Spike awoke to the sound of frantic hoof beats. It took a moment for him to wake up enough to take in the scene before him: Twilight was rushing all around her room, grabbing one item after another and stuffing them into a brown satchel. As Spike watched her rush around the room something struck him. All of the things she was placing into the bag were his things. For the briefest of moments, Spike flashed back to the evil door in the crystal kingdom and the horrible vision he experienced. The young dragon shook his head, trying to clear the terrifying memory from his mind. He rose from his basket with a stretch and approached Twilight.
"Twilight, what are you doing? It's the middle of the night... What's going on?" He let out a long yawn.
Twilight stopped dead her tracks. "Spike! We don't have much time. Let me finish packing this."
Spike watched as a magenta glow encased his pillow and blanket and stuffed them to into the bag. Twilight set the satchel on her desk and turned to Spike. She place her forelegs on his shoulders and set him with a look that sent a fearful chill down his spine.
"Spike, I don't know any other way to say this, but please don't be afraid. Spike... I'm sending you away, somewhere in the mountains. At least there you won't have much trouble finding food and shelter."
Spike's eyes immediately started to tear up. He shook his head and looked Twilight in the eyes. "W-why? Did I d-do something wrong Twilight? If I did I'm s-sorry, I swear I-I'll try harder. Please don't make me leave."
Twilight couldn't help but begin to break down into tears herself. She knew this was coming. She just thought she'd be more prepared. She took his small face in her hooves.
"Shhhh, hush now. You didn't do anything wrong, Spike. You are the best little dragon anyone could ever hope to have. I love you so much, and there is nothing you could ever do that would make me send you away."
Spike was now openly sobbing into Twilight's chest. It was all he could manage to choke out his words.
"T-then w-why, Twilight? I-I don't wanna go. I-I want to stay here with you and all of our friends." He buried his face into her coat again, crying his little heart out.
"It's for your own safety, Spike, I swear. You need to stay as far away from Equestria as you can. It won't be safe here." Twilight punctuated her explanation by placing a soft kiss on the baby dragon's forehead. "If I thought I could keep you here without putting you in mortal danger, I would never have even considered this."
In the distance avian screeches could be heard, and soon after the screams and cries of ponies mingled into the chilling chorus.
Twilight knew their time was almost up, and she quickly grabbed the satchel she had packed and slung it over Spike's head. Her voice was terrified and frantic as she lifted the small dragon's head one last time.
"Okay, Spike, it's time. Don't ever forget how much I love you. Please forgive me for this... I just don't know what I would do if something happened to you. You are a brave, strong, smart little dragon. Survive, Spike, for me, for all of us. I love you so much, my son."
Twilight's horn began to glow a blindingly bright whitish magenta, and Spike could feel the magic enveloping his body. Everything was happening so fast he honestly couldn't process it all. All Spike could do was squeeze his eyes shut tight and hug the lavender unicorn as hard as he could, enjoying the warmth as long as possible, and utter one simple phrase:
"I love you too, mother." A final tear slid off his scaly cheek and splashed onto the floor.
The world suddenly went white, and Spike felt the rush of magic flow through him as he was teleported. Not a moment after the young dragon vanished from the room, the door slammed open and a group of five armor-clad griffons rushed in. Twilight quickly found herself surrounded, and she slowly lowered herself to the floor and placed her hooves on her head. The only thoughts running through her head were of Spike. She hoped beyond hope that she had placed him somewhere safe. As she was lifted off the ground, and the last of their tears seeped into her coat, she sent out a silent prayer to any god who would listen that her son be protected in the harsh world she had no choice but to throw him into.
As the world came back into focus, Spike was a bit disorientated, but he realized he was in a mountainous location. It looked nothing like the areas he usually visited with Rarity when they went looking for gems, though. The terrain was anything but level, and his feet felt out of place against the chilled ground.
He was also quickly becoming aware of the heavy rain drenching his bag and body, and the brutal winds that threatened to blow him across the rocky terrain. Spike's previously crippling grief was almost at once overcome by the situation he now found himself in. As he struggled to his feet, he had to brace himself against the howling wind to not be lifted from the ground. He raised a claw to his face to try and block some of the torrential downpour. How could this be happening? One second he was sleeping happy and warm in his basket, and in the next ten minutes the one pony who meant the more to him than anything in the world had flung him through the fabric of space onto a mountain and into the middle of a hurricane.
Spike struggled to put one foot in front of the other as he began a slow trek forward, no destination in mind. How could Twilight do this to him? He had to shield his eyes as another gust of wind crashed against him, pelting his face and body with all manner of rock and foliage. He could barely muster the strength or attention to protect himself from the storm. Nothing currently happening around him could tear him away from the one soul-crushing thought playing over and over in his head.
Never before had he ever really been alone. There had always been someone around, whether it was Twilight or the Princess or even just a palace guard. Spike's chest tightened as he thought of Twilight. As much as he wanted to hate her, to curse her for this situation, he simply couldn't. She was the first thing his newly hatched eyes had seen, and sure, she hadn't always been the perfect guardian, but she had done her best to raise him since.
Spike snapped out of his reverie as lightning split the sky and thunder immediately boomed overhead. The storm was only getting worse, and it was directly over him. He braced himself against the wind and trudged forward, digging his heels in with every step to stay grounded. Another crack of lightning illuminated the mountainside, revealing a cave just a few more meters ahead of him. Every step was a struggle for him, and every blast of wind slammed more debris against his body, but he slowly pushed toward the cave. Just then, a larger rock connected directly with his face, causing him to stagger and almost lose his footing. The metallic taste of blood spread through his mouth as Spike neared the entrance to the cave. He couldn't be sure what might dwell inside, but he was willing to risk meeting it if it got him out of this storm.
As Spike entered the pitch black cave, he let out a tiny breath of fire to illuminate the area. As far as he could see the cave was uninhabited. The young dragon collapsed onto the floor of the cave with a heavy sigh, partly out of relief for finding shelter from the raging storm and partly from the emotional toll the night had taken on him. As he lay there, battered and exhausted from the ordeal, his thoughts drifted back once again to Ponyville and all of the faces he might never see again. Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, his childhood crush Rarity, and Twilight... he could see all of their faces cast against the blackness of the cave, and for the second time that night he could feel his throat tighten up and his eyes begin to burn.
He cried for all of them, for every friend he may never see again, for every day he wouldn't get to spend in Ponyville, and most of all he cried for the loss of the one pony who meant the most to him. The sounds of the raging storm and his own quiet sobbing were the only lullaby Spike would have that night. He didn't even bother to take his pillow and blanket out of his soaked pack. As he felt himself starting to drift off, he tried as hard as his could to picture Twilight's face one last time, but he saw only a blurry image of the mare who raised him as the sweet blackness of sleep overcame him.
Spike awoke with a jump after a particularly bad nightmare. He made an attempt to call out to Twilight so he could tell her all about the horrible dream he had, in which she forced him to leave Ponyville, and he had to trek through a storm all night and sleep in a cold dark cave. He stopped when opening his mouth made his face throb, and the pain brought reality crashing down on him. He was still in that cold dark cave. He felt his wet satchel against his back and shivered, gently pulling it off and realizing his whole body ached.
He noticed that now the cave wasn't completely pitch black. A small amount of light was pouring in from outside. When Spike gingerly walked to the entrance of the cave he saw dawn starting to break the midnight sky. The ominous clouds of the storm had started to dissipate into wisps and he was treated to a beautiful magenta sky flecked with fading stars.
The sight, while beautiful, caused Spike's breath to catch in his throat. The sky reminded him so much of Twilight. He still could not understand why she had sent him away. If she had just given him some reason instead of being so vague maybe he wouldn't be so hurt. For a moment he felt the fire of anger burn in his chest, but he quickly smothered the flame. The look on Twilight's face was proof enough that what she did, she did as a last resort. He couldn't be mad at her for wanting to protect him.
Spike felt like he could sit there in the frigid cave, wallowing in his misery until the day he died, until one small phrase sparked another recent memory to come rushing to the forefront of his mind.
"Survive, Spike, for me, for all of us." Twilight's voice echoed in his mind.
With a deep breath and a wipe to his eyes, Spike looked toward the horizon. He felt an ember ignite in his heart as he looked up at the sky. He would survive, and he would find out what happened to Equestria and to all of his friends. He swore that dawning day that he wouldn't allow himself to die until he saw Twilight Sparkle again.