard had let Starlight keep, face-side towards him. He saw the queen. A nice simple answer, then.

“That’d be the queen,” he said.

“That so? Thing for Queens, huh? That humans in general or just you?” Starlight asked, smirking.

There were several implications to this. Some of them Richard could cop to. Some he most certainly could not. Ooh ER, as it were. He made a face that he hoped expressed his conflict on the issue.

“Um. Well. No. Not really. Not...like that…” He said.

On hearing this topic of conversation Chrysalis’s attention had been roused, her head raising and peering out from around Richard, trying to see what it was that might have prompted this topic of conversation.

“You have another Queen? Not that I care. But there’s another Queen? Where?” She asked sharply. Richard looked down at her.

“Back home. Don’t worry about it, kindly stranger,” he said.

His commitment to the bit was endearing, in a boneheaded sort of a way, but still ultimately pointless given the situation.

“They already know, Richard! You can stop pretending!”

“Don’t worry about it, your majesty,” he corrected without missing a beat.

For whatever reason, hearing him say it then, with them there, made her blush furiously and so she instantly went back to hiding with a furious squeak. Likely came out cuter than she might have liked.

It feels weird you saying it when they’re here…

“Do you know?” Richard asked the visitors, who exchanged a look.

“That that’s Chrysalis? Uh, we kind of worked it out. Didn’t know coming here! Thought it was just you. But, uh, yeah. Kind of worked it out.”

What with him having already mentioned hanging out with her, him now being here with somepony neither of them recognised who just-so happened to be acting kind of like how Chrysalis would act. Little hints here and there. Real subtle stuff.

“I’d have thought you’d be more worked up,” Richard said.

Famous, world-threatening villain and all that. Albeit fallen on hard times, but still - that might have just made her more desperate and dangerous! The two visitors remained fairly relaxed looking, however.

“Would it help if I told you I’m screaming on the inside?” Starlight offered. Richard eyed her closely, looking for signs of internal screaming. He didn’t stop any. Certainly not any of the Core Five Signs of Internal Screaming.

“Are you?” He asked.

“Not really, no,” Starlight was forced to admit.

Growling, pony-Chrysalis hopped down to floor-level.

“You should be screaming! Inside and outside! You should be cowering in fear! The only reason - the only reason! - I haven’t easily slipped from your clutches, the only reason I’m still in this vile town and the only reason that this vile town remains standing at all is because my injured servant requires my presence! Did you know that, just now, he drank a potion without knowing what the effects might have been? Who knows what he might do if I left him on his own!”

“You did?” Starlight asked Richard, parts doubtful and amazed.

“The doctor said I should,” Richard said. Seemed simple enough to him. Not for nothing did those fine professionals go to expensive schools for x many years, after all.

“You have an unusual attitude towards authority,” she said, eyes flicking briefly to Chrysalis. She would have said ‘unhealthy’ but felt that might have been unduly harsh, though perhaps not entirely inaccurate.

“I am both trusting and optimistic,” Richard said, cheerful as anything. He was well-aware this sort of thing wouldn’t have got him very far back home, but here it seemed to be working so far. Certainly, he was having fun and loving life.

“And then you ran into Chrysalis. Lucky, that, with your fondness for Queens,” Starlight said and Richard couldn’t help but smile warmly at the back of Chrysalis’s head, safe in the knowledge that she couldn’t see him doing it.

“Hah. You joke but I do actually consider myself quite lucky.”

“Enough!” Chrysalis shouted, stomping once before at last dropping her disguise with a flash, not because the pony form made blushing more obvious but just because there wasn’t any point in dragging out the charade any further. She still had her dignity, damnit.

And so Chrysalis was back, back to being the second-tallest in the room and back in all her ponty, hole-riddled glory.

Which wasn’t right, surely.

“I thought you were all...colourful now?” Richard asked, puzzled. The mere mention set her growling again.

“Unhappily…” She said, fangs bared.

“So why-” Richard started, but given that Chrysalis knew where it was going she answered quicker than he could ask.

“Because I am choosing to look like this! To look as I should!

“Ah, I see your majesty.”

Richard supposed she could do that. Nothing stopping her, right?

Starlight was frowning.

“Wait, colourful? You mean, like refor-”

She got that far before Chrysalis, mistress of interruptions, stormed over and shoved a hoof under her nose, shouting:

Do not even think about finishing that sentence, STARLIGHT GLIMMER! What happened was an accident! It means nothing! Nothing at all! It changes nothing! I will still have my revenge! Just - it just might take a tiny bit longer to arrive, that’s all! It is inevitable!

“So it did happen?” Starlight asked, unmoved by volume or the hoof squashing her nose.

‘It’. That ‘it’.

Chrysalis shifted awkwardly, taking some steps back.

“...yes. But it means nothing! An accident! A blip!”

“Did he get hurt and you maybe realise that you actually cared about something other than yourself?” Starlight asked, pressing. Sharp girl. She didn’t even need the full rundown to put it together. Neither did Twilight, really. Both of them marched in mental lockstep.

Both looked pretty happy about it, too, which just made Chrysalis’s even less happy.

“There is nothing to analyse here! None of it means anything! Stop it! You’re only making it worse for yourself, Starlight Glimmer! You - you - you shall rue the day that you...that you…”

She couldn’t finish the threat. She couldn’t finish the threat!

“Richard?” Chrysalis asked plaintively, not needing to add anything else for him to reach out and pull her into his arms, something she did not fight.

“Shh, it’s okay your majesty, come here,” he said, hauling her onto his lap.

“I don’t know what’s wrong with meeeeeee!” She wailed as he continued to coo and quietly hum something to her, holding her tight. At some point during that her Classic Chrysalis disguise dropped, Starlight and Twilight getting their first look at how she actually looked now.

All in all it was kind of a weird experience for the two of them.

“This isn’t something I saw coming,” Starlight said to Twilight out of the corner of her mouth.

“The alien part or the Chrysalis crying into the alien’s shirt part?” Twilight asked, out of the corner of her own mouth (hard to ask out of the corner of someone else’s).

“Both parts, really,” Starlight admitted. Even having met Richard once it was still a bit unusual.

“It is kind of a surprise,” Twilight said.

They were then quiet a moment. Chrysalis continued to bawl in a thoroughly dignified, Queen-like manner, curled up in Richard’s arms. For his part, Richard had taken to rocking her gently. It remained a very odd thing to see.

“I don’t know what we should do next,” Starlight said.

She really didn’t.

“Give them some space?” Twilight suggested.

The suggestion was considered by Starlight, briefly.

“Hmm. That is still Chrysalis,” she pointed out, in the sense that turning their back on her seemed unwise.

“And he is a cool alien,” Twilight pointed out, in the sense that letting him slip away seemed like wasting a golden opportunity.

They pondered this thorny issue.

“Okay. How about we step out of the room for a minute and let them hug it out,” Starlight said, reasoning that being in floods of tears would make it hard to Chrysalis to do much and since they’d be leaving the pair in a windowless room with one door, escape was at best unlikely. Unless Chrysalis teleported.

So maybe keep the door ajar, too.

“Works for me. Then we can see where we go from here once they’re done. Can I see that coin again?” Twilight asked, duly receiving. Where it had gone to prior to this handover (hoofover) was a mystery.

“Maybe one of us should go and get the others?” Starlight asked. It struck her as the prudent thing to do. Maybe a mob, too? Some guards? Every other princess? Just to be sure?

“In a second,” Twilight said, squinting at the coin. “Look at that crown-to-head ratio!” She said in a way that made it impossible to discern whether she meant it was big, small, good or bad but that whichever way it cut she was delighted by it.

All things considered, Starlight would admit that things, odd as they were, were still better than sitting behind a desk waiting for the day to end.

Still pretty damn odd though.

Author's Note:

I mean, really, things should probably be a little more whizz-zap-kapow but I much prefer the conversations to the whizz-zap-kapow.

In case you hadn't noticed.

I also like evil queens who secretly like you. Did you pick up on that? Did you?