Hey everypony! As I write this, I'm listening to Elton John's "Your Song." So beautiful. I like the Moulin Rouge version a bit more, but this is still awesome. I love Elton John. What about you ponies? Tell me in the reviews!
And so the time began to pass. Days with Braeburn seemed to melt into one another – a loving blur. The ponies still stared and shook around Chrysalis, but eventually they got used to her presence in Appaloosa. Every day Braeburn went to work. He never forgot again. As the months passed, he suggested that Chrysalis get a job. And so she began working in Appaloosa's one and only ice cream shop. At first business failed because the fillies and colts were terrified of the changeling Queen, but eventually they began to get a bit braver, and business boomed like never before.
One year after they had been together, Braeburn asked Queen Chrysalis to marry him.
It went something like this:
The Queen staggered home after her long day of work, flopping down on Braeburn's couch and laying her head on her hooves. "Braeburn? Are you home?" she called.
The cowpony trotted into the room, nervously scuffing at the rug with his hoof. "Yes, ma'am," he answered quietly.
"Um… Braeburn?" the Queen asked lifting her head. He had been jumpy and nervous around her for the past few weeks, and it was beginning to concern her.
"Are you… upset with me?" she questioned, and found that the very thought of Braeburn being upset with her was quite… well… upsetting.
Braeburn's eyes widened and he shook his head earnestly. "No, ma'am. Not at all. I've just been a bit jumpy these past few weeks because… I… I wanna propose a question." Suddenly, he shook his head and his face went white as a sheet. "No, not propose! Not yet! I mean… this t'ain't how I wanted this t'go at all!" He stomped his hoof and said, "Can we go flyin', ma'am?"
Queen Chrysalis nodded worriedly. Braeburn was acting very strange. She wrapped her front hooves around his chest and pulled him to her, flying out of an open window. She was greeted with a sight she never tired of: the silvery sea of desert. While many ponies despised the desert with its torrid environment and stale-tasting air, Chrysalis loved it. It felt like home. "Shall I?" she asked, beginning to form a green bubble with her magic so Braeburn could float freely.
"No, thank ya, ma'am," Braeburn responded quietly. "Wouldja please cast one 'a them flyin' spells on me like ya did that one time?"
Queen Chrysalis did so, and Braeburn floated in the air before her. He took a deep breath, wiping his suddenly-sweaty brow with a hoof. He blinked. "I love you," he announced to his marefriend. "I love you too much to ever imagine you not bein' with me." He reached into his vest and pulled out a small black box. Since Chrysalis had lived in the hive almost her entire life, she didn't understand what was going on. When two changelings fell in love, they didn't waste time with dates and coy smiles. Changelings were quick and intense with their relationships, but stayed together for life.
Braeburn flicked open the box. There was a small golden ring inside. There was a small, glowing green jewel in it. Braeburn looked up at Chrysalis with hopeful eyes. "Marry me?" he asked quietly.
Queen Chrysalis's eyes filled with wonder as she levitated the ring on to her horn. "Yes," she said simply.
"Mama?" the baby changeling asked, levitating herself into the air with her black magic.
"Yes, my darling?" Chrysalis answered, catching her baby with her front hooves and levitating her into the air in front of her.
"That's how you and Daddy met?"
Queen Chrysalis smiled and nodded, cuddling the baby to her chest. "Daddy is a great stallion, Nari. Did I ever tell you that?" She sat her child down and patted her on the head.
The baby changeling rolled her eyes. "Yes, Mama. You say that every day," she reminded her mother.
"Nari, would you like to call your brother in here?" Chrysalis asked.
Nari nodded, but then bit her lip with her sharp fangs. "Mama?" she asked hesitantly. "How come I don't have a cutie mark? Sugar Rush says that her mommy and poppy have cutie marks, but they said you don't. She said I'm not gonna get one. How come? I mean… am I not good at anything? Will I not have a special talent?" She looked genuinely concerned and miserable, despite her tender age. She lifted her black front legs – holeless, since she was half pony – and raised them in the air, signaling that she wanted to be picked up.
The Queen scooped up her daughter once more and nuzzled her comfortingly. "Sugar Rush is right about one thing, my darling," she said sadly, "you won't get a cutie mark. I didn't want to tell you yet, but it's better that you know." Seeing her daughter's blue eyes fill with tears the Queen nuzzled her again. "But you have something that Sugar Rush does not."
"What's that, Mama?" Nari asked, wrapping her hooves around her mother in a hug.
Chrysalis hugged her daughter back and then held her at leg's length. "You are an alicorn, my darling. Only the most famous princesses are alicorns. You know, with a horn and wings."
"But… I don't look like Princess Tia or Princess Luna, Mama," Nari said, her young brow furrowed. "Or Princess Cadence."
"You're special," Chrysalis sighed. "You're a changeling. Part of a race that are all alicorns. Remember how I told you I used to be the Queen of them?"
Nari nodded thoughtfully. "You mean… Sugar Rush will always be an Earth pony? And… I'm an alicorn?" Her blue eyes began to sparkle with happiness. Her little wings buzzed and her horn sparked with black magic. "I'm an alicorn!" she shrieked happily, hovering into the air.
Queen Chrysalis laughed with joy. Her daughter was flying! Her first flight! She levitated a camera with her magic and snapped a few pictures of her flying daughter. "Nari, you have no idea how proud I am of you," Queen Chrysalis said kindly. Ever since she had had foals, her formal manner of speech had dissipated almost entirely.
Nari continued to float in the air. "Mama, I'm flying!" she squealed, zipping around the room. She quickly got tired and made a crash landing in Chrysalis's lap. She gave her wings a little flap and then settled like a curling kitten. She looked up at her mother. "Sugar Rush'll never be able to fly or do magic," she said in a surprisingly sagely voice. "I won't get a cutie mark, though. But… I guess that means I don't have a special talent." Seeing the worry in her mother's eyes, Nari smiled. "That's okay, Mama! That just means I can be super good at more than one thing! Sugar Rush already got her cutie mark – she's gonna be candy maker. But… what if she wanted to be a model? Or a cherry farmer? She wouldn't fit in, Mama. It wouldn't work because her special talent is making candy. But me? I could be a candy maker or a model or a cherry farmer or… whatever… until I found what I loved to do. I'm happy just the way I am. Even if the other changelings rule themselves, you're the best Queen ever." She hugged her mother hard. "And the best mama ever."
Queen Chrysalis smiled and hugged her daughter back. "You're the smartest little changeling ever," she murmured. "Now let's call that brother of yours in here." She called, "Apple Bounty!" in the direction of the colt's room. A teenaged colt trotted out with a smile on his face. He was a very pale yellow Earth pony with a brownish orange mane that had one white stripe in the middle. It was the same with his scruffy tail. He mostly took after his father – except that he had the beautiful eyes of his mother. The only other way he took after his mother was that he didn't sport the Southern drawl that 99.999% of the Apple Family had.
"Yeah, Mom?" he asked. His cutie mark was a bucket of apples.
"Your dad wanted you to help him in the apple orchards today. Can you do that?" Chrysalis asked.
Apple Bounty's eyes lit up. "He said that?" he asked excitedly, as he did every time his father asked him to help in the orchard, which was very often.
Queen Chrysalis laughed. "Yes. I'll never understand it, Bounty. He asks for your help in the orchards at least four times a week. You act like it's a new opportunity to impress him every time."
Apple Bounty grinned. "That's just it, Mom. It is. He really values my help out there, y'know? He's not just pretending. I don't feel like a silly little foal always getting underhoof. I feel like a stallion who has a job." He tapped his white vest, a carbon copy of his father's other than the coloring. "Dad didn't give me this vest just because he wanted me to feel special. He gave it to me because I am special. I know what I want to do with my life." With that, he gave a stoic smile and said, "Head apple bucker! Apple Bounty! Can ya see it, Mom?"
Queen Chrysalis laughed softly and smiled. "Yes, son. Yes I can." She hugged him close. "I love you, Apple Bounty."
"Love you too, Mom," the Earth pony colt said, scampering off to go help his father.
Queen Chrysalis levitated a now-sleeping Nari on to her back and trotted outside, spotting her husband in the orchards, bucking trees with his son.
And that was when she felt pure happiness.