• Published 31st Mar 2014
  • 8,186 Views, 89 Comments

This Gift - Dconstructed Reconstruct

Six years after her ascension, Twilight and Spike have started to grow apart. Spike starts to fear what age will do to him, and he comes to the realization that he must tell Twilight a shocking truth before it's too late.

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Chapter Three (Redux)

That’s weird. My pain is gone.

I stood up and looked around. The fog was so thick that I could barely see my claws in front of me, even when I flailed them around.

This place… It feels warm. That’s impossible though.

I looked down at my body. It didn’t look any different. It somehow felt hollow, although I couldn’t explain why.

I crouched and grabbed some of the snow from the ground. It was as warm as grass on a spring day.

Just where the heck am I?

I heard whispering in the fog. Out of the corners of my eyes, I saw what looked like the shapes of ponies, yet when I turned to face them, they vanished, leaving only the faint sound of wind blowing. The voice in the mist sounded so familiar, but I couldn’t put a claw on just who it was. It beckoned me forward. With no other real choice, I moved towards it.

Buildings from Ponyville came into view. I rushed towards the nearest one and ran my claw over its wall. Its surface felt like glass, with only small cracks to give it texture. I walked to the next building and inspected it, finding more fissures and glass-like material.

The fog cleared as I moved further into the town. When the fog became thin enough to see through, I saw the full extent of Ponyville’s state. All the buildings were damaged, a few beyond repair. Spires of crystal or ice dotted the landscape, some obviously having been used to tear buildings apart.

It looks like a blizzard and hurricane took turns trashing the town.

Again, I heard that voice whispering. It led me directly into the town’s main square. The only building still standing there was Town Hall, its walls a mixture of its normal architecture and more of the crystalline material.

I walked up to the double doors of the building and quickly realized they were encased in the same icy crystal. I placed a claw on the ice to try and find a way to remove it. As soon as I did, the doors cracked, splintering apart like they had been struck with a hammer.

Cautiously, I moved forward, gazing around in the hopes of understanding what had happened. Inside, I saw nothing but mounds of snow and icicles, all of which felt warm to my touch.

The voice once again emanated from somewhere ahead. I rushed to it, the clacking and scratching of my claws drowning out the voice momentarily. It led me to a beat-up door. I instantly recognized it as the same one from the crystal palace. The gem above the frame glowed an ominous lavender as it beckoned to me. I steeled myself for whatever horrors could lie ahead as I opened the door. I was shocked when I found myself looking at Golden Oak’s main floor.

I rubbed my eyes and took the sight in. Aside all the books being scattered in every direction imaginable, the library looked exactly how I had last seen it minutes ago. Still, something about it felt off. I couldn’t quite put a claw on it.

‘S…p…i…k…e… W….a…k….e… u….p…’

The voice rang clearer this time and had originated from upstairs. I took off chasing after it.

As I raced up the stairs, it felt as if I wasn’t getting anywhere. What should have taken mere moments started to feel like hours, like the time Twi and I had tried to climb Sombra’s endless stairs. My pace eventually slowed. I started to lose hope of ever reaching the top. Just as I was considering going back, the stairs came to a sudden end. At the very top, I saw a white light. With one final step, I entered it. It left me blind of a couple of seconds.

When my eyes finally adjusted, I was utterly shocked to find myself not in Twilight’s room as I had expected, but walking down the hall leading to Canterlot Palace’s throne room. Only difference was that, like Ponyville before it, it too looked as if it had been frozen over. The marble pillars were either worn or shattered, and the once brightly colored ceiling looked as if it had been torn apart by strong winds, revealing black clouds and heavy snowfall.

The only objects that appeared to have been left untouched by the ravages of whatever had befallen the palace were the stained windows that held the many chronicles of Equestria, from its earliest struggles against Discord to the last major event with the Tree of Harmony. My eyes set themselves on the window that depicted me as the triumphant hero who vanquished Sombra and restored peace to the Crystal empire. A flood of nostalgia filled my being. A lot had happened since Twilight and I moved to Ponyville.

As I walked to Mother’s throne, I noticed new stained windows I had never seen before. I stopped at the first one. I kind of wish I hadn’t, though.

The centerpiece was clearly a depiction of me. It wasn’t like the one used for when I had saved the Crystal Empire, but rather, it was me in my current size and age. Yet, I wasn’t portrayed in a triumphant pose. Instead, I was laid on a crystalline casket, a white flower gripped in my claws. All around me were the ponies I had come to know as friends: AJ, Dash, Pinkie, Rarity, and Fluttershy. Mom and Auntie Luna were also there, their expressions clearly filled with sorrow. Strangely enough, Twilight was not present at the scene. Instead, she was in the bottom section of the image, alone, her back turned to everypony.

I moved ahead to the next image. This one was of Canterlot Castle, enveloped in what looked like a massive lavender bubble. Above it were clouds shaped like ponies, circling, raining down ice over the city.

I move ahead, gazing at more and more images: ice raining down on ponies, blizzards ravaging entire cities, ponies frozen in place as the equine-shaped clouds grew larger and larger.

Then I reached the final stained window. Instead of an image, it was blank, almost as if it had been complexly frozen over. I took one step back from it, and the ground shook below my feet. Before my mind could properly process it, the floor gave way to a black abyss. As the sensation of weightlessness hit, the feeling of pure ice entering my gut overpowered all my other senses. Instinctively, I screamed as the void consumed me.

I landed on something crystalline. At first, I wondered if I had somehow ended up deep in the crystal caverns under Canterlot. When my sight finally adjusted, I found myself desperately wishing I had been correct.

Under my claws were thousands upon thousands of ponies, all trapped within a thick sheet of ice, their expressions frozen in perpetual horror. I looked up and saw eight monoliths of ice. My eyes widened as I realized who was trapped in each one.

My friends, frozen in place, all turned to each other with faces full of rage. Mom and Auntie Luna, snarling, locked as if ready to pounce on each other. At the very back of the group, I saw the sight that made my blood run completely cold. Twilight, face full of sorrow, hooves wrapped around an orange scarf.

My scarf.

I fell on my knees and punched the ice below me. I could feel tears swelling in my eyes as the same question kept repeating in my head over and over like a swarm of angry bees: why? The emptiness in me felt larger than before, numbing me to the deepest parts of my being. I looked down and noticed ice creeping up my legs, entrapping me just like the others. The sound of wicked neighing filled the air.

‘S….p…i…k….e… W….a…k…e… u…p…’

That same voice—so soothing and so welcoming. It beckoned me forward, even though I could no longer move.

I gazed up and saw a light. It was so warm, so safe. I reached out a claw. The malicious neighing grew louder, becoming a din that nearly drove me insane. I reached out. I had to reach that light.

I had to.

* * *

Slowly, I opened my eyes. For a second, I felt as if I it was all still just a dream, but as my vision sharpened, I realized that it wasn’t. I knew because the first thing I saw was Twilight’s face, eyes damp with tears.

“Spike!” she cried, moving closer to me, yet just before wrapping her hooves around my chest, she stopped and slowly backed away. Her smile faded and her lips started quivering.

I slowly tried to sit up, but my body felt too numb. I turned to Twilight. “Twi, I need a bit of help here.”

For some reason, my words made Twi’s face contort further. She obliged nonetheless, but as soon as she had helped me up, she retreated.

I turned to Twilight, my sight settling on the damp marks running down from her eyes to her cheeks. The more I saw her, the more I saw the tell-tale sign of a struggle against the elements. Her hair looked frazzled, sported patches of frost, and her lips were a slight blue hue.

“Twi,” I started, moving my claw towards her.

She recoiled at the sight and broke into sobs, gently pushing my claw away from her. “Please, I-I don’t…” She hung her head. “I’m a b-bad pony, Spike. I-I really a-am…”

I grabbed hold of Twilight’s hoof and brought it to my cheek. “No, Twi, you’re not the bad one here.” I turned to look at her and almost felt my heart stop. She was gazing at me through tearful eyes, lips turned as far down as they could go. “I shouldn’t have done something so… stupid.” I diverted my gaze. “I… knew there was a blizzard, yet I still walked into it because… because…” I clenched my teeth. “I’m… I’m so sorry.”

Twilight’s only reply was a stifled sob.

“I’ll send Mom a letter. I’ll ask her to take me to Canterlot Palace. Don’t worry. I’ll be out of your mane pretty soon.” Bitterly, I sighed and used my weakened telekinesis magic to lift the nearest piece of parchment and a quill. A glance at Twilight revealed that her expression had not changed since my words. The fact she was not doing anything to stop me confirmed what I had already known. Of course she’s not stopping you. Things will be better this way.

“No!” Twilight cried out. Her scream gave me pause, but it was her tossing herself on me that completely ruined my concentration. She wrapped her hooves around me and wailed into my chest, tears running down my scales.

“Spike, d-don’t go, please!” Meekly, she looked up at me. “I’m the one w-who should…. should…” She closed her eyes and buried her face in my chest again. “I’m sorry, Spike, I-I… I’m so sorry. Hate me, scorn me, or never speak to me again; I don’t care what you choose to do—j-just… j-just don’t leave me again!”

Twilight’s words horrified me. Without a second thought, I wrapped my arms around her, sharing in the embrace. Twilight’s body warmed my own in ways no fire ever could.

Tears started to build in my eyes as I broke the embrace and lifted Twi’s face. I gazed into her eyes—those beautiful amethyst eyes, so full of life, spirit, and affection instead of the cold indifference from earlier—and smiled.

“Twilight,” I started, but found no real words to speak. As more and more tears welled in my eyes, I started to realize what my nightmare had shown me. I finally understood why I could never leave her, and why she could never leave me. She had risked her very life to bring me back to safety because, deep down, she cared for me in a way no pony ever could.

Mother’s words rang in my head.

“My son, you are young. You’ve many years ahead of you. One day, you will find that special someone that will love you for who you are deep down. You just have to be patient.”

“But what if I never find someone who will love me?”

“Never say never. Love comes from the most unexpected of places. Just have faith that it will find you.”

“Spike,” Twilight started, eyes gazing deeply into mine. “I… I…” She sighed and smiled. “I really do love you. I’m sorry if I waited this long to tell you. I was just… j-just—”

I wrapped Twi in a tighter embrace, breaking her train of thought entirely. I knew what she was going to say, and she did not need to say it.

“Spike... I don’t know where the future is going to take us. But as long as I’m with you, I can face it.”

“We will face it together,” I said.

Twilight replied by embracing me tighter. “I know.”

We pulled back ever so slightly, our eyes connecting with one another. Our breaths grew calm, and our eyes sparkled with warmth and joy. No more words were needed. We pressed our foreheads together, at last accepting the lessons our hearts had bestowed upon us. It was a gift, what we had, one we would treasure for as long as we both lived.

“We've got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can't just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it's going to get on by itself. You've got to keep watering it. You've got to really look after it and nurture it.”

-John Lennon