• Published 7th Aug 2020
  • 2,112 Views, 87 Comments

Spike's Family Chronicles - frenettek314



*A sequel to "Spike's Family Journey"* Follow the many zany slice-of-life adventures of Spike the dragon and his family of ponies and other creatures across Ponyville and beyond!

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"Time Travel Unravel" - Part 1

A cool spring breeze permeated through the air as the soft pitter patters of dragon and alicorn tiptoes chorused on the patches of grass below, grazing ever so quietly as they rounded near their confirmed destination.

A beautiful almost enchanted-like cottage at the edge of Ponyville. Birds, squirrels, and other small woodland creatures alike darting in and out of the small paradise without a care in the world.

With firm nods, the two carefully rounded the corner to scope out the preservation behind the home. There it laid - Sweet Feathers Sanctuary - a natural-like oasis filled with various lush habitats suited for the treatment, caring, and otherwise extended stays of any animal who decided to stop by. A multitude of various creatures - herbivores, omnivores, and even some carnivores could be seen inhabiting the precious landscape around them.

However, a different target was expected to be seen as the duo silently made their way behind a large tree, close enough to peer at any potential visitors coming by. The two patiently waited for a few minutes before they quickly spotted exactly who they were looking for.

There, obliviously strolling out into the fields, their back turned to them stood a yellow pegasus, long pink mane and tail intact. It seemed like she was curiously gazing out at some of the aquatic creatures in the nearby river, not paying attention to a narrowed set of eyes in the distance.

"Target acquired." whispered Spike as he got into a battle-like ready stance.

Twilight smirked at him as she paid close attention to their subject.

"You know what to do, Agent Spike."

And just like that, the dragon took off gliding in the air, honing in on his target before he ever so carefully positioned himself directly above her.

"Initiate action protocol." he could hear Twilight whisper in the distance, thankfully not drawing the pegasus's attention.

"Time to roll." he devilishly grinned; this was it.

With one swift motion, the dragon came to a smooth glide below as he landed with a gentle 'thud' right on the pegasus's back.

The mare gave off a startled jump and a squeak at the new source of pressure on her back. Thankful that he had managed to get a firm enough grip to avoid being bucked off, he watched with glee as the startled pegasus frantically began looking around, trying to find the source of who had just scared her so, before she saw him.

As she drifted her head behind her shoulder, she soon found a suppressed giggling drake on her back, prompting her to erupt in a wide, cheerful smile.

"Spike!" she exclaimed joyfully as she beamed up at him - well as much as she was able to from her limited viewpoint - "You scared me, you silly dragon! Come on down so I can say hello."

Spike smirked teasingly as he placed a mock thoughtful claw on his chin.

"I don't know, it feels much comfier up here."

At this, Fluttershy puffed her cheeks out in a fake pout, which Spike had to admit was adorable.

"I just wanted a nice, big dragon hug." she huffed, making a show of turning her head away from him.

Spike laughed playfully as he proceeded to fly on down from his position and face the pegasus with open arms.

Fluttershy's 'pout' instantly went away as she gave him a great, warm hug - nuzzling him close to her chest.

"Oh Spike! I haven't seen you in a couple of days. I've missed you! How have you been?" she cooed.

The dragon returned the nuzzle happily.

"Usual school this and friendship castle that." he joked.

"I heard that!" came a voice from the distance as Twilight flew over to the two with a wry grin on her face.

"Didn't say it was a bad usual." he countered, Fluttershy stifling a laugh.

"I know." Twilight winked, the two ceasing their hug a moment later as the pegasus now turned her attention to the alicorn.

"Twilight!" she chirped, as she wrapped her friend in an embrace. "You came to stop by as well I see, I'm glad."

"Hey Fluttershy." the alicorn responded in the hug, "How did your butterfly migration trip go?"

The pegasus let herself free from the hug as she addressed the two smiling creatures in front of her.

"Oh, it was wonderful! There were so many butterflies - some I had never seen directly before - they were all so beautiful flying through the skies like that, it was just amazing to witness!...." she gleefully rattled.

Spike and Twilight could only sit through her explanation in awe. The pure, unfiltered happiness - free from any hesitations whatsoever - in her voice whenever she was talking or discussing animals was an experience to behold. The way she could excitedly ramble on about any creature or knowledge of fauna proved to the world that she truly held a burning passion for wildlife. The lack of any sort of her timid personality when she talked about something she loved sent a warm feeling through her closest friends - to see such a gentle creature like her so happy was a treat they'd never get sick of.

Come to think of it, the dragon in particular began to notice that the mare also held back much of her reserved nature whenever he was in the picture. Ever since she had confessed and successfully became his 'second mother', the small drake found himself entangled with so much love and care from her. It was almost like a switch had been flipped as soon as she revealed her feelings out in the open - no longer did she ever seem hesitant to speak or approach him, instead the two practically saw each other at least a couple times a week.

Always giving him a warm smile and a very soft, affectionate hug whenever she would see him, the two would then spend a good chunk of the day together. From letting him help her around the sanctuary whenever he wanted, to the fun nature hikes and picnics they would have, to the laughs and adventures they would share, to even the simpler moments when she would always snuggle him close whenever he was upset or just had a bad day - they were like two peas in a pod whenever they were together.

He found it somewhat hilarious though - if a couple months ago you had told him the closest one to him besides Twilight or even Starlight would be Fluttershy, he would've dismissed it as a cruel joke; but now he found himself getting to know the pegasus more so than he ever had before. He had never seen Fluttershy so open and carefree - she was always very open and expressive with him, even revealing a sense of humor he never knew she possessed.

Suffice to say, when Fluttershy had said she deeply cared for the dragon, she wasn't kidding. He was just glad she could now let her love and affection out, rather than having to worry about keeping it in check. He would've never thought she could become a motherly figure to him, but he would proudly declare she was an awesome 'second mother'.

However, as he warmly began thinking about his Flutter-Mom, an important thought had occurred to him - he knew that she loved him, saying before that she wanted to become that nurturing presence for him - the question though was why.

Why specifically him? Why did she want to care for him? Why had she kept it hidden?

Why were Twilight and Fluttershy frantically waving their hooves in front of his face? Oh.

"Spike! Spike! Are you in there?!" Twilight wavered worriedly as Fluttershy simply watched with overwhelming concern.

"Huh? Wh-what?" he sputtered before he took in his surroundings.

"Oh. Heh. Sorry. I guessed I kind of zoned out there." he replied rather bashfully, earning a nervous exchange between the two ponies.

"Spike. Do you want to talk about what's bothering you?" the yellow pegasus asked as she gently rubbed his shoulder.

The dragon gave a quick sigh. Of course, seeing as the two ponies were so close to him, they'd easily figure out something was wrong.

"Alright, but.... I'm not sure if this a big deal or not." he honestly admitted.

"That doesn't matter to us. We want to help." Twilight reassured as the three gently took their seats on the soft patches of grass.

Looking at the soft, inviting faces of his two mothers proved to be too much, he knew they'd worry no matter what so it was best to get the truth out in the open.

"Ok. I was thinking about the day when Fluttershy told me she wanted to be my 'second mother'..."

The pegasus in question developed a gentle blush as she gave him a soft smile.

"...and something's just bugging me about it."

The blush disappeared as a look of sadness washed over her.

"Did I... did I do something wrong?" she nervously asked as the dragon swore he could see her heart threaten to crack.

"No no no!" he quickly stammered out, not wanting to see this sweet mare be shattered. "You've been amazing, I love spending time with you!"

Though Twilight didn't fail to notice the mare's pained glimmer in her eyes, she chose to say nothing for now.

Fluttershy's smile returned as she quickly nuzzled him. Crisis averted.

"So what is?" Twilight asked haphazardly as she peered over his shoulder with a heart-melting worried look.

"Well... I know that she loves me and wants to be there, but I don't know why."

The two mares stared at each other in a contemplative silence before they focused back on him.

"What do you mean?" Fluttershy asked, her head slightly tilted.

"I mean I guess I wish I knew why specifically me. Like I wish I had more context as to the reasoning behind it. I mean I know we've had the 'don't worry about the past, and focus on the present' moral a bunch of times before, but I feel like a piece is still missing. "

The pegasus nodded in understanding, knowing exactly what he was saying, but unsure how to explain it.

"Well sweetie, there are a bunch of reasons why, but I'm not exactly sure how to explain it." she awkwardly traced a hoof in the grass.

Meanwhile, the alicorn started thinking on this particular problem at hand.

"Past. Explain. Missing."

Then suddenly, her eyes lit up as she jumped into a standing position, much to the surprise of the other two.

"I think I have an idea that can help you both!" she proudly declared.

"You...you do?" the dragon's ear suddenly perked, curious to hear what had gotten the alicorn so excited.

"Mmm hmmm. I do, but I want to plan some stuff out for it to work. Fluttershy, do you think you could meet us at the castle at 10AM tomorrow morning? I'll explain everything then."

The pegasus, still confused, couldn't help but display a positive smile as she nodded her head in earnest.

"Of course. I'll be there."

"Perfect!" she exclaimed. "Sorry to cut this visit short, but I want to get started right away. You coming along Spike?"

He glanced back and forth between the two mares for a brief moment, deciding on what he wanted to do.

"Actually, I think I want to spend a little bit more time with Fluttershy. Is it cool if I come home later?"

The princess merely chuckled cheerfully as she reassured the two pleading creatures before her.

"Of course. I'll see you later then." she gave him a quick goodbye hug.

Fluttershy happily clopped her hooves together in excitement.

"I'll go get the tea!" she heavenly chimed as she took off back towards her cottage, Spike close behind her as Twilight watched the pair with a fond smirk.


The Next Day - 10:00 AM


"Come on Twilight, can't you just tell me already?" Spike impatiently prodded as he sat in the castle throne room, an eager Twilight and a somewhat excited Starlight pacing in front of him.

"Not yet, Spike!" the alicorn lightly admonished. "We need to wait for..."

As if on cue, the butterscotch pegasus entered the room as she quickly took to Spike's side, wrapping him in her usual hug.

"...Fluttershy! Perfect timing! Alright, now that everyone's here, I have some exciting news!"

"In order to help you two see how close your relationship is, I've organized... a field trip!"

Both dragon and pegasus gave dedicated awes at the grand mystery of a surprise visit.

"Where are we going?" curiously asked Fluttershy.

To her surprise though, a certain unicorn delivered a hearty chuckle as she walked over to the pair.

"Well Fluttershy, it's not a question of where we're going, but when." explained Starlight.

"Huh?" was all the two of them could say, not quite understanding the brain teaser they were given.

"What Starlight means to say is, we're going time travelling!" proudly declared Twilight.

"WAIT, WHAT?!" came the unified response, both creatures looking highly frightened at the suggestion.

Spike quickly went over next to Twilight as he placed a firm claw on her back.

"Umm Twilight, no offense, but we haven't exactly had the best track record with time travel."

"Don't worry, buddy. I'll be coming along." prompted Starlight from the sidelines.

The dragon merely glanced over his shoulder to give her a somewhat annoyed glare.

"That's exactly the problem."

Though, seeing his sister's genuine hurt look, he lightened his stare.

"No offense, just... there were some moments I'd like to forget."

"Same." the unicorn offered a bittersweet smile.

"You're not the only ones." muttered Fluttershy.

"Look, Spike, I know we've had some... near fatal disasters..." she gestured with a hoof.

The dragon, pegasus, and unicorn all succeeded in giving her deadpan looks.

"... some pretty close near fatal disasters, but I can 100% guarantee that things will be safe this time around."

"Really, how?" the dragon curiously rose an eyebrow.

"Because Twilight and I have completed a spell that allows us to go into the past and allows us to be safely secured inside an invisible bubble."

"An invisible bubble?" spoke a puzzled pegasus.

"It's a spell that allows us to go through various points in the past while under the sanctity of a one-way visible structure." Twilight proclaimed with an enthusiastic grin.

"Basically, we can see the past, but no one can see us and we can't interact with the past at all, effectively making sure we can't alter time. Think of it like a movie." the unicorn summarized.

"Huh. I guess that would be ok then, what do you think Flutter-Mom?" the dragon asked the timid mare.

Lightly blushing at the sweet nickname, she offered a much more relaxed smile.

"Well... it does sound interesting and as long as we can't get hurt, I'd be perfectly fine with it."

"Great! Then it's settled then! We're going to the past!" the lavender pony rose triumphantly.

"Awesome! I've always wanted to know what you guys were like before I met you. I betcha Twilight was a super cranky bookworm and Fluttershy was barely able to speak." the unicorn giddied in her snarky excitement.

"We were not!" echoed two annoyed mares.

"Oh, you definitely were." Spike amusingly replied, Starlight snickering as she patted him on the back.

"SPIKE!" came two incredulous cries.

Ignoring them, he prodded on.

"So where..." Starlight shot him a raised eyebrow, "...when are we exactly going to?"

Having recovered from her brief humiliation, the lavender princess gave him a knowing smile.

"Don't worry about that. I talked to some of our other friends yesterday and we decided on a few key points we think are going to help you two out."

"I hope she's right." anxiously thought Fluttershy, not too sure about seeing any of her past exploits.

"Especially that..." her mind shuddered.

"I'm excited. It'll be like a reminder of how much we've grown." the dragon walked over to gently nudge the shy pony, lifting her spirits up considerably.

"I.... guess that's true. We've all changed over the years." she replied.

"I still would prefer not to be reminded of anything too awful.... please don't tell me we're..."

Again, Twilight saw something glisten in the mare's eyes for a split second, but chose to remain silent.

"Well, what are waiting for, let's go!" Twilight declared as her horn began glowing in a magical aura.

As the four began ready to transport through time and space, one final voice could be heard before the blast accompanied them.

"Good thing I brought the camera." Starlight whispered.


Author's Note: For these flashback sequences, the following key will help you navigate through the dialogue:

Bold Text = A statement made by or describing someone in the past. (The time-traveled memory)

Regular Text = A statement made from or describing one of the current characters. (The observers)

Italic Text = An internal thought made (usually) by one of the current characters. (Internal Dialogue)

Alright, hopefully this should clear everything up. Now back to your regularly scheduled story.


With a bright flash of light, our time travelers appeared a few feet above ground in a familiar part of Ponyville, a large purple circle surrounding them.

"Huh. It is a giant bubble." Fluttershy marveled, taking in her surroundings.

"Yeah, but the question is when exactly is this?" Starlight asked, looking around at what appeared to be a park on the outskirts of Ponyville.

"Wait. You mean you don't know?!" the dragon retorted incredulously.

"Meh. Twilight wanted to keep it a surprise for me too. Keeps things exciting." she shrugged.

"Shhh... guys. I think we're about to witness a past memory." lectured Twilight, drawing everyone's attention.

Then, as the group began to survey the surrounding area, they soon noticed a familiar pegasus who seemed to be constructing a choir of birds on top of a nearby tree.

"Wait a minute.... no way! This is..." Spike gasped incredulously with an impressed smile.

"Oh dear..." Fluttershy blushed as she tried to cover one of her eyes with the locks of her mane.

"Why? What's happening?" Starlight asked curiously as she glanced at the two polar reactions to the scene.

"Spike and I's first day in Ponyville. The day we were tasked to check on the planning for the Summer Sun Celebration, the event which soon brought back Nightmare Moon and caused the Elements to free Princess Luna from her banishment. Also the day we met Fluttershy for the very first time." Twilight narrated with a tinge of collective nostalgia in her voice.

"Wait, really?! Oh, this is cool." the unicorn squealed like a little kid.

"Yep! I myself wanted him to see this one. Let's watch!" she instructed, everyone viewing the picture below.

Fluttershy began harmoniously instructing her choir of birds for the upcoming festival in Ponyville, but upon noticing one of her birds was off key, she found herself forcing the feathery little musicians to pause for just a moment.

"Oh my. Um, stop please, everyone, umm. Excuse me, sir? I mean no offense, but your rhythm is just a teeny-tiny bit off. Now, follow me, please. A-one, a-two, a-one two three-"

Suddenly, a rather loud purple unicorn mare had scared her in surprise.

"Hello!"

The pegasus gasped before turning around timidly at the newest visitor.

"Oh my, I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to frighten your birds. I'm just here to check up on the music and it's sounding beautiful."

An awkward pause followed as the unicorn was forced to conjure up a nervous smile.

"I'm Twilight Sparkle. What's your name?"

"Um... I'm Fluttershy." she weakly muttered.

"I'm sorry, what was that?"

Somehow even quieter. "Um... My name is Fluttershy."

"Didn't quite catch that."

Now, the pegasus was just incoherently squeaking, hoping the new pony would go away.

"Well, um, it looks like your birds are back, so I guess everything's in order. Keep up the good work!"

More squeaking followed.

"Oookay."

Meanwhile, in the bubble, Fluttershy was doing her best not to cower in shame at her past borderline socially malfunctioning self, realizing first hoof that she had indeed grown over the years. She tried not to wince at the memory with all her might until two distinct noises caught her attention.

Glancing over, she saw Spike was furiously trying to conceal fits of laughter while Starlight was outright snorting mercilessly at the scene.

"Oh my gosh, I'm sorry Flutters, but this is hilarious." choked Starlight, as Twilight now had to hide her own giggles.

Fluttershy's cheeks tinted red as she gave a slight huff, clearly flustered.

"Are you going to be laughing at me this whole trip?"

Thankfully, Spike took the initiative to put a comforting claw on the pegasus's frame as he forced down any leftover hiccups.

"Sorry Shy, but we're not trying to laugh at you, we just find it funny to look back on now that we know you're different than that. Plus, Starlight's never seen you that meek and timid, so this is a new experience for her."

"And don't take it personally, I laugh and make fun of all the creatures I love the most. It's why I tease Twilight every day."

The alicorn merely shrugged as she gave a polite nod.

The pegasus sighed with a small smile adorning her lips.

"Alright, but don't expect me to go easy on you. Remember I'm the one who destroyed your cult after all." she smirked.

"Fluttershy!" exclaimed Twilight.

Meanwhile, Starlight and Spike were practically on the ground of the bubble crying in fits of laughter.

"See, this is why I love you." the unicorn got up with slightly strained effort, patting the satisfied pony on the back.

"Oh, wait til' you see this." the dragon pointed as he gained everyone's attention to the scene once again.

Suddenly as a small baby dragon made himself visible to the scene, the weak, stuttering pegasus's eyes suddenly sparkling in excitement - a proverbial switch being turned on inside her animal-loving brain.

"A baby dragon!"

The pony charged her way with blinding speed towards this fascinating new arrival, sending a dazed unicorn flying several feet in the air.

Starlight burst out laughing at this, much to Twilight's chagrin.

"I think this may be a testament to how much Fluttershy likes me." the princess responded.

"Oh, Twilight! Stop that!" the pegasus responded, draping a soothing wing over the alicorn's back. "I love you very much! You just surprised me is all. Besides... you know how much I struggled with ponies before you and the girls came along..." she sighed as she looked over the scene with a tinge of guilt. She was so glad she wasn't as afraid as she used to be, but she still felt bad for how rude she must've came off to the unsuspecting eye.

"I know. But that was then. You've gone through so much, and now look at you." her friend marveled, making the pegasus blush with a warm smile on her face.

"It's true. We wouldn't know what to do without you." Spike hugged her chest.

"You've always been there for us, and we wouldn't want it any other way." Starlight smiled as she patted the mare on the back once again.

Fluttershy felt happy, appreciative tears building up in her eyes as she used her wings to gather everyone in a warm hold.

"Thank you. Thank you all so much."

"Even though there are times I don't feel like I deserve it." she let a frown show for a split second.

"Ooo, look Spike, remember this?!" Twilight pointed out eagerly from the pegasus's hold, drawing everyone's attention to the ground below once again.

"Oh, I've never seen a baby dragon before. He's sooo cute!"

The dragon looked over at his still shaken partner with a look of pride.

"Well, well, well...!"

Fluttershy gasped in amazement.

"Oh my, he talks. I didn't know dragons could talk. That's just so incredibly wonderful I, I just don't even know what to say!"

"Well, in that case we'd better be going." interrupted a haughty Twilight, placing the somewhat disappointed dragon on her back with her magic as she attempted to escape as quickly as possible.

However, the suddenly eager pony wouldn't be deterred.

"Wait, wait! What's his name?"

The dragon eagerly turned around on the unicorn's back, much to her annoyance.

"I'm Spike."

"Hi Spike, I'm Fluttershy. Wow, a talking dragon! And what do dragons talk about?"

"Well, what do you wanna know?"

"Absolutely everything!"

And with that, an irritated unicorn let out a groan as she and her two occupied accompaniments headed their way to the library, eager to finally get some rest after an exhausting day in the new town.

"Those two talked all the way back to the library. I even had to drag him in and close the door behind us before she could follow us inside." Twilight narrated, an amused smile flashing her way to her three observers.

"Come on, Twilight. She wouldn't have followed us in." the dragon rolled his eyes.

"Ummm... actually, if she hadn't stopped me, I probably would've." the pegasus awkwardly admitted.

"Wow. Who knew Mama Twilight was jealous of Mama Shy from day one?" the unicorn stated.

Twilight's cheeks turned a light shade of pink as she gave a small indignant huff.

"I was not jealous. It was just... I wasn't big on making friends and I was focused on trying to stop Nightmare Moon by myself. I guess I just got sick of having voices distract me from doing my supposed mission." she slowly cast her eyes downwards with slight dejection. Seeing her former self nearly scowl at what was now one of her best friends put things in perspective.

"But now you have lots of great friends, and so many great stories to share!" Spike happily exclaimed as he nudged Twilight's hoof.

The princess gave a thankful smile. "You're right, Spike. I'm glad Celestia was right about sending us to Ponyville."

"Best decision of our lives." he agreed.

"And then you extended the power of friendship to me, and I couldn't have asked for anything better." the unicorn replied, surprisingly getting a little teary-eyed.

"Yeah. Still, who knew Fluttershy would be the one to show me such kindness later on with that Manticore?" Twilight pondered.

"Even though you were a little bit jealous." the pegasus gave a smile.

The alicorn turned to her friend.

"I was not!"

"Maybe just a tad?"

"No, I just knew you were excited about Spike."

"Is that why you sent him to bed before we left for the forest?"

"Fluttershy!"

Spike and Starlight each gave snorts at the pegasus's power of sly comments.

"This is why I love her." the unicorn glowed.

"You'd be quite surprised. Once you get to know her, she can be quite sneaky." the dragon sagely nodded.

"I have my ways." she said, gently massaging a hoof over his scales with a way too proud grin.

Twilight, snapping out of her slight bout of frustration, went back to the scene to notice the three creatures below were gone, having made their way away from the park to head towards the library.

"Ah. The library." she reminisced, before turning back around to address the crowd in the bubble.

"Well, Spike. There was an important reason why I brought you to this specific moment. What do you think the takeaway here was between you and Fluttershy?"

The dragon surveyed the now barren scene below, rubbing a thoughtful claw to his chin before he continued to stare back at the once bird-filled tree with a somewhat skeptical look.

"That she began to like me because I wasn't a pony?"

At that response, Fluttershy's eyes softened seeing the poor creature in front of her before ultimately sending the princess a threatening glare as her eyes narrowed - a look that ultimately screamed, "I suggest you say otherwise."

Even Starlight felt intimidated by her glare as she nervously glanced back and forth between the two ponies with trepidation, the dragon still focused on the landscape below.

Thankfully, Twilight gave the pegasus a reassuring shake of the head, telling her that she had something else up her sleeve.

"No, no Spike. Not that. Sure, she may have warmed up to you a bit because of your different species..."

One of Fluttershy's eyebrows rose.

"...but the point I'm trying to make here is that she already felt a special connection with you from the very beginning, a feeling that while you may not have felt always showed was still there nonetheless."

Fortunately, the pegasus seemed to wholeheartedly agree with the response as she gave the alicorn a thankful smile and nod of the head as she directed her glance to a now attentive dragon.

"That's right, Spike. Like I said back during your journey, I knew you were special from that very first day and I meant it. I couldn't quite explain it at the time, but I felt a connection with you - both you and Twilight - that told me you two were going to become very important to me." she nuzzled his cheek.

"Awww..." chorused a heart-warmed Twilight.

"You really mean that?" he glanced up at her hopefully.

"Absolutely!" she beamed. "No doubt in my mind. I somehow knew I would always be there for you."

"I just couldn't tell him. Because I wasn't sure he would feel the same." her mind echoed sadly.

"So, is it possible there's an unexplained connection bonding you together - like how the sonic rainboom foretold each of your cutie marks and your eventual friendships?" inquired a curious Starlight.

"Exactly!" nodded Twilight. "We can't explain everything that happens; sometimes there's a force that just allows creatures to come together or allows certain events to happen."

"Well, that is nice to hear that she felt that way then..." thought Spike, "...but that still kind of doesn't explain 'why' she cared so much. She may have felt a way about us from the beginning, but how did that translate into wanting to be a mother figure - especially since our early years were....rocky." he and Fluttershy both winced bitterly.

Fluttershy more so, feeling a sudden freezing in her veins.

"Please tell me we're not going to bring up that."

"Not to worry, Spike. I think some more stops will hopefully help paint a brighter picture. Rarity and Applejack suggested this next memory if everyone's ready?"

With everyone giving affirmative cues of agreement, the alicorn's horn flashed once again, as they vanished in another wall of light.


The previous flash of light gone, the quartet found themselves in the middle of Ponyville - however, while last time appeared to be quite vacant (save for the combination of Twilight, Spike, and Fluttershy), this time appeared much more crowded as almost the entire town seemed to be waiting for something in earnest.

Starlight gazed at the bustling streets in bewilderment.

"Alright, I'm lost. Is this some sort of festival or something?"

Spike and Fluttershy seemed to be equally confused as they merely offered a shrug.

Then suddenly Twilight spoke up, eyeing another direction.

"You'll find out soon enough. Look, there's Spike right there!"

Grabbing everyone's attention, they viewed from Twilight's vantage point to see there was indeed the dragon (still without his wings).

Spike appeared to be giddy as he climbed up the tall base of a tree, prancing in excitement on a very fragile tree branch.

"Why do I look so excited up there? Up in that tree, prancing around..."

Then, it suddenly clicked in his mind.

"Oh, no. Not this!" his eyes widened in horror.

"What?" both Fluttershy and Starlight glanced down at him with equal looks of concern, wondering why the dragon appeared so frightened all the sudden.

"Yes, Spike." Twilight monotoned sadly, not wanting to see him like this - but she knew it was for a good cause. "This is the event of the Breezies."

"The Breezies?" Starlight tilted her head.

Meanwhile, Fluttershy soon realized what Twilight and Spike both meant. With a startled gasp, she instantly took to Spike's side and placed him in a suffocating hug.

"Spike, Spike! Sweetie, it's ok. It wasn't your fault at all, it could've been any one of us." she softly cooed.

"Unlike me. I've done things I'll never forgive myself for.", her expression darkening for a moment.

"That look again. Something's clearly wrong." Twilight thought, regarding the pegasus curiously.

"I know." Spike lowly replied, casting his eye back to his younger self. "That's not what I'm worried about."

"Ummm, Twilight, may I please have some context here?" Starlight asked, never taking her worried eyes off of the hugging duo in front of her.

Twilight sighed. "This was when Fluttershy organized a town-wide party to help the Breezies catch the gusts of wind they needed to deliver their collected pollen back to their portal home."

Starlight nodded, taking this in. "But why would this upset Spike so much?"

Twilight merely focused her attention back to the scene with an all too serious expression, almost like she felt guilty herself.

"Watch and find out."

As Spike bounced around, excitedly catching a glimpse of the fabled creatures, a stray leaf fell off from the branch he was positioned on, sending a small group of Breezies dangerously off course.

"Oh, no!" he cried out in regretful panic.

Thankfully, the group watched on as Fluttershy heroically saved the small cluster of breezies from an impending doom, gliding them back to safety as her friends soon cheered around her.

"Soon, those Breezies became attached to Fluttershy, not wanting to go back home. Fortunately, one of them named Seabreeze helped teach her that by being too kind and not actually making them go, she was doing them a disservice. She learned that sometimes you need to be firm and assertive to truly be kind." Twilight stated.

"Mmmm hmmm." Fluttershy glanced up, looking at Twilight with a warm smile. "We were just lucky to help them get through the portal before it closed."

Starlight regarded the two with a happy expression, before a previous point made its way back up.

"But why would Spike be upset by it? Sure, he accidentally caused the Breezies to scatter, but it was a simple mistake and everything was fixed."

Spike looked back at the ponies with a solemn expression, trying desperately to smile.

"Yeah... it was. And everyone did forgive me, but.... that's not why I was upset."

"What do you mean?" Starlight asked; even Fluttershy seemed to be slightly unsure as she gave the dragon a puzzled, yet pitiful look.

Twilight gave a slight bow to her head in shame.

"I think I know. Watch." she instructed as the focus was recaptured on their group of friends complimenting the pegasus on a job well done.

"I, for one, am very proud of you, Fluttershy. Leaping into action like that." awed a recently crowned Princess Twilight.

" I feel like I should design you a special hero's gown! Heh... Or a sash. At least a sash." added a persistent Rarity.

Suddenly, a sobbing dragon ran head first towards Fluttershy's hooves in despair.

"Okay, okay, okay! I know what you're all thinking! Why don't you just say it?! I'm sorry! This is all my fault! I'm so, so sorry!" he cried, his voice in pure regretful shame.

However, what seemed odd about this was that Twilight and Fluttershy looked from the quivering dragon to themselves, not in concern or pity, but rather stone-cold confusion. Come to think of it, the rest of the group seemed equally blank about the tearful dragon as well.

"What the...?" Starlight looked at their faces with bewilderment and a subtly increasing form of disgust.

"Oh, Spike, it's okay! It could have happened to any one of us." commented a slightly sympathetic Fluttershy, trying to do her best to cheer up the dragon.

Luckily for her, Spike seemed to perk significantly as he smiled up at her.

"Okay... Thank you!" he exclaimed before wrapping himself tightly around Fluttershy's frame.

While this exchange of a hug would've been not only adorable but very casual, seeing how close the pegasus and dragon now were, there was something off about this scene that sent Starlight's mind into overdrive.

While present Fluttershy would've reciprocated the affection easily with a bright, beaming smile - and perhaps a gentle kiss or two - this Fluttershy... didn't. At all.

Instead, Starlight and the others watched on in shock as the pegasus appeared quite uncomfortable with the dragon's contact - quite externally wincing.

Fluttershy in the present bubble felt a sharp stab in her heart as she felt a couple of tears, pour down her cheeks. She couldn't believe she would've been so uncomfortable giving her special dragon a warm embrace - especially considering he was writhing with guilt after an accident he felt responsible for. Was she really that cold to him in the past? How could she have been so blind?

"I... I didn't... How could I...." she cried, Spike standing next to her as he pet her mane soothingly.

Seeing the dragon next to her, the pegasus instinctively reached out and sent him in a powerful grip of affection - threatening to never let go for the fear of potentially hurting him again.

"I'm so sorry. I was just occupied with saving the Breezies... I didn't mean... I shouldn't have... I love you! Please! I do!" she cried out frantically, threatening to send Twilight into a fit of sobs in a moment.

"Fluttershy?" the alicorn and unicorn both worried.

"Shhh... it's ok. Your child loves you." Spike reassured, squeezing her neck tight, though not hard enough to choke her.

Fluttershy still unleashed several heart-wrenching sobs, but as the hug prolonged, the more she calmed down.

"Spike... I had no idea..." Starlight muttered, feeling herself shake slightly in response.

"It's ok, really. Now is much better, but... there's more." he added, gesturing back down to the scene once more.

As Spike hugged an uncomfortable Fluttershy, he accidentally pushed her into the Breezies she had just saved, sending them into angry cries of indignation.

Feeling the awkwardness of the situation, Spike slowly backed up from a still wincing pegasus as he slowly made his way out of sight from the Breezies.

"Uh... I'm... just... gonna stay over here."

All the ponies merely glanced blankly at the now once again sulking dragon before turning to address Fluttershy again, seemingly forgetting he was even there with an extremely remorseful demeanor.

"So, Fluttershy, you want us to get the breeze going again so these little guys can get a move on?" asked Rainbow Dash.

"Woah, woah, woah. Hang on a second. The Breezies yelled at him, making him upset again, and all you girls did was just blankly address him before shoving him out of the picture?!" Starlight threw an accusatory hoof at the duo of shameful ponies, not believing there was a time where they would've ignored him so blatantly like that.

The alicorn finally had her tears fall as she and Fluttershy bowed their heads in shame.

Spike sighed.

"It's ok. I understand now. All of you were preoccupied with making sure the Breezies got back safe, it's alr...

"No."

"Huh?" Spike looked up to see two sets of glaring, yet still crying eyes in front of him.

"No, it's not alright Spike!" Twilight dabbed an eye with her hoof. "You were clearly upset about what happened and we weren't even remotely close to sympathetic with you. We just simply left you there to wallow in guilt while we went and sent the Breezies home. It wasn't right - here or any past incident you can think of."

Fluttershy firmly nodded her head in agreement, though her body shook for a fraction of a second - being noticed by Twilight.

"We all acted like we didn't care, and I'm... we're sorry." Twilight sniffled, both mares wrapping their wings around the dragon's form.

The dragon, with a smile on his face, returned the hugs, allowing a distant Starlight to smile fondly in earnest before another question popped in her head.

"But why would you, Rarity, and Applejack, want to show Spike this? Is it to show that despite past mistakes, that Fluttershy (and you too) have and will always love him?"

As the three exited their hug, their tears ending, Twilight offered a shake of the head.

"Well, that's part of the reason, but I'm more referring to a conversation that happened right after we sent the Breezies home."

With another flash of the horn, the group was quickly fast forwarded to a canyon just outside the closed Breezie portal.

Fluttershy seemed to cheer up at the sudden remembered memory, though a bright blush formed on her cheeks.

"Oh, goodness. I forgot all about this part." she pointed at the walking group of ponies below.

"At least we're not going where I thought we were..."

As a group of breezie-fied ponies slowly transformed their way back into their typical equine selves (though a flower was ever so curiously pinned in Fluttershy's mane), they all took the chance to stretch.

Rainbow Dash, seemingly intrigued by Twilight's transformation spells, attempted to convince the alicorn of a potential offer. "So, uh, I've always kinda wondered what it would be like to be a griffon."

However, Twilight and the others simply rolled their eyes as they proceeded to head back towards Ponyville.

Rainbow wouldn't be deterred. "You sure? What about a dragon? No? It doesn't have to shoot fire!"

Then, with a sudden halt, Fluttershy felt her whole body freeze, her immobile form catching the attention of her friends.

"Spike..." she harshly whispered as she felt her eyes begin to water.

"Spike?" Applejack regarded curiously, "What about him?"

"He... he felt so bad about what happened with the Breezies and all I did was refuse his hug while he sulked away afterwards - we all just disregarded him as we stood in front of him, ignoring him!"

Pinkie Pie and Twilight both appeared to be saddened at the realization, feeling their own guilt eat away at them.

Rarity, however felt unsure.

"It can't be that bad, darling. You did say you didn't blame him. It's not like you abandoned him."

"No, but I should've been more sensitive to his feelings! I should've comforted him, offered him the chance to formally apologize and make things up to the Breezies; but I was so focused on helping them, I forgot all about him!" she started tearing up.

Applejack finally felt a deep frown etch on her face as she pulled her hat over her eyes.

"Shucks, sugarcube! Yer right. We all did exactly that - and after we got through telling him a while ago that he was important to us - that incident with the 'Power Ponies'."

The others all nodded their heads in shame, except for one cocky pegasus.

"Come on everypony, it's not that big of a deal! Spike's probably forgotten all about that. Tomorrow, he probably won't even remember it at all, waking up to clean the library or do some other chore like he always does."

Despite the attempt to be reassuring, Rainbow's efforts were clearly anything but - hearing a collective round of gasps echo around her. No one's reaction was worse than a glaring Fluttershy's though.

"Rainbow Dash! That's horrible! How can you say that?!" she exclaimed, her sobbing eyes, slowly burning a fire within.

"What? What's the big deal? I'm sure he'll be fine. We all care about the kid, but you seem to be extra concerned for some reason."

"...and there's Rainbow begin Rainbow." Starlight pointed out, slightly annoyed.

The tears abruptly stopped as Fluttershy soon stood muzzle to muzzle with the fellow pegasus, pointing a hoof in her chest.

"You know EXACTLY WHY I care about him! Don't you DARE pretend that you don't!"

Rainbow momentarily retreated, before she felt a scoff escape her.

"I never said I didn't, I obviously do! But what I AM saying is maybe you should tell him how you feel instead of sitting here crying about it!"

Fluttershy's burning glare soon cooled out as she felt a strength of depression surge through her, her head flopping down to the ground, surveying the dirt with heavy eyes.

"You know I can't. I couldn't take it if he rejected me. I'm not strong enough."

Rainbow's own anger faded out as she suddenly felt like a hoof had clobbered her in the chest.

"Shy..."

"Rainbow, that's enough!" Twilight cautiously proclaimed, before wrapping the butterscotch pegasus in a comforting embrace.

"It's ok. We know how important he is to you - to all of us."

Fluttershy silently nodded.

"But ya will have to tell him one day. If accidents like today keep happenin' who knows what he'll think? We need to show him we care."approached Applejack.

"Indeed," added Rarity. "One day we all will, we just... don't know how to bring up such a subject, do we?"

Her gaze lowered. "I suppose none of us are strong enough..."

Rainbow held back a few tears as she kicked the dirt in frustration.

Pinkie, having surprisingly remained silent throughout the entire exchange, finally made her presence known.

"Family is hard. But I know when the day comes - when we finally tell him - we'll do our very best for him and you'll be the greatest second mother he could ever have." the pink pony hugged the quivering pegasus.

"Wait... so they knew about... you?" Spike interrupted.

The present Fluttershy gave him a sad nod as confirmation.

"And... you guys knew you wanted to....?"

"For a long time, Spike." Twilight replied.

Then she closed her eyes in thought.

"If only we told you so long ago..."

Spike admired the scene below with longing interest.

"So that's why Applejack knew... and her and Rarity sending us here..."

"Pinkie... everyone.... thank you." Fluttershy stammered out with a soft smile, affectionately nuzzling each of her friends, each of them returning the gesture.

"Come on, let's head home and we'll all make sure our special little guy is ok." declared Twilight as each of them continued on their trail back to town.

Spike fondly watched over the sunset of the canyons.

"There were still mistakes in the future, but very few. After that day, they were almost non-existent. Sure, I still felt lonely and forgotten at points, but I never realized how much of a turning point today initially started. From then on, I got to spend more time with you all." he offered a small, lopsided smile.

"It still took a few more years to finally open up though." Twilight admitted solemnly.

"Yeah."

"Maud Pie, The Equestria Games..." Fluttershy listed off emotionlessly.

"Yeah."

Starlight finally sighed.

"Well, as much of a bittersweet idea as it is, you could say it was a good thing Sludge came to town. Without him, you would've never been pushed to your limit and we may not have found the perfect opportunity to consult you."

Spike looked up at her as a more sincere smile graced his lips.

"Yeah. It all worked out for the best."

As Twilight picked him up for a hug however, he shocked her mid-hold.

"That still doesn't explain everything though."

"Wh-what?" she nervously gulped.

"I mean - clearly you, the girls, and Fluttershy - you all knew how you felt about me, but that still doesn't explain how it happened."

Twilight slowly began stammering. "B-but.. uh.. some of these things just can't be explained, right?"

Spike looked up at her curiously.

"But there must be some event that happened between the first day and here - an event that got Fluttershy to tell you how she felt, sending you guys into recognizing your own feelings."

Twilight sighed, realizing she wasn't going to get around him.

"There was an event between that time - a big one. Rainbow and Pinkie wanted me to show you, but..." she then looked directly at the pegasus. "...some of you may not like it."

Fluttershy began thinking of what she could possibly mean.

"An event between the beginning and the Breezies...."

Then, her eyes shone frantically.

"Oh no! Celestia, please no! No no no no no! Anything but that!"

Unfortunately for her, Spike's eyes only widened as he sincerely pleaded his case.

"Please Twilight! I just want to know!"

"Spike..."

"I know that the past may hurt, but like we've all been saying - the past is the past, the present is now."

"Spike! Please don't!"

Starlight decided to speak up.

"If you're sure..."

"NO!"

But before Fluttershy could outwardly object, Twilight's horn lit up again, sending them to a different time period.


Once again, with a shimmer of light, the group appeared above a new timepoint, though this time oddly enough, they were in front of Fluttershy's cottage - a lack of a sanctuary clearly noticeable.

"Huh. Fluttershy's without the sanctuary - been a while. But... uh, why are we here?" curiously piped Starlight.

"Twilight, don't." Fluttershy outwardly muttered, yet it went unnoticed as Twilight stared at the scene.

"I'll explain, but we need to head inside to see." she motioned as the bubble began taking them inside the warm and secluded house, inviting them to a truly perplexing sight.

There, inside the cottage flew an angry Rainbow Dash chasing after a desperately fleeing Fluttershy; a slightly gasping unicorn Twilight observing the two of her friends.

"Twilight, please. Stop." warned Fluttershy, but to no avail.

This time though, the alicorn seemed to have heard her as her ears perked up ever so slightly. Unfortunately for the pegasus, this plea also went unanswered.

"Uh, Twilight?" Spike asked, "I don't remember this at all."

Twilight grimaced ever so slightly as she placed a gentle hoof on his back.

"That's because this is the morning of the Dragon Migration. Rainbow and I were on our way to pick up Fluttershy..."

"Twilight!" Fluttershy's voice slowly rose in volume.

"Really? Huh, neat. But, uh... what does this have to do with us?" he replied, oblivious to the gradually upset pegasus.

"You'll soon find out. This is something both of you need to face." Twilight explained. Now she was looking directly at Fluttershy - and she didn't like it one bit.

"Twilight, I appreciate the fact you're trying to help..." she said through chattering teeth, "...but this isn't going to work."

The alicorn merely began looking at the scene with a firm stare.

"Here we go."

"But Fluttershy, the great dragon migration happens only once in a generation! Do you really wanna pass up a chance like that?" an inquisitive Twilight politely asked, almost oblivious to the fact that Fluttershy was now clutching on her door frame for dear life.

"Now that you put it that way, yes!" the pegasus cried, feeling the pain of Rainbow trying to force her way out of the cottage. But she wouldn't move. She couldn't move.

Speaking of oblivious Twilight's, the alicorn seemed to not notice the pegasus next to her getting more irate by the second.

"Twilight! Please stop this! Take us home! I... he can't see this!" she briefly stuttered.

"Fluttershy, this is for your benefit too." the alicorn sagely replied, giving her friend a sympathetic glance.

However, the pegasus only halted for a second before she grew even more frustrated.

"No it isn't! We can't see this!" she hollered.

Meanwhile, Spike slowly watched the scene with growing interest. Even now, it was rare for the pegasus to be this stubborn with her friends. Something must really be bothering her for her to resist so insistently.

Similarly, Starlight gaped at the argument with growing interest, not expecting the quiet mare to put up a fight with the brash Rainbow Dash.

"Note to self - place bits on Fluttershy in a fight." she noted.

"Aw, Fluttershy, we just don't want you to miss out." the unicorn cooed.

"Twilight! Stop this, NOW! You need to listen to me!" Fluttershy began growling.

The princess merely shook her head.

"I'm sorry, Fluttershy, but we all agreed, you needed to see this."

Fluttershy let out a gasp before she placed her head directly onto Twilight's.

"Well they're WRONG! I can't bare to watch this! It's going to hurt m... him! You need to stop this IMMEDIATELY!"

At this point, Spike and Starlight both momentarily paused from watching the past moment to glance worriedly at the now screeching pegasus. She was getting mad and looked ready to burst any minute!

"Fluttershy, it's ok." Spike tried, "I won't be upset no matter what happens. The past is over with, remember? Besides, what happened anyways? You just didn't want to go to the migration, big deal."

Unfortunately, the shaking pegasus had a different reply as she turned around to acknowledge him.

With a slight sigh, she exclaimed:

"No, Spike - you're wrong! It was so much worse than that! So bad that I never forgave myself! I never want to even have to think about it again, it just eats me up inside!"

"Fluttershy..." Spike felt his heart ache for his clearly hurt mother. Twilight and Starlight looked at each other with knowing glances.

"In fact, this whole idea was bad from the start! I had to remember how nice I was to you on the first day before I ended up neglecting you for the longest time, I had to remember how I just left you by yourself when you really needed someone, I had to remember how much of a coward I was for telling everyone except you how much I love you..."

Tears finally poured like a river from the winged-pony's body before she whipped her head back around to face Twilight.

"But I WILL NOT sit here and watch myself say the most careless thing I could while HE sits there and watches. I love being his mother more than anything in the world, but I DO NOT want to be reminded of how much of a terrible parent I could've been back then!" she stomped, though it was now clear she was more scarred and frightened than actually angry.

"Fluttershy, stop! You are not or have ever been a terrible parent! Mistakes happen, everyone makes them! But you need to confront all of your past so you can help yourself out here! If you still have a piece that is continuing to hurt you this much, you're not doing yourself any favors! Running and hiding won't solve anything! Starlight exclaimed.

` The unicorn's gaze suddenly lowered as a certain wave of memories flooded back into her mind.

"...believe me I know." she coldly stated.

Now Twilight took the initiative.

"Starlight's right. This mission wasn't only for Spike's benefit. I've noticed how there appears to be something bothering you - both yesterday and today - whenever any of us mentioned the past! The girls and I have been trying to decipher what exactly was causing you so much pain, and we came out with a few hypotheses."

"Unfortunately, the others all noticed how you tend to run and hide whenever the 'Migration Incident' was noticed."

Twilight's eye shifted off to the side in an apologetic show.

"I was hoping this would be more of a 'last resort' thing, but now that I know this is where you're hurting, we want to help you!"

Her gaze steeled itself once again, peering back at the pegasus.

"The past can hurt, but you can't let it control you like this! You're not hurting Spike, you're hurting yourself!"

"STOP THIS NOW, TWILIGHT! PLEASE! I DON'T WANT TO SEE THIS!"

Twilight let a few tears fall down her cheek as she glanced at her friend.

"I'm sorry Fluttershy. Starlight, restrain her."

With a nervous exchange, Starlight lit up her horn as she held the squirming pegasus in a magic grasp.

"NO! LET ME GO! PLEASE!" she squirmed, tears running down her whole body.

"Fluttershy, please!" Spike cried, never having seen the pegasus this worked up. "Do this for me! Do this for yourself! During my journey, I told you to leave the past behind and focus on the present. You can't let looking at something like this scare you! You can't keep hiding the pain! We can do this together!"

"NO, SPIKE! PLEASE! I LOVE YOU! DON'T LISTEN!" she pleaded, covering her ears with her hooves. The dragon's heart broke, seeing this mare who he thought was completely free from their past burdens be this traumatized.

"Fluttershy, what could you have possibly said, that was this..."

And that's when the bombshell hit.

"MISS OUT ON WHAT? DRAGONS? BIG, SCALY, FIRE-BREATHING DRAGONS?"

Like time had stopped inside the bubble, all four creatures could only stand speechless as they gawked helplessly in front of them.

"Well... yeah!" Twilight replied to the outburst.

"Thanks, but... no thanks!"

"Look, Fluttershy..." Rainbow finally spoke, "...I watched that boring butterfly migration with you, so now it's your turn to watch the dragon migration with me! You owe me!"

Then like a lift off from a rocket, Fluttershy snapped.

"I... said... no!"

Releasing herself off the door with great force, the yellow pegasus shot from behind, bucking a fallen Rainbow in the stomach before ultimately charging.... ok more like pausing and opening... her window before she frantically took off for the Everfree Forest.

"Okay, I guess I'll let you off the hook this time." a dazed Rainbow uttered.

As the cyan pegasus and lavender unicorn eventually took off in silent retreat to the dragon observing site, the four creatures inside the bubble merely stared out into empty space, no one saying anything for what felt like an eternity, until Starlight finally released Fluttershy from her magical aura.

As the pegasus began to shakily get up, the dragon hurriedly ran over to be by her side before she could react.

"Flutter-Mom, it's alright. I heard what you said and I'm not the least bit angry. I know that's not who you are now. I'm still 'Happy Spike' see - smiling, laughing, giggling. Let's just enjoy a nice, soft Flutter-hug shall we?" he tried with a toothy grin.

"......." was all that was released from a sniffling and trembling form.

"Fluttershy, we're all ok. No one is mad or hurt. We all love you. I know you'd never say anything like that on purpose. Please, let's just take a deep breath in and..."

"N-no! Spike! It's not ok! I'm not alright! I-I thought of you as my child...and....and.... I said that about dragons! Never mind me not showing up, never mind me being too much of a scaredy cat to tell you how much I care, how could I say that and then run away! How could I continue to do stuff like this for so long! I....I..... I...... I'M A BAD PONY!"

Spike latched onto the pegasus with all his might, Twilight and Starlight each approaching a side of her to calm her down from her now hyperventilating state.

"Flutters! Calm down! You are not a bad pony! You may have said and done something you regret, but we can work through it! No one here or back home is mad or blames you for any of this! We want to help you, please!" Starlight begged in a hopefully soothing voice.

"I'm a bad pony! I'm a bad pony! I'm a bad pony!" Fluttershy kept repeating, sitting on her haunches as she kept rocking herself back and forth. The three creatures in front of her gazed at her with pained expressions. She was severely hurt.

"Fluttershy," Twilight petted her, her eyes on the brink of tears in fear, "Please. It's ok. Take a deep breath, everything will be fine. We're not going anywhere." she whispered.

"Bad.... pony.... I.... sorry....." she could only breath out as she felt her chest tighten in pain.

"Mom?" Spike prodded as he rubbed his scales around her neck.

Then like a blur, Fluttershy bolted with somehow enough strength to break the seal on the enclosed bubble, running through the same open exit her past self did as she took off for the forest.

"I'M A MONSTER!" she cried, leaving the three others stunned.

"FLUTTERSHY!" they all tried calling out, but it was too late.

This sweet, sensitive pony with a heart of gold had been beating herself up by a past accident. Actually, whether it was merely this single one, or whether it was a string of things and this was merely the breaking point was debatable.

Regardless, she loved this sweet baby dragon like the son she didn't have and only realized afterwards that she had denounced his entire species based on a past phobia. Not only had she left him on his own before, nor had she lacked the courage to tell him the truth for so long, but she had actively fled in fear and disgust from him and his 'kind'. It didn't matter if she meant to characterize him as a dragon (or whether he felt that way) or not, she still mentally beat herself up over it for so long.

And now, she was lost in the past. A past that she was tormented by.

Spike felt his fists hastily clench, bursting out through the exit with no shortage of purpose.

"Mom!" he cried out, chasing after the fleeing pony with all his energy. The two mares behind him just stood as still as statues for a moment, processing what happened.

The princess sat on her haunches in a shock, the unicorn who also looked ready to crack silently gripping onto her back for support. Twilight could feel a burning sense of dread and guilt build up in her as she glanced helplessly out into the forest.

"What have we done?"

Author's Note:

Hello and welcome to an unexpected two-parter!

I've been planning this sort of idea for a Fluttershy/Spike-centric story for a while now and I'm so excited to finally be writing it. (That hopefully explains the length of this chapter and the fact there will be a part 2.)

Besides that, the other reason why I'm doing such a grand-scale update this time around. A while ago, I mentioned my personal life would become hectic with my education and whatnot approaching - well it's happening very soon and I won't have the time to keep continuously updating. As such, I wanted to at least do a big send-off before I go - and what better way than a 2-part Fluttershy piece?

Again, I don't want to scare anyone, I can always come back to this story at any time and continue (the perks of a mostly anthology-style narrative) , but I hope you're able to enjoy each of the chapters separately for their own value.

(*I may upload a one-shot or two before I go on break but we'll see.*)

Regardless, please do continue to enjoy reading, and thank you for your continued interest and support. :scootangel:

(*I'm planning on part 2 being incredibly emotional though, so keep your eyes peeled when it arrives. *)


Sincerely,

-frenettek314


Images used in this chapter:


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