• Published 9th Jan 2013
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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 8: Upon Wings of Love

Chapter 8: Upon Wings of Love

Warmth.

Love.

Joy.

These were the first three things I felt upon waking, and I was content with my life at that moment. Truly, if I had been struck dead just then, I would have no regrets. A small part of me began to worry that the night previous had merely been a dream of unrequited feelings, or even that all of my time in Ponyville was.

I opened my eyes and took stock of what was around me. First, I noticed that the walls were wooden, and not of the hive or a cave. Also, the bed was not as soft as a cloud, but also more comfortable for some reason. Built-in bookcases rounded the entire room, and a large window was to my right. To my left…

An empty space.

All at once, my heart dropped into my stomach, and a feeling of frustration overtook me. This wouldn’t be the first time I had dreamed such a thing in such vivid detail. I knew Twilight cared for me, but even as someone rather lacking in romantic experience, I knew that speaking the words of love aloud tended to change things. Instead of my dream being fulfilled, it was quite likely that I had spoken to Twilight about something bothering me about my past, and she had carried me up to her bed after I fell asleep from mental and emotional exhaustion. Such a situation was not abnormal or even uncommon, but I had hoped that just this once, things could have been different.

I grunted as I rolled to my stomach and stepped off of the bed, feeling oddly light on my hooves as I did so. While I made my way toward the door, I heaved a long-suffering sigh before pushing it open and heading to the stairs that led to the bottom level. My mood was somewhat lifted when I smelled something delectable wafting through the air, and despite myself, I allowed a small smile as I rounded the bottom of the stairs.

“Good morning, Chryssie!” Twilight called from the other room, likely busying herself with cooking...or trying to, anyway.

My smile grew as I followed the scents toward the kitchen area. “Good morning, Twilight. How-”

I was interrupted as I turned the corner by a soft pair of lips pressing to mine.

Every melancholy thought was instantly banished from my mind, and I became dizzy from sheer bliss. Hot tears gathered in my eyes, and I closed my eyes as I returned the kiss to Twilight, committing each second to memory. Once again I held no regrets, and I was unfathomably glad the night before had been real and not just a dream. Seconds ticked by, melting into minutes as I pulled Twilight closer and deepened our kiss. She moaned excitedly as she wrapped her hooves around me, and darted her tongue within my mouth to duel with my own. I mirrored the gesture as I felt my tears of joy fall down my cheeks, and it was at that moment that I realized I didn’t regret for one moment what had happened in my past. I had lost my hive ‒ my only family. However, as bad as it might have sounded to a changeling, I had gained so much more than I lost. Twilight was worth the pain and nightmares I had endured...Twilight was worth the world.

We were finally forced to separate when a cleared throat caught my attention, and we hurriedly turned toward the source.

Spike stood with a smirk upon his lips, and a mischievous glint in his eye. “A part of me wants to be upset or disgusted by the fact I just saw my older sister making out, but the rest of me finds it hilarious that you both were trying to eat each other’s faces instead of the food I cooked.” Without dropping his grin, the young dragon pointed the spatula he held toward the nearby table, which was occupied by two plates of food. “Eat up. I don’t want either of you passing out because you have low blood sugar or something.” He then smiled toothily and corrected, “Although, it might be fun to tell our friends exactly why you both are so ‘worn out’.”

Immediately, Twilight’s face began to change from lavender to crimson, and if the stinging in my own cheeks was any indication, I was likely no better off.

S-Spike!” Twilight stammered in embarrassment and shock. “Don’t you dare!”

The young dragon chuckled good-naturedly and shook his head. “Aw c’mon Twi, I’m just kidding.” He then pointed to the table and ordered, “Seriously though, eat. If this is going to be your last meal here for awhile, I want to make sure you both eat well.” Spike looked to me quizzically before asking, “Do you actually need to eat?”

I composed myself and cleared my throat before replying, “Technically no, but I do enjoy a good meal so masterfully prepared. As you likely know, changelings can sustain themselves on positive emotions alone, unless a sufficient amount is not present.”

Spike was silent for a moment before smirking again. “Well if what happened last night and this morning is any indication, I think you might be stuffed to the brim. I mean, I don’t know how much you can get from sex, but-”

SPIKE!” Twilight interrupted, nearly choking on her food in the process. “Don’t you have something to do at Rarity’s? Or anywhere else?”

He rolled his eyes with a chuckle before depositing the spatula in the kitchen and promptly leaving the library, winking at us both on the way out.

All was silent for a few moments before Twilight explained, “I uh...I gave him the ‘sex talk’ pretty early in his life, so he has little to no shame on the subject.”

I felt the blood pooling in my face as I struggled to keep from nervously laughing. “W-why didn’t you correct him? We didn’t do anything.”

Twilight levitated her fork and speared a morsel of her breakfast before bringing it to her mouth. After swallowing she answered, “He wasn’t serious. He knows better than anypony that I’d never be the kind of pony to roll in the hay with somepony so soon. It’s just not who I am, and that’s besides the fact that…” she trailed off into mumbles at the end.

I raised my brow and asked, “I’m sorry, what was that?”

Twilight squirmed uncomfortably before muttering, “I’ve never even let anypony touch my flank before. The thought alone freaks me out and I start hyperventilating.” I simply stared at her, and she rolled her eyes with a defeated sigh. “Yeah yeah; Twilight Sparkle, personal protege of Princess Celestia, is a virgin. Laugh it up.”

Contrary to what she believed I would do, I kept silent and simply rested my gaze upon her. After a few moments of silence, she brought her eyes to mine as I stated, “If I were to laugh at you for such a thing, it would be rather hypocritical of me to do so.”

Her eyes widened as she sputtered in shock. Eventually, she regained enough of her composure to squeak out, “B-b-but you…I mean, you’ve seen so much more…oh wow…”

I sighed and closed my eyes, nodding. “True that I have lived longer than most other beings on the planet, but there are still some things even I have not done. Luckily, as a queen, it was easy to avoid such advances from the male breeder drones of the Hive, and I rarely did active field work before your brother.”

Again, silence dominated the air around us.

For a few tense moments, neither of us spoke. Finally, Twilight said, “In some way, it makes me feel better. You understand how I feel then, I guess.”

I smiled gently and nodded. “I suppose I do.”

“I just never felt I met the right pony.” she added softly.

I nodded. “I know the feeling. Though in honesty, I was quite a different changeling before you met me. I was, for lack of a more accurate term, evil.”

Just as I suspected she would, Twilight rose to defend me from myself. “Chryssie, you weren’t evil. You were just looking out for your hive and-”

I shook my head as I interrupted her. “No Twilight, I was evil. I know the difference between good and evil, and I was definitely evil. Simply providing for my hive would not require me taking such great joy in murder, nor would I actively seek to destroy instead of build.”

The wind seemed to have been taken out of her sails, but Twilight was not finished. “Your kind has been shunned for as long as you can remember though. You told me that yourself. Surely you’re allowed to wish for vengeance or even carry it out. That doesn’t make you evil.”

Again, I shook my head. “I didn’t kill because I felt I needed to avenge my kind that were slaughtered or starved to death. No, I did it because I enjoyed it. I did it because I loved the look in the eyes of those I ended, just as the life left them.” I sighed ruefully, taking another bite of the lovely food. “But is it better to be born inherently good, or to turn away from your own evil nature?” I lit my horn and levitated the glass of water to my lips, taking a large drink before setting it back down. “Beings like your princesses have it rather easy; by nature, they are benevolent and loving. My kind, however, are quite the opposite. We have to be, simply to survive. We must be able to feel no remorse when killing, and place the needs of the Hive above the needs of ourselves.”

Twilight nodded slowly. “That makes sense. It explains why you had such a difficult time adjusting to this new life, and why you had so many nightmares.”

I snorted a short, mirthless laugh and responded with, “I still have nightmares, Twilight. They are nowhere near as bad as they used to be, but I will likely always see those I have slaughtered within my dreams. Waking up knowing that you are here for me makes them easily manageable, but yes, you are correct. It is so difficult for me to live this life, because I am for all intents and purposes a square peg being forced into a round hole. I fight against my very nature every day I live here.” As Twilight seemed to deflate a bit, I smiled gently at her. “But you and the others have made it worth it. I am living a life I never imagined, and I have found love in the most unlikely of places. I would bear the weight of the world if it was needed,” I reached to Twilight and gently caressed her cheek with my gnarled hoof, “just to see your beautiful eyes every morning, and know that you care for me. It is worth the struggle and the difficulty; you make it worth it.”

Twilight smiled at me with love clear in her eyes, and nodded again. “Thank you, Chryssie.” She finished her last bite of breakfast and took a long gulp of water before standing. “I’m going to go and clean myself up first, and I’d appreciate it if you could do the dishes for me.”

I raised my brow and smirked. “Trying to turn me into a regular homemaker, hmm?”

As Twilight passed, she flicked her tail at my nose with a sultry grin. “I’ll make it worth your while.”

A goofy smile overtook my face as I levitated the dishes with me to the kitchen, and set about washing them.


“Aquamarine gem-lattice water purifier?”

“Check.”

“Emergency sleeping bags and tent?”

“Umm...check.”

“Flint and steel?”

“Double check.”

“Dehydrated nutrition pellets?”

“Check...ew.”

“You’ll thank me when we’re stranded in the wilderness. Rope and first aid kit?”

“Check and check.”

Twilight and I were going through a list of different items she had deemed necessary for our journey, and though I was a little hesitant to accept the fact that so much was needed, I could understand Twilight’s thoughts of “better safe than sorry”. Still, there were some things that I found rather unneeded.

I pulled a book out of the pile assembled and narrowed my eyes as I read the title. “One-hundred and One Ways to Please your Mare, by Seduction.” I rolled my eyes and held the book aloft in my magic as I stared at Twilight. “Seriously?”

Twilight ripped the book from my grip with her own magic, and pouted. “I thought it might be useful, thank you very much. I don’t have any idea what I’m doing, and…” she released her hold on the book as it dropped to the ground with a thud, and sighed, “I just don’t want to mess this up. I care about you too much.”

I smiled fondly at Twilight and pulled her close in an embrace, enjoying both the scent of her fur and the warmth of her body. “You won’t. You forget that I can literally feel your love, and that takes precedence to any mistakes you or I could make. Even if an idea you have should flop, I know that you still love me, and that’s all that matters to me. I ask that you just be yourself and let things happen naturally.”

“But naturally I’m socially inept!” she groaned out pitifully. “I still don’t quite know how I made friends with all my friends! It just sort of...happened.”

I raised my hooves to form mock quotes as I replied, “We just sort of ‘happened’ too. Maybe just ‘happening’ is how you do things, and I don’t see anything wrong with that. You’re good at improvisation when you don’t have experience, and you learn very quickly.” I then lifted Twilight’s chin to look at me, and smiled. “And in case you’ve forgotten, it isn’t as if I have much personal experience either.”

“And aren’t you worried of messing up?” Twilight asked, her eyes glassy and shining with worried tears.

I nodded with a warm smile and kissed the top of Twilight’s head as I pulled her close again. “I’m terrified, Twilight. Every day I worry that I’ll do or say something that you simply can’t live with, and you’ll either abandon me or deem me a threat to society and have me imprisoned or executed.”

Twilight gasped and pushed away to look at me. “I would never-!”

I nodded, placing a hoof against her lips to silence her. “And deep down I know that, but the fear still lurks there; just like you’re afraid you’ll wake up one day and I’ll be gone.” Twilight stayed silent, but offered a somber nod. I removed my hoof from her lips and instead brought it to her mane, caressing the soft hair as I smiled at her. “I won’t let fear keep me from trying though, Twilight, but I also know that it must be done on our own terms. If this is to work, it has to be our way and in our own time,” I levitated the book to where she could see it, “not somepony else’s.”

Twilight closed her eyes and let her magical aura mesh with my own as she grasped the book, and after taking a deep breath, she nodded as she took the book and set it back on its shelf. “You’re right. I’m sorry, Chryssie.”

I shook my head with a smile. “You’re allowed to worry Twilight, but I ask that you bring your concerns to me. I can help you, if only you’ll tell me.”

Twilight extricated herself from my embrace and placed a soft kiss along my jaw, causing me to shiver at the touch. “I will. I’m just not used to any of this, so I ask you be patient with my foul-ups.”

I nodded as well. “As long as you can forgive me for mine.”

She extended a hoof, which I took in my own without hesitation. “Deal.”

As Twilight and I went back to our inventory, I quirked my brow as I levitated a sealed mason jar up to my eyes, the glass container being filled with a golden viscous liquid. “Is this honey?”

Twilight looked up from her list and smiled as I held the gold liquid aloft. “Canterlot solar bee honey, to be precise. It’s the best honey you’re going to find anywhere in Equestria, and like all honey, it’ll never go bad so long as it’s kept dry and free of contaminants.” She motioned to the jar with a hoof as her eyes shot back to her list. “I included a couple of jars for emergency food, seeing as how it’ll keep indefinitely, and it’s a good energy source. Two jars are just honey, and two jars have a honeycomb in it as well. I wanted some variety, and it’s a good safety net for us in case things go bad.”

As Twilight went back to her work after innocently explaining the reason for the honey, I couldn’t help as my mind conjured up a certain image of Twilight with honey drizzled on her, begging me to “clean her”. I shifted my hind legs as a shiver passed through me, and I filed that thought away for later. After all, what good is honey if you don’t make the most of it? This was my first relationship as Chrysalis, and damn it, I’m going to make it a good one.


A few hours passed since we had finished packing, but with the schedule given to us, we still had another hour until the carriage arrived. This gave me time to have a nice lunch with Twilight, as well as a little “dessert” afterwards. Needless to say, our spirits were high and we both felt confident in each other, which only made me stronger. Though part of me wanted to think of this as a vacation with my new love, I reminded myself that this journey was not intended for pleasure. That didn’t mean that we couldn’t enjoy ourselves of course, but work came first.

As Twilight and I waited patiently at the reading table for the carriage to arrive, we traded small kisses and caresses here and there, unable to truly keep our hooves off one another. We had debilitated to what I imagined young teenage ponies would be like, but I couldn’t care less. Twilight enjoyed it, which meant that I enjoyed it. Her smile and laughter were worth whatever foolishness I felt, and her love only made me want her more.

The sun had reached its zenith in the sky, so Twilight and I decided to sit on the front step with our supplies as we waited for the guards to arrive. It was warm, and Twilight was soft, which meant that even with having a good sleep and pleasant morning, I had to fight to keep my eyes open. Not that Twilight seemed to mind as I leaned heavily against her, but I wanted to retain some dignity in public, at least.

I suppose there is no dignity in love. Love, from what little I know about it personally, is messy. It can make us act like a fool for no reason at all, if only to simply see the one we love smile once more. It can take our rationale away, overriding logic with emotion. Sometimes, it makes us downright stupid.

And yet, love had made me powerful and strong in ways I could never fathom. Beyond simply becoming physically and magically strong because of the love I was being fed from Twilight and my friends, it made me more courageous, and more willing to do what was right rather than what was easy. It had opened an entirely new world for me to explore ‒ a world with Twilight by my side. Beyond simply needing love to survive, I now wanted love ‒ Twilight’s love, to be specific ‒ and it was by far the greatest feeling I had ever imagined.

“You’re sighing dreamily again.” Twilight whispered into my ear, nuzzling it as she did so.

I smiled warmly and returned the gesture to Twilight, also planting a soft kiss just below her own ear. “I can’t help it. I don’t think you understand just how happy this new life makes me ‒ how happy you make me. It feels like a dream.” I purposefully sighed again, then nuzzled the side of her muzzle as I said, “Changelings are missing out.”

Twilight leaned against me and let loose her own happy sigh. “Maybe they just need somepony to show them the way.”

I let out a breath and nodded. “Maybe. A deposed queen with a kill order on her head isn’t the one to show them though.”

“Maybe not,” Twilight replied thoughtfully, “but maybe a simple changeling that learned to live with ponies peacefully can. There are no ranks and titles with us; it’s just Chrysalis, and your friends.”

“Changelings like their castes, Twilight.” I explained ruefully. “For example: a drone can never become a queen. It is simply how we are made; we are born into who we will be for the rest of our lives.” I shook my head sadly. “We don’t have a choice.” Twilight had nothing to say, and neither did I, so for a long few minutes we were silent. After an indeterminate amount of time I said, “I never wanted to be a queen, you know.”

Twilight brought her head to rest just under my chin as she asked, “What did you want to be?”

I shrugged. “I don’t know, but not a queen. What I do know is that I wanted a choice in the matter, but I was never given one. I was born in the body of a queen, and it became what I was destined to be for as long as I can remember.” I then raised my eyebrow. “Speaking of what I can remember, you do realize you fell in love with a piece of ancient history, right? I’m older than your teacher, you know.”

Twilight gasped and looked up at me, nearly gouging me with her horn. “R-really?”

I nodded. “I was there when your two princesses were born, Twilight. Well not there, but I heard about it. With both of them knowing about us and you keeping in such common contact with them, I’m surprised it never came up.”

Twilight shook her head with a dumbfounded expression. “N-no, it never did. Well...actually I did once ask if Princess Celestia knew how old you were, but she just laughed without answering directly; she said I should ask you myself.” She then shrugged with a sheepish smile. “I didn’t want to offend you, so I kept the question to myself.”

I smiled with a gentle shake of my head. “When you surpass a certain age, things so trivial as age itself become unimportant. For future reference, do not be afraid to ask anything about me that you wish to know. If I can remember the answer, I will tell you. You already know all of my shames, so I have nothing to hide from you.”

“It’s liberating, isn’t it?” Twilight ventured, though I had a feeling she already knew the answer.

I nodded, again settling myself against her. “It is. So much of my life had been wrapped up in secrecy; it’s nice to finally have someone I can confide in.” I gestured generally to the town spread out before us. “Our friends are good to talk to, but while they will accept anything I tell them, they’ll never truly be able to understand. Your strong empathy for those around you seems to allow you to truly understand how I feel, and for that I am grateful.”

Twilight shook her head, brushing against my mane. “Fluttershy is more empathetic than I am. She would better be able to understand how you feel than I would, but she’s just-”

“Shy, I know.” I interrupted with a grin. My smile fell away as I thought about the demure pegasus. “Speaking of our yellow friend, I can’t help but think that she’s endured quite a bit of trauma in her life. No one is born as timid as she is, even with a sheltered foalhood.”

“I assume the same thing.” Twilight whispered morosely. “She won’t talk about her past though, and Rainbow Dash won’t say anything about it either. I hope that one day she’ll open up and let us help her break out of her shell.”

“If she is to change,” I began with a sage-like tone, “it has to be for herself. We can only provide the environment of safety and love that she needs to feel relaxed.” Glancing to the sky and seeing a shape approaching the library, shadowed by the glare of the sun, I announce, “But that’ll have to wait. Our ride is here.”

Twilight stood and levitated our respective saddlebags onto our backs, and it’s at that time that I thank whatever gave Twilight her aptitude for magic that she was a master at enchantments, otherwise I would have been crushed under the weight of the pack placed upon me.

As the shape in the sky approached, it coalesced into a trio of pegasi royal guards pulling a small covered chariot. True that I trusted Twilight (and the princesses, to a degree), but I half-expected a prisoner carriage to be arriving rather than such a comfortable looking chariot.

“You look surprised.” Twilight commented from beside me.

Deciding to be completely honest, I answered, “I halfway expected to see a cage with my name on it.”

“Are you ever going to fully trust ponies?” Twilight asked, concern clear in her tone.

I sighed and shook my head. “Probably not, but because of what I have done, not what ponies have done. You all shouldn’t trust me. Besides the fact that I’m a changeling ‒ a creature that has evolved to live deceit and lies ‒ I’m a queen-morph with more than enough power to overwhelm Princess Celestia. Normal ponies don’t know who I am, but I can’t be sure just who else the princesses might have told about who I really am.”

Twilight simply shook her head. “The princesses are generally much more direct than that. If they deemed you a threat, Ponyville would have been locked down and the entire eastern wing of the Royal Guard would have swarmed the town. I might have a few emotional outbursts here and there-”

“More than a few from what the others have told me.” I quipped with a smirk.

Twilight glared at me before continuing. “However, the princesses trust my judgement. When I told them that you’re not a threat, they believed me as easily as if I had said the sun brings the day and the moon heralds the night.” She shook her head quickly. “But beyond that, they’ve seen for themselves who you’ve become. They don’t feel threatened and trust you to look out for me.”

I nodded and again settled myself against her for a moment before a stray thought entered my mind. “Wait, have you told your brother and Princess Mi Amore Cadenza yet?”

Twilight stilled and slapped a hoof forcefully to her face, causing me to wince at the action. She groaned in both pain and shame as she answered, “I knew I forgot something…”

I sighed and shook my head in frustration. “Did you tell them anything?”

Twilight removed her hoof from her face and sighed as well, but in self-loathing. “Just the same thing that I told my parents: that the princesses and I were in contact with a former changeling queen.” Her eyes then widened as her breathing began to increase with her anxiety. “Oh Celestia, my dad doesn’t even know I’m dating! This is horrible and I completely forgot to tell him that I was even thinking of anypony like that!” Her breathing began to border on hyperventilation as she started to tremble noticeably, so I threw my hooves around her and held her close.

“Twilight,” I whispered soothingly, “you need to calm down. Right now, we’re on an assignment from Princess Celestia, so worrying about it isn’t going to solve anything. When we get back, I’ll do everything within my power to help you through this, however you decide to do it.” I shrugged helplessly. “Personally I think we should do things the same way we did with your friends, but something tells me that won’t work so well with your brother, sister-in-law, mother and father.” Deciding to insert a little humor in the situation, I smirked and added, “Ooh, we can just share a big sloppy kiss in front of them, and then I transform back to my true form! There’s no way they could misunderstand then!”

Twilight choked on her breath before erupting into loud guffaws of laughter, complete with lack of muscle control and tears beginning to leak from her eyes. Whether it was the mere amount of stress she was feeling that caused her to react so explosively or something else mattered little to me. All I knew was that rather than losing her mind to worry, Twilight was laughing and smiling. That alone was worth the confusion I felt.

After a few minutes of laughter (and quite a few curious stares from onlookers around town), Twilight finally calmed down enough to sit up and lean against me again, though giggles still trickled out of her mouth and through her body.

“T-thank you, Chryssie. I needed that.” she cooed, wrapping her hooves tightly around me.

I returned the gesture and nodded. “You’re welcome to it, Twilight. It’s okay to be worried about things, but I’ll always be here to put your thoughts back into perspective if you have a little outbreak of crazy.”

Twilight’s mirth died in an instant, and she resorted to glaring at me for a moment before growling, “Thanks, ‘dear’. I love you too.”

I shrugged, unfazed. “I just call it like I see it. Regardless, like I said, it’s my job to be sure you don’t take those moments of insanity and run with it. Your friends all told me what happened to Ponyville the last time you thought you were going to be tard-”

Never speak that word in my presence!” Twilight hissed threateningly, just before slumping and sighing heavily. “Alright fine, maybe I have some issues here and there.”

Realizing that Twilight’s tone had changed from jovial to serious, I adopted a more serious attitude myself in an attempt to help how I could. “Where does it come from? The extreme desire to please Princess Celestia, I mean.”

Twilight leaned more of her weight against me as she sighed heavily, clearly unwilling to think about her obvious fault. “It started ever since she took me as her student. To this day I’m not sure why she did; I was just a little unicorn filly who couldn’t control her magic.”

I thought on the matter for a moment before venturing, “Maybe she saw more than that, like we all do now.”

Twilight seemed to ignore my comment as she forged ahead. “I worried that if I didn’t become the perfect student, she would realize just how flawed I was and would leave me.” She sighed and smiled wide. “Magic is my life. Beyond being my special talent, it’s what’s always interested me. When Princess Celestia ‒ one of the most powerful magical beings on the planet ‒ asked me to become her student, I was ecstatic.” Her smile then faltered, being replaced with a growing frown. “But I feel like if I don’t do anything and everything I can to please her, I won’t mean anything to her anymore.” She shook her head angrily, and the startlingly fast change in demeanor surprised me. “Being a good student to Princess Celestia has been my whole life. I entered her tutelage at age four, and ever since then my entire life has been about her. I only made friends because she practically forced me to come to Ponyville, and I only stayed because I knew she thought it would be best for me.”

I frowned, furrowing my brow. “I don’t believe that. I’ve seen you with your friends; you love them more than anything.”

She nodded slowly. “I do, but had Princess Celestia asked me to come back to Canterlot with her, I would have done it. As much as I love having friends, there’s not a doubt in my mind that I would choose her over them every time.” A choked sob left her mouth as her voice broke. “And I hate myself for it. I know it’s a problem, but I can’t fix it. I would do anything for Princess Celestia, and I’m pretty sure she knows it. I would kill for her.” Twilight’s gaze hardened, though tears still fell. “I would die for her.”

I kept silent for a few moments as I let the words sink in, then broached the subject as simply as I could.

“You love her, and not as a student or subject.” It wasn’t a question.

Twilight’s entire body went rigid for a moment before she collapsed against me, utterly defeated. “I do…” Realizing what she’d just said, Twilight scrambled to sit up before rambling, “But I love you too even though Princess Celestia was there first, and I was just a little filly when it first happened, but then I met you later on, and I swear I didn’t mean it; oh, please don’t hate me!”

I couldn’t help but chuckle at her worry, even though I felt a little bad about it.

A little.

Shaking my head gently, I worked to alleviate her worries. “Twilight, I don’t hate you. I knew, and Princess Celestia knows too.”

Twilight’s face showed absolute horror at my statement. “Sh-she does?!”

I nodded, rolling my eyes. “She does, and doesn’t begrudge you for it. She still loves you the exact same she always has, and I honestly believe she’s flattered.” I shook my head again, this time smiling in what I hoped was a comforting manner. “She said nothing about hating you or feeling awkward; she only asked that I love you as you deserve and keep you safe.”

“A-are you sure she isn’t disgusted with me or anything?” Twilight croaked, her features softening just a little.

I nodded, smiling wide. “I am. She loves you Twilight, and while it may not be romantically, I’m confident that will never change. You’re special to her, and I’m quite confident it isn’t simply because of your magic prowess. Beyond that, you reunited her with her sister ‒ a feat alone that probably earned you her undying gratitude for doing so.” I sighed and nuzzled Twilight’s mane just above her horn. “Your extreme devotion is something we’ll need to work on, but consider yourself lucky it’s to Princess Celestia and not somepony more sinister.”

Twilight had begun to compose herself a bit, and asked, “Like who?”

I shrugged. “Like me.”

“You’re hardly sinister anymore.” she answered firmly. “The most sinister thing you’ve done lately is replace Rainbow Dash’s shampoo with glue, and that was Pinkie’s idea anyway.”

I barked a laugh, nodding. “Heh. Yeah, that was funny.” Still smiling, I shrugged. “I’m a changed changeling, but that doesn’t mean I’ve completely left behind who I am. I know how to be downright evil and mean if I have to.”

Suddenly, a glint caught Twilight’s eyes...an unfamiliar, yet not wholly unappetizing glint.

“Really now?” she asked, her voice having lost its usual bounce, instead sounding silky and seductive. “And just what would you make me do if I did whatever you asked?” Twilight held a half-lidded stare with me for a moment before coughing and turning away from me, a noticeable blush on her cheeks. “S-sorry. I don’t know where that came from.”

“Years of pent-up sexual frustration would be my guess.” I quipped with a grin.

She raised an eyebrow at me. “And if that’s what it is, what about you? You’ve got just a few years on me.” My lack of response from my surprise must have been clear, because she smirked. “Ah, didn’t think I’d turn that around on you, did you?”

I was about to retort, but realized Twilight was smiling brightly once again. So, I poked her cheek with a hoof and smiled back. “It got you to smile, so it was worth it.”

Seemingly realizing she was smiling, Twilight’s eyes widened and her smile softened to a loving one. “It did. Thank you, Chryssie.”

A cleared throat from in front caused us both to look up, only to see four armored pegasus guards waiting with a chariot.

“Oh, don’t stop on our account.” the stallion in front quipped with a smirk. “It was adorable.”

Twilight cleared her own throat before levitating both of our bags onto the chariot and hurriedly trotting over to it. “N-no, we should get going as soon as possible. C’mon, Mist Ray.”

My own face was red with embarrassment, but I chuckled good-naturedly and followed Twilight into the chariot. After taking only a moment to be sure everything was secured, the guards hooked themselves up to the harnesses and glanced back at us briefly before flapping their wings, causing it to lurch forward before they gained speed and we took off into the air.

“Alright,” one of them called back, “we’re on our way. It’ll take a few hours to get there though and we’ll be stopping for a break in Origin Valley, so I would recommend taking a nap if you can. Otherwise the journey is going to be long and boring for you two.”

While I was unsure whether it would be safe to sleep in an uncovered chariot in the sky, Twilight seemed to think the idea was a good one as she laid down on the cushioned surface we sat upon. Shrugging and accepting that sleeping would be a good idea, I extended one of my wings to cover Twilight’s back as I shifted closer to her and lay my head beside hers. Surprisingly, the close contact with Twilight and her warmth was quickly soothing me, and with the gentle swaying of the chariot, I soon found myself slipping away into unconsciousness.