The trees looked dead without the leaves, Twilight thought, while her yellow companion adjusted her own scarf. The cold winds were rising and winter would come soon. Already the weather teams were holding their yearly meeting for the snow distribution. Summer had faded as quickly as it had arrived, Twilight thought, what with all those exciting things that had happened. All the adventures. Even the Running of the Leaves had turned out spectacular.
It had been her second autumn here in Ponyville.
Twilight sipped at her cocoa, letting the sweet smell linger for a moment. The sip was perfect, of course. She would never allow herself to make a mistake doing something so small and insignificant. Fluttershy just watched, as she always did, saying nothing. Twilight looked into her friend’s eyes. She wasn’t the best at social skills but even she understood how Fluttershy tried her hardest to keep a neutral expression, but annoyance was still in her glance.
These were the last days of autumn, she thought, and hopefully the first days of things growing better again. She didn’t want to leave this relationship, or anything else, as it was right now.
“I’m working on it,” she said, confidence in her voice.
Fluttershy blinked, perplexed. “What?”
“I haven’t found any time to kick back, to just let go. You gave me a wonderful idea. Spike and I will implement it soon enough and then, I'm sure, the worst will pass over.”
“Sorry, but what are you talking about Twilight? I mean, there’s not really a problem, or is there? I didn't miss anything, did I?” the pegasus said in her usual, unsure way.. Sometimes, Fluttershy was too timid to tell truths and she hadn’t really bothered Twilight about her problem, aside from aside glances at least.
“You know what I’m talking about,” the unicorn said, taking another perfect sip, but halting halfway through, adjusting the angle. “This.”
She was just as annoyed as her friend at the whole ordeal, maybe even more. There was nothing worse than just wanting to enjoy a hot drink and ending up spending minutes fixing all these little details. Fluttershy herself looked at her curiously, “How?”
“As said, you gave me a brilliant idea,” she answered, trying to smile as good as she could but smiling came hard to her nowadays. She had hardly slept, mainly because new things had been needed to be planned and new schedules had been needed to be made. “If this works out, then maybe I’ll have a cure for it.”
Twilight didn’t want to name the condition. Not throwing the name around made her feel easier, somehow and she really hoped that those around her felt the same. Fluttershy almost seemed so, as her face seemed to get less strained with that last statement.
“Are you really going to be fine,” Fluttershy then asked with a soft voice, as ever.
Twilight thought for a moment, deciding to be honest: “I hope.”
She sipped at her cocoa and looked at the sky. Clouds were quickly drifting across the blue colored heavens, driven on by a wind that was far stronger than the one on the ground. The last scheduled storm was due tonight, she remembered. Tomorrow it was sunny skies and the evening would be perfect to sit outside and look at the stars. She hadn’t done that in some time, now.
Twilight had met with Fluttershy to specifically give her that reassurance. Everypony was worried, but Fluttershy seemed like the one least able to deal with her friend’s particular problem. Pinkie had her way of dealing with things and for every time Twilight was too busy fixing things, she had playfully ruined things for her, or even helped her to get things straight. It was weird how accurate the earth pony could position pens. Rarity was a neatfreak herself and hadn’t even noticed that there existed something like a problem to begin with. Rainbow Dash had found it grating but with time she had come to understand the whole thing somewhat. Patience had never been one of her virtues, though and so she had tried to deal with things her own way: tending to her own business.
Fluttershy was a timid person and Twilight had figured her to be one of the most understanding ponies in Ponyville. Time had taught her that understanding meant that she let things happen, no matter how much they grated her nerves, because she cared. Especially about her friends and it seemed to hurt her watching Twilight the way she was, without being able to do anything. That’s why the unicorn thought it wise to tell her first hand about the progress, just like she kept the Nightbook beneath her bed to write about how she would develop in the following months.
The cocoa was sipped and her thoughts drifted, asking herself whether or not the Canterlot Mail Order Service would hold up to the promises that had been made on the pamphlets. She hoped they would, since finding a discreet merchant for the stuff they had wanted had been hard enough. She also needed to get over to Rarity’s place, see if that other specific order was done. She dreaded that, too, but it was for the sake of getting better again.
After their brunch together, Fluttershy excused herself, the old bear needed help preparing his cave for the winter and she had promised him to help. Twilight was a bit surprised at Fluttershy knowing a bear but let it slide, telling herself that the pony had once defeated a dragon with words alone. What harm might a bear do to her?
Her own way then led her to Carousel Boutique and probably the worst possible thing she had to do this week. She still remembered how Rarity had spit her cider right out as she had been told what the job would entail, then she had laughed and then after a short moment during which she had realized that Twilight had actually meant it she had said: “Sounds like a challenge. I’ll accept.”
They had taken the measurements as required and it had been noted that Twilight seemed to have lost a bit of weight. She hoped to get her diet in order again, last thing she wanted was to starve herself to death.
She reached the boutique and rang its doorbell. A moment passed and then she opened the door, the white unicorn with the dark blue mane. Twilight had only to take one look at the mane to see the state of both Rarity’s mind and work: Finished. Still, her generous friend smiled. “Oh, Twilight, I hadn’t expected you so soon. Please do come in,” she said and showed her friend in.
The boutique was as orderly as possible. The main room was always like that, looking just about perfect so guests and customers could take all her work in. Rarity liked making clothes in this room, because of that perfect atmosphere, she said.
“So,” Twilight started, awkwardly, “you’ve been well?”
“Well, aside from still not having answered myself the question just what I was thinking when I signed up for the Running of the Leaves everything is pretty much fine.”
“You didn’t do too bad,” Twilight conferred, thinking back how Rarity had given up during the first stage because of leaves ruining her mane. “For your standards.”
“Hah,” Rarity huffed, “If only others would understand like you do, Twilight. Honestly, Rainbow Dash won’t shut up about it.”
“You know how she is,” Twilight said with a slight smile, looking over the many dresses that were presented, wondering whether her request was among them but found it not. That was a good sign.
“Uh-huh,” was all Rarity could say and that was the start of the awkward silence. The long one when both parties knew exactly what came next but didn’t quite know how to address it.
Rarity had originally accepted it as a challenge but hadn’t really brought it up thereafter. She was discreet like that.
“So, about that thing you asked me about,” the white unicorn then started. Twilight felt a load of her shoulders only for it to be replaced with another. She wasn’t quite comfortable with what they were going through herself. “I’ve done it and nopony else knows about it. I’m pretty much the only pony in town who deals in clothing and some ponies have a strange fashion sense. Normally I wouldn’t even mind and I tried to, it’s your business what you want. However, as a friend, I do have to ask: A bib? A one-piece sleeper? What do you intend to do with those?”
Twilight felt her face reddening, although Rarity tried to keep the questions in a tone that was as neutral as possible. “I’m just,” she began.
“I’m not trying to put you on the spot Twilight,” Rarity interrupted immediately, “It’s just that with how things are going right now, everypony’s worried really worried about you. I’ll help you in any way I can, but I’d like to understand how exactly I’m helping in providing these things?”
Twilight looked at Rarity, the pony who, while sometimes fairly self-interested was so very generous to her friends and caring. A care that should be repaid, she thought. Plus, she should come out with it anyway; having somepony aside from Spike to confer with would hopefully ease her mind.
“I just thought it a way to let go of things,” she said but Rarity’s look only indicated confusion. She had to tell her the whole plan. “It’s a bit complicated, might I see what you got?” She didn’t want to stand on the spot and try to explain things in a stiff manner, she needed to ease herself into it. Plus, she was on a schedule.
Rarity bid her to follow into a side room, one of the few she kept for special orders, she knew. Twilight had always thought they were for really important ponies and times Rarity didn’t want to be disturbed at all while working. That the special orders could be things that needed to be hidden away hadn’t even occurred to her originally. It didn’t seem like a pony thing to do.
In the middle of the room stood a mannequin, dressed in a dark blue sleeper, like the ones she had heard the mountain ponies in the Frozen North used, a one-piece thing that covered even the hooves, adorned with quite a many stars. She remembered her parents telling her that they had one for her when she had still been a foal. Apparently she had never been one for cold winters. Twilight looked at it and then her eyes shifted towards a table by the side. She didn’t know what materials had been used, but the colors of it were exactly the same as two certain strands in her mane, a violet background with a rose-colored dragon on front of it, on Spike’s insistence.
She moved closer in, looking at them. “It was just the spur of the moment, really. I think I’m trapping myself in regulations and rules, which I execute via correct behaviours and very specific timetables. It starts small and then gets bigger and bigger. I need more and more regulations as time moves on, thinking that it will aid me. At least on a subconscious level. I feel safe when everything is going according to a plan of my own design. That might end with me suffering a mental breakdown everytime I don’t manage to step out of the bed correctly and let me assure you, I already have trouble with that. I need a rhythm for everything and I just can’t keep up with the way I organize things.
“So, I organize my life and everything to the point where it collapses on itself. I am aware of it, but I can’t handle it at all. Plus, it’s not really seen as a bad thing. The doctors told me to just lay off on the plans and that I shouldn’t bother them with the small stuff. It’s not something that comes up often in Equestria, probably due to our long standing contacts with the griffons... But I doubt you want a history lesson, right?”
She smiled at Rarity and grabbed at the sleeper, feeling the soft fabric. “So I had to think of a way to deal with it on my own. Fluttershy gave me a wonderful idea for that. As a child you had other worries, things that, by adult standards, aren’t really important, but that’s not what drives me to it. It’s the fact that I want to stop planning, I want to stop creating, I want to stop thinking. I want somepony to do these things for me for a while, so maybe I can get it out of my head that I need a plan for everything, as schedule for every day and a ritual for everything I’m doing. I’m also aware that I could just sit back on a couch and ask Spike to get me ice cream for a whole day, but that wouldn’t work. I think, no, I hope that I can actually lose myself for a bit with this and find the right way out.” She looked at Rarity. “That makes sense, right?”
The other mare had stood there by the door, looking at Twilight. There were no other ponies in the house, so they could talk as openly as they please, it seemed. She seemed to think about this little speech. “A little. I presume this is for some kind of roleplay then?”
Twilight smiled, that was a nice way of putting it, “Like playing house,” she said.
“So, I can’t really figure out what kind of house that’s going to be.”
Twilight looked at the sleeper. “One with only me and Spike apparently.”
Rarity nodded. “Alright. Let me get this together: You want to fix your over-the-top perfectionism through playing house and letting Spike take charge of the house for... how long?”
“A day, probably.”
“Should I alert the fireguard now or later?”
Twilight couldn’t help but laugh at that and a mild snicker escaped Rarity, too, before she continued. “Joking aside. This does seem to be a unique approach to your problem but I don’t think you’re going to hurt yourself with it. It’s just dressing up in a sleeper and a bib for a day, right?”
“Actually, the sleeper is just for the night. For the day it’s going to be diapers.”
I shouldn’t have said that, Twilight thought as Rarity’s expression turned from a smile and a nod to wide-eyed, shocked stare.
“Well... I,” Twilight tried to look away, find something past the window that really, really interested her. She repeated her thought, cursing herself for bringing it up. Why did she have to bring that up.
“You really are taking a unique approach to this, aren’t you?” The question was asked in such a calm manner that Twilight couldn’t help but look at her friend again. Rarity seemed more intrigued than anything.
“You’re not... freaked out?”
“Why should I be freaked out? I told you already, I’m the only person working with clothing until Canterlot. You claim one thing, I say I’ve seen or made something weirder and for some strange reason I never got over that pair order of duck costumes.”
“For Nightmare Night?”
“That’s what I tell myself at night.”
A sudden quiet fell over them again. “Do you really hear worse things?”
“Not worse, Twilight, weirder. Other lines of work can boast seeing things that are bad and worse. I can only claim to know ponies with no sense for colors, ponies who dress like lions in their home or pretend they’re ducks when nopony sees them. I stopped worrying about weirdness a few months after I started working, really and in the end we all have our quirks.” She gave her friend as smile, that then turned into a somewhat more serious expression. “You’re not going to let Spikey-wikey change used diapers, are you?”
Twilight frowned at that thought, “No and no, it’s just wearing them, to get into the role. I’m not going to use them.”
“What a waste, then.”
Twilight looked at Rarity, and the other unicorn just smiled. “I’m teasing. Don’t involve Spike in anything more dangerous than I do.”
“Like exploring diamond dog cities?”
“Like exploring diamond dog cities,” Rarity said softly. “And if you need anything else, I can make you higher quality stuff if you give me more than a few days for the schedule.”
Rarity took the sleeper off the mannequin and folded it with a few deft motions, levitating it and the bib into a bag which Twilight then took between her teeth.
“No problem, and have fun.”
She looked at what the Mail Order Service had brought, while Spike examined Rarity’s handiwork.
The Canterlot Mail Order Service was basically the most useful invention since wheels and that was something they proclaimed on all the pamphlets and for sure, all the boasts had been proven true. Basically, the service was a network of merchants across Equestria, which was organized by a group of dragons and unicorns who also took care of speed mailing both the orders to be given and the orders fulfilled. The greatest thing however, was that each equestrian town had a center where a book with all the participating merchants was, among them Applejack, Rarity, Donut Joe alongside dealers in things that could be considered more ‘novelty’-like.
Twilight looked at the open box, before she ripped the package inside it open, revealing a line of disposable diapers, stars printed on them. Twilight thought them foalish, or at least cute, which had been reason enough to try them out. Aside from that, there was powder and a pacifier, dark blue that one, to go with the theme.
She liked the fact that it was all very much organized.
“So,” Spike stated, “now we got your stuff. What’ll we do next?”
Twilight didn’t look up, instead wondering how many awkward moments awaited her on the road. “I don’t know. I haven’t planned on using these until the weekend.”
A moment passed, Spike’s mouth twitched in thought. “Is there anything important to do today?”
“Well, I’ve got this new way I want to organize the library in, then I want to clean the kitchen again, just to be sure we got everything, and then-”
“Stop,” he halted her, crossing his arms before his chest, “this’ll just end with you tangling yourself up with your schedules again, isn’t it?”
“No, I’ve got it planned out perfectly,” she defended herself weakly. “We’re a bit late for schedule #1, but schedule 39 is the perfect alternative to-” While she had been talking Spike had walked up to the package and grabbed the pacifier, stuffing it into her mouth first chance he got.
“You know, if you want to do schock therapy, we’ll do shock therapy,” he stated matter-of-factly. “I know that you want to get everything right, but neither of us really knows what we’re going to do with all this stuff.”
“That’s why-,” Twilight mumbled.
“That’s why we’re going to jump into the cold water, Twilight. That’s what you need to get out of your system and it’s what I need to do to start understanding what in all kinds of hay we are going to do here.”
They hadn’t really specified on that, having said that they would wait until the time was right. Twilight had thought that time to be friday 14:47 to 15:02, which was still a few days away and wanted to speak up to declare just that.
“Twilight,” this time he interrupted before she could even say anything, “you were the one insisting, remember? And also the one noticing that you’re getting worse, so you’re also the one who needs to kick yourself into doing what you want. So, what do you want? Scheduling your schedules? Measuring your food? Working out the geometry behind your workspace?”
She looked at him, the pacifier remaining in her mouth the whole time. She blinked. The things she wanted were none of those. They were the things she wanted to escape. To kick herself away from them, though, that was hard. She didn’t know if she could pull it off. She felt more and more anxious the more she knew the timing became unfixable. Unconsciously, Twilight started sucking on the pacifier.
“You take lead, Spike,” she said around it, trying to gain some focus.
“I’m doing quite well, already, aren’t I?”
“Yes, you are,” she answered and grabbed the powder and a diaper. “I’ll try to get this thing on quick as I can and then we can start this thing.” She was trying to get more confidence in this thing, this therapy of hers and went on to the library’s bathroom, to get the thing on.
The bathroom itself had a bath, a separate shower, a toilet and of course the sink, while the ground was covered with two bath mats, green with patterns of leaves on them.
Her mind was so blocked with thoughts about her schedule being ruined by what she was doing that she didn’t even quite realize what she was doing. She unfolded the diaper with a mechanical precision, before she laid it out on the ground, sprinkling some powder over it. This was one of the few times her very sensitive sense for hygiene worked out in her favor as she could position herself neatly atop the thing, trying to even get that angle perfect. The main problem was that she, even in her current state, was fully aware that she had never done what she was doing right now. She had never even touched a diaper before, actually.
She had read about it, however and that seemed to make things easier for her. She knew how these things worked and as she was lying on one of the mats, she closed her eyes, sucked her pacifier and just did. Her magic lifted the front up and then let the pulled the tapes on the sides together in completely symmetry. She took a breath and opened her eyes.
Suddenly she found herself thinking that she was lying on the ground with a pacifier in her mouth and a diaper covering her bottom. The sucking noise felt like it penetrated everything in the world. Twilight looked at the ceiling, finding her thoughts clean of all schedules for a moment, all the planning was gone. She was just sitting there alone, diapered and happy.
She could’ve felt ashamed but it honestly only made her feel better, despite her schedule being completely messed up by it. Ah, there the thoughts are again.
She stood up, unconsciously trying to avoid herself in the mirror and then going straight for the door. She felt the padding between her legs, somewhat akin to a pillow. It felt both weird and awkward to walk in and for a moment she thought about just taking it off again. However, it had made her forget for a moment.
She opened the door and walked out into the main room. The door of the library was closed for the day. Twilight’s condition had mostly been attributed to being overworked in the local rumour mill, so ponies kept away from the library right now and Spike had had the foresight of closing early. She looked at the door, taking a deep breath, then she noticed Spike coming from the kitchen and his eyes went over her for a moment.
A grin formed on his face, “If it helps, you do manage to look like an overgrown foal.”
It was only a slight blush she managed, considering how that acknowledgement only helped to make everything easier. This was, after all, just the means to to an end and the better they could get into it, the easier this would become. She had pretty much expected this to end up as yet another awkward moment, though Spike seemed to have none of that. “I’ve got stuff set up above. Oh, you’re going to love it.”
For some strange reason she already knew she was going to hate it, still she followed him up the stairs. Not really knowing how he wanted to get started with whatever they were going to do and also glad that there was no moment to linger.
Spike knew, too, that this wasn’t mainly about fun, but instead about helping her help herself. That’s what Twilight thought until she saw what he meant with ‘stuff set up’, which in turn turned into a frown.
The dragon was in so many ways the opposite of Twilight, she sometimes even wondered how they’d got along as well as they did. Where she had relished in books, he’d always preferred his toys. Back in Canterlot, she had never really bothered with his hobbies, since her studies had always taken up all her time but she had known that he had still spent a lot of time with them. She also knew that he hadn’t taken them with them when they had come to Ponyville, so she found the figurines of historical characters and mythological figures spread across the floor more than a bit wondrous, if not amazing for the sheer number of them.
“When did you get all them?” The question came out a bit more troublesome than planned but she felt having something to suck on while observing all this helped her keep her mind away from the fact that there was absolutely no order in the room.
“The princess sent them. Considering how it seemed like we were going to stay for quite a while I thought it wise to get the important stuff here, too.” She noted that he really was still a kid, something she could smile at.
“Well,” she said, trying to talk around the pacifier, “you could’ve made less of a mess, if you ask me.”
He looked at her for a moment, “Ah, sorry. Can’t hear you over the noise of you sucking that thing.”
With a frown she lifted her hoof up to take the pacifier out, but was immediately halted by the small dragon’s claw. She looked at Spike who led her towards his toys.
“Just sit down and try playing a bit, Twilight,” he said and the two seated themselves on the ground, with Spike reaching for a figurine of Grogar, who was known as both a necromancer and the first documented king of the unicorns. She simply looked at it, curiously. “You do know how to play with these things, right?” The questioned seemed posed more like a rhetorical statement, Twilight found. She picked up another figurine.
Starswirl the Hooded, one of three Starswirls in ancient equestrian history and looked at him, more curious than anything. She knew the story behind this one, he had been the one responsible of banishing Grogar into the Realm of Darkness the first time, however playing with a figurine seemed hard to her. She frowned, thinking on how this work while Spike seemed to wait for an answer that wouldn’t come.
“Twilight, don’t tell me you have no idea what to do?”
“You know I never had stuff like this,” she grumbled. These things had seemed boring and even redundant to her at that age. All the stories could be found in books and she had always asked herself what the appeal behind only having pieces from them.
Spike sighed. “No wonder you’re so stuck up. Well, how to explain. Well, here’s how I do it: That figurine your holding there? Starswirl, but you know that, don’t you. She was a non-noble pony, a brave champion of her kind and fought a vile king named Grogar, banishing him.”
Yes, I know that part, she noted grimly.
“But Grogar wasn’t really banished.” What? “Or at least not as long as the ponies have hoped and he’s come back with his...” he trailed off, grabbing some more figurines and placing them around the huge ram, “army of dark spirits. So now, Starswirl has to defeat him.”
Twilight looked at Grogar, his supposed minions and then Starswirl.
“The rest is basically role-playing. I’ll take Grogar and his minions, you take Starswirl.”
“Why do you get the army?”
He leaned close to her, a grin on his smile and petting her head. “Because I don’t want widdle Twily to overdo herself.”
She looked at him with a complete neutral expression, letting Starswirl suddenly mount a full frontal assault on Grogar’s minions knocking several of them down. “Well, it does even the odds, doesn’t it,” she stated with a grin that might’ve counted as badflank, if it hadn’t been for that adorable piece of plastic covering her mouth.
Spike looked for a moment, “Ah, you knocked out Swiftblade Bloodslit,” he lamented before immediately trying to reform his lines and getting Grogar to give some intimidating speech to his nemesis. Twilight wanted to bother Spike about that name, but decided to let it go the moment Grogar started to chew the scenery despite his well-documented cold and stoic behaviour.
Starswirl used the chance to teleport away from the scene and rally her allies and trying to evade open battle against Grogar during every turn. Spike went for the over-the-top, scenery-chewing kind of villain, while Twilight tried to interpret how the real Starswirl would’ve acted as good as she could. If you had historical characters, you had to use them properly after all. Somehow, the fact that they were historical also helped her immerse herself more and more in the whole thing. Somehow she ended up hiding beneath her blanket, a pony named Chocolate Cookie by her side, observing an enemy patrol, led by Swiftblade Bloodslit, who, despite the inclinations of his name, was actually something of an obnoxious coward who tended to get knocked out a lot. When the right moment came, she jumped out along her figurine, ending in both fighters locked in a deadly struggle, each fighting for both their own survival as well as the victory of their respective general.
Twilight wasn’t using her magic, instead holding the dark brown figurine with plasticine mane with her hoof. As she and Spike both slammed their figurines against each other, she had a grin on her face, sure that this day would be hers. At least until Spike’s claw reached her side and suddenly the battle shifted from ancient heroes to Twilight rolling on the ground, laughing loudly as she tried to evade the tickling fingers of her brother.
“What are you doing,” she asked, managing to produce the question between the laughter.
“Winning,” Spike stated.
Twilight sat down at the table, which was already set for dinner, looking at the food and the dishes, of which were none. The pacifier was laid aside, leaving her to frown on her own. The afternoon alone had been active enough on its own and she was hungry.
“Spike,” she began, but before she could formulate the question he already put the bib around her neck.
“I know what you’re thinking, but I had a notion. Most of the stuff I do for you goes over quicker, so I was thinking, that maybe you should let me just feed you for once. I mean, you’re already in diapers and you didn’t even bother trying to take the pacifier out to talk, so feeding might even be in role.”
She looked at the dragon, knowing that he just wanted to make a mess of the kitchen again. That and, she had rather enjoyed just playing around. Maybe the diapers were a bit over-the-top and paci, too. Pacifier, she corrected herself. “We’re still trying to figure out how far we go, Spike and I can eat on my own.”
He shrugged and went to get her dishes. The dragon at least tried to have his fun with it, as the ones he got her were clearly meant for foals, painted with cute little pictures, spoon and fork made of plastic. She sighed, thinking that maybe, not only the diapers were a bit too much.
Another meal began, with Spike digging in as gluttonous as ever, while Twilight took always perfect bites from her meal, more often than not taking a few tries before getting a bite right. It was a typical meal, until the dragon interrupted her again: “Twilight, how long are you going to take to get one leaf in your mouth?”
“It’s not my fault, it just needs to have the perfect angle.”
He lifted his scaly brows, before he stood up, marched over to her and took her fork. “Might I?”
She looked at him suspiciously. “Spike, I already said that I-”
He pierced as much salad as possible with the fork and shoved it into her mouth, the dressing dripping from it and onto her bib.
He looked at her, “try chewing,” he suggested, giving her an encouraging look. Despite herself, she chewed the leaves, gulping them down.
“Is it that bad?” he asked.
Twilight looked at him. “It’s a bit unusual, I’d say.”
“Unusual? I can give you that,” he picked up another forkful and lifted it into the air, “And~ there flies the Princess~” he said with a sing-songy voice, guiding the fork to her mouth. She couldn’t help but giggle at that, the foodstuff landing safely in her mouth.
“Where did that come from?”
“Let’s just say I doubt the only reason Luna rebelled was because ponies were sleeping at night.” Twilight gave him a weird look before the laughter came, laughter he used to get another bite in. The dragon took some delight out of it, being the one officially and unofficially taking care of Twilight, instead of just unofficially. She herself seemed infinitely more relaxed like this, although she closed her eyes before the food entered her mouth.
After dinner came showers and after showers, Twilight decided to try to sleep in her diaper. The sleeper was for the cold winter nights that would follow. So, at the end of the day she seated herself on her bed, their bedroom had been tidied up already, and wrote into the Nightbook, the pacifier lying beside it and the quill moving in perfect motions over the paper. She only barely heard Spike coming up the stairs.
“So,” he started, “I have to agree on the unusual bit.” She heard him speak, but was focusing on her writing.
“I don’t really care,” she answered bluntly, “I guess that’s what I was wanting to find out, really. Whether I cared or not. I wanted to see how things would go, how you’d take it. Heck, I didn’t quite know how to take it myself. I have to admit, though, having a portable cushion on my behind might come in useful for study sessions.” She joked, of course, a tiny smile appearing on her face. “I don’t really know how to act foalish, though. So that’s a problem.”
Spike stood by her side she knew. “Well, it’s only about having fun.”
She looked at him, “So you think that the both of us can have fun like this.”
“Well, we could try with rules the next time. Make a game of it. That’d probably be more fun.”
She nodded, “I could think of some. For example: You clean up the messes you make.”
“And when you want to eat or drink, I’ll feed you.”
“You could hold back on the tickling.”
“Nah, you’re so easy that’s impossible,” he immediately retorted, leaving her to huff and puff. “It’s like playing house, then, isn’t it? With you being the little sister and me being the big brother. Didn’t we do that once with Cadance and your brother as our parents?”
“Yes,” she said and they both immediately told each other: “Let’s not make it that boring.”
Twilight closed her book, looking out of the window, the stars were up already although it couldn’t yet be midnight. “I feel a bit thirsty,” she mused, wondering if she should get something to drink from downstairs.
“Don’t fret, Twilight, I’ve got you some, too,” he said, holding up a glass of milk for himself and a... baby bottle for her? She didn’t quite know what to make of that but took it anyway as Spike gave it to her.
“Well,” she said, looking at it and then at Spike, “how about we do this again tomorrow, only a bit more organized.”
“Only a bit, do you need help with that?” The question seemed stupid, as if she couldn’t drink on her own.
“I guess,” she answered and the tiny dragon placed his own glass on the floor and seated himself on her bed. “Give me the bottle,” he demanded and so she did. “Now... I think you need to lean on my lap.”
So she did, tiny as his lap was and the next moment the nipple was stuck in her mouth. As she sucked the cool milk went into her mouth and despite the work it required she found it strangely calming, even more so than the pacifier. That, the padding and the all-around warmth made her feel more and more drowsy with every time she took some milk.
Spike wasn’t quite sure whether she fell asleep just as she had finished the bottle or a few seconds later, her breathing quiet and rhythmic. It was a weird thing for the small dragon to admit, but at that moment she really did look like an overgrown foal. He’d known about phoenixes and rebirth, thinking that this was Twilight rising from the ashes.
Was it truly that poetic? He doubted it, as he lifted her head up from his knees and laid it on her cushion, covering the pony with her blankets. As he grabbed his glass and took a sip of his own he looked at Twilight. She had slept so badly in the last months that this sight made his heart really leap. She slept like a baby.
As he emptied the glass in one go, he turned towards his own bunk and his last thoughts were happy ones, because for the first time in quite a while he was sure to get a good night’s rest.