"Sit down Twilight; I've got something to tell you."
Twilight turned in shock as Spike sauntered into the library and sat himself down in front of her, taking out a large cigar and puffing on it thoughtfully. After a moment’s awkward silence, he spoke. "Look, there's no easy way to say this, but I'm really Princess Celestia!"
Twilight’s mouth fell open and she staggered backwards, falling over in shock as she had not taken the sage advice to sit down. "What? I mean I guess that makes total sense and was obvious in retrospect, but what?"
Spike nodded, stroking his chin with a little clawed hand. "I had to keep an eye on you, my daughter who I fashioned from clay, in order to protect you and help you fulfil your destiny. That is why you never saw us in the same place, apart from all the times that you did. When you give me a friendship report, I actually read it and then burnt it up."
Spike leaned back in his chair, a magical white horn appearing on his head and a mighty pair of wings shimmering into view as he revealed his true powers. "You see Twilight, I had to keep you close since you will replace me as the next magical princess, and the only logical way of doing that was to disguise myself as a small purple dragon."
"But what about when I hatched you from an egg? Celestia was right there!" Twilight gasped, getting back to her feet.
Spike looked smug. "See, that's just how good I am!”
Twilight furrowed a brow. "But what about the huge crush you have on Rarity?"
Spike sighed with a degree of exasperation. "Rarity is my magical clone; of course I would feel attracted to her. Ponies always feel attracted to their magical clones, that is why Scootaloo likes Rainbow Dash so much." He coughed, a billowing multicolour mane erupting from his head. He hopped to his tiny little feet and started to pace around the room.
“No no, that can’t be right!” Twilight looked grim as she stared in bewilderment at the friend she thought she knew. “Celestia was kidnapped by Nightmare Moon, but Spike was still in Ponyville at the time!”
“Twilight, Twilight Twilight…” Spike reached behind his back and took out a small cardboard cut-out of a pony. “Nightmare Moon was nothing more than a collection of paper through which I shone a torch, creating the illusion of a powerful pony goddess. I had to test your loyalty to me. At the end, I turned off the torch, thus dispelling Nightmare Moon, and let one of my Lunas out of its box.”
“One of your Lunas? I don’t even…” Twilight collapsed backwards into a nearby chair, clutching her head in her hooves.
“Absolutely, I have quite the collection.” Spike waves a claw in the air in illustration. “That’s why every time ‘she’ shows up, she’s different. I have a good one, an evil one, a shouty one, a cute one - the list goes on. And as for my Discord collection, well…”
“That was all a trick too?” Twilight squeaked.
“Yes.” Spike smiled. “I had a bet with Shouty Luna that I couldn’t get you to tie up all your friends and think it was a perfectly reasonable idea; I just did the old ‘insane trickster god mind control’ thing, no biggie. I thought it up back in my college days, when I was a normal everyday guy on the internet before I was sucked through a magical portal into Equestria and became a pony princess. Now, my daughter, come to me…” He started to waddle forwards, arms outstretched, ready for a hug.
Twilight’s eyes opened wide in panic and she scrabbled around, nodding her horn at Spike. But nothing happened. “My magic!” she squealed. “You’re holding back my magic.”
“Oh Twilight!” Spike shook his head sadly. “You never had magic in the first place, it was all me. Everything you ever did, every spell you ever cast, it was me controlling it all.” He turned, arms folded behind his back to stare out of the window. “In fact, Twilight, every pony you’ve ever met in Ponyville has been an actor, paid by me, to mold you into the pony I wanted. Every so often I would unleash my army of dragons and manticores and hellhounds onto Ponyville to see how you would react. I’ve been in control all along, ready for this moment of truth. But now my deception is over and there are no secrets between us!"
"Not so!" Twilight rose to her full height, her face instantly changing from terror to triumph. "This charade amuses me no longer. You see, I am also Princess Celestia! From the future!" Magical wings unfurled from her back and Spike’s mouth gaped open, his cigar tumbling onto the floor. "I knew what you were planning, and so travelled back in time to watch over you, and mold you into the pony I wanted you to become!
“No!” Spike cried out, throwing his arms in front of his face. “How could I have been tricked so easily, even by myself!”
“I had help!” Twilight announced, her own mane flaring into a multi-coloured regal stream of etheric hair. “From Queen Apple Bloom. You see, Past-Celestia, Apple Bloom is secretly the mother of Applejack, but ages backwards in time so has the appearance of a young filly. With the help of her powers, I was able to weave a web of lies and intrigue over the top of your plans to manipulate you to my own agenda!” Twilight’s horn burst into life with a sparkle of magic, and floated the fallen cigar to her lips. “So you see, it was really me who was in control all along!”
"Not so!" came a cry from the far end of the room. Both faux Princess Celestias turned as one to see Owloysius sitting on his perch in the corner of the room. A white horn shimmered into view on his head, and a pair of mighty white wings unfurled from behind his tiny owl wings. "For you see, I am Princess Celestia from the double future!"
And so it went.
Author's note: Goodness, the response to this is amazing, thank you all! Did you like this story? I bet you'll like my other stories! Check them out here: http://www.fimfiction.net/index.php?view=category&user=7268