13w, 6dArt for Fanfiction
1w, 13hPinkie Pie: Pinkamena Diane Pie
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1w, 13hSpike Fanfictions
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42w, 4dTwilight's Library
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23w, 2dTwilight and Spike
37w, 5dScootalove is Best Love
29w, 3dFeature Box Crusaders
24w, 4dMLP: Motherhood is Magical
11w, 2dChildren of Equestria
6w, 4dThe ACW Call-Out
Aloe and Lotus counted Rarity among their most frequent customers, and Twilight came in often enough that her presence wasn’t really noteworthy. Applejack, however, was a special occasion. The farmpony didn’t partake in pampering often, so the first thought the twins had was that it must be a special occasion.
The twins had led them to the hot tub and laid the three of them in it. They then excused themselves to see Lyra and Bon-Bon, the only other ones there.
After they left, Applejack spoke up again. “Twi, I gotta ask...Celestia made such a big deal out of Spike, did she ever tell you where that egg came from?”
Twilight shook her head. “No, never. Every time I asked, she only said that she’d tell me when the time was right. I have no idea why his egg was with ponies.”
“That’s odd,” Rarity mused. “Why would Celestia keep something like that from you? Or from him?”
“Well, she never really kept it from Spike,” she muttered. “He never really asked where he came from before the Migration. He always just kind of accepted that he ended up among ponies. I guess he didn’t really care to be more like a dragon after he found out how most of them acted.”
“Well, speaking of the Migration, how did Celestia feel about him leaving like that?” Rarity asked.
“It’s kind of strange. Celestia actually came down to Ponyville when she heard… she was quiet about it, so nopony else saw her. She was upset with me until I told her we were watching him, but she was more worried. She told Spike that she would answer all his questions when he was ready for them and told him to be patient.”
Both of her friends looked a bit surprised at this. “So… th’ Princess is hidin’ somethin’?”
Twilight shrugged. “I don’t know if hiding is the right word for it. I think wherever Spike came from, it’s a big deal politically.”
“Do you think he was kidnapped?” Rarity asked, sounding a little alarmed at that possibility.
“Rare, don’t be ridiculous, th’ Princess would never even think about doing that?”
“I really don’t think it’s that bad,” Twilight agreed. “Still, it got me worried about what’s going to happen to Spike after I’m gone… you know, even more than I already was.”
Applejack shook her head and gave a sad smile. “You’d be worried even if he was just a pony. Trust me, I worry ‘bout Apple Bloom all the time. Wonderin’ if me an’ Big Macintosh are raising her right. Still, I have ‘ta say, this whole political business is a bit… bigger than anythin’ we have to deal with.”
Twilight gave a weary sigh, leaning up against the tub. “I really don’t like talking about this, and with how little sleep I got last night, it’s wearing me out more than usual.
“Hey, you brought him up, sugarcube.”
“Indeed, you seem to want to talk about Spike.”
The lavender unicorn blushed. “I guess I’m just worried about him. I’m sorry.”
“Not at all. How about you tell us a happy story about him?”
Twilight smiled, leaning back against the tub.
Twilight looked over her books once more, taking in the relevant history. Starswirl’s early theories were a bit sketchy, and some had been disproven, but they made for some fascinating light reading.
She was jerked away from her books when she heard a light scraping sound, as if something with claws was running across the floor. She looked up and glanced across her suite, seeing nothing out of place. The noise had stopped, leaving the room in silence.
Shifting nervously, she returned to her tome. A few moments later, the scratching started up again, only closer. She whipped her head around, trying to find the source.
“Spike?” she called. She looked around again. “Spike, if that’s you, I swear…”
“Ragh!” Spike yelled, leaping onto the bed and tackling Twilight.
“Spike! What are you doing?” she demanded, though amusement was creeping in her voice.
The dragon playfully wrapped his arms around her neck. “Im’ma knight, and I’m’ma gonna take you down, you mean ol’ manticore!”
The purple unicorn gave a faux gasp. “Manticore? I happen to be a lovely young mare, you-ack!”
Spike squeezed his arms together tightly against Twilight’s neck, slightly choking her. “I caught ‘cha! What ya gonna do ‘bout it?”
Twilight answered that question by picking Spike of her back with magic. Gently setting the book aside, she plopped her charge in front of her. “Now the manticore has you. And you know what manticores do to knights they catch?”
Spike’s eyes widened. “What? No, no…”
Giving a devilish grin, the unicorn dug her hooves into the baby dragon’s ribs. Immediately the young reptile burst out laughing, squirming around in an effort to escape his caretaker’s grasp. He experienced no such luck, as Twilight’s magic kept him very much in place.
“I have you now, Sir Spike! Roar!” she said playfully before bringing her head down to blow a raspberry on his stomach.
He squeaked and giggled, trying to form words. “Cut it out! Manticores don’t tickle!”
“They do when the knight attacking them is a cute little fella!” Twilight laughed, placing an extra sloppy kiss on his forehead.
“Ew, gross!” the dragon laughed. Twilight kept assaulting his forehead and cheeks with kisses, ignoring his laughing and protests. Eventually, she let up, and Spike lay next to her, panting and catching his breath. After a few minutes he fell asleep, allowing her to return to her reading, this time with her charge nestled by her side.
Scootaloo entered the Cutie Mark Crusaders’ clubhouse with intent to fetch some oil for her scooter, and was quite surprised to find Spike’s abandoned Mother’s Day gift. Looking at the box, her desire to see what was inside waged war with her feelings that such a thing would be rude. It didn’t take long for her curiosity to win out, and she opened the package.
Inside was a picture frame made of ceramic, looking like it was made by Spike himself in Toola-Roola’s craft shop. It was painted in purple and green, the baby dragon’s colors, also applied by him, the edges were uneven and spilled into each other, but that gave it a charm she knew the grown-ups liked. Inside the frame was a picture of a newborn Spike, his eggshells still around him, with Twilight looking at him.
At that moment, Scootaloo noticed an anomaly on the frame. There was a small painted circle on the bottom portion. The frame itself came up where it was painted, it was almost like a button. On a whim, she ran her hoof across it.
In a flash, the picture changed. Now it was of a kindergarten aged Spike curled up against a teenage Twilight, resting in her purple coat.
It took a minute for the filly to realize what had happened. Magic, it must be. Obviously Twilight didn’t do it, but who? No other unicorn in Ponyville had that level of magic.
She nodded in realization. Twilight went to Canterlot often, and took Spike with her. He must have had it enchanted when he was up on a visit before the wedding.
She ran her hoof over the button again. In a flash, there was Twilight’s graduation, with Spike giving her a hug. Another flash, with a picture of the two of them after Twilight received the Element of Magic. Another flash, and it was the two of them on Nightmare Night. Another flash, and it was them after the Migration, with a newly hatched Pee Wee in his claws.
Scootaloo got something in her eye.
For a moment, the filly wondered what to do from here. It was clear from the gift being here that Twilight hadn’t gotten through to him, and part of her wanted to just take it to the Golden Oaks Library and place it right in Twilight’s hooves. Spike was being an idiot, and the whole thing needed to stop. On the other hoof, her fellow Crusaders were against the idea, at least for right now, and she didn’t feel like upsetting them.
She sighed. Sweetie Belle was at least considering her way. She’d take it to her for safekeeping.
Pinkie took a batch of fresh cupcakes out of the oven, humming a song to herself. It was unusual to see her working this late in the day, as her shift was early morning, but she found baking helped her concentrate.
Mr. Cake came down from helping his wife tuck in the twins and saw his foster daughter baking happily. “Well, you seem to be in a good mood Pinkie. Did you tell your friends?
He immediately regretted asking, as Pinkie got quiet, sagging a little. She set the tray on the counter before speaking. “No. Twilight didn’t get through to Spike last night, I don’t want to tell her as long as she’s all mopey.”
Carrot Cake nodded in understanding. “That makes sense. But are you going to be okay, Pinkie? You said yourself it was something you needed to get off your chest.”
Pinkie giggled a little. “Don’t worry. Just telling you two helped me a bunch. I really feel much better than I did this weekend.”
Mr. Cake was silent for a moment. Then he went over to Pinkie and kissed her forehead. “You let me know if you need anything okay?”
Pinkie smiled, somewhat sadly. “I will.”
“There was one colt who asked me out to our senior dance, but there was a volume on teleportation magic I wanted to finish, and…”
“What!” Rarity exclaimed, her mouth agape. “Your senior prom and you chose to stay inside and read? Honestly, Twilight, I knew you were a shut-in, but really!”
“Aw, lay off her. I really don’t get why some mares go all gaga over that. It’s not like them high school romances last most of the time.”
“Maybe so, but you could have stood to socialize more.”
“That’s why the Princess sent me here in the first place! Besides, making myself as unavailable as possible was a good coping strategy for dealing with Blueblood.”
Rarity cringed. “He flirted with you?”
The purple unicorn just nodded. “I was the Princess Celestia’s personal student, I was kind of high on the popularity charts. And that meant I was worthy of his attention,” she noted with a bit of a sneer.
“Why ever didn’t you warn me about him?” Rarity demanded, sounding a bit irritated.
“Everypony I ever tried to warn accused me of ‘not getting royal love,’ so I eventually stopped trying,” she shrugged. “I guess I still should have tried to tell you though.”
“We all make mistakes,” Rarity shrugged. “Whatever became of this colt?”
“He’s in the Royal Guard now. We actually saw him when we came into Canterlot. I guess I should have said something to him, but with everything going on…”
“Aw, let’s not dig that up again,” Applejack said quickly. “I’m gettin’ tired of everypony mopin’ ‘bout it. I’m perfectly happy to just put it all behind us.”
At that last sentence, Aloe and Lotus entered the room. Following them, much to the trio’s surprise, was the chief of the Ponyville Police.
“Chief Book ‘Em?” Twilight asked, surprised. “What’s going…”
The blue unicorn ignored Twilight and looked at Applejack. “What position did you finish in at the last Running of the Leaves?”
The cowpony was flabbergasted. “What?”
“Answer the question,” Book ‘Em said sternly.
Face scrunched in confusion, she answered. “I tied with Rainbow Dash… for last,” she grumbled, a faint blush on her cheeks.”
Nodding, he turned to Twilight. “What’s your position during the Winter Wrap-Up?”
“Team Organizer,” she answered unhesitatingly. She wanted to figure out what was going on, but figured she’d play along until Rarity was asked her question.
It was Aloe who spoke to Rarity. “Who did you make your last big sale to?”
“Hoity Toity. He ordered a new set for his spring line.”
At this, the three interrogating ponies seemed relieved. Seeing this, Twilight asked again. “Chief, what’s going on?”
“I’m sorry for that, Twilight,” Book ‘Em said, shifting a bit. “It’s just that the Changeling Invasion has us all a little jumpy.” To prove his point, he levitated a newspaper off a nearby table and over to them. Unsurprisingly, the attack on Canterlot was front page news.
“Whenever Rarity comes here, it’s usually with Fluttershy and Twilight,” Aloe explained. “When we saw Applejack instead, we got worried.”
Indeed, the trio could see a warning to keep an eye out for suspicious behavior from known acquaintances. Instructions to summon the police before any questionings were also present.
Twilight sighed. “The Princess knew this would happen. Equestria’s going to turn into a paranoid nuthouse.”
Rarity took the paper and continued scanning it. “‘Canterlot Officials considering tax increase to pay for damages,’ ‘Task force being assembled to hunt down changelings while the army is still scattered.’” Rarity actually was quiet for a moment before reading aloud her next statement with an incredulous tone. “Anti-Celestia groups are up in arms’?”
Applejack slapped her hoof onto her face. “Don’t tell me then idjiots are gettin’ some support for all this?”
Book ‘Em sighed. “Afraid so. Those groups have been shouting that Celestia was incompetent for letting the changelings go right under her nose.”
“Oh, how dare they?” Rarity scoffed, sounding like she herself had been personally offended.
“Don’t get worked up,” Twilight said dryly, easing back into the hot tub.
This caused the others to look at her oddly. “I figured you’d be most upset ‘bout these fellas.”
“I was the first fifty times,” Twilight said, sounding rather bored. “It’s always ‘Celestia is secretly ruining high-class social gatherings for her own amusement,’ ‘Celestia is secretly keeping the non-pony races in Equestria as second class citizens,’ ‘Celestia is training a dragon to be her ultimate warrior’.”
None of the ponies missed the anger that crept into her voice at that last sentence. “I take it you had to put up with that a lot,” Book ‘Em said slowly.
In response to Twilight’s curt nod, Aloe spoke. “Why would anypony see Spike as dangerous? He’s so sweet!”
“The same reason everypony thought Zecora was dangerous, he’s different.”
The statement was so blunt that the others got quiet for a moment. Twilight sighed. “Sorry if I’m being short...Spike’s just been acting strange lately. I’m worried about him.”
“There’s no need to apologize,” Lotus assured. “I suppose that’s why you’re here.”
“Well, I’m sorry for the trouble, Miss Sparkle,” Book ‘Em said again, tipping his hat.
Twilight dismissed him with a wave, as did her compatriots. The burly unicorn took his leave, the twins began better attending to their guests, adding more bath salts to the tub and making conversation.
“We must ask, why is Applejack here with you? It’s so unusual when you’re not all coming as a group. Is there some special occasion?”
“It ain’t nuthin’ special,” the farmpony dismissed. “Not really. We actually came to ask you two somethin’.”
“Well what do you want me to do with it?” Sweetie Belle asked.
“Keep it in your room,” her friend responded, rolling her eyes. “If we leave it in the Clubhouse, something could happen to it. We all know Spike’s being dumb about this, and Apple Bloom still wants to keep it a secret. I still say we should just tell Twilight.”
“Let’s wait and see if Twilight can get him to talk. Until then, I’ll keep it in my room,” Sweetie countered, taking the box.
Scootaloo shook her head in annoyance. “Fine! Have fun with your little dresses, I’m going to go practice my flying,” she huffed. She trotted out of the Boutique and hopped on her scooter. Muttering something about how sewing was for sissies, she scooted off towards a secluded part of Ponyville to try and teach herself what her parents were too busy to.
What she didn’t know was that, sitting on a cloud above, Rainbow Dash was watching the little filly leave. After a moment, she flapped her wings and followed.