• Published 19th Apr 2015
  • 7,007 Views, 221 Comments

The Fillies of Canterlot Castle - MrAlterad



The young Twilight, Trixie, and Sunset are taught by Princess Luna in her castle. Exposing the fillies to everything that comes with being the Princess of Equestria.

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2. How to Bathe Your Dragon

As Sunset watched Twilight teleport after Trixie, she couldn't help but adopt a small smile. Despite how smart Twilight was, she still had a tendency to miss the obvious, a fact that briefly distracted Sunset from the encounter she was about to embark upon.

Maybe I should do her a favor and help her get used to teleporting around the castle. Sunset thought to herself as she approached the room next to their own. That's what friends do, right? She wondered, suddenly unsure of herself. I mean, that's why I'm going to help Trixie, because we're friends, she concluded in an attempt to reassure herself.

However, her line of thinking was short lived, as the walk to Spike's room was very brief, and Sunset now found herself standing before the door. The mare guarding the hall caught her eye, giving Sunset an inquisitive glance, prompting Sunset to shake her head. She intended to let herself in, and the guard knew Sunset well enough to catch on, and gave the filly a smile as she continued to guard the hall. Sunset took that smile for all it was worth, adopting a determined look as she entered.

After coming here everyday for a month, she had grown accustomed to how clean this room was when she arrived. Despite her efforts, however, it was never as clean when she left it. But not today! Today, this place will be spotless when I leave! She assured herself, not liking the idea that Cadance managed to keep Spike's room cleaner than Sunset could.

Though Spike's room had the same layout as the room Sunset and the others stayed in, it managed to look completely different from their own. A bedroom, a bathroom, and a main room with an attached balcony. That was what the two rooms had in common. The main room for Spike and Cadance was partitioned into several parts, most of it being for Spike to crawl and play around in, with toys not being used left in designated spots near the walls.

In the left corner was a make-shift kitchen area with cabinets and a table. A setup insisted by Cadance, not liking how long it took for food to reach their room. In this choice, Sunset was in agreement, as neither of them wanted to keep the dragon waiting when he was hungry. There was also a small couch, and a desk in the right corner with a small number of books on it, for Cadance, when Spike was taking a nap. As Sunset took in the clean room, her eyes fell to the foalsitter, and she resisted letting out a sigh as Cadance smiled at her.

“Hey Sunset.” Cadance let out heartily. She had a book in her hooves, and Spike was cradled next to her, soundly sleeping. Seeing Spike sleeping next to her like that made Sunset abandon any attempts at hiding her glare.

“Cadance,” Sunset started, giving the pegasus a cross look, “Since I'm here, you can leave now,” she curtly stated.

“Come now Sunset, please understand,” Cadance replied, her smile shifting as she closed the book, her eyes adopting a kind, yet determined look, “Luna tasked me with looking after Spike. I can't up and leave simply because you want me to.”

Sunset let out an annoyed sigh. She never understood why Luna left the task to the pegasus. Cadance was only a few years older than Sunset, not even old enough to call herself a mare, yet, Luna entrusted this pegasus to looking over a baby dragon. When Sunset had asked Luna why, she simply insisted that Sunset ask Cadance that question. And asking anything of Cadance was something Sunset had no intention of doing.

Spike must have been sleeping lightly, as their words stirred him. He rubbed his eyes as he looked to Sunset, then Cadance, and started waving his claws about as he let out a hearty series of noises.

Seeing Spike's actions filled Sunset with mixed feelings. Joy, and a touch of pride at see him trying to talk, and a touch of anger and something else that was directed towards Cadance, who, by occupation, had naturally spent more time with the baby dragon than Sunset.

“What's that Spike? It's time for din-din?” Cadance asked in a cooing voice, making Sunset groan internally. She didn't like the foal-speak Cadance did around Spike, but he seemed to enjoy it, and Sunset loathed the idea of copying her.

“If he's hungry, I can feed him.” Sunset let out as she picked up Spike with her magic, making the dragon adopt a confused look for a moment before waving his arms in the air with a smile.

“Be careful Sunset, his fangs, well, they're stronger now.” Cadance warned, making Sunset pause.

When she had extra time, she usually spent it with Spike; that wasn't the case this week, however, because of a certain change in her social life. Still, her time with the baby dragon had taught her some very important tidbits about dragons.

There was close to nothing known about them. Taking care of Spike has been an ... experience; and thinking on it, it occurred to Sunset that Cadance must have had a more trying time learning all there was about raising a dragon than Sunset. When his body developed, it seemed to happen overnight. One night, during the first week, his gummy teeth were barely noticeable, and the next morning he had a set of teeth that allowed him to eat food any foal his age wouldn't be able to chew. He was also strong for his size, stronger than a foal anyway, and Spike's claws were pointy, which could summon a surprised yelp from anypony caught by them unaware.

Hearing that his fangs were now stronger, Sunset appraised him, who was giving her a toothy grin. They don't look any stronger... Sunset thought to herself as she gathered what she needed to make Spike a daisy sandwich. Supposedly, a dragon could eat anything a pony could, and Spike had yet to prove otherwise. Finishing the simple meal in short order, she put it on a plate and sat Spike before the table, wondering what Cadance was referring to when-

Crunch.

Cadance winced as Sunset's eyes widened. Spike had cleanly bit into the sandwich, and the plate. He began to chew heartily, not bothered by the porcelain seasoning in the least.

“And there goes another plate fit for royalty.” Cadance let out with a sigh as she looked over the remaining dishes in her make-shift kitchen. “Thank Luna that he isn't bitey.”

“Bitey?” Sunset asked incredulously as she eyed Spike's fangs.

“We're lucky he doesn't bite or nibble on anything he can get his claws on.” Cadance explained as she cleaned up small pieces of fine dining that fell to the floor from Spike's sloppy eating.

If a dragon can eat a plate and be completely fine, then does that mean they eat more than just flowers and grass? Sunset wondered as Spike stopped eating, his face scrunching up before letting out a sneeze. The sneeze let out a very small jet of flame and a cloud of smoke that surprised both fillies. Sunset's ears then fell, as a small hope she harbored for the dragon was crushed. And here I was hoping we wouldn't have to deal with fire-breathing until he was older...

“Well, that was, something!” Cadance let out with a hint of forced enthusiasm as she started to clean the table of soot. “Um, Sunset,” she began as Sunset looked to her, “There wouldn't happen to be a fire extinguishing spell you could learn, would there?” Seeing where she was coming from, Sunset quickly nodded.

“I'll look into it tomorrow.” Sunset stated, then her brow furrowed as she realized that she had just thoughtlessly agreed to do something for the pegasus, “Not that I needed you to point that out!” Sunset quickly affirmed, getting a surprised look from Cadance. She appraised Sunset for a moment, seeing the flustered look on her face, then, Cadance nodded to herself as she gave the younger filly a kind smile.

“Sunset, Princess Luna told me that Spike may want a particular thing to eat when his fangs were strong enough. I'm going to go get my hooves on some. While I'm gone, could you watch over him? Maybe give him a bath?” She asked, surprising Sunset, who immediately gave Cadance an eager nod. “Excellent!” She then realized something as she looked to Sunset, “He likes to play in the water, so keep that in mind.” She explained as she gathered some saddlebags, before heading out of the room. “I'll be back as soon as I can-"

“Take your time!” Sunset insisted in a demeaning manner, being surprised by her own tone of voice, “I, I mean, make sure you get everything we'll need.” Sunset elaborated, not liking how she had just addressed Cadance. I really need to keep myself together around ponies I don't like! Sunset thought to herself as Cadance nodded.


“Alright, you can count on it!” she said with a smile as she flew off, leaving Sunset to close the door as she turned to see Spike, who was looking between Sunset and some of his toys. With Cadance gone, the room seemed to fall silent as Sunset was hit with the weight of what the pegasus had just done.

Wait. Cadance actually left me alone to look after Spike! Sunset thought with a grin as she helped Spike from the table, taking him over to his toys. Thinking on it, she couldn't recall a time when Cadance left her alone with Spike while he was awake, and now Sunset was wondering if Cadance left specifically to let Sunset have some time alone with him. Wait, she better not think I owe her one! Sunset thought to herself as she started playing with Spike, not seeing a reason to give him a bath just yet.

In short order, her conflicted thoughts concerning the pegasus were cast aside by the giggles and happiness Spike let out during their play. Sunset found herself completely engrossed in watching over, taking care of, and entertaining the little guy. She wasn't going to let things like her dislike for a competing caretaker, worries about what it means to be a friend, or curiosities like a visiting alicorn princess distract her from this moment.

And to her surprise, being swept away in her task, she found that it was starting to get late, meaning she was running out of time to give Spike a bath. Before she could get him ready, Cadance returned, to Sunset's surprise. Her saddlebags looking quite heavy as she quickly separated herself from them.

“Whew~” She let out, wiping some sweat from her brow before appraising Spike and Sunset, who was giving her a neutral look, more content than she was before. “Sunset, take a look this~!” Cadance said as she pulled out a small gemstone from her saddlebags, which caught both Spike's and Sunset's attention. Sunset then noticed that the saddlebags were filled with gems.

“How did you get those?” Sunset asked, a little in awe.

“Well,” Cadance began as she blushed, “Princess Luna didn't seem all that bothered about taking these from the vault for Spike...” she said as she glanced to the side.

Those must be worth a lot of bits! Sunset thought, under the impression that Cadance was thinking the same thing. Wait, there's a vault in the castle?

“A-Anyway,” Cadance began, “Princess Luna said that dragons eat gemstones, and from the looks of it, Spike wants to try one.” She pointed out, and Sunset had to agree with that observation, as Spike was crawling to the saddlebags with a hungry look in his eyes. Recalling something Cadance told her in the first week, Sunset picked up Spike in her magic, bringing him close as he looked to the gems with a sad look in his eyes.

“Sorry Spike, but it's getting a little late for a snack, so how about a bath instead~?” Sunset asked in what she hoped was a soothing tone, trying to distract him from the gems as Cadance nodded in agreement with Sunset's intentions, and put the gems where the baby dragon couldn't reach them, which was a fairly easy task for the pegasus. As Sunset brought Spike to the bathroom, she noticed Cadance following after her, which made Sunset stop in her tracks. “I can manage, Cadance, you don't need to help.” Sunset stated, making Cadance hesitate for a moment.

“Well, alright, just ask if you need any-”

I won't need your help, we'll be fine. After all, you were the one that suggested I give him one while you were gone.” Sunset pointed out, “Besides, he's my dragon, so if I say he'll be fine, he'll be fine.” She affirmed as she gave Cadance a fierce look.

“Okay okay,” Cadance replied, putting her hooves up defensively, “I'll be right here, so ask if you need help.” She added, and Sunset was about to make a harsh quip, but bit her tongue, realizing that she was picking a fight again, and immediately saw the problem with picking a fight with Spike's foalsitter.

And it wasn't the fact that Cadance was bigger, or likely faster than Sunset that was the problem. Though she loathed to admit it, Sunset needed Cadance. And also, the notion of fighting somepony as nice as her just seemed wrong.

Sunset let out a sigh, Why couldn't Luna have just told me why she picked her? She wondered as she entered the bathroom, closing the door behind her as she got the water running. There's nothing special about Cadance! She's got no reason to be looking after the dragon of one of Luna's students!

Though, if Sunset was honest with herself, it probably didn't matter who was looking after Spike in her stead, she'd still have a problem with that pony. Unless it was Princess Luna, of course, but that is neither here nor there.

As Sunset placed Spike in the tub, she also left him several rubber toys as she glared at the door separating her from the pink pegasus. She wanted to let off some steam, and after considering it for several seconds, resolved herself to giving Spike her attention, which always seemed to free her of troublesome thoughts.

She then noticed that it was getting foggy in the bathroom, the air becoming uncomfortably warm as she noticed that she had only turned on the hot water for the tub. Her heart almost froze as she grabbed Spike, shutting the water off, then paused in confusion as she saw that he wasn't bothered in the least by the hot water.

Right, Sunset thought as she let out a sigh of relief, I guess being a dragon has its perks- Sunset was splashed in the face with hot water, causing her to let out an indignant yelp as she stepped away from the tub in surprise, sputtering as she wiped water from her face. The water wasn't hot enough to hurt, but she was now drenched, her mane losing its curl as she cleared the water from her eyes. She could feel her body start to sweat in response to the water as she looked to Spike, who was giving her a hearty giggle.

“You think that's funny, huh?” Sunset asked as she adopted a sly grin, scooping up some water with her magic and levitating it above the dragon, who eyed it in awe. Seeing that awe, Sunset abandoned the idea of splashing him, and instead concentrated on her magic to have the mass of water take up a shape vaguely resembling Spike. She then brought the water-doll to the edge of the tub so Spike could reach it. As Spike's claws passed through it, looking completely confused in the process, Sunset couldn't help but chuckle as he tried again and again to pick up the water-doll her magic was keeping together.

Moving closer to the tub, she eyed the soap, and with even more concentration, picked it up while keeping the water-doll together. It wasn't easy for Sunset, but she didn't shy from the challenge, and took pride in the fact that she could manage that much, while a small part of her affirmed that Trixie would make this look easy. With her concentration on her magic, she reached the edge of the tub as she brought the soap to Spike-

She then slipped on the water at the edge of the tub, falling flat on her stomach, only to immediately become soaked by the water-doll as the magic that kept it together dissipated. Now, instead of just her mane being drenched, Sunset was at a state where it wouldn't make a difference if she was in the tub or not. Sunset let out a slightly painful sigh as she carefully got on her hooves, and her ears perked up when she heard Cadance at the door.

“You okay in there?” Cadance asked as the knob for the door started to turn, and Sunset grasped it firmly in her magic to keep the door shut.

“Just fine, don't need help!” Sunset affirmed, sounding more distressed then she'd like to admit.

“Well, alright then.” Cadance replied, sounding unconvinced, but unable to open the door, “Just remember, there's no shame in asking for help.”

No shame in asking for help? Sunset thought, caught off guard by words she'd expect to hear from Luna. Briefly contemplating that statement, she looked to Spike- Once again her heart skipped a beat as she saw him munching on the bar of soap.

“S-Spike!” Sunset let out, quickly taking the soap from him, prompting him to give Sunset a dejected look, which made the filly feel guilty. Bringing the bar close, she noted, to her annoyance, that it was sort of shaped like the gems Cadance had brought in. Ooh! He ate half the bar! What if he gets sick! Okay Sunset, think. If he can eat royal dishware without a problem, then maybe he'll be fine with-

Hiccup.

Eh? Sunset thought as she looked back to Spike. In the air floating above him was a bubble. At least, Sunset was pretty sure it was a bubble, as she took a hesitant step back from it. The bubble's interior was swirling with a mixture of light and dark green colors, and as Spike let out another hiccup, another bubble was born, floating in the air above the tub with the other, also with a swirling green interior.

Wait. Don't tell me that's dragon's fire!? Sunset thought in alarm as another bubble joined the ranks. But, fire doesn't work that way! How is that even possible!? She exasperated as she desperately tried to figure out how to stop Spike's hiccups. As her mind raced, one of the bubbles reached the ceiling, letting out a small pop as the fire left an obvious scorch mark where it touched, as well as traces of soot.

Hiccup.

Seeing another bubble replace the one that popped, Sunset fished Spike from the tub, surprising the dragon as she brought him close, hoping the method she read worked for dragons as well as it did for foals. Sitting down, she cradled Spike in her hooves, facing him over her shoulder as she started to rub his back. As she did so, she kept a wary eye on the bubbles in the room, scooting away if they drifted closer.

Hiccup.

She didn't need to look to know there was now a bubble behind her, and she slowly shifted away from it. One by one, each bubble popped, and Spike's hiccups died down. The bathroom had some new scortch marks she intended to take care of later, as Sunset let out a sigh of relief, placing Spike back in the tub.

Glad that's over with- Hiccup.

A new bubble was in the air between Spike and Sunset, drifting closer to her, and out of reflex, she grabbed it with her magic, causing it to pop. Its fire poofed out in every direction, sending soot out towards Sunset, her mane and face getting covered as she took several steps back, shielding her eyes. She slipped again, and simply lay there on her back as she collected herself.

Looking in the mirror, she saw that she was a real mess. More so than when she had fought Trixie in the rain. She looked from herself in the mirror, then to the burn marks on the walls and ceiling, and felt her eyes start to itch as she reflected on how terrible such a simple affair had turned out.

Hiccup.

Sunset saw another bubble now floating over the tub. Spike was playing in the water without a care in the world, and though a small part of Sunset was able to take solace in that fact, the rest, including her pride, couldn't stand the sight of another bubble.

Hiccup.

“C-Cadance!” Sunset cried out, finding no shame in asking for help.

~~~~~~~~~~

Sunset sat still in the tub, her face lightly flushed as Cadance scrubbed her mane clean of all the soot that had gotten in it. Trying very hard it pretend it wasn't in fact happening, a small part of Sunset had to admit that it felt nice to have somepony else clean her mane for her, even if it was Cadance.

With her help, Spike's hiccups were taken care of, but not before the bathroom gained another half dozen scorch marks. Cadance herself was a soot covered mess as well, but insisted on helping Sunset clean up first, while Spike was sleeping contently in the main room.

Sunset appraised the burn marks on the wall, and resigned herself to the fact that the place wouldn't be cleaner than she arrived because of those. She then made a mental note to pick up an extinguishing spell as soon as she had the time, prompting Sunset to let out a small sigh as she glanced to the side, words Luna told her coming to mind as she took in a deep breath.

“Cadance, why are you Spike's foalsitter?” Cadance's scrubbing came to a halt as Sunset added, “Aren't you a bit, well, young, to be working in the castle?” There were several moments of silence following her question as Cadance continued cleaning her mane.

“Well, I don't really know.” Cadance admitted, prompting Sunset to give her an incredulous look. “Heh, sorry. One day, I saved the ponies I loved from some dark magic, and the next I'm living at the castle at Princess Luna's call.”

Saved the ponies she loved from dark magic? Sunset thought in surprise as Cadance continued.

“I don't know why Luna trusted this to me, so I can only guess.” She briefly fell silent as Sunset considered her words, “Sunset, why did the Princess take up three students?” Cadance asked, her question putting Sunset at a loss.

I … never thought about that! Sunset realized, noting that Luna taking up a student wasn't something that was known to have happened before. Why did she take up students?

“I don't know either.” Sunset admitted, glancing to Cadance over her shoulder. “You said you had a guess as to why she picked you?” She asked, and the pegasus nodded.

“I think she has something in mind for me, in the future. She wants me to be close, for whatever that reason is.”

Something in mind for her in the future? Does Luna have expectations like that from me and the others? Sunset wondered as Cadance ran warm water through her mane. As the suds were washed away, her cleaning just about finished, Sunset glanced to the ground again as her face flushed.

I- Sunset then shook her head lightly, No, Spike. He needs Cadance, and I need to rely on her. I shouldn't try to take her responsibilities from her. Even though I really want to. Sunset thought to herself, seeing what happened tonight as another piece to the growing pile of evidence towards that fact.

Sunset wanted to do everything on her own. She didn't want to owe anypony anything. But, Luna insists that I rely on others. Trixie could put the rock back together. Twilight knew what kind of rock it was. I, I can't be with Spike all the time. But Cadance ... can. She admitted to herself, glancing to the side as Cadance brought a towel over.

“Cadance,” Sunset began, getting an inquisitive look from the pegasus. “It's just, thanks. For the help.” Sunset spat out, getting a smile from the pegasus.

“Think nothing of it, that's what friends are for.” Cadance replied, making Sunset blink as she recalled that she intend to help Trixie with the history test.

Cadance sees me as a friend? Sunset wondered as Cadance continued.

“Spike's important to you, so you can trust me to look after him. He can be a hooffull, but it's nothing I can't manage.”

Sunset appraised the foalsitter. She didn't like Cadance looking after Spike. She didn't like the idea of Spike growing closer to Cadance over herself. She kind of knew it was wrong of her to be so hostile towards Cadance, but she couldn't help it. Still, she never expected the filly to call her a friend, despite how negative Sunset's been around her.

“And I want to thank you as well,” Cadance said, surprising Sunset even further, “I know you're not really doing it for me, but it makes it easier for me when you're here to watch over Spike. He seems more active when you're around, and it's better when it's lively here. So, I'm hoping that you'll bring the others here more often.” She said, and Sunset looked to her, seeing a warm smile on her face, “It was beautiful, seeing the three of you with Spike last week.”

Another thing Sunset didn't like about Cadance, was just how nice she was. Cadance's open kindness had a real knack for sapping the strength out of Sunset's poor moods.

“I think I'd like that too.” Sunset admitted, as Cadance helped her dry off.

~~~~~~~~~~

“Oh, hey Sunny!” Trixie let out as Sunset returned to her room, seeing Twilight and Trixie looking over the history notes. Sunset saw a fire in the blue filly's eyes, and wondered if Twilight had managed to convey the importance of Monday's test to Trixie.

“You were gone for a while,” Twilight let out, giving Sunset a curious look.

“Yea, gave Spike a bath, and things got ... complicated.” Sunset said as she concealed a small smile, feeling as if a small weight had been lifted off her shoulders. “So, what was the princess like?” Sunset asked, and Twilight and Trixie shared a look as they abandoned the notes, approaching Sunset.

“Well...” Twilight started, filling Sunset in on the secret of the Changeling Queen, and how Luna was expecting them to keep the secrets of the castle to themselves.

“Wow. Sounds like I missed out.” Sunset stated, finding the notion of Twilight slinking around like a deviant to be amusing. Hmm, should I try meeting this Chrysalis before she leaves? Sunset wondered as she looked to Trixie, “So, a spell that lets you look like other ponies? You think Luna will actually teach you that?” Sunset asked, and Trixie gave her a quick, resolute nod. “Well, no wonder you look so fired up." She then gave Trixie a smug smile, "I guess it's a good thing that you'll have me and Twilight helping you study, right?”

“Right!” Trixie affirmed, and Sunset gave her a firm nod. Sunset wouldn't admit it, but she found the idea of helping Trixie to be strange, considering that over a week ago, she saw the filly as the third wheel in their 'class'. Now, they were friends, and she was intending to make sure that Trixie passed that test.

As they gathered around their notes, Sunset found herself wondering if this is what Cadance meant about helping friends. Her brow then furrowed lightly as she wondered if Cadance saw her in the same light as she herself saw Trixie.

I, I should pay attention to the matter on hoof. Sunset affirmed as she banished such bothersome notions aside, following Twilight's lead as they dived into the large number of history notes.

Author's Note:

And the lesson of the story is to not take your eyes off of a dragon when giving them a bath.
This is what happens when I try to write funny. It's not funny at all. This chapter is the worst and I apologize for everything.
Next chapter: Trixie, tests, magic, things!