The sun rose over the horizon majestically, the hues of orange slowly bending in with the fiery crimson streaks. Clouds strolled through, blocking the sun every once in awhile as a gentle summer breeze swept through the city of Canterlot.
Spike walked through the halls of the castle, trying to get to his appointment on time. He finally had worked up the courage to message Princess Celestia about it and had taken the train first thing in the morning. He was nervous, unsure why he even did what he did. Something was bothering him, and he knew she’d be the one to help. Twilight, maybe, but she was too busy with the others.
Ponies ignored him, several even frowning at his presence. He took the least traveled route, only some scribes and lowly bureaucrat aides there. They smiled at him and he soon reached Celestia’s private chambers.
He hesitantly knocked. It was silent for a moment before a gentle voice called out, “enter.”
He opened the door to her lavish abode and found Celestia lounging on her bed, her head resting against her forehooves and nomming on some grapes, a parchment hovering near her. Stacks of others lined her desk, ink bottles strewn about.
“H-hey Princess Celestia,” Spike said, shutting the door behind him and walking up to her.
Celestia smiled and got up, walking over and giving the baby drake a hug. “And good morning to you too Spike.” She let go and the two sat on cushions nearby, a small table in between them. “It’s good to hear from you.”
“Yeah, sorry if this is a bad time,” he said, taking a look at the stack of parchment.
“No, it’s quite alright, I needed a break anyways. So tell me, what seems to be the problem? You sounded upset in your letter.”
He tapped his claws together, hesitating. “It’s just that…” He looked up and saw that she was staring at him, a motherly smile on her lips. Compassion filled her eyes as she waited patiently for him to speak. He quickly rose. “On second thought, it’s nothing, don’t worry about it.” He went to open the door when he was encased by a golden aura and promptly dropped back on the cushion.
“Spike,” she said calmly and he flinched. “What is wrong my little gentle drake? Usually you’re full of energy and talking about all the adventures you go. Today, you’re withdrawn and jumpy… something’s bothering you.”
“There is… I just, don’t know how to describe it.” He moved uneasily as Celestia scooted closer to him, draping a wing over him. “Do you… ever feel worthless?”
She blinked in surprise, shock written all over her face. “What do you mean?”
“It’s just… I really am worthless Princess.”
“No you’re not Spike.”
He looked at her with tears in her eyes. “I just feel it… I’m not needed, nor wanted. I mean… look at me. I’m just a baby dragon. I’m not cool, I’m not ‘hip’. The one time I actually did grow up, I destroyed half a town… and could’ve hurt a lot of ponies, because I can’t control my own greed.” He sniffed. “Hay, even my job can be done by an owl. I’m easily replaced and it’s not like anypony would notice me gone. No one noticed me leave today, not even Twilight.”
“I get it, she’s busy, but it’s like most of the time, all I’m there for is like a glorified butler. I listen to her, I wait on her, cook her meals… but when it actually comes time to do something, I’m pushed to the side. I’m not important. Even after she got Owlowiscious and said how much I mean to her, day by day I see myself slowly fading from her life… Till I’m not needed anymore.”
“Oh Spike…” Celestia pulled the crying drake close, hugging him as tears fell from her too. “You’re much more important than you give yourself credit for.”
“Like how?” he croaked, his voice muffled by her fur. “All I am is just baggage for her and everypony else.”
“That’s not true, you know she’d be lost without you.”
“Seems to be doing just fine without me there.”
Celestia shook her head. “I still get letters from Twilight occasionally, just to catch up on her current adventures and to chat like we used to. You’re in a lot of those, always making sure she’s prepared for all her challenges. Making sure she takes care of herself, stuff that a brother would do.”
“But she has a brother…”
“Yes, but you like her little brother; you know it to be true. Remember back when you were trying to save the Crystal Kingdom from Sombra and he used his magic against you? Twilight always said that she’d be there for you and will never leave.”
“A lot has happened since then Princess…”
“I know, and I wish that I wouldn’t have to share my burden with her.” She pushed him away and bent down, the two eye to eye. “You are and shall always be, an important person in her life.You are a pillar from which she draws strength from, evne on her darkest days. When everypony was turned against her when Discord returned, you didn’t hesitate for a second and stood by her side.”
“When the cutie marks were switched with a bad spell from Starswirl, you helped her figure out how to reverse it and helped her get everypony together. When your home was destroyed by Tirek, you helped her get used to her new home, in the castle.”
She gently poked his belly, causing him to weakly smile. “Even when you two were younger, you were her only friend when she studied under me. Even though I tried, unsuccessfully, to pry her from those books and socialize, you were there.”
He was silent, staring at her. “B-but why do I feel… so empty? So useless?”
“You see them doing these amazing things, and all you have are your own two claws. Because you see them saving things but all you’ve seen yourself do is destroy. You don’t see the work you do, organizing, helping Twilight find the right spell, feeding her, cleaning up her messes, as important things.”
“But that’s not important…”
“Oh really? If it wasn’t for you, she never would’ve figured out how to fix Starswirl’s spell. In fact, I believe it was you who saved the Crystal Empire.”
“Well, more so Princess Cadance…”
“But you helped her deliver the heart. You made sure it was there, something Twilight couldn’t do. She in fact, entrusted you to do it. And I don’t know if you’re aware, but she only does that to ponies she trusts without hesitation.”
He sighed and fidgeted a bit. “I still feel so unsure…”
“When you get home, talk to Twilight about this. Not because she’s going to lecture you about it, but because it’ll be good to hear it from her. Sometimes, we just need to be reminded by the ponies important to us how we’re important to them. There’s no shame in it.”
A letter appeared out of nowhere, landing squarely on her snout. “Oh my, what’s this?” Her horn glowed and the parchment unfurled and she scanned the letter. “It seems somepony did notice you leaving.”
Dear Princess Celestia,
I don’t mean to bother you but I saw Spike leave this morning, without warning, and it worried me. He’s been acting strange lately, but I wasn’t sure if I should bring it up. Do you think I should talk to him? He’s really worrying me…
Sorry to bug,
She looked at the drake and saw a small smile on his face. “So I do believe you know what to do.”
He nodded and got up, hugging her tightly. “Thank you Princess.”
She hugged back. “Of course little one, I’m glad I could help.”
He waved goodbye and rushed out the door, heading back to the train station. He got a ticket and waited, his mind bouncing back and forth what to do. Even though he felt a little better, glad he was able to vent, he still felt empty. He wasn’t sure what was causing it, but knew that talking to her is something he should’ve done in the first place.
He slowly opened the door to the castle, Twilight pacing back and forth in the forey. She turned at the noise and her eyes grew wide as she galloped over and hugged him tightly.
“There you are! I’ve been looking all over for you! You leave without a word and disappear all day!” She let him go and glared at him as he laughed. “What’s so funny?”
He wiped a tear from his eye and shook his head. “It’s nothing…”
She sighed and rolled her eyes as she continued to rant about him leaving, Spike slowly leading her back to the kitchen for food. She, however, couldn’t keep the smile off her face.