Chapter 1: Coming out of her Shell

Hm, now where was I… Oh yes, just as my sister predicted, I spent several days, desperately searching through tome after tome, testing potion after potion.  But nothing reversed my current state, again, just as Lyall had intended.  But I refused to give up, refused to believe I would remain this way.  Yet all I was doing was working myself into a state of utter insanity.  So I decided to step away for a little while.  I had yet to explore the place she had sent me.  Monte Vista… While I was still angry, I did understand why she did not send me to Dragon Valley.  The ravages my children had caused were only just being cleaned up.

Deciding it would be beneficial to take a breather, to just clear my head, I began to walk around the town.  Diego, after being such a good helper deserved a break too, so the two of us went together.  I can admit this now, but at the time, I viewed it as more of a chore, but I found myself enjoying it, the brisk pace, the wind through my hair… Watching Diego bark and yip happily, just enjoying being with me and going for a walk; it was the first smile I was conscious of since I had awoken in the empty lot.

We stopped at the Consignment Shop, mostly just so I could check things out, see if there were any other spell components I may have missed or hadn’t been able to find yet.  While there, I met a man named Hayden James.  As I met his eyes… I felt a flutter in my belly.  It was the oddest sensation and one I was entirely unfamiliar with.  However, I suspected I knew what it was; my sister embraced the mortal form she chose to wear while I never had.  She used to regale me with stories of her conquests.  Part of those stories were detailed accounts of what kind of feelings an attractive Sim would elicit in her.  I could only assume that Hayden James was attractive.  I had to admit that he was indeed, though I was uncomfortable enough that I didn’t stay long.

Despite that, and despite my intentions, Diego and I developed a routine, after tending the small garden I’d planted with various plants that I used in my spells and potions and after a few hours of studying and testing, we would go for a walk.

I have to admit that Diego was my salvation during those first frantic days.  He gave me companionship.  A kind of bond that asked for nothing in return, that just was.  It was… nice.  It was something that I had never really known before and I found myself not only enjoying it, but coming to depend upon it, upon Diego.

During one of our walks, we found ourselves in a rather lovely park.  There, I met the Mayor of Monte Vista.  His name is Constanzo Rossi.  Again, I felt those flutters in my belly, but I was relieved to find out that he was happily married.  I even met his wife briefly, but she had to go shortly after our introduction.

I was finding this attraction business to be a harrowing experience, frankly.  This mortal body contained so many sensations… it was quite overwhelming.  At least Constanzo put me at ease.  I suppose as a Sim politician, it was a part of his job.  Still, I was rather happy to get out of there, but I got a call from him later on that night, just checking in on me to make sure I was alright.  It was… nice.  Rather than the flutters, there was simple gratitude.  I had a real friend it seemed.

With that realization, I wandered around town more often.  I met a few other people, the Mancini brothers.  Both nice, though a bit up-tight I thought.

With a couple new friends, I returned to my little hovel.  It was still a bit depressing there, but it was mine.  I hadn’t stopped my studies, though there wasn’t quite the urgency that there had been before.  I had decided to keep bees since their wax and honey were key ingredients to several potions I made that I sold to the Elixir Shop here in Monte Vista.  Unfortunately, I was not used to dealing with the little creatures…

I’m ashamed to say that I panicked and ran away.  I had run quite far and had gotten turned around.  At first, I didn’t recognize the house.  But then I realized that I was at Hayden’s home.  I debated whether to just turn and walk away.  After all, Hayden was quite handsome and I just wasn’t adept at this mortal body or the feelings and sensations I experienced.  But before I could make my escape, the door opened and Hayden hailed me.  I reluctantly entered.  Relief swept through me.  Though I could appreciate his form, I was not overwhelmed like I had been before and I could even smile and laugh with him for a moment.  Then his roommate came home.

There were no butterflies this time… no, it was an explosion in my head, in my stomach… and in my heart.  I couldn’t say anything; I didn’t have the words to articulate—well, anything, really.  And he seemed just as flabbergasted for a moment.  I used that to run out, trembling and unsure of what had just happened.  Later, I would read a few tales of what the mortals called ‘True Love’ and ‘Love at First Sight’.  Was that what it was?  Perhaps.  All I knew at the time, though, was that I had to get away.  I got back to my home and curled up in the sleeping bag I’d been using since my arrival.  I was tired… that was it.

But later that night, I got a surprise.  David Haynes, the very same man I had run away from, showed up on my doorstep.  We talked for a moment, actually introduced ourselves, then stood there in silence, both of us looking and feeling awkward.  Then the next thing I knew, he had grabbed me by the wrist and pulled me to him, his lips on mine!

He pulled away, but after that first taste, I wanted more so I pulled him back!  When we finally came up for air, we both were a little stunned, but grinning.  “What does this mean?” I asked him quietly.

“I’m not sure what this is, or what this all means,” he said slowly, “but, I’d like to find out.  What about you?”

I hesitated, but only for a moment.  I didn’t understand it, not then, but I wanted to find out as well.  I could try to blame it on an innate curiosity, but that was only part of it.  A major part was that I was curious about some of the stories.  David was more than handsome and I found his personality endearing.  So we agreed to see where this would take us.

We become what the mortals call a ‘couple’ or boyfriend/girlfriend and he moved in with me in the tiny little hovel.  Though at least I had made enough to expand just enough to have an actual bathroom and a bed!

David had a job, but one that he wasn’t particularly thrilled with.  He confided to me that he’d always wanted to paint.  I wasn’t worried as much about money at that point, so I told him to do what his heart desired.  He began to paint; surprisingly enough, he was able to sell them for a fairly large amount so not only was he doing something he loved, but it proved to be a lucrative enterprise as well.

I hadn’t given up in my quest, not entirely, but it took a back-burner to making potions to sell.

Between David’s paintings, my potions and the fact that Diego kept bringing us some interesting items to sell, we were able to expand our little home.  We could have a table and chairs, something the mortals call a TV (I don’t understand the fascination with them, but David seems to enjoy it), Diego got his own little space and we were able to put a small basement in so that I could keep my alchemy station down there and work without worrying about the weather or disturbing David too much with some of the sights and smells that were inherent in combining sorcery and science.

Our relationship has been… intense.  Just when I am starting to feel comfortable and start to relax, something will happen: a look, a touch and then something seems to grip me by the throat, and there’s a tightness in my chest.  It’s not an unpleasant sensation, however.  In fact, I’m beginning to really enjoy it.

It happened gradually enough that I didn’t notice… or maybe it is more accurate to say that I didn’t realize just what was going on.  But one day, it hit me.  I loved David.  Even my efforts to find a way out of my situation have gone by the wayside.  I seemed to find excuses NOT to do it.  This is what finally made me realize that I was actually… happy.  I could no longer see my future without David in it.  Even knowing that this mortal body would eventually decay and die, I couldn’t be upset about that, not with David by my side.

I was content with that, or so I thought.  I knew I had David’s love.  But there was something missing.  One day, after working for quite a bit making potions, I found myself feeling ill.  I dashed to the bathroom to purge myself.

I didn’t think about it at the time, figuring that I had been inhaling the fumes too much lately.  But after another couple bouts with the horrible nausea, I began to wonder.  Sure enough, after casting a spell on myself, I found that I was pregnant!  I had a life growing within me.

I didn’t tell David, not right away.  I was too busy marveling at this miracle.  The dragons, my ‘children’, had been created through my essence, given life through magic.  They were mine, but not like the life growing inside me.  It was such a marvel, and brought me close to tears.  Before I could tell David of our tremendous fortune, he called to me.  I walked tentatively to him.  In his hand, there was something, a little box…

I didn’t know to make of it at first.  He just smiled at me.  “My Dragon Queen,” he murmured.  I had long ago confessed who I was to him.  I had expected derision or at the very least disbelief.  But instead, he had grinned just like that and pulled me close.  He seemed to accept it at face value.  From then on, he’d often call me his Dragon Queen, or simply his Queen.  He used that nickname now, his voice so tender it had tears coming to my eyes.  “You have been the light of my life.  I’ve never felt for someone else what I feel for you.  Though I probably don’t deserve it, or you, it would be the greatest honor if you would agree to become my wife.  Will you marry me, Celestia?”

I was speechless for a long moment, unable to speak.  I burst into tears as I threw myself at him, wrapping my arms around his neck.  “Yes, yes, of course,” I sobbed.

He held onto me for a long moment, rubbing his hands up and down my back.  “I love you, my Queen,” he murmured.

It jolted me out of my stupor and I stepped back.  “D-david.  I-I have something to tell you.”  Swallowing, I slowly and haltingly told him that I carried a child inside of me, our child.  We had never talked of such things and I had no idea how he would react.

I braced myself for the shock and even possible ire.  Instead, I found myself crushed to his chest as he rained kisses over my face.  “Let’s not wait,” he murmured.  “Let’s do it now.  We don’t need a big wedding.  We’re already married, in our hearts.  It’s really only a formality, right?”

I nodded, not quite sure what he was talking about.  I knew of marriage, of course, but it wasn’t something I had ever spent any time in contemplating.  So it was that we were married in our little hallway, just the two of us.  Even later, after I knew what a full wedding meant, I found the moment magical.

So it was, that night, David and I went to bed as man and wife.  As I lay next to him and felt the life within me, I could only smile.  Perhaps rather than be mad at Lyall, I owed her a debt… not that I would ever tell her that, though… at least not right away.


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