Part of Spike wanted to pull away, to try and escape the instructor's gip, run out of school, and never return. It was easily his worst nightmare come to life. He was being taken by the arm, being dragged to the office, on a disciplinary infraction.
“Don’t think you're tough now do you, kid? Look at you, your hair all wet and messy, your face needs to be washed. What were you doing all period? Making out with that girl? Kids are unbelievable these days. I have it in my right mind to go track her down and give her a few words.”
With a strength he didn’t know he had, Spike yanked his arm free from the man’s grip. “Don’t talk about her.”
The instructor paused and turned to face him. “What was that.”
Spike glared at him, meeting him eye-to-eye. “She did nothing wrong, don’t bring her into this.”
The instructor looked impressed. The boy in front of him couldn’t even be a hundred pounds and yet he spoke with conviction he hadn’t seen in him when they first met. There might be hope for this kid yet. He chuckled, “Wash your face off in that fountain over there, then we’ll go to the office.”
Spike just eyed him.
“Consider this me being nice, or do you really want to face Principal Luna with snot coming out of your nose?”
Luna‽ Celestia’s sister‽ Oh no...
“And I’ll leave her alone,” the instructor said, pointing over to the water dispenser.
Spike nodded and went to wash his face in the fountain. The hallways were empty, the next class had already started so there weren’t any witnesses to his current state of being. He walked up and cupped water in his hands, splashing water in his face, he cleaned off the snot and tears.
The instructor walked up next to the fountain, a perplexed expression on his face as he asked, “Sparkle, Sparkle… why does that name seem familiar?”
“My sister was Twilight Sparkle,” Spike said.
“Twilight Sparkle. She hated gym class,” he laughed. “Still, didn’t give me half this much trouble.”
Spike went to say something but was stopped by a raised hand.
“It’s different for boys, I know. Trust me, we’re not blind to what goes on. The hazing, teasing, and swirlies. We stop what we can, but often that just makes things worse.”
Spike saw something in the instructor’s eyes he hadn’t seen the entire time, compassion. It quickly went away though as he walked off. “C’mon, let’s get you to the office.”
The green-haired boy sighed and followed.
They walked in silence, Spike no longer being dragged but moving right along with him. Part of him, a small part anyway, felt like he somehow had this man’s respect. Although he wasn’t sure how he had earned it.
The young boy stared up at the back of the tall instructor’s head. The man had short cut navy blue hair, a ballcap for the school’s baseball team set high on his head. He had the usual smooth satin collared shirts that Spike had seen his own father wear when Night Light had coached Shining Armor’s little league baseball team. The shirt this man was wearing was flat black, white lines trailing the edges, outlining the fine fabric. The words CMS was monogrammed on the left side of his chest, at least Spike remembered seeing it as the man bared down on him in the gym. Tan long legged pants, brown belt, and bright white sneakers finished his clean-cut look.
This guy takes uniforms seriously. I’ve seen other students in worst wear than me. How did he not see Strife walking out of the gym with his shirt not even buttoned? Unbelieveable.
The instructor opened the door in the middle of the hallway and gestured for Spike to go inside. With a sigh the green-haired kid did just that. He walked right into a large office room with a desk and receptionist sitting behind it. On the other wall were several doors, one in big letters labeled ‘Principal Luna’.
“Coach Soarin, let me guess, another uniform infraction?” The receptionist asked with a deadpan voice.
“It matters,” Coach Soarin said, crossing his arms over his chest.
She sighed, “Wait over there, kid. Coach, you know the drill.” At that, she handed him some forms to fill out.
Spike walked over to the seats and sat down. He looked around nervously at being in an office for an ‘other then’ good reason. Before the Sparkles, he’d go to the office at least once a day to see Celestia, but that had been five years ago. Since then he hadn’t stepped foot in a principal's office, until now.
“And there we go,” Soarin said as he handed back the forms.
“Whatever,” the receptionist replied as she took them and placed them in the drop box for Principal Luna.
“Don’t whatever me! This. Is. Important,” Soarin said as he jabbed the top of her desk with an index finger before lifting his hand to readjust the hat on his head. “If kids these days don’t learn to respect who’s in charge they’ll never make it in life. And that’s the truth.”
“Don’t you have a class to teach?”
“Yes,” Soarin frowned as he went to turn away, “But this is important.”
“And I will remind Principal Luna, once again, of your concerns.”
Soarin nodded smiling, “Thank you, and as for you,” he turned to Spike, a frown dipping his mouth, and his eyes narrowing. “If I catch you again—”
“Okay Coach Soarin, this is the third time today I’ve caught you in here and it’s the first day classes are in. What is the issue now?” A familiar voice drifted into the room from the other end of the office near the entrance.
“Prin-Principal Luna!” Soarin stood up straight, his hands flying to his shirt to make sure it was properly tucked and straight.
“My, my, sister dearest. It seems you have a fan, and he’s quite the looker.” A voice Spike loved dearly sounded from the same direction as two tall women came into view.
Standing just beyond the entrance of the office stood Principal Celestia. The beautiful woman was casually poking at her sister’s arm causing the other woman to scowl.
“I do not have a fan Tia, he is simply a teacher that works at this school,” Luna leaned closer to her sister, just enough so only they could hear the words. “And not to mention a pain in my ass. Not that I don’t have enough of that already.”
“Oh Lulu, are you telling me you’ve been on nightly adventures and haven’t told me? Much less you didn’t invite your older sister! Oh, what have I done wrong!” Celestia pretended to swoon causing her sister to blush.
“T-Tia! That’s not funny I have students in here, not to mention my co-workers.”
Celestia smiled before looking around, her smile dropped when she saw the ‘student’ that was in the office. “S-Spike? Is that...”
All eyes turned to the blushing, green-haired student that wished he was anywhere else at that moment.
“I… umm… should get back to the gym.” Soarin pointed a finger towards the door before shuffling that way, pausing next to Luna to give a small wave. She scowled and he immediately took off, leaving the room in silence.
“Um… Tia? Did you not know Spike was going to attend my school?” Luna asked quietly.
Celestia frowned and shook her head. “I... I didn’t. After the Sparkles took him in I just…”
“Principal Luna, the reason why Spike Sparkle is here is for a disciplinary infraction. Would you like to have a talk with him or should I send him off to class? He’s already twenty minutes late,” the receptionist spoke softly, her hand on the report Soarin filled out about it.
Celestia took the news in shock. She looked at him, her eyes taking in the hurt look in his eyes, he seemed… in pain, pain the likes she hadn’t seen before in the young boy, not even when he was homeless and alone. Pain that she never thought she would see on his face, especially not with the Sparkles anyway. It hurt her heart to see it.
Luna noticed the sudden tension in her sister’s form, her stance. “No, we’ll take care of him now, together.”
Celestia felt a soft hand on her arm spurring her into motion. She quickly left her sister's side to crouch down in front of the small green-haired boy. “Are you alright? Did something happen? Why are you even up here? Do I need to call your parents?”
Her questioning surprised him, causing him to shuffle back in his seat and clench the flat wooden sides of the chair with fearful force between small fingers.
“Sister, maybe we should take the poor boy into my office first?” Luna asked.
Celestia looked up at her sister before nodding, standing to her full height she held out her hand.
Spike stared at the hand before letting go of the chair with his right hand, extending it hesitantly to grab hers.
This is the first time in five years that someone's reached out to me. This is the second time Celestia has come to my aid. Am I really so weak? No… Asking for help doesn’t mean you're weak. It just means you can’t do it on your own anymore. I need this. Just reach out and…
It was familiar, holding her hand again, letting Celestia guide him. For her to save him from a horrible fate, from a life he had just wanted to run away from. He had to fight back tears as Celestia lead him and Luna into the latter's office.
“Please take a seat. Tia did you want some tea? I got my—” Luna began but stopped when her sister waved her off.
“No tea, thank you. Spike, will you talk to me, tell me what happened?” Celestia said as she knelt down in front of the boy.
Every single instinct in the boy’s frame wanted to cry, wanted leap into her arms, hug her tight, and never let her go again.
Celestia had been the one to save me from my life in the foster homes, she had been the one to rescue me. She introduced Twilight to me in a roundabout way. Maybe she can rescue me now. Maybe, just maybe she could do it again? Please.
“Celestia, I do apologize for Soarin’s behavior. I’m sure he scared Spike beyond the call of duty. He has a thing about uniform infractions, and rather than correct them himself, he like to send them all to me in hopes that will set them straight.”
“It’s more than that, Luna. I can tell,” Celestia said as she looked Spike into the eyes.
“He still doesn’t talk?” Luna asked.
Celestia placed her hand on the side of Spike’s head. The boy was silent, just like he had been with her. What the woman couldn’t know though was that Spike was fighting against his every instinct to just break down and cry. To hug her, wrap her in his arms, and never let her go.
“I don’t suppose we could just allow him to go off to class since he is already half an hour late.” Luna mumbled, shaking her left wrist to readjust the watch that laid there.
“Luna,” Celestia shot a glare at her sister before turning back to the little boy. “Spike, do you want me to call your parents? I know it’s almost the end of the day but—”
He shook his head no, almost violently so. That one action caused her to gasp in surprise.
“Why not? Is something going on at home?”
“Celestia, maybe I should be—” Luna spoke up, but was interrupted once more.
“Luna, I know this maybe your school but Spike is still my—”
Spike looked into his former caretaker's eyes. He could still see the loving woman that took him in but couldn’t give him the home she felt he deserved. But she was wrong. Celestia had given Spike everything he could ever dream of. Without her he wouldn’t even—Spike gasped, his hands clenching his knees between shaking fingers.
Without you I would of never become friends with Twilight Sparkle. Without you I would've never even got to attend school. Without you I wouldn’t be in a safe home, with loving parents, and the best siblings I could ever ask for. Without you I never would of been happy.But most of all, without you Principal Celestia, I wouldn’t be—
“What can we do for you, Spike. Name it,” Celestia said, almost in tears all over again over this. She made a mental note to call the Sparkles, to find out just what was going on herself. Spike may no longer be under her care, but that didn’t mean she didn’t care for him.
No… I can’t do this. I can’t just drop this all on her. I can’t keep letting them save me. Not Celestia. Not Velvet or Night Light. And never again will Twilight Sparkle have to come to my rescue.
“C-can I go back to class?” Spike timidly asked. He didn’t know what he wanted, he really didn’t, but he knew he didn’t want this attention. And he didn’t want to cause his mom, dad, brother, and certainly not his sister, any trouble.
“Spike, are you sure? You could stay here the rest of the day, Luna wouldn’t let it count against you.”
He just closed his eyes. “Yes I’m sure, please. Let me go to class.”
“I just… just want to go back to class, please.”
“Okay, Spike. You can go,” Luna said as Spike got up.
Celestia started to help him straighten his uniform, something the boy was put off about, and grateful for. Until she saw the two pieces of his dress-shirt’s bow untied. “Do you, do you want me to tie this for you?”
Tears fell freely from Spike’s eyes at that one question. Celestia couldn’t hold back, she wrapped her arms around him and hugged him tightly to her breast.
For the first time in forever, Spike felt validation, like his opinion mattered. He wasn’t told how adorable he looked, how happy he should be to be wearing it. He was asked, he was asked what he wanted or even if he wanted it to be tied.
It may be stupid but she asked me. She asked me what I wanted.
Celestia held him tighter, a few tears of her own starting to fall. She could feel his frustration, his pain, his hurt, and it broke her heart. “You sure you don’t want to stay?”
“Y-yes,” Spike sobbed.
Luna walked over with a dark blue embroidered handkerchief and handed it to Spike. Spike took it in his hand and after who knows how long, he let Celestia go and wiped his face off again. Luna and Celestia looked on concerned when he handed it back.
Luna passed him a hall pass and a note for his next class. “Spike, if you ever need anything, you can come see me. Any time, any reason, once so ever. I’m here for you.”
“T-thank you,” Spike said as he walked out of the door.
Luna and Celestia stared at each other before Celestia asked, “Can I use your phone, I have a few calls to make.”
Spike heard the commotion from the other side of the door, given how loud it was he supposed that he could have heard it down the hall. There was a loud crash, a bang, and a lot of yelling.
As he opened the door to shop class, he heard the shout. “Miss Scootaloo, what did I say about the bandsaw!”
“No one was hurt! This time…”
“That’s not the point!”
“There’s a reason you don’t have a partner anymore.”
“Pft, that guy was a lame-o anyway,” Scootaloo said as she waved a hand dismissively.
“You almost cut his finger off.”
“Almost. That means I didn’t, right?”
“Scootaloo?” Spike asked as he saw the band saw on the ground and the class looking around shocked.
“Yo Spike! Want to be my partner? You’re in this class right?” Scootaloo said as she shot him a grin. She patted the sawdust covered worktable with her left hand and waved him over with her right.
“Uh sure…” Spike mumbled glancing around the room at the stares he was receiving as he walked over to his friend. “What were you trying to build anyways?”
“Uh… It was supposed to be this sick skate ramp I was going to use to show Rainbow Dash my awesome moves. But I kind of got carried away and now it’s a—”
“Scoots, that’s a toothpick.” Spike deadpanned, pointing his finger at the small piece of wood that the sports girl held up.
“So? Do you think Dash will like it?” Scootaloo said, grinning as she held it up higher into the air. “I think she’ll love it!”
“You are just trying to make me lose my mind today, aren’t you.” Spike said, rolling his eyes. He shook his head in false disappointment, as he thought, Not that I haven’t already. Moments like these are the only things keeping me sane.
“Says the boy that grabbed Sweetie’s butt?” Scootaloo said with a smile and a wink.
“Th-that was an accident—”
“Accident my, or should I say Sweetie’s butt!”
“Scoots stop it before someone hears you!”
“Who cares? She’s your girlfriend!”
“Come on Spike, are you really that embarrassed? We’re in middle school now! Sure, we might be sixth graders but we still—”
“Excuse me you two. If you're done jibber jabbering can you please get to work. Well, at least you young man. You on the other hand, Miss Scootaloo, are banned from the power tools.” The older, grey-haired, goggle wearing instructor waved his finger at the young girl's face.
“What? that’s not fair!” Scootaloo whined.
“Get over it,” he said then turned to Spike. “You’re Spike Sparkle I take it?”
Spike nodded and handed him the note Luna gave him. He took it and read over it. “Alright, you’ll be her new partner, maybe you’ll have better luck. I hope you're not afraid of power tools, because you’ll be doing all the cutting.”
Scootaloo blew him a raspberry as he returned to his desk at the front. “Well, guess it’s official now. You’re not afraid of losing digits, are you?” Scootaloo asked.
Spike looked at her as if to ask if she was serious.
“Just playing with you, Romeo. But hey, with me, keep it in your pants, okay? I saw that tent you popped in gym.”
“Oh god, I’m never going to live that down.”
Scootaloo had to hold back a laugh, even still a few giggles came out. “Relax, she was actually a little flattered, but don’t tell her I told you that.”
“She… She talked to you two about it?” Spike said as he blushed profusely, but looked curiously at his friend. His hands reaching forward to grab a couple pieces of the un-scootaloo-ified supplies.
“A little bit, why? You wanna know?” Scootaloo began cleaning off her mess, sliding her hand across the table to get the mass amount of sawdust off.
“You’re going to get a splinter that way.” Spike mumbled as he began using a marker to mark lines on a four-by-four.
“So? I’ve gotten worst than a—Ow! Ow, ow, ow, ow,” Scootaloo jumped up and down in pain, sucking on her index finger.
“Told you” Spike started to chuckle before she faced him, his eyes locking onto her finger.
She had small tears in her eyes and she attempted to smirk around her hurting finger.
“Miss Scootaloo, do you need some medical attention or can I assume you have all ten fingers.” The instructor had called out but when Spike glanced at the older man. He was sitting in his own desk playing with a jigsaw puzzle.
“No Mr. Dust, I’m alright. All ten accounted for,” Scootaloo raised her hands and wiggled all her fingers, rolling her eyes.
“Good to know. Now can you keep it down? Others are trying to work.”
The sight of the athletic girl jumping up and down revealed that she hadn’t put something back on after gym class: her bra. Spike could feel his lower extremity shift and once again try to set up camp, but he quickly dropped his hands to his lap, adjusting his shorts.
Scootaloo was too busy trying trying to identify what foreign invader had entered her own area, poking at her sore splintered index finger of her left hand. A small “ow” resonating from her mouth as each time she expected a different result, but still ended up in pain.
With a sigh, the small green-haired boy began to resume his task of making a birdhouse as the instructions the teacher had left required. How Scootaloo decided to make a scooter ramp with such little supplies and ended up with a toothpick, the young boy would never know.