• Published 12th Dec 2023
  • 2,773 Views, 100 Comments

Gamophobia - RunicTreetops



Chrysalis is supposed to thrive at weddings. Today, she ran from the most important one of her life: hers.

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Who Am I?

Anon takes a moment to wipe his sleeve along his brow. Unfortunately, that sopping-wet sleeve doesn’t make his equally wet face any drier. He has finally found some semblance of respite from the pouring rain beneath the cover of the Everfree Forest. It’s still extremely wet, but it’s better than nothing.

He didn’t bring an umbrella, nor did he change out of his hoof-crafted suit that he wore for the wedding. Those are the last things on his mind right now.

He’s already covered every inch of Ponyville. It’s possible that she left town, but where would she go? Although she might be mostly accepted by Ponyville at this point, she would experience no such kindness elsewhere. She knows that just as well as he does.

So, the question remains: Where is she? Assuming she isn’t disguising herself as somepony else, there’s really only one direction left she could have gone. Besides, it wouldn’t be the first time she’s fled into this forest.

Anon already visited Zecora, the Everfree’s only known permanent resident. She hadn’t seen Chrysalis, but she’s also been preoccupied with her own business. Anon has no leads.

But that doesn’t mean he’s giving up. In fact, he already has a destination in mind. There aren’t a whole lot of landmarks in the Everfree, but one place in particular is special to the two of them.

Anon stops dead in his tracks. It’s a strenuous hike when it isn’t storming, and the Everfree isn’t exactly a safe place to be wandering around in. However, despite the hindered visibility, he’s found it.

Anon trudges through the thick mud below him as he makes his way to the inconspicuous cave entrance, which naturally formed in the side of a rock face. The outside is a bit overgrown, and the cave itself isn’t very big. It’s a miracle that he found it at all.

Anon takes a deep breath. She might not even be in there, but in the event that she is, he’s not sure if he’s ready for the conversation that will follow.

Still, this is something he will do. This is something he has to do. After taking one more moment to steel himself, Anon steps into the cave.

“...I thought I might find you here.”

There, sitting silently on the cold, stone floor, is Chrysalis. Strangely, she has returned to her light changeling form. Her chitinous skin is snow white with light-blue patches splattered across it. Her sparkly wings, mane, and tail are pale green. Her legs and horn are slender and smooth, the holes that typically riddle them having disappeared completely.

She slowly lifts her head, though she continues to stare at a stone wall, making no effort to look towards Anon.

“...”

“What happened to you?”

“...”

“Chryssi, why are you here? Why do you look like that?”

“...”

“...”

Anon sighs. This is getting him nowhere. He needs her to talk to him, but she clearly has other ideas.

Well, if she’s going to be stubborn, then he’ll be stubborn too.

Anon stiffly removes his sopping-wet coat and tosses it to the side. Footsteps echo through the small cave, muffled by the sound of the storm occurring just outside. The next thing Chrysalis knows, Anon has taken a seat behind her, pressing his back to hers as he stares at the other wall. She lifts her head just a bit, but otherwise makes no effort to move.

For a long while, the two simply stay like that, sitting back-to-back in some unnamed cave in the middle of the Everfree Forest. Nopony is looking for them. Neither of them have somewhere to be. Neither of them are talking about what happened earlier in the day.

And they both have nothing but time.


Eventually, another sound rings out in the cave. It’s little more than the single tap of a hoof on stone, but it’s a sound. Anon does not turn around.

“...I’m sorry.”

“Chryssi?”

“I just… I can’t. I… I can’t.”

“You can’t… what?”

“I can’t get married, Anon. Not to you. Not now.” She takes a slow, deep, shaky breath. “Not ever.”

“...Why not?”

For a while, she remains silent. Whether this is due to hesitation or indecisiveness, Anon does not know.

“For my entire life, I’ve never once considered getting married. Not for real, anyway. Weddings are wonderful to changelings in the same way that a free buffet is wonderful for a pony. Sure, it’s a great time and an incredible meal, but it’s not going to mean much after a day or two.”

“...”

“Why would I ever actually get married? All that would do is tie me down to some foolish nobody. Queen Chrysalis is equal to no one. Queen Chrysalis takes orders from no one. Queen Chrysalis is better than that. She’s better than those silly ponies who think love conquers all.”

Chrysalis kicks a pebble across the cave floor.

“And then she pretended to be Princess Cadance. She came so close to finishing that sham wedding in Canterlot, the wedding that would finally bring her everything she ever wanted.”

“...And she lost?”

“And I lost. That was the start of it all, really. That was the first step on the path that brought me here.”

“Isn’t that a good thing, though? I… I thought you were happy.”

“I thought I was, too.” She falls silent for another moment before speaking up again, each word careful and deliberate. “But I think back to that day. I think back to how I felt wearing Cadance’s face, putting on her dress, walking down her aisle. I was… excited. Not because I was getting married, but because I wasn’t. For that short time, I was at the highest point I’ve ever been.”

“...”

“I don’t think I’ve felt like that since. I wore my dress. I prepared for my wedding. I was nervous, but I didn’t know why. Then, when the moment came, I picked up the bouquet.” Finally, Chrysalis turns around. Anon does the same. As they lock eyes, they realize that they both have tears running down their cheeks. “And all I felt was dread.”

“Chryssi?”

“How could I get married when I’m less excited for my own wedding than Cadance’s? Heh, I couldn’t tell you how long I paced around the kitchen wondering that. At some point, I ended up looking like this again.”

“Chryssi, I was anxious too.”

“It’s not just anxiety, Anon.” She leans forward slightly, her wet mane drooping to the floor. “I… I don’t know who I am anymore.”

“I… I’m so sorry. I had no idea you felt like that. I thought you had come to terms with yourself after… well, after the last time we were in this cave.”

“I thought so, too. But look at me, Anon. What do I stand for? What am I doing? I’m just that scary mare that used to be evil. I’m the intimidating changeling that tried to conquer Equestria and now mooches off of Ponyville’s resident human because he can feed her all the love she could ever want. She’s not evil anymore, so everyone’s happy, right?!”

She stomps on the ground with both of her front hooves, tears falling from her face onto the stone below.

“...What kind of a life is that?” Her words cause Anon to close his eyes. She leans closer to him, doing her best to get him to look back at her. However, his eyes do not open. “Please, Anon.”

“Please?”

“Who… who am I?”

For a while, Anon is silent. Chrysalis stares at his face with a mixture of sorrow and confusion, hanging on his every breath as she waits for a response.

Finally, he opens his tear-filled eyes.

“Do you want things to go back to how they used to be?”

“What?”

“Before Cadance’s wedding. Before becoming a light changeling, or meeting me. Is that how you wish things were?”

“...I don’t know.”

“Do you prefer living in Ponyville?”

“I don’t know.”

“Do you want me around anymore?”

“I don’t know!”

Suddenly, Anon places his hands on both sides of Chrysalis’s face. In a swift movement, he leans forward and plants a gentle kiss right below her horn before standing up.

“Then you’ll have to figure that out.”

“Anon?”

Looking down at her, Anon sniffles. He quickly rubs the tears from his eyes, forcing himself to remain composed.

“I’ll make this clear, Chryssi. I love you. From the bottom of my heart, there is nothing I would like more than to spend the rest of my days with you. But if the same thing isn’t true for you, and I’m only making things worse by pushing this marriage onto you? I’ll happily find something else to strive for.”

“I…”

“This isn’t about the hive, or Equestria, or Celestia, or Cadance, or Twilight, or Starlight, or even me. You’re a light changeling. You’re not starving anymore. No one is relying on you to lead them. For the first time, you can choose who you want to be."

He turns back, locking eyes with her one last time. He wants so desperately to do anything but this. He worked so hard for her, to have her in his life, to get married, even to find her here like this. And here he is, about to jeopardize all of it.

“I’m always going to be there for you, Chryssi. No matter what it is you choose to do, or who you choose to be, I’ll support you… even if I’m not a part of your life anymore.” Anon turns from her as he shuffles to the entrance of the cave and starts to put his coat back on. “But I can’t make those decisions for you.”

“Please…”

“If you ever want to come home… I’ll be waiting.”

Anon steps out of the cave.

“I love you.”