Types of Love

by TheGreatEater

To the Castle

Spike was mildly surprised, to say the least, about his newest companion. Having heard nothing but horror stories about the filly beside him and how needlessly cruel she was, it turned out there was a lot more to this pony than meets the eye.

After she stopped crying, they went to talking about various things both mundane and exciting.
Eventually their talks moved to a rather unexpected direction.

"So I've been wondering about something for awhile now," Spike mused hesitantly.

"Yes?" Diamond retorted warningly.

"What was that thing between you and Silver Spoon anyways? Did you only hang out with her because she was, like, the only other rich filly in Ponyville?"

"Spike!" She responded indignantly.

"What? You really didn't seem likely to hang out with anypony else, from what I’ve heard about you, so I was just wondering what got you two together," Spike replied quickly, raising his claws up in front of him and waving them manically, trying to convey he meant no offense.

"Well... Honestly, when I first met her, she was crying," Diamond replied with a nostalgic gleam in her eyes.

"Crying?" Spike asked.

"Yes, I don't know why, but I felt sad seeing her cry, so I asked her what the matter was. It turns out that she felt lonely, and didn't know what to do, so she decided to run away, hoping that her family would come look for her, but she didn't know where to go and nopony had come looking for her."

"Really? Nopony?"

"Nopony. Well, I know what it's like to be lonely, so I told her I'd keep her company until her family came for her. I learned some secrets that I won't share. But I also learned that everypony in her manor ignores her existence, other than to make sure she was fed if she showed up in time for meals, or make her room.

"But other than that, she was basically treated lower than the help. I didn't want to believe it, but after the sun went down, I took her to my place for a sleepover. Long story short, her parents didn't come for her, and my daddy had to walk us over to drop her off.

"They didn't even notice she left. After that, well, my daddy and I decided if she ever needed to visit, she could spend the nights with us. So we became the best of friends. Well, our only friends. She wanted to have somepony that acknowledged her existence, without comparing her to her parents.

"You should have seen her when we first started hanging out. She had no confidence whatsoever, ponies would walk into her and not even notice, Mrs. Cheerilee never saw the few times Silvy raised her hoof. I don't think it was on purpose, but Silvy was just the kind of pony that fades into the background if you aren't looking for her sometimes. So I was the personality that let everypony notice us, and by extension everypony started noticing Silver Spoon, at least a little bit.

"And as they say, the rest is history," Diamond Tiara stated as she wrapped up her story.

"Wow... So you became a bully just to get Silver Spoon’s attention?" Spike asked, after picking up his dropped jaw. He would've never expected a filly he only heard horror stories about could have a heart that big.

"Not at first, I'm just the type of pony that gets noticed in a crowd, so I shared my limelight with Silvy so that she could feel like she existed. We... Well, I became a bully mostly to spite Apple Bloom, and show off that I had a friend a billion times better than she was because I was jealous of her and her friends having everything I wanted. Then, I don't know... It just became easier to tear into them, and a kind of habit."

"You know... That part of you that went out of your way to help a pony in need like that... A lot more ponies should see that side of you," Spike replied after chewing on her story for a few moments.

"What? I do have a heart, you know!" Diamond Tiara huffed.

"I know, but it’s weird after hearing so much about you. You're friends with a pony just so they won't feel invisible... Believe it or not, I know how that feels," Spike said, putting a comforting claw on her shoulder.

Diamond Tiara looked like she didn't believe him. "Riiiight, you, a dragon, invisible?"

"That's just the thing, I'm called a ‘baby dragon’, but more often than not, I'm thought of as background noise. At least that's how it feels sometimes. I'm asked to help or work as Twilight's assistant, but when something major comes along, nine times out of ten, I'm left behind.

"Or when the girls go out to hang out and have fun. I'm left doing work until Twilight gets back, and she has all these amazing stories. But all I can say is that I cleaned and organized the library, or that I went to the store to buy groceries. Sure, helping Rarity dig up jewels is fun, since she lets me eat some of what we dig up, but I don't get to do that all that often since she digs them up in bulk. But beyond that, it almost feels like I don't exist," Spike retorted.

"Did you ever talk about it before?" Diamond asked.

"Not really. I thought if I ignored it, the feeling would go away and at least I'd be useful."

"Well... Since we're friends, you can talk to me. And just like I promised Silver Spoon when she blabbed her big dark secret to me, anything you say, I promise not to blackmail you with," Diamond said with a cheery grin.

"You know, most ponies wouldn't have to mention that if they're friends," Spike snarked, "But thanks. That means a lot."

"Oh... Other than Silver Spoon, I don't have friends. At least I don't have ponies that pretend to be nice to me because I'm rich."

"Well, now you have two friends, and you don't have to worry about me liking you because of your father's wealth."

"That means a lot to me."

The rest of the talk fluttered around various topics until the train pulled up. Spike escorted her to the coach trolley like the gentledrake he was, so they could enjoy the scenery together. Diamond Tiara put her muzzle against the window, her breath steaming up the glass. The stuffed tan cushions were, in Spike's opinion, one of the few perks of riding in trains, being much more comfortable than the bed he was used to, and the stylized, green glass that divided the seats were a nice touch. Diamond, on the other hand, was used to riding in the luxury compartments with her father, but now that she was running away from home, she was just glad that she didn't have to take the journey alone.

"You know, I've never left Ponyville before. For some reason I thought I'd be sadder to leave it all behind," Diamond sighed wistfully.

"Well you aren't going for good, so that might explain it."

"No, that's not it. I might never be able to come back. Not after I get to Canterlot. If I stay, I'll be with ponies that hate me and only see me for the things I've done. But if I leave, I'll be leaving what good memories I have as well. I have no idea what to feel. Just that I'm surprised I'm not sadder," Resting her head on his shoulder, she continued, "I think it's because I'm not alone. That a friend is coming with me that I'm not sad ... I think."

"Hey, it's what friends are for," Spike replied, having no idea what to do as Diamond Tiara snuggled closer.

"Until today I wouldn't know that. Thanks, Spike, you're cool for a dragon," With that, Diamond fell asleep on her draconic pillow.

The two hour train ride was awkward for Spike. He hadn't cuddled with anypony since Twilight was a young filly. After she got into her goth phase and told everypony to call her the Necrolord "Princess Ravenwing", which thankfully lasted until Celestia had her read, A Dark Knight's Tale. That short story had ended Twilight's fantasies of turning noisy ponies to zomponies so she could enjoy her silence rather quickly.

The week of nightmares that followed further cemented Twilight's aversion to looking into Necromancy. Although Spike was mostly glad that she stopped using the Come To Life spell to have her loyal horde of stuffed animals and dolls serve her every whim. Dolls were creepy enough without those cold, lifeless eyes being inside an animated body scurrying around. That, and they were cutting into his Twilight Time.

But just like with all awkward moments, it soon ended. As the train wound up the mountain to Canterlot Station, Spike shook Diamond Tiara awake. "But daddy, I want to share the Scootaloo Milkshake with you... Pinkie added the Silver sprinkles this time," Diamond Tiara whined sleepily.

"Diamond, it's time to wake up," Spike chuckled.

"Bwha-huh?" Diamond mumbled her, glancing around at her surroundings.

"So... You dreamt of drinking Scootaloo? And who were the Silver sprinkles?" Spike laughed.

"Hey! It's not my fault she's colored like a dreamsicle with berry toppings. And it's not important who the Silver sprinkles are. I promised I wouldn't blab," Diamond blushed.

"That's rich! I bet Scootaloo would laugh about that. But it's all good, so here we are. Are you ready to go to the castle?"

"Wait, the castle?! When you said you were going to help, I didn't think you meant the castle! I look horrible!" Diamond Tiara shouted in panic.

Having been raised around Twilight, he knew how to deal with panicking ponies, but having no tea, chocolate, or a new book to distract, her he did the next best thing, which was to intervene before it began. "Hey, don't sweat it! Celestia's like a second mom to me, and with me backing you up, it'll be good as gold. But first, we go to Pony Joe's, the best doughnut shop in the world."

"You can't expect me to believe that anypony can possibly make better doughnuts than Pinkie Pie. I swear, she's secretly an Alicorn of Sweets," Diamond retorted.

"She is, but she doesn't have anything on Pony Joe when it comes to doughnuts."

"I'll believe it when I see it."

"Sweet Celestia's Flanks! These are amazing!" Diamond gushed as they walked into the castle. Spike was fighting to suppress a chuckle at Diamond's look of wide eyed awe as she drank in the sight of the stone faced guards patrolling the castle, the rich marble floors that were waxed to a mirror shine, as well as the numerous ornate bricks that made the walls and ceiling that radiated opulence.

A box of doughnuts rested on Diamond Tiara's back, while Spike carried the cup carrier for the drinks.

"Told you," Spike replied with a smirk.

"So what now?" Diamond asked, looking nervously at the statuesque ponies that were the Royal Guards.

"Now we go talk to Luna, let her know I'm staying here, see if we can get you a place for the evening. Then we'll go on from there in the morning. Sound good?"

"It does. Who said chivalry’s dead? You really are a noble dragon," Diamond said, batting her eyes coyly.

"That's me, Spike the noble dragon," Spike replied pridefully, "But I'd help any friend who needed it."

The only reply he got from that was a blush. She changed the subject as quickly as possible. "So... You and Rarity?"

"Honestly, it's complicated. I mean, I still care about her, but we talked and I'm giving her space to think about what we are to each other. But regardless... I'm glad we finally talked, and even if... If it’s not meant to be, at least I know we'll be great friends."

"Friends? With a pony you crushed on?"

"Sure. Real friends can work through anything, and I wouldn't want to lose a friend over something like that."

"Wow... That's really mature," Diamond said in awe. She didn't think she'd be able to do that if it was her. Not that she was crushing on Spike. After all she just met him, and he was, while not a colt, still close enough. And colts were weird, a universal truth every filly knew.

There was one thing that could be said about Night Court: It was utterly boring. Luna contemplated this as she sat upon her throne. She had gotten through to the nobility that they couldn't go behind Celestia' back to get her to pass something that her sister denied, or try to take advantage of her being a millenium behind everypony when it came to politics. Somethings rarely change even a thousand years later... Although she was sad that she couldn't dunk them in tree sap, roll them in feathers, then make them run through a busy city street singing the Equestrian National Anthem. Something about cruel and unusual punishment being banned a few centuries prior.

But since the nobility dribbled down to almost non-existent visits, she had fewer visitors. But unlike the last time, she had ponies who didn't visit her, but still celebrated her nights. And unlike Tia, who had a schedule crammed so full, Luna was surprised that her sister had time to even scratch her nose with how every moment was accounted for.

Luna had a much more fluid schedule, and enjoyed abusing that for time to mingle with her little ponies and visiting the dreamscape to help those ponies who weren't active during her night. Just as she was about to call tonight’s court a wash and go out to enjoy the new invention of "clubbing", which didn't involve a warhammer and a bog full of trolls and hydras. Ah! The good old days. Where have all the old time sports gone off too. Last time I asked Tia about my old pastimes, she said words like ‘politically incorrect’, or ‘it no longer exists’. What's so wrong about lava surfing, or swimming in pools of rainbows as lightning rains down around oneself?

When a knock sounded on her throne room door, and after a quick inspection from the royal scribe, a small grey unicorn stallion with a golden mane, who looked like a rod was permanently stuck up his plot, a rather surprising visitor was announced. "Spike plus guest has arrived, and they bring refreshments."

"Huzzah! Let in the young whelp and his friend,” Luna cheered, “Will you be joining us, dear scribe?".

"No thank you, Princess, thank you very much for asking though," Her scribe replied.

"No problems, now let's see what Spike has brought!" Luna decreed merrily.