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Familia 17: Shape of Love

Mandroid May 19th, 2018 231 Never
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  1. =Familia 17=
  2.  
  3. >A knocking at your door draws your attention away from the scroll you were reading.
  4. >”One second Twilight! I’ll get it!” you hear Spike call.
  5. >You hope up from your table and head for the front door
  6. “Don’t worry Spike! I have it!”
  7. >Based on the time and date, you knew who it was.
  8. >You throw open the door to Anonymous and a pony no one in town had ever seen before.
  9. >”Hello there, Twilight!” Anonymous says.
  10. >”I hate this. I hate this. I hate everything about this and wish I were dead.” His companion muttered.
  11. “Uh…will Chrysalis be okay?” you ask.
  12. >Anonymous reaches down and pets the disguised Changeling Queen’s head, who smiles faintly despite clearly being in a bad mood. “Chryssy just doesn’t like this disguise, but she’s promised me that she’ll be putting on a brave face and behaving all day today, isn’t that right sweetheart?”
  13. >Chrysalis sighs and rights her mane. “Only for you, Poppy. Only ever for you.”
  14. >Anonymous smiles, which makes her smile faintly too.
  15. >”Well, if she is ready than so am I!” Anonymous beams.
  16. >You smile back at him and float your quill and scroll back to your table.
  17. “Spike! I’m going to be showing Anonymous and…a friend around Ponyville for a bit! Lock the door, will you?”
  18. >”Okaaaaaay!” you hear him call back.
  19. >You leave your tree house and take a few steps down the road.
  20. “First I think let’s visit the bakery!”
  21. >”I adore sweets! Lead the way, Twilight!”
  22. >Chrysalis groans “You two are giving me diabetes already…”
  23.  
  24. -The Past-
  25. >”Poppy! Poppy! I found one!
  26. >Chrysalis bounds up the hill ahead of you and stops by a tree at the top.
  27. “Hey! Hey! Hold on! I’m not as fast as I used to be!”
  28. >You chase after your daughter up to the top of the hill and take a gander at what she’s found, a natural apple tree with glistening red orbs of nutrients dangling seductively from its branches.
  29. “Nice find, Chryssy. How did you get so good at this?”
  30. >The teenage Changeling puffs out her chest and grins triumphantly. “Because I am the most amazing daughter ever, Poppy. That is why.” She beams.
  31. >You laugh and pet her head, soaking in her affectionately pressing into your hand and pretending you didn’t notice her jealously looking to the sun with one eye.
  32. “Let’s get to picking! If we’re quick, we can be home before-“
  33. >Both you and Chrysalis’ heads bolt to the side as you hear a tree crack and fall over. Chrysalis leaps in front of you with her head low and horn towards the danger.
  34. >After a few moments pass, you reach your hand out and touch her back.
  35. “It’s okay, we’re safe.”
  36. >”R-right.” She says, composing herself. “What was that?” she then wonders.
  37. >You had an idea, but someone had to pick these apples.
  38. “Why don’t you try that trick you learned and see?”
  39. >Chrysalis smiles a full, open-mouth smile. “Aha! What a wonderful idea! Alright, hold on…”
  40. >She focuses herself and straightens her stance, closing her eyes and blinking a few times as emerald flame flits about her eyelashes and she aims to get it just right.
  41. >Finally, when she opens her eyes, they’re no longer green and slitted but blue and compound as her insectoid appearance would make you expect.
  42.  
  43. “What do you see, sweetheart?”
  44. >”I’m focusing, oooone second.” She says as you continue you pick fruit for lunch tomorrow. It didn’t bother you doing all the work at this point, you were far too used to the single father lifestyle. And besides, you enjoyed spending time with all your children.
  45. >Chrysalis gasps at something. “Father, I see the ponies you told us about!”
  46. >That actually catches you off guard, but only for a moment.
  47. “Huh. Really?”
  48. >How far were you two walking to get here…?
  49. >You take the bushel of crop you already had and walk up next to Chrysalis, careful to keep ready in case you had to hide. Sure enough, you can see tiny blobs in the distance working through a clearing in and out of some makeshift structures.
  50. “Can you see what they’re doing?”
  51. >”It looks like they’re cutting down trees. I see a lot of older ones going into the forest…and a little green filly passing out some golden fluid to them?”
  52. “Cider, for the workers to keep them cool.”
  53. >”Mm…now one of them is hugging her, it must be one of her parents…they have the same color hair.”
  54. “Mane, sweetheart. For ponies, it’s called a mane.”
  55. >”Right, right. I knew that.”
  56.  
  57. >You close your eyes and take in the cool breeze as Chrysalis continues to look down the hill at the newcomers, fascinated by ones who were outside of her small little world.
  58. >This was good for her, you knew. She wasn’t a little filly anymore and was getting to the age where she’d soon go off on her own into the world, like Celestia, Luna and Discord. Already you occasionally heard her talking about the “others” in her sleep at night. You knew that if there was one like her, there may be others, and that being among her own kind would be something she would have to do.
  59. >You sigh and look to the spot in the sky the moon occupied every night.
  60. >For better or worse, it was something she would have to do.
  61. >”They’re putting up a sign now. ‘Future site of…Ponyville’?”
  62. >Chrysalis blinks her eyes back to normal and turns her head to you, cocking an eyebrow with a sly expression. “A bit on the nose, isn’t it?”
  63. >You snicker and cover your mouth
  64. “Where did you learn that?”
  65. >”I’ve been eating your sense of humor while you sleep. OoooOoOoOoo!” she mocks.
  66. >You pat her shoulder and pick up the basket you had already.
  67. “Let’s fill this and skedaddle. We don’t want to be seen, and I have the feeling those settlers will need these trees more than we will.”
  68.  
  69. -The Present-
  70. >”Hrm…ketchup? Or…catsup?” Anonymous pondered at the stall, a bottle of condiments in each hand.
  71. >Your sheepish snickering at the situation was drowned out by the sound of your other traveling companion groaning next to you on the bench.
  72. >”This is why we don’t take him shopping, Sparkle.” Complains a disguised Chrysalis. “He lives at a different speed from the rest of society after raising all of us.”
  73. “Really? He seems alert and full of life whenever I’ve seen him, Chrysalis.”
  74. >”Because you’ve only ever seen him around us. He doesn’t have the space for anything else.” She retorts.
  75. >Chrysalis gets a look in her eye as she watches the old man go back and forth between the bottles, like she’s staring through the crowds of other shoppers from Ponyville and is back at her old home, just her and Anonymous, again.
  76. >”Poppy has given us everything he has inside of him and more over the many years. When he is among us, he somehow summons up more of himself to be the father we all loved, but you now see him when he’s alone.”
  77.  
  78. >A flicker of pain passes through Chrysalis’s eye. “Slow, doting, as if a sufficiently stiff breeze could topple him and break his fragile bones…” Her teeth clench and get a bit sharper, her emotions doubtlessly overpowering her transformation. “It disgusts me that Celestia leaves him in that cottage, away from anyone who could care for him.”
  79. “Hey! Easy, easy!”
  80. >You extend one of your new wings over in front of Chrysalis’s face to hide her from the townsfolk and snap her out of her mood.
  81. “I’d prefer you grumpy and disguised over angry and making a panic!”
  82. >Chrysalis composes herself and bats your wing away. “I am not ‘GRUMPY’.”
  83. “You could have fooled me. Every time I see you with Anonymous, you look grumpy.”
  84. >Chrysalis gets right up in your face and snorts through her nose. “I am like that because I am also seeing YOU, Sparkle. Make no mistake. Our ceasefire is no peace.”
  85. >You brush her off with your hooves this time.
  86. “Uhg! I thought it was just having to be a pony this time, but you’re just constantly miserable.”
  87. >Chrysalis huffs part of her mane out of her face and looks to Anonymous. “I have no problem being whatever shape I must for Poppy, Sparkle…no trouble at all.”
  88. “Oh no, is this another flashba-“
  89.  
  90. >Something bumps in the house late at night and pulls you from your sleep, sitting straight up in your bed.
  91. “Sombra?”
  92. >He liked to occasionally root around the house for any of the few books he hadn’t read front to back and memorized. There was also the possibility it could be your illustrious Partner blowing the breeze.
  93. “Red, that you?”
  94. >You rise from off your bed and creep to your door. You remember the night alone with Chrysalis, so many years ago when Celestia came knocking after sealing away Luna when you had thought there was…something at the door come for you and her and how you mustered up the strength to be ready to fight whatever it was. You call on that courage again as you open the door to the hall and creep out.
  95. >Slightly to your surprise, you hear swearing.
  96. >”Ow ow ow ow!”
  97. “Chryyyyyyys?”
  98. >The swearing stops dead in its tracks and you jump around the corner of the hall to see what the heck was going on. That’s when your jaw nearly hits the floor.
  99.  
  100. >Time had lost meaning since you arrived in Equestria. You remember that you were contacted by your partner Red shortly after arriving here, and that she needed your help. You agreed, and the girls were dropped off.
  101. >Since then every day had been devoted to fathering the little ponies and occasional patchwork draconequus, and apart Aspen they were the only living souls you interacted with. If you didn’t have a mirror, you’d have forgotten what your own face looked like, or a human face at all.
  102. >Which made seeing one in your kitchen with a hand in the fruit jar a bit of a shock.
  103. >To her credit, she looks back at you equally shocked at being caught, her teenage body freezing in place as her emerald eyes darting back and forth looking for a place to go.
  104. >Wait, emerald eyes? Turquoise, moss-like hair? Ashen skin tone?
  105. “Chrysalis?”
  106. >”Uhh! No!”
  107.  
  108. “Chrys, what the heck-butt-nuts!?”
  109. >Being a dad meant you hadn’t uttered a swear in over a thousand years.
  110. >Chrysalis opens her too human mouth and shrugs “Ssssuuuuurrrprise! Haha! Hah! Ah…”
  111. >A tension filled few seconds of silence pass before you hang your arms in front of you and tilt your head sideways.
  112. “Bu-huh?”
  113. >Chrysalis sighs and crosses her arms. “I was hoping to surprise you once I perfected it, but…”
  114. “Oh I’m plenty surprised.”
  115. >Fatherly instincts kick in and you approach her, arms outstretched to her to catch her as if her shape would dissolve at any moment.
  116. “W-what is this?”
  117. >Chrysalis smiles shyly but rubs her arm. “Well…it’s something I’ve been thinking about and working on for a while now, and after seeing that little filly and her mother today, I…”
  118. >She looks back to you with cat-like pupils and curtsies. “Hehe. Tadaa! What do you think?”
  119. >You approach her gently, as a father would, and kneel to her eye level.
  120. “Sweetie…”
  121. >You look her in the eyes, the same eyes you saw every morning but in a different shape, as her face beamed with pride.
  122. “I want you to turn back to normal.”
  123.  
  124. >That face contorted through a flurry of emotions. Shock, confusion, shame, eventually settling on pain. She looks down at her feet with tears in the corner of her eyes.
  125. >”…No, I understand.” She sniffs her petite little nose. “I-I should have asked before I did this.”
  126. >She turns her face up, tears welling in her eyes more as she looks into yours. “I just thought being like this would help me be your-“
  127. >You silence her by sweeping her into a hug that encompasses her entire upper body.
  128. “Not another syllable like that out of you, young lady!”
  129. >Chrysalis freezes in your grasp, afraid of even breathing until she understands your thoughts.
  130. “You…don’t say that. Ever.”
  131. >You gently pet her head to calm her down.
  132. “That little filly today looks like her mother. My children do not. That doesn’t mean I love them any less.”
  133. “You don’t have to ever be “like me” to have me love you, little one. I already do, and I can never stop.”
  134. >”P-poppy…”
  135. “You never have to TRY for my love, Chrysalis. You never have to struggle like however you came into my home. My door is ALWAYS open to my children, just like my heart is.
  136. >You feel her shape change in your hands and her face get longer as it whimpers and rubs against your damp shoulder.
  137. >The two of you stay like that for a while.
  138.  
  139. >You push the door to the library open with your magic.
  140. “Spiiiiike! We’re back!”
  141. >No answer.
  142. >Meaning he was probably asleep.
  143. >You smile and shake your head. You couldn’t get mad at him, today was a perfect day for being lazy.
  144. >Not that you’d ever do that.
  145. >You head back out and find Anonymous and Chrysalis by the mailbox while Anonymous sips from two separate drinks. He looks at you and licks his lips.
  146. >”I think I like the Mango Blast better.”
  147. >You smugly smile at Chrysalis.
  148. “I told you.”
  149. >”Everyone’s a critic.” She mutters, sipping her Orange Twist by herself.
  150. >A tinge of magic in the air turns your attention to the sky, where the sun hangs mighty low in the sky. Those two facts lead you to deduce that Celestia was going to usher in the night any moment.
  151. “Well, it’s late, and I’ve got a dragon to catch up on his cataloguing.”
  152. >”And I have to go convince that blasted Sun-“Sister” of mine to get her pegusai to move clouds over the badlands. Her rays are making it unbearable in the summer.”
  153. >You glance back to the front door.
  154. “Perhaps it’s best we part ways here the-“
  155. >You turn back to the two of them and find Chrysalis and Anonymous in an embrace. She has her eyes closed as she rests her head on his shoulder and he gently pets her mane with the same expression. The movements look practiced and learned and you feel you’d be interrupting something sacred if you stepped in.
  156. >So for the time being, you’re content to sip your dink and smile at the two.
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