• Published 3rd Oct 2015
  • 4,541 Views, 141 Comments

The Dragonfly Effect - Ichiro Sato

When Spike went to bed, he was a 162 year old dragon, war veteran, twice widower, and living on the outskirts of Ponyville. This morning, he wakes up to a voice he hadn't heard in decades on the eve of the 1000th Summer Sun Celebration.

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Prologue: 150 Years of Harmony

Author's Note:

Welcome to History Repeating, my first attempt at a multi-chapter MLP fic. I will be upfront and say updates will be sporadic, potentially far between, and random. Thus, this fic can always be considered on hiatus in one way or another. (Though right now, I have a pretty decent backlog of written material)

I also wish to admit, I am still uncertain of the direction this fic will take, besides the broad intent being a Peggy Sue Spike fanfic. But, I do hope you're able to enjoy what does come.

“The way of Equestria has changed greatly since my time as a student of Princess Celestia, and as things change, the way we do things must be done differently, and so it is with great sorrow I, The Last Princess, leave you all and give up my crown, but with great pride I watch our nation be reborn as the United Republics of Equestria!”
-Former Princess Twilight Sparkle in a televised speech from Ponyville Castle

Over the lands of Equestria, the sun rose and with it a new day. As the light roused ponies, griffons, and dragons alike from their sleep, it at last would hit upon a house at the edge of a town: a large cottage made entirely from stone and glass, surrounded by lush green grasses, and belonging to a certain dragon known in the lands by many names and titles, but only a few mattered, one of those was the name ‘Spike’.

Every morning for nearly the past sixty years, Spike began his morning with a simple ritual. One that was passed to him from royalty itself: a checklist

“Dry mouth.” He began with a small thing that had been with him since he was born.

“Bad breath.” He continued with another familiar issue.

“Creaking joints.” A crime for a dragon as young as him to have, but still they were there as he stretched himself out over his bed of loose gold coins, gems, treasures, and precious knickknacks of no value.

“Blurred vision.” He finally opened his eyes, his home a greyish smear in his normally sharp gaze. Mornings did that for everything and everyone.

“Twilight’s spot cold.” This piece was noted ruefully as his hand swept across an empty spot on the massive bed.

And his last checklist item: “Radio” Spike muttered and slapped the device next to his bed, tuning into a station playing some Zebra rhythm and blues.

Delaying no longer, the dragon fully roused himself to the beat of the song, kicking treasure this way and that as his hips began to move.

As his vision came into view, so too did his home, something that would be considered extravagant by even draconic standards, but it was behind the polycarbonate protected cases, securely placed on out-of-reach (for non-unicorn ponies at least) shelves, on his dresser, and in a small shrine his true treasures were collected. A series of photographs from different places and different times, but all of them were of a younger Spike surrounded by six mares, a unicorn, an alicorn, a pair of pegasi, and a pair of earth ponies, and all of them were smiling.

Spike picked up a golden idol and began mouthing along with the song into it as he began dancing around the room, passing a case with a golden trident, an old uniform, medals, letters from four princesses, and an old service photo.

At the crescendo of the music, he leapt away from the bathroom door and back onto the bed where he grabbed an old and battered guitar with lightning bolts up and down the neck, in a now faded blue and strummed on the frayed and loose strings without a care before a photograph of his younger self in a blue gown and cap, diploma in hand and a brass plaque on the frame reading 'congratulations our first class of 36!'

The song ended, and Spike smiled sadly, putting away the ancient instruments as the radio droned: “We interrupt PON-3 Radio with this special news bulletin.”

Spike only half listened as he headed back towards the bathroom, tackling his bad breath with a morning ritual of oral hygiene as the breaking news story blared: “Citizens of the United Republic are advised to be alert for Tarnished Silver, suspect is a unicorn mare, white coat, brown mane, middle aged. Tarnished Silver is wanted on suspicion of murder, practice of forbidden magic, and multiple accounts of theft and breaking and entering various museums and libraries. Citizens are advised to keep their homes secure, report suspicious characters, and not to approach the suspect at all costs!”

“Someone’s continuing the fine, Blue Blood family traditions.” Spike muttered to himself after spitting out his mouthwash and then stepped into the the hot bath. As he relaxed in the almost boiling water, the news played at least five times in a seemingly perfect loop before music would finally return.

“Next, breakfast.” Spike thought to himself after stepping out clean from the bath, stepping past his horde to snatch some gemstones, and popped a few in his mouth. Then grabbed a few more (sapphires, he was always out of sapphires for some reason) and then headed to another chamber in the cave that he had turned into a kitchen.

On his short journey through the hall, more momentos, proof of a grand lifetime that had barely filled even a tenth of for his species, decorated every corner. A pair of wedding licenses signed by Princess Celestia and Luna, photographs of a younger self in Royal Guard armor, ladened down with various tools of the Engineering Corps, an old newspaper reading proudly “WE WON!” with him in the streets on parade, snatching a victory kiss from Twilight surrounded by dragon, griffon, pony, and even changelings, all cheering.

The kitchen was more of the same, some of the mementos would seem bittersweet at best, a picture of Rarity standing at an altar, himself presenting the ring to her and her groom. Shining Armor and Cadence, two pictures framed in black ribbons, but Spike had not bothered to glance at them, his heart remembered.

Instead, he focused on the present, and set to work cooking, years of living with ponies had given him a palette for something more than raw gems (though he was perfectly fine with those), and led him to his own culinary experimentations that later proved popular amongst his race and became known as Draco-Equestrian Fusion Cuisine. A pretentious title that made him chuckle decades later when all he was doing was adding diamond dust to his scrambled eggs.

As the heat in the kitchen grew with both the stove’s flames (he should really invest in one of those induction stovetops) and the summer weather, he cast open the windows to let in a breeze and smile on Ponyville’s distant skyline. He remembered when all of it was just humble homes of brick, lumber, and stone, and in the passing years, he watched it rise into a city of steel and glass, gleaming in the free sun, or shimmering by its own lights by beneath the wandering moon.

“Top of the morning, great grandpa!” A passing unicorn colt in officer’s wear greeted with a smile while tipping his hat. “Getting nostalgic in your old age?”

The dragon snorted back at his ‘step-descendant’, as he dubbed him, with a pair of smoky rings. “Git off mah darn lawn, ya stinkin’ youngin.” He replied in a flat, deadpanned monotone.

The officer laughed and faced the dragon properly with a look of greater concern. “Really, Grandpa, you okay, you seem a bit long in the face.”

Spike grinned and traced the line of his muzzle and made a silent rimshot gesture to dismiss the line of conversation and was met with a stern look. “C’mon, Spike, you can be honest with me, we are family.”

“The jig is up, I guess.” Spike tossed up his hands. “Tomorrow’s the eve of the Summer Sun Celebration. It was the day everything changed, when your great grandmother and I moved to Ponyville. Celestia used to raise the sun then, you know?”

The colt nodded. “Would you like me to come in? I’ve got an hour before I should start my patrol.”

Slowly smiling, the dragon nodded in kind. “I’d like that, Dawnguard.”

After breakfast and conversation with quasi-estranged family, Spike found himself roped into having dinner with the unicorn’s family, which lead to further encouragement to get out and enjoy the day.

When Spike stepped out from his home, it was with an energy he hadn’t felt in weeks. He spent much of the day outdoors, both to let the sun shine on his scales, and because being roughly twice the height of the average pony when on all fours limited which stores he could enter. He saw the decorations of the city, a holiday which once took only a day to prepare now had celebrations throughout the month leading up to it, mostly because the holiday now included The Rediscovery of Harmony and Princess Luna’s return, even if none of the element bearers or the Princess had been amongst them for at least thirty years.

A delightful surprise was that he was not forgotten either, there were fillies, colts, even fledglings and hatchlings who stopped and stared, looking up from their ‘Rainbow Powered Spike’ toys and try to ask him questions before parents pulled them away with apologies. He was invited to one of the rooftop gardens to sample some of the apple ciders, and among the times he purchased something, the people were eager and happy to help him (even if he could carry far more than most of them combined). All around him, he heard his names and titles sung, his deeds repeated in excited whispers, some even regarded him as though he was still Prince, or that the old monarchy mattered at all. But what mattered most to him was that the labors, the efforts, and sacrifices of his friends and loved ones remained as fresh in the hearts of Ponies, Griffons, and Dragons alike as the day the deeds were done.

Dinner with Dawnguard’s family was a more bittersweet affair for Spike, each glance he took around the unicorn’s home reminded him of missing pieces of the past, and his children, despite the generations removed, were the spitting image of their royal ancestor. It was enough that he had to politely excuse himself to run some evening errands, which was not a total lie. While he could have purchased them while ponies had helped him shop earlier or gone into his stocks at home and garden, he felt professionally grown flowers, high quality incense, and gourmet food would be better for this evening.

When Spike finally returned home, he set the flowers into vases before photographs, set down the plates of food, and lit two sticks of incense with a small puff of green flame.

“Well, you girls would be happy,” He greeted. “I finally got off my fat rear and went out today, I saw family, I lived. Not like I used to or as much as you would want me to, but I did.” He met the gazes of each mare in the photographs. “Don’t look at me like that, it’s not easy to live as I used to when everything’s gotten so peaceful. And I’m not going to waste the energy or money to head out to Appleloosa just to beat up some petty banditos.” After a silent pause, Spike hung his head and continued his one-sided conversation with the dead. “I know neither of you want me to. But I still miss you both everyday. I think to myself what I wouldn’t give for a chance to see you both again. I’m still trying to respect your wishes… And all of our friends’. I guess that’s it for tonight, tomorrow is the Summer Sun Celebration’s eve, and I’ll make my annual pilgrimage to Canterlot.” He then picked up one photograph, of a lavender Alicorn in finery and kissed it. “Good night, Twilight.” He then picked up the other photograph of a blue pegasus in military uniform. “Good night, Rainbow Dash.”

After setting it down, he ended the day as he had begun it, with a checklist. “Doors locked, stove’s off, lights out…” As he yawned and crawled on his hoard, his eyes drifting shut, he wondered if he ever did remember to close the kitchen windows.