• Published 3rd Oct 2015
  • 4,530 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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Interlude: 15 Years of Harmony

“I’m scared, Spike. Terrified even. And not even for the noble reasons. I’m scared because I don’t know what will happen to me after I die. I don’t know how painful my death is going to be. It makes me want to just run away. But somepony’s got to stay behind, somepony’s got to make a stand. And that somepony is me. They’re not getting past me.”
-Flash Sentry’s last words to Spike

When Spike awoke in his hospital bed, he groaned in pain, a numbness in his injured arm that made him want to go back under and sleep it off. But when the dragon remembered the events that led to his unconscious state, he shot bolt upright, emeralds wildly rolling in his skull while he whipped his head around the darkened hospital room filled with injured ponies, groaning. His instinctive duty compelling him, he got ready to swing his legs over the edge of the bed when a familiar cyan hoof pressed against his chest with an uncharacteristic gentleness and urged him back down. “Easy, tiger.” Rainbow Dash greet and kissed him on his scaly lips. “You’ve practically been through Tartarus.”

“Dash?” Spike’s mind reeled. “Aren’t you supposed to be at The Crystal Empire-”

The rainbow maned pegasus gave a downcast look that said everything.

Spike now reached up, arm be damned and stroked her main, nuzzling against her neck. “I’m so sorry…” He whispered, the pegasus laughed.

“Sorry for what?” She asked. “Nopony got hurt… Mostly.” She said with a bit less enthusiasm. “And to add a lovely little bonus, all Equestria now has a big, wonderful window to peer into the forsaken horrors of tartarus. Had to take out a whole city to install it, but, the armies of darkness apparently aren’t unionized.”

Spike took in the black comedy of his wife with bemusement but played on it regardless. “Well, one thing can be said about the legions of darkness, they certainly do this whole ‘end all life as we know it’ with passion and devotion.”

“Wish we could keep up that morale.” Rainbow Dash’s wings drooped as she became more serious. “We were ordered to hold the line… The second somepony got hurt, I ordered a full evac. Spitfire said we had orders and I just bucked her lights out and dragged her unconscious body back.”

Spike nodded. “I wish I had made the same choice. I saw the objective… And pushed for it.”

“And you stopped The Necromancer from getting a new peephole into the mare’s room.” The fastest flyer pointed out.

Which the dragon dismissed. “And got nearly everypony killed. My first time leading an operation and…” Spike groaned, both from the pain and emotional stress. “What am I going to tell Applejack?”

“You followed the orders she gave you? I chickened out at the first sign of trouble.”

“Ponies are alive because of you, and when this war is life versus death, keeping people alive matters.” Spike pointed out, straining slightly in his words.

“Is there going to be any place for the living if we keep retreating? Even if there is is it really going count as living?” Rainbow Dash gained a bit of fire in her voice as she asked this.

“And who is going to be alive at all if ponies make the same damn choices I made?”

“The ones smart enough to know there’s worse things than death!”

“Shhh!” The two nearly jumped when a weary, withered nurse hushed them. “Patients are trying to rest and so should you, Sergeant!” She hissed and spat at the couple. After a few moments of silence, she moved on, leaving the two alone.

“All I’m trying to tell you, Dash, is that you didn’t make a wrong choice. To the ponies you saved, your choice meant the world to them.” Spike said reaching out and touching the ringed hoof.

The wearer of the hoof met his eyes with her own. “And I’m trying to say you did your best. Your team believed in your choices too, they gladly gave hundred and infinity percent to accomplish the mission.”

Spike chuckled. “‘One hundred and infinity percent’, huh?” He echoed. “So they gave one hundred and a third?” and chuckled again at his own joke.

“I swear, you should have married Twilight.” Dash rolled her eyes and bopped the dragon on the head and suddenly began remorseful when she saw him wince.

“Not you.” He tried to placate. “Just… They said I’ve got loose bone fragments knocked around pretty much everywhere in me.”

“You should get some rest. I’ll be here when you wake up.” The speedster urged him with a gentleness alien to her younger self.

“Dash, I’m going to be in pain regardless. Too much pain to actually rest.” The younger husband refuted. “And I’m sick of being surrounded by the dying… Too much of that already.” He said and began to climb out of bed.

His wife stopped him. Then shifted herself around. “Climb on.” She told him and soon felt his weight against her backside and grunted. “Geez, this was way easier ten years ago.”

“Ten years ago I actually fit onto a pony’s back.” He laughed while his feet and tail dragged behind his wife who tried to carry him out of the ward.

“Well your metal diet doesn’t do your waistline any favors. Lay off the diamonds, would ya?”

“Diamonds are a mineral, Rainbow Dash.” Spike corrected and shifted to stand at his full height, just a head taller than the mare and drape arm around her for support.

This helped her immensely and she added to the support with an extended wing. A somewhat painful trip later, Spike was catching his breath on the hospital roof while Rainbow Dash scowled. “I knew I should have left you in the bed.”

“The gravel grinding against my tail and ass is more comfortable than those beds, Dash.” The dragon deadpanned with a wheeze. “Not to mention that atmosphere in that ward was even more stifling than N.M.”

“Fine, I get your point.” Rainbow Dash dropped on her haunches next to him and relaxed, a rare thing for her these days. On distant horizons she could see the Necro-Miasma Spike had mentioned, a horrible, noxious haze which heralded the legions of the damned. And from deep within she could see flashes of magic, distant beats of thunder and lighting, the sounds of war of the thousands still desperately struggling and failing.

Casting her gaze upwards, she saw the stars and the moon, the sky - her home - seemingly unaffected by the horrors of war, twinkling distantly. “Hey, Spike? Have you ever once thought of just… Flying away from all this?”

“Never, because I can’t fly.”

“You know what I mean.”

Spike was silent and leaned against her. “Maybe I don’t, why don’t you paint the picture for me?”

“You and me, a cloud house far away from all this. No more fighting… Just… Us. Everyday we’d wake up, curled up close and all sickeningly sweet-like, and I’d love every second of it, eat breakfast, hang out, make out, read Daring Do, and eventually… Grow old together. None of this. None of any of this.” Rainbow Dash used a wing to gesture towards the horizon.

Spike’s gaze was hazy and unfocused. “Yeah, honestly, I have.” He admitted. “But you never really have until now, have you? You only asked me because I want to.”

The pegasus sighed and smiled. “I guess we really have gotten to know eachother too well in this marriage thing, huh?”

“Must have something to do with my wife’s title being ‘element of loyalty’.” Spike laughed.

“But, be serious… What if I took you away from everything?”

“It would kill you inside quicker than anything used in this war.”

The pegasus hugged him, her eyes getting moist. “Dammit, Spike, I’m asking how you felt. Stop thinking about other people for a few seconds and be the selfish, greedy, monster you’re supposed to be.”

The dragon returned the gesture, the pain, honestly not feeling so bad in her forelegs’ embrace. “I am being selfish and greedy, I WANT my wife to be happy, therefore I’m thinking of what she wants.”

“I really wonder what I did to deserve you?”

“This war has really taken it’s toll on us because otherwise you’d know the answer.”

“Well, how about you remind me?”

“Well for starters, you’re awesome.” Spike punctuated with a kiss on her muzzle. “Secondly; you give Twilight a run for her money in the adorable dork category when we talk about your fandoms-”

Rainbow Dash stopped him from a follow up kiss with a serious looking pout. “Hey, Daring Do is real. It’s not being a fan, it’s being supportive of a real life hero.”

“And there we go. And lastly… There’s that making out thing you mentioned that you’re so good at.” Spike finished with an irrepressible, fangy grin.

The pegasus laughed. “Are you serious? You probably have a punctured lung and stomach and you’re thinking about THAT?”

Spike shrugged. “Hey, the best pain drugs I’ll ever have are the ones my body produces. Nevermind how tense you’re looking.” He said slipping a strong claw behind her back and pressing the thick, blunt side of his talons into the muscles between her wings getting an instant reaction.

“A-Alright, I get it.” Rainbow Dash shifted to face him with a flushed face. “But after this, you get some rest. I’ll be right here when you wake up.” She said pulling down the front zipper of her flight suit.

Spike would remember she lied about that last part, and it would be the only part of his fantasy she didn’t grant him.

Author's Note:

You wanted an immediate continuation, but instead you get a FLASHBACK! A semi-lewd shippy flashback at that!

Now, seriously, if none of this makes sense with the rest of the story or is filled with continuity snarls, then I apologize and will probably work to rewrite it later. But this was mostly written on a burst of inspiration.

At three in the morning.