• 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.

  • ...
5
 494
 3,695

---LATER, IN A HOUSE---

Chrysalis, glowering, stomped about the living room of the house that Twilight had managed to rustle up. Richard watched her stomp. He was not glowering.

“What a hovel. Look at these curtains. Look at them!” She said, disgusted by the utterly inoffensive curtains.

Richard was looking at them and saw that they weren’t that bad, really. Certainly better than the curtains he was used to usually seeing, which tended to have more holes in them - but that was what hiding out in a ruin in the woods led to, really - lacklustre curtains.

Among other things.

He was seeing them without a Queen’s eyes, however, so of course he’d see nothing wrong with the curtains. Chrysalis though could see things others couldn’t! Could see the meaning behind things others wouldn’t think twice about!

Plainly, providing this twee, cosy, comfy house with the ‘nice’ curtains and the ‘complimentary furniture’ was part of some calculated insult. It had to be. What else could it be? Chrysalis just hadn’t settled on what kind of insult it was meant to be yet. But once she did! Oh! She’d be furious!

That could wait though. She’d had a long day, and her cunning ruse had bought some time to reflect. And to sit. So she sat. At least the sofa that had come with the house wasn’t awful. It was acceptable.

“Should I start moving things from your secret lair, your majesty?” Richard asked, standing beside her, hands behind his back. She’d sort of hoped he would have sat as well, but if he couldn’t take a hint that was his fault.

And besides, his question raised a troubling implication as far as she was concerned!

“No! We’re not staying here, Richard! This is temporary,” she said.

“Ah. Shall we be slipping away the moment they drop their guard, then?”

The thought had crossed her mind - more than once, at that - but that was not the plan. Or at least it wasn’t part of the plan yet, partly because the plan was still in its formative stages. Right now the plan largely involved taking some time to reflect while so close to her hated enemies that she was in their blind spot (cunning!).

She disliked being prodded or rushed on these things.

“No! Stop skipping ahead! You’re not the one in charge here, Richard, I am!” She said, pointing accusingly at him. He gave a slight, deferential incline of his head.

“Of course,” he said.

“And stop looming over me like that, sit down!”

She’d changed her mind on him not taking the hint. She now cared that he wasn’t, so was having to take steps.

“As you wish.”

He did so and much grumbling from Chrysalis followed as she complained about how his sitting disrupted her previously comfortable position and she shifted and rolled and scooched to get into another one with him there.

In the end what turned out to be the best comfortable position was her sprawled across as much of the sofa as possible, her head in his lap. It was a good position to glare at him from, she reasoned.

“Better,” she said.

“So I take it I should not ask about the plan, but instead follow your directions as-and-when you give them, your majesty?” he asked.

“Exactly, yes, well done, good boy,” she said, reaching up to give him a pat on the cheek. Annoyingly, he did not take this condescending gesture in the condescending spirit it had been intended. He really couldn’t do anything right.

“In which case I shall, as ever, await your command. In the meantime I shall also do my best to make this temporary hovel as close to home as I can. Unfortunately, having given the house the once-over, it seems that it only has one bed in it at present,” he said.

They’d only been in the place five minutes, when had he had the chance to even look?

Also what?! One bed?!

“What?!” Chrysalis spluttered. Always one for a good splutter, Chrysalis. Having fangs’ll do that, even if they were a tiny bit blunter now than they had been before.

Cheeky, sneaky Twilight! This was going on the list of reasons for revenge! Somewhere near the top, too! What twisted, friendship-based game was she playing here? That had to have been deliberate!

“Yes, your majesty. Now while I do have connections that can furnish us with another, that won’t be for a day or two. Until then I will, of course, take the sofa,” he said, giving the arm of the sofa a pat in case she’d forgotten what it was.

“Oh no, oh no you don’t!”

This was now one of those rare occasions when Richard was caught off-guard.

“I’m sorry?” He asked, blinking, looking down at Chrysalis’s face glaring up at him from his lap (it was, as mentioned, a good position for glaring).

“I’m not letting you out of my sight for a moment longer than I have to! Not in your condition!”

Richard was in perfectly hale and hearty condition, something both of them were well-aware of.

On their way out from the hospital - after Chrysalis had shouted at him to hurry up - they had bumped into the doctor and, while clearly a little surprised at finding a Changeling Queen and the Princess of Friendship present, she had continued perfectly professionally and assured Richard and Chrysalis both that he was the very picture of health, barring the bandages around his head, and that he would be totally fine.

So they both knew that the condition he was in was the condition of being totally unharmed.

For her own reasons however Chrysalis was electing to ignore this. When you’re able to see only what you want to see, it’s remarkably easy to live in a problem-free world.

“So I’ll be sleeping…?” Richard asked, genuinely unsure.

“In the bed!” Chrysalis snapped. Was he trying to be dense? This was poor even for him!

He wasn’t trying to be dense, what he was trying to do was avoiding making assumptions. Difficult, as her answer here seemed to present an issue to Richard.

“But then where will yo-” He started.

Apparently she needed to spell it out.

“Also in the bed, Richard!”

The light broke.

“Oh. Oh!”

She could see that he was trying not to grin and she could also feel her face heating up. Likely unrelated.

Don’t overthink it. In fact, don’t think at all! It means nothing! It’s just about keeping you close - c-close so that you can’t get yourself and me into any more trouble! You’ve done quite enough damage already!” She said.

“Quite so, your majesty. Apologies.”

“I don’t need your apologies, Richard, I just need you - need you - need you to be more careful!

“Of course.”

“And hold me again!”

“As you wish.”

She wiggled up and across and onto his lap and into his arms, there to curl up. She didn’t bother to question why she’d wanted to do this (as she’d been wanting to for a little while), she doubted the answer would have been of any use to her. Likely the horrible result of the horrible fate that had befallen her. Best just not to think about it. Best to just settle in and get comfortable.

There were other, bigger issues.

And they could all wait. Chrysalis would get to them in due course. Now was for the time for wholly justified self-pity. A weakness and an indulgence in everyone else, entirely warranted in her situation.

“You can lose it all so quickly...no matter how brilliantly you plan, no matter how exquisitely cunning you are…events always somehow conspire to turn everything against you...” she said sadly, tucking her head in under Richard’s chin, taking care not to impale him through the skull. That would have messed up her hair.

Richard - well aware of a Queen’s need to sometimes wallow in just how unfair life could be - kept quiet and just gave her a reassuring squeeze. This was exactly what Chrysalis had hoped he would do, and she continued, this time louder:

“And now this! This final humiliation! Transformed into this ridiculous parody of my former, glorious self!”

She held up a hoof. No holes, delicately coloured, kind of just-a-tiny-bit shiny, just catching a tiny bit of the light if she turned it a little bit.

“How disgusting,” she said, pulling the hoof back into herself so she wouldn’t have to look at it anymore.

All of which was to say nothing, of course, of being forced to come out of hiding owing to the sheer incompetence of her sole remaining minion, and now being forced to cunningly exploit the foolish softness of her idiot enemies when she should instead have been grinding them to a fine paste while laughing. Now the grinding would have to wait, oh, months at least. Things would take that long to get back on track at a minimum.

And until then she’d probably have to stay here. In this horrendous house with its single bed and reasonably comfortable sofa. With him.

“It’s all your fault of course, Richard,” she said, summing up her thoughts on the matter.

“Of course, your majesty. And while I know I’ll never be able to make up for it, I shall still do my best to try.”

“You better,” Chrysalis grumbled.

“For a start, what about dinner?”

He was still thinking this was a good idea, and from the way he saw Chrysalis’s ears prick up he felt he might have been on the right track.

“Dinner?” She asked.

“Yes. With dessert. Felt we could at least make the most of where we find ourselves, so enquired about some local spots. I made sure that the dessert selection was good,” he said.

For all his faults he did sometimes do the occasional thing right…

“Would we have to leave the house?” She asked, one hoof now rubbing over the other.

“We might, your majesty,” Richard said.

She considered this, she considered the options available.

Go in disguise. Seemed the most direct and sensible approach. Just pretend to be some other, random unicorn just having a meal with some freakish alien. Given Richard’s track record they likely wouldn’t even attract that much attention, however bizzare that might be.

But something about the idea didn’t appeal. Why should she have to pretend to be some random pony just to have a nice meal with her minion? That wasn’t right! She was a Queen, damnit! She was The Queen! Disguises were for her cunning, perfect plans, not for dinner! Not for sitting across the table from Richard, having him smile across at her, and then…

No!

No! She should go as herself! Her glorious, proper self. Not the...embarrassing self she had become, but her proper self. The intimidating, striking self she was supposed to be!

But then they would attract attention. Probably the running and screaming kind, and that would just be tiresome. Twilight - being an incompetent and muddle-headed non-entity - likely would have failed to explain the situation (and how it was all her fault) to the local plebs so they’d react with shortsighted stupidity. And that would ruin dinner.

And that would be bad.

No, no, none of these options appealed. Staying in seemed best.

“I want to stay here…” Chrysalis said at length, snuggling into him some more.

“I thought you might. That is why I asked whether I would be able to order a meal and then take it back here. They were puzzled but amenable. They provided me a menu,” he said, pulling the menu out of his pocket. Seriously, where did he find the time? “If you would like me to do that?”

Again Chrysalis considered. It did mean letting him out of her sight, but it would also mean a good dessert selection without having to leave the house herself. Pros and cons, a fine balancing act.

Maybe they’d have ice cream on that menu. Richard had never been able to bring any back without it melting before (being slow as well as stupid) but now it might work. And he could feed it to her with a spoon and…

...oh this was awful. Awful!

“W-would - would you?” She asked.

Chrysalis hadn’t really made a habit of eating food-food before Richard, what with not really needing to. This was another of those things he’d ruined for her, what with his constant willingness to provide whatever outlandish meal she felt like demanding at whatever moment she felt like demanding it.

Initially she’d done this just to get him out of the way, but after a while it had become a, well, a habit. Now she actually rather liked eating and (worse) liked the tangible surge of happiness he got out of looking after her in the process. It was a vicious circle! Damn him!

For his part, Richard had always quietly wondered to himself why, if their diet consisted of stolen emotions which always took on a strange, vaguely-gaseous form, Changelings even had mouths with teeth. He imagined there was probably a reason. Some evolutionary holdover? Otherwise why would they?

Just another of those things. Probably not worth worrying about.

“I can do that. Would you like that now, or later?”

Chrysalis didn’t have to think about this one. Her legs wrapped around him.

“Later. Stay.”

He stayed. Chrysalis closed her eyes.

It was unnerving not being hungry. She’d always been hungry, and now it was just gone. Made everything different and new and confusing. Like waking up one day to find that someone had just made gravity ninety percent of what it was meant to be. Everything you assumed should be one way was now slightly another, but life still just seemed to be going on.

She wasn’t scared or worried or unsettled or anything like that. That would have been unbecoming of a Queen. She was just…

...not wholly sure what she was meant to do next.

And that was in itself kind of scary and worrying and unsettling.

She didn’t like it. Not one bit.

“Richard?” She asked, quietly. That was a hint that this was something sensitive. Chrysalis was never quiet for no reason. A Queen - by dint of her rank and station! - was allowed to be loud.

“Yes, your majesty?” Richard replied, equally quietly.

Some seconds passed.

“You’re not - you won’t…” More seconds. “You won’t leave me because I - because this happened to me, will you?” She asked.

She knew she didn’t have to ask. The answer was obvious. There could only be one answer. And she knew what that was! There was no reason to ask!

But she’d asked anyway.

“Of course not, your majesty,” Richard said without missing a beat. Chrysalis chewed her lip. It wasn’t quite the same with her fangs not being as pointy anymore. Nothing was quite the same anymore...

“B-because I know this was all your fault so really you can’t leave me, but since I’m not the Queen I was I - I - “

Chrysalis didn’t know how to finish that one and Richard, realising this, gave her another reassuring squeeze. Being unable to finish a threat had been bad, being unable to finish something introspective and clearly sore was probably worse. No need to let her drag it out, he felt.

Besides, she didn’t need to. Not in his opinion.

“You shall always and forever remain my Queen, and nothing will ever change that. I’ll be with you until you have no further need of me, and not a moment less,” he said.

“Millstone around my neck?” She asked, with far more tenderness than she’d intended and than you might expect in a sentence like that. Richard smiled down at her.

“Always.”

More quiet after this, but nicer quiet. The warm and comfy kind of the sort you’d expect to encounter between two people who know that they don’t need to say anything right then, and who are happy.

Chrysalis did pipe up again eventually, though:

“Richard?”

“Yes, your majesty?”

“If you ever mention these moments of weakness I will kill you on the spot. Understand?”

“Of course, your majesty. I already took that as a given,” Richard said in a way that made it utterly impossible to tell if he was making fun of her or not. This once, she decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he was being completely serious.

“Good…” she said. Then: “Was there ice cream on that menu?”

“Why don’t we have a look?”

And they did.

There was.

Author's Note:

This does feel like the sort of thing I should either continue or come back to, doesn't it?

Anything's possible...