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If you think about it, when you're writing you're not telling the truth, right? Right?! Yeah, that sounds right.


Being a princess is stressful, but your peers and friends can certainly help.

That was what Twilight had in mind when she invited Luna over for tea one afternoon. A relaxing, friendly meeting between two fellow princesses where they can commiserate and share their experiences. An invitation to a stronger friendship than they had before, offered to a pony displaced in time.

What she got was an uncomfortable assertion about her relationship with her number one assistant, Spike. One that she is having difficulty refuting.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 247 )

You know, in a way, even when it's potrayed in a positive light, Spike always kind of is regulated to the role of Twilight's obident servant. This puts his breakdown in "Equestria Games" and his devotion to Twilight in "Spike at Your Service" into perspective. Spike has unknowingly been raised to believe that his self worth is connected to Twilight. Outside of being her assistant, he does not have a life of his own. He doesn't know this, but even when he rebels against Twilight for not treating him properly, things rarely improve. :twilightoops:

Maybe it's just looking too deeply into things, but it makes Spike quite the tragic character when you think about it. Yet another case of "Unfortunate Implications".

This story makes me cry, its so cute! And sad. And cute!

This is much too truthful to be funny. Truly one of the saddest stories I've read in a while.

Do as I say, dragon slave. :twilightsmile:

That was very thought provoking.
Luna was awesome.
Well done.

Excellent, I do like introspection's of truth. You must ask what Celestia was thinking when she gave Spike's care over to Twilight. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if this was carefully orchestrated by Celestia with help from her sister.

It's about time someone wrote a story like this. It's true that Twilight tends to treat Spike more like a servant than a friend. Hopefully, there will be an episode like this story in the upcoming season, though I doubt it.

5219757 Indeed, and I think that's because the DHX staff would say that they don't interpret it in that way. Of course, just because that's not what they intended for it be to seen as, does not mean the implications aren't still there.

Comment posted by otaku-Drake deleted Nov 3rd, 2014

5220436 Ugh! That episode. I really hope that this season, they actually do something with this character instead of having him be the butt of all the jokes, but knowing these writers, I'm not crossing my fingers. I think this problem stems mainly from the fact that the writers have absolutely no idea what to do with him. It's a shame the writers aren't allowed to read fanfiction. Otherwise, I'm sure they could come up with some decent episodes for Spike instead of dragging him through the mud all the time. The only episode where he was treated with any decency at all is the episode "Inspiration Manifestation."

Harwick #11 · Nov 3rd, 2014 · · 4 ·

Eh, I think this kind of interpretation misses what Spike really is... He's Twilight's squire. He keeps up her armor (the books in the library) and cooks her meals and cleans for her so she can continue to train and be at peak readiness to answer the champion's call. As such, he contributes an important role to the protection of Equestria while learning to be a champion himself some day. (Steps to which he has been taking more and more in recent seasons.) Fans who want them to be equal, or simply siblings, miss this important dynamic to their relationship... He is her assistant, and it's a hugely important position to him, not because he's been brainwashed into it, but because it has true, measurable value to Equestria and also helps keep someone he cares about safe and sane.

I personally feel that someday Spike will be the big hero, and likely have a youth under his wing learning from him as well.

That all said, this story was well written, interesting, and ended on a very sweet note.

5220464 What about "Secret of My Excess", where he finally confessed his feelings to Rarity, and Twilight expressed very real concern about what was happening to him?

And what about "Equestria Games", where Spike was being hailed as a hero by an entire empire?

And what about "Crystal Empire, Part 2" when he was not only able to help Twilight defeat Sombra's traps, but also managed to get the crystal heart to Cadence in time?

Oh, and what about "Lesson Zero", where he was the only one who tried to do something about Twilight's descent into madness before it got out of hoof?

D48 #13 · Nov 3rd, 2014 · · 2 ·

That was very good, and it clearly demonstrates that while you can bolt wings onto Twilight, Luna is still best princess. :rainbowlaugh:

5220573 Spike did get to do real work in Lesson Zero and some other early episodes as you pointed out, but his roll in Crystal Empire was purely subsidiary to Twilight. He enabled Twilight to clear out the traps, tagged along as she found the heart, and only wound up saving the day by acting as a delivery boy for her after she got stuck so even that was him being a follower and servant rather than a primary actor. The only reason he was hailed as a hero in Equestria Games was a throwback to what he did against Sombra so there was no action at all on his part there besides the screw ups discussed in the story. Looking at the pattern, things with Spike are getting worse, not better as the show goes on, and he is not the only one. :derpytongue2:

5220573 "Secret of My Excess"--the relationship went nowhere. In fact, the whole subplot of Spike has severely been downplayed or, if not, outright dropped. Also,tthis is the only time where Twilight was shown to have genuine concern for Spike.

"Equestria Games"--Regardless, Spike was still humiliated and dragged through the mud all for the sake of comedy.

"The Crystal Empire, Part 2"--Again, the events of this episode don't matter if they're just going to go back to the status quo at the start of next week's episode. This is actually one bad aspect of the show: a character having to learn the same lesson over and over and over again. (For example, Rainbow Dash learning humility or Fluttershy having to overcome a certain fear.)

"Lesson Zero"--This is one of the few episodes where Spike is shown to genuinely care about Twilight. It surprises me that the others seem to have learned their lesson when it came to "It's about Time." Yet both "A Canterlot Wedding" and "Games Ponies Play" contradicts the canon set up by previous episodes.

I've honestly lost a little respect for the writing staff of the show. To them, Spike seems to be the hardest to write. 'Spike at Your Service' was an abomination that completely destroyed Spike's character.

5220891 5220922 While I do think that this show generally does try to follow through on its continuity, Season 4 in particular seemed, at times, to have problems with the writers picking and choosing what continuity points to remember and what to disregard.

Amm #17 · Nov 3rd, 2014 · · 1 ·

I really enjoyed how Luna was written in this fic. Older terms cropping up with fixed grammar is perfect for how her situation would turn out. While one can fix how they speak, one can't forget half f their vocabulary easily. Twilight was also written very well, what with her slight lapses of sanity and worry. And Spike, for what little he appeared in a fic centered around him, was nicely done.

My curiosity goes to whether it's helpful to break him out of her servitude now. Would he really be happier with such a change when he's been trained from a young age to serve?

I personally found it to be quite funny. Mainly due to Luna.

D48 #18 · Nov 3rd, 2014 · · 4 ·

5220930 Bear in mind that episode was written by the same idiot that wrote Mare Do Well (Merriwether Williams), so I tend to look at that as a case of a writer that should be kicked for being incapable of writing the characters more than anything else. Of course, the fact that we are still stuck with that idiot after that does not reflect well on the people making decisions and there have been other quality issues across the board so I am still with you overall.

5220936 Yeah, season 4 has been something of a disaster for continuity to the point that I consider it 100% optional and have not even bothered watching some of the episodes. There are a few bits I like such as the additional characterization for the wonderbolts which makes a lot of the earlier issues with them make a lot more sense in hindsight, but then they did things like constrain all of seasons 1, 2, and 3 to happen in less than a year with the season opener which makes no sense at all, and the season finale was a total train wreck as far as continuity and characterization are concerned.

5220936 That's to be expected when you have new writers coming in, and based on who we''ve got for season five, I think it's only going to get worse in terms of keeping continuity. Thank God M.A. Larson is coming back!

I really like how Luna was written here, with the actual opinions that a millennium plus royal would have, instead of some weird emo-populist hybrid. And yeah, cruelly accurate about Spike.

Very nice story and a well thought out, deep subject. I've never thought about Spike this way before, and the whole moral discussion is very thought provoking and satisfying. Well done.

This was a pretty interesting relationship study. Spike and Twilight's relationship is probably the most interesting dynamic on the show, just by virtue of it being so nebulously defined by the show writers. It's always nice to read another interpretation of it, and there's a good bit of character development going on here. The ending had just the right amount of hope and optimism to leave me with a smile.

A very solid Spike fic. Much enjoyed. Faved and liked.

Really good fic you have here...
As for what Spike is to Twilight, It's really up to the writer on how they portray Twilight and Spike's relationship ...
Like some will write them as siblings, others (like me) will write them as a mother/son pair :twilightsmile:

I'm saddened you only have 20 followers when you just wrote one of the best stories I've ever read.

I bet Celestia set this up with Luna. That's not to say that Luna doeesn't have those opinions but I bet Celestia already explained all this to Luna and then realized that Luna would be perfect to help Twilight realize what's going on.

and for some reason unknown, they made them a couple :applejackconfused:

“Family is not a single pony, Twilight Sparkle, it is a whole host of ponies."

...Holy shit, either Celestia and Luna aren't even aware of a lot of the social changes in society, Celestia is still trying to catch Luna up with the modern world, or this version of Equestria is a lot more...backwater than represented in canon.

This was a really good story, And I have no complaints...
At least none when it comes to actually complain about the story. You made it flawlessly as far as I saw.

Now though, the only thing I am going to "Complain about" is that my inner Philosophy courses leapt out at me at some of Luna´s comments.
Which is good! After all, you wanted to show how she had other ideals, and had ways of backing them up.

But still...
Luna! There is a reason to educate the masses, to increase the autonomy and effective Freedom of each individual subject, which benifits the social order.

Sorry, could not keep it in.

Spike blushed a little, and his smile brightened. He turned closer to Twilight, trying to put his small arms around her barrel and not succeeding. “Thanks,” he said, muffled by her coat.

Twilight squeezed her hoof around him. ‘I haven’t hugged him like this in a while, have I? I give my friends hugs like this all the time!’ She looked down at him pressing into her side, her giving him a half-hug. ‘Except...’

Twilight slightly pushed Spike away from her, eliciting a small displeased grunt from Spike, before plopping down on her rump and scooping him up with both of her forelegs. Spike eagerly returned the hug with a pleased sound.

Twilight set him down, seeing the confused smile on his face. “What was that for?”

Twilight chuckled and ruffled the frill on his head. “I just told you! I just haven’t had a hug from my number-one-assistant lately. Especially not a real big hug like that.”

This was an excellent use of visual cues; you almost didn't need to have her say why she was giving him a full hug rather than a half hug. The scene is essentially the perfect way to end the piece... having her both metaphorically and literally move him from an assistant who only gets basic recognition and praise to a true friend who "deserves" to be fully embraced.

I especially liked how you treated Luna. She's not being aristocratic or cold with her belief in a sort of caste system, but genuinely believes her understanding of a much older Equestria's values. It's like the papers I read of slaveholders in the antebellum United States... people who actually believed that slavery was a good. Twilight's reaction to Luna's polite revelation of how she was treating Spike was handled masterfully, and this work has my praise for doing so.

That and the hug... mostly the hug!:twilightsheepish:

I'm impressed...... Nice

Man...this was real. Aside from being extremely well written, this story just hits you hard with the truth of their relationship. I've always felt bad for Spike, as he seems to always get left out or is given the short end of the stick in most situations. The ending really got me in the feels. I really hope a future episode does something like this and actually changes the nature of their relationship somewhat.

5220930 Well, that was because we had Merriweather Williams collaberating with Dave Polsky, and that team up was almost doomed to failure from the start because of their writing styles.

Thankfully, most of the other writers, Meghan McCarthy especially, seem to at least realize that Spike is not an idiot. Season 4 was a big turning point for him, and I really hope the writers can continue to build him up from there.

This explains so much. Looking forward to more.
Keep up the good work. Deus tecum.


Spike is love. Spike is life.

Luna can be amazingly out of date sometimes.

5221717 Yeah, but unfortunately, that also means that if they don't see Spike as Twilight's servant despite times when they write him as if that's exactly what he is, then they're unintentionally creating a rather glaring problem.

Much like how everyone is almost always worried about Pinkie Pie being flanderized, because of what's happened to other characters that share her personality, everyone seems to look for any reason to argue about Spike being Twilight's servant. I blame "Owls' Well That Ends Well" for dropping the ball so harshly when Spike finally got the chance to shine. If it weren't for that, maybe it would be easier to see Spike's relationship to Twilight in the way the writers want it to be seen.

Alas, if "Rainbow Falls" is any indication, once something is written, there's very little editing done to make sure that everything clicks.

Hum. On the one hand, this training should produce the perfect Butler/Personal Assistant. On the other hand, it's being conducted by his parental figure, before he's gained any emotional maturity or even perspective.
Yeah, there's a problem there.


5221886 Probably the former. Even by looking into books, one can miss alot of subtle notes and such. Looking back, makes a bit of sense. Luna is associated with the Elements of Honesty, Loyalty and Laughter while Celestia with Friendship/Magic, Kindness and Genorosity.

IMN #39 · Nov 3rd, 2014 · · 1 ·

This story has wonderful characterization, beautiful in-depth analysis, and a unique conversational style.

It saddens me to see a character treated so poorly in such an open manner, and I adore fics that highlight this flaw in mlp.

To that I say bravo.


In a way, Twilight herself seems to have the same problem as Spike, but to Celestia.

5222462 Yeah, but Twilight seems to have gotten better at that. Spike, on the other hand, is another story.

It's a good story, don't get me wrong. The problem is that most of the treatment Spike gets is more of "laser-guided karma" for his snark during the episodes than anything else.

Anyway, I wonder how pissed-off the Dragons would get if they heard any of that.

I don't think that calling what is happening brainwashing really... fits the scenario here. This kind of self-esteem dependency is not unique to a servant position, and a distant parent figure can unintentionally assassinate the self-worth of their child just as well-meaningly as I am suggesting Twilight has done to Spike here, and even if the parent is imperfect unless they are outright abusive the child still loves the parent and it's rarely suggested that that some form of Stockholm Syndrome is taking place.

And you're right, Spike has a lot of genuine reasons to feel proud of his position with Twilight, both because he cares for Twilight a lot and because, as she is important to the nation, so is he. Luna was pretty much right when she was suggesting that Spike has an important job even if it's not as important as Twilight's job. But I think he values himself for his service to Twilight a bit more than is strictly healthy, and the street isn't as two-way as it should be. A child being responsible for an adult's peace of mind, and in return the adult often treats her friends with more care and affection than she does him is a troubling scenario.

Squires are both servants and students, and Spike seems to veer heavily towards the servant side by the way he is treated in the show... but it could be... fanonized? assumed? whatever fans do to fill in the blanks this show has, that there is a lot of offscreen education going on, and some of the responsibilities Twilight asks of Spike aren't just to make things easier for her but are to help him grow and learn... but I think it requires a bit of reading between the lines... I do like that concept, though. Seems like a pretty realistic destiny if the assumption is that Spike grows up like anyone else and eventually leaves Twilight's service.

And thanks a lot for the compliments even if you disagreed with the conclusions. :twilightsmile:

It's a little of all of the columns, actually. Celestia and Luna, just being in the position they are in, are a bit out of touch, and Luna has a lot to absorb, and she's only starting to get to the subtle things. A thousand years is an awful long time.

As for the third one... I imagine Equestria as a world that doesn't entirely match our idea of a modern society, but is pretty close. For example, I'd say it didn't go through an Industrial Revolution so much as they went through an Industrial Gradual Turn. The Mane 6 seem to be fully functioning adults in their late teens, and this is never considered unusual. There's apparently a large middle class and public education, but at least in this version there is a smaller amount of compulsory education.

I'm sort of curious as to why the description of families as a "host" caused this reaction, though.

5222420 Wait, is that canon? Is that in an episode of Season 4, or from the comics? (I admit, I didn't watch most of season 4.)

Well, you're officially smarter then all of the show's writers.

The insight displayed in the creation of this story is excellent, and the execution is exquisite! (And yes, I tend toward poetics and alliteration when I am moved by a tale.)

The interaction between Luna and Twilight was, in my mental vision, nigh unto perfect, from the opening jest to the departing lines. The shift in gears quite visible in Twilight's heart was lovely to see. And Spike... I couldn't feel sorry for him; he's in an incredibly lucky position in life, bondservant or no (and I don't have anywhere near the objections to the role that Twilight does) and since Twilight has lots of friends to help make him more than that, he's even more fortunate still.

Put another way, I could see this conversation happening in an episode of the show, and though it would go over the head of most of the baseline target audience, I think it would spark more than a few really interesting discussions between viewers of nearly all ages and their friends... and parents. Might even be good for people ;)

Thank you for sharing this most excellent tale. I look forward to seeing more from you.

Light and laughter,

and they could use the help after the abuse they felt at the hands of Count Tea.”



It is.

[Princess Elements]


[Mane 6 Elements]

As you can see Tia holds Generosity, Kindness, and Magic. While Luna holds the others.

What a wonderful, insightful story. A lot of people think that 'world building' is just dropping paragraphs of exposition, but you managed to do it very organically within the flow of Twilight and Luna's conversation. Additionally, as a lover of Twilight and Spike's strange relationship, it was delightful to see the direction you took it at the end of the story. Top marks.

5222877 ... I'm seeing THREE reds.. I'm not sure how you're able to tell which one is which from that angle/shot. (Though I'm sure other shots show it better.)

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