• Published 9th Jan 2013
  • 13,018 Views, 414 Comments

Molded to Love - Radiant Dawn

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but what if all who behold you see naught but a monster? Given the chance, can this conception change? Sometimes, it just takes one person to reach out...and help.

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Chapter 4: Breaking the Cycle

Chapter 4: Breaking the Cycle

Again, the months got away from me. I had now officially been friends with Twilight and the others for nearly two years, and my bond with the Element of Magic had grown far more than I ever thought possible. The young unicorn knew everything about me...everything.

After all, true friends don’t keep secrets from each other.

In addition to the unicorn learning all about me, she opened up and told me much about herself. Being as secretive as she was, I was not bothered when she still kept much to herself, but at the same time was pleased that she trusted me enough to share with me what she had.

More often than not, Twilight and I would share great deals of time together, whether I was in the guise of Mist Ray or Starshine. Perhaps it was because she was the only one of her friends that knew who and what I really was, or perhaps it was something else...but I knew without a doubt that I enjoyed spending time with her. The connection I shared with her felt special somehow, though I was unsure why.

Perhaps with time, the truth would reveal itself.

Nevertheless, I had settled into life in Ponyville very well, so much so that I now considered it my home...my real home. It felt strange after living for many ages within the hive, I still felt more at home here than with my own kind. In Ponyville, the social castes were much easier to deal with, for example. They still existed of course, but not to the degree that they did within the Hive. In the Hive, disrespect towards a “superior” caste could result in death for the lower caste-member, while in Ponyville (or Equestria in general), it more often than not concluded with a dirty remark...and even that was rare. I began to see another part of myself from those many years ago...


Yes...I had been jealous of ponies for the longest time. Ponies and changelings had not lived in harmony since the time of the first queen, and for good reason. Because of how my race looked, we would always be held at a distance to ponies, and while I felt it was wrong, I also could not fault them. No matter how much even Twilight Sparkle would accept and befriend me, we would forever be different. True, my physical form could be changed to be truly beautiful...but who I really was would always look like a monster. It was a mere fact of life that I had forced myself to accept, no matter how much I disliked it.

In honesty though, I no longer held that jealousy. I was no longer of the hive...I was of Ponyville, and my new friends. The friendship, care, and love I shared with them brought a whole new meaning to the word “life” for me...and it was not something I was going to squander.

It was truly amazing how much my life has changed just in a few short years. Today, for example, I was relaxing with Rarity underneath a tree, having tea as we spoke about fashion, love interests (I had nothing to offer there), or just random gossip we’d heard around town. In honesty I was not extremely fond of talking about others behind their backs, but luckily the gossip was focused on a certain pony we both disliked...

Prince Blueblood.

Though the nephew of Princess Celestia herself, the colt held little to nothing in common with his aunt. Where she was benevolent, courageous, and loving, he was cowardly, pompous, and prejudice. It was a sad reality of the world that no matter where one went, one would always come across beings like him. They were even within the hive, and I realized that it was likely the other races of the world had similar people.

“It was simply ghastly the way he treated me that night!” Rarity exclaimed, explaining her one date with the noblepony.

I giggled lightly and responded in a light germane accent, “Ponies such as that exist everywhere, Rarity. I have had more than a few run-ins with ponies just like him. Whether because of prejudice or a sense of entitlement, they tend to believe they are better than everypony else. It matters not where you are in the world...there are always ponies like him.”

The white unicorn sighed and sipped her tea as she stared off into the distance. “It is truly so difficult to find a stallion who is truly noble, honest, and kind. Sometimes I fear I may be waiting my whole life, and will never find him.”

I placed a hoof on my chin in thought for a moment before smiling and also taking a sip of my tea. “Perhaps you should go and find him, my friend. Unorthodox though it may be, sometimes a mare must find and take what she wants.”

Rarity looked over at me with a raised eyebrow. “My, that is a rather unusual outlook.”

I shrugged. “I cannot say that I have used it to look for a companion, but it has served me well for many things in the past. You of all ponies must know that sometimes we must work for what we want.”

My friend smiled brightly and nodded. “You are right, dear...as you are most of the time.”

“You know,” I began with a mischievous grin, “there’s a certain young dragon who’s had his eye on you for some time...”

She sighed and placed her empty teacup on the blanket we sat upon. “I know...it could not work, though.” She raised her eyes to look at me and added, “Do not think I don’t care for him, because I do...dearly. However, dragons mature at a very slow rate compared to ponies. He will not even enter adolescence until you and I are gone from this world.”

“That’s sad...” I replied, completely meaning it.

Rarity nodded slowly as a single tear left her eye. “It is...it truly is. He is a wonderful and amazing gentledragon, and yet I cannot have him. It would not be fair to either of us ‒ I would steal from him his childhood, and would only leave him with a lifetime of longing. I however would have to live my life knowing that my selfishness would cause him such pain in what is only the beginning of his life.” The sapphire eyes of the unicorn looked into mine as she added, “Unrequited love is not simply for stories, my dear...it is a very real state of affairs for many of us.”

“So you do love him then...” I clarified with a sad smile.

The alabaster unicorn nodded slowly with a sad smile of her own. “I do, very much, and he can never know. I fear that at this point in his life, he would not understand.” She quickly wiped the few tears away and drew a shuddering breath. “I apologize dear, it is rather uncouth of me to be dumping all of this on you.”

I took the last sip of my tea and placed the cup aside before wrapping my foreleg around my friend and pulling her close. “You are my friend, Rarity. Do not ever apologize for confiding in me or seeking my counsel.”

Then, for possibly the sixth time in the past two months, I had a very familiar impulse hit me. I wanted to show her who and what I really was...in hopes that perhaps if I were truly honest with her about who I was, it might help us grow closer somehow. The truth of the matter was that I had grown to hate my need for deception, most of all with my friends. While they each knew me, none but Twilight truly knew the real me. I had been forthright in who I was with all of them, but not what I was. The only thought that kept me from revealing myself to them all was the very real fear that should they find their dear friends were in fact the deposed changeling queen, I would be ostracized...or worse.

Before I could lose my composure, I released Rarity and stood with a soft smile, delivering one last piece of advice. “The heart knows what it wants, Rarity. Perhaps you should seek counsel with Twilight, or even the princesses...there may yet be a way to have what you both want.”

She looked up at me with a hopeful expression. “Do you truly believe that?”

Another truth... “I do. In my years of travel upon this world, I have found that magic is very versatile and largely mysterious. I make no promises, but I have heard rumors of spells that can bend time itself to their will. Counsel Twilight and the princesses, and do not react impulsively. Should a spell exist that can suit your needs, you must be prepared to explain yourself fully to Spike, which includes both your own feelings and the ramifications of such a thing.” I then glared at her sternly. “The whole truth, Rarity...you must leave nothing out.”

The unicorn’s hopeful expression turned serious, and she nodded. “Of course. I care for him far too much to cause harm upon him by ignorance.”

I smiled and nodded. “And that is why I respect you, Rarity.” I then quickly cleaned up the area before helping her fold the blanket, then smiled once more. “I must meet with Twilight Sparkle today, so I do hope that you do not think me a horrid friend for deserting you.”

The fashionista shook her head with a soft giggle. “You needn’t worry about it, dear. You have given me true insight in my life, and have provided me with quite a few things to think about. Besides, I have monopolized on your time for far too long...go and see Twilight. I would meet with you on Thursday for a trip to the spa, if you would like.”

I smiled and nodded. “That sounds lovely. I will meet you there at the fourteenth hour.”

“Splendid.” she replied. We then both headed back to town, both pleased with the information we had traded.

Nearly an hour later, I was awaiting Twilight at the Golden Oaks Library, next to a very nervous young dragon. It had appeared that the unicorn had gone to visit a zebra by the name of Zecora in the Everfree, leaving her assistant at the library for fear of his safety. While Twilight had been to the zebra’s abode many times before, it did not prevent her surrogate son from feeling very worried about her, even though we both knew she was more than capable of handling anything that may come up.

I looked to the teenage dragon and asked, “So how have you been, Spike?”

He visibly relaxed a bit, obviously happy to have something to take his mind off his worry. “Eh, can’t complain. I’ve got friends that care about me, food, and a bed.”

I smiled and nodded. “That sounds like a good life, Spike.”

He shrugged as he brushed the fins on his head. “Yeah. It has its ups and downs, but like I said, I can’t complain.”

I raised my eyebrow with skepticism. “You sound rather unenthusiastic.”

The young dragon sighed as he slumped against the wall he had been leaning against. “It’s not that, it’s just...Applebloom and I have been arguing a lot during the past few weeks. I’m starting to think we might not work out as special someponies.”

I tilted my head a bit in confusion at his statement, and moved a little closer to the forlorn dragon. “I was under the assumption that you and she were quite close.”

He nodded. “We are. She’s my best friend, and she’ll always be my best friend. I just don’t think we’re meant to be more than that is all.”

“Well why did you ask her to be your special somepony?” I questioned curiously.

He shrugged and twiddled his thumbs nervously. “Well, I’ve been thinking about that a lot, actually. I really care about her a lot, Starshine...I’m just not sure if that’s the reason I asked her to be my fillyfriend.”

“What do you mean, Spike?” I pressed with a bit of a frown.

The young dragon sighed as he looked up at me. “The more I think about it, the more I’ve started to realize that maybe I just asked her because I was lonely, she was there, and she was willing to give it a try.”

I gently placed a hoof on his shoulder, and sighed. “I cannot pretend to be an expert at relationships, never having been in one myself, but I believe you should be honest with her. As the sister of the Element of Honesty, I would think she would appreciate a forthright approach. At the very least, perhaps talking with her about it may help you discover your true feelings on the matter, or help mend the relationship.”

Spike nodded a few times before smiling softly. “You’re right...Applebloom would appreciate it if I talked it out with her. I’ll go see her when Twilight gets back.” He then raised his scaly eyeridge at me curiously. “You know, there’s something I’ve been meaning to ask you for a long time now...just who exactly are you?”

I grinned and shrugged. “Just a mare from Germaney.”

“Well yeah, but I don’t know much about you besides that...no pony does.” he retorted.

I smirked and laid my hoof dramatically over my forehead. “Oh woe is me! You’ve found me out, Spike! I am really the changeling queen in disguise!”

At this, Spike giggled, as did I...but while his laugh was genuine, mine was forced. I tried to rationalize that the statement I just said was because it would lighten the atmosphere and it was something so unbelievable that he would never take it to heart.

But in truth, I wished he would believe it.

Still, I knew that now was not the time to reveal what I really was to the dragon, not without Twilight around. The results would be disastrous, and I did not want to test how fire-resistant my carapace was.

Luckily as I was thinking this, the lavender unicorn entered the interior of the library, smiling when she saw the two of us waiting. “Hi Spike, Starshine! Sorry I took so long, but I’m back now.” Twilight then levitated a rather large sapphire out of her pouch to the dragon. “Zecora found this while she was looking for herbs near Ursa Caverns. She thought you’d like it, Spike.”

The dragon’s eyes twinkled as he eyed the large gem, easily the size of my hoof. “Wow...thanks Twilight! Next time you see Zecora, tell her that she’s awesome!”

Twilight giggled and nodded. “I’ll remember to pass that on. Thanks for keeping Starshine company, you can go have fun now, Spike.”

The dragon nodded before running to the door, but stopped and turned to me with a smile and a nod before rushing out the door, presumably to Sweet Apple Acres.

I turned my gaze to the unicorn prodigy, who was looking at me in a confused manner. “What?”

“What was that all about?” she asked.

I shrugged. “It’s not my business to tell. You should ask Spike when he comes back.”

Twilight stared at me for a moment before shrugging and making her way over to me and wrapping a hoof around my neck in a half-hug, which I returned. “It’s good to see you, Chryssie. How have you been?”

I pulled away and raised my eyebrow with a smirk. “Chryssie?”

“What?” she questioned defensively. “All of my friends have nicknames. Everypony calls me Twilight or Twi, Applejack goes by AJ, Rarity sometimes goes by Rare, and so on and so forth. I couldn’t very well not give you a nickname. Calling you by your normal name just sounds so...formal.”

I thought about it for a moment before smiling and nodding. “I actually like it. You can call me that if you want to.” I then trotted with her to the kitchen of her home, following her closely. “I’ve actually been very well. Work with Rainbow Dash is easy and fulfilling, and I think my nightmares have abated.”

Twilight gasped as she nearly dropped the bottle of apple juice she was holding with magic, and the bottle itself would have broken on the floor had I not caught it with my own levitation. The unicorn then turned to me with a bright smile. “No more nightmares?”

I smiled and shook my head. “No more nightmares. It’s been almost three weeks, and not one sleepless night.”

She smiled even brighter and uncapped the bottle of apple juice before pouring it into two glasses. “I’m happy then. I was so worried about you.”

Her admittance of concern for me warmed my heart in a strange way, but I simply passed it off as having my first close friend in my life. So instead, I simply take the small glass of juice and smile gratefully. “Well your concern is appreciated, Twilight. Truly.”

“Anytime, Chryssie.” she replied with a faint blush. As we sat down in the reading room, she sipped her apple juice before leveling her gaze with me. “Anyhow, I brought you here to ask you something...and I warn you it might be a sensitive subject.”

I was used to her probing by now, and knew it was only in an effort to get to know me and my kind better in a controlled manner, so I was not offended and simply nodded. “Of course. Ask away, Twilight.”

She nodded. “Alright then, I wanted to ask you about your future. I already know almost everything about your past, so now I would like to know what you plan to do for this day forward.”

I quirked my eyebrow up as I stared back at her. “I...I am not sure what you mean, Twilight. Live, I guess.”

“Well,” she began, seeming to search for the words she wished to speak, “I mean I enjoy your company, and you’ve become one of my closest friends, next to Spike and Fluttershy, but I don’t think it’s right that you should have to be anypony else.” My eyes widened as I realized what she was hinting at, but I allowed her to continue. “Under controlled circumstances, I’d like to introduce you to the princesses. I’ve not told any of them that you’re here, but I feel that if I were to stand by you, they would believe you if you claimed you were reformed.”

I looked down at my white hooves, twiddling them nervously. “I...I’m not sure I’m ready for that. I think they’ll probably just be convinced that you’re under some sort of spell, and your actions and behavior weren’t your own.”

Twilight shook her head as I looked back up, and smiled. “I’m immune to changeling magic now.”

I raised my eyebrow in disbelief. “And how did you do that, exactly?”

At this, the lavender unicorn’s eyes went a little hollow, remembering something terrible. “Umm...let’s just say it was a very long and very painful process.”

“What do you mean?” I questioned with both curiosity and concern.

She sighed and lowered her head. “Well, about a week before I first met you here, I had a spell cast on me by Princess Celestia and Princess Luna. I was in Canterlot that week, and the day you were at my birthday party was actually my first day back. I told everypony that I was just visiting the princesses...”

“But?” I questioned as she stopped.

Again she sighed, as she seemed to shrink a bit. “That wasn’t true though.” She finally looked up, and I could almost see the memory of pain in her eyes. “I had a magical sickness for that entire week. I was vomiting every few hours, it felt like my heart was pumping liquid fire, and I had headaches strong enough to kill a normal pony from pain alone.” She then grew a little misty-eyed. “In fact, had it not been for Princess Luna watching over me, I wouldn’t have survived.”

"Why would they do such a thing to you?" I asked worriedly.

She shrugged. “The princesses have come to trust me like no other over my years of knowing them. I had convinced them that we needed to be prepared in some way in case a changeling attack ever happened again...and while I was researching your kind in the forbidden section of the Royal Archives, I came upon the spell.” She then shook her head when she saw my expression of shock. “I knew well what I was getting into, Chryssie...and honestly, even when I was in the most intense pain of my life, I didn’t regret it. I knew I was the only one who would be able to do this for Equestria without it destroying them, and the princesses knew it too. The Element of Magic protected me...it made sure I could protect Equestria from the shadows that are out there in the world.”

As I came to understand her loyalty to her home, I settled down a bit, though I was still worried about the psychological effects that pain such as that had wrought upon her. More than anything though, I felt guilty.

“If I’d never attacked Canterlot...you would never have done that to yourself.” I muttered, tears threatening to break free.

I heard as Twilight shuffled around the table to me, and then she pulled me into her chest in a hug. She rubbed my back soothingly as she said, “You know me well enough by now to expect the truth, so I won’t sugar-coat it for you. Yes...it’s true, I would never have done it had it not been for you...but I don’t blame you either.” She then pulled back a bit and raised my chin to look at her, and I saw she was smiling. “Princess Luna once told me that in each moment we live, we have the capability to be the very best or the very worst of who we are. Well, when you were attacking Canterlot, you were your very worst.”

I felt a smile tugging at my lips as I asked, “And now?”

Twilight smiled warmly. “You’re well on your way to being your very best.” She took a deep breath before continuing. “You know, I’ve learned more from you and discovered more about myself with you than with anypony else in my life. For example, you’ve shown me that even what was once a monster can be beautiful and amazing.” Her hoof gently rubbed my shoulder as she said, “It’s an honor and a privilege to know you, Chryssie. I’m so thankful to have you in my life as my friend.”

With these words, I felt a strong wave of love wash over me, the likes of which I’d never felt from a single pony before...not even Shining Armor. It was then that I realized just how much she cared about me. My biology allowed me to actually feel it...

And it felt wonderful.

I opened my eyes, which I hadn’t remembered closing, and looked at Twilight with a bright smile of my own. “If you would stand beside me, I could do anything, Twilight. If you’re there when I meet the princesses, I know everything will be alright.”

She smiled and nodded. “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else when that happens. When do you want to do it?”

With bolstered confidence, I smiled. “As soon as possible. Ask the princesses when they’re free to meet with you, and we’ll do it then.”

“What about work?” Twilight asked.

I giggled and shrugged. “I’m sure if I tell Rainbow Dash that the princesses want to meet with me, she’ll give me a day or two off. Just let me know ahead of time so I can schedule it.”

Twilight smiled and nodded. “I’ll send a letter as soon as Spike gets home. Now,” she trotted towards her kitchen again, “do you feel like some cupcakes?”

I chuckled lightly and replied, “Are you trying to fatten me up or something?”

Twilight’s head popped out of the doorway as she looked me over, then nodded. “You’re right, you’re getting a little pudgy.”

“Hey!” I shouted indignantly.

Twilight giggled. “No more sweets for you, my plump pony.”

I jumped up and dashed after the unicorn, while she ran giggling away from me around the ground floor of the library.

After some twenty-odd minutes of chasing, giggling, and even a few cushion-throwing measures, Twilight and I laid panting and laughing on the floor of the library, both out of breath but both happier than we ever thought possible with each other. We were tired, sweaty, and even ached in a few places, but our smiles and laughs did not abate.

To think I’d lived for so long without this.

It was then that three things happened that surprised me. First, Twilight shimmied on her back right over next to me. Second, I casually extended my hoof around her and pulled her closer to me.

Third, neither of us stopped any of this from happening.

Honestly, I didn’t care. It felt nice to have her so close to me, and even nicer to hear her giggles and feel breath on my neck. It offered a little pleasurable twinge in me that I didn’t want to stop, so I didn’t prevent it. For some reason, all of this felt very familiar to me...and that’s when it hit me.

I released Twilight and rolled away quickly, which caused my friend to look up at me in confusion and...hurt? “Chryssie, what’s wrong?”

I closed my eyes in embarrassment and replied, “Twilight, I’m so sorry...I didn’t mean to, it just felt so nice, and you were there, and then we were against each other, and your breath was-”

“Woah, woah, woah, calm down.” she interrupted, stopping my rapid-fire apology/explanations. “What’s the problem? We were laughing and having a good time, and all of the sudden you push me away like I forgot to brush my teeth or something.” She breathed on her hoof and smelled it, shrugging. “Nope, still good. What’s wrong? Did I do something to upset you?”

Even in the midst of what just happened, it touched me that she was so concerned for me, but I had to tell her what had happened...or at least what I think happened. “I’m so sorry, Twilight. When we were laying like that, it made me feel...” I sighed as the words tapered off, but steeled my resolve and continued. “It made me feel...good...like when I would spend time with Shining Armor. I’m sorry if that’s weird, but it felt good in a way that I shouldn’t feel with my best friend...and I’m sorry about that.”

Twilight thought for a moment before her eyes widened in realization, and she blushed as her ears flopped down. “O-oh, umm...well I’m sorry if that offended you. I guess I wasn’t thinking, or I should have asked or something.”

Wait...now I was confused.

“What do you mean by that? Asked what?” I questioned with growing concern and confusion.

Twilight shook her head with a weak smile. “Don’t worry about it, it won’t happen again.”

As I watched her face and reactions, again, realization hit me...and it shocked me more than anything had before. She knew exactly what she was doing...and she liked it. What was even worse, I liked it too. I liked her.

Oh no...

“Twilight,” I began carefully, attempting to compose my thoughts, “I’m so sorry...but this wouldn’t be good for you. I’m a monster...you don’t deserve a monster. That is even without the fact that your princesses would probably banish me to the moon, or worse.”

Twilight shook her head as tears began to form at the corners of her eyes. “I said I’d stand beside you, and I meant it. I wouldn’t do that for a monster, Chryssie.”

I grit my teeth as I used magic to lock the doors and windows, then let the green fire of my magic reveal my true form. I then lifted a holed hoof and gestured to myself in my true, layered voice. “This is the form of what I truly am, and no matter what you think or say, the fact remains that I’ve been the reason that thousands have perished...and I’ve killed more than my share with my own hooves and magic.” I felt my own tears begin to gather as I turned my face away from her. “I’ve come to terms with that...and it’s okay. You were right, I don’t have to be that pony anymore,” I then turned my emerald eyes to her with a grimace, “but that doesn’t change the past, and it won’t change the fact that it has and always will affect who I am.” Again I turned my head away, not allowing her to see as tears began to roll down the black carapace of my cheeks. “I feed off of love Twilight, but I was never meant to have it for myself. That is my curse...it is what I was created to be.” As the pain in my heart threatened to erupt into sobs, I sighed shakily. “You are amazing, and wonderful, and you’re the best friend I could ever hope to have...but you deserve so much more than me. I’m just a broken, corrupted shell of a pony. The light was never meant to love the darkness.” Before she could say more, I transformed into the visage of Mist Ray before dashing out of the door, leaving the closest thing I had to love behind.

All because what I was could never be what she should have.

For the first time since I had come to Ponyville, I felt truly lonely. Now that I had friends, being away from them hurt...it brought forth a pain in my heart that made me feel ill.

As I laid on my cloud bed, I couldn’t keep the thoughts of Twilight and what had happened from wreaking havoc on my emotions. I felt many different things...guilt, flattery, and self-loathing, to name a few. The strongest emotion I felt, however, was also the most troublesome...


Knowing that Twilight cared for me in such a way had enacted a change within me...and for the first time in all my life, I felt honest affection for another. All the denial and self pep-talks in the world could not change that truth, and a part of me didn’t even want to try. Unfortunately, my sense of duty and justice determined that it would be best to avoid Twilight for the time being, and let those feelings wither and die. For what I had done, I did not deserve a connection such as the one I longed for...

And Twilight...

Beautiful, amazing Twilight...she deserved so much better than me. She showed me mercy when I did not deserve it, and gave me friendship when I needed it most. She understood me on a level that I didn’t even understand myself, which only made my decision of distance that much more difficult.

For the need to do what was right, however, I could not falter. I still had a lifetime of evil to atone for, and the filthy and marred cannot commingle with the radiant light of good.

My heart broke as I came to this realization, and for the first time in many months, I cried myself to sleep.