A Secret Admirer 3: Spike's Sacrifice (AU)

by 1jckuhn

Chapter 3: The Funeral


This was the day that everycreature in Equestria dreaded, Spike's Funeral. Everyone had the day off so they could come to the terrible event. The day was hard for everyone who knew and loved Spike. For Spike's harem, Ember, Garble, and Thorax, however, they felt like they were going through pure hell. Everything felt so slow from the moment they had woken up and realized what day it was. The train ride from Ponyville to Canterlot would've been fun for them if they weren't surrounded by mourners and ponies from the Crystal Empire. After what seemed like forever, the 15 devastated creatures finally came to a large gate with a sign that read "Canterlot Cemetary". They felt tears welling up as the gate opened up and they walked inside.

The Pegusai had rejected to do their duties for the day, leaving a cloudy, grey sky up above. The gloomy weather seemed to fit the atmosphere very well. There was a giant crowd of Ponies, Dragons, Yaks, Griffons, Hippogriffs, Buffalo, Changelings, and Kirins that all stared at a small hole in the ground in the shape of a perfect 10x8 rectangle.

The despondent girls, Thorax, and Garble walked to the front of the pack without saying a word and sat down. Accompanying them at the front were the Young 6, Twilight Velvet, Night Light, Shining Armor, Queen Novo, Princess Skystar, Tempest Shadow, Garble's posse, Pharynx, and Big Macintosh, who was doing everything he could think of to help to console a grief-stricken Discord, who was also crying uncontrollably.

The second they saw their leader, Billy, Clump, and Spear flocked to Garble and Smolder. Garble did look distraught, but he ordered them to look after Smolder. The Orange, teen dragon looked the most emotionally destroyed out of the whole harem. Her icy blue eyes reflected unbearable amounts of pain and the other teenagers couldn't help but feel really sorry for her. They didn't really like Spike, but they did harbor some respect for him. Poor Smolder had been crying non-stop since last night and didn't catch a wink of sleep that night, but there were no signs of fatigue on her anywhere. She was sobbing just as hard, if not harder, than last night. Garble felt absoulutely awful seeing his sister like this and all the things that would usually comfort her had no effect. In fact, it seemed to only make her feel worse. Smolder's best friends also changed seats to be with her. They had never seen her like this before and they didn't know how to console her. Gallus put the most effort into it by rubbing Smolder's back tenderly. It didn't help that they had their own grief to deal with.

Pharynx saw his brother and immediatly changed seats to be with him. Like Smolder, Thorax's eyes also reflected unimaginable amounts of pain and depression. Pharynx didn't know what to do. He had been there for Thorax when he was bullied, but neither Thorax nor he had never dealt with anything like this. Ever.

Just as they settled down, Princess Celestia, Luna, and Cadence came from the left in a slow, steady trot. Behind them was a gold-plated coffin bathed in Celestia's yellow aura. Everyone felt sick seeing it knowing full well who was inside. The crestfallen Princesses all walked to the center of the front of the crowd and set the casket on a stand for everyone to see. Behind the coffin and Princesses was a giant object that was covered by a large, white sheet.

"Good afternoon, Mares, Gentlecolts, Fillies, Colts, Dragons, Griffons, Hippogriffs, Changelings, Yaks, Buffalo, and Kirins," Celestia started before wiping away a tear. "We are gathered here today to mourn the end of the life of the greatest Dragon ever known to all of Equestria. Four days earlier, Spike bravely fought against the Legion of Doom to prevent them from killing his lovers and taking Equestria over. The autopsy revealed that his wings had been broken before he had died. Yet, despite his injuries, he still fought against the threat. He successfully tricked the Legion to fire magic blasts at the very object that granted them their power. The magic overloaded the bell and it exploded, stripping the Legion's members of all their powers. Unfortunately, Spike was also caught in the blast. Shards of the destroyed bell were sent into Spike's little body, which tore off 60 percent of his outer scales off of him and left his underscales with severe lacerations, some of them were fatal. The magic blast also burned most of the scales on his abdomen, as well as the skin on his wings, to a crisp and, according to the autopsies, his ability to taste and smell were lost almost instantly due to his sinuses being fried beyond repair. When he hit the ground after the bell had exploded, his wing bones shattered completely. The only thing that was left on them were two bloody, fleshy stumps on his back. The magic was also powerful enough to destroy his immune system and his internal organs were so badly damaged, they were almost unrecognisable."

Everyone in the front row immediatly broke down upon hearing the extent of Spike terminal injuries. Garble and his buddies tried their hardest not to cry as they had to stay strong to provide comfort for Smolder, who was crying harder after listening to just how badly her deceased lover had been hurt for the last few moments in his life. Pharynx teared up, but managed to keep it together to try and console a now sobbing Thorax. It was just another sickening reminder for not just Thorax, but Ember and the harem as well, of why they were there.

"By some miracle, he survived the blast and told his lovers before he died that if they, his friends, and Equestria were safe, that was all that mattered to him. Only one half of his harem was with him when he died, He pled with them in his last seconds of life to pass the message to the other half that he loved them," Celestia paused again and wiped away another tear. "He was known by many in the Crystal Empire as Spike the Brave and Glorious and there couldn't have been a more perfect demonstration of that term than what he did to save not just the ponies, but every creature in Equestria."

Everyone, despite their sorrow, found a sliver of comfort from Celestia's speech. Spike's harem, Ember, Thorax felt the most touched out of them all. Smolder pulled her head out of Garble's tear-soaked chest and it looked like, for the first time in almost 16 hours, she had stopped crying. She looked back at the Princesses with a small, sad smile. It was the most beautiful thing she, as well as the rest of the crowd, had ever heard. Celestia cleared her throat and everyone fell silent once more.

"Anyone who wishes to say their final goodbyes, may do so now," the Sun Princess said and looked over to Luna and Cadence. They nodded to each other and the top half of the coffin was surronded by Celestia's yellow aura as it slowly opened it to reveal its contents.

Everyone's sliver of comfort from Celestia's speech vanished and over half the crowd lost contol of their emotions at the awful sight in front of them. Smolder began to cry again and she reburied her face into Garble's chest.

Spike was wearing a tuxedo, his arms were folded over his chest, his eyes were still as peacefully closed as they were since his death three days ago, and a small smile plastered his mouth.

Rainbow volunteered to go first, she sighed heavily before speaking.

"Spike, what you did to save all of us is beyond brave. You really are gutsier than I probably will ever be. I know I sometimes I pick on you, but everytime, you've proven me wrong and you don't even gloat about it. I've idolized the Wonderbolts for all my life. Now that I've become one, I haven't had anything to idolize until now. Spike, you're my new idol. I want to be more like you. Then came that love confession. I felt so touched listening to you tell me why you loved me and how you were loyal to me despite my flaws just to see me happy. To be honest, you'd probably be a better candidate for Loyalty than I would. You showed my element when you broke free of Twilight's grasp and fought against those fiends despite your wings broken. I'm feel horrible as hell that it had to end for you like this when you had so much in live for with us," she felt tears welling up as she kept her eyes locked on the deceased dragon's face. She leaned in and kissed Spike right between his eyebrows. "Thank you, Spike, for everything. I love you so much."

Rainbow Dash found it harder to walk as she made her way back to her friends. Applejack and Fluttershy noticed this, met Rainbow halfway across the floor, and assisted her back to her seat.

Pinkie was up next. She slowly made her way to the coffin that served as her friend's final resting bed. Her mane was deflated and her fur seemed a darker, more dreary shade of pink. She felt tears welling up in her sky blue eyes as she looked at her deceased lover.

"Oh, Spike," she whimpered fighting back the urge to break down right then and there. "I'm sorry. I'm so so sorry. You had your whole life ahead of you, and you could've touched so many lives with your smile, your laugher, and your joy. All those fun times we shared together, all those delicious goodies we baked together, all those cuddle sessions we had together, and all those happy memories we made together. All the things I can't do anymore without you," she paused as she wiped a tear from her eye then smiled sadly. "But you know what? I bet you're making tons of friends already on the other side with your jokes and humor, and that is something I can smile about," she planted a little peck on his right cheek before walking back towards her friends, still wearing that sad smile.

Fluttershy got up next. She swallowed hard and wiped away her tears.

"Spike, you truly are the kindest creature I've ever met. You've always set aside your needs to help someone else, even at the expense of your own joy or pleasure. Before I met you, I always feared dragons and I avoided them whenever possible. You, however, showed me that there's more than meets the eye on your species by breaking that mold and giving others like Thorax a chance and saving Ember from drowning and giving her the Bloodstone Sceptor even though you got to it first. Words can't describe how much I love you for that. If the truth be told I've been in love with you for almost a year before your confession. Then you met your ultimate fate. At first I was devastated by what happened, but as time went on, I came to realize you did it for us. You were kind enough to give your life up just so we could all keep going. In a way, you represented my Element of Kindness that day. I've learned a lot from you, Spike," she paused as she smiled at Spike. Contrary to Pinkie, however, this one was with happiness, her turquoise eyes radiating with hope and warmth. "Grateful doesn't begin to describe how I feel for being your friend and lover, even though the latter was for a very short time. Even though I accept what happened, that doesn't mean I won't miss you. Always remember that I have a special place for you in my heart," she said in a voice that was a little bit louder than her usual timid tone before leaning into the coffin and kissing the fallen dragon right on his nose. She made her way back to her shocked friends, even though it felt good pouring her heart out in that speech, she still felt weary of the catastrophic results that unfolded after that horrendous battle four days earlier.

Applejack took the next shot.

"Well, Spike, I guess this is goodbye. I feel so lost without you. Who's going to work off for a life debt for me after I saved them from a timberwolf?" she stopped and chuckled sadly, remembering that self-imposed debt that he had promised to work off after she saved his life. "Spike, You truly are a dedicated friend, worker, and lover. You represented my Element, when you were throughly honest when told us how grateful you were that we were all safe even though you were dying. It's gonna be mighty quiet without you around. I'll miss you, sugarcube. I've always thought of you as my perfect match. I replay every memory of you from when you were confessing to us how much you loved us over and over again to your-*sniff*-your last moments of life," she sighed and tears began to well up in her eyes. "I know I usually cry on the inside, but this is something that even I can't keep bottled up." She looked down toward him and tried her very best not to break down in a fit of sobs, "You were such a good soul, Spike. You didn't deserve this. I can't even eat, let alone make, an apple pie anymore, because it just reminds me of all the times we baked and ate them together, whether we were being friends or lovers," she choked out. Now, it was taking every ounce of the apple farmer's strength not to break down. She shakily kissed Spike's head just below where his head crest ended. The usually strong, tough earth pony looked like a foal that had just gotten a knee scrape. She got no more than three-eigths to her seat before it all became two much to bear at last and she finally collapsed, curled into a ball, and silently cried not caring who watched. Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash immediately got up to cart their emotionally crushed friend back to her seat. The two Pegasi sat between their woebegone teammate when they did reach her seat, embraced her with both their legs and wings, and refused to loosen their grip.

Next up, were the Cutie Mark Crusaders followed by Applejack's older brother, Big Macintosh. Apple Bloom was riding on her brother and was sobbing heavily into the back of the stallion's crimson neck. In fact, Apple Bloom hadn't stopped crying once since last night. It was physically exhausting for the young filly to the point where she couldn't even walk.

Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle jumped up on Big Mac's back. Once she saw her friends with her, Apple Bloom felt a bit of comfort knowing that she now had company who could help her composture rather than doing it alone.

"Spike," Sweetie Belle began. "You have always been Apple Bloom's Scootaloo's, and my best friend. You've always pitched in to help us find our cutie marks and supported us when we felt discouraged after failing. When we did get them you never left our side."

Sweetie teared up as she remembered a time when her friends and she accompanied Spike and Rarity on a gem hunting trip hoping to earn their cutie marks in mining. Unfortunately, they didn't do well. Spike, however, didn't like seeing Sweetie and her friends so downtrodden after what happened. He lifted their spirits when he told them that there was a whole, wide world full of talents out there. They just needed help finding thiers and the purple dragon was more than happy to pitch in to help them out. True to his word, he had helped the trio of fillies out with trying over three dozen talents, but still no luck. Despite this, Spike's optimism never faultered.

"Adding to that, you've stood up to those who bullied us," Scootaloo said. "And you made sure we were okay after you dealt with them."

The orange Pegasus recalled a short time ago when a colt was chewing them out for something relatively minor. Spike saw what happened and confronted him about it. After a brief argument, they both got really angry and likely would've fought each other that day had Ms. Cheerilee not intervened. After Ms. Cheerilee sent the colt away, Spike had calmed down and asked if any of the three fillies were hurt. Much to Spike's relief they weren't.

Apple Bloom had gotten herself together and managed to look at her slain drakefriend.

"Then there was the time you spent your day off at Sweet Apple Acres staying with me when you heard from Applejack that I had a cold. You refused to leave my side and I remember you even sang me a lullaby to help put me to sleep. We vividly remember how all those kind things you did lead all three of us to eventually grow a crush on you for your kindness. Then came that love confession. The moment we heard about you being the admirer, Scoots, Sweetie, and I all felt so excited. We fainted twice during that hopsital visit. Everything was perfect for us during those three, short months when we were part of your harem. We were looking forward to being with you forever. Sadly-*sniff*-, i-it seems that the universe had other plans and we lost our one true love, because of power-hungry psychos. However, we're all beyond thankful that you gave us the opportunity to experience love for a very brief time. Please, Spike. Remember that we love you with all our hearts," Apple Bloom finished her speech, feeling a small amount of relief after getting her confession off her chest.

The trio of filies leaned into the casket and simultaneously kissed Spike's still cheek. The heartbroken trio then hopped off Big Mac's back and ran back to their seats without another word, crying silently.

Once the filles were back to their seats, Big Mac turned around and faced Spike. The usually stoic stallion had felt sad when he thought Sugar Belle had dumped him, but it was nothing compared to what he felt now.

"Spike," he began. "It's gonna be really different now that you're gone. I'm still trying to comprehend how you decided that you wanted to go out like that, just to keep us out of harm's way. Guys' night won't be the same without you. Discord's been feeling really, really guilty about what happened. I convinced him to come, but he's too emotionally distraught to even speak." The crimson stallion sighed heavily. Like his other close friends, Spike's death had also done a number to him emotionally. "I also knew about Apple Bloom having a crush on you. At first, I thought she'd get over it, but overtime I saw her falling for you even more, and I wasn't surprised. You know how to treat a girl right and that's something I really respect in someone. I wanted her to confess her love to you, but like all kids in love, she was just too nervous to do so. I remember all those times that Apple Bloom always comes home telling me about how she and her friends would always strike out on quests for cutie marks and how you'd always come in to lift their spirits and encourage them not to give up hope. You've shown me how much of a kind, sweet boy you are, Spike. When I heard about the secret admirer fiasco and that you were the admirer, I knew that there was nothing standing in the way of Apple Bloom finally claiming her first love. Sure enough you got together with Apple Bloom and her friends. If the truth be told, I trusted you without a second thought. You are without a doubt, the coolest guy I've ever met," Big Mac finished. With nothing left to say, he slowly trotted back to where the Cutie Mark Crusaders were seated and hugged all three fillies tightly.

Even though he may have not been Spike's biggest fan, Garble felt like he owed Spike this one. He was a little reluctant to leave his Smolder's side as she had never ceased sobbing when they had first gotten to the funeral, but his buddies took his place comforting her. He took a deep breath and rubbed the back of his neck.

"I may not always liked you, Spike, but after today, you've undoubtedly earned my full respect. Looking back, I am beyond thankful that you came to the dragonlands to cheer me up despite me being a total jerk. I know I've always mocked you for being a wimp, but it seems, as usual, I was wrong about about you. That day, you proved you really are as tough as me and my buddies, maybe even more so," Garble sighed. "I still remember when Smolder fell in love with you. I was a little skeptical at first of where this would go. However, I heard about how you treated her during the three months when you were in a relationship with her. She was always happy with you and she told me how you always made her feel like a true Dragon. That's when I knew that you were the right guy for her. When I received news that you had perished after successfully saving all of us, I felt like my whole world came crashing down. I've heard that you always put your pony pals ahead of yourself. At first, I felt like all was lost for me, until I took one look at Smolder when she saw you on the ground. I made me realize that I needed be there for her and I could deal with my emotions. That's what friends and family do for each other. You may be gone, but you've successfully done something no one else would dare. Straightening me out, and teaching me a very valuable life lesson. So long, little buddy. I cannot thank you enough for helping guide me down the right path," Garble smiled sadly before giving a military salute to his former rival. "Rest easy, warrior. You've fought well."

After some coaxing from Garble, Smolder had managed to get her emotions together and slowly stood up. The usually tomboyish dragon felt numb to the bone.

The orange dragon turned to her older brother. "Did you bring it, Gar-Gar?"

Garble nodded and handed Smolder what she was asking for, a red rose that had been stripped of its thorns.

"Thank you," Smolder whispered. She then slowly made her way to where Spike lay in his golden casket. She slipped the rose inbetween the fingers on his hand that was on top and the back of his hand on the bottom before she took a shaken breath and began to speak. "Spike, you truly are an example of what it means to be a dragon. You're tough, cool, brave, strong, and you have a heart of pure, solid gold. I am fortunate to have become your friend and lover even if was for a very short time. I still remember how I felt my heart would feel so light and fluttery and my face would always heat up a bit whenever I was around you ever since you helped reform my brother, Garble. I also remember that I got this feeling when I began thinking of you. At first, I didn't know what this was and I asked my friends why I felt this way and they told me I, like the Cutie Mark Crusaders, had fallen for you. I didn't believe them, but as time went on, I realized they were right. Then came that confession at the hospital. I was so eager to get my confession off my chest. It was a dream come true to tell you that I loved you, Spike, more than anything. You were so sweet to me, even when we were just friends. I was looking to so many happy memories with you after the battle with the Legion of Doom, but I guess fate had other plans in mind," she paused as she leaned into the coffin, closed her eyes, and planted a kiss on the dead center of the sleeping adolesent's forehead. "Sleep tight, cutie pie. I'll never forget you."

Smolder backtracked no more than one-quarter of her path back her seat before she collapsed and broke down in another fit of tears. Garble immediately sprang from his seat, scooped her up, carried her back to where his buddies and he were, and held her tightly against his chest for the rest of the time.

Gabby sniffed as she got up to share her speech. The usually happy, go-lucky Griffon felt like going to sleep and never wanting to wake up. She had felt awful when she thought Spike didn't want to hang out with her, but that was nothing compared to what she felt now. She wanted to throw up looking at the body in the casket that once was her lover, her other half, her Spikey.

"Spike," she started as two large tears rolled down her cheeks and she squeezed her eyes shut as she tried to keep herself together. "You truly the best creature I've met in my life. You've helped me get past my breakup, you've hung out with me in most of your free time with me, which got someone jealous because she felt lonely without you, and you've always treated me with top-of-the-line respect. No matter how grateful I am to be alive and safe today, I just don't know how to accept this, Spike. You were the perfect one, the one who'd give unlimited happiness for decades to come, and in the span of less than five minutes, you were gone in a flash, just like that. I love you, Spikey. I-I just..."

Gabby got no further before she collapsed on the ground and began to cry hysterically. All that pain and horror from four days earlier kept chipping away at her composture throughout her speech and it finally managed to destroy the last of it. The poor, grey griffon tried to stand up, but her legs buckled and she fell back down again, still crying.

"I-I-I'm s-so s-s-sorry, S-S-Spike!!" Gabby choked out through her sobs. "W-Why did y-you have to go?"

Sensing that Gabby couldn't continue on without going into a full mental breakdown, Starlight got up and helped the still bawling Griffon back to her seat. Seeing her like this made the other members of Spike's harem feel even worse. They didn't know how to provide her, or each other and themselves for that matter, with some kind of comfort. They wanted to promise each other that everything would be okay. Sadly, they felt like no matter how many times they'd say it, it'd never be true. Even Fluttershy began to question the things she had said during her speech.

Once Gabby and Starlight were seated Thorax decided to go next. Like Gabby, the shaken King felt like throwing up looking at Spike in his final resting place. After 15 seconds of pure, dead silence, Thorax broke the ice and began to slowly but surely got out his words.

"H-hey, buddy," Thorax sputtered almost hesitant to speak. "This is pretty hard for all of us especially for your harem, Ember, and me. You were always there for both Ember and me and you never asked for anything in return from either of us. I'm partially to blame for that one because I never thought to give you anything. My biggest regret, as well as Ember's, is that we couldn't be there for you, to return the favor. If it weren't for you, not only would I still be on the run from everyone, but the changelings would also not be reformed," He paused, almost losing composture. "I feel like a piece of me is missing now. I feel scared, Spike. I was told by Twilight how you were so brave that day, how you were able to make a split-second decision to save those you loved, and how you fought through your pain to destroy the Legion. I could never have thought so quickly, let alone work through that much pain. Then to add to that, you displayed your selflessness one more final time when you told your harem that as long as we were all safe, you could rest easy," Thorax said, then he sighed. He had no tears left to cry. "I hope you're well taken care of on the other side, Spike. You've earned it." Thorax walked off, feeling not just sad, but empty too. His head hung low and his usually vivid purple eyes seemed faded.

After Thorax sat back down, Ember made her way next to the deceased Spike.

"I don't know what to think right now, Spike. Like Thorax, I too feel like a piece if me is missing. If it weren't for you, I wouldn't be the Dragon Lord. You weren't just my friend, you were the torch that had helped light my way and guide me through the other end of the dark tunnel that was my opinion of ponies and friendship. With you gone, I feel like I'm entering a whole, new, dark tunnel, except this time I don't have a torch to guide me through it," she paused for a brief moment. "Thorax and I were absolutely devastated when we saw you. We were so broken up in fact, that we couldn't even fly back home. We were granted a room in Twilight's Castle and we did nothing in that room except just cry thinking about you. Unfair is an understatement of what the results of that battle were that day. You didn't deserve this, Spike. You had so much to look forward to in this world and you threw it away saving us. Even though I'm eternally grateful of what you did, I would give anything to turn back the clock to just show up five minutes earlier than we did," Ember began to tear up and it felt harder and harder to keep her composture. "This isn't fair. What could you have done in your short life that was horrible enough that fate decided that such a painful death at such a young age was an acceptable response to it? Not a damn thing, that's what. When I think about it more, you deserve the title of Dragon Lord more than I do. You got to the Bloodstone Sceptor first, but you handed it to me out of pure kindness." Ember started feeling really bad, "What did I do for you in return? Nothing. I never considered ever asking you if I could help you out with anything important. You always came to me if I needed help. I promised you that you always had one friend in the Dragon lands and that was me, but we barely caught up on any good times we had after the whole Thorax incident and after we managed to hatch the dragon eggs." Ember could take no more, and became the fourth creature that day to break down and cry at the funeral. All that guilt that suddenly reared its ugly head to her during her speech made her feel the worst that she'd ever felt in her whole life. She realized all her mistakes, and she could now do nothing to fix them.

"I don't deserve to be your friend," she whispered through her tears. "I don't know how you kept me by your side until you died."

Fluttershy quickly ran over to the sobbing Dragon Lord and wrapped her wings and hooves around her in a comforting hug. "Shh, there there. It's okay," she whispered soothingly before slowly helping Ember back to her seat.

After Ember was Starlight. She was in such shock since Spike's death and her mind felt so empty, like a big, white, unpainted canvas. For those four days, the reality of the results of that grueling battle were slowly setting into her mind. By the time she had woken up today and realized with the others that today was the day that they had to come say a final goodbye to their dearest friend turned lover, everything had been fully digested. Now, she was up and it only added to how real the situation was. She looked down at him and began speaking without even realizing it.

"Spike, you don't know how lucky I feel to have met, become friends, and be one of the the girlfriends of such a special dragon like you. You were always there for me in my time of need. You were always on the front lines to help me out of a jam when I needed it most. Even after my many, many screw-ups, you never got mad at me. Instead, you accepted me for who I was and you still considered me your friend no matter what happened. In fact, you fell in love with me for who I was and I was totally oblivious to it until you were found out to be the admirer. Shows how great of a friend I was, huh? I was looking forward to making so many happy memories with you after this hectic adventure was over. Unforunately, the Legion made you throw all that out when they threatened the lives of Twilight and the others. In that moment, you made a choice and single-handedly saved your friends and lovers and defeated the villains. In the time you died to this point, I was in such shock by what happened. I spent every second of the last 96 hours trying to fully comprehend your good deed," she let out a sad sigh and a tear hit the ground. "I know you may be gone, but your heroic deeds as well as your spirit lives on inside our hearts and memories." She finished, then before she walked back, she planted a kiss just below his ear fin before whispering her final sentence, "I love you, Spike. Thanks for sticking by me for so long."

Once Starlight was seated, Rarity had been scheduled to go next. This was the moment that the fashionista looked forward to and dreaded at the same time. The last moments in Spike's life still played over and over in her mind. His raspy voice, his vibrant, Emerald eyes slowly losing their light as he croaked out his final words to her friends and her, pleading with them to forgive Discord and how he asked for them to tell Smolder, the Crusaders, Starlight, and Gabby that he loved them. Then there was the guilt that stayed with her when she realized that she had completely ignored that he had a crush on her for so long. She had brushed off the way he had always carried her baggage for her, how he'd volunteer to be her pincushion, and how he looked at her so lovingly. The snow white Unicorn just assumed that he'd get over it sooner or later, but he never did. She had a small saddlebag in her which had surprisingly gone unnoticed by everyone there. Her mascara was running down her cheeks and staining her perfect, white fur. How she looked, however, was the last thing on her mind.

"Oh, my little Spikey-Wikey," Rarity whimpered out feeling a whole, new wave of guilt and sadness rush over her remembering that nickname she had given him. "I don't deserve you. You've always had a crush on me and I never really took it seriously until now. After you perished saving us and you managed to croak out how you were happy that we were safe, to forgive Discord, and how you told us to tell the other half of the harem that you loved them, I slowly began to recall all the things you did for me. The time you volunteered to be my personal pincushion, the time you gave me that fire ruby, and all the times you've carried my baggage, all the while not asking for anything in return. When I look at it more, I realize you represent the element of Generosity more than I do, especially during that battle. You were generous enough to give up everything, including your life, just to ensure that your lovers and friends were all safe. When I look back, I've realized I've taken advantage of your affections long before you confessed your love to the other girls and me, and I feel absolutely ashamed of myself. You've always stood by my side when I've cried over stallions who aren't interested in dating me. All this time, the universe was trying to tell me to stop pursuing stallions and get with the one who had always stood by my side no matter how out of line I acted. I finally saw the light and realized that you were the perfect on for me. Unfortunately, just as I was starting to repay your feelings, this happened. There isn't any number of days to tell me that I've fully returned your feelings." she paused and sniffled before using a tissue she had brought to blow her nose and wipe her eyes. "After all you've done for me, Spike, I think it's high time I returned the favor one last time."

She reached into her saddlebag and pulled out the only thing inside, Spike's fire ruby except that it didn't have it's golden necklace. It still looked as flawless and shiny as it did when it was given to the fashionista all those years ago. Spike's still hands were suddenly enveloped in Rarity's light blue aura and lifted up off his chest. Rarity was careful not to disturb Smolder's rose as she levatated the fire ruby into the coffin and gently wedged it inbetween the little dragon's hands and chest. She smiled down at the finished product, before leaning into the coffin and kissed Spike for a solid two seconds on his lips. She broke away and looked sadly at him.

"You've given me your heart so many times, Spike. I regret that I have just this time to give you mine once last, heartbreaking time," Rarity said. She walked away after casting one last look at her knight in shining scales and whispering a final, "I'm sorry, Spike."

Now, it was Twilight's turn. She felt the most crushed out of everyone there. She had hatched Spike and had spent every day of his short life with him. He was always considered to be her "Number One Assistant". Overtime, however, the two grew closer and the lavendar Alicorn soon found Spike had harbored feeings for her and she soon found herself harboring the same feelings for him long before his speech about how and why he loved her.

"Spike," Twilight choked out overcome with unbelievable grief. "You're the best best thing that has ever happened to me. You've always been there to keep me in check if I'm ever on the verge of going insane, you've always helped me to get my jobs done without complaining. I know I've always considered you my number one assistant for things like that. As time went on, however, I felt like you were more than an assistant to me. You made your way into my heart enough to make me consider you my crush long before your hospital confession. I rue the fact that I never told you this sooner. In fact, when you turned 18 in Dragon years, I was planning to propose to you, but because of my neglect to come up with a plan to save you, my better half, my Spike, we can never share the happy times that a Drakefriend and Marefriend usually share together," She began to cry. "To top it all off, I realized that my friends and I have almost never considered taking you on our missions. You've always been stuck at the castle or the library cleaning up the place so it looks nice for us when we get back." By this point, Twilight was full-on sobbing. All her past mistakes that she had done without even realizing them hit her full-on. "I'm a horrible lover," she whispered through her tears.

Upon hearing this, Twilight Velvet, Night Light, Shining Armor, and the harem, excluding Smolder because she was still sobbing hysterically immediately got up, walked over to Twilight, and embraced her as tight as they could in another comforting hug.

"It's okay, Twi," whispered Applejack. "We know you never meant to hurt him."

The 13 ponies and one Griffon slowly carried the sobbing Princess back to her seat and reembraced her for the rest of the time.

Once Twilight was carried back, Celestia, Luna, and Cadence were about to close the coffin when a Phoenix came flying overhead followed by another 200 more. The Phonix squawked orders at the other Phoenixes and they began to make a shape while flying in the sky. Within 30 seconds, the shape was complete, and everyone realized that the Phonixes had made Spike's head in the sky while flying in place. Then the Phoenix in the lead broke off and flew down toward the coffin hovering no more that two feet above Spike. It didn't take a genius to figure out that was Peewee. Peewee looked down sadly at his owner lying in his final resting bed before looking up to the sky and letting out a mournful squawk to the clouds. The other Phoenixes followed suite and squawked toward the sky, mourning the Dragon who had saved Peewee from certain death. After finishing his mournful squawking, Peewee landed in the coffin, wrapped his wings around Spike head, and nuzzled his cheek lovingly. The he flew back up to join the other Phoenixes in the sky. They all cast one last look at the open coffin before flying back to the Everfree Forest.

Once they were sure the Phoenixes were done, The Princesses closed the coffin, lifted it off the stand, and gently levitated the small, golden box the six feet underground to its final resting bed.

Before the Princesses were able to get it even a foot under, however, Ember, Garble and his posse, Smolder, and all the other dragons stood up, walked to the hole in the ground, formed a line on either side of it, turned 180 degrees to face the crowd, looked up, and breathed fire at the sky for a solid 30 seconds. The fire altered colors as it was emmitted, changing from purple to green and green to purple. Everyone watched in awe as the dragons put on their fire show to honor Spike. Most of the dragons were successful in holding back their tears. Smolder and Ember, however, didn't even bother trying.

As the Pewee and his flock dissapeared over the horizon, the rectangular hole was slowly refilled with the dirt that had been dug up earlier. It felt painfully slow for The harem, Ember, and Thorax to watch Equestria's rulers bury their life-long friend and lover.

After what seemed like forever, the hole was refilled and the tragic event was almost over. The princesses went over to the object that was obscured by the white sheet and they slowly pulled the white sheet away. Once it was off the object was revealed to be a statue of Spike. He was wearing body armor and holding a sword in his right hand while looking up at the sky with a determined expression. There was a plaque on the front of the base of the statue with letters carved into it.

Here lies Prince Spike
Savior of Equestria
Lover of Twilight Sparkle, Rarity Belle, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, Starlight Glimmer, Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, Smolder, and Gabby
Aged 13 in pony years
May he forever be remembered

"Attention, everyone," Celestia cleared her throat. "Although my sister and I loved the name "Spike the Brave and Glorious", we felt that it seemed underappreciating for him to keep it after he threw away everything, including his life, just to push not just the ones he loved and considered his friends, but all of Equestria, to safety. Therefore, he shall be known from this day foreward as Prince Spike."

The statue looked beautiful and well detailed. Unfortunately for Twilight, it only seemed to taunt her by making her realize just how real this was. Spike, the one she loved, was dead and wasn't coming back. She was literally living a nightmare. The lavendar Alicorn began to feel even worse and her friends as well as the other Princesses took notice.

One by one, Ponies, Dragons, Griffons, Changelings, Yaks, Buffalo, Kirins, and Hippogriffs slowly began trickling out of the cemetary. Spike's harem, Twilight's parents, Shining Armor, Ember, Garble and his pack of friends, Pharynx, and Thorax all stayed behind to gaze at the statue and be reminded of Spike.

Celestia walked over to the still sobbing Twilight.

"Twilight," she whispered in a tone that was even softer the Fluttershy's.

Twlight sniffed and looked up her mentor. Her purple eyes reflected unimaginable amounts of pain and sorrow.

"If you or any of your friends ever need any emotional support, please don't be afraid to ask us for help. With each other's help, we can be strong and hopefully be able to move past this event," Celestia said. "Spike would've wanted it that way."

Twilight broke down again. She eventually got her composture together and gave Celestia the scariest glare ever. Celestia gulped and felt chills run down her spine. She knew she had said that wrong. Now, she could only prepare for the toungue lashing that her former student was about to give her.

"I'm sorry, but HOW do you expect us to "move on" from this?! Spike was the rock that supported ALL OF US in our time of need! He was literally THE ONLY ONE who made not just me, but 11 other girls, feel loved and appreciated! Now he's gone not because of his heroic actions, but because I was LITERALLY too stupid to put a plan together and save our Spike and because I can't make a good decision about anything," Twilight choked out between sobs before she began crying even harder. "It's all my fault."

Fluttershy immediately spun Twilight around so that she was facing the cream colored Pegasus. Fluttershy pressed her nose to Twilight's and gave her a very stern glare. Her questioning of her own speech vanished and she now fully stood by her statements once again. Hope radiated off her eyes for the second time today.

"Twilight," Fluttershy began in a serious tone, her usual soft tone had vanished. "I know you miss Spike just as all of us, but I want to get something straight right now. None of this was your fault, you could've done nothing to prevent this. I too felt like this could've been prevented, but then I realized he did it for all of us. He gave up his future, his dreams just to ensure that Equestria was safe again. If it were you in that casket and Spike was here, he would've wanted to be there for us and would've wanted to know that we were able to fully cope with loss before being able to move on. He'd be just as heartbroken as we all are now, but he has optimism that rivals Pinkie and he'd be looking forward to the day when we'd finally fully accept the tragedy. If you want to remember Spike the most, take lessons from what he did in his life so you have something to always carry around with you that reminds you of him in a good way," she looked at the others who were listening intently. "That goes for the rest of you, too. I know it's tough for all of us now, but we'll find a way through this, I promise."

Gabby, who hadn't said a word since she had broken down near Spike's casket, also spoke up. "Adding on to that, we all should remember him for not just who he was to us, but what he meant to all of us, Twilight," the grey Griffon said. Her usual perky, happy demeanor was gone, but in its place stood a Gabby that was there for someone in need of a shoulder to cry on.

Twilight teared up again. Except this time, it was out of happiness.

"Thank you, Fluttershy. Thank you, Gabby. I really needed that," Twilight said through her tears. For the first time in four days, she felt her hope and strength return to her.

"Anytime," the Pegasus and Griffon said in unison.

Everyone cast one last look at Spike's statue before slowly making their way out of the cemetery.

"Hey, Twilight, Celestia," Garble asked. "If it isn't too much to ask, can my buddies and I stay with Smolder in her dorm room? I want to be there for her to help guide her through this."

"I don't see why not," Twilight smiled at Garble.

"Thanks" Garble smiled back.

"Night Light and I would also like to stay in the castle," Twilight Velvet said. "We need to also be there to help Twilight in case she needs it."

Princess Celestia beamed warmly, "Certainly, you two."

"Well, we got to head back, but Thorax and I will make sure to visit you all at least once a week," Ember said.

"Take care, everyone," Rarity said.

"Thanks, Rarity. You too," Gabby responded with a little bit of her perky attitude returning to her voice.

Everyone bid each other farewell before heading back to their respective homes.

As everyone headed back home, they were all filled with new hope. Spike's death was a true tragedy, but in that tragedy, lessons were learned and in a way, they had all come out stronger because of it.