Her Weight in Affection

by Stonershy

Chapter 1: Original Version

Original Version

The first few months outside of Equestria had been rough; much, much rougher than Chrysalis would have liked to admit. However, despite the odds, and being completely separated from her servants, she had survived. It took every ounce of guile and cleverness in her, but in a little more than a year she had managed to get a foothold in the strange world she found herself in. Of course, even if she had successfully blended in with the inhabitants, she found this new land to be absolutely deplorable. For starters, they were even more distasteful to her than the ponies she had once deceived back in Equestria. They were bland, boring things that moved about on two legs instead of four, all of them lacking wings, horns, hooves or tails.

When she had first gotten her bearings and stumbled out of the woods, taking the form of an alicorn in the presence of two such vile, toothless locals led to a short chase. After incapacitating them with her magic, she managed to force them to explain themselves. From their jabbering, she gathered that they had intended to capture her and put her on display in hopes of making money. While the idea appealed to her on some level, she declined. If she was to be admired, it would be on her terms.

Through careful observation, the changeling queen swiftly adapted to the ins and outs of what was acceptable for a human, as they were called. She assimilated to their culture, both in terms of fashion and behavior, and in just a few weeks, she was stealing glances. Being undressed by the eyes of passing boys in backwater towns was just barely keeping her fed, however. Spurred on by her constantly near-empty stomach, she made an attempt at romance. It was awful, and awkward, and she absolutely hated the look of a naked human, much less the feel of one against her. For all the work she had to do, it was not an adequate source of nourishment, and she swiftly learned to avoid what she came to recognize as a booty call.

Mimicking the form of one’s lover didn’t yield much better results, as it seemed that these horrid beasts were much less generous with their affection, and it was much more difficult to deal with the women whose forms she took. Whenever the women she had impersonated somehow managed to free themselves and confront her, or get the local authorities involved, she would barely avoid apprehension. The changeling queen was only able to slip away through clever use of disguises. After several such awkward, failed, or barely successful attempts at finding a steady source of love to feed on, Chrysalis decided that it would be best to find a new hunting ground.

A few hours on a bus put her right in the center of the largest city she had ever seen. It was easily more massive and lit with much brighter lights than Canterlot, though far dirtier. Chrysalis had learned enough about humans to know that in order to truly fit in, she would need a form of identification and a job. Using the right disguises and asking the right questions, she got her hands on a fake driver’s license and matching social security card in just a few hours. Next came interviews, all of which she handled flawlessly. The very next day, she had secured employment in an office complex at an entry level position.


A little more than one year, several promotions, and a fully furnished studio apartment later, Chrysalis stared across her desk at the intern nervously fidgeting before her. Her gaze briefly focused on the back of her name plate. In her reflection, the sharp, platinum blond of her short, feathered hair, the piercing green of her eyes, and the deep crimson of her lipstick all stood out against the chrome finish. She glanced back up at the intern, lips curling into a grin. Even though she couldn’t care less for the human figure, she had to admit that she looked pretty good.

“You wanted to see me, Ms. Salis?”

“Yes. Please, take a seat…” She clicked her long, carefully filed nails against the desk as she waited for him to comply. The intense green she had painted them reflected on the smooth surface of the desk. “Before we begin, I have a question for you. Is it better to be respected, or admired?”

“Uh… Don’t you mean respected or feared?”

“Why else would one respect another, if not for fear?” She leaned forward, narrowing her eyes. “You’re nervous because I’m the one sitting behind an expensive desk in a corner office, and I’m the one that is going to decide whether or not you remain with this firm based on our little chat. There is no shame in that, because I know that fear will keep you in line and make you act desirable. This is respect as I have come to understand it. But, even with so much leverage in my grasp, is it as fulfilling as having one follow my commands simply because they desire to do so? Is it as satisfying as having those who wish to please me simply so that I might favor them with my smile?”

“I…” The pasty little intern swallowed. “I suppose, given those terms, it would be better to be admired.”

“And yet, you do not admire me. I can feel the bile you harbor toward me, just under your fear; you, and every other worm in this dreadful place.” She sat forward, her nails starting to dig into the desk under them. “Am I not attractive to you? Am I not the pinnacle of fashion and beauty? I have done nothing but bring prosperity and success to this establishment since becoming the head of management, and for my cunning and leadership, I am reviled by my subjects?!”

The intern’s eyes rolled in their sockets as he tried to sink into his chair. “You’re very intimidating! Maybe if you weren’t, people would… Wait, did you say subjects?”

Chrysalis took a deep breath, settling back and brushing a few stray locks of hair from her eyes. Their glow faded a moment later. “If I were less intimidating, I would be admired? Is that what you mean to say?”


“And if I were less intimidating, they would not respect me. Nothing would be accomplished, and the business would collapse. No, the issue is clearly on your end. None of you know how to admire the one that guides you. Such a tragic flaw in your kind.” She leaned back in her chair, raising a hand and waving toward the door. “I have nothing further to say to you. You may go.”

“But… but what about my job?”

“Oh, that.” She smiled, casually inspecting her nails and fingers. “That position was filled months ago. If you aren’t cleared out in the next fifteen minutes, I intend to call security.”

The intern, with his jaw hanging slack, slowly turned and shambled out of her office. Grinning, she reached forward and lightly pressed the intercom with her index finger.

“Send the next one in, if you will.”


“And then she started to cry! The poor little retch!” Chrysalis punctuated with a shrill cackle, one hand on her chest, just below her neck. “Ah, but, they all said the same thing. They agreed that it would be better to admire me, and yet, not a one of them do. Or did. Actually, we kept three of this quarter’s round of interns.” She leered across the table. “Am I not generous?”

“I think so, in a weird way.” Her date smiled, but she could tell it was half hearted, much like his feelings for her.

“And do you admire me?”

“Of course!” She could feel that it was a languid, tepid sort of affection, driven more by lust than true adoration. “You’re a very beautiful woman.”

Still, a meal was a meal, even if rather unsatisfying. A few glasses of wine helped dull her disappointment, and she managed to keep her filet mignon down long enough to head to the ladies room, where she promptly vomited it right back up.

After flushing, she stared at her rippling reflection in the toilet for a moment. The face she wore, though of her own design, was that of a stranger. She would like nothing more than to stroll out of the bathroom in all of her true, regal glory, and command the respect of all who gazed upon her, but she knew that there could be no grand, dramatic reveal in this world. She had no idea what had become of her armies, or if they would even stand a chance against a military that relied on firearms instead of magic and sharp objects.

With a sigh, the changeling queen swallowed her pride, and a bit of bile, and returned to the table. There wasn’t a doubt in her mind that she was the most beautiful one in the room, but without any true love to feed on, it was all for nothing.

The rest of the evening was a blurred, boring mixture of empty conversation and uncomfortable silence, followed by an uninspired bout of sex.

“You’re all the same,” she quietly hissed as she lay in her date’s bed, staring up at the ceiling, still hungry and barely tolerating the dry snore of the lackluster human beside her.

As silently as she could, Chrysalis slipped out of bed and made her way to the bathroom. Still very tipsy from the wine she had consumed on arrival, she swayed as she looked at her false self in the mirror.

“I deserve better…” A shiver ran through her as she laced her fingers through her hair, slowly sliding them down the sides of her face. “I want to be loved for the real me…”

A sickly green light trailed behind her nails, radiating outward, overlapping and erasing the pale mask she had constructed. She smiled as her gaze met the charcoal black of her carapace, her bleached blond hair fading back to its natural cerulean. She pursed her lips as her muzzle was restored, running her tongue over her fangs a moment later. Her eyes followed the change upward, squinting with glee as her ears and the jagged twists of her horn were restored, along with her delicate crown. She rested her hands against the marble counter, glancing down just in time to watch her fingers vanish in favor of perforated hooves.

Chrysalis turned to watch the change cascade down her body, one hoof on the counter to help her balance. She buzzed her tattered wings once they were restored, savoring the iridescent shimmer of her back and underside. She could only see as far as the base of her tail in the mirror, but she could feel the metamorphasis rolling through her hind legs, replacing knees with hocks, and feet with hooves. Fully transformed, she smiled and nodded at the mirror, as if greeting an old friend.

Her smile faded, and she sighed. “If only…”

“What the…”

Eyes wide, the changeling queen jerked toward the bathroom door. Her date stood in the doorway, his jaw practically on the floor.

“Good heavens,” she shrieked, clutching a fetlock to her breast. “What are you doing awake?!”

They stood and stared for at least a minute, frozen in place like statues. He broke away first. Panicking, she flung him back onto the bed with a burst of magic. He scrambled, trying to get back up, but she wrapped him in her levitation and held him down. A stream of his frenzied profanity followed as she bolted for the bay windows. They glowed and swung open with little difficulty. After grabbing her purse and her clothes, she leapt from the balcony. She glanced back to see her date stumbling to the railing, watching with a gaping mouth as she flickered off into the night.


A week had passed since the colossal flop that was her last date. Thankfully, Chrysalis had yet to see him again, and prayed that the trend would continue. Starving and irritable, she decided to prowl the cubicles, lamenting that she could only feed on love and not misery. One of the new interns had settled in a secluded corner of the office, and since the interview, she had only seen fleeting glimpses of him. She aimed to change that. Grinning and biting her lower lip, she prepared a little speech to break his spirit.

As she passed through the rows of low quality dividers, the walls littered with clippings from newspapers and inspirational photos, their occupants buckled down and worked frantically in what Chrysalis could only guess was an attempt to stave off her wrath. The sight filled her with glee, but she had already selected her target. The farther she traveled the more vacant cubicles she passed. She could only fathom that the intern had picked such a desolate corner in order to avoid doing work.

Chrysalis could hear him typing, unaware of her approach. The prospect of catching him in the act and making an example of him gave her pleasant chills.

“And what, pray tell…” she peered into the cubicle as he whipped around, piercing him with her stare, “gave you the gall to think that you could avoid—”

Her voice caught in her throat as she glanced up at his monitor. He was actually working on a spread-sheet before she had interrupted him, which was both surprising and disappointing. It was what he had perched on his monitor that took her breath away. Though comparatively tiny, and clearly made of plastic, she found herself staring at a pony. More specifically, it was a pony that bore the likeness of Princess Celestia’s star pupil; the very same pony that had a hoof in foiling her plans.

Chrysalis recoiled in horror, bringing up her hands defensively. The intern gawked.

“What… is… that.” She stabbed a finger in the plastic pony’s direction.

“Uh… It’s a character from a cartoon. That’s not a workplace violation… right?”

“Twilight Sparkle…” she hissed, slowly leaning back into the cubicle.

“Oh, you know her name! Are you a fan, too?”

Hesitantly, she glanced away from the miniscule Twilight, noting the smile on the intern’s face. “A fan? Of her? What are you talking about? Is this some kind of sick joke?!”

“Oh, uh… No… It’s not really a joke. Twilight is from… you know. My Little Pony? The cartoon? Wait, you’re not one of those ‘fan of the fandom’ types, are you?”

“Twilight is… a cartoon character…” Chrysalis exhaled slowly, relaxing. “And Princess Celestia? Shining Armor? Princess Cadence?”

“Well… yeah. Of course they’re cartoon characters.” The intern started to turn back to his computer. “I’d love to talk about this later, but I have to get this done before the end of today. You kinda put out a memo about completing projects on time.”

Chrysalis straightened up, brushing the wrinkles out of her blouse. “Yes. Yes, of course. But, before you get back to work… Where might I watch this cartoon? My Little Pony, you called it?”

“Well, they just put season two up on Netflix.”

Fairly bewildered, she turned and stormed back to her office, ignoring the curious stares of her underlings.


Chrysalis had purchased a computer around the same time that she had purchased a number of other furnishings for her apartment. Like the television, however, it sat around collecting dust for the most part. She had only bothered buying either of them because she learned, from observing other humans, that such devices were considered normal possessions. Almost two years since being banished, she was no stranger to either device, but the only time she bothered using a computer was when she was at work. While she considered television useful for news and weather, the high pitched sound a television produced was unpleasant to her.

That evening, after stealing a few longing glances on the subway ride home, she fired up her computer for the second time since acquiring it. After a short round of software updates, she was registered and logged in. Fear, rage, and disgust blurred together inside her as she looked over the six mares partially responsible for her defeat. Biting her lower lip, she clicked play.

It was hard to believe, and part of her was still convinced that somehow, someone had known about her past life and conceived this cartoon to mock her, but there it was before her very eyes; the same Equestria she had been denied not so long ago. Without warning, Chrysalis felt the onset of sorrow. She had come so close to succeeding, to never going hungry again, only to have it ripped away from her. It wasn’t fair. Paranoia followed. If Twilight, and all of Equestria, were the products of animation, what did that make her? She raised a hand, letting her disguise roll back to examine her hoof. Colored light danced across her carapace, casting deep shadows in the crevices.

As the first episode continued to play, Chrysalis stepped away from the computer, through her darkened apartment. She stood in the soft, pale moonlight that poured in through her window, looking out over twinkling skyline. Moments later, a heavy cloud obscured the moon, and she found herself staring into her own reflection. She glanced down, lifting the forearm that still bore a hoof, crackling green energy circling her wrist like a bracelet. There had been a time when she would shed her disguise while she was in the privacy of her own home. Try as she might, she couldn’t remember the last time she had done that.

The thought that she might have gotten used to her human form repulsed her. It was time for a change.

Chrysalis dropped to all fours as she turned from the window, unceremoniously dispelling the illusion she had constructed around herself. Satisfied, she shook herself off, feeling the strands of her mane toss about. The sound of her hooves echoed off the high ceiling, followed by several rapid clicks of a mouse. As the shutdown jingle chimed through the room, followed by a wave of darkness, she climbed into bed and curled up under the covers. As she had for every night since being cast out, she dreamed of her triumphant return, and the sweet savor of love that would sustain her.

A thought occurred to her as she woke the next morning. If there were a way to reach Equestria, surely she would learn the secret from careful observation.

One sick day call-in later, Chrysalis reselected the first episode, settled on the couch, and started from the beginning. However, one marathon of the first season later, she had learned nothing of a way to return to Equestria. Even worse, she found herself in a deep state of self-loathing for wasting at least twelve hours watching her enemies learn about friendship. Discouraged, but still hoping for some sort of clue, she wasted no time in starting the second season. By the time she reached the Hearths Warming play she couldn’t keep her eyes open any longer.

The next morning, Chrysalis woke to an overwhelming sense of déjà vu. As her ears swiveled, she quickly realized why. The voice she heard, and the words being spoken, was more than just familiar. She focused on the monitor, but even as her vision cleared, she still couldn’t believe what she was seeing.

“That’s…” Her eyes widened, meeting her own piercing stare. “That’s me… this was… Good heavens, how did they… I didn’t know I was being recorded… Wait… Oh no!” She swallowed as she watched herself gloat, so very confidently, despite the fact that her plan was seconds from unraveling. “No-no-no-no! Ugh! How could I have been so stupid?!”

Gritting her teeth and wincing, the changeling queen’s horn flared with magic as she held down the startup button until the monitor went dark.

“They were right there in front of me and I just— has everyone in this awful world seen me defeated?” She buried her face in her fetlocks, banging her head against the couch cushion. “They must think I’m a fool! A laughing stock! This is horrible!” She glanced up at her clock and groaned. “And I need to be at work in twenty minutes…”


“So, uh…”

Chrysalis, once again disguised as a human, narrowed her eyes at the intern. She glanced to his Twilight figurine and back again. “I watched it and I hated every minute of it. I don’t know why you would bother with such an awful show.”

“Oh.” His cautiously smiling optimism vanished. “It’s an acquired taste, I guess?”

“If it is possible for one to acquire a taste for pastel colored garbage, yes, I suppose it would be.”

Now frowning, the intern spun his chair back toward his computer. “Well, I’m going to get back to work, if you don’t mind.”

“There were some things I liked about it, though.” Grinning, the intern wheeled toward her again. She cocked a brow and continued. “The villains were fantastic. I almost wish I could have met— I wish they had more time in the spotlight.”

“Oh, absolutely! Nightmare Moon was a great start, but Discord? I mean they actually got…” Chrysalis tuned him out as he rambled on and on about Discord and some other character named Q, quickly growing impatient as she tried to piece together the appropriate phrasing. “…documentary or something.”

“I wasn’t terribly fond of Chrysalis, though.” She swallowed her pride, carefully bating the hook. “I mean, for all her treachery and planning, she was defeated so easily. Kind of disappointing, really. She had so much… potential.”

The strangest thing happened, mere seconds after mentioning her own name. She sensed pure, untainted emotion welling up within him. An emotion she hadn’t sensed in what felt like forever. She began to salivate, and the intern’s eyes lit up when he leaned forward, excitement rising in his voice as he began to speak.

“Are you kidding? Chrysalis was the best one! Like, Disney-tier villainess! She was absolutely fantastic! You’re right though, they kind of phoned in the ending a little with how easily she was defeated. I mean, she feeds on love, right? How could they defeat her with that?!”

Without hesitation, she tapped into the wealth of love that gushed from the intern’s depths, eyes lidding with glee as she glutted herself. At the same time, she reached out with her magic, clouding his perception to make her eagerness less obvious.

“Oooooh, I know…” She balled her fists, then flattened her palms against her waist, pressing the wrinkles out of her skirt as she pushed them to her thighs. “Completely ridiculous! She was so much more powerful than that! She deserved so much more than what they gave her!”

“Her design was so crazy, too. Like, an insectoid pony? How cool was that? What do you think was up with all the holes, though?”

Her eyes rolled back as he continued to inadvertently slather her with affection; even his curiosity was laced with an intensity one would experience with new love. “T-the holes?” As she had intended, he seemed completely oblivious to her gentle shudders, or the way she clawed at her own hips. “What do you muh-ahhh- mean?”

“Was she rotted or something? She had like, a Swiss cheese hoof thing going on.”

“Did you not like her ‘Swiss cheese hooves?’” she teased, biting her lower lip.

“Well uh… No, I liked them. I already said her design was pretty much fantastic.”

A rising tide rolled just out of her reach, promising to leave her completely satiated. She exhaled slowly, running her tongue over her teeth as she mounted what she hoped to be her final attack.

"I think it's kinda creepy, really.” She grinned back at him, cocking a brow. “Can you imagine what it would feel like, touching one of those holes?"

"Well, uh…”

Yes?” she whispered breathily.

“I bet it's all, like…” His emotions surged, then ebbed, just begging to release.

Yes?!” she groaned with need.

“It’s probably all soft, squishy, and warm in there."

Chrysalis nearly collapsed as a tidal wave of unfiltered emotions cascaded into her, so voluminous that she feared she might just burst at the seams. When all was said and done, she stifled a girly little burp, feeling comfortably bloated. The intern, on the other hand was suddenly as flushed as she was, as if realizing he had said too much once her spell dissipated. Her knees wobbled as she leaned against a wall of his cubicle, one hand on her stomach.

“I’ll let you get back to work,” she chided, grinning.



On the subway ride home that evening, Chrysalis didn’t even bother putting on her usual display to attract attention. Her thoughts were invested elsewhere, primarily in contemplating her encounter with the pony-loving intern. Could it have been a fluke? Or was it -in fact- possible to be admired despite receiving such a humiliating defeat? With her anticipation at a fever pitch by the time she reached her stop, she hurried home on high heels, shutting an elderly couple out of the elevator as she jammed on the door closing button.

The moment she had the door closed and locked, she bathed herself in the glow of her magic, peeling away the illusion of a blond business woman and returning to a more comfortable, quadrupedal stance. Her horn glowed as she started up her computer from the kitchen, simultaneously pouring herself a glass of wine.

This time, when she settled her haunches into the computer chair, her objective was not to watch cartoons. Instead, she entered her name into a search engine. The results were underwhelming, pertaining mainly to a variety of things that absolutely nothing to do with her. Entering “Queen Chrysalis”, however, yielded exactly what she wanted. Her eyes lit up with glee at the wealth of information and art that focused on her. Chrysalis gave an excited squeal when she realized that people were so taken with her, they had created Tumblr and Facebook accounts in her honor, some going so far as to masquerade about the internet as though they were actually her.

Within minutes, Chrysalis began to feel very full, groaning happily as she ran her forehooves over her belly. Curiosity spurred her on, however, and she continued to browse the various pages dedicated to her, soaking up the affection. After a good hour of this, she finally closed the window and pushed herself away from the desk, giggling drunkenly as her chair rolled to the center of the apartment. Her normally smooth, tapered torso bulged slightly around the middle, the iridescent-green bands of her stomach somewhat stretched by the churning energy within.

“My goodness… what have–” Her cheeks puffed as she belched quietly, her tongue lolling for a moment as she gave a satisfied moan. “What have I been doing starving all this time? These humans won’t show me a shred of love when I mask myself as their ideal woman, but they’re more than willing to gush over me as my true self, even though I was a villainess? How wonderfully absurd!”

She paused for a moment, considering the possibilities. If they loved her that much simply watching her as a cartoon, surely they would love her even more in the flesh. But, on second thought, she realized that might cause more complications than benefits. Her thoughts flashed back to her first encounter with humans, and how she had nearly ended up captured due to her unusual nature. Chrysalis knew enough now to conclude that revealing herself in public would likely end very poorly for her.

Another thought occurred, as she glanced across her computer desk. The web-cam that came with the computer had caught her eye. There were so many artists interested in capturing her likeness, and here she sat; the genuine changeling queen. With a sly grin, she slipped off of the chair and onto the floor. She bit her lip as her stomach shifted, reminding her just how stuffed with love she was. Carefully, she stepped up to the desk, the click of her hooves echoing through the room. She had never used the web-cam before, but the controls were simple enough.

Her pupils shrank as a light came to life on the tiny camera. An instant later, her likeness appeared on the screen, blinking back at her. Chrysalis cooed softly, lidding her eyes at her digital reflection, receiving a lewd gaze in return. She briefly wondered why she had never bothered taking advantage of the web-cam before. Pushing the thought from her mind, she cleared her throat and brushed a few locks of hair from her eyes, only to let them fall back over her face a moment later. Still studying herself on the screen, she straightened up and gave her best, most condescending smile.

Carefully, she nudged the left mouse button with her hoof, clicking the button labeled with a small, red circle.

“Hello, to all of my faithful subjects.” She craned her neck toward the camera, her smile becoming more of a grin, displaying her fangs. “I doubt you need me to remind you who and what I am, but just to be sure, this is the one and only Chrysalis, Queen of the Changelings. And… uhmm…”

She rolled her eyes, glancing to the side as she cocked a brow. “I suppose that is all,” she looked back into the lens, narrowing her eyes, “for now.”

Giggling, she clicked the record button again and began to review her video. It was short, but then, she doubted it needed to be very long to get attention. For a moment, she wondered if being viewed in three dimensions would come across as strange to her admirers. Physically, she was no different than her animated incarnation, but the amount of light, shadow, and luster that gathered across her sleek form was dramatically more intricate. She realized the source of the footage might also come into question.

After struggling to come up with a Tumblr name that wasn’t already taken, she registered an account and began to upload the video. “Rejoice,” she wrote, “for your Queen has decided to grace you with her presence!” At the very bottom of the post, she added: “OOC: Animation project between a friend and I. She provided the voice, but would prefer to remain anonymous.”

Satisfied, Chrysalis made the post public and turned off her computer, already eager for breakfast.


A tiny belch tickled its way up the changeling queen’s throat as she made her way through the subway station. For two weeks straight, her barely-a-minute video had raked in overwhelming response. The common theme seemed to be a focus on how startlingly real she looked, in addition to being flawlessly on-model. To each and every response, if applicable, she responded ‘in character’, mocking, teasing, and generally abusing her fans. They loved every bit of it, and the comments and responses –even a bit of fan art- flowed like wine.

In the back of her mind, Chrysalis was fully aware that she had gotten into the habit of snacking, using her work computer and phone to browse and reply. She reached a state of near-perpetual fullness as a result, but after going hungry for so long, she rationalized that she deserved to indulge. She was royalty, after all.

Due to the heavy, bloated sensation radiating from her stomach, Chrysalis made her way to the elevator at a snail’s pace, not that she was in any hurry to begin with. She let her mind wander as it carried her up, slouching lazily against the back wall. The notion of recording a new video had been on forefront of her thoughts for most of the day. It had been two weeks, and even though the first video was still getting tons of attention, she decided it was time to throw her admirers another morsel.

As soon as she opened her door, she went straight for the computer, bathing herself with crackling magic mid-stride. She dropped to all fours with a satisfying click, grunting softly as the impact caused her stomach to shift. The tower glowed green as she turned it on, craning her neck forward to nudge the monitor button with her nose. Her magic coalesced around the webcam next, adjusting it to capture her from a few paces away. After about a minute, she was ready.

“Hello again, you pathetic, groveling humans.” She flashed a toothy grin, making eyes at the camera. “I very much appreciate your loyalty, and all the wonderful compliments you’ve paid me.” Chrysalis stepped in a half circle, showing off her body in profile. She tucked a foreleg, rubbing her perforated fetlock along her rounded belly. “As you can see, I’ve been eating quite well, so I suppose some gratitude is in order.”

Slowly, she trotted closer to the camera, though she glanced away as she heaved a dramatic sigh. In her best droning voice, she mumbled, “I give my thanks to all you sniveling curs, for without your adoration… yadda-yadda…” She looked back into the camera, narrowing her eyes, lips curling back into a grin. “Well, I tried. But, really, a queen deserves the adoration of her subjects. You should all be thanking me for even giving you the time of day.”

“I think that’s it, for now.” Her horn lit up with magic, grasping the mouse off camera. “Until next time.”

Confident that her fans would eat up this newest clip as eagerly as the last, she uploaded it to her page. Within minutes, the comments and re-blogs started rolling in, but she ignored them for now.

Instead, she replied to comments on the previous clip, topping herself off until she felt that she might split down the middle. Once she was sure that she couldn’t hold another ounce of love, she sighed, rubbing her hooves over her belly. The plates had been stretched to transparency, her guts churning around all that affection. Slowly, she rolled onto her hooves. Though her groan held just a trace of pain, and her lethargic strides were rather uncomfortable, being so completely stuffed brought more than a small amount of pleasure.

After carefully crawling into bed, she reveled in the decadence of it all. Like many of her most recent dreams, when she drifted off to sleep, she did not lament her loss of Equestria. Instead, she dreamed of fame, and of adoring crowds that wanted nothing more than to shower her with affection.


One morning, a few months after opening her blog, the changeling queen finally realized that her carefree binging had caught up with her. There had been plenty of warning signs, but it had been easy to dismiss before. Chrysalis had written off the roundness of her belly as fullness from the previous meal, and the recent shortness of breath she experienced after climbing stairs or moving at any pace faster than a walk as merely the result of a poor night’s sleep. As she stood before the full length mirror in her bathroom, still dripping wet from getting out of the shower, reality hit her like a set of hooves to the stomach.

Chrysalis cringed slightly as she moved closer to her reflection, hoping that perhaps the roundness of her flanks and belly was just an illusion. They remained, full and lightly bouncing with every step. She knitted her brow as she turned. Her once slender figure had lost its tapered look, and her carapace looked to be a slightly lighter shade where it had grown to accommodate her newly acquired flesh. She focused on her hindquarters again, the way her haunches filled out into a set of thick, heavy curves, still nearly neon green where they met the contour of her back.

The curve of her underside had changed dramatically. Her paunch swelled out almost all the way down to her hocks, the iridescent plates of her belly stretched so thin from her breakfast binge that she could see through them and into the thick, green, gurgling slurry within. Biting her lower lip, she rubbed her gut with a forehoof, alarmed at how heavy and soft it felt, and how it wobbled and sloshed from the attention.

To her relief, her forelegs appeared to have been spared for the most part, though they looked a bit wider up by her breast. Her breast and neck were a bit softer as well, with a hint of a second chin forming under her jaw. She leaned closer to the mirror, finding that her face filled out to a small degree, her cheeks a bit fuller than she remembered.

For what felt like a long while, Chrysalis stood and stared. Once the shock wore off, she began to panic. She pranced anxiously in front of the mirror, tossing her head as she went, getting water everywhere.

“How could I let this happen?” she hissed as she met her own glare, searching the slits of her pupils. “I’ve near-completely ruined myself!” She turned around, lifting her tail and glancing back at her backside. When Chrysalis gave her haunches a shake, they shuddered for a moment after she had stopped moving. “Ugh… I…” she belched, loudly and suddenly, surprising herself so much that she began to blush. “I don’t have time for this! I need to be at work soon!”

As much as she wanted to use another sick day, Chrysalis took a deep breath through her nose, rising onto her hinds. The flicker of her magic outshined the soft lighting of the bathroom, and in seconds, she resembled the same old, pale, skinny, bleached-blonde business-woman in her mid twenties. The thought of what she looked like underneath that lingered. Another nagging feeling tugged at her attention as she took a step toward the door. Somehow, even though she wasn’t actually wearing anything, she felt tightness around her waist. The sensation had been growing more intense every time she noticed it, but like everything else, she had shrugged it off.

Despite her concern, she forced herself out of her apartment and began the trek to work. The subway ride to and from the office had once been a time of foraging, desperately, but subtly trying to get looks of longing from other riders. Now, Chrysalis sat comfortably in a back corner, snacking on all the delicious comments she had been too full to look at after breakfast. She looked out the window as her signal dropped, grumbling quietly until she realized she could see her reflection.

The snacking was purely habitual at this point, but now that she realized she was doing it, a feeling of intense loathing came over her. The changeling queen hesitantly put her phone away, doing her best to suppress the urge to keep feeding. She reminded herself how much she had already eaten, since her belly had long since abandoned using pain as a way to remind her that she was fuller than she should be. Somehow, the thought of being full from breakfast just made her hungrier.

She realized she was bargaining with herself when the train reached her stop, trying to convince herself that another morsel couldn’t hurt. On the verge of another panic attack, Chrysalis stormed up to her office, huffing lightly when she sat down behind her desk. Instinctively, she went for her computer.

“No!” she shouted, holding down the startup button until she forced a shutdown.

A few passersby glanced through the windows of her office. Staring death back at them, she wrapped the cords of the blinds in her magic, dropping and shutting them for privacy. Several minutes later, a knock on her door disrupted her internal struggle. She glanced up, brow cocked, and met the intern’s flighty gaze.

“Can I help you?” she droned, clicking her nails against the desk.

“Actually, I just wanted to make sure you got my vacation request. There’s a thing I want to go to in couple months and you told us to let you know about time-off requests in advance.”

“A thing?” She leaned forward, starting to grin. “Is it pony related?”

“Uh… yeah, actually.” He flashed a nervous smile. “There’s a convention and—”

“Very well. If scheduling permits, I will allow it.” She looked at the back of her hand, and then her nails. Feigning disinterest, she asked, “Where is this convention, exactly?”

“Not far from here, actually. Just across the river.”

“Hmm. You may go.” She waved toward the door, watching him turn as she let out a long sigh.

Just as the intern put his hand on the doorknob, something took her by surprise. The moment she finished sighing, a tingling sensation built up around her middle. Normally, she felt that tingle when she used her magic to transform, and it was a voluntary action. She looked down just in time to see the green, crackling glow around her waist, looking almost like a tear in fabric, her belly pushing out of it from under her blouse. The rip spread, revealing more of her true self. In a bright flash, she was completely exposed, sitting on her haunches with human clothing clinging awkwardly to her equine-esque form. Thoroughly disoriented, she blinked several times and she glanced over her forehooves, half convinced she was imagining it.

The intern stood in the doorway, still facing out into the office, but standing in a moment of pause. Clearly, he had noticed the flash, or heard the flicker, or both, because he started to turn. Eyes wide, Chrysalis shoved him the rest of the way out with her magic, slamming and locking the door before he could scramble to his feet.

“Okay…” she mumbled. “That was new.”

Chrysalis spent several minutes slipping in and out of her human form, finding that she couldn’t easily transform without sucking in her gut, and that pushing out her gut while in disguised essentially caused the disguise to fall apart. Her stomach gurgled as she sat there, lost in deep thought.


“So, most of you have probably noticed in my more recent pictures and videos that I’ve packed on a bit of… extra weight.” Chrysalis stood several paces away from the web-cam, standing on a recently purchased treadmill. “Some of you liked it, some of you didn’t, and some of you were indifferent. Those of you in column B will be pleased to know that I’m going to be more careful about what I’m eating, and how much I’m eating from now on. I’m also going to start exercising regularly to get rid of this pudge I’ve developed.”

The treadmill’s belt started to roll, and she stepped into a steady trot. As she turned up the speed, her steps became heavier, stomping lightly as her trot became a light gallop. Within minutes, she was gasping, her mane clinging to the sweat on her forehead and neck. Even though she was unbearably uncomfortable, and felt as though she would die of embarrassment, she carried on. Chrysalis made an effort to catch her breath as she turned the speed down to a slow trot, turning it back up again once she had regained her composure.

After several cycles of this, she turned off the treadmill and slowly made her way toward the camera, short of breath and a little shaky. A little less than ten minutes had passed since she started recording.

“Here’s to…” she took a deep breath, flashing a smile, “a thinner, healthier me!”

The instant Chrysalis stopped recording, she collapsed into a panting heap on the floor. “This never used to be so difficult! Am I really that out of shape? How could I let this happen?!” She knew, of course, that it was the result of too much of a good thing.

The changeling queen groaned as she rolled onto her back, the heaving of her chest slowly smoothing into a gentler rhythm. She brought her forehooves to her face, wiping some of the sweat from her brow, getting glimpses of the ceiling through the holes in her fetlocks. On a whim, she moved her forehooves down the contour of her body, along her muzzle, down her throat, and over her breast. For a split second, she hoped that her belly wouldn’t be there. The hope was dashed when she felt the soft, squishy hill of her gut, furrowing her brow as she glanced down at the green bands of her paunch.

A desire to attend the convention was, to some extent, part of her motivation for slimming down. The rest of it stemmed from the revulsion she felt about her current state. As much as she wanted to get back into shape, a black cloud of doubt hung over her resolve. Even as Chrysalis lay on the floor, the wealth of love and attention waiting for her on her computer was a constant temptation. She knew how easy it would be for her to open up her browser and binge, like she had done nearly every day for the last few months. She also worried about how difficult it had been to gallop for any length of time. Exercising was hard work, and she feared that she might not have the commitment to stick to a routine.

After wrestling with her doubt for several minutes, she rolled back onto her belly, got her hooves under her, and pushed herself off the floor. She hesitated as her hoof hovered over the mouse. Part of her didn’t want to check the footage, because that would mean watching herself grunting and straining. An even larger part wanted to delete the video and upload a short, simple statement about her plan to get in shape. Without the proof, though, what would be the point?

Swallowing her pride, Chrysalis flopped onto her rounded haunches and clicked play.

Immediately, as she watched herself address the audience, a feeling of anxiety washed over her. The sight of her newly acquired curves still made her uncomfortable. The sensation only worsened as she watched her pudgy flanks and rounded belly bounce with every step. On some level, she found this worse than watching herself face a humiliating defeat. At least in that case, she still had her figure.

A few minutes of recorded galloping later, the camera had picked up an extra degree of shimmer across her smooth carapace, the occasional bead of sweat glistening through the air when her hooves pounded the treadmill. Even from a distance, the microphone built into the web-cam had picked up the steady, shuddering sound of her breathing, broken up by the occasional gasping murmur. She all but ignored the camera until the very end, and even then, she looked hesitant to stare straight into the lens.

“I can do this,” she declared, clicking the confirmation to post the footage.

“I infiltrated Canterlot and hid right under Celestia’s nose. I can get back into shape.”


Half an hour had flown by without Chrysalis even realizing it. Breathing in a steady, controlled rhythm, she turned the treadmill to a cool-down pace, stepping out of her gallop. A few beads of sweat rolled from her brow to the bridge of her muzzle, shaken free a moment later. She had tied her ragged mane up into a pony tail to keep it up and away from her, though a few loose strands clung to her face and neck. The damp hair of her tail fanned out in bunches as she gave it several flicks, a light mist of perspiration shaken free each time. She felt tired, but she also felt like she could keep going if she had to.

At the start of her routine, she would have described all the exercise as grueling. On more than one occasion, Chrysalis had considered giving up, but after a month of sticking to her schedule, she found that working out was only getting easier. This combined with resisting temptation and eating responsibly had slimmed her down considerably. The changeling queen in the mirror was starting to resemble the tapered insectoid that had terrorized Equestria, and Chrysalis couldn’t have been more excited to see her hard work paying off.

Of course, while her tummy was on its way to tightening to former state, her haunches, though somewhat smaller, didn’t seem to be in any hurry to return to their original size. Somehow, it didn’t really bother her that much. Whenever she inspected them, she could feel muscle beneath the layer of padding, and the firming curves of her backside gave the contour of her back the slightest lift before dropping off into her tail. It made her look more regal, more powerful. The word “waspish” came to mind. She gave her rump a shake as she stepped off the treadmill, flicking her tail once more and grinning with satisfaction.

She froze mid-turn as her gaze swept over the glowing monitor of her computer; she had fed herself before getting on the treadmill, and the browser was still opened to the comments of her latest video. Chrysalis knew that she had already eaten enough, but the thought of all the delicious attention that she had yet to feed on made her salivate.

“Just a taste,” she told herself. “A little snack won’t hurt."

Every step she took toward her computer caused her to feel just a bit guiltier. It certainly wasn’t for fear of the disapproval of her fans, because really, she knew they would be there regardless of any decision she might make. She realized the guilt was stemming from self-imposed disappointment. If she allowed herself to break her diet, she would be letting herself down. Chrysalis took a deep breath and leveled her brow. She had disappointed herself more than enough already. Without hesitation, she pushed the mouse with her hoof, then tilted her hoof to the left, clicking and closing the window. She flashed a triumphant smirk as the shutdown jingle echoed through the apartment a moment later.

Her conscience cleared, Chrysalis made her way to the bathroom. Most of the sweat on her carapace had evaporated, but a few damp spots remained, the occasional salty bead rolling down her forehead. Her jagged horn glowed as she let her mane back down, nudging open the shower door with her nose. The shower-head hissed, and Chrysalis sighed as warm water trickled over her, tilting her head up into the soothing spray. While water ran down her neck in rivulets, her mane soaked through in seconds, hanging heavily against the side of her face.

When she first went apartment hunting, she had made sure to find a shower with plenty of room. As such, the walk-in shower was easily large enough for her to turn on all fours, the click of her hooves mingling with the pattering of water and the whine of the pipes. She arched her back under the flow of water, unfolding her wings and angling them to let the water trickle over and through the delicate, tattered membranes. All the while, she felt warmth rolling over her haunches, dripping down to her hind legs, all the way to her hooves. Her tail flicked, hair wetly clinging together as it slapped against her left flank.

Chrysalis gave a pleasant shudder once she was completely drenched, reaching out for her luffa with her magic. Her carapace, while normally flexible, was made even softer by the heat and moisture. After lathering up the sponge, she began to gently scrub, removing the grime of perspiration from her face and neck. As she ran the luffa along her underside, the squishy curve of her belly remained an unpleasant reminder that she had let herself go. At the same time, feeling it jiggle in the wake of the sponge reinforced her resolve, kindling her burning desire to burn fat. The elastic, green membranes of her stomach were adjusting well to downsizing, at the very least, and showed no sign of blemishes.

Finally, after scrubbing her back and haunches, she came to her legs. Even though she scrubbed carefully, putting the sponge to the edges and interior of the holes in her hooves always tickled, sometimes enough to make her snort and giggle. In the privacy of her home, it wasn’t much of an issue, but even thinking about that fact becoming public knowledge made her uncomfortable. The changeling queen wasn’t supposed to have weaknesses. She was supposed to be ruthless and cold, certainly not ticklish.

Once she had cleaned each and every sensitive crevice in her hooves, she turned her attention to her mane and tail. Chrysalis gathered up her hair with her magic, squirting shampoo and conditioner into the soaking masses and working up a fine lather. She let the conditioner sit, rinsed herself off, and stood for a while under the steaming water.

“All things considered,” she mused, smiling, “my life has gotten pretty damn good.”


“No one will see me,” Chrysalis reassured herself.

She knew that wasn’t entirely true; they would see her human mask and assume that was who she really was, but the fact that she would be milling about crowds of people who knew what she looked like in her prime still made her feel uncomfortable. The changeling queen stood in front of the mirror, carefully inspecting herself as she worked up the nerve to leave for the convention. She had shed a considerable amount of weight, and her belly no longer quivered when she moved, having receded between her flanks as it once did. Her flanks, though still a bit rounder than they used to be, were firm and trim. For the most part, her form was as sleek and slender as it had been on the day she was banished, but doubt continued to linger in the back of her mind.

After a few more minutes of this, she choked back her anxiety and raised herself onto her hind legs. She concentrated, her magic welling up through the twists in her horn, coalescing at the tip. Her carapace tingled as the crackling green embrace of her magic flowed over her, reapplying the carefully constructed disguise she knew so well. She wiggled her fingers and toes experimentally as her fore and hind hooves were transformed, her nails reflecting a lustrous green. Her hocks and elbows inverted as the magic rolled over them, carefully bending them to make sure they worked. Her tail vanished as the transformation reached her pelvis, her hips and spine dramatically altered.

Once her shoulders were properly in place, she moved her fingertips to her belly. Her nails tickled over the bands of her stomach, the wave of magic seemingly chasing them up to her neckline. After cupping her breasts to make sure they were the right size and shape, she slid her hands up along the sides of her neck, until she felt her fingertips against the smooth, charcoal black hide of her cheeks. Chrysalis bit her lower lip as the crackling green surged over her face, feeling her pointed fangs dulling and her lips filling out.  Her muzzle receded as her mouth become more human, and she pushed her hands higher, into her mane. The last traces of her changeling self began to change, the cerulean of her mane fading to platinum blonde, her long ears shrinking and shifting to the sides of her head.

Chrysalis heaved a little sigh, straightened up, and put on her best smile. After that, she put on her clothes, dressing casually, but professionally. She gave herself another once over in front of the mirror. Satisfied, or as satisfied as she could be, she exited the bathroom. There was one more matter to attend to before departing. She seated herself neatly at the keyboard and began to type.

“Hello, all you groveling insects! As you well know, we’ve been planning on going to the convention. Well, the artist can’t make it due to last minute complications. But that’s okay! I’ll still be attending, if any of you care to meet the voice behind all these little animations. See you there!”

For the entire trip to the convention center, from the elevator ride down, to standing on the subway, until the bus hissed and knelt at the curb, she wondered if giving a human face to her real voice was even a good idea. The voice she used when disguised was similar to her natural voice, but toned down enough to allow her to fit in. Chrysalis knew there were others who could imitate her voice, or the voices of other ponies, but she couldn’t shake the paranoia that, should she say even the simplest of lines with her true voice, someone would figure out who she really was.

The check-in line provided a moderate distraction as she produced her registration number and received a badge. It simply read “Salis.” She slipped the lanyard around her neck and surveyed her surroundings. The crowd was fairly young, with only a few of them looking to be older than thirty, and nearly even in terms of gender. If it weren’t for the brightly colored horses everywhere, she might have mistaken the gathering for some kind of youth rally. Considering that she had taken the form of a woman in her mid twenties, however, she fit right in. She had also learned what the phrase neckbeard meant through her exposure to internet culture, but to her surprise, they seemed to be a rare occurrence. If these were to be her admirers, she was fairly pleased with the selection.

Chrysalis milled around with the crowd for an hour or two, taking part in several conversations that ranged from genuinely interesting to awkward. Some of the panels and events even made her giggle once or twice. She couldn’t quite decide if she were simply becoming jaded to hearing the praise and adoration her equine adversaries received, of if she might possibly be taking a liking to ponies herself. Eventually, she found her way to the vendors, impressed by the variety of artistic prowess on display. Some of them she recognized, while others were completely novel.

Shortly after she began browsing, however, she found something that gave her a reason to pause; an image of her changeling self on a treadmill, with a fair amount of artistic license taken with the interpretation. She recognized the style of the artist, though somehow she had not expected the artist in question to be female.

“And what inspired you to draw this?” Chrysalis finally asked, pointing to her likeness on a treadmill.

“Oh,” the artist replied, leaning forward, “there was this tumblr with animations of Chrysalis exercising. It kind of turned into a meme.” She smiled as she glanced up at Chrysalis. “I thought it was cute, so, I scribbled one myself.”

Chrysalis bit her lower lip, grinning. The artist cocked her brow. “Yes, well…” Chrysalis cleared her throat, preparing to speak with her true voice. “Your queen is quite pleased with this homage.”

A few heads turned their way, and the artist began to gawk. Chrysalis felt a pang of anxiety at such a sudden increase in attention, but maintained her composure.

“Woah…” the artist began. “How… What?”

“Do you not recognize the voice of Chrysalis? Queen of the changelings and would-be ruler of Equestria?” As the artist stared back at her with wide eyes, Chrysalis giggled and returned to her human voice. “I do the voice for that blog!”

The artist’s eyes didn’t get any smaller, but her gaping mouth tightened into a giddy smile. “Oh! Oh wow, really? That’s awesome! Yeah, that was really good, I just wasn’t sure if you were like, trying to roleplay or something.” A few curious bystanders moved a bit closer as the artist continued to run her mouth. “So what happened with the guy that does the animations, then?”

“Uh…” Chrysalis fretted, scrambling to come up with an excuse. “Family stuff.” She glanced around at the onlookers. “I’m not holding up a line or anything, am I?”

“Nah, con just started.” The artist waved her hand dismissively, smiling. “I’ve only sold a print or two so far. Actually, you’re more than welcome to chill out here if you want. You don’t mind if I pick your brain, do you?”

“Not at all. Of course, he does all of the animation, so I can’t get too in depth with that.” She stepped around the table, approaching the folding chair.

“That’s cool.” The artist accepted a folded twenty dollar bill, smiling and nodding to her customer, but maintaining the conversation without looking up. “I’ve always wanted to try doing voice work, but I keep missing the chances to talk to people who know what’s up.”

“Oh, it’s a lot of fun! We really started a meme, though? I noticed a lot of re-blogs and fanart, but I never really looked into it.”

The artist turned toward Chrysalis as she seated herself.  “Oh yeah. I’ve even heard a few people wrote fanfics about it. Hey, what do I call you, anyway?”

Chrysalis smiled. “Just call me Salis. It’s my last name.”

“Hah, really now? Very cool.”


At long last, Chrysalis had found her place in the human world. She never took center stage by revealing her true identity to the masses, but considering how well everything was going for her, she didn’t really mind. While she also never gave a name or a face to the artist supposedly responsible for her animations, and her tumblr eventually faded into obscurity, she found herself making friends in various pony-related circles. Above all others, she considered the artist she met at her first convention to be her best and closest friend, staying in regular contact with her. It was a truly surreal realization to the changeling queen, being able to talk and laugh with others that enjoyed her company, but even stranger was how much she enjoyed it.

With her focus shifted away from managing a blog in favor of doing voice work, in almost no time at all, she became renowned first for her ability to flawlessly imitate the changeling queen, and then later for mimicking just about every other character from the show as well. Salis, as she called herself, became a necessity for radio plays and animations. Appearances at conventions and seats on panels followed, and she received volumes of affection for her work. Best of all, the affection was sincere, and she was adored for her natural vocal talent. Of course, she remembered the lesson she had learned, refraining from consuming every ounce of attention that came her way.

All the while, she continued to slowly advance her career, moving from office supervisor to an executive director. From her new position of power, she decided to make her first action a generous one. Chrysalis put in a good word for the intern as a reward for his service, securing his place in the company. She received a thank you card from him, with an image of the changeling queen sketched on the inside. She kept it pinned to the tack board in her office.

Perhaps as a result of this, there were often murmurs that she had a hobby relating to a children’s cartoon, and the occasional plastic pony would wind up on her desk as a practical joke from the CEO. At one point, this might have made her furious, but it had become something that actually made her laugh. The irony that the ponies she so despised had brought her so much was not lost to her, and although begrudgingly, she was grateful.

For a time, she became concerned when the series ended and ponies slowly began to lose mainstream popularity. Chrysalis never experienced an outright famine in terms of the attention she received, but the steady decline was noticeable. The thought of going hungry again terrified her. She began to look into other outlets for her vocal talents, but the other communities where voice acting was prevalent seemed to lack the spark she needed.

An upcoming convention held the prospect of a few good meals, but registrations were far below what the organizers had hoped. Since the convention was a few states away, the artist had invited Chrysalis to stay with her while she was in town, and the changeling queen happily obliged. Two nights before the convention was scheduled to take place, however, it was canceled due to the projected low attendance.

Suddenly, the possibility of not being able to find love to feed on was very real.

On the night that the convention should have taken place, Chrysalis sat with the artist in her apartment, several shots into a bottle of whiskey. The artist had spent a few hundred on prints, and was similarly upset about the cancellation.

“Well,” Chrysalis began, trying to think of something that might cheer up her friend. “They’re refunding our registration, so that’s not terrible, I guess?”

The artist groaned, setting her shot glass down. “I spent twice that much on these stupid prints. What am I gonna do with these?”

“Uh... Hey, your... you’re kinda...”

Chrysalis pointed to the glass, but more specifically to the print which the artist was inadvertently using as a coaster. It had the likeness of the changeling queen mid-flight. Chrysalis fondly remembered requesting that very drawing during a stream. The artist snorted and grinned up at her.

“This is pretty much all they’re good for now.” The artist sighed, slumping over in her seat. “I doubt I’ll be able to sell all of these online.”

“Come on now, you’ll be alright.” Chrysalis smiled and reached across the table, resting her hand on the artist’s shoulder. “How about we do a toast?”

“Are you getting sentimental on me?” the artist teased.

“Isn’t this what people do when they’re down and depressed? They make toasts to remind themselves of the good things?” The artist shrugged and nodded. Chrysalis smiled. “How about... To those stupid colorful horses, may they rest in reruns.”

They clinked glasses and downed another round of shots, the changeling queen coughing quietly as the whiskey burned on the way down. She glanced across the table again as the artist poured another round.

“Oh, I dunno,” Chrysalis mumbled. “I think I’ve had enough.”

“Just one more...” The artist picked up her glass. Chrysalis followed her example. “To good friends.” The changeling queen nodded, smiling, and clicked the rim of her glass against the artist’s.

“And maybe more,” the artist mumbled before gulping down her shot.

Chrysalis cocked a brow. “Maybe more what?”

The artist, a girl Chrysalis had come to cherish as her very first friend, began to turn a flushed shade of red.

Taking a deep breath, the artist sheepishly looked up at her. “Okay uh... Listen... You know how sometimes I draw more adult stuff? Girls with other girls?”

In all her time among humans, Chrysalis had never once considered women as a viable source of love, but it suddenly seemed so painfully obvious. The taste of the artist’s professed love was pure and satisfying. Surely, the changeling queen could reciprocate. That night, for the first time, she shared a kiss that she actually enjoyed.


A few months and frequent visits later, the artist moved in with her, and Chrysalis could not have been happier. Like any relationship, there were the occasional arguments and harsh words, but for once Chrysalis felt a sort of emptiness filled by having someone love her for who she really was. Almost. Though she had surprisingly little difficulty returning affection when it was meant for her, and not for someone she was impersonating, there was always a nagging doubt that if the artist knew, she would feel differently.

Chrysalis had to know.

“There’s something I need to tell you,” she began one evening, staring across the table at the curious, smiling artist. “I’ve kind of kept a secret because, well, I was a little scared what you would think.”

“You? Scared? I find that hard to believe, Chrissy.”

Chrysalis glanced out the window, over the familiar skyline visible from her apartment. “Well, maybe ‘tell you’ isn’t the right way to phrase it. It’s something I have to show you, too.” The artist’s gaze followed her as she pushed back her seat and stood. “Remember that tumblr I used to be a part of?”

The artist smirked, tilting her head. “Yeah?”

“What if I told you that there was no artist?”

“So you drew and animated all that yourself?”

Chrysalis bit her lower lip, extending her arms. “You could say that... Promise me you won’t freak out.”

“Why would I...”

The artist went quiet as a crackling green glow built up around Chrysalis, slowly washing back from her fingertips, then over her wrists, then her elbows, revealing the hooves and smooth, perforated carapace beneath. She closed her eyes as the change cascaded over the rest of her body, spreading down her chest, between her thighs, up her neck. When the tingling and crackling faded, she dropped to all fours, cautiously glancing up at the artist.

“That’s why,” Chrysalis replied, her true voice reverberating softly.

There were several moments of breathless, unblinking, motionless silence. Once those moments had passed, the artist let out a dry gasp. Without taking her eyes off of Chrysalis, her hands fumbled for the edge of the table. Her glass and some of her silverware spilled to the floor. She made an effort to simultaneously stand and take a step back, but the chair had other plans. With a much louder, unintelligible wail, the artist tumbled onto her back, scrambling on her elbows and feet to push herself away.


Chrysalis could do nothing but watch, rooted to the floor. “Please!” she gasped, her vision blurring with tears. “Don’t go! I’m sorry! We can pretend this never happened!”


The artist’s retreat was halted by bumping into their bed. She made a few motions, as if she were about to try and get to her feet, but she stopped midway through each time. Another stretch of silence fell over the room.


Her chest still heaving, the artist spoke first. “How? How is that even possible?”


“I’m not really sure, myself. One minute, I was in Equestria, thinking I was unstoppable...” Chrysalis glanced down at the floor, relieved to see the artist was still there when she looked back up. “The next thing I knew, I was here.”


“Are you... how long have you been...” she pointed, hand trembling, “this?”

“Since the very first day we met. I wanted to tell you as we were getting closer... I’m sorry for keeping it from you.”

“Christina Salis...” The artist gave a long, deep sigh and chuckled, propping her head up on one hand. “Yeah, I probably should have figured that out sooner.”

“You’re not upset? Or afraid? Or-”

“You did scare the hell out of me there, but...” The artist donned a delicate smile, rising from the floor and slowly walking toward the changeling queen. “Are you the same woman I’ve known for the last few years?”


“The same woman I’ve seen movies with, and cried to, and kissed, and curled up beside on cold nights?”

Chrysalis slowly took a step forward, the clop of her hoof echoing. She blinked away a few tears. “Yes.”

“Was it all an act?”

The changeling queen shook her head, squeezing her eyes shut. “Never!”

Chrysalis opened her eyes as she felt a hand caressing the side of her face. The artist had stopped just a few inches from Chrysalis, carefully lifting her chin with gentle fingertips. “Then what difference does this make?”

Chrysalis heaved a happy sigh, smiling as the artist slowly combed her fingers through the tangled hair of her mane.

“I love you, too,” Chrysalis whispered.

And though it might sound sappy, Chrysalis lived as close to happily ever after as a changeling queen could.

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