• Published 26th Feb 2015
  • 7,341 Views, 351 Comments

[Archived] Scales and Carapaces - ProjectZerro

During Spike's travels throughout Equestria, he comes across a certain starving changling queen. Against his better judgement he decides to help her, this one act of kindness will put in motion a tale of loss and gain.

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Chapter 7: Birthday/Duty

The setting sun in the distance looked rather beautiful today. This was the thought on most of Canterlot’s residence, for some reason today’s sun seemed to shine softly and wrap all under its rays in a comfortable warmth. Many figured that their princess of the sun was rather happy today, that was the only explanation.

Celestia and Luna were working through the last of their daily work, a warm smile plastered on Celestia’s smile the whole day.

“Sister you know we could finish this on our own right?” Luna spoke up to her elder sister.

“I know Luna, but I want us both to be there for Twilight’s birthday, since Cadence can’t go I’d like for us both to go instead. Besides I thought you’d be delighted to go back to Ponyville?” Celestia finished another pile of work.

“Of course I do! I was just thinking that you’d want to go first...” Luna bit her lip as Celestia looked up at her.

“And pray tell, why is that dear sister?” She raised her brow to Luna.

“W-well…nevermind, let us hurry and finish, we would like us to be there before nightfall.” Luna picked up her pace and worked through her last pile.

Celestia blinked and shrugged, picking up the pace as well.

“Good work your highness.” Blue Sky said looking through Twilight’s work, she had sped through all the paperwork she had missed. But now there was nothing left to do for the day.

“Thanks Sky but I feel like I haven’t done anything at all…” Sky had taken care of most of the work while she was on her forced break. It was no wonder he had to deal with Celestia’s workload as well.

“You’re fine princess, by tomorrow there will be a whole new set of things to do.” Sky laughed to himself and took all the paperwork off Twilight’s desk with the help of two assistants. “Oh, I almost forgot, your friends are in your private dining room, they said they had something for you.”

“Really? Who came?” Twilight stood up and dusked off her princess garb, she decided to change before going to see who it was.

“You’ll see. Have a good day Twilight.” Sky and the assistants all left Twilight in her study, she quickly changed out of the dress and into a light blue short-sleeved dress shirt, blue vest and purple skirt.

She quickly made her way down the hall to the private dining area, it was meant for friendly dinners and such. She opened the door and saw Applejack, Rarity, Flutttershy and Rainbow Dash sitting at the table. She smiled and waved at them, but her attention was drawn to a new face. Another unicorn, one with a teal mane and dark purple fur, she had on a wonderful hooded dress and seemed to be rather nervous. Twilight chalked it up to being new in Ponyville, since she hadn’t seen this mare before.

She walked over to the nervous mare and smiled, “Hello there I’m Princess Twilight Sparkle, it’s nice to meet you, not be rude, but I haven’t seen you in town before. Are you new in town?”

The dark purple unicorn nodded, “Y-yes, I came into town just last night, your friends have made me feel quite at home.” She reached out a nervous hand after a moment, “M-my name is Amethyst Silk, it’s wonderful to meet you.”

Twilight blinked and shook the mare’s hand, getting a sigh of relief from her, “It’s nice to meet you as well.”

She let go of Silk’s hand and turned to her friends, “What’s the occasion? It rare that you guys show up without letting me know ahead of time.”

Rainbow gawked at Twilight for a moment, “Wow, he wasn’t kidding, she did forget.”

Applejack eyed Rainbow, “Pay up.” And put out a waiting hand.

Rainbow Dash cursed under her breathe and pulled out ten bits and placed them in Applejack’s hand. “Last time I bet on this egghead…”

“I’m still not getting any answers here.” Twilight said crossing her arms, “What’s going on?”

“Well Sugarcube, it just so happens that today is a very special day, and we’ve got a very special surprise fer ya.” Applejack stood up and walk to the kitchen, “Okay bring it in.”

Twilight watched in awe as Pinkie Pie walked out of the kitchen with a decently sized cake with a big ‘32’ candle on top of it. Twilight’s eyes weld up for a second but she quickly wiped away tears as all her friends stood up and walked over to her.

“Happy birthday Twilight darling.” Rarity said smiling.

“Another year gone by and we’re all still together.” Fluttershy chimed in happily.

Twilight looked at the cake and all her friends, then the smile on her face faded a bit, “Not all of us…Spike still isn’t…”

“Then wish for him to be here.”

Twilight and her friends looked over to Silk who was now smiling at her. “If you want him to be here, then wish for it, it never hurts to try.”

Twilight blinked, looked at the cake, shrugged and smiled a bit, "Why not." She blew out the candle and said aloud, “I wish Spike were here.”

“Happy birthday Twilight.”

Twilight’s eyes shot open as she turned around quickly and to see the owner of the voice. Purple scales, green spines running along his back, two wings tucked behind him, a long tail that sat behind him and a big smile on his face. A green shirt with a flame decal taking up most of the shirt, loose but fitting purple pants, the same ones she watched him put away. The figure in front of her held out his arms and opened his mouth to talk, “I’m home Twilight.”

Unlike her friend’s reactions, Twilight’s was slow. She moved slowly to Spike and reached a hand out and touched his cheek, the scales felt soft to her touch. She remembered the smooth touch of the scales on her fur, it all came back to her. He was real. Tears built up and came streaming down her face as she quietly hugged Spike tightly, she clung to him as if he about to vanish. Spike wrapped his arms and wings around Twilight and tears ran down his face as well. “I missed you so much…”

Twilight blinked and looked at Spike, she began crying into his chest loudly with a big smile on her face, “I missed you so much Spike! Welcome home! Thank you so much! Thank you!”

The six mares watched the touching scene unfold in front of them, even Rainbow had to admit it was a kind of sweet. From behind the door to the room Sky and a few guards smiled and watched, “Happy birthday princess.”

Twilight stopped crying after a while and they cut the cake up in enough pieces for everyone, Spike and Twilight were sitting next to each other with Silk on the other side of Spike. Applejack and Rainbow Dash were sitting next to Silk, Fluttershy and Rarity both were sitting next to Twilight and Pinkie was sitting across from Spike. Each of them were listening to some of the stories Spike hadn’t been able to tell in his letters.

“I tried to talk to them but they wouldn’t listen to reason, I got by without fighting too much though, remind me to thank Shining when I see him again.” Spike laughed a bit when Twilight got a worried look on her face.

“I’m just glad you’re not hurt Spike, I was so worried I had a terrible nightmare about you getting hurt! I’m just glad it was all in my head.” Twilight leaned on Spike’s shoulder and smiled.

“Nightmare? Really? I’m sorry for making you worried.” Spike looked up, “Did any of you have nightmares like Twi’s?”

They all got saddened looks, “Well not exactly…” Applejack spoke up first, “Mah nightmare was about you…burning down Sweet Apple Acres…”

“What!? But I’d never do that!” Spike was taken aback and was bit hurt.

“I know that Spike! It was a terrible nightmare, I guess it was me wondering if you’re journey changed you at all…” Applejack sighed and Spike gave her a warm smile, which caused her to smile back as well.

Rainbow leaned back a bit, “I dreamt you came to me and asked me to help you learn how to fly, but when I taught you, you just up and flew off without a word.” She looked at Spike, “I guess I thought you wouldn’t ever come back…”

Fluttershy looked like she wanted to stay quiet but spoke up, “I dreamt that you got all big and scary and tried to hurt me…” Spike’s spines flattened a bit and Fluttershy shook her head quickly, “I know you better than that, you’d never hurt me, any of us! But I thought that maybe…you’d come back mean or something…” Applejack shot her a smile and Fluttershy smiled back.

“Oh! Oh! My turn for dream sharing!” Pinkie stood up and waved her hand in the air, Spike chuckle and nodded for her to go ahead, “I had dream that you got all grumpy and serious after I asked you to come party with me.” She crossed her arms and pouted, “Then you said I was annoying and didn’t take anything serious, but I was thinking that you’d come back after a life and death experience and become a super duper party pooper that all serious and grump faced all the time.” Spike scratched under his chin in thought, he had one, but it made him realize how much he miss partying with Pinkie and his friends.

Then he turned his eyes on Rarity who was trying no to look at him, “I suppose it’s my turn…my nightmare was…awful…you were mad…furious…blaming me for wasting years of your life on me…” Spike had gotten up and hugged Rarity softly, she looked at him and blushed a bit, “But I was only being selfish, I know you don’t hate me, I suppose I just wanted you to be angry with me. But you’re better than that, and I know it.”

Spike smiled and stood up, he looked around at each of them, “I’m sorry for making you all feel this way, no matter what kind of adventure I had, I’m still the same drake you grew up with.”

Twilight smiled and looked at Silk who had her eyes on Spike, she was smiling warmly and had a gleam in her eyes, “So Silk, how long do you think it’ll be until you can walk again?”

Silk looked at Twilight and then at her legs, “I believe I should be walking in a few days, Sir Spike has been taking very good care of me.” Spike took a seat between them again and rubbed the back of his neck, “You’ve all done such an amazing job in raising him.”

Spike blushed but felt a sudden shiver down his spine, he stood up and stared at the closed door to the dining room. The door began shining with a yellow coat of magic. “Oh no, I knew I forgot something…”

The door open wide as Celestia and Luna walked into the dining room, “Happy birthday Twilight…Spike?” She looked at her adopted son like he was a phantom.

He raised his hand and waved, “Hi mom.” And then the princess of the sun suddenly hugged him.

“My darling son has returned home! Oh Spikey how have you been!?” Celestia kissed his cheeks over and over, a furious blush built on his face.

“M-mom! I’m fine, p-please not in front of the girls!” Spike may have said this, but he wasn’t making an active effort to break free from her grasp.

“I refuse, I’ve been so worried about you! I trusted you to travel on your own but I couldn’t help but worry day in and day out!” Celestia hugged him tightly and Luna walked past them.

“Sister is telling the truth, she lost a few night’s sleep wondering if Spike had on clean underpants.” Luna and the girls laughed as Spike groan at his mother.

“So Luna is this what you were hiding from me?” Celestia had let Spike go and walked up to her sister.

“Yes it is, we thought that you would like to see him earlier, so that you could spend more time with him.” Luna smiled and teased her flowing mane.

“Thank you for the thought Luna, but I’d much rather we came together.” Celestia then noticed the silent unicorn sitting in a wheelchair, her smiled faded into an inquisitive stare. This did not get past Spike. Spike had seen his mother eyeing Silk and could hear her shaking.

Spike rushed in front of Celestia blocking her view of the shivering Silk, “That’s Silk mom, a mare I met on my travels, she had a bad fight with some thieves and is letting her legs recover.” Spike tried to put on the best smile he could, hoping he could convince his mother, the princess of the sun and the ruler of Equestria. They were doomed.

“…I see, I would like to speak with Silk sometime tonight…” Spike opened his mouth, “And you as well young man.”

Spike gulped but a sigh of relief hit him when Celestia turned and her smile returned, “I have something for you Twilight, it’s a book I thought you’d find interest.” She walked over to Twilight and Luna looked at Spike.

She grabbed Spike and pulled him to the side, “What in Faust’s name is ‘she’ doing here?” She wasn’t so much angry as she was worried. “Did you want to get her locked away?”

“How did you…you saw our dreams didn’t you?” Spike’s voice had a hint of rage he didn’t know he could hold for Luna.

She blinked in surprise and put a hand on Spike’s shoulder, “Yes we did Spike. We are the princess of dreams as after all. However we do think now that it would have been wise to speak to you beforehoof…”

“Ya think? Anyway you’ve seen her dreams right? You know she’s not the same, and that’s saying a lot anyway, she wasn’t really ever evil from the start. She was just trying to feed her hive…and now…they’re…because I couldn’t…”

“Stop it.” Spike turned to see Silk had rolled up to him and Luna, her eyes now green and slit like before. “I refuse to have you blame yourself Spike. You forget…we were already dead when you found us…you saved me…you healed me and then you protected me…you have done nothing wrong.” Chrysalis’s eyes forced Spike’s self-doubt to sink back into the abyss.

Luna couldn’t help but be shocked, “Chry-, I mean Ms. Silk. I know that I personally have not met you, I have only seen the aftermath of the attack years ago, but I have seen your dreams…your nightmares…and I can only say this much…you did all that you could. You were a great queen to your people and they rest in peace knowing you are safe.”

Chrysalis looked at Luna and closed her eyes to stop any tears, when she opened her eyes again, they were of Silk’s, “That…means more to me than anything you could ever give…”

Twilight was outside the castle saying goodbye to her friends as Celestia led Spike, Luna and Silk to balcony to talk. She looked over Ponyville for a moment and looked at Silk who had her hand held together to stop them from shaking, beside her was Spike. Celestia couldn’t help but feel a maternal pride at the expression on Spike’s face, he was resolute, standing tall and ready to protect the mare by his side, even from his own mother. But she had to a job to do that took precedence over being a mother. “Queen Chrysalis, why are with my son?”

This was the time she had been waiting for, Chrysalis realized she’d have to face this sooner or later, but for whatever insane reason. She wasn’t sacred of Celestia. She certainly stood no chance against her, her first victory was because Celestia had not wanted to harm her subjects in releasing her true power. But she was ready to look Celestia in the eyes and tell her the truth. “All those years ago when I was utterly defeated by Shining Armor and Princess Cadence, my life came to painful halt. I will tell you exactly what happened.”

Celestia blinked, half-expecting Chrysalis to beg forgiveness, but instead she seemed…strong, very strong. But she was stronger still, “Continue.”

“I went to Canterlot during the wedding prepared to take it from you, at the time I was in need of a way to feed my people. How you look at my actions amounts to nothing now however. I took my hive and brought them down on your castle, and then we lost. Nearly half my hive were injured or dead.” Spike put a hand on Chrysalis’s shoulder, she looked at him and realized she had begun to shake, she resettled herself and went on. “After our defeat we returned to our home across the sea. But we were not there long, the other hive queens, my sisters, if you can even call them so, banished me and my hive from our home.” Celestia visibly gasped and Luna just stood silent.

“We were tired, hungry and unready to be forced into banishment. I lost more of my hive just getting back to Equestria, the place of our banishment. We made our home in several places, trying to live off of the emotions of those around us. This held various results, but in the end, we could bare sustain ourselves for a few years. My hive began to starve.” A rebellious tear fell down her stone-like face as she recalled the faces of the dead. “So I used the only option I had left, I gave them the magic, love I had stored in my body for the ninety years I have been alive. For the remaining years to come I gave every ounce of energy I had to keep my hive alive. When my body became frailer, my subjects became desperate, snatching up any traveler they could find and using our magic to force positive emotion out of them. This only worked for so long.”

Celestia bit back anger and continued to listen, she despised the thought of her subject drained of their magic and happiness, but she needed to hear the rest. “Our magic became weaker, and weaker, until we could only use our innate ability to change our appearance. Once again we began to starve. I expected to die any day and could only hope I died first, I could not handle watching my entire hive falling before me…” She looked up at Spike, “But then he came…he save me and gave my people a place of rest, I hoped to find a way to save them…I was being selfish. I knew my people could not be saved…” Chrysalis’s disguise fell apart and held Spike’s hand softly, “I resigned myself to the grip of death, only for Spike to save me. I was emotionally unstable, I still feel that I am…but he helped me for no reward at all. Showing me kindness that I had thought lost to me.”

She let go of Spike’s hand and grabbed the hand rails of the wheelchair, Spike went to help her but a single look from Chrysalis made him pause. She shook hard and slowly stood up and made her way slowly to Celestia, standing before her. Celestia was reminded that she and Chrysalis were the exact same height, “Spike saved my life, and I will use every day of my existence making up for what he has done. I will repay him for the kindness he’s given, whether you want me to or not.” Her legs gave way and Celestia caught her before she fell, “I will not waste what he has given.”

Celestia looked at Chrysalis and a warm small smile and helped Chrysalis back to the wheelchair, “Spike?” Spike looked at his mother who was smiling at him now, “You are responsible for her, and every action she takes will be weighed on you, are you-“

“Yes!” Spike smiled and looked at Chrysalis who had once again become Silk, “I will protect her and stay by her side, long after she can walk, not only because it’s my duty, but…it’s because she is my friend.” Silk blinked at Spike and smiled back.

Celestia smiled and hugged Spike softly, “You’ve become such a strong drake. I’ve been blessed with such a son.”

“Thank you mother.” Spike hugged his mother back and Luna looked at Silk and released a sigh of relief.

“Thank you for coming Celestia, Luna, I’m so glad I could spend my birthday with you, even if it was only a few hours.” Twilight hugged both Celestia and Luna while Spike was saying goodbye to Blue Sky, he was returning to Canterlot with the princesses. “This has been the best birthday ever!”

“I hope that many more will come after, farewell Twilight.” Celestia waved Sky over, when he reached her Celestia gave Spike a knowing wink and the three of them vanished in a flash of light.

Spike stretched, “Today has been quite the day huh Twi?” Twilight smiled at Spike and hugged him.

“Yes it has.” Twilight let go of Spike and watched as he walked over to Silk and pushed her back inside the castle, this made Twilight blink, “Uh Spike what are you doing?”

“Oh I forgot to tell you, I’ll be watching over Silk until she’s on her hooves again. So she’ll be staying in my room for a while.” Spike said with a smile.

“What!? No, no, no! That is definitely not happening!” Twilight‘s wings outstretched as she crossed over her chest.

“Why not? It’s not like we’re gonna be doing anything, she’s just sleeping on my bed while I take the couch.” Silk coughed and Spike looked at her.

“I’d rather you slept with me again, I’m still not quite ready to sleep alone…” She shifted a bit in the wheelchair as Twilight’s jaw dropped.

It had only been a few hours and things were already back to normal, “SPIKE DRAGUL SOLARIS!!!”

To be continued…hopefully…

Author's Note:

A second chapter for you all, thanks for the feedback you guys, I hope to get he next chapter out by next week.

By the way, I wanted to make Luna furious but that would just lead to misunderstandings, and while they work sometimes, I realized she would already know about this if she looked at Chrysalis's or Spike's dreams.